Feb. 19 2013

Hello everybody! Guess what this week is?? That’s right, you got it! It’s my last week in the MTC!!! I leave this coming monday morning at 3am! This week we got our travel plans and we’ve been excited like no other for the past couple days. I’m getting really anxious and a little scared to tell you the truth. To just imagine that in less than a week I will be in a country that doesn’t speak my language and I’m going to have to try to communicate in broken Korean for a couple months. But I know that through the Lord’s help I can do all things. Alma 26:12 He will lead me and keep me from falling.

So this past week, a lot of things happened. This past sunday, I was released from the position of Zone Leader and 2 new zone leaders were appointed. They are really cool and fun Elders. Their names are Elders: Tolman and Gardner. I feel confident that they will keep the standard we, the older districts, set for them.
Also on Sunday, all of the older districts got together with the Koreans and practiced a traditional Korean song called: 아리랑 (pron. ahri rahng) It’s sounds very korean, but it is so awesome. So whenever a group of districts leave for Korea, they all sing this song together after Sacrament meeting. I’ll see if I can get a video or a picture for you. Oh yeah, sorry about no photos in a while, it’s really hard to send a bunch of photos over email, cause you can only send a couple. I’ll probably send my memory card to you and have you post them on Facebook or something. Anyway, so a sad story. I know nobody likes sad stories so I’ll try to make it not so sad to hear. So the week before last, an elder in our zone was sent home. It wasn’t anything about breaking the rules or anything like that. His name was Elder Smurthwaite, from Bountiful, UT. For weeks before he was sent home, he was dealing with a sickness that acted like a really bad case of Mono (Mononucleosis). But the doctors couldn’t figure it all out, because they did a bunch of tests for Mono and a bunch of blood tests and antibody tests and some other things too. But anyway, he was really suffering. He was extremely tired all the time and missed out a bunch on learning Korean. So the District presidency in the MTC decided that it would be best if he was sent home and tried to figure things out. He was really funny and a really awesome elder. Anyway, all the "Daejeon Brothers" dropped him off for his parents to come pick him up. It was really sad for all of us, but hopefully he’ll get better soon and be able to get back out soon.
Then another elder, Elder Bigler. He’s in my district and my residence room. He had a really bad concussion recently, like 2 years ago and just recently his symptoms have been coming back. He says that his brain has been bleeding, I don’t know what that exactly entails, but he’s been having nosebleeds pretty often. He’s had to talk to the district presidency a couple of times. He really wants to go to Korea. I feel bad for him because he might not be able to go…and that will be 2 elders we lost from the elders going to Daejeon. He’s been one of my supports here at the MTC and to see him leave would leave a hole in my heart. He has such a strong testimony and a wonderful spirit about him. Anyway, on a brighter note, I know when I’ll be able to call you guys!!
Here’s the rough itinerary:

This is my first flightLV Salt Lake City 6:17AM
AR L.A. 7:23 AM

Second Fight
LV L.A. 8:12AM
AR San Francisco 9:45AM

Final Flight
LV San Francisco 11:00AM
AR Seoul, Korea 4:15PM

So as you can see, I’ll only have about an hour to talk in the layover in San Fran. So I’ll probably be calling Mom’s(?) phone, I was thinking maybe the conference call line, but I can’t remember the number…or the pin. So, this saturday I’ll be able to email again. So figure out how everything is going to go down, then I’ll call that number at probably 10am or so, that will be California time by the way. So 11am Mountain Home time. Then I’m guessing I’ll be able to call when I get into Korea, just to reassure you that I got into Korea. But I’m not entirely sure about that. Anyway, I have some questions for Mom. When do I take the melatonin? What will help me adjust to the new time?
So my new address this coming tuesday is:

Korea Daejeon Mission
Daejeon P.O. Box 38
Chungcheong-bukdo 300-600
South Korea

So try to get hand-written letters in ASAP. Thank you for all your support and letters. Sorry if I didn’t respond, I just have a lot to do today. Not a lot of time to write letters. Okay, gotta go! I love you all!

Your Elder,

Elder V. LeVan Smith
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