Sunday, May 31, 2015

May 25, 2015 (Week 23)

May 25, 2015

At the Peak
Alrighty.... After email we actually hiked 북한산 [Bukhan Mountain] for P-Day. Hiking in Korea isn't a long huge endeavor, but it is a pretty brutal couple of hours. We were pretty much just rock climbing for half of our climb up to the top, but it was pretty fun. Great view too. We got to see Seoul plopped in the middle of mountains again, helps a person gain perspective on how little we are.     After P-Day I tried passing off with the zone leaders. For that you review vocab, How To Begin Teaching, scriptures, a jundo, and a lesson.... so much stuff.  I did scriptures and jundo just fine, but when it came to How To Begin Teaching, I couldn't figure out how the heck to get to know the person (seeing how I never did that before the mission) so I froze up there. Elder Pons tried to talk to me about how all they ask is that you try and just get it out, so I felt even worse for not being able to do that. We had a pretty long talk about it.  After that, we went and jundoed for an hour, then planned. after that Elder Yetter tried his hand at talking with me. He actually did a great job, he helped me out a lot more than anybody has. That was a good talk, but I was still in a funk.

The next day during lunch, Elder Herron/ Elder 송  have a great member to help teach their investigator, and since he is rich, he took us all out to get 삼겹살. That is just suuuper thick pieces of bacon, that you can make into a meal.  Once we ate like our 4 pieces between me Elder Herron and Elder Yetter, the member would request another round.  We probably had like 5-6 rounds of the meat.  He also bought us Sprite, so we are ballparking that he spent around a couple hundred on the meal... not cheap.  Later that day we met with 이용훈 and got some food and taught him. The meal was great for getting him to open up and talk with us, and he started to actually have a conversation with us. The lesson was the gospel of Jesus Christ. After the lesson he agreed to a baptismal date (the 6th of June, but that has to be bumped back a week, since he missed church due to his dad being sick). I should be stoked, but I'm just afraid that he doesn't really know what it is, or what repentance/faith is. I know he just barely heard of the stuff, but I just want to be sure that he actually knows what is going to happen.  The Less Active rate in Korea is ridiculous. On paper we have like 80000 members, but probably only 5-8000 are "active" members.  Super crazy how life gets in the way here.  So that was the highlight of the day. That night Elder Yetter tried to talk to me about my funk I'm in, but I dunno, I guess I'll get over it eventually, probably whenever I finally pass off.

Wednesday was cool. District meeting with Elder Herron was strange. He was super scatter-brained, and always had like half finished thoughts, that never really connected, it seemed. But it was a great meeting none the less.  It was about hope and enduring to the end.  Great guy, I could tell he really cared about this subject, and that really helped me out a lot.  After that we met with 방석규.  We taught him the plan of salvation, and he took a bunch of notes and stuff. Seems pretty interested, but won't commit to baptism until he gets some conviction.  He has agreed to read, come to church, and even English class though. He seems like he has a sincere desire to know, just wish he could get that answer.  After him we did some jundo, and the last person we met was 이진복.  He is like 40, and feels super lonely and doesn't really like his church.  He wanted to see our church right then, so we took him there, and he agreed to meet the next day and come to church (didn't both times, and now isn't answering calls....) super cool when we met him though.

Thursday was just a lot of jundo. We had like 3 appointments cancel on us, and so we jundoed for like 7 hours that day.  However, one guy we sat down with, owned a restaurant that we were at.  So his son in law brought us free Cokes, so that was cool.  That night we ran into a guy who volunteered to buy us drinks, but when he did, he got us tea.  So we waited for a minute, then went back in and exchanged it haha. People in Korea can be nice, it's just super rare haha  I also finally got letters from you (General Conference Ensigns and comics). Letters from Grandma and Grandpa Mortensen and Emily Mortensen. Will you tell them thank you?  I'm not sure how to send stuff from here.  By the way, I sent some things home with Elder Whitlock.  Hopefully he gave them to you.  Either mail or called, I'm not sure. If not, call him on FB or something.

Friday was a lot of sitting around. We sat around in weekly planning until 3, then had visitor center from session from 6-8, so we didn't have a lot time to do much.

