I hope that you are having a great week! Time is flying on by!
Probably the biggest highlight of the week was being able to watch general conference. While I have always enjoying conference, watching it as a missionary was a completely new experience. Probably mostly due to the fact that I wasn’t watching it in bed on my laptop and falling asleep, I feel like I got so much more out of this conference than any that I have before. It was great to really prepare for conference by studying the previous ones and thinking of questions, watching it with focus and taking good notice, and trying to look for the patterns within the different messages and how they apply to my life. I can’t wait to get a conference Ensign to study everything too. (I sound like such a missionary huh?). They showed all of the sessions at our ward building and all of the ward members were able to watch it together. My companion and I and the two sisters in my area watched it downstairs in the 서기실 (clerks office) on LDS.org in English. We even brought snacks, it was a full on party. In between sessions we ate 김밥 (kimbap, kind of like korean sushi) 라면 (ramen) and 김치 (kimchee) with the ward, so it was a full Korean conference experience. Watching conference, I noticed that some of the things they talked about a lot was following the prophet, gaining a personal testimony/receiving personal revelation, life decisions and choices, the sacrament, and the law of the fast. So much good stuff, I loved it all. One of my favorite messages was from Elder Quentin L. Cook in the priesthood session about decisions and choices, check it out. Our investigator 정대영 형재님 came to conference on Sunday and watched all 4 hours, even as some members left half way through. He truly is a great guy.
Another big piece of news is that apparently we are in the middle of a typhoon. It seems like people are always saying that typhoons are coming and never really amounts to much, but as I look out the window right now it is super windy and rainy. Nothing too serious, just kind of like an extra big rain storm but kind of exciting. My umbrella turned inside out several times walking around today and we probably wont be able to go out and do street 전도 tonight, but other than that no really big changes.
Missionary work in my area caries on well and Elder Luke and I are working with our ward, our investigators, less actives and recent converts, and as always, finding. A few weeks ago we were visited by Elder Aoyagi, our Area 70 for a mission tour. Among the other things he talked about he encouraged us to work on proselyting more with the Book of Mormon. Accordingly Elder Luke and I have been working a lot on trying to give out as many copies as we can and focusing our 전도 on that. Our zone has even been keeping track of all of our Book of Mormon proselyting efforts and making goals and working towards giving away as many as we can. Although it is surprisingly difficult to give away a copy of a book for free, this week we have actually had some great successes. We’ve been able to give our copies consistently several days in a row and even got peoples contact information to contact them later while doing it. Sadly none of the people we’ve contacted have seemed super interested, but at least with the Book of Mormon we can bear our testimony and hope that through reading it they can feel of it’s power and truth.
Other things we have been working with are the Family English Program and our cell phone. In our mission there is a proselyting tool called the Family English Program (sometimes nicknamed 30/30) which allows us to teach families English for 30 minutes and the gospel for 30 minutes. It is nice because it allows us to meet with people through English, teach them and invite them to experiment with the gospel, and hopefully convert families. It is kind of dangerous because you can end up meeting and teaching people who only want English, but I think that if you are able to teach a family and are clear about your purpose being teaching the gospel up front it has great potential. To advertise this we have talked to a few families we have met and have been putting up signs on message boards around our area. It is something we have tried working on more just recently but have already seen some interest. Sadly we have had to refer all of the people who are interested to the sisters because the family couldn’t meet with a man present, but we are hoping for more with that to come.
Another thing we have been trying is using our cell phone as much as we can. It is something I never really thought about before coming on a mission, but the cell phone is soo key. As our mission president said “the cell phone is one of the most important tool you have on the mission.” Along with members and former investigators we probably have about 800 contacts on our cell phone, with about 300 of them being people we know. This week we have been experimenting on calling people and although it is kind of awkward to be like “hey we’re the missionaries and we found this number on our phone, do you remember us?” it has been really good to clean things up and we have even found some interested people who somehow slipped through the follow up of the past. The other night elder Luke and I were working on this and we had a really interesting chat with one man. I am still not entirely sure why he was on the phone or what he told us, but when we asked him how he met the missionaries he launched into a long story something about the Korean war and how he wants us to go to an embassy in Seoul for him to find his war medal. I still don’t really know what he wanted, but it is little moments like that that you never really expect or get used to as a missionary haha.
Things go well here and we are working around the clock! One thing that I have learned so much on my mission and more so this week is the power and influence of the Book of Mormon. Along with the spirit, the Book of Mormon is such an amazing tool for conversion. I don’t know how I could be a missionary without it. I have always heard the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion, but as a missionary I have really seen what that means. The Book of Mormon is the evidence of Joseph Smith, the restoration, Jesus Christ, our message as missionaries, and everything we stand for as a church, you can hold it in your hands and we are the only church that believes in it. There is a section in Preach My Gospel called “Use the Book of Mormon to Respond to Objections” that is so key to missionary work and our own testimony as members of the church. Basically, if the Book of Mormon is true we don’t need to question anything it teaches, proves, or contains. Did Joseph Smith see God? Why cant we drink tea if some studies say it is good for us? Did we really live with God before this life? Do I need to pay tithing? Why was polygamy practiced in your church? Alcohol has never hurt me why cant I have it? Should I get baptized? If we know the Book of Mormon is true we don’t need to question what it teaches and it defends all we believe. Sometimes I think that missionaries try to answer objections from a logical standpoint too often when for almost everything you can just say, “your real question is whether X was revealed to X Prophet, and the way we can find that answer is by reading and praying about the Book of Mormon.” Getting a testimony of the Book of Mormon is so important and I am glad that I can learn things like this as a missionary. If we all have this testimony we can last through any questions or objections we have or encounter.
Have a great week, study some general conference, and come to love the Book of Mormon!