Sunday, September 29, 2013

Third MTC Letter 9/27/2013

The Korean Thanks giving is in the beginning of September. I think it's to celebrate their liberation from Japan. 

The Seoul South Mission is the smallest but it's densely populated. We have the rich part of the city in our mission. We have some inaka (Japanese for countryside)* but it's mostly city. All of Gangam is in my mission. "Gang" means "river" and "nam" means "south" because Gangnam is south of the river. Gangnam is the LA/Hollywood of Korea. Hence the song "Oppan Gangnam style." "Oppa" means older brother (if you're a girl - it's different of you're a boy) and "Oppan" is what girls call their boyfriends ("Oppa~~an!"). Look at the wonderful things I'm learning :) 

I don't have a lot of advice for you concerning learning Korean (We are studying Korean, because we will be moving there for Brock to teach at a university in Daejeon) because the way I'm learning it is so different. We're just thrown into it and we either have to sink or swim. Our teachers speak to us in Korean and we teach all of our discussions in Korean. Our investigators try to be as real as they can so they won't understand any English if we even try to throw some English words in there. We watched the movie "Legacy" in Korean on Sunday and it was very entertaining. The native Koreans were the most entertained. They're all so cute. 

Pictures are really important in Korea. They love pictures. And family is really important to them. So, they like to see family pictures. It helps to build a lot of trust with investigators. 

We go to the temple in the afternoon on our P-Days. We did sealings last week and we are going to do endowments today. I'm the only missionary in my district (there may be on or two others) who has seen the old movie. Everyone else got their calls so much later than I did! And a lot of people waited to get their endowments. 

One of the elders in my branch is descended from Hosea Stout. He's leaving on Monday but we've enjoyed sharing our heritage, especially because Hosea was the first missionary to go to Asia, right? 

You made a comment in RS at one point this summer in which you said that you learned to communicate through the Spirit rather than through Japanese. How did you do that? Learning Korean is not a self-esteem booster. It is most humbling. Japanese keeps giving me a difficult time. It very nice sometimes because I can guess what words are if they sounds similar to Japanese but because Korean and Japanese are in the same part of my brain, when I go to pluck a Korean word out of my brain I pick up a Japanese one instead. And then I have to put it back and try to find the Korean words again (whether I know it or not) and so I'm switching from English to Japanese to English to Korean to English and then I realize that I've been silent for several seconds and my investigator is just looking at me with pity. How do people learn multiple languages?

* Italics added by Julie

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Second MTC Letter 9/20/2013

Guess what? I'm going to sing in the RS broadcast! They only picked about half of the sisters who applied. And guess who's leading us? Emily Wadley! (our friend who has acted in and helps direct the Nauvoo pageant, and starred in "17 Miracles") One of the songs we'll sing was written by Sally DeFord especially for us. They wanted missionaries to sing because they made the age-change last October.

Korean is fun. My work-outs are the high-light of my day. I look forward to them so much. I go on splits with a girl in my district because we're the only two that like to exercise intensely. And I can talk to her about crazy healthy food and stuff. And I love having a work-out buddy. None of the other girls in my district like to exercise. But I'm obsessed with it. I need it. It helps me to relieve so much stress. I just take it all out on my workouts. Plus the food is gross and working out helps me to feel better on the inside. We sit ALL DAY LONG. All day long. We wake up, study in our classrooms while we sit; eat breakfast while we sit; go study in the computer labs while we sit; study in our classrooms while we sit; eat lunch while we sit; study in our classroom while we sit; write in my journal while I sit; have planning meetings, district meetings, church, choir practice, mock discussions all while we sit; eat dinner while we sit; and have personal study while we sit. I think I left some sitting time out of there. We calculated that we'll spend 550 hours in our classroom while we're here. 550 hours in the same classroom and same seat. 

I'm learning a lot about myself. And watching companionships helps me to learn a lot about myself and my relationships with other people. I've somehow become the Ann Elliot (character in "Persuasion" by Jane Austen) of my districtMy comp keeps telling me that I speak Korean with a Japanese accent. And my district sisters keep telling me I'm so Asian (even though two of the mare half Chinese and one is full Chinese - all of them grew up in America).

I saw Mana (a good friend from Japan who is working in the MTC) a couple of days ago. I still haven't seen Brian Stout (a good friend and distant relative from our time in Japan who entered the MTC the same day she did. He is going to Ukraine). I think he's on the west campus.
I've been singing in the choir for the devotionals. It's amazing how exciting it is to leave campus twice a week for devotionals and temple time.

As I've been trying to eat healthier (one grain. one protein, two vegetables), I feel so much better about life. I felt so sick and nasty the first few days. We've had a cold going around our district.
I've been studying Korean really hard. I'm trying really hard to give my all before I turn it over to God. And I'm trying to obey all rules with exactness. Elder Oaks (or someone like that) gave a blessing on the MTC a few weeks ago so that every missionary who practiced exact obedience would be blessed with the gift of tongues. I'd like to cash in on that blessing.

