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 :)