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

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