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

Monday, August 31, 2009

any ideas to quit smoking?

So I got this giant bundle of letters from a lot of different family members. Thanks so much. It's fun to hear from all of you and I really appreciate the support. I would really like to respond directly to all of them but there were like 30 different people and I don't have all day to write. I really appreciated them though.

This week was really good. On Friday we had President interviews which took up a good chunk of the day. We were also practicing for a zone choir fireside so we had everyone there. I really like President Jennings. After the interview we chatted a little about space, sci-fi, and my future business idea dealing with such things. My kinda guy.

On Saturday we went and did that fireside in Chinju and we will do it again this week in Chongwan. It is a really neat little program they have put together and really spiritual. Sunday was probably the best day of the week. We were able to meet with Fernando again and teach him the first half of the second lesson. When we got to where we were talking about our life on earth I introduced the Word of Wisdom. I had been debating it in my head all day and when it finally got to it I felt like it was right. I was at the blackboard explaining the plan of salvation, took a big breath, and laid it down for him. He likes it but is currently doing about everything on the lists. We talked a lot and made a list of why he doesn't want to smoke and drink which came out to about 6 ideas. He then couldn't come up with any on why he does except for addiction. I honestly had no clue what to tell him to do. He wasn't willing to just stop so we made a deal to slow down. He is going to try to only smoke 5 a day and he will call me tonight on how he did. He likes the Book of Mormon but is a little afraid of change. It's difficult sometimes but always do-able. The spirit was so strong during the lesson. I love this work and trying to help people find this better way.

If anyone has any good quitting plans that have worked for people I would appreciate the info. Right now I am just going off PMG, high school health class, and what he and I think of it. He will slowly be able to overcome it. Anyone can with the help of Christ.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

note to LeAnn Albrecht from sister Jennings about Caleb

Sis Jennings sent me some recipes and information this morning about her mission that I requested from her at the Mission Presidents seminar. She had this little paragraph about Caleb that I thought you might like to read it. I cut and pasted so these are her words. You may want to save this for Caleb. They were out doing zone conferences last week and she saw him."I got to see and talk with Elder Anderson as he waited for his interview with Kenneth just day before yesterday and he's doing great. He's healthy, he's working hard, and he seems really happy in the area where he's currently serving. He has a Korean companion who is very intelligent, hard-working, and sweet and I think the two of them are enjoying the companionship. Elder Anderson has also called me twice this transfer about health issues his Korean companion is dealing with and I've been impressed with his kind and caring attitude on behalf of Elder Kang. He really is a sweet young man. He's one of those missionaries that the members (and the mission mom!) just love because they are so cheerful and positive. He has been a good, positive influence in the areas where he's served. I'm not sure his mom knows about a nasty abscessed boil that appeared on his backside in the MTC because he didn't tell the medical folks at the MTC about it for fear of delaying his arrival in the field. We have been treating it here (he got permission to see a local doctor about it) and he reported to me on Tuesday that it was completely gone now and all he has is a funny little nickel-sized scar. I don't know if you want to report that to his mom or not! I leave it to your judgment!"

Monday, August 24, 2009

updates: physical and language

A quick update of my physical self: I left the MTC and a solid 185lbs (5'10"). I just recently weighed myself again. Ever since the field, my weight has slowly been declining to more of where it should have been. Last week I weight in at 152! That's over 30lbs! I'm pretty impressed with myself. It's definitely not a lack of eating either. Leg muscles have increased while my upper body has shrunk. Nose is still there. Before my mission my mother would always get mad at me because I would sit cross-legged (Indian style) at the dinner table. It has definitely got worse. All the men do that here if they are on a chair. I have actually formed callouses on the sides of my feet because of the sitting style. Ha.

Anyway, this week we had a lot of traveling. Monday I went on splits with the Elder Brown from another area because the Koreans who have already done military service went to Busan for some meeting they have to go to every once in a while. Tuesday we all (All the missionaries in the mission) went to Busan for a huge zone meeting. Usually we don't do that but it was President Jennings birthday so the AP's and Mom planned it behind his back. Pretty impressive to pull something that huge off without him knowing until he walked into the room.

