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.