Sunday, May 31, 2015


(Translation courtesy of Google Translate: "Overtime")

This week was pretty interesting. I'll start with our investigators status. None of them could meet except for one named Brother Hahm, and that ended up being a pretty good lesson. Brother Hahm is a very quiet and interesting man, but we taught the first half of the Plan of Salvation and tried to help him apply it to his life. He didn't commit to baptism, but did commit to coming to church yesterday! But, he texted on Sunday morning and said he was too tired and wouldn't be coming. I can't tell you how many times I've had people promise to come to church and then just not come. It's frustrating. We met another really cool man on the street early this meet, gave him a Book of Mormon, set up a return appointment, met him a few days later at the church (he actually came to the return appointment!), had a great lesson about the Restoration, and then set up another appointment, which he didn't come to. :( He doesn't have a phone, but he did give us his address, so we went and tried to visit him but... he gave us the wrong address (whether on purpose or on accident I know not). SUPER frustrating. He was so cool and seemed so interested. But now he's gone. But it's okay. We'll just go back to square one and hit the streets see if we can't find another person who's interested.

A strange selfie with the 4 of us.

On Monday there was a big, international mime festival here in Chuncheon. It was really... weird. I've never seen a real mime before, but I saw a few this past Monday, and it's different from any type of entertainment than I'm used to. We saw one guy named Eric the Fred. He's from England and apparently a pretty famous figure in the mime world. We watched him perform for an hour and it was so strange and kind of cool and all in all bizarre. I'm still not sure what I think about mimes.

Dog soup.

 I successfully checked off the last item of my food bucket list when Elder Jung and I ate dog soup this week. It was his first time too. Dog has a very unique taste. It was good, but I probably won't go for it again. It left my insides weird for a few days afterward.

Elder Hansen and me. (The elder I trained in Wonju.)

We had a combined mission conference in the Seoul South Mission with Elder Ringwood and Elder Maynes of the Seventy. It was really good. Elder Ringwood gave some really awesome words about remembering who we are and remembering the sacredness and authority of our missionary calling. He reminded us that we were sons and daughters of God, called by a prophet, assigned by an apostle, and set apart by a stake president. Pretty cool when you think about it that way. Elder Maynes talked about goals and plans. He also talked about staying connected to our purpose... really making sure that everything we're doing as missionaries is connected to and helping us fulfill our purpose to bring people unto Christ. Something he said that I liked: "Extraordinary results starts with extraordinary expectations which starts with extraordinary faith which starts with extraordinary prayers. A manifestation of your faith is the way you pray." It was a really good training.

Elder Roskelley and me.
(We spent 5 transfers together in Wonju.)

It is now June. Crazy how fast the time has flown. 2 years and 3 days ago, on May 29th 2013, I entered the MTC. So now I guess I'm on overtime. I heard that some companies give extra money to employees who work overtime. Assuming that the companies relate to missionary work and the extra money relates to extra blessings, I'm willing to work overtime for a long time. :)

I love you all!
Love, Elder Edwards

Laurel here: Elder Edwards release date is June 25, 2015. Our family flying to Seoul and will get to greet him in the mission home that evening. We are so excited!! 

Monday, May 25, 2015

성전 날!

(Translation courtesy of Google Translate: "Temple me!")

Pictures at the temple... with Elder Redd.

This week was a good one.

As far as lessons... not the best week. Our area has been in a bit of a slump for the past month or so. It got better a fair amount last week, but then crashed back down this week. We weren't able to teach a single lesson. So as a result, we had lots of proselyting time! We met some cool people and shared lots of copies of the Book of Mormon. But no new investigators and none of our current investigators had time or wanted to meet. There aren't a lot of direct, visible results of our labors right now, but we are not discouraged! We're just going to keep pushing through.

With President and Sister Christensen.

On Tuesday we had a temple day! So we slept in the temple Monday night and got to attend a Tuesday morning session with our zone and one other zone. It was delightful. It was my last temple day as a normal missionary. There's a cool thing that we do in our mission on temple days. All of the missionaries at the temple that morning and President Christensen and Sister Christensen all have a devotional an hour before the session starts. All of the missionaries that will be going home at the end of the transfer give a 마지막 말씀 (final testimony) and talk about things they've learned while on their missions. I gave mine along with Elder Garff, Elder Redd, and Elder McLeod. We were all in the MTC together, came to Korea together, and have served together for the past 2 years.
With Elder Garff.

It's really really weird that things are coming to an end. I spoke about the peace promised by the Savior in John 14. How when we do our best and put forth all our effort, despite our weaknesses, homesickness will go away, we will be happier, the Lord will be pleased with our efforts, and we can recieve and feel the peace that Jesus Christ promised his disciples in the last days of his earthly ministry. That peace is promised to us as well. It has nothing to do with what can be SEEN from our efforts... it depends entirely on our personal efforts, desire, and commitment. That's something I've felt a lot during this precious time in Korea.

With Elder Weight.

Elder Jung is doing good. Our investigators aren't progressing right now, but we're just putting in more effort in response. We get along great and are enjoying the work. I'm happy.

