Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Letter 1/19/2014

So I'm going to tell you a really sad story. I always thought that talking about eternal families is something that would attract people to the church and bring them hope. But that's not always the case. I and pretty much every other missionary (everyone that I've talked to about it) has had problems with people NOT wanting to be with their families forever. People, especially mothers, generally like their children and would like to be with them forever but they really don't like their spouses and thinking about having to live with them forever is awful for them. They can't wait to get away from them. Why would they want to live with them FOREVER? Even our 18-year-old English investigator doesn't want to be with her parents.
That being said, there may be more hope fore the future generation and their spouses. Maybe. Perhaps. I don't know. I see a lot of couples everywhere and such relationships are really important. I see a surprising amount of PDA (more than Japan).
We visit an old folk's home every Thursday, helping them with their art time and talking with them. On my first week my companion told me that one of the grandpas (calling people 'Grandma' and 'Grandpa' is a form of respect and closeness so I call all women over a certain age 'Grandma') spoke Japanese so I tried to speak a little bit to him but he went off into a stare and didn't say anything so I was afraid I had brought back PTSD memories and didn't talk to him again. But one day, almost exactly 2 months later, he waved at me from across the room and started speaking Japanese with me. So now I have simple conversation with him, mixing Korean in when I think he doesn't understand (which is super easy because the grammar is the same). He usually says the same things to me every week but it's super cute. Most of them have dementia and they say the same same things every week. One grandma, every time we finish eating lunch, concernedly asks, "What did she eat? Was she able to eat?" And another asks who I am. She'll point to Sister Jeong and say, "You're Korean," and pointing to me says, "you're not." We just say, "Yes, you're right! Good job!"

Our president set up a program for us to learn the lessons and teach effectively. We have to pass off each lesson in English (with our comps) then each section of each lesson in Korean (with our district leaders) then our zone leaders choose two principles from the lesson and we teach them, as well as reciting scripture and being quizzed on vocabulary. We then have to write a talk from each lesson and give that talk in sacrament meeting. And then after we have done all of this for each lesson we meet with an AP and he chooses two principles from all of the lessons and quizzes us as the zone leaders do.  I passed off the first lesson with one of my zone leaders on Wednesday and I'm giving a talk this Sunday (the 26th). And I'm passing off the second lesson in English this Wednesday with my district leader (he's from Cambodia and his Korean isn't very good so he wants to listen to me in English while my comp passes me off in Korean). I took a while to get started because we didn't get the program until I had been here for a month and it was new so no one really knew what to do or where to start. 

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