Today is the start of my third week in Korea and a month into my mission! ‘Time’ is seriously such a crazy concept… it seems to go sooo fast, yet SOO slow sometimes 😛
First of all, my very first companion is Sister Kirton from Hawaii. She is honestly the BEST trainer for me! She is so beautiful inside and out. I don’t even know how I am so blessed to have such a loving, understanding and supportive companion. She’s only been out in the field for 5 months now so she still remembers what it was like being a “greenie”. I can share my feelings and thoughts with her openly, and always tries to understand how I’m feeling by sharing her own experiences when she first started and giving me the best advice. She studied at BYU Provo for 3 years before her mission 😀 She was a fitness trainer so we always try to exercise properly in the morning. I love it! It’s absolutely crazy how we’ve only been together for just over 2 weeks because it feels like we’ve known each other for years.
My first area is Imun (이문) in Seoul. It’s an awesome area and I’m still trying to get used to where everything is. Even though my area is in 이문, we live in a nice apartment in Jegi-dong(제기동) with two other sister missionaries serving in Dongde-Mun(동대문), Sister Jones and Sister Peni. It’s super fun living with them because we get to share what happened that day with each other and it’s so refreshing to hear other missionaries’ experiences.
Around our apartment, there is a huge market and there are old grandmas(할머니) EVERYWHERE. We always say hello to them and they get so excited! I LOVE 할머니 SO MUCH. We also get a lot of opportunities to help them with carrying their trolleys down the stairs at the subway station. Most of the time, they will be like “Nooo, I CAN DO IT!” but obviously, they are struggling to even walk, so we just carry it down for them and they are always so grateful. Grandmas in Korea are unstoppable!!
Our area is two subways stops away and it’s a whole different world. There are two universities in Imun, and one of them is a foreign University so my area is very diverse.There are uni students EVERWHERE! Who would’ve thought my first lesson in Korea would be in English and the first Book of Mormon(몰몬경) I give away as a missionary in Korea would be in Japanese!!
My branch is super cute! It’s a small branch made up of around 50 people. Even though it’s a small branch, the members are so friendly, welcoming and willing to help the missionaries. They definitely encourage me to work harder as a missionary, and help the missionaries more when I get back home.
Ok, so I experienced the COLDEST DAY OF MY LIFE last week in Korea. It was -18 degrees!! We didn’t have any appointments that night so we went Kakahoho-ing, which is the same is door-knocking… My toes were seriously frozen and we had to do squats while waiting for people to answer their door to keep warm. I even had goosebumps on my FACE. I didn’t even know that was possible before that night hahaha!
To be honest, the first week in Korea was super hard for me. I was suffering from serious jet leg, while trying to get used to my new lifestyle and the freezing weather. It was exhausting. I kept doubting how I was going to be able to survive a year and a half of doing missionary work. On my first Sunday in Korea, I was praying to God for some help because it was so hard.. Then I came across 1 Ne 1:20 while reading the Book of Mormon. Despite all of the hatred and struggles Lehi faced for doing what the Lord asked him to do, he endured and he was protected and guided by God. This helped me to realise that this work I’m doing is not possible with just my own power. I need to always rely on the Lord to help me get through fear, doubt, and whatever struggles I may face. And I need to thank the Lord for all of the blessing I have in my life.
And what more awesome than that?? We went out in the freezing cold weather that night to talk to some more people.. and this random stranger from Busan came up to us and thanked us for our service. Then bought us a hot choco and snacks! That person’s random act of kindness totally made our night and even our week. God knew exactly what we needed hehe.
I know that God loves us and he has called each of us to do His work. I’ve already learnt so much from my time here so far and can’t wait to continue learning and sharing that with others. I’m really grateful that through Christ’s Atonement, we can always progress and move forward with faith. I’m grateful for this opportunity to learn more about Christ and share the happiness I feel with the people of Korea, even if it’s just with a smile.
Hope everyone has a great week!!