Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Here is a list of Andrew's areas and companions:
|May 29, 2013||July 29, 2013||MTC||Elder Tristan Stapley|
|July 30, 2013||October 21, 2013||Yeongdo||Elder Jo (조)|
|October 21, 2013||December 2, 2013||Yeongdo||Elder Platero|
|December 2, 2013||March 3, 2014||Seogwipo||Elder Brower|
|March 3, 2014||April 7, 2014||Seogwipo||Elder Jeongheng Heo (허정헹)|
|April 7, 2014||May 18, 2014||Pohang||Elder Yeongho I (이영호)|
|May 18, 2014||June 23, 2015||Pohang||Elder Boome|
|June 23, 2015||August 11, 2014||Gwangan||Elder Witaek Hong (홍의택)|
|August 11, 2014||November 3, 2014||Gwangan||Elder Nathan Lees|
|November 3, 2014||January 26, 2015||Sangin||Elder Jaehun Bak (박제훈)|
|January 26, 2015||April 20, 2015||Sangin||Elder Boome|
|April 20, 2015||June 3, 2015||Sangin||Elder Nate Wunderli|
Listed by "transfers":
|0||MTC||Elder Tristan Stapley|
|1||Yeongdo||Elder Jo (조)|
|2||Yeongdo||Elder Jo (조)|
|6||Seogwipo||Elder Jeongheng Heo (허정헹)|
|7||Pohang||Elder Yeongho I (이영호)|
|9||Gwangan||Elder Witaek Hong (홍의택)||district leader|
|10||Gwangan||Elder Nathan Lees||district leader, trainer|
|11||Gwangan||Elder Nathan Lees||district leader, trainer|
|12||Sangin||Elder Jaehun Bak (박제훈)||zone leader|
|13||Sangin||Elder Jaehun Bak (박제훈)||zone leader|
|14||Sangin||Elder Boome||zone leader|
|15||Sangin||Elder Boome||zone leader|
|16||Sangin||Elder Nate Wunderli||zone leader|
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
I don't think we get time to email next Monday (I'll be in 부산 (Busan) finishing up going home stuff), so this will probably be the last email from Korea!
We're emailing today because we had a ward activity last Monday - a "체육대회" (cheyudaehoi = "athletic meet") which is like.... an excercise conference? We played a bunch of sports is what I'm trying to say.
대구 (Daegu)'s been super hot lately, so everyone was really tired by the end of it all, but it was really fun and it was good to be able to see all our members. I think our AC said it was 27 degress C last night. It feels like the hot air just sits there - like, the wind will blow but the wind is just as hot as everything else, haha. I might have mentioned this already, but all the members tell me I'm lucky to leave 대구 (Daegu) before it "really gets hot."
We met with a referral from our bishop this week. He's like 9 years old, so kind of a hard.... investigator. His mother wants us to teach English to him so we do that and share a message afterwards. Really, for him to progress and be baptized and everything, his mother needs to come to church, but she's a former investigator and I'm not sure how interested she is our church. Our bishop's done a lot of work working with her family though.
Mom mentioned that Dad said that we might see Pres. Zarkou to release me the Wednsday I get back. I'd like to do that if you can arrange it please! One of the recently returned missionaries in our ward said that he couldn't meet with his stake president for a day, and that it was really hard for him, since he was still a missionary, but had nothing to do. He still had to obey missionary rules I think, like waking up at 6:30 and stuff, then he just kind of sat there all day, he said, haha. So if that's possible, I think being released early is best.
Well, this is pretty short this week as well, haha. I will do my best this next week, and see you next week! Goodbye and see you in a bit!
Monday, May 18, 2015
Hey everyone, how's it going?
Sorry I didn't write last week - we were kind of busy, and I had Skyped and I forgot.
Actually, I'm kind of short on time this week as well, but I'll do what I can.
We FINALLY ended up meeting a former investigator named 윤남 (Yunnam) - he called us suddenly one day to ask us to meet. He seemed pretty normal, interested in religion, but busy. He said he's willing to meet if he has time but he's just not sure how much time he has.
이진산 (I Jinsan) came back out to church, as did 이예진s (Sis. I Yejin) and her friend, so that was good. We've got a sports activity day planned for the 25th (Monday, which is Buddah's birthday and everyone gets time off of work and school), and we're hoping they all come. It'll be good to be able to finally spend some time outside of church meeting with 이진산b (Bro. I Jinsan). A student from English class wants to come too, and we've got a few other people to invite to. The ward promised to work hard to make the meeting fun if we promised to invite a lot of people, so we're on the case!
I told you that we were going to go to an amusement park today, but it ended up raining. It took a looooooot of phone calls, but we decided to just cancel that and hang out at the stake center. There was a lot of nothing going on at first, but we managed to get organized enough to play party games (mafia, a few rhythm/speed type games) and order a bunch of fried chicken to the church to eat. It was really good considering that was just a plan b we came up with a few hours before actually doing it. It was really nice to just spend relaxing time with people in our zone.
Other than that, not too much went on this week. We prepared a bunch of Book of Mormons with common questions -"why do I need to believe Christ?" "what happens after we die?" etc. - highlighted and marked to give out as a 전도 (jeondo = contacting) activity, but then we decided that we took too much effort and time to just give those out to people who weren't super interested. So we saved them and will slowly give them out as we talk to people on streets and stuff.
Thank you so much for everything! Until next week!
No letter from Andrew this week. We got to Skype with him for an hour on Mother's Day, so that was fun. He looks good and happy. As you can see from the photo below.
Also, we got the official confirmation this week that he will be home June 3! That's pretty exciting!
Sunday, May 3, 2015
This week was.... a little disappointing, haha.
We called up 이재덕b (Bro. I Jaedeong)to try and set up an appointment, and it turns out he's in a hospital up in 서울 (Seoul)! He's been receiving treatment in 대구 (Daegu) for some time, and apparently it hasn't been working for him, so he's gone elsewhere. He said he plans to be there for the next 4 months or so, which means that he's a drop for us for the time being (actually, neither Elder Wunderli nor I have 4 months left, so he's done for both of us I suppose). He's actually up there with the member that referred him, so not all hope is lost. It's possible that through the member, he'll start meeting with the missionaries up in 서올 (Seoul), which would be pretty cool.
