30 August 2014

The Last Letter

Hi everyone.  This is it. The last one.

I guess it made it happier that it was also my birthday this week. We had district meeting and then headed to a LA house that we’ve been working with a lot.  She bought me “cheese ping-soo”-----which is like the cheesecake-version of that korean-dessert i’ve raved about my whole mission.   She is only 18....and she had two of her friends over when we got there...which was a first and we were really excited that she was comfortable enough to have her friends over with us.  She even got to have a tiny missionary experience by explaining to her friend that mormons don’t drink and such..... (even though she does.....haha **she’s less-active and we’re working on it! hahah)

afterwards we did some proselyting and saw a few small miracles with that.  then we grabbed some dinner and later that night had birthday icecream at baskinrobins.  it was fine, but the real party will be peaches when i get home. hahaa.

We spent some weird time getting the area books all fixed up and records taken care of in preparation for my departure...sister mineer has only had like 41/2 weeks to learn the area. and she’s a pretty young missionary too. only 3transfers in!  but she’s getting an older korean so everything will be fine! We got a meet a new investigator we’ve trying to get ahold of for awhile. she is a methodist, but has lots of questions about our church. she is meeting with us for “english”  but she doesn’t speak a word and i think she actually just really likes me so she lets us come over. we’re going to start to work on her and her husband...i’m actually really sad i don’t get to meet them more. she was really worried about me leaving and didn’t want to get left with just sister mineer! hahah  (she’s like—i can’t just have your companion here over, she can’t speak korean!)....but a korean is coming into the area, so i think everything will be fine.

Friday we finally got to meet our recent convert and she fed us tons of junk food....and let us do a lesson. WE’ve just been trying really hard to get everyone to meet us so that sister mineer will know who they are and have a relationship with them so they can continue when i’m gone.

I also finally ate DOG!!!   We were headed back from the church and there was a place that sells it and we were hungry....so we ate. They eat “bo-shin-tang”  here....it’s just like a soup with stuff in it and the meat is dog. It was really good, but i probably wouldn’t eat it again. I have too many good memories with dogs....hahah

Saturday we got to go to stake conference and then for the sunday session the branch rented a big party bus and we all rode over together... the stake center is like 1hr away...and lots of koreans don’t have cars or can’t drive.  It was super fun and stake conference was a great last-sunday in korea. to be with all those saints in that big ol’ building—it was great.

So then today I got my “last days” intinerary in my email...the exact schedule for my last few days in the mission home and everything. On Wednesday morning we drop our companions off, then grab another sister that is going home....then we have the whole day as a pday.....and Guess What???  I’M MEETING MEEHO!!!!!!! president told me not to call her/she’s just a friend so its against the rules to meet?/   but i just did it anyways......i don’t think its going to be too distracting or anything at this point! hahaha   i called her and talked to her in korean at first for a second and then told her who i was and she was like “WHHHATT???””     “WAIT>>>DO THAT AGAIN>>>>”  hahah but then we just spoke in english cuz i’m still shy. Then thursday we have a temple trip with everyone going home and then i have departing interview with president and then there’s dinner and testimony meeting and we leave friday for the airport.   its super weird to type all that. it’s not real until i’m sitting on the plane i guess..

there really isn’t a good way to describe what it feels like to be here.  A year and half sure felt long sometimes, but now at the end, it feels like it was never that far away and that i haven’t been away too long after all. i’m not going to try and tell you what its been like to serve here and have this time. that would be futile through email....someday if we ever get a chance to sit down and talk, maybe i can portray a little tiny bit of what it's like. But really all i’ve been able to think about lately is how lucky i am.  I used to think that i was sacrificing to be here. that i was the martyr giving up friday nights and family reunions and graduations and parties and whatnot....but at the end of it all, it was really no sacrifice at all because of what i’ve gotten in return.  i’m so lucky to be a missionary in korea. i’m so lucky to have met who i’ve met, to have seen what i’ve seen and learned what i’ve learned.

There’s a quote i heard i thinks its by John Newton....he said “I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be, I am not what I hope to be in another world; but still I am not what I once used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am” -----there's still lots of improvement to be made and lots left to learn, but thanks to a gracious Father in Heaven, i’m not the person i once was.  I’m so glad He gave me the chance to change.

I’ll see ya all real soon!

Sister AimeeSioux Washburn


1.  birthday cheese ping-soo (wrong picture)

2. birthday dog.   sorry bruce....i dont’ think you were related.....

3. our party bus to stake conference

hahah just kidding...i attached the wrong picture.   thats one of our young women.......

here’s the real picture. hahah

17 August 2014

가로수길 (Boulevard)

Well hi everyone. I’m  super duper excited to see you all soon, but i’m still having some really good adventures here!!  we had temple day this week so i felt like everything went by really fast!

This week we got to out the members’ house again that is up in the mountains. Their granddaughter Hannah is staying with them for the summer—she’s 8 and so she’ll get baptized here in korea before she goes home—so we went out there at the request of the branch president to talk about baptism with her and just go through a little lesson with her. It was another perfect evening traveling out and up to their house and just having really, really good korean food and a great view and great company.

