Letters to Elder M: Learning the Language

Dear Elder M,

Wow, so you have been in the country about a month or so now.  I am sure that you are loving it, and I hope that all is going well.  How is the work in the Ukraine?  How do you like the food? In my mission, that was the Mission President’s number 1 test question to tell if you were happy.  And you know full well that I love Korean Food.

I remember the first couple of months in Korea.  You arrive excited, and thinking that you are fluent.  Then you come to the sudden realization that you don’t know anything about your language.

Perhaps that’s what lead to my feelings of homesickness that I mentioned in my previous letter.  I couldn’t express myself to anyone but my English speaking companion.

I remember teaching one of the first discussions that I taught.  I would sit and “read” perhaps very poorly the content to the investegator and point to where I was reading, so that he could read along with me.  His baptism was surely a result of the Spirit, because I had no ability to share the gospel with me.  Okay, my companion was pretty good so I am sure he helped him understand the gospel.

However, after much perserverance, I finally passed of the discussion.  Do they “pass off” discussions any more?  I really don’t know how the new program works.  Anyway, after I passed of the discussions, I was able to put a lot of focus on learning Korean.  However, it still wasn’t until about a year or more of being in Korea (and being the “best” Korean speaker between my companion and I), that I finally felt comfortable speaking Korean.

I do, however, often envy English-speaking Missionaries, though.  They can truly bare their testimony and share the gospel in a fluent manner.  I pray that the Lord will bless you with the gift of tongues and the gift of the interpretation of tongues (they ARE two different things).

As for things going on here on the home front.  My family and I have officially moved.  We are now living in Riverton, UT.  It is a wonderful home, and the neighborhood is really what we were looking for.  There are a lot more children here our kids age and they get together often to play.  This is really a good thing for our family.

Well, I better sign off,
Will much love and respect,
Travis R Grant


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