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.

Monday, September 23, 2013

No Letters... Wrong Address.

Well, Spencer has been in Korea for almost two months and hasn't received any mail. Turns out we had the wrong address. :(
For those of you who have sent letters, thank you!! Please know he's not ignoring you... he just never received them.
Here is the right address (and is now corrected on the blog):
Elder Spencer John Edwards
Korea Seoul Mission
Gwanghwamun Po Box 210
Seoul-si 110-602
South Korea
Oh. And he would love mail. :)

추석! (choo-sok)

Hello everyone! I'm still in Korea and it's still kind of hot and I'm still happy!

This week was the 추석 holiday, which is the second biggest holiday of the year here in Korea. It's celebrating the biggest harvest of the year, and basically people get together from all over Korea and eat food and talk about their ancestors. It's basically an American Thanksgiving with weird rice cakes and kimchi.

Because 추석 is kind of crazy, and because there are different people in different parts of the country, it makes the proselyting side of missionary work pretty ineffective. So this week we were only allowed to proselyte on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. It was really weird.

President Christensen ended up holding a mission conference on Thursday, and afterward we all hung out as a mission did fun things together.

Friday, we had weekly planning and then "Change Day". Basically, President Christensen wanted us to spend all day cleaning our apartments. Which we did. It was a LONG 8 hours, but fun at the same time. We found some things in the fridge that can no longer be classified as food, which almost made Elder 구 throw up.
Our new clean fridge with ZERO food.

And we finally moved out this ancient oven that had been chilling in a corner of our house for at least a century. Probably not a century, but definitely a long time. There were some nasty big spiders, which we dispatched of quite neatly with very little girlish screaming. Ugh.
Our oven.
On Saturday, we had a giant Zone P-day, which was super fun. We played ping-pong and signs, and watched "The Best 2 Years"! That was really weird. I definitely see that movie from a different perspective now that I'm actually a missionary. But it was super fun!

They still had us email on Monday, so that's why I'm emailing today. 추석 was really fun, but I'm super excited to get back to real missionary work. It's funny how much happier I am when I'm doing the things that seem "less" fun, like proselyting. But this is what the Lord sent us out here to do, to find and teach and convert! And he blesses us as we do so.

I'm grateful to all of you out there that are praying for me and helping me along the way! I love you all!

Love, Elder Edwards

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Pig guts. Bleh.

This week was good. Weird, but good. I also got pretty cold last night, which was amazing.
We had a training meeting for all the new missionaries this week, which was really fun. It went for like... 6 hours. But it was really good to hear from our mission president and his wife. Their names are President and Sister Christensen, and they are super awesome!!! It was also good to see some of the Elders from my MTC district.  It's weird that we were together every single day for 2 months, and then never saw them until now. But it was super good to see them! And there is a mission conference this Wednesday, which I'm super excited for!
I cut Elder 备's hair today.... That was a disaster. Maybe he can get it fixed next P-day or something. Oh well. But I guess that ends my dream of being a professional barber someday.
Koreans sense of personal space is SO weird. Elder 备 and I were 傈档ing to a guy and he really liked me (because I'm American). So he held my hand and stroked it the whole time. EW. That was really gross. But he was really funny, so I guess that's okay.
We went to a restaurant with a potential investigator today. I asked Elder 备 what we would be eating, but he wouldn't tell me. So needless to say, I went in there pretty nervous. They gave us this big bowl of soup and it totally looked like octopus tentacles or something. NASTY stuff. But I ate it all, for the sake of not offending this investigator, because it's his favorite food. Man, I wanted to throw up so bad. Found out later that it was pig large intestines and various parts of the pigs face: cheek, ears, nose, skin, etc. Ugh. I felt sick for a solid day after that one. And to top it all of, the potential investigator ran out on us and I had to pay for his food. Dumb. But at least I have a cool story out of that one.
Romans 10:14-15: "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? ... And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!" I love this scripture. How can people believe if they don't know? Well, we'll tell them. The missionaries are SENT out by God, and we have a sacred calling to preach his gospel (3 Nephi 5:13). How great is our calling!
I love you all.
Love, Elder Edwards
Laurel here. Just wanted to share a part of the letter Spencer wrote to us. Spencer makes me laugh!
"Elder Singer got blood on his white shirt this week. I totally told him to soak it in cold water. I felt like some kind of cleaning pro. Thanks Mom. I think there might have been a step after the cold water though... I can't remember. So now the stain is brown, not red. Nailed it."

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Where's Elder Edwards? (sort of like "Where's Waldo?")

My friend called me and said she was looking in the newspaper and saw this big picture of missionaries. She thought "Surely I know SOMEONE in here." Sure enough. She found Spencer. The photo must be from this summer because Spencer left the MTC at the end of July.

I was gone when the newspaper was dropped off. Farrell and the kids had already located Spencer in the group. I did NOT want to spend time looking. Just show me my boy!! :)

And then? I had myself a little cry.
Sheesh. My emotions are totally unpredictable these days.

Spencer would love mail. !!! If you have a minute, write him a letter. The address is on the right side of this blog. :)

~aka: Mom of Elder Edwards

Monday, September 9, 2013

Hello from 한국!