Saturday was good, yet kinda bad.  We met with a guy named 이희수.  He is a Chinese guy who has been looking for a job here for a year.  Nobody here is nice to him, some guys cheated him out of his money, and he has no way to get a job, or go back to China to see his son. Also his wife died a couple years ago.   So his life is pretty crappy right now, so that's why he agreed to meet see why God isn't helping him out right now.

Sunday we got 방석규  to come to church.  He seemed pretty interested and involved with the meetings, hopefully that will help him.  We just jundo-ed and studied after meetings.

Catching Crabs
Today we woke up at 5 to get ready to help the ward with a ward picnic today. Since it is Buddha's birthday, Korea takes a holiday.  So we got permission to go to Seoul South Mission, and have the picnic on an island off the coast.  Super cool.  We got there and hiked around the island for a while, then went and ate lunch.  After that, the tide got super low on the beach, so we could walk on mud for like 10 minutes, and still not hit where the tide was. The people here go nuts trying to catch these little crabs in the mud.  Some people got like 50 of them.  So many people were going for them, it was quite fun.  Spent all day out in the sun though, so we are all kinda fried.  That's why I'm emailing so late.

Love you all, sorry the email kinda died right there, gotta run,

Group shot on the peak

Monday, May 18, 2015

May 18, 2015 (Week 22)

May 18, 2015

P-Day, because we had a member meal, got cut an hour shorter that everybody else, so they all went to the big river dividing Seoul.  Instead we went back to the house so Elder Whitlock could pack... I decided to invest in a razor so I could just cut my own hair whenever, so I thought about doing that back at the house.  Turns out, Elder Whitlock worked out most of the time, So I sat there trying to find something to do.  I tried to make a couple different designs for a scripture case, but nothing really worked out,  so I sat there bored most of the time.... Then I decided to to give my razor a try. I started on the biggest setting, then planned on slowly trimming it if it was still too long... Turns out it just went straight to a buzz pretty much, so now I have suuuuuper short hair... It's not cool at all. I'm not gonna need a haircut for a couple transfers at least.  After that we went up to the stake presidents house for the meal.. Super good meal. The food was great, and the stake president and his wife are super nice.  He also spoke a lot slower than most Koreans, and loves soccer, so I could actually talk with him. It was kinda nice haha.  That was the best meal we have had yet

Tuesday was the last day for Elders Whitlock and Brantley in Nokbeon, so we went and got some duck meat at a place by our house. Duck meat is really good!  I also got a really good soup there, so once again we were stuffed and happy haha.  After lunch, we had issues with Howard Lee.  He was testing sending the elders texts every like 30 seconds just rude, swear-word-happy texts, saying we weren't missionaries, just robot selling foreigners here wasting our money... So Elder Whitlock called him and talked with him for a little bit.. I guess Howard has schizophrenia, and multi-personality disorder, or something like that, so he really needs to go to a hospital.  After dealing with him, we met with 이병길 . He is still wasting his life away at his house, but it was a good lesson with him.  He was interested in the plan of salvation, and we discussed baptism and stuff with him.  He seems to be more and more interested with the lessons.  Hopefully that will grow.   After meeting with him, 이 지승 called and wanted to meet, so we talked with him for a while.  He still rambled on and on, but Elder Whitlock feels like he is slowly starting to turn to Christ.  He talked about how he doesn't want to succumb to the devil again, and is worried about the new elder coming in... but a good lesson with him too.   After those lesson we went to 표석정's house to eat with Elders Herron and Brantley. That meal was so bad.  I sat super scrunched up, and 표's friend was sitting there rambling the whole time, so we didn't even talk... That and the soup had terrifying, not tasty little shrimps in it, so it wasn't that good.  Afterward, Elder Brantley played their ukulele and we sang a couple hymns and I guess 표 recorded it but I haven't got a copy yet, but yeah, that was the highlight of the meal.