이진산b (Bro. I Jinsan) didn't show up to church again.... we called in Saturday night and he said that was planning on coming, but (not 100% sure on this) apparently his dad caught him going to church and told him not to go. So I guess he's been coming out for some time without his father (who wants him to focus on his studies) knowing. Maybe in the future...?
In brighter news, 이예진s (Sis. I Yejin) brought a friend to church! She said she had a friend who was curious about church (I don't know if it's our church specifically or not - Korea has a culture of "bring your friends to church" so she might have just been looking for any church to go to"), and so they came together. I don't know how much she enjoyed the services, but she hit it off really well with our sister missionaries - they had planned to meet together and paint nails today, haha. It got cancelled though. And the members did a really good job of being friendly and interested and kind without being too pushy, so that worked out really well too!
Other than that, we met with the less active of 30 years, and taught the Restoration super simply to him. He's really nice and we were able to have a pleasant conversation about our church for quite a while, but he's not really in a position to come out to church I think. If we're lucky, we might be able to meet him again, but I think Elder Wunderli might have been a little too strong in inviting him back to church, haha. Oh, and his wife is apparently a Jehova's Witness, and he says that he doesn't want contention in the family. So it'll probably be difficult to like reactive him.
I went on exchanges on Wednsday, and we had 3 potentional appointments, but all of them fell through. And then it rained. So we spent way too much time outside trying to talk to people. It was kind of a hard day, and I feel bad because whenver someone comes on exchanges, I want them to go away feeling that our area is good, that the Zone Leaders are busy and hardworking and that things are happening, haha. But that's what Elder Wunderli and I would have done anyways, and there's no point in like, lying to try to make our beloved 상인 (Sangin) look busier than it is. Actually, one of the appointments that fell through was with a crazy former investigator (Elder Wunderli called him without looking at the teaching record, haha), so maybe it was for the better. He wanted to meet "in the vacant lot next to the parking garage behind the department store," which would be really scary if we weren't in Korea. It's a little bit weird though haha. I think I told you, but there was this other exchange where we agreed to be picked up by a man that neither of us had ever seen before (for that matter, he had never seen either of us either), without a specific purpose. We weren't kidnapped, and it turns out he just wanted to buy us dinner, so it all ended well. The things we do to try and teach people about the gospel. -_-
Oh, and I got a letter from home recently, and I learned that I had missed not only both your birthdays (Mom and Dad), but your anniversary as well. So.... happy birthday? I'll try harder next year!!!
We called up this less active (who comes to church maybe once a month?) and set up an appointment to meet with him. He doesn't live in our area, but he's got family in the ward, and so he comes to 상인 (Sangin). In any case, it turns out he lives waaaaay far out, so we took the subway for like 20 minutes, newly-built monorail for 20 mintues, then a taxi for 10 (since I've never been there before), only to have nobody home. We called to find that he was "far away," so we left a note on the door and left. We tried to walk back, got lost, walked some more, and it took a total of 2 hours and 40 minutes to not meet someone. We were both really exhausted... Not sure if we'll try and visit him again (we probably will, hahahaha).
So that's our week. I've learned a lot about being postive and not giving up and also about walking around a lot. Sometimes, there are hard weeks, but things will get better. Thank you all for everything!
Sunday, April 26, 2015
This first week is already over.... we actuallly didn't have too much to, but I think we did a good job keeping busy. And we were able to see a lot of miracles as well, haha.
Elder Wunderli and I ended up visiting with members a lot this week - we maybe visited with 5-6 families or so. Basically Elder Wunderli got here and we spent a lot of time the first few days making calls to members, and people were really willing to have us over I guess! So Elder Wunderli had already met with maybe 1/5 of the ward (well, maybe not that much, I'm not sure) before actually coming to church, which a really good start. I think we'll try to keep up the momemtum and use Elder Wunderli as an excuse to visit everyone!
Kind of bad news - we were talking with our ward mission leader (well, we had MCM is what I mean), and he says to give 이진산b (Bro. I Jinsan) more time. He says for now, as far as lessons go, consider him a drop and not try too hard to teach him for the time being. On the bright side, the young men planned an activity for him - 이진산b really likes soccer, and so the young men will be having a soccer game this Saturday, and they already invited him and everything. Not sure if he has time, but we're hoping that this will be a good opportunity for him to make some more friends in the ward, and get to know Elder Wunderli as well! And of course, hopefully that will lead to him coming out to church more! :) Oh, he didn't come out this last Sunday though.
This transfer is probably the least busy I've had as Zone Leader - We've just got one meeting, which is Zone Conference, which means that President Barrow and the APs plan it for us. We'll probably have to give a talk or do some teaching practice or something, but that's it. And then we only have SPM once as well, which means that we've got a lot of time freed up to try and focus on 상인 (Sangin)! That's something we've been wanting for a long time, but when we actually get time, it turns out we don't have anything to do, haha. So we hit the streets and spent a lot of time on 전도 (jeondo). Normally, 전도 ("tracting") isn't that effective - you give out a few pamplets to people who don't really want them, get a phone number maybe, but it's hard to find people who are really really actually interested in the gospel.
We stepped out probably Tuesday, and the first person we talked to told us that he was a less active of 30 years, and then we had a nice conversation which ended with them telling us that he'll buy dinner for us sometime (kind of a Korean culture thing). Is he interested in coming back to church? Honestly, probably not, but it's really good to have his phone number, and have just one more person to contact and figure out how to work with.
We had a couple of experiences like that - just like better-than average 전도 (Sangin). We met this one guy, and I talked about our church a little bit, but he didn't seem interested. As he started to walk away, Elder Wunderli mentioned English Class, to which he said he was interested (we ran into him again like an hour later, and he said that he'd call!), and while we were talking to him, a lady in a nearby shop was listening, and came out to ask us for our number. Now again, neither of them have called us yet, but on somedays, meeting people interested in just English is hard, but we were blessed to find two.
