Monday, October 26, 2015

Meetings with President Sonksen

This week we did a lot. My favorite moment was 12-week follow-up meeting, where President and Sister Sonksen talked to trainers and trainees. A lot of things were talked about, but what I really remember taking out of it is that I only need to do as much as I can. There are so many thing to worry about all the time - planning, filling records, finding new people, preparing lessons, deciding how to help people, service, English class, studies. Then, most of these have to be in Korean. We are promised, however, that this is the Lord's work. If we just do our best and trust in Him, he will take care of the rest, making up for all our mistakes and shortcomings. Lately, I've been concerned about having useful and meaningful personal, companion, and language studies. There are so many things that I need to get done every day. There really isn't any way I can do this on my own. I rely heavily on the gifts of the Spirit every day to help me make it though, and even then sometimes I get tripped up and overwhelmed. I have realized from this week, however, that every time I feel overwhelmed or down, it is because I am thinking of myself. I am striving to get better at following simple advice at times like these: forget myself. This is the Lord's work. I have witnessed this week that when I am focused on serving others for the blessings it can bring to them, they understand me better, and I understand them better. When I am humble enough to just go and do because it's what the Lord asks of me, I am far happier and more able to accomplish everything I need to. 

Another very fun event this week was music night over in Gireum, an area bordering Jangwi. I was amazed repeatedly as different performers, especially piano players and a few singers, created some amazing music. One of my favorites was a ten year old who got up and played a very complex and beautiful piano solo perfectly. I attribute this to the fact that when Koreans want something, they work, work, and work for it. Students, especially, are extremely hard working. In the U.S., I would suggest that the most idolized people are sports figures or singers. In Korea, scholarship is what is considered accomplishment, and the title of "teacher" is one of the highest respected. Thus, Koreans must study hard their whole life in order to get into a good college, because it is so competitive and difficult. It is much the same with music or anything else one might pursue, even if it isn't their career or occupation - when they do something, they buckle down and work and practice so that they can do it very well. There was definitely no mediocrity during that music night, and I heard some pretty incredible musicians. There were a lot of investigators there and nonmembers performing, and I'm sure everyone had a great time, because I did. 

Another snippet of Korean culture I can't remember if I've shared is that every person has a title. There is no word for "you" in Korean (actually there is, but it is considered very rude and/or accusatory to use it). Thus, people are referred to by their titles, whether they be occupational, personal, or religious. For example, to a old lady on the street, I would call her "grandma," which sounds exactly like "harmony" in Korean. 

Thanks for the messages and encouragement I always get. It's very helpful and appreciated. I hope everyone is doing well!
Hiked up the Mountain on P-day again.  This is before sunrise.

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2015/10/25-We climbed the mountain today with a lot of the zone - from right to left - Elder Moore (orange hoodie), Elder Kim (blue sweatshirt), Elder Saunders (grey hoodie), Elder Yetter (you can just see his legs under Elder Sanders), Elder Bean (Black Shirt, red shorts), Elder Gottfredson (you can see a piece of his head behind Elder Bean), Elder Littlefield (blue t-shirt), Elder Seeley (bright red sweatshirt), Elder Cable (you can see just a piece of his head above Elder Seeley's left shoulder), and Elder Eagar (grey hoodie, furthest to the right). Elder Cable, Littfield, Cable, and Gottredson were all in the MTC with me.
Just before sunrise.

2015/10/25-​These are our mats. I sleep on the one that is second closest to the camera (the one next to the one with the soccerball on it)

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