Sunday, October 9, 2011

General Conference

So, we got to have General Conference this weekend.  It was spectacular!!!!  I went in with a list of questions and each and every one of them was answered at least once.  We had 5 investigators attend and they were all at sessions where all the talks seemed to have been written specifically for them.  The talks that really stand out in my mind right now are the ones from the First Presidency.
 
First, President Eyring.  I missed a few minutes of his talk (around the middle) because we had an investigator come in and we needed to show her where to go, but when he spoke it felt like he was speaking directly to me.  The part that got me the most was when he was preparing to speak at the University.  I have been having a hard time because I really don't measure up to my Book of Mormon heroes, Abinadi, Ammon, and Alma, but hearing him say that he had become them I felt so much peace.  I realised that I don't need to worry about measuring up to them right now, but I must NEVER stop striving to become them.  On a similar note, when Elder Packer talked about his testimony when he was younger, and when President Uchtdorf talked about helping in the Church while in Texas, I felt a similar peace.
 
Next, President Uchtdorf's talk....와!  It was basically the answer to life the universe and everything....and QUITE a bit more literally than 42!  I have never heard the relationship between God and man explained so eloquently.  It put everything we try to convey to investigators, especially when they have a hard time keeping commitments, and ESPECIALLY when those commitments are prayer and scripture study, it put it all into perspective.  It was spectacular!  Intense, but spectacular!
 
And then President Monson.  I love our prophet!!!  First of all, he quoted the Beatles in just about the BEST way I could've imagined!  I literally laughed out loud!  I love learning and teaching about the consistency of our Heavenly Father.  It is the only way the gospel is true, and if God isn't constant and unchanging, there really is NO truth in the world.  I love that the most powerful, infinite, loving, caring person in the cosmos not only wants us to pour out our souls to Him in open and honest pray, but He commands us to do so!  And when we do, and let Him know the bad things that happen, the things we're just not good at, our worries, our joys, and our desires, everything; when we let Him know those things, He blesses us.  I have felt that SO much the past few months.  I bear my soul to God not just daily, but sometimes hourly, and usually constantly.  I never quite understood what it meant to pray always till I was always truly striving to act in a way that I would not only feel comfortable if Christ was with me but in a way that would cause my Heavenly Father to be proud of what I was doing.  To even STRIVE to live in such a way, you need to pray always and believe God is with you.  And the great thing about that, even when, because of mortal weakness, you don't feel that God is with you when you need Him, if you just believe that He is, all it takes is a simple prayer and you can feel Him there.  Through God's strength we really can do anything...even knock on the doors of strangers and with excitement share a rather peculiar (but true) message (even if your shoe is held together with a piece of string, your hair is crazy, you're dripping with sweat, and you're scared spitless)...you can do it because God and all His angels are helping you, and it's all because you asked Him for the help.  I know this is true!  I know God loves me and wants me here and now.  I know I'm doing what's right and I'm doing work that is pleasing to Him because I can feel the Spirit and God answers my prayers!....yeah, I liked President Monson's talk! ^^
 
I loved conference.  I seriously can't wait for the Conference Liahona to come out!  I wish I had the time to focus on every talk.  They were all so inspired...and they all make me feel like something BIG is coming!  There is an urgency for so many missionaries and so may strong members of the church, seemingly more so now than ever before.  Something is going to happen and it seems like it'll happen soon.  It's gonna rock!
 
On a lighter note, I passed off lesson one pass-off this week.  I'm getting ready for lesson two and mid-way pass-off and then (in hopefully a week and a half) I'll be half way to becoming a senior.  GAH!  It's soooooooo hard!  But oh well!
 
Hope you're all doing well.  I love you all!
 
~McClellan 자매

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Day in the Life :) (of a missionary)

So, it was a holiday yesterday so we're emailing today!  Can I just start by saying that I LOVE being a missionary!!!!!
 
Ok, Evan (and everyone else) here's a story...it might not be super exciting to you all, but it has a special place in my heart. 
 
