Sunday, February 23, 2014

February 23, 2014 Just a Short Email from Derek this week.

Responding to our email:

I love what you said about our testimony qualifies us for the Lord's work. That is soo true, and it goes both ways. In order to truly have a testimony of Christ, we must do His work, and in order to do His work. we must have a testimony! It all grows once we just start doing things and exercizing our faith, what little may be given to us at first.

I am glad you guys had a good week and are staying healthy! I have been a little sick this week, just a cough, but your medicine and some citrus tea has helped me out a lot! That's one thing different about Korea, you can drink Tea, just not green tea or black tea. They are very specific about that. Because Tea has been a Korean thing for centuries. No caffeine, though. ^^ So don't worry!

I probably don't have time to send a Big email today, so I guess I'll try to remember this week:

No P-day on monday, just working! I like working. ^^
Tuesday and Wednesday were just normal. Our appointments almost all cancelled! So, we wlked around our area and explored while talking to people on the street.
Thursday was P-day!! We went to the temple as a zone, and we went with my last zone! i got to see my trainer, Elder Oman and my house mates in Suji. That was cool. The temple is always a recharge of will power. ^^ We then proceeded to... ride subways all day! My companion Elder Perry went bowling with the Assistants with an old investigator from his last area, and Elder Taylor and I tried to find a place to buy suits or ties. No luck. Oh, well!
Saturday all of our appointments cancelled, too. That was a surprise, as one of our steady investigators cancelled.

Sundayyesterday, was great. We had the sacrament (always a highlight) and then "taught" a lesson to 2 investigators who come to church almost every week. I say taught, but really or member 이재섭 (Jae-seop Lee) taught, and we gave aiding testimony. He is super into missionary work!! If Korea was full of members like him, there would be no less-Actives!

Today we plan to go shopping and then to go to one of those public bathhouses. They are super relaxing!
Sorry there's not that much to write about! We are trying to find those people in this area that are ready to hear the glad message of the Gospel, but it's slow going. We don't lose hope, though, and I would keep on walking the streets for eternity without a single baptism as long as I am where the Lord needs me, doing what He wants me to do.

Love you guys! Have a happy week! ^^
Elder "D" Wilcox

Thursday, February 20, 2014

February 16, 2014 Email

잘 지내세요,여러분? How is everyone? ^^
This week has been great. On P-day, we went clothes shopping for Elder Taylor, and I didn't buy anything. I think I will have to give in and buy a classy Korean suit or coat this week, though. Seeing him in action, talking to people on the street wearing a shiny, almost metallic suit just makes me feel like I'm wearing... American stuff. Haha but seriously, a fun-fact about Korea is that everyone is obsessed with looking rich. So, shiny suit shiny shoes shiny tie shiny complexion makes a missionary... sparkle!  We are actually allowed by our mision president to wear stuff like that because no one takes you seriously if you don't fit in with the norm here. Haha, so I may have to buy, not a sparkly suit, but at least a nice-fit grey one. But I have to wait until Thursday, because that is P-Day this week.

If you ask why, it's because we have Temple day this week! So, today after emailing you all, I will head off to street contact and meet potential investigators (this area has a lot! I love being busy!).

Anyway, this week: We had Zone Training with President and his wife, and the Assistants. They were wonderful, and we introduced our "new" mission emblem, which is a cool adaption of the Korean flag with the words Faith and Trust in Korean and English emblazoned on it Really cool. some of you may feel like it sounds a little Peter Pan-like, but we discussed Faith and Trust at zone conference, and it was truly inspiring. Faith goes from us to God, and then His Trust comes down to us the more we show our faith.

We've been doing lots of walking. Elder Perry and I like to get out and move, but Elder taylor is a little bit of a homebody. But, he is a champ, and lets us drag him out the door to go running every morning. and walk everywhere without using buses or trains. ^^

Yesterday at church, we taught an investigator named 김동화 (Dong-Hwa Kim), who is from China! He is super good at Korean. It feels sooo weird, to be speaking to someone in Korean, and know that it is neither of your native tongues. So cool! He comes to church every week, but only because he believes you have to attend some church. He is not sure about Jesus Christ, but he believes in God. We are trying to help him learn how he can know for himself through prayer and scripture study though the Holy Ghost if Christ is his Savior. Any good scriptures you all have found that could help this son of God? ^^
Thanks for the emails and letters! You are the greatest! Let's keep working to push this work forward, wherever we stand. There are chances for work all around just now, opportunities right in our way. Do not let them pass by saying sometime I'll try but go and do something today! I know that this is the true gospel of God on the earth, and that we have all been given the responsibility to spread it to all who we come in contact with. They are our responsibility!  Lets show our faith by our deeds and efforts, and be thankful for the Trust that God gives us to make us better.
Love you all,
Elder Wilcox

