Monday, February 23, 2015

설날! 그리고 새로운 동반자!

(Translation courtesy of Google Translate: "New Year! And a new companion!")

One last shot of the Dongdaemoon elders.

It's been a good week full of new and out of the ordinary events.

Monday was P-day... but it was also transfer day (transfers are usually on Wednesday). They had to do transfers early this time because of 설날, which is the lunar new year and one of the two major holidays in Korea. It's a time when everyone heads to their hometown and eat and bow to their ancestors and spend time with family. But, the new missionaries still weren't coming into Korea until Tuesday evening, so I spent Monday and Tuesday with Elder Taylor (my last companion in Wonju) in his area because he will also be training so he also didn't have a companion. We worked hard and proselyted a lot and it was good.

Me and my new companion, Elder Jung.

On Wednesday we went to trainers training and got our new companions!!! My new companion's name is Elder 정우림 (Jung oohreem), and he's fresh out of the MTC. Something cool about his name is that "oohreem" is the Korean translation of "Urem" from the Urem and Thummem. He's 21 in Korean age (one year younger than me), pretty good at English, and fun to work with. He went to one year of college studying semiconductors. He was born in Hawaii and lived there until he was 5, and also attended some middle school in Provo, so he's awesome at English. I like him. On Wednesday night, we would normally head back to our areas, but because Choonchun is kind of far away, we stayed in the office that night and proselyted a little bit and helped the Assistants and the office elders set up for the conference that would be the next day.

email time...

Thursday was the new year conference! Usually President and Sister Christensen and the Assistants all give us trainings or good talks, but this time President wanted to show us some videos. We watched "A new day for the Book of Mormon"(?) and "Meet the Mormons." It was really cool. My eyes really hurt afterward because I'm not used to watching videos longer than 3 minute mormon messages. But, it was super cool. Everyone should watch "A new day for the Book of Mormon" because it's pretty much a bunch of experts of different things, some members of the church and some not, talking about how awesome and real and authentic the Book of Mormon is. After the conference ended, we headed out to Choonchun and got their just in time to eat and get ready for bed and sleep.

Friday was cleaning day, where we spend pretty much all day cleaning the house. It was good. The Choonchun house is super nice and ginormous compared to other houses, so I'll enjoy living here. And it's fairly new, so it was pretty easy to clean. Then we had weekly planning (a planning session that we have every Friday for 3ish hours to plan our coming week). Then we went and ate dinner and visited the bishop and shared a message with him and proselyted and then slept.

This picture depicts perhaps the hardest missionary rule for 
me to keep in the handbook... not holding babies/kids. This 
little guy kept holding onto my leg and wanted me to hold him.

Saturday was finally our first fairly normal day of missionary work. It couldn't have come soon enough. I was worried about Elder Jung getting the wrong idea of what missionary work really is because he spent his first 2.5 days traveling and watching movies. We had English class in the early afternoon, and then met with a man that was one of the old elders' investigators. He's super sick and is going to be in the hospital for the next week because of some crazy surgery, so we won't be able to meet him for a while. Then proselyted. Elder Jung is pretty good at proselyting... it's really nice because I don't have to teach him Korean so we can work pretty well together on the street. He's obviously still a new missionary and doesn't know what to say a lot of the time and just a little bit timid, but he'll get better. He's already doing so awesome. We met a man on the street who then took us to his house, where we taught him a little bit about the Book of Mormon and he accepted a copy and a return appointment! Pretty awesome.

Sunday was good. Our ward is so small (around 35 members came today, and that's more than average) that it should technically be a branch, but all the members are awesome and kind. I'm also the new ward pianist.

Left to right: Elder West and Elder Jung and Elder Batschi.

Elder Jung and I are whitewashing this area, which means instead of just one missionary switching out of the area and one switching in to be with the missionary who knows the area pretty well, both elders before us switched out and we switched in. So we don't really know anything about the area or ward, but we're working hard and getting a lot of help from the other Elders in our house (Elders Batschi and West). Elder Batschi served with me in Wonju. :) We don't have a lot of investigators, and of the investigators that we have we've only met one of them, but it's a good area and we'll work our tails off. Choonchun is really similar to Wonju in size and population.