One day on my mission (it was actually this past Saturday) my companion and I were having a usual Saturday where we were behind on our 전도s (contacts) and putting our trust in the Lord that if we put in the necessary effort he'd help us meet our goal.  Well, it was night time and it was kind of cold and neither of us had jackets, but it was okay, because we were walking around Korea during the night, when it's all lit up and feels super like we're in Korea, and we were talking to everyone without fear and without hesitation because the Lord was on our side!  Well, we first ran into these three 15 year old (in Korean age, 14 in American) girls who were getting 떡뽁기 (not sure on the spelling but it's this super Korean food that is way spicy and super delicious) and we started talking to them and it was great.  They responded the way Korean teenagers usually respond, by first being astounded that we spoke Korean and second, being transfixed by the size of my eyes (it's really embarrassing and I'm pretty sure that my eyes scare little kids). Well, anyway we got their phone numbers and they wanted to meet with us the next day (really weird, THEY usually never make the appointments and it's ALWAYS exciting when they do!!!)  Well, we went on our way and we met this man who kept giving us free food while we talked to him (dumplings and the sweet bean pastries which are now actually one of my favorite foods...they are amazing fresh, but still, go figure!)  I was super wanting to give him a Book of Mormon because he was so nice and seemed a little interested in it, but he was blind in one eye and couldn't rea\d very well.  I still really wanted to give it to him but I didn't know how or what to say.  I told Sister Seipel this and we decided that we'd tell him that if he called us we would come to his little cart and read the Book of Mormon to him because we thought he was awesome.  He hesitantly agreed and tried to give us more food, but we didn't let him and we went on our way.  The next day (Sunday) came and our girls came!!!!!  Well, two of them and they brought three friends.  It was so much fun.  We spent the first half hour doing English and the second teaching the first lesson.  They were all really into it and all committed to read the Book of Mormon Introduction and pray about it and they wanted to meet the next day (Monday...yesterday) so we invited them to the ward dinner that was going on on account of our new bishopric and said we'd do some English and some gospel after.  Last night at the dinner they felt a little awkward and out of place with the other young women in the ward, but the Young Women's president came to our lesson and they LOVED her!  We got to watch the Restoration DVD with them and they got super into it and then we talked about meaningful scripture study and prayer...and they all committed to daily prayer and scripture study!  We love our girls!!!!!  We're meeting them again tomorrow (because we were busy tonight...they want to meet everyday) and we're so excited!
 
So there's your story Evan!  I hope you like it.
 
We are so excited for this week.  Our zone had a special fast this Sunday for new investigators and that day we got 5...the Lord truly loves and blesses His missionaries!!!!!  We have 4 people committed to coming to Conference (which is this weekend...and I will be able to see all of the sessions and in English...our mission president likes us to go to all of it and all in our own language...it's great!)...this work is too cool!!!!!
 
I love you all and hope you are all doing well.  I am so grateful for all your love and support and prayers!  Stay awesome!
 
~Mac 자매

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Hard week, not much time...hope you enjoy it anyway.

K, so my email wasn't working for a WHILE so I don't have much time!
 
Thank you so much for letters (Davis, yeah, finally got it) and emails.  You have no idea how much joy and encouragement they bring.  I've been having kind of a hard time lately, and knowing that I was going to be able to hear from my family and know that you're all proud of me and cheering me on...it just means a lot, so thank you!
 
This language is basically beating me up everyday and stealing my lunch money, but it's coming.  I love my investigators and am starting to understand how hard it is when they don't keep commitments and when they punk out on their appointments.  It's really sad when you know they're going in the direction that would align themselves with the Lord, but they just won't let go of things like coffee or working on Sunday...it's so sad!!!  And on the flip side, it's just SO happy when you have investigators that at first seem hard and intimidating and then the next time you meet them they have read a bunch more of the Book of Mormon than you had assigned and they have all these questions that get you so excited you could probably fly.  I've also learned that I am a person of INTENSE emotions!  When I'm happy there is nothing that can bring me down...unfortunately the same can be said about sad and scared and anxious, but also excited.  I'm so grateful that anger doesn't seem to be a hard one though. :)
 
The Lord loves His missionaries, and one of the coolest things I've learned through recent study of the Book of Mormon is that when someone truly has an understanding of the Atonement and truly repents the FIRST thing they want to do is help their bretheren (ie missionary work) whether it be through prayer, direct service, or preaching repentance (all parts of missionary work.)  I love it!  And I know that it's the same way for everyone.  If Satan wants everyone to be miserable and if we are truly on the Lord's side fighting the good fight, then we need to be able to share our joy, but the only way to share it is to feel it first...and that's why everyone needs to repent all the time, so they can help everyine else repent too!!!  Isn't it cool?!
 
