Monday, June 22, 2015

June 22, 2015 (Week 27)

June 22, 2015

I'm moving!
Church Youth and Elder Mortensen

I'm going to 길음! (Gireum). It's still in Seoul, but I'm moving! I'm moving into a 2-man house (gulp...) with Elder Roskelly.  Elder Hansen from the MTC is with Elder Yetter now, haha.   I'm gonna miss this place, and I've loved being with Elder Yetter, but hey, change is good.

Alright, the 100-hour week is down..... so tired and hit my 6 month mark!

Monday after email we had a lesson with 이용훈, the senior in high school (do you want me to romanize all the names, or can you roll with their Korean version?)  We taught the Word of Wisdom and some other commandments, and he said he would quit all that stuff.  Sad when a senior in high school says he used to smoke and drink... smoking and drinking here is the highest in the world, by far. We see kids like age 12, to old, coughing, 90 year-old people smoking.  Even the doctors and patients at hospitals carry out their IV fluids and sit down and smoke. It's amazing... but the lesson went over well.  He accepted a baptismal date for 7/11, but I wont be here since I'm moving! I'll talk more on that later.  But yeah, he is doing pretty good, except he shows up to church right after it ends!  So frustrating.  We get a text as the last speaker ends that says he is here... Hopefully we can have a chat with him about that.  Later was more jundoing.  We did a lot of riding the subway and streetboarding. It's crazy, we would be walking around for 4 hours, be starving, and only see it was 10... such a long week.   That night we met with Kim Kang Ho.  He is the old gangster dude, that we shared the video with.  Nice guy, seems to want help, but doesn't recognize that he needs to do something about it, not just ask...

Tuesday we met a super cool guy.  He looked up our church a while ago, and liked it, but because his wife heard we are a cult, he didn't come.  Fast forward, and we talked with him, and he was super interested again!  Hopefully he will actually meet.  We have had so many people who say "every church except yours is corrupt... you have a good church... I like your church" and then never show up or meet...   but anyway... we hopped on the sub again, but I accidentally went a little too far haha. I was talking with him and he asked where I was going, and I said Eungam, and he said that was the stop he got on at... Oops.  Going around in circles on the sub can kinda drive you crazy. After more hours of jundo, and some 7-11 kimbop, we went and had English class. We talked about our hometowns, and it was sad, I couldn't even picture our South Jordan church, really.  I was sitting there wondering how it looked. It was weird.  So weird how it has only been 6 months since I've seen it, and I can't remember how parts of our neighborhood look, haha.

Wednesday was my 6 month mark!  Crazy how I've already been out that far! We did some sidewalk jundo.  Elder Herron did a sidewalk plan of salvation, so we tried jundoing with that. Except we were right by a subway, so nobody was too eager to listen to us. Plus, Elder Herron was loving it and literally ran from one place to the other, just to talk with some guys... Kinda funny.   Later during some more streetboarding, we met some more Sri Lankans. Apparently there are like 20 of them in the area, and we always just see them.  They are always super interested in the church, and say they will bring all their friends, but always bail.. I guess here is a popular place for Sri Lankans to go for cheap labor.  That night after a couple hours of jundo, we went to a member meal.  It was our house with Lee Key Jaw 이기자 and Kim Soon Ho 김순호.  Nice couple. We had some kimchi and curry. pretty simple meal, but it was super delicious.

Thursday we walked an hour down to Hong Jay 홍제.  There wasn't much going on, but at a pet store there were some hamsters, and I swear, they were on drugs or something.  One was trying to climb the water bottle, while a couple others trying to walk on two legs, then fall over... super funny to watch...   Later we did more... streetboarding and jundo!  Streetboarding is alright, except all the missionaries seem to sit around half the time.  So I kinda just jundoed around the crosswalk, instead of just dying of boredom and sleep deprivation.  Later we went up and talked with Hans.  He went and lived in Iowa for a year, so we sat there and talked with him in English.  We talked a lot about how much you learn on the mission, and how it is worth it.  So sad to see that there are only like 15 Koreans every month that go on missions.  That's all of Korea, not just our mission.  We had some good food there, some kimbop, sam gyup sar (super thick and delicious bacon) and duck meat.  Great meal.  The dad is a great guy.

