Monday, December 30, 2013


Hello! Today is a good day... Elder Murdock and I ran to the computer place to email. I haven't run in a really long time. I'm out of shape. But it's good to get outside and get running every once in a while.

It was Christmas! Christmas was so awesome. Because we're in the outskirts of Korea in Kangwondo, we traveled to Seoul on Christmas Eve and went shopping and ate McDonalds that night. I haven't had McDonalds in 7 months. My stomach wasn't happy with me for that, so that night was less fun than most nights. But we slept at the temple, which I really like. The next morning we traveled to the Sheendang chapel and had our Christmas conference with the mission! It was super awesome. Afterward we traveled home and had a little Christmas with us 4 Elders living in the Wonju house. It was pretty fun. Elder Diede got a little basketball hoop and ball, and I must say that I've gotten PRO at dunking. Pro.

Christmas was great. But it's kind of nice to get back in the routine of missionary work. Breaks are welcome, but they throw off my groove.

Elder Chio and I. He's awesome.
At church yesterday, we had two investigators come out to church! It was super cool. That hasn't happened since I served in Changwi, so I was pretty happy. One is a pretty old investigator (missionaries have been teaching him for a long time), and the other is a brand new one. I hope they progress!

Life is good. Missionary work is awesome. 6:30 comes earlier and earlier every morning. I figured waking up would get easier, but I think it did the opposite.

Happy New Year!
Love, Elder Edwards
Christmas dinner.
For Christmas we sent Spencer a book of pictures of the last
19 years of his life. I've included the link below if you would like to see the book. :)

Monday, December 23, 2013

메리 그리스마스!

Merry Christmas! It's December 23rd... That's really really weird. I'm not entirely sure where that last month went.

I'm in Wonju!

I'm in Wonju! It's different from Taebeck. SUPER different. Mostly due to the fact that there are people here. My new companion, Elder Murdock, is awesome. He's a year younger than me in real life and a transfer younger than me in mission life. It's interesting making the switch to having completely fluent companions to having someone who is also trying to learn Korean. He doesn't talk too much, so it's mostly up to me to talk to people! I'm trying to help him out with that. I figure it will be a huge growing experience for both of us. Hopefully I'll be fluent by the end of this transfer (jokes.)

Shoveling in Taebeck.

Wonju is super great. There's not as much snow as Taebeck, but it makes up for it by having TONS of people. The Elders who come from Seoul to Wonju say that there are no people in Wonju... But there are tons. I think every missionary should serve a couple transfers in Taebeck to put missionary work in perspective. It builds character. Our branch has about 30 people who come out to church on a regular basis. I really love them all a lot. We had a branch Christmas party with them all on Saturday, so I got to get to know them a little bit. On Saturday night, the branch president asked me to give my introductory talk in church the next day (which is normal for leaving/arriving missionaries)... but then told me that the main speaker was sick for Sunday, so I needed to give a 10 minute talk. *sigh* Sunday morning was a little stressful, but I managed to prepare well enough (I hope.)

Our (new) branch president w/ family in Taebeck.

I'm the district leader here. And part of the district leaders job is to pass people off (Pass-off is the language/lesson program in our mission.) And there is a new Korean sister in our district who is doing pass-off. So she passed off the 3rd and 4th lessons to me. HOLY BALONEY BATMAN THAT WAS SO TERRIFYING. She's fluent in Korean and I'm supposed to be able to understand everything and answer questions and give positive feedback... in Korean. It was scary. But I did okay for myself :)
My new companion, Elder Murdock

Wonju is great. I'm excited for a new area and a fresh start. The members are cool, my companion is easy to get along with, the language is coming (slowly), kimchi is still spicy and delicious, and the church is true! God lives, he sent his son, and through Jesus Christ we can overcome all things. I know that!

Merry Christmas!

Love, Elder Edwards

The chicken guy and his son. We ate chicken there probably
3 times a week. I hate that chicken now.

The nice dog that we met. I think his face was melted.

Elder Fronke and I on exchanges. I miss that kid.

