Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Worries, substitutes and the miracles of kimchee

So our teacher, Elder Stice, was gone this week, so we had a substitute: Kim Jae Tek Chango-nim (or, Elder Kim for you non-Korean speakers). He is from Seoul and served in my mission! He told us some stories of what mission life is really like there. We should expect a lot of our companions to be Koreans – which is kind of exciting and kind of scary at the same time!

After we bugged him about it all week, he brought in some genuine homemade kimchee!!!

You know that stuff I had in the restaurant?

That was nothing! This stuff was H. O. T. spicy!!!!

In Korean they have two words for hot. There’s the word for really, really warm: topda. And then there’s the word for hot and spicy: mepda. This stuff was mepda beyond belief! Sis. Miller had a bit of a head cold with a stuffy nose before we tried the kimchee… it was all gone the next day!

I also noticed today while I was doing my laundry that the clothes I wore that day? They still smelled like kimchee!

Flight plans are coming soon! I’ll let you know the details!!

Lovin’ it!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Gently raised

We had a super spiritual amazing thing happen after class one night last week.

It was a beautiful, warm evening and we’d been practicing some hymns at the end of class. On the way back to or room, we stopped and started singing, “Come, Follow Me” in Korean. Soon some other missionaries joined in, singing in their language, then by the time we got to the last verse, there were a whole bunch of missionaries on the quad, all singing the same song in so many different languages – Spanish, French, Japanese, Korean, English and who knows what else! And then when we finished singing, we all continued our walk back home. It was a one moment in time thing and the Spirit was SO strong!

We’ve been working (sugo-ing, as we say!) super hard! Sis. Miller is so supportive! She pushes me hard. I love her so much! And we have to work hard, because you know what? We should be getting our flight plans any day now! WOO-HOO!

Everything is PERFECT at the MTC! I’m so glad I’m here, but I’m even more excited to go to Korea!

Here's a picture of me at the map. Love it!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Don't build on the sand

Everything at the MTC is the best. Seriously. Except maybe the food…but our teachers say to enjoy it while we can (after which they start giggling like Beehives!).

Beach volleyball. It’s the best. One of the elders thought he was Joe Jock and was teasing the sisters about being baptized in weak sauce. He thought that instead of playing volleyball, the sisters should be building sandcastles or making mud pies. HA!!!!

Maybe I didn’t approach it with the right spirit, but certain members of our district had a lesson in humility that day.

Sundays are the best, too. We have awesome meetings, and we have time to think and ponder and stuff. And then the firesides are ALSO the best. There are so many general authorities in and out of here it’s hard to keep track, especially when all the mission presidents were here! And, oh, yeah. The temple. Is. The. Best. Ever – or should I say FOREVER?!

Sis. Miller and I did our teaching with our pretend investigator. The investigator said our language was really bad, so he asked if we could just speak in English. I was MORTIFIED! Afterward he said that our language was pretty good, but that kind of thing happens with real Koreans in Korea. So many of them learn English and want to practice it that they want to speak English with the missionaries all the time.

Just a few more weeks here, and then it’s off to the Land of the Morning Calm. I can’t wait!!!!!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


We don’t normally hear fireworks in the halls of the MTC. But when you’re just a few blocks from the Stadium of Fire at BYU, we could certainly hear them! We could see just a few of them over the buildings. It was kind of exciting…but then it made me think that I won’t be seeing Fourth of July fireworks again for nearly two years!

It’s been a pretty amazing week. I got to give a talk in church. They tell us to always be ready because you never know when they’re going to call on you. Well, I was ready, and I did. It was just a short talk on Joseph Smith and the restoration. And did I mention that it was all in Korean? At least it was supposed to be! They told me I did a good job.

We had an awesome time teaching our pretend investigators. It’s kind of fun to feel more and more confident in the language. But I’m sure that will change soon!

Oh! Remember what I said about Korean being so easy that you could learn to read it in just a few minutes? Well, guess what? They also use Chinese characters sometimes! Just when I thought a mission would be easy! : )

BTW, I had an interesting experience doing laundry today...

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Culture update: The alphabet

Omigosh! The Korean alphabet is EPIC! It was invented by one of their kings a long time ago, King Sejong, and he's so totally famous in Korea that his picture is on their money and everything! He wanted to make an alphabet that everyone could read. And here's his secret: the letters are drawn to make the shape that your mouth makes when you make the sound of the letter! I know, right! Isn't that just so amazing!? And there are only 24 letters, so that's even less than we have to learn in English!

They say you can learn to read it in only 15 minutes. How cool is that? And the words are all in syllables, so that makes it even easier. Of course you have to know what the words mean for it to make sense. But like in the hymns? It makes it really easy to sing along without knowing what you're singing.

There was a time when at the MTC they taught how to say things phonetically, but when the missionaries got into the country, they couldn't read or spell anything. They bagged that idea and went back to teaching King Sejong's alphabet.

Did you know that they even have a national holiday to celebrate the alphabet? It's called "Hangul Day" and they celebrate it in October. I wonder what kind of parties they have for the alphabet? I'll find out in a few months! Boo-yah!!!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Did you think when you prayed?

Another amazing week in the MTC. Every day we learn SO MUCH! I mean, now I can read in Korean (but I don't know what half of it means), I can sing, I can pray and I can teach. Who knew a little farm girl from Idaho could learn something as exotic and exciting as Korean, right?

There's a thing we do called SYL, or Speak Your Language. We're challenged to speak only our language all day as much as possible. It's fun to hear all the languages that people speak here! I've also gotten a whole lot better at charades!

One thing that we always talk about -- and our teacher, Sis. Clabby reminds us to look out for -- are the "tender mercies of the Lord." Sometimes it's getting a prayer answered or doing service for your companion or someone. There are so many little ways that the Lord loves us.

Last Friday, I was feeling a little tired and sad. I had a hard time during teaching and I felt discouraged. When we got back to our room for the night, I found that Sis. Miller left me a little piece of candy and a note that said I was an awesome companion. That was SO sweet!

There's so much to tell and so little time! I'll send along a little culture thing that we learned this week, too. The Savior lives and loves you!