We also met this one other church goer who really liked us. I guess his favorite church minister/pastor/church leader is American, and so he was really excited to meet other American Christians. We gave him a pamphlet, he took a picture with us, and we parted. I think it was the next day that he called and said that he had read the whole pamphlet, and had some questions. Elder Wunderli talked with him for awhile on the phone, and he said that he wanted to meet and buy us hamburgers sometime (because we're American...). Again, I don't know if he's super interested in conversion, but he's yet another person with some potiential to meet, and from there we can kind of see how things go.
And then we also spent some time calling former investigators - we met with one who turned out to really like missionaries but wasn't really that interested in the gospel (really common scenario in Korea...), and we've also been contacting another former investigator who seems willing to meet but busy.
A member up in Seoul gave us a referall of a friend, and so now we're meeting with Brother 이재덕 (Ee Jaeduk). He hurt his leg in a work-related accident some 8 months ago, got surgery, and is now receiving rehabilitation treatment (that doesn't sound correct). He spends a lot of time at home, and is pretty free to met us pretty much whenever. He's a little bit older, maybe 60 years old, attended a Presbyterian church for a long time, and seems to really like us.
The first time we met, I thought he was super golden - he took everything in well in a typical Korean old man kind of way (old people either accept everything or absolutely nothing), and he told us to come over often.
We met him the second time yesterday, and I don't know how interested he is exactly, haha. Maybe it's just that he doesn't understand what we're doing as missionaries, or maybe it's because he's just really lonely sitting at home all day, but he talked a toooon during the lesson, and kept taking the conversation to "not the gospel." He read from the Book of Mormon though, up to 1 Nephi 4, and he understands really, really well. I think he's understood the best of anyone I've ever taught - probably his church background helps him understand scriptural language. He seems to totally accept that the Book of Mormon is scripture (he was like "well, I gotta read it if is that Word of God, right?"), so he's doing really well there. Again, he wasn't super focused in the lesson, so we'll have to figure out a way to teach him in a way that works for him. He called this morning because he "wanted to hear our voices" so maybe he just likes the company of two handsome young Americans visiting him. We'll have to meet him a few more times to see where he goes. Oh, and he says that because his leg hurts, it's hard for him to come to church. :/
So that's about it! Elder Wunderli and I are working well together, and we've been really blessed to see some good things happen this week! I think things will continue to go well this transfer. Thanks for everything!!!
Here's a few pictures....
Here's a picture of the kids at an orphanage where we (kind of) teach English...
And lunch after ward conference...
A few pictures with 이예진s and 이진산b, and then one we took at McDonalds at 4:30am the day Elder Boome left. We woke up at 3:00 to get there, haha. It was fun though!
Monday, April 20, 2015
Well, this is the last transfer for me. I honestly haven't thought about it too much so far, but it kind of hit me as Elder Boome started packing, that that's what I'd be doing in 6 weeks. The 부 (bu = slang for "mission office") sent me a packet of stuff to take care of, forms to fill out and stuff to know about going home, which isn't helping, haha. I guess I just feel like it's hard to believe that the last transfer is here, and I'm not sure what to feel. Hm.
I guess first of all, we started a new transfer, and I'm staying in 상인 (Sangin), and Elder Wunderli will be coming here. He was actually our district leader last transfer, and so he's coming from an area that's just like 45 minutes away from 상인 (Sangin). He's got 2 transfers left, so he's a pretty old missionary as well. I had several members comment that I've been in 상인 (Sangin) for a long time - Elder Boome and one of the sisters left, and so the members were like "Wait, Elder Luke, are you not transfering? When did you get to 상인 (Sangin)? When are you going home again?" But I'll be here for the next 6 weeks!
This last week was pretty busy, though I can't really remember with what. Elder Boome had a bunch of stuff to do as he prepared to go home, so we went down to Busan once, and he spend like all his free time writing in "memory books" (which are just notebooks that people have, and they give them to their friends and companions to write it. People put in pictures and stuff and it's just basically a letter to that missionary. Elder Boome's leaving, so he had like 6 people ask him to write in theirs, haha.). Like I wrote last week, we spend a lot of time with members.
Not too to write about has been going on in 상인 (Sangin)... we met with 전상현 (Jeon Sanghyeon) again (I think I already mentioned him but....). He's the 8 year old son of a recent convert, and we've been teaching him the lessons reaaaally simply to him before he gets baptized.
Oh, we had a stake meeting for recent converts (half talks/testimonies and half special musical numbers - it was really good), and 이예진s (Sis. I Yejin) gave a talk! The stake asked her to basically share her conversion story, and she did a really good job. She looked really nervous sitting on the stand though. It seemed like a lot of missionaries were able to bring a lot of investigators and recent converts there, which is really good. We've done a meeting like that in 대구 (Deagu) in the past, and it was all really good except for the fact that not that many people showed up.
We had ward conference this last Sunday - in a ward with normally 60-70 people, we had 102 total show up that day. The sisters said they counted like 10 less actives, and a lot of the members brought family and friends (I think our bishop's family brought like 5 people - he told us that he invited like 8 people). So that meeting was a huge success - the members do a really good job trying to do member missionary work here.
Honestly, there's not that much to write about, so it's kind of short, but I'm just going to leave it here.
Until next week!
- Elder Luke
Monday, April 13, 2015
Did you all have a good General Conference? We actually have been busy with this and that and still haven't been able to watch the Priesthood session, and we thought we might have to miss some of the other ones as well, but things worked out well.
On of my questions going into conference was "What do I need to do after my mission? What do I need to focus on?" and I feel like I got a lot of insights into that question. I still need to figure out some stuff and set some goals still, but I was able to learn a lot from Conference. I especially liked the talk on having an eternal perspective - it seems like a lot of the things we worry about kind of fade away when we try and focus on just what's most important.