Probably my favorite family in Taebeck. The kid on the left
is our lone priest, and the lady on the right is his mom.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


Korea's good. It finally snowed hard. I love snow. But because our branch is so small and snow plows only plow main street, we had to shovel the church parking lot. That took FOREVER. And it was still snowing hard the whole time, so we had to shovel twice. It was a long time. It was also super cold this week... because the summer was so hot, I thought the winter would be a little more enjoyable, but it's still really cold.
Elder Fronke and I went on exchanges this week to a little town called Gohan about 20 minutes from Taebeck by train. It's kind of a ski resort town, so we knocked on a couple of resorts that were full of 25 year old ski bums. One of them actually let us in, but only because we looked pretty miserable because it was so cold. We tried to talk about the BOM, but he had no interest. And then they called the authorities on us after we left (we could hear the phone conversation through the door.) So we hoofed it out of there and went and found an apartment with more families. That wasn't working too well, so we hiked up a super long mountain road to a bunch of old Korean houses on the mountain. It was super cool. We had to hike through a bunch of snow to get to most of the houses/cabins. And we found this sweet dude! I don't really know why he let us in... at first he told us to go away, but then he asked us if we wanted coffee (being miserably cold looking is a way to get into people's houses, I guess.) I said we don't drink coffee, but he invited us in anway. He's totally a 55 year old ski bum who just chills in a cabin all by himself and skis everyday. Sounds like an awesome life. We talked for a while and shared the BOM and set up a return appointment! Super cool.
Transfer calls came! I'm leaving Taebeck, and going to an area called Wonju, which is in the same zone, so it's still a pretty small city. But a lot bigger than Taebeck. I'm super excited! My new companions name is Elder Murdock, and he is an American missionary one transfer younger than me. I'll move to Wonju tomorrow. And I'll be the district leader there! Weird. I feel way to young in the mission to lead anyone. But it should be fun, and I'm looking forward to help the people in Wonju. I loved Taebeck, and I'm a little sad to leave because things were just picking up here, but I'm definitely ready to leave.
I gave my goodbye talk in sacrament yesterday. Someones phone went off. It was SUPER loud. And a rock song. Totally ruined the spirit. And no one was turning it off! Then Elder Jang who was sitting on the stand kicked me and told me it was in my pocket. That was kind of embarressing (<-- I can't figure out how to spell that. And there's no spell check. Sorry.).
Life is good! I eat lots of eggs and I'm excited to serve in Wonju!
Elder Edwards

Sunday, December 8, 2013

All my heart and Seoul.

Good week this week!
Elder Fronke and I went on mini exchanges yesterday after church, and we went and visited a less active and an english class member and knocked doors. It was actually really fun. And while we were knocking doors, we found a lady who was super interested!!!!! That's never happened to me before while knocking doors. She opened her door, we told her who we are and that we wanted to share a message, and she invited us right now! But, she lives by herself, so we couldn't enter her house (as a missionary, we need at least another man present.) That was a huge bummer. But we got her number and we will be reffering her to the sisters. Awesome. I was on a missionary work high after that experience.
On Tuesday after planning, we were getting ready for bed when a knock came on the door. It was the Assistants! Which was kind of scary, mostly because one of our Assistants is 6' 8" and he kind of towered in that dark hallway. They came for Zone training meeting the next day, so they slept at our house and traveled with us to Zone training. AND, I got to do my final pass-off to an Assistant, which means I'm done. SWEET.
There was a wedding in Taebeck on Saturday. A church member who used to live in Taebeck got married to a non member. In Korea, it's tradition to get married in your hometown. So we got to go to a wedding. It was in Korean. So I didn't get a whole lot out of it. But there was a sweet buffet afterwards, so I guess it was worth it.
I gave a talk in Sacrament meeting yesterday on families. I discovered a fool proof way to not rush when giving a talk in Sacrament meeting. Do it in another language! It was kind of terrifying, but I think I killed it. Maybe. Preparing the talk in Korean was suprisingly easy. I only needed about half the material for a normal 15 minute talk because I can't talk nearly that fast. It was sweet.
I read this poem in one of Jeffrey R. Hollands talks this past week:
      It darkens. I have lost the ford.
      There is a change on all things made.
      The rocks have evil faces, Lord,
      And I am sore afraid.
That talk and this poem hit me pretty hard. The talk was about enduring trials and hoping for "a better world". Taebeck hasn't been super easy, and so I felt like this talk applied really well for me. How grateful I am for Jesus Christ, who is our light. "I am the light which shineth in the darkness", "I am the light of the world", "I am... the bright and morning star", "... a light that is endless, that can never be darkened." Christ knows us perfectly. And he atoned for all so that we may be happy. He knows our trials and hard times, and he lights the way, no matter how dark. I know that!
Korea is still great. I like kimchi. I miss eating real vegetables, though.
Elder Spencer Edwards

