Monday, March 7, 2016

New area in the mountains...Taebaek.

I'm pretty far from Seoul - one of the farthest areas, in fact. In an old picture of our mountain hike, I might have sent one of a huge tower in the distance. I got to see it close up on the taxi ride to the bus station in Seoul and see what it actually is. It's more than twice as big as any other building in Seoul, I think. 

The ride to Taebaek was totally different because it was all mountains. Korea's mountains are pretty awesome. I don't have a whole lot of pictures yet, but I'll send the ones I have and try to get some more. 

It is actually warmer here than it was in Seoul. The Branch is very small, and the branch president has been is his calling for about twenty years. Elder Dye has been serving for about fifteen months. He likes skiing and running, and was also in a band of some kind. He plays guitar and a couple other instruments. 

The Taebaek are is super pretty. The mountains look very cool. A couple days ago we went to a town that was a two-hour bus ride away and it was surrounded by super cool-looking mountains. It's safe to say that this area is prettier than Seoul. 

We pretty much just do street contacting, calls, and look for less active members. One problem we've run into is that Taebaek City is shrinking, so it seems like everyone that we have met or taught has moved or will be moving soon. I still haven't met the branch president, because he is in Japan right now. Elder Dye is actually first counselor and does pretty much all the administrative stuff. Yesterday he presided and conducted sacrament meeting and did all the tithing stuff. 

Thanks! Love you!  

New area and new companion! Elder Dye is great - he is from Utah and was in a band apparently. He's super smart and has been in Taebaek for 1 transfer. There are two other Elders in the district named Elder Welling and Elder Barr. 

Me, Elder Dye, Elder Barr, Elder Welling

Taebaek is actually pretty warm right now, but I've been told that I just missed the really cold spell. Hopefully it stays that way. Taebaek is very pretty and is surrounded by mountains, but doesn't have a whole lot of people. The area is super big (the largest in the mission, I think), and on Saturday we took a two hour bus ride to get to a different city named Jeoungseoung (spelled wrong). Taebaek is on old mining city that is actually shrinking like crazy because the mines are closing down. It has few than 50,000 people, so I think it is smaller than Missoula. The branch itself is super small - only five members came on Sunday, along with six missionaries. Thus, I got to bless the Sacrament for the first time in Korean. 

I've learned a lot this past week about Christlike attributes. The more I think and seek to develop them, the more I see how closely related they all are. But, I'll try to talk mostly about virtue and hope. Until recently, I don't think I really understand what virtue was. My understanding, as I've studied it in PMG, is that it is the truest and most sincere desires of our heart. It comes when, by faith, we act diligently with hope on the seed or tree that is within us. When we see the great joy that comes from following Christ, our faith and hope increases, and we seek with even greater diligence to obtain more knowledge of him and act according to it. We seek not just to experiment on the word, but to actually have it written in our hearts; we strip ourselves of pride and forsake whatever imperfect thought our feeling we hold, and we do this because of our ever increasing hope and faith for His promised blessings. A virtuous person naturally repents quickly and completely. They no longer even have desires to sin, and pride or temptation becomes abhorrent to them. Virtue and hope allow us to maintain joy even during problems or trials because they keep us rooted firmly in Christ while looking steadfastly and patiently forward. Alma 32 describes the process of building Christlike attributes perfectly. When we remember the great promises of the last three verses, along with the joy and fruits we have already received, we can work through any problem we have with energy, peace, and joy.

Thanks for your messages - sounds like Lolo ward is going through some changes, so that's exciting. Love you all & have a great week! 

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