Sunday, November 8, 2009

Country Roads

This week we headed for the hills! First, I went on splits with my dongee member Elder Stephens. We hitchhiked out west to a little town to visit some less active members. We were picked up initially on the freeway by a man who believed that the world was going to end in 2012 (seems like that's becoming a popular belief). He showed us some copied book that listed all the catastrophes that will happen in the next few years. Apparently his church is a mixture of Buddhist/Christian/end of the world beliefs. We had an interesting conversation.

The first member we hoped to visit wasn't home, so we hitchhiked down to another member who lived outside the little town. A local woman (who smelled of alcohol) picked us up, found out where we were going, questioned some people about where the address was (getting half of the local village involved) and then took us right to the house. When no one answered the door, she tried to open it and tried to open the was way funny! A little too helpful! lol Then she picked up her kids from school to introduce us (the kids were wayyy cute - Korean kids always are) and then drove us all the way back to Gyeongju (she refused to let us out of the car). And yes, she was driving was pretty scary.

The other member eventually called us the next day because we left our card on his door.

A few days later, I took my companion on his first excursion outside the city. We hitchhiked way up north to a little industrial town, then through some fields to the next town (through a folk village full of straw huts and stuff...way cool!), and then to the local government office. They showed us how to get to where we were going. We wandered through some crazy neighborhoods for a while and found a really nice log house of sorts with a huge yard, lots of puppies, boats and other toys in the yard. It reminded me of an American house in the country. No one was home. We met some senior ladies who seemed to know the area well, so we asked them about the member we were looking for. Though they spoke some CRAZY dialects and slurs, I managed to understand that they knew the girl, but she had moved. They were really nice.

We left there and went down through some beautiful mountains and hills to ANOTHER small town. We talked to an interesting fellow at the government office who told us how to get to the houses we were looking for, but since it was getting dark we decided to hitchhike home. We were picked up by a jeep with a French engineer and his Korean friend and rode back to Gyeongju together. Crazy times.....

Having crazy adventures in the beautiful countryside always makes me happy.

On Friday, we went out to a middle school (also out in the BEAUTIFUL mountains...the leaves are gorgeous) in a small town where our member is the principal. We met up with some US and Korean KATUSA soldiers from the base in Taegu and talked to the students in English as a service project. The soldiers were was fun to hang out with them for a little while. They were impressed by our Korean language skills (yeah right!) but the Korean KATUSA guys were fluent in both. One of the Americans had served in Iraq. (He's a member from Idaho).

On Saturday, we went out in the country to the home of an English class member and chopped some wood (!), something I've always wanted to do in Korea. It was way fun! We ate an awesome lunch with them and then went up to a Buddhist sanctuary and took pictures. (Again, the leaves are great!) Later that day, another English class member brought her daughter to introduce to us. She attends college in Seoul and wants to attend an American university. We told her about BYU and showed her a movie about Utah. I referred her to a girl member who will be going to BYU next month.

Yesterday at church a man (who has met with missionaries in the past and knows one of our members) randomly came to church. He wants to meet with us again. We had an AWESOME Gospel Principles class, taught by our wise member, about Faith in Jesus Christ. I love our Branch.

This week is the big SAT-style test for high school seniors in Korea. It's the most intense thing ever. They say in Korea that high school seniors are king. That's true. Everyone tries to help them and ease their worries around this time because this test is so important.

Also, November 11 is Peppero Day, which is kind of like Valentines Day where you give cookie things to people. Fun!

The Church is true! Love, Elder Bocchino

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