Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Week 28: Branch Conference and Scrubbing Carpet

Well first off... HAPPY EASTER!! I love Easter and it is really so wonderful!! Easter is always sooo amazing and I'm so glad even in Korea, that my companion and I were able to color eggs although they were brown eggs haha :)  --Thank you Mom and Dad!  
Easter is really so wonderful because we really get to remember the sacrifice of Christ and his triumph over death! How wonderful that is. Throughout this entire week, I have been thinking about Christ and my family and how much I love them and how immense eternity is. Because of him, we can live together with them forever and I'm just so happy to be able to know that my Redeemer lives! I love Easter.. (Wow.. I've said that a bunch)

So today, I want to share a video that I enjoy a bunch and is just wonderful. It is based on a phrase, a simple phrase. "Follow me". Follow me is such a simple phrase and is heard throughout one's life. And every time someone says follow me, it is for the betterment of another, so one may not get lost, so one can have a happier experience, so someone can always be safe. No matter the situation is, there is always someone who we can follow. And that example, this perfect example is Christ. He lived the perfect life; he took upon all our sins, my sins. He suffered unimaginable pains so that I can be happy, and all he asks of me is to follow him. I know that all of us can find happiness through him, because he is the light and the bread of life. All that believe on him will never hunger and never thirst, he is our Savior and he lives. So here is the website and it is a short 2 minute video! I love it and I know you will so!! "https://www.mormon.org/easter/follow-him"

So on to my week!! So on Monday we had preparation day which we really didn't do anything special! We got to email our families and played a little bit of ping pong and got to go shopping and it was a very nice day for sure. It was super relaxed and I got one of the packages that Mom had sent from the sister team who had gone to mission headquarters and then came back with my package!! So we did that and then had family home evening at the church, where we played Scum, which seems to be a favorite game now and I was very happy that everyone had a great time! Then we got a ride home from one of the members of our church and that was our Monday!

On Tuesday, we studied in the morning and then I cooked for lunch then after which we went and had a meeting with out sisters to introduce the new sister who is from the Netherlands about our Area and just talking about the plan for our week. After which we went to go see Youil (유일) and he is just... like a huge light and so happy. I'm so excited for him when we get out of the detention center! Then after which we came back to the church where we met with our other investigator Yangheejun (양희준) and we talked to him and had a great time talking with him and then after which we were supposed to have English class, but no one was able to come, so the sister team and us practiced singing because we were going to be performing a special musical number at church on Easter. So we practiced and then went home!

On Wednesday, we studied in the morning and then ate and after that took a train going to another town in our very large area named SamrangJin (삼랑진). So we went around talking to people and found some nice old ladies working on a cherry blossom farm so we went up to talk to them and they were very nice and we like, take a bunch of pictures on the farm and we hope you guys have a great day and everything turned out amazingly. Then we went and talked to more people, after which we took a train home at about 5 and then went outside, talked to more people and then went and had a meal with our North Korean friend and a member who prepares food for the missionaries every week. So we had a great time talking and it was just fun spending time with them! Then we went home with our North Korean man because he lives in the same apartment complex with us.

On Thursday, we went into Busan for a special training meeting for Elder Quiroz and I. We while we were there, we switch companions and went out and talked to many people and I got to be with Elder Mahler who i was at the MTC with. It was very fun and I love it soo much! then after which we caught a train home and then we went and had dinner with a person investigating the church named Lee Jangjun (이장준), we had been meeting for about 6 weeks straight and for the past couple weeks we hadn't been able to meet because he started up a new job and on top of that is going off to mandatory military service in April. So he said he couldn't keep meeting with us really and we had just the greatest time with each other, and I love him with all my heart and it was so hard saying goodbye because... He is just amazing. So it was a very sad day, but I can't wait to see him in the future and he will be amazing!! 

On Friday we had a meeting with everyone in our district in the morning and then we got to go eat lunch with 이흥봉 Lee Hungbong who is justt awesome and then we drove with him to SamRangjin where he finished up some work and then we went off and cleaned his horse stable with him and that was great! Then after which we weekly planned and that was great as well!!

Then on Saturday, we studied in the morning and then ate and then set up the church for English Class. Then we had English class which was great and after English we have ping pong time for people that want to attend, so some of members attended too because they wanted to play and also because we needed to clean for our branch Conference that was going to be on Easter, so we played Ping pong and it was soo fun. They were super good too and it was fun. Then after which we deep cleaned the church and the Branch President saw that the chapel carpet had black spots and was like Elder Wilson, do you know how to get these out, and I was just like use soap, so I ended up scrubbing the carpet with my companion for the next couple of hours and it looked brand new! Then they got us dinner and we practiced singing again and then we went home and everything was great! And also colored eggs late that night as well.

