This has been an incredible week. Jinju and Sacheon really need missionaries. I think this is the first time on my mission, where I really feel like these people absolutely need me. The ward and branch would not be able to function without the missionaries. With some people that I have met here, we and God are undoubtedly the only thing standing in between them and Satan's grip. We have worked so hard, and I love it! I really feel like a missionary!
The ward and branch here are wonderful! I love the members so much already. They are so kind and welcoming, and are incredible examples of devotion to the gospel. Yesterday we went to the branch in Sacheon, the area we are over that is farther away. While it is tiny, they are wonderful! One of the sisters that went to the Gyeongsan branch while she attended college in Daegu lives here, and goes to that branch! It was so good to see her! She is leaving for her mission to Seoul South in March, so she will probably be here the whole time I am in these areas. Her dad is the branch president. They are so kind! When I first met the branch president before church started, he came up and did a fancy little bow, and then handed me a flower he had picked. He already knew I had served in Gyeongsan and some things like that I play the violin. I guess LHB, his daughter, told him about me already. Gosh, these members are so nice! When I go back home, I need to repent and show the missionaries more love.
On Friday, New Year’s morning, we went with some of the Jinju ward members on a little hike to watch the sunrise. It's a pretty big thing here in Korea. It was so fun! We hiked up one of the nearby mountains, and watched from the top as the new 2016 sun came up. After that, we came back down and went to the church to have breakfast. There is a little American family and another American sister in our branch! It is super weird to talk to them, but very nice. Anyway, the members here are wonderful!
We have two super fun investigators, a woman and her husband, who is German. We pretty much always speak English with them. They are an interesting couple. The woman, PMY, has a "gallery" that she and her husband own in the middle of town. It is beautiful. She has filled it with beautiful pieces of art and decorated it in a gorgeous European style. Whenever we stop by, she has us just sit down, and acts as the perfect hostess. We try to get her to let us help her, but she always says in her Korean/German accent, "Of course not! You are my guests!" She loves to serve us herbal tea in fancy tea cups, and always has some expensive organic food that she made that she has us eat. When I first met her, she told us, "Do you want to go to Italy? Let's go! I'll take you right now." She wasn't joking in the slightest. If we only asked, she would buy us tickets and take us on a tour through Italy. Anyway, they are the kindest couple. PMY has found peace through Christ. Since then, she has made it her mission to help others and spread the word. When she found the sisters, she was so excited to help US. She has told us several times that when we find other investigators to take them to her gallery to teach them and she would "entertain" them. She and her husband both have a lot of gospel interest. I haven't met with her husband yet, but I guess he really loves the Book of Mormon and learning about the gospel. They both have been reading it. While they haven't come to church yet, they seem so prepared. I am excited! We are going to try to commit them to a baptismal date this week.
Sister Call is just incredible. She has such a good attitude, is fun, and is a hard worker. I love being with her! We have a blast together. We have been working really hard, too. Yesterday we went out looking for less actives, and eventually ended up knocking on doors (which is pretty rare to do in Korea). This is is grit of missionary work, but it feels so good!
Guess where we are as I email this? Masan! (Tristan's first area). Sister Call needed to renew her foreigner card here today. They told her she needed a few more papers when we got here, so we will end up coming back again sometime soon. Fun, though! I took some pics already.
I love you all so much. I know more than ever that this is God's work. We are here to bring people to the happiness and peace of the gospel, but also to combat darkness and introduce the light. Christ is at the head, and I can feel His power working through us every day. I love this work!
I love you!