Archive | December 2012

Week 2?

Talk about a full week! I don’t even know how long I’ve been here. It feels like forever yet time flys by so quickly. I don’t even know if that made any sense…haha! Anyway, SO much has happened since the last letter, and I’m not even sure if I’ll be able to get it in one letter! So last wednesday, 4 elders and 1 sister came in from Korea. They’re all really funny and can speak really good english. And what’s funny is that 3 of the elders and the sister, their last name is all "Lee" HAHA! it’s really funny when we want ot talk to them cause whenever we talk to them, you have to correct yourself and say their first name with their last name so they can tell who you’re talking to. OH spencer! So the entire week I was asking around for Danny and I finally found him! ironically he’s in the same building as us, and actually just basically across the hall. So we talked and i told him about the disneyland thing and everything. He’s really cool and apparently and very good teacher. Anyway, also yesterday, Dad, I was in line for Dinner and i overheard an elder talking and i heard, "Van Wagenen". My ears perked up and i went over to the elder and told him that I’m related to the Van Wagenens. After talking, we discovered that we are both related to Halmagh? Van Wagenen!! it was so cool. He’s from South Jordan I think. Anyway, I thought that was really cool. SO, about korean…talk about the Gift of Tounges! It is so awesome and so hard! We’ve learned how to pray and bear our testimony. Now i can bless my food in under 30 seconds. Before, by the end of the prayer, my food would be ice cold! Haha, anyway, My vocab is getting larger and larger everyday, but my grammar is the key thing I have to work on because there are markers that you have to insert into korean that specify whether or not it’s the subject or the object, or the Secondary subject. And they all are different depending on whether or not it ends with a consonant or a vowel. I wish I could write some korean for you guys, but this computer I’m using doesn’t allow you to. I’m sure sooner or later i’ll be able to type some out to you.

Thank you for all the letters and presents! On christmas eve, the elders in my district and I had a "party". They just opened their presents and we all had a good time! Anyway, Today we had the big Christmas Devotional. And guess who was the main speaker?? Russell M. Nelson! he was so inspirational. But he also crushed all the rumors about missionaries getting call letters to china. So just tell everyone that spreading that rumor that it’s not true. Because, he quoted Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley on missionary work, "We always come into a country through the front door." There were alot of rumors about that floating around here. But anyway, i got a new teacher in addition to my previous one! Her name is Sister Wadsworth. And guess what, the "investigator" we were teaching, guess who that was? Sis. Wadsworth! She’s really cool and short! Haha! Now guess what, now we’re supposed to teach 2 investigators! You can only guess who they are…well they’ll be playing the part. The first week I was having a hard time adjusting to my companion. But through our struggles, we have learned to love eachother. It’s very hard taking on these responsibilites and making goals for yourself and keeping those goals. But I’ve learned that planning EVERYTHING really helps. It helps you really focus and push yourself. Anyway i have to go, sorry i wasn’t able to send pics yet, I don’t have a card reader that works, but i’ll figure something out. Anyway, I hope all of you had a wonderful, Merry Christmas!!!

Your Elder,

Elder V. LeVan Smith

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My First Letter!!

Annyoung Hasaeyo!!

Wow! My brain has exploded. Everything has been shoved into my brain and I don’t know what to do with it. Let me tell you about my first week:

Day 1-6? The very first day we were in a class and learning Korean. Korean is flippin awesome!! But it’s so hard. So the first day, I walk into class after all the other orientation, and the teacher is teaching in Korean. So you have to figure out from his flailing arms what he’s trying to get across to us. But it is so AMAZING how much the Lord blesses you. You can truly see the gift of tounges throughout the days. But that doesn’t mean it comes easy…Aigoo…(that means "oh my", but the 1st golden rule is not to romanize Korean…)Anyway, it doesn’t come easy. At all. The first few days were probably the hardest days of my life so far. We were assigned an "investigator" to teach and her name is Kim Gyun. OH! I forgot to tell you about my companion. His name is Elder Alex Hakes. Ironically, he’s from Idaho too. His family is very well off and live in Burley. It freaks me out cause he looks A LOT like Spencer. He’s really cool. The first week he sorta had a homesickness problem, but he got over it. He’s sorta a sporty guy, like he did football and stuff. Anyway, when we were teaching Kim Gyun, our second lesson we totally confused her and we were getting pretty frustrated with each other. But through the Lord’s help, we are now getting along pretty well.

So sunday we had sacrament meeting. Most of it was in Korean. It was hilarious cause when we were singing the hymns, all of the Elders around us were singing pretty well and saying everything pretty much perfect. But me and my companion and everyone else in our district were like mumbling the words and when we came across a word we could read, we sang it really loud. It was really funny! What was really cool and very touching to me was how the Koreans take and pass the sacrament. Whenever Koreans take or recieve something, like a handshake or something important, like the sacrament or a Book of Mormon, they take it with their hand and with the other hand they hold their elbow representing they’re recieving or giving it with their entire body/self. It was very touching to me. I almost cried. I have a feeling that I’m going to have a wonderful time in Korea.

I haven’t really been homesick. Not that i don’t miss you guys, but I know that it’s not something I should focus on. I’ve been really happy and singing all the time! And all the Elders/Sisters in my district always ask how I can be so happy all the time! They told me that I should try out for the Special Christmas Devotional on next tuesday. The audition is today. I’m going to try out. You can really feel the Spirit here. Especially at the devotionals and the classes. You learn so much and what you have to work on. My teacher is Pendley Hyoung Jae(that means Brother) so Brother Pendley. It’s really funny cause he doesn’t stop smiling. I don’t think he’s frowned in his entire life! I’ll have to get a picture of him soon. Anyway, he’s really cool and a really good teacher.

The other Elders in my dorm are: Elder Bigler and Elder Chow. Elder Bigler is very spiritual and always has a positive outlook on life. Elder Chow and I really click it seems like. He’s really fun and always sings along with me. He’s what I would call a mutt. Haha! He’s Hawaiian, Chinese, Portugese, Italian, English and something else I think. He’s really funny and always gets my humor. Anyway I think i have to get off, lots of elders are waiting for me to get off. I got all your letters and I love getting letters, but if I don’t respond for a while, don’t fret, I’m just really busy and barely have time to write anything, even in my journal! Anyway, I give you my love and hope you guys have a very Merry Christmas and can’t wait to hear from you guys!

Your faithful, confused Elder,

Elder V. LeVan Smith

P.S. I’ll send pics later, didn’t have time to.

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안녕하 세요!

(Don’t worry, you’ll soon learn(as will I), but it says, “Hello!”)

So my plan for this blog is this: every time I send an email to my parents, it’ll post to this blog so everyone will know what I’m experiencing on my mission. For those of you who don’t know when I’m leaving, I’ll be leaving for the MTC(Missionary Training Center) in Provo on Dec. 12th. I’ll be there for 9 weeks learning the language and how to teach. I’ll try to update as much as possible, about every week. Usually on the same day every week. Please feel free to subscribe, and if you don’t know how that works, neither do I; but some people like to do that. Thank you for your support and love.

Elder V. LeVan Smith