Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Week 3

Well, we're the oldest Korean missionaries here now. Starting Sunday night, everyone began leaving according to their missions and nationality. As Zone Leaders, Elder Lee (The new ZL, and no he's not Korean, even though his last name is Lee) had to check and sign everyone off on the cleanliness of their rooms before they would be able to go. The first batch of missionaries departing was at 9:00 PM and was all the Korean natives going to the Pusan mission. Problem is, Elder Lee and I couldn't find them anywhere - they weren't at the dorms, they weren't in the classrooms, at the travel office, main building, or anywhere else we looked. Finally, at 8:50 and after running all over the MTC countless times, we figured that we weren't going to run into them before they would be leaving so we just ran to the front of the MTC where the buses would be.

There they were, all 20 plus Koreans, saying goodbye to the six that were getting on the buses and departing that evening. It was so touching, seeing how much love they all had for one another. All of them were crying, especially Sister Lee (this time, it's a Korean Lee) because her brother was one of the ones going to the Pusan mission and she'll be in the Daejeon mission, so they won't see each other for two years. They all said goodbye one last time, and Elder Lee and I were lucky enough to be the only Americans there saying goodbye with them. Being here at the MTC with the Korean natives for two weeks has been such a great experience, I already love the Korean people so much - and I'm not even in Korea yet. We didn't even sign off their papers because we didn't want to barge in there and mess up their heart-felt goodbye. Oh well haha, they're in Korea now - what's the MTC janitor staff going to do about it?

The rest of Sunday night was spent checking and signing off the rest of the missionaries. It took forever and we didn't get to bed until 1:00. When we woke up, everyone was gone because they left at 3:00 in the morning. It was extremely weird and it's been even more weird for the last two days. Before Sunday, there were almost 60 Elders in the Korean Branch. Now there's only 12. Nights and P-days are much quieter now, it's actually kind of sad. I guess we'll be able to focus now more, so that's a good thing. Luckily, I got all the good stuff passed down to me from the older Elders. One of the things is The Blanket (yes, The is capitalized). It's a quilted blanket that has been passed down from Elder to Elder for years, one Elder per MTC stay. The current owner of The Blanket decorates and signs one of the quilted squares. Then, when he leaves the MTC, he chooses the coolest of the newer Elders and passes it down to him. Respectfully, I was chosen. Haha. Anyway, I can't wait until the new batch of missionaries come on the 17th, it'll be tons of fun to get new, fresh meat (aren't I still new though??).

Finally, I'll leave you with a spark of inspiration I received while eating rice krispie treats a couple days ago. Almost everyone gets fat here at the MTC, it's just what happens. But why? Well, many people blame the food. Others blame the fact that we sit all day. Well I am here telling you that both theories are wrong. It's not the cafeteria food, or the sitting down, but the countless amounts of treats (chips, candy, soda, girl scout cookies, etc) that we get in our packages. I love the treats, don't get me wrong, but it's just totally to blame here. Luckily, I have gained nothing........ yet.

I'll send pictures next week. I sort of promise.

Elder Graf

ALSO, here's a big PS. I saw Haley! It was so nice to see somebody from the outside haha, and she was decked out in her cafeteria worker clothes - looking all shnazzy and stuff. I'm sure it's cool for her to be working at the place that she will soon be eating at as a missionary. Anyway, talk to you next week.

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