Monday, May 25, 2009

Nothing like the smell of kimchi in the morning‏

Hello hello!

So, I decided there are only 3 smells in Korea: kimchi, fish and bus exhaust. Occasionally there will be a strong, fleeting whiff of something else, but it always disappears before you can identify it. I've thought about numbering them "Mysterious smell #___"

Well, once again I left my handy dandy notebook at home, so I don't have a constructed thought pattern.

So, this is super hard. I thought I could speak Korean alright in the MTC but I feel like I went backwards and speak less here, rather than more. I AM learning, though, and things are going well. It's amazing how I'll spend the whole day struggling to understand and respond yet I'll still go to bed happier than I've ever been. God blesses those who serve him, because I SHOULD be crying myself to sleep every night with how hard this is, yet I just feel a gladness in my heart.

Good news: President gave me permission to call on Fathers' day, so I need you to send my your "Sunday schedule" so I can figure out when the best time for me to call would be. We'll be in touch on that.

Funny story: the other day I was in a missionary coordination meeting with the ward mission leader and I felt pretty proud of myself because I felt like I knew the gist of what we were talking about. After a little while I realized that I understood so well because he was conducting in English. Yeah, I really AM blonde.

Chalene, what is the missionaries name whose Mom found my blog? That'd be fun to know.

My companion is great. I am really lucky that she speaks as much english as she does. She's got a heart of gold and never gives up on me. I'm very grateful for her. Not to mention she knows the bus system like the back of her hand (which is very helpful).

Gah, I know I had stuff I wanted to say, but my mind is blank.

So, I realized the other day that there are 4 times as many people in my AREA as the population of Scott's ENTIRE mission. Craziness. There are probably more people on my floor of my apartment complex than in the entirety of Wolfpoint. It's a different world out here. It's funny how fast you get used to all of the people, though. Personal space just doesn't exist. It works.

Well, we're off to go see a Buddhist temple--supposedly one of the biggest in the world. That should be fun. I'm excited.

Oh, Sis. Beckstead got a package with dried mangoes in it from Costco in it--and they were DELIGHTFUL. Maybe they have some at Sams? (That's not a hint at all :) ).

Much love to all!


Saturday, May 23, 2009

MTC Pictures

Last picture without a nametag!!!

My first day -- you can't tell, but I'm shaking. My excuse is that it was cold.

Camping. Sis. Oates, Sis. Peterson, {Korean that must mean "Me"}. We look very drawn out after a long day of learning Korean. Yay for tents & S'mores!

I know... it's pathetic... BUT I LOVE IT!!!

Sis. Peterson, Me

Not a fan of the random Elder who took this picture... apparently he thought I cared about the white wall more than the people. Me, Sis. Lee, Sis. Kang, Sister Peterson.

Japan: Sis Ho, Sis Ige, Sis Hart, Sis Rice
Korea: Sis Peterson, Me

The District :)
Me, Sis. Peterson, Elder Romero, Elder Nye, Elder Fertig, Brother Fjeldsted

Sis. Peterson, Me

Elder Nye, Elder Fertig, Elder Romero

Sis. Peterson, Me

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Land of the Morning Calm‏


Okay, I thought I hated the keyboard at the MTC but at least it t\didn't magically w\switch to Korean or Japanese mid-stroke!

Finishing up the MTC was good. Everyone look up the "Berlitz language for life" commercial on youtube (the one with the German coastguard). That's about how I feel write now. Maybe Chalene will get adventurous and figure out how to post it on the blog.

Good news! One of my investigators in the call center at the MTC got baptized last week! Yay Samuel. He's moving to Ft. Collins in June, so those of you up at CSU keep an eye out for Samuel Serrano at Church. I think he wants to go to a family ward, but he might go to the Singles ward.

Funny Korean: I tried to say I was going to do a fireside night (the normal way to say it in Korean), but the word for fireside is very similar to the word for "husband". So, while outlining my day I said I was going to do a "husband's night". Not sure what that is, but I'm sure missionaries shouldn't do it :).

It was about time to leave the MTC. The elders were looking younger and younger every week. Did I miss the memo about deacons being sent on missions?

The plane ride was long. Really long. But it's over and I don't have to do that again for a while. Mom told me about the infamous facebook conversation "My sister is flying to Korea today" "Mine too" "My cousin too!" etc. You'll be happy to know we WERE all on the same flight. :)

Landing was fun. I rally like Pres. Jennings. We were putting all of the luggage into the mission van and I moved a suictcase around so it would fit better, and Pres said behind me "Sometimes it just takes an engineer." I just laughed and then he said " I'm really an engineer stuck in a lawyer's body with the soul of a musician just dying to escape. That should give you an idea of just how well we get along. I really look up to him.

On our training day the Assistants and all of the trainers (including my companion) ate a live octopus. Weird.

