Tuesday, October 27, 2015

October 26, 2015 (Week 45)

October 26, 2015

Quick email, partially because I forgot to write down what happened this week, haha.

Famous Red Pipe
Everybody Takes Selfies In
Monday we traveled clear up to Ui Jeung Bu to get Elders Bybee and Sullivan suits.  Some guy up there does custom suits for $150, so all the missionaries go up there... needless to say, I looked around and got a couple ideas for later on in the future, haha. That took up most of P-Day, at least an hour on the subway each way.  We met a guy that night, who talked really fast and quiet, in a crowded cafe, so I couldn't hear him too much.  We are meeting him again tonight, and hopefully this lesson will go over better. I hate those lessons where I can't add much, due to not being able to hear them...
Tuesday, I had interview with president. That went well, I got to chat with him for a little bit, asked him some questions. (No reason for 3 "dying" comps though, that's just my luck of the draw).  After that I went with Elder Skinner on an exchange.  That was weird. I'm the "youngest" elder in Shin Chon, but I kinda led the exchange.  We jundoed the entire day, and traveled a lot of places... that was long.
Wednesday, we had lunch as a district, then had district meeting.  The meeting was just all the senior companions sharing crazy spiritual experiences.  I'm still waiting for that for me. I've had a good time out here, but I feel like I haven't had any super spiritual experiences yet.  After that was yet more Halloween planning, then dinner and meeting Kim and You. They are doing good, reading the Book of Mormon. I'm not sure how much they want to act on the message, but they like learning.
Thursday, we had some jundo, then met for planning with the district that took way too long.  Way too much planning this week. We did streetboarding, then more planning... tired of planning. That night we had a meal with a member, pretty cool guy. He had a crazy experience on his mission, but I won't share it, because that's not my place.
Kim and You and Family
Friday, we met a couple less-actives, then met Patrick.  He showed up, we sat down to talk, then got a call that his aunt in China has cancer and a high chance of dying... so he left and flew back to China.... kinda crazy.  After was weekly planning.
Saturday we did a lot of unnecessary chores for other people and others wanted to plan more, so that took a lot of time.  That night we were with Lincoln and Ellie. The whole time was just dinner. We couldn't get in a lesson, because they just wanted to chat.
Sunday we went to church, Kim and You's house, and then family night at the Fillmore's. Pretty fun.

Sorry this is short!

Love you,
-Elder Mortensen

October 19, 2015 (Week 44)

October 19, 2015

Wow, this was an interesting week.... 
At the World Cup Stadium
Monday after email we went and had to take care of our big trash at our house... in Korea, in order to throw away a chair, or some beds, or couch, etc., anything big, you have to go to the citizen center (community center in US?) Basically it's in charge of the area where we live, Sinchon. We had to do that, since the other team couldn't figure it out to save the life of them... So we went there, got that all worked out, then went to the bank to pay for them taking our trash away... kind of a dumb system, but whatever. After that we went out and jundoed for a couple hours, before meeting JD. He is 31, and has an interesting dream. When we talked with him about his dream, he said "to be free of money".  He wants to be soo rich that he doesn't have to worry about money later on... Which was kinda funny in my opinion, because his whole life right now is focused on the obtaining of money. He's so busy chasing that money, just so he can be rid of its burden... interesting. But yeah, we couldn't do much, because he had another appointment a couple minutes later. 
Tuesday we had a lot of jundo time.  First time this transfer I think we have been empty.  So we jundoed around for the whole time, until dinner.  We ate pizza for the first time since being together, which was weird cause we ate there soooo much in Gireum. That was fun, though. We took the subway over to World Cup Stadium, since a less active lived out there.  Turns out, South Korea was hosting Jamaica that night!  The subway exit puts you inside the stadium park, so since we had still some dinner time, we took a quick look around. Pretty cool to see all the people, and the stadium. It's a huge stadium though.  It was crazy. So we toured that, then tried to visit a less active... he wasn't there, so we rode a bus back to the home, since it was a long trip to get out there. 

Wednesday we did studies, and then headed over to Sindang (pronounced sheen dong (as in ding dong)) for their district meeting. The whole was literally one role play... kinda weird... but yeah, we did that, just to come back and help plan a Halloween party... man, elders have no creativity. That needed some help. We did that until dinner, then headed over to Kim and You s house. They are doing good still! We got Kim to pray (finally!) and they read Alma 40, and had a ton of questions.  Both of them read and had good questions to discuss, it was pretty fun. Plus their kids aren't super awkward around us anymore. They bring out apples everytime.  Going over there is pretty fun now! It's better than 3 awkward lessons trying to explain what the Book of Mormon even is. The only downside is the trip. It is 45 minutes of just walking. The subway and bus take a round about way to get there, so walking is 6's either way.  That's the downside. 

