Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Oh, Sister Holdaway!


This week has been pretty slow what with people on summer vacation and everything. We were able to have a girl preparing for her own mission to spend the day with us on Thursday and that was tons of fun! It reminded me of when I went on exchanges with the Sister Missionaries back in Odenton :)

Other than that, the week was spent trying to talk with lots of people and "Heart-attacking" (which doesn't mean killing people, it means taping hearts all over peoples doors...it's really fun!)

Not to alarm anyone or anything but there are increasing numbers of gray hairs on my head...everyone says that by the end of the mission I could be completely gray! (Better than balding I guess....)

Anyway, to lift our spirits, Sister Berry and I have been compiling all of the 'funnies' from our time together. And let's just say, they're mostly me embarrassing myself.

Nevertheless, I'd like to name a few:
  • - One time, we were on a bus and I was talking to this really nice lady. I was definitely wrapped up in this conversation when the bus stops and lots of people get off. The doors started closing and the bus started moving again but I couldn't see my companion anywhere. I started freaking out and ran up to the bus driving telling him to stop! "Sister Holdaway! I'm right here!" I hear Sister Berry who was literally sitting right behind me..... I was so embarrassed because the whole bus saw. The lady I was talking to said that I looked like I needed to sit down or something. She probably thought there was something seriously wrong with me.
  • - Another time, we were at a subway station and a man from California came up to us and asked us to tell him about our church, in English (thank goodness). I started freaking out because something like this had never happened to me so I started taking out every pamphlet, book and flyer I had about our church (which was a lot). I was so nervous that I started going into the first lesson and talking really fast and stumbling over my words (it was an Elder Calhoon moment - from Best Two Years). My companion, thankfully, stepped in and calmy talked about our articles of faith and asked if he wanted to meet again and talk about it (she's so awesome). Meanwhile, I started to drop everything because I couldn't hold all of the stuff I had in my hands. As I bent down to pick stuff up I kept dropping more things! I accidentally dropped the bible I was carrying. The man stopped talking and quickly picked up the bible, dusted it off, looked me straight in the eyes and said "You should NEVER drop the Bible."

I just look back on these situations and can't help but laugh. There are a lot more where these came from. I hope you enjoyed them :)

Missionary work is the hardest thing I've ever loved but I really do love it. I love the Korean people and the Korean culture and I love being able to share what I love. One of my token phrases is:

"I'm a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I can't speak Korean very well but I'm learning. I want to learn Korean because I have a special message to share. Because of this message I am happy so I want to share this with the Korean people."
It's simple but I mean every word.

Thank you for all your love and support!

사랑해요! (sarangheyo!)

- Sister Holdaway

I had fun playing executioner at the village!
[Editor's Note:  We found another photo on her camera with a photobomb from a visitor from the Joeson Dynasty 300 years ago.]

Bhuddist Temple in the Village!
​I got my nametag with my Korean name on it! 홍다연
​Sometimes when we cook it gets a little crowded. And yes...that pancake is burnt.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Transfers! But no one is moving!

Hi everyone!

Yet another busy P-day! Today I'm actually on exchanges and we're heading with other Elders in our district to go to a traditional Korean folk village in 신길. It sounds like it's going to be fun! However, that means a short-ish email and no pictures :( 

But I assure you next week there will be some great pictures from the village!
Last P-Day we were actually able to have a brunch with President and Sister Morrise. There was only one other companionship with us so it was nice to have some one-on-one time with them. Apparently iPads are getting closer and closer to getting to Korea for missionaries to use! Hopefully it will be while I'm still here. It's amazing how missionary work can change when all the paperwork we do is digitized. It won't be as hard to lose people in the cracks.
On Tuesday, there was a baptism for the cutest 8-year-old girl (pics coming next week). She had a beautiful white dress and she twirled around in it and looked so happy! I had immediate flashbacks to when I was baptised 11 years ago. It really makes me feel so incredibly blessed.
I'm trying to think of anything else that happened this week.... :/ 

In our ward, we try to get a lot of practice lessons with members and meet with them but in Korea everyone is really really busy. It's so nice of our members, because if they can't meet with us or have to cancel they buy us groceries. This week we were able to get some really good food from our members and it really touched my heart that these members are so busy but they still take time to make sure we have food. One of the members even bought us a cake that we ate on transfer night.
This transfer everyone in our house is staying which is really great because I love all of them!
Other than that, my companion and I are working really hard. Sometimes we don't see the results of our work but I think as long as we're doing our best that's all that matters. There are some days where we are literally running from appointment to appointment. I'm definitely getting my daily jog in 3times over. So, if you see two foreigners in longs skirts and backpacks running through town really awkardly....that's us :)
I love you all! 사랑해요!

