Sunday, December 28, 2014

새해 복 많이 받으세요!

(Translation courtesy of Google Translate: "Happy New Year!")

The most letters I think any missionary has ever received at one time.

A good, and busy, week.
Monday: P-day. And we spent ALL day shopping. We had to buy all the materials for our zone conference service project, where we stuffed stocking full of goodies and gave them to people in old folks homes and kids in welfare centers.

Santa in Seoul.
Tuesday: A busy day. We had to drop an investigator (Brother Jang, who spends most of his time trying to fix his leg because of a stroke or something) because he doesn't keep his commitments and has no desire nor will to keep them. So it was pretty lame dropping him, but definitely the right thing. Afterward, we ate 순대국(pig intestines... they're definitely growing on me) and then caroled as a district over by a big bus station in our area. It was fun and we were able to give out a lot of copies of the Book of Mormon. Then ran to the church for an appointment, got punked (stood up), set up for the service project on Wednesday, ate dinner, taught english class, set up the service project more, and planned and hit the sack.

Our combined zone conference service project!

Wednesday: The long awaited combined zone conference! A spiritually uplifting and stressful day. Elder Weight and I were in charge of reserving the restaurant for lunch, setting up the service project for 50 missionaries, and making sure everything ran orderly. It was pretty stressful, but good. It was especially good to see Elder Lee, my companion from 2 transfers ago! He goes home in less than 2 weeks, which is crazy. Time flies so fast. That night, the 6 of us elders (Mumford, Songhyunbeen, Pratt, Manwaring, Weight, and me) all got ready for bed a little faster and gathered in the main room at 10:15pm to read Luke chapter 2 together. We read it, sang Silent Night, said a house prayer, and went to bed with dreams of... not really anything. Just a good night of sleep.

Elder Leewonhyung (my companion from 2 transfers ago).
He dies in 2 weeks! (that means he goes home.)

Thursday: Christmas!! Woke up at 6am to get in our 30 minutes of exercise, then gathered together and all opened presents together. Then studies, lunch, and a couple hours of proselyting. In the afternoon the 10 missionaries in our district all went to an old folks and delivered a lot of the stockings that were made on Wednesday. It was a really cool way to spend Christmas. A lot of the people were too old/sick to talk or hear or understand very well, but I think we definitely lifted a lot of spirits. It felt like something Jesus would have done. Then we traveled to a big bus station and caroled as a zone! It was really fun. We had about 20 missionaries singing and 3 or 4 out in front proselyting and giving out copies of the Book of Mormon. We gave out over 100 as a zone in less than 2 hours!

Visiting people in old folks homes on Christmas!

Friday(Seoul is 16 hours ahead of Utah) Family phone call! That was super good. Then weekly planning and proselyting.

Saturday: Both Elder Weight and I were super tired that day, but we still worked really hard. That night we taught a man named Brother Lee in his apartment... it wasn't a good lesson. His Dad was translating the bible before he died, and so now he's picked up that work and he has a lot of really wrong ideas about God and the bible. So we didn't get anywhere during our lesson because he wouldn't listen and kept interrupting us. Sigh. Those lessons happen.

Sunday: Brother Yu came for the 4th time today! We taught him faith, repentance, and baptism... he said he'll keep thinking about whether or not he'll get baptized. But he's learning and likes church! Then we visited a less active, and then spent the rest of the day in meetings. Bleh.

I love you all! Have a wonderful New Year!
Love, Elder Edwards

Time to email...

Sunday, December 21, 2014

메리 크리스마스!

(Translation courtesy of Google Translate: "Merry Christmas!")

Chicken in a cup.

A good week.

