I love going to the referral center because we get chat with so many diverse people and create lesson plans for real people (if they decide to come back). For example, we chatted with a man in the United Arab Emirates who did not have access to missionaries or a church (the closest was 100 miles away) but he could get on the computer. Interesting. Unfortunately he did not come back when he said he would.
Everyday I realize more and more that Korean is just a different language. Things don't really translate, because it's just a different mindset, a different way of life. For example, you can't say "I have this apple" you have to say "this apple exists". Also, it is all about being humble and honorifying other things/people. You can honorify ANYTHING and so it could take three times as long to say something in Korean than in English (depending also on how fast you speak).
With the arrival of the Korean Sisters I realize how loud and expressive Americans are as well as how large I am. Not tall, we are about the same height, but they are just so petite and dainty. They seem to like us because we are so friendly, but it's probably just because we say hello every two seconds (one of the few things they can understand that we have learned). They help us out a lot in trying to learn the language and it also humbles me because it shows that I have a long ways to go before I can even carry out a normal conversation.
The same Wednesday that our Koreans came in there was a missionary from Indian. I guess he is the first Elder to ever be called from India, or something like that. Isn't it exciting how the work is progressing in the world? It reminded me of the talk in General Conference by Brent H Nielson missionary work and how he prayed for missionary work to be open in some part of Russia (is that right?) and then his son was sent there later in life. Maybe my kids will go to North Korea! (Or Louis might, or Anna... you never know!)
I love my MTC teachers, they are great and sometimes after a long day of class we can get a little giggly. I think it is something about trying to think in Korean and then you get really confussed. For example, we were learning to ask about people and say things like "Do you know anyone who has recently ______*insert life event here*___?" So like, people who have lost a loved one, had the birth of a child, etc. My companion, Sister Kelley was trying to ask how to say baby and said:
"What is a baby?"
the teacher gave us this weird look like this "well... when a man loves a woman" and we all started to laugh because he thought we didn't know what a baby was in general.
Korean food and American food are different, but not as much as you might think. As in, there is definte traditional Korean food, but they have many American things. The other day we got breakfast and the Korean sisters chose bagels, we asked if they had used a toaster before and they said they had, but they couldn't get it to fit. So we showed them that they had to cut the bagel in half. One of the cute little sisters, Sister Ahn (one of them, there are two that are twins) was on the verge of tears because she was trying to get hers to cut and it just ended up breaking. So my companion Sister Kelley was able to cut it in half, toast it, and save the day.
I wonder how some missionaries could only be in the MTC for three weeks. I just barely figured out how to get my schedule to work out and how to organize everything. I mean, this past Sunday was the first time I had a chance to even go to choir. (The previous Sundays were fast Sunday and General Conference and then on Tuesday we got to usher for the devotional). Also, I think I probably need another year or two at the MTC just to get Korean under my belt. It's odd to think that in only 8 more weeks we will be shipped out to Korea.
I am excited to go to Korea though, with the arrival of the Korean Elders and Sisters I realized that they know all about fashion. They have these huge rimmed glasses, tailored shiny suits, skinny sparkly ties, cute stationary, cute skirts and are overall just stylish. They are also very respectful, I hope that is something I can pick up more on so that I don't accidentally offend anyone when I get to Korea.
We all have a work to do. Challenge for the week, pray to find out what your work is to do and who around you needs help. Then reach out and try to help them. Let me know how it turns out.
With much love,
Sister Rebecca O'Bryan