Sunday, January 26, 2014

I would give up chocolate, but I'm no quitter!

It was a good week this week. We got some rain, we didn't get any snow, and it was surprisingly warm during the days and bitter cold at night. It reminded me a bit of Utah weather... bipolar.
These candies are the Korean equivalent of Hi-chews, and I found a giant one. 
That was a good night of happily eating candy.
I went on exchanges with one of the zone leaders a couple weeks ago, and while we were knocking doors we found a dude who was kind of mad at us for scaring his daughters by knocking. But then it turned out that he was fluent at English and super nice and willing to talk with us. We've met him twice since then, and he fed us some delicious lamb and promised us to refer some of his friends to us so that we wouldn't have to knock doors all the time. Super cool guy. His English name is Antonio.

We met a foreigner this week. He's a 65 year old white guy from Missouri, and he's been in Korea for 6 years. He can't really speak any Korean. He's an English teacher here, which is the most common profession for foreigners in Korea. (I think. I've only met foreigners that are teachers. But I kind of made up that stat.) We then talked about why he hated America so much, tried to give him a Book of Mormon, but he hopped on a bus and we never saw him again. He was funny. But it sure seems like a lonely life living in a foreign country completely alone.

We had a super awesome investigator who was SO interested in our church and the Book of Mormon. I texted him the other day, asking him if he had time the next day. His wife texted back and told me to that if I never contacted again, it would be good. So, being the good boy that I am, I called him a couple of days later and got an earful from his wife. No more investigator. That was kind of a downer. We have been rejected SO many times by the wives of people we talk to. I guess they don't want their husbands to be deceived or something. Except we help people away from deception, not toward it... Oh well.

Elder Murdock and I were late for an appointment, and there was a mountain in the way between where we were and where we needed to go. So we decided to hoof it over the mountain. We talked to two people on the mountain, and both took a Book of Mormon and were really receptive! I think we'll be doing mountain proselyting more often. I'll be needing some different shoes. 
Our mountain adventure.
We came back and talked to one of the guys on the mountain again after our appointment punked us, and we talked to him for a solid hour. He says that he goes up there everyday and sits and watches nature and thinks about the purpose of life. I tried to talk about the Plan of Salvation, but then he talked about why money is the most important thing in this life. And he was serious! It's so weird to me that people actually think that way. But he told us to visit any time at his little mountain hideaway.

I taught myself how to whistle this week. I have a solid 3 note range. It's a work in progress.

Transfer calls are this Saturday. Weird! This transfer FLEW by.

Life is great! I love you all!
Love, Elder Edwards

My breakfast fell on the floor this morning. I was really sad. But I remembered that we vacuum monthly, and that teenage boys NEVER walk on our floor with their dirty feet, so I ate off the floor. I felt sufficiently uncivilized. Also, the machine on the right is a Korean vacuum cleaner. The whole house is a kind of wood floor, but people never sweep. Always vacuum. And the red circle thingy in the back is a rice cooker. We eat rice everyday. It's good.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

나는 멋있다

A view of Korea. It incorporates some of my favorite parts of Korea:
Me, random fields, huge apartments,
traditional Korean houses (the roof), and beautiful mountains.

Hello from Wonju!

It's been a pretty typical week of missionary work... not too many cool stories or experiences to share. Just that doing the Lord's work is awesome and I'm having the time of my life! I'm tired a lot and stressed sometimes/a lot, but the work is awesome and I'm so happy to be doing it. Korea is still pretty awesome, and Korean food is the best thing ever. I miss shakes and good french fries and starbursts and subway sandwiches every once in a while, but Korean food is the bomb. 

Mmmm... Soup. Fish, kimchi, and tofu.

We had dinner with an investigator, and there were some really spicy peppers there. I took a small bite of one, and managed to hide my pain and tears for long enough to tell Elder Murdock to eat a whole one because they weren't that spicy. He shoved a whole one in his mouth. I think he cried for a solid half hour. I felt some shame, but it was mostly just really funny. It reminded me of the time that I made Dallen eat that pepper at the Chinese restaurant for a quarter. Totally worth it.

Me and Mona Lisa.
We had Zone Conference this week in Gangneung, which is about a 1.5 hour bus ride from good old Wonju. President Christensen and his wife and the Assistants came! It was really awesome. They gave some great talks about Testifying, Obedience, and Hard Work, which is our mission vision. (Dad: basically our mission X statement.) Super good talks. I love Zone conferences and Mission conferences. I always leave feeling inspired to do and be better.

