Sunday, September 21, 2014

September 14 - Korean Turkey Bowl!

Like I said last email, we got to spend P-day the exact day of Choo Seok. I came up with the idea to put together some Korean version of a turkey bowl with a bunch of missionaries in our zone. So, we always play football on Thanksgiving and american football is pretty nonexistent outside of the states. I figured we would play something I had never seen till I came to Korea. We played what is called Cheo koo. It's basically volleyball using anything but your hands (mainly your feet and your head) and the net is lowered so its easier to kick it over the net. Anyway, there's a nice court right by the river in our area so we brought guitars and food and played. It was tons of fun! 

The next day we had our mission conference where we spent the entire day with the whole mission learning and having fun. In the morning Elder Han came and spoke to us. He was the very first Korean to become a 70 back in the 90's and was also President Morrise's Mission President. He was so fun to hear from. He taught us about Korean culture and how we can embrace it. His main message to us was that with the rapid progression of things in Korea some things have began to fade away. He told us that it was our job, through our actions, to remind the Koreans of their heritage and culture. It was really weird to see so many people I don't know that are in the mission now! The people I don't know now seem to out number the people I do know! Elders that I didn't know kept coming up to me and asking, "Are you Elder Nixon?? Your old companion talks about you all the time!! I've heard so many stories!" At which point, I told them they were all rumors what ever they said. It happened 4 different times, haha. 

After all the holiday events, we actually got back to work. Elder Gibbons said hello to these 2 guys and said a few things in Korean to them, but they gave him a weird look and responded in broken Korean and finally just said, "hey man can we just speak in English".  It is always awkward/funny when that happens. They were actually Chinese Americans that lived in America that were doing study abroad here in Korea. We kept talking to them and they said that they were all too familiar with Mormon missionaries and saw them at least on a weekly basis back in California They asked us questions about the missionary lifestyle and couldn't believe the way we lived. They gave us a look like why would you ever want to do this. I then got to share my testimony naturally by telling them that this choice to do this has made me unexplainably happy and if I was in their shoes I probably would say the same thing. But I told them that there is something to this and that I've seen it change peoples lives here in Korea. The conversation ended with one of them actually saying, "Wow this changed what I thought about Mormons. I'll have to look into it when I go home." Then he told me that he was on his way the airport right now. It was a cool experience. 

So lately we've been trying to think of how we can send a good image of missionaries to lots of people in our area. In the past, we've usually come up with some kind of activity related to free English, like the English game we played. But, we wanted to do something more related with what we are really here to teach. Another Missionary came up with this sticker board idea where we had 4 questions with columns, "How can I find happiness?"" ,Where do I go after I die?", "Which Church is the true church?" and "How can I overcome hardships?" Above all these questions, we wrote, If you could ask God one question which question would you ask him? The result we got from doing it was really good. So many people were willing to come up and put a sticker on their question. It was a really effective way to show lots of people exactly what we teach about in a fun, nonthreatening way. I wish I could take credit for the idea because I think its genius, but turns out it was Elder Brewer's idea, who I was in the MTC with. 

This week Brother Lee unfortunately decided to stop meeting with us. He said that it is too hard for him to believe in the miracles that must have happened both in the Bible and with Joesph Smith. We are for sure not giving up on him but for now, he said he doesn't want to meet. It makes me sad, but I'm at least not disappointed in myself. As for the other Brother Lee, who we met in the park playing Chinese Chess, we taught him this week and he accepted the story of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith pretty well. He wants changes in his life like quitting smoking and other things. We are working with him right now. 

I've been trying lately to be a more Christ-like missionary not just doing missionary things. I read in Preach My Gospel this week that just as vital as what we do is who we are. It's so true. I read in my study journal from a conference a long time ago that He's much more interested in what I become moreso than what I achieve. I'm trying to be better everyday! 

thanks for the love! peacenblessins 
From 금천, with love. 
Elder Nixon      
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