So the Branch President just recently came out and said that we need to be more careful about not flirting with the sisters (we as in the Korean branch). He said flirting is talking to them when you don't have to. There is one elder here who has a major problem with this, he is always talking to sisters, and it's like he has no self-control. He sees a female and naturally gravitates toward her. It's really funny. So Elder Baugh started saying, "23-19" (from Monsters Inc) whenever he is talking to a sister. It is hilarious.
The MTC has a violin, flute and cello you can check out to play for Sacrament meetings. During additional study time I got a chance to play the flute, since the violin was already being used. I just played around with it, but it was a really nice stress reliever, especially since I haven't had much of a chance to play piano since I've been here.
For choir, we sang Jesus, Once of Humble Birth [Click here to listen; hymn begins at 1:49:56]. It was an amazing piece, like always. It was arranged by James C. Kasen, see if you can find it. There is one part right before the last verse, the organ part has a bunch of secondary dominance and chord modulations. It is so cool because it is perfect for the mood of the hymn. When I hear it, I can imagine Christ stepping up to Calvary, and at the same time I see Him stepping up to His throne in Heaven. It is one of the most amazing things I have ever heard. See if you can understand what I mean when you hear it.
I have some scriptures for you that I've come across this past week. Alma 31:26-38 - Alma offers this prayer out of sincere concern for the Zoramites. It is so powerful, and then in 36-38, it talks about the blessings they received because of his faith. The other one is D&C 98:3. It's pretty straightforward, this scripture helped me a lot.
I'll try and answer most of your questions, but if I don't get to all of them I'll finish next week.
You asked about my companion. He's pretty fun to talk to; he has a really strong testimony; and he is a great teacher. I'm almost always with him, occasionally I'll go on companion exchanges with some of the other elders. In my room, it is my companion and me, and Elder Baugh and Elder Trentman. Elder Baugh is from American Fork, and has an amazing sense of humor. Oh, and he's one of the zone leaders in the Korean Branch. Elder Trentman is the district leader, he's from Sacramento, and he's really funny too. He's so inspiring; he's such a good leader. Elder Tischner is like Brennan Baer only with red hair. He's from Mapleton. His sarcasm, musical talent, and just about everything else are just like Brennan. I wouldn't be surprised if they are related. Elder Anderson is really smart and kind. He went to India before his mission to teach English. So that's really cool. Elder Hogan took Chinese in high school, so Korean comes pretty naturally to him. He is such a hard worker, and he is a great leader as well. Elder Warren has the most incredible testimony, he has gone through so much . . . the way he has handled everything is very impressive. Elder Skouson has a talent for analogies. He is always comparing situations and basically making parables. It's really cool. And he is just a really friendly person overall.
So yeah, only four elders in my room. We all have our own closet and desk. We spend very little time in our room, almost all day is either in the cafeteria or the classroom. Before lunch we have companion, personal and language study, all on our own without a teacher. Then in the afternoon and evening we have a teacher there, and we basically either talk about gospel stuff (in Korean) or learn grammar forms, or teach "investigators", which are just the teachers playing the role of someone they taught on their missions. They've all been off their missions less than two years. Brother Memmott is amazing. He's really nice and just glows with the Spirit. He's really funny too. Brother Chandler has been a huge help in helping me feel confident in learning Korean. He's really encouraging, and has told me that he is impressed with all my progress, and that he recognizes the Spirit in me. Sister Wynn is really nice, she's kind of shy though so I don't know her as well. My teachers only speak Korean to us, so it's really weird how I can know so much that they say.
My favorite thing this week was probably that choir piece we did. It was so much fun. [I got to sit by Zarek for choir.]
We can't listen to music in the dorms, so I haven't used my MP3 player at all yet. I've barely played piano at all, except once to show Elder Trentman (who also plays piano) that If You Could Hie to Kolob arrangement.
We always sing a hymn in Korean at the beginning of class, but the room is like 12'x14', and there's ten of us in there, so there's not exactly room for a piano. We sing a hymn at the beginning of both afternoon and evening classes.
Stephen B. Allen spoke on Sunday, about repentance and missionary work. Repentance must be a major problem for missionaries, because they talk about it at least once a week. It gets kind of old, it's always the same thing. On Tuesday, James B. Martino spoke; some of my favorite things he said were: We will be judged not by what we've done, but who we've become; and we are unprofitable servants if we only do our duty.
I've got some Korean words for y'all:
죄 - 'jwae' - sin
속죄 - 'sok-jwae' - Atonement
구속 주 - 'gu-sok-ju' - Redeemer
I think it's really interesting how they are interrelated. Because Korean has a smaller alphabet and less sounds than English, there are less possible words to make. So new words are made by combining multiple words. It's pretty cool how the words are related to each other. If you have ideas of Korean words you want me to tell you, just let me know.
The language is coming so much better. It's not much easier, but it's less frustrating because I can actually say things during the lessons without any notes or anything.
We get flight plans two weeks from tomorrow, and we'll probably get our Korean nametags in a week and a half or so. This Monday the group above us leaves so we'll be the most experienced Korean elders in the MTC. It's so weird, this time has gone by so fast.
Have a great week!