Monday, December 2, 2013

감사하는 날! (Thanksgiv​ing)

Hello from Taebeck! Taebeck was good this week. We finally got some snow, which was super awesome. But it's all melted now, which is less awesome. I want more snow.
A magestic view of Taebeck and yours truly.
This week was a week of many exchanges... On Tuesday night I went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders to Gangleng (I butchered that romanization), and had an opportunity to go teach some of the Zone Leaders' investigators... That was SO cool. That may have been the first time on my mission where I could walk from one appointment to another, teaching people with genuine interest. I felt a little bit more like a missionary then. One kid we taught was so interested and asked all of these great questions, and I felt the spirit so strong! It made me so grateful for people who are prepared and want to accept the gospel.
Taebeck district!
Elder Fronke have also been on exchanges for three days now (which is not normal, they're usually just a day.) On Saturday was our planned exchange, which went great, and then the Zone Leaders called and said I needed to come finish off a last little bit of pass-off with them, so I had to go back to Gangleng right after church yesterday. Elder Fronke came with because Elder Mills and Elder Jang had to do church and tithing stuff. So Elder Fronke and I just got back to Taebeck this morning. Bleh. Around 10 hours on the train total this week. But, I got Pass-off done with the Zone Leaders, and the Assistants might be coming to the Zone Training Meeting this Wednesday, so I will probably be able to finish completely by then. Good stuff.
Our thanksgiving dinner.
Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving doesn't exist in Korea. :( Sad day. But, President Christensen loves us, so he usually arranges for every missionary companionship to go to an American members' home for Thanksgiving dinner (there are a lot of army bases in Seoul with lots of Americans, so we have quite a few American members.) But... Those Thanksgiving dinners are for every missionary except for the missionaries in my zone because we are too far away. SAD. So our Thanksgiving dinner was pizza. It was good pizza, I guess.
Well... not much more to say. We visited our drunk friend this week, and he was sober for the first time I've ever seen him! It was cool. We had a nice conversation. But he was only sober because he was out of drinking money... we're trying to get him off alcohol. Don't drink! It messes you up.
I hit 6 months the other day. That was weird. I'm not sure what to think about that one.
Life is good! I love you all!
Love, Elder Edwards

The ocean!


Monday, November 25, 2013

초등회 발표!

