Today at church, in the Songdo Branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints here in South Korea, our eight year old daughter was asked to be the youth speaker for Sacrament Meeting. It was a very memorable Sunday, as the day of our daughter’s first sacrament meeting talk! When you attend a service where your family makes up more than half the branch, you are sure to be called on to do a lot of things. And missing church, even though you partied in Seoul past 1am the night before, totally out of the question.
Day 39 South Korea Family Travel Journal
Daughter’s First Sacrament Meeting Talk at Church
교회에서 딸의 첫 성찬식 이야기
In order to be at church on time we have to leave no less than an hour before church starts. The first service begins at 12:10pm, so we have to be out the door by 11am. This morning, our children were still sleeping until 10am! We had to rouse them out of bed! All of them, except for Pie. She was so excited!
Yesterday, we traveled to Seoul to dance on the Gangnam stage and search for Chi-Maek (famous Korean spicy fried chicken). After taking the long subway trip home, we didn’t step inside our apartment until five hours past their normal bedtime.
We’d been working on Pie’s talk with her, but hadn’t written it down yet; we are old school here in South Korea. She was already up and writing down her thoughts. We hurriedly got everyone else showered and fed, but we were still about 15 minutes late.
She chose to write her talk about a story she read in The Friend magazine about a little girl who wanted to help her neighbor who was going to have surgery on her eyes so she could see better. In the story, the girl’s name was Ophelia. She had it spelled out: Oh-Fay-Lee-a because she was worried she wouldn’t remember how to say it.
We finished her talk on the subway ride to the chapel and during Sunday School, in an empty room, sweating with no air conditioning, I wrote it down for her again with the changes we made (the air conditioning is manually turned on in occupied rooms). We just added a few clarifying details, and she wanted me to write down her testimony as she said it to me.
Then, concerned she’d forget to end her talk, “In the name of Jesus Christ Amen” she asked me to write that down for her too.
Pie is actually the one who approached the Branch President about speaking. Last week when Gabriel spoke there was no youth speaker because there are only three youth, and because all three youth were gone. She said, “I’m a youth! I can do it!” The Branch President took her up on it.
As I was dictating her talk, Molasses played in the corner with a few toys we brought for her. Meanwhile, Gabriel was back at the Subway station trying to explain to the Subway attendants that he left his backpack on the Subway. His backpack that had our hard drives full of photos and school assignments for the past four years, Pie’s sketchbook she got for her baptism, car keys for our van at home, cash money and a few other odds and ends. So basically, really important things.
They told him the train would have to go to the end of the line, and they’d have someone check there.
Today at church there were 14 in attendance. Aside from the 9 people that make up the congregation including our family, the Branch President and the missionaries, there is another young family in the ward with one daughter who is almost two years old. The wife is Korean, and the husband is from the states and they met at BYU. His mother and father were visiting from Las Vegas.
Pie went on stage and the Branch President offered to let her sit on the pew next to him so neither of them would have to sit alone. She was very reverent and took her sketchbook with a plastic bag of markers with her as well.
When it was her turn she took The Friend magazine and her talk and waited patiently while the Branch President positioned the microphone. She remembered to go slow, though she told me afterwards she wished she had gone even slower. She remembered to look up at the congregation, and she even remembered parts of the talk that she didn’t have to read. She never stuttered or appeared nervous, and did a superb job.
I am so proud of her! That’s probably fairly obvious considering every last detail I’ve included, but I want to remember every moment of our daughter’s first sacrament meeting talk! From her offering to speak, to her preparing the talk and delivering it so well.
After our daughter’s first sacrament meeting talk the Branch President spoke, and then we had a baby blessing! It was a bit unorthodox, but the other couple we mentioned in the ward had not yet blessed their daughter because they were waiting for his parents to be able to come visit and be witness to the occasion. It was so special! Because she was a little bit older, her mother held her in a chair as her Father gave the blessing. He invited all the men in the ward to come be a part of it! It was such a wonderful experience to be a part of!
After church we immediately went back to the Subway station to see if the backpack was returned. Only in Korea. Not only was it found on the train at the end of the line with everything in it, but someone brought it all the way back to the Incheon City Hall Subway station! I love this country!
On the walk home from the subway station I legit saw a kid about 2 years old, sitting in a stroller, dressed head to toe exactly like someone who works at Hot Dog on a Stick! The only time I really needed my phone handy, and I missed the opportunity!
Today we also decided to swap bedrooms, because the kids needed a bigger room to play in during the morning hours when the baby is still sleeping. If you come to the Global Campus to work, we recommend just making the apartment your own. We waited far too long to make this change, and regret doing so.
Then we made Fried Rice for dinner because the only thing we make here is fried rice or stir fry. I miss ingredients. Pie started making a list for Halloween, and clay Halloween decorations she wants to take back home, because she keeps reminding us it’s only four months away and it’s her favorite holiday! Bless her.
Finally, we made a list of the things we want to do here in South Korea this week. We have officially reached the halfway point of our time here and we don’t want to waste any minute or have regrets!
On the list is:
- A Baby Jjimjilbang, yes, you read that correctly!
- A swimming pool where kids are allowed to play and not just swim laps.
- An art kids cafe while Gabriel and I do a Mukbang late Wednesday night! Watch social media for that!
- Wolmido, which is a long standing carnival fair on the waterfront!
- North Korea tour with a defector to the Freedom Bridge, DMZ and Secret Tunnels, plus Food Truck City on the Han River for dinner!
- Celebrating the 4th of July here in Korea watching Spiderman and doing some sort of American festivities that hopefully includes some spicy fried chicken.