Sunday, September 21, 2014

September 7 - Happy 추석(Choo Seok)!

Hi! So today is Choo Seok!, which is the Koreans' version of Thanksgiving and one of the biggest holidays here. The whole city cleared out because everyone goes back to their hometown for 3 days to celebrate with family. Since the work usually slows down for these 3 days, we are having a big mission conference all daytomorrow with the whole mission, should be fun! 

Like I said, everybody goes out of town including everyone we're working with. So, it was hard to meet with our current investigators but we still had lots of great stuff happen! 

Last Thursday, we had a mission tour where Elder Aoyagi came from Japan and spoke to us.  I went up to him after and asked him if he knew Bishop Stevenson and he said, of course.  He then told me all about how much he likes him. That was fun to make that little connection. After saying that I went to Nagoya, he said that he was going there tomorrow! He and his wife did so good! English is both their second language so it was a little tough for them to do an entire conference all speaking English. But, they were really fun and creative with the way they did it. The highlight was when his wife was talking about the importance of hard work. She told everyone to stand up, bend your knees and put your arms out in front of us (we looked like a bunch of football players). She then said, "now push your arms!!' After a few times, she had us do the actions while we sang put your shoulder to the wheel. President Morrise got really into it. It was awesome. 

We were out looking for lots of less actives' houses this week. Earlier in my mission, I would usually use the map in our house to find their address, but I've recently stopped and just walk into Real Estate offices and ask for help.They're always willing to help and it is a good way to talk to more people. This week I remembered months back, I walked into one and the people were super nice to us and talked to us for a while. So, I decided we should go back this week. We went in and showed them the addresses and they both no longer existed, but right before we were about to leave he asked us why we were trying to find these people. I explained that it's part of the duty as missionaries to strengthen the church members and serve them. This actually intrigued him and led us to being there for a whole half hour teaching him about The Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. He said that we could come back at times he is not busy and share more! 

While looking for less actives, we actually found someone this week!! His name is Brother Kim. He is 17 and so cool! He lived in England for 3 years so he speaks really well and with a really funny British accent. He also inherited some British hobbies such as having morning tea while studying philosophy, hah.  He said that he is lonely and is skeptical about coming back to church because it has been 3 years and he thinks people might judge him. He did agree to meet with us regularly which is great!  

The one investigator that we did get to meet with today is Brother Bae. I'm not sure if you remember him because its been forever. He was my very first investigator here in Geum Cheon, back in February. Elder Huffman and I were teaching him back in June and we were making good progress when he sort of just fell off the face of the earth, stopped answering calls and wasn't home. We found out this week that he's been in the hospital for 3 months where he received 2 emergency surgeries in the same month! He just left the hospital last week when we called him! I felt so bad to the point I didn't even know what to say. He is stuck in a wheelchair and has trouble controlling his muscles and so many things that are just everyday things for us, like getting dressed, that is so hard for him. He appreciated us for teaching him and being his friend and helping him out. I told him that whenever I go through something hard, I'm going to think of him as an example on how I can be strong even when it is hard. If everything goes well with his follow up surgeries, we should be able to meet on a weekly basis. 

Lastly, I had a really interesting experience on Friday night. We were out looking for investigators and decided to go by the river and ended up sitting on some benches overlooking the river. I sat next to a really nice Grandpa who was really happy to talk with me. He had been Catholic for the greater part of his life and knew who we were. After getting a chance to share and testify about the restoration, he asked me how long I'd been a missionary. When he learned that I didn't have much time of missionary work left, he posed this question: "Do you feel like you've been successful as a missionary?" It took me by surprise. I've never been asked that directly by anyone. I told him no matter how small the outward result is its changed me personally more than anything else ever could and that nothing could replace the experience I've gotten from doing this. He then asked about my actual results and after hearing they were little, he felt very bad for me. But I told him he didn't have to feel bad, that for these 2 years I've lost my life for God and thats all that matters. It was a really good experience that caused me to reflect on my missionary work for the rest of the night thinking about it. It helped motivate me to sprint to the finish! 

Thanks for everything I love you all! 
Peach'n blessens 
From 금천, with love. 
Elder Nixon 

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