Sunday, February 9, 2014

February 9, 2014 Email & picture:)

안녕하세요, 여려분?
This week has been a fun one!
 I had to say goodbye to my investigators 박준규 (June-Gyu Park) and Luke on Monday & Tuesday. I also ate strawberries for the first time in Korea. The fruit cannot get better than in Korea. My Companion, Elder Oman and I tried to eat at the skyscraper restaurant we promised to eat at when one of us left, but they were in cleaning!! So, we had a 분식 feast of Kimbab, a spicy side dish called 떡볶이 (ddeok boki), and a japanese food called DonGasse, which is a huge slab of Pork that's breaded and served with delicious sauce. Great, now I'm hungry! ^^
On Wednesday, we rode the subway for about an hour and a half to get to transfers. I met some of my 동기 or the people in the MTC with me, who were also transfering. Then I said goodbye to my trainer and former Compaion, Elder Oman, and met my new Companions!!! Elders Perry and Taylor are great. Elder Taylor is one transfer younger than me in the mission, and Elder Perry is about 4 months from going home. Elder Perry is a runner!! He runs XC for Weber State (He says he knows my cousin, Preston Johnson [Tell me if you know him, Elder Johnson?]), and we go running every morning now! It really helps kick off the day right. Elder Taylor is a champ, and not only because he lets us drag him out for a run every day. He is super hard working, and even though his Korean is still in the developing stages, he goes hard at phone calls, lessons, whatever, with what he does know and gets from the Spirit. I am extemely excited to serve with these Elders of Zion.
We are in a place called 신갈 (Shin-Gal), which is a different zone than I was in in 수지 (Su-Ji), even though they are literally right next to each other. I wil get to go to my old area every week for English class because we don't have our own church building here. That will be fun! ^^ 수원 (Suwon) Zone is suer fun though! We are doing a zone activity, just chilling in the church playing ping pong and board games. Should be great! ^^
We have lots more investigators here than in 수지, becuase we are the only Elder companionship here. I love being this busy! We have met a few people with English interest who seem to have some Gospel potential as well, and then some people with pure Gospel interest! I love having that! This week we just kind of got to know them (since Elder Perry and I are new to the Area), and next week we will start teaching them some more! I feel a baptism or two this transfer. We are gonna work hard, and the people here are ready to receive the Gospel. (That's a good side note: Everyone you meet here (which isn't a lot, but still...) is super super nice. They always talk to you for a little bit even if they aren't interested. They always tell you how good your Korean is, too, even if you mess up. ^^)
I met my Ward yesterday, and they are great! Not nearly as big as 수지 (about 80 members here, 200 there), but they are passionate about growth. I feel the enthusiasm for hastening the work of salvation in the air!
My time is short, but I wanted to share a quick spiritual thought, courtesy of my Dad's email. As we talked about transfers and how they are new beginnings, he mentioned that you seem to feel a new enthusiasm and drive after a change. That is definitely true of this transfer. I know that even though change is hard, change is always good when you trust in the Lord.
I love you all, and appreciate your prayers! I look forward to emails from you every week. Have a great one, everyone!
윌콕스 장로 Elder Wilcox

