Monday, August 11, 2014

August 10- Here We Go!

So this time of the summer is when the memies come out. Memie is the Korean word and apparently they're called zakaydas in English, but I had never heard of them before Korea. They sit in the trees and let out this constant buzz/hiss of a noise all day then they die 3 days later. Sometimes it gets really loud and sounds like a helicopter landing or something. I totally forgot it was a thing from last summer till they came back recently.

So this was the first full week with Elder Gibbons! I didn't have much more than basic info last week since we'd only been together for a few hours at that point, but I found out this week that we get along great. He is really funny and one of the most easygoing missionaries I've ever met. That being said, the first thing I noticed about working with him is that he works super hard. He talks to absolutely everyone on the street. He reminds a ton of my companion at this time last year, Elder Jenson, both are super humble and happy but at the same time work really hard. There was one thing he said that made me realize we are going to be best friends. He loves the Grandpas as much as me! We actually got to serve at an old folks home this week and talk with the Grandpas during their lunch and we both loved it! In Korea, there is a style of music called 뽕짝(bbong JJak) and its the music all the Elderly work out to here. Its really catchy and Elder Gibbons loves it so much so that when he gave his welcome talk in Sacrament, he said over the pulpit in English "I Love bbong Jjak". It was probably the funniest part of my week and the members got a kick out of it too.

This week in English class we had a lesson on emergencies. it was really fun to teach them all the safety procedures, but they could not understand "stop,drop and roll" at all as we tried to explain. Finally, I demonstrated by pretending I was on fire and they all understood right away, hah. We were talking about times we've been in an emergency situation and the story about dad in the restaurant floated up in my head. I told them how he was in a restaurant when a lady sitting at another table, started to choke and no one knew what to do. So dad ran over there and gave the heimlich to the lady and saved her life. Boy were they impressed. They said I was lucky to have such a good father. The good name of fancy Dan is being spread all throughout the world!

We went to the temple this week which was great as always. After the temple, it is our p-day. It's usually a fun one because you do something with your whole zone since you go to the temple together. So we did something I've already done maybe 5 or 6 p-days before this one. I kind of consider it my typical p-day if we have nothing else to do. It involves doing something very American and something extremely Korean that is going to get pizza and hot dogs at Costco and then going directly to the public bath house after lunch and spend the afternoon relaxing. Ah, it was same old same old but it was great!

We got to meet with Brother Lee this week and had a good lesson. He had tons of questions about facts of the Book of Mormon like where in America it was and how Jerusalem was destroyed after Lehi left. He also asked us to list all the commandments of our church...I've actually never had someone ask that before. We said that we would progressively teach them but at that time we decided to talk about Word of Wisdom. He has a smoking problem and says he wants to quit but just for health reasons, ha. He is slowly making good progress!

I had a really interesting experience on the street this week. There was an older man sitting on the curb with bottle of alcohol and I had an impression that we needed to talk to him. He didn't look like the prime candidate for baptism, but then again I don't know who does! We got to talking and learned that he went to a church in his area everyday and that that church provided many things for him. They gave him food and clothes and money and friends and many other things. He said that he really respected us since we were church people, but right after that he posed the question what good is there for me if I go to your church. I had actually studied about something similar earlier in the week. I thought about the people that may be wealthy and happy and satisfied with life and how we could show them that this gospel will bless them. I thought about it for a long time and one answer I concluded on was that this gospel allows you to help yourself through helping others. Someone may not think that they need Christ, but something they should know is that their fellow man needs them and their help. So going back to this man on the street, I felt prompted to tell him that not only could this message bless him but it could give him a chance to serve his fellow man and through doing that he could become a better person. He was really touched by that and said that he wanted to go to our church. It was a really good experience of feeling the spirit working through me.

Right after talking with him, we had a lady pass us who went out of her way to say hello. She told us she felt bad because we were so far away from home and here in Korea there are so many churches so missionary work is so hard and that she just felt terrible that we had to do this. I actually get this a lot talking to people almost daily and I usually don't know what to say. But this time, I really like what ended up coming out. I said you really don't need to feel bad for me because the work I'm doing makes all the hard parts worth it. I told her if she and all the others that felt bad for me knew how amazing the message I'm carrying was they wouldn't feel bad at all and that it is not just because I like the lifestyle of missionary work that I do this its because I really do know what its done for my life and what it can do for others. She said she still felt bad but that she was happy that I felt that way. Thanks for everything I love you!

From 금천, with love. Elder Nixon DSC02419

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