이예진s (Sis. I Yejin) came out to church this week (like 40 minutes late but still), and watched part of conference. I didn't get to talk to her much, but Elder Boome said that she said she liked it. I think it helped that she only watched like an hour, and not the whole 10 hours that she could have, haha. Her brother didn't come though - we wanted to talk with him and see if we could start teaching him again, but that might have to wait a bit. It kind of seems like he wants a little space to do what he wants though, so we'll try not to pressure him too much. The members seem to be doing a good job contacting them so I think things will all work out well.
We had a huge problem with our phone over the past couple of days in the mission. Our mission doesn't actually work with the cell phones; there's some office up in Seoul that manages all that, and apparently someone somewhere didn't pay a bill, because probably 90% of the phones in the mission can't make calls or send texts anymore. It's been pretty crazy, and basically anyone with a working phone has become super busy calling everyone and trying to coordinate things (our phones can accept calls and texts). We haven't been able to contact a few people we wanted to, so that's been too bad, but we've had some really quiet evenings as well. Actually, this is probably the most free time I've had at night since that past like year or so, and that's been a huge blessing. I've been able to write in my journal, get around to the things I've been meaning to do, and just relax. Pretty much no one can call us and we can't call anyone, haha. Luckily, we didn't have any like important appointments or anything that was canceled because of the phone situation. They say the phone will be working by tonight, so then it's back to our busy nights again.
We met one 김동수b (Bro. Gim Dongsu) this week, who is a referral/contact from another area in 대구 (Daegu). It was a pretty short meeting, maybe just like 15-20 minutes. He seems pretty interested in church, and actually agreed to try coming. He didn't, unfortunately, and we couldn't call him this last Sunday, but we're hoping to meet him again and try teaching him. He's a little bit strange (maybe just awkward? kind of thinks a long time before asking questions, and doesn't talk too much, but all his questions were pretty good), so we'll see where he goes.
Let's see, we had Zone Training Meeting again, and all went well there. Not sure how everyone else felt about it, but I really enjoyed the meeting. I think things went well, and everyone did a good job with their talks and things. So preparing for that meeting and General Conference kind of ate up a lot of time this week. I think we'll spend a lot of time with members the next week; Elder Boome's leaving, and so we've already got like 3 appointments or so set up. We should be pretty busy I think!
So I think that's about it this week... Thank you so much!
Monday, April 6, 2015
It's been a really really crazy week. Busy with all the random stuff that come up, haha.
Sister 이예진 (I Yejin) received the Gift of the Holy Ghost, so she's officially the newest member in 상인 (Sangin)! We didn't really explain the ordinance very well I think, and so she seemed like a little bit embarrassed, haha. She said that she thought that it was just going to be the bishop doing the ordinance and not the bishop plus another 6 people. But there was no problem there and that's all safely over now.
Brother 이진산 (I Jinsan) came to church as well, which was a huge relief. He only came to sacrament meeting last time (well, he and his sister were late to church, so they were only there 2 hours but still), so I think he's doing well. We're planning on trying to talk to him again next week and see how he feels about starting the lessons up again and preparing for baptism. I think for now, he's pretty content with just coming to church and listening, but I guess if that's what he wants, we'll let him do that until he feels more ready.
We tried to call their mother and invite, but she didn't pick up. We've got general conference next week, and then ward conference, and so we've got good excuses to try to get her to come out, haha.
Oh, and the sister missionaries (they're pretty close to 이예진s (Sis. I Yejin) - I've known her longer, and Elder Boome and I taught more lessons to her, but in the end, she likes them more, haha. She texted the sisters asking if it would be okay for her to call them sometimes when she wants to talk. 이진산b (Bro. I Jinsan) would never ask to randomly call us! It's a girl thing I guess....) said that 이예진s (Sis. I Yejin) had shown them her new scriptures (the triple combination our bishop gave) and told them that she had read up to 1 Nephi 5. Apparently she said that it was really fun and interesting to read - so she's been reading from it a little bit every day it seems. It's really awesome that she's been doing that and enjoying it too - Elder Boome is constantly amazed at how good she is haha. I don't think about her progression as much as I should, but she's doing really, really well, and I think she'll continue to do well in the future too!
Last week, we went to Busan on Friday; we woke up at 5:30am, and got back to our area like 8:00pm (the bus we wanted to take sold out of tickets so we had to take the next one which was 40 minutes later). Then Saturday was pretty busy (trying) to prepare for the Zone Training Meeting coming up this next Wednesday, and Sunday we did church, weekly planning, and went to a member's house for dinner. We have been sooooo busy lately, haha. Oh, and we visited some district meetings on Wednesday and Thursday, as well as had SPM as well. We've been keeping really busy with "Zone Leader stuff," and not been able to find and teach and do that as much as we want to. It's a little frustrating sometimes, but then we remember that we just had a baptism with an awesome investigator, and we've still got 이진산b (Bro. I Jinsan) here and that things are pretty good in 상인 (Sangin).
We'll have a few days this week without anything special planned (although those are starting to get filled up with activities...), so I hope we can find some new people to work with.
We're planning to visit 손지훈b (Bro. Son Jihun) this week; did I ever tell you about him? The blind less active man?
Well, he's really nice, strong Christian, although he seems like he's a little weak in things that just our church believes, so Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, things like that. Anyways, he likes to have us over like once every 2-3 weeks (and calls me and passive-aggressively half-complains if I don't give him a call every once in awhile. For example, just the other night...
"Hi. Who is this?"
"This is Elder Luke."
"Elder Luke? Really?"
"Oh, I thought you had transferred!"
"Yeah, you hadn't called for such a long time I had assumed you had transfered away!"
"Um, no, I'm still here."
"Ah, I see. That's a relief. Won't you visit me sometime?"
"What time is good for you this week?"
And so on.)
He's a really nice guy though. Anyways the reason why I mentioned him is because I don't think I wrote about him giving me acupuncture once.
