GOOD MORNING KOREAAAA! (that's a reference so... I hope someone gets it. Also it's 5 in the afternoon so I hope you're not thinking it's in the morning....)
Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hello family!!!
Oh this is amazing!! I'm actually emailing you from Korea!!! So much has happened I don't even know where to start. Also, sorry we came straight from a 식사 (like a meal thing), so I don't have my journal. And I really have a terrible time remembering things so I'm sorry!
Ok so, a week ago saturday we had to say goodbye to our teachers. So so so sad!! We were all soooo close with all of them. Hehe we got them the funniest gifts though (this lovey-dovey card for Bro. Christensen that was just hilarious about "it's so easy loving a man like you " and stuff. hahaha. Also a pointer for him bc he's aways touching the tv) And a superman card and signed tie for Bro. Sung. Then just a cute card and sour candy for Sis. Gardiner bc she likes them.
Sunday! the 15 of us left (my district, the 3 elders from the other district that were going to Seoul, and the 2 native elders). We sang a song in sacrament & it was super nice. I sounded great, just saying. ;)
That night.... well I didn't get much sleep...... or any... I just took all of my stuff out in the hall and packed! It wasn't bad though. Then at 3 Sis Brown and I took all of our stuff down and out to the bus area!!! Wow we were so pumped. And then we saw all of our elders! We were so excited. We put all of our stuff on one bus, but then the bus driver said "oh my bad! This is the wrong bus" so we had to take everything off and wait a while to get on a different bus haha. We were all freaking out we would miss our plane! But of course we were totally fine on time.
Being in the real world? Super weird. I just ran from every person. haha jk. On the flight from Salt Lake to Seattle, it was basically just us missionaries on the plane!! Which was awesome!! A lot of us got the two seats to ourselves, I was one of those people. ;) I fell asleep so so fast and was just out that whole flight. I also had just passed out in the airport while we had been waiting for the plane... After I found out that some of the elders had been placing bets on how fast I would fall asleep because I had had so much energy on the way there and had been so excited. I guess I did fall asleep quite fast...
Then the Seattle airport. AND REAL FOOD. Oh my gosh oh my gosh yay it was so good!! I had a panini :) And I got to call you!! That was amazing!!! Loved talking to all of you! It was a bummer my calling card didn't work as long as it was supposed to! But I did get to talk for a while so it wasn't too bad :)
Then the flight to Seoul. A flight attendant though I spoke Korean because he had asked me a couple things in Korean and I responded and he asked if my parents had lived in Korea so I told him that my dad did for over two years and that my mom had for about 6 months. Then later he was talking to me and said so how long have you lived in Korea? Your whole life? haha I was like no!! I couldn't believe he asked me. My Korean is horrible horrible! But he was so so nice and talked to me for a while.
On the flight, everyone sat in the back next to each other except me and elder Eggleston! They were in row 40-42 and I was up in row 19 :( But it was ok! I sat next to the window. The man that sat next to me was from the Philippines going to the base in Korea because he 's in the military. That was kind of awkward because he did not understand what being a missionary meant and was asking for my number and saying we could get together in Korea... I was pretty much just plastered against the window (HAHA Britt and Christie!!! I was Ben!!!!!!)
The flight was long and I thought it would never end, but then all of a sudden it did and we were in KOREA!! I took a step off of the plane and... choked because I couldnt breathe. Haha welcome to humidity! Now, I don't even notice it! Except for sometimes in the late afternoon.
Anyways, We met the mission presidents and they're so awesome!! They put our luggage in their vans and then all of the missionaries got to take the subway home! There were 4 missionaries that met us there with the mission presidents (2 zone leaders and 2 sister training leaders), so they guided us of where to go. and we were supposed to 즌도 on the subway!!! (like, talk to people and teach them kind of) I was terrified! But it wasn't bad and I survived :) Also, it was raining the whole night so that was amazing! The mission presidents house- so amazing. In the most beautiful location ever! I'll send a pic :) Also I'm remembering way more than I thought so this is a novel! a lot to process (I don't blame you if you don't read all of it)
We ate dinner and whoa- I was exhausted. I fell asleep on a chair... So we all went to bed! for the first time I slept on a traditional bed- a "yo." It's what they sleep on here and basically it's a tiny mat they put on the ground and then just put up in the morning! No making my bed for 16 months ;)
The next day we had an orientation and I met my new companion!!! Sister Seegmiller!!! She is awesome!!!!!!!!!!! We get along so well. Yay! She's from St. George, Utah. Sister Brown's companion is a native! But she speaks really good english so that's good. So after the conference, we all split up to our new areas! It was super sad saying goodbye to all of the elders :( But it's ok! Because we had a mission-wide conference Saturday!
