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!



  1. I never liked the buffets, either. I did manage to be not-sick after the last one I went to, sticking only to really boring stuff.

  2. Hey, can I make you a custom Korean blog background?

  3. Rachel says sure, you can make a background... she was also curious what mission you served in and when...? And your name if you feel comfortable giving it. This is Chalene, her sister, who is the cut-and-paster. :)

  4. Hello sister cut-and-paster! Can you email me at

    I served in Daejeon way back in 92-93. I did send Rachel a paper letter a couple of weeks ago. Let me know if it doesn't get there! (Which would be very sad. I've been writing a lot of letters in Korean this month, trying to reconnect with some old companions and friends, and I will be very ticked if they are not reaching their destinations!)

    I was Sister Ahlstrom. I doubt anyone there would know me!