Monday, September 26, 2016

Week 54: Fall is here!?!?

This week has been really cool and it has gone by so quickly! I feel like my thoughts on missionary work has changed so much because I have hit my 1 year mark!!  It is amazing yet sad to think that I don't even have that much longer out in the field~!  Everything here is going well, and we are finding so many different people who want to learn about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and I have been able to learn so much this past
week!!  Simply said, it really is awesome here and I am so happy that I have the opportunity to be here and teach the gospel to others!!

As I have continued to serve here, I have really thought deeply about why I am serving a mission and what this gospel really offers others.  As missionaries, we talk about sharing a happy message about Jesus Christ, but what exactly is that message?  The gospel of Jesus Christ
allows us to overcome any trial, through our Savior Jesus Christ and his atonement.  I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ and its applications are universal and apply to all people.  All others need to do is to apply it to their lives, and I know that it will bless their lives, just like it has blessed and is blessing mine.  So the happy message?? It is that through faith in Jesus Christ, we are prompted to change and we feel a desire to follow him.  As we follow him, we want to change and follow his example and be baptized.  After which, we
should keep his commandments and endure to the end, so we may succeed and really be able to know that we are part of something greater.  Something much more grand than anything we know!

So anyways. This week has been extremely quick!! This week on Mondaywe went to eat some good meat, and bought some ties.  Then we came back to our area, were able to email, and were able to go outside and talk to people and meet some amazing people!

On Tuesday, we had exchanges, so I went with an elder named Elder Itri.  We were in Haeundai and had a great time talking and teaching people about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Elder Itri is on of the Assistants to President Barrow (Our mission president) and I have also known him for a good amount of time, so we had a great time!

Then on Wednesday, we went to a district meeting, and then Elder Newell and I went on an exchange with the elders from Yeongdo!  So... That means that I went back to the first area I served in Korea!!  It was wonderful to be able to go back and to talk to people and see so many great people too!!  I love being there and it really did feel like I was going home to where it all started!!

On Thursday, we de-exchanged and went to another district
meeting.  Then, we went on another Exchange with Elder Park and Elder Stewart.  I came back to Haeundai with Elder Stewart: we had a great time talking with other people and we were able to learn so much and it was great!

Then finally on Friday, I was able to get back with Elder Newell, and we planned, went outside and talked to a whole bunch of people~

On Saturday, we went to go play some soccer like we do in the morning and it was super great!!  Then we came back to our area, and met with some people that we had found and wanted to talk to us. So it was great talking to them.  After that, we were able to go outside and talk to more people!!

On Sunday, we went to church and were able to have a great time!!  So then, we ate some lunch with others, visited some
members and went outside and talked to others. We also did some sticker boardings where people come and stick stickers on a board and got to talk to others!  It was great and we were able to see so many great people!!  I love being here and we always have a great time!

Korea is wonderful!! I love the people and I am so happy to talk to each and every single person I talk with!!

I love you all and I miss you so much!!

Love Always,

Elder Joshua Wilson

Group picture before the run Busan, Nam Busan, Changwon zones

Elder Lee YoungJae and Elder Wilson finishing the race

A little preview of Week 55... Today Eating Chicken!!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Week 53: Passed the 1 year mark!!

This week has been absolutely crazy, because of it being Korean Thanksgiving!!  In Korea it is called 추석 (Chuseok), and typically during these holidays, everyone goes out to the countryside to go see their grandparents and to escape city life, but apparently... Everyone just comes down to Haeundai. So we were able to talk to a whole bunch of people, but really.. no one wanted to talk to us!  But that was alright, because we were able to go outside and see some amazing
things and the people that did talk to us, were wonderful!! Also we had an earthquake this week in Busan and... What else.. I have officially been on my mission for over a year now... Wow.... So yea!!  It has been great!!

This week as I have been thinking about what to talk about, I feel that it is very appropriate to talk about being steadfast in not only serving God, but also continually going no matter what.  As I have finally gotten over the "hump" of 1 year on my mission, for some it may seem short, for some it may seem long, but no matter where I am at on my mission, I need to still press forward no matter what.  As general conference is coming up, I wanted to share a scripture from
the very first general conference mentioned in the Book of Mormon. It is King Benjamin's words as he addresses all the people and tells them about how they can come closer unto Heavenly Father.  So in Mosiah 5:15 it reads, "Therefore, I would that ye should be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works, that Christ, the Lord God Omnipotent, may seal you his, that you maybe brought to heaven, that ye may have everlasting salvation and eternal life, through the wisdom, and power, and justice, and mercy of him who created all things, in heaven and in earth, who is God above all. Amen." 

