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.
Sunday, August 24, 2014
I'm going to a place called 신풍 (shinpoong) in 수원시 (suwon city) I'm not even going to be in Seoul anymore! My new companion is named Elder Knapp. He worked in the other half of my area for a while since I got here, so I know him a little already. He's only been out for a transfer longer than me. We were in the MTC at the same time (though I didn't really meet him there).
This devilish web browser is stopping me from typing every 5 seconds!!!!!!!! I'm SOOOOOOO annoyed!!!!!!!!!!!
Anyways, I'm sad to leave my area. I really got to like everyone here, and as usual, I don't really have enough time to say bye to everyone. Such is the life of a missionary. Elder Lee is training! Just means he has to put up with another companion who can't speak Korean (and stay where he is for another three months; he's been here since February!)
My Bishop in Geumcheong - 안병선 (Ahn Byeongseon)
I really need to start writing notes from my journal again. I forget everything that happens in a week (usually because I'm stressed at email time) by the time I get to the computer. We have a lot of investigators, but not much happens with them. At least, it feels that way, because they progress so slowly. Hopefully they pick up soon, though. I'm fine with them making big jumps of progress after I leave like Mr. 이 did from my last area.
I have a food story though.
So we went with an inactive member to lunch. He bought us some sort of Korean fish stew. It was really good! But! Then they came and poured the rest of the stew in the pot (because it didn't all fit the first time), and there were fish guts EVERYWHERE! And we had to eat them. Elder Lee got stuck with intestines... and I really don't know what I got stuck with, but it wasn't tasty. Some things we couldn't even chew because they were too hard! I don't even know if they were guts or not! I thought all guts were squishy!
Anyways. I'm running out of time, and I want to get to some of you that wrote me.
I'm in Korea. I'm loving it. I'm writing from this second-rate PC방, and someone is listening to Let It Be in Korean in the corner. It's weird.
Love you all!
Sunday, August 17, 2014
Okay! So this library is really unreliable sometimes, like today, we only had one computer available, SO I gotta keep it quick!! ACK!!!! And I'll have to leave some people hanging again. I'm sorry!
We got a new investigator. Another English interest... that's a woman... I might not have said, but we have 6 English investigators... that are women... It's great, but we have to take the extra measures because they're women, and they mainly just want to learn English from us. BUT, we're greatful for whoever the Lord puts in our path, so hopefully one (or all) of them will get into the gospel and want to keep meeting to talk about that. If that happens, we might need to give them to the sisters, but I'll be satisfied in the work that we've done, at least.
We also got in contact with a former investigator from about a year ago that had to stop meeting with the elders because of health reasons. He just couldn't make it out with them and keep up with his job at the same time. He's really cool though, Mr. Kang. He took us and his friend, Mr. No (the less active through which we got in contact with him) to eat dog meat stew.
Yeah. Dog meat stew. It was actually pretty tasty (and it's a normal thing in Korea), but I had to get past the part where we were on the very outskirts of Seoul going to this place that looked so weird compared to everything else I've seen in Korea. The restaurant looked like a house. Like, an ACTUAL house that you would see in Canada. So did Mr. Kang's office. I was SO weirded out by it, and so were the sister missionaries when we told them about it. I haven't seen a house in like, about 8 months now. I forgot what they were like.
Anyways. Things are going great. Transfer calls are this Saturday, and so of course people are starting the guessing game. I don't really have any guesses this time. I don't feel any gut feelings, anyways.
But that's all I have time for, so I'll see you all again next week!
Love you all,
Sunday, August 10, 2014
Only a couple of major things happened this week. Our investigators are about the same (as always), and things are still pretty routine.
We did have a sudden transfer, though. Sort of. Elder 송, the Korean elder waiting for a visa (I mentioned him, right?) finally got his visa and went to America to the MTC, and eventually, his mission in Arizona. In his place as Elder Nixon's companion is Elder Gibbons, a really fun guy from my 동기. It's pretty great to have him around. He's got a lot of energy and is really animated. I don't know him super well, though, but I'm excited to.
I also did some pass-off with the zone leaders (we have a pass-off program here in the mission to help us learn Korean faster). It's funny, because they want us to do it faster, so our zone leaders are giving out 'TIP chips' (TIP = Teacher Improvement Program, aka: pass-off), which are these little cardboard coin things that have whatever goofy stuff on them. Mine is pretty funny. It has some random Korean grandpa saying; "beri goot!" I love it!
We also went to the temple this week. It was really good, and I JUST missed Elder DeMille for the SECOND time in a row! I was bummed. But I did see the elders from my zone that I know, plus some of the missionaries that are still hanging around in my old area. It was good to see them. After the temple, we went to a 목욕탕... which is a public bath house... It was actually not as awkward as I imagined. It was super fun and relaxing after a few minutes of culture shock. I would go again.
I wish something notable would happen work-wise, but so far, not a ton is happening yet. Hopefully soon though!
Love you all!
Sunday, August 3, 2014
We got a new investigator! His name is Edward, and he wants to learn English with us after he heard about us from a member of ours (who's name is 성경; the same word for 'Bible.' Ha!). I think this is the first member referral that I've gotten in my whole mission that we've actually been able to follow through with! It's a wonderful feeling.
We meet with him again this coming week to really get started on the 30/30 program.
We had this month's zone training meeting. It was fun (and didn't drag on for 3 hours). I got to meet our new zone. Elder Munk got transferred here, and I'm pretty stoked about it! Elder Munk's the man! With him here, there's three of my MTC district in my zone! It's great!
After zone training, I went on an exchange with Elder Williamson, our new zone leader. He helped me out a lot. He asked me what I want to work on, and so I told him, of course, that I wanted to work on opening my mouth more often on the street and to be less timid about sharing the gospel with strangers (yup, it's still a struggle). The first thing that he told me was that there is another missionary that he knows that has the same struggle as me, and that this missionary worries that he didn't do as well as he should have on his mission (this missionary is about to go home, so it's a big deal for him). Elder Williamson told me, though, that this missionary was good at a lot of other things and is still a successful missionary. I've heard it a dozen times by now, but it really stuck with me this time when Elder Williamson told me that I don't have to be good at street proselyting to be a good missionary. That definitely doesn't mean that I can't stop trying to get better at it, but it made me feel a bit better about it. I mean, if everyone is different, then it follows well that not everyone is going to be amazing on the street as a missionary. There are other strengths that those missionaries can take advantage of. It just makes sense.
But, we did spend the exchange just working on street proselyting, and Elder Williamson gave me a few pointers. It was nice, but it wore me out pretty quick.
One of the things that he told me was his paraphrasing of a section of PMG chapter 1: "Look at all of these people." (there were a LOT to look at) "They all need what we have. Just ponder that for a moment. Think about the people you look at. They all have a family that they probably love just as much as we love ours. A lot of them are probably wondering what the point and purpose of life is. We have all the answers that they're looking for and the answers to the questions that they might not have even thought of. Don't think about opening your mouth; instead, open your eyes." (this is definitely NOT verbatim, just so you all know).
How true is it, though? It's absolutely true. What we have has the power to change every person's life for their benefit. It just makes sense to share it.
Those are all of the big things from this week, though. Until next week!
Love you all!