Monday, May 28, 2012

Iksan South Korea Monday May 28, 2012

Another Great week here! I got to baptize our investigator! It was awesome! Very difficut to say in Korean but i did it. Ya it was great. He is super excited. His family really likes us so maybe we can teach them, and get them in the church too ya. 

So the professor here he has this theory that most things can be cured without medicine. So for tmj, its this like things you pur in your mouth 4 hours a day and it like makes your jaw correct itself! wow. Ya I want one. Ya and we taught one investigator he has been reading the Book of Moron for awhile. This was the first time I met with him. but ya we taught the Plan of Salvation and he was really into it. He wanted to keep learning  more and more. Awesome! He really loved how people get to hear the gospel after we die. I think because his father died and he missed him. It was great. He spoke great English so if he didnt understand my Korean, I would speak English haha. 

I went on splits  (splits are when the missionary companions - Elder Lee and Elder Rice - split off and go out with either members of the ward or other missionaries) 2 times this week.  Both times I learned a lot! One elder talks to everyone we see. It was great! He goes home soon, so it was great to learn from him. He helped me with things to say. He said something really awesome: "Everyone we talk to, we give the chance to hear the gospel.'" He said we need to give them every chance we can. And if they don't accept it, we give them a message card, so maybe they will see it someday and call us. So, it made me want to talk with everyone. It's sad there are so many more people that dont accept us than do. They dont understand. If only they could that this isn't just a church you go to once a week. They see it as some hobby some people have. Its not. This is our eternal lives! It's so easy to get caught up in life; it seems like this is it. But when we think of our life;  this is a blink in our existence. I have been thinking that a mission is like our life on earth. A mision is 2 years; very little amount compared to a lifetime, right? So our life on earth is our mission and it helps us in the after life. It decides what we will be after this life. Cool right? 

So ya, we ate with the bishop. Very good food. His wife cooks great Bulgogi!  I gotta learn Korean manners. I was trying to eat like mom taught me and i guess that wrong.  Here, you gotta eat like fast. Like that's how you say it tastes good. She thought I hated the food. We gave the bishop a tie and his wife flowers to thank him and show that we appreciate his hard work. 

So, Doran's car got smashed up. That's not good. He should have bought an American car. That doesn't happen to them haha,.  Dad you would go crazy here! There is granite everywhere! Statues, everything is granite, the sides of the street are granite not cement.  And, its funny when they pour cement, they just put a couple cones by it so everyone walks in it and rides their bike across it. So you see cement with footprints and tire marks in it everywhere. haha.

The dump trucks here so cool. There are 4 tires in the front all of them turn .

This week I had that Bulgogi. I really liked it. I also had more bi beem bop and kimchi bokem bop. You asked what bokem bop was its like rice and veggies, and seasonings like fried rice sorta.  Be beem  bop has rice and this red spicy sauce, then tons of veggies and you stir it around. Yall have to come here and i can show you all this someday haha.

We have this one person that comes to our English class that we want to make an investigator. He wants to hike with us, so maybe we can hike and share the gospel haha He's trapped jkjk ya. 

 Little kids are funny. They like saying hello and nice to meet you and that. and shaking hands. Its awesome.

Hey I couldn't find our apartment on the map  We live in Pu Son Dong  in the Hyundai Apartments. That may help. Korea cities are divided in dongs here. 

I almost am done with the Book of Mormon again. I finished 4th Nephi. Wow that part is sad. Amazing how they can go bad so quick. And. after Mormon and like 250,000 died in that battle wow. Its amazing. They just needed to repent and they would have been saved and they refused. How could they have done that? Its so easy. They had scriptures say the exact things, and it happened so many times. They repent and are saved. How can they forget so quickly. How can we forget so quickly? Why do we have to have something bad happen to turn to the Lord? Why do we forget our blessings so quick, and turn to sin so fast. People are weird, but they never change. And if we repent and turn to Heavenly Father we will be saved in life which is a huge battle. 

