Friday, March 26, 2010

비 온다-- It's raining.‏‏

It's delightful that the new email system actually supports 한 글. I was getting sick of trying to sound out weird Korean words for you all. The one problem is that most of you DON'T read I guess it doesn't help. There goes that plan.

Spring has sprung. Except it keeps raining and my Korean companion keeps promising me that it doesn't usually rain like this in the Spring. I'm inclined not to believe her. :)

Along with the Spring has come two is that the Yellow Dust is back. Every year the winds switch and the industrialism in China gets carried over to leaves a nice little yellow layer of dust on everything...and whenever you go into a building with normal lighting after being outside you are suprised by just how BLUE everything looks (because everything outside is yellower than normal). It's kinda like the phenomenon of taking off your green-tinted ski goggles and thinking the world suddenly changed colors to a hazed red. The other suprise is that 잠외's (cham-ways) are back---it's a melon-like fruit....I don't think I've ever seen one in America. You know you've been here a long time when the fruit that was in season when you were a greenie is popping up at street vendors around the city.

I'm having less of an allergic reaction to the Yellow Dust (황사) than I anticipated. I guess my years of surviving inversions in Provo have paid off :). A lot of the 외국인's (foreigners) are getting way sick and assume it's a cold....but it's just allergies. I usually have a tickle in my throat in the morning, but I'm usually fine once I down some water and shake the stuff loose with some exercise. Knock on Wood.

I got to go on Splits with Sis. Hadden on Monday. This is a miracle, really. I've always wanted to serve with her, but I was sure that Pres. Jennings was keeping us at opposite ends of the mission for a reason (the reason being that if we are together for too long the world will implode or something because of our similarities). Anyway, my companion, as the Sisters' Representative wanted to split with Sis. Hadden's trainee (that word sounds's really "greenie" and you all know took generations of missionaries to get the Korean members to understand missionary 말투(um..nomenclature)...we can't just go and switch it up all of the sudden)....where was I? Oh yes, Sis. Park wanted to split with S. Hadden's greenie so...YAY US. It was a lot of fun. It's relieving to be around someone who understands and builds on Sci-fi and Fantasy references I throw out so often. Plus it was in Ulsan...which is just a great place, anyway. And when we taught it was really a miracle to see how far we both have come in Korean and teaching. We really DO learn this language. THAT'S a miracle.

Everyone is moving right along fine. The work is slow in this, the Land of the Morning Calm, but it truly moves on. People are overcoming the chains of doubt and culture and language and coming unto Christ. It's exciting to be part of something so important and so fruitful that it's beyond my comprehension.

Apparently I eat seaweed soup better than most foreigners.

I just discovered that when I try to type Korean characters at a keyboard I try to do it like I'm texting (on a cellphone) in Korean...It's strangely different. You'd think that my dictionary skills would translate to computer...but no...I'm still thinking in numbers for typing Korean. That probably made no sense to anyone who doesn't use Korean cellphones and dictionaries and computer keyboards, but there it is.

I'm to the point of talking about things that will simply bore you all, so that means I better take off and get a nap in.

Love to you all!


P.S. Read your scriptures---say your prayers.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

It's a Beautiful Day!!

First things eyes are fine. I appreciate the prayers. They were still blurry for several days, but they have since cleared up. I'm still planning on getting new glasses before I go back to America, though, but that's not for a long time so I'm not going to worry about that right now. For Chalene and Malea who commented on their surprise that I was wearing mascara...I've worn mascara since the MTC because being a missionary, frankly, is exhausting, and I kinda need the mascara in order to look not dead. I found some cool stuff here in's purple...not purple enough that people know its have to look really close to notice...but I'm strangely satisfied with the idea that I'm getting away with wearing purple mascara as a missionary :).

