Hello! I hope you're all doing well! It's been a really, really, really, crazy week.
So my companion went to 예비군 (yebigun = military reserves) as expected, so I spent Monday night and Tuesday in 해운대 (Haeundae, a nearby area) (or at least with the 해운대 elders), but my companion wasn't able to stay in 예비군 (yebigun) for the entire time. He was told that he would be staying in a house with some other missionaries, but it turns out that he was supposed to live and sleep on the military base for 3 days. Since Elder 홍 (Hong) didn't know that, he didn't bring enough clothes and stuff to last him that long, and so he decided to just come home and do the military stuff next time.
Unfortunately, we had a lot of miscommunication with our leaders, and uh, we basically lost my companion for a few hours as he was coming back. He didn't have a cell phone, and so we had no way to contact him, and nobody had any idea where he was (we were all trying to coordinate things with the AP's, Zone Leaders, me, the 해운대 (Haeundae) elders, the elders he was supposed to stay with, and the phoneless Elder 홍의택 (Hong Witaek)). We thought he was coming to 해운대 (Haeundae), when really he was going back to our apartment in 광안 (Gwangan); we ended up waiting like 2 hours in 해운대 (Haeundae) wondering where on earth my companion was, when he was hanging out in our apartment wondering why nobody was waiting for him. Everything worked out fine, and we ended up having to do a doing a night rescue (it was only like 9:10 but that's pretty late for missionaries) to go look for him, and it was a bit scary for awhile, but we found him in the end, so all ended well.
So anyways, that happened, and we kind of resumed a normal week from like Wednsday.
I'm not sure if I mentioned him, but we've met with one Brother 오삼석 (O Samseok) around 3 times. He's a friend of Brother 윤영언 (Yun Yeongeon), and they came together to learn English. Now, we meet with Brother 윤영언 (Yun Yeongeon) before our Tuesday English class, and so we started to teach the missionary lessons to both of them. Brother 오삼석 (O Samseok) is really nice and friendly. He asks good questions, and while it seems like he's just curious about our church, he's at least interested enough to keep meeting with us. One really nice thing about our English class in 광안 (Gwangan) is that it's big enough that people are really willing to bring friends or come with family - most of the people that attend seem to really really like the class.
We got a call from Brother 정대영 (Jeong Daeyong) this week with some bad news - he talked with his mother about baptism, and she doesn't want him to be baptized. She's fine with him meeting with the missionaries and coming to church though; so that's really really good. Elder 홍 (Hong) and I are planning on visiting Brother 정대영's (Jeong Daeyong's) family and introducing ourselves, but we haven't really had a chance to yet. Brother 정 (Jeong) is up in Seoul this week as well, so it'll be some time before we can arrange a time to meet together. I don't think there's any chance he'll be able to be baptized on August 10th like we had hoped, but that's fine. We'll have to push his baptismal date back maybe 2-3 weeks, but he's still meeting with us and learning, and that's the most important thing.
And then kind of the big news for the week - Elder 홍 (Hong) got a phone call on Saturday from President Barrow, and Elder 홍's grandmother had passed away. Elder 홍 talked with President, the AP's, and his famliy, and he decided to go the funeral service. He left Saturday evening, and will probably be back Tuesday night. So I'm back in 해운대 (Haeundae) again until he comes back. That's not really a huge problem, but I'm kind of worried about Elder 홍의택 (Hong Witaek) - I know if it was me, coming back home, seeing friends and family, and then having to go back and resume missionary work as normal would be really, really hard. My companion's a good guy, so I don't think there will be any major problems, but I guess we'll have to see. Spending so much time in another area has kind of been pretty disruptive though - we haven't been able to plan properly for a couple of weeks now.
So we've had a pretty slow week - a lot of unexpected things came up and we weren't able to work like we wanted to. I'm not sure if this week will work out normally either - maybe by next week, we can kind of resume missionary work (if nobody transfers, that is...).
We ended up teaching a lot about the Plan of Salvation this week; and especially with Elder 홍's grandmother passing away, it's been something that's kind of been on my mind. I think knowlege about the purpose of life, and what happens after is really, really important in helping us make decisions. I've met a lot of people and investigators who don't really know what they want in life or why they're living, and I think that's a really hard way to live. Koreans especially work really really hard, but there's a lot of people that seem to earn money just to earn money. I see people like that and really want them to understand the Plan of Salvation, and especially the fact that it teaches us what's important in life. We know what things have value after we die, so we can focus on those things.
One other thought that I had is that knowlege is just knowlege until we apply. I've felt this with Brother 윤영언 (Yun Yeongeon), but if he learns about our church and simply collects knowlege, then it's not helping him. If people listen, understand, and then make changes according what they learn, then the knowlege is useful. I guess we're all the same - if the things we learn (whether it be in church or school or wherever) don't change us, then that's simply learning for the sake of learning. I've heard people say that if you're ready to learn, you can learn something from everyone (I think the original quote is that you can learn something from every meeting). That's definately something I need to learn to do better - the right frame of mind can really accelerate our learning.
That's all I have for this week; have a good week!
- Elder Luke
예비군: yebigun = "military reserves." I think this would be 予備軍. This would be the yearly military training that young men need to attend, I think kind of like the annual training for the National Guard in the U.S.