Elder Jung and me ready to email.

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

P.S. On a side note, you know that spray/powder that you're supposed to put on your feet if you have athlete's foot? It totally works. I got athlete's foot last month, and I've been applying that stuff diligently day and night since then, and it totally cleared up. Hurrah for modern medicine.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

노력의 성과가 조금씩 보이기 시작한다!!

(Translation courtesy of Elder Edwards: "The results of our efforts are starting to show!")

Baskin robbins! We estimated this to be almost 4000 calories. Yum.


This week was a wonderful week. We proselyted a lot... at the beginning of the week we didn't have a lot of appointments, so we hit the streets! On Wednesday we grabbed a bunch of less active member's addresses and walked all over the city trying to find their houses, talking to everyone on the way. None of the less active members were home, but we talked to a ton of people on the street! We didn't have anything else that day, so we did that from 12 to 5, ate dinner, and then we were supposed to have english class, but no one came to the class that Elder Jung and I teach (Beginner), so we went back and and proselyted from 7 to 9! It was a really long day. But fulfilling.

The 6 of us missionaries at a really cool lookout spot after a
ward bike riding activity!

On Tuesday we took a cross country bus from Chuncheon and 50 minutes later we arrived in a place called Hwachun. We had called a guy that lived there and set up an appointment to meet him, so that's why we headed over. He sounded excited to meet us the night before, but he punked us super hard when we got there. Wouldn't even pick up his phone. So we hit the streets! 

The beautiful city Hwachun.

The people in Hwachun were a lot more receiving and kind compared to Chuncheon. Missionaries have been in Chuncheon for years, but I don't think missionaries go to Hwachun hardly ever because it's small and so far away. So everyone was nice! Usually when we proselyte, a fair amount of the people completely ignore us because they know who we are and have zero interest in our message, but not a single person in Hwachun did that! So we met a lot of cool people and gave away a few copies of the Book of Mormon. Hopefully we can go back soon and meet some of those people again.

Getting soaked in the rain after walking home from a meeting.

Thursday was more proselyting. After the first 3 hours we visited a less active we had made an appointment with the night before. His name is Brother Eem. He's really old and it's hard for him to come out to church, but he really likes the church and likes missionaries. He also likes to talk. We went in and sat down on his living room rug and he started talking about something or other... and then I woke up 20 minutes later. I felt really bad. It's really really difficult to not fall asleep after sitting down for a while.

I found this snowmobile in the middle of a dirt field.
Grandpa Verlin, how's my form? :)

On Saturday we taught a man named Brother Jung. He used to be our investigator (I wrote about him a little bit in the March 23rd email) but we haven't been able to meet him for almost 2 months now because he got busy. But we called him the other week and he said he would come to English class, and he also said that he wanted to stay after English class and talk with us! He seemed to be losing a little bit of interest before he got busy, so it was a surprise that he wanted to talk after. We had planned to show him the Restoration video and also talk about the Sabbath Day, but that didn't feel right so we decided to just focus a lot on his needs and keeping the Sabbath Day holy. The lesson went REALLY well. We really taught to his needs, focused on doctrine (Prayer and Sabbath Day), promised a lot of blessings, shared plenty of scriptures, taught in unity, and really focused on Brother Jung. And at the end, he solidly committed that he would come to church! We had invited him a lot before, and he always said maybe but never actually came. But he came to church yesterday! He said it felt "fresh". He only got 4 hours of sleep that night, but he still dragged himself out of bed and made it to all 3 hours of church. I'm really glad that Brother Jung humbled himself and committed to come and then followed through on his commitment! That's what brings people closer to Christ. Committing themselves and acting by following God's commandments.

Bowling on P-day. I've been working on my form recently.

The story of the wise man who built his house upon the rock appears a few times in the scriptures. I find the difference between the wise man and the foolish man pretty interesting. We all know that in the parable the wise man built his house upon the rock and it was sturdy, but the foolish man built his house upon the sand and the fall of it was great. So how to we build our house upon the rock? Christ said "Therefore, whoso heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man...". The foolish man is the guy "that heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them not...". So what's the difference? They both knew the same things. They both heard and understood to an extent of what Christ said. But the difference between the wise man and the foolish man was Action. Application. Execution. When we DO according to what we learn and know, then we receive the blessings. "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." (James 1:22)

I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!
Love, Elder Edwards

Elder Batschi visiting the wonderful Chuncheon District.
Laurel here: This last picture was sent to me by Judy Batschi who is currently in South Korea with her husband picking up their missionary son, Elder Batschi. He is the tall one on the left.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

나는 농부가 됐다

(Translation courtesy of Google Translate: "I was a farmer.")

This week was awesome!

The dog that we see every day.
He watches us like a hawk. I named him Kojack.

We started the week off with a good P-day at the bath house and then proselyted for the rest of the night. We were waiting for the light at one crosswalk when a man on the other side started screaming at us and yelling "Jesus is a fraud!!". He was drunk out of his mind. So, because he was quite intoxicated, when the light changed we gave a polite hello, a small bow, and then hustled away from him. Alcohol is a menace to society. It's also a menace to religion, too.