We also got to start teaching a new little 14yr old. Her aunt has been a less active member her whole life, but she started coming back to church and wants us to teach her niece Hyo Jiin. She is kinda young and doesn’t know anything about religion or anything. but her aunt really wants us to teach her, so we’re meeting her trying to slowly build a foundation for her. That’s a problem missionaries have in korean society....if an adult tells a kid to do something....whether or not they want do, they just do it and don’t ask questions and don’t really care....so we’re pretty sure she’s just meeting us because her aunt is pushing her to and the branch presidnet too, but if nothing else, we can be a good influence in her life.

On tuesday, some ladies from our english class took us to lunch for my birthday. It was really nice of them and one of them baked a little cake for me!  it’s super weird to find a korean that actually has an oven and can bake! she has also made us pizza before that was super good!

So then thursday we traveled up to seoul for our temple session. we go in the morning and the session is done by 12ish then we have the rest of the day as our pday.  Since we were already in seoul and we never get to hang out in seoul anymore...of course i took sister mineer back to gangnam!  haha  There’s a famous street called “가로수 길” (garosu gil). the name doesn’t really translate well, but it kinda means like a pretty tree lined street..... anyways. it’s like the super hip, fun fashionable area to hang out in gangnam—it’s just a long street that is really pretty and has stores and small designer shops and cafes all up and down both sides. everyone that goes there looks super good and everything is expensive and trendy and it's just super fun. it's a really good taste of what seoul young-single fashion and culture is like. So we ate lunch at a place me and sister chesnut always ate at....then just shopped a bit...looking at everything. just walking into some of those shops is so fun... then we found a cafe on the second story of one of the buildings and they had a little balcony that looks out over the street. it was kinda rainy and cool that day and just perfect, so we sat out there and ate expensive ice cream and it was just so so perfect.

Anyways.....(i love seoul too much) we came back to Icheon and got to finally have a sit down-lesson with the  trying-to-go-less-active-member we’ve been contacting and hunting down and everything the last few weeks. she has just been really busy, but i think we were ornery enough with her, she finally made time to meet us. ahaha  

i gave my little farewell words in church. it was pretty bad. i didn’t think i was doing it that day so i didn’t prepare anything and that day korean just did not happen....but it was short and no one remembers anyways so.... non faniente!  haha  (thats italian...for ‘doesn’t matter’ )

well, i’m really excited to see everyone. i tell ppl i’m leaving korea soon and they instantly say ‘oh you must be so excited!!’ well....no not exactly. i am excited be with my family again after a long time, but leaving the land where you’ve changed and labored and loved so much is not an easy thing. not at all....

i think i’ll email one more time next week and then i’ll see ya’ll at the airport in a bit~~

Sister Washburn


1. this is hannah...the one on the far left.

2. my bday lunch with “Daisy” —she’s always so nice to us—she’s the one that made cake.   (dis cake has a hole in it??!!)

3. at a lunch appointment we had with some members.  mom said i stopped sending pics of food....we actually get fed really well in icheon when we do get fed. this member in particular pretty much raised everything she fed us right in her front garden.... it was so good.... this is right before sister mineer did the splits for everyone in that dress.  its was great.

1. on the balcony overlooking the street

2. our ice-cream. it was $8.

3. this is the tank that hannah got baptized in. they ordered it for our building so that the branch wouldn’t have to travel all the way to the stake center for every baptism. ahahah its pretty much just a portable swimming pool.

I'm a Grandma...

So this week just flew by—i think its the combination of just being busy and the fact that NOW everyone is telling my i’m old and i’m dying soon.  i really don’t feel like its affected my missionary work at all though...it just feels like it always does. i guess people use “trunkyness”  as an excuse to quit early, but we’re still staying super busy and i just want to keep doing what i can until the end.  I hate to even write it, but i’ll only email 2 more times after this then i’m home. thats super weird and really soon. anyways.....still a lot to do between now and then.

This week we had Zone Conference.  The location was an hour and a half by bus and so we left tuesday night and stayed with the sisters in the area since we had to be there at 8:30 the next morning. it was super fun kinda having a sleepover with them and getting to tell some good stories and have some good laughs. They made us french toast for breakfast^^  

Zone Conference was great—it was all day long, but we got to learn about alot of great things. I gave my last testimony at the end—they always have dying missionaries give some thoughts at their last zone meeting. I talked about what Dad mentioned in a letter last week about the “cost of conversion.” Dad was applying it to our investigators, how they have great experiences and feel the spirit and things like that, but that the cost of real conversion to the gospel is much higher than that. Well i think most us missionaries are the same way. We grow up in great families and have some spiritual experiences here and there at girls camp or EFY or scout camp and we do what we should our whole lives, but real conversion demands more than that. Well, this mission, trying and working every single day for the last 18 months was the cost of MY conversion. It's really disappointing and difficult sometimes, but its worth every hard day because of what we gain in return.

After the conference, i got to go to Seoul on exchanges with Sister Chestnut!   it was so good to be her comp for one last day before i leave and have a good time in seoul.  We called Jeong Ji Yeon—the catholic lady we taught together in Gangnam for so long. We both wanted to see her again and it wouldn’t be right with anyone else but just us and her. So the exchange was perfect and she picked us up and took us to lunch. She was so happy to see us, she really does know that we’re different, she’s just too stubborn to change. She took us to a Japanese place that has separate little rooms where you step up into it and the door slides closed....just like in the movies!  we ate tons of sushi and had a really good time together.

Friday night we had a really great activity with the youth. the ward planned it, but then invited us so we could get closer to all the youth— it was a great time.

