Sunday, April 27, 2014

Transferred to Geumcheon!!

I meant to open with that a while ago... We've been allowed to take off jackets for at least two weeks, now. Surprise!

This week has been CRAZY!!!! Guess who came to the mission this past week? Brother and Sister Burton. They closed the Seoul West mission in 2010 (my mission is like, the reincarnation of that mission). Sister Burton, if you didn't guess already, is the General Relief Society President now, and she made history with us as she is the first (to her knowledge... and to mine) Sister General Authority to give specific instruction to any particular mission. Y'know, we're special, so no big :P
The day after that our mission and the Seoul Mission combined for a fireside with the Burtons, the Oscarsons (Sister Oscarson also being from the General Relief Society Presidency) and President Ringwood (the Area President) speaking. It was a big deal. And it was REALLY cool. I got to see 동기  members that went to the Seoul mission! That was a bit of a treat.

I'm going to a place called 금천, in the 안양 zone, which is the zone just South of the one I'm in now. Everybody that I've talked to that's been to the area I'm going to FREAKED out when I told them. They LOVE 금천. I guess I'll find out why starting on Wednesday. The past couple of days have just been a lot of packing, saying farewell testimonies and whatnot at church, and saying bye to the few investigators that our 3-month old area has. Mister 이 is having dinner with us tonight before I go. I'm going to miss that man. He's so nice. Apparently he's also a body guard. I just found out yesterday. He's still full of surprises.

My new companion's name is Elder Lee, and I had the opportunity to meet him briefly at the fireside on Saturday. He seems really nice, and not nearly as crazy as Elder Brissette. I'm excited. He's not that much older than me missionary-age, so it's going to be a different experience but I'm still excited!

Let's see... We met with some potentials this week, but so far they've all turned down the gospel, or have been to lukewarm towards it to care. BUT, we did have this one man spoil us rotten. He failed to keep his promise to come to church two weeks in a row, so he found time to meet with us and took us to a REALLY nice restaurant. He bought us the best meal I've ever had in Korea! Like, REALLY REALLY nice. I knew that Korean food was good, but like, he took us to a high-up-there restaurant and showed us some of the best of what Korea had to offer kind-of-thing. It was sweet!

Cool things happen on a mission. I'm kinda anxious about the actual missionary work being so slow so far, but a lot of neat things happen. Maybe in my next area they'll be more of the bring people to the gospel kind of things. I'm crossing my fingers for it, actually.
Anyways, just got to keep pushing forward!

Love you all!
Elder Shaver

Here are a few pictures!
The Slytherin tie Michelle brought back for me from London.

With Elder DeMille (my MTC awesome companion) at the temple.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter in Seoul


Holy cow! I'm almost down to a week from another transfer! Calls come in this Saturday! It's CRAAAAAAZY!

This week has been pretty good, too. Nothing super exciting happened (as in, I didn't eat any unusual animal meat or anything), and our investigators are kinda being all over the place... Seriously, people that we meet (except for a precious few) just want to hang out with 외국인s (foreigners) and take us out to restaurants. Don't get me wrong, I love it! But then, we're trying to teach the gospel, too, but not many people want any part of that. :'(


Oh well. Mister 이 is still coming out to church when he can, and he's asking good questions. Plus, he really likes us, and as our senior, that will only ever mean good things for us as long we're in Korea. Old people would spoil us rotten if we didn't stop them from spending tons of money on us. But anyways, there's not much as far as our investigators go, sadly.

Let's see... Oh! Our ward had a ping-pong tounrament this week! Koreans are ridiculous at ping pong! They're ridiculously good at whatever they set their mind to, and they go all out at whatever they do. "Hiking? Well, let me get my special boots, pants, jacket, shades, hat, poles, and backpack with the essentials in it before we go." ( <- You see hikers like this EVERYWHERE) Seriously. That's how it is for EVERYTHING. Biking. Ping Pong. Video games. Sports. School. Music. If they're doing something, they're going to be the extreme best at it that they can manage. The members at the ping pong tournament were really good. Not everybody was spectacular, but there were professionals there with their uniforms and everything (they officiated, and then played some show matches at the end, otherwise it wouldn't have been fair).

There was also an Easter Musical Production last night. We sang in our ward choir, the chamber orchestra that played for us that one time was accompanying us and the soloists who were also singing. And, (here's the go-all-out-on-everything aspect of Korean culture again) the chapel (not ours, this was in 영등포) was decked out with stage lights, microphones, a big computer setup to control them plus the projector, and soundboards and the rest of the works. It was crazy! They even had a dinner prepared for right before it started! People went all out on it, and it was really good! I'll try to get some pictures later, but I need to get them from another missionary who wasn't a part of the program. I'll figure it out.

