Sunday, February 15, 2015

Feb. 15, 2015 Big Holiday in Korea

Nope, it's not Valentine's Day. Interestingly, though, Koreans celbrate Valentines Day differently than Americans do. On Feb 14th, girls give guys chocolate. A month later, on March 14th, is White Day, where guys give girls candy. Then, if you remained single for both of these 2 couple-centered holidays, a month later on April 14th, you celebrate your misery by eating black-colored JaJjang noodles on what is known as Black day. Missionaries are pretty much supposed to celebrate Black day, so this last week valentines was nothing special.
But this coming week is a different story. On Thursday is the Lunar New Year, 설날 Seollar. In Korea, there are 2 really hugely celebrated holidays, that usually warrant 3 or 4 days off work, and this is one of them. Everyone goes to their hometowns, gathers with their families, eats some rice-cake soup, and spends time together. So, starting this coming Wednesday and ending around Saturday or Sunday, there will be really really few people to find on the streets of Korea. Also because they are with their families in the other regions of Korea, this week will be a little tough for traditional missionary work.
So, we're gonna have a party! Last year we had a mission conference (a talent show), which was a blast, but this year President decided to have each zone do their own activity. He delegated all planning, time, decisions, prep, and follow-through to the Zone Leaders. Oh, joy. ^^ So that party will be this Thursday, and transfers are the day before. I will be getting a new companion (Elder Lee's condition is such that he needs extended treatment and therefore it is better for him to finish his mission here) named Elder Thorup on that day, but that leaves us with less than 20 hours to prep. So, with the help of my district, we kind of already planned our Anyang Zone's activity all out. Should be fun. I'll let you all know how it goes. ^^
Anyway, this last week was great. I was a little stressed out the week before because of Elder Lee having to leave, and then being thrown into a threesome and suddenly having to manage the zone all by my lonesome, but after about a week, the good old adjustors kicked in and things went a lot smoother. We were able to get to all of the appointments in both areas (mine and the other Elders I am with), do lots of language evaluation meetings (practice teaching the lessons in Korean) with many of our Zone's missionaries, and plan for the upcoming activity this week! It's been fun, but I am still really really excited to go back to a normal companionship with only one proselyting area to worry about. ^^
Well, we've passed the worst of the winter, have been having unseasonally warm weather pretty consistently, and we are feeling the Joy of Spring and the Work of Salvation. I have been reading The Power of Everyday Missionaries, and I found a really cool insight. Our Church is based on the fact that it is still OK to ask God questions. 3 centuries after the Savior died, religious leaders gathered and basically decided that God had given them all the knowledge and answers to questions He ever would, and so shut the world into the dark night of apostasy. Joseph Smith asked a simple question, got a simple answer, and with constant asking and receiving for the next 20 years, he got more and more answers and established a Church that to this day asks, seeks, knock, and in return is given, finds, and is opened unto by our Loving Father who waits patiently to teach us until we think to ask Him. It's beautiful and simple, and true. I can testify of that in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Love you guys (sorry I forgot to send valentines... hehe^^), and thank a bunch for the prayers.
The work is sweet!
Elder Derek James Wilcox

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