Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Hello my darling family!! I hope everyone is doing well.  Things are absolutely fabulous on this side of things.

So nothing really new happening this week, but I DID learn some new things!

Well...there IS ONE thing that was new that happened this week.  So, the older district officially got their travel plans this past week and they will be leaving next Monday.  It is so strange to think that we will now be the older district! Haha I remember coming in and thinking that I would never know as much Korean as they did!  Well, because they are all leaving, that means there are positions of leadership that are needing to be filled.  Our dear District Leaders became the Zone Leaders (which we all guessed was going to happen, they are amazing!) And then I became the new Coordinating Sister!!!!!  Crazy huh!?! I AM SO EXCITED!  So I get to pretty much be the RA of my branch hahaha.  I make sure that everything is good to go when the old sisters leave, and I get to make sure everything is prepared when the new sisters come into the branch.  I check-up on cleaning checks, health issues, companionship communication, and all around well-being. I am so excited for this opportunity to be able to get closer the sisters in this branch, and to be able to serve them.  They are all so wonderful and kind.  Because of this new calling I was able to go to a leadership training meeting on Sunday were I met the MTC President's wife, Sister Brown.  It was fun talking with her and the other new coordinating sisters.  I feel honored and humbled at this new calling, and I am excited to get to work!! 

Ok, so you remember the rumors about the language program changing?  Well, little did I know that I am about the 3rd group of missionaries that has been a part of that change!!  Talking to my teacher, who got home from Busan this past summer, I found out it used to be that they hardly used the Korean language until about half way through the MTC.  Unlike us, who teach, pray, talk, etc all in Korean.  Already I see how more beneficial this way of doing it is.  Another interesting thing about the languages is they are changing the amount of time some missionaries stay in the MTC.  Like the Japanese Missionaries will go from a 12-week program to a 10-week; and Russian in being cut down to 9 weeks.  I've even heard rumors about the Spanish missionaries only being here for 6 weeks.  Rumors circulate quickly around the MTC so who knows what's true and what isn't. haha!!

Speaking of rumors…remember how the rumor mill was turning about the Prophet coming?? Well.... It wasn't true.  Sad, yes.  But! Instead of the Prophet we got two Apostles, Elder Russell M. Nelson and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. It was still incredibly fun to sing for them, they estimated about 550 missionaries were in the choir.  The really nice thing was since Tuesday is P-Day, we were able to get in line pretty early to be able to sing. I was bummed because Elder Holland didn't speak for very long, but Elder Nelson's address was awesome.  He talked about the missionaries throughout this dispensation and the impact they have made. My favorite was the special shout out to the sister missionaries.  It is true that we serve more out a burning desire then a sense of duty and he reminded us of how invaluable we are to the work.  What a wonderful encouragement from an Apostle of the Lord. (But that's not saying that the Elders aren't invaluable either!! Because they are wonderful!)   He ended the fireside with the dedication of the 5 new or renovated buildings on the MTC campus. 

What made this week really fun were just all the little things that happened.  I learned that my Branch President, President Shin, is a legend in Korea because he was the VP of Samsung AND a Mormon. (Comparable to Mitt Romney I guess…).  I learned that his first counselor, Brother Jennings, is the father of the LDS guy that won jeopardy a while back. 

My favorite things I learned this past week were some songs!! The Korean Sisters came up to us and asked about the little kid song about a spider... haha! They wanted to learn the "Itsy Bitsy Spider"! It was SO much fun teaching them.  In turn, we asked to be taught a song.  This week we learned "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes".  The tune is SUPER catchy and my entire district was singing it every day! (During gym time and volleyball we would be singing from the sidelines haha).  Our teachers also taught us "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and "Happy Birthday".  I love being able to sing those simple songs.  They remind me of all the fun time I had in primary. 

Though I said this week we lots of fun, of course there were some growing moments.  My teachers, Pendley and Cho Hyung.jay.neem, decided that when we teach them, they want things to be difficult for us. Because if things are difficult now, then when they are difficult in the field we will be better prepared.  I love that train of thought, but it would have been nice to know before they made me cry in a lesson! Haha jk... kind of.  As a class we were becoming too dependent on our notes.  We would translate our lessons into Korean, and they take those written sentences in with us and simply read from the page, occasionally looking up.  Yes, we were able to say all that we wanted to, but because there was no eye contact and sincerity, we weren't able to connect with them as our investigators.  (The reason I got upset, it I was doing JUST THAT, and when I looked up after asking a question my "investigator" was looking off in la-la land.  Frustrating, but I got the message).  So after that experience we made a goal as a companionship= NO MORE NOTEBOOKS! We know enough grammar and vocabulary that we can make our own sentences in our head and on the spot.  If there are vocab words that we absolutely don't know, then we can bring in a note card with that word or two. Can I just tell you the AMAZING improvement there has been in our lessons with the spirit, with understanding the needs of the investigator, with EVERYTHING!  We are no longer just talking AT the investigator; we are having a lesson and conversation.  Yes, it's still hard, especially teaching everyday... but I am getting much more comfortable with the language and with retaining vocabulary.  Don't you just love it when teachers are right!? hahaha 

This week was also pretty fun because of all the PACKAGES I received!!  Oh my heavens, I think I'm the most loved missionary in the history of the MTC!  I now have the District record for most packages received in a week, the grand total coming out to 7!  A big thanks to everyone who thought about me this week!! What a blessing it is to be reminded of, as my dad puts it, the Home Crowd cheering for me every step of the way. I am grateful, and I know that my district is grateful for all the sharing I get to do!  Be looking for individual thank you notes in the mail, I truly am blessed to have such wonderful friends and family who will always rally to support me.  THANK YOU!

So at the end of this week marks exactly ONE MONTH since I have been in the MTC.  My, how fast time has flown by.  Just think only 17 more months! And 16 fast Sundays! Haha 

I love you family!! Thanks for all the letters and packages and words of encouragement. 

So, some scriptures this week are found in D&C 121.  The last several verses are what were taught in my leadership meeting, but the whole thing is wonderful.  When it describes a good leader I think of 1 Nephi 5 & 6. I believe in all the patience and concern and love he had for his brothers even when they were being wicked. 

Well, till next week my family! Love you all! WHOLE BUNCHES!
Kiss, Love, Hugs

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