We went back out after that recent-convert less-active we’ve been worrying about. it was super stormy and rainy all sunday so we just hopped a bus and took the long ride because there’s nothing else effective to do when the weather is like that. So we got to her house and put a bunch of chocopies on her door with a note and then she ended up being home and she came out and talked to us. things seemed a little fishy....she said her phone was broken and thats why she hasn’t been answering or anything, but its definitely not broken, (there are so many phonestores in korean your phone can’t stay broken for more than like one day haha)  so we’re not sure whats up. but we had a good talk and everything else seems fine. we’ll just have to keep keepin after her.  haha i think it really surprised her that we showed up on her doorstep hahah.

anyways.....things are going well.  i’m really happy with what we’re doing here, but it will be good to see everyone after so long. its been such a grand adventure.

Sister Washburn

1. Jeong Ji Yeon and me at lunch.----she FINAALLY LET US TAKE A PICTURE WITH HER!!!!

2. heart attack—with chocopies.

3. the youth activity.....

4. Me and sister mineer always have everyone ask if we are sisters......and we are the 2 tallest sisters in the mission....so we tried to match a little bit for our last zone conference together. ppl got a kick out of it.....they all had to do double takes and try and figure out who was who for a second.....haha

10 August 2014

L.A. Riots

So last week for pday....we went with the elders to a little batting cage place near their house. We got there and were waiting for the elders and starting talking to the owner. Turns out he lived in LA for like 20 years and so he speaks good english and he knows all about the states. We had a really good chat with him and he even started asking about the book of mormon...he has known the church for a long time but no specifics. Anyways...the elders and us are all friends with him now and he really likes us. I think he was impressed with mine and sister mineer’s baseball skills. he has probably never seen a girl at the cages his entire life....  Ok well, the coolest part was we were talking about how he lived in the states with his family for so long and asked him if he wanted to go back. haha he said ‘no...its too dangerous...’  and then he told us how 2 shops that he owned got burned down during the LA riots!!  haha he was there for the whole thing, just hunkering down with his family for a few days while the city went crazy—i was so excited that he was actually there for all that history....!  i only get to read about that in books and stuff!    anyways...we’re going to go to the cages a lot...its super fun and we’re all determined now to get him baptized!

The rest of the week we did a lot of member practice lessons. The branch presidnent wants us to do one lesson a day with a member and most the members don’t live right in Icheon. So we usually spend quite a bit of time traveling to and from these member appointments each day. But its been a really good way for Sister Mineer to get acquainted with the members and the area right off the bat.     We got to go back to my favorite member house...its the one that is way up in the middle of nowhere in the mountains and its super pretty. We always ride a bus to a nearby terminal and then they have to come down from their house in their car and pick us up and take us 15 minutes back to their house. It’s kinda a hassle for them i think, but they’re always super nice about it and right now they have their 2 grandkids spending the summer with them—the grandkids live in the states and so they like having us around because we’re american....

We started helping another member, a 19 yr old, start studying for the big english test she has to take to get into byu-hawaii like she wants. we’re going to start doing short study sessions with her for english practice. we do a lot of that kind of thing here....just helpin the members with whatever they need help with since they asked us to do it. we’re happy to help, it’s just weird to me still that we do that kind of thing so much.

So i guess something fun for the week about korea.....they eat tomatoes like a fruit. we always hear growing up that tomatoes are really a fruit and we just can’t believe it, but here they really do use it as a fruit. they will put cherry tomatoes on cakes or other desserts...they always have them on fruit trays and stuff....and they love to take a couple of the big ones and throw them in the blender and just drink it like a smoothie. it was really weird at first...i didn’t like it last summer, but now i actually like the tomato juice. i still steer clear of them on desserts and stuff, thats just not right.  but we’ve probably had tomato smoothie juice given to us almost everyday this week.

k well there’s not a ton else going on. i’ll update you when there is!   I just have a few more weeks to get sister mineer all acquainted with the area before i’m out!  i’m leaving her this week and going to seoul on exchanges so we’ll see how she does.  everything is great! i’m enjoying to the end!

Sister Washburn

1. elder webber and sister mineer in the batting cages.

2. the family that lives up in the mountains and their grandkids

3. sister mineer bleached her hair with a $2 box of hair dye.   i guess it turned out ok for $2 . haha

03 August 2014


Hi everyone!

So we had a really good week. It’s weird that its only been a few days since Sister Gooch left me. You get so used to being with one comp and then you switch and everything changes and is weird again....you have to learn all their new habits, routine, talents, capabilites....  But it’s been super good. Me and Sister Mineer are just starting to settle in with each other. She is the first companion i’ve ever had that is taller than me!!!!  she maybe has like 2 inches max on me but its really weird. i’m so used to being taller than everyone else. It’s actually quite a nice feeling. We also get lots of attention. I’ve always gotten tons of attention on my mission, but having sister gooch offset that a little since she’s small and dark like koreans...but now there’s no missing us! I think the effect would be bigger if we were in a bigger town, because pretty much the whole town here already knows the mormon missionaries, but everyday we have grandmas tell us how tall and pretty we are and people always staring and saying hi to us. She’s a dancer, but likes sports a ton. we’re all going to some batting cages today to play a little baseball. i’m super excited!

