Christmas Day, Endings, and New Beginnings

(December 29, 2015)


Last District Meeting
Jungri Ward Missionaries
Picture a member took mid Christmas performance
Every Transfer President Barrow sets aside 2 hours for deep cleaning of our missionary houses.  He gives us instruction to make them clean places where the spirit can reside.  Elder Stradling and I take this time seriously
During the Christmas skyping DSC03252.JPG
Well it has been a merry, eventful, and exciting week!
I guess the main highlight of the week was Christmas!  Much of the week last week was spent in anticipation for the big day.  On Christmas morning Elder Stradling and I woke up at the missionary hour of 6:30, both read through the Christmas story in Luke chapter 2 together and then proceeded to open all of our Christmas packages and gifts and stuff ourselves with American candy.  After soaking in the Christmas spirit, a quick bowl of cereal and some rushed showers, we sung a Christmas carol and even started our Personal Study at 8.
Later on in the morning we made our way over to the Dustin’s house (수성 senior missionary couple) who lent my district their 3 Skype – capable devices for calling all of our families.  We took turns calling home, while multi tasking making paper chains to decorate the 중리 ward Christmas party and eating french toast.  It was really great to call home and share the joy of Christmas together.
After finishing up there we headed to the heart of downtown Daegu, basically the most decorated and busy part of town.  It was absolutely full of people and all loud Christmas music, lights, decorations, and shopping.  Our group of 10 made it to an open and slightly more quite spot and gathered together in a line in an area where lots of people were passing by.  With 8 singers and 2 card passers who rotated out, we proceeded to sing Christmas carols and pass out The Savior Is Born Christmas initiative cards.  We actually drew a vary large crowd of Korean people, who all gathered around to see the group of white people in suits singing Christmas songs.  A few people even took videos of us.  We sang and sang and gave out hundreds and hundreds of cards.  We were able to explain to a few people who we were and testify of Jesus Christ but a lot of it amounted to singing loudly, smiling, and sharing the Christmas spirit.  I would like to think that we brightened quite a few peoples days.  It was really fun.
After proselyting together we all went our separate ways and returned back to our areas for our ward Christmas parties.  Our Jungri ward party went on that night from 5 – 8 and turned out great.  The decorations that we made – red and green paper chains and large white intricate hanging snowflakes turned out great, we had a large turn out of members, less actives, lots of investigators and a big group from our English class, the food was delicious, and the performances were fun.  In particular us missionaries did a dance to the song All I Want For Christmas Is You that started out with us singing a hymn on the stage, the lights going out and coming back on to reveal us all in matching Christmas sweaters, me lip syncing the introduction holding a water bottle, and then a choreographed dance which I will be the first to admit I did not do very well.  the performance ended with us running off stage shooting out fake canned snow.  It was quite the performance and everyone seemed to really like it.  Elder Stradling and I returned home at the end of the night quite tired but happy after a warm, productive missionary Christmas.
The rest of the week turned went well too.  We taught some good lessons, had a large turn out of investigators at church, many of which came to see Elder Stradling off.  And we had a great lesson with one of our investigators who committed to be baptized in the coming weeks.
The start of this week also marks the start of a new transfer.  Elder Stradling was transferred away after our 2 weeks of training together here and is now off to serve in 창원 (Changwon) with Elder 하성준.  I have remained here in 중리 (Jungri) Ward as district leader marking my fourth transfer here and the longest I have served in any one area.  My new companion is Elder Ammon Finch, who is in his 4th transfer and Jungri will be his second area.  He is from Provo Utah and really talented at basketball, soccer, music, and art.  We are already planning to utilize his talents with lots of sports activities with our investigators and members, and lots of musical visits to members where we visit, sing, and play ukulele.  It should be a fun and busy transfer!
All in all, life is good.  Holidays, areas, and companions, come and go but I am still working away and giving this work my all.  I wish you all a good week and a happy new year!
Elder Lees

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