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

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thumbs up for Korea

I got this from Elder B's blog! Caleb is on the far left giving a "thumbs up"

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Solar- The Lunar New Year

Sorry for the slight delay but this week was one of the biggest holidays in Korea called Solar. It celebrates the lunar new year. It is 3 days long and most Koreans go to visit both sides of the family. Its pretty crazy how packed the roads are. Everyone in Korea was on the move trying to travel. We did a lot of eating with members over the 3 days. The main day we had P-day and so we went with a bunch of missionaries to a college and played sports, mostly American football. It was really fun.

We usually get a bowl of their traditional soup along with other random foods. It's pretty good. I just barely starting to like the traditional rice drink that they serve all the time. Its pretty fun to be in the middle and a part of this culture. This is also somewhat of a memorial day for them where they go their ancestors graves and do little ceremonies to respect them. The main day was on Sunday so church was only sacrament meeting. Everyone is gone to see their family.

Family is so important to Koreans. Whether they are passed away or not everyone seems to have a lot of respect for family. Genealogy is something that is really big. I have heard multiple times of people getting baptized and having over 1,000 years of records of there family. It's been a really good week. We went and knocked doors this one time and I got a solid door slammed in my face. Its a pretty rare thing here because of the cameras at every door so they can just not talk to us if they choose. I had this one old grandpa that didn't look at his camera and just opened the door. I started to introduce us and as soon I said Jesus Christ he opened the door a little more and then gave it a hard slam that shook the floor we were on. Elder Clarke and I just sat there for a second and then just busted up laughing. I don't know why it was so funny but it was. This work is fun but hard. I love it. I hope all is well. Elder Anderson

Sunday, January 18, 2009

deer, drivers and classes

Hello from the great hanguk. This week has been good. We met again with our investigator and he said that he will try to come to church the week after Solar (This Sunday) so he should be coming in about 2 weeks. We are really excited about that. This week we did a lot of organizing of records for our area. We have records of people back to 1998 spread out so we compressed them all into one giant folder, so it is much easier. We started a writing class and that has been going well. They think I'm amazing at English. Well, compared to them I guess I am but they still correct my spelling. Ha. Our normal English class in on Saturday and our writing one is on Tuesday. In our normal class we have a variety of people show up so we needed to separate into 2 groups. I taught the more advanced class and basically just free talked and tried to get them to talk. There was one man that showed up that liked it and seemed pretty interested in the church. Hopefully he comes more and we can talk about it.

We saw deer!! Out of our window! We live right next to a fairly seep mountain and about 100 yards out we saw some little Korean deer. It was quite exciting. Wildlife is pretty rare out here. This week was the first time I went with the branch president to visit less active members and it was quite the experience. I really like him, he is a solid member and really cares for people. He works as a police officer so when I got in his car I didn't quite expect to run 4 stoplights, no seat belt, and all the other crazy driving. Korea is definitely not quite as safe on the roads as the US. You are required to be licenced and there are laws, but no one really enforces it. Kind of interesting. Pretty much everyone runs stop lights if no one is coming, I have seen cars get honked at if they don't run the lights. Ha ha.

Speaking of driving. I was in a bus a few days ago and this little yellow car squeals past us going the other way, fish tails, and comes to a stop in the middle of the road. We were at a stop light so I got to see a man with a clip board jump out of the passenger side, run around the car in the middle of the road, and kick the kid out of the drives seat. I don't think he will be getting his licence any time soon. Some things about Korea are a little different but everyday I see things and think that we are really the same. Same emotions, feelings, thoughts, etc. We all really are children of God. I hope all is well back home. I love it out here. It's hard but rewarding.Elder Anderson

mom: from Caleb's questions this week I learned: He is assigned to one branch, they are encouraged to teach families, the temperature is right around freezing, not too bad. His companion is Elder Clarke, is from Riverton and runs track for UVU, red hair, taller, "everyone likes him" "willing to do."

a favorite saying of Caleb's: "kae kit hal suie sumnida" it means "can be clean" like from sin or your apartment.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Week 2 in my new area (gwae jung) Elder B and Elder Clark is the one with the red hair

I am now a week into this transfer. It has gone pretty well so far. I really like the ward and the area. My first week in church was good. Every time we leave or come into an area we give a short testimony/get to know you talk in sacrament meeting. It went well, Korean is still coming along. We have one investigator that we are teaching but we can only meet him once a week. He is really cool and seems to really like what we have to say. The next step for him is to get him to start coming to church. That is so important for people. Many people think that going to church is just a place where good words are said and we sing but its so much more than that. The sacrament is so important and we really go there to learn. A lot of things are repeated but I think every week I realize something more and things hit me in different ways. It's an amazing time to just stop from the world and focus on spiritual things.

I really like our district. I think its going to be a good transfer. Right now Elder Clarke and I are working on organizing records for missionaries so we know where people actually are. Korea recently changed the way it does addresses so we need to go through and re find people. There aren't nearly as many apartments here as my last area so it is a lot harder to find members we can visit. It will be good though. I am still getting used to the new area but I really like it thus far. Things are going well here. I hope all is well with everyone back home.Elder Anderson

PS from mom: I asked Caleb some questions and here is some more information:
He lives on the 8th floor, the apartment isn't as nice as the last one. He sees a mountain out of his window. They are on the edge of a valley. He doesn't usually come home for lunch as they have to climb a big hill to get home. His companion Elder Clarke is from Riverton. Pictures to come in the next week or two.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Transfer... New Companion... Elder Clarke and I am 21!

When I eat the soup on new years day, I turn a year older. I am 21 in Korea but 19 at home.

Well I'm out of 해운대. It was a lot of fun but I'm moving on along. Elder Snyder and Mikkelsen are now together in the same area but I have moved South. I am now about an hour by subway in Southern Busan. The area is called 괴정 (gwae jung.) I am now with Elder Clarke who is in his last transfer so I will be "killing" him. I am really excited. Anyway, most of my week was still spent in my last area. It was a really good week. Our investigator set a baptismal date which we were really excited for but then the next day didn't come out to church. The lady from English Class came to church again and will now start meeting with the sisters. I hope things go well for them. I decided Koreans seem to be very blunt about things. For example: In English Class a lady randomly told me that I would be more handsome if I got plastic surgery. It was really funny but I did not know what to say to that. i just stared into a corner and suppressed a laugh. Also one of our members gave me a going away present that is lotion that will supposedly get rid of my birthmark. Ha. Thanks but I like it.

Anyway, I still love them but it is definitely a different culture. I'm really excited about serving with Elder Clarke. I was defiantly spoiled in my last are but this is more of what Korea supposedly is. It's kind of strange because I have grown attached to that ward and our investigators and now I am switching everything around and will be serving in the same way but different place. It's hard to explain but I am ready to start up. I love the work. Thanks for all the Christmas things from so many people. I appreciate the support so much. Missionaries live off mail. Thanks again.Elder Anderson