Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Joshua's Phone Calls

Joshua called from the Salt Lake City airport this morning at 6:30 am! He could only talk for a minute, but he called again from Los Angeles about 3 hours later. He was excited to finally be on his way to Korea.

He wanted to call his Grandparents, but there wasn't time as they had to change to a completely different building at the last minute, prior to boarding the plane, and things were a little confused.

We received a third call from him around 3:00 am as he arrived in Incheon (Seoul), Korea. They are awaiting the last leg of their journey, from Incheon to Busan. They are all very tired and thirsty! Joshua said he had not had much water and they could find none in the terminal. This last part of the journey, though short by comparison to the first 2 legs, could be the toughest for them as they are now in country and anxious to get to Busan and get some rest.

He will spend a few days at the Mission Home in Busan with the Mission President and his Wife, where he will be assigned a trainer. He's looking forward to serving the members in the Church there by helping to strengthen the membership. That will be the main focus of the missionary program under the new mission president.

He will be sleeping on a mat on the floor, and will need mosquito netting to keep the bugs out at night. They will be riding bikes, the subway, or taking taxis to appointments. Addresses aren't the same as in the West - home numbers are assigned based on when they were built. An address alone may not be enough to help you find a home - you need to get explicit instructions to give to the taxi and others in order to find many places, and it can be very confusing.

Showing respect to the older Koreans is very important, and learning how to apologize will become a common part of their communications. Apparently, body odor is offensive to Koreans, and missionaries really welcome breath mints, Listerine Packets, and anything else that helps freshen breath on the run.

He might be going to the bath houses, which have been described as wonderfully relaxing.

Joshua is with the group he lived and trained with in the MTC for 12 weeks, and they are a tight group of buddies who all get along really well. He has the highest regard for them and has continually expressed his gratitude for their group association.

We were happy to hear his voice and look forward to talking to him again in December. He sounded very confident and firm in his desire to serve in Korea. We miss him, but we are also very proud of him!

Joshua will be able to call us again on Christmas Day! In the meantime, we will post his letters and (hopefully) photos as we get them. As always, I know he will be the grateful beneficiary of your continued letters and encouragement.

Sis. Bocchino

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