Practicing the Asian squat. (which is called kimchi squat over here.)
This week was good. It warmed up a little bit, but with the warmth came rain. And rain in Korea is kind of acidy. So that was less good.
Taebeck has Sister Missionaries now! We haven't had Sisters since around the 80's (I feel like I might have talked about this last week... but I'll plow through anyway). So now our Taebeck district is the 4 of us elders (me, Elder Jang, Elder Mills, and Elder Fronke), and the 2 sisters (Sister Hunsacker and Sister Ellis). We moved them into their new apartment on Monday and set up all their desks and living materials and such. Their apartment is BRAND new. And it has air con. Which is kind of pointless now, but will definitely help next summer. Sisters are kind of spoiled. There is no way an Elder house would get to have AC. No way. Maybe if the mission had a huge excess of money.
Helping a member set up his new electric bike.
I had a cold this week (nailed it, Mom). Elder Mills gave it to me, I had it all week, and then I gave it to Elder Jang. It's now subsided to just a cough, so no worries. I took advantage of my sickness to learn 'cold' vocabulary... To cough, to hawk a lugie, to sneeze, to spit, to blow the nose, mucus, phlegm, etc. All good and gross vocabulary. I enjoyed learning those. I am on a Korean learning HIGH right now. That doesn't mean I'm doing super good at it, but that I am really enjoying learning it. I finished the Pass-off program, which is a language learning program for new missionaries where you have to learn vocab and practice teaching and memorize scriptures. But now I'm done! So now I can study whatever and however I want. It's glorious. It's still plenty difficult, but there is some improvement to be seen.
Our primary. The 3 on the left are all siblings,
and the 3 on the right are all siblings.
We had our branch primary program at church yesterday. That was fun. 6 kids total. Ranging from ages 5 to 15. It's really interesting to see the difference in the primary programs back home and here. At home, maybe 1/3 of the kids get a speaking part... while here, they just rotate through the 6 of them and they each have about 8 speaking parts. It was fun.
Life is good. Korea is fun. I like the cold. 
Elder Spencer Edwards
Elder Whittaker! He's from Kaysville, and
I got to see him at the combined conference.
Elder Mills! I love him.

Walking to the only Emart (like a Korean Walmart or Target)
in Taebeck. That took us a solid 2 hours.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Seoul week

This week was fun. LOTS of traveling. Probably a total of 12ish hours spent on busses/trains/taxies. Bleh.
We started the week out by attempting to clean out one of our members' houses... He is 80 years old, not married and has no kids, so he lives alone in this little apartment. He's super awesome and smart... He studies at the library everyday from noon to 8 pm. It's crazy. He studies English and Confucionism and the Gospel. And he's pretty well versed on all of those things. Super cool. Anyway, he has lived in his apartment for over 30 years. And he's a hoarder. Real bad. I don't think he has ever cleaned his house before.
Awesome(ly dirty) house.
So we attempted to clean it on Tuesday. Super nasty. But super cool, because there was a bunch of super old and cool Korean things. We found a sweet, ancient Korean typewriter. It still worked! In the end, we couldn't really clean anything because he wouldn't let us throw anything out. But I managed to wash some dishes. I almost threw up, but I managed.
We went to Seoul on Friday! Long time no see. It's been since the end of September since I've been there. We went and bought some warm stuff because Taebeck is filthy cold, and then went to the temple that night to sleep and for a session. That was really good.

Waiting for the train at 7:30 in the morning. COLD.
On Saturday, we had a huge dual-mission conference. Seoul mission combined with Seoul South mission, and we all got together at Yeoung den Po chapel for a cool conference. Two members of the quorum of the 70 spoke. One of them actually spoke in conference a few times ago (Elder Ellis.) The conference was really good, I got to see a bunch of missionaries that I thought I would never see because they're in the South mission.
My trainer and I.
After the conference, we headed over to Gangnam (anybody heard of Gangnam Style? Yeah. That Gangnam. That's right) to catch a bus back to our area. Gangnam is CRAZY. It's the most packed and busy city I've ever seen. It made me kind of glad nobody is in Taebeck. A lot more peaceful. Anyway, we caught a bus to our zone for a district (zone) conference of all the branches of Gangwondo. That was good. We slept over at the Ganleng Elders' apartment, watched some more district conference, and then came back to Taebeck. Finally home. It's been a long but fun week.

Tool time before the funeral.
On Wednesday we went to a Korean funeral. SUPER cool. One of our branch members' mom died, so we were expected to go to the funeral. In Korea, when someone dies, all of the relatives and friends get together and eat a lot of food and drink lots of alcohol. They also do something called 절 (Jurl), which is a cool bow to show respect for the dead. So we got to go do some sweet Korean obseiance bows.
Korea is awesome. I love it here.
Elder Edwards
A nice morning run. Really cold.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

bbay bbay ro

Hello friends and family!
Life is good. Taebeck is cold, but I still wear shorts on Pday cause I'm awesome. So most of the Koreans think I'm crazy, but that's okay. Maybe the attention drawn to my exposed calves will help them to remember me when I try to talk to them later... Maybe. Today is "bbay bbay ro" holiday. Bbay bbay ro is kind of like a stick pretzel with chocolate on it. And the whole holiday is just buying bbay bbay ro and giving it to each other. Free candy. I kind of like it. Maybe I didn't miss Halloween after all.
DELICIOUS korean food.

