Wednesday, November 30, 2016

November 30, 2016
Today at 1:00 PM

I got bangs!

Our Little Christmas Tree

Well, I totally forgot to say Happy Thanksgiving literally the day before Thanksgiving, so... Happy Thanksgiving! I think I mentioned the service project last week, though, and it went really well. I had the great privilege to be asked to serve as one of the table leaders, which basically just meant that I helped the missionaries at our assembly line know what they're doing, get them water when they need it, celebrate each box of meals that we completed... weirded them out with Nacho Libre quotes and loud, somewhat operatic singing along with the Christmas music that was playing... It was a good time. My whole district ate our Thanksgiving meal with chopsticks, and I'm happy to say that I can still do that (use chopsticks, I mean). Good and bad, because it probably means I'll gain A TON of weight when I get to 한국. Ah, well. It will be worth it. 

Friday we were right back at it, the regular schedule, teaching two lessons (and yes, I realize that's not nearly as much as we'll probably be doing in the field, but for now it's a decent amount to do). Here's the thing though... Sister Chun got a little crazy, and totally monopolized our afternoon lesson. Literally talked the entire time. My 동반자들 (companions) couldn't get a word in edgewise. *Facepalm* And then, to continue in the vein of me thinking that I know what I'm doing, that night we had Skype TRC, which is basically just a lesson with a member; it was supposed to be a 30 minute lesson... Definitely cut it off a full 10 minutes early. Just, right at the peak of spiritualness... ! "In the name of Jesus Christ, amen. Will you pray?" Very abrupt, and I think the member knew that it was, but he was a good sport about it. We laughed about it for a solid ten minutes afterward. Good heavens... But! Besides me being a little crazy, it was an amazing lesson. It was one of those lessons where you absolutely know it wasn't the missionaries, even starting from planning the lesson that morning. The Spirit was with us all the way, and that was fantastic. Next time I'll try not to cut Him off...

I got to teach the Relief Society lesson on Sunday, and, admittedly, I could have spent some more time preparing, but it went really well. It was sort of like what D&C 50:22 describes: I was absolutely learning just as much, if not more, even though I was technically the "teacher". Gosh, don't you just love that? 

WE ARE NOW THE SENIOR DISTRICT. Well, we're one of two of the senior districts. We're getting a new district today, which just makes it official. :) Honestly, don't feel that "senior". I guess I do know a little more Korean than the younger districts do, but even then, it's not much. And it also means that we're leaving for 한국 in 12 days... Start that countdown: 12 Days of 한국말 (Korean)! 

One of the Elders from one of the younger districts asked me last night how I could be so happy all the time (I think I was jovially, and probably somewhat obnoxiously, singing a hymn while going up the stairs). I don't remember what I said to him, but I was thinking about it last night during quiet time, and I think the answer is... I just feel so grateful. I have amazing companions, I have an awesome district, I have a loving family, I can feel the Spirit, I'm learning how to be a missionary... everything is just great! And yeah, tomorrow I'll probably be super stressed that I don't speak great Korean, but that's all part of it. We make mistakes and we learn from them. It's great. Everything's great. b(^_^)b

Pardon me while I fan girl about Ammon for a second, but can we just talk about what a boss he is? (Is that an appropriate way to refer to someone in the Book of Mormon? Probably not, but it happened, so... moving on.) I've always loved reading about him, but maybe especially now that I am also a missionary his story hits super close to home. I mean, not that I'm going to go around chopping people's arms off, but... yeah, I'm not going to do that. But Ammon is awesome. Also, in Alma 18:14, Ammon asks King Lamoni what he can do for him, and Lamoni doesn't answer for an hour... talk about being okay with silence in a lesson (see PMG). Go Ammon! 

Okay, lastly, I want to invite all of you to send me missionary moments. Just shoot me a quick DearElder (the MTC version of texting... kind of). I would love to hear from you! It could be something that happened to you on your mission, something that happened to you at school... I'd love to hear about them. :) 

Love you all! Have a good week! 

Sister Chun 

^^ Our Korean nametags came, but they spelled my last name with a  instead of a , and yeah, it doesn't look like a big difference, but I feel like it will be nice to be called "Chun" () by people who actually know how to pronounce it... so hopefully the nametag folks can get it changed before I leave for Korea. Huzzah!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Nov 23 at 12:47 PM

Hey everyone!

Well, things are happening. The latest news is that one of my companions and I have been asked to help lead the service project that we'll be doing MTC-wide tomorrow. We'll be assembling over 350,000 meals, and I'm super excited! Hurray for service! 

I just want to share with you something I came across in personal study the other day: 

Ether 12:41 "And now, I would commend you to seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written, that the grace of God the Father, and also the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of them, may be and abide in you forever. Amen."

There are several things that I love about this verse. First, I looked up the definition of grace in a 1828 dictionary, and here's what it came up with: "free, unmerited love and favor of God, the spring and source of all the benefits men receive of him; divine influence or the influence of the spirit in renewing the heart and refraining from sin". We also understand grace to be the enabling power of the Atonement (see pretty much every Bednar talk on the subject; but actually, do, because they're amazing). The other thing with grace is that the speaker wants it to be in us and abide in us forever. The word "abide" seems like grace will be with us, but the interesting idea of grace being in us... As we strive to be more like Christ, He will give us strength to be His hands. I'm very grateful that's a thing, because we at the MTC for sure wouldn't be able to do His work without His help. 

