With the arrival of our first snow—albeit small, the $3 purchase of classic Christmas carols, and the 2 ft Christmas tree we salvaged from the closet of “missionaries now long past”—it looks like this Christmas is shaping up to be one of the best yet. My companion never celebrated Christmas before; it’s not really a Korean holiday, so she had a hay day decorating our small tree with random ornaments including disco Santa, one eyed reindeer, those furry Christmas tree wreath things and the like. We even scrounged up some blinking Christmas lights that seem surprisingly well coordinated with our Frank Sinatra/Louis Armstrong. I never really considered myself a Christmas junky, but being the only one to experience real Christmases with trees, caroling, fat men in red suits, having endured hours of TV specials, mindlessly propagated cartoons, turkey, fruit cake, chocolate oranges and all the other things you can’t find in Korea I feel somewhat obligated to bring in Christmas cheer.
Reason number 205 of why I love my companion, Sister Jung Ji Yun: she is brave. We were riding the bus to one of our appointments the other day when we saw a Pilipino girl in front of us get up yelling at the man next to her “I told you! Don’t touch me!” We were a little perturbed, but there are a lot of older Korean men who buy wives from the Philippines or Mongolia so we thought maybe she was just having a spat with her husband. But then this creepy man starts coming back towards us on the bus. So my companion and I look at each other and head to the front of the bus to sit next the Pilipino lady. Turns out the man was some completely random fellow who sat down next to her, pulled down his pants and tried to touch her. Oh for creepy. He soon came back up to the front of the bus and just acted like he was crazy. The Pilipino was scared so she quickly got off the bus, but my companion laid the smack down. Actually she was surprisingly more polite than I think I would have been. She said “Why did you do that? That’s really horrible to try and take advantage of people who are weaker than you and can’t defend themselves because they can’t speak Korean. Why would you do that?” He started speaking badly and then my companion called the police on him. She gave them our bus number, informed them of the situation and thankfully there was a camera on the bus. The other man I think felt really afraid so then he called the police to say that he had done nothing, but then got off of the bus. When we arrived at our destination we talked with the police, but without the witness of the Pilipino lady they could do nothing, just get all the other evidence. They told us if we happened to see her again to give them a call.
It was a little bit frustrating. How were we going to see that lady again? We prayed that night that we could find her and the next morning as we were rushing to catch another bus we saw her. It was completely random as she doesn’t live in our city and was just transferring so we only had about 3 minutes to exchange phone numbers, but it was still pretty miraculous. Yeah for the law!
Other exciting news:
I gave a talk in church. You’d be surprised how nerve racking it is to give a 15 minute talk in another language, but I think I did okay. I also had to randomly give a special musical number at a fireside with about 20 minutes of practice and for the last month I have become the temporary ward director since the lady who actually has the calling has a huge test so she wasn’t able to come to church. I think when I get back I will be content with a nice calling like… Relief Society greeter… or ward librarian. How pleasant.
Daejeon PO Box 38
Chungcheong bukdo 300-600