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

Sunday, November 9, 2014


Not a whole lot happened this week.

We had our zone training, and some missionaries gave their parting words to the zone since it was their last chance before transfers at the end of the month. It's kind of interesting to see what people have to say when they do that. I wonder what kinds of things I'll have to say... but at the same time, I don't care yet, because it's about a year away.

We met with Samir again! This man is amazing. He caught me off guard this time by showing off his French to me. It made me feel silly for not keeping my French well-practiced, because he speaks way well. This man is proving to us every time we meet that he really does speak tons of languages. It really makes me wonder why he doesn't get a job as a translator or something. Anyways, he's doing great. He read a huge chunk of the Book of Mormon. And he's SUPER into it. He LOVES it. He believes in it, too! So we showed him Moroni 10:4-5, of course. And he said he's totally up for it. So we're going to meet him again this week and see how that's going for him.

I got the minionaries just in time, because our English class was the same night as I got them. We broke our attendance record, so I brought them out to celebrate. There were just enough for all of us. It was perfect!

Not a whole ton else happening, though. Just run of the mill work. We have meals with people, we're always trying to find, the work has just been slow around here lately, I guess. We'll keep trying, though.

Love you all!

Elder Shaver

Sunday, November 2, 2014

This is Halloween ... Maybe

This week was pretty much devoted to Halloween. We tried to fit what other things we could into the week, but the reality is that our time was devoted to making the Halloween party we had on Saturday as great as we could make it.

Let me tell you something: It is difficult to get people excited about, and on board with, a party for a holiday that is not celebrated in the country they are from. But we did it!

The only problem was that we focused so much on getting our investigators, English class members, and less actives out that we forgot to invite the members out! We were hoping that our ward mission leader would get the ward out for us, but we totally forgot to talk it up to them ourselves. OOPS! All the people we were hoping our investigators and whatnot would make friends with didn't come!

Can't worry about it anymore! The party turned out great, anyways. The games were fun, the decorations were great, and the haunted house was amazing for how little money we spent on it.

That's really all that happened, though. I went on an exchange with my Zone leader, Elder Nixon, and even then we spent most of our time working on their Halloween party. It was Halloween week all week. I hope that it was fun for all of you back at home, because we managed to have some fun with it out here, somehow :P

That's all for this week, though!

Love you all!

Elder Shaver

Monday, October 27, 2014

Witches and Pumpkins and Bats, oh my!

That sums up the decorations for our Halloween party so far. We've been working overtime for this party, so we're really hoping that we'll get lots of people to come!
The haunted house is really starting to shape up. There were some bumps in the road, but hopefully it'll work out alright. The ward is also starting to get really on board, which is a relief. We're going to do all the publicizing this week. We'll see how things turn out!

We also had our zone conference this week. It was cool to meet with the zone, even though there were only a few new people in it this transfer. There were a couple of elders that came that I know, though. So I got to say hi to them.

Lastly, we met with a cool guy from Cameroon. We found him on the call sheets, and he's very down to meet with us. He's sweet! We made some great conversation with him last night at a park (that turned out to be the park where I got hit in the eye all those months ago. There were some memories stirred). He's out here studying to get a business degree, but he hasn't decided what he's going to do with it when he gets it. He's stuck between a couple of options. Anyways. He would like to learn more about the church, so we're going to call him again sometime this week so that we can teach him. OH! And he spoke French as well as English! We totally talked for a bit in French. It was awesome, but I'm definitely rusty. We talked about it with the other Elders in the house later that night, and Elder Knapp brought up how he could understand everything that we were saying without really knowing any French. We all got a little exasperated about being in Korea... It was funny, though

It's kind of weird how it works out that the investigators that we have that we can depend on for gospel interest are both foreigners. None of the Koreans that we work with care about that, except for our recent convert, 정현, but he doesn't meet with us lately. No big deal, it's just kind of funny how it's working out that way.

Anyways. That's the week. Happy Birthday to Chris and Levi this month! Hope that they were fun ones!

