Monday, June 23, 2014

June 21, 2014 Busy Missionary :)

"Oops! No time for Big Email again! I really don;t know what to do here... ^^ Tell everyone I am fine, that I am sunburned and tan and sore from farming, and doing my best as District leader! ^^ Love you all! ^^
Elder "D" Wilcox"

Answering some questions:  

I have felt God's guidance as we planned for our investigators specific activities that we can do to help them come closer to Christ. Elder Robinson had most of the good ideas. ^^ God also gives me just enough strength to make it through each day.  That's how it should be. I pray for that much and He gives it to me to do the work at hand.

District leader-ing is going pretty well. I have only given one training, and I felt it went OK. I talk to much, though, and need to work on getting other's feedback. Got another training this week. I am over Anseong District, so the 6 missionaries (including me) in our branch. Districts have gotten super small over here due to the increased number of missionaries. It's nice. ^^ I am responsible to keep everyone healthy, strong, working hard, inspired, and focused on the work. Basically I relay information and direction from my district to the other leaders and back. I've heard that District leadering is the funnest position in the mission. I think so. ^^

We still go to a PC room, so the Babylon thing, but the one we use in Anseong is smoke-free, light, and open. Really good environment. We call to get permission every week, though, for safety purposes. I am on an exchange right now with the Zone Leaders, so I didn't have to call for permission today! ^^ Elder Priesler is from my MTC district, and he lives with ELder Newbold, my MTC companion! We have had a fun exchange to day.^^

Monday, June 16, 2014

June 8 & 15 Email news

June 8:

This week has been fast: we had several activities with our branch including a sports day, where I got super sunburned and was wiped out. But, we brought a lady we met on the street and her son, and she decided to take the lessons from the Sister missionaries!!! ^^ We also got transfer calls saturday night, and Elder Hale is leaving me. Then the big news: I am the new DISTRICT LEADER!!! What in the world??? I am sooo not read for this, but have never been more excited for anything yet. I have no idea what to do with Anseong, with all of it's special problems and opportunities, but I know that God does, and I can ask him and my leaders for guidance. My junior companion will be Elder Robinson, and I will meet him on wednesday morning. He's about 2 transfers younger than me. SO yeah, this week has been huge. I need this P-day. We're going to watch Ephraim's rescue with our district. ^^

June 15:

My first few days of being a District Leader!!! Awesome!!! We actually had a mission-wide training meeting with President and the Assistants about being Branch and ward builders, with particular emphasis on helping and befriending the bishop or branch president. There were a few other trainings as part of the meeting, too, and I feel soo much more prepared to lead 5 other missionaries and help them help our branch! We talked to our Branch President and Mission Leaders, and we have plans to meet them and their families, get to know them and see what they want us to do. President Morrise said that there are 5 ways to build branches and wards: Finding (people to teach), Teaching (those people), baptizing (those people), strengthening (maintaining faith of members, rebuilding faith of less actives) and Good relationships of love with ward/branch leaders. We haven't been too close to our president, so we set up a time to visit him and his family, even though they live back in Shingal, my last area! I think we are starting to figure things out in Anseong. I haven't given my first training to the others yet, but I started prepping it this morning! Excited!!! Pray for me, please. ^^
My new Companion, Elder Robinson, is a cool guy! He's a year older than me, but graduated my year. He lived in Japan and Singapore, but doesn't speak other languages. He is 2 transfers younger than me in the mission. He is a wrestler, and he is a champ and has gone running with me 2 times. ^^ We have been working hard and seeing lots of miracles, and feeling so much success in our inviting others to come unto Christ. I feel soo enthusiastic about the work, and God blesses me so much as I give my best effort and attitude to His work.
We set a baptismal date with a man from Nepal, last week! He has met missionaries for about a year, but on and off due to crazy factory work schedules. He cant speak Korean or English very well, but we teach using pictures and really simple English. We are trying to find church materials in Nepali. He has soo much faith though! He found out about Christ for the first time from one of the missionaries in Anseong. He said he wants to go home to Nepal and convert his wife and kids!!  Super kind, faith filled man. ^^ Pray for him to understand and want to follow our message, please! Other investigators: Nothing special with any of them this week, but prayers would be appreciated. And hopefully answered with blessings! 
Hope you had a fun time with the family! Tell everyone I love them if you're still there. Tell Grandma and Grandpa I got their letter! Really good story! And one definitely applicable to missionary work. Sometimes I feel like I have no legs, but with God's help, faith, and determination to serve Him til the end (of my life! Existence! Forever!), I can mount up with wings as eagles and accomplish great things in the Lord's vineyard, Which is, of course, the entire world. Even behind the "Zion Curtain". ^^ You all can do that too!
Thanks for all your prayers, and for continuing to find opportunities to Invite others to come unto Christ! I love you, am proud of you, and know you can do it, just like I can, even though we all lack. God makes us whole when He makes us His Hands. Alone we are nothing, with Him we can accomplish anything! And we are refined int he process. I testify that His plan is perfect, His ways are straight, His love is infinite. And I say these things in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, Amen.
Love you, Mom, Jake, Miles, Kev, Kate, Grandma and Grandpa, Cousins, Aunts Uncles, and other close friends! Love you, Dad!

