Thursday, February 25, 2010

Rainy Day‏

Well, it's my 1 year mark. Hard to believe really. I guess I just have to fess up to the idea that I'm getting to be an old missionary. Crazy.

Yesterday I went on a split to Busan. IT was kinda fun. I've split with Sis. Beh a lot, so nothing exciting there, but I did get to meet the teo Greenie Sisters. They are filled with faith and hope. They really remind me of me at that age....just freaked out that I'd never learn the language or figure out how to do missionary work. It really put forth in my mind the miracle that it rteally is that I've come so far...and also just how miraculous the vigor and faith of a new missionary is. It was like talking in a mirror backwwards in time. I love them so much already. They are rock solid and are gonna be great leaders in the mission.

It's a little hard to focus in here because the Olympics are on and the ever-famous Kim Yoon-A is skating. I can't focus on my own thoughts with the Oooo--Aaaa from all the Koreans :). I had written on my list of things to ask where the Olympics are this year, but since it's painted under the ice in big letters I guess it's in Vancouver. It's funny how being a missionary really does dislocate you from the rest of the world. I completely forgot about the Super-bowl until E.Grover asked me if I knew who'd won the other day. :). I like being in my little sports ignorant world.

Today was Sis. Jennings birthday and we had a little party with the people in Busan, I happened to be in Busan, so I was excited to go, but I got disinvited by a nervous Zone leader and AP who thought there wouldn 't be enough food. So--we ate somewhere else and came anyway---not obedient exactly, but it works. As soon as we got there everyone begged us to eat the left-over pizza and cake (of which there was plenty). Go figure. It's a good thing I didn't let that make me's cute that they got all stressed about it, but even a shortage of food is not worth the potential bad-feelings that can come from disinviting someone from a party. Sis. Jennings was very glad that Sisters came, too I think. Elders don't know how to throw a party for women...:). Then she scolded me for listening to the Zone Leaders and AP's (by eating on my own...listen I don't eat a lot people). Is that a blank check for disobedience???

Umm, nothing overly exciting beyond that. I'll try to come up with better stories next time.

Love, ~R~

P.S. Miracle Story: Yesterday I got hte hiccups and as some of you may know when I get the hiccups I usually have them for three or four days and I end up having quite a sore diaphraigm. Well, Sis. Beh in our prayer to start our planning session prayed that my hiccups would stop and they did....I didn't hiccup even once after that prayer. God answers prayers.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Lame Email

I wrote this email yesterday but right as I pushed send the internet in the whole library went down. Luckily the spirit told me to Copy the whole thing into the computer memory I just put it on thumb drive and got permission to send it later. On top of that I got an email supposedly about the new Church email system and when I opened it it was just a bunch of gibberish....sounds like a good omen...

The following was written yesterday.

Today is only a half P-day ('til noon) because we had a full P-day on Monday for Soh-Lahr---Basically Chinese New Year, but the Koreans would never admit it's Chinese. The only problem is it was a holiday on Monday so all of the places to Email were closed. Thus the half P-day now. Anyway, that's not important, really.

Thanks for getting the housing stuff worked out. I was looking forward to living with Julene again, but that's the way it goes. I figure after the vast number of people I've had to live with on my mission and their various different styles of living I can live with just about ANYONE and survive. I probably won't be in that apartment very long anyway. I'm glad I'm still in 63rd Ward. That's the best ward ever. Pumpkin-stealers beware...I'm sneaky :).

Now it's much quieter and I'm much less frustrated than I was last week. I have realized that one of the things that makes my mood foul really fast is when things get really loud---so loud I can't think. It just makes me feel panicky and discombobulated. I'll just have to work on having patience in that kind of situation. Anyway, I'm grateful it's quiet now.

Our investigators have been stuck in a stagnant swamp this past week. Lee Jung Min is getting frustrated that we keep teaching her the same principles...hopefully she'll realize that 90% of learnign and living the Gospel is RElearning the Gospel---because we never live it perfectly so we have to keep reviewing. I'm trying to come up with more creative ways to teach her so it doesn't feel like we're teaching her in circles. I keep praying for her and doing all I can to help her progress. She'll come along eventually.