Touring the Korean Border
Thursday we went to the DMZ!!! Since Elder Sullivan hasn't been yet, he set everything up for it. We got up, met a couple other missionaries, then headed as far north as we could. It took probably around 30 min, only because we caught the Fast Line. We got there, paid for a tour, then hopped on a bus.  We went to a subway stop where it is the last one before heading into North Korea. There wasn't much to see there, but kinda cool.  After that we headed over to the lookout place. There you could see through binoculars into North Korea. That was pretty cool. We could see a couple villages, and buildings.  They were pretty close too!  After that we went to a place called the 3rd Tunnel.  I guess  South Korea found 4 tunnels that North Korea dug to get into South Korea. This was the 3rd.  So we rode a tiny mine cart down about 200m, I think, then walked through a tiny tunnel a couple hundred more.  Pretty cool, except I smacked my head a couple times, since the tunnel was tiny.  After that we toured around and saw a lot of cool memorial things. Pretty fun tour.  The military couples here can get us into the JSA, but it's super hard to get that tour, I guess. I want to go once, and stand in the JSA building where you can be on North Korea ground technically.   After that we had a lesson/dinner with Bae Jung Mo.  He lived in France for a couple years, and he brought his friend, who lived in Canada.  So we ate and talked, and just as we were about to teach, they said they had to bail for a school project, since midterm season is upon us....... !@(#*$^ midterms sometimes..... half of our investigators are still out because of that.

Kimchi Festival
Friday we studied then went to Outback since it was Elders Sullivan and Bybee's 2 year mark of entering the MTC. That was pretty good, always a fun time eating out.  After that we jundoed a little, then headed over to World Cup Stadium again, since there was a kimchi making activity there. We, and 17 other companionship's, got to go to that, except the Korean elders. They wanted only foreigners... kinda sad...  We got all dressed up in apron, glove, hair net, then took a bunch of lettuce/cabbage thing, and smothered it in red sauce. Me and Elder Sullivan were on the end, and so we had these grandmas walk by, take some with their bare hands, or start to do it... ("I just saw 26 health violations... nope 27!" -Melman, Madagascar). Man, I've never been judged harsher... "Do it this way!", "Do it that way", "Flip it over", "Give me a piece"... Man, ("They are savages!" -Madagascar too).  But it was pretty fun. We all got a ton of kimchi too, which was kinda nice, although our house now smells of kimchi everywhere... after that we met an interesting Hong Kong guy, who asked a million questions, like "Why did Jesus wear a scarf?", "How many disciples were fisherman?", "How many John's are there?" Some were good too, though. We talked with him for about an hour, then had to go. We never saw him again... interesting lesson, though. 

Saturday we planned, taught English, then met Lincoln and Ellie.  They are doing good. Still struggling to make time to read and get an answer. They are always fun though.

Sunday we had a fireside with Mark A. Peterson.  He taught about how religion works in Korea, and how we can relate better with people. Pretty informational and a good time. 

Sorry, gotta cut there... Love you all, doing good here!
  -Elder Mortensen

D&C 128:22

Monday, October 12, 2015

October 12, 2015 (Week 43)

October 12, 2015

Elders Mortensen and Sullivan
Well, another week in the great Korea!
Typing this is in a suit... freak... suits can be super uncomfortable, especially when wearing them for a long time... anyway

