Oct. 14 2013

Sorry I didn’t send a big letter last week. We were pretty busy and I had a lot of letters to send, so I didn’t have time to write my big letter.

Anyway, for a summary of the week I missed: we went to a big parade here in Cheonan. It was an international dance festival where a bunch of groups from lots of countries do their traditional dances and there’s also a lot of modern dancing as well. There were SO many people there! It was crazy! Also a funny thing happened. As we were heading home for the night, there was a traditional Korean dance group in their traditional outfits and passing handing out little candies. Then, out of nowhere, a fat, chubby, short lady in her Korean clothing(한복 as it’s called in Korean), came running straight toward us foreigners and as she was running, she pulled out a kettle of something and a little wooden ladle used for drinking and poured into it some white liquid. The face she made was hilarious. She was so excited to give us foreigners a taste of what she’s got and when she finally poured out the liquid, she basically put it up to my mouth. In a split second thought, I realized what was being shoved into my face. It was the most drunk liquid in all of Korea. Makoli(머걸리) or rather, rice alcohol. Seriously, this is probably the most drunk liquid in Korea. Millions of bottles are drunken every week. Anyway, I had to shove the lady’s hand away from my face and tell her that we don’t drink. Then as she subsided and looked puzzled, she looked over at the other american elder and started to give it to him! He didn’t know what it was and since he didn’t hear what I said, he just went along and was about to try the drink. Haha! But I had to tell the lady "No" and she finally went away. It was hilarious! I’ll always remember the image of this fat happy lady running up to us pouring makoli! haha!
Anyway, right now, our investigators are at a slump, meeting with us, keeping commitments, etc. But we’re doing okay. We’re focusing on finding new investigators and working with the members more. Everyone in Korea is SO busy, like they don’t get home until 8 or 9 at night. So it’s hard meeting with people, but we find times and our investigators are really nice and cool. We’re just trying to fuel their gospel interest. One investigator that we met last week is 김일환(Kim, Ir Hwan) He is a golden investigator, or used to be. He read the BoM 2 times through within like a month or something like that. I came here just as he was starting to go downhill. He’s been having a hard time with smoking and likes to read out of the Bible alot. He LOVES the gospel and Jesus Christ, but since he’s busy and pressured alot from his friend who’s a member, he doesn’t come to church. So we’re working on that with him. He sends his kids to church, so that’s good. But anywya, we met with him this past week and talked about the Book of Mormon with him and what he thinks of it. I asked him what the Book of Mormon means to him. His answer, although good, didn’t satisfy my expectations. He focuses SO much on the doctrines of the Bible, that he misses the simple doctrines and principles laid out in the Book of Mormon. It puzzles me that he read the BoM 2 times and doesn’t have a strong testimony of it yet…He says he likes it and that it’s a good book. But that really wasn’t the answer I was hoping I would get from him. These past couple weeks, actually for basically the whole transfer, I’ve given him time to think about everything and I haven’t visited him till the other day. I was hoping that giving him time would help him to progress faster in the end and want to learn more from us, but it seems that it didn’t do much. Darn. But we’re going to work with his kids to get them baptized and really active with the Primary and Young mens and everything. There’s a girl and a boy, but they don’t really like to talk to us, they’re really shy and the boy likes to play on his phone all the time. I’ll tell you more about them and how they’re doing next week.

So last week on P-day, I went to my first Buddhist Temple! It was SO cool! As we were going up the mountain and stairs to get up to it, we heard the monks doing their ceremony. It was the perfect time to go. They were doing their bows and had the knocking of a wood thing and they were doing some chants and stuff. Its hard to explain. Anyway, I took a lot of pictures and i’ll send one today with the email. But yeah, it was huge! They also had a HUGE bronse buddha. Okay, I gotta go. I love you all! I’ll try to send you all responses to your letters, it’s just that I don’t have a lot of time to write. Okie day! I love you all!


Elder Smith


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