Sunday, December 28, 2014

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Well, okay, not a new year just yet, but soon.

This week has been a pretty good week. All the Christmas stuff that's been happening has been wonderful.

First thing: The mission conference. It was awesome!!! It was sooooooooooo good to see all the old friends and spend time with them. I haven't seen some people from the old MTC district in FOREVER!!! It always brightens my spirits to see them.

I also got to perform in that conference, which was pretty cool. But guess what? My 5th string BROKE the night before!!! It was a nightmare! Lucky for me, though, another missionary, Sister Moyer, was more prepared than I and had an extra string that she was able to give me. She saved the day! Well, maybe not the day, but I certainly felt that way. I definitely owe her one.

Then there was also the Ward Christmas Party, which was also pretty fun. And guess what? Samir came! And he brought his girlfriend! He actually got up and played his sweet new cigar-box uke with us missionaries when it was our turn to perform a number. He's way good at it. He and I had a short jam session after the party. We can add Indonesian (and a couple of other ones, like Mohawk) to the list of languages that he speaks. He writes all of his songs in Indonesian. It's nuts! He's so awesome!

Lastly, Elder Fullmer and Elder Woolwine had a baptism on Sunday! It was great! We Elders sang a quartet for it. It was a pretty happy moment for those two, though, and also for Elder Tidwell who had the chance to work with the man who got baptized while I was in the Mission Home for those two weeks.

Overall, the week has been pretty good. I enjoyed the things that went on. Hopefully this one will be just as good!

Love you all!

Elder Shaver

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Back in the Field

Hello everybody!

SO, I'm back in my area. I can't say that it's because I feel cured, or anything; it was more or less my Mission President saying that I should get back out because it's probably better now that I've had some time to rest. I couldn't think of any reason not to go back, so I'm back. It's still hard, but I'm making my way through the days. 

I got back on Thursday night. And since then, Elder Tidwell and I got busy with 5 lessons, and a new investigator. Not bad for three days of work. There have been many weeks with fewer stats than that.

I think the best thing was seeing Samir, though. Guess what? He's getting baptized next month! January 25th! Literally, Samir is the most prepared person I've ever met with out here. We found out when we met him on Friday that he already knew that Joseph Smith was a prophet. He's had friends that are LDS throughout his life and he's learned a lot from them already. He basically believes that the church is true, and he wants to get baptized, he just needs go through the lessons and meet the standards for baptism. He's well on the way. Elder Tidwell and I are really excited.

Nothing else really exciting happened, though. All the Christmas parties and conferences are happening this week, and they look like they're going to be lots of fun. I'm playing my guitar at everything, so far. It's a little stressful, but I'm not too worried.

Things are moving along over here. It's cold, but not bitterly so... at least, not yet.

Love you all!

Elder Shaver

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Another Week in the Office...

And if I spend one more week, I'll have spent a month in the mission home, collectively, without ever actually being assigned to it.

It's been a blur of a week. President has me working on some projects, and I help the office elders with whatever they're doing when they go out. Not a whole ton happens, though. But there were a few good things.

I got to see Sister Bagley as she came to the office to pick up a bunch of stuff that she left here when she went home. I got to see her right after she came back! It was awesome! She's so happy (though somewhat tired) to be back, and everybody is so happy to have her back! She's super. I was so amazed at how positive she was about the whole experience she had; it was tough, she said, but she so obviously made the best of the situation.

I also got a painting from Elder DeMille! It made my day! Funny thing: Right when I called him on the AP's phone to thank him, he called me a split second before on the office elder's phone. It was a way weird coincidence, but kinda cool at the same time. It was good to talk to him. It's been a while.

Umm, yeah. Not a ton happens here. I did finally get medicine, though. Maybe I'll be back out sometime this week. Maybe.

Anyways, love you all! 
Elder Shaver

 Hump Day on the Calendar and the Camel ornament my family made!

My family sent an advent calendar!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

This week...

Dearest everybody,

To all those who have prayed, fasted, supported and wrote, I send a heartfelt "thank you." It helps to know that there are always friends and family behind me to help and support me, even when I'm on the other side of the world from most of you.

First of all, I want you all to know that despite the rough week I had last week, I'm feeling great today. I feel like something tangible, but indescribable has been taken out of the picture and it is a relief. Considering the particular timing of it, I know that it was because of your faith and concern. So thank you.

Second of all, I just want to keep you all up-to-date on what's been going on. I'm in the mission home again (for the third time this year!) with my mission president as my companion. That alone has been a very interesting experience. I'm here, because it has been realized that I'm dealing with an issue of depression, and so I've been taken out of the mission field for a while in order to take some time to recuperate. The plan is to wait for some medicine that my good ol' friend Dr Elder Hansen (the area's missionary doctor who helped me stay calm and informed throughout my eye surgeries earlier this year) prescribed for me. I'll return to the field after that medication takes effect.

Until then, though, I'm here in limbo doing whatever odd jobs President or the office elders have for me. I'm not exactly sure how long things will take, but it's likely that I'll be here for about another week... maybe.... Like I said; I don't really know. It definitely won't be for very long, but it might feel that way ;)

Anyways, that's all that there really is to say about this week. Not much else happened. Oh! Except that we did go to the temple, which was very nice and helpful.

I love you all so much! You're the greatest, all of you!

Elder Shaver

Sunday, November 30, 2014

I feel so OLD!

