Monday, December 21, 2015

Week 14: Looking for our Mission Leader??

This coming week is the week we have all been looking forward to... Christmas!! Who doesn't love Christmas!  Family, food, friends, music and snow.  How I love the time of Christmas, and the joy that it brings!!  When I think about this year, it will be a little different.  I won't be with my family, I won't be in the States, I won't get to spend Christmas like my typical Christmas, but I do get to spend Christmas this year the best way I could possibly ask for... Going outside and telling people of Christ's Birth and why I can be happy, why I feel loved always because Christ was born.  And that is such an amazing gift in itself.  I love it here and it is definitely getting cold in Korea.  The island that I am on is surrounded by water and the wind is super cold. But it is wonderful being here. 

So the message that I want to share today is about Christ's birth because Christmas is coming up.  Christmas is such a special time and I love everyday leading up to it. Although I am a missionary, I have to have a good time too.  So, I only felt like it was natural to have a Christmas tree in our house, so we got that.  But Christmas is filled with special feeling and a whole lot of love towards one another.  And I want to use the word "Wonderful" to describe you.  The word "Wonderful" is used in the scriptures to describe Christ.  In Isaiah 9:6, it states "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."   When the word "wonderful" is used, it is no simple phrase.  The gravity and magnitude this word has is immeasurable.  And, I think you are “wonderful” too.  So for this Christmas, think of someone who is Wonderful.  Think of someone that you love and adore, someone who is Christ-like and want to give thanks to and do so.  I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and through him all things are possible. Therefore, I know without a shadow of a doubt that he is Wonderful, Jehovah, Counsellor, my Redeemer and my Savior and I know he lives.

That was the message I wanted to share with all today.  So a rundown of my week goes a little something like this:
So starting with last Monday.  After we finished emailing, we had to go drop of some stuff for a member. This lady is like our island mom and she is great, but she needs us a lot so we help her out.  We waited at the store for one hour, but she didn't come. So, we went home and waited for her.  She came and we gave her stuff to her.  It was great!  Then we went over to the Church and waited for Tharindu, our wonderful Srilankan investigator, but unfortunately he was busy and was unable to come. So we went outside in the cold and talked to people about the gospel. It was fantastic!

Then on Tuesday we got to go to our special service activity that always gives me a huge smile on my face.  They are so fun and amazing, and I love the people I teach English to.  Then we went home and made nice message cards, and then went to a member’s house and she wasn't home so we placed the message card on her door.  As soon as we left the apartment, she came walking up and says “ohh hello missionaries,” and invites us in.  We told her that we had about 30 minutes to talk and she was like “ohhh okay... Well... I think you actually have one hour and a half so sit down and have dinner and what not.”  So, we had dinner and that was great and her son is a little less active in the Church, but he was super happy that we were there and we talked a lot.  It was a wonderful experience!

On Wednesday, we had our Christmas party, and it was very spiritual with many musical numbers, games, fun and a Church movie about the pioneers at the end of the meeting.  I got to see people that I left the Missionary Training Center with and that was so fun!  It is so funny because I am new and not many people know me yet, so, many people would come up to me and ask... Are you Korean? I say no. Are you half Korean? I say no. What are you then? Half Japanese... Oh... Wait can you speak Japanese? Yes... OHH MY!!! So they would freak out but all the Koreans would ask me that.  And then I speak to them and they are like no you're lying... You're Korean.  I still said no, and the haircut also makes me look super Asian.  Anyways... So then we went back to Yeoungdo, and went outside and talked to people about the Church again.  It is great that we can talk to many people and do God's will.  I am so happy to be here!!

Thursday was a very long, amazing day!  So on Thursday, we planned out our week and typically planning takes about three hours, but it took three and a half on Thursday.  It was great to plan and planning is very crucial.  Without planning, many things can't get done, and if we are unorganized and do not have any goals, we cannot progress and help others progress.  So then we got ready to teach Japanese class and then after Japanese class we went outside and talked to others and that went super well!

