The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints: Korea Pusan Mission

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Threesome now

Wow, lots of things have happened this week. First of all we are now in a threesome. It's really odd for Elders to be in a threesom but there was an odd number of missionaries and president decided to put him with Elder Snyder and me. His name is Elder Mikkelsen. He is from Ogden I think. We are all tall, white, and balding (from mom- they must have let the rain touch their hair). Haha. He is 6' 4", Elder Snyder is 6' 2" and I am 5' 11". At our height it is somewhat hard to proselyte without scaring people on the street. We are still working out how do get things done but I think it will go well.

We call ourselves a pack rather a companionship. No more companionship meetings, now we have pack meetings. I feel like I'm back in cub scouts! It should be quite the experience. We have not been able to go out and find people like we were able to but I believe the Lord makes up for what we can't do.

We have an amazing investigator that actually found us this week! His parents are Buddhist but lately he has been wondering about God. He is 30ish, married, and just barely had a little girl. He decided to look into religion and started listening to a Christian radio show. He then heard about us through a friend's friend and decided to stop wondering and actually do. He called us at one of the only times we were at the church teaching English. Elder Snyder answered the phone and he asked if he could somehow meet us and find out about our church. Like we would say "no" to that!? We met him on Saturday. We taught the first discussion and answered some questions of his. He is really good at English but we are still told to teach him in Korean because that is his native language. He says he drinks but wishes he didn't have to. In Korea drinking is how you get to be friends with your boss and get promoted. It's just what you do but he says he hates it. He seems like a very sincere man and we hope he sees how the Gospel can bless him. Unfortunately he cannot come to church for the next 3 weeks because his wife is taking care of their baby in another city with her parents. A pretty good excuse if you ask me. We are looking into seeing about going to church there. That would be really nice.

We had a sudden meeting at the mission home for all the close areas because the head of the Korean department at BYU, and probably the most knowledgeable man about Korea in the US came and spoke. It was amazing. He talked about Korean religions and how we can build on what people already know. I love hearing people like him who have a PHD from Harvard and just amazingly smart, talk about religion and feeling. He really made us feel like the religion barriers that appear there aren't really barriers but bridges. I read a short easy book that I really liked called "Drawing on the Powers of Heaven" It was amazing and I really liked it if anyone is interested. Its only like 100 pages but it is really powerful. Anyway. I love it here. Thank you for all your prayers and support. I hope all is well.

Elder Anderson

Monday, November 24, 2008

I am staying put for this transfer!

The big news of the week is that it is transfer week! That means I have already been here for a whole transfer. So here is the news. I am staying with Elder Snyder another transfer. Our area has been moved to a 2 man area instead of the 4 man it was. Elder Snyder is our district leader.

Elder Bocchino is still in my district and Elder Wells has been moved clear our to jejudo. That was a shock for everyone I think. Jejudo is a beautiful Island in our area but they speak basically another language from what I hear. Elder Wells will do great. Because our house now only has 2 people I think we are going to be able to be a lot more focused. I'm really excited for this transfer. When a team gets closed they naturally give all there investigators and what not to the other team. So we got an investigator that I have never met but has a baptismal date. Haha. From what I hear he is pretty shy. That's all I really know about him. We will see how that goes.

Thanks for the package by the way. I especially liked the Tarragon. haha.This last week I read a really neat book that I would suggest to anyone. It's called "The Book of Mormon on Trial" It's really good and a really easy read. It is a cartoon book about a trial with the Book of Mormon and it goes through a court of law and proves the book of Mormon is correct. Really cool. The author actually did it in college while getting his law degree. Anyway. I suggest it to anyone if you can find it. We gave the book to a member that is really good at English and she read it in a week. She has been really hurt twice by other religions so she is always skeptical about everything, we actually really like it because she is willing to ask questions. After reading it she said that she never understood how people could cry while bearing testimony of the Book of Mormon but now she understands. It was really cool. The book does not make a testimony, it only strengthens.

We should be pretty busy this week because of suddenly being a 2 man area but it should be good. Thank you for everything you have done. Thanks for the letters and prayers. Elder Anderson

Sunday, November 16, 2008


This week has been great. We got a new investigator this week! He is a referral from some other missionaries, we hope it goes well. He is about 45 and is interested in the gospel. Many Koreans follow the crowd with religion. One of the biggest things for us is to get over that our church is a small church. People look at that and say, "Wow, not many people must like that church." If we came out here and set up a huge church on the top of a hill we would get so many people coming to church. It's a good thing we don't actually. I don't think God is trying to win a popularity contest with the other churches. That is why this investigator is different. He said that he doesn't like how churches here are big and each pastor is different. Yep, that's us. We are small and we teach the same thing all over the world. He is going to bring his son who is our age to our next meeting. I'm excited for him.