You know you're a missionary when you make a count-down calendar to General Conference. 43 days...if you were the week for rebroadcast in Korea makes 50. That's just over one'll be here in no time :).

I'm really excited to eat Bu-deh Chee-gae today. It's this really yummy soup. Bu-deh means "Military base" and Chee-gae is just soup. It's named that because back in the Korean war when the vast population was starving to death they would eat ANYTHING. So, when the spam and ham that the American soldiers had brought went bad they'd give it away to the hungry people. The people would boil it with whatever vegetables (which were also usually rotten and/or pickled) they had, and, to cover the rotten taste, add a bunch of go-ju (a really hot red pepper). Nowadays they make it with (fresh, not rotten) spam and stuff and throw in's really good. So yeah...we're going to a restaurant to get it and I'm excited. And it's cheap, so that's good. Anyway...that's just one little exposee on the gourmet of my life :).

This week has been a good week as far as learning Korean goes. I feel like a lot of people have been saying extra prayers for me---so thank you---and keep up the good work!! This language is coming, slowly but surely.

I had interviews with Pres. Jennings again yesterday (those come around really fast...). I like having interviews with him. Partly because it's fun to have someone who understands my English around (most of the American Elders no longer qualify as fluent---particularly on matters of science and politics :)). I'm glad that Heavenly Father provided a structure in missionary work where you have a whole network of people to support you and help you out in your weaknesses. Heavenly Father is quite intelligent.

It was really nice to get those last couple of pictures of Em and Luke's little one. ipood...very clever, Old Man. :) Now, if I can get some more recent pictures of Kayla... :)

My brain is kinda empty at the moment, so I guess I don't have a whole lot of other important things to say. I pray for you all in Korean---which means a lot because God listens to Korean more :). Read your scriptures, sya your prayers and go to Church!

Ogreby Sister-missionary

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Brief Notes from an Old Missionary‏

I feel incredible stressed out at the moment. Trying to figure out all of the stuff for me to go to BYU in the Fall all in one sitting is not a good idea. All will work out. Breathe.

As for the work--it's good. Nothing has really changed a lot since last week as far as my investigators are concened, but they are coming along slowly.

My mission is too short. I feel like by the time I can actually start to speak Korean with any amount of efficiency I'll be past due to go home. It's a good thing the true language of my mission is the Spirit, because if people learned the Gospel through Korean I couldn't help them a whole lot. It comes, but it's slow. Anyway, I feel like I just got here, but people are starting to tell me I'm an "old" missionary. I don't like it. I'm just so grateful for the opportunity to serve. It's such a blessing. My mission has taught me how to be truly happy.

It's been raining a TON the last few days. You would think it was the monsoon season. It's been pouring for several days straight. I'm usually fine with rain, but recently all of my shoes have developed leaks. The thing I hate most in the world is COLD FEET. THe thing I hate the second most is WET FEET. Now I get a wonderful combination of the two. I've been keeping my eye out for new shoes, but I think I won't find any as comfortable as the two pairs I brought. I guess I'll just have to buy some golashes :) (that's an EXCELLENT word, that I'm really proud I remembered).

I spent a lot of time figuring out school stuff, and in the process several drafts of important emails got eaten by the wrath of so I had to restart them. I can't wait for the google server to swithc over in March (as rumor has it). The Church is true, but it's not a very good email service provider.

Sorry if this email sounds's loud in here and I've been fighting with emails and stressing about housing...I'm not usually this frazzled, I promise.

Much love to all!