Friday was a very good day. It was freezing cold and sunny which doesn't seem to do anything in Korea actually.  So we go clean up Sister Choi SongJa's fish bread stand and waited for 2 hours without her... It was so cold... Then we came and we taught a message. Then we studied, and made message cards --- because we love the Lord, no matter how cold it was outside, we went out.  J
So we went out and tried to meet with some less active members, but they weren't home so we left message cards on their doors and talked to others outside... It was a very very very cold day.

Saturday was a great day too! We taught our regular English class and everyone who shows up to it is so wonderful!  I taught a short, spiritual message at the end, and everyone listened well.  The message was about how families can stay together forever because Christ was born.  Then after that got done, we went out looking for our ward mission leader (the member of the church who looks out for missionaries and tries to help us out).  The address system in Korea changed about 10 years ago and we only have his old address and he hasn't attended church in 2 years that we had to ask for help to find this man’s house.  We looked for two and a half hours in the cold to with no luck at all.  But that’s okay. J  I am happy that I got to talk to many people while doing it!  Then we went to some other people’s houses and gave message cards, and then on our way home, we helped Sister Choi SongJa finish up at her stand.

Sunday was so wonderful! So many people came to church and we got to plan many things. We went outside and taught the gospel, and that was amazing! I am so uplifted on Sundays, and there is no way my week would be so great if I didn't go to Church every week!  I love going to church and helping others come closer unto Christ!

I am so happy that is it Christmas, and I hope you have such a great Christmas as well.  Be grateful and generous and remember the true meaning of Christmas! J


Elder Wilson

Around the island I serve
Japanese Lesson

Preparation is Important!!

The Missionaries Love Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Week 13: Kimuchi & more!

Ohh how amazing this country is, and how great it is to be serving the Lord here!  I've been thinking a lot this week about others’ needs about why I am doing this work, and why I absolutely love doing it.  I believe in my heart that there is nothing better to be doing than to be doing this work.  I absolutely love the people, I love the experiences, but most of all I love spreading the gospel.  Buddy the Elf says "the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear," and I believe that the best way to spread the thing that makes me most happy --the gospel of Jesus Christ -- is by sharing it in every way possible. 

One of my favorite verses in the scriptures is Alma 26:12 in the Book of Mormon.  It reads "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever."   I have seen so many miracles even while just being out here, and I know they have not come from me.  They have come from my God and because He gives me strength, I can stand up at 6:30 a.m. every day, and say “I will do God's will.”  I will say this many times, but I know I am weak, and the Lord helps me everyday.  There have been many times I have prayed so sincerely, and answers come or they don't come.  All I know is I can always smile because I have someone looking out for me and showing me miracles.  I will always praise my Lord and my God.

That was my little spiritual message for the week.  So this week as always has been such a fabulous week!  It is really a blessing being out here and serving!  So last week on our P-day, we went to a very famous Buddhist temple in Haeyundae.  It is right on the sea and absolutely gorgeous!  I got to see Elder Yoon from the Missionary Training Center!  I was so happy to see him, and we talked all day and it was SO fun to go around with him and hang out!  I took many pictures that day!!  Then we came back to Yeoungdo, and e-mailed, shopped, prepped for our lesson with Tharindu and taught him about the Commandments and the Word of Wisdom.  He is doing well with them both!  He also said that he wants to experience everything, and he is really working to try to be baptized.

Tuesday we got to go teach our English class to the special needs students, and they really do brighten up my day!!  They were like “You guys are my favorite teacher,” and they know about missionaries getting transferred in and out, so they are like “You guys are both going to be here next week right?”  We are like “yes,” and they are so happy to hear that.  I really do love them so much! Then we went to go get my foreigner card and went to a department store for a second, and bought a Japanese text book for the free Japanese class that I am teaching on Thursday Evenings now!  We have 4 people who attend!! :)  Then we made calls and had planned to meet with Tharindu, but he was unable to do that so we went outside and proselyted and that was fantastic!

