Monday, October 7, 2013

October 7, 2013

Thanks for the info on my name and for the recipes.  Thanks to G&G Stapley for the package.  It was way good and we still have some of the food.  They also included a note saying that they had sent a longer letter.  When was that? I haven't gotten that yet.  I haven't gotten anything from you all either.  I have been meaning to write letters for a few weeks now but never have the time.  I'll try to do that today.

My clothes are doing good.  My short sleeve shirts have this weird habit of vanishing for a couple of weeks and then showing up in the wash.  No joke.  One week I had 4 shirts and then did my laundry and hung up 6.  All have my name in them and everything.  I might be going crazy.  The bottoms are coming off my shoes though and I've already worn off the tops of them.  I don't think any of  them will last the whole mission.  Maybe the penny loafers if I find someone to fix them.  Apparently clothes are cheap here though.  Not sure why, nothing else is.  Except pans.  We found a good frying pan for 12 bucks.  I'm currently looking for a pyrex pan to carry with me the rest of the mission.

You asked about my living conditions.  When we were in the MTC we heard about all the tiny apartments that missionaries live in in Seoul.  They study and sleep in the same room and have a tiny bathroom.  We have a lot more space.  We have a bedroom, a kitchen, a study room, another room and a sunroom sort of thing.  And a bathroom.  We sleep on mattresses but that is unusual.  Most missionaries sleep on yos.  I'm not sure how to spell that.  They are just pads on the ground.  I tried them once on exchanges.  They're pretty uncomfortable if you want to sleep on your side, like I always do.  The kitchen is likewise fairly western.  We have an actual table with chairs.  Most Koreans have little short tables that they can fold up and put away.  They eat sitting on the ground.  Our stove is a gas stove and I like it a lot.  The oven is small and untrustworthy and doesn't have any temperature markings on the dial.  We have okay desks and some fold-up chairs that must have been taken from the church.  The sunroom has a cheap recliner that some missionaries got somehow... and somehow got it into the elevator and through the door. There is also an expensive looking leather armchair.  I can't understand how those were obtained.  That's our apartment.

We're going to watch conference next week at the normal times.  We might be able to watch in English since we have a American sister and a French sister who speaks fluent English.  
That French Sister is really interesting.  She speaks fluent French and English but went Mandarin speaking.  Then she married a Korean man and lives here.  She doesn't know much Korean and her husband doesn't know French.  They just speak to each other in English.  Even stranger, their kids speak Korean and French but not English. Crazy.

We have been working with less actives and members mostly this last week.  I know that I seem to talk a lot about us learning to help the members to do missionary work but they really are doing a great job on their own.  We got three unasked for referrals last week and just looking at past records they have always referred a lot.  We talked to one brother who regularly sends out large group texts to non-members and includes a spiritual thought.  Often out of the Book of Mormon or from modern prophets.  I feel like if we had a lot of members who were new to the area.  These members are interacting with the same people that they have for years but still find a few referrals to give to us.  The ward has been really focusing on missionary work.  They had a couple families move out and they have decided not to wait for people to move in.  They are going to baptize more people to replace those they lost.  Wow.

I know that we can have opportunities to share the Gospel if we are willing to act and create those opportunities.  Thanks for trying so hard.  If you study and pray for ways to do missionary work you will be able find those ways.
I love you,
Elder Stapley

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