So Sister Mineer got here and we just heading straight out again on visits and such. we kept really busy even though we didn’t teach one single investigator lesson togrther...... We went and did our rescue mission one night. The girl wasn’t home, but we put a bunch of stuff on her door with a message card and that at least got her to text me back. so were thought we’d be able to meet her again, but then she just said that she had broken her foot and couldn’t really get around and kept making excuses for why she doesn’t want to meet us right now. I’m not really sure what she’s thinking. she was so solid like a month ago and now she’s telling us she doesn’t even want to try and meet until she’s fully recovered—in like 3wks. so we’re not sure what’s going on there... we taught a bunch of LA lessons and did some practice member lessons....all of them required us to take some sort of crazy bus ride out into the middle of nowhere so i feel like we were just adventuring around on buses all week. If you can get someone to sit by you long enough to talk to them it can be one of the best way to talk with people and teach street lessons.

So mom asked about my korean.  I guess i could update on that.  So two weeks ago, the branch president came up to me like 2 mintes before sacrament started and asked if i would speak in sacrament that day.  yeah.....like 10minutes notice. it wouldn’t be that big a deal if it were spanish or english, but korean is korean, and its always hard no matter how long i’ve been here. so my first thought was to cop out and just bear a short, methodical testimony that we give all the time. or read a scripture that would take time and do something lame with that. but as the sacrament was going around and i had a less active member sitting there on my left, the thought came to teach about the sacrament, the symbols and why its important to take it each week.  so all off the cuff, i went up and taught about the bread and water and the importance of reverence and the opportunity that time is to think about the savior. i read the sacrament prayer again and said that we don’t think about those words close enough when they’re being repeated each week....so i wanted to read them again. i pointed out the covenants that are in there and that those should be the reason we all came to church that day—to renew those covenants and remind us what we promised God to do.   It definitely didn’t come out that smoothly or clearly in korean, but it was in korean and it was better than either of the two elders that spoke right after me (also off the cuff) . so i felt pretty good about it.    Also.....maybe a bigger accomplishment.....  last night were at dinner with a super fun couple. there were 4 eldrs and us two sisters and this couple...and the husband is just making small talk and putting some humor in here and there and i saw a perfect opportunity and made this great joke in korean and everyone was dying laughing....it was great----it was in true washburn fashion too...just kinda quick and subtle but with perfect timing and execution. haha dad would have been proud.    so thats my korean for you.   i know whats going on pretty much all the time unless its a super deep or weird topic (or if they’re old....no one can understand old people).....speaking is still kinda weird sometimes, but i can definitely get the job done these days.

Our branch moved this week to a new building. We were meeting on the 5th floor in this nasty little rented space that was too small and so dirty. But we finally moved and its super nice and clean and the atmosphere actually feels like a church!  it was so good to feel that change in spirit in the new building. ----also Choi So Weon finally came back to church!!!!  but she’s also being a little weird and doesn’t want to meet us until august.....i think everyone is just tired of me buggin them....

Anyways....things are fine here. We’re excited to hopefully start meeting some of these potentials that we have. Its not fun having no one to teach, but we were still able to really help a lot of people this week. Some of the little member practice lessons we do got some a few of the women to really open up and we heard some great stories and testimonies from them. Sometimes we do all we can and we still don’t have all the investigators we think we deserve or the baptisms we thinkwe earned, but we still successful just doing the work that is given us to do.   Time is short!  i love korea!

Sister Washburn

her dad played professional baseball for the colorado rockies.

1.me and sister gooch bought fannypacks and matching shirts. we didn’t get to wear them before we transferred, so we just wore them TO transfers! haha it was great.

2. me and two great elders that are leaving. i served with them both early on and its crazy that they’re leaving now!

20 July 2014

I Tried Listening Better

Hi everyone!----i’m just warning you, i won’t be able to follow last week’s letter at all.   It’s summer and everyone is busy. We’ve slowly been losing investigators the last few weeks and last night we sat down to plan and it just hit us that we don’t have ANY investigators right now.

Mom wanted me to tell about everyone we’re teaching and how its going but as of last night (when our last hope canceled) we don’t have anyone to teach.  I feel like i’ve sent a lot of family emails like this that didn’t have tons of details or miracles or ppl that we’re teaching, but thats just the way it is in Korea. Sometimes you’re blessed with 7-8 people to take of and then they slowly go away. We’re at zero right now, but there’s still a few potentials that we’re hoping to meet soon.     I know i should use this time to really sit back and listen to what the spirit directs us to do to find people. there was one day recently when i was just at my wit’s end about what to do and so i tried listening better. well this whole situation happened that i’m still trying to process and i went home and wrote a whole monologue about it—i’ll have to bring it next time and type it up for you. its a pretty good depiction of what finding and missionary work is like here in Korea.

We did get to meet ONE recent convert. We are always at her house for like 3hrs every tuesday night because she feels like she has to feed us, then makes a huge meal, then by the time we get around to the lesson its already 8pm. We’re trying to finish the after-baptism- lessons...(its pretty much up to the missionaries here because you can’t get any ward members to do it). but she is so tired of having us over that is always fun trying to convince her to let us come teach.

The other recent convert....the young one. We haven’t seen here in almost a month....she stopped coming to church because of work and now we’re having a hard time contacting her. I always wonder how sooooo many ppl here can be less active. how they can get lost so easily and i think we’re seeing it happen right before our eyes. But we’re not going to be the missionaries that let it come to that!  We’re going on a rescue mission tonight!! We’re just gonna catch the bus that goes to her house in the middle of nowhere and surprise her and try and find her.....

