Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Crazy week.

This week has been so busy! First of all we went to Seoul on Monday to go to the hospital (no, we're not hurt. It was actually a follow up on Elder Song's leg, which has long since recovered). We slept in President's house, then did exchanges with the AP's the next day. I learned a lot from Elder Littlefield, who is a very spiritual missionary. One of the things that struck me is the care he shows for every person he meets, even when he is on a street full of people and we've already talked to thirty. We slept in the mission office that night, finished the exchange and went back to Gangnung. Then, we had our back-to-back zone training (2 hours) and zone conference (3 and a half hours). We do them on the same day in Gangnung zone because everyone is so far apart, maybe 3 hours by bus, that it takes too much time away to separate them. In Seoul, you can sometimes just walk to zone conference in about 30 minutes. Right afterward I went on an exchange with Elder Diamante, who has got to be one of the friendliest and bubbly people I've ever met. That exchange ended. Then, we had a couple investigators come to church! That was great, but the weird thing is that they haven't thus far had time to meet with us for lessons. They just come to church. Usually it is the other way around, so I can't complain! 

This week has really been spiritually nourishing. Perhaps the most powerful moment was when President Sonksen taught about the Atonement in zone conference. He teaches of Christ with a conviction and power that brings the Holy Ghost to the heart. That is always the focus of our work and our lives, and it is what we believe! 

Have a great week!

Monday, March 20, 2017


Today we are going to Seoul...bus leaves in about 25 minutes so I've got to be quick. 

Gangnung is great! I've not seen the ocean yet, but the city is great. Lots of people, and several investigators. Three of them came to church! That was fantastic. I'm only meeting them for the first time, but I'm really excited. We also found three new investigators this week! I'll let you know about Huang first. She is someone that the sister missionaries met on the street. Because the is deaf and communicate through sign language, the sisters prayed that she would be able to learn the gospel. Then, my companion, Elder Song showed up, who knows sign language. I haven't taught her yet, but I met her at the Relief Society anniversary party and at church. She's really great and seems very sincere!

​Elder Song with our new (giant) container of red pepper sauce. 

Sunday, March 19, 2017


Transfer calls came! I've been in Wonju for five transfers, and now I'm going to Gangnung, over by the ocean. I'll be with Elder Song Seokmin. I've been there a lot already for zone conferences and such, so I'm excited to be serving there! I'm also very sad to be leaving Wonju. I've spent so much time working with the members here, and it's hard to say goodbye. And, as it turns out, I guess it is literally hard to say goodbye. In probably my worst Korean mistake, when I intended to say in my farewell talk, "I'll never forget you," I accidentally said, "I'll never remember you." So that's kind of unfortunate, but it gave everyone I laugh. I'm sure they'll never let me forget it. Oh well, I guess we have to be humbled sometimes. 

What we've been doing this week has mostly been finding and finding. We weren't able to meet the investigator who has already read the whole Book of Mormon, but we did find a new 78 year old investigator who was able to tell us about the Korean War and all sorts of other historical things. For now he mostly has English interest, but he said he will, bit by bit, be reading the Book of Mormon. Also, because school vacation has ended, our English class exploded in membership this week. We also hope to invite some potentials from that to learn more. 

​Me, Elder Horne, and the Park family

​Me and Elder Horne in the historic province capital building

Monday, March 6, 2017

The Guidance of the Spirit

We found a great new investigator this week! The new investigator we met last week who was referred by a less-active member, as it turns out, is a former investigator who has already read the whole Book of Mormon and Pearl of Great Price. The new investigator, though, is actually someone referred by this person. We went to our appointment, and instead of teaching him he asked us to teach his friend, who, though she does not have Christian background, was extremely open to our message. She took a Book of Mormon and said she would study it, and we are going to meet with them again this week.

We had a couple instances of witnessing the guidance of the Spirit this week. After going to visit a potential investigator, who was not at work, we decided to do all we could to find someone on the way back to our house. We didn't have much time, but as we were passing Nambu Market, we looked in and saw someone putting away his things for the night. We decided, moments later, to go back and ask if he needed help. He said no, so we talked with a drunk man there too, who gave us the wrong phone number. Then, after leaving, we met a couple on the street, who stopped to talk to us. After just a little bit, we learned that he had visited the Temple Square visitors center, as well as Elder Horne's hometown in New Hampshire. We talked some more, and he actually asked if he could meet with us again. We gave him my planner so he could draw a map to our meeting place. We told him he could just draw it anywhere (which may have been a mistake, because this was the result...there goes Saturday)

While on exchanges with Elder Ku, we went door-to-door in an apartment complex. After finishing the first building without much success, we started to leave. We noticed on the third floor of one of the buildings, though, a banner advertising an English academy. We, again, didn't have much time, but we decided to go and knock on that last door. We went to the third floor, and he opened the door. That's actually pretty good progress in Korea, because people tend to shout and ask who we are rather than open the door. We talked and learned that he had lived in the Philippines, and that his English teacher there was a member of the church. Though he didn't set an appointment with us then to learn more, he accepted a Book of Mormon and said he's read it.

Have an incredible week!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

2/28/17--Elder Holland's visit

The highlight of this week was the incredible visit from Elder and Sister Holland, accompanied by President and Sister Whiting and Elder and Sister Choi from the area presidency. It was a life changing two hours. Before Elder Holland spoke, President Whiting said, "From this point on, your mission can change. From this point on, you can be different." Those words stuck with me as I listened to Elder Holland. I can't express everything I learned, but some of the most powerful impressions came when he said thunderously that "it matters that He lives!" Some things that went along with that were, "I don't think you have any idea what you are doing here." I guess one would have to be there to actually get the feel of what he was saying, but the lesson was that no one really understands how important our just how significant the work of the Lord is. 

I wish I could explain better the things I felt when Elder Holland spoke, but it did change me. I want now to declare to everyone, in words that they can understand (Elder Holland shared the story of Nicodemus in talking about this), that Christ lives and what it means to them. Sometimes, he said, we just don't grasp what we have until we are pushed to the edge - to death, to tragedy, or the like. Me and Elder Horne have increased our efforts to bring this message of joy and life more faithfully to others. 

Other than that, we've been blessed with lots of people to meet and teach. When the AP, Elder Nam, came and did exchanges with us, we had a miracle referral from a less active. This person has already read the Book of Mormon and Pearl of Great Price. He knows all about the church and the story of Joseph Smith. He says he believes it is true, but he lacks an understanding, it seems, of what that actually means. We find people willing to meet often who believe that all religion is good and acceptable. We'll teach him the significance of God's restored authority and of apostasy. 

Have an amazing week!