Also members are so important in missionary work! Oh my... everyone needs to be talking to people and giving the missionaries referrals. Its so important. The Lord needs every one He can in His army. Satan has so many on his side; a third of the host of heaven - they dont get tired or need to eat and they are always focused on their purpose. 56,000 missionaries that get homesick and  hungry and tired cannot fight on their own. Everyone needs to do missionary work....just a spiritual thought for the week.

Tomorrow is Zone Conference.  Yea! I get to learn more. It will be great. Everyone has to write 2 talks: one on the First Vision and the other on charity.  I got Charity finished  and i will try to do First Vision by memory haha if i get called.

Its hard to talk to people in the ward. I can't think of things to say. So i stand there quiet. It's annoying. I want to talk.  I have a hard time talking to people... like its a super struggle to talk to regular peole, but members it like super hard. What should I do. (any suggestions, especially from the former full time missionaries reading would be greatly appreciated!)

I love you all and hope you all are safe and well. Its stating to get warm here and we dont have a/c haha. Lots of fans, though. Love you all so much. Please take care of Jessica too .

To answer your questions:

 Elder Lee:  he always tells me how I can get better which is awesome. I hate i,t at first. Then I try what he says and learn so much! So thats my favorite thing about him. 

Favorite things i ate last week? Kimchi bokem bop.

We eat sugar frosted flakes of corn for breakfast: 2 boxes for 5500 won. That's a deal.  

What do we do on p-day?  Uh we're lame. I cleaned the bathroom. Didnt have money for fun stuff. haha Next week maybe some sport or ice skating i think.

Pictures attached:

Oh the one picture:  Koreans grow plants with the black plastic like dad does! Thought he would like seeing it. 
And the one is most of our ward haa.

That's all 

Love Elder Rice

Oh, it is Buddah's birthday today!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Snail Mail

Immediate family can talk to Nate via email, but the rest comes through "snail mail". Since he has limited time for that email, and he cannot print, I decided to send him a letter, with pics, of the doings of the past month, plus any progress we have made on the yard. I should have also sent a picture of the Phoenix Temple progress, but I neglected to. Since he left for his mission on February 22nd, that is my monthly date of snail mail. So, here is the pics I took, and some that dad took as well, to update the yard for him...
Our view of the eclipse, through Dee's welding glass.

Front yard approach. Uh oh...Nate saw that Dad has made absolutely NO progress on fixing up that panel truck (the one I call the diaper truck) And the boys, LAST YEAR, for Fathers' Day moved it from back to front. He DID take the painting class and will soon work on least, I hope so... I have banged my hip on that doggone transmission right by my wood cutting table in the garage more than once!

City of Phoenix does a quarterly bulk trash pickup. This is our pile. Dee trims, I drag out. The mesquites were pretty kind to me, and I think I almost wore out my green leather work gloves. Only the mesquite tree to the east poked me terribly. Our palm trees look much better and we did it, every evening, a tree at a time. Not too bad for a couple of geezers!-

Yep, Nate's truck. I DID make sure the registration is good thru 2014, though I did notice that it expires the end of March, 2014, and his expected mission release date is March 13, 2014. I really expect that, by next year, Dad and Brothers will join forces and get this thing to run  for longer than the end of the driveway. 

Back Yard...across the sand volleyball the garden area...Much improved. Our goal was to complete the rock walkways before he flew to Korea...and we did, with just a few days to spare. The tomato plants on the right are from LAST year...We had a Spring last year, so they just did super, and did so all through summer, fall and winter, and are still giving us the best tomatoes. Our new plants, on left, grew and grew...and then stopped. 100 degree temps in late March and April were the culprit, plus a bad soaker hose that flooded their nutrients, and Celebrity tomatoes (we get them still, but they are misshapen and very acid tasting...not my favorite). Those are about done and then that plot is history. Behind them is an heirloom tomato vine we planted in October and it lived and produced all Fall and Winter (winter was very mild!) and they are my favorite ones! They are greenish red with a dark red interior and they are smooth textured and very tasty.

Our watering system that we put in and four of the 12 basil plants we have. I trim the ones in this area down every Friday and fill our dehydator. Last year, we had crummy basil. Thankfully, not so this year!

Dee worked and worked, for two years, and now has the most gorgeous bell peppers! 

