Thursday, November 17, 2016

Week Two

So in the first email I didn't mention that on our third day in the MTC we taught our first Korean lesson to our first investigator, Sister Gang. It was the same day that we learned how to conjugate a three word sentence, so we said in essence: God loves you. God is your father. Pray to God. Gamsahamnida. 

We taught her everyday for the next few days. After the fourth lesson she revealed herself as our second teacher, Sister Oh, and that she was role-playing an investigator she had on her mission in Busan. She is speaks way less English than Brother Driggs does, and so we have to work harder to understand her. 

Brother Driggs told a story from his mission where he met a Chinese man who knew no English or Korean, who was in Korea doing some study or something for his master's thesis. Neither Brother Driggs nor his companion knew more than a few chinese words, but they convinced him to follow them to a nearby church where they had a Chinese Book of Mormon and some pamphlets. They taught him every day for over a week until he had to go back to China. He didn't get baptized because he wouldn't have had a church to go to in China, but he told them: "There are no missionaries in China, send missionaries because my family and I need to be baptized"
Brother Driggs has never heard from him since. He showed us how language is not anywhere near as important as sensitivity to the spirit. There is a reason the first sentence we learned is "God loves you" If that was the only sentence I could say my whole mission, I could still be more successful than a native speaker that knew everything about the church, as long as I am sensitive to the spirit, and can say that one sentence with power. Teaching us to understand this concept is the purpose of the MTC. Learning a language forces a missionary to learn this, because they don't have the option of letting other words get in the way.

Monday was our first "TRC Meeting", which is where we teach a lesson to actual volunteer Korean members living in the area. It's like a family home evening thing. Elder Leithead and I were super unprepared, we forgot how to ask where they were from or even what their names were. We were trying to talk about things we didn't have the vocab for. The spirit was absent and everyone was uncomfortable as we tried to read our Korean notes. It was really discouraging. Afterwards, Brother Driggs had the district come outside and asked someone to volunteer to jump as far as they could from a standing position. He marked the spot, and then said to jump farther. Then farther. He had a few more of us do it. We could all do it. "Reach your hand up as high as you can." "Ok, higher" "higher" We could all do it of course. "If I kept going you would have got on the benches, climbed trees, you could figure out a way to go higher." It was pretty obvious how we could apply this to Korean. 

Yesterday, towards the end of the lesson, Sister Oh announced that we would have ten minutes to prepare as a group a 30 minute lesson directed to her. It would not be a role-play. When she left, we brainstormed vague ideas of what to say and said a prayer to know what she needed to hear and to have the spirit. When she came back in there was an awkward minute when no one said anything, but Elder Omori started saying stuff, and others chimed in. We used about half Korean half English, mixed sentences. During that lesson I recognized the spirit in a way I never have before. I've had overwhelming spiritual experiences every-time I really wanted them, but this was a very unique clarity of thought, peace, wisdom, and a little buzz. I asked her to read Mosiah 4:27 (I think) "It is not requisite that a man run faster than he has strength" and I told her that God won't frequently ask her to give more than she can, but when he does ask it of us, he will also give her the strength she needs to do it.

She was crying by the end of the lesson and so were a couple Elders.

Yesterday, Elder Bednar spoke for the devotional. It was broadcasted to all of the MTC's and my district all sang in the choir. A super cool arrangement of "Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer" He spoke about general conference and emphasized that general conference talks should be part of our daily study material for the next six months. The Book of Mormon is directed to our time period, but Seers direct their messages to today, exactly what we need right now.

A mission is in absolutely no way a sacrifice. Elder Omori and I were talking about this last night. Everything about the MTC gives to the missionary. If I went home right now, I would never be the same.

-Elder Brown

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