Monday, March 26, 2012

Just in Case

For those of you who have been reading this blog and have wondered where I have gone, I'm home.

All can be caught up on at

Thank you ^^

Monday, February 13, 2012

Korea from a Distance

I am a long time in getting these up on Sister Westrup's blog.  I'm not sure what a lot of these pictures are.  Some are of her and her companion, Sister Bush.  Some are of the elders serving in their area.  A lot are of the area she is serving in, Suwon.  

Transfer 2, WEek 6, The End of Bustrup (Sister Bush and Sister Westrup)

Dear Family,
Sister Bush is leaving this week and I am so distraught about it. I kept having nightmares about getting new companions that didn't like me. Ok, that's an exaggeration. I only had one dream that I got a new companion that didn't like me. And it wasn't scary enough to really qualify as a nightmare. The AP called this morning with the name of my new companion. We were totally at the bath house when we got the call. In fact, we had just opened our lockers to put our clothes back on when the phone rang. I think the Elder would have been mortified if he knew where we were.... Oh well... SO my new companion's name is Sister Eggbert. I met her briefly at the Christmas party. She's really nice. The only thing I know about her is that she's from Idaho. Which is perfect because my very favorite people are from Idaho (Ali, Jette... etc...) so we should get along smashingly. She seems a little quiet. Which only worries me because Suwon is so CRAZY. Sister Bush said it's the craziest area she's ever served in. The weirdest stuff happens to us here. I think it might be because we're so close to Seoul. And the fact that crazy drunken old men just love her hair. (She has to keep it up most days for our safety).
A miracle happened yesterday. THE OLDER KOO SISTER CAME TO CHURCH! Your prayers worked! Now just keep praying they both come next week, and that they keep coming so they can get baptized. Sister Bush spoke because it was her last Sunday. :0( So the ward also fed us lunch. It was curry. And it was delicious. I think Katie (that's the English name we gave her because she loves Tom Cruise) really liked Sacrament meeting. The sisters in the ward put on a special musical number. She said she got goose bumps during the singing. But it wasn't goose bumps. It was totally the Spirit. The younger sister, Sunny, was sick. So she couldn't come to church. We think that their parents might be opposing the church a little bit. They still want us to meet with them because of the English. But we're not sure how they feeling about the religion aspect of it. But the sisters are still reading the Book of Mormon really well. We're going to have baptisms next transfer. I just know it. We just love those sisters sooo much. They're going to be great memebers of the church. Especially Sunny.
Our dinner appointments this week weren't too crazy.... Well, they kind of were. There's this YSA brother that likes to feed the missionaries. He went to BYU-H, and has perfect English. Kind of.  He took us and the Elders out last Monday night. And then proceeded to tell us all of his dating woes. Loudly too. It was hilarious. He kept on saying things like, "I really shouldn't say this, because sisters are here... But...." And then we had dinner with the fun couple (the wife wouldn't let the Elders do the dishes). Sister Ahn was tired. So she caved and let the Elders do the dishes, but then she laughed to us behind their back and said that she was just going to do them again later because she needed to heat up some hot water.... Poor Elders.
This last week, we had such an adventure trying to find the place where we're supposed to register. We ended up finding it after it was closed. And we still haven't registered. But we started door knocking at this place that seemed a little bit more run down... Even for Korea. There were a lot of old poeople that lived in this building. I knocked on this door. And when I offered this lady a pamphlet, she started crying and said she couldn't read because she grew up during the way and girls weren't allowed to read, but they were made prostitutes for the Japanese. And her husband and son died during the war. And so she's just all alone. And then we taught her a short lesson about how Heavenly Father loves her. And she said we were good people, but then she just started crying harder because she said we were her guests but she had nothing to offer us. It was really sad.
Another day, we met this man. We didn't catch his name, so we just call him Simon. We knocke on the door. And he was alone. He wanted us to come in. But we couldn't without a woman being there. So he just talked to us right in his living room while we stood outside. He LOVES everything American. And he asked some really good questions about why we should believe in Jesus Christ, and why we should believe in God. I think the answers to that are pretty simple. Belief in God gives us direction in life. A sense of purpose, an identity. Life without belief in God would be so dark I think. And God has given us so many things, it seems only natural that we would want to serve him by serving our fellow man and follow His commandments. Anywho, Simon only had five teeth. He was a retired professor. And we're sending the Elders back to follow up. We thought he might come to church. But he didn't....
Oh, I almost forgot to tell you about the meds and how they're working out. I think the steroids are helping. I mailed the MRI results to Dr. Jackson last week though. I'll just have to wait and see what he says. I tried hiking a little bit last P-day, and then running the next day in the morning. Probably not the best idea. But things don't hurt like they used to. The other stuff seems to be working too. I'll know next week. Did mom hear from Dr. Kopecky?
Good luck with surgery next week Mom!
Here are some pictures of our p-day adventure last week. We went hiking around the giant wall all around the city. There was a spot with an archery range. But we couldn't do it because our District Leader said it was techiniqually a fire arm.... boooo.
Oh, stuff I need if you can send it: Harrison's address. More mittens like the ones I got at Christmas (those saved my life mom thaaaaaaaank you soooo much!), and Uno. Koreans love to play it but it's hard to find here, and really expensive.

