Monday, April 24, 2017

Transfers again

Transfer calls came, and Elder Song will be leaving! I wish I could have been with him longer, because he has been a super great companion. We've worked hard in Gangnung together, and I'll really miss him! My new companion will be Elder Paulson. 

We met with Sister Hwang this week, and she has a strong desire to be baptized! We made some plans for her to be able to end her responsibilities at her other church to be able to consistently come each Sunday. She had to go somewhere this weekend, so she wasn't able to come yesterday, but she's committed to coming in the future! Because Elder Song, the one who knows sign language, is leaving, the sisters will start teaching her again. Interestingly, Sister Lee, who was the one who found her last year, then who moved to another area, actually came back to Gangnung last transfer. She will keep teaching her from here on out. 

We had a great music night yesterday! We were all a little worried about it, but the turnout was great. We had some members, nonmembers, and even less actives perform. In all, fifteen nonmembers came, along with two less active families. One of those families came to church yesterday! The members loved it, and the members here are really great. Yesterday was branch conference, so President and Sister Sonksen came and gave talks. It was really powerful.


Cherry Blossom Festival

​2018 Olympic hockey stadium - we can see part of the stadiums here from our house!

Branch party at President O's house. I think he must be very rich. (he is the furthest on the left)​

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Time this week was a little crazy! We did a BIG service project at a member's house who lives an hour drive away from Gangnung. We were mudding the walls with kind of a cement. This sister has built this house almost completely by herself over a period of four years! I think we helped her out, and she was really grateful. 

Other than that, we spent a lot of time with members this week. We had a big Samgyeupsar feast at the church (pig meat, kind of like thick bacon). We invited lots of people to come to church for Easter - less actives, investigators, former investigators, potential investigators, and every on the street. Unfortunately, we didn't have any investigators come, but a whole less actively family came to church, which was great! We have an Easter music night this Saturday that they are planning on performing at, which is great. 

In Sacrament meeting, I learned how powerful it is to consider Easter and resurrection in the context of the plan of Salvation. I don't have a lot of time to write, but think about how wonderful it is to know this!

Monday, April 10, 2017

General Conference

This week we were able to meet with a few new people. One of them didn't have much time, but seems likely to become a new investigator later. One of them became a new investigator, mostly with English interest, but who kept his commitment the very night we gave it. The other wants to learn and has interest in God and hearing "good words." We also had two investigators come to part of general conference.

 Sister Huang is still doing well! She came to part of general conference on Sunday. Each time we teach her, we see that she has a desire to follow Christ. She said she believes the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. She is struggling a bit to let go of her previous church, where she is really close with the members and has responsibilities as well. But, by continuing to help her have spiritual experiences, we are trying to help her obtain the pearl of great price. 

General conference was great! I thought a lot about the family of God. His role as our Father, and Christ's as the Savior, are critical to understand. When we stop seeing God as merely someone we pray to with a list of thanks and of requests and really see him as someone real and living, and when we speak to Him that way, our perspective changes. I was also struck when President Nielson taught that the Atonement is not what brings strength and redemption, but it is the Savior because of His Atonement. We also need to see Him as a person. Strength, comfort, and love come because He loves us perfectly, knows us perfectly, and can grant everything according to what He knows is best for us. We can come to know them, and this is eternal life. 

Have a great week!

​This is where we ate the other day.

​Loach Soup

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Sign language

Me and Elder Song are teaching a deaf sister, Sister Huang, who has been an investigator for several months. Elder Song known sign language and he translates for me. She is so great! She has lots of interest in the gospel. She has not been baptized mainly because of her attachment to her other church, which is a hearing disability church. She has some duties there and jeong (a close bond or relationship) with the members there, and so it is really hard for her to leave. We talked about sharing Christ's parable of the pearl of great price. I imagine that the trader in this parable probably had lots of jewels and pearls of value. These things are by no means bad - in fact, they can all be very good. But then, he finds the pearl of great price. I might even say, when we consider the restored Church of Jesus Christ, the priceless pearl. We aren't told how much this pearl cost. But, we do know that it required all that he had. Surely this included things that were good or even great. However, he obtained that priceless gem, and the eternal happiness that came with it. We felt like we should share this in our lesson. It was clearly hard for her, but she committed to come to church. And she came! The members all love her, are we are super happy for her. 

As a mission, we are currently doing operation keystone: part 2. The goal, as we read the four gospels of the New Testament, is to come to a better understanding of how the Book of Mormon supports the message of the Bible and teaches the gospel of Christ. I've learned a lot already. The Bible offers an irreplaceable story of Christ's ministry, but speaks little of His Gospel. The Book of Mormon is clear. Faith unto repentance, the fruit of which is baptism; this is followed by the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost. Those who endure to the end will be saved. It teaches this over and over again. 

Have a great week!

Our house. Huge! Yes, the red cabinets from last time are our kitchen. Two chandeliers. Mood lighting. 

​The view outside our window this morning

​Gangnung street