Wednesday, December 3, 2014

November 16- Happy 빼빼로날!! (BaeBaeRo Day!)

So November 11th is BaeBaeRo day here in Korea. It is a Korean candy similar to Pokey, long thin sticks dipped in chocolate. Anyway, the holiday is basically that you give BaeBaeRo to all your friends and eat it together. We bought some and went offering it to people. It was a lot of fun. I was on an exchange at the time with an Elder who is a new missionary just finishing up his training. We were on the subway coming back up from his area when we had something really cool happen. I still hadn't gotten to talk to him one on one very much so I was getting to know him while we were on the subway. He and his trainer are known for only speaking Korean all the time, so I wasn't about to start speaking any English to him. So try to picture a subway train crowded with Koreans and these two young white guys in the corner from America speaking Korean making jokes and laughing. It would probably look pretty weird! So after about 15 minutes of it, we got waved over by 3 grandmas who finally asked why we were speaking Korean and how we even knew it. They asked more and more questions about why we were in Korea, what our church was and what are message was. They were all ears! They took our card and said that they would find the missionaries in their area. I never really thought until after that about what Koreans think when they see us on the subway. The feeling is probably a lot different when we are talking and laughing in Korean than when we're talking and laughing in English.

This week was pretty good for our investigators. It was the week of Brother Jeong's biggest test of his life so we couldn't meet, but should be able to meet more now. He's still set to get baptized a week from this Saturday so we're really excited for him. We met with Brother Kim, our less active, this week. We decided to start working on his spiritual goals and how he wants to progress in the gospel. He came out to the Saturday night session of Stake Conference which was really good. We picked up 2 new investigators this week! One is Brother Park who first learned about Mormonism in his theology class in High School and has been interested ever since. He just showed up on Sunday which was a total miracle. He lived in America for a long time, so he's great at English and said that he wants to go to BYU. We still haven't started teaching him, but are meeting this week. Our other investigator is a former that we went to visit named Brother Lee. He's middle aged and stays home all day and studies religion, ha. He won't be the easiest person to teach because he has such strong feelings about what he's already learned, but willing to listen he doesn't claim a church right now. It actually seemed like a bible bash at the start ,but it ended up being a good discussion where we got to learn from each other. He said that we can't just go around asking people if they would like to learn about the church, but that we have to go about doing good serving people and taking interest in their lives. That sounds kind of harsh, but I promise he said it in a polite way. I just don't know how to translate the politeness, ha. He actually reminded me of things I already knew but could be doing better. After thinking about what he said, I decided that at the end of each day in our planning sessions I want to ask myself, "Who did I help today and how did I help them?" and then be able to give concrete answers. I think it is great that we don't just teach investigators but learn and are edified together.

So the big event this week was Stake Conference. I had to speak in the Saturday night session and wasn't that nervous about it because it was just a 5 minute talk. But as I sat down on the bench, when the meeting started, I looked up and saw on the stand: The Seoul Temple President, President Lee, My Mission President, President Morrise, Elder Aoyagi of the 70 Asia North Presidency and then Elder Oh of the Seventy and then I got really nervous! I think it went okay I got to speak on Hastening the work of Salvation. I based it on something I heard from Elder Bednar, that we don't hasten this work, but the Lord hastens his work and that even if we think we are insufficient he hastens his work through us. I also got the chance to translate which was a lot of fun. Elder Aoyagi spoke in Japanese with a translator live translating next to him on the stand and then me translating through headsets. So there were 3 languages being tossed around. It is funny how many returned missionaries I saw at the stake conference that I knew from Seoul mission. Since Suwon wasn't ever part of Seoul mission, lots of people get called to serve there. It was fun to see them at the very start of my mission and at the very end. They were all laughing while we were talking because I was so bad at Korean when I was a young missionary and now I could actually talk with them.

Thanks for all the support! I love you all and hope you have a good week! From 수원with love. Elder Nixon

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