Monday, September 28, 2015


(Choosuk)  is basically Christmas in Korea. Choosuk day was yesterday (Sunday), so we had a conference and a cleaning day over the weekend because pretty much no one is on the street.Choosuk, from what I learned, is when everybody meets with family for a few days and takes time off of work (often for the only time all year). Choosuk is about celebrating harvest time, and it takes place during the fullest moon of the year. I guess that makes this holiday more like Thanksgiving, but the feeling is more like Christmas because everything is closed and everyone is with family. We learned all about Korean culture during the conference, focusing a lot and their recent history of the Japanese occupation and the Korean War. Korea was left totally devastated. In the pictures we looked at, there were absolutely no trees to be had. When the Japan occupied Korea, they took all of them to Japan. The people had no food, no homes, and no infrastructure. Koreans, however, picked themselves back up. Elder Gordon B. Hinckley visited Korea during this time and talked about how he was touched by the strength and hope of the Korean people during their greatest trial. They worked together to rebuild their home and their lives. It's an incredible story that brings a lot of meaning and nationality to the Korean people. 

We also learned about the history of the church in Korea, and about some of the first members and missionaries. They were also pretty amazing. When the Seoul temple was built, it was expanded from its original plan because the members in Korea donated more than four times the allotted amount. Korean culture and history really is rich and complex. I'm learning a lot about it from Elder Moore, whose knowledge and love of the culture amazes me. He has tons of great advice and wisdom, specifically about the importance of understanding the culture. In order to understand and connect with the people, we must understand their culture. One very cool thing about the Korean people is their desire to help people. For example, no matter how busy someone is, they will always stop what they are doing to give you directions. They are very close to their family and those around them, and the success of others is important to them. This largely fits into what I learned about their history as well.

I've been very humbled this past week by how much I need to learn and understand, as well as by how much Elder Moore can teach me. I've realized how much I've been focused on my own goals and what I need. While these goals are necessary and good, I need to be more focused on helping others as well. Though I rely heavily on Elder Moore, especially for the language, I also know he isn't perfect. I know see that there is no such thing as "my" success, because it will always be "our" success. If I want to teach and spread the gospel to the best of my ability, I need to help Elder Moore and others to do so as well. We always share our goals with each other, and now I need to work on helping Elder Moore with his. When we are both progressing, serving, and sharing our strengths and gifts, we can be a more effective and perfect unit to bring the gospel to others. I need to do all I can to be a self-reliant and equally contributing member of our companionship and focus on bringing "us" up, rather than just myself. He has a lot he can teach me, and though I just got here and he is about to leave, I have strengths to offer as well. During my personal study, I've realized that it is as important to share our knowledge and abilities with others as it is to obtain them. When we do this, not only do we selflessly provide others with these same gifts and same joy, but we further increase and remember these things ourselves.  

Because of 추석, we didn't have much time as usual to do proselyting or teaching. A couple cool experiences, however, came from my exchange with Elder Seeley this week. We went street boarding as a district, each of us individually trying to get as many contacts as possible. A couple days ago, Elder Seeley told me that someone I handed our phone number card to actually called back. Elder Seeley and Elder Kim visited him, and he said how he just wants to go to heaven when he dies. They assured him that, through the message they brought, he would certainly accomplish this, and he now has a baptismal date. I don't even remember who this person was, and he probably didn't understand most of what I said to him. But, talking to everyone is so important. Even though I won't understand them or be able to communicate much to them, I can at least provide every person with some kind of opportunity to hear the Gospel. Heavenly Father provides so many opportunities for us to open our mouths and declare His word. The least we can do is make the most of every opportunity we can, even if all it means is handing out a card and saying a thing or two. We don't know who might be searching for the truth and just not know where to find it. 

Thanks for all your messages and words. They mean so much to me. The language is coming along, and I'm and getting a little better each day. There are so many aspects to this work to think about, and I'm learning to just trust the Spirit, make goals, and focus at one thing at a time. The Lord so clearly blesses us in accordance with our obedience, humility, and commitment to use His blessings and gifts to further His work and glory. 

끄리스프 장로 (Crisp Chang no)

Pictures from Bukhansan National Park
Buddhist Temple

Today was a great P-day! We climbed a mountain and got a great view of Seoul. The skyscrapers just never end - they went all 360 degrees around us, everywhere we could see past the mountains. It was my first view of what Seoul is actually like when I can see more that just the buildings ahead of me, so that was cool! 

There were cats all over the place for some reason.

Monday, September 21, 2015

It's been a crazy first week in Korea, but I'm loving it. I love going out and sharing the gospel with others. I just wish I could say and understand more. Elder Moore is a great trainer and extremely proficient in Korean. I'm learning more each day. 

