Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Korea - Week 3

안녕하세요, Mom, Family, and Friends that may be reading this on the blog. Isn't my mom great for doing that? Thanks mom! ^^
This week has been very very missionary-like. Which means lots of hard work, lots of eating, lots of praying, a few miserable trials, and overall a sense of still being lost but guided at the same time. 혼란스러우세요? (Confused?) Me, too. It is definitely fun, though. ^^ #everydayisanadventure #missionarylife #한국말
Ok, this week...
We went to a 목욕탕 (one of those public bathhouses) for P-day last week, right after I wrote. It was super relaxing, and I felt so clean afterwards! It was a little strange, but fun. not something to do every week, though; it makes you tired as all get-out!

We went to a Korean Folk Village on Saturday for a Youth Combined activity (Our Bishop wants us to spend time with the youth and help them want to go on missions). It was so fun, and beautiful! I took lots of pics, which I will hopefully send today! So fun to get more of a taste for Korean culture!

A hard thing this week was that I epically failed when we were trying to teach a potential investigator. She belongs to a different Christian church, and the common attitude here and everywhere among Christians to us is, "We're already Christian, go find some Buddhist, and good luck!" So, I may have accidentally implied that her church was wrong. I was just trying to tell about the 1st vision, which always brings the spirit, but she wouldn't hear it. She took offence, and it was totally my fault. She told us not to 전도 (preach, negative connotation) to her anymore. I felt like I had cost her the chance of every accepting our message. I was so discouraged for the rest of the night that I could barely function. I slept in the next morning because I lacked the motivation to work out. But, my Companion, and a little note in my scriptures from my Mother years ago helped my get straightened out again. I knew times like that would come, but I didn't actually expect to feel like I caused someone to reject the Gospel! But I realized that I still planted a seed, and I still just gave her a chance to use her agency. It is not my fault she didn't listen with her heart, so I feel better. I can still improve so much on my presentation of the message, though. My job is to present the message of the Gospel in the best way I can, and I am slowly learning how to do that.
Ok, Question-answering time...
My Comp, Elder Oman, is from Idaho, and he likes to run! We get to do that a lit more than I did in the MTC with Elder Newbold. He has been in-country for about 6 months, and unfortunately it is hard (and sometimes impossible for either of us to understand others when we speak to them in Korean. It is good though. We work well together, and he is a hard worker!

I am adjusting to the food really well. The culture is remarkably similar to the US, but more polite to everyone. I adjusted really quickly. The food is healthy (for the most part) and so that, too, is easy to adjust to. I love rice! I have a pic of one of my home meals. I'll try to send it. We make most of our meals at home, and we live close to a supermarket where they have cereal and peanut butter, so I am happy! We eat lots of rice, and basic foods in the house. We have at least one 식사 (meal appointment) with members every week, and this last week, we had 6 this last week! The food at 식사's is super delicious and there is a lot, so I get really full. So, I am eating well. Don't worry! ^^

I have been able to shop a little, and grocery stores are pretty similar to the ones back home. My area is pretty westernized, so lots of the same stuff. Ice cream here is cheap and very good (Yes, I indulged. You get hungry as a missionary!). The exchange is very easy. It is about 1000 원 (won) to the US dollar ( a little bit more, but basically the same). I have a pic of some money! It looks a lot like American money. Korea is a cash society, so everything is paid in cash. my missionary debit card is basically not accepted in stores, only at ATM's and banks to get cash. I can put cash on my T-money card (the "Travel-Money" thing I mentioned in a previous email), but other than that, it is cash. So, my wallet looks like a Bible! haha ^^

We have 4 potential investigators, and so far, have not taught a real lesson to anyone besides our roomies for practice. But, the people here are so nice! Korea is a very polite and kind country to 외국인 (foreigners) like me. They are just well enough off so it is not like some places where investigators and baptisms just crawl out of the woodwork. No, Korea is a very difficult country as far as conversion goes. But there are people here that I can touch! So I will find them! ^^

Thanks for reminding me that every effort is a success. If you think I put it that way, my subconscious must be really wise. I need to remember that after my epic fail with our potential. As long as I try my best with what little skill or talent I have, God will help me out. I just need to listen harder, or something! I do love this work, though. I want to share this love and happiness, and so I try my best every single day. There is nothing more exhausting or more rewarding than sharing the Gospel with others. Even if we don't know how to do it, just open your mouth, and let your love for God and His children come out. He will help you articulate your heart's thoughts (as long as your heart is in the right place!). I am learning this more and more everyday, every hour! It's fantastic! ^^
Thanks for telling me how everyone is doing! I love hearing about life back in the States. It sounds like everything is going well. I am so glad that the Lord is blessing you guys! He is certainly blessing me a lot! He is so Great and Wonderful! I am studying the Character of Christ, God and the Holy Ghost in Personal Study and I learn so much about Them every day. It is amazing. They love us without reserve, and I am trying to emulate that charity. God will bless us with that gift and others as we pray sincerely for them, consistently and wholly follow the commandments to show Him that we are serious about it, and be patient in our timetable. The Lord will give to us in His own time. Alma 14 has a great example with Alma and Amulek. They didn't receive strength until near the breaking point of their faith in prison, and then God gave them what they asked for so as to strengthen their faith in Christ to an even more unshakable level than before. He does the same with us. He is the Master Refiner, and he knows just how long he can "heat us" in trials to make us strong like He is strong. It is amazing, and I love it! It hurts, but I love it. Just like XC!!! ^^

Tell everyone Hi for me, and keep looking for Gospel opportunities. The work is hastening, and the missionaries can't do it all alone! Lets do this together, just like God wants us to. His prophets have commanded, so lets do it! I am working with my ward here in Korea. It is so great to be involved in this work! I love the Lord, and all of you! Can't wait until next week! ^^
Elder "D" Wilcox

*(No Pictures were sent this week :/)

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