Monday, 2 August 2010

Week 4 in Korea

I don't know what it is about emailing my family, but the last two times I did, we ran into members who want to buy us food. 2 weeks ago, we ran into a less-active that we visit all the time, because he works on Sundays. He bought us Baskin Robbins ...Baskin Robbins ROCKS here in Korea! So different, but so good. I had Blueberry Oatmeal ice cream, so rich and delicious... and it kinda sounds healthy so I went with it.

Then last week, which was the only P-Day so far that I've gotten to wear regular clothes, (since we were going to a Zone Activity afterward), a lady starts yelling, "Elders! Elders!" Across a huge intersection.

At first I didn't know how she recognized us in street clothes, but then I realized, "Oh yeah, we're still wearing name tags!" Anyway, her daughter served a mission, and she goes to a ward 20 or so minutes away in Puchun. She leads us into a bakery, Paris Baguette (kinda like Portos), and tells us to grab whatever we want. I grab a couple of items and then she says to grab WAAAY more than that. I filled my tray with like 12 bucks worth of stuff, but she wanted me to grab more. "There's no more room on the tray." I've got my fingers crossed for this week.

This week I went on exchanges with one of my Zone Leaders, Elder Grant. I learned so much from him. He served in the area I'm serving in now for a long time, .with my companion now. He got to give me some great insight on the members in Siheung, and on my companion too. He definitely gave me some pointers on being more bold when contacting people on the street, especially when street boarding. When we exchanged back, me and my companion literally doubled the amount of people we were able to contact before during street boarding. I'd venture out, and really use all of my efforts to get people to stop and talk. I wouldn't know what they're saying half the time, but I progressed so much, just because I'm forced to blurt out everything I know in Korean to figure out what kind of needs they have, and what part of the Restoration I can relate back to their lives, or get them to think about.

Later on in the week, I ran into a man while passing out English Class fliers. I saw him eying me the whole time. I thought to myself, "This guy wants to Bible bash." I could feel it. The second he walked up, bad vibes all around. Even though he was respectful, I could tell how skeptical he was of me, and how he was trying to get me to slip up or something. He spoke English to me, and I would try to speak English back to him, but had to explain what I was saying in Korean afterward, if he didn't understand. He kept asking me about "posters."

"Where's the poster? Do you have a poster?" Why was he obsessed with some poster?
"Where did you see this poster?" I said.

I thought maybe he saw some anti-Mormon propaganda or something. "No, a poster, of someone who talks to people." After 5 minutes of this awkward back and forth, even him spelling out P-O-S-T-E-R, and me explaining that we believe both the Bible and The Book of Mormon to be the word of God, and that they work together in testifying of Christ, I was getting nowhere on the "Poster" subject.

I had convinced him that, yes, we are indeed Christian. But he kept going back to "Where is your poster. Does your Church have a poster?" "Yes, we have lots of things with pictures on them." I'd say. What are you trying to say, tell me in Korean! I speak Korean. I don't know what you're talking about." Finally, he tells me. "OOOOOOOOOOOoooooh! You mean a PASTOR!"

I'm glad that got cleared up, and I think I surprised him that I was so respectful, and willing to answer all of his (trying to be sneaky) backhanded questions.

This last Thursday, we met again with these two investigators we meet with every Tuesday and Thursday to teach them 30/30, half English, half gospel. They're both Korean teachers. Sister Park and Sister Im. And they're super nice, and very devout Presbyterians. They've heard a lot of weird things from their friends about our church, since we've been teaching them. But they know we're nice, and they feel there's a reason they met us. The last time we met them, we told them, "Write down everything you've heard about our Church that's bothering you. And we'll discuss that the next time we meet." Sister Park brought 7 things she wanted cleared up: The fact that we believe God, Jesus Christ and The Holy Ghost are three separate beings. That we don't believe in "hell." Plural marriage, etc. This is something that if not handled correctly, could feel like a Bible bash. But the big thing being handed down from the First Presidency, is to establish correct expectations, and resolve misconceptions from the start.

We were able to explain so simply and lovingly our beliefs on the subjects using both the B.O.M and The Bible. It was amazing to see their countenance change so much. Every time we'd explain something, they'd sigh with relief. Or give a "Wow! That does make sense."

At the end of it, Sister Park took back her list of questions, and put huge X's through all of them! And gave us a big satisfied smile. I've never been so happy to see someone cross something out before.

We've got to be up front about what we have, and what we believe. When explained in the right setting, with the Spirit there, it all does make perfect sense. But more importantly, the Spirit can testify of the truth of it.

Glad Mom and Issa's trip went alright. Dallen is gonna love the MTC! I miss it. More prayers per square foot than anywhere else I can think of. I miss you all, especially just the little things.

Send me a line, let me know how everyone is doing.

-Elder Reyes

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