Monday we went to a place called 인사동. (Een Sa Dong). It's a big tourist place, so Elder Sullivan could pick up some stuff for his family before he dies. I picked up a couple things too, like a sweet 10 dollar backpack. I figure I'll just do some college shopping while I'm here, haha. That was our whole p-day.  We shopped after, then on the way back to the house, we passed by the temple, and the temple missionaries called us over.  They had 4 college students (3 girls, 1 guy) who were looking at the temple, so they talked with them for a little bit.  We showed them the church and talked a little. Korean girls are weird.  As soon as we said, "yeah, we can speak Korean, they lost their mind. They were freaking out, then said "Wow, you are handsome".  Korean girls here are pretty straightforward, no wonder Elders don't talk with women on the street... but it was kinda cool that they just came to the temple to check it out.  After that and a little jundo, we headed over to Nokbeon, my greenie area. That's where the other zone leader is, So Elder Sullivan and him had to hook up to go to a zone leader meeting. I got to have chicken there... man, that brought back a ton of memories...
Tuesday I spent with Elder Apigo (ah pee go).  He is also a greenie, having been here for 3 weeks. Super funny guy. We did studies, which included a couple role plays, (that was weird. It felt like yesterday that I was doing it with Elder Whitlock).  After that, we headed out for jundo. It's kinda hard to be with a greenie... I wasn't sure how much he could do, wanted to do, or should do. I wanted to push him, but not too far. So I did almost all of the jundos, and man, that was tiring, but fun. After that we did some English flyering.  You pretty much stand at an intersection and hand out English flyers for about an hour... that was pretty fun. After that I went to go visit DK, a less-active me and Elder Whitlock met with a couple times.  It was kinda funny, I still remembered all the back streets and everything. DK wasn't there, but his mom was.  So we talked with her at their work place for about 20 minutes.  That was crazy, when I fully realized how much I could understand, now that I pushed myself to really concentrate. (It's like driving, if you are in shotgun, you kinda know what's going on, but you can zone out.  Driving you know and have to keep 100% on the road).  So now that I was the driver,  I could understand entire thoughts that people had, not just words.  Super cool. We had a good talk with her about The Book of Mormon, got her to commit to read and pray about it. Elder Apigo lost his mind over how good I sounded at Korean. I still admit that I have a ton to go on Korean, but not gonna lie, it felt kinda good to know that I could talk with people. We met another cool guy and had a good talk with him a couple minutes later. Same thing, surprisingly understood a lot.  That night we had English class.  Some of the members remembered who I was, which was cool. One of the recent converts came and took all the missionaries shoes and shined them. So now one pair of my shoes looks super good.  That was nice of him.  We spent another night in Nokbeon after that.
Wednesday we did studies, then went over to Shin Chone for zone meeting.  That was good, talked a lot on how to begin teaching, and teaching skills in general. Good training.  I got mail from the office...another comic letter from mom... holy smokes, how many comics do you cut out?  Every time we have a meeting, there are always more comics!  After zone training, we helped the bishop set up for General Conference then went and taught Kim Moon Kyum and You Me Wha.   Today was super awkward too.  Kim just half talks about how he can't understand  The Book of Mormon, and You can't read Korean, so she can't even start.  We finally got her a Ukranian Book of Mormon, so now she can get reading too. Their house is super far away, (about 40 minutes walking, and that's the fastest way) so that took up the whole night.
Thursday was just the worst day ever, due to the young investigators we have, and midterms coming up, we had 7 of our investigators pretty much all drop that day. One after another would just say that they are busy for the next couple weeks, not sure when they can meet again... and that's how 7 investigators, and 4 baptismal dates drop in a week. On top of that, we had all 4 of our appointments drop on the day, so Elder Sullivan and I were kinda done with the day. We jundoed around all day, and got rejected all day.  Met one or two people that half listened, but today was pretty rough.  That night during streetboarding, there was some hippie guy that had zero interest in the gospel, just that "truth is everywhere, you just gotta look inside" and "the world is too small, I don't have a home country, or a home".  Weird hippie stuff.  He and half the missionaries talked about that for a while, I don't know why.  Then a hardcore atheist came up and was mocking us for a while, so yeah, me and Elder Sullivan just went home and kinda died that night....