One thing I have been working on is setting goals and carrying them out. This is something I've never really done before coming on my mission, but I'm beginning to see why it is so important. I also am working and trusting the Spirit and talking with everyone, even though I know beforehand I won't understand what they say. The scripture in doctrine and covenants that says to open your mouth and trust the Spirit more that we fear man has helped a lot. I have a lot of improvement to make, but I am trying to be more diligent and faithful so that the Lord can more quickly bless me to understand and get there. 

We have two investigators - one is a 21 year old ), and the other is an 11 year old. They are friends and we sometimes teach them together. Unfortunately, we were recently told that they can't be baptized because of their circumstances, but we are continuing to befriend and bring them to church. 

I'm kind of disappointed that we now don't have any investigators who can be baptized, and I feel this is because we need to work harder and be more focused on others in our thoughts, prayers, and efforts throughout the day. It's so hard to be 100% all the time, especially in language efforts, but I'm learning and setting goals that, with the Lord's help, I know will help me get there, and He will entrust us enough to lead us to some of His children who are ready to hear the Gospel.

We spend a lot of time out on the streets looking for contacts, and Elder Moore and I decided a couple times to go into shops and talk to the owners in there. The first one was really cool - he sat us down, ran to get a couple of grape sodas, and talked to us about his job and family. He said we could come back, so hopefully we can start teaching him the lessons. 

The second shop we walked into was a barber shop, and the owner did the exact same thing - sat us down, got us some drinks, and talked to us about things (not sure exactly what because it was in Korean). Elder Moore told me this is part of Korean culture, and that by treating us so respectfully and courteously he was taking the role of an "older brother." I'm learning lots about the Korean people and their culture, and it's lots of fun. Hopefully we can keep on teaching both of these and find some more people to teach. 

The craziest thing that happened was meeting { name  }.  He's a less active who we teach, and he is pretty crazy and spontaneous. During our lesson, I wasn't really understanding anything that was said, until at some point he mentioned the name Chandler. I spoke up and asked, "Brother Chandler?" He looked surprised and said, "Yea, Craig Chandler?" So then I said, "Yea!" I told him about Brother Chandler being my MTC teacher. It's just crazy that the first lesson I taught in Korea happened to connect so well. 

Thanks for your messages everybody! 

Elder Tyler Crisp

Elders Moore and Crisp

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Dear Brother and Sister Crisp,

I just wanted to send you an email letting you know your son has arrived safely in Korea. He looks very happy to be here and ready to work hard. We are excited to see him serve here in the Korea Seoul Mission. Attached below is a picture with President and Sister Sonksen.

The Korea Seoul Mission

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints       예수그리스도후기성도교회
Korea Seoul Mission                                                            한국 서울 선교부
Office - 82-2-734-3653                                                  사무실- 02-734-3653

Arrival in Korea

Tyler with Mission President and Sister Sonksen.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Week 8, Final Week in MTC

Leaving for Korea in 4 days! I'm so excited to finally be out there teaching and working. 