Our new branch president is super awesome. We talked a lot yesterday about the work in Taebeck and how we can hasten it better. He has some interesting ideas... somewhat weird ideas, but good ideas nonetheless. He's a man with a plan, and he's ready to put it in action. I like it a lot. It's always easier to do missionary work when the members are on your team and actively helping and trying new things. So I'm excited for that.
Our Taebeck branch!

Transfer calls were this past Wednesday. All four of us Taebeck Elders are staying in Taebeck and keeping the same companions. BUT, we're getting two sister missionaries as well! They will be coming to Taebeck on Friday. There haven't been sisters in Taebeck since around 1985... so I think there is some important work that they can do here!
This week was a good week. Now that our old branch president is gone, we can clean out the baptismal font without fear of making him mad... (he was using it as a storage closet.) So we cleaned it out and now it looks like a baptismal font again! It may be less convenient to lose that storage space, but I see it as having more respect toward the ordinance of baptism, and as a symbol of hope. Nothing says "We don't baptize" like a baptismal font used for storage. But now it's much better. :)
Cleaning the baptismal font...
There is a great fried chicken place here and it's pretty cheap. So, we've been eating there around 3 times a week for the past 6 weeks... it's starting to get gross now, but we gained an investigator out of it! The owner is pretty cool, and he has a son that wants to learn English. So he agreed to give us free chicken every week in exchange for teaching his son. SWEET. So now the four of us missionaries go to the chicken house and eat free chicken every week. Elder Fronk and I teach the son English, while Elder Jang and Elder Mills talk to the owner about various things. Elder Fronk and I teach the kid (his name is Hyun Jay) English for 30 minutes and then gospel for 30 minutes. Last week the lesson with him was kind of awkward, but we taught him about God and prayer and committed him to pray. And he did! He said that he prayed a few times that week, and he felt good. So Elder Fronk and I taught him again this week about the Book of Mormon and finding peace through it. It's been really awesome. And he's progressing!!! I have great hopes for Hyun Jay.

Life is good!
Love, Elder Edwards
Cute Korean kids.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Greetings from Taebeck!

It's cold here. And gloriously pretty. The leaves are all red and orange and yellow and green and it smells like fall. Halloween was pretty uneventful. Everyone knows what it is, but no one celebrates it here in good old Taebeck. So we spent halloween night tracting. Lot's of fun.
We said goodbye to our branch president yesterday, President Lee. He moved to Seoul. I think he was really good for the branch, but not so great for the missionaries. He really had no hope or drive for missionary work, and whenever we talked to him about missionary work he told us to just "sit back and relax.... Taebeck is a vacation." Which is so frustrating! Missionary work is hard in itself, but it makes it all the harder when our ward mission leader/branch president encourages us to sleep all day! Bleh. But he's gone now. So now we're going to clean out the baptismal font because he used it as a storage closet. Which I kind of don't think is okay. Another branch member is now the branch president, and I think he will do really good. My companion is the 1st counselor. Sweet.
I'm getting pretty sick of Spam. We eat it almost everyday. For some reason the members think we like it or something... so they give it to us every once in a while. Blech. Kimchi, rice, cereal, and spam... a missionary diet in Korea. Yum. But sometimes members give us fruit, which is super great. We don't get fruit very often because it's expensive. I also figured out this week that the only vegetable I've eaten in country is kimchi... I think I need to eat more vegetables. That might be good.
Taebeck is good! The 4 of us missionaries working in Taebeck eat from a fried chicken place every so often, and he asked us to teach his son English! Which is pretty exciting. So we do the 30-30 program with his son, which is 30 minutes of English and 30 minutes of Gospel. The son is not super interested in the gospel, but we'll bring him around :)
I love you all!
Love, Elder Edwards

