Sunday, 20 February 2011

Week 33

Ok, weird thing happening. Remember that guy I told you about last week, the one who randomly showed up after church? Well, he came yesterday, and ended up being nice, but a little (for lack of a better word) weird. Buuuut, he's going through some tough times, and we had to refer him to our Branch Presidency who had to handle it from there. They gave him some counseling and are gonna help him through some things. So, as I said ...weird thing happen-ing... why the i-n-g? He's sitting two feet away from me as I write this email at the community center. ME and my companions are usually the only names on the sign up list for weeks. But we show up today, and he's sitting write there. "Kim Chang Myeong! What are  you doing here?" He was more than a little freaked out, but pleasantly surprised.

So this week, the weather was finally good enough where we could really be out doing work all day long. So we were able to find lots of new people. We talk to a lot of people everyday, and as you can guess a lot of them aren't interested, and it only goes a few sentences back and forth before a contact ends. But on Friday morning, we get a call from an unknown number and the person asks, "This is the missionaries right? You talked to me and my friends yesterday. So what's this Book of Mormon all about?" Kwon Soong Sun is his name, and he came to church yesterday, after a lot of back and forth texting, and a canceled appointment. The Lord is preparing people, and is literally putting them into our paths, or on our computers... where I always sit. Anyway...

People have been sending me updates! Thank you so much. Sorry to hear Brandon Knight twisted his ankle. Give him my best, and tell him Icy Hot works wonders. How? It goes on icy to dull the pain, and becomes hot to relax it away... it's science. Let Ryan know that I would like him to send me some ice from Alaska, and just to make sure it doesn't melt, he may need to overnight it.

I don't have too much else to talk about, mainly because there is TOO much stuff to talk about, and I just can't choose other stories to tell. I was able to see a broadcast of Elder Quentin L. Cook speaking to the members in Seoul, it was really funny, and he told some great stories about being grateful, and expressing that thanks as soon as you receive those blessings. It was great, because that is exactly what my companion and I did that morning, when that man randomly called us. We should always express thanks to our Heavenly Father as soon as we can. As well as to those around us.

I'd like to thank you Mom and Dad for raising me in this Gospel, and preparing me my whole life for this mission. Thank you for opening the doors to the missionaries all those years ago. Thank you, Free and Ka-El, for being amazing examples to me. Everything I do, is just me following in your foot steps, or out of the sheer fact that I would get to hang out with you more. Thank you Issa for your support, and for being more grown up and mature than me. Seriously. You're the best little sister anyone could ask for.

-Elder Reyes

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

A Day at the Museum + Temple Pics !

Week 32

It always seems to snow when I email... this last week, other areas in my Zone got over 4 FEET of snow!

I was looking through my planner thinking of what happened this past week. As I looked at it, I thought, wasn't this a month ago? Time is a weird thing. And my memory is pretty bad. It was another week where we spent most of our time on buses and subways. But we got a chance to go to the Temple and it was amazing.

After the Temple session, Sister and Elder Jordin (couple missionaries from Idaho) waved discretely for me to come to their car. They pull off a bag to reveal a 12 pack of Root Beer! They were the Missionaries who brought me and Elder Eisenhaur Christmas dinner when we were in the hospital. I talked about the package I received from Mom, and how I wanted to start making root beer. They bought me a 12 pack soon after, but by the time they saw me next, it had dwindled down to a 3 pack. Elder Jordin says he has "no clue how that happened." This time the 12 remained intact, and they gave me a choice between Mug and A&W, and I explained how James, Adam, and I did a taste test years ago. We determined that Mug had the best flavor, Barq's has the most bite, and that a&w is the best for root beer floats, because of the frothiness of it. I said I'd take the Mug cuz I haven't been buying Ice Cream lately. Elder Jordin said jokingly, " You don't buy ice-cream? I'd start repenting if I were you."

Afterward, we got to spend the rest of the day at a war museum. What I didn't realize was that the lens had a huge smudge on it, making all the tops of my pictures look like they were taken in the 1980's.(Sorry. Issa, Elder Montgomery has been in my zone for two transfers, but we only snagged one picture together.)

We get back to our area Wednesday night, and we worked so hard everyday that when we would come home at night we would literally crawl around the house the rest of the night.

