Big Big Big News

안녕하세요!

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Our ward mission leader's son in 해운대 ward or basically the most adorable kid ever

Our ward mission leader’s son in 해운대 ward or basically the most adorable kid ever

           So I don’t know if I really mentioned it last week but this week is the start of a new transfer!  And the first piece of big news is that on Thursday night I received a call informing me that I would be leaving 해운대 and Elder 김주윤 and going to a new area.  But not only that, when I got my transfer call I received a call from President Barrow informing me that I have been called to not only transfer to a new area, but train a new missionary, in my new area.  In our mission they refer to it as “whitewashing” meaning that you go into a new area without another area senior missionary to know where and what everything is.  So not only am I a 6th transfer missionary and do I not know where my house or church is in my new area, but I get to learn it all with a completely MTC fresh missionary.  I will be honest my first impression after receiving that call was fear.  I really felt that I do not know what to do or do not feel ready but as more and more time passes I really feel excited and know it is an amazing opportunity.
          My new area where I have been called to serve is in the 안동 (an-dong) branch which is located way out in the furthest corner of the mission to the north.  It touches both the Seoul mission and the Daejon mission and is the largest and most rural we have.  Ironically I have been transferred from probably the most downtown, urban part of the Busan mission to the most countryside rural part.  When I was talking to one member in 해운대 ward he told me that I was not going to serve as a missionary in the 안동 area but rather that I am about to become the president of the 안동 mission.  It is about a 3 or 4 hour trip from the mission headquarters in Busan out to my new area in 안동 full of various bus and train rides (all of which are most likely really expensive).  I even heard that when we go to district meeting on wednesday we have to wake up at 5 to catch a bus just to go to another area in our district!  안동 is also really famous in Korea for Korean history, Buddhist temples, and being really beautiful.  As much as it is a huge change, especially for a missionary who has never left Busan I am super excited to experience a new part of Korea and new phase in my mission!
          안동 is a small branch, with the church located on the 5th floor of an office building, and about 20-30 members coming regularly.  Another fun piece of news is that because the church has no baptismal font all the baptisms are done in a local river, pretty cool right?  Luckily there are also 안동 sisters, sister 이예지 and sister 김예지 who will hopefully be able to show me and my new missionary where everything is for the first few days.
          This week the new missionaries come in on tuesday night (tonight for me now) and there are 3 new elders and 1 new sister missionary.  The other big news is that all 4 of them are korean.  So even though I still do not know my companion he will be a Korean, which for me is actually a little reassuring and exciting, and he will be my 4th Korean companion.  Today and yesterday I have been with the other two trainers Elder Dietz and Elder 하성준 and we have been traveling all over the mission cleaning our houses, buying food, and making everything ready for the new missionaries to come.
          As much as everything has been crazy and it will be probably be a few interesting weeks of adjustment, I am super excited and looking forward to this new opportunity.  It will really be my chance to work as hard as I possibly can, show the best example of obedience and good missionary work possible, and make an influence on my new companion and my new area.  My goal is to use this time to truly become the most consecrated missionary that I can and work as hard as possible.  I am sure there will be many good things to come.
          I want to share a quick scripture that has really helped me on my mission D&C 64:33-34 “33wherfore be not weary in well-doin for ye are laying the foundation of a great work.  And out of small things proceedeth that which is great; 34 Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and ovedient shall eat the good of the land of Zion in these last days.”
          I have a testimony this church is true, God and Jesus Christ live and love us, the book of Mormon is God’s word, and Joseph Smith really did see God and Jesus Christ.  I am so grateful for this new assignment and the opportunity to be a missionary of the restored gospel.
Wish me luck as I go forward!
Love,
리스 장로
Elder Lees
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