Tuesday, September 23, 2014

September 22 - Last Area, Last Companion. Sprint to the Finish

So, we were having district meeting on Wednesday. Right when it got over, I got a call from President saying that he needs to emergency transfer me this week to go be a zone leader in an area called Suwon. Elder Brewer, (who is one of my closest friends I've made in the mission), was serving here, but got really sick and was medically released to go home 2 transfers early. He left Saturday and they needed a new missionary by Monday, so here I am! It was shocking to say the least. I knew I'd probably leave next transfer in October, but did not anticipate this! So like I said, this will most likely be my last area and last companion. 

Speaking of companion, my new companion, his name is Elder Lee. The very start was with a Korean and it looks like the very end will be with a Korean! I was so excited when I found out I'd be serving with Elder Lee. This is exactly the kind of companion I wanted to end with, one that only speaks Korean!! hah. Of all the Korean missionaries, he's one of my closest friends. We already know each other pretty well. When he first came into the mission, we were in the same zone. I think a long time ago I wrote about going on an exchange with a Korean missionary. I was really nervous I wouldn't be able to speak Korean the whole time with him, but we did and it was really fun. It is that Elder Lee that I wrote about back when he was a new missionary. He's a big teddy bear. 

As for the new area/ward, it seems like it will be a good one. The city is about an hour and half south of Seoul. This will be my first time serving outside of Seoul. It's not as big as Seoul, but still a huge city. It doesn't feel like I'm outside of Seoul at all, haha. I've heard great things about the ward. I found out that they have lots of non Korean members (Japanese, Chinese, American) that can't speak Korean, so I'll have to translate sacrament meeting every week. I'm a little nervous since I haven't done much translating on my mission, but I'm actually more excited than nervous. It will definitely make me pay attention in sacrament meeting, hah. 

It was really hard to be in one area for so long and then just leave all the sudden on 4 days notice, but it was okay. We spent most of the week saying goodbye to everyone in the area: members, investigators, and friends around our house. It was really great to be in Guem Choen for as long as I was. I got to be really close with the ward and people in the area. We had dinner with the Bishop last night. I learned 2 interesting things about the culture that I had no idea up until now. Elder Gibbons asked Bishop which university he attended and Bishop got a little uncomfortable and just said I went to school in Seoul. He then told us that it is a little weird for Koreans to be asked what university they went to, they hardly ever ask. He said its kind of like how in America it is a little weird to ask someone's age that you don't know very well. It is one of the first questions you ask in Korean, because age is really important. The next thing was when I asked if I could use the restroom. He just chuckled and said, of course, and then wondered why we ask to use it. He said in Korea no one ever asks to use the bathroom, they just go and use it. I was shocked. It was hard to say goodbye to members but I promised I'd come back and visit again. 

I thought since I became a zone leader I better think about how to be a good one. So I thought about it the days leading up to coming here. I thought about all my zone leaders and what I liked. I decided the most important thing is not only to care about the missionaries around you, but show them you care and become their friends before you try to tell them what they need to do as a missionary. I'm excited to end up here, especially because I have lots of people I already know and have served with in the zone. It should be a lot of fun! I've only been here for about 3 hours now, so I really don't know much about my area yet, but I'm excited to see what is in store. 

I love you, thanks for all the support 
From 곡반정, with love. 
Elder Nixon   

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