Thursday, March 11, 2010

Week 1 in Cheneon

Dear family,
Last week we had transfers so now I am up in almost the most Northern part of the mission. Except for the fact that we added a huge area that was part of the Seoul West mission called Suwan, so I guess technically it's not the most northern part anymore, only the most northern part for sisters. I went from a tiny apartment to one that is better than most of the members that I have visited. It is so nice and so spacious. Then on Friday we found out that they were removing the Elders from our wards and putting in another set of sisters to live with us. Yeah for Sister Stehmeier and Sister Reese. I was in the MTC with Sister Reese. While we were cleaning out one of the rooms for the other sister's to have a study room we found this neat Korean kit. It's all these plastic bell shaped things that you attach to your back and then suck all the air out of them and it's supposed to help your back relieve stress or something. We haven't really tried it yet, but there's a picture of my companion, 안나연 taking a look at it.
We have been mostly spending this week showing the new sisters their area and introducing them to their investigators, recent converts and what not. We don't have many progressing investigators, but we have a lot of former investigators that we are trying to make our investigators. People here are really intense about their religion. We taught a lesson with a member the other day to some women who are kind of the leaders of this church and they meet with us every week. They have a lot of techinical concerns with various doctrine, but they believe the Book of Mormon. The problem is they are such scholars they skip over the little things, like prayer, and they think the Book of Mormon is too easy for their sophisticated selves. I didn't really understand most of the two hour long conversation, except they had a hang up on baptism for the dead, God having a physical body/the holy ghost and who knows what else. But we showed "The Restoration" and I bore my simple testimony and we will see them again next week I am certain. One thing they do that I really get a kick out of is they also say "amen" when you are talking and they agree with something that you have said. It reminds me of a mix of a Baptist revival and some really creepy movie, because it's not in the rowdy black Southern Baptist way with lots of passion but this quiet eerie voice. My companion says it's even more eery for a Korean. When the member was giving the opening prayer they kept saying "amen" and since my Korean isn't very good I was really confussed because I didn't think the prayer had finished yet and I had to keep looking up to make sure.
We also visited a man and woman who recently had a baby (last Saturday). They are really nice and we brought them 미역국 (mi yuck goook) which is a seawood soup that is traditionally eaten on birthdays and for a month after a woman gives birth. Women also usually stay at home in basic isolation for a month after they give birth, I guess it's a lot worse for Korean women after they have a baby or something because my companion said that they are so sick that they can't leave. However, the mother of the woman isn't around (maybe dead, I didn't catch that part) and they aren't on good terms with the mother-in-law. The couple have been seeing the missionaries for a long time and even had a baptismal date, however, the man has a problem drinking and so it fell through. They are also really poor because he can't keep a job and so they borrowed money from a priest who then came back later and told them it was time to pay up and they had to help him build his new church, which means they couldn't come to our church for a while. They have a lot of desire to learn about the gospel still though so I am hoping for the best.
I was reading this morning in Alma 31:5 I came across a scripture that I really love.

And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just—yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them—therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God.

I was thinking about scripture fighting and how really it doesn't work just to Bible bash, it hasn't worked with the two older women investigators and I can't imagine that it is too effective elsewhere. I think what Alma is talking about here is bearing our pure and simple testimony and being a good example to all those around us. For me it is easy to stick to the basics because really that's all that I know how to say in Korean. However, my challenge to you all this week is to share your simple testimony with one person.
I love you all,
Sister Rebecca O'Bryan


  1. That would be "Cheonan." (Pesky Romanization...)

    I saw Sister Ahn on the mission blog. Isn't she the one with a twin sister serving in Pusan? Very cool.

  2. Here's our video from the Cheonan branch: (It became a ward the year after we left.) I called and talked to Sister Cho Kyung Sun a couple of days ago. Fun.

  3. Oops, forgot to make that an actual link. Here: video