Saturday, October 11, 2014

September 28- Joy Ride

Joy ride This week we went to the temple and did as tradition follows for temple day by going to Costco and a public bath house. I had something really funny happen at the temple. I was in the first session and President was in the last session. President always brings all the mail and packages for everyone from the office in his car. So he gave me his car key to unlock the trunk so that people didn't have to wait for him to get out to get their mail. First of all, I made the alarm go off like 10 times before I finally got it open. Then we were on our way to the Costco for lunch when I realized I brought his car key with me. Everyone gave me a hard time that I did it on purpose so I could go back later and take President's car for a joy ride. I finally got back to the Temple and also got a hard time from President...I'm just glad he wasn't mad! Wow what a week. This area is pretty much exactly different from my last area, so this week was kind of felt weird adjusting. As far as my area goes, our zone is twice as big as any other zone. We have to go all over the zone as zone leaders. It was really weird going from walking on foot all day in an area smaller than North Ogden then coming to Suwon and riding buses 10-20 times a day using subway and buses to get anywhere. We also live outside of our area. So unless we have a lot of time, we usually have to bus into our area. There's good and bad with it. The good is I prefer talking to people on buses rather than the street because its more natural and there are less places to run away. It is bad in that we have absolutely no money! We spend twice as much money on transportation than we do on food. But that being said, I kind of like it. It was sometimes hard to not feel cooped up in such a small area.

It is also a big change becoming companions with a Korean again. All the things that were a struggle with American companions all of the sudden aren't a struggle anymore. But at the same time, things that used to be easier become a little hard. Two things come to mind, one good thing is that it's really easy with a Korean companion to build good relationships with the ward. They know what members like in missionaries because they've lived as members in Korea with missionaries in their home wards. They know how to serve them well and become close. One hard thing for Korean missionaries is introducing the gospel to strangers on the street and whatnot. It's honestly awkward for American missionaries too, but people tend to see us Americans trying to speak Korean and saying "WOW you speak Korean. That is so cool. I've never seen an American speak Korean like you. What are you doing here?!" We kind of get that shock value (Sometimes**) and it's not as hard. But from my experience, Korean missionaries get rejected harder and can actually understand what is being said when they have been rejected. That being said, it's really cool to see Korean missionaries persevere through that and continue to share the gospel with other people.

The ward is great as well. Just as with everything else, a lot different from my last, but it is still great. The ward is a lot bigger as I expected. Elder Lee told one of the YSA's that I was his new companion and he told him that he knew me from Seoul Mission. He invited us to dinner my second night and right when he opened the door, I knew exactly who it was. We spent some time together back in my first area when I was a new missionary doing proselyting activities together. So it was so cool that he's since come home and I get to serve in his home ward now. We spent the whole dinner just talking about missionaries back in Seoul mission. It was fun to get an update on everybody in my old mission. Poor Elder Lee had no idea who we were talking about, hah. My first Sunday I had to give my welcome to the ward talk and it was also ward conference so the Stake Presidency was there. I finished my talk and then made my way back to the translation booth to make my first attempt at translating. I sat down about 3 minutes into the 2nd councilor's talk, who was was speaking about a million miles per hour faster than any other speaker I'd ever listened to. It is only fitting that he be my first talk to translate. If that wasn't enough, his topic was being addicted to serious sins such as pornography, gambling and how you need to confess these things to the bishop. That's really all I caught so I'm sure I missed all kinds of important stuff but, uhh yea...that was a good first try. Then the stake President got up and talked about the excommunication of Thomas B. Marsh. A long time ago, I came across the word to be excommunicated and thought I'm never going to need to know this, but it sounded kind of funny so I memorized it anyway and turns out I did need to know it!

We had a baptism yesterday that was so amazing! What made it amazing was that it was the wife getting baptized when the husband had been baptized 9 months ago. They have a 7 year old son that will be baptized next year and the wife is also pregnant. It was so great to see a new family come into the church. It's so much easier to stay faithful in the church with your family, so it gave me lots of hope for them. I did get to teach her, but look forward to teaching her as a recent convert and help them get ready for the temple.

I feel busier then I ever have on my mission so I think this time is going to fly by. Since we're zone leaders, we work closely with the stake president and he is know for using the zone leaders more than any other stake president. October is jam packed with activities we are helping with. It should be lots of fun!

from 곡반정, with love. Elder Nixon

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