Despite being p-day we were going to have an appointment with an investigator who said she didn't have any time other than Thursday to meet this week. There's this really cool spiritual phenomena which happens to me every once in a long while where I am given, during my study time, exactly what to say word-for-word, what questions they will ask and which scriptures will help them understand. Today was one of those days. It was really cool---just revelation flowing from on high---writing like mad to be able to study and remember it. It was probably one of the best lesson plans I've ever been able to put's uncannily tailored right to her needs. Usually the inspiration is more in gists and topics than this specific stuff. However, almost every time such revelation has come to me in that way we get punked---which is what happened today. Satans good at his "job" dang it. It's days like this that I'm grateful for Jospeh Smith's words "No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing." He can try to slow it down, but he can't stop it. It's the Standard of Truth--it's the work of will go forth! So, I'm kinda frustrated with Satan for frustrating my plan, but I'll show him up next week, so it's all fine. I suppose I'll just be grateful that I have a full P-day back again.

Last night a couple of our investigators decided to go to a BYU-Hawaii introduction fireside so we went with them for moral support and to help them get the answers to their questions. All I have to say is that guy has a really good sales pitch. I've never really had any desire to go to Hawaii at all, but I do now :). Perhaps some of the reason for the change has nothing to do with the BYU-H guy, but with the fact that the things I didn't like about Hawaii are things I've learned to like (or at least tolerate) on my mission (humidity, beaches--just not crazy about them, fish, smelly oceanness). I dreamed about Hawaii all was really weird.

My companion and I had a very enlightening conversation the other day. She said "I can't believe it's so warm." I said "It's getting to be Spring." She said "But it snowed the other day." I said "Isn't that what happens in the Spring?" She said "No." My Colorado-all-season-snow self was a little stunned. It took me a couple days to realize just how weird it was to the Koreans that it snowed at all---let alone in March--and THEN it had the nerve to be warm and bright the very next day. That kind of thing is unheard of here. Okay, not so enlightening...I always knew...or at least heard...Colorado weather was crazy, but now I'm experiencing the normal. Hmmm...that was a boring paragraph.

My companion and I have been on a taco-making fest lately. We went to HomePlus (the equivalent of WalMart....sortof...) the other day and managed to find salsa. So we bought it and brought it home. Once at home I was reading the label was made in Belgium. Who buys salsa made in Belgium?!?!?!

This weekend we're having a screening of "Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration" (the movie showing on Temple Square right now). We got Korean subtitles and Pres. Jennings figured out the legalities of getting permission to show it yeah. It's gonna be awesome. I loved being able to watch that movie in the MTC every other week (and I was in the MTC a long time...I've seen that movie A LOT!!) I think it'll be really good for the members and investogators here. I'm excited to see it again, too. I'm going to take notes...I'm sick of reading hte old ones I made :).

Things are going well for me in the work. If you could pray for Park So Young, Kim Kyeoung Eh and Lee Jung Min that would be awesome. We don't have much else we can teach them without them decided to accept the baptism challenge. I know they are hard names---sorry about that. I have great investogators, but they're all afraid of commitment. Prayer is gonna be the little nudge they need, I hope.

I love this work, I love this country, I love this language and I love this people. I find joy beyond description in serving my God in the Land of the Morning Calm!

Love to all!

~Sister Rachel Margaret Ogilvie~

Thursday, March 11, 2010

snowy day and blindness‏

So, this is an even shorter email period than usual because it's
not Preparation Day. Yesterday there were about 2 inches (if that) of
snow outside when I woke up. I was ECSTATIC!!!! LIke a little girl.
It NEVER rains here. It has been a decade or so since they last saw
snow, according to a lot of people I've talked to....and it snowed.
:) My package that Mom sent had come the night before (thank you!) and
it was like Christmas....I put on some Christmas music and danced
around the house for my morning exercise and then I made the hot cider
packets you had sent. It was amazing!!! Yayness!

