Monday, October 27, 2014

October 26, 2014 Email Excerpts

This week was pretty awesome! We had a Zone Conference on Friday, that was the highlight. We learned so much about the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Elder Bednar's talk in October 2010 General Conference is super good! Check it out. It basically says that the reason for every thing we do, for us coming to earth, is to obtain the Holy Ghost in compliance with the divine command in the Confirmation ordinance: "Receive the Holy Ghost". We talked about Living by the Spirit, especially by Studying, Planning, Finding, and Teaching by the Spirit. Sooo great! Our President and Assistants and Zone Leaders did a great job, and taught by the Spirit. ^^

We also had a crazy week with meal appointments mostly because of one man, our investigator of about 55 who meets with us to study English and the gospel. He couldn't meet with us 2 weeks ago, so he wanted to make up for it by meeting with us 3 days in a row on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday evenings. This man is notorious for feeding missionaries too much. Ever since I found him, he loves to feed us copious amounts of snacks while studying, and insisting upon a meal afterwards. So, on Wednesday evening, to cap off all the other huge meals he fed us, he took us to a buffet. But not just any buffet. This place had all you can eat and lots you don't have room for of the 2 most delicious of the Korean meals: Samgyupsar (a pork cut like thick bacon but slightly more healthy) and Syabu syabu (originally Japanese, the soup that you cook veggies, meat, then noodles and last of all rice porridge in). It was literally the most I have ever eaten in my life. I was dying walking out to his car. But it was also the most delicious meal I have ever had. Elder Jensen and I both agreed to hit running a little harder in the mornings.

Things are going well with our investigators for the most part. They need to start progressing, but we are evaluating what we can do to better help them keep commitments.

If this isn't too late, tell the family Hi and Grandpa & Eric Happy Birthday!

You asked what jobs Koreans typically have.......The typical Korean has a desk job, a cubicle, computer, etc. That is the stereotype. Also, they work longer hours than Americans. And at their company, they sometimes are forced to go out and drink with their coworkers cuz if they don't their boss will fire them. interesting predicament! It's a good thing that Latter-Day Saints usually rise to leadership positions, or at least valuable-enough positions to not be fired, pretty quickly.

I love you!!! Have a spectacular week! I am going to the temple this Thursday, so that will be my P-Day. ^^ Thanks for your prayers and love! Keep it up! ^^

Elder "D" Wilcox

Monday, October 20, 2014

October 19, 2014 Pictures!!!!

Anseong Brotherhood after "Healthland"

Anseong Brotherhood at English streetboarding!

Elder Jensen & Elder Wilcox at the Seoul Temple

Anseong brotherhood in P-day attire in Pyeongtek

Anseong and pyeongtek elders at an ultimate Frisbee P-day activity!!!

Monday, October 13, 2014

October 12, 2014 I've got an investigator the size of a tank --

Hello Everybody! Another week has come and gone here in Anseong, Gyeonggi-Do, South Korea!

The subject bar has reference to Do-Gwon, our investigator of about a month. Elder Robinson and I met him one day by a bus stop, and he talked to us for about an hour. Later, Elder Jensen and I call him and set up an appointment, meet, and find out that he's a strong believer of Christ, and is sick of Korean churches and their members who don't practice what they preach. He lived in America for a few years as a kid, but forgot a good deal of english. So, he communicates in a strange mix. Fun! He enjoys talking about fights he's seen and clubs he's been to, and loves America. He loves Jesus Christ more. He has been coming out to church for the past 3 weeks, including yesterday when we watched General Conference. We set a baptismal date with him for the 26th of this month. He loves our church because of the genuine friendship of its members, and its emphasis on Jesus Christ. He wants to make it a part of his life. And he likes meeting american missionaries.^^
We taught him the Word of Wisdom on a prompting yesterday after conference, and we think he'll keep on following the savior. He is about as big as a collegiate football athlete, though more fat-to-muscle ratio. Anyway, he's bigger than most Koreans, due to his healthy (or unhealthy?) appetite for American food. Personally, I like the veggie-rich Korean food better. ^^ So that's why I wrote about him in the subject bar. Cool guy!

We watched conference this weekend! It was wonderful!! I hope you all got as much out of it as I did, which was soo much. It felt like every talk was given to me to help me in some way, whether it was to point out a course change in my life or a talk given to me with my investigators' names on it. It also stood out to me how the prophets are really just missionaries! We all teach the same doctrine, the same lessons. It's the Gospel of Christ!^^ I have a strengthened testimony of the Prophets as God's servants and mouthpieces here on earth. Christ leads this church through them.

Anyway, I have been spiritually uplifted and recharged, and with this energy I will shine my light and invite others to come and see what I have come to see and know. My testimony has been strengthened, my doubts and fears removed, and I am peaceful in the knowledge that I have of my Savior and His gospel. I feel, as did the boy in Elder Bednar's talk at the end of Conference, that I want to seek out my friends and share the cleansing, soothing, strengthening power of the Atonement with them. Now that I am a little better in the language, I can seek and take those opportunities to teach, testify, invite in everyday situations. And I feel excited! I am so grateful for our Church leaders, and Master who guides them and us.