Love you all!

Elder Shaver

Monday, October 20, 2014

All the more reason to hate calculus!

Hello from Korea!

This week has been what it's been. For how awesome this area is, it sure can be hard on missionaries.

We didn't get to meet with anybody this week, even though we had some pretty great contacts and several referrals from the office to try to meet. We couldn't set up an appointment with Samir, either. Such is the life, I suppose.

There were some little miracles that happened, though.

Let me start with what I titled this week's email (I've decided I'm going to try to do that every week now, now that I've just noticed that I haven't ever): So it's been a while since I've gone to see a dentist. This past week, after eating a good lunch, I notice randomly that there is something that feels weird on my teeth. It felt like a popcorn husk stuck in my gums, but rougher. So I go to the bathroom and try to pick it out with a flosspick, and there's definitely something there, because I can see it, but I don't know what it is. Definitely not anything from the fried rice I just ate. So I start probing with the flosspick, and the tip of it disappeared. There was a hole in my tooth!

And I HATE oral surgery! 

I was feeling pretty down. I was dreading it for a couple of days before I made it to the dentist for the appointment I promptly set up after discovering it, but it turned out that there wasn't a hole at all. There was just a lot of tartar build-up that they called a calculus, and all they did was clean it off for me. It was a relief.

Plus, on the way home, a member from a neighboring ward ran into us on the subway and decided to take us to a buffet for lunch. It was a pretty great day.

Anyways, things were pretty average aside from that. Elder Pettit almost flooded the house (but not really), and we've started planning a ward Halloween party. We'll see what happens with that. Korea doesn't really have Halloween, but they do parties every year it sounds like.

Anyways, that's the week. Love you all!

Elder Shaver

Monday, October 13, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Another week!

It was finally one where I feel like I have something fun to talk about (maybe it's because I wrote things down as the week went by... maybe I should do that more.)

So this week we did a number of things. I went on exchanges with Elder Fullmer, and we did some fun exploring and whatnot, including the inside of the World Cup Stadium that's nearby. 

In the world cup stadium!

While we were on that exchange, we ran into some foreigners. Foreigners are never friendly for some reason, but we decided to say hi anyways. WE asked them where they're from, and they say Canada.
Heck yes! I'm all over it! I tell them "so am I," and then they ask, "what Province?" I tell them BC.
Then the guy (they were a middle aged couple) got this funny grin growing on his face and said; "keep going." So I tell them, "well, I'm from a smaller city called Vernon, have you heard of it?" And he says; "Heck yeah, we're from Vernon!"


We went on to find out that we both live on Mission Hill and everything. And we had a great chat about home and about what we're doing in Korea and whatnot. They didn't want to hear anything about the church, so we went our separate ways pretty quick. Oh well. It was quite the coincidence.

Aside from that, we did the usual stuff. There was a big family history event at our church that the stake had us staff. We got to catch some of the super cool festival that was going on. I discovered that cotton candy should only be eaten in smaller quantities (at least, smaller than Elder Knapp and I bought), and we got to catch the Lunar eclipse. It looked way cool.

Some paper statues from the festival.

General Conference was sweet, too! Because of the family history event, though, we watched all but one of the sessions on Sunday. We had a marathon that took pretty much the whole day. It was worth it though. And plus, we got fed so much for doing the family history event. I still have almost all of my groceries from last week, so I'm set!

Transfer calls also happened, but nobody in my area is moving at all. Some people in my MTC group are moving up, though. Elder Grossgebauer is going Zone Leader! And almost all of us are senior companions, now!

I had to save the best for last: We FINALLY got to meet Samir. It's been hard to get a hold of the guy between our schedules and missed calls, etc... But we finally sat down with him and got to know him a bit more.
This man is amazing. He listens better than anybody I've ever met out here. We gave him a book of Mormon in Urdu, (he's American, but his parents' business took him all over the world as he grew up, so Urdu is his best language apparently) and we talked about the gospel a little bit, but we haven't taught him anything in depth yet. But I feel like we will soon! He's super interested. He's known members of the church for a long time, and he's always been curious to know more, he tells us. We're so excited to meet with him in the future. And maybe jam with him sometime. I can't wait to see what a nose flute is (he makes those for money).

