Monday, March 9, 2015

따뜻해진다!!... 드디어

(Translations courtesy of Google Translate: "...Finally gets warm!")

A cool little waterfall.

Yesterday for the first time in 4-ish months, I did not wear my big hot super good looking winter coat when I went outside. I like it when the weather warms up.

On Monday, after email we went to a buddhist temple! It was pretty cool. We took a long bus to a dam, then hopped on a ferry, and then went to the temple! It was pretty cool. But I like our temples better. Afterward we had family home evening with some of the families in the ward. The kids in this ward are CRAZY. Well, maybe not necessarily crazy, but they're kids and get pretty wild and noisy.

The buddhist temple!

It's been a week filled with lots of traveling on the subway to far places for zone meeting and to meet people in other parts of our area that are out of the actual city. Choonchun is very similar to Wonju in the fact that if you want to go anywhere outside of the city you have to travel really far, usually taking 30 minutes to 1.5 hours. In Dongdaemun it only took 10 minutes or so. But anyway, we weren't able to proselyte a lot because of all the traveling. It was interesting going to zone training meeting and just listening and learning instead of giving the training. But it was still a little stressful because the zone leaders asked me to translate for one of the Koreans there who isn't super good at English. But still, it was good to help.

On the ferry going to the buddhist temple!

It's nice to not be a zone leader or district leader anymore. I loved doing it and loved giving trainings and going on exchanges a lot, but there's something much more simple about just me and my companion, going out and working every day. I like training a lot, and Elder Jung is awesome. The difference between training an American and training a Korean is HUGE. One aspect is the Korean language... when training a new American missionary, a lot of the training and helping goes into helping them learn how to speak and preach the gospel. But Elder Jung is way more fluent than I will ever be, so it's nice not having to worry about helping him with that language. We work well together, and I'm teaching better than I ever have in my mission. We teach pretty well as a team... I just usually have to nudge his leg when it's his turn so he'll get talking. It's fun.

Buddhist temple--Elder Jung and I.

Brother Kim, our investigator with a baptismal date in May, has had his phone turned off and didn't come to our last appointment, so we completely lost contact with him for a few days. So we figured out where he lives by calling the last elders, and then went and visited him. His house reeked of cigarettes and he was sporting pretty big burns on his leg from when he passed out while making coffee. He's in really bad shape, and it's not really helping that he's smoking and drinking a lot. We're hopefully going to teach him today and teach the Word of Wisdom. Keep him in your prayers.

Doing dishes after a ward meal.

I'll share a cool experience we had yesterday when teaching a man that we had called up and agreed to meet. It was really nice... after talking about what he wanted to talk about for 5 or 10 minutes, he turned to us and said: "Can you please tell me in 30 minutes or so about the Mormon church and how it was founded?" I wish we got more people that asked that question. Usually we meet people for the first time and then have to change the subject and focus them in on the gospel because that's not necessarily what they were expecting when we met. Anyway, Elder Jung and I launched into the Restoration and taught it pretty well. The man had expressed his feelings about Jesus Christ earlier in the meeting (he believes that every man's ultimate goal should be to live like Christ... awesome), so when Elder Jung was introducing the Book of Mormon I had the distinct feeling that I needed to share 2 Nephi 25:26. It's an AWESOME scripture for missionary work, not only saying something about Christ, but something about the reason for the Book of Mormon and why the authors were writing it. I opened up to it and read it to him, and immediately the coolest, warmest feeling came over me and I knew it was true. It wasn't necessarily anything big, but it was definite. I live for those moments. When the words of Christ go straight into my soul and say "Yes, this is right. This is real. This is true." I don't think he felt it has strongly as me, but the Spirit was definitely there. I'm grateful for moments like that.

Elder Jung and I and the sisters in our district 
(Sisters McKloskey and Sister Wijethunge... she's from Sri Lanka) 
and the bishop and one of the kids in our ward!

Something that really stood out to me in my personal study this week was the idea of peace. Here are some of the scriptures that stood out to me:
      "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer: I have overcome the world." --John 16:33
      "And he will take upon him death... and he will take upon him their infirmities... that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities." --Alma 7:12
      "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." --John 14:27
Christ really did suffer death, but not only that, he also suffered and took upon himself our infirmities. What does that entail? It means that not only did Christ redeem us from "death and hell", but he also suffered for our infirmities and trials so he could know how to succor, or help us. And that is where the peace comes from. That is where the strength comes from. From relying on Christ, who overcame the world. Is it any wonder that he is called "The Prince of Peace"?

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

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