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.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.