Life is good. A little stressful, but Elder Jung and I get along great and are having an awesome time.

I love you all!

Love, Elder Edwards

Leaving Dongdaemoon and it's wonderful members :(

Sunday, February 15, 2015

시간이 없다!!

(Translation courtesy of Google Translate: "There is no time!!")

Hello! I have zero time to email this week, so this one will be really short.

We meet Brother Lee this week, and he brought a friend! But, neither of them focused at all. And he didn't come to church... he punks an incredible amount of times, but we'll keep working with him and remembering that he's just a kid.

We met a kid on the street this week named brother Jung, set up an appointment for Saturday, and then met him on Saturday! That rarely happens... So it was really cool to have him come and meet us. He's been to a lot of churches and doesn't really like any of them. But after we met with him and explained about the church and the Book of Mormon and revelation through prayer, he said: "I think this is the church that I've been looking for.." It was so cool!!! That was one of the most spiritual lessons that Elder Weight and I have had together, and Brother Jung definitely felt that too. He came to church yesterday for all 3 hours (he thought he would only stay for an hour or two, but he ended up staying the whole time plus stayed for the meal with the ward afterward) and learned about the Plan of Salvation and built some awesome bonds with the members. We're super excited for him.

And... transfer calls came. I'm headed out to 춘천(Choon cheon) to train!! Choon cheon is in a province called GangwonDo, which is actually where Taebeck and Wonju are. So I'll be going back to the countryside. It won't be complete countryside, but it won't be city either. I'm a little disappointed to be leaving Dongdaemun, especially because we have a few investigators (Brother Lee, Brother Jung, etc.) who have a ton of potential, but I will go where I'm called. I will no longer be zone leader or even district leader, but just a regular trainer, training a new missionary in the ways of mission life and doing the work of salvation. I'm SO excited. I'll pick up my new companion on Wednesday!

I love you all!
Love, Elder Edwards

Sunday, February 8, 2015

입추가 지났는데 아직도 왜 이렇게 춥죠??

(Translation courtesy of Elder Edwards: The beginning of spring passed... why is it still so cold??")

3 generations:
My dad (Elder Goo), me, and my son (Elder Hansen).

A good week!  We started the week with MLC meeting on Monday. The focus this month is on teaching... specifically becoming a teacher like Christ was. It was a really good meeting and I'm really excited for the focus this month. Plus, every Mission Leadership Council, Sister Christensen cooks us lunch and it's DELICIOUS. We had brownies on Monday and I just about died it was so good. Then, on Tuesday we had a temple day! All the missionaries going home at the end of the transfer give their "final testimony" at the temple in the waiting area before we go in to the actual temple. Elder Mumford gave his, and Elder Goo young jeen (my trainer) also gave his. He dies next week... that's super crazy. I'll miss him. The temple was awesome, and the trampoline park afterward was also awesome. We tried to play ultimate on tramps, but it was too hard. So we resorted to just jumping and flipping hard for 2 hours. I was sore for 3 days afterward.

Chilling at the trampoline park on P-day :)

Wednesday was Zone Training meeting. We trained on becoming a teacher like Christ. We opened up to the bible and read about some of Christ's teaching moments, including the rich young ruler, and talked about Christ's use of testimony, questions, and promising blessings (all principles of teaching in Preach My Gospel). It was a really good zone meeting. Elder Weight and I had some pretty good unity flowing for the whole training. We bought a bunch of Choco-pies (pretty much Korean Ho-hos) and did a little demonstration to show the importance of teaching to needs. We had 3 missionaries come up, and they were all told they could pick which kind of treat they would eat. To one of the missionaries, we gave a really nice bite of the one she wanted, to the next missionary we didn't give him what he wanted and shoved the whole thing in his mouth, and we gave the last missionary exactly the one he didn't want and then managed to shove a whole other one in his mouth as well. The analogy is one of teaching to needs... we need to give the investigator what they need/want and in appropriate amounts.