Lots of love, not quite as full as the Saviors, but trying,
Elder "D" Wilcox

Sunday, June 1, 2014

June 1, 2014

Annyeong Haseyo, everybody! 
Coming to you from the now-rainy country of South Korea, this is Elder Derek Wilcox! My companion, who was here last year during rain season, says the big rainstorm we're having right now is the beginning of the Jang-Ma, the typhoon season. Should be pretty rainy for about the next 2 months. ^^ Bring it. But we got our run in this morning before it started, so that's all that matters.
It's been about 2 weeks since I did the Big Email, so I'll hit the highlights of the week before last:

Zone training on a hike about testifying with power!! The first time I have seen my mission president with PDay clothes on. hehe. That trip to the mission home (we hiked a mountain in that area), we Anseong Missionaries had to sleep over night at the mission home for 2 nights. There were 12 elders sleeping there, so it got pretty hot in the rooms.

A sports meeting set up by a half-korean half-american family visiting our ward! They brought investigators and we had a blast!! It's so refreshing to see members taking time out of their busy personal lives (vacation, even!) to try to find the people that the Lord has prepared to hear the message of the Gospel. Awesome family! ^^
Family Home Evening with investigators and said family. so fun to play with kids and help their families come closer together through coming closer to Christ. ^^
Then there was this week! We met a ton of new invesitgators, people who we met in the past and wrote down their info on a paper. We have been focusing on following up, and we saw the results last week. We picked up 4 new investigators. They still have a long way to go, but they are ready to meet with us regualrly. One New investigator is actually a Former investigator named In Hong Lee. He lives on a mountain in a huge house he built with his own hands over 3 years. He's about 64, and still doing pretty well on that mile hike to his house from the road. He has met with other missionaries, namely, they helped him with yard work and building an outdoor bathing pool and other hard labor, and he learned the Restoration from them. He wants to be a "mormon" but he has a wicked smoking habit. Went through almost a whole pack in the time we were with him doing yard work. But we promised that God would help if he came to church and showed his faith. He's got potential! and also the coolest house and yard in the world. Made me long for scout camp again. ^^
We had a General Authority, namely Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Twelve, come to the Korea Seoul South mission a few days ago on Saturday. The Seoul Mission came too, making the Big Conference referenced in today's subject bar, and we had a wonderful, inspiring training on love, and relying on the Lord to guide us. His words and the words of our Area President Elder Ringwood tauched my heart and answered the questions I had brought. I fell soo much more prepared and ready to face the trials of mission life even though I don't have experience because I have the best gift of all: The gift of the Holy Ghost. As long as I am worthy of it, God will give me divine direction and lead my feet, my words, my actions. The same is true for all baptised and confirmed members of the Church. God is ready to lead us in all we do, all we need to do is grab His outstretched hand through worthy thoughts, words, actions. Such a great blessing, and just the Gift that the church needs to hasten the work. Isn't it amazing that we, mortals, can have the guidance of a Supreme Being in all our daily activities if we but keep our minds and hearts clear and focused? Amazing!!! God trusts and loves us soo much, it makes me want to serve Him a little better and keep my eye single to His glory.
I love the Gospel and I love my Savior Jesus Christ, who leads and guides this church today. I am soo grateful for my experience as a missionary here in Korea at this time to bring forth His Zion in these last days, in what little ways I can. Let us all press on, lifting where we stand, and bring to pass the great and eternal purposes of God. We may be the weak things of the world, but God has called us to thrash the nations by the power of His word, which I carry in my hand every day. I am honored to serve my Lord in this way, and I say these things in His name, Jesus Christ, Amen!
Love you all and hope you have a great Summer Vacation! Go on a trail run for me, those who can! ^^
Elder Wilcox