We’re still doing a lot of practice lessons with members. Sometimes it’s really hard because they all live in the most random remote places and there’s no way for us to get there unless they come pick us up or something. So a program that was supposed to be a quick 20min visit and a lesson sometimes turns into a 3hr evening out in the country with a lesson, a great meal, and an evening drive through the country. I’m not complaining, but i’m afraid the members will get tired of us quickly.

OH YEAH......  WE HAD TRANSFER CALLS....i didn’t even tell you they were coming because i thought me and sister gooch would be together until the end. SURPRISE.....sister gooch is leaving me and going to SANBON-----MY GREENIE AREA?!!!!   i’m super excited for her, Sanbon is such a good little area, i think she’ll have a great time there! and i’m getting Sister Mineer. she came to korea with sister gooch, so she’ll just be starting her 3rd transfer. another youngin’.....she’s also an inch taller than me and has super blonde hair, so \we will bring tons of attention.....

k well sorry there’s no news.....어쩔 수 앖다!  

See you next week.


1. this is the burping peeing grandma that owns a second hand store. she loves us no. we go over to grandma’s house all the time now to visit.

2. a cool little pagoda thing (not actually a pagoda, that’s Japanese..but i don’t know what to call it...)    its in the middle of a pretty pond in the middle of our town.

3. 2 ladies that we teach english to, but we’re done teaching them this week..... they took us to lunch.

15 July 2014

Temple Week

Hellooo.   So this week was quite the adventure. We started off with having president and sister over to our house on monday. Tuesday we got to go out to a little farm----a lady from one of our English classes has a little plot of land out in the middle of nowhere and she invited us out there to eat corn and other stuff. She has a little temporary trailer/house thing that we ate in-----she said her corn was famous but korean corn is just really weird. its really starchy and chewy....kinda hard and not sweet at all. Hhahah not like the corn i’m used to eating from work!  but i made a good go of it for her....she also fed us homegrown plums, PEANUTS, lettuce, blackberry jam, popcorn. it was quite the meal!  then she took us out and showed us around her little farm. that seems to be a thing in this area. older, retired koreans that have enough money will just buy some land and spend all day out there farming because they have nothing else to do. i suppose its a healthy pastime though.

We really didn’t meet any investigators this week, everyone is on vacation or too busy or whatever. But we got to do some member lessons that went well.

Wednesday We had district meeting until 2 then had to go immediately to catch a bus to go exchange with our sister training leaders....who happen to be Sister Chestnut...my DAUGHTER and sister fudge...my buddy. This time i was super excited because i got to go with Sister Fudge up to Songpa.... it's the mission headquarters and its right next door to Gangnam!   It was super nice to be back in Seoul again!

Thursday morning we got up (me and sister fudge) and traveled to the temple for our transferly temple session.  It was really good to see some good ol’ mission buddies again. Everyone kinda gathers outside the temple after the session and takes pics and talks and it was like 95 degrees out and super humid and i got sunburnt. haha but then me and sister gooch went with some other sisters and our Icheon elders all went back to Gangnam, had lunch, and i just showed them the main drag of Gangnam. It was soooo gooooood to be back. Gangnam will always be my home in Korea!  It was super hot, but there was still people crowding both sides of the street and same noise of the cars and buses moving by and the all the sights just the same! Sister Gooch really liked it—it was like showing my kid around the town i grew up in...and the Elders were amazed!  haha they’ve never seen so many people before!!!    We finally dragged ourselves back to Icheon at the end of a long day out in the sun but it was sooo good!

Friday our big Icheon ladies english class took us and the elders out to lunch because elder hodges might be transferring soon..... they took us to Ashelys...its like a korean/american buffet.. it was fun to hang out with all those ladies and get an expensive lunch!  -----so we actually teach a ton of english here in Icheon. We have the Icheon class on fridays for 2 hrs with a bunch of middle aged ladies.....then we have the Yeoju english class on tuesdays (Yeoju is a small neighboring town)  then we have Normal englsih class on wednesday nights that a few of the members come to.....its kinda crazy but they all love us!

So update with Choi So Weon....she's getting her work rescheduled sometime this month so she should be able come back to church next month.  so.....yep. she’s progressing slowly to say the least. haven’ seen her in almost a month and she’s not coming to church,....but her husband is a member and still coming strong every week, so whether she gets baptized in a month or a year, she’s not going anywhere!

It was a super fun week— a lot of activities that come from being a missionary but aren’t necessary actually hands-in-the-dirt missionary work. It's fun to have those weeks though.

Words of Mormon 1:7 And I do this for a wise purpose; for thus it whispereth me, according to the workings of the Spirit of the Lord which is in me. And now, I do not know all things; but the Lord knoweth all things which are to come; wherefore, he worketh in me to do according to his will.