He has this fried chicken place he orders from (Korea is HUGE into delivering food to houses), and while it's not that great, missionaries are really nice and kind of drummed up how good this chicken is. It's not bad chicken at all, it's just that it's a little bit closer to average then what I had imagined when I first tasted it. Anyways, last time I went, he really wanted to buy it for Elder Boome since it was his first time, but my stomach was not doing well then ("gastritis"), so we didn't eat it (we had Pizza Hut instead, which I don't think is an appropriate substitute for chicken (which we didn't eat because it's would have been too greasy for me). He called up the Pizza Hut with no idea on what they sell, and so he had the lady on the phone go through the most popular pizzas while she described what goes on each one. He kept telling her that whatever pizza she was describing was "too greasy" and to recommend another one. I think she was pretty frustrated and told him the all pizzas are greasy one way or another, but he countered with "I've got important foreign guests here and one of them has an upset stomach and can't eat greasy foods. What can you recommend for us?" She was probably one step away from telling him that people with upset stomachs shouldn't be eating pizza, but she was really patient. We just got like a normal combination pizza in the end, haha.).
So he decided that I needed treatment for my upset stomach and recommended acupuncture while mentioning that he was good at it. I look to Elder Boome, who is very excitedly nodding his head "yes" so I told him that I would, haha. Elder Boome is a bad friend.
Brother 손 (Son) then proceeds to slap my back and try to collect all the blood into my thumb (kind of like rubbing my arm. Remeber when I said that Elder Jo offered acupuncture when I had an upset stomach?), and once the blood was satisfactorily collected, he tied it off with like a shoelace that he pulled out of nowhere. Brother 손 has diabetes, so he's got a blood sugar reading needle device, which he used to treat my gastritis. Apparently, the place to get acupuncture is on the thumb, below the base of the fingernail and a little to the side.
So he stabs me, and blood is coming out, and he keeps telling us how black the blood it (it's normal but it felt rude to argue at that point), and he's getting my blood on his hands and everything was kind of a mess for a few minutes, but I was successfully bled. It was a pretty crazy appointment....! I received acupuncture from a blind less active man.
Didn't help though, I was still sick until I went to a real doctor.
That's something that happened like a month ago, but there's not too much to write this week, so I hope that story is enough.
Thank you for everything!
Oh, and Dad, yes, I got the package from Japan. Thanks!
And Mom asked about teaching piano - we did that like twice, and then school started so everyone interested in piano stopped coming to our class. We're still doing guitar class though.
Thank you for everything! Until next week!
- Elder Luke
Oh, and here are a few silly pictures from visiting district meeting.
Sunday, March 29, 2015
So I was looking at the calendar, and tomorrow I have exactly two months left on my mission. Aaahh!
So the big news: we had a baptism yesterday!!!!! Here are some pictures...
You'll notice it's just the girl getting baptized - we got a call from the brother the night before the baptism, and he said that he didn't feel like he was ready yet. He feels like he not quite sure about how much faith he has and so he's going to continue to come to church and learn more.
It was a little bit shocking but not 100% percent unexpected I guess. His sister definitely seemed more interested. But the important thing is if 진산b (Bro. Jinsan) doesn't feel ready and still feels like he needs more time is to let him have more time. And hes' planning on continuing to come out to church, and that's kind of the big thing isn't it?
Their mother came out to the baptismal service as well, which was really cool. Afterwards, we had some refreshments, and members were doing a good job talking with her, and she seemed to enjoy the time with everyone. We've got really good members here, haha.
Oh, and her uncle (who originally referred her and her family) came to the service as well. I think he'll continue to help out both 이예진s (Sis. I Yeojin) and 이진산b (Bro. I Jinsan) as they learn more progress in the gospel.
The baptismal service went really smoothly - everyone did their part well, the members were really supportive, and we didn't have any problems. While we were waiting for Sister 예진 and Elder Boome to change out of their wet clothes, we had a time for the members to write little notes to say "congratulations" to 이예진s, and that went well too. It just felt like everyone was thinking about her and was happy for her.
The baptismal service was a little stressful of course, but it went well and it's all over now, haha. Our next step is to work with 이진산b a little bit more and see what we can do to help him.
Sorry for the short email this week as well, but most of this week was spend doing baptismal preparation, and then doing the actual baptismal service!
Next week we're super busy as well with SPM, going to a meeting down in 부산 (Busan), and then another Zone Training Meeting. Not that being busy is a bad thing!
Until next week!
- Elder Luke
Monday, March 23, 2015
We kind of had a crazy week; we were actually a little bit less busy than we had thought - we wanted to teach and meet with 예진 (Yejin) and 진산 (Jinsan) a lot, but they were busy and so we couldn't. That was a little bit disappointing to be honest; we had planned to meet both of them twice but ended up not being able to meet at all. Their baptismal date is still set for the 29th though, and that's what we're shooting for. We still have to teach both of them more lessons.
We managed to schedule appointments for both of them, so we'll finish off the lessons and have the baptismal interview on this Saturday, then have the baptismal service on that Sunday. It's a little bit tight, but we don't have a lot of options at this point. Hopefully all goes well and they get baptized on the 29th without any problems.
It's been a little bit stressful - I just wish that we could have met this week and gotten everything taught and taken care of so we didn't have to play it so close. If they by some chance have something come up in the interview, we'd have to cancel the service that's already planned for the next day. Not a huge deal really, just kind of awkward.
Actually, we don't have a ton of time to email today, so this might be super short...
We also had Zone Training Meeting this week, and everything went really well. The people we asked to help present the material all prepared well, and did everything better than we expected. People participated well, and I like to think everyone learned a lot.
