Monday, April 27, 2009

Cherry Blossoms Everywhere!

It was absolutely gorgeous here last week. We went on a cherry blossom hike with hundreds of other people through the hills close to my house looking at all the trees. I imagine it is the same where many of you live right now too. Beautiful beautiful.

The assembly came and went last weekend. Twelve foreign men were baptized, so that was nice to see. Here are a couple numbers for you from the assembly: Apparently there are only about 200 English speaking foreigners in the Truth in Korea. Actually that number seemed a little lower than some of us were thinking it would be. Many teachers and other expats (from North America, the Pacifc Area, Europe, and South East Asia) that I know that live here, live here for many years on end, and apparently there are about 20,000 in the country, so that means Truth-wise there is a lot of room for growth. However, there are three long term foreigners that weren't able to attend the assembly this weekend that I know of, so maybe the number could be a few higher. Also, what I learned from reading the Korean Herald newspaper this morning is that apparently there are TWICE as many Thais living here than English speakers - approximately 45,000. They are pretty much the slaves of the factories. The newspaper was really good at outlining their working conditions. Now that really appears to be where a need is great.
The special talk was yesterday. It was really nice for me because my co-worker Gina came along. After that meeting we had the ministry school. There is a brother that conducts it and his English is REALLY bad. Anyways, before the school commenced I explained to Gina the purpose of it and she listened attentively. However, after it was finished she leaned over and said, "the brother conducting that school needs to join it himself." She wasn't being mean, but she said later that she couldn't help but notice that he kept calling the sisters "him" and "he", and mispronouncing as he was giving counsel on pronunciation. Anyways, I just explained that we actually truly do really wish we had native speaker brothers that could give counsel and conduct the school, as it would be so much more understandable and beneficial for the students but we just have to work with what we have for the moment. However, there is a huge need for native speaker brothers to take the lead in the congregation(s), so anyone that can come this way would be MUCH appreciated...any of you adventurous ones reading this. :-)
Well, I am having my first dinner party on Friday night. This has been something I have missed terribly living in such a small apartment, so now that I have a little room I thought I wouldn't waste any time. Going to make a good ol Canadian meal - spaghetti and meatballs with garlic bread. The only spaghetti eaten in Korea has sugar in the sauce and sugar sprinkled on the garlic bread...almost makes my lips curl and my eyes squeeze everytime I eat it...but that is how they think Westerners make it, so this will be a bit of an eye-opener. Anyways, I can hardly wait!..Harvey and Pearl are getting lots of exercise running around the new apartment, and are thoroughly enjoying the extra leg space. Pearl is completely healed up now and is hopping up on the bed. Oh yes, I forgot to mention, I thought since I have a bedroom now it would be nice to sleep on a bed so I ordered one online. So now my place is looking more Western and less Korean. I told my boss that I was ordering furniture for my place and he said to me, "why? do you have a hidden husband?" You see in Korea, a single person lives at home with their parents (kind of a death til we part pact...or marriage). I explained that in the West single people live on their own and are expected to maintain nice homes, with furniture and food in them. Anyways, I have arranged a dinner for the administration also so they can see how a Westerner lives. Okay, must run, class starts soon. Love, d :-) Have a wonderful week!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Was anyone else surprized by the CNN homepage this morning?

Morning my time that is. I always kind of wondered how religion might be squashed according to Bible prophecy when I read and watched news clips of how the previous president was having prayers before cabinet meetings, etc....but now it appears something else may be on the horizon. It's going to be very interesting to watch...

We have the circuit assembly this weekend. I will share any little highlights with you all when it is over. Country-wide I am guesstimating there will be 300 foreigners present.

Talk to you later,
Love, D :-)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

118 at our Memorial

There were 38 foreigners present. It was at 9pm so I was surprized that we had a good group. It worked out really nice. Brenda found a taxi driver that I made a deal with to take me to the Kingdom Hall and then pick me up again at 10pm and take me home. It's a really long drive but it was worth it. Anyways, I look forward to hearing from all you how your Memorials went also.

Lots of love,
d :-)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

People Amaze Me...