This week was awesome. It feels like Elder Weight and I FINALLY got to teach some people about the gospel. We met and taught 3 different people in the church this week, and while each of them accepted the message a little differently, all of them have interest!! 오랜만에 관심이 있는 사람을 가르치는것같습니다. (Google translate says: "Seems a long time to teach those who are interested.") Brother Yoo is our old investigator who has now been to church 3 times and also came to the Christmas party. He's 75 years old and really seems to like coming to church. We finally got to sit down with him and a member and teach him during priesthood meeting yesterday, where we taught about baptism and invited him to be baptized... he said he would think about it. We gave him 2 Nephi 31 to read and committed him to pray. We also got to teach a guy named Brother Kim. He's from China, 23 years old, pretty much fluent at Korean, and has ZERO religious background. He has no clue who God is, who Jesus Christ is, what the Bible is, and no concept of supreme beings. Our church was the first one he'd ever been even close to. We taught about God and prayer, and it was actually incredibly hard to teach that simply... It's the first time I've ever taught someone with zero religious background. But it went well, he committed to pray, and really enjoyed our church and the things we taught about. The last guy is named Brother Ahn, and we had a great lesson with him. We taught him the Restoration, and he committed to come to church in January, because he's busy up until the end of the year. It was so good to finally teach someone with Elder Weight. It felt like a nice little reward from the endless proselyting that we've been doing for the past almost 2 transfers.

Ward Christmas party! Elder Manwaring as an angel over the
quaking shepherds, Elder Weight and Elder Mumford.

The Dongdaemoon Christmas party was great. We ate tons of delicious Korean food, heard lots of great songs and performances, and played lots of fun games. The 10 of us missionaries all acted out the Nativity and killed it, but then butchered "Silent Night" afterward. We'll probably not sing next time.

Elder Mumford as Santa.

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas! Have a wonderful holiday season surrounded by friends and family and loved ones. As for me? I'll be proselyting. But Elder Weight is cool, and we just bought a giant box of 오예스, similar to American Ho-hos, so we'll be happy. Remember Christ during this wonderful season! Rediscover and strengthen your faith in the Savior of the world during this special time of the year set aside to remember the Messiah's birth.

    "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6)

I love you all! Have a Merry Christmas!
Love, Elder Edwards

Shopping today. It took FOREVER. 
We're doing a service project this week involving stuffing stockings for kids in welfare centers. It's going to be awesome. Elder Weight and I somehow managed to pack all of that stuff into cardboard boxes and carry it back to our house in one trip, which is a 10 minute brisk walk away from the store. My biceps still hurt.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

크리스마스가 가까이 다가온다!!

(Translation courtesy of Google Translate: "Christmas is coming closer!")

A pretty good week! We talked with a lot of people and had a guy come to church! I'll talk about him a little later in the email. We've finally been getting some snow here in Dongdaemoon! Snow is awesome because it means Christmas is really almost here.

We met a man on Wednesday or Thursday who met us at a local subway station and we took him to the church. It was the first guy that we've met in the church in a really long time. So both Elder Weight and I were both pretty excited, but then he turned out to not really be interested and told us that he had mind reading powers and could read our minds. It was a pretty weird lesson. Meeting people to teach them is not very common here in Korea, and meeting normal people is even less common than that. Lame.

A guy came and filmed us after church yesterday where are the missionaries in our district did a
mormon message type thing and bore our testimonies on missionary work. Look for it on youtube!
I don't know how or when it'll come out and it's all in Korean.

But, we had a guy come to church last week! His name is Brother Yoo and we met him on the street a few weeks ago and invited him to church. He didn't show up that following Sunday, but came the Sunday after that! He's over 70 years old and SUPER healthy and packs and moves cardboard around on his bike for a living. He has the most calloused hands I've ever felt in my whole life. He came last week and came again this week! The Restoration was taught in Gospel Principles class, which he understood okay, and he accepted a Book of Mormon and said he would read some before he came to the Christmas Party this coming Saturday! Elder Weight and I are pretty excited for him and excited to teach him. He came to church the first time because he said he would come to church when we met him on the street, and he said that he keeps his promises. I like people who don't punk us and keep their promises.

A service project that our district did picking trash up around the area!
I was with Elder Manwaring on exchanges.

A cool experience from this week: One day, Elder Weight and I walked out the door with a renewed vigor to find people to teach and we ran into a really cool guy before even turning the first corner from our house! We stopped him, talked with him, introduced ourselves, and then he asked a question about Christ's atonement. He was curious about how the Atonement applied to those people who had already died before Christ came to the earth and completed the Atonement. I knew there was a perfect scripture in Mosiah to answer his question, but I didn't know exactly where it was, and I hadn't read that part in the Korean Book of Mormon in a really long time. But, I opened up the Book of Mormon and was able to flip to the exact page and the exact verse (Mosiah 3:11) and then show it to him and testify about Christ's Atonement and the opportunity for EVERYONE to repent and be made perfect through Christ's Atonement. It was a really cool moment. He accepted a Book of Mormon and said he would meet again! It was a big testimony builder to me that the Holy Ghost brings to remembrance those things that we have studied. God loves everyone and looks at for his missionaries even in the far corners of the earth!