We talked about the "Standards of Excellence" for our mission, which are basically high goals set by the leaders of the mission to give us something to work towards, "expand our vision" if you will. They just say "We as leaders of this mission believe that if you work really hard, you should be able to do so much in so much an amount of time." So recently, our mission president has been focusing on that, and has changed some of the numbers, so we talked about that (the number changed was number of lessons taught in a week). We explained the change, and then had a discussion time all together about different ideas on how we might achieve the goal. People participated well in the discussion, had good ideas, and we actually had a few missionaries tell us that they learned a lot and have some new things that they want to try out, so I guess it all was a success. Actually, we called everyone involved in the meeting and asked how things were going the night before the Zone Training Meeting, and everyone was kind of like "Um, we've got a few more things to wrap up and think about..." (including us) so we were worried, but it was a relief to see that the meeting ended doing well. I think we've got another Zone Training Meeting this transfer though, so we'll be busy.
Alrighty I think that's all I have time for....! Thank you so much for everything! Hope to report on the baptismal service next week!!!!
- Elder Luke
Sunday, March 15, 2015
We kind of had a crazy this week - there was a lot of things that kind of got switched around, and we couldn't do everything like we had planned. P-day being on Tuesday didn't help either, haha.
Kind of the main thing for this week is our lessons with 이예진s (Sis. I Yeojin) and 이진산b (Bro. I Jinsan) of course!
We met (or tried to) meet them both twice this week - again, their baptismal date is coming up (got switched to either 28th or 29th) and we've got a fair amount of the lessons left. So we met 이예진s and taught her most of the commandments, and she understood and accepted things pretty well. We asked her to read parts of the "For the Strength of Youth," and she ended up reading all of it because she was bored of studying for school. So when we had the lesson, she understood a lot, and we were kind of able to just review most of the material. Oh, and we taught with our sisters missionaries, and they ended up talking a lot about modesty - it's kind of hard in Korea (especially for women). I think she still has a few concerns about that, but I believe they're mostly resolved now. And then Sister 이예진 had some questions about the Word of Wisdom - basically "What should I do if my friends want to go out to drink?" and so we talked about that as well.
We met them both Saturday, and their schedule didn't work out, so we met with 이진산b separately. That actually turned out to be a pretty good idea - with the first three lessons, there's a lot of doctrine, and it's pretty easy to accept, but lesson 4 had the commandments, which is where most people have concerns. He had more concerns about the Word of Wisdom than 이예진s, so it was good to meet him alone and address those concerns with him. We watched the Mormon Message "Leave the Party," (which you can see here) and we think he really liked it. He is still a little bit hestitant and agreed to commit the Word of Wisdom because "I'm still young and don't have any problems with it now."
We had Stake Conference on Sunday, and we had planned to meet them again, but that didn't really work out super well. 진산 doesn't respond well to our texts, and so I don't think he knew that we wanted to teach him. What ended up happening is that the sisters met with 이예진s with Sister 황동옥 and reviewed the baptismal interview questions, and then 이진산b disappeared right after church to go study, and we weren't able to teach him.
The sisters said that the lesson went really well though; she was able to answer all of the questions, and they resolved the concerns as they came up. I guess she was a little bit more comfortable with just women as well - they asked her to pray at the end, and she said "Good, it wouldn't be awkward because there's no boys around." I'm not sure what that means, but we miiiiight have to just give her over to the sisters and have them teach her until the baptism, haha. Oh, and they said she was more open in talking about some of her concerns about her brother (she's worried that his friends aren't that good, and that he's started to go down "wrong roads" or whatever; she wants church to help him because a better person basically), so that's really good too. Sister 이예진 is pretty much ready for baptism I think! She just needs like 1-2 more lessons, and I think she'll be able to be baptized with no problem.
We're now one lesson behind with 이진산b, so that's a bit of a problem, but we've still got plenty of time to catch him up and prepare him for baptism, so we're not too worried. If he doesn't show up to church or something though, it's kind of be a big problem, haha.
So overall, they're both doing really well, and I think the 28th/29th (our ward mission leader changed the date, and we're not 100% sure when he said it was haha) will be a really good baptismal date for them, and we think they'll be able to be more than ready by then. We're excited!
That's our main news; the rest of the week was spent in meetings and planning and stuff. Again, we've got Zone Meeting this next Wednsday, and that's taken longer than we thought to figure out. But that'll all be over until the next Zone Meeting in like 3 weeks. Oh well, we got to do what we got to do, right?
Elder Boome's got to figure out college stuff, so I'll keep this short for this week. Thank you for everything!
Sorry for the late email! We had to go down to 부산 (Busan) for transfer meeting. Actually, neither Elder Boome nor I transfered (or the 상인 (Sangin) sisters for that matter), but we had to take a test/participate in a study about how well foreigners understand Korean proverbs (actually, I have no idea if that's what they were studying, but they told us a few Korean proverbs, spent way too long explaining them, and then had us make example sentance). So by the time we got back to our area it was around 7:00 and so we didn't have much time to do anything.
We had Family Home Evening (for the ward) yesterday night, so we just ended up doing that. Attendance had been a little sparse recently; school's started up in Korea, so the young men that used to come to EVERYTHING we did aren't able to make it to activities any more, and so that takes a pretty big toll on our attendance. The other members kind of show up when they do, and don't come when they don't, and it all just changes from week to week. Still, we have a couple of older sisters (50's? 60's?) who come out pretty much every week, and they're (suprisingly) fun and participate well, so it's not too bad.
I was actually kind of sick this week, so we had a couple of weird days where we had to do stuff related to that. I've just had a stomachache for like a week or two now, and it wasn't too bad most of the time, but it's gone on long enough that I went to see a doctor this morning. I felt good after fasting last Sunday, but then I ate waaaaay too much unhealthy food on Monday and Tuesday, and so I felt like dying on Wednsday, haha. So I took it easy Thurday Friday, got some advice from Sister Barrow (who kind of manages missionary health), then decided to see a doctor yesterday. There's a member in Daegu who used to be a member of the Area Seventy, and he's a doctor, so all the members told me to give him a visit. I met and talked with him today, and he said that it sounded like I have "gastritis" (?) which is some kind of inflammation of the stomach. Anyways, he gave me some medicine, told me to avoid any greasy or spicy foods and not drink sodas and then get back to him on how I'm doing. So I'm hoping this will be the end of being sick.