Thursday and Friday we were able to work in our area but Saturday we were called in by the Changwon Elders to help out with a bunch of things. Busy week but unfortunately not too much in our area. Franando said he told his family about our church and the Book of Mormon back home but they didn't know what it was so hopefully next time we meet we can get their addresses in Sri Lanka and refer them to the Elders there. We have a few people we may be able to start meeting which we need. The work is chugging along. Korea is amazing. It would be even cooler if I spoke Korean! Ha, no, the language is coming. I was talking to Elder Brown about it and he said before his mission he knew a guy who had gone to this mission and he asked when he felt like he got the language. He just laughed. Elder Brown then asked, "About a year in do you start to feel comfortable?" the reply: "About a year in you start to understand sacrament meeting." Go Korea!! I really do love it. It's way more fun than it is difficult. We get blessed in many different ways. Hope everything back home is going good!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

update on Caleb from my friend who visited with Caleb's mission President

my friend just started their 3 year adventure as mission President in Tokyo. She went to a training in Seoul. " "We didn't have a chance to take off and "see" or visit with close yet so far away. I did see his mission president and asked about him....he said "he is an excellent, obedient Elder. A real strength in this mission. I love that Elder, and I can put him anywhere in the mission with anyone and know they will work hard and find success." So it sounds like he is on track...but did we ever think otherwise??? I told him he comes from "good family stock"! He said..."I am sure they are.....his mother trained him well... do they have any more sons to send.....?" I had to tell him No not this generation. So tell Caleb to keep it up...push to the end.

Korea is the best baptizing mission in the Asia North area. They are Christian which is a first step, and respond well to the missionaries. Korea isn't as clean as Japan at least in the big city. They are having lotst of rain right now...flood stage.... in one day the water was over 18 inches but also went down to level in 24 hours. I asked his mission president about N. Korea, and he says they hear more from home about N. Korea than they do living there. I don't think they are very concerned....but we as missionaries live in this cocoon, and only get out in 2 or 3 years so you may have more insight than I got from being there."

Monday, August 17, 2009

Elder MacGyuver

We have been teaching more Sri Lankans. Strange but true. We taught an amazing lesson to a man named Franando. The spirit was so strong, I was teaching in English but we had to go really slow to make sure he understood everything. It is so fun to see the lights come on in someones eyes. This gospel is amazing. We have done a lot of traveling this week. We had zone conference and all the Korean missionaries ran off to Seoul for a conference so we had to manage around all that. We have been doing a lot of reactivation work recently. A few may start coming back to church which would be amazing. Our goal is to really have them remember what they felt when they were baptized. Most remember the missionaries that taught them and the feelings they had at that time. We just need to rekindle that flame.

Right now I am actually with the 2 elders in Masan because my companion had to go to do a military thing in Pusan. Because everyone must be in the military they have to do little things every once in a while to keep them up on it I guess. We will meet back up in Busan on Wednesday.

My companion and I get along well. He is pretty convinced that I could be MacGyver. I randomly fix things around the house like the toilet or the fridge or the lock on our door. He thinks it's amazing. When I fixed our bikes with only a roll of tape he started singing the theme song to the show. Ha. Now it's an occasional thing to hear him humming it when something that used to be broken is still working. Ha, Koreans. Anyway, the work still moves on. I love it out here in Korea. Its so crazy and foreign sometimes but then I look at American things and that's pretty crazy too. I don't know what to believe anymore. I'll just stick with the gospel. Thanks for the support and love.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

another week

I will explain a little about my current situation. I am still in 진해(chinhae) but i got a new companion. His name is Elder 강창 혼 (Kang). He is from Seoul. He is 22 and has already done the mandatory military. He has been out for 5 transfers. He will probably be a senior this next transfer or the one after. He knows very little English so we have to get by via my Korean and his scattered English vocabulary. It's fun. He is a really fun and nice person. It's really interesting to have a Korean junior. I'm still the first one to talk to most people and he always hands me the phone but if we get in a real bind it's nice to have a fluent speaker. This week we have done a lot of member and less-active visits. The wards have given us lists of the people they want visited. Some have moved and some we are able to talk to and some flat out reject us. That is depressing. It's one thing to get rejected every day by random people on the street but it's much different with a member. We also got 3 new investigators this week. We were in a big shopping mart and I started talking to this group of foreigners. It turns out they are all Sri Lankans working at the huge ship building factory near by. I don't know what it is with me and Sri Lankans but I have met quite a few after Roshan. I now always keep a Shinali(sp) Book of Mormon at the house. We met the next day with 3 of them and talked about why we are here and our message. They actually called us to make the appointment to meet. When they called I could hardly understand but I knew they were trying to speak English. I thought it was just a random person speaking English to me and I only spoke back in Korean. Finally he gave the phone to a Korean and we could clear that up. Oops. They are really nice but busy so we will have to play that by ear. It was a good week. Thanks for the support and love.

Monday, August 3, 2009

New Companion, Elder Kang

I'm going to have to make this short because I am short on time. I have a new companion. His name is Elder 강 (Kang) I am really excited to serve with him. This last week was good. I am finally back in my own area which is really nice. It was a fun week. I really love the work. Thanks for the support. I can feel it all the way over here.