Monday, December 15, 2014

1 Week Down and 8 to go!

Thursday November 13, 2014

Hello family! I am so excited to email you! I didn't know who to send this to so I figured I'd send it to Mom. (: I seriously love getting the Dear Elders... so keep sending away please! They make the eight hours of hearing only Korean a day much more bearable. Okay, so to the good stuff. First of all, Brady asked how the food is here. Though I'm sure this won't make Mom too happy.... the food has already made us all sick. No throwing up for me though, thank heavens. Just awful belly aches and stomach cramps. Six of us sisters sat in class a few days ago looking like zombies as our tummies fought the war against MTC food. Our teacher, while speaking only Korean as usual wrote the Korean word for "Nurse" on the board. But we refused because missing any class would put us so behind. Yeah, I've sworn off MTC meat for the next 8 weeks. Looks like it will be salads, wraps, and cereal for me. While they say the meat is turkey or chicken or whatever, it looks like colored sponge, tastes about what it looks like, and feels just as bad once its inside you. I ask myself every day how I will survive eating MTC food for 9 weeks. So you can imagine how excited I was when Grandma Stucki sent me that first package of cinnamon rolls... FOOD FROM THE OUTSIDE!!! So exciting. Tell her thanks for me. Same with the cookies you guys sent me. Thank you so much for that! Sometimes it feels like a prison here, but most of the time its pretty amazing. Besides the food, I love it here. We taught our first fake investigator completely in Korean last Friday, 2 days after entering the MTC. You can imagine how that went. Simple phrases like "God loves you. (Ha Na Nim Abogee sanranghamnida to give you a taste of how you say it) Jesus loves you. We love God. We love Jesus," and so on. Haha oh its so fun. But we teach our investigator every day now. We gave him a Korean Book of Mormon already so that's good. And one day... though he's a fake investigator, we actually made him cry. No, we didn't beat him up. The spirit was just so strong. We had him read the restoration scripture in Joseph Smith-History. And a tear ran down his cheek. Sister Russell started crying too. I was shocked and happy and warm feeling... my Korean might be awful, but hey I guess he could feel our spirit. No one else in our district or the Korean branch has done that yet. Our investigator's name is Begunu. He is acutally a returned missionary from Korea, and though we aren't supposed to know this yet, he will become our teacher probably next week. He knows our strengths and weaknesses since we have been teaching him. But oh my heavens, it is so crazy the love we have already gained for him. It came out of no where. Every time we see him we get all excited to teach him and just feel so much love for him. And he isn't even a real investigator! Sister Simonson, our Korean teacher, was talking to us about it two days ago. She asked us (in Korean of course) if we could feel the love for Begunu. We lit up with a smile and said yes! So much! Even if he isn't a real investigator! We asked where it came from. All the sudden our hearts were just fillled with loved for our fake investigator. She pointed to our missionary badges and said that it was because of our calling. The love we already feel towards our investigator (whether he is a real investigator or not) is absolutely amazing. Seriously. Our district is amazing as well. 8 Elders and 6 Sisters. I just look around the room in class and feel the love for everyone here. They are like my second family. Helps so much with the homesickness! We all get along so well! We laugh when we get to the point of Korean overload and talk for a few minutes altogether (in English! :) ) just to take a break. Then we get back to work and learn. It's a pretty good system, and we all know when to be studying and when it is okay to take a break and laugh a little. I just love it. The Elders are so kind and willing to help. Sister Russel was feeling discouraged last week and they automatically offered a blessing. Though she rejected it, 2 other sisters have already recieved blessings to help with discouragement, homesickness, and a major language barrier. (Sister Wijitunge speaks very little English. But she is learning Korean through English which is a major challenge because she doesnt know much English.) I've been loving it though. No discouragement so far. My Korean isn't great but its coming along better than I could have ever hoped. I can read Korean (takes 20 minutes to get through one verse, but I am still proud!), pray in Korean, teach a lesson in Korean, and i'm starting to understand my teacher more and more. I mean eight hours of Korean a day just does that to you. Their goal is to push it to the limit so that you have to work hard and learn faster. It's just great. The devotionals here are so good too. It's nice to listen to English talks on Sundays and Tuesdays. On Tuesday, the second counselor of the Presiding Bishopric of the church spoke to us. I cant remember his name though, I'm scrambling to tell you all that I can. It was really good though. He and his wife sung love one another with us and it was the cutest thing. Brought chills to everyone here. There's thousands of missionaries here so you can imagine the spirit. And we are here longest so we have a big branch since it takes 9 weeks to leave. I played the piano in sacrament on Sunday for the Korean branch. I played the hymns while the congregation sang in Korean. That was different, but super cool. I couldn't understand anything they were saying but I loved it anyway. I don't know what else I can tell you now, this is a huge email already haha. Oh, and thanks for sending my retainer Mom. The sisters in my room always laugh when I try to talk at night with it in. We are all super close. Sister Fuatanga is hilarious (she's the Australian one) and makes us laugh soo hard. Yesterday we were filling out a questionare about the MTC and what we did before. One of the questions was "how in shape were you before coming to the MTC?" she said, outloud, "Well, circle is a shape right?" and that is when our teacher broke. Brother Scoville was our teacher at the time. None of our teachers ever break character. They speak only Korean and try to keep us learning (even though they are as American as can be and totally speak English). But when Sister Fu said that, he broke. He laughed so hard he had to leave the room. We couldn't stop laughing for like 10 minutes because of his reaction. She's like, one of my favorite people in the world. Our comic relief with a pretty accent. Though she says that Australian accents are so "bogan" (the Australian word for redneck apparently). Oh, speaking of which, this place is accent heaven. I love hearing everyone's accent and hearing where everyone's from. It's so cool to meet people from all over the world. Well, I'm gonna try and upload some pictures now. I don't know if it will work but don't expect anything. Also to answer Mom's questions, we have class Monday-Saturday. Except Thursday which is Pday. And we go to the temple on Pday and go walk around the temple on Sundays. Sundays are spent in various meetings of all sorts. There is never a moment to really breathe here except on pdays. Busy busy busy. But it's good, and I love it (besides the food). I love you all and miss you like crazy! Give all of the family and Chewy a hug for me. I'm glad Brady likes my bed so much. I love hearing from all of you! So keep Dear Eldering me! I get them every day you send them (except saturdays and sundays... those ones come on Monday if you send them then).  This last week flew for me and I hope it did for you too. :) love love love you all

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