Archive | August 2013

Aug. 26 2013

Hello!

So this week wasn’t very exciting, but last night we had a dessert party with the singles in our ward! so that made up for the less exciting times. Earlier this week, all the missionaries in Cheonan, 2 sisters and 4 elders, got together and planned everything. We played a couple games and had banana splits. It was really good! We played a game called "telephone charades"…you can onlyguess what that means….what it is, is it’s like the game telephone, but instead of speaking in the person’s ear, you act it out. everyone stands in a line facing away from eachother so they don’t see the other people acting, then when they get tapped on the shoulder by the person behind them, they turn around and watch, then they have to think about what it is, then act out what they think it is to the next person in line. It was hilarious!! Anyway, this week we met one of our less actives who’s really good at pingpong; I tried playing against him…I lost. Oh, that’s one thing that’sdifferent in Korea. Ping pong paddles. When I first got to Korea, I heard that Pingpong is really popular, so I was excited to play and was expecting the regular paddle, like in america. But to my surprise, they were totally different. What it looks like is, the face of the paddle is basically the same, except, one side has a rubber face adn the other side has just wood.(I don’t know if the american paddles are like that…)anyway, then for the handle. The handle is the most different. Instead of just a straight handle to just grab, it has a thick handle that you wrap your index finger around the top. It’s all padded with cork and is pretty cool to play with once you get good iwth it. I plan on buying one…=) They’re so fun to play with. Anyway, on other news, our investigator Lee Jae Hyuk is doing great, he came to church yesterday and we kinda left him with the youth alot so he could develop some relationships with them. He liked it. He’s going to go to their Soccer activity this weekend. We taught him the whole first lesson pretty simply, so hopefully he’ll understand well enough and keep his baptismal date. He’s awesome.
Okay, gotta go. I love you all. I hope everything goes well at the reception! I’m sure it’ll be amazing cause Julie, Pam, and Mom are taking the reins! Okay, bye!

Love,

Elder Smith

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August 19 2013

I really can’t believe it’s August. Everything just flies by like I don’t even get to reflect back on what just happened!! Bah! I just wish things would slow down so I can figure out what’s going on! haha! One quick lesson on Korean that I have neglected to teach you, which is the most important thing for my readers to understand. Korean has it’s own alphabet and it’s really hard to Romanize korean so you’ve probably seen me write in korean in past letters. So I’ll teach you a little bit of the Korean alphabet….ready? I’ll teach you the name of the city I’m in. The first letter is: ㅊ this letter makes the "ch" sound. Like "chive". Then there’s the vowel: ㅓ this makes the "uh" sound. Like "bump". Then the next letter is: ㄴ this makes the "nn" sound. Like "nice, ben". Then in the next character there’s what’s called the "silent consonant" this makes no sound if it’s at the beginning of a character, but makes the "ng" sound if at the end. So if wanted to wanted to say "chung" we would write it: 청 it’s pretty simple. Anyway, then the next vowel: ㅏ this is the sound, "ah" like in "Mom, or art" So from these letters you can pronounce the name of the city I’m in: 천안. Anyway, on to business.

This week was fun. It was my birthday! My district got us Cheesecake and then later on at night, the other 3 guys in my house got us the most american pizza!! They got it from E-mart Traders. E-mart used to be Walmart, but then they went out of business, so E-mart bought them out. Something like that, but they have a bunch of American products and what not and E-Mart Traders is basically like a Costco with the cheap HUGE pizzas and stuff like that. So that’s what they got.

A couple days ago, Elder Hansen and I met with one of our investigators, 이재혁 (Lee, Jae Hyuk). He’s a Jr. high school student that likes to play Ping-pong with us. So we played Ping-pong with him for a while, and then we finally calmed him down enough to teach him something. So we taught him about the BoM and we invited him to be baptized. While Elder Hansen was talking, I looked down at the BoM in his hand and I just got this awesome, overwhelming feeling that the BoM was true. I’ve already had this kind of feeling before, but at the time I was like, "Is he feeling this too?!" It was so cool! Then we showed him the Baptismal font and right from then, his countenance changed. He was asking alot of questions and getting kind of excited. After we sat back down, we asked him if he would get baptized on Sept. 9th and he accepted!!! I was so excited! I almost wanted to hug him! This was the closest that any one of my investigators has been to baptism so far in my mission. It was so cool to see him take that step. But yeah, that was one of our meetings this week.