My companion is Sis. Pak Min Jung. She is from the Seoul area and has been out 9 months. She speaks english pretty well (better than my Korean, which isn't saying much) but we still have a bit of a language barrier. I'm very grateful for my roommate Sis. Beckstead who is a champ at helping me through everything--at night anyway.

The first night there happened to be a concert where the BYU wind symphony was playing in the Busan Cultural Center and we all got permission to go. I have to admit I slept through the whole thing because of jet lag, but there were a few people in it that I knew. The best part was seeing Bro.Fuller, my MTC teacher again. A familiar face speaking english was a huge relief.

The deal with packages: if you send them via regular post you can send them to the "letters" address I gave you, but if you send them via fedex or ups, etc you have to give them the "packages" address to send to me. Fedex or whatnot will end up being slower because I'll only get it when I make it to the mission home(they can't be forwarded whereas normal mail can be), which is pretty rare, so regular post is best.

There are really strange things people spend money on here. For example, you can buy a spray bottle full of "mineral water" for mahn won (about $10) that you spray on your skin to make it healthy. I don't know about you, but that's expensive water--especially here where you're swimming through the air anyway.

Korean buses are like American rollar coasters---only cheaper.

I'm in the Gimhae and Gupo areas (I think that's how you romanize them), if you care.

I've learned that red lights are merely suggestions---and loose ones at that.

Squatters aren't as awkward as Americans imagine them. If you don't know what a squatter is--check Wikipedia. Think toilet without the toilet. It's a porcelain hole in the ground that you go in. It's funny that bathroom literature is only 2 feet off the ground here :).

I've spent too long doing this. We all want to go bowling in Nampadong (no idea how to spell that in roman characters). 'Twill be fun.

Much love to all!


Friday, May 15, 2009


Here are some pictures that Rachel's Mission President sent.

She is in the Gupo and Kimhae Branches on the west side of the Busan metro area. Her companion is Sister Park Min Jung.

Her Mission President said "Sister Ogilvie is very bold in using her Korean and I can tell that she will learn the language very quickly – which is a relative term given how hard Korean is for native English speakers."

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

It's May, It's May, The Merry ol' month of May‏

Well, here I am. Yay for the last timed e-mail. In the future I should have an hour to email--so, Chalene, will you assemble an up-to-date list of all of the Geeks' email addresses so I can have the option of writing you all on occasion?

Also, Mom, you asked me to say when I'm leaving, I'm leaving early Monday morning (May 11). If you want to dearelder me for free before then I suggest having it in by Thursday night, though supposedly Friday by noon will work.

Good news, despite the fact that we can't call on Mother's Day from the MTC Pres. Carlson said that a breif phone call from the airport is appropriate. My flight is at 8 AM, so I should be calling sometime between 6:30 and 8:00 AM. I'd appreciate it if Dad and Matt put off going to work until I've called :). I think I'm limited to 30 minutes and that much only if time allows--so speaker phone is probably best :).

Mom, you can send the pictures as attachments. Ask Matt or Tim to help if you can't get it (or wait for Malea). I'm excited to see them. I'd still like a hard copy of a picture of the Nova, though :).

Sounds like Dad is really busy getting the van in order to go pick up Malea. If I know Dad he'll finish it the night before--if that early. He always takes good care of everything, though. I've learned a lot from him in that regard. Just get it taken care of :).

I got a haircut today. The MTC barbers aren't as bad as the rumors proclaim them to be. Then again, I just had her cut of split ends. Nothing drastic. No pictures are necessary--I promise. I look the same.

I'll be sending some prints home today.

Today has been a day of chance meetings. This morning I ran into Grandpa Robison again at the Temple. That's always very pleasant. He's a good man. I enjoyed seeing him.

Then I ran into Michael McConkie, who works here at the MTC now. I hadn't seen him in a few years, so it was fun to chat for a second.

Then I ran into Nikki, my roommate Brittney's sister. It's always fun to see her because she's so pleasant. I got to hear a bit about Britt's wedding plans and other things--so that was fun.

Funny who you run into here in our small little bubble.

Elder Ballard is coming tonight. Usually such information is unknown until he walks into the buidling, but the second councilor in the MTC Presidency likes us a lot so he told us :). Given that it starts in 2 hours I don't think I'm in danger of you spoiling the secret for anyone. I'm excited to have him come. That makes three Apostles in the time I've been at the MTC. You sure learn a lot here.

Funny "only-at-the-MTC" story: I was saying goodbye to a sister gouing to Germany who got here the day I did. Suddenly there was a knock on the door and a sister excitedly exclaimed "The new German sister just got here from Thailand!" It's a head-scratcher, I know. By MTC standards I'm a Korean. Therefore this Thai girl must be German. Gotta love it.

In case you were wondering---I wasn't kidding about the pitch pipe. Please?! :)

I'll try to send pictures on a regular basis once I reach Korea and have a normal computer that doesn't block all possible functions.

Love to all!