Wednesday, January 29, 2014

January 26th

안녕하세요, Everyone! It's been a while! My bad, I am sorry.

We have not had a lot of time these past few weeks due to zone activities, etc. Fun, but I miss hearing from and writing to all of you. What's going on back in Utah? On your missions? School? I'd love to hear from you, and probably send you a personal email back. There's incentive. ^^
This week was a trial week. Meaning, I dropped really far in my Korean capacity. Elder O, my companion, says its like my brain is a bowl, and I've filled it with water. I need a bigger bowl, but then I need to pour all that water (slowly) in to the other bowl. So, I am mid-pour this week. It is tough to talk to people I have had no trouble understanding and realize, "I have noo idea what they just said!" So, today I was hoping to combat this by doing an English fast. Some of you might laugh at me, especially those who are learning other languages, because you've probably given up English long ago. A wise general authourity once said, "English-speaking missionaries come home Gospel scholars, Spanish speaking missionaries come home fluent in the language, and Korean speaking missionaries just come home." Sad, but pretty darn true!  This language is HARD! But those who know me know I love a challenge, and so even though I am not doing as well as I was just last week, I would let it get me down. It's like running after a long, long break. You think, Oh, I used to do this no problem! It should be easy and fun again.Nope. Gotta get back in shape. Trust me on that one!
Other than that, this week we had... one appointment! Sweet. All of our other ones cancelled, even our appointments with members. Greaaat. Well, we got our exercize, walking around talking to people! No one I have met on the street has wanted to learn more about our message yet. We'll keep using our buckets to empty this lake! But we need referrals, because those are the most effective way (usually the most prepared people for the Gospel, and a readymade fellowshipper) to do our work. Or, maybe I am still too green to know how to talk to people about the gospel! Probably a little of both. ^^
Speaking of me being green, I am coming up on 6 months on the mission!!! Next time I email, I will have been "out" for 6 months and a few days. The time has gone sooo fast. It feels like last month was the MTC. I can't really remember pre-mission life, though... maybe you're all just a dream. Elder Jeffery R. Holloand said of a mission, "This is real life." True that. LIfe has never been this real, nor has it passed so darn fast! 이게 뭐예요?
Lets talk about our investigators (it still takes me a while to type that word). We have one progressing inv (I'll just shorten it), He is 19 American age, and he is just working until he goes to the Army, a requirement of 2 years for all Korean men. We are teaching him a 30minute english 30 minute gospel program, and unfortunately he hasn't progressed too much. He has started reading the Book of Mormon at work (because he is too bored and we stop  in to check on him sometimes). He is mostly friendship and english interest if I am honest with myself, but who knows? Now that he's reading, a miracle can occur. Pray for him, please! ^^
Other that him, we have just a bunch of potential inv's. It is ridicualously easy to get someone's phone number in Korea (all you guys who want digits... haha JK), but it's a different matter to get them to meet you, accept your all, or not immediately block your number. grr. So, we've got lots of people to call, and hopefully we'll find someone to meet. We do have a few people we've met, who haven't yet had a commitment extended and so cannot be called Progressing inv's, namely a man from Cameroon (fluent in English, French, Korean, and his native dialect). He is a baptist minister studying theology in Korea, and he is reading the Book of Mormon! To disprove it or to see how it relates to the bible, I am not sure, but he is a super cool and faithful man. 홍석 is about 43 and wants to serve. When he found out we were service missionaries, he was like, "really? Next time you have a service project, invite me. I want to help." He is also english interest, but he won't ever talk to us in English! He talks really fast, but we can still amazingly understand him. He is Catholic, but is tired of just being told Prayer is all he can do with his faith. Welcome to our church, mister, where every single memebr serves people in some way without any payment except maybe some treats afterwards. He is cool. We meet him again tonight (he buys us dinner every monday... ^^).
Well, that's pretty much my life this week! I recently re-discovered the blessing of morning exercize, and I have been doing "fake" cardio on my 요, the mat we sleep on. If you have cardio workouts or anything, that I can do inside a house, please PLEASE send them! I love to get a workout in the morning; it really sets the tone for the whole day. Huge blessing.
An Amazing insight from my amazing father (our his co-worker if you want to get technical): "In most things our happiness is determined mostly by our sucess (or results) but in the Lord's work the happiness is determined mostly by our efforts." SO true.
Anyway, I love you all and look forward to hearing from you! Have a great 설날 (Lunar New Year, huge celebration in Korea) on the 30th. Talk to ya later. ^^
Elder Wilcox

Monday, January 6, 2014

January 5 Email

Happy New Year, Everybody!
In Korea, everyone turns 1 year older on the new year, and also your age is based on the number of years you have been in. So I am now 20 years old! And 18 at the same time. Funny, right! I am not a teenager anymore. hehehe #idontwannagrowup

This week was good here in 수지, and we had lots of great converstations with people. My Korean is getting a little better, and I can sometimes handle complete conversations! I am actually pretty confident now, to the point where can follow the gist of our conversations, if not all of it. It's cuz I am an adult now. JK ^^

We had P-day on Thursday this last week, and we went to the Korea Seoul Temple. We get to go every transfer (6 weeks), and it is a huge blessing. The sessions are still in English, but I almost got to go to the Korean one becuase we have so many missionaries now! shoot! ^^ I went for a run afterwards, 2 whole miles! It's amazing how a mere warmup of a few months ago is now enough to make me sore for days afterwards... but the thrill of running again was still the same! We are going running again today! ^^

I hope all is well in the various countries you are in. I hope that no matter where you are, you know that God loves you and is concerned for your welfare. We had a Recent Convert who wanted to learn english from us, and afterwards in a quiet moment he told us about the struggles he is facing as a youth in the Church in Korea. I gave him the same advice I give to you: Pray, Study the scriptures, keep the commandments in Faith, and trust in the Lord. He does not lie, and He has said that He will bless us according to the heed we give to His commandments. Above all, remember and reverence our Saviou Jesus Christ, without Whom we could not hope to return to Father, but with Whom we can do ALL things. I testify that He is the Author and Finisher of our faith, and that through His atonement we can all receive the specific strength and forgiveness we need in our lives. Make use of the wonderful gift he has given!

I love you all, and thank you for your prayers. I can feel a strength beyond my own as I preach the True and Living Gospel of Jesus Christ here in this foreign land because of these prayers on my behalf. I pray for you as well, and especially that we can all be the Lord's hands and Messengers of Joy in this brief sojourn here on the Earth that is nonetheless of vital importance. Lets make this a strong race. With God's help through Christ, you and I can accomplish great things. This I testify in the name of Jesus Christ.

Thanks again everyone! 새해복 많이받으세요! "Receive much new year blessings"! Let's make ourselves and those we meet a little more ready to meet the Savior this year. Love ya all!
Elder Wilcox