Monday, August 23, 2010

Nothing like coming back to the country

Dear family,
How does one begin to describe Seosan? My current area is larger than the Seoul West Mission, but population wise it is probably about 1 city block worth of people. Every week for service we spend a day farming (I haven't yet, but that is what I have been informed). We ride buses a lot-- not city buses like I am used to, but the kind that are more similar to greyhound buses. It gives me plenty of time to study Korean, which is good because:
  • My companion doesn't speak English
  • My ambitious ward missionary leader informed me that in order to reach our 3 month baptism goal of 100 I need to speak better Korean (Koreans can be very blunt)
I'd been warned about our Ward Mission leader and even heard stories about him months ago when I served in a neighboring city. He's not known for his good relationship with missionaries, but I figured if he has the desire to baptize 100 people I might as well go along. So I told him 100 people is about 25 families. Currently our branch has about 12 active families so if every family refers another family and the missionaries find 1 new family a week to match, we can do it. He stared me down to see if I was serious. But I believe in miracles so I didn't blink. If he can find a way to motivate the families in our ward to give us referrals I can work hard enough to find a family a week of new investigators.
I think he approves of me because he commented on how we just need to have faith like Parley P. Pratt. I informed him that I am related to Parley P. Pratt (I 'm not actually sure if I am, but I figure since we are both white then somewhere down the line we are connected). He looked surprised and then said that he had thought as much because I looked just like the picture in "Preach My Gospel"(It's actually a picture of Dan Jones preaching in Wales, but I didn't have the heart to correct him).
Needless to say- I'm excited to be serving in Seosan.
Other exciting things:
  • For Green Day (August 14h) I decided to kiss the earth-- or at least the pavement, with my knee and hand (see the pictures attached)
  • We made cookies with our recent convert the other day which was way fun (I messed up the recipe and left out about 1/2 cup of sugar, but I didn't tell them because:
    1. Koreans aren't big on sweet things so it was okay to taste like bread
    2. They had never made cookies before so they didn't really know the difference
  • We went to visit Yeosan which is known for apples (see picture attached)
Spiritual highlight of the week:
This is an activity that I like to do when we visit families sometimes. First, close your eyes and think about your role model. Someone who you really admire and who you would do anything for. Picture in your mind their face and what it is exactly about them that you love. Why do you like this person? The person that I always choose is someone who is really close and who can understand me, who always gives me the best advice and is always willing to give up anything for me. Now open your eyes.
At this point I usually go around and have everyone share what it is that they really like about the person. Then I explain that there is one person who has all of these attributes and more-- that person is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is not only perfect, but he loves and understands us perfectly. He is not just our role model, but he is our brother who took on every care, every worry, every thing for us.
Maybe for FHE or something you can try this activity with some friends, it's really fun and always helps people to realize what Christ can really mean to them.
Love you all,
Sister O'Bryan
Daejeon PO Box 38
Chungcheong bukdo 300-600
South Korea

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