Saturday, December 21, 2013


This week has been pretty rough, I'm not going to sugar-coat it. There was a lot of fun stuff and spiritual moments that happened for sure, but I had an upset stomach all week. It got bad enough that I had to go to the Medical Centre. Turns out I had a virus wreaking havoc in my gut. I'm feeling better now, thank goodness. It was so hard to keep focused during anything all week, and I feel like my learning curve got stunted a little bit. Hopefully I can make up for that in the next few days. I blame the cafeteria food (to give you an idea of what it's like, Shaylynn).

Learning a new language is so much fun and so confuzzling at the same time. It's fun because you get to say random things to people and they just assume you're saying hello. Muahahahaha. It's confuzzling because Korean is absolutely nothing like English what-so-flopping-ever! Basic sentence structure is : Subject - Object - Verb, as opposed to Subject -Verb - Object in English. Wrapping your head around that is ridiculous at first, and it only goes downhill from there when you learn how to say more complex phrases. But you figure it out eventually and it gets easier with practice. Other fun facts: 'please' is not in the Korean vocabulary. I mean, it is, but it's only used for begging, apparently. Korean has two number systems, and while the teacher tells you general rules for when to use which one, it's just going to take getting used to. Titles come after names. I'm Shaver Elder, if you're addressing me in Korean. The basic greeting in Korean: 안영하 새요,  translates into: "are you at peace?" To which you generally reply "내" (or 네), meaning yes. ㅐ and ㅔ make the same sound. It's a nightmare trying to figure out which one goes with what words. So does ㅚ ㅙ and ㅞ. AGH!

Anyways. Elder Rasband and his wife and family came to the MTC last Tuesday, which was awesome! He talked about Spiritual Gifts and how special they were, no matter what gifts we are given. The BYU Men's Chorus (I think is what they're called) came on Sunday, which was awesome, because it's just good to hear good music for once. Music is not allowed to be played here. So the iPod that I have with me is not allowed until I'm in Korea. Whoop-de-doo. Everybody misses it so much, we bring it up at least twice a day. 

A new group of Korea-bound missionaries got here on Wednesday, which means that we're not the greenies anymore! Yay! Elder Watts, in my district, has been challenged by the older dongi (our Korean word for 'group' that I'm not sure how to spell), to keep up the impression that he's from England. Watts has the most amazing voice. He can do just about anything with it. He can sing really well, he can impersonate so many awesome things (like an English accent, or Smeagol, and the best 'black man' voice I've ever heard. Seriously, people down the hall thought some random African American guy was hanging around being really loud.)

My District is so awesome! We all have musical talent. It's phenomenal! Elder Meeks plays guitar in the same way I do. The Sisters have amazing voices. Elder Ethington has a super deep voice, (deeper than maybe even the Whibleys O.o), seriously he can hit those notes in the dwarf's song in the Hobbit flawlessly. Ah! It's wonderful when we do four-part harmonies a cappella at the beginning of class. We're all learning really fast, apparently. The older dongi and the teachers we have are apparently blown away with how far we've gotten in learning the language. The best part is, we all like the same things. Lord of the Rings? everyone's a fan. Avatar and Korra? Everyone's a fan. It's awesome. And we've started a quote journal because some of the things that come out of our mouths is just golden because we're always tired, and ecstatic, and goofy. All the time. We've already filled a page since we started on Tuesday. I'd share some, but they're all "you-had-to-have-been-there" moments. So trying to explain them would make it lame.

I almost forgot about Christmas! CHRISTMAS!!!!! We've been told that TWO apostles are coming to the MTC on Christmas! AHHH! My district gets to help clean the Temple two days after Christmas! There's going to be a TALENT SHOW ON CHRISTMAS!!! I'M SO EXCITED!!!!! I auditioned just today, right before getting here to write this out. We'll see what happens, but I've got my fingers crossed. The Korean Elders are maybe going to band together and do something great for Christmas. I'M SO STOKED!!! 

I'm running out of time here, and I want to try to get back to as many of you as I can! I love it when I get mail from you all. I'm really sorry if I can't get back to you all in a day. I'll keep trying to answer your questions in these blog emails if I can, because it takes the longest to write out anyways, so I might as well. Thank you all for not sending me food, thus far. If you just sent me food, don't worry about it. I'll eat it and love it (anything that's not cafeteria food is glorious), but we're rarely in the residences, and everybody's treat stashes are growing faster than they can eat them because people are sending them candy and cookies and whatnot all the time. A lot of it is probably going to go to waste. 

By the way: Cairns family, I found Elder Pronk! He's in my zone, but not my district. It's nice to have another Canadian around.

I love you all!

Elder Shaver

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