Wednesday was such an amazing day!!  So in the morning, we studied and then met up with the missionaries from Quejyeoung, at the same place that we do the special needs English class, and made kimchi!  It was so fun, and we had such a great time doing it!  I love serving other people, and making kimchi is a very interesting process as well.  After we got done with that, we had lunch and got changed into missionary clothing and went on Exchanges!  Exchanges are when someone else's companion becomes your companion for a day!  So I was with Elder Oheuichan (오의찬)!  It was such an amazing time!  So we went up to sister Choi Songja's Fish bread stand and taught her a lesson and introduced her to Elder Oheuichan.  Then we went to Kim SoonDok's house and she was there, but was on the phone and said that she was super busy so we proselyted for a few hours and that was amazing.  Then we taught Jung Min Jung and her kid English and the gospel, and that went super well.  They accepted a baptismal invitation.  Then we tried to get a hold of Sister No Yongshin, but she told us to come next week, so we proselyted more.  That day we talked to so many people, and gave out a lot of Book of Mormons. Then at night we talked a lot and had a very fun time!

Then on Thursday Elder Tuinei got back, and we had meetings with everyone who is serving in our area, went and ate lunch with them and planned. Then we made Japanese flyers and tried to meet with Tharindu again. Unfortunately he was unable to so we went outside and proselyted more and talked to many people! 

On Friday, we did a lot of proselyting and inviting people to come to our English class on Saturday and then our Japanese class on Thursday night!  We met many nice people!  We also had dinner after a meeting with one of the members.  Then we ate at home, set up our amazing, beautiful Christmas tree that I absolutely love! :)

Saturday was great! So in the morning we went to help out Sister Choi Song Ja with her fish bread stand, and then we went and taught English Class!  The English class was very fun!  Many people were unable to show up, but we were able to talk to someone who isn't as active in the Church right now about her conversion story and just talked.  It was great! :)   Then we had dinner and went and put up Japanese class flyers all over Yeoungdo while talking to many people!  It was a great experience although it was cold . 

Sunday's are amazing days!  I love Sundays!  We went to church, greeted everyone and we got to watch the First Presidency Christmas Devotional!  That was great!  I really enjoyed the story that President Dieter F. Uchtdorf shared about the Generous one.  The talk he shared was about gratitude and understanding gratitude.  Also why Jesus is the generous one and are we truly grateful.  The story below is one I started to cry on because it really touched my heart so deeply when I heard it.   It reads "One example I learned about involved a man who lived in Africa. Because of a disability, this man had never been able to walk. He was forced to spend most of his time in his parents’ home. He could not work; he could not go out with his friends; he could not do even the simple things we take so much for granted. Then he heard something remarkable! The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was bringing wheelchairs to an event not far from his home! He asked a friend to take him to the event, and there he watched as dozens of disabled men, women, and children were lifted into new, gleaming wheelchairs. Oh, how he wanted to sit in one of those chairs! How it would change his life for a moment if he could move about by his own power! He waited in line until finally, it was his turn. Two men lifted him into a chair and for the first time in his life, he was able to move freely! At first he moved about hesitantly. But as he got the feel of the wheelchair, he moved more courageously. He turned, twisted, and sprinted. He waved enthusiastically with both hands as he raced past his friend. He flew! The look on his face was one of joy.
After a time, however, he slowly wheeled the chair back to the others and with an expression of calm resignation he prepared to be helped out. "What are you doing?" his friend asked.
The man smiled and shrugged his shoulders. “It is someone else’s turn now,” he said. The Church humanitarian missionary knelt beside him and said, “This wheelchair is yours.” The man couldn’t believe it. He had assumed this event was only to demonstrate what it was like to ride in a wheelchair. “Is it truly mine?” he asked. “Yes.” "But I have no money." “It is yours. It is a gift from people who love you.” When the reality of what was happening finally sunk in, this humble man looked at his friend. he looked at the missionary. He tried to hold back the tears, but it was in vain. And as he wept, he laughed at the sheer joy of what he felt. His friend and the missionary wept with him. “Thank you,” he said in a whisper. He hugged them both, settled into his chair, and then with a “whoop!” he took off again with a big smile. “I can fly!” he shouted as he sped back and forth along the pavement. This man understood gratitude." That is the story and sorry it was long.

