First of all, Auntie Chris's party looked and sounded so fun! And all of the pictures of the water looked so refreshing! I'm happy you all had fun! It is so hot here! You can't escape it! I have resorted to sticking my head in the freezer regularly just to cool off!! It smells terrible because of the food trash we keep there, but it is worth it! Have I told you about food trash? In Korea, you have to separate food waste from other trash, so we keep our food waste in a bag in the freezer, so it doesn't stink up the rest of the house.
As for other Korean culture information this week, I went to another funeral while I was on exchanges this week in 계산, where I learned a lot about Korean tradition at funerals. When you enter the funeral home, there is a big arrangement of flowers, wreaths and candles, with a picture of the deceased person in the forefront. You take a flower out of a jar off to the side, put it in with the arrangement, then bow on your hands and knees, placing your forehead on your hands, twice to the deceased person, then turn and bow once to the family, who stands off to the side. Then, you are required to eat a bunch of food that the family provides, no matter what it looks like, or smells like, you have to eat it! Interesting.
We got transfer callsevening! Elder DeMille will be leaving to 영등포 (Youngdeungpo), to "greenie break" an Elder Johnson. I will be staying in 부평 and training! I am sad to leave Elder DeMille, yet very excited to train as well. I think Elder DeMille and I progressed a lot together as a companionship; I have seen his focus on missionary work sharpen and am really impressed with the improvement in his Korean ability. Principally, I think I have learned how to be more charitble from Elder DeMille, something I value and am appreciative for.
In other news, it is Elder Berry's last week of missionary service, so we are going to a meat buffet with him today. I will miss him! He was a wonderful companion and I will always value his friendship. I don't know who I will call for help with Korean anymore, as he knew absolutely everything and explained it all so well!
I will mention one other experience I had this week. I saw the hand of God more visibly yesterday than I had for a while. This experience began in the MTC, where I met a sister preparing to leave for Japan. I'm not sure if you remember this, but upon her discovery of our assignment to the Korea Seoul South mission, she got excited and informed us she had a sister who served a mission, but had since become less active and was living in the Seoul South area. Her sister's name is Jennifer Bowman. I felt a strong impression at the time to write the name down in my journal. The sister in the MTC (I can't remember her name) desperately asked us to find her sister and invite her to come back to church.
Yesterday, I received a call from the office couple, informing me that there was a Jennifer Bowman in a 나누리 (Nanoori) hospital, who needed a priesthood blessing. I recognized the name immediately and promptly called the number. Jennifer answered, but quickly gave the phone to her mother, who told me that Jennifer had already gone through surgery and was recovering fine (the email that she sent requesting a blessing went to Elder Groessbeck's spam forlder for some reason, so he didn't see it until after her surgery).
Before we hung up however, I had the chance to tell the mother that I met her other daughter in the MTC many months ago, and that she'd told me about Jennifer, and the mother was thrilled and wanted to meet with us. Unfortunately for us, however, they live in 강남 (Gangnam) area, so we're not able to teach them. Apparently, when Elder Groessbeck saw the email, he quickly searched 나누리 hospital on the computer and for some reason, there happened to be another one in my area that popped up first, so he sent the information to me (even though the referral should have gone to the missionaries in her area).
I recognize the hand of God in that "seeming mistake" of giving me the information, and I am deeply humbled by the experience. I am still trying to figure out why I had this experience, however, as they are not in my area and I simply gave the information to the sisters in the 강남 area. Perhaps it was simply a spiritual witness for me in answer to my pleas to receive another witness of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, which I have been attempting recently (in response to a challenge from the zone leaders). Perhaps, I was simply supposed to recognize the name to stress to the sisters in 강남 the importance of finding her, or to provide her with an experience that might soften her heart. In don't know. Regardless, I am indeed grateful to be a part of it and hope the best for Jennifer Bowman.
Anyways, I think that is all for this week. Love you all and hope you have a great week!