Monday, April 28, 2014

Letter 4/28/2014

As we were proselyting our way home from General Conference, Sister Kei felt like we should go over near our Daiso (a dollar store) We awkwardly stood around it, talking to people as we wondered why we were there. Everyone was especially rude. Why were we there? After several rejections we made our way towards Daiso again, and as we walked directly in front of the doors, we passed two girls, and I said hello. They told us they were from China. We communicated through English. They were super nice. They were just visiting for four days. We gave them cards. These nice and open girls had me thinking about China and I think it'll open up soon. "Soon" may be a half a century or it may be a few years. I think it was a matter of timing; we needed to talk to other people (some who I was sure was 'the one' because I felt I should talk to them) to get those girls at the right time.

 Sister Training Leaders go on exchanges with sisters in their zone to help them in their areas and train them during comapnionship study. They attend the monthly Mission Leadership Council meeting and give trainings at zone meetings. We have one per zone and we have six zones. Last transfer President tried an experiment to have two Sister Training Leaders together as companions in one zone. It's only been one transfer so we don't know how it's going yet.

This week was LOADED with craziness. Loaded. Be prepared. Let's see if you can keep count.

First, I've been sick since Thursday. I lost my voice on Friday and it's just now recovering today (I've moved down from dinosaur-status to frog-status). Missionary work is all about talking, so my dear companion had to pull some extra weight this weekend to make sure we met our goals in proselyting, as well as having to teach our protion of the Young Womens lesson. (We're getting YW callings in the ward as of next week) I was assigned to give a talk this week and I really didn't want to put it off so I gave the talk. It was a little rough between the coughing, scraggly voice, and vocally unpraticed script, but it worked. Hoozah.

We were doing some 가가호호 (onomatopoeia for door-to-door knocking) on Saturday and found a family that has been inactive for numerous years. Sister Kei picked the spot the night before, we just started walking around in there, I looked at a random entrance to a building at my right, and we went in. They were only the fourth door we knocked on! The mother was a little crazy but she was super nice. She had a dream about a Mormon missionary and promised herself that the next time she saw one she would buy them pizza. So she gave us money to buy pizza. But we can't accept money from people in our area. After telling her this (and after A LOT of explanation), she said she would order a pizza but we had to tell her that we can't eat wheat (Sister Kei has celiac, and Natasha gets really sick with gluten too). Fun times. So then she made her son go to the store and buy us fruit. It was so awkward. She wouldn't listen to our protests. But we're going to keep visiting them and send the elders to visit the sons.

We met a crazy man on the train on Saturday. Sister Kei was having a nice conversation with someone whenthis crazy man started yellling at her across from her but we couldn't understand him. He wanted us to go visit some religious gathering or something. We don't know. It scared away the person she was talking to, obviously. He wanted our card, which usually doens't turn out well, but he hasn't contacted us yet.

Brother and Sister Linda K. Burton (Relief Society General President) came to visit us this week! She and Sister Oscarson gave a member fireside on Saturday night but Brother And Sister Burton spoke just to us on Friday morning. He used to be the mission president of the Seoul West Mission (which was closed for a few years, and then re-opened last year as the Seoul South Mission). It was SO GOOD! They said some amazing things that our mission REALLY needed. This is the first time a female auxilliary member has spoken to missionaries. They recorded it for the experiment to see if they want to do it again. Answering questions was really scary because I don't know who's going to be watching it later! She said that in the council of deciding to lower the mission-age, one of the top selling factors was that that church would have more people who were familiar with counselling because missionaries do it all day every day as companionshiops, districts, zone, wards, and with mission presidents and ward leaders.

Here's one of the best parts. We got transfer calls on Friday night. They were moved because of the Burtons' visit. Sister Kei and I thought we were being split and we were super anxious, especially because I had reason to think that I would be training. Sister Kei had been preparing me for training all week. But that didn't happen. When we saw President Morrisse's name on our caller ID, we knew something was up. He told us that we will be staying together. And then he told us that we will both be Sister Training Leaders together (see the second paragraph of this letter for the details of what they do). He then quickly ended the call without saying much else. We both let out a little awkward laugh on the phone. Yes. I'm terrified. I'm only five months in and I'm going to be an STL. Sister Kei will still be my senior. We laid in bed in Friday night and couldn't fall asleep until past 11:30 because we kept repeating phrases like, "What's going on?" "What are we going to do?" "This is a joke." "How can I do this?" Everyone we told kept saying things like, "But Sister Stout hasn't trained yet. She hasn't been a Senior compaion yet." Yes, I know. I'm a baby. What am I going to do? I don't know. I'm scared, but I'm excited. I'm excited to be able to serve more. It will take up more of my time which means more time on the work and less time for anything else. But because we will be STLs together we're both a little bit less scared.

These are some of our adventures this week.

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