It has been another great week here in Busan! Elder Luke and I have started out our new transfer strong doing much of our normal fun 광안 missionary work. This week we met with our investigators 정대영 형재님, 윤영언 형재님, and 박신곤 형재님 a few times, taught english class, went to our teaching blind people pop songs service activity, had district meeting, visited less active members, taught gospel principles at church, and did some proselyting. Everything continues to go on much the same and we were able to have great lessons teaching 정대영 형재님 about fasting, tithing, and obeying and honoring the law (finishing up the commandments lesson), 박신곤 형재님 about the Plan of Salvation and Gospel of Jesus Christ, and trying to help 윤영언 형재님 understand the purpose of the Book of Mormon and his reading. 박신곤 형재님 attended church for the first time this week, had a great time, and with 정대영 형재님 there were 2 investigators at church! Everything with 박신곤 형재님 continues to go really well and as long as we can continue to meet as frequently as we are and he doesnt have too many difficulties with the commandments (which it doesnt seem he will), we are on tract for his baptism in late October! Our ward has also put us in charge of a big ward member missionary work meeting they want to have so we have been planning activities, speakers, videos, and materials for that as well. We are hoping this will be a good way to help get the members more involved and excited to invite their friends to learn more about the church.
One thing that I have come to find about people in Korea and being a missionary here is that people are super busy! Students study and work at their other jobs until really late and a lot of the time adults with careers dont get home until around 8 at night. Sometimes we call our ward mission leader at like 930 after planning and we find out that he is still at work! This can really make meeting with people difficult. This week we sadly werent able to meet with our investigators as much as we wanted, but had at least one lesson with each of them. Because of this we did lots of finding new investigators and planning for our ward member missionary meeting. That kind of made the week not super fun, but all part of the job! It is really important to plan well with people and try to fit in as well with their schedules as we can.
Especially as we need more investigators and we are always trying to find new people to teach, Elder Luke and I have been doing a lot of proselyting this week to try to find new people and even been experiementing with different varieties and I thought in this email I would explain a bit about it. It seems weird to use the word proselyte because I never really used it before, but the reason I write it so much in my emails is because all the missionaries call it 전도 (which translates as proseltying). 전도 is basically just trying to find new investigators. Common missionary nicknames for different types of 전도 are 길 전도 (street proselyting) 영어 전도 (english class proselyting) 지하철 전도 (subway proselyting) sticker boarding and 가가호호 (knocking doors). Calling former investigators is pretty common as well. Elder Luke and I are particularly fond of doing 길 전도 (street proselyting) and 영어 전도 (english class proselyting). 길 전도 (street proselyting) usually involves just like what it sounds like, walking the streets and trying to talk to people. Because people are so busy in Korea and are not always home (or they have cameras at their doors so that you cannot talk to them face to face) Elder Luke and I like doing this the best. We look over our maps and decide on a direction to go and with Book of Mormons and pamphlets try to go out and talk to people. I am not going to lie, 전도 is pretty not fun and it is never very easy, I am pretty sure everyone would rather be teaching lessons, but it is just part of missionary life. We try and talk to as many people as we can, find a somewhat natural way to start talking to them (super hard) and then gradually shift into religion, introduce the restoration or a gospel topic, testify about it, and then offer them a Book of Mormon or ask for their contact information to meet again. It is really hard to find interested people and most of the time we are only able to give out only a few copies of the Book of Mormon, but there is something so “missionary” about heading out among the people trying to share a message. Sometimes I am afraid people probably think we’re strange as we are praying on the side of the street to try to decide where to go, or awkwardly stop someone on the street just to ask “where are you headed?” but it is all part of the job! I am not super good at it and dont always understand what their saying, but if I can bear a little testimony and leave people thinking good things about us, I am happy. Along with other variations we also do some 영어 전도 (english class proselyting). Usually we do this with the sisters in our area, but we take a big sign that says “free english conversation class” and a bunch of surveys, go to a crowded part of our area such as by the beach or the university, hold our sign, and say “영어 좋아하새요?” (do you like english) or “영어 배우실래요?” (doing you want to learn english?). When we first started doing this I thought that it wasnt as good because it wasnt as strongly tied to the gospel, but we usually recieve a lot of contacts and have a lot of interest when we do this. Foreigners + english = interest. Especially if we do our english class welcome interview later on and talk about the gospel it works quite well for finding investigators too. In a country where a lot of people are not Christian, have bad views on Christianity, or are really busy and do not have lots of interest, english class is a great finding tool, especially where as our english class here in 광안 is so big. We found 박신곤 형재님, who is probably our best investigator, this way too!
Today was our P-Day and one of the ward members who comes to our english class, he likes us to call him Brother Steve, took us on a tour of the UN memorial and the Busan Museum right nearby in our area. Elder Luke and I decided we wanted to start having sweet P Days and see all of the Busan sights to take advantage of the fact that we live in an area in Busan. The museum actually turned out to be closed today, but we walked around the UN memorial which is a huge cemetary commemorating the service of all the various country’s soldiers during the Korean war. The grounds were beautiful and there were tons of super cool things to see. It reminded me somewhat or Arlington Cemetery in Virginia(?), but Korean. Check out some of the cool pictures!
Things continue to go well here and it is satisfying to be working hard and trying to help people draw closer to Christ every second that I can. Even though it can be hard, especially when the weeks are long and we are going out and walking the streets trying to talk to people for 3 hours at a time, when we find someone like 박신곤 형재님 who is interested, teach them, and help them gain faith and progress, it is truly amazing. I know that this work is important because I know that this church is true!
I hope everyone has a great week!