Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Zoo & 스태이크 대회

So we went to the zoo last p day... and it was such an adventure. We only got to see a small portion of the Seoul Zoo, but what we saw... oh man it was totally worth seeing. So at first we got there and couldn't find any animals. We seriously thought they were gone or something. But then we finally found some animals. And then it got crazy. We found a baby chimpanzee and a baby orangutan in the same habitat together. And we seriously watched them for like a half hour. They were fighting and playing with each other, and it was the cutest thing. At one point the chimpanzee was hanging onto the orangutan's foot, who was hanging from some monkey bars. The chimpanzee fell, and just layed on the floor with its arms behind its head. He was just done trying to win, so he made himself comfortable and wrapped himself in a blanket. It was so cute and funny. Then we saw some hyenas. This is where things got intense. The hyenas were all raw and bleeding... and there was like 20 in one small room. There was a sign on the habitat that said something along the lines of "The hyenas fight a lot, and sometimes they kill each other. We treat their wounds every day." So so sad. There was just too many in a small space for things to go well. Kind of shocked that animals would be kept that way, we simply moved on. Then we got to the lions. And the lions... whoa. There was one lion who only had half of its tail, and it kept growling and whining. We realized he was away from the rest of the pack of lions. One of the zoo keepers told us that he has a bad attitude and the other lions don't like him, so they travel together and without him. All of the lions were chilling in a pack on one half of the room (and we are talking a room probably the size of my room at home, full of about 10 lions), and Mr. Bad Attitude was on the other side of the room, whining and growling. Suddenly, all of the lions turned to Mr. Bad Attitude, and growled at him at the same time. I have never heard so many lions roar at once, but it was like they were telling him to shut up. It was super cool and kind of funny all at the same time.  So Mr. Bad Attitude stopped whining after that. Also, while we were there an old Korean man told us a super racist joke in English, and we died laughing. I am not going to say it because so many people read my emails, but we don't think he completely understood the joke he was telling. He just knew it made Americans laugh. I could go on about stories from the zoo, but I have other things I want to talk about this week too. :)

So it was also 스태이크 대회 (stake conference) this week. Since we are missionaries, we attended the adult session on Saturday, and the main session on Sunday. The main speakers were President and Sister Morrise (our mission president and his wife), and the area 70 for the Asia North Area. The area 70 is actually Japanese, so he had a recently returned Korean missionary that served in Japan translate for him. Since I can't understand Korean completely yet, my trainer made up a bingo card for me to help me focus through the whole meeting. She wrote vocabulary words on a bingo card, and had me listen for them so that I could cross them out when I heard them. I actually got a lot more out of the meetings that way, and I understood a lot more as well. Playing bingo with Korean vocabulary words definitely helped me focus.

Just a cool fact, on Saturday I heard four different languages. We taught Korean to some Russians, and then heard Japanese in the adult session of stake conference, and Korean of course. Our Russian friends speak more English than Korean, so we teach them Korean in English. We got to hear them pray in Russian though so that was super cool. :)

In ward mission council yesterday, one of our elders asked us what the most effective way to do missionary work was. He is a fairly young missionary, and he wanted to know the best way to do missionary work. The question was a justified and innocent question, but it made me think about some things. First of all, I don't think there is a secret to successful missionary work. There is no magical line to say to people on the streets to interest them in the gospel, there is no perfect first lesson, there is just no approach that is perfectly successful for everyone to use. If there was, well.. we would all be using it by now. ;) But God called each of us, knowing our very own strengths and weaknesses, with a purpose for us. He doesn't call us and plan on us being useless missionaries. Before we came to earth, we may have promised certain people that we would bring them the gospel. God knows those people, and He knows us. He will help us use our strengths and possibly even our weaknesses to find those people and lift them with the joy of the gospel. We just have to trust in Him. Sometimes we, as missionaries, begin analyzing everything's effectiveness. What methods work? What methods don't? While this is important, we have to remember that overall, the Lord will guide us.  He knows more than we ever could, and if we trust in Him and His plan, we can follow the spirit to those we are meant to teach. Trusting in the Lord is key in missionary work. :)

치금 가야되요! Well I have to go now! 사랑해요! Love you! Miss you all! :)

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