Week One is finally done here at the Missionary Training Center. Only eight more weeks to go!! My first day at the MTC they were sure to get you going. We were shuffled by our hosts through various lines getting the necessary supplies--nametags, various books, ID cards, the works. Turns out my residence is on the fourth floor... and there are no elevators. My host was gracious enough to help me haul my two massive suitcases up those four flights. And soon I would learn those stairs were only the beginning of the journey I would face everyday. I ended up in my classroom, which is on the third floor of another building. (So. Many. STAIRS!!) As per standard, my teacher immediately immersed us in the Korean language. I am so thankful for my prior experience with Korean. It has been such a blessing! For me and for others. There are eight missionaries in my district-- four elders and four sisters. (I will attach photos later.) Some of us will be serving in Daejeon, others in Busan, and one elder is going to Vancouver, BC. I seriously love each of them! We came from various backgrounds, each with various levels of prior exposure to Korean. They don't give you much time to adjust here. In fact, within two days of arriving we taught our first lesson! IN KOREAN! Now we teach every day. My district is awesome though. We've come such a long way as a group this last week. It's amazing how much we've grown. Even my own Korean has improved so drastically over this length of time, so much faster than when I was studying Korean at school.
My companion is superb! Her name is Sister Peseta and she came all the way from Samoa!! In fact, she is the first Samoan to be serving in Korea! How cool is that!? She's so outgoing, funny, and cheerful! We balance each other out well, as our differences in strengths and weaknesses balance one another out. We've often wondered why we were placed as companions. It's curious, really. I know we are meant to help each other. Just one example is that she's been having a difficult time with the language (keep in mind her native language is Samoan!) and I've been placed in a position to offer her a lot a help! It's seriously amazing how things like that work out.
Overall, I've been doing well here. (Despite the one day we trekked between our classroom and our residence nearly 14 times!) I've already put in my time struggling with the language prior to coming here, so I'm grateful that I haven't been as stressed about that as the other missionaries. I do my best to help them, and recognize it's only a matter of time before I experience that frustration again. There have been other struggles and tough times though! But I know this is where I am supposed to be right now. This is where the Lord wants me. I do not want to be anywhere else!!
It blows my mind the way time works here... It feels like it's already been a month!! I've had so many ah-ha moments this last week. One realization that hit me, as emphasized by various devotionals and scriptures I've read, is that this work is the Lord's, not ours! As a church, we could easily hire and train professionals to be missionaries. They would be more practiced, more knowledgeable, and probably more persuasive. But instead we have young adults serve... those with little experience at all! And surprisingly people still want to hear our message. There is great wisdom in this! We alone are unqualified for this work. But those that the Lord chooses, He qualifies! It's amazing, really. I've definitely felt inadequate, with my many weaknesses and shortcomings. But the Lord trusts me to find, teach, and invite His children to come to Him. And if He believes in me this much, then I should not fear. It will work out fine!
Remember during those times you feel weak or inadequate, like you can't do it, you are right. You can't do it alone. Turn toward our Lord and He will help you!
I love you all!!