Halloween is the BEST. For our English class we decided to do a Halloween party on Saturday. We moved the English class time to later in the evening and starting making preparations. We made decorations, plans for a few games and the program and bought some candy and were going to make some food. Then the day before the party. after we had almost finished with the decorations, we sent out a text to all the English class members, potential investigators and the members in our branch. Immediately the branch president's wife called us, and wanted to help us and make plans to make it a bigger thing. She talked about how the program needed to be really good and that we needed a lot of food. After talking with her, the texts started pouring in with people asking about what they should bring, questions about the party, and just to tell us they were coming! We realized we would have to change some things. Or a lot of things. We then planned out a completely new program, branched out into other rooms in the church, prepared games, bought things for food and called many people to ask them to bring things. We were a little bit like chickens with our heads cut off running around.
The next day, Sister Lee and I got up, did our study sessions, and started baking like crazy. We had a BIG pumpkin cake in the rice cooker and cookies in the oven and all over the kitchen. Later in the day after some proselyting and an English lesson, we headed over to the church and made final preparations. I made a kind of caramel sauce that pretty much turned into caramel to put over the pumpkin cake, and then people started to arrive. There were so many that came! We had around nine investigators come and many other members. In fact, some of the members brought friends. We played several games, told a scary story and even did bobbing for apples. It was SO much fun. Everyone seemed to have a really good time. After the games, we all went into the kitchen, where the branch president and his wife had prepared a lot of other food and laid it out on a table with the food that we had brought. Then everyone ate and socialized. It worked out so well. Everyone moved around and talked to each other and Sister Lee and I were able to separate and talk a lot with the investigators. That was definitely the most I have ever talked in Korean. The branch president's wife talked a lot to one woman from our English class and connected a lot with her. I talked with her daughter, a 17 year old, quite a bit too. They are just perfect, kind, good people and they even said that they wanted to come to the Branch Activity next week. Wow. It was just so perfect. After the activity ended, everyone helped clean up and then went home. Sister Lee and I were so giddy! I had a blast and it was an excellent chance for many investigators to come to the church, have fun and meet some of the branch members.
One of the people that came to the Halloween party is a Chinese woman. She is in her mid-twenties, has lived here for eight years and goes to one of the universities around here. Her name is PND. She is married and extremely friendly and social and loves to go out and make friends. She seriously wants to come to everything. We first found her while we were out English sticker boarding and met with her the next week for lunch. She always wears fun little hats and loves to take selfies. (I guess that is how most Koreans are anyway-I can't even remember how many selfies I took with people at the Halloween party...) When she came to the Halloween party she brought a friend and we were able to get her friend's contact. We are excited to meet with her more!
Things are getting so fun with the branch members! We have a very good relationship with them and I feel like I am really connecting with them. I am working very hard on really gaining their trust. Even if Sister Lee leaves and I stay in Gyeongsan this next transfer, I want to still have a good close relationship with the members. It is hard, because I still cannot communicate too well in Korean and they cannot speak much English, but I try to talk with them a lot and show them that I love them. Sister Lee says that usually they do not talk too much with the foreign missionaries, but because they can see that I am really trying they talk with me and like me. I just hope that we can continue to keep their trust! They are wonderful members and are like my family. I love them so much! Even though I may feel awkward or just bad at Korean sometimes when I am with them, the Lord has helped me in connecting with them. When we try our best, He really does consecrate our efforts!
Last week we got a call from some Elders in one of the other areas, who mysteriously asked if I was from Kansas, and then if my first name was Emily. They then told me that they had met a woman who was trying to get in contact with "Emily". They told me that they would talk to her again and let me know. Later, I got a call from the senior couple in our zone, and they told me they had met her. I guess she recognized their name tags and walked right up to them and asked them "Do you know how I could get in contact with Emily?" She didn't know my last name, but told them that she had met Emily's mom in Kansas and wanted to invite her over for Thanksgiving dinner. Eventually they figured out it was me and called me and gave me her number. We called her, and she was so nice! She said that she talked to Mom and learned that I lived around Daegu, and invited us to come over for a HUGE Thanksgiving party with a bunch of other families. She told me they are doing big turkeys and mashed potatoes and all the good stuff, and it sounds DIVINE. We are so excited! I am hoping that I stay in this area of course so I can actually go, but I feel that I might.
OJW is doing super well. She came to the Halloween party on Saturday and had a great time! She was sick on Sunday and wasn't able to come to church, but texted us and told us how she was doing. She is just so sweet. Her friend, LJS, supports her so much and is HUGE in helping her progress. It really is the perfect situation.
SMS hasn't come to church yet, but we feel that we will be able to talk with her about it in our next lesson and get her coming. Maybe the two baptisms will actually happen this month! Please pray for them!
Oh yeah! We got the hanboks on Monday! They are beautiful. We wore them to a culture party we had for English class on Wednesday and I felt like a princess the whole time. Everyone in the class loved them and wanted to take pictures with us. The Elders got some too! It was super fun. I love my hanbok so much. One of the women told me that the peach color of my skirt signifies beauty to the Koreans. Phew! Good choice, I guess!
I am getting to the point where I cannot imagine not knowing these people. I love them SO. MUCH. I really never want to leave them. They are like my friends and my family. Goodness, missions are amazing. I am so grateful that God knew exactly where to send me, and I am so humbled to serve with these people (because they have served me so much too!). I love this.
I love you all so much!!!