Friday, October 30, 2009

Week 5 in the MTC

Dear family,

Life in the MTC is still great, the Korean missionaries and our older district are all now safely in Korea which means that there are only about 5 1/2 weeks left for me. It is exciting to think that I will be there so soon, however, I have a lot of Korean left to learn.

Culture things I learned this week:
-you are only considered to be someone's "friend" if you were born in the same year as them. Other wise they call you their older/younger brother or sister. This also means that you are automatic friends with anyone born in the same year as you. It's a big deal.
-The literal translation to say that you are full is to say that your stomach is singing
-There is an idiom that you use to say that you really enjoy the food, literally translated it is "If there were two people eating and one died I wouldn't even know" meaning that the food is so good you wouldn't even notice if someone right next to you died.

One of my companions, while we were in the Referral Center, received a chat from a nice woman in Detroit Michigan and after speaking to her for a little while we were able to call her. She is a nice lady and is allowing us to continue to call her and tell her more about the church and hopefully the missionaries in her area will call her and come over. It is frustrating because we call her and set up lesson plans and she keeps commitments, but the missionaries in her area still haven't contacted her. Sometimes I wish there were better forms of communication. It is very exciting though to share the gospel with people who have real needs. In the MTC you teach a lot, but usually just to fellow missionaries or volunteers so you don't often get to assess peoples' needs or follow up with them.

This week our teachers are beginning to speak only Korean to us during class and it is exciting to see how much we really do know how to say. We are also expected to teach in Korean this week up until we reach Korea (where the teaching will continue, I'm certain). Although my phrases are simple, I am always suprised by how much I can say. The Lord really is helping me to learn Korean and the more I trust in him the more he helps me.

Relief Society at the MTC is unlike anywhere else I have ever been. Since there are not as many sisters are there are Elders, all the sisters join together (probably about 200) and it is in a large gymnasium. We get to hear from Sisters on the General Relief Society, Young Women's, and Primary boards every week. We also start out with a special music number that people have to audition for and then a conversion story from a sister serving a mission who is a recent convert. This past week's lesson was given by Sister Vicki Matsumori (she spoke in General Conference) and she included a story about her son when he was on a mission. Because her son served in the Bronx in New York and her husband often visted there on business trips she was able to meet her son once for lunch on his mission (of course after talking to the mission president). They had arranged to meet him outside of an apartment building after one of his teaching appointments and while they were waiting they got out their cameras to take pictures. At this point some men came out and chased Sister Matsumori and her husband and they ran into a local shop. She later found out that there was a drug dealing going down and they thought she was from the DEA. Anyway, after this traumatizing experience she went back and met her son and as he came around the corner she said she could a visible bubble of protection around him. I think it's probably because the Lord wanted her to know, as a mother, that her son was safe as he went about doing His work. I thought it was a neat story. I'm sure I wont need any bubble in Korea, but even still it is neat.

In a large group meeting this week we talked about goal setting. While discussing this topic they mentioned that some of the keys to acheiving your goals include:
-writing them down
-keep track and evaluate your goals to see where you can improve
-when setting new goals look at how you did on your old goals and set acheivable goals that cause you to stretch
I would love to hear from you guys as to what some of your goals are and what you plan on doing to accomplish them. I love talking about planning and goal setting, even before I entered the MTC.

Thank you for all your support and love, I love you all,

Sister Rebecca O'Bryan

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