Well, it's another rainy day in Korea, but I'm not complaining. It's always humid, but if it's rainy it's less hot--which means less sticky. Everyone else hates the rain, but I love it--and I sing in it. Did you expect anything less?
Last night there was a super-cool storm. I didn't realize how much I missed THUNDER and LIGHTNING with my rain. I woke up to a big blast of thunder around 3:00 AM and then a few seconds later I actually saw it hit a big apartment building across the way from me. It was SO COOL! It was better than the time we got struck by lighting at the Garden of the Gods Visitors Center because it was just as loud, but I could see the lightning and I didn't have to start running credit cards through carbon paper in the dark because the system shut down. I sat up and enjoyed the storm and at another large thunder bolt my companion shot up in bed. I've never seen someone so scared. I thought about singing "My Favorite Things" but she ran to the bathroom instead. Whatever works.
We went to a really entertaining open house/fireside where this man named Robert Holley spoke. He might be on wikipedia, but I don't know. Anyway, he is a member who served his mission here forever and a half ago and he has come back to live, and has become a famous radio host here. He is super-entertaining, if a little on the extreme side. The rumour is that he renounced his US citizenship to become a Korean citizen (because in Korea you can't do duel). I suppose I could see a little logic in that given that he married a Korean woman and they live here together with their two kids. Don't worry, I won't be giving up my citizenship anytime soon. HE was fun to listen to, though.
Thanks to all who have sent Kayla stories. I love the pictures---she is adorable. I'm glad the boys are nice to her. That's important. Yes, Chalene, I did get the pictures last week. They were great. Also, I woudl love if people would send me prints in the mail---I'm trying to make a nice memory book with family and friend photos because they ALWAYS ask if you have one. Not to mention, it's fun to get mail.
Just as a side note---can someone make sure some of those pictures get sent to Scott. I'm not sure he cares, but I'd like to think he does (and he better pretend to if he doesn't!).
It was nice to here from you, Tim. I will ask President Jennings for special permission to watch the Solar Eclipse, or at least the highlight of it. I'm glad you told me about it. How many times in your life do you have the chance to watch a solar eclipse in Asia? Wait a minute...I live in Asia. Weird.
So, you know the saying "It takes a village to raise a child"? It's never been more true than in Korean branches. I've been here 2 months now and I still can't quite figure out whose kids are whose because they just run around the whole chapel in Sacrament and everyone takes care of everyone else's kids. It would be a good system except a lot of times it leads to the issue of no one taking responsibility when a child is misbehaving. Its just different, I suppose.
On the same spectrum, unless I've eaten at their house I usually don't know what wife belongs to what husband because the women keep their maiden names here (and even if they didn't, everyone is Kim, Lee, Choe, Park or Beh) and in little branches, mostof the men have one reason or another to sit on the stand instead of with their wives. They really are just one giant family in my brain.
Funny story: right next to the mission office there's this very Asian and/or Buddhist-looking shrine. I figured it was some worship thing and thought nothing of it. After a rumour I went and checked it out and it's true. The shrine is a memorial to the man who first developed the seedless watermelon. Yes, he has a shrine. He was half Korean. He actually went to school in Japan (his dad is Japanese) and did all of his research and development in Japan, but Korea feels the need to claim him as their own and build a shrine to him. I thought it was just the Elders pulling my leg, but it's true. Weird.
The work is moving on. We got in contact with some former investigators this week and we got a few new investigators who have a lot of desire to learn. It's so great to be able to serve. The more I give of myself the happier I become. I love this work, and I'm so grateful to be a part of the miracle that it is. Someone asked me the other day what I do, and the only thing that I could think of to say was "I spend all day making people and families happier." It really is what I'm doing--helping people be happy through Christ. I love this---nothing in my life has been more rewarding (or more difficult).
Thanks for the prayers and the support. I love you all.
PS. Costco just opened---I'm so excited.