I went to an English speaking branch in Seoul today. It's called a branch but it's really a size of a huge ward (about 300 members). My friend Jody attended that branch with her family while she was here so she introduced me to her friend and the branch president via Facebook. So,I got in touch with Elise who gave me directions to Church and introduced me to Heather Willoughby, an ethnomusicologist who was teaching at E-Hwa University specializing in Korean music!!! How cool is that? We are having lunch next week to talk "ethno." I am pretty excited.
After Church, I met a group of single adults who were going to "Feasting with Friends" for dinner. (Feasting with Friends is a dinner group that meets once a month on Sundays to get better acquainted with people in the ward. This group, however, meets every Sunday.)There were a whole lot of young single adults in the branch. We met at a couple missionary's apartment and the place was brimming with female competitors vying for the blood of stripling lads clad in suits. (I am just kidding but the ratio of male to female was about 1:10. The shortage of men must be a global epidemic. Seriously, where are you, Men?!?!)
Most of the single adults came to Korea to teach English. I met people from South Africa, Australia, Ireland (he converted to Mormonism in Korea! Funny, eh?) and of course, the United States. Because there is only one English speaking ward that covers a big chunk of Korea, most people travel an average of 1.5 hours to get to Church. It took me 2 hours to get there from where I am right now. Sean lives in Daejun and it takes him close to 3 hours to get to Church. That's 6 hours round-trip! It was really fun to meet everyone and finally make some friends. It's funny how I felt more at home with a bunch of white Americans than I felt with a subway full of my own people. Maybe it was because of the comfort of knowing that we share the same faith. Or maybe I am more comfortable with white Americans because that's what I am familiar with, and whom I grew up with even though I was always an ethnic minority. Maybe, I am uncomfortable not being an ethnic minority. Who knows? Maybe, it's all of the above.