We had a pretty amazing miracle yesterday afternoon. We were supposed to go to visit a sick member after Church with our Branch President, but right before we left, she said not to come over. We had all of our stuff packed and with us. The Branch President asked what we'd do, and we said we'd just put our stuff back in the church and do some finding around the area. He gets in to his car, we unlock the church doors, which we just locked up, and go back in. Not 10 seconds after I see our Branch President drive off, a man starts walking through our gated parking lot. He comes in and asks, "When is your worship service." I said, it ended about an hour ago. I explained the meeting and asked if he just moved to the area, and if he was a member of our church. He replied, "No, I went to Catholic church when I was in Seoul, and I moved here 2 months ago." I said, "You know we're not Catholic right?" He nods his head and says, " Yeah I can see that."  We give him a church tour, explain the about The Book of Mormon, and he'll be coming next week.

It's Valentine's Day here already, I know I'm not too far a head of you time wise, but it was just funny to see people selling chocolate on every corner last night.

I don't really have a special Valentine's Memory, and I am gonna spend this one on a train with 5 other missionaries to Seoul. Very romantic, I know. There's no time/ it's definitely not allowed as a missionary anyway. But our whole missions are an expression of our love for the Savior, who has called us to do this work. We are here because we love this gospel, and we want to share it with the people of Korea. We love Korea. We love the Korean people. In the Korean language, the word LOVE isn't tossed around like it is in English. If you said you "love" some kind of food or movie, or any non-living object, it would either A: make no sense. Or B: make you look like a complete weirdo.

There's an old talk that Elder Holland gives on "How should I love thee," that is on Mormon Messages. I hope everyone watches it this Valentine's Day, it's a tear jerker, I promise.

John 13:34
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Week 31

Last week was hectic and relaxed at the same time. It was another big Korean Holiday last week, and so we spent about 5 days in Seoul. We didn't get back to Won-Ju until Friday morning.

The Holiday is called Solar, it's the Lunar Calender New Year. We left Monday night, but before that we spent the day finding. I gained a real testimony of how important it is to talk to everybody, even if they are rejecting you pretty hard. We were going through the downtown shopping area to get somewhere and I started talking to these guys going the opposite way. I walked and talked with them for nearly 3 blocks, and it was kind of just like talking to a wall on wheels, besides a few grunts of acknowledgment. It felt like a waste, and we had to walk back a ways. 

Then all of a sudden, we hear "Hey, wait!" Two Cambodian men come running up to us, and one starts speaking to me in English, and the other starts speaking to me in Korean. "Where's your class?" I assume they want English, so I pull out a wrinkled English flier, and they ask, "So is the Bible Class in English or...?" Oh, they want to come to Church! So we get their numbers, tell them how to get to the Church, and then take off. If we hadn't talked to those other guys, these men never would have seen us!

When we went to Seoul, the whole Seoul Mission gathered together, mostly just to have fun. We had a big concert and me and my district leader played a song together. There's so much talent in the mission. Some of the performances gave me goosebumps, they were so good. The days following the holiday, the streets around Won-Ju seemed soo quiet. People were in town, they just spent the days napping (for real.) Sounds like a good holiday.
The morning we got back, one of our baptismal candidates, Joe Byeong-Du got interviewed, and he's doing great, but he caught the cold again right after.

Sunday: I'm waiting for the Cambodians, named Lee Choi and Sukgum (I don't know how deluted those names are being Cambodian, written in Korean, and then romanized, anyway.) I'm outside when they call, "We're here." I tell them, "I don't see you." After a bunch of back and forth, I realize they are on the other side of the building. Ah! They're dressed up really nice, and the Branch just loves them. We teach them afterward, and they explain how they went to Christian church in Cambodia, but couldn't find any Christian friends here in Korea. They've both been here for over 2 years, and there are churches EVERYWHERE. The lesson was a bit bizarre because one speaks English, but not really any Korean, and the other speaks Korean, but not really any English. And we all know I can't speak Cambodian. I'd say something, and one would be confused, until I said the same thing again in the other language. Either way, the Spirit could be felt, and they are truly prepared. We set baptismal dates  for the end of the month.

Mom, I got your package. Thank you so much for all the goodies, especially for what I've been looking for! It was good to see that. The egg pan works great, but I can never eat just one. haha. Thank you also for the abundance of Zip-lock bags that everything was wrapped in, I put them to good use. It's amazing how much care that people can see just from the outside of the boxes you send. Everyone knows which packages are mine, just from looking at the label, and not reading the label.

The weather here is starting to get warmer, at least I thought so, but it snowed last night and this morning. Alright, everyone give me more updates. I'd love to hear how everyone's doing.
-Elder Reyes