So Dad- my new area is 중랑. Did you ever serve there? It is SO amazing!!!!!!!!!! I love it!!!!! Umm let's see... I'll talk about it later! That night we just bought a few things and talked to people on the streets. The next day we taught a lesson at night! It was to a less active and it wasn't bad! I was kind of really nervous at first because of my lack of Korean but it wasn't bad! A member was there and she talked a lot haha. Um........ Don't really remember..... We 즌도 ed a lot. (walk around and talk to people on the streets) I've never walked so much in my life! You know how in New York we walked so much? All day? That's what it is here! Everyday! It's great :)
Friday night we went to a birthday party! The biggest birthday they celebrate here is 1, so it was this little boys first birthday party in the ward! He was SO cute!!!! Seriously. Korean children are the cutest!! (besides our cousins') He was dressed in very traditional clothing and they had the traditional activity of having a bunch of things in front of him, and seeing what he grabs first. He grabbed a golf ball so I guess that means he will be athletic! The ward members were so so nice and there was so much delicious food!!
Saturday we traveled to 신당 Saturday for the mission conference. (I write the Korean for you, Dad, so you can know where we are going/ what we are doing) That is where the mission home is! This weekend is one of the biggest holidays in Korea- 추석. It's basically our Thanksgiving! It starts Sunday and last till Tuesday- basically everything is shut down. So that is why we had a conference! Mom, look up a video called "This is 아리라" I don't know if it needs to be in Korean or not so try that one and if it doesn't work try "This is Ahrira". Ok trying to romanize is terrible. That is their national anthem and it's this video they showed us of basically a flash mob playing their national anthem. It was so cool! I know you'll like it.
This is actually the last mission-wide conference they will ever have! Pres. Christensen told us that. It's because our mission is too big! So I'm glad I got here just in time. I saw all of the missionaries from the MTC that left 6 weeks before me! So cool. Um let's see.... Oh a ton of missionaries came in the traditional Korean clothing for it so that was so cool! So so much rich culture here. Lot's of performances on drums and other traditional instruments. The first hting they did was play a video with pictures missionaries in our mission have taken over the year that the mission president got and it was hilarious! Oh my gosh everyone just seems so funny. They played country music with it and that surprised me! Weird listening to music after so long! The conference was awesome.
The next day was Sunday. I gave a talk! Well, it was fast sunday so it doesn't really count. But they asked the new missionaries in the ward to so it was me & 2 others- Elder Moore and Elder Armstrong. Guess what? Elder Armstrong is Michael Armstrong! You don't know him but he graduated a year before me from MVT and we did track together so I actually know him kind of well! He has ridiculous amounts of energy.
Now, you won't believe this. When church was over, there was this HUGE pile of food by the front door for us. I guess every fast sunday the ward members all bring food and leave it for the missionaries, SO NICE. I couldn't believe how generous they were!! There was seriously so much food!!!! The ward it great great great. Super small but amazing. I'm so excited!
So for the holiday, today all of the missionaries in our area (so district, there's 8 of us, 4 sisters and 4 elders), went to the ward mission leaders house for a 식사, lunch. He actually lives about an hour away from us. The area is huge and there's only one ward in our whole area!
We take a subway, then bus, then walk a ton! He had a really nice house though. (And by house I mean apartment, everyone just lives in apartments here.) His family is great! And oh my gosh, SO MUCH FOOD. Like ridiculous amounts!! They just kept giving us more and more and more..... And I ate octopus!!!!!!!!! They gave us some soup with our meal, and I took a spoonful and guess what was sitting right there? An arm with tentacles!!!!!!! Hahaha oh man! They also just put a whole fish on our table. All of the food was so tasty though! The thing i had the hardest time with was the soup... Not because of the octopus, but because of the muscle! Eh... not my favorite. And now I"m here!
Ok I'm running out of time soo.. I'm going to make a list of everything that's amazing about Korea!
-Everywhere along the street are vendors with the cheapest clothes and just fresh fruits and vegetables! Also tanks with fish, crabs, squid, octopus, shrimp, and tons of animals!
-the fruit is amazing!!! I love the grapes!!! You bite just a little, then suck everything out of the middle! Mm so good :)
-Ok so, every other day we (there's 4 of us in our apartment) we go running. The other day we do p90x! (We have a small video/dvd/cd player thing)
-When we run, we run down the big building streets and along a river. There's this group of old Koreans that are doing a zumba class! It's the best thing ever!!!
-Ok Korean's are the most fit people in the world. All they eat are healthy things and walk everywhere! In the morning, we run through a park place that just has exercise machines along the side and it's just a ton of old ridiculously in shape Korean people!
-I've never been told I'm pretty so many times in my life. Everyone says it that I talk to! It's just because I'm foreign though. They just always say it to my companion and I. Haha my confidence is being built here every second! It's just going to be crushed when I go home.
-Ok and because of that, I've been offered marriage so many times. Just by older woman, "Oh you must marry my son! Come over and have dinner with us now!" haha
-Couples match here! It's so funny, all of the teenage couples wear somehting that's the same, usually the exact same kind of shoes
Dad, no worry about sending me church magazines, we get them each month!
I am out of time so I can't respond to much else.
I am having SO much fun here though!!! I seriously love Korea so much!! I hope all is well at home. I'll try to send pictures!!
Sis. Gentry Evans (hehe 에반스)