Monday, October 28, 2013

Korean boy bands

Squid Jerky. Yum. I'm pretty sure they pulled it out of the
ocean, hung it on a line, and then packaged it. Very chewy.
Hello from Taebeck!
This week was pretty short as far as weeks go... Not a whole lot of exciting things to report, but I'll do my best. We had interviews with President today (which is why I'm emailing so much later), and those went great! President Christensen is a truly amazing man, and it was good to pour out my heart to him about Taebeck and missionary work and everything! That was really good for me.
Our amazing President and Sister Christensen.
And then he fed us lunch and told us the best method to remove an appendix (he's a surgeon). It was pretty sweet. Maybe I'll try it on my companion or something.
Our mirror randomly fell off the bathroom wall this week, which was kind of crazy. It exploded into a million pieces ALL OVER the apartment. So it's not super safe to walk around barefoot, as a couple of us have learned the hard way. So we're currently mirrorless, but that's okay because we're a bunch of dudes. Elder Fronk and I went on exchanges this week and knocked A LOT of doors... which was super fun. Korean old men don't really care about a whole lot of things, so if they're chilling in their birthday suit when they hear a knock at the door, they don't bother with putting anything on. Kind of weird trying to preach the gospel to naked dudes on the doorstep. It was mostly just SUPER funny.
Brother Lee.
Our lone Aaronic priesthood holder, whom I love so dearly.
A boy band came to Taebeck on Saturday! They were pretty awful... which is why I think they came to a town as small as Taebeck. But there was some pretty sick bass booming through Taebeck that night while they sang, so I'm not complaining. Nothing brings the spirit like bad singing and throbbing bass. :)
Taebeck is good. It's still really small and getting colder. The language is still awesomely hard. I tried to ask my branch president what time his train would be departing, but instead I asked him when he would give birth to his baby. Nailed it. Luckily he's sometimes nice, so he didn't get mad at that one. Just laughed. It was honestly pretty funny... at the expense of my lack of ability :)
I love you all! Keep the faith!
Love, Elder Edwards
A "Done Bollay" or money bug. We've found those in
Elder Singers bed a few times now. I usually pray that my bites
are from mosquitoes and not these nasty things.

Just chilling.

P-day. When we play ping-pong, we go hard.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


Hello! Not much to report this week... Taebeck is really slow. Elder Mills (one of my roommates) likes to use the word "stagnant" when referring to this area. It's kind of funny. And kind of not, because it's totally true.

Elder Jang and I met with a REALLY drunk guy this week. We went to his house and sat on the floor with him and just visited. He has a sad life. He lives in two states... wasted drunk or sleeping. His house is a wreck, and the only food in the fridge is an expired bottle of milk. He lives off alcohol, cigarettes, and the occasional ramen (that's pretty much my diet, minus alcohol and cigarettes). His bathroom is a hole in the cement, and his house is so dirty. It made me so sad! There's not really anything we can do for him... But we did agree to visit with him every week because he's so lonely. One thing I took away from that is the incredible blessings that I have in my life. I often forget the basic things... food to eat, health, a toilet that flushes, friends.... He has none of that! What money he has he spends on alcohol. Sad.

Church is a little bit of a different experience here. Not only is no one here, but the "guidelines" that I kind of saw in Utah are totally different. One of our branch counselors will usually ask questions from the pulpit and turn sacrament meeting into a discussion. It's SUPER funny. So sacrament meeting is a little less spiritual than it could be, but we still get to take the sacrament which is the most important part.

A mouse got into the rice at the church... Our branch president found it early in the morning on Sunday and called us over to help get rid of it before the members came for church. So we killed it, and then the branch president sifted the poop out of the rice and we ate that rice a couple hours later. Yum. But I'm not sick today, so I think it'll be alright. Koreans are big on not wasting anything... Which is good in some ways, but definitely not good in regard to mice in rice. Nailed it.