Then on Sunday, we had our branch conference and many people came to it from the stake and everything was super great and we got to sing in front of everything and that was beautiful and then our Branch President credited me for cleaning the carpet and was like apparently, Elder Wilson learned that from his mother, as he says, so it is good that Elder Wilson learned from his mom. So people in the stake were like, I hope that you come serve for us and we know that you will serve very well so I hope you come and it was fun. Then I was able to speak Japanese with some members because they had been in Japan for the past year. Then after which we went outside and shared the gospel with others and then one of the members wanted us to teach his friend so we did for a bit and something didn't feel right, so I stopped the lesson and then we watched a great video and it felt good and then we went home and I made a Easter feast for Elder Quiroz and we ate it and were very happy :) And that was my week. Filled of happiness and joy and wonderful amazingness!!

I'm so glad that the week was so great and I love it here. The cherry blossoms look amazing and I will send great pictures!! I love you all and miss you guys a bunch!!! have a great week :) and Happy Easter!! :)

Love Always,

Elder Wilson

Cherry Blossom Farm

Ready for Coloring Eggs

The Coloring was Successful!!

Easter Dinner

I fixed a special Easter Dinner: Gyudon, Homemade dinner roll, Stuffing!

Train Stations are Fun??

Monday, March 21, 2016

Week 27: Staying in Miryang

A new week means a new email.  Also meaning new news from the Korea front.  So the weather has been amazing here, and I love being here in Korea!  As always is wonderful and it really is turning into spring which makes it amazing.  It's been pretty top notch to go out on bike rides on our Preparation Days!  It kind of rained on Friday, but that is alright because --- we just got to adventure and talk to more people as we adventured!! Also, because every 6 weeks there is a possibility to moved because of transfer calls, we waited on Saturday to figure out who was going to leave and stay, or if we would both leave, or both stay...  And my companion and I are staying together for the next 6 weeks! It will be a ride for sure!! So this week has been a blast and 27 weeks has been way too short!

So this week's message, I want to focus on the Savior and his atonement. As Easter approaches quickly, I find myself learning more and more about our Savior every day. Not only is being a missionary a perk for always getting to learn more about the Savior, but also why we need a Savior. A verse I would like to share is from the Book of Mormon, Alma 34:16 which states, "And thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, and encircles them in the arms of safety, while he that exercises no faith unto repentance is exposed to the whole law of the demands of justice; therefore only unto him that has faith unto repentance is brought about the great and eternal plan of redemption."
Justice is a law that has been in existence for eternity, and we as imperfect human beings will always fall short. But mercy... Mercy can satisfy the demands of justice.  The Savior took upon all the pains, hardships, sins of the world in order for us to be happy, so help him be our Mediator.  He is our Savior.  He was, is and will be the only means to satisfy Justice.  His eternal, perfect sacrifice makes it so that all people can live with their loving Heavenly Father again and with their families for eternity.  I love this gospel so much and as we find refuge in our Savior, we can be made whole. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

The news or what happened this week was pretty fun. So after we got done emailing on Monday, we went with our sister team on a bike ride up to a place called 위양못 (Wee-Yang-Mot).  This was about an 8 Kilometer bike ride, and it was fun being able to do it in a suit!  Another thing was that so we had a Korean Sister who didn't have a map and didn't know where to go, but my companion has officially declared me the Korean Companion (I'm still Japanese), so fortunately I knew where to go.  Also the others thought an 8 Kilometer bike ride would be a short bike ride, which it was, but they just didn't expect the hills -- haha.  They also thought at a point that we were lost, but I knew where we were going, so it was all good.  So we went and we took a lot of pictures.  It is like a pretty nice lake with an old Korean house on the lake.  It was super nice.  Afterwards we went and came back into town and went shopping for food and then did our Family Home Evening and the Church!  So our Family Home Evening was playing the card game Scum!  It was super fun and we all had a very fun time with all the people that attended!  After which we actually had some random people come in afterwards and we got to talk and it was awesome to just talk and to really get to know them!!

