The Weekly Postings of a Mormon Missionary In Korea
"Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. " --- John 8:10
Sunday, September 29, 2013
A Lot to Chew (and Suck) On
I feel like sucess will come when we give more of ourselves, because God isn't going to step in unless we're doing our part...
A lot of stuff has happened in the last couple of weeks. I'll have to be brief, but I wanted you to be updated.
Last week was 추석 (Chuseok), a three day long fiesta of a holiday that Koreans equate to Thanksgiving. As such, the country largely shut down, hindering greatly the amount of missionary work we could get done. To adapt to this we had a wierd week. We had two different P-days, one on Monday, like usual, and the other an emailless p-day on Friday. On Monday everyone else played football and I wrote a letter and talked to people and watched some really unexpectedly large Koreans play rugby. On Friday, we had a combined Missionary fiesta with my current zone and my new zone. We ate muffins, played signs, and watched the Best Two Years, which is even funnier after you have lived the missionary life. I wore grandma (harmony) pants like a fool and said terrible things, so I'm still me I guess.
The highlight of the week was not that though. It was cleaning day.
Not. We had one of those, but it wasn't much more than a college cleaning check. Minus vindictive Hall Advisors with vendettas against me and my room mate.
But forgiveness is a thing, right?
Highlight was Mission Conference. To lead into it, we had a mission fast. The idea was that it would give us a chance to refocus ourselves and call down the powers of heaven so that we weren't fighting such a losing battle here. Really good idea, except that I don't know how the whole refocusing thing went over. I feel like sucess will come when we give more of ourselves, because God isn't going to step in unless we're doing our part, and for a lot of people that isn't the case. Including me. The refocusing thing helped push me into a new phase of self improvement. I want to make myself the best missionary I can be, so I've been pushing harder. And I've got an opportunity coming up that will help me to push even harder. But anyway, the mission conference was super good, especially when I got to see my MTC buddies. Really good times.
The Seoul Korea Mission - September 2013 - Mission Conference
(Elder Whitlock's tiny head is in the middle of the doorway on the left side.)
Sunday brought a fail of epic proportions. This should tell you something about my Korean ability. We're in sacrament meeting, and the hour comes to a close and an old man stands up to the pulpit for closing prayer. I close my eyes and bow my head, accept that I'll have no clue what I'm praying for, reflect on the emptiness of my impending "amen", then ponder the mysteries of life for about ten minutes. I was, understandably confused, but this is a very different place, so I continued to try to figure out how to fix Africa or some such until I just couldn't take it any more. I open my eyes to discover that he's still going strong with his eyes open. As were my companions. And the rest of the congregation. Turns out that he was delivering a talk the whole time and my companion thought I was trying to take a nap or something. Yikes.
Minute to Win It - Korean Style
This week we had a game night thing which was fun. I went over to a different house and did a little reconnaisance for my ZL comp. Just trying to get the feel for how things went over there. Interesting trip, but I probably shouldn't talk much about it here.
I also punched the heck out of a picture frame. It was broken and I was trying to do precision punches through holes when I missed and punched through the wood instead, so I just kind of punched through every other piece of wood too.
Wished I could have punched someone else. We saw a lady on the street faceplant onto the pavement and her drunk husband reacted by hitting her while she was down. A lot. But we couldn't get involved. Made my blood boil for hours and still makes me sick.
The big news for this week is transfers. We were pretty confident that I was going to be staying here and killing my companion (staying with him until the end of his mission, when he goes home), but that isn't the case. Not by a long shot. Transfer calls dropped a bomb on the mission. We've got another group of thirty coming in like mine, so they had to move every thing around to make sure that people from my group weren't training people from their group. Only 10% of my mission has been out for longer than a year. They did a really good job, but I ended up getting transfered out of 중낭 and into 길음 (Girum). I'm going to be working with the one Korean guy from my generation, 이종채. President was laughing about it. Neither of us have passed off yet, I'm still on lesson three, and we've both only been out for a transfer. He wasn't sure whether to call us co-senior or co-junior. Since I live with the Zone leaders, I'm aware that this is very much an exception to the norm. To my knowlege, we're the only people who won't get a trainer their second transfer, instead we have to train each other. I'm going to miss Elder C, Elder Ch (Shmazmbomber, Dr. Chaucer...), and everyone else in my zone, but I think this is going to be a really good growth opportunity for me.
If you've been holding out on prayers lately, send a few my way, cause I'm going to need them.