Monday, August 26, 2013

First Letter From Korea

Well Hello there my cute family. So it is now almost 12 on Monday afternoon! This is probably the time I'll email everyday from now on. Well. I'm in Pyeongtek! So I am basically the furthest from the mission home you can get. My companion is Elder Atkin, he's cool. He goes home in December so I will probably be his last companion! Kinda sad haha. Anyway, yeah so the day we came down here, it took us three hours and we didn't get back until 10:30. It was exhausting. Anyways. :) Let's start back at the MTC. It's been forever since I emailed you guys! AH! I can't believe you have started school. That's so weird! Blows my mind! Anyways. Korea rocks. Okay. So the saturday after I last emailed you guys. We said goodbye to our teachers, which was like super super sad. But that's okay. They have changed my life forever! Baek and Wade. Ah I miss them. It's hard not seeing them everyday. They became my parents in a way haha. Anyway we took pictures with them that I will send you if we have time. Which I think we will. After that yeah Saturday I don't really remember. Then Sunday like I told dad we had Vai Sikahema come talk to us which was super awesome. He told us the story of how his mission changed his life. He told a story about how someone he baptized he's still friends with him and eventually his wife got baptized and they were sealed in the temple. So that was cool.
Okay our flight. It was super long. But it was sooo good to hear from you guys. Kinda weird though I'll be honest. Haha It's good to hear that you are doing so good. :) But yeah. So we skipped forward a day so that's weird. I feel like I got cheated. Anyway. Oh on the plane to Korea they gave us Bibimpop and Shin Ramyun haha it was like I was in Korea! I sat next to this kid who was super awesome!! I don't remember his name, but he was so cool. He just spent like a month touring South America. He went all over. So awesome. Oh while it is on my mind. Mom! Someone added me on facebook so if you'd accept their request that would be great. His name is 김용환. Anyway. He was cool and I talked to him about the book of mormon kinda haha it didn't really aspire to anything. After that we got off and we talked to our mission president for about five minutes, hopped on the subway and started talking to people. I stuck with 문호빈 and we had a great strategy. Haha I would get the conversation started by saying oh hey! Sweet shoes! Or Sweet shirt! Then he would keep the conversation going. Cool story right. One cute old man we were talking to (By the way, cute is the only way to describe about 95% of Koreans) seemed pretty interested. He's like yeah I'll definitely look up more about this church and research it. Then we walked by him later and he was telling other people to listen to us! This is why I love Korea. Heck yeah. :) But we did get rejected a few times. A lot of people will be interested because they will be like what who is this white kid talking korean to me. So that's cool. :) So many people here now at least a little english. Then we got back to the mission home and by this time it was tuesday by the way. So anyway. At the mission home we had super awesome mondu, which is korean potstickers that were really good. Oh one weird thing about Korea is the trash. So freakin weird. The separate everything out. They put the metals in one, plastic in one, cardboard in one, one kind of miscelanneous trash, and one food trash. And yeah. They recycle everything. But the food here is amazing. It's different for sure, but its so good.
Alright! Then Wednesday we woke up and got our trainers. We had "orientation" where they told us about our card and health things and stuff. But yeah! Oh Williamson went to Seocho the nicest area in Korea. I overheard his companion say they had a lesson with a lady and her butler. So yeah it's nicer than gangnam. Anyway, I'm not sure where everyone else went. So yeah. After we had our orientation, which was supposed to end at 4:30, but actually ended at 6, we went and ate dinner at pizza school haha that was super cool. Then we went home! And that was Wednesday. We talked to a few people on the subway. I was so tired. Haha there was one point where I almost fell asleep standing up. Anyways. Thursday was cool. Oh! Hang on haha sorry I'm all over the place. Our apartments. Super super nice. LIke nicest in the mission maybe. THeir called Lotte Castle. There's a story behind it, but I don't know how much time I have. Haha so yeah. We are on the 3rd floor of an 18 story building. So awesome. But hursday. We studied like normal, than planned our lesson for 박희정 a recent convert. She's so amazing. We just read the scriptures with her and ya know, I followed along with what we were talking about. I make ya proud. I stay with it. Haha it's hard to stay along in normal conversations though. But yeah. So it was so awesome to talk to her. She's one of those people who you talk to and just love. She's on fire. Her and her son were baptized like a few weeks ago. 4 now i think, and she loves the scriptures. We meet with her every week and go over the scriptures with her and answer her questions and also teach her the 5th lesson. Oh also. we stopped by this store to print off some pictures and this dude who speaks super good english owns the place. He's so funny. He has had a lot of history with missionaries and so he's so nice to us. Haha he speaks like a mexican and it rocks. So that could lead somewhere, but you never know. Oh fun fact about korea. Since all males have to go to military right, probably 95% of men smoke since they hand em out like candy there. So that kinda is gross, but it's alright. It's Korea! 
Friday it was raining so we couldn't do much proselyting. It's so blazing hot here. Like you walk outside and begin to sweat. And there is no escape. No where has air conditioning except the church and businesses, so we try to spend as much time there as possible. The thermostat in our room said 32 farenheit and usually is around there all night. So that's fun. :) Haha it reallly is kinda gross but it's fine. It has started to cool off a lot from what I hear. So I am super greatful for that! Friday was pretty boring haha. The Groesbek's who are the senior office missionaries came down to go apartment hunting with a Korean man and since they don't speak Korean they had to have Atkin 장로님  translate. So we were doing that from 10 until like 5:30. Haha I literally sat there all day and didn't say a word since I don't understand Korean. But that's okay because we saw some pretty dang nice apartments! The one they chose is brand new, never been lived in so the sisters that come down here are going to have a super nice apartment! And that was Friday. :) 
