Sunday, June 21, 2015

다음 장으로 넘어간다

Translation courtesy of Google Translate: "It goes to next chapter"

Emailing for the last time from Korea.

This week was a good week full of service and meeting people. We spent a good chunk of one day weeding at one lady's farm, and those weeds were NOT easy to pull. They were also in the middle of a bunch of ant hills, so we had ants crawling all over us the whole time. Luckily they didn't bite. We also swept out a less active's stairwell... 3 stories of it. I don't think it's been swept for years, so I think there's still dust in my lungs and stuck up my nostrils. But it was good to help them.

We had a music night at our ward a few weeks ago, to which came a pretty cool guy that Elder Jung and I had met on the street before that. We set up an appointment to meet a few days after the music night, but he didn't show up. When we called him a few days later, we found out that he had been on the internet and had read a number of anti-Mormon websites and now REALLY doesn't like our church in the slightest. The internet is a wonderful thing, but there sure is a ton of filth on it. I'm sure negative things can be found about every subject, religion, organization, person, etc. So it's lame that his opinion of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is now based entirely on anti-Mormon content. And he doesn't want to meet so we can help explain and fix some inconsistencies and misunderstanding. 

Me and my two trainees! Elder Jung and Elder Hansen.

We had our last conference with President and Sister Christensen. They leave at the beginning of July, so they held a few multi-zone conferences in different areas to say goodbye, encourage, teach, talk about the blessings of getting a new mission president, etc. It'll probably be a little different in the mission when the new mission president comes, but in a good way. I'm not too worried about that, mostly because President and Sister Christensen and I and the rest of my MTC group are all going home together.

Well... the time flew by. This is my last email that I'll send from Korea. I think my feelings are properly described in a poem thing that Grandma Dot sent me in the MTC: 
"Applied to an algebraic equation twenty-four months from the front seems multiplied by infinity. But, analyze the other side and it appears mathematically impossible that it really was two years." 
I'm grateful for the time that I was here. Serving a mission is SO worth it. Korea and it's culture and people are amazing. I'm grateful for the things that I've learned... how to throw off the natural man, how to use time effectively, where my focus should lie, who my foundation must be on, how to order my priorities and what comes first, etc, etc. I'm also grateful for the things I know and have come to know. Jesus is the Christ, he stands at the head of His church and at the head of this great work. God loves us and desires our salvation and eternal happiness. And so he provided the plan of salvation and provided commandments so that we can be saved and enjoy eternal happiness. Those commandments, or guidelines are found in the holy scriptures and in the words of living prophets and apostles. This things I know and these things are true.

If any of you are wondering whether or not you should serve a mission... DO IT! It's worth it. 
If any of you are wondering whether it's worth it to sacrifice time and desires and read scriptures/pray/go to church/keep commandments/be obedient... DO IT! It's worth it.
If any of you are wondering whether following Christ is really all that great... DO IT! It's worth it. He's the only way to "peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come."

I love you all!!

Elder Edwards

Sunday, June 14, 2015

자기의 힘을 다하여 낫을 휘두르는 자는...

(Translation courtesy of Google Translate: "He swung his sickle with all his strength...")

Service project!
"He that thrusteth in his sickle with his might..."

Greetings from South Korea.

On Tuesday Elder Jung and I went over to Brother Kim's house, the first counselor in the bishopric here. He needed some help in his yard, so we hacked at giant weeds for a few hours and threw them to hungry goats. I used a sickle. "He that thrusteth in his sickle with his might..." I surely did thrust in that sickle with my might. And then afterward we were pretty sunburned and wiped out, but it was really good to help Brother Kim. We had district meeting the next day, and Elder Larsen gave a great training on obedience, focusing on 2 Kings 5. Obedience is important, especially if you want to have the Holy Ghost with you and teach with power! It was a good training.

...and as you can see, I got a haircut! She cut it REALLY short this time.

This week a few pretty lame things happened as well. Elder Jung and I have gotten pretty close with a family in the ward, and they feed us almost every other week. They really appreciate our messages and want us to stay at their house FOREVER when we visit. It's so hard to get out of there sometimes. Anyway, the wife just up and decided a month or so ago that she would rather attend the Catholic church while her husband keeps coming to our church. She thinks that all churches are good and anyway we're all trying to follow Jesus so it doesn't really matter what you believe. She likes the Restoration and the Book of Mormon, but just doesn't get it. So we visited 2 days ago and gave a lesson on the Restoration. She responded that all churches are good. Which is true, most churches are good, but if God saw a need to restore his gospel and his church and the truth of Jesus Christ's gospel on the earth, surely we need to pay attention to that. So Elder Jung and I talked about it with her and testified of the Restoration, but to no avail. I really hope that the Holy Ghost took our testimony to her heart and she'll think about it and pray about it and realize it for herself.

This Sunday was pretty crazy. Brother B and Brother J got into an argument about why cement houses are better than log cabins against tornadoes in America, which then escalated to cursing and yelling and almost blows. Brethren, let's school our feelings. So now Brother B says he won't come back to church for 10 years... he's been having some doubts recently, and we think he's using this as an excuse to cut contact with the church all together. Hopefully he can come to himself later on.

