Monday, January 18, 2016

PACE

Hello everyone!  I have never admired missionaries so much until I became one. I never realized how HARD they work, and how emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually draining it is. Yesterday I just wanted to go home and sleep SO BAD. My head was bursting from meetings and everything seemed to be going wrong. But as missionaries, YOU JUST KEEP GOING! NO BREAKS! And that is okay, because it shows the Lord that we love Him!! One thing my mission president talks about is PACE...Positive Attitude Changes Everything. And do you know what? THAT IS SO TRUE!! Just like in Cross Country, if you have a positive attitude, you can run faster and harder and it hurts a little less. So there is my challenge to you all this week, no matter what is going on or what is seeming particularly difficult, pick up your pace. Smile! Even though it has been a hard week, I have tried my best to keep a positive attitude, and it has helped me so much. It is all about perspective!

This is Sister H and I being nerds. I ADORE her!
Sister H and I made Kimchi Chigae together. YUMMM! (It is like Kimchi soup)
Yesterday I got to watch The Restoration Video. I felt the Spirit SO STRONG. Can I just say... I LOVE JOSEPH SMITH! What a hero stud man! I have NO DOUBT that he saw Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. My heart is so incredibly thankful to him for enduring what he had to endure to restore this gospel. Just think, He was little Sethy's age when He saw God! And people treated him so terribly for it. Let's show Joseph Smith how thankful we are for him by following his example and standing up for our beliefs and our God even when it is hard. I can't wait to meet him one day. I also want to meet Emma. 

I don't think I ever wrote you all about this, but when I first got to Korea, I was SO overwhelmed. SOOOOO much culture shock and stress and all I heard was jibberish that I couldn't understand. I really considered coming home! I needed something that was familiar and comforting. That weekend, I found the familiar and comforting thing I was looking for...the sacrament! I have never appreciated the sacrament as much as I have now. When I felt the spirit in church that first Sunday, I felt so much peace. I looked around and realized that I wasn't so different from all of the Koreans sitting around me. We were all worshiping Christ, and all remembering Him as we ate bread and water. I am thankful for that experience.

I lived my dream this week and bought a macaroon from a bakery. They have bakeries ALL OVER!

Fun Facts:
- I am 22 over here. WEIRD! The day you are born you are one, and then every new years you add a year. So if a baby was born December 31, 2015, the next day, January 1, 2016, he would already be two! Crazy! So fun fact, I can sing 22 by T Swift. (JK I can't. But I could listen to some church music and that is pretty...exciting. ;)    )

- They have melon flavored everything here. Yesterday I ate melon bread and it was SO GOOD!

- They also have sweet potato flavored everything. Also, we literally eat sweet potatoes like apples, except for they are baked first so that they are soft.

- POT! Yep. I eat pot. But in Korea, that is red beans. They put it in EVERYTHING. Like dessert isn't dessert without red beans. So I get my fill of that, too.

- Hand holding...everyone does it! Boys and boys, girls and girls, boys and girls....It really doesn't mean anything besides that you are friends. There are no weird feelings about it. I get my hand held all of the time.

- Bum patting...Yup. Grandmas pat mine all the time.

- Spam! Practically the only meat in my diet

Yep. Korea is the coolest. :)

Love, 
Allie

PS We get to do FHE at a foster home full of special needs girls. IT IS MY FAVORITE!! I feel the spirit so strongly with them. Here is a picture with them. :) They are so incredibly sweet.

We ate these fish hot dog things that were a little interesting!

(Here are a few notes from our emails last week. She didn't write a letter, we just had some back and forth conversations):


Sister W and I found a yummy cafe!

This is my district, minus one elder who had to leave fast to go be an AP.
Let's see....things I will tell you that IDK if I have told you about yet:

-Two days after you all prayed for my ear, IT STOPPED HURTING!! I am fairly sure that all of your prayers healed an ear infection, that was at one point SUPER PAINFUL!

-When I get back don't be grossed out if I eat out of your same soup bowls, or dinner plates, or anything. In Korea, the only food you have is a bowl of rice. The rest is in the middle and everyone just goes at it. Kinda fun.

-There are 8 missionaries that serve in my ward, so it is a lot different then missionaries in UT, where there are like 2 per stake!

-Mom remember how I said I got your letter like a month and a half late? Well it was a blessing because you said some really comforting things that I needed to hear the week I received it. So thank you! Yeah, I heard North Korea blew some stuff up, which kinda terrified me, but Koreans (South Koreans) really don't even care or seemed worried or anything. But mom your letter came at a time I needed some comfort, so thank you!

