Sunday, November 24, 2013

Last week in 영도? (November 25, 2013)


No real news for this week either... we've haven't had very much luck doing anything it seems. Our only real investigator, 지영수 (Jii Yeoungsoo in English, though Dad's probably already read his name to you...) was busy this week, and so we weren't. I don't really have any good stories to share either...

We're not sure exactly what he does, but he says he's a plastics something, and is an expert in making fishing lures. I guess the whole factory setup in his house is there so he can make those; 지영수 says he gets orders from all over the world, and he's working on some from South America right now, so that's pretty crazy.

We've been working on trying not necessary to find non-actives, but just trying to see if these people even live in 영도 anymore. The records are really old - maybe 10~15 years old, and so all the information is bad. There's a lot of phone numbers that don't exist anymore, addresses that are vague enough that there's like 20 possible houses, things like that. But we have a lot of time so we've been whittling down on that. There's like 3 different books of records, so trying to get all the information from all of them is kind of painstaking (?) work. Someday, everything will be digital with Google Maps, and then life will be easy!

We had a lot of luck the last couple of days though, most likely because we went on a Saturday and Sunday. There was a lot of people at home, and so they could tell us whether the person lived there or not.

Other than that, doing the usual knocking doors, trying to talk to people, etc, etc. We've tried a couple of times to "sports 전도" - I guess the theory is that you play sports with people, and they they'll give you their numbers to play again, and you do that a bit more and try to see if they're interested in gospel stuff at all. That hasn't really worked out either; we don't have like a basketball here in 영도, and neither does anyone else in our district. Oh, and we're both terrible at sports. We've gotten a couple of numbers, but I honestly don't know if they want us to come back again!

Um... We taught 이상남 this last Sunday, to teach the after-baptism lessons. He's still pretty hard to teach, so we've been keeping it slow. He probably doesn't remember anything that we've taught, but that's kind of out of our control. Last time, we talked about temples (reaaaally simply), but he really wanted to hurry up the lesson and watch his friends play Minecraft. Luckily, we had made this puzzle of the Seoul temple, and had him make that. I think that took his mind of video games, and he concentrated a tiny bit better than before the puzzle. He's a funny kid.

For some reason, we've been getting fed a lot recently. I've probably eaten more with members during the past 4 week here than the 12 with Elder Cho. Not sure why; Elder Platero insists that it's because he looks hungry, so people want to feed him. Don't really know what that means.

We had interviews with President Gilbert this week. He basically said to be patient and keep working - that sometimes, things just happen slowly sometimes. I understand that that's true, but it's still a little annoying that what we're doing doesn't seem to be working out very well. But he said that I was doing fine, and Sister Gilbert said the same thing, so I all I can do is keep at it and not worry too much. They also said that they're going to start keeping missionaries in areas longer; President Monson at one point said that 4-5 transfers is about right for a missionary to be successful (we've been averaging 3 transfers per area I think; the logic behind it is to spend the first transfer getting to know the area and members, the second getting referrals, the third teaching, and the fourth to finish teaching and baptize, which makes a lot of sense).

Oh, and this is probably my last week in 영도. I think I've only explained why, but it's rare for a trainee to stay in their first area any longer than 3 transfers - I guess members tend to remember their first impression, and if that's a scared Elder who can't speak any Korean, that's who they remember. I don't want to leave 영도 though. :(

Happy Thanksgiving! For some reason, I thought it was last week (it isn't, it it?).

Thank you, thank you for all you do~~~!

- Elder Luke


영도: Yeongdo, his area.

안녕하세요!: Annyeonghaseyo, the standard Korean greeting.

전도: Jeondo, "missionary work." From the pronunciation and meaning, I assume this is 伝道 (でんどう [dendou] in Japanese).

