Monday, November 30, 2015
So this week has been absolutely amazing!
I would really like to start off with a spiritual message. In church yesterday, I gave a talk, and the topic was enduring to the end. Enduring to the end are things like attending church every week, keeping the commandments, loving others and things like that simple put. While I was talking, the Spirit hit me, and I started talking about missionary work, and how to help others endure to the end. One thing that I shared was that every day when someone says, “I don't need you,” or they don't accept the gospel, I always turn to my companion and say "why can't they just have an open mind?" "why can they not see the greatness that can come for this?" "I'm out here trying to give them the thing that gives me the most joy, that families can be together forever, that life doesn't just end, that God has prepared a way for them, but they just shut me down. I love them so much, I want to share this happiness with them.” Also, I told that I love to smile. I love to smile because I'm happy. I'm just simply happy because I know that my Redeemer lives, and the eternal truth that has been established by my loving Heavenly father and His son are here, and that I will be able to live with my family for eternity if I choose the right. Because of that, I'm never sad. I am always happy no matter what.
So anyway on to the week! So after P-day finished, we went to a recent convert's house and just had the best dinner! We had an amazing lesson as well, and I really do love her so much! I love being able to do missionary work. Many may think that missionary work is all about proselyting, but it isn't. I do this because I love others, and to edify myself. Through this, I know I have matured so much more than I could have ever done in even 4 years of college, and I'm only through 2~3 months. Anyway, after dinner and an amazing lesson, went home and planned lessons and called many investigators.
On Tuesday, I got to go teach a class call 기쁨우리 or the translation is joyous people. It is an English class we teach every Tuesday to special needs individuals! I love them all so much and they are amazing!! I'm so happy that I was able to do that! Then afterwards we tried to go talk to some investigators, but they all fell through, so we went out and proselyted for a little bit and got in contact with another investigator so we taught him! Then we had dinner and after we had dinner went home and called up members and others and just told them how much we love and appreciate them!
Wednesday, we planned for a very long time and planned activities for the ward and also went and taught others! While planning, I was looking through past contacts and I found a man who could speak Japanese, and so I called him on the phone and talked to him! We have an appointment with him tomorrow (Tuesday, December 1st)!! I am very excited! Then we went out to eat with the Branch President and showed him our plan for the Branch and for the people and what we are going to do to get the youth involved in the ward! It was great! And dinner was amazing! It was like Buckwheat noodles ("Soba" in Japanese) with spicy stuff and just yummm..
Thursday, we had a meeting with some fellow missionaries that are in our area, and also Wednesday night, our Branch President told us that we should coordinate with the church cleaning specialist because the basement had flooded, so we saw the specialist before the meeting. However, he was like “I don't know when I'm going to come, but I'm going to come,” so, we came to the church after the meeting. While we were waiting for him, we finished eating lunch. So, we decided to go clean the basement by ourselves. The water was deep, and we didn't want to get our shoes wet, so we filled up buckets after buckets, and with bare feet went running to the drainage system in the street and dumped the water out. Our feet were so cold! After that, we came inside, and got changed into our normal church clothes, and began planning for other events because planning was really needed. Then as soon as we started planning, Brother Pak came in and said that he brought a professional equipment, and that he might need our help, so he asked us to stay there. So we stayed while he got the excess of water out, and told us that we could go home, so we were like ohh... okay… When we were about to head out, a man came in and started talking to Brother Pak. The man just wanted to talk to the missionaries. He came in asking for forgiveness, and gave us his life story. He was balling, and was just such an amazing guy. We had the best lesson and he accepted to be baptized. I love this man so much! And then, he asked if we could get some water so we show him to where it was on the 2nd floor of the building. On the second floor, the chapel is there. So we went inside, and he is like in utter awe. So I shared an experience about church, and how wonderful it is, and he was like “this is amazing!” I asked him how he was feeling, and he said “I just feel like I'm being hugged and I'm home.” So, we asked him how he knew we were here. He said, “while I was wandering looking for answers, I saw you guys dumping water, and I knew you were men of the Lord.” According to him, he also went to three other churches, and no one was there. So he came. He is amazing. I really do love him. Then after this amazing experience, we went and got chicken for Thanksgiving dinner! J
Friday, it really hit me that wow.... I love this place and I love all these people! I don't quite know them all yet, but I will! So we go out and talk to people, do service and I just love being here!
Saturday was a day filled of surprises. We got to teach English and had a great chat with a student about the gospel. We got to talk to members, and we got to talk to other people and give them love. I also love being able to call others at the end of the day and talk to them about how much I love them!
