April 24, 2016
It's been a really good week, with a lot that happened. It's so weird how most weeks, not too much goes on, but then all in one week we have a whole bunch of exciting things.
On Tuesday we met with Jung Hee-baek like normal, but unlike normal, he invited three other people who wanted to learn English from him. It was really cool because he had everyone introduce themselves in English, and when it got Elder Johnstun and I, they had a ton of questions about who we are and what we're doing in Korea, as well as what our church believes. For once we were able to tell people about the church without feeling like we were shoving the information down their throats. They were really interested, and plan on coming back next week. So while Jung Hee-Baek is kind of at a stalemate right now as far as progressing toward baptism, he's helping us out a ton.
Last week we got wind from the sisters that are a couple members who actually want to be visited by the missionaries (normally, for some reason the members in this ward tend to avoid visits from the missionaries--I think they've been asked for referrals too many times), one of them being a good potential for a free meal. So we wasted no time in visiting them. They both live in relatively the same area, so it was convenient. We visited one lady at the barber shop she runs, and since it wasn't a very busy time for her, she talked to us for an hour and a half straight, telling us all kinds of stories and asking us questions. It was the first time a member actually took us up on the offer to help them with anything (btw if the missionaries ever ask if you need help with anything, they probably really mean it and you should take advantage of it :)), and so we'll soon probably go help their family paint a new house they're moving into. She also gave us a ton of candy and told us to give it to kids we see on the street. I'm not sure if it's just her or if Koreans are just really chill about taking candy from strangers. I would assume it's not as big of a deal in Korea because drugs don't really exist here. The other lady we visited runs an octopus restaurant, and she fed us dinner. It was also probably the best octopus I've had in Korea. It's called "Nak-ji Bokk-eum" (낙지볶음) in case you were wondering.
Korean dining--kimchi, raddish juice, peppers, cabbage salad, rice, fried octopus, more kimchi, and "gyeranjim" (basically scrambled eggs).
So there's a little town on the edge of our area that I've never been to called Jinyoung, and on Saturday we didn't have anything to do, so we decided to check it out. There's a less active family who lives there who we wanted to visit, and then just explore and see what's there.
It's probably the closest to wilderness I've ever come across in Korea.
It's a really cool town, basically just imagine Morgan or Ephraim or any one of those back-valleys in Utah, then put some tall apartment buildings in the middle and Asian-ize it, and you have Jinyoung.
We didn't find the less active family, the address we had for them just took us to a steel factory, and I'm assuming they don't live there.
During our exploring, we found a really cool guy. We were walking through downtown Jinyoung, and there was this older guy organizing some stuff outside of his shop. He saw us and said hi in English, and then told us about how he went to the US once and really likes Americans. We told him about what we do as missionaries, and asked if we could come by later to share a message. He gave his number, and told us to visit him often. That night we called him back to invite him to church, and although he couldn't come because Sundays are busy for him, he told us again to come visit him, the sooner the better. So that was pretty sick, the first person I've found on the street with a lot of potential all transfer.
Yeah this week is the last before transfers, and yes, it has felt really fast. We had interviews with President this past week, and he implied pretty strongly that there are going to be a lot of changes in the mission starting next transfer. So, seeing that I've been in Gimhae for six months now, it's pretty much guaranteed that I'll leave.
We weren't able to meet with Brother Park, he's been hard to contact lately.
And we couldn't meet with Brother Jo either, he's just hard to meet for reasons explained last week.
Here's a final picture for you--a meal I made the other night that was basically a work of art. It's "Don-kka-seu" (Japanese pork cutlet, which sounds way fancier than it really is) topped with steak sauce, with a side of rice and mandu (dumplings).
Have a great week!