Tool time with Sisera,
one of the Srilankans that got baptized last Sunday.

Despite a few lame things happening this week, Elder Jung and I had a huge miracle! Almost a month ago we found a really cool guy on the street, set up a return appointment with him, taught him, set up another return appointment, and then he didn't come and the address he gave us was wrong and he didn't have a phone so we couldn't contact him at all. He's a little bit mentally handicapped, so he doesn't know exactly the address of which apartment he lives in. So Elder Jung and I have been praying to be able to find him again on the street. And we found him this week! We reconfirmed his address (he still didn't really know it, but we got enough information so that we were able to find it), visited him, and then he came to church yesterday! His name is Brother Yoo and he's about 60 years old and lives by himself and he's the nicest guy ever. A little strange socially, but not too bad. He has some interest, so we have an appointment to teach him with a member this coming Wednesday. I'm excited for him.

I've been studying recently about what it means to take Christ's name upon us. The book of Mosiah is chock full of really great definitions for taking upon us Christ's name. One of the biggest things that's talked about there is learning about and knowing the Savior, which is exactly what it talks about in John 17:3. We must learn of him, serve him, remember him, obey him, and represent him. "For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?" (Mosiah 5:13). When we remember and understand and apply him and his teachings, we learn of him. We become more like him. And when we meet him again, he will recognize us as his own. "For behold, in my name are they called; and if they know me they shall come forth, and shall have a place eternally at my right hand." (Mosiah 26:24). I think that should be the main goal for all of us. Learn of Christ. Take his name upon us. And follow him. It's simple. It's healing. It's eternal. It's the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I love you all!!
Love, Elder Edwards

Elder Larsen bought a horse head mask at a thrift shop
last P-day, so we've been having a little fun with that.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

시간이 빨리 지나가는군요

(Translation courtesy of Google Translate: "Time is quickly passing")

Riding bikes last P-day!
My bottom was sore for days afterwards.

This week was a good one. Elder West and I went on exchanges... we ate burritos and taught one of their investigators and talked to a ton of people! 2 men stopped us (which is pretty unusual because people don't usually like talking to us) and wanted to talk. Turns out one was a pastor from the local church, and the other guy was a pretty zealous member of that church. They were really nice, but just wanted to bible bash and tell us our church is wrong. While Bible bashing seems pretty fun, the Book of Mormon teaches us that the spirit of contention is of the devil and it's really hard to not be contentious when Bible bashing, so we just stuck with testifying of the Restoration and answering any kind of sincere questions they had. It was good and I got the pastor's email, so we're totally going to keep in contact even after I go back to the States.

Elder West and me.
We're on temporary exchanges today.

Wednesday was my last zone training. On the bitter sweet spectrum, it was mostly bitter. I'm going to miss the awesome people in this zone. Elder Johnson and I (I've never served with Elder Johnson, so I've probably never mentioned him in these emails) were both trained by Elder Goo Young Geen, and we decided to count up how many people in that zone meeting had either been trained by Elder Goo or who had been trained by someone who was trained by Elder Goo. We counted a total of 7 in that one zone, which only covers 3 areas. Elder Goo trained 5 times, and his posterity is all over the mission. It's cool to see. 

Preparing for the music night that we held on Saturday.
These were a couple kids in the ward who also wanted to play. :)

A lot of this week was spent planning and preparing for the Music Night that we had at the church on Saturday night! It was mostly run by the missionaries, but the members helped a ton. The purpose of it was to create a meeting other than worship meetings on Sunday that members and less actives could come to comfortably and hopefully bring their friends. The Music Night was a success. None of the members brought any of their friends, but they did bring some less actives, so in the end we had 4ish less active members, 2 investigators, and another random guy show up, not including our members. It was a good turn out and everyone had a great time. The random guy that showed up met Elder Jung and I about a month ago on the street, and at that time we gave him a Book of Mormon and our card. He said he read some of the Book of Mormon and visited the church website, and then somehow found out about the Music Night and came! He's pretty interested in the church, and Elder Jung and I should be able to pick him up as an investigator this week. 

Preparing the baptismal font.

Yesterday, there were 2 baptisms in Chuncheon! Sister Wijethunge from Sri Lanka found Sisira and Udheda here in Chuncheon, both from Sri Lanka, and she and her companions have been teaching them for the last 3 months and they got baptized on Sunday! Elder Jung and I were involved in the teaching and fellow-shipping process a little, so they asked us to baptize them. It was really cool. I've never heard of or seen a missionary from Sri Lanka come to Korea... Sister Wijethunge may be the first. Who knew that there would be Sri Lankans in Korea? Who knew that they would be in Chuncheon? And who knew that they would be prepared? God did. And the apostle that called Sister Wijethunge here to Korea knew to send her here from the same source that let President Christensen know to send her to Chuncheon so she could find Sisira and Udheda. Pretty cool. 

Sisara and Uddeduh's baptism!

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