This week was pretty busy. We were able to meet with a lot of people, which is always wonderful! We also had exchanges this week, so I was in charge of 포항 (Pohang) for that day but things worked out well (because we basically just stayed at the church the whole day, so I didn’t have a chance to get us lost…).
Mother’s day is coming up, so we get to talk to each other again! I haven’t heard much from our leaders about it, but I assume it’ll be similar to how we did it at Christmas. We can Skype again, but I’m not sure if we can find a computer that can Skype… I’ll ask around some this Sunday. In any case, I’ll send you and email next week once I hear more. Just plan on calling me on Mother’s day, around 6:00 or 7:00 or honestly, just whenever’s convenient for you. We’ll be talking on our P-day, so time doesn’t matter too much for us.
This week, we were able to meet 2 new investigators, which is a great blessing. That plus one guy we found last week, and a few other people on the side has kept us pretty busy.
First of all, we met 이창준 (Changjoon Lee). We found him through our English class, and our class time didn’t work for him, so we’ve been meeting him outside of our class to study English and the gospel together. We’ve met him maybe 3 times now, so we’re still in the middle of figuring him out, but he’s bit quiet, and around 30ish years old. He doesn’t have a religion, but he seems to understand well when we talk about religion.
There’s a lot of people like him that I’ve meet – they want to learn English, and are open to the gospel, but don’t really have any particular interest. We just hope that as we keep meeting with him (and others like him), he feels the Spirit and wants to learn more. We’ve only just started meeting with him though, so we can’t really tell how things are going to go yet.
Oh, I’ve probably mentioned this, but I’ll write a bit about our 30/30 program. We teach English class, and that’s a fairly structured, weekly thing. We have an English class book that’s regulated by our mission (I think the book originally was stolen from a Japanese mission…), and that’s what we use to teach. Usually, we have a short, maybe 5 minute, spiritual message at the end.
We also have the 30/30 program, where we teach English a little bit more freely. If someone can’t come to English class, but they really want to learn, we use the 30/30 to meet with them. It’s usually one on one, we meet at wherever and whenever they want, and we also teach English how they want to learn it. If they have a book they want to study from, we use that (for Brother 전충식 (Jeon Chungsik) back in 서귀포 (Seogwipo), we studied mostly from newspapers written in English). Since this isn’t our English class, we also go ahead and start teaching people the missionary lessons, so there’s a lot more focus on religion than just our normal English class. Maybe because of the way the 30/30 is, we meet a lot of people who are willing to meet and listen, but not really too interested. But it’s definitely better to meet these kind of people than to meet nobody at all…
We also met one 유영술 (Yungsool Yoo), who’s a former investigator. My companion says he’s never met him before, but he knew Brother 유’s phone number, so we kept calling him. He kept saying, “let’s meet!” but then would cancel like an hour before the appointment. We kept in touch, and he finally was able to show up. He’s pretty old, like maybe 70, and is really, really hard to understand. We talked to the senior missionaries about him (more on the senior missionaries next paragraph…), and they say that he’s friendly with the missionaries, but might not have religious interest. With him too, we’ll have to meet with him some more to see what happens…
Okay, so 포항 (Pohang) has a set of senior missionaries. They’re Korean, but lived in America for like 25 years. Unfortunately, we don’t really work together too much; they kind of do their own thing, and we kind of do ours. My companion said they they’re supposed to act as kind of leaders in the branch, rather then as missionaries, so that might be one reason why. They’re old, nice, but can be a little frustrating at times, haha.
Our other new investigator that we met this week is 공인후 (Inhoo Gong). One day we got a text that said “hi bro.” We had no idea who it was, but we kept texting him, and it turns out that he was a former investigator! I don’t know why he texted us that day, but we set up an appointment and met with him. He’s like 40, runs a grocery shop, and met with the missionaries around 2 years ago. Of course, he’s interested in English (especially “real” English, he says, the kind of English that people actually use, which explains why he likes the work “bro” so much), so we’ll be meeting with him for English and for gospel discussions. He’s a nice guy, likes talking, and sports.
Looking at his old record, it seems like he was really accepting about the gospel, but had one problem (which is a really common problem in Korea) – he works on Sunday. When he met with the previous set of missionaries, he said that while he’s willing to come to church, he’s not willing to put church before earning money for his family. With him as well, we’ll just have to meet with him a little bit more before we figure out how to proceed.
Thinking about it, nearly every single investigator I’ve met has had English interest. I don’t know why… I guess meeting people through English interest is easier than through straight-up religious interest, but still. I think that means I’ll be teaching a lot of English in the next 13 months I have left. It’s a little frustrating since we’re not allowed to teach grammar, and the English book we use isn’t that good. But we kept meeting with people anyways, so it usually works out fine.
We had exchanges on Thursday, and it was really good. Normally, I don’t write about exchanges because they’re not really worth mentioning, but this was one of the busiest exchanges I’ve had (exchanges are hard if they’re nothing planned, since it’s entirely up to the one person who knows the area to try and figure out what to do). I was with Elder Masamini (spelling?), who, incidentally, was in the MTC at the same time as Elder Brower. We met a new investigator, taught another investigator English and then out of the Book of Mormon, had dinner, taught English class, and then had a MCM (missionary counsel meeting?). Anyways, it was busy, and Elder Masamini is really fun to serve with, so we had a good day in 포항 (Pohang)!
This Sunday was pretty crazy as well. We had planned for kind of a chill day – we were going to go to church, then have our weekly planning session, and then go out and do some finding, but we definitely didn’t do any of that. After church, we had a surprise choir practice (we have branch conference in 2 weeks, so in preparation for that), and then a member came up to us and asked us to help with visiting some people.
So we ended up visiting an older lady who was sick, an active couple’s house (who spontaneously invited us as we were at the sick lady’s house), a less active’s house (who randomly texted us to come over when we have time, as we were on the way to his house), and then we had a surprise dinner with another member.
We didn’t get to do what we had planned, but we felt really blessed to be able to do all that visiting yesterday. Normally, we take a bus everywhere, which takes forever! But a member was able to give us a ride, which make everything much easier; we probably visited everyone in half as much time as it would have taken with a bus. I guess that’s kind of the crux of member missionary work: if members and missionaries are really working well together, the missionaries can do their work much more smoothly and efficiently (especially if they get rides).
As you can see, we kind of had a crazy week. We saw a lot of miracles, and we hope to be able to keep seeing miracles. We hope to keep meeting more people, and help them discover what the gospel is about.
Thank you all for everything! Have a great week~!
- Elder Luke