So I ate my first Korean pizza last week. And let me just say... America, you are doing it wrong. I love you, but you are doing it so wrong. Here in Korea, they put everything you could think of on pizza. But the thing that I fell in love with was the sweet potato pizza. Yes, it sounds strange.. but you have no clue how amazing it is. They put these strips of sweet potato that has been whipped with sweet cream of some sort and lay it across the pizza. Then they put these puffs of cheese on it and fried squid and chicken and... yes it sounds so weird. But like really... It is absolutely incredible. I can't even explain how my love for pizza has blossomed here. They even turn the crust into dessert and stuff it with apple pie filling or cream cheese and cranberry raisins. But... Korean pizza is also super expensive. You get like 3 pizzas for $100... we definitely save it for special occasions. ;)
Guess what? I sang in church yesterday! I don't even sing... but I sang in church yesterday! Me and four other missionaries sang "More Holiness Give Me" in Korean for our ward's special musical number yesterday. (one of the elders played the piano) I was the soprano... but it was actually super fun! We have a great district right now. :) We are all total dorks but we get along really well and we work hard. I love my area, 안산, so much. It is a hard area... missionaries in our mission often say, "Don't ask the Ansan missionaries about their investigators... because they don't have any." But we are going to change that.
We had a district meeting last week and all agreed that we had the same goal, a burning desire to change the views of others on the Ansan Ward. We will do all that it takes to totally flip this area around. We have already planned various ward activities to strengthen the ward and the few youth that attend. We figure that if we can get the youth to be strong, then that will mean less less actives for later. We have to strengthen the ward before we can truly bring investigators into it. We all want to change 안산 with all our hearts. Missionaries here in the past have worked hard too, but we want to be the ones to completely change this place. All six of us are working to do all that we can to make this ward strong. We have this desire that is unexplainable, and we are acting on it. One of the elders brought up the thought, "The place with the most dead trees has the most fertile ground." Ansan used to be very strong, but they are down to about 50 active members. Well, its time to plant some seeds. We can't bring every less active back, or keep every youth in the ward from falling away. But we will do what we can, with the time we have. The Lord is giving us the strength and desire to change Ansan. And before we forget about that desire, we are acting on it. I can't even explain to you how badly I want to help these people. I am representing the Lord, and His desires are now becoming mine.
Also, I have learned how much I love the Korean people this week. The love for them kind of crept up on me. I didn't realize how much I loved them until I had a simple experience on one of the subways. So we were just sitting on the subway, and I was playing a game in my head to help pass the time. My game is that I look around and try to figure out what people are thinking/feeling. Everyone is quiet on the trains, so its kind of fun to just see what people could be thinking. Well, I was playing that little game when I saw a Korean man, probably a few years older than me or about my age, look at his phone. All the sudden, tears started streaming down his face. My heart pretty much burst inside. It surprised me how bad I felt for this man. I just wanted to run up to him and promise him that everything would be okay, that no matter what was happening, everything would be okay. Whether it was the stress of college, a girlfriend being difficult, parents, life in general... whatever was making this man sad, I wanted to help him. I wanted him to know that there are better things ahead. I didn't get the chance to talk to him because he got off at the next stop, but it seriously surprised me how much my heart snapped. The name tag I wear comes with power that I didn't expect.
Because I am a missionary, I feel what Christ feels. I feel the love his has for God's children. I feel the heartache that happens when a recent convert admits that she doesn't believe in God (which did happen this week). I feel the desire for a simple place like Ansan in South Korea, to become strong and rely on the gospel. I feel the desire to bring others to Christ. There is so much I want to do on this mission, so many people I want to help. It won't be easy, but I am representing our Lord. He will help me every step of the way, and through Him I truly can change lives. My Korean is limited, but I know that through Christ I can find other ways to touch lives until I learn the language. My countenance and my example means so much. I can uplift others and bring them to the truth.
I love you all so much and miss you as always! 사랑합니다!