Sometimes I look in the mirror in the morning and think, “Wow, I look like a missionary.” Then I realize that is perfectly ok because, oh wait, I am one! I’m not sure if it’s the nametag or the Mary Jane’s made for walkin’, it could be my lack of attention to my hair, or the often repeated skirts and cardigans…either way, when my mission is over, I’m leaving these clothes here and burning the ones I wear on the airplane and wearing nothing but fabulous dresses and high heels to church!
If you have ever seen a Korean home depicted in the media, then you know that they take all of their shoes off right inside the door. This is called “The shoe pit.” Well, yesterday I clambered around for my shoes and headed out the door. As we approached the elevator, I realized that my shoes didn’t even match! I immediately turned around because even though I’m a missionary and expected to be modest and humble in my dress…I didn’t think anyone would take me seriously with a brown and a black shoe on.
I have mentioned the bus system a few times, but let me tell you, it is a unique experience every time we board. Sometimes it’s like I am risking my life with some of the bus drivers! There is a traffic hierarchy that I haven’t quite gotten used to. Pedestrians always have the right away, even if the light is green and the cars are speeding ahead…It’s terrifying but the cars always magically stop and never honk. Then buses have the right of way. Then the few cars and many taxis fill in the gaps. A taxi ride is dirt cheap, but for two of us, the bus is still cheaper and you can transfer between buses without paying more. I’m convinced that JK Rowling got the idea for the Harry Potter Night Bus after visiting Korea. These buses can parallel park or squeeze into, what seem to me, the tiniest and most impossible of spaces! Every time I think we are going to break off someone’s side mirror or demolish that taxi…we pull through as if nothing was in our way. I always give a sigh of relief!
Last week we experienced horrible rain. As a missionary, I have given very little attention to how often it rains…except when it does and I’m caught in it. We were going to have a dinner appointment, but it was supposed to be an outdoor barbeque and so the family wanted to reschedule. Unfortunately, we had no time that week to reschedule…and let’s be honest, we had all been looking forward to it and were hungry in anticipation for that evening. Luckily, the rain let up and we continued on with our plans that evening. As we approached the house, I learned that it was a traditional Korean home, historical marker and all! We walked around to the back where a regal Korean gazebo awaited us with a warm grill and kimchee for all. It was a great adventure as we all cuddled up in blankets and ate our pork lettuce wraps and kimchee soup.
Last weekend, my companion and I participated in a talent show for one of the wards we serve! We were asked to do an educational skit, but, as we were preparing, everything seemed above us in prop availability and my language skills. Finally we settled on Little Red Riding Hood…except we weren’t sure how to make that “educational.” We decided that because of Little Red Riding Hood’s testimony of the gospel and knowledge that families can be together forever, she would forgive the wolf and take him to church where he met the sister missionaries and was baptized! It was a riot. I was the hunched over Korean grandmother and the sister missionary.
Enjoy Halloween! It’s my favorite holiday of the year!