A random statue that we saw and thought was weird!

Things are starting to look better! But that's all for this week.

Love you all!

Elder Shaver

ps I did get the relief society care package. I'm appreciating the stuff that's in there. :P 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Not Super Fun

Alright, so this week wasn't so super fun. Not because anything bad happened, but nothing spectacular really happened, either.

The people that we had are all either too busy or are just dodging us (or punking, in the Korean missionary language). Seriously, it stinks. We had the worst week for stats this week that I've ever had in my mission. And there's not much a  chance of it getting better this week with how much the stake has booked us (without checking with us first... grr!) So we're going to be busy doing a family history event at our church building for five hours on four different days this week. We're not happy about it at all. That's a LOT of time. We're only going to get maybe three or four hours of proselyting time on those days, and skip appointments. Plus, there's a huge city festival happening at the same time at the palace next door, so most people are going to be preoccupied with that, we think.

We're not happy. They already took up a lot of our time this week too, because they said we had to make posters for it too. Of course, we can't just say "no, we're busy, please find someone else." That's just not how it works here when you're a missionary.

Ugh. I guess there are just those kinds of weeks. Such is the life of a missionary. 

In other news; transfer calls this coming Saturday! We've got bets on who's leaving. We're still wondering if Elder Knapp is going to stay with me one more with his track record (except for his trainer, he's only gone one transfer with each of his companions). He keeps telling me that I'm going to train this time around. I kinda hope not. It'd be fun, but not yet! :S

That's all for this week, though! Happy birthday to Mom and Grandpa P!

Elder Shaver

Oh, and this happened. We roasted marshmallows over a gas burner using chopsticks at English class. Korea life, baby!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Time is Flying!

Holy cow! September's almost over! I'm at my year mark at the end of next transfer!!! What's going on?!

Haha anyways, it's been another rough week as far as stats go. So many of our people flake out of appointments at the last minute (as I'm sure I've mentioned a couple of times) and so it's been kind of slow.

There's all that, and our new convert didn't show up to his confirmation yesterday! We still don't know why, because we haven't gotten a hold of him. We visited him at his work on Saturday night, and he said that he was coming, but he didn't. I hope that something didn't go sour! I'm worried! :S

We started an English gospel principles class last week, and it was my turn yesterday to teach it yesterday. It kind of crashed and burned. I'll be honest. Apparently, after you only teach in Korean for so long, it becomes weird to try to teach in English, even if it's my first language. Go figure, right? Plus, the people that came weren't THAT good at English. We invited our English class members out to it as a way to invite them to learn more about church and as a way to practice their English more, but all of the members of the advanced class never come. They're the only ones that would probably understand what's going on in that class. Gah! It's unfortunate that it ended up working out this way. Oh well.

Aside from that, there were some fun little tidbits throughout the week. We went to the temple, and dropped by the same bathhouse that we stopped by the last time that I went to the temple. It was way less awkward the second time going. :P

The zone leaders did an exchange with Elder Knapp and I, but cut it shorter than they normally are, so I ended up only getting to sleep and study at the zone leader's house (which is in MY area and NOT theirs). It was a good study, though. Elder 이상범 had a pretty good training about remembering my reason for coming here and what I want to have become at the end of my mission. It was a great boost to my enthusiasm and determination.

We also got to see part of a free opera as we were walking home one night. I didn't think that an opera could be as fun as that turned out to be. Honestly, it was pretty cool, even though I couldn't understand the Italian (or the Korean that the narrator used to explain the Italian. Figures :P ).

Anyways, that's my week! I love you all, and I'll see you again next week!


Elder Shaver

Elder Knapp and me at the temple.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

It's been a fun week!

