Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Happy Birthday, Elder Jarrett!


안녕하십니까, 여러분!

This week was a very fun week.  Well, I am not sure if fun is the most correct word, but it's the best one I've got.  We have had quite a few interesting moments this week.  

Last night, we had an interesting devotional, given by Brother Mark A. Peterson, who is a professor of Korean something or other at SUU.  He talked to us about some different religions of Korea, like all the Christians, as well as Confucianism, Buddhism, and shamanism.  Christianity, Buddhism, and Confucianism came from other countries (Middle East, India, and China, respectively), but shamanism is a straight-up Korean religion.  It's kind of like spirit communication to bring peace, but it's really weird and pretty far out there, but all Koreans practice it in one way or another, just like Confucianism.  The whole Korean culture is very Confucian.  The whole respecting elders thing is from Confucianism.  I don't even know about Buddhism.

On Monday, because it was P-Day, Elder Jarrett and I were pretty wiped out, because obviously we are more tired on P-Day than the other days of the week.  So, luckily, our favorite Alien shows up.  Again, we played rock paper scissors with him for military training on Mercury, and I did quite terrible.  I am Bottom Soldier.  I am a one-day old puppy.  Elder Jarrett is Top Soldier.  He is a tiger.  I am thankful that he showed up, because he really lifts our spirits whenever we see him.  He is probably one of my favorite people in Korea.  Also one of the craziest, but still my favorite.  An object of worry is that Elder Jarrett may have a stalker.  I am still a little skeptical, but it is possible.  Mrs. Kim is a lady that we met on the street.  She was very interested in English class, but she really likes being with Elder Jarrett.  She is also about 40.  She followed us into the barber shop last week, and was mad that we couldn't help her translate a book.  We referred her to Sister Bryan and Sister Lenhart, and they have done well in teaching her.  But she came into the church at the same time as we were making calls there, so we hid from her.  But she still found us, and luckily the Sisters took her away to teach her before she stayed too long. 

We have the coolest stake president in our ward.  His name is 김현수, and he lived in America for a very long time, so he is also fluent in English, which is a relief.  Anyway, he brought us lunch on Wednesday, right before district meeting.  It wasn't a small lunch, either.  It was like a bunch of Costco pizza, and 김밥, and 만두, and a whole bunch of other good stuff.  He talked to us about inviting members to do more missionary work, because they are not doing their part quite good enough.  After district meeting, I started an exchange with 상현빈 장로님, who is one of the Korean elders in our district.  He is pretty crazy.  We hiked up all of the remote places of our area, in 아차산.  We also have to wear suits now, and it is roasting right now, so by the time we finished our exchange, my whole suit's interior was soaked.  And then it was Thursday night...

For Thursday, we went to eat at the Modelizer burger place, where the guy there loooooooves missionaries, so he puts extra stuff on our burgers.  Then, we went back to the church to meet up with Bac, who is a Vietnamese recent convert.  Before I go on, I must relate another story that happened a while back.  Last week, I was on exchanges with Elder Carmen, and we met with our recent convert, 최윤정. (She's the one that's our mom).  While we were talking and eating, she told us that she wanted to throw a surprise birthday party for Elder Jarrett, whose birthday is on the 16th.  She told us that it would be too obvious to do it then, so she told us the 15th instead, which is Thursday.  So, we were waiting for Bac, but his bike broke, so he was running a bit late.  Then, by "coincidence", all of the other missionaries in our district were at the church.  They were all very worried about why Bac was so late.  Elder Jarrett didn't think much of it.  PEC was also cancelled, but almost at the end of our lesson, Elder Ellingford interrupted, and said that Brother 강민수 was here, and wanted to talk to him.  He is our Ward Mission Leader.  So, we finished our lesson, and went upstairs.  Elder Jarrett was sooooooooo surprised.  It was a very fun party, and I'm glad that he was still surprised.  He asked if I knew about it, and I said, "Ha, I knew about it the whole time."  

Saturday was another fun day.  After studies, we went to meet a Chinese person that we had met near the beginning of the transfer (and, no, I do not remember any Chinese).  He had brought a friend with him, and it was a very good lesson.  We didn't even have to ask to meet again, because Mark asked us when we could meet again.  They were super sweet, but they live in the 이문 and 당대문 areas, so we will have to refer them, sadly.  After that we had English class, where I talked with Zamany, who is a man from Afghanistan finishing his Ph. D. here in Korea.  He is pretty cool.  The other elders are working with him, but I am not sure how he is progressing.  To finish off Saturday, we had a hot chocolate stand at night.  It was not very cold outside, though.  However, we still gave out a lot of flyers, and Mrs. Kim even came to help us!

Korea is probably one of the purest places on the earth.  Not the air, which is nasty, but the people here are amazing.  Everyone smokes and drinks, but that's the same for everywhere outside of Utah.  No one steals, no one is mean, no one swears.  It really is an amazing place.


Elder Conley
 Elder Jarrett blowing out his "candle"
My dinner's looking at me
My dinner's brains (or some other stuff, I don't know)

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