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

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