Monday, October 13, 2014

Memorized and in Korean!

October 13, 2014

Dear Family,

I am doing pretty well. This past week was a lot more boring than the week before, so I don't have quite as much to say. I'll answer your questions first though. I haven't noticed an improvement in speaking the language yet.  But I feel like I'm starting to understand a lot more of what people say. I feel like it's especially hard to understand people in the Busan area, because many people, especially the older ones, have a really strong accent. Well, it's kind of like an accent, it's called 사투리 (saturi) (yes, I can finally send things over email in Korean because the keyboards are both English and Korean :)) and it's like a different dialect of Korean. So really different sounding, and a lot of different words that aren't used in other places. It's really annoying. But my companion just recently told me that he has noticed an improvement in my fluency, so that was really encouraging. I've actually already had two opportunities to recite the First Vision (memorized and in Korean!!) to investigators. It was pretty amazing, my MTC studies are already paying off. :)  

One of the opportunities was when I went on an exchange with one of the zone leaders, Elder Flint, and we taught a 17 year old who had never been taught by the missionaries before. We taught the Restoration, and Elder Flint invited him to be baptized. He accepted without even hesitating. It was really amazing to see his faith and his desire to know the truth for himself.

My interview with President Barrow went really well, I really like him. Yes, he came to 통영 (Tongyeong). It was kind of awkward at first because I didn't know whether to pray in Korean or English. I was thinking English because he is pretty rusty in Korean from not using it since his mission, but I was thinking Korean because you are supposed to use it as much as possible. So I did Korean, but then he gave the closing prayer in English . . . whatever.

We don't sticker-board very often, maybe once a week at the most. We usually have a lot of other stuff going on. It's weird because it always seems like we have a ton of extra time when we're planning the day, and then lots of things come up during the day and we can't even do what we originally planned. Oh well, I guess that's just life, huh? :)

I watched the priesthood session; I watched all of conference over the weekend.  It was really good, I especially liked President Uchtdorf's talk, well, both of his talks actually, since he spoke in Priesthood as well. Yeah, the MTC choir was pretty good, I saw a ton of people who will be going to Korea. They were talking about "tryouts" a little before I left. Basically they were just going to give out a survey to anyone who wanted to do it, and then they would take the people who were the most experienced with choir.

I'm acclimating a little bit [to the food], I'm starting to like kimchi a little bit more, I can tolerate most spiciness, and I don't get grossed out too often.  So that's an improvement.  Earlier today, we went to the 시장 (it's like an open-air market) and we passed by a bunch of pig heads sitting out in a pile. It was really disgusting, but I stayed conscious. In fact, I didn't even get light-headed or anything, so I was pretty proud of myself. :)

Oh, and I think there might actually be a species of Bigfoot here in Korea. I haven't seen one, but I've seen signs of its presence. It smells like old kimchi, and lives in the foothills around rice fields. If I get a picture, I'll send it to you. Until then, my eyes will be peeled.

So we went to the bishop's house for lunch last week. It was really cool, because it was this old shack in the middle of nowhere, right next to the ocean. The only other signs of human life around it were a convenience store, some docks, and a few other houses.  His house was really cramped; it reminded me of the forts I always made with Colton out of tables and blankets.  He has a ton of electronics all over the place; apparently he finds broken things and refurbishes them.  The bishop was really nice, and he fed us really well.  It was this spicy (no surprise there) chicken and rice, with lots of Asian pear, and a really good fruit drink that his wife made.

I have one other experience I want to share. When I was coming back from the exchange with Elder Flint, Elder Suter and I were getting on the bus.  It was really crowded, so we had to sit separately. I sat by an older woman, and it was really awkward at first because I had no idea what to say. After a while, she asked if I was a missionary, and so I told her a little bit about our church. She said she is Christian, and that she plays piano for her church. I gave her a pamphlet about The Gospel of Jesus Christ, with our phone number on it. It was really cool, because that was the first time I have done anything like that without Elder Suter's help. It was really awkward, of course, because I'm terrible at Korean, and she knew almost no English. But everything worked out in the end.

I guess this email ended up being a little longer than I was thinking, you probably won't complain though, right :)

Elder Hines

No comments:

Post a Comment