Monday, September 30, 2013

September 22 Email

Hey everybody! Another week has come and gone. This is the last week of this transfer, which is super weird to me. It feels like Elder Westbrook and I just got put together, but apparently it's already been 5 weeks. I really really hope I get at least 6 more weeks in Bong Choen, but if it's something else that'll be okay to. ('I'll go where you want me to go" right?) We had a pretty irregular week this week because of Chuseok and the annual "missionary deep clean your apartment" day. I've withheld details about the Bong Choen missionary apartment up untill this point, but you could say it's pretty bad. Thats okay though. we put a good day into and it is as good as new, or something like that. Chuseok was really fun! We went to the biggest meetinghouse in Korea which is only about a half hour away from Bong Choen and had a day long conference with all the other missionaries. We ate tons of good Korean food. Highlights included learning how to make traditional Korean dumpling soup, learning traditional games, having a talent show, and going to a really cool park along the Han River! It was really fun to see Missionary friends from all over the mission and catch up. Speaking of eating lots of food, I'm pretty sure my weight is still on the rise. I think I've mentioned me being literally the only Elder missionary who seems to gain weight rather than lose weight here before in my updates, but I thought I might provide just a small explanation. First of all, in my 10 minute walk from my house to the church I pass literally 5 convenient stores all selling ice cream for 70 cents or less. Then there is Pizza School which every missionary in Korea knows about. Pizza School is Korea's equivalent to Little Caesars in America in that you can get a whole pizza there for 5 dollars. The only difference is that Pizza School has 15 different pizzas to choose from all of which are 5-7 dollars. We go there a lot. Thats' my explanation, hah. I have two really cool experiences I want to share with you guys this week. The first came about 2 1/2 weeks ago we met someone on the street wanting to learn English. He really wanted to meet so we got his number and name and set up an appointment for the following Tuesday night. Tuesday night came and we went to the subway station to meet him and waited for him, about 10 minutes passed so we decided to call him. I went to pull up his name in the phone and there were two people with the same name but different numbers so I called both of them and neither would answer. Unfortunately, he never showed up. Then the following Monday we got a call not from the person we met on the street but the person with the same name that we called earlier. He said that he wanted to meet so we set up to meet that night. We met at the church and he told us that he had lived in Japan and met missionaries there and taken the lessons and been to church and that he really wants to be baptized! How his name got put into our phone or when it got put in the phone, I have no idea! But someone we unintentionally called ended up being a prepared person. It was a huge testimony to me of God's hand in what I'm doing every day.

The other one came last night when we were on our way to visit a member. We walked past a little park when a little old Grandma sitting on a bench called us out. She told told us to come sit down and take a rest. I looked at Elder Westbrook and was just like "c'mon man! do we have to??" but he was all for it so I somewhat unwillingly went and sat with this old Grandma. She did what most Grandmas do here which is just talk your ear off about who knows what. So after about 5 minutes of keeping her company and talking about our church we decided we should go. As we were walking out of this tiny park, a lady stopped us asking us who we were. We started telling her about the church and why we came to Korea. She had never heard of Mormons or The Book of Mormon, but had tons of interest and seemed really open to our message. I had to thank Elder Westbrook for always being willing to serve others even if it's just taking a break next to someone who wants to talk. It reminded me that I need to always be looking for ways to serve these people no matter what the situation is!

I'm still doing good! Language is alright at the moment. I told myself that I'll never think I'm good at Korean because the more you learn the more you realize how bad you are and how much more is out there (if that makes any sense?) Something I really trying to work on right now with language is being able to understand what is said in Church. It's one thing to have a conversation with someone and understand what you are talking about but when its 3 straight hours of just listening, it becomes really hard. Definitely my weakest point right now but I'm excited to get better with it. Hope everyone has a good week! From 봉천with love. Elder Nixon

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