Tuesday, September 17, 2013

September 15 Email


Hey Everybody! Turns out, I'm still in Korea! I'm starting to think they might actually let me stay here the full two years!!

We had a pretty good week here in Bong Choen!, although nobody spoon-fed me chicken on the street like they did last week..It was actually a pretty slow week, lots of people canceling appointment and not showing up. It was okay though because it gave us time to do lots of less active/inactive work. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned it before, but only about 10% of Korean Mormons are going to church on Sundays. We talked about it with a member of our bishopric yesterday and he said that a huge chunk of them are just lost and have been for years. For example, we have less active records from the 90's and the early 2000's that we ask people in the ward if they know and everyone says they've never heard of that person because it's been so long. A lot of the time we will visit the addresses of people on those records and the people there will say they have moved so in some sense it's good to get the inactive situation in our area updated so missionaries down the road don't have to visit the same house with the same result. I remember when I first got to Korea, my trainer did all of the navigating for finding houses and I just thought to myself "How in the world could I ever be in charge of finding these addresses?" Here is why it seems really difficult: I think in like 2006 all of Korea decided to completely re-do their address system and give every building a new number and address. So on pretty much every house theres a nice clear brand new blue sign that has the address. The thing that's hard is that people refuse to switch to the new system so no one, not even the post office, uses these blue signs they put on every house. Instead, they usually just write in black sharpee the old address somewhere either on the sign or mailbox or gate or something. It gets really hard when their marker has smeared and you can't read it. Luckily, we have a map of the area in our house and what we usually end up doing is taking a picture of the map on our camera and using that as a poor man's navigation system. It actually works really well! I just got done writing that and now realize that it was probably really boring hearing about the Korean address system Sorry!

The highlight of this week was the mission tour we had on Wednesday with the Asia North Area president, President Ringwood. He was the Mission President of our exact mission (then called the Seoul West Mission) from 2004-2007 so it was really great to have him come and speak to us. He talked a lot about his experience both as a young missionary in our area and a mission president. It was really cool to learn more about history of the Seoul West Mission, because I didn't really know anything. He was serving in the Asia North Presidency when Bishop Stevenson was Asia North President, so afterword we had a good talk about him! I was actually pretty sick at the time and almost didn't go, but I'm so glad I did. I feel like there was a lot of stuff said that I needed to hear so I could become better.

So this upcoming week is the big Korean version of Thanksgiving called Chuseok! It's one of the biggest holidays here and everyone is getting excited for this Thursday. We have a mission conference that day with the whole mission so it should be really fun. Missionary work might be just a little different this week because its the one time of the year everyone living in Seoul leaves Seoul and goes back to their hometowns to celebrate with their family. Even if everyone is leaving, there's still plenty to do!

Hope everyone has a good week! Thank you everyone for writing me! I love getting emails and letters hearing from people!
From 봉천 with love.
Elder Nixon

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