Friday we had weekly planning and visitor center, so we got a nice break from walking around all day.   After visitor center we met 신명철 Shin Myung Chur.  Super cool kid.  He is 21 (Korean age) so 20 years in American... random side tangent, we figured out why Korean age is weird.  They start counting age the day the baby is conceived, and you gain a year at the new year.  So right now in Korean I'm 21 years old... Anyway, he is studying to try and get into Seoul University.  That's the best one in the country.  We met him, brought him to the church and had the first lesson all at once. super cool guy. He said he has been looking into religions.  Whenever we shared scriptures, or brought up the restoration, he connected with it, understood it, and loved it.  Great guy.

Elders Perry and Mortensen
Saturday was combined zone conference (Presidents farewell tour).  He gave a great talk on how jundoing around the streets all day is part of the mission, so enjoy it.  Man up, and just get the job done.  He got pretty fiery too.  He's not quite  Elder Holland level, but he was pretty powerful. he talked about the story of Nehemiah and how you don't stop working until it is done. I love president, I'm so sad he is leaving.  Hopefully the new president will be good. The new president comes in, and a couple hours later Pres. Christensen leaves.  He leaves on the 1st of July.  After that was pass off with Elder Perry. Elder Perry is famous for loving jundo, and does it harder than anybody we know. It was so sad to hear him talk about how he dies next week.  You can tell he loves it here.  I love that guy.  He is just a hardworking straight to the point.  Guy who loves being here.   But anyway, I am officially passed off! I had a great lesson of the Plan of Salvation.  Between this week and studying the Plan of Salvation, I feel like I've figured part of life out. It's all about perspective.  If you stress out, take a step back and look at the bigger picture.  There is always one. One transfer is just a short time in the mission, which is only 2 years in a short time of mortal existence.  So why stress about it? Take your vision to a higher plane and God will help you see better. I can't fully explain myself (story of my life) but I feel like this week was a game changer for me.  Now the struggle will be to remember this week and grow even more.  

Saturday night I got the transfer call! I'm going to Gireum 길음. It is still a part of Seoul, but that's where Elders Whitlock, Herron, Perry, and  Ee Jong Che all served.  I've heard a lot of good things about it.  Big ward, good members.  Elder Hansen from the MTC is coming to be with Elder Yetter, haha.  Funny how that works. Elder Cazier is staying.  As soon as I got the call I was happy, sad, and disappointed all at once.  I was happy to move, but sad to leave Elder Yetter and the area. It's been a good time overall serving in Nokbeon.  Especially after this week. We saw so many miracles and found so many cool people. It would be great to see how well it pans out, but I'm glad I can leave the area better than I found it though. Elders Yetter and Hansen will do great out here.  I'm going to be with Elder Roskelly, in a 2-man apartment on the 18th floor.  It should be interesting.  I guess Elder Roskelly dies in 2, so I'll probably "kill" him too...

Sunday we jundoed, went and had stake conference.  Shin Myung Chur  (the sweet 21 year old) came to church!  Super cool kid!   After that we jundoed for days until another member meal.  We had smoked salmon, curry and watermelon.   Super delicious.  They had some less-active over to the house, who sat there and argued with the husband the whole time, so none of us got to really talk. It was kinda lame.  Good food though.  That and packing ended our 100 week.

Today we just sent off my stuff.  The delivery service here sends stuff over the country in like 2 days, it's nuts.  So instead of lugging everything to transfers, people just send it for like 15 dollars. Later we are going to a bathhouse, so that should be fun.  I guess swimming is ok as a missionary if you are naked with a bunch of other guys in the middle of Korea... I guess President gets his hair cut in a bath house.  Kinda funny.  Hopefully the new president allows it still.

That's been my report. Doing good out here. Love you all.

My next email will not be from Nokbeon!

Love, Elder Mortensen

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