As far as this week goes.....!
It was transfer week, but I kind of already talked about that. I have a couple of friends moving into our zone, so I'm pretty excited. Elder Frampton from my MTC district is district leader in one of the... districts, and Elder Pickard is district leader in our zone as well (though he was there last transfer as well). And Elder Lees is moving in from 부산 (Busan), up to 안동 (Andong) (training there actually...), which is both the largest and northernmost area in our mission. There were a lot of weird transfers this time; we have a looooot of young missionaries, so there's a lot of teams out there that are two foreigners that have been serving for 5-6 months - just a lot of young missionaries serving together.
As a side note, I met the 영도 (Yeongdo) (my first area) missionaries, and they say that 이상남 (I Sangnam) is still coming out to church with his aunt (he's the 8 year old kid that I baptized back when I was in 영도 (Yeongdo)), so that's pretty cool. And I also heard that Brother 정대영 (Jeong Daeyeong) in 광안 (Gwangan) is still doing well; he's still meeting with the missionaries and coming out to church, though he hasn't been baptized yet still. They say he's been introducing his friends to the missionaries though, which is pretty cool. Now that school's started though, things might slow down a bit with him.
Brother 이진산 (I Jinsan) and Sister 이예진 (I Yeojin) are both still doing well; we're planning on meeting them both Saturday and Sunday this week; otherwise, I don't think we can teach everything we need before baptism. We had a lot of material prepared to teach them, but we didn't have time to teach it all during church (which was fine since we were talking about other important things). Sister 이예진 in particular seems to be doing well - she takes in the lessons well, understands well, is friendlier with the members, and in general is doing better than her younger brother. Our Sisters showed her the baptismal font, and they say she seemed pretty excited about that as well. I think she'll be ready by the baptismal date. We still have a few concerns about 이진산b - he's doing well, of course, but when we tried to commit him to keep the Word of Wisdom, he kind of said that he wasn't sure. He said that it's a part of Korean culture to drink, and that if he has to drink he has to drink, and so he's not sure if he can keep the Word of Wisdom. Of course, that's kind of a hard thing to ask someone to do huh? We're basically asking him to make a promise that he has to keep for the rest of his life, all while he knows that there will be situations where it will be difficult to keep that promise.
Oh, and we moved the baptismal date from Saturday the 21st to Sunday the 22nd - it seems like that would fit everyone's schedule a little bit better. It gives us a little bit more time, on Saturday and then Sunday during church, to teach them, so we've got a little bit more room. We also had I think a stake temple trip planned on that day, so that would have conflicted some. We've got to get started on planning the service soon!
We also met with a sort-of-kind-of investigator, Brother 전상현 (Jeon Sanghyeon). He's the 8-year old son of a recent convert, and she wants him to take the lessons because he doesn't know that much about the church. He's 8 years old, and his mother is a member, so he won't be a convert baptism, so he's more of just someone to teach rather than a real investigator who's super interested in our church (he didn't want to have to participate in the lessons - he said that he just wanted to play at church, haha). So we'll probably just reaaaally briefly and simply go over the lesson contents, and then tell his mother that he's pretty much good for baptism. If nothing else though, it's good to have someone to prepare for and teach.
I think that's about it! We've got Zone Training Meeting coming up next week, so we've got to figure that out.
Thank you for everything! Please tell everyone thanks for the birthday emails as well! (speaking of being sick, I wasn't feeling super good on my birthday, so we didn't do anything special. I got a couple of phone calls from missionary friends wishing me a happy birthday though, so that was pretty cool. Elder Pickard sang me "Happy Birthday" in Japanese. He asked me how to say that like 2 days before my birthday, then put that to the tune, and then taught the other 3 missionaries in the house that song so they could sing it to me over the phone at 6:30 in the morning. Haha, it was really nice of Elder Pickard.)
Until next week!
- Elder Luke
Sunday, March 1, 2015
How are you all doing? Well, I hope!
We had a really really awesome week here in 상인 (Sangin)! Time seems to be moving really fast.
Elder Boome had, in one of his other areas, visited members on their birthday to sing them "Happy Birthday" and give cookies or brownies, just to do something nice for the members. It's a little bit of work to make treats, and then go all the way to visit them, but we get to spend a little time with our members, and I think they really appreciate it.
So this week was Brother 변수화's (Byeon Suhwan) birthday (you might remember me mentioning him; he's really funny, and made us stay at his house for like 3 hours once because he wasn't ready to hear our message because he was "still digesting." He's kind of crazy, but he's a really good guy.), so we decided to visit him. This was our first visit in 상인 (Sangin), so I was a little nervous, especially since we were going to visit him without calling first. We get to his apartment, and he lets us in, and he was really excited when we told him we came to tell him "happy birthday." He has us come in, then called all his family over so they could hear us sing to him (his wife suggested we sit, but he replied with "This is a special occasion, so we have to stand for the song."), then we sang and gave him cookies. Again, he seemed really grateful that we had come over, and we spend the next 45 minutes or so talking and spending time with his family. Brother 변수환 (Byeon Suhwan) seems to be the kind of person that likes us visiting and giving him stuff (some of the older members probably wouldn't be so pumped about it), but we're planning on trying and visiting more people in the future. Elder Boome said something to the effect of "being with members is so good for missionary work; you feel energized afterwards" and I think it's really true.
Speaking of members, we had our second 음악교실 (eumak gyosil = music education [音楽教育?])/Music class this week, and that turned out really well as well. We didn't have too many people show up, maybe just like 6, but everyone kind of split off into groups, so each missionary was able to spend time with the members (not just Elder Boome teaching 8 people, and everyone else sitting around, you know?). I was on a piano with 병수 (Byong Su) and 병현 (Byeong Hyeon), two of the young men. 병현, the younger of the brothers, actually was trying to learn and practice piano, and 병수 was basically just messing around the entire time while keeping 병현 from learning, so I don't know how much actual learning took place. But the important thing is that we were able to be with the members. I'd be good if 병수 paid a little bit more attention though, haha.
