Monday, October 12, 2015

Finally starting to know what's going on.

This week has been a spiritually uplifting week. Zone training on Wednesday was incredible. Our zone leaders are such great examples of missionaries and superb teachers. General conference, also, was fantastic (we watched it last weekend so that we could do it the same time as the ward, and it takes a week for it to be translated). I felt so uplifted and inspired to do better. I don't have time to write everything I learned, but there was certainly a focus on Sabbath day observance and family. My goal at the end of this week was to make a commitment to talk to everyone and to share what I can with them. In many cases, this may only be giving them a pass-along card, but I already know of one person who has a baptismal date because of only receiving a pass-along card. It's so easy to pass by someone on a bus or subway, but I've committed to spend every spare moment I have when moving from place to place and all my energy when proselyting to talk to everyone. Most don't want to hear about what I have to say, and it quickly can get frustrating and disheartening when people reject something that I know is unfathomably precious because they don't understand it or are too busy. But the few who may come closer to Christ because of anything I do make it more than worth it. 

Anyway, Korea is awesome. Before coming, I had never even taken a taxi or public bus in my life. Now, I am already familiar with the subway and taxi system around Jangwi, and taken several taxis. I still haven't been on a train. As far as the food goes, Korea food is great. Kimchi is especially delicious. I never liked spicy food before my mission, but I immediately loved all the spicy things here, which I thought was very interesting. Rice and kimchi are served with every meal. The pears here are called bae (not a real English word) and they are delicious. There was only one weird thing I've eaten so far, which was during mission conference. It was grey, rectangle, squishy, and floppy. I had to try hard not to gag and spit is out. Hopefully I can avoid this in the future. 

We've had several meals (called shieksaw in Korean) with members. What people have told me about Koreans trying to feed us as much as they can has proved true. I've learned to act like I'm stuffed before I really am, because then maybe they will only push one or two more courses upon us. Also, desert is actually fruit. After every meal, usually the last course is apples, pears, or grapes. The apples are the same, but the grapes and pears here are so good. 

I'm learning a lot about Korean culture and language. It's still really hard and very different. Even if something is translated exactly into English, it still makes no sense. For example, I know all the words for "how are you," but saying them in Korean would make no sense at all. Translating how a Korean would actually say that would be, "rice ate?" It makes sense after being explained to me, because in Korean history, right after the Korean war, the people had nothing. To ask how someone was doing, one might ask if they had eaten rice, because food was so scarce at that time. So, the saying is still, "Did you eat rice today?" The Korean Language's words can often be way more specific and can only be used in one way and one situation, whereas in English every word is pretty versatile. Still, it's getting better, and I'm starting to pick out words here and there that people say. 

Thanks for your messages and thoughts. I hope everyone is doing well. Conference was great, and I look forward to hearing from our new apostles again in the future!

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