Monday, November 16, 2015

Bow Low; Speak High

Some ward children

Jeez time sees to be flying. It isn't fair! I seriously cannot believe how fast time is moving. I have loved every single second of this so far! And this week was another great one for the books. Yeah, full of a few lows, but the highs are what I like looking at--obviously!

Not a lot of appointments this week or much of that, but even though we were not sitting in someone's living room teaching about Jesus Christ, I still feel like I truly made an impact this week! On Wednesday we went to 통진 high school and taught English from like 10:30-5. Ahhh sooo crazy! I about died, but what a blast that was. I truly have come to love service opportunities. And in turn, I am really served as well. Our topic for the day was culture and I learned soooo much about Korean culture. Buckle up: some things literally don't make sense.
Full Day of School

Okay so one of the first things we talked about was student life. High school kids in Korea show up at 8 in the morning, and they literally do not go home until 10 or 11 sometimes. They always serve dinner at the school, so I had school dinner. (haha)  Also, there are 3 different types of high schools: Academic, Commercial, and Technical. And a separate category for the kids that play sports! If you have potential to be a professional athlete, then you just go to a sports school and there is hardly any studying! (haha) It blew their mind when I told them that I drove a vehicle to school everyday. They seriously could not believe that. So those are just a few of the things I learned, but really, their lives are sooo much different.

And the culture is really different (I keep learning that) and all of that really really applies to what I do as a missionary.  No doubt, it is challenging at times. In Korea, there is a HUGE emphasis on something like class, but it is all about like age (not money). Whoever is older than you gets to tell you to do whatever he wants. And it is hard. And to make it more difficult, with each class there is a different way to speak--which just means basically variances in how you conjugate each word. When I see really old people at church, I have to speak in a high form; if it is just a normal person close to my age, then I speak in a middle form--which is how everyone usually speaks; and then to kids there is a completely different form. In total, there are 7 forms, but we really only use the middle and high forms. But the reason I tell you this is that in church if you don't use the right form to the right person, they hate you!! I accidentally used the normal form to an older lady in church and she chewed me out. Using this custom, the oldest person in the ward deserves the most respect. So we have to respect him more than our Bishop! (haha) You also show respect by how deep you bow, so the more respect, the deeper you bow! And the other thing is that if you speak English in front of Ward Members, you lose their respect and it is like impossible to gain back. So I am soo careful! But that makes life super challenging to someone who doesn't really speak Korean yet.  I have gotten really pretty good at interpreting: just go where they point and start moving stuff!

So truly there is sooo much pressure that comes with this culture. When you breach that line and do something American, you are toast! So I am working on perfection because that literally is what is asked of us. They don't care how long you have lived here. No matter what, you have to do things the right way! 

But anyways, I love it! Things are so much different, which makes life so fun. You have to always be at your best and on your toes.

We finally tried knocking door. Dad told me all about "tracting" in LA on his mission and I want to say, it is nothing like that here.  So this is how it goes; we knock, they won't open until you have told them who you are, why you are there, and anything else they ask. Basically we just talked to doors (haha).

We went to a Costco last week and let's just say it's not quite like the one in Spanish Fork.  It still felt a little like home, though!

But it really was an awesome week. I am learning that when you are in the service of your fellow beings, you really are in the service of your God and that makes me soooo happy! Service is where happiness lies my friends!

Have a nasty week!!

Elder Jenkins

Some Halloween photos with a ward family:

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