Our bishop changed this last week (I might have wrote about it?), so we're kind of adjusting to that. It seems like he's pretty interested in helping us out and things; he sent his 1st counselor into MCM with us, which was a little bit scary, haha.
We got to meet with 이예진s (Sis. I Yeojin) and 이진산b (Bro. I Jinsan) twice this week, which ws really great. We also met with 황동옥s (Sis. Hwang Dongok), who is now pretty much their official fellowshipper; 예진s especially likes her, I think.
Oh Wednsday, we taught a lot about prayer and scripture study, and how they can gain a testimony through those things. They both commited to read and prayer (plot twist: they both prayed but didn't really read when we met the next time). The lesson was really good - it wasn't awkward, and I think both 예진s and 진산b felt comfortable to talk about their questions, and the things they think. 진산b mentioned that their father doesn't want him to come to church (apparently his opinion is that 예진s is fine to come because she's a girl, and 진산b can't go to church because he needs to study hard to get into a good school so that he can get a good job later in life), but their mother support them. Actually, we once asked whether it was hard to come to church in the morning, and they said that if they slept late on Sundays, their mother was wake them up and send them to church (she's not a member, by the way!). 예진s and 진산b said that they came this week to church without their father knowning, which is not really that great, in my opinion. I'd be best if we could help the father agree to let his children attend church...
Their baptismal date is still the 21st (which is next transfer, so if I happen to transfer somewhere...), though that date seems like it'll be a liitttle hard to meet. Our ward mission leader is absolutely dead-set on that date though; I'm not sure why, but he won't even hear about changing it. It's kind of a little probem actually, since we want to make sure to teach 예진s and 진신b at a pace that's appropriate for them, and not have to feel rushed for baptism. I wish he understood a little bit better that the most important person here is the investigator, and our job is to make sure they know enough and are doing what they need to prepare for baptism. We can make it by that date, but we'll have to teach a little bit faster than we had planned. I guess we'll just see.
Oh, and the lesson we had on Sunday was really good as well. We briefly covered the Plan of Salvation, and then talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They accepted everything really well, and seemed pretty excited about what we were teaching. 예진s especially was really listening well. She said she really liked the concept of repentance; she had learned before that once someone sinned, that was a permanent mark against them. So learning that we can repent of our sins and be clean was something she was really interested in. 진산b also listened well. 황동옥s (Sis. Hwang Dongok) talked a lot (after the lesson) about how the gospel has blessed especially her and her husband to become closer together, and that's something else 예진s was really interested in. I guess their father is a little bit scary, and there's not a ton of love from him in their house, so Sister 황's testimony of how the gospel teaches husbands and wives to love each other really seemed to mean a lot to her. 진산b, being a 16-year old teenage boy, seemed less enthralled about marriage.
Lets see... we also did SPM this week, and managed to get all the information-gathering and typing done waaaaay faster than last time. We just need to double-check on some people that need updating, and then we'll be good to go. I'm pretty happy with how quickly we were able to get everything together; it didn't feel like we were spending/wasting too much time on it. :D
So, to sum it up, we had a really good week! We pretty much finished up SPM, and 이예진s and 이진산b are doing really well, and progressing towards baptism. We got to visit 변수환b (Bro. Byeon Suhwan) as well, and that was really fun.
I miiiiight end up transferring, which would be really too bad. I'd rather not leave 상인 (Sangin) when we've got really good investigators, and when I really love the members here as well. We'll see what happens this week; it's just one of those things that if President Barrow feels that God needs me to be somewhere else, I can't really not go, right?
I'll update you on transfer news next week! Thank you for everything!
- Elder Luke
Monday, February 23, 2015
Our bishop (actually former bishop now; he got released yesterday) took us up to another Buddhist temple today, so I'm emailing kind of a little bit late. The temple was really good though; we took a lot of pictures. I'll send some today if I have time. I'm kind of tired right now though, haha.
This last week was really good! It was 설날 (Seolnal = Korean New Year), so we were worried that we would have a lot of time with nothing to do (people aren't out on the streets, and are usually pretty busy), but the members did a really good job inviting us over to have meal appointments. I think we had maybe 5 this week?
It was really good to be able to spend time with our members; there's a lot of really great, really strong families in 상인 (Sangin), and it's kind of refreshing to be able to talk and eat with them. So we kept pretty busy this week meeting with people like that.
Kind of the big news for the week has to do with 이예진s and 이진산b...
One of the member families invited us, the sister missionaries, and our two investigators over for a meal. They're pretty close with both 예진s (Sis. Yejin) and 진산b (Bro. Jinsan), and the appointment went super well. It was really chill, both the parents of the family were able to briefly share their conversion stories, and we were able to talk a lot and get closer to our investigators. I felt like I didn't know them super well before, but by talking and spending time with them (especially on the long, like hour-long bus ride back), it feels more like we're friends now.
And then they came to church on Sunday (이진산b came in a suit; all the members commented on it, and he was better dressed than pretty much all of our young men haha), and we had a lesson. And, finally! We were able to get a baptismal date with the two! We're shooting for March 21st, though they said it might be hard for them to meet in March due to school starting. We also more or less officially started teaching the lessons (we've taught them stuff before, but I don't think they really understood why we were teaching), so we're well on our way. We'll just have to see how things go, but the 21st is perhaps a liiiitttle bit fast (we can't meet super often, so we need to teach a little bit more then normal when we meet), but I think it'll be a good date to work for.
So Elder Boome and I are trying to figure out exactly when we have to meet, and what would be best to teach when, and all that. We hope that they can be ready by that date! It seems like they're pretty alright with the idea of being baptized though.
It's kind of a short email, but here's a few pictures that will hopefully make up for it!
Thank you for everything!
- Elder Luke
(The man in the orangish clothes is our former bishop!)
The temple they visited seems to be Gaya-san Haeinsa; the Haein Temple of Mount Gaya. The temple has a Web site, here. The temple was first established about 800 AD, with the current buildings dating back to 1818.