This is Grammy's Grapevine Gazebo, a dream I had when this part of our yard looked barren. I just wanted a gazebo so I could sit and have tea parties with my grandkiddos. The men in my life took it and ran with it. The metal framework was once Ethan and Doran's batting cage. Dee cut, with Ethan's saw, Morgan welded, Doran helped drill to put in the wires for the side vines to grow, Nate mixed cement, and dug, and drug, and planted. We all picked up river rock. I selected and placed. Dee cemented and cleaned. They decided I needed a table and seats. They laid block. Dee cut a granite tabletop and seats. Morgan ground the edges smooth. I mulched. They placed forms for the planter around the outside (still a work in progress. Our water in Phx is very expensive...our regular water bill is $250, so we have to be careful what we plant. Dee welded the wires above. I held the hammer that kept the wires tight..and got burned in between my toes with the welding swarf that fell. I train the grapevines, and the vines, once only along the walls, are now climbing on top.  Now, the gazebo is ready for tea parties. We eat dinner out there some evenings. This morning, I read my scriptures right there. Thanks to my wonderful hubby and sons for this treasure. I guess I need to make a neat sign for it now...

Dee planted green corn...I suppose he will be eating lots of green corn bread. 

A tomato from the crummy vines. 

Back yard from the volleyball court view. 

Playground. Morgan helped trim the neighbor's tree limbs that dropped tons of leaves in our sand, so Dee blew it and raked it and most of it stays clean now. 

Sweet Peas (going to seed), sunflowers and marigolds in the planter Nate and Morgan made for hut is in the that thing!!! The heat from the wall has gotten the marigolds, so they are going (what's left of them) next week. And the sunflowers are now starting to bloom...

Grapevine by the chicken pen...but out of "beak" reach

Under that blue tarp is Nate 2...the cement mixer. I wanted him to see we are taking good care of it. 

My flower bed. The marigolds and gazanias look even better now, and where the iris and daffodils are (drying up) I have planted a greek oregano and three basil plants that rooted in the kitchen window. 

The pool, outdoor kitchen, pizza oven, and pergola. 

Saguaros were almost completed blooming. The Arizona flower is the saguaro cactus blossom, and it truly is beautiful, though it's doggone tough to see them at the top of them cactus! The flowers usually turn to fruit, though this year I don't think the little birds will be very happy...not much fruit. 

We grew this guy. When Dee picked him, he was mostly green, with just orange that looked like a face, so I gave him eyes and a mouth. Now he is all orange. 

A couple of days harvest. 

Those yummy heirlooms.

A sunflower, taken yesterday. 

Yesterday's tomato harvest. That big one, though ugly, weighed 21 ounces. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

May 21, 2012 Iksan Korea

Hey Family,

Family, so this week has been a roller coaster. ya ugh Where to
start. Oh the city i am in is Iksan. You can drive ascoss it in 30 min
on a bus. We take a bus everywhere or walk only options. There are
about 300,000 people. Our ward has only about 20 active members. Super
small like ya the primary has 5 kids. So we bless and pass the
Sacrament here. Sadly the less active member side is much larger than
active, also a lot of people move our of here to bigger cities because
this is like a small city, I guess. There not like big facrtories or
anything. So ya It wasn't hard to bear testimony in front of 20 people.
The bishop is the ward mission leader and everything. He is really nice and
cool. He sometimes speaks English to me because he speaks Korean and I
just look confused. The people in the ward are very nice. They smile and
greet you. The little kids love the missionaries they say things. I
just laugh and say yes because I don't speak their language yet haha.

So we teach a professor at the college here. He asked me if i had TMJ
as soon as we walked in... Weird right? No.  He says they cure it there.
What? Awesome! We talked to him. I didn't know what to teach. He won't
keep commitments. So, I said faith is like the scientific method. We
have a hypothesis, or a simple belief. Then we test it. I said prayer
is the test. If you want to know something you gotta pray. And then the
result? You will get your answer and it becomes faith. He still
refused to pray , but I texted him a scripture about prayer and I hope
he does. 

