Tuesday, November 29, 2016

We slipped into the negatives this week (in Celsius)! Been cold, but we've seen lots of success. As a district we are getting going on all the Christmas stuff! Christmas streetboarding, Christmas music practice, Christmas planning, etc. 

This week Nick was in Seoul to see his family, so we haven't been able to meet with him. He is moving to Canada soon, so we are just praying for the opportunity to keep meeting with him till then. Other than that we found a new investigator who actually approached us first last week. He attends church quite diligently, but is very open and interested to hear our message. 

I thought I might share something great I learned about overcoming pride: we should strive to recognize it in ourselves, but not focus to much on the pride in ourselves. After all, the longer we keep spending thinking about how prideful our humble we are, the longer we are spending still thinking about ourselves. We just to to act, to forget ourselves and go to work! That means serving, uplifting, sharing, and simply striving to make others happy. By continually thinking that way, then acting that way, the service and love for others will become part of our habits, then our character. Pride will disappear among our good works. 

Love you all! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving. 

This week we visited the historic town center of Wonju

​First snow in Wonju and the first time Elder du Plessis has seen snow!

​Went to a member's house yesterday and had this delicious tangsuyeuk.

This week Elder Diamante, our zone leader, came down to Wonju for an exchange. This was a really cool opportunity for both of us, because he served in Wonju for a large part of his mission. We taught Nick, who was originally Elder Diamante's investigator, as will as the branch president. It was clear just from the way these two wanted to see him and spoke with him how much charity he had for them. In Korea, a common way to refer to others of different age with whom you have a strong relationship are "older brother" and "younger brother," and Elder Diamante certainly had that relationship with these two. It is amazing to see the difference that charity makes in others. When we honestly and genuinely care about the happiness of others, it is a powerful force for trust and change. 

Consider the unconditional love of a parent. What do we, as children, actually do that earns us this kind of love? It is actually very strange to think about. Why do they love us? We certainly don't contribute much in return for life and everything that we have ever been given. The only answer can be that it comes from God. Hence, the scripture in John 13:35 - "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." The source of love is our Father in Heaven, most powerfully manifest in His Son. Therefore, the most powerful manifestation of our discipleship to Him is in our love for others, and I have seen the difference that that love can make. 

This week, Nick will be in Seoul, so we may not have much chance to meet with him. We are getting ready for Christmas already, and are excited to do 25 days of service. Sharing the Savior's love by service can change hearts, so we hope to change some hearts!

Have a great week everyone!

​Cheese Ddeok Donkaus (probably romanized wrong) - definitely not traditional Korean food, but super delicious!

Monday, November 14, 2016


This week I've seen one of the greatest miracles on my mission, which was our investigator, Nick (not his real name). We sat down again to teach him about baptism through endure to the end. Normally, he has quite some difficulty understanding the doctrine and the Book of Mormon. This time, however, as we were reading just the first few verses of 2 Nephi 31, he simply understood everything. He understood the entire gospel, even the parts we had not yet taught. The way he explained baptism was like a gate, which amazed us, because that's often the way we explain it, too. We then drew the picture of a gate and a path leading to eternal life. He then explained that the Holy Ghost was like a guide on that path, and that when we make mistakes we lose its guidance, but can get it back by repenting. We hardly said anything, and truly experienced the Holy Ghost teaching him. He then sincerely said that, this time (he has learned this lesson from missionaries before), he understands and wants to be baptized. When he prayed at the end of the lesson, he spoke with such sincerity. When he thanked Heavenly Father for us, the missionaries, tears came to my eyes. We set the date and will work with him each day to get him ready. He has a few challenges to overcome, but I believe he can do it. We are so excited and happy for him! 

Another great miracle was an investigator we found up north of Wonju. He actually asked us if he could come to church, and afterward we met with him and taught him the Restoration. His prior knowledge of doctrine and churches was really surprising. We put a lot of focus on Priesthood and shared about the significance of being called of God. We plan on continuing to meet him. 

