On exchanges in the mission home we had to make a short trip to drive the office elders to the post office, because it had been so long since I have been in the great old mission van, I had to take a picture.
Elder No and I at our service project. Twice a week we walk over and visit the home of a paralyzed man and carry him and place him in his wheel chair.
Today for P-Day we went to a sushi buffet, kind of expensive, but super delicious.
Traditional Korean market here in Daegu called 칠성 (Chil seong) 시장. I refrained of taking pictures in the dog meat section of the market…
Well another week has managed to fly by here! We are coming into the 6th and last week of the transfer this week and it sure is strange! Despite the time flying, Elder No and I are doing well and keeping busy.
This week was special in that we had two sets of exchanges, one with the 상인 A team (another of our district leaders) and another exchange with the Assistants to the President. On tuesday and wednesday I was able to stay here in 수성 and serve with Elder 이한결 (Lee), my old trainee from when we served up in Andong together almost a year ago. It was a really great exchange and a great reunion after being in different parts of the mission for so long. We met with a potential investigator for lunch, did some street proselyting together and taught a few lessons, met with a less active member at the church and had a lesson together, and then went on the military base in the evening to meet with our ward mission leader for dinner. It was a very busy day. It was cool to see how much Elder Lee has learned and changed over time, and especially how much his english has improved! We shared our whole message in english and then Elder Lee even gave the sister in the family we visited a blessing in english. It was a really cool experience.
On wednesday, we went to district meeting and then started our next exchange where I got to serve with Elder Trentman in my old area down in Busan at the mission home. We caught the train down and spent a good day proselyting and visiting a few members. We had dinner with my old ward mission leader from when I served in that ward, and it was great to walk all of the streets I used to walk almost a year ago. It was also really cool to serve with Elder Trentman, who is one of my closest mission friends and we were able to teach together and talk together a lot. We spent the night in Busan and then caught a train back up to Daegu on Thursday morning.
Other than our exchanges, Elder No and I had a pretty normal and good run of things here in 수성! One special thing we have been working on is visiting the members and teaching them and inviting them to get more involved in our ward mission plan, a plan which our bishop calls 1+1. The bishopric here actually made a 4 minute interview like video introducing the program, and we have been working to visit all the members, share the video, and invite them to do more missionary work on their own. The plan, which is based on a few talks from Elder Ballard, focuses on each member thinking and praying and finding a non member or less active member that they can contact, serve, and invite to come to church. The goal is that each member will be able to do more service, increase the size of the ward, and receive the joy of participating in missionary work. We visited a few families including our bishop, shared the video, and invited them to get more involved. It will probably take some time to see the results of this plan, but it is exciting to work together with the members and team up with the bishopric to get everyone involved.
I would like to end with a cool experience that Elder Trentman and I had together on our exchange in 온천 (Oncheon). We had just gotten into the mission office on Wednesday afternoon and set down our stuff and were getting ready to head out to proselyte when we realized that Elder Trentman needed to get something from Elder George, on of the senior missionaries that serves in the office as the financial secretary. We learned that Elder George was out but would get back in after about 30 minutes. Instead of waiting around in the office we decided to head out and try to find a new investigator in the neighborhoods around the mission home in the 30 minutes while we wait. We said a prayer, read a scripture off of our faith card, and then headed out. We talked to about 3 or four people we found on the street and had some good conversations but nothing really special when we got the idea to knock on some doors. As it was daytime, there weren’t a lot of people home, but after a few doors we met an old man in his 80’s who actually invited us into his home for a cup of coffee (which we declined for a glass of water instead). We sat down on the floor in his living room drinking a class of barley water and started to introduce ourselves and ask him about his story. We learned that he has lived in that neighborhood all his life and that he know lives alone as his kids have all moved away and his wife has recently been admitted into the hospital with serious cancer. We talked to him about how he felt, bore testimony to him of God’s love and the Savior’s atonement, and shared with him a scripture about the resurrection and Christ’s understanding of our difficulties and pains. He told us that he really felt something when he read the scripture we shared, thanked us for our visit, and invited us to come back anytime we were nearby. We prayed with him, thanked him for his courtesy, and returned to the office to talk to Elder George. That was the first time on my mission I have ever taught someone by knocking on doors. I left the visit with a full heart and so much gratitude for the comfort that the message of the gospel brings and the courtesy of such a kind, humble Korean old man. In just 30 minutes we were blessed to meet someone, help them, and feel the spirit together. While we as missionaries spend many days walking the streets, being rejected, and not finding those opportunities, it is really those little appointments that make all the difference. It is appointments like that that this work is all about.
“And if Christ had not risen from the dead, or have broken the bands of death that the grave should have no victory, and that death should have no sting, there could have been no resurrection.
But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ.
He is the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened; yea, and also a life which is endless, that there can be no more death.”
I know that this is true!