Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Week 4 in the MTC

Dear family,

MTC life is going well. I am learning Korean more and more every day and even though it takes me a while, I can hold a conversation, pray, teach how to pray, testify, read, and all sorts of neat things all in Korean.

Our older district, along with our Koreans, are leaving next Monday which means that we will become the "old" district. I was also made the coordinating sister for our Zone which means that I will have the responsibility of helping new sisters as they arrive into the MTC so that they can get accustom to everything. I get to explain rules, make them feel comfortable and show them around the place. It's pretty neat, I also get to go to meetings with President Smith and the other MTC Presidency and their wives.

Funny Korean-American things:
-The Korean missionaries were giving us "Korean" names this week and then asked for us to give them "American" names. One elder, Elder Chung, said that he wanted something really regal. In Korean it is very common for children to be named after really meaningful things. For example, my teacher's name means "Doctrine & Covenants" and his brother's name translates into "Pearl of Great Price". One of the sister's names means "morning star" and things like that. Anyway, so this Elder wanted an American name that signified regality and nobility so we were thinking of things like Jefferson, Washington, and the such and suddenly he exlaims: "Something with 'the' in it, like 'The Arthur'". He could really understand when we all started to laugh, but I think "The Arthur" is probably a fitting name.
-Some things just don't translate, like I was saying last week, the sentence structure is so different from English that it is really hard to get straight in your head. Take for example this sentence:
"I would like to share a scripture with you about faith", directly translated you have to say
"I faith about passage to share want."
It becomes more confussing the more prepositions, tenses, and grammar forms that you add. The way my teacher explained it is that it is like an onion-- there are just a lot of layers.
-We learned a really fun song last night when we were full of energy. It is a really cute little kids song about a mountain rabbit. Dirrectly translated it is something like:
"Mountain rabbit, rabbit
Where are you? Where are you?
Hop, hop, hop, hop
Mountain rabbit, where are you?"

But with the hand motions, jumping around, and singing it was really fun. I guess it is kind of like the nursery rhymes we sing (Little Miss Tuffet, The Itsy Bitsy Spider).

I love learning about the Korean culture. On Sunday our Branch President told us the story of the church in Korea. He mentioned that Christianity had initially gone into Eastern Asia in the 1800s and that since then about 1% of China/Japan are Christian while 50% of Koreans are Christian. A lot of this is the humility of the people and how open they are to others. Because of the Korean war and the amazing poverty, starvation, and conditions that existed during that time, it really humbled a lot of people.

As for Korea and the LDS church, ni 1927 the first Korean was baptized in Hawaii. Korea was dedicated for missionary work in 1955 by Joseph Fielding Smith and in 1984 the Seoul Temple was dedicated. Since then the Seoul temple has become the most used temple in the world. There is more work done here per person with a reccommend than in all of the world, probably because the Koreans are so good at keeping really good genealogical records and they care so much about their ancestors.

I got to go with my companion, Sister West, to the doctor this past week. She has been having abdominal pains and so they had her get an ultrasound at an imaging center in Provo. It was really exciting because we got to leave the MTC in this big van and I really LOVE doctor's offices (when I'm not the patient). On our way back to the MTC we drove with some Elders who were Italian and who had just gotten out of a surgery so were kind of loopy. People say the most interesting things when they are under the influence of medication and we ended up laughing all the way back to the MTC.

I don't have a lot of time, so if you wrote me an email or letter, thank you very much, I'm not sure how many I will be able to get back to.

I would really love if you would find one of your favorite scriptures and send it to me with a reason of why it is your favorite and how it has helped you in your life.

I love you all,

Sister Rebecca O'Bryan

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