Dear best fam on earth!!!
1. Happy 19th birthday, Rylan!!!! Hehe. Seems a bit odd, right? So in Korea when you are born you're 1 year old, and then each new year everyone goes up an age. It's kind of confusing because it also has to do with what time of the year you're born... sometimes people are two years older, sometimes one year. I explained that terribly but it's because I don't quite understand! Anyway, if Rylan lived in Korea, he would be turning 19! Weird.
So... Also happy birthday to everyone else? You're all getting a year older :) I know you are so happy to hear that!
Soo.... I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!!!! Mine here in Korea was incredible!!! Such a memorable Christmas :) I'll start at the beginning though.
Last Monday was... quite a day. I already got to tell you, family, on the phone call but I'll just remind you. So we had a dinner with our ward mission leader (손승주 son-seong-ju). So good! But seriously, the amount of food!!! It was just us four sisters eating at 5 and then the elders from our district were eating at 7. Reminder- there are 8 elders in my district. They gave the sisters and elders the same amount of food. the same -_- So we had to eat so much! And when you thought it was all the food, they would just bring out more...... And here if someone offers you food (especially an older person and especially especially an older man), you eat! For some reason 손승주 son-seong-ju kept giving me food! He would say "Sis. Evans needs more. Give her meat." And someone would start putting it on my plate. He would say "More. .. More... More" Oh my gosh! I had to eat so much of everything! I think it would impress Dad and terrify Mom how much I can eat. They made funeral potatoes!!! Crazy!!! Cheese pretty much doesn't exist here- I've never seen it. So it's really expensive to buy. But they got it for us! So kind. After the meal we were sitting on the floor and there was the "after meal food".... because that exists here. They gave us so many oranges to eat and then a massive sweet potato. Oh ya, I forgot to tell you, I eat about 5 sweet potatoes a day. They're the best snack! I just boil them or cook them in the morning. So good :) So they had this pot of the biggest potatoes you've ever seen. They were like watermelons (ok so that might be a little bit of an exaggeration..) But ya, we each had to eat a few. Hahaha I told you how my companion hid in the bathroom forever. She would open the door, stare at all the new food, and just go back in. Haha I would glare at her each time, "Get back here!!!!"
So then after, we took a bus straight to another woman's house (김미라 kim-me-ra). She had invited us over and we told her that we would be coming straight from a meal so not to feed us. Why did we expect anything different? We got there and she made..... this soup for about 100 people. She could have fed our whole ward!!!!!!! Every year on Dec 22nd Korean's eat red bean soup. Don't know why. So literally she was getting red beans and blending them and putting them in the cauldron I told you about the pot (that was the biggest pot you've ever seen times the next biggest pot you've ever seen in size). She made 떡 (dok)... it's like.... dough? Don't know how to describe it. But that was the only thing in it. It was the first meal I've ever been to where we didn't finish the food. We couldn't even finish one bowl. That's because she didn't give us bowls, though, she gave us each pots. (again, not really, but the bowls were huge!!!!) We all were so incredibly sick. Just praying we wouldn't puke over everything. Hahaha! When we got there and saw she was making food, my companion literally started crying a little bit. Meals are.... a bit stressful. So kind of them!! But it's just such a different culture so you have to eat everything. We could hardly walk! Eventful day :)
Tuesday! We set up at the church all day! We (the missionaries) had to decorate for the Christmas party. Fun! Kind of wish we could've been out talking to people or teaching you know because that's our purpose... but it's ok! Decorating took all day and then there was FHE! So fun as always. 강지은 cong-jee-en came!!! She's been out for a while. We played a fun signs game.
