Monday, 28 November 2011

Week 73

I've got an entire day of making kim chee ahead of me. We have a big service project that half the mission is going to, called kim jong. This is the time of the year  where Koreans make pretty much all of the kimchee they will eat the next year. Crazy stuff. I didn't get to go last year because I lived too far away from Seoul. I've gotta be outta here real soon, so LUCKILY.... I recorded a few audio journals to fill you in on what's been going on here.

The biggest news though, I have to write too. We had a baptism this past Saturday. It was by far the best baptismal service I've seen in Korea. It was amazing. So spiritual, big turnout... lots of tears. Also, one of our other investigators came out to the baptism, and to church the next day, and we set up a date for her as well.

We also had thanksgiving... it was a blast, I ate myself into a coma.

Ok, enjoy the recordings. Sorry I have to be brief. Elder Frei and I played "Love at Home" for the baptism. Maybe I'll record it this week so you can hear it.

Love you all... and I want to see pics from thanksgiving!

-Elder Reyes

Week 72

Happy late birthday to Josh,happy early b-day to Auntie Cecile. And Gizelle is around this time too right... or did I miss that. I'm a bad cousin/nephew... sorry.

The cough didn't go away and I went to the hospital. It was actually the same hospital that I was at last Christmas when I had swine flu... did I tell you it was swine flu yet? I didn't tell you what it was before because I didn't wanna scare ya. But yeah, anyway... my hospital visit was a lot shorter this time. I went in, and I had the same doctor as before. He was excited to see me, and was concerned that I might be coming all the way from Won-Ju. I had to explain that I'm now serving in this area, rotation program, yada yada.

I start explaining how long I've been sick, symptoms I've been having, what medication I've been taking and all that. When I finish he nods his head and says, "Well, I see you've gotten better at Korean." I explain, "Well... it's been almost a year."

I get x-rayed and all that jazz. I thought I was walking around with pneumonia, but my lungs are just fine. Apparently I just have Sinusitus. That gives me a post nasal drip, which I have to cough-up. The kicker is though, that the cough is triggering what may be asthma. That's why it sounds a whole lot more serious than it is when I cough. So I've been on meds for asthma and Sinusitus and I'm almost all the way better.

This week was Stake Conference. It was very special this time because it was a country-wide Stake Conference that President Monson presided at via satellite from SLC. President Monson and Elder L. Tom Perry both gave amazing talks. Most of it centered on stories of people reaching out and rescuing less-actives (the less-active rate here is unbelievably bad :(

He also told a great story about how when he returned from serving as Mission President in Canada, a friend he had called him up and said he wanted to go to the temple and perform a sealing for his family. President Monson exclaimed "You have to be baptized a member of this church first!" The friend responded "Well I already took care of that." President Monson explained that if someone asked him who of his friends was the least likely to accept the church while he was in Canada for three years, he would have named that friend. People can change.

We had a couple of investigators out to the conference. They had a great time. We also started teaching our other members boyfriend. We have so many good investigators. We should be having a baptism at the end of this week if all goes smooth.

I can't believe another six weeks has flown by. Today is transfer calls. I'm pretty confident that Elder Frei and I will both stay though. At least I'm praying for that.

Thanks for everything. Miss and love you all. Happy thankgiving!

-Elder Reyes

Week 71

So alright alright alright... now ladies! YEAH!

Remember when that song was playing everywhere nearly every minute of everyday??? I sure do... not want to. So it's been another week that just flew by. And yet another week where we spent the most part of it running around doing errands. We two Zone Conferences at our building, and we had to provide the food for them. A lot of trips to Costco and a lot of pizza and chicken bakes were the name of the game.  It feels good to roll out of Costco with pizza boxes stacked taller then me ^^

Believe it or not I'm still under the weather. I cant seem to shake this cough. If its not better by tomorrow we're taking a trip to the hospital. Other than that this week was amazing. We found another family this week. Both Elder Frei and I have never had this many full families to teach before. We also had a bunch of our investigators at church this week. AND, a prospective sister missionary referred her boyfriend to us. So many miracles! The new family we picked up used to live in my last area. They used to attend the English Class there, and remained good friends with one of the missionaries. They have never received the missionary lessons, but are very open to learning.

I met another kid this week on the street who has kept in touch with missionaries. He too never took the lessons, but had a friend that was a member and took him a couple times to our church. When he went to the US to see the sights one of the missionaries he was friends with here drove him around. Its cool to see missionaries still keeping in touch with people even when they didn't become investigators.

We also had a special Stake President meeting with the stake presidency and mission presidency. All the missionaries in our Zone were invited. Some pretty heavy things were discussed, and it was just funny to see the confused looks on all the faces of the young missionaries who had no idea what was going on. That was me not too long ago.

Ok, spiritual advice of the week. While your getting ready in the mornings, have a Conference talk on in the background. It'll make your day. I promise. Just put em on ur iPod or computer, it takes like 2 seconds, then you'll be able to start your mornings right.

Alright, love you all!

Shake it like a Polaroid picture!

-Elder Reyes

PS: Polaroid stopped making those instant pics right? I don't know if its big over there or not, but here there are tons of companies now making Polaroid type cameras and films. It's starting to get big here again. Polaroid is probably kicking themselves.

And contrary to the song, your not supposed to shake the photo, it actually smears the colors.