We didn't know the missile went off yesterday until we got home from service and the meeting. I thought is was just really cool that everything was nice and calm and there was no need to 'hole up' in our apartments. I would have thought that all people would feel the same. But no, this morning I wake up to the news of people in Seoul rioting and burning Kim Jon ils face! Good grief! Common sense dictates one would feel happy to be alive, with no missiles whizzing by, but instead they find the time and effort to run around trying to provoke a fight?? I guess we won't see true common sense happen until the New Order arrives, but in the meanwhile often peoples' thought process amazes me, as I am sure it does you too.

We had a good meeting day yesterday, and I was able to speak with six foreigners and give them invitations in Suwon Station on the way home, so I was extremely happy about that. The last one made me smile though. He was a man in his forties from the US who was the VP of sales and marketing for his company before the economy dived and he decided to come here. He is going to have a HUGE adjustment. He was so upset that he was living in a small apartment and not making the wage he thought he was worth back home. I just kept telling him that he was going to have to change his perspective on life and stop thinking about things in terms of money anymore. I think I was able to help him realize his "plight" was not as bad as he thought it was though. First he showed me his palacial home back in Georgia and pictures of his massive bedroom, and said he couldn't believe he was living in an 18x16 apt now - then I told him the living area of mine was 10 x 10. His eyes bugged. Then he told me they had given him a single bed to sleep on and how he had always slept on a King Size - then I told him I slept on the floor. Anyways, the next time I run into him, I think my best advice for him would be to delete those pictures off his phone and just start living life for what it is today.

Okay, must run to get ready for work. Love to everyone, d :-)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Dancing Politician

I had to show all of you this. Politics is sooo different here than the West. Wednesday is election day so here is a politician campaigning. They have stopped their rig in an intersection and are dancing to entertain people. He went on to do high kicks and the works.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Waiting to See What Happens....


Well from what we all understand here, Saturday is the day North Korea is launching the missile. It has been such a build up over the last month that it really should be interesting to see what happens. I generally do not under estimate crazy people so I fully expect something to go up...hopefully though it just won't come down too soon...or at least wait until it is over the ocean somewhere. From what I have heard most of foreigners have made preparations of one sort or another. I was telling my mom that the biggest goof I made was buying a second water jug that was too big to move. I set it in the middle of the bathroom and put a hose in it to fill…it didn’t occur to me that it would be too heavy to move after it was filled. Anyways, it is a nice blue colour so I will just leave it there for the time being. If all goes quiet and smooth on Saturday then I can just tip it over.

Classes are all going great. I am really enjoying teaching my English Focus class. They made an official class for about 30 boys that really want to concentrate on improving their English. I modeled it after the Theocratic Ministry School. We just study one chapter of the Education book per week, then a select amount of boys give speeches to work on the point. The only thing we do different is that even though I give the main counsel and fill out their slip, each person in the audience also has to give a constructive comment about the person’s delivery. Just makes the boys all feel involved. Anyway, the Education book is really working fabulous in the class setting, and we are having great lively discussions using it.

So, my school got me a new apartment! Yay! It is 350sqft, which is double the size I have been living in up til now. It is on the ground floor with a door that is street level. Koreans don’t like this type of apartment, but works out wonderful for foreigners. Now I don’t have to walk up three flights of stairs and when I take my little cart to go grocery shopping I can just drag it out the door, so I am truly thrilled about this. I thought that since it is a door on a sidewalk that now I will make a photocopy of a meeting invitation and stick in on my door because there are literally hundreds of people that pass it daily. I am on a school route with kids and parents that walk by, so hopefully someone will stop and read it. My door can be like my own personal poster board for literature. J

Well, this weekend, I am going up to the old city. I found a little shop that has two sizes of frames in it. No other supplies, but I thought this is better than nothing, and I will be able to frame some of my artwork. One thing about Korea is that it turns a person into a “McGuyver”…nothing that you really need exists so you just keep hunting for something that you can make into what you need. ;-/ HOME DEPOT or LOWES would fail miserably here because Koreans wouldn’t know what to do with supplies that make things. They are used to buying EVERYTHING pre-made. This can be sooo aggravating sometimes, but it also forces a person to be more creative and inventive…I’ll have to use some hidden brain cell power for some projects I have in mind…just well hidden. :-)

Anyways, everyone have a wonderful week. Love ya all, d

*ps. I have attached a picture of some school uniforms. Kids in the US and Canada don't know how good they have it in this regard. I have seen all types of uniforms here, but these ones certainly are a couple of the funniest.