We had our regular interviews with our President, which is always fun as well as just nice to see the Morrises. Sister Morrise made her famous caramel popcorn again. It was awesome!
We also had a baptism! Well, we didn't really do much for it, but officially it counts as ours. hehehe. It was good, though. We're buddies with the investigator, and he really wanted to be a member. Plus, the missionary that worked with him a lot got to come down for it, too. So it was a pretty good day. I didn't realize just how stressful it could be to get it all ready, though! Interviews, planning, ACK! So much craziness!
We also got to meet Calida again before she leaves this Thursday, and we got to meet her friend that she referred to us! His name is Samir, and he's SO cool!!!! He's got a crazy story, but we don't know all of it yet. We do know that he's American, but has an Indian name and speaks and reads Urdu, and he lives in Korea as an English teacher and a musician (he plays a LOT of instruments, including some weird ones like nose flutes, but it's SWEET!!). Basically, Elder Knapp and I are SO excited to meet with this guy. He's got gospel interest, and it just so happens that we have an Urdu Book of Mormon gathering dust on a shelf at our house. It's awesome.
Other than that, though, it's just been work as usual. Elder Fullmer is a prankster at home, and we get back at him sometimes (but I'm never the target, so I just watch and have fun >:) haha ). The members are starting to feed us more often, so we must be doing something right. And our investigators that we're working with right now are being punks (in the missionary sense, which means 'unreliable'). Such is the missionary life in Korea. I'm loving it!
Love you all!
Elder Shaver

Elder Knapp, 안정현investigator,  안기훈member, Me

Cool Chinese garden in our area

Monday, September 15, 2014

The adventure continues!

So there are some crazy things that go on in this country. I'll say that much.
Maybe it's because I'm a missionary, though, because things never got this fun before.
So we had a big mission conference for 추석 (Korean thanksgiving), and that was pretty great. President Morrise gave a some words to start, and then HIS old mission president gave us a training on serving in Korea! He was super fun! He gave us a bunch of insights on Korean people and culture and talked about some things that he would like to see missionaries do more often in his country (as a native Korean). It was really great. He even brought President Morrise's old missionary photo, as well as Elder Rock's (a senior missionary serving here with his wife) old missionary photo. AND he brought a photo of another missionary's dad because he was his mission president, too! There were good laughs all around (for those that could see the tiny things, anyways). The conference also had a proselyting activity, and skits and cheers (not unlike EFY) that were super fun. and there was a talent show that was even more fun! I took part in the talent show. Why not, right? There were some pretty fantastic talents at the show. My favourite just might be thedance number put on by the 부평 missionaries, with Elder HIgham (a fellow Canadian Elder) starring as Lehi. It was great.
Other than that, though, it was a pretty bland week. Not much happened, and I was just feeling down. We only got one good lesson in with our investigators (literally all but maybe one of the people we're working with have the worst time sitting down and focusing for longer than 10 minutes, it's actually really funny, but we are, at the same time, trying to teach them). Anyways, that went on for pretty much the whole week, until about last night.
Elder Knapp and I were making our way home after a long day, and we're both pretty beat after the week we had had and from all the sitting around at meetings and studies that happen on Sundays followed by the hours of walking since we had no appointments to go to, and we ran into a 외국인 (foreigner). But this one looked familiar. Almost like... a MacKenzie! And it WAS!!!! I never thought it would happen, but we stumbled upon Calida as we were walking home! It made my day!!! It gets even better when she gave us some food to go home with AND A REFERRAL!! Best day ever! I can't wait to meet with this one, too. He sounds like quite the character. Plus, he wants to become a member, by the sounds of it! I'm so excited!
The adventure continues!
Love you all!
Elder Shaver

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sculpting what??