Thursday was interviews with President. I love him so much. He's a great mission President and I really hope to see him more after the mission as well. He goes home in the middle of July!

Friday-Sunday was pretty normal missionary work spent proselyting and teaching and proselyting and going to church meetings.

"Can I keep him?? Mom, can we please get a dog??"
Some dreams never die.

We found our old investigator, Brother Yoo, on the street the other day when we saw him riding his bike. We ran over to say hi to him and figure out what he'd been up to, but when he saw us he hid behind a bush! I guess he doesn't really like us anymore. Lame. We weren't able to meet Brother Lee, our 13 year old investigator, this week, but hopefully he'll be able to meet this week. I swear, he has no sense of responsibility. He's come to 2 of the 12 appointments we've set with him. But then again, I don't think I knew what an "appointment" was when I was 13. We'll keep working with him. :)

I think it's mating season for all the cats in Dongdaemoon... and they've all decided to migrate over to our church parking lot (right outside of our house), where they howl and mule and meow and are just generally loud while we're trying to study/teach/sleep. It's pretty annoying.

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

Monday, February 2, 2015


(Translation courtesy of Google Translate: "Gets warm!")

A good week! We started the week with some good old ultimate frisbee on P-day with our zone on our freezing church parking lot. It was super fun. Elder Weight and I also learned from another missionary in our house (Elder Mumford) of a sweet meal at the local Kimbab restaurant. It's a mixture of rice, bean sprouts, dried seaweed, and a soy sauce mixture. It's super delicious and only 3000won! (About 3 dollars). So we ate that almost every day for dinner this week. It was awesome.

One of Elder Bae and I! He goes home in 2 weeks.

On Wednesday and Thursday we did exchanges with the district leader and his companion in the Eemoon area! I got to go to Eemoon with the district leader. His name is Elder Fullthorpe, he's from Australia, he's 26, and super awesome. And SUPER smart. And really mature. I learned a lot from him and we had a really fun exchange. We talked about and learned a lot about charity during that exchange. Especially about learning to lose ourselves in the work and focus more on other people! Elder Weight and I have the privilege of going on exchanges with each of the district leaders (3) in our zone every transfer. One of us will go over to there house and sleep and eat and study and work with them and try to help build up moral, make sure obedience is happening, and lifting and encouraging the missionaries. The other one of us stays in Dongdaemoon with the district leader's companion and does the same with him. It's super fun and a great way to get up close and help the missionaries in our zone!

Elder Fullthorpe! We went on exchanges this week.

Elder Weight and I have been seeing tons of miracles for the last few weeks. People are wanting to meet, people are keeping commitments, people are meeting again, and we're getting way more teaching time than we had before! We're both also working and pushing ourselves even harder, party as thanks to Heavenly Father for the increased blessings. The blessings peaked this weekend when Brother Lee, our 13 year old investigator, committed to be baptized at the end of February! We may need to move the date back a little bit to make sure he has plenty of time to learn everything and come to church and understand all the basic principles, but he'll hopefully be baptized. He's a little bit of a punk... in the fact that he punks our appointments half the time, but he'll come through okay. We're super excited for him! I'll send you a picture of him when I take one. :)

My companion. He's so goofy.

I love the wording in Moroni 6:4~
  "And after they had been received unto baptism, and were wrought upon and cleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost, they were numbered among the people of the church of Christ; and their names were taken, that they might be remembered and nourished by the good word of God, to keep them in the right way, to keep them continually watchful unto prayer, relying alone upon the merits of Christ, who was the author and the finisher of their faith."

Why were the people's name taken? To keep them on the path. To help them stay in the faith of Christ. To help them endure to the end and prepare to live with God again. That's the part that all the members of the church are on, and that's the part that we have to help all the recent converts and any other members with! It is all part of our duty to befriend people, keep them watchful unto prayer, and keep them in the right way. What an awesome opportunity, responsibility, and privilege... to help God to help his children.

I love you all!
Love, Elder Edwards