I guess I should talk about the area. So there are 4 missionaries in our area. There is us who cover Songtan (where we live) and Pyeongtek. Then there is Elders Wedam (the district leader) and Elder Pruner (MTC oldest group) who cover Songtan and Osan.  We have 6 hours of church because we have the military branch in our area. So that's awesome. THat's what I wanted actually. I wanted to serve in the military area. So I thought that was a cool blessing. :) But we didn't have military branch this sunday because they had a meeting thing. like stake conference. Lets see. What else. Our area is absolutely massive. Haha it really is so big. It's two whole cities! Anyway, ummm I don't really know too much about it. As I said we are the furthest area from the mission home. 3 hours. There is only one area that is about the same distance as us, maybe further. So I am in the very south of Seoul South. :) Haha
Alright Saturday. We studied like normal, then we finished this project we were working on for one of the members before he goes on his mission. Oh by the way, I say we studied because since I'm a greenie we have an extra hour of study time in the mornings for training. So because of that, we don't leave the house until like 1, after lunch. So that's why. We have forever in the mornings. But we proselyted a little. Just to people we passed. Then we had to go down to the actual city of Pyeongtek for a district dinner which was super cool and we just spent the night with our district. We have a military couple who help out on Osan Air Base, which I think is awesome. That's their mission. They are awesome. The Ridings. The other two Elders in our district are the ones that are maybe further away than us and their names are Elder Hodges and Elder Kim. They are cool. Elder Hodges is from west valley and went to granger! if that's the right one. It might be hunter. Dad would know that's why I through that in there. :) And yeah. We went to this place called 김밥 전국 aka Kimbob Heaven. Haha it was pretty good! I got this bibimpop which was a pretty decent size like I got full off of it and I only payed 3000 won! Or 3 dollars. So that's how cheap some places can be. Which is so cool! Have I mentioned that Korea rocks? Because it does. Oh gosh. We had the coolest experience yesterday. But before that I have to tell you about sunday. Alright! Well! Sunday. I got up, studied then we went to church and greeted the members. We are really working on our relationship with the members here because they can get us the best contacts and best everything haha. Anyway. Then I gave my introduction talk. Hahaha so I said yeah I came to Korea on Sunday and I was just talking and this cute korean old lady in the middle of sacrament gives me a thumbs up. Haha it was so awesome. So yeah, my talk went good. I just talked about my family, what I like to do, and my testimony. Easy. :) Then after church, since it was the fourth sunday, we had lunch with all of the members which was pretty spicy but it was good. :) Then we taught a lesson. Oh!! That's what i should have mentioned. This investigator. She's 14, her name is  김나영, (Kim Na Yeong) Sorry I forget you can't read that haha. She's a guaranteed baptism. She was supposed to be baptized last sunday, but her dad wouldn't let her because he is kinda anti religion but she's guaranteed we just need to get that. So yeah we taught her that lesson about the law of chastity and word of wisdom haha i couldn't remember either of those in english. This is getting bad. Anyway. During our lesson, Elder atkin got pulled out into the hallway for like 1 minute, but while he was out there there was a miracle. The other elders investigator was talking to our recent convert (박희정) about baptism. And out of no where she was like yeah I really need to be baptized! So then they hopped on that and set a date for her the same day as our investigator the 15th. We are going to have a double baptism hopefully! :) Wouldn't that be so great?! And that wasn't even the best miracle that happened yesterday! After that we went to a 식사 (you can ask alynn how to pronounce that after the lesson I gave her ;) ) with Kim Na yeong and her family. Her mom used to be a member but doesn't go since her husband doesn't really like religion. Which is totally understandable here because all of the Christian churches are super corrupt and keep all the money they get given to them for themselves. So anyway. We pull up to her apartment and she pushes floor 18. Top floor. We walk in, just absolutely massive apartment. So incredibly nice. Like granite or marble floors, ah just gorgeous. And then we go out onto their balcony and have dinner just on the balcony of the 18th story penthouse. So amazing. haha. Anyway we were eating and her dad was super nice but he was only there half the time which actually gave us a chance to talk to the wife about the whole situation. She said she really wants to go to church, but since he doesn't like it at all she doesn't go. She says she wants the end result to be him being baptized. How awesome would that be?! Miracle number 2. So hopefully, he'll come to his daughter's baptism and feel something and want lessons or something. We will see. :) But yeah we were talking and Kim Na Yeong's uncle comes in he's 30 years old. His American Name is Ted. Haha people do that all the time they have an American name. They just choose a random one. So funny. And he tells us how much he loves missionaries and how much they helped him out when he was young and how he wants to repay us. So he's like hey will you give me your number, I want to call you when I have time and set up a time where we can eat and play ping pong or something. He's this total inactive guy. Who hasn't been to church probably since he was baptized at 8 years old. So amazing. Like when the heck does stuff like this ever happen?! Hopefully all the time as a missionary. :) So our goal is that the next time he calls us we talk to him about the church and gauge his interest in coming back. So that was the 3rd and greatest miracle of the night. :) I hope you see why Korea is so amazing. I haven't had the chance to take many pictures, really I haven't taken any except for some quick ones today. :/ I'm sorry! I will do better this week! :) So yeah. That was my week. :) It's so good to hear from you guys! Keep the emails coming! I still don't know what the address is haha if yuo see it on the mission facebook page please post it on the blog, but I didn't find that out. I will do my best haha I'm sorry. It's just since it's so new, we don't really have anyone who's been here long enough to know. Everyone down here is from Taejon mission. Anyway! I love you guys a lot! :) THank you for the pictures! Keep em coming!
Love you so much!
Elder Breinholt :)

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