The Senior Citizens’ Center and Conference

I’ve already spent a lot of my companion’s time on this, her last P-day,
by emailing – so this will be a short one. Sorry.

On Thursday, we (my companion, our member present and I) went to the
Senior Citizens’ Center to meet our potential investigator.  He bought
us the two dollar lunch there.  It was very salty, but mostly edible.
We were, of course, the only three people under 55 in the whole
building.  And I was the only foreigner.  I got an awful lot of weird
looks and a lot of comments.  I politely informed some of the
old-timers that I spoke Korean and understood what they were saying
about me.  They thought that was funny.  So they kept talking to me.
That resulted in us getting a tour of the whole center–the Gumi
seniors have got it going on!  Their center is huge, modern and nice.
This isn’t your bingo-hall type of fare that we have back in America.
Everything is very high-tech with wifi, big screen tvs, pool, shouting/
arguing seniors, and more!  Very cute.

The lesson was rather more interesting.  Our investigator, Kevin (I
don’t even know his Korean name) lived in America for thirty years and is
now an English teacher here.  He speaks perfect English–for example he
correctly used “symantics” and “pancreas” in the course of our conversation. 
I don’t speak Korean as well as he does English, but I am
conversationally fluent and if that conversation is gospel-based,
there’s not really a problem.  However, he refused to speak in Korean.
At all.  He insisted that the two Koreans speak to him in Korean and
then he just answered in English.  They, however, do not speak really
any English.  So I had to translate for them.  I translated for the
Korean from English into Korean.  It was very surreal.  He didn’t
speak a lick of Korean the whole time.  It was kind of awkward.  I
felt really bad for our member and kept apologizing, but both she and
Sister Nam were ok and said that the most important thing was that the
investigator was comfortable.

He accepted a Book of Mormon and the restoration pamphlet.  We talked
about our church and his religious beliefs, etc.  He caught a bad cold so
wasn’t able to make it to General Conference.  But we are meeting with
him this week to “eat cooked vegetables and talk about the pamphlet.”
(The doctor told him he should eat the vegetables to get over his cold.
But he can’t buy just one serving.  So he will treat us.  He’s cute.)

Conference was good.  It was all in Korean, of course, but I found that I
kind of liked not being able to understand one hundred percent of what
was being said.  It left a lot more room for the Spirit to speak to me and
for me to learn the things that I needed to hear.  It was really good.

Interestingly, on Saturday, there were only five of us in attendance.
The Bishop (who suddenly left without saying anything before it
started), the Elders from Gimcheon, and us.  The only ones who took
notes were the two foreign missionaries.  I thought that was kind of
weird.  Sunday was better-attended–we had four of our less-actives
come.  All in all, it was very good and I learned a lot, although I am
looking forward to reading it in English.

Sorry that is all that I have for you this week.  This Thursday is
transfer calls, so who will know what will happen!  Staying?  Leaving?
With whom?  Stay tuned for all the details next Monday!

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About gwenogjones

I am a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, serving for 18 months in the Korea Busan Mission (as of September 7, 2011). I have a fanatical obsession with Snape and the Harry Potter series (in that order), I recently graduated from university majoring in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (Arabic). Prior to this major, I was working towards a degree in Jazz Saxophone performance; ergo, I love music. I also love reading, writing, painting, spending time with my friends, playing soccer, watching movies...the usual types of things early 20-somethings enjoy.
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