Sunday, 29 May 2011

Week 47

So we had our medical Zone Conference this past week so we spent another half a week out of our area. During the Conference me and Elder Choi both saw the doctor. I've had this knot in my back for forever, and after a whole lot of "does this hurt? how bout this? put your arm up. how about that?", they determined what I told them... it's just a massive knot. Elder Choi on the other hand was able to be helped when the doctor's freaked out that he has done three sets of antibiotics over the last three months. Not good. That is what is making him sensitive to the sun, and giving him migraines.

Ok, so while in Seoul, a Korean with a very thick Australian accent started speaking to the big group of missionaries we had for our P-day in Seoul. He started asking us where we're from, and he thought we were part of some youth camp. But the second he saw Jesus Christ on our name tags he turned into one of the most bitter and out of control people I've ever talked to in my life. The Smart Alec in me wanted to lay him out verbally (i'm quite skilled in the ways of the comeback), but the missionary in me just fielded his nonsensical attacks with testimony.

It still gets you heated though. And I relieved the bad mojo of the experience by imitating him the whole subway ride. Ok, he may or may not have been pretty close while I did it... I will repent.

When we got back to  Won-Ju we were able to meet with some new investigators, and with a couple of our progressing investigators. There is a mother and daughter we teach and the daughter is more than ready to get baptized. I don't think I've come across a more well-prepared investigator... and she's only 11!!! She reads the scriptures on her own, and prays on her own and has a real testimony. It's amazing. but the mom is still struggling with her faith, and wants that same confirmation. She feels it woul be better if they were both able to join the Church together. So we need to help her gain that same assurance.

The Branch is still progressing well. The To the Rescue Program is still going strong and we had several meetings about how to implement more phases of the plan we established. It's so amazing to see the branch flower like this.

Ok, I have some pictures I should be able to send next week. I hope everyone is doing great.

Mom, thanks so much for the package and recipes. I think this is the biggest bottle of vanilla extract i've ever seen. M&M pretzels.... yes. Where have they been all of my life? Thanks for all the other goodies. Elder Park is gonna go candy crazy if he ever comes to America. He loves it.

Love you all, bye!

-Elder Reyes

Monday, 23 May 2011

Week 46

Running around Seoul for a few days wipes me out like none other. I had a couple days of training in Seoul and some fun times with some of my fellow missionaries. I guess the missionaries in the MTC are being taught completely different than we were, and their focus has changed, so we are having to prepare the whole mission on focusing on that new curriculum being taught. Exciting... I know.

Ok, so I had a long overdue visit to the doctors to tell him that the medicine he gave me didn't do anything and I'm still suffering from allergies. He didn't have the tools to test me so he sent me elsewhere. The new doctor shot a bunch of air and water up my nose. The flood gates opened up and I went on a sneeze attack as soon as he did that. Apparently I have a reeeeeally sensitive nose. The pollen make my nose go crazy, and the weather is what is making everything else go bad; ears,eyes, throat etc. Well not really etc., those are it. Anyway... He gave me a bunch of meds and every single one is supposed to make me drowsy. He said to take it easy and said to wear a mask at all times possible.

Despite the hospital visits, and Elder Park spraining his ankle while walking( he's the most uncoordinated person I know), we were able to get a lot of work done.

Best part of the wek though was getting my package from James and Hill! I had to lug it around Seoul, but it was worth it. Thanks for all the goodies. I thought Elder Park's brain was gonna explode when I gave him smores. He is a fiend for them now. And that licorice is amazing too. Trader Joe's never fails. I also got a b-day card from Adam and Leona. It plays the song "Wipeout", which brings back memories of church talents shows, but it's also a good way to wake up my companions.

Oh, I've also finally been able to use and perfect using the Root Beer extract from President Morgan and it's AMAZING! So good, way better than the McCormick stuff. I don't think I can go back to the regular store bought stuff now.

Sorry I don't have all the details from this week to give you now, we're heading to Seoul again for another three days for Temple and Zone Conference so we've got a lot to take care of. Love you ALL!

-Elder Reyes

Monday, 16 May 2011

Week 45

So it feels like I haven't written an email in forever. I'm a little out of it today. I also just realized I miss marked the last two weeks' emails as 48 and 49... even though this is only week 45 today. Ooops. Our weekly schedule has flip flopped like three times in the last 15 hours or so. I'm going into Seoul from tomorrow until Thursday and it's been getting really confusing... anyway....