Love you all!

Sister Chun 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Sisters Chun, Gottfredson, Wright; Elders Huillet, Edwards, Jarman, Driggs, Horne
Elders Martinez, Gilmore, and Boden

Photogenic, yes?

Elder Edwards

Nov 9 at 12:46 PM
Dear everyone, 

The MTC schedule is messing with my head. Technically we're on week 5, but today marks 4 weeks that we've been here (week 1 was the last half of the week)... yeah. Don't over think it, you'll get a headache. ;P

I don't have much to report, since my day to day schedule is pretty much the same. If we had time I would give you a blow by blow of all the funny things that happened during the day, but... you'd have had to have been there. (English is the worst. I'm just trying to imagine how that would conjugate into Korean... O.o) My district has made it a goal to be on time to things, and since we spend most of the day in the classroom, that goal includes being on time to the classroom. Our motivation for being on time is that the door will close at exactly the time we need to be there, and anyone who comes after that must knock, and then translate an English sentence into Korean. I must say, it's been pretty good motivation. Luckily my companions and I have only had to do it once so far; hopefully it stays that way. 

It seems that every week I spend here at the MTC, a theme of spiritual-ness tends to become prevalent. This week the theme for me was optimism. The speaker at last night's devotional, Sister Jones (who is the Primary General President) summed it up perfectly, but I'll have to paraphrase: We can't be gloomy if we've really recognized and accepted what our Savior did for us. And how could we be? That's my goal for the week, and for the rest of my mission. 

I don't know much, but I do know that when I talk about the gospel, when I learn about the gospel, when I think about the gospel, I feel really happy. 

Love you all!

Sister Chun

PS - I met someone from Olathe 2nd ward on Monday, and I'm pretty sure he's Leah Bluhm's brother... 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Nov 2 at 2:55 PM
Hey everyone!

Life is good here at the MTC. This week was pretty fun. We watched a recording of a previous MTC devotional talk by Elder Bednar on Sunday; the recording included shots of the audience and guess who I saw?! Elder Hacking! It was nice. I kind of flipped out. Good to see a familiar face. :)

We met a really interesting elder the other day. His name is Elder Van Tonder (I think I'm remembering that correctly); his mom is Chinese, his dad is from South African, he was born in Paris, and grew up in London and lived most recently in Germany, from where he came to the MTC... Yeah. 

Sometimes I make poor choices, like trying to play volleyball at 6:45 in the morning, and the result is a jammed thumb, exacerbated by all the hand-shaking that happens. (Especially when I shake Brother Facer's hand, because his hands are giant, and I don't think he realizes how firm his handshakes are...) But it feels better now. :)

I sing all the time. I should probably calm down a little bit... It's just so subconscious! And fun! I really appreciate going to the MTC choir. It feels good to be a part of a musical group like that, and it helps that the choir director (whose name escapes me) is so great. Pretty much every rehearsal is a devotional just as spiritually uplifting as actual devotionals. Ees deh behst. 

Also, I guess I didn't realize how often I make weird facial expressions, and just how weird they are, because... I think my companions are a little embarrassed sometimes. ("Sometimes you embarrass me..." Name that movie!) But mostly it just makes us laugh, so that's good. 

Thank you to everyone who sent me things! I so appreciate it! Shout out to Lorin for the Halloween package; my companions and I will be enjoying the tootsie rolls for a while. :) And no worries, Uncle, I'm not smelling the Elders. xP

Okay, last week's final thought was a little rushed. That was my bad. I decided to write the weekly letter last, so I was a little pressed for time. Rest assured, I'm okay. I mean, I was freaking out, but I'm feeling a lot better about things. I guess I didn't really think about how... difficult this would be. The language is difficult, yes, but it's also... In one of the devotionals we had, the speaker talked about how the MTC is not the Language Learning Center: it's the Missionary Training Center. Learning how to be a missionary is SUPER important, and learning the language comes in a really close second (or, at least, it seems to me). Coming to the MTC, I didn't realize how hot this refiner's fire would be. 

So, after the difficult time I had last week, I have come to a conclusion: It all comes down to my choice. (That's part of the Plan of Salvation, right? We just studied that...) Bottom line: I just needed to decide if I would be converted unto the Lord. there's still a lot to do once I am committed--I don't think we'll ever really stop progressing and becoming like our Heavenly heritage--but committing is the first step. So! I'm happy to report that I'm committed, more so now that I was ante-mission. (I used that prefix correctly, right?) Plus, the MTC is so spiritually nourishing! there are so many opportunities to bear my testimony, study the gospel, teach the gospel, listen to others' testimonies... It's really quite amazing. We even have opportunities to hear the apostles of the Lord, like last night, when Elder Russel M. Nelson and his wife came to speak at the devotional. (That was pretty sweet.) I've had some derpy moments (quoting so much Nacho Libre...), but overall, it's SO amazing. I'm very grateful to be here; as difficult as it is, I love it. 

I love you all! Thank you for your thoughts and prayers!


Sister Chun

PS - Auntie Andrea! I met Elder Granados! He's in the district just older than us, lovingly dubbed the "Chucklehead district." They're a little crazy, but also great mentors with the language and the ways of the MTC, especially when we first got here. They're pretty great to have around. :)