No matter what, in life, you are always either moving forward or moving backward.  As we keep trying to come closer to our Savior, we will receive so many blessing and no matter what, we should always be thankful for the blessing we receive!

So this week, on Monday, we had P-day!  

So we went out to eat with the district and went and ate Indian food and then got ice cream and then we finished it off with some shopping and some email.  Then we went
outside and went out to eat with a member and then we shared a message with him and then finally, we went outside and were able to share the gospel with everyone who wanted to hear our words!

On Tuesday, Elder Newell and I had to go to a church in Onchon to have a meeting for Zone Leaders and to receive a little bit of training.  Then we came back to Haeundai after eating lunch there and walked around outside and talked to a few people!

On Wednesday, we studied in the morning and then we went to the church to make a board for some sticker boarding with the sisters, and then we went outside and talked to a whole bunch of people although really... no one wanted to talk to us because it was the start of Chuseok weekend...

On Thursday, it was Chuseok.  In the morning, we had to help someone get to a train station because her back hurt and she couldn't move her luggage.  Then we went running a 10K with a bunch of other missionaries.  Then, we ate lunch together and came back to our area, and... there were some people outside, so we went outside and tried to talk to a bunch of people.  A really nice surprise was that our bishop saw us and invited us to eat ice cream... 
Korean Thanksgiving is a little more different that American Thanksgiving, where in Korea, everyone goes to their grandparents house and then goes outside and does whatever they want, like it is a weekend.

On Friday, we went on Exchanges with Elders that serve in Gwejong and I came back to Haeundai and everyone really didn't want to talk to us at all... Also Friday was my one year mark, so we went to go eat some live octopus... (산낙지) and that was super good!  Then at the end of the day, some people wanted to talk to us, so it was really good!!

On Saturday, we got our original companions back and then we came back to Haeundai and planned for the rest of the week and then had a dinner appointment with some members.  Then we went outside some more and talked to people!

Last Sunday was my first day attending Haeundai ward and that was great.  We got to take the sacrament to an old grandpa who started the church in Korea and was baptized by Gordon B. Hinckley!! Then after that, we went outside some more and were able to talk to a bunch of people and it turned out wonderfully!!  And also, the ward, in just one
week, has figured out I can play the piano. So, everyone is asking me to play music for them and that is a great opportunity to serve!!

I love being here so much and I love Korea!! I miss you all so much!!

Love Always,

Elder Joshua Wilson

Monday, September 12, 2016

Week 52: This will be the one year marker

Wow... To think that in just 4 days, I will be at my 1 year mark for being out on a mission.  It is so weird how time really does fly fast and at this time last year, I was just preparing to enter the MTC and did not know the road ahead!  In this last year I have been able to learn so much and some of those things I will end up sharing today!!
But, as for me this week, it has been amazing! I am now living in Haeundae, and it is a very large city!!  It is basically the beach land in all honesty, and there are so many people here. 

This week, I was able to speak 7 languages with other people from other countries. (As I have done missionary work, I have been able to pick up a few phrases
or words from other countries)  So I was able to speak Korean, English, Japanese, Spanish, Sinhala (Sri lankan), Russian and Madarin Chinese!
It was wonderful being able to talk to people and to connect a little bit with many people and being able to share with them about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Today, I was thinking about the one year that I have been able to spend in Korean, and I wanted to talk today a little bit about not procrastinating and using time effectively.  AS humans, we are prone to waste time due to our preferences and what we want to do and not want to do.  As I missionary, some of the biggest things I have been able to learn are life lessons about love and patience, and I have been able to
grow a little bit more from these life changing experiences. But as I have been able to spend this last year in Korean, I have been able to fill my time with meaningful activities, where I am helping others and loving them and caring for them.  The gospel of Jesus Christ never is and never will be a thing to procrastinate.  As we choose to come closer unto Christ, we  should not delay.  Because Jesus Christ and
Heavenly Father love us, we have the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and whether it is sharing it or accepting it, we should not deny such things. But as we do these things, we are able to cherish the more precious things in life and live a more full, fulfilling life!

So this week to simply summarize it was that on Monday, we came back to Haeundai, shopped, did email and then went outside to go talk to some people.

