Monday, January 19, 2015

I look like Michael Jackson! not really!

So... I hope you are laughing at the subject of this email. There is a story behind it, and I hope you want to hear it because here it goes. So a few days ago we were teaching one of our recent converts. The lessons with her are always a little crazy because she brings her daughter, her niece, and a super cute older lady who is probably going to get baptized soon. But anyway, she was shocked at my hair (like most Koreans) because it is naturally curly. Everyone asks when I permed it... and my answer is always "never, its natural." They don't believe me so I show them little kid pictures of me and they are always shocked. Its the best. But here in Korea... my curly hair has gone haywire. It curls about 10x as much I swear. They call it Ramen Hair. (yes, like the noodles). So she was talking about my hair, when she decided I look like Michael Jackson. She told me from the nose up, I look just like Michael Jackson. I am pale, have dark super curly hair, and my nose points up (most Korean noses are flatter than mine). Then she started singing Billy Jean. Sister Carter and I were definitely laughing at this comment. Personally, I don't think I look like Michael Jackson, but you can be the judge of that. :)

Last Monday after I emailed home, we went to look for some warm clothes for me. The shopping trip was a crazy success. I bought some boots and some lined leggings that make all the difference in the world. But thats not the only reason the trip was a success. We were in this cute little thrift store just looking around, when this Korean girl came up and started talking to us. She looked like she was about my age. We found out she's 21, which in American age is 19. She randomly just threw out that her aunt is a member of a church, and that she went to church with her for a little while. And then after some more conversation, she brings up the fact that she was actually baptized when she was younger. We found a less active in a thrift store. It was crazy! So we invited her to English class (we teach English class every Wednesday night) and she was super eager to go. She showed up at English class and we became friends very quickly. At English class, she asked us to go to McDonald's with her on Friday. Of course we said yes. So Friday rolls around and we meet her at McDonald's for lunch. She shows up, and we quickly find out that she woke up at noon that day. Sister Carter asked why she woke up so late (her hair was a mess and she just looked a little rough) and soon enough we find out that she was drinking the night before, and she was hung over. So we went to McDonald's with our less active friend who was hung over. It was disappointing of course, because we thought she had potential to come back to the church. But it was also obvious that she was having so much fun with her friends away from church that it would be hard to convince her otherwise. We still plan on being her friend and inviting her to things. The McDonald's experience was definitely disappointing for us, but hope never runs out when you are a missionary. :)

Coming into the country, I thought that I would finally be eating food that was good for me, not huge portions, and just all around better than American food. I thought that since Koreans are so small, they probably don't eat that much. It makes sense right? Haha boy was I wrong. Koreans eat SO MUCH FOOD!!! Every time a member feeds us, halfway through the meal I am stuffed to the bone, but I still have to eat more. They think you don't like their food if you stop eating. I truly love Korean food, but it is so hard to keep eating sometimes! My companion tells me that I am going to have to learn to eat a lot, and while I like food, I also like not stuffing myself every meal, too. I don't like overeating but... I also don't like offending members haha.  Also, they don't drink any water. Their cups are half the size of ours... they are more like shot glasses than cups. And sometimes you don't even get drinks at meals. They tend to drink hebal teas more than water as well, so we get a lot of those. A few days ago a member gave us an herbal tea drink thing that definitely surprised me. It was... probably the only thing I have tried here that I don't like. It was some kind of barley tea or something... but I just had to drink it fast because it was not good. Korean food tends to surprise me more often than anything, because the way it looks is not the way it tastes. But all the food I have eaten is amazing, and I am excited to try more.

I wish I had more to say this week, but really I am still getting over culture shock and the craziness of being a brand new missionary in a foreign country. I am studying hard to learn the language and while there are times I get frustrated that I can't communicate with anyone, I try my best to remain optimistic and postive. Positivity is so important in learning a language! Especially a language as hard as Korean. While I may not really be able to talk to people, my example is very important in this work. Being a foreigner, I am always being watched. When I am polite and give up my seat on buses or trains, smile at others when I make eye contact with them, and thank every one I can for even the smallest things, at least I am sending a positive message. Kindness is so important as a missionary. Jesus Christ was the perfect example of kindness, and while I am representing him I must do my best to be kind always. I love you all so much and miss you! You are all sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father and you must never forget that. :) 사랑합니다!

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