We have an investigator getting baptized this Sunday. Yay!
This ward hasn't had a baptism in 1.5 years. He is awesome! He is
deacon age (12-14) too, so that's awesome. I don't feel like I did much. Like, all
the real work was done before I got here. I just tried to help teach
lesson 3 and 4. And i helped him with English. idk. I am excited,
though. He came to church yesterday and made some good friends, and the
primary teacher taught him the exact things he needed to hear so ya.

We are meeting a new investigator. She is interested in English  but
we teach English 40 min and Gospel 20 min, so I hope she starts to want to
learn more about the gospel. I am nervous because I don't know how
to teach English and I have to, all on my own, because my companion
doesn't speak much English. Super scary. Pray for me please.

I had a good week. I learned a lot, and messed up a lot. My companion
is always correcting me. It's difficult though like ya, but I need to
trust in the Lord because He sent me here because He knew I can do it
so i need to give it my all.

We had mission tour last Friday with Elder Clark of the Seventy.  Like
Elder Holland says, "...enough fire to toast your eyebrows a litle."
We got toasted. He isn't happy with the amount of members attending
church. He asked other missionaries how many attend and they said 50. He said that's
not a ward. (I'm glad he didnt ask us) and he said we need to raise our
baptisms from 10s to thousands. It really motivated me. After that, I made a
list of things I need to improve. It was very long, haha. Most
important, I need to forget myself. I have not focused very much but i
need to be ultra focused in order to do good here. I also need to
talk to everyone. It's hard but I'm trying. It was cool...I was smiling
and talking to everyone I saw and [well every man. Its like against
culture to talk to women on the street... (jessica probably likes that)]
but ya and more people would talk to us, and one food delivery driver
like pulled over on his scooter and talked to us, and I explained what
we do here. It was cool. And a man talked to us about what we were
doing. Yay its awesome. If we work hard the lord blesses us. 

Sister Furniss (mission president's wife)at the mission tour gave a great talk. She said 2 things that
really hit me.
1 "I'm a little pencil in the Lord's hands. Often He needs to sharpen me.
But, if I'm willing to let him, I can be a great tool in his hand."

2 (this is paraphrased)  We have to climb a steep hill. The Lord will
not do it for us because we need to climb in order to grow and be
strong.  But he is with us every step of the way.

These things I really liked. Also I just remembered a talk by Elder Holland.
In it he said a poem that i love:

  ' "Come to the edge," he said.
      "No we will fall."
   "Come to the edge," he said!
      No we will fall."
   "Come to the edge!!!" he said.
    They came to the edge, he pushed them,
        and they flew.'

We need to put all trust in the Lord and He can make us fly. I need to
come to the edge... I have been staying in my safe comfy zone, thinking
of how long I'm here and about home. I can't. I need to give it
everything and trust in the lord that if I do what he says, I can fly.

I'm going to try to be more focused this week . Like Elder Holland
says,  "Be the missioary your mother thinks you are." I haven't, but I
will work as hard as i can to be that.

I love you all. I will try to send more piccs next week. Please be safe.
You're all in my prayers. Remember the Lord loves ALL his children.
Also Elder Clark asked me how many of my friends I referred to the
missionaries, i sadly replied "none." That is something I regret not
doing, so please make sure you refer friends to the missionaries. They
need people to teach and member's friends already have a friend so they
can stay in the church so much better.

Love you all! 

Love Elder Rice,

Oh fun fact, Mcdonalds here delivers! Like you can sit at home and eat
cheeseburgers all day .

BTW I have had kimchi, its pretty good and i have had kimchi soup
which is also delicious. Kimchi isn't what I thought it would be. Its
like sour cabbage with lots of red pepper, yum haha.
I really like this food called, bok em bop. I'll make it for yall some
day, also be beem bop and kimchi bop very delicious.I think I
answered your questions. Your emails were awesome. I loved them.They
were exactly what I need to hear... thank you.
love you all love elder rice

Monday, May 14, 2012

From Iksan, South Korea

I have been neglectful in not posting letters from Elder Rice. However, I was very busy, weekly care packages and all. Now that the postage is rather hefty, and he instructed me to send nothing, I will post some of this comings and goings of a missionary. Plus, I will try to catch up on the ten weeks in the Missionary Training Center.