I Knew You Would Freak Out...

Dear Family,
I am fine! Don't worry about me. Last week, I went to the Seoul again. They found some fluid around my hip joint. The Korean doctor didn't seem to think that it was a problem at all. He told me to just take some anti-inflammatories. I told him that I already did. But he said to just try it and then come back in three weeks. But when I picked up my perscription, I found that the doctor did not in fact perscribe anti-inflammatories, but he perscribed me STEROIDS AND AN OPIATE. My companion was excited for me to take the opiate as I had told her many stories about my MTC experience on Peraset. But since it's a different opiate than peraset, I have a different reaction to it. I just fall asleep. Which was not a probalem before. So I don't take it very often. But really, I am so great! SO don't worry!
This last week we had a couple miracle lessons with the younger Koo sisters. There's a rule that whenever we teach someone who's under 16, we have to have an adult there. Last Tuesday, we could not find a female adult to help us teach at all. We were asking everyone. A few weeks ago, we met the stake president's daughter at a stake activity. She just got home from her mission in Pusan. She said that if we ever needed help teaching, we could ask her. So even though she lived an hour away, and isn't in the wards we serve in, we asked her to help. It turned out to perfect because the younger Koo sister (who is only 10) started asking questions about evolution! And our member, who is an amazing missionary, knew exactly what to say. It was so interesting. It seemed like we were going to find a member to help us teach, but we ended up finding the perfect member to teach with us.
On Saturay, Sunny called us and told us she could met that afternoon after all. There was no way we could find a member, so we asked if she could bring her older sister. But the oldest sister is still sick. Fortunately, the middle sister is visiting from China, and she came to the lesson. We didn't have a lesson planned because she had called us while we were at another appointment and we came straight to teach her from there. But we followed up on a committment we'd given her earlier in the week to share her testimony with her family. So she shared it with the middle sister right in front of us. That little girl is so ready to get baptized! She loves reading Book of Mormon stories. She told her sister that at first she thought it was weird, but since she keeps reading it, she knows it's true.
The only problem is we can't seem to get them to church. Last Sunday, they were visiting their Grandma's grave. But they promised they would come this next Sunday because it's Sister Bush's last. (I'm so sad to see her go. I don't know what I'm going to do without her. She's been such a good trainer and companion)
So, in conclusion, there is nothing to worry about here! I'm still working hard. I'm so happy you're having missionary opportunities as well. There is nothing like being part of the experience when a soul becomes closer to Jesus Christ. Keep up the good work!
웨스트럽 자매
Nothing much of consequence has happened since last Thursday. Friday was taken up with lessons and planning meeting. Saturday was more studying and proselyting. Saturday night we had dinner with one of our favorite investigators. She can't come to church right now because she works Sunday mornings at the hospital. We walked up to her door Saturday night and there were no lights on anywhere. Sister Bush knocked. But there was no answer. So she knocked again. Then she knocked a third time. Our investigator finally answered. She's been working so hard, I'm afraid she's worn a little thin. Her house is a little small, and whenever we come over, she usheres us into her bedroom/living room. And bundles us up right in her bed. This time was no exception. She was so tired though! I felt so bad. But it's offsensive if we ask them not to cook for us. Koreans are so generous. She started spreading out newspapers and cardboard on the floor. I had no idea what was going on. I turned to Sister Bush. "It's for the grease" she said. And then, our investigator brought in a little burner. Only, it seemed a little broken. It wouldn't turn on. When it finally did turn on, the flames were SO HIGH. Like a FOOT HIGH!!!!!! And then little spurts of gas would go through the burner and the flames would get even higher. In my mind, I was strategizing was to put out the fire if one should start. I honestly thought we were going to get burned. There we were huddled in this Korean woman's bed while she started to cook us duck meat on her bedroom floor. DUCK MEAT IS SSSSOOOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOD!  She also gave us tons of different types of Kim-chee and fried rice. And then she started telling us about this Alien movie from the 80's. I didn't know what was going on. But she was so animated and explaining things in such detail that it was terrifying Sister Bush. (sigh) another hilarious Korean dinner appointment. We learned that night (as this sister is very informative and tells us all the dietary benefits of the food she gives us) that duck meat is very healthy. It has good oils. You can tell because they don't harden in room tempature. What she neglected to tell us was that duck meat can make a person extermely.... gassy. A fact that Sister Bush and I very well learned that night..... But I think that is all I will reveal on that account.
Sunday was a little frustrating. The Koo sisters have promised so many times that they will come to church. Sometimes they have legitmate excuses. But they didn't this Sunday. They promised us they would come. They promised the member that we teach with that they would come. Sunday morning, we texted and called the older one every 15 minutes. She never answered. But every other day of the week, she always answers her phone. We see here every day of the week except for Mondays and Sundays. It's so strange. She tells us everyting, but we can't get her to tell us the real reason why she won't come to church. We know if she comes, the little sister will come to. She's come once herself already.