Wednesday we got up and went to transfers.  Elder Yetter is interesting.  He looks a ton like Conner, like creepily similar, it is kinda throwing me off.  He is also comes from out of Seoul, like Elder Whitlock was.  He was in 원주 for a while.  He is super energetic, and pretty spunky (?)  There is no real way to describe it.  He has been on a mission for a year now, and is from Arizona. Elder 송 현 빈 is Elder Herron's new companion.  He is interesting. He speaks super fast, and slurred, decent at English, and has a really violent sense of humor... not a big fan of him... Every word out his mouth is either something violent or calling me cute. I swear... it's getting really old.  When we got back from transfers, we did a whole lot of jundo, kinda showed him the big loop of Nokbeon.  After that, we met with 이용훈.  Elder Yetter knows how to work with the youth... He got 이 to talk some more, and is good friends now. A couple of days later, we ran into 이 on the street, and he gave us a drink, and said he would come to church!  Super awkward in church, cause the youth are addicted to phones, and didn't really talk with him... hopefully next time they can talk with him a little bit more next time.

Thursday was pretty slow.  At mcm, 이영복 talked about how baptisms don't matter, and that as long as you have the black tag on and are working hard, that is all that matters.  Cool message. That guy is super cool.  That night we went to the BYU Wind Symphony... apparently we got permission to go, even though it was in the Seoul South mission, and started at 8 at night.  We got there and just talked with everybody from the mission and South mission.  I saw a couple buddies from the South mission I knew, and a lot from our mission.  That was the real reason anybody went, was to see friends... We sat down, and some choir came out and sang until 9:30... not my favorite, and what was worse that since we didn't have any investigators come, and there wasn't room for missionaries with investigators, we got kicked out before we could even see the actual symphony.  Still cool to see Seoul South and see people, but sad they kicked us out. We barely got home before 10:30. We live about 50 minutes away.

Friday was pretty slow too.  We had weekly planning, then met with 방석규 again. I don't know why he still meets with us.  He never seems too interested in the lesson, or talking with us, but keeps agreeing to meet, so hopefully there is something there. I really started missing the old house Elders on Friday.  So much more fun.  We were all the same humor, for the most part, and got along really well.  Elders Brantley and Herron were fun to be around.  The new people go off and do there own thing, so me and Elder Herron usually just do our own thing in the house.

Saturday was the same as Friday.  We helped out at the church with seminary, but the youth didn't care to be there, so it was kinda weird.  Elder Yetter kept trying to build relationship with the youth, some of them are pretty cool.  Later we got hit on by some crazy hospital old ladies during jundo... Super awkward when they start holding your hand... not as bad as the recent convert in the ward who at English class kept hovering over my shoulder really creepily the whole time...

Sunday was alright. church was trying to get people to talk with 이용훈 and the creepy recent convert rubbing my leg and hand and hair during Elders quorum.......... sooooo done with people like that right now.. everybody grabs my hand or calls me cute and rubs my hair, and I'm so over it.  But yeah, sacrament was good, still can't understand a thing anybody says....  after church I did pass-off with Elder Herron.  We sat there and discussed things about the ward and companions, then we role-played lesson 5, since that is required before baptism now.  We did that, finally got that done, and going to do Zone-Leader pass off today.  That was a good time.  I totally still wish me and Elder Herron were comps.  I think it would be a blast.
Duck Meat

Today we are probably going to go hiking again, and actually go up the nice mountain. I'll be sure to get some good pictures there.

May 11, 2015 (Week 21)

May 11, 2015

Alrighty then....

Slamming Yogurts
So after email last week we did some jundo and study and whatnot, then had a meeting with 오수연 . He is the guy who had a vision of earth and all that jazz. We met with him, then he took us to a food themed park... Yeah, if only I had my camera, it was pretty great. The lesson sucked though. we had kids come up to us all the time, an old man sit down and chat for 30 min, so we couldn't do much... Needless to say, we probably aren't meeting with him again.

