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 :(

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