Thursday, February 4, 2010

At least I'm not a pigeon

The other day we got "punked" for an appointment with an investigator and then none of the less actives we tried to find were home and after the weather pretended to warm up it developed those nasty skin-biting wind gusts again. It was not a good day. As I was sitting there waiting for the light to change ot cross the street and wallowing in self-pity when I saw something interesting. Just off the curb I saw a group of pidgeons....kind of normal in Korea (though a lot of people claim there weren't pidgeons before the 1988 Olympics...though everyone who's claimed that is much too young to actually know or remember) Anyway, I noticed that one of these pidgeons was kind of hobbling funny. When I looked closer I realized that it was missing a foot. It just had the little stub of a peg leg. Yet this little pidgeon was just as yappety and happy as any of the other pidgeons (and just as fat, too). Then it occured to me that if a ONE-LEGGED PIDGEON could figure out how to still be happy I had no right to be complaining about my life when I still have both feet. So, if you're having a bad day---at least you're not a pidgeon. There you have it....the parable of the the Gospel according to Ogre-by.

This week has been really good...we met with Lee Jung Min (the girl I met in Gimhae as a greenie--uh-ehm--new missionary) three times. She remembers the lessons well and pays good attention, but still won't really talk to us. I can't figure out what makes her tick. I know the Gospel can help her so much, and I know that I have been placed in unique circumstances to help her for a reason, but I can't figure out how to help her open up to receive it. She still meets with us, and she's coming to Church and keeping commitments...there's just something missing. Just have otpray about it I guess.

They added another English class in my area. I don't really like teaching English class, to be honest. It's a good way to serve the people, but in my head there's no better way to tell a person that their culture and society isn't "good enough" than to force them to speak English. I can't imagine growing up in a society where my only hope for success largely rested on learning the language of the world power at the time. Anyway, I have another English class to teach every week. Bleh.

Did I mention that it's February here? Is it February there already, too? I think there's some Einsteinian relativity experiment going on.

I showed someone my little picture book the other day and they saw a picture of Jasper and they asked if he was still alive. I just instinctively said yes. It wasn't til a couple hours later that I realized he isn't. It was really weird. I guess in my head he's still there, chillin' with mom. I just haven't been home for any significant amount of time since then. It was just really weird. He's such a good dog.

A member took us to the buffet today. In America a buffet is kinda cheesy restaurant, but in Korea it's top of the line---you get all dressed up and it's REALLY expensive. The Elders LOVE the buffet, but I can't stand it. The Korean food there is terrible, and the "American" food there doesn't deserve the title "food". So, I felt obligated to eat several courses of rubber spaghetti and cardboard sweet and sour pork. And now I feel sick. I think the think I'm most looking-forward to when I get home is eating what I want, when I want and how much I want. There wasn't even Kimchi. At least there was ice cream.

I'm glad Scott's okay with his little stomach issue. There's nothing worse than being sick as a missionary---except MAYBE being the companion of the sick companion all couped up. I've been both and neither are very fun. Though at least I can work on language pass-off in my mission...I'm not sure what companions of sick missionaries would do to pass time in other missions...Good that he's back in the saddle.

We had kind of an interesting little Zone Conference. Pres. Jennings presented a new "mission theme" which is kind of humorous. It's "No More Naked Patronymics" Patronymic of course comes from "patro" or father and "nymic" or name. In other words "Let's use our names WITH the title 'Elder' or 'Sister'". I'd like ot point out that I was the only person in the room who knew the word patronymic--therefore I was the only one who laughed. Pres. Jennings and I are scarily alike. The only difference is that he manages to keep a large vocabulary in Korea while mine is slipping ever faster.

Another thing from Zone Conference...a few years ago the Mission motto for the year was "1000 Baptisms---WHY NOT?!?!" President Jennings explained quite clearly why not. Looking at the numbers---of the 890 something baptisms they had that year only 180 are still attending Church. I feel much more satisfied with the current rate of 250 or so with 150 active. It shouldn't take 500 Less Actives to get 30 more Active members. Okay...I'm done with that schpiel.

Okay, in trying ot make this letter longer than the last few I've managed to turn to relatively boring topics for non-missionaries. Sorry. I'll stop now.

Love you all!