We talked with the Branch President on Saturday about the area and stuff. It wasn't a very good meeting... He has no hope! He pretty much told us to stay at the church and study all day every day because knocking doors and proselyting is worthless. Which isn't true! We definitely get rejected way more times than not, but it's worth it even if we just find one person here during our stay in Taebeck. So that really frustrated me. And it's kind of a problem, because my companion really likes the idea of resting all day every day. He's close to the end of his mission, and he's lost all of his fire. So it's going to be a trick to work at all. I'm praying really hard for charity, so I can just love these people even when they make me SOO frustrated.

It's finally getting cold... I love the cold. So much.

I love you all!

Love, Elder Edwards

Sunday, October 13, 2013


Hello from Taebaek!
We traveled really a lot this week, which put me 50 bucks in the hole from all the stupid bus fares. But this week was good! We had our zone training meeting on Thursday, which was good. They gave us a calendar detailing things going on in the zone this month, and we don't have a temple day this month, which is a major bummer. There's also nothing going on in the mission, so we will stay in Taebaek at least until the end of the month, and not travel to Seoul at all. It feels a little bit like a banishment.
We got to travel to an area in our zone to give one of our members' daughter a priesthood blessing. That was really cool. It made me so grateful for the power of the priesthood and for the blessing that it is in my life. The priesthood is real and it's the power of God!
It's interesting to see the differences in this little Taebaek branch compared to a ward back at home. Here, there's a total of 4 priesthood holders... two are the 1st and 2nd Counselors, one is a lonely priest, and the last one is our branch president who lives in Seoul, which means he has to travel 6 hours every weekend to attend here. There's nobody here! But it gives me hope to see these faithful saints striving to keep their covenants and to keep the faith. I love them so much.
We finally got to watch conference this week (yesterday and Saturday). We had to watch it a week later so people could translate it into Korean and make discs and send them out here to good old Taebaek. The branch all got together and watched in Korean, while Elder Fronke, Elder Mills, and I watched on a tiny computer screen in the clerks office so we could watch it in English. It was interesting to me the difference in environments between watching at home or in the conference center compared to watching in a cramped clerks office. It made me just a little trunky for a little bit. But conference is still the same and still amazing! I loved Elder Uchtdorf's talk about doubting your doubts before doubting your faith. The church is still true, God is still eternal, and the doctrines are still perfect even if people make mistakes! They are the mistakes of man. I feel like so many people get hung up on something someone said, whether it be a fellow ward member or a leader of the church. The mistakes of man don't undermine the truthfulness of the gospel! What a great talk.
I loved how they used Matthew 11:28-30 a couple of times in that conference. "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." WOW. That hit me so hard. How grateful I am for Christ and for his Atonement. Through him, our burden can be lightened. What an amazing promise.
The language comes ever so slowly, I still eat lots of rice and kimchi, and Korea is still awesome!
Love, Elder Spencer Edwards

