Chris (Elder Hines) called from the San Francisco airport. Some of the things he said:
- Felt pretty miserable – not getting enough sleep last night – got up way too early (2:30 a.m.) to get ready and finalize packing
- Starting to feel nervous and homesick
- Sat next to a lady from Japan on the flight, really enjoyed talking to her the whole way there. They talked about the differences in Asian languages and a little bit about the church. He decided beforehand that he would start a conversation right when they sat down, to avoid that awkward silence before someone starts speaking.
- Said he was so grateful to have been with the district he was in. They were all hardworking, fun, spiritual, and committed to doing their best.
- Bore his testimony in Korean . . . I caught the word ‘sarang’ and asked about it . . . he said he knows God loves us
- Favorite things/experiences at the MTC: choir and district meetings – deep doctrinal discussions, sharing testimonies, guy bonding time
- At first he couldn’t understand anything (his teachers spoke like three words in English the whole time), by the time he left he could understand about 90%. He thinks he will be able to understand about 20% when he gets to Korea, since the only words he knows are gospel-related . . . that and Koreans talk much faster!
- Said the missionaries in Korea are about 50/50 native and foreign
- There are about 50,000 members of the church in Korea . . . lots of room for growth in a country of 50 million!
- Doesn’t have a clue what is going on in the world. The only news he has heard is that Robin Williams died, because another elder found out about it in a letter. He said he will be really out of it when he gets home, but to just fill him in on things that are interesting.
- At the SLC airport, Chris and three other elders were standing in line to get some breakfast, and a man came by, talked to them for a minute, started to leave, then turned back and paid for their breakfast.
- Talked for quite a while about Elder Bednar’s MTC ‘Character of Christ’ talk. They watched it again recently and it made quite an impression on Chris. He told me the story Elder Bednar shares of a lady who loses her daughter and thought more of his feelings as the stake president than her own.