So we had transfers this past week. We went bowling with us four Elders since Elder Pettit and Elder Knapp left the area. It was pretty fun. It was kinda sad to see those two go, because our house was really fun to live in, and now we have to adjust to new people and new situations. 

My apartment right before transfers: Me, Elder Pettit, Elder Fullmer, Elder Knapp

I'm the senior companion now! I'm greenie-breaking Elder Tidwell, from Cottonwood Heights, Utah. So far he's great! He likes to work hard, he loves being a missionary, and I'm pretty sure he knows way more about being a missionary than I actually do. He's set to be AP one of these days, I swear. I don't know a whole ton about him yet, though, since it's only been a few days. I know he played lacrosse in high school, he really likes reading and teaching the gospel. So far so good!

So we had Thanksgiving this week. I'm a little bummed out about having had to wait for the American date... but it was way good! We have a couple members in our ward from America who planned it all out and made it amazing! THEY EVEN FOUND A TURKEY!!! Turkeys were thought to be nonexistent in Korea, but they found one! The only thing was that I had to cook it... And it turned out SO GOOD! Now Mom can make me cook turkeys in the future :P I took a picture of it, I was so proud of myself!

The rest of the week went by as about usual, though. Elder Tidwell brought with him a sweet planning method, though, so we've stepped up the game a ton since we started working together. I just hope that I can keep up, because he just loves working so much!

That's all for this week, though! The first snow of the winter happened today! Just in time for December!

Love you all,

Elder Shaver

Sunday, November 23, 2014

THE Highlight of the Week...

Was probably getting a call from Sister Morrise that Michelle got her mission call! Spanish in Montréal! Who'dathunkit? That's pretty convenient that she already speaks French, right? That's going to be way sweet! And probably way cold (hahaha! >:P ) So stoked for you, Sis! 

Here she is with her Québec (and Canada) flag cake!

I also got another really important call: TRANSFER CALLS!!!

I'm staying here, AND I'M GREENIE-BREAKING!!! My new companion is going to be fresh out of training! I'M GOING SENIOR!!! HOLY COW!!!! This could get interesting WAY fast!  Elder Knapp is going to 강남 [Gangnam], y'know, that place in that famous song? It's pretty exciting. He's going to be the oldest missionary (serving-time-wise) in his house. Elder Pettit is leaving for 부평 and Elder Fullmer is training! We're going to have a couple of newbies in the house! Sister Jacobson is leaving and Sister 황예림 is training! Half of our district just changed! It's going to be pretty interesting.

Other than that, though, we've just been doing run-of-the-mill work. We've started a big project to find less actives, so we took a big map and put it up on the wall and have been marking addresses of less active members, and then going out to find their houses (which might sound easy, but you probably haven't been to Korea, so you have no idea). Then we take the stickers down if they're not there anymore. When I got to the area, we had no member book, neither did we have an up-to-date CMIS list. It wasn't good at all. I haven't really mentioned it yet, but that's been taking up a lot of our time to do, but we finally have good records as of last week or so, and have been doing this map project, a lot in the past two weeks. It's just hard to talk about because it's a lot of office-type of work and not much else. We're making good progress, though. Reactivation is just as important as anything else we do here, after all. It's super important stuff!

Anyways. Things are going well. The leaves are almost all off of the trees around here. It's really starting to get cold, although it hasn't been too bad lately. We have our sweaters on under our suit coats, though.

That's all for this week!

Love you all!

Elder Shaver

Sunday, November 16, 2014

I Can See Clearly Now...

Well, I've been able to see just fine for a long time, but  I wanted to start out with this:

I went to the hospital again on Friday for the routine checkup, and she said that my eye is finally recovered! I have 20/20 vision, no more weird pressure problems, and aside from the big bump on the side of my eye from the first surgery and the scar tissue on my retina (of which I got to see some gnarly pictures) my eye is as good as new! All I have to do now is get it checked once a year... for the rest of my life. It's a precaution, and definitely not one of the worst things that I might have had to live with. I'm pretty happy. I tried to get the pictures so that I could have them to show to people, but when I ordered them, I got all of the WRONG ones! Now I gotta go back and try again so I can get what I actually paid for. At least the temple is close by :/

Anyways. We had our stake conference, and we had a few special guests attend. President and Sister Morrise came, as well as the temple president, and Elder Aoyagi from the Area Presidency. The latter is Japanese, so he spoke in Japanese and had it translated to Korean as he spoke, which was kind of cool to hear. Plus, I got to shake his hand because we got roped into the musical number 20 minutes before it began, so we were thus conveiniently on the stand. Heh heh.
It was good, though. It's still hard to understand what goes on at events like these, because the Korean gets a lot more refined than regular speech, but it went well.
The sisters from 평택 (Sister Hales and Sister 신) had a baptism in our building right after the conference... Guess who attended? The temple president and Elder Aoyagi. There was pressure on the 평택 missionaries! It was funny afterwards; just one of those interesting curve balls life throws at you every now and then.

Lastly, we met with Samir again. It was COLD when we met him, though. So we spent a lot of time looking for a cafe or something to talk in, but for some reason ALL of them were closed. Well, not all of them, but it did take us a good 30 minutes to find one that was open. It was crazy! We didn't end up having enough time to really teach anything, so we answered some of his questions about the Book of Mormon, and asked how his life was going. Oh! And he showed us his nose flutes! They were SO cool! You really do use your nose to play them! It was crazy!

But yeah, life is rolling along. That's all I got to report on this week.

Love you all!

Elder Shaver