Sometimes when people use their agency, it's frustrating.
Today I read a really good talk from the April 2011 General Conference: Waiting on the Road to Damascus by President Uchtdorf. One thing he said that really stuck out to me was that we covenant to be sensitive to the needs of those around us, and then minister to those in need. I was a couple times in the MTC that I have a talent for sensing the moods and needs of those I care about. But it's been harder for me here because even though I sense the needs of the ward members, I'm not so good at the follow through because my Korean is so basic. But that is something that I'm not going to let hold me back any more! The Spirit will always make up for the Korean I like. So that's my challenge to you this week. Be sensitive to the needs of those around you and try to meet them. When I've done this in the past, I've been able to experiece some of the most beautiful moments of my life, trying to be an insturment in the hands of God.
That's all for this week!
But before I sign off, some pictures!
THere's a few of my district from a couple weeks ago. We were playing a really fun game called BANG! It's an American game. Trying to learn it is always really complicated. But once everyone figures out how to play it's really fun. We also have a ping pong table inside the church. It's LEGIT. (I do not play however as I am un coordinated. I tell the Elders it's because of my hip... not true). The other pictures of of TACO BELL in Seoul. We'll have some more of it on Thursday. And we also made a quick little stop to see the Seoul temple. It's in such a busy city, but it's some how so secluded and peaceful. I think that might be all the pictures....
Tell Russell and Crystelle good luck with the baby. I hope she's doing well.
웨스트럽 자매

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

To Seoul and back again.... and again. and again. and again.