Well, I'm pretty sure I should go soon.  I'm sending some pictures so that you can get a feel for where I'm at...sorry the city ones are at night...the city looks the coolest then.  I'll get some more of the day time.  And Danny, as for what Korea is like, it feels like I'm in a big Final Fantasy (especially 7) city every day with a little bit of Firefly mixed in (and the pictures of the city are for you!)
 
Love you all and hope you are doing well!!!  Stay Awesome!
 
~Sister Manda

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hard...but rewarding week :)

So...this week was a little hard.  I occasionally feel pretty inadequate at teaching and talking, but the great thing is, the Lord's here to help me rather constantly.  I've also got an amazing zone that's more than willing to help with anything.  I just love being a missionary.
 
Well, today we got to go to the temple!!!  I love the temple, it's the greatest thing ever!!!!!  It was so great to be with so many missionaries.  When I'm around a lot of missionaries it reminds me of how it felt in the MTC -- like there is not a single thing on the planet that could even remotely be considered impossible!!!  Missionaries are the greatest!
 
Sister Seipel and I came up with a new contacting idea but haven't tried it out yet.  So, on Saturday we went to Young Womens to build a little 정 ("jung": kind of like trust, but not really...there's not an English word for it).  Well, while we were there I just started drawing everyone...just little thumbnails...it was a big hit!  They were so cute about it!  So, we're thinking about using drawing to get people we meet on the street during contacting to meet with us again.  We haven't actually done it yet, but we're hoping it'll be good.  We're not the best at being fun when we 전도.  (If anyone has ideas...)
 
We had a couple of MIRACLE lessons this week.  The first was with 오지연 (O-ji-yun), a theology student who knows the bible backwards and forwards in multiple languages.  She has some interesting takes on the bible and she gets off on tangents a lot.  It can be a little scary when we prepare, but she is seriously the cutest person, so it's always a blast meeting with her!!!  (Just some heavy "deep doctrine" questions every time...yikes!)  Well, it was amazing because at first she would NOT read the Book of Mormon unless we were there...and then, she got a little curious.  It was great.  I love it when people open the book for themselves and really start on the road to the truth.  It is so so so true that no one can convert someone, they have to do it themselves.  Well, we got about half way through lesson 1...major progress!!!
 
Miracle lesson 2: 유지수 (Yu-ji-su).  She seemed like she was just in it for the English, but when we met the second time she had not only done the reading (the Intro to the BoM) but she'd read the title page, the testimonies of the three and eight witnesses, and the testimony of Joseph Smith!!!  And she really wanted to keep going.  It was amazing!!!!
 
I love getting to teach all these wonderful people!  It is seriously so great.  But probably one of my favorite things is how different the Spirit feels for each person!  I love this mission thing!  It's the greatest!  Everyone should have the chance to be a missionary.  It's the hardest thing ever, but the things you get to experience, even the hard ones, are so amazing!  God loves us all so much and so individually!  I love how much I get to learn and I love how pure and undiluted the gospel feels as a missionary.  This work is truly great and marvelous!!!
 
Well, I love you all and hope you are doing well!  Gotta go!!!!!  Keep keeping me updated!  It makes the work that much easier and worth it when I get to hear how people are doing!
 
~Sister McClellan
 
P.S. Next week my P-day is on Monday again, so I'll be emailing Sunday your time...I think.  Just so-s y-all know!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I LOVE KOREA!!!!!!!

