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. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ajy3iOG2inM

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!


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