That's how you pronounce hello in Korean for all you lovely people back home. This week has been amazing. I'm trying to remember back to two weeks ago when hello was all I could say, and now we teach someone IN KOREAN every single day. And most of the time they understand us! Haha, sometimes they don't but that's okay. That's where my years and years of charades practice comes in (shoutout to the family for always playing charades on camping trips- who knew how useful it could be). But honestly, I'm amazing at how much we are all able to learn here. I'm not saying I'm ready for Korea yet, but I know that when the time comes I'll be more than prepared and so excited to be able to talk to people- even if it's mostly smiling and nodding while I get used to their accents.
One thing I've loved the most about this week is that as we've gotten more settled into the schedule and our residence hall, we get to meet and spend time with a lot more people: most of whom are from all corners of the world. For example, just in my hall we have an entire room of native Korean girls, an entire room of native Japanese girls, six different girls from New Z eland, one from Germany, 4 from the Philippines, and that's not even mentioning all the different states people come from. It's truly amazing. I love learning a little bit of all of their languages and cultures, and what food they eat, and how it's too cold here (they obviously haven't been to Chicago) and all the fun stuff that comes with being from a different part of the globe. I can't wait to see what the differences are in Korea. The native Korean girls are helping me a lot to know whats popular there before I leave so I'm not a total nerdy America when I arrive.
In contrast to that last paragraph, I've also had the chance to meet people who are a lot like me. About an hour ago, I was stopped and asked if I was from Michigan because I'm wearing a Mackinac Island shirt. I told them yes, and they brought over a woman who was also from Michigan. Her name is Michelle and she is just a little bit older than me (not a missionary but she works at the MTC). Turn out she's from Rochester and got baptized just a little bit over a year ago! Needless to say, we are really good friends now hahaha. She actually is the woman who is in charge for reporting news in the MTC- or something like that I'm not totally sure- and one of her duties is to pick a missionary each week to interview and make a news report on, and for this week she chose me! I can't even explain how much love I've felt since beginning my mission. Not only from people like Michelle, or missionaries, but from those of you who read this and send me letters or e-mails. you often don't know how much of an impact you have on someones life by taking the time to care for them, so if you have not been recognized for doing so lately, I would like to take the time to recognize you now.
My district, 28D, is just the best. Everyone works so hard and supports each other and are just so loving. I guess that's one huge benefit of being an all girl district, you don't have to hold back on any love for each other.
This week the message that has been repeatedly shared is about turning out. My mom mentioned that a similar message was shared this week at her church. Funny how God works that way. But we've found that if ever we are starting to worry about ourselves a little to much, or feel sad or stressed, the best way to combat those feelings is to just stop for a moment and love for some way, even if it's small, to do something for someone else. Because if you are in need of encouragement, chances are someone else is too. And if you can forget yourself, and make someone else happy, well, it's bound to make you happy too. I've seen myself getting exponentially more joyful as I try to practice this bit of advice.
In other news, the Elders still call me "War Eagle" and I hold strong with a "Roll Tide" in return. I heard Ohio State won the National championship- and all I can say is that I'll be praying for all you friends down at Alabama, and Dave too. We will get them next year. I love you all sooo much! Have a wonderful week!