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March 18, 2013 by Sister Roueche

So as a foreigner with only a surface level understanding of the language I live in, I make a lot of mistakes. Lots of times I don’t realize it, or the Koreans think it’s funny and understand what I actually meant, so they don’t tell me otherwise. It’s only been recently that I’ve really begun to understand how often I mess up. As I better understand the subtleties of the language and what other people are saying, I realize how I really sound. A week or so ago, I recognized that every time I tried to say, “Just kidding,” I was actually saying, “Southeast.” It’s even more ridiculous because in English those are SO unrelated, but in Korean, they are very similar. The worst part is I definitely taught “southeast” and not “just kidding” to other Americans…

Another really excellent mistake I made was while having dinner with a member and her little daughter. The mom asked me if I was obedient to my own mother when I was little. I said no, to which the member was very shocked! She asked me what would happen when I wasn’t good, and I began to explain my punishment. I didn’t get passed the first word before she and the two Korean sister missionaries burst into laughter. I had no idea what was going on, and had to wait a few minutes while they calmed themselves. Apparently, the word “punishment” that I learned is punishment from God, post judgment, end of the world, and for forever punishment. Very different. But, we made a great joke of it and continued to discuss everything in terms of godly punishment for the rest of the night!

This week while walking down the street, I had one of those “Wow! I’m in Korea!” moments. A friend of mine told me he didn’t really realize he was in a foreign country on a mission until he was on the plane home and it was all over. I wanted to avoid that, but I fear that I’m too busy and caught up with the people I teach and everything I need to do to also recognize, “Oh, hey. This experience is super unique and cool! I’m super lucky!” In just 10 short months I’ll be home again, desperately looking for an opportunity to speak Korean (probably not a lot in small town Tennessee) and wishing I could be back on the streets and crazy buses of Korea telling people about the gospel that I so love. Every day from 10:30 in the morning to 9 at night I have the opportunity to invite people to better know God and to be more happy! Unfortunately, I’m not perfect, and I have to admit that I’ve already squandered so much time and many opportunities. Every day I recommit to doing better. Even by the end of my mission when I step off the airplane, I won’t be perfect. But, fortunately! This life isn’t about being perfect, it’s just about trying our VERY BEST! Every day we can commit to doing better, in whatever way we need to. And every day and every step of the way, maybe through missionaries helping you, or loving family and friends, pesky professors and co-workers, enlightening scriptures, happy stickers and phrases, God is there cheering you on while you do what you can. And He knows you can do even more than you think you can, because He knows and understands you better than yourself. It’s so reassuring to me that I don’t have to know everything, because He does, and I can rely on Him to help me along the way. I hope you know that, too!

1 Comment

  1. Danette says:

    Wow! I didn’t realize how hard you were on Anna with her punishments! Poor, Anna! Ha,ha :)

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