Tuesday was temple/P-day. We got up, showered and left for the temple. Me and Elder Whitlock went and did initiatories instead of the regular endowment session. That was cool. We got out a couple minutes early, so we just chilled in the celestial room for a longer time. I'm starting to love it there in that room. So peaceful and relaxing. I can't wait until I can go without 20 other missionaries and a companion... so we did that until about 12, said hi to some people, and then left for Outback. We ran into Paul Goff, Sr.'s parents there. I guess they are temple missionaries there. Kinda cool, super small world in Korea/Utah/Mormon community.   Outback was alright. We had like 10 other missionaries come with us, but so did Elder Singer and his parents. He is a friend of Elder Whitlock who is already done. So Elder Singer's dad is like a financial head of Dubai.  The food was good, and Elder Singers dad paid for me and Elder Whitlock.   After outback, we went and were planning on going to 남대문 [one of the Eight Gates in the Fortress Wall of Seoul] but the subway schedule was ridiculous so we didn't have time for that. So we just came back and played Settler's of Catan again at our house. Still a fun day though.  That night we did the yogurt challenge. Korea has little yogurt drinks that come in little bottles and there's a mission challenge to drink 30 and not throw up... it was pretty easy, felt just like doing our family crepe competition again haha.  We all died that night, as we tried to get to bed without throwing up haha.

This weeks jundo was pretty bad.... nobody ever really gave us any time, and so we did a lot of walking around.   Wednesday we had a zone conference on how to keep the sabbath day holy... Interesting for me, because I've just felt like Sunday was like every other day. I'm trying to think of ways to make it special, but it's really weird.  I feel like we just raised every other day to Sunday level, so I'm not sure how to raise Sunday even more.

Wednesday night me and Elder Brantley started our exchange. We went and jundoed for a little bit, then went to ward mission leader meeting.  That was alright.  He invited us to his house for his famous kimchi chigay. After the meeting, we had a couple meetings with people. We met first with 이현우 he just got out of military and agreed to meet.  He is pretty cool guy.  We got through the first lesson, and he said he would try to come to church (he didn't end up coming) .  After him, we met with 이용훈 again.  We started the 2nd lesson with him, but only got like halfway through.  He is still super quiet and doesn't talk much, so its kinda hard to work with him.  It's weird trying to get people to keep these commitments so they can start a relationship with God.  I kinda wish I was a convert, so I could know how best to help them, but that's not the case, so it's a little weird.

Friday we had 이영복 's kimchi chigay.  He used to own a restaurant, so he has a good recipe I guess. I had 3 big bowls of this soup. It was just a ton of kimchi, some onions, and lot of super fatty meat, and water.  Not that tasty, but we had to eat up... I'm so done with kimchi chigay.  We've had it so many times, it is ridiculous. That was the highlight of that day.  We just jundoed, got punked again by some appointments, and then went home.

Saturday morning we met with the less-active from 의정부 since he came into town again.  He is pretty funny.  He would ask why are their rich and poor people.  Elder Whitlock would say there is opposition in all things, then he would say "I understand" and be perfectly happy.  The meeting went like that for a while, then set up another appointment and went back for studies.  Once we got back to the house, we found out about this wedding that was going down.  We met up with the other elders, and we all traveled there.  All of the church in Korea I swear was there.  Super massive wedding, probably costs more than my future house will.  The wedding was super short and formal, then they had a buffet for the meal.  Needless to say, I got pretty full on that too, there were a lot of good foods there.  They had some pretty great sushi, I was welled pleased with that.  We ate there then came back.  On the bus I ran into another random less-active who lived in Vernal, Utah for a couple years. He was super nice, but got baptized for friends, so he doesn't really care anymore.  So I talked with him for a little bit, then he hopped off the bus.  Funny how we just find less-actives everywhere now, Hopefully we can help a couple of them.   We met with 방석규 after that.  He moved into our area now, like 5 minutes away, so hopefully we can meet some more with him and help him out and find some conviction.  That night was English class. Howard Lee showed up again. He is a complete nut.  He believes that half of Korea is out to get and kill him.  He calls himself first emperor of the US, made Seoul a part of the US, gave Siberia and Mongolia to the US, and believes that LA, NY and Seoul are the new

Jerusalems... yeah, a little bit on the strange side... We did that, then jundoed around, looking for a store with a phone card for Mothers Day calls.  We also got transfer calls. I am with Elder Yedder (?) and Elder Herron is staying and getting a Korean companion.  Elder Brantley is going out to 동해 which is clear out on the east coast. Should be fun.  He has been in Nokbeon for 7 months now...