I can't remember who said it, but it was mentioned in Conference that missionaries are simply disciples of Christ who testify and witness of Him and invite others to come to Him and see. So, that should include all of us! I can testify that there is nothing more important than sharing and living this Gospel, and that God is raining opportunities to share it and live it if we just pray and ask him to show us them and help us take them. He does it for me, and He will do it for you. Ask, Seek, Knock. You shall receive, find, and opportunities and blessings shall be opened unto you. I testify of that in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Love you all! Have a great week, wherever you are and know as I do that all is well in the peaceful current of Christ's Gospel! Take care, go hard, have fun, be safe, remember who you are! ^^

Elder Wilcox

Monday, October 6, 2014

October 5, 2014 Email: "Big Miracles after Big Trials of Faith"

It says in the book of Ether in the Book of Mormon that we receive no witness until after the trial of our faith. These past few weeks have been tough, not in any particular way, but just lots of struggling and striving to do the will of the Lord. Elder Jensen and I have been pushing ourselves in every aspect of the work, from our morning run to study to language excellence to teaching. I have come to know many of my weaknesses, and had to be chastened a bit due to my shortcomings. I have had trials coming from all sides, the people I meet here, the news I hear from home. I have decided to face these trials with faith and trust in the God that I know without a doubt loves me, even if He seems to take a long time in fulfilling promises. I've done a lot of enduring, pushing through.

But, this week, the Lord has blessed us with a witness that He is indeed the Lord and Master of this work, and He does lead and guide us if we just surrender our hearts to him.

The big miracles didn't come until just yesterday, so for the sake of time, I will just explain those ones.

We found 2 new investigators in the past few weeks, Do-gwon and Gwan-oo. We were expecting them to come to church yesterday (we don't see conference until this week, so normal sunday). Gwan-oo couldn't come until later, but that turned out to be a blessing, because 4 other investigators came who I wasn't expecting. I invite them every week, but they said they were busy. But, they came, we had the chance to do member exchanges and teach them seperately in 2 Gospel Principles classes. They attended sacrament, and built great relationships with the branch members. They felt the spirit, and exercized faith or the desire to believe by acting on the invitation we gave them. We then had a member lesson (one of my first in this area, Anseong) with a member of my last ward, who has received the assignment of attending our branch for the next 3 months. He helped Do-gwon understand the Plan of Salvation, a really difficult thing to grasp the first time. The Spirit was present as Elder Jensen and I worked together with the member and the needs of our investigator, and we were able to set a baptismal date with him for the end of this month. He's got lots of potential, lots of faith in Christ, and a love for the Book of Mormon already, and with the friendship of our members, he feels home here and wants a place in our society. That was great!

Then we met Gwan-oo, who was late due to a visit to his aunt in the hospital. She had a stroke, and isn't looking good. But he wanted to come see us. We met him on the bus last week, Elder Jensen, the fiery greenie started to him. He has heard of our church before, and something attracted him to the missionaries he saw before. We were prompted to share the message of the Restoration, a real, strong prompting thats among the first I have ever felt of that nature, and we did so in a way that he could feel the Spirit. We invited him to read and pray about the Book of Mormon, and we knelt as he said the closing prayer. He prayed simply, sincerely, and as he did, I felt the most overwhelming love for this man, not much older than me, the love that Heavenly Father has for him. I have been praying for this kind of love for the past 14 months. After he left, Elder Jensen and I talked about the lesson and we both had felt the same thing, the same spirit guiding the lesson. I have been looking for this kind of experience of being led in a lesson for a long time, we are promised it, but I haven;t felt more than little pushes before this. This time, I felt so surely God's loving spirit, and felt as if he said to me, "i have trusted you with this child of Mine because now you are ready to lead him to Me." I knew why the past few weeks have been like a refiners fire, because now God has given us these children who need the message we bear. When I finally learned to trust God, not my own strength, then he makes me His hands.

In the words of my companion, Elder Jensen, I feel my purpose. I know, firsthand, why God calls teenage kids to share this Gospel message in a language they don't speak to people who most of the time just reject them and turn away. Because He truly loves them. Because there truly are those who are prepared to receive this life-changing message. And because participating  in this work changes those teenage kids into men and women of God. 

I am honored to be in the ranks of God's army in these last days with all of you. whether or not you wear a name tag, you are a witness of God. As you surrender your will to his, He will use you to fulfill His eternal purposes. Even if you feel like it's taken a year and 2 months. ^^

Jesus is our Savior, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is His Church. I know it, and I will do my best, no matter how little it may seem, to tell it to all the children of God I am blessed to meet. It will be hard. I will be long. But It is worth it.

in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I love you all! Have a great week!

Elder Wilcox