I love you!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

First MTC letter 9/13/2013

I've seen a lot of people I know so it's been fun. There are a bunch of people that I know here from BYU. And a couple of people that I met this summer. My companion is my friend from BYU. Her name is Taylor Carter. She's half Chinese and one of our roommates is Chinese American so we have fun comparing Korean to Chinese and Japanese. I liked living with Asians. I'm so excited to go back to Asia. We actually have another sister in our district who is half Chinese. And an elder who is Chinese-American.

 The MTC actually isn't super crowded. They coordinate everyone's schedules so that there isn't a lot of overlapping between zones. I have four sisters in my room and six in my district, and six elders, all going to Seoul South - District J! The West campus is in a group of apartment complexes that the church took over. They have the Asian Missionaries on the main campus.

 The Perringtons are in my branch presidency. Brother Perrington interviewed everyone in my district (we have three new districts who came in on Wednesday). He gave me some advice comparing Japan to Korea.

It feels like I've been here for a week rather than two days. It's so weird. We do so much stuff every day that it feels like each day is three days. I don't know if I'll love it yet or not. I'm glad I'm here but I might get sick of it after 9 weeks.

Time was speeding up before I entered the MTC but now it feels super slow because we're packing so much into one day that it doesn't feel like we could possibly have finished everything we did in one day. We have a tiny bit of personal time but they give us assignments to do during that time. We have to prepare a talk in Korean each week for our branch. And two people can randomly be called up to talk. I'm so glad that I got the Hangul alphabet down before I got here. It's given me a head-start.

We teaching our first (pretend) investigator tonight IN KOREAN! Knowing Japanese had actually been helpful because I translate what I want to say into Japanese first to figure out the sentence structure. But I keep wanting to speak Japanese to my companion when I want to speak Korean. 

We don't have much free time and we spend most of our time in classrooms or in other rooms full of people so it isn't in the comfort zone for introverts. I'm so tired. Sticking to the schedule isn't hard because so many poeple make sure we stick to it. And I have the same schedule as my companion and usually the other people in my district. So I can just follow them. And I know that I'll never catch up on sleep. We get to sleep until 6:30 every morning except our P-days because we have our service project at 6. We got to clean bathroom today. Cleaning the urinals was an especially wonderful treat.

 The cafeteria has a small room full of food for people with food allergies. So when salads are no longer appetizing I can go and find food in there. It's very nice to have. The only problem is that I can eat desserts now. I was counting on desserts being off-limits for me. At least we have 5 hours of exercise a week. hehe

 My classroom is in 7M with the Japanese classrooms and my residency is in 3M on the same floor as the Japanese sisters. So I like to talk to them and sometimes speak to them in Japanese so that they think I'm serving in Japan too. Korean is so cute and fun. Once I got here, a sister took my to my residency to drop off my luggage, took me to pick up my books, and then took me to my classroom where all of the teachers spoke nothing but Korean. all I could do was smile and bow. 

They had us practice teaching discussion to investigators by getting to know them and basing discussions on their needs. They waste no time here in getting down to work. I guess my call letter had a type-o or something because I'll be here until November 8th. Which is comforting because I now have more time to learn Korean. By the way, my mailing address changed form NOV09 to NOV08 but I'm sure it's not a big deal.

 I love you!

 Love, Stout Jamae (I was wrong. Jamae comes after the last name.)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Family Time

Tashi flew out of Quincy, IL super early in the morning.
Tashi then flew to Utah, where she got to spend a day with my mom's side of the family before she went into the MTC. Here she is making dinner with two of our cousins, Emily and Kate.
Family dinner!
Tashi, our cousin Stephen, and his bride Michelle
Tashi got to go to Cafe Rio!
Our cousin Jordan just got home from his mission to Croatia.
Angel Moroni on the Provo Temple
Tashi, Cousin Jordan, and
Aunt Jill

Tashi getting dropped off at the MTC!

All of the photos except the top one were taken by Aunt Jill.

Mission Photos

Tashi got some Mission photos just before she left! These are a few of our favorites.Tom Simpson was the photographer and took some family photos for us too. Go check out his website HERE.

Thursday, September 12, 2013


I got a little email from Tashi right before she went into the MTC (Missionary Training Center). She said this:

"I'm so excited to help in the Lord's work and to get to know the Korean people. I know that I'm going where God wants me to go and I hope I can help bring happiness to those I'll meet."

Sunday, September 8, 2013

This is Tashi’s sister, Lexi. I will be posting for her while she is gone. The main purpose for this blog is to print it out into a book when Tashi is done with her mission, but we’d love for you to keep up to date with her adventures too!
Tashi has been called to the Korea Seoul South Mission. She reports to the MTC on September 11, 2013. This mission is one of the 58 new missions that were announced in Frebruary of this year. She received her call in April. My family thought she would be called to Japan, but we were all pleasantly surprised. Tashi has been studying Korean all summer, making Kimchi, watching The District, and reading Preach my Gospel.

We’re down to the last few days and it seems that time is speeding up. I’ll miss Tashi, but I’m so proud of her and actually a little jealous of the experiences that she’ll get to have. 행운 (haeng un) – Good luck!