So, it's been a great week.  We got our email time moved due to 추석 (I think that's how you spell it) It's the Korean equivalent of Thanksgiving and it was Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.  So, we had to wait till Wednesday for things to be opened again.
We had Zone Conference/추석 party yesterday...it was awesome!!!!  I got to sing (Army of Helaman) and speak (New missionary testimony)...both in English.  It was awesome to see people I was in the MTC with.  It was also awesome to get to meet so many amazing missionaries.  It was so uplifting and so wonderful.
So, my companion is fantastic!  Her name is Seipel 자매님.  She's from Orem, went to Mountain View, (and knows Ruthie).  Her birthday is a couple weeks after mine, she's half Korean, super humble, likes pushing me in missionary work, and is probably one of the most grateful people I've ever met!  Every night after we go through key indicators and make goals she and I count the miracles we've seen.  Our goal is to have five a day.  It's amazing how great doing that is...makes even the worst days end happy!
I love our area and our investigators!  방예은 didn't end up giving cookies to a neighbor, she ended up giving nectarines to the apartment security guy.  She was super cute and it was so hard for her, but she was so so happy, it was perfect!  One of our new investigators this week, Ahra, is just about the cutest thing I've ever met!  She spent about a year in Jacksonville, Florida (and her English is amazing...hence her giving us her name in English and not Korean.)  She is so excited about the gospel and she's been online doing some research on our church (especially the Book of Mormon) and all she can say about the Anti-Mormon stuff she's found is that it's all lies, because she knows that the Book of Mormon is a good book and the people who write those things just don't understand.  She's amazing!  She loves learning about the gospel and wants to come to church and wants to read the Book of Mormon...it's great!!!!!
I am understanding SO much more than I thought I would.  I can pretty much follow what goes on in lessons and even though I can't say much and what I can say is really simple and slowly said, my companion always has me teach and bear testimony.  I get a little discouraged at times because I can understand SOOO much more than I can say and I can't think of things very quickly and I'm basically constantly struggling, but then I see what I know and remember how fast I've learned it and recognize God's hand in all of it, and those bad thoughts just melt away...it's great being a missionary!!!!
We're doing our kids English class again tonight...we're excited, we're going to teach them how to write really basic letters and emails in English and how to address an envelope in America.  The mom's will probably enjoy it a little more than the kids (especially considering we talked about American Thanksgiving last week and they each made little Indian headdresses...it was fun!).  I think it's pretty cool getting to teach English to people.  It makes me a little sad when they don't want to progress in the gospel though.  That's where it gets difficult.  But it's great!
Well, I hope you're all doing well.  I wish I could see Evan and Danny on the football field!  Mom, I hope your new calling goes well (I love that calling!!!!!) and Dad, hope your breakthrough stays awesome! (Ok, I don't know what to say to a scientist, it's ok though :) Oh well)  Korea is great, and the work is even greater!!!  Mom and Dad, you'll have some letters coming your way soon...as soon as I can get to a post office :).  Stay awesome everyone!  The Church is true!!!!  2 Nephi 5:27
~맼랠란 자매

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

End of my time in the MTC



















Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Last P-Day in the MTC

So, in case you didn't get it from my title...today is my last P-day in the MTC.  This time next week pretty much won't exist for me as I am landing in Korea at 6:35 pm next Tuesday (and I'm leaving the US at 2:10 pm on Monday....I love time changes!)
 
So, not too many stories to share this week.  One of my teachers is on a vacation with his family for this week so our last day seeing him was on Saturday.  It was sad.  Ummmm...Sorry, not too many stories!
 
Well, mom and dad, I have some news for you.  I have a layover in San Fransisco from 12:18 pm to 2:10 pm and I'm aloud to call home at that time...so be expecting a call from me between either 3:18 and 5:10 or 4:18 and 6:10 (I honestly cannot remember the time difference between California and Maine...sorry) but yeah, I get to call home, so please don't forget!  Yeah, that's my exciting news.
 
I'm going to miss my district and my companion so much.  It's crazy how close you can get to five other people when you spend pretty much all day everyday with them for 12 weeks...ok, maybe not that crazy!
 
Our temple trip was good today...it was our last temple breakfast :( but wow, that food is soooo good!  I have loved getting to go to the temple a lot while I've been here!!!  It's been awesome!
 