Korean Wedding
Sunday was alright. Church still kinda sucks for me. I can't understand 95% of what is being said, so it is frustrating.  We also had like three people planning on coming, but nobody showed up... Sacrament was all the missionaries giving their goodbye talks. That was cool,  I could understand them at least haha.   After church we got a couple more appointments bailed on us, and then I finally passed of lesson 4! Finally!  So glad...   Later we went up to Alex's house and had a meal there, since Elders Brantley and Whitlock are leaving.  She also made a ton of food for us, and all of it was delicious.... so much food this week.  We also have two member meals these next two days... I'm getting so fatttttt......

But yeah, that's been my week,

-Elder Mortensen

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

May 4, 2015 (Week 20)

May 4, 2015

Hiking Mt Bukhansan
Alright, this week was difficult, until the end of the week

Hiking was sweet. We did a little hike up to a beacon lookout spot, (sorta like the beacons in Lord of the Ring) and so we could see all of Seoul pretty much, at least across the river and into the Seoul South mission.  Pretty sweet view.  Our side of Seoul is literally just a bunch of buildings in the middle of a mountain range.  Nuts to try and imagine, but it was kinda sweet to see.  After that, all 8 elders went to a donkas buffet. Donkas is meat that has been breaded and fried.  Suuuuper delicious. I had probably 6-7 of them before going. That was cool to just hang around with all of them.   After P-day we had a meeting with Jason.  He's the one that lived in Tennessee for a year, then came back.  He hates it here, and wants to go back to America. Kinda funny, a lot of  Koreans are really bored with how un-diverse it is.  They would love to go to America for that reason alone.  But he was pretty cool. Because of Confucious beliefs, he bought us hot chocolate at the Santa House. We pass by that cafe all the time, and dreamed about going there.  Pretty pricey for just a hot chocolate but its cool. We got to sit outside on a patio using chairs and tables like Lani's has.  I'll try to take a picture next time.

Tuesday was pretty bad. Jundo was awful, nobody would even give us the time of day to talk to them. Everybody, even 88 year-old barely walking people are busy here.  So we did that for like 3 hours, before planning to meet 성제.  We met him at streetboarding. He had heard the usual polygamy, bad stuff things about us, so we just wanted to meet him and set him straight. We finally met up with him, then he was pretty lame.  He talked about how we forced him to meet, and how he didn't have any interest at all.  He asked how long it would take, we said just like 30 minutes, and he asked if we could make it shorter. We told him he didn't have to be here, so he just left... we were both pretty upset that he confirmed, showed up, and then bailed.   That night we went less-active hunting again. It's a nightmare to find houses. The house numbers for the 2 people we found, the room number did not exist and the apartment doors were locked so we couldn't get in... super annoying.  However on the way there, we ran into a less-active named DK.  We talked with him, then set up a Sunday appt. I'll talk about that later.  After finding no houses, we decided to take a random backstreet, and hope people had more time. The third guy we talked to is named 오수연 .  He is an old man with a lot of time.  He started talking about he believes in religion by good works, and knows churches are corrupt here, so he doesn't trust them.  He then said he prayed the night before for feeling bad about not going to church.  He said he then had a dream about an angel who took him up to heaven, but God said he wasn't ready for there yet, so he got put into another beautiful place (terrestrial world?).  That place had amazing flowers, and wanted to stay, but the angel showed him how corrupt and dark the world is and how it needs help, and he isn't ready. So he got put back down to earth to find the truth. He said when he saw us walking by, he felt compelled to talk to us, but he didn't know English.  So when he said his one English word, then we started in Korean, he felt it was a miracle... however, he feels that tithing and church attendance are not necessary... so ya, pretty sweet guy, just talks a toooonnnn. Took like an 1 1/2 hours to talk to him.  That was a sweet ending to the day, though.