And... farming. Lots of farming this week.

On Tuesday and Thursday, we spent a few hours doing some service. Both service projects ended up being farming. It was SUPER fun. Elder West and I are still really good at digging ditches from last time, so we pounded out a few ditches and weeded a bunch and planted seeds and reshaped mounds and broke up big chunks of dirt and just had a generally good time. I'm thinking about starting my own farm when I get back. There's nothing like digging dirt with a shovel. And even though we were really sweaty and dirty and tired every time we ended, there was always this great feeling of satisfaction. Whenever someone would get tired, they would say, "I'm tired of digging, Grandpa!", and then the other guy would say, "Well that's too dang bad! You keep digging!" (From the movie "Holes"). I like farming.

And more farming.

Transfer calls came. Elder Jung and I will be staying together here in Chuncheon!! We're going to have a blast and work harder than ever. He's fun and I love working with him. Here are a few of the funny things he has said (keep in mind that's he's Korean and while he's pretty darn good at English, he's not fluent)...
Me: Let's make boiled eggs!
Jung: That's the spirit! 
Me: ... that one guy... ah... what's his bucket...?
Jung: ... bucket? 
Batschi: Elder Jung, what's your earliest memory?
Jung: ... I don't remember. 
West: Elder Jung, you're a good sport. Do you know what "good sport" means?
Jung: ... sporting goods?
He's so cute. I respect him so much for learning English. It's not an easy language to learn.

Me and Elder Jung ready to email!

Yesterday we had a lot more members at church, which was really good. After church and studies, we headed over to a members house to teach one of their sons. He will be turning 8 this week, and they want him to hear the missionary lessons before he gets baptized (I don't know if we do that in America, but in Korea, parents sometimes like to do that. Not to replace them teaching their kids, but to just add a little more knowledge.) So we taught him and his siblings the Restoration. They know it REALLY well. They're going to be awesome missionaries. And, that night, Elder Jung and Elder Batschi and Elder West gave me some My-chews (candy) for my birthday. A great ending to a great day.

The family in the ward that we visited and taught last night. So nice!!

Today is the first day of my last transfer. It's scary and came way faster than I wanted it to. I have some goals and plans that I plan on accomplishing with vigor. I may be here at the end [of my mission], but I'm going to finish with a bang! The race has been long, but I have some kick left, and Elder Jung and I are going to kill it for the next transfer.

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

Sunday, May 3, 2015

별일이 없었다

(Translation courtesy of Google Translate: "There was no big deal.")

A good, fairly uneventful week.

On Wednesday after district meeting Elder Jung and I went on exchanges with the zone leaders until Thursday night. Elder Jung stayed here with Elder Andersen and I went over to Junglang area with Elder Garff. Elder Garff was in the MTC with me and we came to country together. We didn't really know each other then, but somehow over the course of the past 2ish years we've become great friends. So we had a jolly old exchange together filled with proselyting and service in a kitchen for handicapped people and studies and working out and street boarding and gospel discussions. All the ingredients for a great 2 days. It's weird seeing these people that I have known since the MTC and realizing that there's really not a lot of time left... Neither of us think about it, and neither of us really talked about it, but it seemed even more real during that exchange. Time is strange. Us and the elders that came to Korea with us are the oldest in the mission and have been since March. Strange.

Exchanges with Elder Garff.
Elder Weight and his trainee, Elder Mcgargle, are in the back.

Other than that, Elder Jung and I spent the whole week proselyting. When Elder Weight and I would spend a whole week proselyting, we would usually talk to nearly 300 people, but Elder Jung and I do about half of that. Mostly because Elder Weight and I would split up at a busy crosswalk in Seoul, whereas here in Chuncheon there aren't very many people. And I have to take a little bit of a slower approach because I'm training Elder Jung. But anyways, it was a good week full of talking to lots and lots of people. Some were nice, most were busy, most were not interested, one told us to shut up after we said "Hello!" (I think he was having a bad day), and very few were interested. But we were able to talk to some cool people who we'll hopefully be able to pick up as new investigators this coming week.

The suits we got the other week came in the mail this week. Three full sized suits all crammed in a small cardboard box. Needless to say they are a little wrinkled, but they look really good.

The new suit.

The power went out a few nights ago, which messed up the water heater, which we didn't know how to fix at the time (we soon learned how.) So we took showers for 2 days with out hot water. Talk about a wake up call in the mornings.

Hiking with one of the families in the ward.
Isn't he the cutest?!?

There's a holiday in Korea tomorrow (Children's day), so as a result a lot of the members of the ward were with family and away from Chuncheon on Sunday. We barely had 15 people at church, counting the 6 missionaries. It was a small, quiet worship meeting. Try to imagine fast and testimony meeting with only 15ish people. And more than half of them are kids who don't really want to bear their testimony. But it was good. The Lord has said that where 2 or 3 gather in his name, He will be there also.

Life is good and I'm loving the work and the people here in the Republic of Korea. Have a wonderful week!

Love, Elder Edwards