Okay, my areas are easily the most beautiful areas in the mission. There are so many mountains and trees and fields everywhere, and then Sacheon stretches to the ocean and includes a couple islands. It is beautiful. This last week was island week. First, we did exchanges and I went to Dongyeong, an area on the coast and with a big island. It was definitely a port kind of town. We spent most of the day on Kojae (I'm not really sure how to romanize it), the island. It was GORGEOUS. Sister Amende (a sister from New Zealand) and I did a lot of proselyting there, and even right by the water's edge. I had a blast, and we talked to SO many people. I definitely came back pumped up on proselyting.
On Saturday, we went to Namhae, the island in our area. It seems to be the promised land in our areas, and a chunk of the Sacheon members and less-actives live there. However, it takes about two hours to bus over there, so we don't go down there very often. We have made a goal to go once a week. It is absolutely worth it. First off, we already were able to talk to a lot of people and meet with a potential investigator. Secondly-Namhae is stunning. It is definitely a place I want to come back to after my mission. It is very rural, with a lot of farms terraced into the mountains covering the island. Many of these little farms and fields run right up to the ocean. It is so pretty! The problem with Namhae, other than it being so far away is...there are no maps. Seriously. A map of Namhae doesn't exist. So when we came the other day we were just kind of wandering around, asking people where things were and trying to figure out addresses. For an entire island. It will be tough, but good! We were able to meet with one potential investigator and her two little boys, but she doesn't have too much interest.
The work is definitely different and a lot tougher here. Last week I knocked on doors for the first time in my mission! It is something that never really happens here. However, we have to proselyte a lot in these areas. When we were knocking on doors in Sacheon, we were able to talk to a couple people (they mostly say things like "I'm busy", or even "I'm not here!"), and no one invited us in. Then we knocked on one door, and a REALLY old, tiny grandmother opened the door. She was so cute! After we introduced ourselves, she invited us right in! When she opened the door wider to let us in, we realized- she didn't have any pants on. Just underwear. I was trying so hard not to laugh, but I could tell that she was a little embarrassed. She was adorable! As we sat down on the floor, she hobbled into the other room and put on a pair of bright pink pants, and then hobbled back, gave us some oranges, and sat down to listen. She listened to everything we said, and seemed to just accept it all! She was so sweet. We could tell that she wouldn't really be able to retain it, and probably couldn't understand very well though. Even though she really didn't understand much we felt that it was good for us to be there and just serve her. It made her so happy. We will definitely be visiting her every once in a while.
A little bit of a funny story. We are so poor. We really use all of our money riding buses everywhere. So I have been surviving on Kimchi Jigae (a soup made out of kimchi, tuna, and tofu) and rice. Korean experience. :)
Last night we ate dinner with the American family in our branch. It was WONDERFUL. It was super weird to be in a big house (which I guess is a normal size in America) and to sit on a COUCH and teach. They even fed us chili and cornbread! It was tasty. They are a wonderful family with two cute little kids and another one coming. They are so kind, and even brought us stuff from Costco (a giant bag of chocolate chips included :) ).
Today we are going to go to an old Korean castle here in Jinju. It is going to be SO FUN. I've heard that it is awesome. Kind of like a Great Wall of Korea.
We don't have very many investigators right now, and have been proselyting quite a bit. As Sister Call and I have talked about these areas, we have realized how much we need to focus on just strengthening the ward and branch. There are a lot of less-actives, and many of the members do so much and are getting tired. They are incredible members, and really have done SO much for the area. We really want to focus on helping the members, showing our love for them, and then finding and bringing back less-actives. As we have searched for less-actives, we've realized that many of the addresses we have for them are not correct, or we just can't find them but I can feel that it is important .
This transfer our mission has really been focusing on how we are using our time, and as we do that changing our vision of the work. It has already made a huge impact on the mission and how diligently we work. It is wonderful! There are so many things that I have had to change about the way I spend my time and do the work, but also just in the way I think. It is incredible to me to see how much the Lord is hastening the work. He is changing our mission, and is really moving the work to prepare for when He returns. I can see it. The world is changing, and we have to work harder than we ever had before. We are so needed in this time. I am so grateful to be able to serve now, and also for all of the work that we are all doing together.
I love you all so much! You are incredible examples.