An amazing week. We introduced the To The Rescue program to our branch a few weeks ago, and we've been seeing miracles. The average sacrament attendance during my time here has been 24-26 people. It jumped up to 34 or so last week. And yesterday there were 50 people at sacrament meeting!!!! It was insane for our small branch. We also had one of our investigators out as well, and things are going really well with her and her mom, who we also teaching.

Our goal for the rescue program was 40 people, but doubling the attendance in only a few weeks is something I never expected. We have an American who has been attending our branch for the last month or so, and was really puzzled why there were so many people at church. Another member had to explain how all of these new faces aren't from out of town. All of the members had a glow about them yesterday.

It's amazing what a few simple phone calls from the members, and a lot of visiting and baking from a few young missionaries will do. It's the small and simple things that bring people together.

When I talked to you on the phone last week I talked about one of our investigators we had to drop. He had been taught  all the lessons, he had been interviewed and had a date set, but the only thing he had to do was quit smoking. It didn't happen, and he wasn't able to meet for a while because of school. He was really close to quitting before, but the stress of school always got the better of him and had him clinging on to his vice.

It was hard to drop him, but we did so on advice from our mission president to just move on.

After a few weeks of no contact, this young man called to ask for a favor with one of his school projects. We had some time the next day, so we told him to stop by the Church. When he walked in, something was definitely different about him. We helped him out, and at the end of it he tells us... "I've quit smoking. It's been two weeks since my last cigarette."

He had a really bad fever, and from that point on, even just the smell of cigarettes makes him sick. We are waiting on him to be able to come back out to church before we set anything back up, but it was a miracle to see that finally happen for him.

I hope you had a fun mother's day last week. I'll be coming home soon after the next one. It's weird to think about, slash I probably shouldn't think about it. There'\ is so much left to do here. I feel overwhelmed sometimes by how much I know the Lord needs me to do. But it is his work so there's no need to fear.

Love you all. Take care!

-Elder Reyes

Monday, 9 May 2011

Week San Francisco 49'ers

Just gonna drop a quick line, and wish you a Happy Mother's Day again.

It was great talking with you. I hope you had as much fun as I did. It was really surreal hearing your voices, but it also doesn't seem too long ago that I talked to you during Christmas.

So, last minute reminders. Tell Ryan that I got his package. And Yes, Samoas are like gold... but I scarfed them down like cookies. Tell Jeff Lowe that I miss his English mug. But more importantly that I miss him, and his sense of humor. Also, tell him to say hi to his little girls for me. They are probably taller than me now.

Oh, take any pics at mom's party? Send 'em.

Aaaaaand, here are directions for Elder Choi's suggestions for Korean food in LA:

"Sooo get on the 5 north and then the 118 west and exit Reseda. take a left turn from the exit and head straight down until you hit DEVONSHIRE. make a left and turn right into the small plaza right after the car wash. the restaurant is shik do rak. it's not all you can eat but it's DANK. eat the dduk bo ssam.

for the all you can eat take the 5 north to the 405 south to 101 north and exit white oak. make a right turn. there should be a big Korean market plaza called GREENLAND. the cross streets are white oak and Sherman way i believe. enter the plaza and the restaurant is on the inside of the plaza. it's called yoo sung oak i think. it's all you can eat.

for MY restaurant take the 5 north to the 118 west and exit Tampa. make a left off the exit and go straight until you hit Plummer. make a right on Plummer and then a left on the next light which is Shirley. enter the plaza on your right where there is the DSW and Gelson's market. my restaurant is in between and it's called HYAKUMI. it's not all you can eat.. but i give you permission to eat all that you can eat. tell my parents to put it on my tab."

So there you have it. Love you all.

-Elder Reyes

Monday, 2 May 2011

Week 48

Transfer calls came... and I'll be staying in Wonju with both of my greenies. I've now spent exactly half of my mission in Korea training new missionaries. And I've only had one white companion out of all of my companions.

Ok, so I wanna send some pics and I'll get  to call home next week on Mother's day so I'll keep this one short. I'll be calling on monday at 11am my time.

My branch is doing amazing. We finally got the Rescue Program going on here, and the members really embraced it. I'm so excited. It's a real blessing to get to continue serving in this area.

Lee Hyun-Su baptized his kids on Saturday. I didn't get to go, but I got to call them and all that fun stuff.

Ok, again, sorry for the short one, but I'll here you voices in a week. CANT WAIT!!!

Congrats to Adam and Leona!

-Elder Reyes

I'm a little under the whether in one pic if you're wondering 
why it looks like I haven't slept in 5 days.
Congrats again JAMES on COLUMBIA!!!!! 度度郴夸!!!!!!