I love you all!

Love, Elder Edwards

Sunday, December 7, 2014

그분은 선물이다

(Translation courtesy of Google Translate: "He is the Gift")

A good week! We had Pday on Monday, Mission Leadership Council on Tuesday, and Zone Training meeting on Wednesday. It was a bit of a stressful week, but a good one. The focus this month and the training we gave is about Preach My Gospel ch.8, Using Time Wisely. I'm excited about this focus and hope that Elder Weight and I can apply it well into our missionary work.

Watch "He is the Gift" on! Christmas is coming and Christmas is awesome!

Carrying our heavy boxes home from Costco.

Do you remember a Brother Choi from my very first transfer? Elder Goo and I taught him a few lessons, he came to church twice, he had a baptismal date and was totally going to get baptized, but then he got up in the middle of church and left and we never saw him again. Well, I found out at Mission Leadership Council from a missionary serving in Changwee that Brother Choi got baptized! They found him on the street again over a year after Elder Goo and I taught him, and he told the missionaries that he believes in the Book of Mormon and the Pearl of Great Price and that he wanted to be baptized! So he got baptized a few weeks later. That was super cool to hear.

Elder Weight and his sweet scarf.

It's super cold. I'm sure it's not nearly as cold as Russia where poor Connor is, but it's pretty cold here. I've also learned something on my mission. There's a very big difference between being really cold because you had to run from your house and get in the car and wait for 5 minutes for the heater to warm up, and going outside and proselyting for 4 hours. The first one is just a surface cold, and the second one is the kind of cold that gets down into your bones. We need to get more appointments and lessons with people so we're not outside for too long. :)

A drunk man bit my finger this week.

We came home last night after Ward Missionary Council to find the house INFESTED with cockroaches... way worse than normal. Luckily we have a sledge hammer and lots of flat shoes, so we just went ham on those things for about 30 minutes, pulling out the fridges and the couch and the garbage... We killed at least 200 last night. And then we got permission from President to skip studies this morning and just deep clean the house and get rid of anything and everything that could be attracting the terrible bugs.

Life is good! Have a wonderful week!
Love, Elder Edwards

Weapons of destruction.
Some of the cockroaches that we killed last night. SO many cockroaches.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

벌써 12월?!?

(Translation courtesy of Google Translate: "Already December?!?")

Today is December. Wow. Time goes really really fast. It's been fairly warm here in Korea up until this morning... and now it's COLD. Probably time to pull out the winter gear.

It's been a good week. We were only able to meet with one investigator, but it was a pretty good lesson. His name is Brother Jang and he's in his 60's and slightly paralyzed on his left side from a stroke or something. So he spends almost all day every day trying different treatments to help get his leg back in better working condition... acupuncture, strange tea, weird incense things that he puts on his head... just a lot of weird treatments. We taught him about God, prayer, and the Book of Mormon. He has almost zero religious background, so we're going to have to go much slower and more simply in the future when we teach him.

It was an interesting week as far as food goes... Nothing too cool happened for Thanksgiving. We were all going to go to a buffet as a district, but one of the sisters has a gluten allergy so we ended up eating weird porridge stuff and kimchi for Thanksgiving dinner. Not ideal, but it wasn't terrible either. And then the 6 of us elders went to the buffet the next day for dinner without the sisters, so it all worked out okay. I have a bucket list of foods to eat while I'm here in Korea before I go back home to America. They're not necessarily foods that look delicious, but foods that are unique to Korea, so I need to have said that I tried them. And I knocked off 2 items from the list this week! 

번데기(bundaygee)... a rather disgusting food consisting of steamed larva.

One is 번데기 (bundaygee), which is super nasty. It's some sort of larva that's been steamed and then it just sits in hot, nasty water all day and old ladies sell it on the street. So, I ate it. Bleh. Never again. 