Then, to my suprise, during personal study we got a phone call
informing us that our Zone had opted to move P-day to Wednesday
(yesterday) on account of the snow. Seemed kinda silly to me, but it
meant I didn't have to go out and get my feet wet, so I went along with
it. We were, however, given the option of waiting to check email until
Thursday for those of us whose families are mastered in the art of
procrastination. I decided I qualified for that---so here I am---a day

The snow day was fabulous. I took a nap and stayed in my house,
which, in my opinion is how EVERY p-day should be...I need the time to
regain my strength for the week.

Then, as p-day was coming ot a close (it ends at 6:00 PM...then
it's back to work) I was getting ready to leave te house and I noticed
that my mascara had gotten clumped as a result of my afternoon nap. i
searched, in vain, for my little eyelash comb that I've been carrying
all over Korea and never used, but I couldn't find the
mechanical engineer that I am---I improvised. I bit the soft rubber
thing off of the end of a bobby pin and then I used the end of it to
gently separate the eyelashes. This plan was fine and dandy until a
particularly stubborn clump refused to budge, so I put in a little more
force, and...dohk...there goes the sharp end of my bobby pin right into
my eye. It hurt like the dickens (though I'm not sure what that means)
and my eye was all blood shot and watering like crazy (thankfully no
blood). We had a member meal appointment in an hour, but I figured the
pain and such would go down in that amount of time. I was wrong. When
I was still in severe pain and involuntary tears 20 minutes later I
finally tried to call Sister Jennings to ask for advice, but she didn't
answer. So, I went to the meal appointment and tried to be congenial,
but frankly, it just hurt too much to keep my eye open. I had
scratched the surface of the eye (the white part) pretty good and
moving my eyelid just hurt like crazy. Eventually I just decided to
keep both eyes closed through the whole appointment. After finally
talking to Sis. Jennings about the injury and the various parts of the
eye we decided that it probably wasn't imperative that I get to a
doctor that night and that a morning appointment would suffice, if it
came to that. So, because I was extreme pain and I couldn't even look
at people when they spoke (I never realized how much of my
understanding Korean relies on facial expressions and mouth shapes til
I couldn't see it) I asked te Elders to give me a blessing, for which
I'm very grateful. I went home and closed my eyes and didn't open them
til morning. This morning the pain was gone---completely gone---and
after what it was the day before I can't even tell you what an
incredible miracle that is. However, my vision in that eye is blurry.
I spoke with Pres. Jennings about it and we agree that it is likely
that it's my already existing astigmatism being flared up by the injury
and the tiredness of the eye from the whole ordeal. It's probably also
kinda bruised and such. So, before panicing and going to a doctor I'm
just gonna rest my eye (I'm gonna go get an eyepatch---argh!) and if my
vision doesn't return in a couple of days I'll get there. The most
likely situation is that it's fine and if it's not I'll just need a
little bit of a stronger prescription for my glasses. It's a good
thing glasses are way cheap in Korea and I was planning on getting some
new ones before I come home anyway. If it comes to that I'll be
sending an email home requesting money for those and possibly for any
Doctors fees not covered by the mission (the rules about medical
eyecare are always fuzzy-pardon the pun).

The whole experience has really opened my eyes though. I could
complain about a slight loss of vision, but how selfish would that be
when there are people who can't see at all? I'm so grateful I've ever
even been able to see sunshine or flowers or mountains or trees or the
sky. That's amazing! And it just opens my eyes to the wonders of
God. Man can study the eye, and even, to an extent, figure out how it
works or even how to fix it, but we cannot create one. Even in the
best laboratories of science one cannot simply contruct an eyeball that
can see colors and shapes and shades simply from raw materials. We
simply can't do it---to say nothing of the rest of the amazing parts of
the body. Mankind can learn infinite wisdom. A woman can learn to
make bread. She can even learn to grind the wheat---and to build hte
machine to grind the wheat. She can learn how to harvest the grain and
even purify the ore materials for the machine to grind the wheat. It
could even extend so far as learning to sow the grain and help it grow
and how to best mine for the ore. But when you get down to it, mankind
can neither make ore nor create a seed that has the spring of life in
it. It all must be found at the grace of God. I could be upset that
for this temporary time my sight has been slightly hindered, but
instead I'm just glad I ever had it at all.

