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The Koreans are coming!

July 10, 2012 by Sister Roueche

Last night the Koreans started arriving.  This is one of those exciting days in an MTC lifespan, when the natives come to play.

There are some missionaries that have been here six weeks longer than I have, so they will soon be entering the mission field.  Any missionaries from Korea who will be starting their mission at the same time come here first for three weeks for some training, just not language training like the rest of us need.  It was practically bedtime when the eleven South Koreans arrived from the airport, so I knew that our hilarious Korglish (Korean + English, not my invention but theirs) introductions would be made.  Fortune smiled upon us, however, and this morning at exactly 1:30 am, the fire alarm went off! Out in the parking lot in our pajamas and carrying our scriptures bags (just in case it wasn’t a drill) we met the four sister missionaries from South Korea.  They jumped up and down and were as excited to meet us as we were to meet them!  While we waited for the “All clear,” to go back to bed, we learned about their lives and even picked up some new vocabulary.  This morning, all of us English speakers confessed to each other that we were all too scared to speak much Korean, for fear that we would be terrible.  How selfish of us since we in turn are maknig them speak our language, a language they are not entirely comfortable in either.  I plan to do better.  This Friday, my roommates have all made a goal that until noon, we will only speak Korean. This means that I need to learn some everyday words because I don’t think “Jesus Christ’s gospel” and “Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon,” is really going to cut it in the breakfast line.
Some fun facts about my life here at the MTC: I am a Korean.  Last night the natives arrived, but I am still Korean. Across the hall from my classroom is where the Mandarins have class and upstairs the Tongans and Thai missionaries have class.  If while playing sand volleyball the Mandarins lose their ball to our court, they shout “Play it!” which means that no matter what keep the ball in play, and when we bump and set it back to their game, they shout, “Thank you, Koreans!”  Most of the Koreans are from Utah, but we have a Canadian, three Austrailians, and two Japanese to diversify the Korean population.
Last week was the Fourth of July, so I hope that all of you celebrated with a great cookout, loud music, and fireworks (my favorite).  We celebrated a little differently.  I figured that this holiday would go by unnoticed and we would continue to work hard through the evening and go to bed while Stadium of Fire (a really spectacular fireworks display in Provo) rumbled outside without us.  But we found out that we were going to have a special devotional!  The evening was spent with a Utah Judge who spoke on the blessings and freedoms in our lives, singing, awesome fiddle playing, Magnum ice cream bars, and getting to stay up past our bedtime to go outside and watch the fireworks from afar!  The devotional was not spent reminiscing about the freedom from Mother England, but instead the blessing of religious freedom in America and the over thirty countries represented by missionaries currently learning and living at the MTC.  The evening started with the whole room of 2,500 missionaries acting out children’s songs, recognizing those Elders who have already received Dear John letters from their no-longer sweethearts, and singing Happy Birthday to random people and some classic Americana songs. The night ended with an awesome flag ceremony of the flags of everyone’s home country and also where we would all soon be embarking to serve.  It was a unique, but great way to celebrate the Fourth of July.

1 Comment

  1. Katie Pederson says:

    I’m going to make 1 reply for the last two posts. First: HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I’m glad to hear it was superb! Secondly, I can literally hear you exclaiming your daily affirmations, and your excited screams when meeting the Koreans. Keep posting these little details, it makes you feel much less far away :)

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