Well this is Elder Lees, coming in to you live with an email on a Saturday (dont worry, it’s not disobedience I promise). It has been quite a week and we have quite a week planned to come! Starting last Monday we have begun our zone conferences. Every Day this week from Monday to friday we have held a different zone conference in a different place with a different zone and are almost done! Currently 5 down and 1 to go. We began with the 부산 (Busan) zone on Monday, the 남부산 (South Busan) zone on Tuesday, the 울산 (Ulsan) zone on Wednesday, the 대구 (Daegu) zone on Thursday, the 창원 (Changwon) zone on Friday and now just the 제주 (Jeju) zone to go next Monday. It has made for a busy week with lots of little things to plan, oversee, coordinate.
The meetings entailed a morning session beginning in the morning and going to lunch, eating lunch together as a zone, and then an afternoon session until about 5 in the evening. This basically entailed waking up early every morning, packing up all of the orders, projector, computer, translating equipment, and everything into President Barrow’s car and traveling out to the various zones. Once there we held the meetings which included talks about various Book of Mormon subjects from Elder 김종석 and I and President and Sister Barrow, a teaching practice conducted by the various zone leaders, a discussion/activity about the missionaries in the Book of Mormon and what we can learn from them by the various sister training leaders, testimonies assigned to a few missionaries in each zone, and watching Meet the Mormons (which has finally been officially released in Korea with captioning). All of these meeting has made for a long week of giving out assignments, conducting meetings, giving talks, stressing out about time and little details, and trying to not forget anything in the process. It has been a crazy experience but also really cool to hear and experience so many uplifting meetings. I gave about a 10/15 minute talk about how the Book of Mormon Answers our questions of the Soul and even though I felt like I had many of the things memorized by the end, learned so much about the role and influence of the Book of Mormon in our lives and missionary work.
I feel like it is such a unique experience and blessing to be able to learn and see so much about what goes into planning and carrying out meetings like these. I have gained so much respect for all the bishops and stake presidents who plan and carry out all the church meetings we have!
Tomorrow night Elder 김종석 and I head to the airport with President and Sister Barrow and Ben to fly to Jeju for our last zone conference. I am super excited for my first trip to the most famously beautiful and most visited part of Korea. We are planning a little bit of a unique meeting as well where we will hike Halla San, which is the highest mountain in Korea, and have our talks, practice sessions, and messages as we stop along the way. Following the conference we will do some exchanges and then come back on Tuesday night. After that trip we are looking forward to another week of exchanges, a Specialized Training for Sisters Meeting, and helping the 상인 Sangin elders move houses. Being busy is truly a blessing and a curse.
Well I dont have a lot of time but I would like to share a quick story that actually happened two weeks ago. Especially when we have weeks like this one, it is really hard for Elder 김종석 and I to find time to meet with investigators and find people to teach. However, recently we had the opportunity to meet with probably one of the most prepared people I have met so far on my mission. A few weeks ago I received a text message to my phone that said “Hello. My Name is Sunwoo Kim. I got this number from Erickson. I want to talk about Mormon.” Apparantely, when returning from a meeting at the mission home, two of the sister missionaries serving in 밀양, Sister Erickson and Sister Amende, met this man on the subway while proselyting and, whereas he lives in our area, gave him my phone number. After calling him, we set up a time to meet at at a Starbucks a short subway ride away from the office. Not knowing what to expect, Elder 김종석 and I went to meet him and had a really great lesson. While he did want to learn some English and we taught him in a mixture of both, unlike many people we meet he had so much genuine interest and desire to learn the gospel. He filled our entire time asking question after question including “my friend recently passed away, will I see him again?” or “what is our purpose in life?” We taught him all about the plan of salvation and the gospel of Jejsus Christ and I could see it making immediate sense and help him. After the meeting he send me this text message in simple English he wanted to practice:
“Elder Rosa? (I dont know the correct spelling) [my Korean name is 리스] Thank you for your kindness I can fell your care. What I understood from a conversation with you. First I must have a faith. Second I must repent for change. Third I got a promise with the god (baptist). Fourth the the holy ghost will escort me. Fifth endure to the end. If so I am going to the suns kingdom. If I have faith the God come to me. I should pray first right? As you have a faith you also have a reason of life. It is happy. I will read the books you gave me and see you Wednesday.”
Sadly we were not able to meet him this week due to his and our busy schedules but have an appointment for the coming days. The meeting was such a testament to me that there really are prepared people out there for us to find. There are people who need to simple answers to the questions that we already know the answer to. “As you have a faith you also have a reason of life.”
This truly is the Lord’s work! Have a great week!