Sunday was very great! I gave a talk at Church and apparently everyone was listening to me speak according to Elder Tuinei (My companion). I accompany on the piano every week, so it is always fun playing! I love being able to do other things, and I continue to get back into piano!
I love being here. These people are amazing, and I really do think, all the time, these are my people. I love these people because they just have the greatness about them. I love them because they love me. Even me being a weird foreigner, I love them! This is amazing and I really know that my Heavenly Father lives and loves me too. Also because now it is December, I want to share this with all "https://www.mormon.org/christmas?cid=HP_SU_11-29-2015_dMIS_fSPC_xLIDyL1-A_"
Monday, November 23, 2015
So it is so flipping awesome being in Korea!! Korea really is a fantastic place and I love being out here in the field! I can't believe that I'm really here, and I am so glad to be serving the Korean people. So I guess I should give an update from two Thursday's ago, but, before that, I wanted to share a spiritual message with all. It is Ether 12:6 and it reads, "And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore,dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith." Just take a step, just have a little bit of faith and act upon in. If you just simple take a leap of faith, he is there to catch you. Christ loves you so much and he will come to your aid, and if it takes a little more time just know that God does things in his own time. He will help -- maybe he needs you to learn something deeper!
So there is a little bit of spiritual message that I wanted to share with you :) So, these last few weeks have been long. Not long as in loooonnnngg, but just time wise, they have been long and I have been able to accomplish so many things!! I am so happy that I am able to be in Korea right now! It is so amazing, and it really reminds me of Japan! I love it so much here and really I'm like Dorthy in the Wizard of Oz!! :) It is so cool being here though, and I really do love the Korean people more than anything!! SO cool!!
Okay, so this week has been so interesting. SO I'll start from the Thursday that I sent out my email, which was November 12th. So 9 days have passed and it seems as though it has been forever ago since being at the MTC! So after P-day on the 12th we went to class and taught our "investigator" and that was good. Friday was another very fun day and we really started to realize that we were going to be leaving soon! Friday at In-Field orientation, we just learned how to be missionaries and simulated what we were going to be doing out in the field, and how we can be better missionaries! And our last TRC was with a recent convert, and she was fantastic! We had the best experience for TRC with her and the spirit was well felt!
Saturday was fun! Last gym time, last time for a whole bunch of things, and we knew it too! I thought it was absolutely fantastic how great our zone was and how amazing the people were! Saturday also meant the last time teaching fake investigators, and so in the afternoon we committed our fake investigator, Brother Kwak, to be baptized and that was great! Then we got pictures with Brother Memmott and Brother Chandler, along with Sister Choi! They were such great teachers especially to the orphan district!! :) Then in the Evening we taught our fake investigator, Sister Jong, and committed her to be baptized as well! It was a very fun experience and we took pictures with Sister Washburn! I swear, we got some absolutely amazing teachers, and I cannot thank them enough for teaching us! I wouldn't be the same missionary without them!!
Sunday was our legit last full day at the MTC! Sunday was a very relaxed fun day, and I really enjoyed it. We took pictures as groups, and wrote in a Bye-bye books. Also at a devotional, we had a very good time. Then for a movie, we watched the Testaments. My favorite thing that was said about the Testaments, was Elder Lunt sitting there at week 6 and saying, “I've been looking all over 3rd Nephi, and I can't find this story about this “Jacob” guy in the Testaments! Where is it at??” I thought it was awesome because he also knew that although the story of Jesus Christ coming and visiting people in America is true, the story about Jacob and what he did was fictionalized.
But anyway, that wasn't even my most favorite part. My most favorite part was after the movie, we all went outside and the younger districts came up with an amazing fair well song! I loved it so much! We got to sing "God be with you ‘til we meet again" and that brought the spirit in! And finally we all knelt down in a group prayer, and while Sister Kramer was praying, Elder Lunt who I am super close with placed his hand on my back and I just started crying. I was losing some of my very best friends, and even right now I miss them so much. Then it started raining and you know that when it rains, God is crying too ;)
No, but it was a very sad, happy, and loving experience!! So we said our good-byes and that was amazing!! I am also so grateful for all my friends and all who are in the MTC right now!