So Jefferson takes off this week for a mission to Ecuador. Wish i could be there for the talks and the goodbyes and everything, but we’re both in the right place at the right time. Trav sent me Words of Mormon 1:7 at the very beginning of my mission (we’re now the only 2 ppl that have ever quoted from Words of Mormon hahaha)   But that verse has stuck with me this whole adventure and Jeff, if you take it with you too, it’ll carry you through your best two years.  We’re just humans....(or hobbits i guess, berber....) and we have no vision. Sometimes we can’t even see past tomorrow or next week. Sometimes we don’t know why we have to miss each other by 6 weeks, or why your passport is delayed or who your trainer is going to be or what your mission will be like. Sometimes we don’t know anything at all about what is to come,  but we DO know the Supreme Being and He DOES know all things. Our God truly knows all things and if we’re smart enough to admit that we don’t know it all, then He can work through us to accomplish His will. Jeff, just know that you’re being guided. He’s looking out for you when no one else is...when no one else in the world knows what your mission in Ecuador is like, He knows and He knows what is to come. You can have all the courage and confidence in the world because of that. We have the assurance of an Almighty being on our side and so it will all work out in the end.  You’re going to be the best Berber. We’ll miss you so much, but it’ll be the best 2 years you ever spend. I guess i’ll see you in two.   Vaya con Dios! ^^   (my spanish is getting so good)

Sister Washburn


1. we had a gangnam reunion...with a member from gangnam that showed up at the temple to see the elder that baptized him!

2. This is out at the little farm.  sister gooch and one of the other english class members.

3. Icheon District at the temple....

1. english class lunch at the buffett...

2. sunnnie at her farm

3. cats on a leash.

10 July 2014


Hi, everyone. Glad you had a good, safe time at bear lake.  i didn’t get to go swimming or anything with water, but me and sister gooch filled the week of the 4th with some pretty good stuff....

We threw a 4th of july party for our english class.....we had hotdogs and pasta salad and SMORES.....we hauled a little portable gas stove and found marshmallows. Wouldn’t ya know though, the koreans could hardly eat more than one because ‘they’re too sweet’!  haha. we expected that.... We took the leftovers home and me and sister gooch had a little fire in our apt on the floor and made smores with just us....and sang america songs.

Last night we went to our new members house to do a lesson....she made us the most delicious  food and we were so busy eating and enjoying we didn’t leave until 9:30! haha whoops, but the bus ride home was super fun at night trying to get home before 10:30 so we wouldn’t have to call president.

We also had president interviews this week. He came to our house this time...he went and checked all of the missionaries’ houses. Me and sister Gooch have been building a zoo on our walll. We learned how to make seals and flamingos and parrots....so we built them a habitat on the wall and fold paper animals whenever we’re having a looong comp study or anything....

Our investigator Choi So Weon hasn’t been able to meet in like 3weeks. she’s hoping that her work schedule will change here soon so that she can meet us again and start coming to church.  The branch president had us make a schedule to get all the members signed up to do practice lessons with us.... so we’re meeting at least one member a day to do a 20-30min practice lesson. It’s supposed to give us help with our korean and teaching skills and also strengthen the branch members. We’re see how it goes. it’ll be pretty stressful getting that many lessons ready each week, but it’ll be really good experience for both of us.

anyways...it was a good week and we’re just moving forward with everything here, having a good time!

Sister Washburn

06 July 2014

You Learn to Love

This week was a hot one!  its just getting geared up here to go into the monsoon season for the next month or so—korea doesn’t have a ton of clear hot days with direct sunlight. Most the hot days are just muggy and humid, the sky all hazy and thick. But this last week was really clean, clear heat. haha it’s nice.

We had a few good adventures out finding less active houses—there’s just the tiny little town of Icheon and then anywhere you go from there is just a mess of country roads winding in and out of the hills and apartment complexes thrown up here and there... its hard to find ppl unless you know where you’re going because the roads here and not organized at all. no straight lines or blocks or gridwork or anything...the just built the roads wherever they wanted out in the country side haha so its kinda fun to go exploring a little. We took a bus the elders told us to to get to this little family...when we got to our stop it wasn’t even far from town...so we made the visit and then walked back to town. ...thats what the second picture is..... we stopped on the way and ate some super good food. i’d been looking for a place that had this dish (and did it well) so that sister gooch could try it...and this place was super good!  way out in the middle of nowhere....

we didn’t get to meet Choi So Weon this week—she’s been in seoul visiting her son .....but she’s still doing fine! We’ve been working a lot with a recent convert. the elders taught her like the month before we got here then baptized her right as we got to the area. so now we’re doing the after baptism lessons with her. She is super awesome. definitely a miracle— She wants to go to BYU-Hawaii too, so we’re helping her with her english.

The branch had a big activity/music conference out at one of the members’ house. it’s a super fancy place just up in between two mountains. it’s like 30mins from town and we rode with the RS pres. the weather was perfect and everything was outside....we had super good food, and some really good musical numbers. You’re all going to bear lake without me, but that was my equivalent of a perfect, summer evening. it was super fun....

Well, not a ton of other exciting stuff....we’re staying fairly busy and having a good time. I’m just doing my best to soak up every minute because i’m starting to get glimpses of what its going to feel like when this is all gone. It makes me sad to even think about it..... a people and country that you learn to love so much and then they make you leave.....

anyways..have a great time at bear lake and eat lots of chocolate cake for me!!!


1)   This is Anh Boran----the recent convert we’ve been working with—she bought us bingsoo....the ice/icecream/fruit dessert they have here. its the best!  i haven’t had it since last summer and boy i’ve missed it :)

2) view from out of town...