이상남: I Sangnam, the boy they taught and baptized a while ago.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Hey! (November 18, 2013)

Not much time for email today so reaaaaally short.
For fun - 영도's has a ton of cats. Thought Mom would like to know. We see like 3-5 strays a day on average. We were walking through this sketchy neighborhood once, and we turned the corner to see 4 cats staring back at us. I've never seen cats anywhere outside of 영도.
One of the investigators I spoke about last time is still really good - 지영수 is his name (can't remember if I wrote it right last time). He keeps saying that the Book of Mormon is "really a Holy Bible." He says he wants to read it all and keep studying it, which is really exciting.
I guess once concern is that he says he'll keep studying and reading it - years and years if needed - until he gets baptized. So we'll have to work on helping him understand that he doesn't need to know everything before baptism.
Oh, and next time you sent me a package, can you send me some looseleaf college-ruled paper? I've been using that for my study notes, I'm running out, and I can't find any here. Just one pack should be fine. Thanks!
Aight, I'm pretty much out of time. We're trying to buy me a sweet Korean suit today - hopefully, I'll find one for cheap. Email you all next week!
Thanks, and I love you all!
- Elder Luke


영도: Yeongdo, Andrew's area.

지영수: Chi Yeongsu, the name of the man they're teaching.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

안녕하세용! (November 11, 2013)


I hope all is well over in Boise! 영도's weather has taken a turn for the way too cold, and it's only November. We've finally had to start using the heater in our house, only to find that, well, it's terrible. In Korea, heaters are in the floor, so our apartment floor is warm, but the space from the floor to the ceiling is not as toasty as we'd like it to be.

I had to give another talk this week, but it went much better. I don't know if it's because I prepared more for it, or just because I prayed a lot more (I was scared that things would go like last time). Anyways, the talk I gave was on the importance of the sacrament, and I was like maybe 10 minutes long. I'm pretty sure I said the same thing over and over again for those ten minutes, but the members were nice and said that I can almost speak Korean (not really, they just said "good."). This time, the middle form/high form didn't trip me up as bad, and I feel like I expressed myself much better. I think it was the prayers more than any improving in Korean that I did.

Just want to write about a few people we've met.

We met one 박동채 while looking for less actives. I can't remember if I wrote about him or not, but here it is anyways. We were really, really lost, and so we were standing on the side of a road, looking at my camera (we have a huge map back at the apartment, so I take pictures of it so we can have a portable way of figuring out exactly where we are). He walked up, and asked if he could help us. We chatted for a bit, and he sent us off in the same direction.

Later, when we were working out way back, we ran into him again, outside of some restaurant that we think he owns/lives at. He gave us some delicious cider, and we talked for some 10 minutes. He seemed to really like us, and told us to come on over and hang out anytime.

Oh, and he speaks Japanese too. He was talking in Korean, and he said "fu tari" (meaning "two people"), instead of the Korean "두명," so I asked him. Turns out he was born in Japan, and then moved to Korea. He was happy to learn that my Japanese is passable and kept laughing his santa-like laugh and saying, "Ohohoho, nihonjin sokuri mitai desune!" (No idea how to spell that in romaji, but "You are just like a Japanese person!").

Anyways, we called him back yesterday, and when we said that we were the missionaries, he was all like, "Ohohohoho, yes, yes." He's busy now with college (he's a bit older, maybe 50? I think he's studying Japanese), but says to come over to chill with him after he's done with testing. He's a really cool guy.

We also met a man 지영수 - he's maybe 40, and is really nice. I think Elder Platero received some revelation that led to us meeting him. We were out knocking doors (which is terrible in Korea because everyone has a doorbell-intercom with an outer gate, and so it's hard to actually meet people face-to-face), and there was one house with the gate open, and a door open. We kind of checked the house out, but we couldn't see anyone. I wanted to move on, but Elder Platero was waiting to see if anything happened.

Eventually, the man saw us or heard us, and stepped out. He already knew our church, and kept saying things like, "Oh, your church is so good!" and "Ah, your church is true!" So we gave him a pamphlet, and he told us to come by again and talk.

Well, we did that a couple of days ago, and again, Elder Platero kind of made things work. Same deal - doors open, lights on, but nobody responding to our "Hello?"'s. Again, I was ready to go home and eat dinner, but I got a feeling that I just needed to let Elder Platero do his thing. Elder Platero kind of crept through the gate to get a better look in the house, and I guess 지영수 again heard us or something, and so he came out.

He was happy to see us, and invited us into his house. He had read the pamphlet we gave, and was really curious. He's studied the Bible before, and says he really likes Christ. He asked us a bunch of really good questions that he had from reading the pamphlet; "What is the Book of Mormon?" "Where can I buy one?" "Who exactly was Joseph Smith?" Not hard questions, but questions that we missionaries love to hear.