A SWEET tunnel we found.
It's interesting how few foreigners are here in Korea. We see a fellow foreigner only about twice a week. Elder Murdock says that there are 200ish foreigners in Wonju, but I've seen a total of 5 (some more than once) in the 4 weeks I've been here. So, people stare at us ALL the time. Sometimes secretly, but mostly just blatantly. Kids 8 years old and under usually jump a little bit when they see us. It's kind of funny. It's especially bad when we go into a restaurant as a district... People stare at us and whisper about the "Waygookeen"(foreigner) the whole time. but usually we can use our foreigner power to get people to talk to us on the street, because we look weird.

Korea is great! I love you all!
Love, Elder Edwards

A view of my desk and me diligently studying.
My sweet tie and grandma pants.
Grandmas in Korea wear pants like these all the time.
In typical fashion, I bought myself some.

The view that Koreans see when I knock on their door.
There is a camera outside that they can activate to see who
is there and talk to through the phone inside their house. :)

Sunday, January 12, 2014


Hello from Wonju! It was cold this week.

It's very weird to see a Korean with facial hair. I guess their growing hair ability is different from Americans or something, because you almost never see facial hair here. Except for the occasional super super old grandpas who haven't shaved for their whole life, and it's a really long and patchy white beard. Those are pretty cool. Anyway, I met a guy this week on the street with a SWEET mexi-stache. He was awesome and happy and very very drunk. He told Elder Murdock and I that he was now adopting us into his family and whenever we're hungry to call him and he'll buy us whatever we want. Sweet.

It was another awesome week this week. God is still putting people in our path, and we're doing our best to teach them and help them come unto Christ. On Tuesday, a guy walked up to us on the street and ordered us to tell him about the Book of Mormon. He then took one and we met him the next day at the church, where he took one each of the Restoration, Plan of Salvation, and Gospel of Jesus Christ pamphlets and told us to teach him everything. He's super awesome. We're going to meet with him again this week, and we'll see how that goes. His name is Mister Chway.

In answer to Dad's questions:
  1. Do you keep a list of active investigators? Yes. We keep their records in the Area book and also have a big white board in our room with all the people we're working with.
  2. How many people are on it? We are currently working with 7 investigators right now. 5 of which are new investigators that we found in the past 2 weeks. :)
  3. How many people were on it in Taebaek? One.
  4. Do you report how many discussions you give in a week? Yes.
  5. What's the number on a good week? A good week would be 2-3 lessons. 5 if you're killing it. Elder Murdock and I got 8 last week and 9 this week :)
  6. On average, how many discussions in a week in Taebaek? One. Hopefully.
Time is flying frighteningly fast. (I'm killing that alliteration thing.) The days are zooming by and the weeks are going even faster. The work is going quite swimmingly.

Life is good!
Love, Elder Edwards

Sunday, January 5, 2014

새해 복 많이 받으세요! Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! "Happy New Year" in Korean literally translates to "Receive a lot of new year blessings!" I thought that was interesting.

Hello! It has been a super fantastic week here in good old Wonju. Surprisingly, it's gotten warmer this week. But everyone here says that the real cold hits in the middle of January. Should be fun. I had my first district meeting this week as district leader... That was kind of scary. And the dumb Zone Leaders decided that they were going to visit Wonju that day, so I had to give my first district meeting with the Zone Leaders there. But it went just fine. New Years Eve was good, I guess. I don't really know which day it was. We just went to bed like normal and then did missionary work the next day. I don't even know if they do fireworks here. So New Years was pretty lame. But, I turned 21 this week! Koreans count age really weird... when you're born, you are 1 year old, and then you change age on January 1st every year. So if a baby is born on December 31st, he would turn 2 years old the next day. It's a messed up system, if you ask me. But it's cool to be 21 years old, so I'm not complaining.

Elder Murdock and I killed it this week. We worked really hard, and the Lord definitely blessed us for it. We're teaching more people on the street and finding more investigators than I ever have on my mission! It's really exciting. On Thursday we were walking home after a long day of tracting. Normally it's a temptation to just put your head down and get home as soon as possible, but we were still talking to people. And we totally found this sweet guy who invited us into his office and we talked about the Book of Mormon for half an hour! It was SWEET. I don't know if we'll be able to meet with him again... but that definitely strengthened my testimony that if you're working hard all the time, the Lord will bless you all the time. 

A crazy guy punched me this week. He was kind of mean. And another kind of crazy guy was trying to speak Spanish to us... I think he spoke a mixture of Korean, English, and Spanish. I understood a total of zero of his words.

I loved the proverb quoted by President Uchtdorf in this months Liahona: "The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now." It's so easy to moan and groan and regret about things that we should have done that we didn't, things that we should have started earlier that we didn't. Regret isn't the solution to those problems... Starting NOW is the solution. There's a power in NOW. Doing things NOW. Living in the NOW. Learning from mistakes, and using them to improve and make a better NOW, which will inevitably make a better FUTURE. I love the opportunity we have to change, to become better NOW. To change ourselves and become more like Christ.

I love you all! Korea is to cool for school!
Love, Elder Edwards