We went back to residence and packed up the rest of our belongings, and by the time we packed and got everything balanced out weight wise, it was about 12:30a.m, and I decided that I wasn't going to go to sleep because I wasn't tired. So just mega hyped Elder Wilson was writing letters and in Bye-bye books because I love all people! Then at around 3:45a.m, we took all our stuff and headed out to SLC airport, and road the train, got to the Delta desk, and checked our bags! And at this point it’s already Monday! So Check bags and hop on the phone with my parents. Oh how amazing that felt too! Just to be able to talk with my family! Then went through security, called more and hopped on the plane to Portland. I was sound asleep at that point!
We got into Portland, and I called the parents up again and talk for a long time! Our flight to Narita was delayed so I got more time to talk, and I had to get on the plane so I had to stop talking. On the plane, I had 2 seats to myself which was nice, but I accidentally sat down in the wrong seat, and a Japanese teacher just looked at me, and I was like sorry and started speaking Japanese and he was like "you're Japanese?!?!" I was like I get that a bit. And I started talking about the gospel and I gave him a Book of Mormon, and he seemed interested so that was a great experience! Then on the plane, I was super passed out until I woke up and went to the restroom. While waiting for the restroom, I was talking to a flight attendant, and we talked for a good hour about the gospel and being a missionary and he was like that's so cool! He was from Seattle and just a great guy! He was very nice and I was glad I got to share the gospel with him.
We touched down in Japan, I got to speak Japanese, help everyone out and that was super fun!! Then I got to call my parents from Japan, and finally got on the Korean Airplane to Busan! It was so hot and I was just dying. Anyway, I prayed to God to help me out and found myself sound asleep heading to Busan. We got in, went through Customs and met our assistants to the mission president, and the mission president along with his office secretary and his family! Then went to the mission home and this was Tuesday night at like 10 p.m. in Korean time!
We were all so excited so we couldn't go to bed until like 12 and after we went to sleep in a cramped room with like 10 elders sleeping in it, we got up the next morning, had breakfast at the mission president's house and got instructions about Korean! After that we went back to his house and had lunch... It is so good to have “normal” food!! Then after lunch we met our potential trainers and the second elder to come into the room. The spirit just hit me, and I knew he was going to be my companion! We went through rules, and then how to proselyte and teach the gospel and then an hour later we went out! We went out with multiple companions, and we switched and it was amazing! My first companion was Elder Tuinei, then Elder Hines, and Elder Pokaro! All great guys. And while we were proselyting, I saw a man playing basketball and I got an impression to go talk to him, and play him! So I played him in a suit. At firs,t he thought I was crazy, but I asked him to pass me the ball and I drained a 3. He was like ohh okaaaaaaayyy. So I started playing this guy, and while doing that, my companion was approached by a man who wanted to learn a lot about the gospel. So I played the guy and destroyed, and I taught him a little lesson although he wasn't super interested, but the man my companion was talking to, had a lot of questions and wanted to meet with the missionaries!
So the night was good. We had a great testimony meeting afterwards, and we went to sleep! That was my Wednesday! It was amazing to know that the spirit really does guide you to others and it was super fun just having nice conversations with people in Korean!
Then Thursday, we had breakfast and we were grouped with our new companions!! It was so cool!! All of them are called by God, and they aren't just randomly selected. So, when the mission president said Elder Tuinei, your companion is…., I look at my former companion, Elder Fox, and said “he is my companion because I know he is,” and sure enough he is! I'm serving on an island called Yongdo! So cool! So we went off to Yongdo, and it was a salty and sweet experience because I was leaving all my good buds, but I'm going on an adventure!! So we get there and go serve and meet Branch members! --- BTW, our apartment has so many mosquitos, and I've racked up about 25 mosquitos bites on my arms, and face --- all while I am sleeping under my covers. So now before I go to bed, I wear long sleeves with a turtle neck type top and wear a beanie and wear bug spray on my face.
Anyway, the branch members are so nice, and I love them! We have had a district meeting, and some guys from the older Busan District like Elder Cronin and Sorenson are here, so it is great! I love it! Also on Sunday I had to give my introductory speech, and that went well. They don't have a piano player so I said I was able to play the piano and they were all laughing. haha. It was fun! Also on Saturday we met with a Sri Lankan named Tharindu, and taught him about the Plan of Salvation!! Then at the end, I invited him to get baptized. He said he would think about it, but most likely it is a yes!! I'm so excited for him!! And I talk to everyone!! I have gotten to know many people!! I love it so much!! I love my branch and I love everything about Korean!!
So to end I wanted to share a video "http://www.mormonchannel.org/watch/series/music-videos/nearer-my-god-to-thee" Just think about your Savior and how much he loves you. There is no way to deny that you are loved, even if you don't feel loved, he loves you.