안녕하십니까 모든 사람!
It’s almost time for Hang-Guk!! Today is my last P Day here at the MTC and next Monday I fly for Korea. Things are really coming down to the end of my stay here at the MTC and it’s almost time to go forward!
Last Friday we received our flight plans from the missionary travel department and ever since all we can think about is the trip to Korea. We leave early on Monday morning and fly from Salt Lake City to San Francisco to Seoul and then finally into Busan. There are about 25 of us going to Korea on Monday with about half going to the Taejon Mission and the other half going to Busan. Elder Kunde and I are flying with about 8 other people and will be flying on Korean Air. I’m pretty stoked about that actually. Apparently Korean Air is super nice; one of the sisters in my district said that whenever her dad travels on business he books Korean Air because the food and planes are so much nicer. So it looks like we got lucky with some luxury. Way better than United or American right? Maybe I’ll even be able to eat some Kim Chi and speak some Hang gu mar before I even get there! We have a long layover in San Francisco, about 12 hours in the air and a 15 hour time change… It will be a nerve wracking, exaughsting, and exciting Monday to say the least!
Things at the MTC have been starting to wrap up and have been kind of crazy as well. We’ve covered all of the grammar concepts in our primary study book and have just been reviewing and practicing. It is hard because as it is the last week it is easy to get distracted and relax, but at the same time we have learned so much that it is the week where we stand to learn the most. I’ve really been trying to make the most of every moment and take advantage of the teachers and resources I have right now!
This week we learned our last two grammar forms, which are, of course, the hardest: indirect discourse and stating facts. I can finally bear my testimony and quote people/the scriptures which has been a huge boost to our lessons and my speaking ability. These two practices use what is called plain form, which involved conjugating the inner verb of a sentence in a special way and then pairing it with another, outer verb. (it’s basically Korean inception). I cant really explain it but Plain Form shows the intentions of your sub sentences. It has been a struggle to get this down but I really feel that even hard things like this are now attainable. I’ve come a long way here at the MTC!
I’ve had some requests to tell some funny Korean phrases so I thought I would share two of my favorites. Apparently in Korean culture having a dream about a pig is extremely good luck. Because of this, when you say goodbye at night time, along with goodbye, see you later, goodnight, or anything else you say 돼지의 꿈세요 which means dream of pigs! Another one of my favorite Korean phrases is 쥐의 꼬리만큼 which means “as much as a rat’s tail.” It’s a korean idiom kind of like as much as rat’s… well… you know. Whenever we are teaching a Korean person they like to be nice to us and tell us that our Korean is good, but we always respond with “no, we can only speak Korean as much as a rat’s tail.” Dont ask me why, maybe it’s because we are American, but every time we say this to a Korean they burst out into hysterical laughter. It’s pretty much the greatest thing ever. If telling a joke in english is good, telling a joke in a language we barely understand is 10 times better. Elder Kunde and I are getting pretty pro at that one.
We also got to do Skype TRC last week again which was amazing as well (and of course we busted out our favorite joke). Elder Kunde and I taught a sister in Inch-eon which is near Seoul. She is a returned missionary who served in Korea and we had a discussion with her about the importance of praying with real intent (meaning we will act on the answer we receive from God with faith). It was a great lesson and a real indicator of how much we could actually do and how far we’ve come. It was kind of funny trying to teach a Korean, who is an RM, about the church in Korean because many times it felt like she was teaching us. We all shared some experiences, learned and discussed prayer, and felt the spirit.
Last night elder Kunde and I got another special opportunity, we helped out with the new missionary meeting People and Your Purpose. This is an event that the incoming missionaries do on the night they arrive where they learn the importance of how to teach and love their investigators. Because we’ve been here for so long, and apparently we were recommended by our teachers, elder Kunde and I were selected to do a teaching demonstration in front of all the new missionaries of how to begin teaching. It was nerve wracking, but actually really cool. Elder Kunde and I went in and got to know the investigator and asked them about their religious background and their lives and established expectations from which it was then handed off to the new missionaries in the meeting. It was weird to be speaking in english, not that we are any better in hang gu mar, but just because that’s all we’ve ever known. I think we may have dropped some Korean yes’s and no’s and had a bit of an awkward moment when they pointed out that my name tag was in Korean but other than that it was excellent. It was weird to see the missionaries and remember going to that meeting on the first day. It’s like we’ve come full circle.
Well today is our last P Day and it is full of copious amounts of laundry, packing, and haircuts. I cannot think of many things in my life that I have been more excited for than next week but also am starting to feel really nervous and apprehensive. It will be a once in a lifetime experience. It’s kind of like starting our mission all over again. I can see that I have truly learned a lot in my 9 weeks here in the MTC and although it has been hard and boring and long at times, I am immensely grateful for my experience and the things that I’ve learned. I have truly begun to see and understand my purpose as a missionary in inviting others to come unto Christ and the importance of teaching with the spirit. I am grateful to all of the missionaries, teachers, leaders, and support from my family and friends at home that has gotten me as far as I am. Wish me luck with this next week and stay posted for an email from a culture shocked missionary in Korea next week!
오늘 밤 돼지의 꿈세요 (dream of pigs tonight)