Monday, November 11, 2013

November 11 email


Pretty crazy week. Since it was Elder Westbrook's last week, we had lots of meals and visits with members, investigators and less actives, but it was really fun. Highlights from this week were receiving a Korean name, lady in Bong Choen ward filming an I'm a Mormon message, new companion coming and finding 2 new awesome investigators.

So sometimes Missionaries not from Korea like to have Koreans give them a new Korean name, sometimes its just for fun, and sometimes the missionaries literally go by that name. For example, Elder Westbrook's name was super hard for Koreans to remember and they always had trouble pronouncing the Koreanified version of his name so he asked for a Korean name and they gave him 서천. (so choen) 서.It has the meaning of west in Korean and 천 can mean stream or river, so the entire time i was with him he went by that. I wanted to get one from someone I really like and am close to so I asked the second counselor in my bishopric to give me a name and he gave me 이태웅(tae woong Lee), the meaning translates to big bear (who wouldn't love getting the name big bear?) I don't think i'll make people call me that since Nixon has a pretty straightforward translation, but it's fun to finally have one. Right now, there is a film crew going all over Korea filming 나는몰몬입니다(I'm a Mormon) ads for the Korean website and one of the sister's in Bong Choen ward got picked to do it. She got baptized about 10 years ago and is amazing! I'm excited to see it when it comes out, (maybe even get to show it to someone on the street from an ipad one day--not in the immediate future though).

I got my new companion, Elder Verotahi! We've only been companions since Saturday morning, but he is so fun! Not only is he awesome at English, but he is somehow learning Korean super well, even through he has to learn through English. He and his whole family got baptized about 10 years ago. He just graduated high school last spring and was 18 when he first came on his mission. I asked him about when he found out he was coming to Korea and he said that he didn't even believe it. He is the first person from Thailand to ever serve in Korea. He is so willing to serve just by being out here, but he is so happy to do it. His older brother is serving a mission right now in Thailand. So, yesterday was our first full day together and it was a cold one. He kept telling me I've never felt this cold in my life! He is really scared for winter. He has never seen snow and doesn't think he'll survive, but as you can see from the picture he is pretty prepped. I think we're gonna have a lot of fun together. Since I"m the senior companion, we may not know what is going on, but we'll have fun trying to figure it out.

Elder Westbrook's last night in 봉천 brought an awesome miracle. Two transfers ago we received a referral from another area. They told us he was an awesome kid with tons of potential so we kept calling and calling. He would answer and was super nice to us, but because he sincerely was really busy we couldn't meet for pretty much 10 weeks, but we finally got to meet him last Friday night. I was a little intimidated because A: He goes to Seoul National University and B: He is studying religion right now and C: He was bringing his friends, who were also religion majors. It sort of seemed like it was set up to be a bible bash. We met them and took them up to tour our church. After showing them the chapel, we sat down in one of the class rooms and began teaching. They had so many questions. They couldn't believe the way we spoke Korean. They refused to believe that this time last year we knew nothing about the Korean language. They thought Mormons sent their future missionaries to special schools for jr high and high school to learn the language, haha. The questions got deeper and deeper and more complicated, so luckily half way through the lesson, we find out they're all fluent in English (it's always a pleasant surprise when that happens). Because of that, we were able to go into deep detail about things like the plan of salvation. These 3 guys are religion majors at Seoul National University: the most prestigious University in this country, which has one of the most developed cities in the world in Seoul. If anyone was logically justified in telling me i was wrong, it would be these 3 men. I said in the most plain 20 year old boy way that i could that God didn't just give this plan of salvation to the Mormons so the Mormons could be saved and no one else but he has provided it for everyone that will ever live. At that time, he told me -me, the 20 year old kid who came on this mission only with a step of faith, a hope that I really could make someone happy by telling them about this book and this plan- he told me that what I had just described to him was beautiful. Two of them came back for church yesterday and we are meeting again tomorrow. I can't wait!

I love you all! From 봉천 with love. Elder Nixon

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