Thursday, June 19, 2014

First Week!

Annyeounghaseyo Family and Friends!!

I only have an hour to write so I'll try to get as much in as I can but SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED.
I'm ALIVE, and loving every minute of the MTC!

Day 1- My friend from BYU Dani Hamblin who is going to Italy on her mission got to be my host the first day and how grateful I was for that! She helped me with the adjustment so much! I got my companion and her name is Sister Dayley. I actually had communicated with her on Facebook through the Korea Busan Mission page before coming here so it was fun to actually meet her in person. We are definitely different, but she is super great and I love her already! We have a room to ourselves that has six beds in it. haha. Also, I absolutely love my district SO MUCH! It is full of 10 elders and then Sister Dayley and me. The elders are good at keeping Sister Dayley and me sane while we attempt to learn Korean all day.

Funny story about Korean- The very first day here, I walked into classroom and my teacher started talking to me only in Korean. I literally didn't undersstand a single word that he said except for "hello"....haha and then he pointed to the board which had different Korean words on it and I assumed he wanted me to read it so I started reading it. (side note- because I was so stressed and overwhelmed about being able to learn Korean, I decided to learn the alphabet before I entered the MTC-- so at this point, I already knew how to read) While reading the board, everyone in the room just looked at me like "what?! how do you know that??" haha my companion leaned over to me and whispered "Everyone in here has been trying to learn the alphabet for the past hour and you just come in here and start reading!" haha. I thought that was pretty funny. I am SO GLAD that I learned the alphabet before I came because it made the first day a lot less overwhelming!

So.. My teacher is Gunnel hyeoung jae nim (brother Gunnell) and he only speaks to us in Korean. EVER. We keep trying to make him speak English but he won't do it. So about 90% of class everyday is us playing charades trying to guess what he is saying. But we are learning SO much everyday and it is incredible. We can already pray and bear our testimonies in Korean and say a few other phrases! At the end of class every day my teacher always says (saranghamnida) that he loves us and then goes around the room and gives all the elders hugs and me and my companion just awkwardly stand in the corner. Occasionally he will bow to us so that's a plus. :)

Day 2- We had a branch presidency meeting and one of the speakers got up and said " Don't worry about the language, you'll never learn it" haha so that was super comforting...:)

Day 3-We taught an "investigator"!!! ALL IN KOREAN. yeah what? it actually went pretty okay! haha as okay as it could go for being in the MTC 3 days.

Our investigators name is Pehko and we have taught him 5 times now. We have been mainly teaching him about the doctrine of Christ because he didn't know much about God or Christ before we taught him. We taught him how to pray and then he prayed for us! Also on our 5th lesson with him we asked him if he would be baptized and he said YES! haha if only it would be like this in Korea.. But yeah if you are wondering, We already have a baptismal date! ;)

Funny story though... the second time we taught him, Dayley Ja mae Nim (Sister Dayley) said the closing prayer and she accidentally said Brother instead of heavenly father to start the prayer and she just started laughing. like uncontrollably laughing in front of our investigator. (who is a korean teacher here) and then it made me start laughing. And then I looked up during the prayer and noticed that our investigator was smiling with his eyes still closed and his head down. For me, I think it was just a moment of "what is this life? what am I doing here learning this crazy hard language and teaching when we can't even speak the language! I ended up finishing  the prayer for her because it was hard for her to stop laughing haha.

Oh another story... sorry so much has happened! My teacher Brother Gunnel was interviewing me and he was asking me how I was liking the MTC and my companion (all in Korean of course) and I said "saranghabnida!" which means" I love you!" hahahaha.... so embarrassing I was trying to say that I love the mtc and that I love my companion... luckily he just acted like he didn't notice. but yeah.... I'm probably going to have a lot of experiences like this. So many words in Korean sound the same!

I had this moment when I was in the Bookstore with my companion and I saw two missionaries and said "look there are the missionaries!" And then I realized that I AM A MISSIONARY. So if you are wondering if i'm losing my mind.. the answer is yes. It's so amazing to be a missionary though! I love it so much.

I didn't receive any of your dear elders until Saturday for some reason so the first few days were pretty rough but THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR NOT FORGETTING ME. Letters are like Christmas. It's true. 

Gym time is fun because I get to play volleyball everyday and it's just the greatest. (4 square is also a really big deal here)  

Sunday was SO incredible. They have everyone in our branch prepare a 5 minute talk every Sunday in Korean and then randomly choose during sacrament who has to give (which is honestly pretty scary because nobody speaks korean all that great yet)  but I didn't get picked this week so that was good! I did write a killer 5 SENTENCE talk on repentance though. haha. It would have taken 5 minutes for me to read it so I had to keep it short.

Sheri Dew spoke to us Sunday night which was super awesome! Also I joined choir...and I love it. We sang in the Tuesday night devotional! Elder Ballard spoke at the devotional!! Talked about the importance of the doctrine of Christ and it was SO GOOD!

Also, I have seen SO many friends here from BYU and it is SO FUN. I love it so much.

Honestly, I can really feel the spirit helping me learn Korean, especially when I am teaching my investigator. There was a moment when I was teaching and I could read better than I ever could and I didn't feel like it was me speaking. words really were just coming out of my mouth and it was so cool and I credit that to the Spirit. We felt inspired to have our investigator read 3 Nephi 11 but I didn't know how we were ever going to find that in the Korean Book of Mormon (without taking like an hour) but I just opened it up and it was right there! THE EXACT PAGE. It was awesome! I know God is helping me learn Korean and that he will be with me every step of the way. 

Thank you all so much for all your love and support! I love you more than words can describe and I am so blessed to have you in my life. Even after this hard week of learning Korean, the Church is still true!:) and I feel so privileged to be able to share this beautiful restored gospel with the people of Korea!

Love Sister Hurley

(sorry this letter is kinda unorganized and all over the place... haha)

talk to you next week!!

p.s.s yes I have become one of THOSE missionaries who is happy all the time that it's almost weird but it's okay. it's a good thing. and YES I AM STILL FUNNY IN KOREAN. I think.

Courtney with Sister Dayley!
Courtney with her District
In front of the Provo Temple
Courtney with friends from BYU
Courtney with her BYU Roomie Elina

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