So ask myself... Do I really know what gratitude is?  Do I fully grasp that?  Do I know what it means to be grateful?  I have been thinking that since then.  Anyways here is the rest of Sunday: I meet with people in Church; played the Piano; talked to Mr. Won, one of our investigators; and then proselyted.  We didn't talk to many people, but then went and sticker board proselyted and that went well.

So am I grateful?? --- just one of the many things to think about.  I never realized how many blessings I receive in a day, and how much I need to show my gratitude.  The funny thing about Korean is that “Thank you” isn't actually directly translated as “Thank you.”  It is "I am grateful."  I really am grateful to be here and check out the link to President Uchtdorf's video. It is very good, and inspiring! Please watch it! :)

I love you very much and I hope you have a great week!


Elder Wilson

Our Christmas Tree - Set-up

Our Christmas Tree -Lights Up!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Week 12: Miracles Galore

It is so weird to think that it has already been 12 weeks since I have been out on my mission. To think that missionaries only serve for 104 weeks, and I'm already done with 12 is very scary.  It may seem like 104 weeks are a long time away, but time moves faster than you think!  
This week has been absolutely amazing, and very busy.  I am also sorry for not sending photos over the last 4 weeks.... For some reason my camera is not uploading pictures right, or even at all and it is killing me, so when I do finally get it to work, I will just dump them on you guys.  I do apologize on that front, especially because I've been taking so many pictures! 
So I do apologize for that.

The spiritual thought that I want to start off with today is Matthew 7:7. And it reads "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:"   I really do enjoy this because so many of my prayers have been answered this week, and I am just so grateful for my Heavenly Father always watching out for me.  
I was talking to my companion today and saying, “Wow! Isn't it just great that we have someone always looking out for us, that no matter if we fall, we are able to get back up because He foresaw that’s happening and gave us a Savior to help us get back to where we need to be. How marvelous it is that God, who is almighty, is also called Heavenly Father because He is our Heavenly Father.  The video I want to share this week is:

If you have time, maybe watch this video and think and ponder. He gave us the best present that we could've possibly received and because He gave him to us, we are able to live with him again.

This week has really been full of miracles! I am so lucky to have God with me, and looking out for me. Anyway, this is how my week went.
On Monday, we had P-Day and it was pretty fun.  We went out and played soccer for a bit, and then came back to Yeongdo and played some Table Tennis.  Then we met with our investigator Tharindu.  Because he doesn't speak great English or Korean, we have a sister in Seoul translates for us.  And, we extended another baptismal invitation to him, and he said that he would be baptized and that he knows the Church is true, but he just needs to know more.  So, his baptismal date is planned on January 9th, 2016.  That was amazing, and I don't think the word “Love” could adequately express how I feel for the people I meet and teach. These people are indescribable, and I really do love them :)

Tuesday Morning I called a Korean man that could speak Japanese, and set up lunch. We had a super tight schedule so we could only meet for a little bit, but when we went to his house he wasn't there. Also please don't imagine his house to be like an American house -- just one in a back alley and it was cool. Anyway, unfortunately, he wasn't there so I wrote a little message to him in Konganese (Korean and Japanese).   Then we went the great 기쁨우리! It was a blast of a time.  At the end after we finished teaching, the supervisors came out and asked if we would like to make Kimchi with them on the 8th, and we said yes!  I'm so excited to make Kimchi --- never done it before... Yep. Then we planned the Christmas party for the members we go to Church with, and a Church activity for the young men and young women... That took a little bit of time.  And on the Monday we taught Tharindu and he accepted to be baptized, we asked when he wanted to meet again and he said this Tuesday, so we met with him again on this Tuesday.  It was amazing and every time we meet with him, I just have a huge smile on my face because I love him so much! 