Thanks for your support. Sorry about no pictures! Emails are no fun without them :(
항상 사랑으로,
홀다웨이 자매

Monday, July 14, 2014

Trip to the Temple . . . and Donuts!

Hi everyone!

I thought a picture of yummy food would be good to start out this email :) *It's ok to be a little jealous* 

For being a day known for relaxation and taking a breather, I find that my P-Days are far busier than any other day. After this I have to run and get groceries and then Sister Berry and I are in charge of the activity for Family Home Evening tonight! Lot's of fun stuff to do!

Speaking of FHE, this was last weeks activity:

​Yay for donut eating contests!!

In other news, all new missionaries - when they first get to the field - are being trained by a more experienced missionary and we also spend an hour a day working on a "12 Week" program. The program is designed to help you teach and involves a lot of watching "The District." I'm on week 6 right now....crazy, right? Almost half way done with training!

On Tuesday, we had a 12 Week follow up with the Mission President and it involved everyone who came the same time I did (which was a pretty small group). It was nice seeing everyone....but mostly I see them a lot because they're in my Zone. Ironically, the one Elder who isn't in our Zone burned his foot somehow and had to stay home . . . we hope he feels better and we're sad we weren't able to see him!

BUT possibly the biggest update for this week is that on Thursday I got to go to the Seoul Temple!!! Yay!!!

I really am blessed because my mission gets to attend the temple every transfer (6 weeks). It was so strange because we were in this big city, walking around and my companion said we were almost there but I literally didn't see a temple anywhere so I was really confused. Then we walked up this small street, up this huge hill, turned a corner and BAM the temple is right there! In the middle of this bustling city. The temple is small, especially compared to the Washington, D.C. Temple. But the minute I walked onto the grounds it's like everything suddenly got calm and peacefull. I am definitely looking forward to going every transfer.

I can't believe this transfer is almost over. It's gone by so fast and yet so many things have happened. In just a short month I have experienced more and grown more, and I'm only been here for a month!

The biggest lesson I have learned is hope. Hope that tomorrow can always be better because tomorrow is a new day.Tomorrow I can be better than I was today and that's really all that matters. That's what growth is. It's small and simple and all of a sudden you look back and think about how far you've come. If you can make it this far, you can make it to tomorrow:)

I love you all! Keep smiling!

할수이씁나다! 사랑해요!

- 홀다웨이 자매

​빙수! AKA: The only fruit I can afford.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Water Fight and a Visit from the Mission President


So, after I emailed last P-day my companion and the other sisters in our house went on an adventure to try to find Mexican food and a park where a Zone Water Fight was going to be held. Let's just say that we got lost in this city for about an hour trying to figure out where we were. It was a good thing that one of our sisters - 조은비 자매 (Sister JoEunBi) - speaks Korean.

About an hour and a half later we made it to this park and we preceded to use the water guns to basically just spray each other because we were so hot. It was really fun though and it was nice to see people in the Zone.

​This is the park we spent an hour trying to find! But it was worth it:

We also had a Zone Conference where I got to see the people in my 동이 (the other missionaries that came with me to Korea) like, Sister Parcells, Elder Barton and Elder Holley!

After the Water Gun Fight, we ran home, and got changed for Family Home Evening that we hold every Monday night at the church. This week we were in charge of snacks so we grabbed some Choco-Pies which are always a hit with everyone.

Because of our busy p-day we worked with our free time on Tuesday to prepare for the Mission President, President Morrise, to come to our apartment. Every other transfers he does interviews but this is the first time he's ever personally come to our apartments. So that meant that we were cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. We do a pretty good job keeping our apartment clean but our apartment is pretty old and needed some elbow-grease and scrubbing. My 6 months working as a custodian and the MTC really payed off! By the time we were done it looked....better. (You have to compare it to how it looked before).

It was so nice have President Morrise and Sister Morrise come. I could really feel of their love for us because they took time out of their busy schedules to come and visit us. It was also a good experience to have to prepare physically and spiritually for their arrival. It was like having an apostle come. It was hard when they left because they are the closest things us missionaries have to parents while out here in Korea. I love them so much!

The rest of the week we worked and worked. We have been asking the bishop in the ward what we can do to help and he mentioned that the Sister's bathrooms need to be cleaned so on Saturday we put on our grubbies and headed out to the church only to find that someone had already cleaned them! It was still really great to be able to wear pants though :)

As far as the weather goes, It's been really really raining heavily this past week and it's been hot and sticky. But according to everyone in Korea we haven't even hit the monsoon season yet.....It's going to be a fun summer here in Korea!

I love you all! Thanks for the love and support you all show me :)