Sunday, November 3, 2013

Halloween Party, My Birthday, and the 40 Day Fast

There were three main events that this last week all consisted of. They are, as the title states, a Halloween Party that we threw for our English class attendees and ward members, my 20th birthday, and a fast that our entire mission is doing over a period of 40 days. The reason I am writing all of them is because they all have one thing in common.... I'll let you guess what that is as you read on....


First off, the Halloween party! NEWS FLASH: Koreans don't celebrate Halloween. They know what it is, but they have no idea how to celebrate it. It's just not in their culture and never has been. So of course, the six missionaries in our area all decided it would be awesome to show the Koreans how to celebrate halloween by having a party after our English Class on Saturday, November 2nd.

My awesome family (thanks mom!) sent me a package with various Halloween decorations and even included a small pumpkin for me to carve. On Halloween day (Thursday) I actually carved the pumpkin very first thing in the morning and my Korean companion had no idea what I was doing - he had never seen a jack-o-lantern before. He was fascinated with it once night came and I put candles inside. So once Saturday came, in order to make the party special, I brought the carved pumpkin and all the other decorations my mom sent me, while also buying just a few more to spice things up.

The party was a success! Everyone had such a good time. We played games like "spider spider, who's got the spider", "pin the nose on the pumpkin" and we even had a scavenger hunt around the church (it was a church tour in disguise, my idea) to find the desserts that we made for the end of the party. The Koreans had also never heard of a scavenger hunt before, so that was a fun first for them. The games were fun, we made delicious food, and it felt just a little bit like a real Halloween party back in America.


Can you believe it? I can't. I honestly think it is so weird, still, to say that I'm a missionary - let alone a 20 year old missionary. Haha I'm growing up too fast. But nonetheless, I couldn't prevent it, so I welcomed my birthday with loud celebration. Literally.

Back when I was in Gunsan, Elder Ward's mom sent him giant poppers for July 4th. He didn't use them and actually left them behind when he left. I gladly took them into posession. On my birthday, Saturday November 2nd, I woke up 5 minutes early to get the popper, set my camera on "record" on the other side of the room, and wait for our alarm to go off. 6:30 came and everyone else woke up to the alarm. The second the alarm was turned off by one of the Elders, I flipped on the lights, shouted "It's my birthday!" and shot off the popper. It was LOUD and, well, none of the Elders were happy with me hahaha.

But it was funny.

Then, I opened my presents my parents sent in the mail. Awesome presents, but my favorite was defintiely the Doritios. There are no nacho Doritos here in Korea and I have been DESPERATELY missing them. Following my presents, I proceeded to make and bake the banana muffins for our dessert party that night (yes mom, I have my own recipe for them and make them occasionally for members). The Elders in my apartment didn't do anything for my birthday, despite saying happy birthday, but it was okay. I made a pyramid out of a few of the muffins once they came out of the oven and stuck a candle in the top. I then hummed happy birthday to myself and blew out the candle - and that was the celebration. Hahaha quite different than in America.

However, my birthday was on the same day as the Halloween party - so I still had a party that night. Then, out of nowhere at the end of the party, the sister missionaries came out of the kitchen and surprised me with a chocolate cake that they had bought with two candles in the top and announced to everyone that it was my birthday. How nice of them, huh? They're the best! So in the end, it was a really good day.


In order to help the missionaries become more united and focused on their purpose, our mission is doing a mission-wide fast over a period of 40 days. No, we don't all fast for that long, but instead we are all taking turns fasting for one day in groups of 4 missionaries each day. At the start of the fast, we all received a calendar with everyones assigned days and my day fell on, you guessed it, my birthday.

So like I said, these three things all have one thing in common - they all fall on the same day. So while the Halloween party was awesome, and on my birthday I got tons of food, a cake, and had wonderful dinner options, I had to fast because I was assigned to.

Hahaha but it was okay, I didn't care. That just means I'll get tons of blessings from it! Plus, the next day I was able to eat all the food anyway. But it sure would've been nice to eat some of the banana muffins I made... everybody ate them all at the party... haha oh well.

Anyway, so there's your story from Korea for the week. Things are going great here! Can't wait to tell you all about it again next week!

Elder Graf

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