Anyways, that's what happened this week!

Love you all!

Elder Shaver

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Korea Week 10 (I have now been in Korea longer than I was at the MTC!)

So this week has been pretty great!

I think that the biggest problem for me as a missionary, is that we're so busy and time flies so fast that by the time email day comes I don't remember much of anything that happened in the week. The lists of things to talk about that I write don't seem to help tons, either.
Last week, I neglected to write about, I attended a Korean wedding. It was really cool. The procession of it was fast, fun and slightly different than what I think North Amercan weddings are like (I've only been to two other weddings... and I was a wee' boy when they happened). The food was great though! and the moms of the couple were both wearing traditional-style Korean dresses, which was pretty neat to see.

Here's a goofy pic with my district that we took last pday!

This week, we got to go to a Korean funeral! Quite the transition, huh? I'm not even sure if it was a funeral. We showed up to this place, we went up to the family of the deceased person (whom we know and love) and there was a picture of the mom (as it turns out it was the mom / mother-in-law of these two) and we did this crazy bow thing to the picture. We bowed so low that our foreheads touched the ground, and then we did it again, and then we did a 90-degree standing bow. Then we turned to the family and did the deep-to-the-ground-bow to them (I would like it to be noted that I felt like I almost faceplanted myself when I was doing these), and then a 90-degree bow. Then they fed us (Koreans ALWAYS feed you). This place that this was taking place at served traditional Korean funeral food. There was Kimchi and rice (big surprise) and there were assorted other side dishes as there always is at a Korean meal. These were weird, though. Some of the notable ones were little whole fishes serves with green beans and sauce, which nobody made me eat, and there were these strips of weird-looking meat.... which I WAS made to eat. I ate one, before anyone told me what it was, and it tasted good, but it felt sooo weird in my mouth. The texture was strange. I learned later that I was eating the not-completely-ground meat of a pig's head, and that the thing making it feel weird was the pig skin (like, the whole layer of skin) that was lining it.
Can you guess what I did?
I bravely ate another piece to show the Koreans that I am willing to experience their culture. I kind of ruined my appetite by doing it, though... and I couldn't get myself to eat another one (never mind the rest of the plate of them, like they were encouraging me to do). So I ate the rest of my rice and some kimchi and called it good. I hope that that doesn't happen again anytime soon. *knocking on wood*
Aside from that; General Conference was GREAT! We got an investigator to come out to Sunday session! We were so happy!
We picked up a new investigator, too! He's a Tae Kwon Do master, and he told us that if we taught him English that he would teach us Tae Kwon Do. He wants to lean English so that he can do Missionary work in Thailand, so we asked him if, since we're missionaries, we could talk about the gospel instead? He agreed! Woohoo! He's super fun, too. We really like him.
I think that that's the report for this week, though. My regards from the super-nice PC 방 in Korea!

I love you all!
Elder Shaver

P.S. Here's a cool painting of chinese characters saying 'Prince of England' because people keep saying I look like him, so an old guy we visited painted this for me.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

2 Months in Korea!!

Hello, Everybody!
I'm using the crap computer at the library AGAIN. GAH! At least the keyboards here feel normal now. They're about the same as they are in Canada, except there's a 한글 toggle hotkey! >:)
Oh the fun! I want to be able to do this in Canada when I come back!
Anyways, this week was really slow... Not too too much happened with our investigators. We only met with Mr. 이, and we found out that he's going to bring his wife to church with him next Sunday. Just in time for general conference! BOOYAH!

Other than that, though, we just did a lot of contacting on the street and in the subways. We met one superDUPER cool dude, though. He deserves a good nickname... not just Mr. "모모모" (something-something). He studied theatre for ten years, and he's really eloquent. That basically means that anything that he says that I would normally understand... well, I don't. But the first thing he said to me was "You kind of look like Mr. Bean!"
It was hilarious. We laughed a good few minutes from that. I later found out that the only reason that he said it was because he thought I looked down and unhappy. Which, to be honest, I was at that time. He's such a nice guy. He wants to meet again, too. I hope that we'll be able to help him as much as he helps us!
But that's about it for this week. Sorry to cut this one so short, but I guess that there are slow weeks even in missionary work (still important, to be sure! But I guess sometimes the cool things need time to get set up before they happen? I don't know :P )

Oh yeah, Avengers 2 is being filmed in Seoul right now! Fun fact! 

We're also singing in choir over here "This is the Christ." It reminds me of Vernon choir!

Love you all!
Elder Shaver