Tuesday, December 28, 2010

And the answer is...

Dear family,
Another transfer has come and gone, but it's okay, because it turns out that I will be staying another 6 weeks with my wonderful companion Sister Lee Kyung Ran. I know I shouldn't be biased, but she's probably my favorite yet-- one day I will convince her to come to the United States and you can all meet her. Or you can come to Korea (take me with you)!
I have been learning a lot of stories about Korea, thanks to my companion and her amazing ability at telling folk stories. One of my favorite of late is about a girl called Shim Cheong.
Long long ago in a little city in Korea there was a very beautiful girl who was also very loving to her blind father. When she was a baby her mother died and her father took her from woman to woman in order to get fed since he was very poor. As the girl grew she became even more and more beautiful and more and more loyal to her father. One day she met a travelling monk. He told her that if she gave 3000 pounds of rice to Buddha then her father could regain his sight. When she heard this she was both very happy and very sad. She wanted her father to have his sight, but also was very poor and had no one of getting such an exorbitant amount of rice. While she was pondering about this she heard about some sailors in a nearby town. In those days when sailors went out to ocean they always took a beautiful virgin, because when the waves came they would throw her overboard and appease the sea god.
As you can imagine, finding such a woman was a bit difficult, so for anyone who would give them a beautiful virgin they gave 3000 pounds of rice. Shim Chungi heard about this and for her father's sake volunteered. Without telling her father she went and obtained the rice, gave it to Buddha and went off to sea. When the storms came the sailors threw her over into the sea. However, the sea god heard about Shim Chung and felt very sorry for her. Out of pity (and maybe a little in awe over her extreme loyalty to her father) her he sent her back up to the sea surface in a big lotus.
At the same time that Shim Chungi came up to the surface there was a prince on the beach (why was he on the beach? I have no idea.. Riding his horse? taking a leisurely stroll, who knows, he's a prince, he can do what he wants). The prince looked out, saw the beautiful girl emerging from this huge lotus and-- of course, fell in love with her. He took her for his wife.
Shim Chungi was happy to be alive and happier to be a princess, but she still wondered about her father. So she devised a plan. She held a HUGE feast and invited every blind man in the kingdom. Her father, at the time, still did not have his sight back. (rotten, lying monk) and was wondering the country frantically searching for his lovely daughter. All this wondering however, also made him very hungry, so when he heard about this feast he decided to take a break from his search and stop by to grab something to eat.
The feast day came and as all the blind Koreans came shuffling in (what a sight that would have been-- too bad they couldn't see it... hehehe) she saw her father. She was so happy to see that he was still alive that she called out his name. Upon hearing his father's voice the man was SO surprised that *pop* his eyes popped open and he could see her.
They all lived happily ever after and the rest is history.
Next week if you remind me I will tell you about how the first Korean was born-- that one is also one of my favorites. Oh golly, how do Koreans think of such funny stories?
On the spiritual side of things, lately I have been reading through the Bible. I have to admit, while reading the Bible I often wonder how people could last so long without the Book of Mormon, but occasionally I'll find a verse that my heart really likes.
This past week while reading through Psalms I came across
Pslams 30:5 "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."
It's funny how life works in cycles like that, sometimes you are sad, sometimes you are happy, but the happy times always make the sad times worth it. As a missionary sometimes people write me really weird things. Probably the worst is when people tell me about really hard times they are having, with school, with work, with love, whatever it may be, and then they don't mention it again (it's like watching a movie, getting to the climax and then leaving). Or not hearing from you at all and relying solely on second hand information where I can get it. Seriously it is frustrating, I may be a million miles away, but I still love and care about all of you so I worry about you sometimes. Anyway, so sometimes the only thing I can do is to pray for you. Maybe it's because I'm a missionary, but I pray for all of you every day (believe or not as you will). And it's oh so reassuring to hear good news from you.
Things that have happened on my mission thus far (re-cap):
  • Marriages: 1
  • Babies: 2.5
  • Random travel abroad/vacation: >2
  • Graduations: 1
Anyway, the reason for this long windedness is that even though I don't always hear from all of you, I still know that you will be okay, because I either I'm just naive or I have some sort of faith. So even if you don't know what the future holds, I know that you'll be okay (I'd just like to hear about it from time to time).
Love you lots!
  • This morning we decided to climb a nearby mountain, it was way pretty.
  • This is what I look like in the morning--- kind of scary
  • Just sitting on a bridge in Daecheon
  • Sister Lee-- this is why I love her
  • We were in the middle of nowhere, but hey it was pretty
Sister O'Bryan
Daejeon PO Box 38
Chungcheong bukdo 300-600
South Korea

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