Here's his Big Email he was able to send even after talking to us on the phone:
Annyeong Haseyo, Everyone!
I am soooo sorry that I havent had time to do the Big Email in a while. Lots has happened, obviously, and I can't remember all of it right now. So, I will just fill you all in on my adventures in the past 2 weeks! ^^
First off...: 고된 Week! Hard, tough week! 2 weeks ago. We are setting up our District in Anseong, with the newly arrived Sister Missionaries! Never before have 6 missionaries been assigned to Anseong at one time before, or been exclusively Anseong Area. Historical!! My companion, Elder Riley Hale, is the District Leader, and he has been Leading his District well! It's his first time (he is only 2 transfers older than me in the mission) as any kind of leader, so he is figuring it out. But so are we all! Anyway, during this hard week, we kinda got beat up a little for how things have been handled in the past here with other, less obedient missionaries. Specifically, our English Class program was the cause of much tribulation in the Land of Anseong, or at least in the hearts of us missionaries. We are trying to teach just one class a week, which is what we are supposed to do, but in the past with all other outlets controlled by relatively lazy missionaries that don't do anything, English has been the only way for my Companion to expand and meet new people. So we have been teaching English classes a few times a week, and not able to teach gospel lessons as a part. We got kinda torn apart by our Branch members when they found out, and so that was hard. To add to that, it was an awful week for our Korean ability, Elder Hale and I, so that made street contacting fun and not very effective. But good came of it, which I will tell you in a sec. We also had an investigator family come to church, but they left before Sacrament because (we thought) their kids got injured by the "monster" kids in our branch. They can be quite... energetic? That's not strong enough... Anyway, we thought they were done with us after that treatment. So, that was a hard week.
This week...: 복된 Week! Blessed week!!! In response to our diligent perseverance last week, God has seen fit to bless our companionship, district, and this missionary individually with a multiplicity of blessings as promised in the D&C somewhere... i read it a long time ago! We have again received the ability to communicate well in the Korean language, making lessons, contacting, and everything else go more smoothly. In addition, God helped me develop the Gift of Charity more in the past 2 weeks (through the fires of 고된 week to the blessed state of 복된 week) than in my whole mission. I think the reason is because of Consecration, or Sanctification. I studied sanctification in Personal study last week, and I evaluated my level of commitment and absolute Giving-myself-to-God-liness on a deep level. I found that while it is somewhat easy to give my Strength and Might to this work (because I am physically here in Korea right now, I can physically go talk and walk and do), I have struggled my whole mission on truly giving my Heart and Mind to the Service of God, which i believe requires a change of attitude, emotion, will, desire to match God's, at least more than they did before. That was after 고된 week, where I had said a prayer in desperation telling God that if necessary, I would gladly give up the a hard-earned and precious Gift of Tongues He had given me if I could have the Gift of Charity. The following days were my worst Korean-speaking days, but they were the days that I learned how to love the people I see on the street to a deeper level. God let me see them as He and our Savior sees them. That time changed my mission and my life. Luckily, God is merciful, and has again allowed me to build up the Gift of Tongues again this week, as well as helping me maintain the Gift of Charity, without which I am nothing (see Moroni 8?). This week, we saw the best lesson of my mission, taught straight from the scriptures and the investigator accepting a Baptismal commitment (which I was priviledged to give!! 1st time!!! ^^), and the same investigator who came to church last week coming again, staying the whole meeting because he likes our Family values and his kids love the other kids!! The complete opposite impression we thought we gave!! He also gave us a 식사, meal appointment that night. Delicious meat. Rodizio's got nothin on Korean 고기 Buffet! ^^
Well, that's about it! This time has been extremely important and life-changing for me, not only as a missionary but as a Son of God. I feel like while I still can't see so much, I can see a little bit clearer why God works the way He does, and how He works with us to accomplish His divine intentions. I testify that He is our Master, that His Son Jesus Christ is the Great Jehovah, and our Savior Mediator and Advocate with the Father. I testify that they love us more that we could ever imagine as mortal people, and that all They do is for our good if we will just align our will and actions to theirs. They have soo much in store for us! I love the work, and I love all of you! Thanks for your prayers, and I will try not to make you wait this long before the next Big Email! ^^ In the name of Jesus Christ, as one chosen to bear His name in a very real sense to the people of Korea, I humbly say these things. Amen. ^^
To those of you running State for Track, Good luck!!! Tell me how you do! ^^ All Emails are appreciated but not necessary... or are they? ^^