First off, I wanted some Thanksgiving pics...where they at?!
Ok, so I'm writing this email right after eating upwards of 40 bucks worth of meat (like I said, the members here are amazing)... so I'm a little loopy. My English has gotten bad enough as it is. So this will be interesting.
Anyway. Thanksgiving was a blast. We ate a lot. Relaxed, played some card games. But still, it didn't feel like Thanksgiving without being with my family. It just felt like a day that I had to travel a lot. It's funny how "relaxing/eating" for a few hours is the closest thing we get to a vacation as a missionary. But that's good, it means we're focused on the work.
We spent it with the Ratta family, who have been in Korea the past decade. The mom teaches Spanish and English here in Korea. She's a mean cook, she cooked enough for twenty people, even though there were only ten of us missionaries. I went right for the stuffing, and didn't look back. Aside from McD's and BK, this is the most legit American meal I've had. We had a little scare with one of the Elders in our District who had to be taken to the hospital. He thought there was something wrong with his heart, but after some tests they determined he's actually been having panic attacks. It was so weird, his companion looked so torn between eating the piece of pie he had on his plate, and taking his companion to the hospital.
It was a lot of fun, but the best part was the bus ride home. I was already in the food coma position, and I wanted to just find an empty set of chairs and sleep off the turkey. But for these long bus rides you have to sit in your assigned seat first and if there are empty seats then you can move around.
So a guy sits next to me, and now all I can think is find an empty seat. Bus starts moving and there are tons of them. But I feel glued to the seat. Here's a perfect opportunity to share the gospel... and all I can think about, and all my body is screaming at me is "SLEEP!" But I couldn't do it. I said a little prayer and started talking to him.
He was decked out in his army fatigues (there's a base in my area), so like the half-conscious missionary searching the right thing to say in Korean I ask, "Are you coming back form work." He looks at me like I'm stupid, because obviously he's in the military.
But we get to talking, and we become good friends. We talk about our families, and about an hour in or so I've exhausted all of my Korean ability, explained all about our church, and the Book of Mormon. And then I just ran out pf stuff to say. Luckily, he speaks English pretty well, so some of the small talk went a lot easier. We show each other family pics, and he sees some of the band pics. It tell him that whole story, and after a while he asks, "Why did you stop being in a band, that seems like the life?" I simply tell him that "this work is more important." It hits him hard. I can see it stewing in his head. As we near the stop, I give him a Book of Mormon. I give him one of our pass along cards with our number on it, and he says "Whoa, I got one of these yesterday." But he didn't realize they were missionaries. He asks for my name, and since they aren't allowed to have cell phones, says that when he gets time he really wants to meet, and will call us. Then he says, "Thank you for the book..." he looks me in the eye, and says, " I know this is really important."
It really sunk into him that the missionaries give up a lot to go on a mission and tell people about The Book of Mormon, and how it has blessed their lives. He may not have a full testimony, he may not even ever call, but the seed is planted. And he, at the very least, has a testimony that yes, that book is important, even if he doesn't fully understand 'why' yet. Hopefully that turns into a real testimony. You can only rely on the testimony of others for so long.
Ok, so I've got a bunch of pictures to send so I've gotta go. Miss you all, and I want pics.