Monday, November 24, 2014

Exchanges, Rooster, and Choco Pies


This week has been quite . . . uneventful . . .

However, we did go on exchanges with the Sister Training Leader (STL) on Thursday. Every transfer the STL tries to go on companion exchanges with every sister. So on Thursday I stayed in my area and Sister Chestnut went to their area. It was a 24 hour exchange so Sister Chao (the STL) came and spent the night here in 계산. 
While Sister Chao was here we had an appointment with a new investigator. I was SO nervous because it's stressful enough teaching a new investigator but it's more stressful when you aren't with your actual companion and when you aren't very good at Korean. 

Thankfully, it turned out really well! The lady we met with wanted to buy us coffee afterwards but we told her that we don't drink coffee but hot chocolate would be perfect. She took us to Starbucks! Which is a huge deal in Korea because Starbucks is very, very expensive. So we all sat and chatted about our lives with her. I am amazed still that I can actually talk with Koreans and have a full-on conversation with them -- in Korean! 

After the meeting I took Sister Chao around our area and showed her some of the cool stuff our area has to offer. All in all, it was really fun and I learned a lot from her. It's always nice to shake things up from time to time :) 

Transfer calls were this week and Sister Chestnut and I will be staying with each other for Thanksgiving and Christmas! Thanksgiving is not celebrated in Korea and Christmas is actually not a huge holiday either. Sister Chestnut and I decided that we are going to splurge and get ourselves a nice Indian meal for Thanksgiving. Not very patriotic but we both love Indian food and it's probably easier to find here than turkey.

Pictures for the week: 

I was walking through the 시장 (shijang or market), and I saw this fellow just hanging out: 

​Usually the only birds I see in the shijang are dead . . . so this was exciting! 

Also, last Monday our district said goodbye to one of our ward members who has helped us a lot with our English class. We will miss him so much! (I am also shown sporting my new, puffy, down-feather coat ready for the chilly winter!) 

The Elders made a special "cake" for him out of peanut butter and Choco Pies: 

Until next time! Enjoy your Thanksgiving! 

Forever thankful to be a missionary, 
Sister Holdaway

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Food Glorious Food!

So - I just spent about 40 minutes writing a really long message about how I have been so blessed here and how people have been answers to my prayers but somehow everything got deleted and now I don't have time to rewrite everything :( And it's not in my drafts, so it's really sad. 

But -- really long story short: 

This week we ran out of money in our budget to buy food and we still had a few more days left to eat. However, the day we spent the last of our money was the day we got bombarded with people giving us food: 

  • our English class member who gave us 김밥 (kimbab) she made by herself, or
  • our investigator who bought us a huge tub of really expensive ice cream, or
  • our members who bought all the missionaries chicken and pizza, or
  • our members inviting us over for dinner and, upon finding out that I was sick, sent me home with ginger and dates to make tea with, or
  • the highschoolers on the street who felt bad for me standing out in the cold handing out flyers so they bought me some orange juice and a chocolate bar. 

I like to think that on my mission I have tried to serve others and be an answer to their prayers but more often than not, my prayers have been answered through the service of others. 

God takes care of His missionaries. 

I'm really grateful for the people I know here in this ward who really make us feel at home. Even though we can't speak the same language they still take care of us like family.

Just last night, we were eating dinner with an older couple in the ward who have been members for only a few years. When I brought up that I had studied music in college the husband got really excited and started playing us music on his guitar, ukulele and harmonica. It really touched my heart as we sang hymns together in their living room. 

Also - as we were looking for cheap food this week we ate some 떡볶이 and 순대. Which basically is rice cakes with spicy sauce and some pig intestines with some sort of noodle filling. Yum! 

Until next time! 
- Sister Holdaway 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Zone Training, Stake Conference and Butter


This week was busy as always! 

It started off on Monday when my companion had a reunion with her 동기(the group she came to korea with). We went to a meat buffet where you pay a large amount of money and eat. a lot. of meat. 

It just so happened a whole 50%....that's right, half of my entire 동기 was there as well! All two of us :) 

​We actually have the smallest 동기 in the whole mission. (Shout out to Sister Parcells!) 

But here's a much cuter picture of Sister Chestnut's 동기: 

Other than that, Sister Chestnut and I have been really trying to schedule more lessons during the week. The entire mission has shifted the focus to teaching people - whether members, investigators or less-actives.  A lot of the lessons we teach actually include a lot of English teaching.
That is the case for our cutest newest investigator. 

She is a high school student who is trying her best to learn English. She actually speaks English ALL THE TIME. She just doesn't know how to use certain words or grammar so it makes communication pretty hard but props to her for trying! It makes me want to be better at speaking Korean. 

She is so cute though. The first time we met her she literally never stopped smiling. She had the biggest smile on her face and said that this is the first time she's ever met foreigners. Between her happiness meeting us and our happiness meeting her we are all literally so happy and bubbly. Even though communication is hard we just all smile and laugh and have a good time anyway. 

We will continue to meet with her and teach her some English and about our happy message. I'm excited.
This weekend was exciting because it was Stake Conference. On Saturday night it was all about missionary work and our whole zone sang the EFY medley in Korean. It was pretty much the most amazing thing ever. 

There were a lot of returned sister missionaries who talked and President Morrise talked AND Sister Morrise gave her talk in complete Korean! She usually has a translator but this time she did it all herself. We were all so proud of her. Again - it makes me want to be more brave and courageous when it comes to learning Korean. 

The next day, Sunday, we had our final meeting. There was a huge professional banner made that they hung outside to welcome people, there were ushers who had legit sashes saying they were from the Church and those cool glowy sticks people use to direct traffic. There was a sign in sheet where everyone could sign in before they went in and the entire stake presidency had boutonnieres.

Before the meeting I complimented the Stake President on how nice his boutonniere was and he told me he would give it to me after the meeting! 

I didn't think he would remember but...sure enough - he gave me his boutonniere: 

​Aww :) Thanks Stake President 

It's been a fun week for sure. But then again, every week is fun if you make it that way. 

Also - this week is Peperro day! 

​I will be eating my fair share of Peperro on the 11th :) 

I love you all! Thank you for all your support and love. 

Until next week . . .

- Sister Holdaway ^^ <3 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Happy Halloween!

[Editor's Note: This is late in posting because we took Sister Holdaway's mission money and went on a cruise in the Caribbean.  Our apologies.  For the late posting . . . not the cruise.]

This week we pulled off a huge feat! We planned, prepared, and decorated a halloween party for our ward. Korea....they don't celebrate Halloween. Sometimes you see a small section in a store for decorations or costumes but for the most part people don't really get halloween here. 

So, we decided to show them what a Halloween party in America would look like :) For a lot of them this was their first Halloween party ever and for a lot of the kids it was the first time they have even heard of Halloween. 

Super fun! I also got to see my investigators from Bupyeoung who came! I missed them so much!

​And this is my district -- we are super proud of all the hard work we put into this party. #bestdistrictevah

Left to Right: Elder Bodily (District Leader), Elder Rossi, Elder Hansen, Elder Gherig (our German), me and Sister Chestnut. 
We had a scary laugh competition at the end and all the missionaries participated. I don't know how this happened but I ended up winning first place. Am I really that scary? 

Anyway, it was really fun and the next day on Sunday it was the talk of the whole ward! More people showed up than we ever dreamed of! 

A missionary's work is never over~~maybe we can start planning Christmas party now. ㅋㅋㅋ

I really do love this ward and the people I'm serving with and serving for. There has been so much growth here and I can't wait to see it continue.
- Sister Holdaway 홍다연