Hello everyone!
Life is good here... I don't sweat anymore. September is bliss.
It's starting to get actually cold at night. The other Elders in my apartment all think I'm weird because I still sleep with a fan. They don't understand happiness. But I refuse to sleep with a blanket... Because it's just too delicious feeling cold at night. What a wonderful thing.
My bed. It's called a 요 (yo).
This week has been good! I got hugged by some random guy while we were 전도ing. He might have been super drunk. Not sure. There are SO many drunk people in Korea. It's really really funny. Every once in a while we get the treat to see a group of drunk dudes staggering down the street. It's totally against the Word of Wisdom... But I think it's so hilarious. Maybe I shouldn't think like that.

We cleaned the bathroom last P-day! It made me appreciate families who have chores in their house. Take notes siblings! I'm pretty sure it had been at least a year since that bathroom was cleaned last.... Pretty gross. Nothing like a bathroom after 4 guys lived in it for a year.
Our clean bathroom. Korean bathrooms are one big room. Everything gets wet when people shower.
A MIRACLE happened this week... So cool. We met a guy on the street this week who had been contacted by missionaries before. Those missionaries didn't teach any lessons, but they gave him a Book of Mormon. When we contacted him, he said that he had read the WHOLE Book of Mormon and checked out our church website. So we met with him on Friday. (His name is Brother 최(chway). Turns out he read the Book of Mormon, and prayed to know if it was true. And he got and answer. It was SO cool to hear him bear his testimony to us of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and how he knows the church is true and that Joseph Smith is a prophet. WOW. He has a baptismal date for October 6th!!!! It is so incredibly exciting. It was amazing to me to see that the Lord really is preparing people. He is SO prepared. I'm so grateful that we were able to find him and provide him with this opportunity. God is watching out for us.

I read this scripture this week, and laughed out loud. Moses 6:31- "... Why is it that I have found favor in thy sight, and am but a lad, and all the people hate me; for I am slow of speech; wherefore am I thy servant?" I am SO slow of speech. And most Koreans really don't like to be talked to by some American missionary. But the Lord promises Enoch: "Go forth and do as I have commanded thee, and no man shall pierce thee. Open thy mouth, and it shall be filled, and I will give thee utterance, for all flesh is in my hands, and I will do as seemeth me good." I am in the Lord's hands. All the missionaries are in the Lord's hands. And as we go forth and are obedient to our sacred calling, the Lord will watch out for us and fill our mouths. How grateful I am for this promise and for a loving God that watches over us all.
Keep the faith!
Love, Elder Edwards
Elder Koo. My amazing companion.

The Elders in my district at a DELICIOUS restaurant.

Monday, September 2, 2013

This week marks 1/2 of 1/2 of 1/2... I think. Forgive me if my math is wrong.

3 months this week! That's weird. I've been out here forever, but for no time at all. Also, I'm still a baby as they call it in the mission. I'm super young, but loving the work.

Ok.... Where to begin? It's finally cooling down!!! I used a sheet last night when I slept because I was a little cold... It was the most wonderful experience. It's still like 80% F in our house, but I think my body is evolving. Or maybe just adapting. Evolving sounds cooler. Maybe I'll get some fins or gills or something.

There are lots of buses in Korea. And the drivers are CRAZY. All the drivers, including just cars. If you're in the street and they're coming, they honk. They don't slow down. They just honk and keep coming hard and fast. I'm surprised I haven't seen any dead people yet, because there should be tons of accidents. Also, police aren't much of a presence in Korea. So drivers pretty much do whatever they want. The people that own motorized scooters and motorcycles just zip around on sidewalks and into oncoming traffic. I'm half tempted to come back after my mission and get a little dirtbike and brave the streets of Seoul. It looks pretty fun.

We met a guy named Brother 김 (Kim) while 전도ing (memorize 전도 (jun-doh), it means to proselyte, but I can never remember the word "proselyte") on the street a couple of weeks ago. He's super cool and 29 years old and speaks some English, which is wonderful. He's one of the kindest people I've ever met and I love teaching him. He has no religious background, so it's really interesting talking about things like the existence of God, which we kind of just take for granted. But so many people don't even know a God EXISTS. Crazy. He is progressing okay and still wants to meet with us, which is so so awesome.

I've been reading Chapter 6 in Preach My Gospel, which talks about gaining Christlike Attributes. It's scary for me, because it makes me realize even more how imperfect I am. But it makes me all the more grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ and for the opportunity we have to repent. It's so amazing! We can be made clean. I'm so grateful for His sacrifice. In regards to becoming like Christ, Elder Russell M. Nelson said this: "Be patient with yourself. Perfection does not come in this life, but the next. Don't demand of yourself unreasonable things. But demand of yourself improvement." That was a paraphrase, but pretty accurate. That's a mormon message I think. Watch it! I don't know what it's called, but it starts with him in a plane.

Life is good. I've been here for so long. And I also just got here. Time is so weird. The language is REALLY hard, but I learn a little bit more every day. I love the Lord, I love kimchi, and I love Korea!
Love, Elder Edwards