The other food was 산낙지 (sannakjee), which is living octopus. If you eat it at a restaurant, the cooks there wash the octopus real good and then cut it in a professional way so that all the legs are still wiggling a lot when you eat it. Well, the sister missionaries bought 5 small octopus in the market last Pday and gave them to us. So, we ate them. We didn't really think that it needed to be washed very hard, so we just rinsed it in the sink a little bit and then cut it up and ate it. It can be dangerous because the legs are wriggling and the suction cups still work and can grab onto your throat and get stuck, but we just made sure to chew it a lot before we swallowed. Totally worth it.

Live octopus... yum. It actually wasn't that bad.

The 2 new elders in our house are AWESOME. One is Elder Mumford, a missionary who dies in February, and he's training Elder Songhyunbean, a Korean missionary straight out of the MTC. They're both awesome missionaries and work super hard. It's also nice to have a Korean elder in the house... they understand the culture perfectly and help a lot with learning the language.

I've been looking back through my planner from last transfer with Elder Weight and looking at all the appointments we had scheduled and how many of those appointments actually met. We felt like we didn't really get to meet a lot of people this transfer and we got punked A TON, so I figured it out in my planner. This is how it plays out from last transfer (6 weeks):
  • 996 people were talked to
  • 34 appointments were made
  • 8 of the people with appointments actually met, with the other 26 never answering their phone again
  • 1 of those 8 people actually met us again after the first lesson
... And then we had to drop that one guy (Brother Kim) because he was just trying to convert us to his church. It was a really good transfer as far as talking to people goes, but our lessons were super low. We don't really know why, but this transfer should be better. We're going to be working even harder and trying a little bit of a different approach for meeting with people. But, anyways, there's a little peek into missionary work at the moment!

Have a wonderful week!
Love, Elder Edwards

Sunday, November 23, 2014


(Translation courtesy of Google Translate: "Debong!")

A good week. Our numbers at the end of the week didn't look as great because we lost a whole day of contacting because of the kimchi making project, but it was still an awesome week!

We had zero lessons in the church this week... We had plenty out on the street teaching people, but none in the church. The church or someone's home is definitely the best place/environment to have a lesson, but we couldn't get any for this past week. But that's okay! We filled up our time by going through an ancient less active book and picking out 5 or 6 records each day and then would spend each day walking all over Dongdaemoon going to and from the addresses on the records looking for the less active members, talking to everyone on the way. It was actually really fun and pretty effective. We found plenty of the addresses, but couldn't find any of the actual people. They had either moved out or weren't home at the time we visited. BUT, we found a few really cool people this week that should become investigators this coming week!

We climbed a mountain called 도봉산(Dobong mountain) on P-day this past week, and it was super fun. Pretty cold, but a lot of fun. We found an old bunker in the middle of nowhere on this mountain back from the war. It was pretty cool. And then Elder Weight and I ran down the whole mountain because we were running late. We were sore the next day.
Climbing Debong mountain. Almost there...

We got transfer calls! Elder Weight and I will be staying together, and 2 missionaries in our house will be leaving, one going home and one going to Wondang. It should be a pretty good transfer.

Debong mountain. The peak!

In Priesthood meeting yesterday, one of the members was complaining about a pain that he had been having above his eye for the past week or so. Our stake president stood up, walked over to the hurting member, pulled an acupuncture needle out of his pocket, and stuck it right in the middle of the hurting member's head. It was super cool and super funny. I don't really know how acupuncture works, but Korean's are pretty crazy about it. We had an investigator last transfer who is an Oriental doctor that does acupuncture professionally. They say it helps relieve pain and stuff, but it looks pretty questionable to me. I don't think I'll ever get acupuncture.

I love 1 Corinthians 13:4-9. It's a pretty simple and straight forward guideline of what charity is and how we should live our lives. We should be kind, be slow to anger, be patient, not be selfish, be understanding... It's a good list to live by.

I love you all! Have a wonderful week!
Love, Elder Edwards

Sunday, November 16, 2014

김치 만드는 게 재미있다!!

(Translation courtesy of Google Translate: "It is interesting to make kimchi!")

This week was a good week. All of my thoughts of this week are kind of scrambled and in small segments, so I'll probably just write about this week in short, jagged paragraphs. Enjoy!

Sitting  in the foyer of the church.
Sometimes a lot of time gets spent in here waiting for appointments that are late.

