Hello and 안녕하세요, everyone!! This is Elder Derek James Wilcox, typing from a computer room in Anseong City, Gyeonggi-Do Province, South Korea. This last week has been a huge one as far as stuff Elder Robinson and I did, and so it could take a while to type it all. I am prepared to sacrifice my remaining email time for this. It better be good. No pressure on me. ^^
Well, to start off,, we went to a 목욕탕 (public bathhouse) with about 10 other missionaries. There is a semi-famous one in our area about a 50 minute busride away from our house. My companion hadn't gone to one yet, so that was a priceless experience. It's always awkward to new missionaries to sit around in hot tubs with naked Korean men. I doubt this is legal for any other missionaries in the world, huh? But it's super refreshing. And I can kinda swim laps in the cold pool. hehe
But first,! After great studies, which seemed to fill the week, we had District meeting. I gave what I thought was my best training yet, and we had really fun role plays on following up on a Book of Mormon reading assignment in a way that helps the investigator gain a testimony. Fun, Fun! Then Elder Fullmer from my district and I went on exchanges. While we were on exchanges, the other elders (my comp and elder Song) met 2 of our investigators, one of which just wanted to bible bash. After that lesson, they were discouraged, but the nest one they met was another Nepalese guy who is good at Korean. He was soo accepting! He decided to take the lessons, and they taught a basic Restoration lesson! ^^ While they did that, Elder Fullmer and I went hiking with a potential investigator who is 64 and runs marathons. #mydreaminvestigator ^^ It was raining, and really pretty. We testified a lot, and he fed us deliciouc meat for dinner. But when we invited him to take the lessons, he said he'd rather not be a burden on us and was firm when we persisted. But he decided to come to english class the next day!
The next day, Elder Robinson's birthday, we wrestled for exercize (he's a wrestler, and we have a system: every other day we switch off between running around the park and wrestling on our mats. We sleep on mats called "Yo"s. hehe^^), and after studies, did our weekly planning meeting. We got done in time, and had our most effective planning yet. This next week will be a blast!!! We do work, son! ^^ After that we met a potential investigator, and ate Pot-Bing-Soo, a delicious Korean Icecream snack that's not too unhealthy. Then we played a little Ping Pong at our church (it's small but it has a ping pong table). He started talking about his views on God and stuff, and I got hold of the conversation very well with some scripture verses I had memorized in Seminary. Everyone still in High School: Study hard!! We introduced our message in a way suited to his needs and the verses I shared, and invited him to take the lessons. But he got scared and said no, just call me later. Soooo close!!! We still pray for him and will try one more time. Then as a district, we went to a lessactive sister's restaurant, which sells mexican burritos with a Korean twist. My first mexican buritto in Korea! Delicoius, and she gave us lots of free food. She wants to come to church and send her kids on missions, but her husband is a nonmember and wont let her. We'll keep working on him, though, he seems nice enough. and he gave us free fries. ^^
Well, that was our week. We are working hard here in the Land of Anseong, and God has blessed us to start seeing the fruit of our labors. My companion recently asked me what I did in the pre-earth life to deserve all these appointments, but I was quick to correct him and not boast in my strength, for I know that I am nothing, but I boasted in God, who helps us and gives us power and wisdom to bring these our brethren again unto Him and work with Him in the vineyard. That is on huge blessing I have felt recently, is the blessing of not being tired, to have energy, enthusiasm, and zeal for the work. Until now, I have always been tired and just in the mindset of "make it to the next meal time". But now, I am blessed with the power and desire to give my very heart and soul to this work. I have worked to my best ability up until now, and God has finally heard my cries and given me the gift that I have desired. I testify that He pushes us to the very breaking point, but if we endure still even then, He blesses us with what we despereately need and builds us back up again. This week was a rebuilding week, for my testimony and my teaching skills, as well as KOrean and overall energy level. Elder Robinson is working with me and both of us are seeing so much improvement in ourselves. I love this gospel and the Atonement at it's center, through which all who are diligently seeking to improve and serve with all their heart might mind and strength can become servants of the Lord, Instruments in HIs hands to bring to pass His great and Eternal puposes. ELder Bednar gave a talk I read today in personal study for last General conference called Bear up their Burdens, or something. It talks about the burdens we all bear, and how the burden allows us to move forward on this path of disciplship of the Son of God. I love that talk and know it is true because I have seen it in my own life this week. I hope all of you read that and apply it to your attitude and your prayers, let the Lord lift and guide you in your personal journey to Him. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Love you all so much!! Sorry to talk your ears off again, but I have almost typed my fingers off... whew! THis is hard work. Time for a little P-day work out session. We have no better plans today. See, I still haven't changed beyond recongition, right? haha I am so grateful for this opportunity to change for the better. Talk to you all later. Have a great week.
Elder Derek Wilcox