Sunday, September 14, 2014

동대문구 용두동

Dongdaemun district!!

A good week. Last Monday was spent cleaning ALL day. We emptied fridges (we have 2!), freezers, garbage cans, cupboards, and then cleaned them REALLY good with some powerful cleaning supplies. Houses get kind of gross after years of irresponsible teenagers live in them. And it doesn't help that this house is infested with cockroaches!!!! Everytime we moved something that hadn't been moved in a while, a new little gang of cockroaches would scurry in every direction while we squealed and banged them with sledghammers and sprayed them with some powerful bug killer. It was actually a pretty good day. We (the 6 elders in this house) all bonded together after that experience, similar to a group of survivors who endured and suffered through a great trauma or natural disaster together. The day after that we got to go to the temple in the morning and then have P-day! We didn't do anything super cool that day, but the temple was great and it was good to see a bunch of other missionaries that I know at the temple.

Elder Choi and I (he's a zone leader in another area).

There's not a ton of privacy in this house... we actually have two showers, but they're both in one room not separated by anything. And we have 3 toilets!! That's a pretty good number for us. And those are a little better because they're separated by stalls. Except the stalls don't have doors. And the bathroom is also the laundry room... someone just threw a washing machine in there and called it a laundry room as well. So basically, you learn to not be too shy here.

Mom, I'll just put the answers to your questions on here. That's cool, right?
1.   Tell us about your companion. His name is Elder Leewonhyung. He's 24 years old, has been in the army for 2 years (that's a requirement for every Korean male), finishes his mission this January, and super buff. He's really good at English due to living with Americans for the past year and a half, but we usually speak in Korean together.
2.   What are your responsibilities as ZL? Give zone trainings once a month. Take care of the zone. Go on companion exchanges with each of the district leaders (3) once a transfer. Attend the monthly stake presidents meeting and discuss missionary work. Be the model companionship in the zone. Strive to make this zone the model zone in the mission.
3.   Where do you live now? How many missionaries are there in your apartment? Right next to the church in a place called 동대문구 용두동 (you can google it, find the church, and then see our house.) There are 6 missionaries in this apartment.
4.   How many missionaries in the zone? 24.
5.   How is the city vs the country? BIG. One of the biggest differences is having so many people to talk to!!
6.   What is the ward/branch like where you are serving? It's good. I don't know a whole lot about it yet, but the members are really nice and work hard. Our ward mission leader is awesome and really works hard to fulfill his calling. This ward actually isn't that much bigger than Wonju branch... I think about 50 members come out every week.

Elder Lee and I at the temple.

Things are pretty good right now. Elder Lee and I are both healthy and happy and working really hard. I struggled a little bit with confidence this week... which is interesting because I never struggle with confidence. But I struggled this week with knowing what to say when we proselyte, specifically. I'm doing fine now, but it's really interesting to see the HUGE difference that I felt in my ability as a missionary when I had less confidence. I didn't feel as ready, prepared, qualified, or happy. And speaking Korean became SUPER hard. But I'm fine now, I have confidence, and the work is going well. 

Elder Lee and I picking small appleish things.

Elder Lee and I found 3 new investigators this week, and all three of them agreed to be baptized in October! We have changed our approach when we invite people to be baptized a little bit... First, we invite almost everyone to be baptized at the first sit down lesson with them. So we'll meet them on the street once for the first time, and then when we meet them in the church we'll invite them to be baptized. Second, we set a date with them, whether they feel ready or not, and then tell them that we will help them to be ready by that date, and if they feel ready, they can be baptized then. We express to them that it's okay if they don't feel ready then, that we can do it later if they don't feel ready, but that it would be good to work toward a goal (the date). And it works like a charm. Almost everyone agrees, and then they have a lot better idea of what our expectations are and what we are here to do as missionaries.

So now we have a lot of investigators, with 5 of them with baptismal dates starting at the end of this month and spreading through until the end of next month. It's pretty cool. I don't know how we're going to get them ready by then, but we're working hard to know the doctrine ourselves and to help them understand it. The work is really rewarding right now. It's really cool to do the Lord's work, to invite people unto Christ and help them enter into the gate of baptism.

I love you all!
Love, Spencer

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