Wednesday was just "eh".  Lunch was some delicious 떡복이 but Elder Herron left the little fishies in too long, so we had it while trying to avoid eating fish haha. District meeting was Elder Whitlock talking about how Christ is the end, and once we endure/come unto Christ, that is the goal.  After we reach Christ, it is no longer enduring, but being happy and living the gospel.  Pretty good... after that I went on exchanges with elder 이종채, our zone leader. He is hilarious and the nicest person you will ever meet.  We started we a little bit of jundo, then went and read in the visitor center with a less-active. I felt soo slow trying to read, but after a while I got better.  By the end my mouth couldn't take it anymore though. It's like trying to read a tongue twister book for like an hour... soo hard. It was cool though.  After that we went to go pick up some rice from a members house that they wanted to donate.  That was pretty heavy to try and lug all the way back to the church, and then their house.  At the church we met with 이호재.  He is a recent convert who showed us the video of old pop stars singing for Africa, haha so bad, it was pretty hilarious. Maybe you remember that video?  Then the fun happened, Elder 이 was teaching commandments again, and since I'm still not comfortable teaching that, every time he tried to include me, I had no idea what to say or do, so I felt pretty inadequate. That night Elder 이 tried to help me, but I was just stuck in my mind.  In the morning we did training for each other.  He was training me on how to stay positive, and helped me out a ton. After studies, we went with his investigator to get 순대국 (soup-like intestine)...... still not a fan. good memories, definitely not wishing to have it anymore though. The meeting was pretty good, didn't understand most of it though, haha.  So hard to try and focus and pick up Korean...... a little more jundo followed, then we closed our exchange.

After the exchange me and Elder Whitlock jundoed again, and got 6 appointments set up, in one night. It was pretty great

After planning, while jundoing we ran into the zone leaders around dinner time, so we got something with them.  After dinner, we ran into a less-active from 의정부, where Elder Whitlock had his baptisms. He had been less-active for 20 years because he felt like God was discriminate because he changed the Lamanites color.  We helped set him straight on that, and set up a time to talk with him again.  Super nice guy. On the way back from that, we ran into 이지승 our devil worship investigator.  Turned into another hour long talk on the street, but by the end he was willing to read scriptures, and talk about our religion some more.  So he is making progress, hopefully he can keep it up.

Saturday was fun. We met with 이용훈 a senior in high school.  He is super quiet and lonely.  His dad is currently dying in a hospital, so we think he met us to have somebody.  Super sad story.  We taught him the first lesson and got to know him, and then after the lesson, he bought us drinks, and walked with him to the subway station since he didn't want to leave us. That took a while, but good meeting. After that was English class. Pretty alright, nothing too big. After that and family home evening, me and Elder Whitlock went and got stuff for  Elder Brantley's birthday on Sunday.

"Volcano" cake
Sunday was alright. nothing too special until like 4 o clock. That is when Elder Brantley and I went on an exchange so the other elders could make his cake. We got back at 5 and it was sweet. It was pirate-themed, with the cake like an island. we used brownies on the bottom, then put a whole ice cream tub on top to look like a volcano. then we drowned the thing in melted down chocolate bars.... soooooo goooooooddd!!    It was delicious.  After that, we went and jundoed around crosswalks. that is sweet. It takes me a while to start,  but once I do I get on a roll and just go.  We did that for a while then went to the church for Sister 구성아 for her to pass-off with Elder Whitlock. I sat there and talked with Sister 이승미 about  D&C 4, and what it means. That was a good time. It's fun trying to talk in Korean.  That was a good ending to the day and week and our stats rocked too this week.   Good ending to the week
View from Bukhansan

Love you all,
Elder Mortensen

이대산   장로 (look up each word in my name) 이      대     산 [This Versus Mountain] [Chapter by] (hopefully it translates good and you get it)

Job 27:5 (2-6)

April 27, 2015 (Week 19)

April 27, 2015

Alright, this week...

Getting ready for the hike
After email and what not, we did shopping, then played Settlers of Catan (quality investment, I'm happy with it) and got some pizza delivered. It was quite fun, kinda nice to just relax and play games like some regular people. So P-day was a little boring, but it was a nice break. Today we got out of companion and language study to go hiking, on one of the best mountains in South Korea 북한산 . Should be sweet, I can't wait for that.

So we are planning on doing a new street boarding, trying to make it more effective. We want to do "why does God allow bad things happen to good people", so we got the presidents permission to look up the news to find current disasters going on in the world. That was weird. We went onto CNN, and I felt out of place looking up current things. Four months with no news can be weird. CNN is still depressing, but it was cool to catch up on things.  That plan kinda got sidelined, and Elder Whitlock wants to do a trivia about the bible, such as when it became, how, and what books are lost, then try to tie it back to the Book of Mormon.