Today, the reason for emailing late is because we went across Seoul and did a service project! And it was the coolest service project I've ever done... We made kimchi!! Every year in Korea around this time, everyone and their dog makes a boatload of kimchi to eat through the winter and until they make kimchi again next year. I'm not sure what all the ingredients are that go into making kimchi, but the part we worked on was putting the red saucey type stuff on the raw cabbage. It kind of shows what we did in the picture below. We were scheduled to do it for 7 hours, but because we're missionaries that know how to work hard we got it all done in around 4 hours. There were over 60 missionaries there! And the best part is, all the kimchi made will be given for free to people who need it or can't make it themselves. Yay for service!

We made TONS of kimchi today with a bunch of awesome ladies.

Elder (now Brother) Moon came to visit Dongdaemoon ward yesterday. He served in Taebeck for part of the time I was in Wonju and we went on a lot of exchanges then. He finished his mission back in the summer, and I thought that was the last time I would ever get to see him, but he came yesterday to visit ward members. It was really good to see him.
Elder (now Brother) Moon came to visit Dongdaemoon ward!

We visited a member last Monday night in the hospital. She's in her 50's and got blind sided by a car while she was riding her restaurant delivery motorcycle. Luckily nothing's broken... she has a fractured femur and a fractured rib. She seemed really happy to see us and we gave her some pepero (a Korean candy that has it's own holiday... look it up^^).

We had 3 meals with members this week! It was a lot of food.

We met with Brother Kim one last time to say that we wouldn't be able to continue meeting. It didn't work very well. Him and his friend totally turned the tables and they were teaching us and were trying to get us to meet them regularly so they could teach us more about "the secrets hidden in the Bible" and talked about how they would reveal "dark sayings of old" (Psalms 78:2). It was pretty creepy. But also kind of interesting. They used a lot of persuasion and flattery to try to keep meeting with us. We won't be meeting again, but I did definitely learn a few things about how to persuade people to meet with us.

Elder Weight and his sweet scarf.

While proselyting this week, we switched up a bit and went to quieter parts of the city and proselyted there. We sat with a lot of old guys on benches and talked with them about the gospel. Old people are usually harder to get to because they feel like we have nothing to offer to them or they're very deep rooted in the life style that they've had for the last 70ish years. But, we were able to find a few interested ones. One of the older guys just talked to us for a great while about how money is the most important thing in the world. It made me sad to realize that a lot of people live like that... continually focused on living well and earning as much as they possibly can. Aren't we blessed to know that there's a bigger picture? That God has a plan for us and we have things to do, things that carry eternal value!

All is well. Have a great week!

Elder Edwards

Sunday, November 9, 2014


(Translation courtesy of Google Translate: "Busy")

It's been a pretty busy week this week with zone training, so as a result we weren't able to teach nearly as many lessons or contact as many people as normal. The whole mission is strangely in some sort of slump right now... Less investigators and less baptismal dates throughout the whole mission. It's weird and lame but we're working through it. Zone training meeting went really good this week. We trained on the power of the Holy Ghost in conversion, specifically what we can do to have and feel the spirit more in our work. One of the commitments is to have a house prayer at 10pm with all the missionaries in our house and pray for the spirit and for fellow missionaries and other members. It was a good training, now it's just up to all of us to apply it! No matter how good a training is, nothing happens until someone applies it and acts on it.

Calls. call after call after call... to find new investigators!!

Elder Weight and I are doing good. We're working hard together and we both have a drive to do missionary work. But the slump in the mission is effecting us too and we don't really have any investigators right now. ㅠㅠ We have a few people with lots of potential, but no current investigators. We met Brother Kim 3 or 4 times in the past 2 weeks, but it's not working out with him. He's taken to bringing a friend with him, and then they both just talk and talk and talk about the bible and all the secrets that it contains and how we need the bible to live. So he doesn't listen to what we say. We're pretty sure he belongs to a religion called 신천지. I don't know what that is in English, but everyone in Korea thinks it's a cult. Anyway.... we won't meet with him anymore. So we are starting this week out with an iron hard resolution... Find new investigators!! Proselyting has been okay recently, but we've made goals to make sure that when we're proselyting the only thoughts that will be in our heads is that we need to find new people to teach and invite and help them come unto Christ!

A late dinner of delivery chicken.