Monday, May 14, 2012

대전시 대전우체국 사서함 38호
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Korea Daejeon Mission
Daejeon P.O. Box 38
Daejeon, Korea 300600

This is our address. All our mail goes to the mission home.
Hey family.
Its your favorite son that lives in Korea. This week has been a lot. Sister Furniss said imagine a dumptruck dumping on you: that's what this feels like. I agree haha.  Everything is so different from America. People take motorcycles on the sidewalk. The sidewalks are bigger here and people pull  their trucks on the side of the road and sell stuff out of them,  usually vegetables.  Also people just set up shop on the sidewalk with a tarp over them to sell stuff. I dont understand most of what people say. If people say something to me, I usually smile at them and look at my companion.

The area I'm in is 익산 .  In English,  it's like "eek san ya" ( I will find out the English spelling in my next letter) and my companion is lee seoung yop  (I think that means Elder Lee). He is really nice but there is the language barrier ya know, but im learning. 

So ya we are teaching 6 people. I have met 3 of them they are all awesome. I gotta be more personable though. I am quiet because I dont know what to say. ugh thats not good. but ya.

The food here is good! They really love onions here. It's in everything. Food is cheap like cha pa gae tee is 3000 won like 3 dollars for enough for 2 people. Milk is expensive though 2000ml is 3500 won ya. 
Rice here tastes so much better that cannery rice! I like it. This lady in our ward called us on Saturday as we were trying to decide what to do because our appointment fell through. She gave us food and clothes and stuff.  She was really nice. The people here are nice like in the ward (I get to meet them this Sunday) which is exciting. I didn't meet them yesterdaybecause of  stake conference. There is a man in our ward that doesn't have a job. So he is always in the church building. He reads his scriptures there and cleans it all; he even sweeps the parking lot. He is really awesome.

One family we are teaching alreay have been taught all the lessons, but the father has a word of wisdom issue so we are going to try to help them. He is Korean his wife is Philipino so they speak English to us so thats nice haha.

A couple days ago we were talking to people at the bus station and a man came up to us and talked with my companion. Then all of a sudden we were walking to the church building, and we talked to him for an hour. After this we walked him back to the train station. My companion said that he prayed that morning for messengers from God to find him and he found us. ya it was  cool and my companion was able to help him a lot. ya well this whole place is so cool. I'm learning a lot. Its a big change haha but its a good change.

I hope all is well with you and your all safe. I love you all.

The pictures I hope I explained earlier on the phone: one is of the laundy room, one is our meal outside the apartment with Pak Nam Chung. One is my bed which is like a pad on the ground ya comfy right. and some pics of  the apartments and such ya pretty cool. And the truck: thats what all trucks here look like. The sides of the bed fold down and make it a flat bed. 

Well i love you all
Love Elder Rice

Nathan's first companion, Elder Lee, as pictured on the assignment board in the  mission home. I really had a hard time figuring out what his name Korean as you can see. Plus, the first week, I didn't even know what city he was in...could see it in Korean, could pronounce it, but no idea till we received the letter from President and Sister Furniss. 

Nathan's bed with the black sheets. There was a good reason: missionaries do laundry each week. One white load with shirts and undergarments, one dark load with socks...and sheets. 

Their apartment has it's own washing machine, but there are no dryers, just drying racks. 

After Sunday Stake Conference, the missionaries prepared lunch for this gentleman who wanted to know more about the church. They eat outside on the porch. 

Look at the Arizona boy using an umbrella! We usually keep ours in the front closet, and they are rarely touched. 

We are so glad Elder Rice loves the Korean food. This is Kim Bop.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Busy Saturday

Saturdays are busy, with hitting a few yard sales, and yard work. Though our tomato plants are suffering from early heat, they are still giving us a great bounty. Hence, I have to USE them. Today: roasted tomatoes for spaghetti sauce. In the pizza oven.