Oh, I got a Korean name this week from my Korean companion! (Have I told you about her?  She's a solo sister with the natives and she's in my companionship..it's great!)  well she took what my name means in English and made me a Korean name.  Usually they take your initials (or really they do whatever they want)...Anyway, my name in Korean means "a lot of love" and it's Kim Ta Eh (I guess that's how you'd spell it in English...I don't know)  But yeah, Kim is my "family name"...but then she remembered a last name that's closer to mine "Ma"...but she likes Kim better (she is Sister Kim after all)  So yeah 김다애 is my Korean name...or 마다애....still haven't quite decided!
 
Ok, in language study this week we are finally learning "middle form".  As missionaries we will be teaching in high form because the gospel is an honorified subject.  We never speak in low form because you're not supposed to as a missionary. (If you don't understand any of this that's ok...I'm not good at explaining it)  But all of our contacting and conversational Korean will be in middle form...and we started learning it yesterday.  It's great!  There are a lot of vowels said in a row and it feels kind of funny to say.  It sounds so much more like how I imagined Korean would sound and less like Japanese...a little less.  I'm actually very excited to go out and teach in a language I don't know and then pretty much not be able to understand anything!  It's awesome!  I'll just have to rely on the Spirit a ton!  it's gonna be great!!!!!
 
Ok, so I don't have much else to say and I don't have much to respond to (my last P-day in the MTC and nothing mom and dad?  really?  :) I love you!)  So I hope everyone is doing well.  I love you all!  Thanks so much for all your support!
 
~McClellan 자매




















Tuesday, August 16, 2011

TWO WEEKS LEFT....yikes!

So let me start off by saying that I'm leaving two weeks from yesterday...and I don't speak Korean :)  It's great fun and I'm so excited.  I can (slowly) bear my testimony of the Book of Mormon and the restoration and a few other things and I can teach all the lessons (again, slowly and with a lot of stuttering) so it's gonna be FANTASTIC!!!!!
Ok, so I spoke in Sacrament meeting this week...in Korean.  We have to prepare a talk every Sunday on a specific subject and then two missionaries get picked at random to give their talks.  It was really so much fun.  I don't so much enjoy learning Korean in a classroom, but getting to speak it and use it and try new things and mess up a lot is the best!  I love our native sister.  She's a solo sister and is in my companionship.  She is so much fun and it is great getting to speak Korean to her.  I was happy on Sunday, because she understood pretty much all of my talk :).  After we give our talks we then say something to the effect of "this is what I think/hope I said" and then give our talk again in English.  All the talks are very short, but guess what, 3 weeks from now I'm going to be giving a talk in Korea in Korean...it's going to be AWESOME!!!!!
So, this is probably my favorite news of the week:  My teacher, Brother Andersen, got engaged yesterday!!!!!  My class is sooooo excited!  He is such a great teacher!  So, here's the story.  Last week Elder Gillis (in my district) was getting coaching from Brother Andersen.  Well, they were working on asking "penetrating questions" to be able to better teach members.  Elder Gillis was doing a great job because all of the sudden the other three of us in the classroom heard Brother Andersen talk about this girl he'd been dating and "taking it to the next level."  Elder Finlinson, Sister Paul, and I all kind of stopped and stared and then after class we asked him about it and he pulled out this ring book full of post-its...we went a little crazy with excitement!  We had to promise not to tell anyone, including the two other sisters in our district who weren't there...it was really hard.  The next day he tells us that he's ordered the ring and it should get here on Wednesday (as in tomorrow) and he's also ordered glass slippers (yeah, GLASS SLIPPERS!) that will get here Friday/Saturday.  Well, then yesterday came and he was doing a teaching evaluation for her as part of her applying for a job to work at the MTC and after she bore her testimony (his words:) "she was just too cute" and he proposed right there with a CTR ring.  Yes, this is my teacher, and this is all only fitting.  Well, right after he came to my zone's table at lunch and announced to my district that he was officially engaged and that we were the first people he told...funny thing, we had just seen him about an hour before and now he was engaged...it's great fun!
Well, I love the MTC.  We have "progressing investigators" that we teach all in Korean.  This week we committed one to baptism and then found out that he might have cancer.  This one is being played by Brother Wells, and he likes to kill off the investigators he plays, and the fact that he's going to be missing our last week of class makes us all believe that he's killing this one off.  Our other investigator (played by Brother Andersen) is having a hard time with the idea of baptism, but we're working on it.  It's been so great getting to have "investigators" and this week we're getting two more.  Each missionary in our district had to come up with an investigator they were going to be and now we're going to teach each other.  We get to teach the Elders.  I am very excited!
Here's a bit of interesting news: I ran into two people from UCAS this week.  One of them is a missionary, Sarah Cowden, and she's going to somewhere in California.   It's cool because we basically see each other everyday.  I also ran into Mr. Nelson, my old high school counselor.  He's in the branch presidency of the Thai branch.  It's was a little bizarre.
I also got to do a Korean name at the temple again today...they're the best!  We always get so excited when we get to do them!!!
So mom, tell Rose hi for me.  I love her to pieces!!!  she is just about the cutest and sweetest person on the face of the planet and she is such a WONDERFUL friend!  I just adore her!!!!!
Well, this is my second to last P-day at the MTC.  So, if any of you want to try your hand a dear elders (and please do, I'm the only one in my district who has never gotten one...the others get them almost everyday...they seem fun :)  hahaha) you've got a little under 2 weeks.  Love you all tons!  Thanks for all the prayers and support!
~Sister McClellan