Other than that, things are just going as usual. We streetboard, tried survey proselyting for the first time, and are getting ready for Christmas events. Hope you all have a great week!

​Just a cool sunset picture from the bus coming back from zone meeting

​What we found in the church, because I didn't take any other pictures this week. No idea what it is.

This week we saw many miracles, including finding and teaching two less active members. One of them was quite a miracle, because we arrived at the house when the mom had just stopped by for a few minutes. We were then able to teach her and invite here to take the lessons, which she hasn't agreed to yet, but seemed interested. 

Another great miracle was meeting our investigator three times with members. Nick is struggling a bit to learn and understand, and I've seen just how valuable and important it is for us to have members there who can more clearly explain some things, especially the difficult language of the Book of Mormon. He didn't come to church, but we plan to invite him again and teach him to keep the Sabbath Holy. Hopefully, this week, he will be progressing again! 

These two experiences reminded me of the truths that Elder Bednar taught about praying in faith as well as Elder Yamashita's story about the missionary with a prosthetic leg who was called to a bike-riding mission. Sometimes, it is difficult to see or believe that we can accomplish something. But when that missionary received his call, his response was quite amazing. Rather than simply pray for the strength to accomplish what had been asked of him, he acted. He started working his legs on bikes and preparing to be able to do it. He sought for a way, not for an immediately resolution. Nephi 3:7 teaches us that when the Lord commands, he provides a way. Faith includes praying to act as we know we should and then acting with all faith to accomplish the things that have been asked. 

This week, we spent a couple hours searching for less actives in a place a little south of Wonju. The first building was a cliche abandoned building, which spiders and webs covering the whole thing. We spent a long time searching for the next one with just an old address (the system has been updated) and directions that it should be somewhere in front of the college. We something in Korea we call less active "hunting," because all you can do is try to follow a series of numbers and addresses that are often not written on houses and don't follow a clear pattern, so you do a lot of wandering. We finally found it, though, just at the time that the member had come home for just a few minutes. Despite the odds, the Lord had provided a way that was unknown unto us until the moment we got there. Hopefully we will be able to meet again and start teaching the family again. 

​Elder Bednar conference - I am in the top left area 

​Elder Bendar Conference, outside. I don't know where I am

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Happy Halloween

This transfer was only 5 weeks instead of the usual 6 because of a mission president seminar coming up. Me and Elder Du Plessis are staying the same, so I guess that's all for that. 

This week we've made the most progress with Nick. We sat down and talked very plainly as we applied HTBT principles with him. Elder Du Plessis had the impression to ask him why he thought we wanted to meet with him. This created a good atmosphere to explain our sincere desire and love for him, and that we therefore wanted to meet consistently to teach him the things of most importance. Since then setting appointments has become much easier, and I believe he will be progressing again at the end of the week. 

We also had a great miracle when we visited a less active family's house again and finally met them. The mom was really happy to see us, and told us we could visit her at her cafe because there was no man in the house. Then, a few days later, the daughter called and said she heard we visited, and she wanted to come to church again! She attended BYU for several years, but hasn't been to church for a while now. We hope that when she becomes active again, she can help her family come back too. 

We had a Halloween party last Saturday! It was lots of fun and lots of preparation. Halloween isn't really celebrated in Korea except just within the church, and that because of all the American missionaries who put on parties every year. Hope you all have a great Halloween! Thanks for all your replies and messages. 

Transfer calls came! Elder Ryu is going to be a single Zone leader out in Taebaek, which is freezing right now! That was pretty funny. I'm going to be district leader in Wonju and will stay with Elder Du Plessis. That's okay with me, because he is great! 

Decorating for Ward Halloween party

​Halloween Party - Elder Steward, Elder Du Plessis, Elder Ryu, me, Sister Boss, Sister Lee

​Delicious Deokgalbi at a member's house 
 Wonju at sunset. With a giant cold front moving in. 

A (very) cold front