On Tuesday, we went to another church and cleaned the carpets and then we came back to our area and then we went outside and talked to some more people!!

On Wednesday, we went outside, talked to a bunch of people and then had an area meeting with the sisters and had English class.  After the class, we went outside some more and talked to more people --- people actually like talking to us!!

On Thursday, we went outside and talked to people and then went to another area to have a meeting with the district
leaders.  Then we came back to our area and went to talke to so many more people!!

On Friday, we went to have our district meeting.  Then we went out to eat lunch, returned to our area and planned for this upcoming week.  After that, we had dinner and then went out and talked to some people on the street. Afterward, we came to the church to meet with someone and that was our Friday!

On Saturday, we went to go play soccer with a bunch of people. Our investigators also came.  Then we came back to our house, showered, changed and then went to choir practice.  After choir practice, we hit the streets and talked to a bunch of other people for the rest of the day.

Then on Sunday, we went to stake conference, where my companion and I got to sing in the choir, but not only that, but also we met a new friend.  He was from another church and came to our church originally to preach, but then he liked Church and wants to learn about it, so we were able to talk to him a little bit about our belief and the Book of Mormon.  It was amazing!!  Then we went outside for the rest of the
day and talked to other people on the street!!

It was amazing this week and I love being here so much! I know I say it a bunch, but this last year has been amazing and I wouldn't trade it for the world!

Love you guys and miss you!!

Love Always,

Elder Joshua Wilson

With Elder Newell

With My New Companion

New Area: Haeundai

The World Biggest Department: Shinsegae

Monday, September 5, 2016

Week 51: Getting transferred to the beach land

So this week, I ended up getting a call this Saturday saying that I was going to be moving to a new area!  This area is called Haeundai and it is beautiful!!  It is right by the beach and it is super cool down here as well!  It is interesting to see the contrast in between Gyeongsan and Busan, but the two places are certainly wonderful.  It was actually really tough to leave Gyeongsan and it was really sad leaving all the people that I love, but I know that moving is really what Heavenly Father planned for me and I will always follow his will!! I love it here and I know it will be an amazing time!

This morning, as I was thinking about what I should write today, I thought of a scripture in 2 Nephi 9:3, and it reads "Behold, my beloved brethren, I speak unto you these things that ye may rejoice, and lift up your heads forever, because of the blessings which the Lord God shall bestow upon your children." 

I liked this scripture because it really does seem to be talking about scriptures. The Book of Mormon and Bible are God's word, and as we read them, we can really rejoice and
receive so many blessings!!

So this week went by extremely quick. 

So last Monday, we had an Elders' P-day, and we went and ate at a meat buffet and then went bowling.  After bowling, we went to get our haircut, emailed, and finished off the day by having Family Home Evening.

On Tuesday, Elder Kim Joon Beum wasn't feeling so good but we went outside. Then he did really well, and then we met with some investigators.  After all of this, we went out to go eat a great dinner with some members and teach a message!

On Wednesday, we had our District meeting. Unfortuantely Elder Kim was still not feeling good, so we ate lunch and then came back to our area, had another meeting and then went to the doctor.  It turned out that Elder Kim had been food poisoned. So he had to rest and had to be well hydrated, but for the most part, we were able to go to the church and to have English class.

On Thursday, we studied and the exchanged with some other members of our district so that we could learn from each other.  So we went outside and talked to a lot of people, then went to Japanese class and then we taught Brother Kim Yong Ho and then that was our day.

On Saturday, we studied and then went outside for a little bit. Then we went to the church, taught the English class and
had an activity after the class.  Then we went outside again and came back to the church, and went to stake conference with brother Kim Yong Ho. So we did that and came home and while planning, I got a call from President Barrow saying that I would be transferring to Haeundai, and would become a Zone Leader. So, I had to start packing my bags and that
was good.

On Sunday, we went to stake conference, and after the conference meeting, we took a bunch of pictures with people and returned to Gyeongsan, where we had a meeting and had to finish up some stuff at the church.  Then we had to go do another meeting and had dinner, and that was our week!!

It really was wonderful in Gyeongsan but I'm excited to be here in Haeundai and although I will be busy as a zone leader, it will be wonderful!!

I love you all and miss you!

Love Always,

Elder Joshua Wilson

At Stake Conference

With Awesome People!

With Awesome Elder Missionaries!!

with a Japanese Sister --- I translated the conference talks in Japanese for her!  


With our Brother Kim Yongho