Monday, February 3, 2014

Feb. 2, 2014 Email

안녕하세요, Everyone!
This week has been quite the full one! We had lots to do with our investigators (or potentials, if I am technical), and lots of out-of-the-ordinary things to mention.
First off, last Monday we had fun playing soccer with our zone (most of them, anyway), and afterwards we met our friend, who wants to learn English but won't speak in English! He speaks super fast, but he's just one of those special people you can just understand. I speak better Korean around him, for some reason. Anyway, he just wanted to give us life advice about not regretting doing things. It was fun, but when we tried to talk about Gospel stuff, he said he already knew about it. I'm not sure I believe him, unless he met missionaries before, but whatever. He started a new job this week, so we can't meet him for 2-ish weeks while he adjusts his time schedule.
Then, we met a potential named Luke. We don't know his Korean name, but he lived in Canada for about 3-4 years, and so is very good at english. He has quite the extensive vocabulary, especially in regards to the expletive regions of the language! Haha we'll try to help him stop. We had dinner and answered some questions he had about God. He really likes us and wants to meet again for dinner tonight. ^^ He's a good guy.
In Korea, the Lunar New Year is probably the biggest holiday of the year. It's called 설날 (Sol-lar), and it's marked by everyone going to their hometowns and gathering with the oldest members of their families to respect and honor them. They also visit grave sites to honor their ancestors, and they eat a soup called 떡국, or rice cake soup, to symbolize their growing another year older. The young ones also get 복 , some money from the elders. There is literally no one on the streets for about 3 days. And, we can't call people during this time because it's a little rude. So, we had fun on Thursdayand Saturday.
Friday we had a mission conference! We ate 떡국 and got some great training about our english program, our teaching pamphlets, and new Recent Convert retention policies. We are now to keep teaching them (meeting every week) for 3 months after baptism, because we feel that there is too big of a gap between the missionaries and the ward members trade-off with recent converts, and we lose way to many of our already scant conversions. Should be great!
Our President also trained us on Small and Simple Things (Alma 37:6-7) that we can do to lift where we stand and raise the Kingdom of God in Korea. He is inspiring, that scripture has never meant more to me than now. We can all do something to hasten the work, and as we exercize that small, simple ability, God will increase it. Everytime you share your testimony it gets bigger and more powerful so you can share even more the next time. It is the same with other small and simple things that we can all do. Trust God, prepare, act, and expect miracles. Not only missionaries can expereince this, all of those who are on that path of Faith, Repentance, Covenants, and Enduring to the End can expereince these same blessings. Try it and see. ^^
Anyway, Saturday night was busy. A member whose husband is not a member invited all the missionaries in 수지 (Suji, my area) over for dinner. We had delicious traditional Korean food, and shared a hurried message, because we (Elder O and I) had another investigator to meet (a foreigner from Cameroon. The Theologian baptist). It was good to meet their family and see their cute daughters (ages 2 and 4 in American age). Seriously, there are no cuter babies and infants than Koreans. ^^
L was good; we drank smoothies and tried to answer his questions. He has read up til Ether in the Book of Mormon!! And he only stopped there because he thought that it was the same Esther from the bible, and thought we had changed the Bible. We cleared that up, and he said he'd read the rest and pray about it. He still has no belief in it, but I have faith that the spirit will touch him as he reads. We talked for an hour and a half about salvation, and didn't even get in to the questions he has about the Book of Mormon (besides Ether). He is a good, good man.
We got home late because of that meeting, and that night was transfer calls. We didn't get one at all, though, which was really weird. The other Elders in 수지 house are staying, and they asked about Elder Oman and I. We found out that I am being transfered and Elder Oman is Training again! I'm gonna have a little "brother"! ^^ But, I couldn't sleep because they didn't tell me where I was going. I found out yesterday morning that I am going to 신갈(Shin-Gal), which is literally right next to us. But, they are in a different zone. I will be in a threesome with a greenie-breaker and a former zone leader, Elders Taylor and Perry. Should be fun! I am excited.
I gave my 마지막 말씀 (last talk) in testimony meeting about Alma 37:6-7. As I looked out on 수지 ward, I realized that this was probably the last time I would see these people in this life! I will miss this wonderful ward!
We had a dinner appointment with sister 류애란 and brother 박철홍's family. We taught their son, 박성현, english while the food was cooking, then broke our fasts with delicious Koreanized Chinese foods! (Yes, Koreans Koreanize things, just like Americans Americanize other country's foods). Soo good! We shared our testimonies with them, and said goodbye. I got to meet with them about 6 times, and they are easily my favorite family in the ward. I will miss them so much! They have a son serving in California Los Angeles Mission, too, so they are experiencing all the blessings that come to a family from that. They're the best! I trust Elder Oman to take care of them.
Today will be packing up and eating lots of meat from a buffet! I am leaving my first area and first zone, and I am kind of sad, but very very excited about what the future holds for this Elder. Can't wait to start "Lap 2" with a surge in 신갈.
6개월됬고 18개월 남았다.  6 months down , 18 to go. No time to waste. Let's hasten this work! ^^
Elder Wilcox