Another week down, I don't know how many more I have left to enjoy :P

So this week has been pretty interesting. Well, actually, it's more me-scrambling-to-get-to-know-what's-going-on-in-the-area than it really is anything else. This area is pretty sweet. It feels a lot more like home because there aren't any giant buildings everywhere, there is GRASS, and the streets aren't super crowded. The people are pretty fun, too.
I haven't really gotten to know all of our investigators, but I'll tell you about a couple of them. Some really interesting ones.
So there's 안 [An] (I'll only use last names on here), who we just picked up yesterday. He's met with the missionaries for a month or so, and he's totally getting baptized soon! There's a weird situation, though, that I'll try to explain. There are two elder companionships here, and this investigator was meeting with the companionship that I didn't move into. BUT, one elder from that companionship REALLY wanted to stay here so that he could keep working with 안 because he was getting ready to be baptized. So that elder got moved over to the companionship that I'm in, but because 안 did some special school thing that took him out of town for a month, they couldn't work with him. That elder just got moved out and I came to replace him. So, we wound up with a great investigator who's well on the way to getting baptized this month, but the catch is, neither of us know anything about 안. So we're scrambling to find out where he's at and what he still needs to know and what we gotta do to get him ready to be baptized! Ack! The funny side of it, though, is that the other elders are making a huff (jokingly) that we stole their investigator.
 Another one is 원 [won]. This guy is full-on buddist, but he's super interested in the Book of Mormon. Plus, he just likes us missionaries. He's a sculptor. That's what he spends his time doing. Here's the interesting thing: He has a shameless philia for poop. Almost all of his sculptures are of people squat pooping. (Imagine how I reacted walking into his studio for the first time. Shouldn't be too hard). But he's super cool. He's really nice, and he loves it when we help him around his shop or even just come to visit. He's let other elders before me sculpt with him (of different things, of course). He did, one time, ask me to draw a poop for his new signboard that goes in front of his studio (he teaches sculpting to people for his income). I kind of hesitated and stood there awkwardly for a minute, and then, apparently reading my mind, said "ok, draw a pig instead." So I did that. He seems really happy with how I did. So I guess that makes me happy that he's happy.
I feel like talking about what I'm studying this week. I started this morning, on a prompt from President Morrise, to study what Nephi means when he says "the arm of flesh" (2 Nephi 4... I forget which verse) and what the difference between trusting the arm of flesh and trusting God is. I've looked a little bit about it today, and I've figured that at least part of it has to do with fearing God more than man. I learned that from the story of Martin Harris losing the first 116 pages of the Book of Mormon (D&C 3). There's more to it though. Maybe I could get some insights from you all? The question is; we know that we're supposed to work hard in order to have God help us, but how do we work hard while still putting our trust in God and not our own strength?
That's all I got for now, though.
Love you all!
Elder Shaver

Elder Knapp


The palace at night.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

What a week!

So my new  area is full of the stuff that I was hoping that Korea would have. Right in the middle of our area (or, at least the part that we care about... it goes all the way out to the West coast of Korea, but that's WAY too far for us to do anything) is an old fortress-castle thingy. You literally go walking around in town and the wall is just suddenly there.  It's got the cool towers and gates and secret doors in it and everything! The best part is, we get to go inside it almost everyday, because the church building is in the city district that's inside the walls! Get this, too: The church building is right beside the actual palace! This place is amazing! There are cultural performances and parades every day, plus a bunch of other random events like the jazz festival that was a couple of days ago. I don't have any good pictures yet, but I'll be taking some over the course of this next week.

The house we live in is the biggest and most comfortable one that I've lived in so far, and it's really clean (thank goodness). Elder Knapp is a really cool guy, too. We get along pretty well.

I haven't really had a chance to get to know  the people here yet, though I've met just about all of them. The ward is pretty big, there are actually a good number of YSA here. There weren't any YSA in my last two wards, so it's a nice change. There are a couple of Americans here too. It's interesting.

That's all for this week, though. See you all next time.

Elder Shaver

Here are a few pics. The first four are from Geumcheon.
Kim. One of our best investigators.

Young. A former investigator that we worked with and got lots of referrals from.

Moon. The owner of the best burger joint in geumcheon, 
and a good friend of the missionaries.

남길우 and his family. He's Chinese, his wife is Korean, 
and their kid is super cute :P

My new apartment in Shinpoong (Suwon).