I never noticed before...I roast with Korean Salt!
Later, Cameo had planned a Movie Night, plus Dee, Ethan, Cam and Morgan, had caught TONS of striped bass the night before, so we had a fish fry as well. The movie, "Hop" was so cute...I had never heard of it. Though, I won't ever eat jelly beans again...didn't know they were Easter Bunny "droppings". ;P
Jessica also joined in our family movie night. This is such a nice room at Ethan and Cam's house to watch a movie in!

Mothers' Day

First Mothers' Day Gift from Kayty...a Missionary Mom locket. Would love to put pics of all my missionaries in there. We shall see. 
I had planned on waking up early on Mothers' Day...reading my scriptures, getting ready and going for an early choir practice, but things just didn't work out that way. I am up throughout the night, checking Kayty. She has been going low (low blood glucose = death for type 1 diabetic), and, literally, angels wake me up, I check her, she is ice cold, and I have to grab a can of Sprite I keep right by her bedroom and try to get it down her...immediately. If I catch her soon enough, I can keep her from seizures and she swallows. This morning, I talked to her, asking if she needed some glucose tablets...she said yes. Worry. I got her to eat 5, and then the seizures started. I needed for Dee...he holds her up, I sweetly talk to her, and she swallows...swallows...swallows the soda. I test her...28...32...40...She is able to come around and ingest on her own at about 60...All this...and the phone rings...5:18 AM! is a call from Sister Furniss. She is so sweet! She had a phone number for me to call...that afternoon...between 4pm and talk to Elder Rice for Mothers' Day! Try to be calm. Dad shoves glucose tablets in her mouth. Try to answer Sister Furniss' questions calmly and listen to what she was saying...saw Nathan on Sunday (their yesterday)...quiet (I told her that would change once she gets to know him)...Kayty was fine, we had the number to call...Dad went back to bed...and I was...UP!

Got dressed. Then, as I do every Mothers' Day, I put on my most prized possessions, my crown and jewels, the gifts my precious kids have made/purchased for me over the years. The crown, my missionary made for me, in kindergarten. I love the printing know, I think he wrote better THEN!

Love love love these...I also have two noodle necklaces, but they are showing signs of decomposition, so they stay in my cedar jewelry box. I am not a jewelry person, except for Mothers' Day. You can't see the bracelets...I think there were 5, and rings too. 

I checked the computer, before I left, and saw the pictures I had been watching for all week long...
My son, walking in Daejeon, South Korea (green striped tie...I think that was the one I picked out for him to take with him...)

Elder Dyer, Nate's MTC companion, gets a guitar in his hand. He and his sisters have a performing group, Dyer Highway. They all are very talented and have wonderful voices. 

Checking out who their new companion will be in Korea

Elder Rice and Elder Lee, a native Korean. This will 

This is the picture I had waited for. So nice to see Elder Rice and Elder Lee already becoming friends!

Church was great. Choir sounded awesome. I made my favorite salad for lunch. We sat around. I read. Then came time for our phone call. Skype. Thought it would be easy. Not so much. Just be grateful that South Koreans are patient with wrong phone numbers and strange Americans calling them Elder Rice. Finally, forty minutes, and two calls to the mission president, we heard Elder Rice. It was his Monday morning, Preparation Day...the day to do laundry, shop, etc. He sounded good. Loves the food. Loves the people. Doesn't understand a thing they are saying. That will change though.

Then, I got to talk to Allison and my precious grandkiddos. Too much fun! Got to hear Adam play the piano. Got to see Gracie's plate she painted for Mommy for her Mothers' Day gift. Got to see Joshy's water bottle.

Doran called and we talked. Ethan and Cam came by and brought flowers. Morgan came by earlier and wished me a Happy Mothers' Day.

Perfect. Day.

Being a Mother is, was and always will be, my dream job! It is all I wanted. Sometimes, now that my "baby" is a big kid, on another continent, I feel unnecessary (then I walk by Kayty's room, aka another episode of "Hoarders"), but then, I get a call, or a text. Routine just changes and good things fill the time. Thank you to my wonderful hubby, and superbly awesome children...for being the perfectly beautiful people you are!!!Love you to the Moon and Back (right Gracie?)