Tuesday, August 9, 2011

So....I gave myself a concussion!

Ok, so yeah, I'm 22 now!  It's pretty awesome!  It was great to have a birthday in the MTC (even if it was one of those really hard days that makes you cry in front of your teacher and your class...but whatever, it happens!  Still gotta keep on keeping on!) I loved all the cards from everyone.  And mom and dad, I LOVED your present!  My zone did too!  They all thought it was very cute and very me!  hahahaha And it was awesome, the sisters in my zone threw a surprise party for me and this sister who turned 21 on the 7th.  It was great fun!
So we just got back from the temple and while we were at temple breakfast (the mashisoyo highlight of the week) we ran into Sister Paul's mom and aunt!  It was soooooo awesome!  Her mom is seriously the cutest person on the face of the planet!  It was so fun!
Well, in other news, my district has this mechanical dolphin that's been passed down for YEARS!  Our teachers really kind of hate it, but when you're in one room all day every day doing the same thing all the time you need some sort of entertainment...and if that happens to be a cardboard dolphin that was made out of a Chirstmas present, has really old candy canes stuck to the back, and is pretty odd in basically all regards, it works!  We also have this sticky octopus toy that we usually keep on the ceiling, a ball of crumpled up yellow paper that we use to play end of the day "district volleyball" in the classroom (it has now been replaced by the octopus...the octopus sounds funnier when you hit it and it doesn't hurt as much when someone accidentally hits it into your eye twice...I may have had that experience...maybe) and lastly, we have our lovely hebaragi (sunflower).  We recently transported it to a really nice pot that Elder Finlinson's mom sent us and we have part of Alma 32 on a nice little card to go with it (also from Finlinson changnonim's mom).  Well...we have this one teacher, Brother Wells, who has tried to throw away our toys a few times...but no worries, we always saved the day. But this week he just walked into the classroom and without saying anything just picked up the dolphin (which also had our octopus and our paper ball in it...don't worry, the hebaragi is safe and happy and growing about an inch a day...and it's just about to bloom!!!!!) and walked out.  The Elders came in, saw our dolphin was missing and went on a mission to retrieve it.  They found it in the trash (it was clean trash though) and they saved it and hid it...now our teacher thinks he finally got rid of the dolphin, but little does he know...we're resurrecting it our last week at the MTC...it will be most epic!
Ok...now for the concussion story.  so, Thursday morning we were getting our room ready for cleaning checks.  I was a little on edge because I hadn't been able to find this shirt that I wanted to wear for a couple days.  Well, I went to make my bed and as I went to do that I hit my head on the bed frame of the top bunk and was pretty much automatically down on the ground holding my head and crying.  I was down for a while but I got up eventually and finished making my bed and went off to breakfast (we got a "huzzah" on our cleaning checks by the way).  We went to class and did that for about three hours.  I was alright, a little dizzy and nauseous (I'd hit my head pretty hard...and if you know me...yeah, it makes sense) and during the coaching time with our teacher I had a really hard time remembering how to write things.  My teacher and my companion suggested that I go to the clinic, so I did.  They were full so we got shuttled to the urgent care clinic at BYU. when we got there I sort of fell out of the van.  It was funny, because when we talked to the receptionist lady and I told her what had happened she said that they actually saw this thing a lot from missionaries...it didn't make me feel any less dumb :) Well, long story short...I gave myself a concussion from making my bed!  Fun stuff!
Well I love you all and hope everyone is doing well.  We got our first native last night and are leaving 3 weeks from yesterday...time is seriously zooming by now!  Stay Awesome!
~Sister McClellan