I am not gonna lie, this week has been really tough. But things are hopefully getting better and better. But last night I sat on the floor and ate mashed potatoes (thanks Adamsons and Becketts) and that helped me feel happier.
Bathroom selfie...it's cold here! 
Here is my final advice for the week, and what I will be working on this week. FIND JOY NOW!! God is so good to all of us. We can ALWAYS find something to be happy about. :) 

Love to all!
Allie

Sunday, January 3, 2016

December Wrap Up

Here is a hilarious thing that happened. Last week at email time on P-day, I was trying to figure out how to send a picture. The computer lab changed something on their system, so I had to re-figure out how to send pictures. Anyway, I was trying to send my family a picture I had just taken of myself, stuffing kimbap in my mouth while emailing them (see last blog entry). Kind of like, "Look, here's what I look like right this very minute while I email you!" So I was having a rough time, and clicking all of these random buttons in Korean on the computer. I eventually got it to send. After I finished emailing, I exited out of the internet...MUCH TO MY HORROR my face was set as the background wallpaper on the computer screen at the lab! AAAHHH! What a terrible surprise, HAHA! And it is a not attractive picture of me. I'm literally stuffing kimbap in my mouth. No way can I figure out how to change the background on a Korean computer! We laughed pretty hard about that one, and we just left my face on the computer!

Merry Christmas!  This week I have once again seen Heavenly Father pour His blessings out on me as I have tried to have faith by opening my mouth.  I always talk to people on the bus, and a lot of times nothing comes from it. However, every once in a while a miracle happens! This week I shared my testimony and a Christmas card with a lady on the bus. I also got her phone number. Later that night, I called her and set up an appointment to meet with her the next day. We met with her, started teaching her, and then she came to church on Sunday! I was so happy to see her come to church. I hope and pray that teaching her will continue to go well and that we will be able to regularly meet with her. I love each of our investigators and members so much. I am so thankful to be serving here. The people here never cease to amaze me with their love.

I also am very thankful for my district! I feel like we all work hard and that we are unified. Elder H is a wonderful District Leader. He really cares about each of us and our progress. He encourages us to be better spiritually, to learn more Korean, to work harder, and to have more faith. I love my district!


Guess what? I rode a mechanical bull. That was a first! I saw it in a member's living room, and I was like NO WAY!! So I asked about it, and he said I could ride it and I was like UH YEAH! It was so funny! It wasn't the kind that bucks you off, apparently is it just one to help you exercise. HAHA!

We got to help make kimchi! Sister W and I, and 2 Elders, helped move, wash, and salt 200 heads of cabbage! It was super fun. Unfortunately, we didn't get to do the rest of the kimchi making. It was so much kimchi!

Here's a picture of me with some of my favorite Filipina sisters
My scripture thought for the week is Alma 5:57

"All of you that are desirous to follow the good shepherd, COME YE OUT from the wicked, and BE YE SEPARATE and TOUCH NOT their unclean things."  It is so much easier to AVOID temptation than to FIGHT it! Stay away from situations that could make you compromise your standards!

Interesting that Andrew's nasty health smoothies prepared me for Korea's love for tomatoes. Tomatoes are considered a strait-up fruit here; they even put it on cake! And Koreans always blend up JUST TOMATOES and serve it as a smoothie. I just chug the tomato puree and think of the health I'm stuffing into my body :)


Here are some of the people I love so much!




Wonderful people, all of them!











Thank you all so much for helping make my Christmas merry! I was so so SO HAPPY to see all of your smiling faces this past week! Sorry for bursting into tears on Skype, but it was so good to see you all! 

Christmas night our District had an awesome activity. We passed out 85 copies of the Book of Mormon wrapped like presents, and passed out hundreds of pass along cards as we sang Christmas carols. (In Santa hats, of course!) It was a really special and different Christmas. There was SO MUCH TRAFFIC on Christmas, because in Korea, Christmas is a couples holiday. Girlfriends and boyfriends were out EVERYWHERE!!! Anyway, as I stood at a busy intersection, singing about Christ's birth and passing out my favorite book, I felt that I really was able to give Christ a small gift this Christmas. It was a really special feeling.

Dad, this is for you! :)

Christmas jammies!

I love my bear from Mindy & Ryan!

Our Christmas night District activity was the BEST!
This is a giant Merry Christmas sign I cut out of felt for our ward party. They wanted me to make it in English!
Last thing: A CHRISTMAS CHALLENGE!! :D

“This Christmas, mend a quarrel.  Seek out a forgotten friend.  Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust.  Write a letter.  Give a soft answer.  Encourage youth.  Manifest your loyalty in word and deed.  Keep a promise.  Forgo a grudge.  Forgive an enemy.  Apologize.  Try to understand.  Examine your demands on others.  Think first of someone else.  Be kind.  Be gentle.  Laugh a little more.  Express your gratitude.  Welcome a stranger.  Gladden the heart of a child.  Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth.  Speak your love and then speak it again.”  (President Howard W. Hunter)

I've got to run, but I love you all so much, BYE!

Love
Allie