Dear Family,
If this were the early 20th century and I were to send you a telegram, it would say this:
Luckily this isn't the early 20th century and I can send you emails instead of telegrams. It is really cold here. If you would like to send me knitted hats mom, I would be most appreciative. That package came at the perfect time. I needed that stuff this week.
This has probably been the most adventorous week of my mission thus far. I hope I can get all the good stories in.
Last week, it came to my attention that I was pronoucing the word missionary a little bit wrong. The word is sun-kyo-sa. I guess when I was saying it, the word sounded like sung-kyo-sa. Which, for lack a better term, means prostitute.... Now just think about how the meaning of this sentence changes if you switch out the word missionary for (cough cough) prostitute.
"Hi! We're missionaries! We are sharing a very happy message with people. Because we are foreign missionaries, we teach free English!"
No wonder I've had so many "no thank yous".
Last week, we went to a dinner appointment with the Elders. They had to meet us at a street corner to take us to the house. The door to the apartment was in an alley and it looked a little ... suspicious. It all turned out fine though. We met with the old RS president, her brother (our ward mission leader) and her husband. The food was very delicous as usual. I've come to expect nothing less from Korean meals. It was the couple that was my favorite part. People always ask what we studied before we came on our missions. I can never remember the word for art. Usually someone else pipes up for me. Sister Bush said art right as Elder Carter piped up. But instead of saying art, he said a word very close to art in Korean.... magic. I'm a wizard!!!!!!!!!! That made the couple and our ward mission leader laugh SOOOO hard. Later, Elder Carter tried to the dishes. But sister Ahn would not have it. Pandemonium erupted as Elder Carter took the dishes to the sink. Sister Ahn got up and started hitting Elder Carter with rubber gloves. She's about five feet. He's a little over six. The brother was just yelling at his sister to let Elder Carter do the dishes. Sister Bush and laughing our heads off. I don't think Elder Carter's companion really knew what was going on, but he was laughing too. The icing on the cake was the husband though. He was sitting in the corner slouched over. No one was paying any attention to him. Except for me. He looked over at me and then grabbed the rice syrup that was sitting on the table and started spooning mouthfuls into his mouth. It was so crazy! Dinner appointments are sooo funny here! Especially with the Elders.
The next day President called as said they were setting up a conference call with my surgeon in Provo to talk about my hip. It's actually been hurting quite a bit. But I'll be fine. Anywho, it was a huge conference call. President and Sister Furniss were on the line, as well as my surgeon Dr. Jackson, the area medical doctor in Japan, and a doctor from the Missionary Department in Salt Lake. It was cool to talk to so many people in so many different places at once.  They decided to send us up to the International hospital in Seoul.
Sister Bush and rushed to Seoul to see the doctor. But we got there a half an hour too late. :0( I was devastated. The only thing that could've soothed my troubled spirit would be to partake of the deliciousness known as Taco Bell. We started walking around to look for it when Sister Bush turned to me and said, "I don't think we're going to have Taco Bell today. I'm not going to drag your broken hip all over Seoul." I thought I was going to cry. No severance for my hip (the name of the hospital is severance. whenever a missionary goes to the hospital, we call it getting severance), and no taco bell! I didn't know what was more devasting. I begged Sister Bush to let us turn one more corner. And then, in the distance I saw it! I imagine my joy was akin to the Willie and Martin hand cart companies seeing the Salt Lake Valley for the first time. (Not to be sacreligious or anything)
I've never been so happy to eat a burrito in my life.
We had to go back this morning to see the doctor. He sent me to another Korean doctor that specializes in hips. For the record, Korean hospitals are NOTHING like Grey's Anatomy. They told me that I needed an MRI. Which means we head back up to Seoul tomorrow. And then again next week to see the results. Today, they drew a bunch of blood. And made me take x-ray's in all sorts of weird positions. The funniest part of that is when I changed. For some reason, I didn't understand the technician when he told me where the bottoms were to the little hospital outfit I had to put on. So, I just walked out in the little top and nay but my under garments, figuring that that was just the way they did things in Korea. It was only after the whole ordeal was finished that I realized there were shorts that went with the little outfit, but I hadn't see to put them on. How embarrassing.
Things may be a little rough going right now, but I don't know if I've ever been this happy in my life. President asked me during interviews last week what I do when I get frustrated. I told him that there's something I learned from Elder Hale's last conference talk "Waiting Upon the Lord". Elder Hales explains that trials are experinces we go through in which we can choose to follow the Savior or not. No matter what I go through right now. I have two choices: to either follow the Savior and do what Heavenly Father asks of me, or not. The doctors and President Furniss mentioned now and then about me going home if things don't work out with my hip. The only response I have to that is that they'll have to drag me out of here breathing my last dying breath before I give up on this. I love it too much here. There's too many people to love and share the message of the gospel with.
Speaking of, I need to get going! There's a lot to get done today.
Love you all much!
Westrup 자매

Transfer 2 Week 1: In which Sister Westrup discovers what it's like to be a red head for a day