Then Christmas Eve!!! We had district meeting and then finished getting ready for the Christmas party. 유옥렬 you-ong-reor came!!!! She's the investigator we meet with sometimes. She stayed the whole time and loved it!!! She's a quiet woman. After she texted us and said thank you because we made her Christmas ^^ Not us! Not Sis. Ahn and I but our ward. That made me so happy!!! She's lonely (she's 53, her husband died a little bit ago, but lives with her 22 year old daughter). Also, 박성회 bak-song-hwe came!!! That's 최승임's husband (remember him? He's Buddhist and really nice). Their son was playing the guitar at the party so he came to watch. There was a raffle going on and he actually won something but was embarrassed to go up and get it so he made me! The Christmas party was SO fun!!!! Such a blast. The young men did the first part- a wii bowling game where there were teams. Haha it was so funny! The young kids sang and danced :) The women did a hula dance!! All dressed up and danced. So fun/funny!! Then the young women (4 of them) did a dance. So hilarious. They started just dancing around and then whipped their hair out and all around. Everyone kept laughing so hard. I have videos of all! Don't worry. Then the missionaries did our little performance thing. Oh man... So Sis. Gil and I were the faces and our companions were behind us as our arms. We went through a normal missionary day- including eating food, getting ready, exercising, talking to drunk people, opening presents, the whole shabang. For face powder, they threw flour on our faces. Oh man! We were looking so good. It was hilarious!! Our ward is the best! The party was so, so fun!!!
THEN CHRISTMAS. Such a... normal day! Haha. We got ready and then the four sisters went to a couple member houses to sing carols. We only got to go to 2 though.... they made us come in and talk so long. But it's ok!! They were the best!!!! The first family we were to are seriously amazing! They are quite good at English, too. (The wife went to school in Hawaii and teaches English here) So fun!!!! Then we visited 이충송 ee-cheong-son. Oh ya! The night before at the Christmas party, her husband bought EVERY COMPANIONSHIP a cake!! Oh my gosh!!! Cakes are so expensive here and he bought 6!!! So generous! So you can guess what we had for our Christmas dinner... ;) Cake! And pringles... Goin the healthy route, as you can tell. The 4 sisters did a little secret Santa so we opened those during dinner. So fun! After we went with our district to sing at a couple members houses :) So fun!!
And just like that Christmas was over! SUCH A GOOD CHRISTMAS THOUGH!!!! The day after was quite good, too^^ I GOT TO TALK TO MY FAMILY!!!! You all sounded like angels!!! That had smoked or something because your voices were all crackly from the connection. Hahaha. Probably not the best portrayal... It was so fun though!! Holy cow can 40 min go fast or what? Sorry i talked the whole time!!!! I think, "Oh I'll just tell them this one story...." ope times up. So sorry about that!!!! And DAD!!! Your Korean is seriously so good!!! I was so impressed!!!! How do you remember it so well??? The Koreans couldn't believe it. Alright so I always take so much time writing these emails- they're always so long! Anyways, after, we did weekly planning. Haha we did it by candlelight (using the 3 small candles you sent me) because my companion said it would be romantic. Haha! So weird. What pretty much ended up happening was our tiny office was overwhelmed by different smells and our eyes killed after an hour and a half of trying to see but not being able to. When we opened our door to get water it was a burst of sunshine and fresh air!! Haha we had been so deprived. We visited *** that night. It was so sad :/ She LOVES our message and wants to hear all about it and learn, but she's been meeting us in secret because she's afraid of her husband. It was our 4th time coming over and she said, "I have to tell me husband!" So she called him right then and pretended that we just showed up for the first time and wanted to talk. He immediately began screaming at her.... He talked to my companion on the phone and just yelled at her, saying he was going to call the police and all this stuff. So sad :( So she had to give the Book of Mormon back and we can't meet anymore. She was so sad.
Saturday.... We were supposed to meet an investigator but she never showed up :/ so we went to 3 different people's houses to teach and we couldn't teach anyone! Bummer. So just street contacted till English class. So, as I said, there was supposed to be a baptism today!!! The first one in months! But.... The girl getting baptized just stopped responding and blocked everyone's numbers Thursday so she never showed up :/ No one thought that would happen!! She was perfect and had so much faith!! So that was a bummer. Sis. Ahn and I went to a lady's house to teach but she had guests over so we couldn't :/ So just went door-to-door! Actually apartment-to-apartment..... So fun!!! I love doing that.
Sunday! Whew almost there. Church... 방연숙 bong-yoen-suke came!!! Not much time so I have to cut this short! But last night there was a baptism! Eld Helsloot and Christensen taught him. So fun! Oh! So sad!!! The water heater hasn't been working so.... he was baptized in cold water! Like really cold! Poor guy. But still awesome!!
Well, I hope you had such a good Christmas!!! I know I did, talking to you all was the best!!! Have a happy new year and more especially, HAPPY BIRTHDAY RYLAN!!! Good luck in Wisconsin!! You're going to kill it!
Sis. Gentry Evans