Tuesday, August 2, 2011

So....four days, and four weeks!!!!

Hello Everyone!!!
So, I have four weeks left in the MTC...in a way I am so ready to get out and get preaching!  Also, I'm getting a little nervous...but mostly excited!  I can't believe I'm going to actually be in KOREA!!!!!!
We got our new districts this week...they are so so so so great!  We got permission today to go, as a zone, with our Sister from Mongolia to get her endowments...it was AMAZING!  I thought it was just so cool that we all got to be in the temple together...and as a whole zone!  I honestly cannot express how much I love the temple!  We also were able to take Korean names with us from this Sister who is Korean but is learning Cantonese.  It was soooo cool!  Ok, and seriously, Korean romanization is terrible!  I was glad I could read the Korean...and I felt bad for the temple workers...they had no clue what to do with the name!  (funny side note, Korean women don't have names on their paperwork...they're just so-and-so's wife...so...that's interesting)
The four days...yeah, I'm having a birthday in the MTC!  It's a very very exciting time. Just in case you all were wondering.  Very Exciting!
I have been working so hard on the language.  I almost have the first vision down in Korean.  Pretty cool!  We now have two new "progressing investigators".  We've been teaching one, but now we have both of our teachers being that we're completely into the new curriculum.  It's kind of sad, we were getting our old investigator pretty close to baptism...it was awesome!  I am so excited for our new ones though, I love teaching in Korean.  I've noticed that the more I'm able to teach in Korean and share the gospel in it, the better I get at it.  I drill things and go over vocab and work on verb-forms all the time, but it never sticks till I'm able to use it in an environment where the Spirit is telling me what to say!  It's basically the coolest thing ever!
I wish you all could meet my district...like I really really do!  Over the past week we've grown exceptionally close...I think it's due to the newbies coming in.  It's been incredible.  I've been able to see testimonies grow and language abilities increase more over the past week then in my whole time at the MTC.  It's been so cool having the younger district come to us with questions about the language and the gospel, and knowing that we really don't know and having to trust in the Lord completely to be able to give good advice.  I've grown to love Preach my Gospel so very much.  The more I study it, the more I understand why we need to be studying it.  Same thing with the rules.  My whole district has gained a greater understanding of why we have the rules we do and why we really need to be exactly obedient in everything.  This week has been phenomenal!
Well, I got to sing in Sacrament meeting this Sunday.  That was pretty fun.  I sang How Great Thou Art (first, third, and fourth verses in English and finished with the fourth verse in Korean)  My Korean...well, it was fun.  I messed up a couple times which was embarrassing, but after the meeting, Sister Shin (the branch President's wife) told me that I did really well with the Korean and then she and her husband gave me this way too nice compliment in Korean that I didn't understand, but they said that it was a saying that you only said to someone with a really good voice...President Shin wrote it down for me and told me to ask my teachers what it meant...I haven't done that yet, but I will.
I am really going to miss the MTC at the end of these next four weeks...like a lot!  This experience has strengthened my testimony so much.  I didn't even know it was weak, but I look back at where I was on June 15th and it's crazy, it's like I'm already a different person...a much much better person.  I think of what I would or could be doing if I weren't here and the ONLY thing I can think is: EWW!  I mean, I love who I am and where my thoughts and desires are right now.  I love the direction I'm going and how I'm really just beginning to understand what life is really all about.  I can't wait to go and share this message of happiness and love with the Korean people.  And even thought a lot of people probably won't accept it...it's worth it for the few who do!
I love you all!  Stay Awesome!!!
~Sister McClellan