Wednesday was a thing called Zone Conference. The conference's theme was about faith, and the Mission President, his wife and his assistants (who are fellow missionaries) came out and spake to us. We also went out and proselyted as a huge group and it was very fun.  Also the district that I am in got to perform a special musical number, so while I accompanied, I sang with them and it turned out great! Anyways after that, I got to talk with others.  Then we finished the conference, and returned home.  Then we had a plan to meet Tharindu again for 3 day's straight because he made an appointment, but unfortunately he couldn't come because he was busy. So we kept planning the Young men's activity, and met with a member.  She is amazing!  Wednesday was so cool!!

Then Thursday we were planning even more, and we got a call from a member and she was like “Help!  Help!”  So we hurried as fast as we could over to her place.  Her stand where she sells fish bread fell down, her glass broke, and a lot of her money went flying.  So she asked us to go look for the money. We found a total of 31 dollars -- which was so good so “Thank you, Heavenly Father!!”  Then later we went out, and were talked to many people.  At around 4:00p.m, we had planned to go to an investigator’s house that is hard to meet with.   When we call and schedule an appointment, she is always off somewhere else. So we just went up to her house.  Unfortunately she wasn't there.  I was so sad because for the past 3 nights and 4 days I had been praying that we could meet with her, and she wasn't there. So we went off and had an early dinner at around 5:00 and ate Mud-fish rice soup -- it was very interesting.   Through eating the soup, we had a lady that is a possible investigator and wants to talk about the Church more!  And we had a lesson planned for 6 o’clock, but that fell through because it is testing season over here, and the Mom who called us wants to learn English with her kid and about the gospel.  But she cancelled and we are teaching her on the 8th.  So we headed up to a recent convert’s house.  She hasn't wanted to talk to us because she is dealing with some inner things, but we stopped by to say Hi.  She opened up and we had a great lesson, and she is happy now.
Then we went walking back and I got this feeling that we had to swing by the investigator’s house that we were supposed to meet at 4 pm.  So we did.  As we were walking, we saw her walking and exercising.  So, we were able to go to her house and teach her a lesson.  All I got to say is God really blesses us in His own time. It was an amazing day!

Friday we went to the same member’s stand and helped her get it up and running again.  After that, we did so many things. We went to the Church, decorated it with Christmas stuff and set up the Christmas tree. Then we talked to others.

Saturday was amazing because nothing that happened that day was coincidence.
We have English class that we teach for free on every Saturday, and we had a record High 11 people show up this week.  So, I taught like 6 and my companion taught 5 people. And one of our investigators Mr. Won came in pretty hung over when we were talking about health (That was the topic for the day). Then we got to the vocab word of cancer, and he told us that his best friend died yesterday of Lung cancer.   My Heart instantaneously dropped, and I felt so sorry. Then we talked to him for 5 minutes, but he was like “let's talk tomorrow.”  My heart was so sunk and it hurt.  There was so much pressure inside it, so I said a prayer. My prayer that lasted I don't know how long, but afterwards I knew what to do, and I know Mr. Won will get baptized here very shortly.
Then we went back to our apartment to get an address for one of the less active members we were going to meet.  We don't have smartphones so we went to a police station for a direction, but the policeman didn’t know.  Then looked on Google earth, it wasn’t helpful either.  Then we went to go walk and found it.   My companion had revelation, and we went and said a quick prayer.  As soon as we finished praying, a person came walking up the stairs, and we taught her a lesson. She and her kid are amazing!!  So that was our day. 

Sunday we had three investigators show up to Church, and I was able to explain about the church. We are getting so many people, and I love them so much!  I love being able to bond with them and know what I need to do.  God really does answer prayers, and I know this to be true. He is always looking out for me and there is no way I would be here if it wasn't for him.  I am so thankful for my Heavenly Father, and I am so grateful for all the blessings and miracles that He gives me. I don't really believe in coincidence.  I think it is never really coincidence, but because God knows what you need and when you need it, it happens. 

Thanks for all you do and keep in mind that Christmas is coming soon and what the true meaning of Christmas is!!


Elder Wilson

Ohh also we came up with an idea that I will actually be teaching free Japanese class here in Korea! This is going to be awesome and today on the train I met someone who would be interested! I am so excited!!