3) the branch activity

29 June 2014


Trav told me last week that i was holding out on all the good details of Korea. And i think in answer to that we had a ton of crazy random funny things happen this week—just so i could tell trav about them.  most of them are small and not necessarily spiritual, but its our life here as missionaries.

First.... The rains are here and Koreans are terrified of the rain (they think it makes your hair fall out...i think i believe them). We were at the church and had to go to our lesson about 15min and it just started dumping rain out of the blue!  We had no umbrellas, but had to go! We just grabbed a piece of cardboard the size of a book and held it right on top of our heads and just went! hahah all the koreans were doing it too because the only part you REALLY have to keep dry is you scalp...   Our lesson went well even though we were soaked. Choi So Weon didn’t really even try to keep the word of wisdom this week because she’s been working so much she needs her coffee, but by sunday, she said she’d thought about it a lot and she’s really going to try this week. We’re praying for her!

Then on Sunday, we were walking around trying to talk to people (sundays are reallllly slow....)  and i see way down the street and there’s this ancient gramma trying to CRAWL across the street.  We got a little closer and saw that she was too old and frail to even walk on her own....so we went over and helped her across the street (haha my first time helpin an old lady across the street)....and plopped her down on the curb where she wanted....and we left. felt really good about helping here,  but the next day we came back to see if she was even still alive haha. and...... 1. she didn’t even remember us, 2. was only 80 but  3. had the health of a 114yr old because she was a smoker....4. just asked us for money to buy cigarettes-----5. apparently she crawled across the street everyday just to buy cigarettes......  there’s an Icheon gramma for you. Honestly though, there was plenty of people that saw us out there just trying to help...Sometimes i feel like thats all we can do. People are busy and distracted and they don’t want to talk about spiritual things, but we have hope that even something as silly as that will somehow make a difference.

The other gramma story was on pday. About the only thing exciting in Icheon is second-hand shopping. We were wandering around and found this wrecked little hole-in-the-wall place....wasn’t even sure if it was a store....but we peek in and see this gramma crawling out of the store towards us.. haha yikes. but she was friendly and we went in. She tried feeding us some of her food—we wisely declined based on the condition of the store—and spent like 30-40 mins there going through her stuff. We found some gems and the whole time she was just sitting on the floor commenting on everything and watching her preacher tv show—at one point she started rummaging around and we couldn’t figure out what she was doing but we look over just in time to see her finish taking a leak in a bucket and then stand up and wash it down the sink. We made sure to wash alll the clothes we had bought twice..... ha.   We did go back during the week just to talk with her about gospel stuff, just see where she stood with that. She’s too old and crazy and set in her ways, but she’s our new friend now. (maybe a little too friendly sometimes hahah)

The ward got a talking to from the branch pres about preparing people for the missionaries to teach. Our branch Pres is super solid, probably my favorite bishop. we work with him the least, but he’s the most awesome i’ve had. These little branches out here just have a hard time keeping it all together. people live really far away, we can’t find most of the member’s houses unless we’re driven there....its hard to find new people to teach because there’s not many people in the town....but we’re finally learning how to adjust.

Things are well, and we’re happy and having a great time together. Sister Gooch has adjusted super well and is so much fun!

PS— we DID eat all the watermelons as of this morning......it was a gooood week. :)


1.   a gramma that we met while we were wandering around in the woods.....

2. me and sister gooch eating food. we’re really good at that.

3. we went wandering down this little street between fields of rice and thats where we met the gramma from pic 1.....there was also wild raspberries growing on the side of the road that we stopped and had.....so good.

20 June 2014


Hi everyone!  Its crazy to think that its real summertime at home...i forget all the time because we only get the bad part of summer here. The dead heat in the middle of the day, but no perfect summer nights out in the backyard or anything—just moving quickly to appointments or catching buses around to different member houses. Monsoons will be here soon though and that will change our whole approach to missionary work. It kinda makes talking to people really hard since its just pouring rain the whole day, but i’m excited...i really love monsoon season.

We taught Choi So Weon the word of wisdom this week. She is ready to try giving up coffee, but she couldn’t understand about green tea. Green tea is really big here in Korea...everyone thinks its super healthy and clean and so she might take some convincing on that one....We’re still just waiting for her to be able to come back to church. The problem is that she’s working at a restaurant that her and her husband are going to buy...so if they’re the owners who knows if she’ll always have to work sundays?  We’re working through everything slowly with her though.

We also got to start meeting an 18yr old less active member. She is the daughter of the RS president and doesn’t like coming to church. she wants to practice english though because she’s looking to go to school in California. so we’re meeting her and can hopefully get her back out to church. She’s a member, but feels like an investigator. we’re excited about her.

We picked up an new english investigator too. she is friends with one of the elders investigators and so now we get to meet her and teach her english  and the gospel. her family owns a sushi shop so maybe we’ll get some good food sometime. Sushi is ssooo good here, but its expensive!