This whole week, actually this whole month has been REALLLLLLY HOT and HUMID. Just a ocuple weeks ago, the record was broken for the hottest it’s been in the last 30years! Let’s just say I have been sweating like a PIG for the past 2 or 3 months now. Every day I get home and I have to take all my clothes off just to get cool and I have to sleep with a fan on me all night and no clothes as well. Well, except for Gs ofcourse. Then I have to carry around a big fan with me everywhere I go. It’s super hot. All the time. Ugh.

Okay, gotta go. I love you all! I hope you have a great week!

Love,

Elder Smith

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August 12th 2013

안녕하세요! 저의 존은 이 번주에 새로운 프로그램을 만들었는 데 이 것이 "고구마 프로잭트"이라고 합니다! 우리는 이 것을 통해 회원 이랑 더 잘 일할 수 있습니다.

So if you could understand anything in that last sentence, it says basically that our Zone is instituting a new program to work with members better and see if we can get our members to work with us better and possibly give us some people to visit. So it basically consists of a place to write their testimony, a list of simple things they can do to help someone to learn about the gospel, a place for their names and a place to write down the things they want to do and what they want the missionaries to do to help this person or people to learn about the gospel. So, we’re going to visit all the members and help them fill it out and work with them and see if we can meet their friends!! Anyway, so that’s what we’re going to be doing in the coming weeks and months. It’s very exciting! Anyway, so this past week I met two of our investigators: 이재혁 and 박찬선. The first one is a Jr high school student that’s really quiet and lives by the church. He was refferred by our ward mission leader. But, he came to church yesterday!! Yay! He’s REALLY quiet and doesn’t have any hobbies…so we play ping-pong with him a lot! He likes that. He was also introduced to all the cool youth yesterday at church, so I think he likes that. Anyway the second guy is a way cool army guy that served with the US army or marines. I can’t remember which one, but he’s pretty much fluent at english and reminds me a lot like Kregg, really big muscles and just has the same personality! And he always says that he’s a member of our church, even though he’s not…he’s what we call an "eternal investigator". He’s scared to ask his wife if he can get baptized becuase she’s Catholic, so he’s been meeting with missionaries for like 5+ years. Anyway, he’s way cool. He always asks us to do a Barbeque, which is inconceivably impossible in Korea! Haha! But we’ll see what we can do….hum….Anyway, I have to go. I hope you all are doing well, have a fun week, I love you all. Oh, congrats Spencer and Alice!!!!! Have fun in Hawaii!!!

Love,

Elder Smith

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July…wait…August, (whoah…) 8th 2013

Man, it’s already august? Where is the time going?! I felt like just yesterday it was May or something! They say that after your 3 Transfer or so, everything starts to go faster. At least, it seems like it does. Anyway, so I’m here in Cheonan! Yay! It is a lot different than my other areas. This is a moderately big city, compared to Iksan and Jeongeup which are considered 시골 or "countryside". Its a lot different, but its just as amazing!! My new companion, Elder Hansen is hilarious and an amazing Zone Leader! He’s teaching me a lot and we’re working hard. My first MLC or Missionary Leadership Council is this Wednesday, that’s when all the Zone Leaders and Assistant Zone Leaders get together with the Assistant to the Presidents and the Mission President to discuss things about the mission. We had to prepare all this week for it, setting our zone focuses and what our action plan is. It’s pretty fun.

Anyway, yesterday was a shocker for me. Usually I was used to about 20-50 members at church, but here it’s about double if not triple that number!! I didn’t know what to do!! I introduced myself to as many people as I could, but I didn’t get through everybody, there was SO many! I’m excited to get to know them more, and work with them as much as possible.

But thats the problem, these members are not as fired up about missionary work as all the other areas it seems like…what’s it like in America? I’ve always wondered. Has there been a noticeable difference in the desire to do member missionary work? Cause it seems like here in Korea, there’s at least a little increase of fire, especially down South in Gwangju. The stakes down there have just recently created a huge missionary goal and a new focus on it. But up here in the north, there has been no change. ALL the missionaries here are WAY fired up and everyone is pushing with all their strength to get something done here. So, here in Cheonan, there’s 4 elders and 2 Sisters for one ward, and we’re all working together on getting members fired up about missionary work. We’re coming up with great ideas and are all willing to put in everything for these members to help us out and give referrals. Anyway, I’ll tell you how things are going with that in later emails.

Anyway, one cool thing that we’re doing here in this Zone that I thought was way cool, is their activity that they’ve been doing for a month now that’s been pretty effective. That is, for the time between each Combined district meeting, which is usually about a month or so, each companionship gives out a whole box of BoMs which is about 40!! Then, every time they give out a BoM, they text everyone in their district. It’s way fun and reminds everyone about giving out BoMs. Its way fun!

Okiedokie, gotta go. I love you all!!

Love,

Elder Smith

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