K-Sports Day 2013!

20 May

Good morning everyone!

Fun fact of the week: “Old Spice” stick deodorant plus Korean laundry detergent equals blue armpit stains on my white shirts!  Who knew?  This week has been an adventure finding out where those dang blue stains were coming from…. What an adventure.

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But wait!  There’s more!  Every year the Seoul Stake holds the most intense sports day you have ever seen. It is the Korean version of middle-aged LDS men with perfect families and good paying jobs getting out their aggression playing church basketball.   It’s the same thing for LDS Korean fathers except they let their aggression build for one full year and then release it all on this one day.  It was INSANE. There was so much pure testosterone put out on that soccer field! The entire stake travelled to this one huge soccer field with seats and everything and we spent all day playing soccer with the men in the ward and then playing different games with the kids and the sisters. 

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I love soccer.  It is a beautiful sport to watch.  But watching it and playing it are two totally different things. Our bishop asked me if I had ever played soccer.  I told him that I played a whole bunch up till the time I was about 11 and then I never played again. OBVIOUSLY something was lost in the translation because he told me that I would be playing center forward.  That put me in charge of scoring the goals.  Fun fact for everyone out there, I don’t know how to play soccer!  I gloriously led my team to a 4-0….defeat.   We got handled. It didn’t help that our ward is a bunch of middle aged men.  Apparently, the ward we were playing is full of 22 year-old young guns that have just finished their military service, and they are all like Ji Sung Park. (The one and only famous Korean soccer player.) 

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I hope that I am in the Seoul Stake next year for sports day so that I can help my team, instead of missing shots on goal.  I plan on getting my soccer skills back by next summer so I can lead my team to victory! 

Other than that things have been going well in Goyang 원당.  The hardest part of the work is getting people to meet a second time.  In Korea there’s a word called 부담. (Boodam).  It means “Burden” literally but it translates to something like really, really strong peer pressure.   If Korean people think that you are pressuring them too much, they will just agree to meet and give you their information and block your number and never talk to you again.  It’s hard to find a balance between being too passive, and then avoiding this fake “pressure” that we put on people. It’s very strange here. Having a Korean grandmother has been IMMENSELY helpful in getting people to trust me. It’s been a blessing that I have been able to serve in the land of my ancestors.

I love you all very much and I can’t wait to see you! Keep on Keepin on! ❤ Elder Mills 

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