We also found a man on the streets that was going to buy some beer and we ended up talking to him for about half an hour and he ended up not buying beer but bought us lemonade. Haha, He didn't seem too keen to meet us again but we left him with our number and hopefully he decides to see.

Koreans are very superstitious. There are things that we wouldn't even think of that they get all upset about. For example, if you burn something, black charcoal gives you cancer. Or you can't sleep with the fan on because you can die.

I don't know where they get this stuff but it's fun. I really love the Korean people. They are a really nice people. They work so hard too. Wow, it is so hard to find a father at home because they always work. They have made a lot for themselves in an extremely short amount of time. This place is still developing like crazy. You can still see some of the 3rd world country that this used to be. I have heard it said a few times that Korea is a 3rd world country that was thrown into the 21st century. It's funny sometimes because you will see a grandma walking down the road and she looks like she is just living on the streets but then she will pull out a cell phone and start chatting away. haha.

Some foreigners in our ward are moving away this week back to the USA. The called us up and asked if we wanted any of the foreign food. We came home with a few bags worth of food like cheese and pickles and peanut butter. Wow. We made tacos last night. So rare in Korea. Anyway, I'm loving it here and the gospel is still going out to the world.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

4 Weeks in Korea!!!

I cant believe I have been out here for 4 weeks! I am now starting to get used to some of the weird things about the mission and the country. I really do love it here. My area is called Heyenda, it is probably the richest part of Pusan so I really do not have it bad at all. It is full of people. The beginning part of this week was pretty tough. We knocked on so many doors and no one would even open them. About half way though the week we decided to go out further from the main city where there hasn't been a lot done. We prayed about where to go and decided to go to this one apartment that was really far away. We went all the way over and found some apartments that have been amazing. We have contacts that we are going to go visit and all sorts of people are letting us in. Its about a 30min walk from where we live, the people are so nice.

It turns out they are full of army personnel. That explains why they all seem to know quite a bit of English. We are so happy the Lord led us to somewhere that would give us a chance and we hope that we will see some more success there. We currently have 2 investigators but neither are really progressing. One of them is getting a hold of some anti material which is really depressing. We are able to answer anything she has given us but she won't stop looking. Heyenda is really nice for me because most the ward and our investigators speak really good English so if i just can't think of it in Korean I can say it in English and they understand. I'm honestly pretty spoiled here.

Here is something interesting: Koreans don't use A B C D E F G when dealing with music. They use Do Ray Me Fa So La Te. It makes sense, they don't use our alphabet but I just never though about it. "Ray sharp" just sounds so strange. Ha ha.
The work is going well and I really do love it. I hope all is well and I appreciate your prayers and support. Love you all! Elder Anderson

Thursday, November 6, 2008

random pictures from Korea

This was part of the first day's activities.... a photo scavenger hunt. Caleb had to have his picture taken with a grandma. When he explained what he was doing (I am not sure if he explained or someone else did) she grabbed him for the picture.
Street tracting.......

An investigator gave Caleb an umbrella, it's a good thing, did you know in Korea the rain makes your hair fall out!

Monday, November 3, 2008

New Horizon

This week has been good. The highlight of this week was the group New Horizon. They are a singing group of missionaries that went to Korea about 30 years ago. They got back together recently and toured Korea giving firesides and we were a stop. We were lucky enough to have them come to our ward. One of the members of the group came to our Gospel principles class (taught mostly in English for foreigners) and talked about the group. He said that there mission president did a survey to find out how many Koreans actually knew the name of our church. 7%. He wanted a way to boost that so he got together some missionaries that could sing and play instruments well and had them start singing and talking about our church with people. Apparently it was a huge success. The got on Radio and Television. Each time they were on they would tell everyone that they were Mormon missionaries and that all Mormon missionaries were tall, white, and loved Kimchee. He talked about people letting missionaries into their house saying, "Ya, I saw you on TV, come in" The president then did the same survey and 70% of Koreans new our church after that. I kindofwish we had something like that today. They all were there for our sacrament meeting and it really donned on me. This is really going to be with me all my life. It was fast Sunday and many of the members of New Horizons got up and talked about there amazing time here and how Korea has always been apart of their lives. Elder Snider and I were talking about it and its just strange that we will eventually be there. 50 year old returned missionaries with only a memory. I will use my time I have to the best of my abilities. The work is hard but I love it.Everything is well, the work goes on.