Well it has been a very productive and a very busy week in Elder Stadling and I’s beloved little slice of Daegu, Korea.
It has marked about 2 weeks since Elder Stradling came here to Korea and our first full normal week of missionary work here in 중리. We kept very busy this week and were able to meet almost all of our investigators, several members, partake in our normal service projects, and do some activities with the ward. Elder Stadling and I are doing really great. He has a little bit of a more quiet personality, and is still learning Korean and trying to figure out much of what everyone is saying, but we are working hard and seeing lots of miracles along the way.
Next sunday, on the 25th we are having our 중리 ward conference and much of this last week, and probably much of the week to come will be spent preparing for that. In ward council meetings and with our ward mission leader during member coordination meetings we have been working a lot to focus on who we can invite, how we can best prepare, and what we need to do to make everything happen. Usually our ward has about 40-50 people who attend every week and we are setting a goal of having over 80 there this next week. That means that we are preparing and inviting all of our investigators, all of the people in english class, and all of the less actives we know. It should make for a very great meeting.
Recently in order to get lots of less active members to come the members have been going out to visit them with us missionaries and we have seen a lot of great results. It is so nice to be able to ride with a member (instead of using buses which take a long time) and be able to focus on the people that the members know to visit and work with. It saves so much time instead of us having to track down addresses, find out that they moved, or get there and see that they dont want to meet with us because they dont know who we are. Every sunday our high priest group leader takes us out for a few hours after church and we visit with as many less active members as we can that he knows and who are at home. Whereas he is the former bishop of our ward he knows almost everyone and exactly where they are. We have already found a handful of people who agreed to come to ward conference next week and a lot of less actives are coming back to church.
This week we also took a day to work with one of another 대구 Stake ward’s members to deep clean the church and get everything ready for the meeting. We deep cleaned the carpets, waxed all of the floors and cleaned all of the chairs and windows as well. It amounted to a day of cleaning and working around the church but made for a very clean building.
This week we were able to meet with a lot of our investigators, get them all introduced to Elder Stradling, and have good lessons with all of them. One of the most noteable of the week was with Bryan, who is the Nephew of one of a recently activated member from the Phillipines that we meet with regularly, Jared. A few weeks ago Bryan moved here to Daegu from Busan to work in a different factory and live with his brother. He attended a different church regularly when he lived in the Phillipines and often went to various other Christian churches when he lived in Busan. Now that he is living here with his uncle he has become interested in our church, has been meeting with us regularly to learn about our church, and has started to come every week and read the Book of Mormon. It is a little bit of a challenge because his native language is tagalog and his english and Korean are not perfect but we have been able to have some really great lessons with him, especially through meeting together with his uncle (who speaks a little better english) and teaching him using a tagalog Book of Mormon and teaching materials. This week we had a really great lesson all about the gospel of Jesus Christ and he agreed to be baptized in the coming month. He is really prepared and Elder Stradling and I are really excited to see where it all goes!
Things here in Korea and in 중리 are going really well. This week we had interviews with President Barrow and I really liked a scripture he shared with us, Doctrine and Covenants 6:14. I enjoyed the part which says “blessed art thou for what thou hast done; for thou hast inquired of me, and behold as often as thou hast inquired thou hast received instruction of my spirit.” I think this teaches us a lot about prayer. I not only like that it shows that when we pray we receive instruction from the spirit, but that we are blessed for simply praying at all. I know that God hears our prayers, loves us, and answers them.
Have a great week!