It has been exciting, as always. Last week we got to hear from L. Tom Perry who spoke with his wife. I love everyone who comes to speak, but hearing from an apostle is always a special privelage.
I learned a lot more about Korean culture this week, some interesting things include:
*The two biggest Korean holidays are both 3 days each, Chusok- which is the Korean thanksgiving and happens in late September. During this holiday everything gives everyone presents and then eats really well. Sole-all (not spelled quite like that, but nothing translates exactly) which is in February and is the New Year. During this time everyone goes back to their traditional home and pays respect to their grandparents. The Grandmothers and mothers control the purse strings in every family so the more respect you pay to them the better your present it.
This week is exciting because we get a new district of Elders and Sisters-- 12! That means that our Sacrament meeting will go from 6 people to 18. This past Sunday was interesting, during testimony meeting not only did everyone bear their testimony, but we even had a musical number and we still ended 15 minutes early. It's interesting to think that I have passed my halfway mark and I only have a little over a month left in the MTC.
One of the new elders is from Uzbekistan, but he has a Korean name and says that the language spoken in the home is Korean. So it will probably be difficult to speak to him, we're not sure if we will need to talk in Korean or Russian (neither of which we really know how to speak). Maybe Natasha can send me some phrases so I can help him get around.
It is interesting because most of Korean comes from Chinese characters and the symbol for Virtue means having your actions, heart, and eyes in 100% accordance.
I have been thinking a lot this week about trusting God. How much do we really trust that he hears our prayers and that he will provide for us? A story was told in mission conference by a man who used to be a mission president in the Canary Islands. He retold a story about one Christmas when he and some missionaries made cookies and then went around caroling at various member's houses. On the way back they had some extra cookies so stopped by a lady's house, her name was Claudia. Claudia had been baptized a year earlier and was a stalwart member, but had gotten a divorce at the same time that she joined the church and her children were all grown and had recently moved to the Peninsula (Spain). As they came to the door they noticed that her table was set with a nice dinner, she was dressed up, and it looked like she was preparing for a party. They told her that they would just sing and leave as they didn't want to intrude, but she insisted that they stay. She then explained that the Christmas before had been spent completely alone and was quite sad, so she had prayed a week before to God to have company on Christmas. "Lord," she had bargained, "I will provide the party if you will provide the guests" so she went out, got her hair done, prepared a five course meal, and here were her guests. I thought it was really neat.
For those who remember Peachie Jones, I saw her at the temple last week. I guess she is going to law school at BYU and I don't really know much else, but it was neat seeing her since I haven't in AGES.
I love you all, thank you for your love and support.
Sister Rebecca O'Bryan