We thought all the cockroaches would be dying with the cold weather but they're not dying. Poor Elder Manwaring lost half a box of Lucky charms because they got infested. Lucky charms can't really be found in Korea except at Costco, so it was a pretty disappointing day. We're killing cockroaches with a new found vigor and fury.

Last Tuesday may or may have not been one of the most relaxing days of my whole mission. Tuesday was our P-day because of Missionary Leadership Council on Monday. So we went to the public bath house and worked out for a bit and then soaked on cold and warm and hot pools for 2 hours with sweet jets of water. BLISS.

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers!
Love, Elder Edwards

Monday, November 3, 2014

조금 늦었다

(Translation courtesy of Google Translate: "A little late")

Well, it's 7pm over here. Elder Weight and I had MLC (missionary leadership council) this morning from 8:30 to 4:00... a pretty long meeting, but a really good one. The purpose of that meeting is to gather all the zone leaders, sister training leaders, assistants, and President and his wife every month and discuss rules and problems/good things in the mission and receive training on this months focus. This months focus is the role of the holy ghost in conversion, which I'm super excited about! Elder Weight and I and our Sister Training Leaders will all be training our zone on it on Wednesday based on what we heard and learned at MLC. The monthly focus is pretty cool... President picks a different one every month and it's always cool to focus on a certain aspect of missionary work. Some examples of past focuses are: The Book of Mormon, Teach People Not Lessons, The Gospel of Jesus Christ, etc.

Me and all of the people at mission leadership council that I came to Korea with!!
Our sisters go home in 3 weeks ㅠㅠ

Today was a good and another interesting week. We went on 3 exchanges this week... which is 2 more than we usually do. I was here with Elder Pratt(the Dongdaemoon district leader) in Dongdaemoon on Tuesday, with Elder JungJeeHo (one of the assistants) here in Dongdaemoon on Wednesday and Thursday, and Elder Choy(Hwayaang district leader) in Hwayaang on Friday and Saturday. So out 7 days this week, I got to spend only 1 full day with Elder Weight. That's okay though. We're already pretty tight, so it wasn't trying on our relationship or anything. The exchanges were all really good. I learned A TON from Elder Jung that I've started to apply this week. He teaches really powerfully on the street, and tries really hard to teach and testify to people's needs on the street. He's awesome. He also uses his time really effectively, including the time that most missionaries call "free time" (we technically don't have free time on the mission... it's all the Lord's time. If you want to do something that's not missionary purpose focused, it needs to wait for P-day.) But missionaries usually call 9:30 to 10:30 at night "free time". He uses it to study and call missionaries who need help and write in records and prepare things for members... He just uses it really well. He's a really fantastic example to me of a consecrated missionary, and I'm working on teaching more on the street and using my time much more effectively.

Elder Jung, one of the assistants.

It's a little hard trying to keep up with everything and everyone in the zone... It's crazy how many problems with missionaries and areas can be seen when viewed from the eyes of a leader. It makes me kind of miss just working with my companion really hard and not having to worry about anything or anyone else. But, being zone leader is good and I find a lot of joy in helping missionaries here. We're all not perfect, and we can all help each other along the path toward perfection and consecration.

Elder Weight and I.

Things are good. It's so crazy that it's already November... where did October go??? Let alone September and August. Time doesn't seem to have any rules here.

I love you all!
Love, Elder Edwards

Sunday, October 26, 2014

모로나이의 모범

(Translation courtesy of Elder Edwards: "The Example of Moroni")

A good week. A little out of the ordinary, but definitely another good week. Elder Weight is still awesome and we're still working hard, so things are happy!

Elder Weight and I, emailing--right now.

Last P-day we went to a trampoline park! SUPER fun. We played tag and did tons of flips and I relearned how to do a backflip. All in all a very successful/fun P-day.

Trampoline park for P-day!!

We met Brother Kim, the guy I talked about last week, with a member on Saturday night. We had a sweet lesson plan with the Restoration and were super prepared to teach this guy who is so interested in the Book of Mormon. But then he came and just talked and talked about the bible for 30 minutes... I think he has the bible memorized. He just went off about Jesus and how we have to learn to live and a bunch of stuff that we already know, but I guess he decided that we needed to know this stuff again or something. And then he said that at the Second Coming, Jesus will come to Korea in the form of a Korean... Some pretty weird stuff. And it's kind of rude in Korean culture (and American culture) to stop/interrupt people, especially older people, when they're talking. BUT, he wants to hear the story of Joseph Smith, which we didn't have time to share, so we'll be meeting again. He also acknowledged and apologized for talking so long and said he wouldn't do it next time. Anyway, hopefully the next appointment will run a little better.