Week 70% Beef can be advertised as 100% Beef


I've still got a bit of a cough. But so does everybody. As I type this email, I can literally hear 6 other people coughing. This transfer is almost over. It has gone by soooo fast. The work in this area is great. We found five new investigators this week. Truly amazing. We picked up a member referral from the English branch, and he came out to church yesterday. His girlfriend, who is Korean, brought him to us. If she wants to tell us something she doesn't want him to hear, she just tells us in Korean. Kinda mean, and we told her that that probably isn't good. But he doesn't seem to mind. He actually knows quite a bit about the church. It's usually the complete opposite here in Korea. People usually tell us they've never heard of our church. In America it'd be hard to find someone who doesn't know about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He knew dates, and places, and prophet names and everything. It was amazing!

We told him there would probably be some awkward moments when we forget English words. Sure enough we forgot some words during the lesson. Elder Frei forgot "ordinance," and I forgot how to say "confirmation." We never really get to teach in English. Even when an investigator speaks English really well, we still speak Korean during the lessons.

Random: We also had dinner with a bunch of return Sister missionaries. A couple were from our ward, and they were trying to set up one of our investigators with their Japanese friend. She brings to of her friends from Japan, and the whole group are return missionaries. One was absolutely dead fluent in English. Really freaked us out. It's rare to hear people, no matter how good they are, be that good.

This week I also went on exchanges for the first time as a Zone Leader. I've done bunch of them as a District Leader, and never with a laundry list of concerns like I had with this one. It was really fun though. I feel we learned a lot. I wont get into details about what kinda problems I had to go in there and check out, buuuuut, I will tell you about a restaurant we all went to while on the exchange.

Everyone who's served in this Zone always talks about this Katsu place, that has a signature super spicy sauce they put on the meat. They have a challenge to go along with it, and they let customers try a piece or two of it for free as part of their regular meal. It has gotten the best of every missionary who's tried it. Even Koreans cant take the heat. One piece and it always ends in tears, a frantic search for ice cream, and even a trip to the pharmacy immediately after. They kept telling me about it, and they said to not tell them that they didn't warn me.

Anyway, at the place, they put a piece on my plate and it's just smothered in the sauce. The other Elders were waiting in anticipation. They had all tried it, and they had all been owned. I pop it in. It's delicious! It does burn a little, but c'mon.... I'm from LA. They're all freakin' out. They can't explain it. I may have to go for the whole challenge next time!

On like Thursday ( or something, the days blend together) we were walking back to our house and some yells for us to stop. There were tons of people around so we weren't sure who she was talking to. She keeps yelling at us in Korean for us to come over there. Then she says in perfect English, "It's ok. I'm a member too." She and her husband start buying us fruit. I start speaking to the husband in Korean. And I tell him it seems he can probably speak English well. He insists he can't. After a few other pleasantries, the husband turns to my companion and says in a perfect Hawaiian surfer accent, "So where you from brotha?" It turns out they were married 12 years ago, and they began their marriage in the Glendale Stake. They remembered that there was a lot of Armenians there, and they were excited when I told them that an Armenian branch was started not too long ago.

Ok, I've got some sweet pics to send you. Love you all. Let me know how you've all been.

-Elder Reyes

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Week 69 Bottles of Rootbeer on the Wall

So Elder Frei's recorder is on the fritz. We recorded some entries and now it just won't turn on. (Yes, we checked the batteries).

This week was supposed to be the week of rest. We literally planned to let me rest everyday of the week. But something always came up. It seemed like we were busier than we had been. Elder Frei got sick this past Friday, and finally, we got a clear schedule for Saturday and we just shut ourselves in the house and got the very needed rest. I've still got a bit of it, but it's almost gone. And Elder Frei got 100% better.

Such an amazing week. We started teaching one of our investigators guitar and he loves it. And a couple of other members want me to go guitar shopping with them. They've all got the fever... and the only cure is more cowbell.

I got to go onto the US army base out here and it was a blast. One of the Elders in our mission is part of the forces so he can get people on to it. It's literally like stepping into a town in America. All the construction, signs, and shops are exactly how they'd be if I back in the States. It was as if I walked on to a movie set. 

We grabbed ourselves some Subway sandwiches, and as we were in line to pay, a man stepped up and told the cashier, "Put all their food on my card." He was a member from Idaho. I'm guessing Elders serving stateside get this kinda treatment all the time, but it was the first for all of us.

I piled up on some American snacks, and bought a big bottle of Tang drink mix. The great thing is though, we get to go there again today!

Also, for other American experiences: I don't know if I told you that an English branch meets in our same building, but they meet an hour befor eour sacrament meeting. It's weird enough seeing a ton of American kids running around, but there's also a big group of Filipinos that meet and do Gospel Principles in Tagalog. One set of senior missionaries were in charge of that branch, but they leave this week and have no other couple coming in to replace them. So Elder Frei and I are taking over their pool of investigators and will be regularly attending their sacrament meeting.

Yesterday, Elder Frei and I attended a sacrament meeting in English, for the first time in a year and a half. It was pretty surreal. It made us think of our homecomings. lol.

Anyway, we're excited to get to teach some people in English for a change. he next few weeks will be pretty hectic covering two wards, but it'll be worth it.

Ok, love you all. We'll get that recorder fixed and get stuff out to ya!

-Elder Reyes