Watermelons are finally back for the summer and me and sister gooch have been wanting to buy one for a couple weeks now.  Well friday night, we finally just picked one up on our way home—we were super excited. it barely barely fit into our tiny half-sized fridge though.  So then the next day, we had a lesson with a recent convert. We taught her lesson and she fed us lunch,....then as we’re leaving, she hands us a bag with half a watermelon in it! hahah we had to readjust the fridge to get it to fit in..... Then at church on sunday, the RS pres says that she had been thinking about SENDING US A WATERMELON, but she was worried that it wouldn’t fit into our fridge! hahahah  if only she knew......    THEN>...after eating together with the ward after church... there was a leftover watermelon that didn’t get eaten and one of the ladies tried to send it home with us!!!! hahahah   we just left it at the church in the fridge and so now we’ve got watermelons all over the place just waiting for us to eat them.

pic1:  on a busride.  i’m starting to see now where they grow the rice to feed all these people.  this is like an irrigating river that runs through a valley outside our town.

pic2    these are the rice pats right next to it....

pic 3    some artwork that our recent convert did!

15 June 2014


Hi, everyone.

This week was slow again. We got to meet our golden lady Choi So Weon on Tuesday. She is doing really well, but Satan is working hard against her. Two weeks ago, she was really sick....said her body was all week and shaky and her eyes were just running water for hours....of course when she was trying to read the Book of Mormon and other material we’d given her. She said nothing like that had ever happened before. Then after 2yrs of being married, her and her husband JUST NOW decide to try buying into this little restaurant. So now she works like 12hrs a day for 6 days a week and her break is on Tuesdays...not Sundays... So she can’t come to church until july maybe. We’re working on her though. She’s so willing with everything we teach her and wants to take a baptismal date, but we can’t settle on because of her new work schedule.

Everything else has been the same....We tried hunting down some less actives this week. haha funny story—so we had to take a bus way out into the middle of nowhere for one of the visits and we got off on this tiny country road—i felt like ‘o brother where art thou’ or something trekking around out there....  so we make the visit and then head back to the bus stop which is just a covered bench on the side of the road. it has a digital screen that lists when the buses will be arriving...and we get there and there are no buses on the screen. we thought they came every half hour, but we wait 10 or so minutes and there's no sign of anything. we don’t know where we’re at or how to walk back, so i take off my shoes and lay down on my backpack, close my eyes and as soon as i get comfy sis gooch yells ‘bus!’  and jumps up to stop it out in the road...hahaha so i’m panicking that its going to leave us and just jump up and scoop up my bag and BOM and shoes all in a mess and run barefoot out to the bus..haha the driver and all the passengers though i was crazy scrambling through my stuff trying to get my bus card with no shoes and  everything a mess.. haha it was a fun ride.

Not a ton else going on. We had two sets of elders here last transfer and now they’re reducing us to just 3 elders. they will be a tri-panionship.

K sorry my letters from Icheon are kinda lame!  We’ll get to do something exciting someday!  

Sister Washburn

1. the first pic is korean countryside when we were making the LA visit....

2. a dead guy we passed in the road?  maybe just drunk.

3. my dog friend. we pass him everyday and he jumps over the wall to say hi.  hahah we’ve seen him jump over at a couple different people and scare the pants off of them. haha

02 June 2014

Elder Cook came to our mission!

So this week was a little slow. All the people we were teaching have been too busy to meet us. We’re trying to stay busy in our tiny town of Icheon, but sometimes it feels like there are just not enough people here!!

I guess the highlight was that Elder Cook from the 12 came and we had a joint mission conference with the Seoul and SeoulSouth Missions. It was really good to hear his stories about the mission. He and Elder Holland were mission companions! haha i had no idea!

So our ‘golden’ investigator Choi So Weon  got a new job and hasn’t been able to come to church the last few weeks. She’s also been really sick so we didn’t meet her all week. She said satan is making her sick so she can’t meet with us ahah. i think its true. We’ll meet her this week hopefully and our other people too.

Two of our english investigators took us to a really good traditional korea place out in the country and then drove us to this cool catholic cathedral up in the hills. She wanted to show us the church she went to and then we went to the little adjoining cafe and had drinks. haha it was interesting us two missionaries hanging out in a Catholic coffee shop....got some weird looks.

Sorry theres not much to tell this week. It just got really hot here and we had to start using the fan this week! Mostly its just really, really humid right now....


1.  our district on the hike we did last week....

2.  the scene where i dropped my bag in the river....this view is what i was so distracted by ^^

3. We ate Baskin Robbins with a recent convert and the elders.  This was a half gallon of ice cream.... SOOOO BIG!!!!!

01 June 2014

The Weekend Up in Songpa at the Mission Home

Hi everyone...this one is going to be a quick one!

We didn’t do a lot this week, but a ton happened just the same.... We spent the weekend up in Songpa at the mission home. I got to go on exchanges with Sister Chestnut and we had a really good time together!  Just like the good old days back in Gangnam : )

Then we had zone conference on Friday and went on this huge hike for it with training in between. It was super fun and a pretty good little hike.  Me and sister Gooch spent the night in the mission home because we had a training meeting the next day at headquarters for new missionaries and trainers. So it was a fun week, but not much happened in Icheon.

We are teaching a golden investigator though. I’ve heard of them before, but never had one. She’s the real deal!  She’s the wife of a member... her name is Choi So Weon—about 60 yrs old. And just wants to learn everything!

k well more on her next week!!

picture1:   we went to  a meat buffet. i haven’t been to one in like 7months!!!

picture2:  a poster with Cha Seung Weon.  the actor that i saw like 10 steps from my house in gangnam. he’s the one in the white shirt

picture3: we hiked to this fortress from the 1600s

1:  i made sister chestnut a crown

2. the hights point on the mountain....

3.hahha marriage in korea.....  hahahahaha