I think the only down fall to Sister Bush and and being companions is that we prey on each other's spontaneous impulses. Well, I don't prey so much on Sister Bush's as she preys on mine. For example, this last week and turned to Sister Bush and said, "I think I should dye my hair."
"YES! Let's do it!!!!!"
"I've always wondered what I would like as a red head... What do you think?"
"Yes! Let's do it! I love dying hair."
So, in a brief lapse of judgement, I decided that it would be a good idea to dye my hair red. Not a crazy red. The box said the color was "Grape Wine". That should've tipped me off that it was a mistake. But, dye my hair we did. Sister Bush is indeed very skilled at dying hair, and did quite a fantastic job. What we didn't account for was the black color in my hair from this summer that is beginnging to grow out. After we were finished, I blowed dried my hair and turned to Sister Bush. "How does it look?" I asked. "I don't know sister... It's hard to say." WHAT HAD I DONE? I ran to the bathroom mirror. It actually didn't look too terribly awful (in the light of our apartment). And then, in another lapse of judgement, I pulled my hair over my eyes and bgan wishing that I had bangs again. To which Sister Bush replied, "I can cut some for you." As she cut them, I asked if she had ever cut hair before. "Once..... When I was 8. My sister's hair was never the same," she replied.
My bangs are actually fine. But the hair color was a problem. In the sun light, it was ok. But when we met the the elders at the church, I looked in the mirror and realized that in most light, there was a huge line in the middle of my bangs. Red hair on top. Black on the bottom. Everyone assured me that it didn't look that bad. But I knew the truth. I have eyes. I can see. I suppose that I should also mention that we have President interviews tomorrow..... That's right. I looked like a crazy pants (which isn't too unusual for me probably) but I knew I couldn't go to President interviews with half red hair.
So we dyed it back to black Saturday night. Just in time for church the next day. Oh the straights I get myself into....
And now for some miracles of the week!
We were door knocking in some apartments. Which isn't the most effective way to find new investigators, but it's the warmest, and the least intimidating. We knocked on this one door and Sister Bush began talking (in Korean of course), "Hi! We're missionaries serving in the area. We have a very happy message that we are sharing with all people about how we can live with our families for eternitiy. Do you have a few minutes so that we could introduce our message more?" The lady said yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So, we told here about our English/gospel program, and she agreed to meet with us the next day. When we went back, her sister was with her, and they said that we could start teaching both of their families. eaewhaoewh oehfp aoierhp aoihrpa hgihq9348 hgrhi g It's so exciting! I can't even type in English words!!!!!!
There's a girl about our age that's been coming to English class for a couple of weeks now. The Elders gave us our number, and when we tried to meet with her one on one, she wasn't interested. So, she's just been coming to English class. Last week, we had a really fun English class (mostly thanks to Sister Bush, she has the best games). I knew after class that I just had to ask her if she wanted to meet with us one on one. And when I asked her, she was totally excited and she really wanted to meet with us. New investigator!!!!!!!!!!!
And then, there is another girl we met on Saturday (my purple/red hair day). Her English name is Jane, and she was a referral from the Elders. She wants to practice English. So we talked with her a little bit and explained that we can meet one on one and teach English for 30 mins, and then gospel for 30 mins. She said she liked that and that she wants to meet with us!!!!!!! And she said her hobby is volunteer work, but she's frustrated because there aren't many volunteer opportunites in Suwon that she can find.... (insert sneaky Sister Westrup smile here) Oh boy! Have we got some volunteer opportunities for her!!!!!!!!
Things are so busy, we really don't have much time to proselyte. It's crazy! That never happens in Korea.
My hip is doing alright. I've actually been in touch with the area doctor about it. He's supposed to call us today to ask more about it. I might have to get some tests done. But that will be ok because I'll most likely go to Seoul. Which would not only be really fun, but it would mean that Sister Bush and I could stop at Taco Bell. (I don't think that last part needs any explanation on why that would feel my soul with such joy)
We're having some trouble getting our investigators to church. The older lady just got a job working nights. She doesn't get off work until just before church starts. The Koo sisters have family coming in from China this month. It's rough. I'm praying for some miracles this next week.
Oh! That reminds me! Next week is the lunar new year. Everything is going to be close so we won't be able to email until next Wednesday at the earliest. I don't think we have any special plans. Yet. We're hoping for a dinner appointmet... We'll see.
Only a few pictures this week. There's giant gates all over Suwon! We walk by them every day. This one is on the way to emailing. The dragons are painted on the roof, and there's one picture of me, and one of Sister Bush.
That's all for this week! The gospel is true! Don't forget to share it with everyone around you!
웨스트럽 자매