Sunday, November 2, 2014

So. Many. Things.

This week was insane.  Actually, despite my very vague emails - every week is insane.  There is just always so much that goes on, it's almost too much to write about, so I simply just choose one story and focus on that.  But this week, I'll change it up a bit for you and just send pictures and little snippets about what we did.


For P-day, it was raining, but that didn't stop us from going to the National Cemetery to check out the changing leaves and beautiful landscape.  Monday night we met with our investigator and ate dinner with him at his house.  Afterwards, we reviewed the Plan of Salvation with him and invited him to our Halloween Party that was going to be on Saturday


We had a combined district meeting as a zone at the mission office.  The majority of the meeting was spent finalizing our Halloween Party that we had been planning for the last month.  President Shin sat in our district meeting and when it came to role-play, I was paired with him.  Year ago me would've been scared to death.  Today me was totally chill.  It was a fun time, President Shin is awesome.  Afterwards, we all went to a delicious and cheap restaurant together and it actually ended up being the same restaurant I ate with Elder Ward, my trainer, on my first day in Korea.  I hadn't been there since that day - it's really weird how fast the time has gone.


Wednesday was AMAZING!  Our English class in SeJong scheduled a private tour of the new government complex in SeJong a few weeks back and the day of the tour finally came.  We went through security, got our passes, met our tour guide, and entered the building.  For over 6 months, I've been walking around and under it, but I never thought I would actually get the opportunity to go inside, and my goodness, was it amazing or what.  Afterwards, we went up to the observation tower in the city and took pictures from the top - we have the coolest English class members ever!  We invited them to our Halloween Party as well.  Later in the day, Elder and Godfrey and I had other appointments as well including a member visit and a dinner with a famous Korean poet.


Not all, but nearly all day was spent making decorations for the Halloween Party on Saturday.  Many fun times were shared as we drew, cut, and colored as a district (family).  On our way home, we passed a street vendor selling live octopus.  Yes, we bought them, and yes, we ate them live.  Just whole octopus, squirming and slimy - beak, tentacles, head and all - straight into the mouth.  Delicious!  And dangerous too... the dang thing bit my hand as I was holding it.


A day with Brother Fastcar again.  He took us for an amazing stroll into the deep countryside and though the mountains in his car.  We ended up at a reservoir and just sat and talked about life and it's purposes with him as we stared off onto the beautiful lake.  Once evening came, Elder Godfrey and I hit up the city park to check out the flower festival that was going on there.  It was beautiful!  And the performances were amazing!  It was also perfect for street contacting as well - we talked to tons of people and got lots of numbers.


Finally, the big day came.  We woke up, did personal study as always, and then headed straight for the church to begin.  Hours of set up, hours of stress, and a break in the middle to teach our weekly English class later, we were finished and we opened the door to our American-style Halloween Party.  We had all sorts of activities.... fishing for candy, bobbing for apples, scary feeling game with eyeballs (skinned grapes) brains (spaghetti) and all, face painting, musical chairs, a costume contest, and last but DEFINITELY not least, a haunted house.  For the haunted house, we completely shut off and remodeled the basement to our church and turned it into a maze of black-lit funhouses, fuzzy analog-tv corridors, dark closets, and damp boiler rooms.  Of course, we had people dressed up and scare people throughout it as they walked through - it was a hit.

Before the party, our members were actually worried about the party.  They were hesitant to help us and didn't think the turnout would be that large....  Boy did we show them wrong!  TWENTY less actives and over FORTY investigators came, making that more than the sixty members that did!  It was huge!  And super successful!  And everybody had a wonderful time.


Two of our investigators came to church with us, as well as our recent convert.  However, despite their presence, I had the hardest time trying to stay awake during sacrament meeting!  Busy weeks and busy parties and busy lifestyles will do that to you.  It's okay, I'm sure they thought I was just praying or something..... I hope haha.

All in all, it was a great week full of great things.  However, it's actually really bitter sweet right now.  The leaves are changing, the rice is being harvested, and I'm watching the seasons change as my time here in Korea begins to near its end.  I'm actually devastated to see the rice go like that - it'll be the last time I will ever see it before I leave this country.  On top of all of that, this next week is actually my last week in this area before I transfer.... it's going to be so sad to say goodbye to all the people I have come to know so well.  But I can't do anything to change it, so I'm just trying to take it all in while I can.

Elder Graf

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