Moving on from my 3 second lapse in wise are some humorous highlights this week:

My companion, Sister Park, is Korean, but she doesn't look it. In
fact, she looks quite Latino. Several of the Elders have taken to
calling her Hermana Park. She also happens to make delicious tacos
(which is not easy to find in Korea).

I was walking down the street the other day and we walked past
this underwear store (of which there are many in Korea) with manequinns
sporting their goods. I usually pay no attention to them, but I
couldn't help but notice the male manequinn wearing red underwear that
had the letters "T-E-M-P-T-A-T-I-O-N" printed across the waistband.
Now if that doesn't spell trouble, I don't know what does.

Anyway, that's enough of that for now. Prayers for my eye would
be appreciated. Thank you for your prayers regarding me learning the
language. These last few weeks have been magical and I've really felt
a lot of really cool things fall into place in my brain. I love this
language--and I love that Heavenly Father helps me learn and speak it
everyday. I've met so many foreigners who have been here for years and
they dont even have what I had coming out of the MTC. The gift of
tongues is real-- but I still have to work for it. I'm just grateful
to be able to serve this people.

Love to all!


P.S. The guy next to me just got onto his Church's website and it
has the slogan "Set te stage for Jesus" printed in English at the top.
Interesting thought. All of us missionaries are the stage runners (or
as Coronado Techs lovingly call it "Quick-Like-Bunnies") for the second
coming. Sounds like the beginning of a great object lesson :)...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Another rainy day

For All:
Well, it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood! Beautiful and rainy. I finally gave in. I'm going to buy some new shoes today...I'm afraid I may begin to rot before long. Maybe some golashes....those sound nice and dry. On rain not-coming days the other shoes will continue to be worn. That sentence was in Korean grammer forms. Awkward.

This last week we met with Park So Young. She's 21 and is hoping to go to the BYU Engligh Language School in the Fall. We taught her the first lesson and she just gobbled it up. The best part about her though, is that the second I saw her I could have sworn I knew her already. And every time I've seen her since then I just keep trying to place her, but I can't. I'm sure it's because I knew her in the pre-mortal life. She's just familiar to me.

Today some Census people came by the house while my companion wastaking a nap. First they were very suprised to find that the person speaking to them from behind the door was a foreigner (foreingers can'tspeak Korean....period). Then they were really suprised that I knew the word Census and could describe it back to the as a "people counting thing". I only knew the word because I had studied it among my family history research vocab the day before. They are lucky they came so soon after studying it. It was fun to be the person whose door was knocked rather than the other way around for once. I ended up giving them a Book of Mormon....not bad for nap-time on a P-day :).

We ate at a new buffet for lunch yesterday and it was delicious. It was the first good buffet I've been to in I ate a LOT and was planning to forego dinner, but of course at the last minute a member invited us for a meal appointment and since we had no outstanding appointments and it was E. Park Lok Hyoung's last day...we accepted. After having eaten two steaks, 2 big bowls of pasta andvarious other Asian foods (including jellyfish...that was a first) I went and had to eat three pieces of pizza and a HUGE bowl of dok-kuk (rice-cake soup with seawead). I was busting at the seams. I swore off food for eternity but have since rethought that decision. Lunch got the best of me by 1:00 PM. This eating stuff is hard work.

I know this is short, but time is short and I have to get shoesand get to Masan for a member baptism (8-year old) by 6:00, so I gotta go. Much love to all!


P.S. Sis Hadden (one MTC group above me) is training....that's scary...I'll try to stay under the radar on that bundle of responsibility (with my luck, Pres. Jennings is reading this).