Me and a bunch of missionaries that I came into country with.
Our sisters go home at the end of November. ㅠㅠ

There were 2 baptisms in the Dongdaemoon ward yesterday! Brother Lee, who is the nephew of one of the members here, was taught by Elder Pronk and Elder Hendershot and then baptized by his uncle after sacrament meeting. Sister Kim was taught by Sister Atwater (who is from Kaysville!) and Sister Goo and Sister Thomas, and was baptized 3-ish hours after sacrament meeting. She's SUPER shy, so she didn't want a ton of people at her baptismal service, so it was held way after church ended. The sisters asked me to baptize her, and I did, so that was pretty cool. Now ours and the members' job is to make sure they stay active in the church!

Baptismal service for one of the sister's investigator!

I've been studying about Captain Moroni recently. In Alma 48:17, it says that if every man were like Moroni then "...the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men."  Wow. So what were Moroni's qualities? What made him untouchable to Satan?
  • Strong and mighty (v.11)
  • Perfect understanding (v.11)
  • Thankful (v.12)
  • Diligent (v.12)
  • Served others (v.12)
  • Firm in the faith of Christ (v.13)
  • His heart gloried in doing good, preserving (helping) his people, in keeping the commandments of God, and resisting iniquity. (v.16)
Those are all things that WE can do. We can all be a little more healthy, understand more, be more grateful, work harder, serve more, gain and exercise more faith, and happily do good, help, keep the commandments of God, and stay away from the bad stuff. This is stuff that we can all do. And if we do? Hell gets shaken up a little bit, the devil has a little less power over our hearts, and we gain power over our hearts. A pretty cool promise, if you ask me. So let us all work to be a little more like Moroni!

I love you all. Things are good and life is happy.
Love, Elder Edwards

Holding hands is pretty okay in Korean culture. This is a member of my ward :)

Riding the bus with Elder Manwaring.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


(Translation courtesy of Google Translate: "Was cold.")

Greetings from South Korea! The weather here got a lot colder this week, which is actually really good because we're required to wear suit coats from the October general conference to the April general conference... so, because it's cold, we're not sweating all over our nice jackets.

Biking along the Han River.

Last P-day was super fun. We went to an area in our zone (Hwayang), rented bikes, and rode on a sweet bike path along the Han river as a zone! The bikes were the ones with big baskets on the front and only one gear and kind of sketchy brakes, but nevertheless it was fun. We then played some ultimate and then said goodbye... probably a good third of our zone is transferring, so our zone will be pretty different this transfer. Tuesday was a pretty normal day except for sending all of Elder Lee's stuff to his new area. We met 3 of our investigators that day too. It's really easy to meet people at the end of the transfer because they always want to say goodbye to the missionary that's transferring. 
Elder Lee and I with an investigator.

Saying goodbye to Elder Lee.

On Wednesday we went to transfers. ㅠㅠ Said goodbye to Elder Lee and picked up Elder Weight! And then we traveled home and got in a couple hours of study. To be honest, I had a small feeling of dread the whole time I was studying that day. I didn't want to serve without Elder Lee, I didn't want to be "training" a new zone leader, I didn't want more responsibility, I didn't feel prepared at all... Mostly just mopey, self-centered feelings. And then we got out of the house and worked our butts off all day long and I felt really really good afterward. One of the most important things I've learned on my mission... WORK. Just forgetting about myself, my situation, my worries, and my problems, and going out and working super hard to invite people unto Christ. It's the best medicine.

Me and Elder Weight!!

Elder Weight is a super hard worker, he's funny, and he's awesome. He hails from Salem Utah and is the youngest of 10... 7 older sisters, 2 older brothers. He's got his head screwed on straight, he's obedient, and he knows why he's out here. We get along great and I'm really excited for a transfer together with him. I'm super grateful to have another great companion right in a row.

We worked really hard all week, got more contacts than I ever had in my mission, and found a few new investigators. We've had a conversation similar to this one every night right after planning:
"Good job."
        "You too. We worked super hard today."
"Yeah. Same thing tomorrow?"
        "Heck yes. I'm going to bed now."