We had our last lesson with Lee Jaeseung yesterday (not a real investigator, but still very sad). I've really enjoyed teaching him and learning how to invite and follow the Spirit to meet the needs of an investigator. It's such an important thing to learn, because my own teaching ability would rate at maybe a 2 out of 10. Through the Spirit, though, others will never forget the way the felt when we spoke, even if they don't remember what we said. That's why it's the Spirit, not the missionary, that converts people. 
This week has been a great week, especially because of the devotionals that we've had. I've been thinking a lot about what Bishop Causse said about teaching with the Spirit and with power. One of the things we must do to qualify for this gift is to be pure and virtuous. I've been thinking a lot about what this means, and yesterday I was reading Alma 31 and was very impressed by how Alma is completely focused on the Lord. His joy comes from the joy of others as they are repenting and coming unto Christ. His afflictions, as he puts it, come from seeing his brethren in wickedness. The prayer he offers is focused on others, including the missionaries he brought with him. He prays for himself in order to be able to help bring others unto Christ. Alma definitely had a pure and virtuous heart - one centered on Christ. I had the question, then: How do we stay centered on Christ? Distractions abound, and the natural man far too often besets us. I thought of three examples of why we must never lose sight of Christ and our purpose. 
First is Lehi in his vision of the tree of life. At first, he was totally focused on the love of God, desiring for others to partake of its fruit. His joy was undiminished until he saw others looking away from the tree and saw the great and spacious building, and his heart was troubled because of it. 
Another great example is Peter. When he jumped out of the ship to meet Christ on the water, his attention was solely on Christ. He had only one thought in mind, which was to reach Him. Then, he looked away. Seeing the storm around Him, he fell. 
One last example is Lot's wife. Though commanded to look ahead, she looked back toward Sodom, and was turned to a pillar of salt. 
I love at the end of Alma 31 where it says they had no afflictions save they were swallowed up in Christ. When our attention, focus, and efforts are committed solely to Christ, nothing can get us down. The knowledge of Christ and His incredible gift to us is always permeating through our minds. Our afflictions are meaningless relative to our faith in the power of His atonement and his loving suffering for us. We are not even capable of sparing a thought for ourselves. 
I've committed to always keeping this focus and attitude through my mission. Our message is the most important word that could possibly be spoken on this Earth. How can I possibly allow my own insignificant problems to, in any way, distract or hinder it? 
Korean is coming along, and I'm understanding most of what the teachers are saying. I can construct sentences way more easily. I haven't talked much about it, but Korean is basically backward from English. If I wanted to say, "Through praying and reading about the Book of Mormon, you can know this church is true," in Korean, it would be ordered, "Mormon's Book reading and praying through, this church is true if can know." It is also apparently rude to use the word "you" in Korean, so that is always just left out or a different title is used. I'm finding, though, that my mind is starting to more quickly process Korean without having to think so hard about every little part of it. More of it is happening naturally, which is so exciting.
Hopefully not all Korean speakers talk as fast as the native speakers here, though. 
I've also been thinking a lot about the Atonement, and how little I actually understood about how to use it before coming out. The part I've learned about most is having a change of heart. I know now that this means much more than mere desire. We must be ready, absolutely committed, to change our ways when we received forgiveness. The Lord is prepared and wanting to give us mercy and strength to change. First, however, we need to show that we will actually be different. We must do all that we can to make the change we want in ourselves happen. When we are sincerely and diligently working to improve, we will receive what we lack through the empowering grace of the Atonement. 
Thanks for the messages that you've sent! It's so nice to hear how everyone is doing. Also love hearing other missionary experiences. 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Week 7

This last week has been a great week of learning to be a better teacher and learning Korean! 

Last Thursday we went to the temple and did a sealing session. I've never seen one of these before, so it was an awesome experience. The blessings promised are amazing. My goal for my future investigators is to get them here and to help them understand the blessings the gospel can offer. There's nothing like the joy temple blessings can bring, both in this life and throughout eternity. 

A common theme throughout the last week for me, and especially in my prayers, was to stay completely focused on the Lord and on this work that I'm doing. It's so easy to become distracted during the end of a study time or toward the end of a day and not study as efficiently as I should. So I decided to just look at one day at a time. I pray in the morning just to have focus and diligence that day. Throughout the day, I work as hard as I can to focus on studying the language, the scriptures, and Preach My Gospel to learn to be a better teacher. I think about the "investigators" we are currently teaching and how I can help them, and how I can better serve them and the Lord today. Then, when the day is done and I've so clearly seen how the Lord has helped me to be diligent and focused, I end the day with a prayer of deep gratitude. Doing this has made my language skills increase in leaps and bounds. I can construct thoughts and ideas far more easily, and I'm understanding way more of what people are saying. I'm learning so much about how much I can do when I trust in Heavenly Father to help me and how much joy we can receive when were serving Him and others, sparing not a thought for myself. 

Elder Dallin H. Oaks talked during our Tuesday devotional this week. He focused on teaching by the Spirit in order to meet an investigator's needs. This is something Elder Cable and I have been focused on improving in our lessons. In our last lesson with Lee Jaeseung (Brother Chandler), we were more focused on what he understand and what he wanted than teaching him another lesson. We were shocked by how differently this went. Lee Jaeseung talked about his parents, and how he wasn't sure he wanted to spend eternity with them because they had never been very focused on him, but rather on their careers. They now spend their time traveling. We weren't sure how to respond at first, but we told him that the Lord could help him with anything, and challenged him to study the Book of Mormon and pray in order to receive answers and help. We also asked him to share the Book of Mormon with his parents. My goal for him is to realize the purpose and joy Heavenly Father's plan can bring us. It seems that his parents are searching for joy and purpose in their own lives, so I hope they recognize that Lee Jaeseung has found it.

It truly amazes me all that we can do in a language that was gibberish just a couple months ago. The Lord really does bless on when we are committed to serving him. I haven't even gone to the field yet, and I already feel like a different person.

Thanks for all your messages! I'm so excited to be leaving for Korea (a week and a half left!). 

Me, Elders Lujan, Biesinger, Sanders, Cable, Peterson, Gottfredson, and Anderson

Our Zone in the MTC