Another great week has gone by here in Korea and things are going great! Every week that goes by I can feel myself getting more accustomed to what is going on around me and the life of a missionary in 부산 (Busan).
One thing that has been different this week is that today is 추석 (chuseok)! Happy 추석!! Korean’s explain 추석 as a harvest holiday similar to American thanksgiving, but it is probably the second biggest holiday in Korean behind 설날 (solar), the new year. Because of 추석 things have been slightly different in terms of our daily schedule. People typically travel to visit their family members so a lot of our ward members, investigators, and people in general have been out of town. Today, which is the official 추석 day, is super quiet with all of the shops and restaurants and much of the city shut down. Because we haven’t been able to meet with and visit a lot of people we’ve spent a lot of our time proselyting and trying to chat with people who don’t have many plans for the holiday and doing other necessary missionary work that we haven’t been able to get around too.
Today, being P day, we had a big 추석 celebration at the mission home with a lot of the missionaries coming in from the surrounding zones. It was really fun to see and get to know all of the people who serve in the mission and see some of the other people who are being trained and arrived with me! Everyone is really nice and a lot of my MTC group seems to be doing really well. It is really fascinating to talk to missionaries in other zones about their areas and hear about what it is like. My area, 광안 is probably one of the most downtown city areas in the mission and actually has a pretty large ward and english class. Hearing other missionaries talk about serving on small islands, riding bikes through rice fields, or serving as counselors in their branches with 20 members makes me realize how different things are all around and how much I still have to experience! I love my area and couldn’t have picked a better place to be trained. I am looking forward to seeing more of Korea as well!
At our 추석 meeting today all the missionaries ran a 5k organized by president Barrow. President Barrow and his family are big runners, which I am not as much. Elder Luke and I go running every morning and I actually enjoyed running (jogging) the race today. We also had a meal and played board games and talked all together. It was a good time.
I was able to go on exchanges in 해운대 again this week, this time with elder 문. Elder 문 hardly speaks any English at all but i was surprised with how well I could speak with him and how, even though we couldn’t say a lot, we could work well together. I can really see how having Korean companions makes a huge difference in learning the language. We met with some members and did lots of finding new investigators and actually got a few contacts, which was exciting.
Other than that, our week was another pretty normal one! We taught English class, had a couple meetings with members, and lessons with 정대영 박재회 윤연언 오삼석 and 박신곤. Our lesson with the new investigator that we found, 박신곤, went really well and he seems to have real interest in the church and hearing more and more about it. We invited him to be baptized and he agreed that once he found out it was true he would. All we have to do is set a date in the upcoming meetings and help him to find the truth of our message. We are really excited for him and are hoping for the best! 정대영 has been really busy with school starting up again but we are continuing to teach him and hoping for change with his parents. Several of our other investigators are hard to teach because we are not sure of their interest in the church. They come to English class and have been reading the book of Mormon and meeting with the missionaries regularly, but are not progressing. We are trying to teach them as many of the basics as we can and help them to build their faith, but might have to stop teaching them if things do not improve.
It has been a kind of quiet week, but I have really come to see and understand better the idea of faith. All of us as members, missionaries, and investigators need to develop faith in the truth of the gospel in order to gain a testimony. If we find out and know that the Book of Mormon is true and that God loves us and work to develop our faith we can know with certainty the truth of all things. As we develop faith we can trust that things will work out in God’s way.
I am loving every day and trying to help and do all I can! Have a great week everyone!