I'm tired, but it's a good tired. On Saturday night, we got to teach two new people who became investigators. The first, Brother Jo, is 60ish years old and met us that night mostly because he likes the missionaries. But he said he would come to church on Sunday, and if he likes it he'll keep coming and become a member! He came yesterday, and it went pretty well. We'll see him again next week. The second guy, Brother Kim, is 50ish years old and knows the bible like the back of his hand. He was 7th Day Adventist, but he doesn't attend there anymore and is looking for a new church. He met us on Saturday night and got right to the point... He already had a Book of Mormon, and he wanted to know how to gain eternal life, and he wanted to learn it from us teaching him from the Book of Mormon. We joyfully turned to 2 Nephi 31 and all read together and had a great discussion about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (If you don't know what's in 2 Nephi 31, please stop reading this, read 2 Nephi 31, and then continue reading this. It's worth your time. A fantastic chapter of scripture.) He agreed with all of it and kept underlining his Book of Mormon and saying "This is awesome." We'll be meeting him again next Saturday.

Things are great here. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. Have a wonderful week!
Love, Elder Edwards

Pig intestines... yum :)    
(for real though, really delicious.)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

이원형 장로님이 이동 가네요 ㅠ

Translation courtesy of Elder Edwards: 
"Elder Lee won hyeong is getting transferred ㅠㅠ" 
ㅠㅠ doesn't mean anything, it's just the emoticon for crying in Korean. Get it? Two eyes, each with two streams of tears coming out. ㅠㅠ

Me and Elder Lee writing emails. Right now.

Elder Lee is back, which I'm so happy about. Doing missionary work alone really just isn't very fun. He's still doing pretty good. The military training was lame, but he got to see his parents and talk to them. He says they're doing okay. Still keep them in your prayers.

Conference weekend was this week! All of the missionaries in the stake (two zones) came here to Dongdaemoon to watch. Our ward is also the stake center, so all big meetings are here. It's been a pretty hectic weekend, especially with getting all the missionaries here and comfortable and watching conference on time, but it's been really good. Conference was fantastic. I really loved Elder Uchtdorf's talk "Lord, is it I?" That's something that I thought about going into conference... Not judging others and thinking about how it's something that they need to do better, but really looking inside myself and figuring out what I personally need to do better. Super good conference.

Watching some general conference in a "PC room". There are TONS of PC rooms in Korea, where people, usually students, can go and play video games all day long. It's usually where we email.

It's weird to think that I got transferred to Taebeck almost exactly a year ago. I've been thinking about that a lot recently... thinking about the differences between then and now. It made me REALLY grateful to be where I am. My situation and companions are so good and I'm really very grateful to be here. It's cool to look back on that experience which wasn't super easy, and realize all the blessings I have now. That's one thing I love about "hard times"... they help us to be grateful, they humble us. I've never had a real hard time in my whole life, it's been a pretty easy life so far, but there are times that are better and times that are less good. And those times offer perspective. I learn to be more thankful, grateful, and generous.

Our district at a delicious 갈비탕 restaurant!

Transfer calls came. Elder Lee is leaving. ㅠㅠ He will be going to Changwee, my greeny area, where he will be opening up a new area and training a greeny for his last 2 transfers in his mission. I'm SUPER sad that he's leaving. I've learned an incredible amount from him, and I think I was relying on him a lot while he's been here. But I'll hopefully be able to see him a few more times before he goes home in January. My new companion will be an Elder Weight, who came into country 9 weeks after I did. He's in the same group of missionaries as Elder Murdock (my first companion in Wonju). When I first got the call from President I thought: "Darn it, this is going to be hard. Two young missionaries together trying to work..." But then I remembered that I'm not really a young missionary at all, and neither is Elder Weight. In fact, we're on the older side of the mission. Weird. Anyway, Elder Weight was a district leader in another area, and now he's coming over here to be zone leader with me. So now I have to train him to be a zone leader. Which is just fantastic, because I don't even know that well how to do it. But it'll be good, we'll both be really obedient, hard working, and awesome. Besides the fact that Elder Lee is leaving, I'm looking forward to this transfer.

I love you all!
Love, Elder Edwards