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.