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Hello! Sorry this one is a day late, P-day was weird this week.
I'm officially in Taebaek. I totally lied. It's like a 2 hour bus ride from the ocean. But, it's still in super beautiful country! 
Some sweet windmills on the bus ride here.
Taebaek is.... interesting. It's so so small. And everyone in the town already knows the missionaries... not in a friendly way. More of the "you've talked to me 10 times on the street now, get out of my face" way. So proselyting here is really hard, which means that we try to knock doors. But in Korean culture, there is a little camera type doorbell thing at every house, and they check that before they open the door. So as soon as they see missionaries, they stop talking. Super ineffective. And Elder 장 (Jang) and I are opening, so we have no investigators and no former investigators to go off of. (There were already 2 Taebaek elders here, but we are opening Taebaek 2, so now there are 4.)
Taebaek branch is tiny. We had a total of 17 people to church on Sunday, which is pretty average according to Elder Mills (the area senior). So there is no ward mission leader, no priesthood meeting, and the 4 priesthood holders are one lone priest, and the branch presidency. And half of the branch presidency is less active. There is just an overall feeling of hopelessness here. The baptismal font is used as a storage closet. And there is a lot of gossip going on in the branch, which is leading to some really rude feelings. One family doesn't come anymore because they got offended by some stupid thing. (The church is still true! Even if people are imperfect!)
So Taebaek is in some hard times right now. It's honestly really a depressing place. I'm fine though. No worries. We (the Taebaek elders) are all working really hard on trying to find a solution and learning how to help this floundering branch.
Sorry... This email is totally depressing. I'm happy! It's definitely different work here, but I am still working to build the kingdom of God, and as I do that I know God will bless us. The country here is amazingly beautiful, my companion and I are getting along just great, the other Taebaek elders we live with are awesome, and everything is okay.
I love you all!
Love, Elder Edwards
P.S. Elder Fronke is a brand new greenie who is being trained by Elder Mills in Taebaek 1. And he's totally from Cache Valley and Grandpa Farrell was at his setting apart! (or maybe Melchezidek priesthood ordination... I can't remember.) (Also, I butchered the spelling of that priesthood name that's higher than Aaronic... Don't judge me. I tried really hard.)
A normal sized spider in Korea. NASTY BIG.
I'm thinking about making some sort of art museum called
"Elder Jang in paradise." These are almost all pics of him :)


Sunday, September 29, 2013


Hello Family and Friends! This week was awesome. People are still speaking some strange language here that I don't understand, but I love it. Missionary work is cool, I guess.
My district in our english flyer. I totally look like
the main teacher surrounded by my assistants.
We got transfers on Saturday!! How it works is the APs and President call every single missionary (even the ones not being transferred) on Saturday night and tells them whether they are staying or going or training or whatever! It's awesome. And dreadfully terrifying. Maybe that's just cause it was my first transfer. (This transfer was 9 weeks long, due to the mission split... I don't really know why.) Usually new missionaries stay with their trainer (or dad, as we call it here) for at least 2 transfers...
Me and Elder 구 at 추석  conference.
But we are getting a ton of new missionaries on Thursday, so they need a lot of trainers. So I am losing Elder 구! :( He will pick up his new son on Thursday. He will stay here in 장위, and I am going to a place called 태백 (Tay-beck...?). It's on the coast (east coast? maybe?), so I'll get to see the ocean! My new companion is an Elder 장철진 (Jang-Chorl-Jeen). I don't really know anything about him... But I'll meet him on Thursday! I'm SO excited.... I'm sad to lose my dad, but super excited for something brand new! Everyone says 태백 is freezing and that it's in the middle of nowhere South Korea... They also say it's one of the hardest parts of the mission. But I like the cold! And I like being in the middle of nowhere! And Elder 장 and I will work hard! I'm SOOOO excited.
So this is my last P-day with Elder 구 and Elder Singer and Elder Reynolds. I love them all a lot, and know that they will be great! I'm really grateful for their friendship and for how awesome they are. It will be hard to leave, but we go where the Lord wants us to go!
Me, Elder Reynolds, and Elder Singer on the subway.
Life is good here. I got a haircut last week, except not from Elder 구, cause it was too nerve wracking. So I went to a barber shop. Elder 구 sat off in the corner and read the bible or something, and I sat in the barber chair. I knew the word for "short", so I just kind of pointed and tried to communicate what I wanted. And then she cut my hair. Every once in a while she would ask me a question about how I wanted it cut or something, and I always answered "yes". I had NO idea what she was saying to me. Luckily my hair turned out alright. Maybe I'll just stick with Elder 구 cutting it.
My awesome ward mission leader. (And Elder 구).
Life is great. We don't really have any investigators right now, but they'll come. I'm grateful for rice, I'm grateful for the opportunity to serve, I'm grateful for kimchi, and I'm grateful for Korea!

I love you all!
Love, Elder Edwards
This is one of the most adorable little girls I've ever met.

This is one of our stake members playing that cup stacking game.
Koreans get WAY serious about games. Super competitive.
He kept butting in front of little kids so he could play again :)

The family is my Bishops family. He served a
mission in Busan, South Korea about 9 years ago.