On Tuesday, we studied for a little bit and then we got to go help one of our older lady member's who wanted us to carry some nice, big bags of dirt to help her with her field.  After which we ate with her and shared a spirit filled message and then went and got changed and then went to go have a meeting with the sister team in our Area. After which we went and taught our friend who is in Prison... Such a great experience as usual actually and he is still smiling.. He still has 1 and a 1/4 years left, but he is excited and happy!  Then afterwards we left and talked to other people on the street and then met with another one of our other friends who comes to the church every Tuesday.  So we talked to him and then we were going to have English class afterwards, but because no one showed up we went outside and then talked to people and then we went home.

On Wednesday, we had our final district meeting for the 6-week transfer so we took pictures and ate and had a great meeting with each other!  It was super fun!  Then afterwards we talked to a bunch of people and then came back to Miryang because we had our meeting a place called Dogye.  Miryang is not a city, but the boundaries of Miryang are huge, so we went to a small town SooSan (수산) and we got to talk to others and actually got to see a man who we have been dying to get in contact with.  We will be meeting him more in the future.  We had a 45-minute conversation with him, and talked about the gospel and how he has been doing.   He was very happy to see us!!  Then we got to go talk with our great, Sage, North Korean friend. He is as great as usual :)

On Thursday, we studied and I cooked up some Japanese dish (Soboro Gohan) and then  we cleaned for 3 hours because that is what we have to do every 6 weeks.   Then we went outside and talked to a whole bunch of people and although people didn't really want to talk, it was okay, because we like talking to everyone anyways :)

On Friday it was raining so we had to cancel our service activity with the Horses.  So, we went to another small town called Mooan (무안) --- it was so small. It really was!!!  Just tiny!!  We got to talk to some people and got to explore and it was a really great day. Everyone in Korea thinks that the rain is like toxic and if you are out in the rain you will lose hair or something of that sort, so they don't come in the rain. Then we actually got invited to go eat at our branch president's house and got to share many great stories and it was so fun! :)

Then on Saturday we studied and had English class, and then played Ping pong with everyone that came and then cleaned the church. After that, we walked and talked to people on our way to our house and then we waited for a call.  My guess was that my companion and I were going to stay together and he thought he was going to leave... But it turned out that we are staying together, so the storm passed and so he and I slept well.

Then on Sunday, one of our sisters is leaving so she gave her goodbye talk.  Then the sisters had someone at church that is investigating the church, so we taught her with the sisters and her family.  We actually had one of the people who doesn't come to church often, came.  It was awesome!!  I was so happy. After church we all ate together, and then after eating together, we asked him if he wanted to come with us to go try to meet his friend and he was so happy to do it!  So we went.  Unfortunately his friend wasn't home, but we were happy to be with him.  His eyes were just lighting up and he was so happy and we were too!  Afterwards we went home and then went back outside and talked to more people and found a lot of people that want to learn about our Church and then finally we went and visited our North Korean Friend again:) He is so happy and so awesome! He is one of my best friends here!!

So that was our week and it was kind of slow, but it picked up and everything was fantastic! I love it here and I'm glad I get to be out here for 2 years, but time is going to fast!!! Where is all this time going!!

Anyways I love you guys and hope you guys have a great week! :)

Love Always,

Elder Joshua Matthew Wilson
From a week ago

Always The Tallest


Japanese Dish (Soboro Gohan)

Talking to Japanese Tourists

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Week 26: Stake Conference and Exchanges

This week has been a very busy week. There were emergency exchanges for the sister team in our area, I also got to go on an exchange on Wednesday, we talked to so many people this week and it was fantastic in all actuality. The busier your are the faster time goes by, but being busy is great as a missionary.. But there are still so many things to do.... I'm so excited to do all these things and it is just amazing that I am able to be out here in Korea! I absolutely love it here and it is still transitioning from Winter to Spring, so I think the correct word is the weather is very... Balmy here. But it is great and I absolutely love the members here and have gotten to see so many miracles here already.

So the weekly spiritual message is about Jesus Christ and some of the things that he says because he really loves us all. The passage I want to share today is John 15, particularly verses 12~15. Jesus is the one talking to his Apostles and his disciples in this passage.  It reads, "
(12) This is my commandment, That ye love‍ one another, as I have love‍d you. (13) Greater love‍ hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life‍ for his friends.
(14) Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.   (15) Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have hear of my Father I have made known unto you.” 
I have highlighted the words “friends” in yellow and the word “love/loved” in a light red. The first part is really loving one another and Christ loves us, which is with all his heart. But what I really want to focus on are verses 13~15. There is no greater love than laying down your life for another, or even all of mankind. Because we are his friends. He knows us by name, he loves us, we are his friends, not servants, but friends. I love my friends, and my family very much and Christ loves us as his Friends. I love Christ with all my heart, and he loves all of us. He uses the word friends, because we are his friends. This hit me very hard and I always want you to know that as He said, there is no greater love than a man that layeth down his life for his friends, which he did. All he did was for us, so always rely on him, love him and come closer unto him and to his other friends. That is my message.