Pass-off this week has been frustrating as ever.  I'm now 0 for 4 on trying to pass off the 4th lesson. Some times I will start to panic and know I will fail before I even start. The next, I get lost in Elder Whitlock's  Korean as he tries to help me out.  Or I get caught up on trying to explain fast offerings.  So its been frustrating trying to get this pass off done and out of my life. I honestly don't care anymore about pass off, whether I do it or not.  I'll just learn the lessons on my own.  But then I get pressure from the  zone leaders and from Elder Whitlock to do it, so I'm just going to get it over with and out of my life hopefully fairly quickly.

We met a guy named 이 성 수 this week.  He is Buddhist, and was nice, but not interested. So nothing there with him, but he told us about the temple he goes to, and so we checked it out that night during jundo. It was pretty sweet. It was tucked away from the main road, into a foresty area. So it was like dead silent, you couldn't hear any cars.  So we checked that out for a bit, then went back to jundoing for the rest of the night.   While waiting for Elder Whitlock to go to the bathroom, I was sitting on a subway bench, when a random guy came up and told me "thank you, you are a nice guy".  I don't think he realized how much that helped me, and he was an answer to a prayer of mine.

Wednesday was mission tour, so we met in our same church, with three other zones.  Elder Ringwood came and spoke with the president.  That was cool.  He memorized the missionaries names in like 5 min, really cared about us, and was super powerful. It's not just his General Conference talks that rock, but just him. We all got to shake his hand and say hi, and he complimented me on my green tie.  He gave a super good talk, which seemed to help me more than all of General Conference.  The lunch in between sessions was fantastic.  The relief society here brought out everything you could imagine and then some. We all got leftovers cause they made so much.  One of the best meals ever.   After the conference, Elder Ringwood talked with Elder Whitlock for like an hour, and after that, Elder Whitlock had a new feeling about him. He was trying to be nice to people and was talking with everyone. That was the best jundo time we've had in a while. We also met Jason, some Korean who lived in Tennessee and is great at English. We got an appointment for tonight with him, so should be exciting.  I also got the package, and all the comics you sent. Thanks! That were fun to read, and the toy has provided a lot of entertainment.

Thursday we had nothing so we jundoed for 7 hours. I felt like I was back at Comic Con walking around all day long, haha.  My feet started to die by the end, but it was cool to do that all day. Later in the night we tried to find a less-active's house. South Korean addresses suck. We had a map, their address, even asked a real estate person, and we still couldn't find the place for like 2 hours. and when we got there, it was a private area, so we couldn't even go in.  Super frustrating.  I hate the address system here, they've changed it like 3 times already.  I'm a true missionary though now.  I've spent more time in the field than MTC.  Family trips without me, friends engaged, and I now have holes in my socks.  Those socks suck, they are no bueno.  Hopefully my other clothes last longer than that.

Fun fact, the South Korean national flower, Rose of Sharon, is found in Songs of Solomon, chapter 2, haha.  Interesting note.

We taught 이 병 길 this week.  He was pretty open, but felt too much pressure to accept the Book of Mormon. He is 31 with only a video game life, so it's kinda sad.  I participated though, and it helped me feel a ton more confident, it was awesome, that definitely helped me for later on when we taught 이 지 승  again.

이 지 승 is the devil worshiper. We talked with him in the church, where he felt drained (no duh) but after he told us about the devil stuff, Elder Whitlock showed how that only brings a chained feeling, and through God we can receive strength always. 이 called the devil his lord, and still decided to follow the devil. Super sad, we want to help him so much, but we don't know how much he will listen to us.

"Fish" soup?
Dad, I don't know if you remember giving us the missionary promise by President Hinckley, but it's been in my scriptures for years.  I finally pulled it out again and read it, since it applies to me now. man, that helped a ton, so thank you for that.  If you don't remember, he gave it in November of 1995. good talk.

Well, running low on time, just know I'm still fighting, and I love you all,

Elder Mortensen