He was really accepting throughout our time together, and he said he's get started on reading to Book of Mormon. He also said to come into his house whenever because he's usually home. We're excited to continue to work with him!

Ooh, sorry for the long email! It's just excited to write about these people that we get to meet!

One more thing. Dad - next time you happen to send me a package, can you send me some pictures of me when I was younger? People seem to want see those, and the pictures I have right now are all within like 2 years. Members want to see me when back when I was adorable.

Thanks for all you do! I'll write again next week!


-Elder Luke


안녕하세용!: Annyeonghaseyo, the standard Korean greeting.

영도: Yeongdo, the area he's in. By the way, the weather recently in Busan has been highs around 60 F, lows around 40 F.

박동채: Bak Dongchae (or Pak Dongche), the Japanese-born guy.

두명: dumyeong, "two people." I'm guessing this is probably 二名 or 二人.

지영수: Ji Yeongsu, the guy with the open door.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Pictures! (November 4, 2013)

Here's some pictures from the baptism. The picture file seems to be a little different, so I have no idea whether you'll be able to see them clearly. Enjoy!
I'll send an actual email in like an hour.
- Elder Luke


He didn't say, but this last one is Yeongdo, taken from just across the water on the mainland. Here's a Google Maps shot taken from that bridge right about at the bottom of his photo: click here.

Week 2, Transfer 3 (November 4, 2013)


Still not too much to report on for this week. Spent a lot of time trying to find people, and we've sort of gathered a pool of people that are potential investigators (and a much larger pool of potential-potential investigators). Hopefully, we can meet with those people and start teaching a few of them.

영도 branch got reshuffled a bit. Our branch president, 이성일, didn't change (he's been serving as Branch President for like 8 years now), but we now have a 1st and 2nd counselor! The first counselor is our previous ward mission leader, 장인택, and second counselor is Elder Platero.

The new ward mission leader, 추헌종, is someone who is sort of less active, but he seems pretty committed. He called us up last night (new callings were given Sunday), and asked about how often we meet, when we meet etc. We hadn't been meeting with the ward mission leader consistently, so maybe this will be a change to change that. I don't really know him, but I feel like this will be a good change.

Dad asked about my district in a previous email, so I'll talk a little about that.

We had a change in our district recently, but I'll get to that.

When I first got to 영도, we had 4 areas in my district, with 6 teams of missionaries (2 teams of sisters). The areas were 영도, 대신, 괴겅, and 수정. I think Mom knows Elder Carter's mom, but Elder Carter was in the MTC at the same time I was. He's also half-Japanese, and we usually hang out together (especially the 2nd transfer - all the Koreans wanted to get together to do something on P-day, so we 외국인 kind of just stuck together). We also had Elder Wilson, who was in Elder Carter's MTC district.

We also had another trainee (though he was older than us), so we had a very young district.

Really recently though, we lost 수정, which was given to a smaller district, and so our district is now 4 people less, and we won't be able to see Elder Wilson anymore, which is too bad.

I don't really know what else you might want to know about our district - I'll be in a new one by the time any reply letter comes anyways.

Well, sorry I don't have anything too interesting to write about. We're just trying to find people to work with, and sometimes, that's kind of slow work. Hopefully, I'll have some more exciting news next week.

Thanks for everything! I pray about all of you back in Idaho every day! Be safe!

- Elder Luke


영도: Yeongdo, Andrew's area of Busan.

이성일: I Seong-il (or I Sung-il), the name of the branch president (leader of the congregation). (Incidentally, I looked him up in Church records [there are advantages to being a clerk...] and they show his name as "Lee Sung Il". Maybe some of our Korean-speaking readers can tell me why 이 would be "Lee"?

장인택: Jang Intaek (or Chang Intek), the new first counselor. (Incidentally, he was previously listed as second counselor and branch clerk.)

추헌종: Chu Heonjong, the new branch mission leader.

대신: Daesin, another area in his district. I couldn't find anything on the map that seemed to unambiguously match this name.

괴겅: Goegeong, another area in his district. I think this is about here.

수정: Sujeong, another area in his district. This one I was able to find on the map here, I think. It looks like it's just across the water from Yeongdo island. This is the area that is no longer part of his district. The name seems to mean "crystal," according to Google Translate.

 외국인: Oeguk-in, "foreigner." I'm guessing this is 異国人.