My week played in a very great way, so on Monday, we had P-day and for P-day we played a little bit of ping pong, got to write you guys, shopped, and got our hair cut!! It was a very nice, relaxed P-day and after all this was done, we went back to the church and got ready for Family Home Evening. The Sister team however had a surprise exchange so they came late, but we had a fantastic time and I absolutely loved it. We play children's games, but it is very fun just playing with the members and people that come. Then we went home and that was Monday.

Tuesday we studied through the morning and then ate lunch. Then went outside and no one wanted to talk to us really... But that was okay :) It was great being outside and trying to talk to many people . Then we went to our friend 유일 (You irl) in prison and he really is as happy as ever and we love him so much! Then after which we went out again to try to talk to more people and still people didn't want to talk to us.. So we kept talking and then met one of our investigators at the Church and then we prepared for English. One of our English class members also walked in while we were teaching and it was great! We had like 2 lessons going
at once!! Then after we finished teaching both of them, we started English class and then went outside and finally got someone to talk to us about English Class (Sneak peak.. He actually is very curious about the gospel but at the time said he didn't want to learn :). Then we got home and that was our day!

On Wednesday we had our district meeting in the Morning and then we went out to eat as a district. After which, Elder Quiroz and I switched companions for a day and went outside and talked to many people.. For 5 hours. Those types of days are the best days :) And then afterwards we had a meal with some members and that went very well! I am so happy that I can be here and I just love it hah :) The members here are amazing and they really love the missionaries, I am so grateful that I can serve here.

On Thursday we had to de-exchange in the morning, so we studied a little bit and then we went and de-exchanged an hour away from 밀양!! Then when we got back, we didn't have anything in particular to do... So... We.. Went outside and taught the gospel.. This seems like a very reoccurring thing. We talked to so many people and got a lot of people to talk with us and they had a good bit of interest and I was very happy! Also because we made cookies last week, we went and knocked on doors giving out cookies. The Koreans were just appalled at the fact that people were giving them free baked goods. I was very happy. Then after that we went and visited our North Korean Friend for an hour and that was our day!

On Friday we studied in the morning and then went outside for a bit and then got to do our service project at the horse stable. But before we went out to work, we always go out to eat with the member who owns the horse stable and he took us to a Shop. Which is raw fish without rice! And it was great. Korean catch different fish than Japanese people catch! So I ate some good shark and some flounder, so eel and it was just a blast and pretty good. Then afterwards we went to go clean and the member was like ohh, some business just arose, (He owns another business that makes advertisement banners for all of Busan and Changwon) so he looks at me and is like, you know what to do, I'll be back. So I was left cleaning up and scooping and everything fantastic! Then he came back and we had just a great time! :) Then we went home, showered and then went outside to talk to others, there weren't a lot of people out Friday night, but that is okay :)

On Saturday we had a very full day. In the morning we studied and then we went to prepare for English Class. We had 12 people come to English class and the person we met on Tuesday also came. We had a great time and one of the normal students, brought one of his friends that has a lot of gospel interest as well. So we had English class and then after English we got to play ping pong. So me and the master (Uncle Lee is his name) we having a bunch of fun and everything was like... They are hitting it so fast.. It is like... They play like pros... It was soo funny :) So we played and then the guy who came to English class, stayed for ping pong and we taught him and he was so curious that he was like I want to meet more!! So we were so happy! Then after all of this we went out, talked to a few people and then had to go back home! It was an amazing day!!

On Sunday, we got to go to Stake Conference. So we went to stake conference and we got to sit by our North Korean Friend (류재충) (Ryu-Je-Choong) and it was so great. We had a great time and while sitting down, one of the speakers started talking about his family being eternal and he started to cry.. And I put my arm around him and he started balling and I cried a little bit and it was a very happy ending and we were very happy at the end. Then we had a meeting for leaders in our stake as missionaries and then we came home. We talked to many people and then we came home and talked to more people and then visited our North Korean Friend again and sang a song and he was so happy to see us and I gave him a big hug after stake conference and after visiting and everything was fantastic! I love everyone here so much!! This week has been amazing!

I don't have any other words to describe this week, but wonderful. It was wonderful and I hope you guys' upcoming week will be amazing :) I love you guys so much and have a great week!!

Love Always,

Elder Wilson