안영하세요 재 사랑하는 여러분!
It feels like the weeks are really starting to fly by here in 해운대 (Haeundae) and everything is going really well!
I guess one of the big things of the week was our zone training meeting that Elder 김인수 and I planned and held this week on Tuesday. It involved a lot of planning, stress, and worrying, but I think that it actually turned out super well. It was my first time planning a missionary meeting of this sort and I never actually knew just how much work actually goes into it! Before you just show up and take good notes, pay attention, and try to learn things instead of worrying about how much time everything is taking, pouring over your notes, and trying to seek revelation for the things that the missionaries need to hear. Because some of the missionaries were busy and we had our service project in the morning we held the meeting in 광안 (Gwangan, my last area) during the afternoon. It involved all 18 of the missionaries in our zone and the AP’s attended as well. The meeting involved opening and closing prayers and hymns, announcements (new missionary certification, housing checks, etc.), a talk by the sister training leaders, testimonies of the trainees in our zone, a discussion about a set of scriptures led by Elder 김인수, an activity to wake everyone up, a teaching practice by the 대신 district leader and his companion, and then a final 15 minute talk by me (terrifying right?).. We decided that the topic of our meeting would Finding and Teaching, the sister training leaders gave a talk about finding, Elder 김인수’s discussion was centered on D&C 84 60-102, the teaching practice was on extending the baptismal invitation (our mission is making a real push to work on extending the baptismal invitation during the first lesson), and I decided to give my final talk about developing the faith necessary to do missionary work and watch together the short video Because of Him. Although I was super stressed about my talk and conducting the meeting (especially because all of our district, zone, and other missionary meetings are all in Korean) I think that the meeting turned out really well and more than anything I am just glad not to have to worry about it anymore.
This week we were able to meet with a lot of our investigators and some new people and see some really amazing things. This week we met with 박지훈 형재님 (our investigator with a baptismal date who is progressing super well) 김도현 형재님 (the son in the family that our bishop’s wife referred to us who we met for the first time and is super interested and wants to learn everything about our church) David 형재님 (our American investigator who is an english teacher here in Korea and even though he isnt progressing super fast has recently been imporoving a lot) 박태환 형재님 (an investigator that has been meeting with the missionaries for a super long time, is a (seemingly really rich) accountant, super good at english and is recently starting to show a lot more interest and has started reading the Book of Mormon), 구종윤 형재님 and 성창열 형재님 (two high school students who dont have a lot of gospel interest but we are able to meet with and share short messages with) and 한무긍 형재님 (a new investigator we found this week). Meeting and preparing for helping these people kept us pretty busy and made for a really good week! Especially yesterday on Sunday a lot of our investigators were able to come to church and it was a super amazing day! Both 박지훈 형재님 and the new family that we were working with came to church and it was super amazing. There were so many of our investigators there that Elder 김인수 and I had to go on splits with some of the members to stay with all of them throughout the meeting. 김인수 went with the two kids in the family to Sunday school with the youth and I attended gospel doctrine with 박지훈 형재님 and the mother of the family and the bishops wife. It was honestly a pretty crazy meeting but I the topic of gospel doctrine was Eternal Families which turned out super perfect, the spirit was really strong, and I think all of our investigators had a really good time. After church on Sunday we had a meal together as a ward (which they do every other week), attended MCM, visited one of the ward members who is in the hospital and brought him the sacrament – 배영천 형재님, went to dinner with another family in the ward who invited us, the B team and sisters, and a one of the B team’s recent converts and his non member family, and then ended the night by doing our zones key indicators. It was a super busy and stressful day but turned out really amazing.
This week we were also able to do some new fun things which kept us busy as well! Our area is 해운대 which is basically a super new, big, bustling, downtown part of Busan, but also includes 기장 (Gijang), which is this giant more rural area above 해운대 that takes about 40 minutes to get to by bus. It is kindof weird to have both a really city area and a really rural area, and it can make it hard to visit members because they live so far away from the church but we try to cover everything as best we can. Anyway, this week, one of the members of our ward has a farm out in 기장 that the asked me and Elder Kim and the B team to help in. Basically it amounted to a whole day of working away with a shovel trying to level an area on a hill for planting, was super exhausting, and my hands hurt super bad from holding a shovel, but at the same time it was a really good opportunity to help our relationship with the members, do good service, eat delicious food that they fed us, experience a different side of Korea, and be reminded of hot days in Montana digging ditches with my grandpa. Another fun thing we were able to do this week was play soccer with the Bishop and his family, a few of the young men from the ward and their friends, and the 해운대 and 광안 elders on Saturday morning. Because almost everyone was Korean and consequently super good at soccer I kind of got made a fool of and it was super cold but it was really fun, i scored a few goals, and we were able to talk a little bit with some of the youth of our wards friends. I think that it is really important to find ways to do missionary work that you enjoy and even though I never thought of it before, sports is a surprisingly good missionary tool!
Basically everything here in 해운대 is going super well, I am really happy, and feel truly blessed. Our area is super cool and has lots of potential, our ward is super strong and has really kind members, we have some really great investigators, recent converts, and less active members that we are working with, zone leader stuff keeps us super busy, my house is super fun with all 4 of us elders living together, and I get along super well with Elder 김인수, who is a super great missionary. I am really just trying to make the best us of my time as a can, learn as much as I can, and help everyone I work with as well. I am happy to be a missionary and be doing Heavenly Father’s work.
Have a great week!