Friday was a lot better though. One, because it was moms birthday, and two, we had some sweet lessons today.  Personal and companion study were a little rough still.  A lot of questions just started flowing in my head, much like my awful fourth transfer, when I just kinda hated life.  So me and Elder Sullivan just talked about life most of comp study, then we had language study, and weekly planning.  That wasn't very fun, seeing how bare our teaching pool had just become... maybe God's trying to tell us that these people we should focus on or something... but after that we went and met Patrick. He read the Introduction, Witnesses, and Joseph Smith Testimony pages, and understood them pretty well. He had solid questions, which was proof he thought about it. Also said that he had prayed a couple times, which was sweet!  We discussed the Plan of Salvation, and he had a little bit of a belief in afterlife and what not, and man, Chinese culture can be a bit graphic. They have a belief similar to Dante's Inferno, where hell is just a bunch of layers. In China culture they have 18 layers, where each one gets more violent I guess... Patrick wouldn't even start to explain what happened, luckily.  But he liked the Plan, and agreed to read and pray and meet again. Super cool guy! We got a baptism date for him too!  After that we met with Kim and You.  This lesson was great. You read Moroni 1-8, and Kim read at least a summary of what The Book of Mormon teaches. You prays, and likes church, used to go with someone to the English ward on the other side of the river.  We discussed the plan of salvation with them, and they actually showed interest in it.  It was something they actually wondered about! It was the first time we had an actual discussion with them and both of them getting involved! So that was great!
Saturday we studied, then went to the church for 7 hours. Three sessions of conference, plus a couple minutes of break in between. During one of the breaks the temple missionaries brought us root beer which was sweet (Korea doesn't have root beer, they probably got it on the military base). So we watched conference,  Then went and met with Lincoln and Ellie.  They can be frustrating... they are super nice, feed us every week, their little kid is fluent at English and super funny. They love the church, and Ellie believes most of the church.  She is just getting caught up on getting an answer and reading The Book of Mormon. I guess in Chinese it's similar to Korean, in which it's kinda hard to read. If she could just do that, I feel like she would get baptized.  But they are super nice though.
Eating chicken. Elders
Sullivan, Jung, Mortensen and Apigo
in Nokbeon!
Sunday we had more conference, then at night we met a recent convert and talked with him.  Then Elder Sullivan and Elder Bybee went on splits to go teach, since Elder Skinner was feeling sick... so I just sat there the whole night making calls.  Pretty boring day, minus conference.

Alright conference rundown... Sabbath day, 3 new apostles, and conversion.  That was my biggest draw away. President Uchtdorf nailed both of his talks, and I liked Elder Lawerence and Elder Martinos as well. Elders Anderson and Bednar had some pretty sweet ones too.  Couple of powerful talks about women too.  Elder Holland was pretty blunt about that.  Poor President Monson, the way he was leaning on the pulpit the whole time... That was a bit sad. Maybe he will sit down next conference?  No idea, but that was just sad. But, conference was pretty sweet, hope you got a lot from it too.

Love you all, have fun,
-Elder Mortensen

October 5, 2015 (Week 42)

October 5, 2015

Alrighty, well, I'll try to remember what happened this week,

Elders Bybee, Sullivan, Mortensen top.
 Elder Skinner bottom
Monday we emailed, then shopped and cleaned some more, since half of it seemed to not get done... So we cleaned for about an hour, then went off and looked for somewhere good to eat.  The taco place was still closed, so we wandered around looking at cool places. We found a cool new restaurant. They had a huge frying pan in the table, and they came over and cooked our food right there for us, kinda like Tepynaki.  Turned out pretty good.  New places are always fun to go try to. After p-day we met a guy named Patrick. He is Chinese, but lived back east for a couple years, so pretty great at English.  However, he knows nothing about the gospel.  We had to explain even what the bible was. Like, breaking it down to the simple basics. He noticed good things about religions, so he was interested. He took the first lesson pretty good, and is willing to meet again.  Super cool guy, pretty funny too.  That and we did some jundo and calls finished our night.
Tuesday we had our temple day, which was fun. I did initiatories with Elder Bean, since all of Gireum was there again.  So we did that, then they let us do the next endowment session too.  Usually its one or the other. We did the Korean session, and it was pretty cool. I understood quite a lot, more than I thought, actually. It's kinda cool, because of the different levels of speech, I learned some new stuff. It goes from super high, king form, to lowest of low form, depending on what is going on.  That was a fun experience.  After that we had lunch with a lot of the other elders, since there is a close place that is cheap, and the owner loves the missionaries. (All owners love it when we come... we eat a lot and come back often haha). So we did that, then took a survey on how to fix English classes here in Korea... yeah... it needs help.  All it is, is just people who come for 10+ years and have no interest... lame.  After that we went back to NOKBEON!  That was awesome!  Since it is in our zone, Elder Sullivan went on exchanges there. That was trippy, walking down streets that I walked the first day I got here, seeing all the old food places. That was suuuper cool. I'll get to go back there for an exchange today too! Anyway, I got to go with Elder Collins, then we headed back to Shin Chon.  He is a greenie, so has no idea what was going on, so I did all the jundo, and even led the lesson with our investigator family. That was cool. It helped me realize how much I do understand.  Pretty cool to realize I can actually help in lessons, and understand where people are coming from. That was hard though, making sure I was setting a good example for him.  He's a pretty cool guy.
Wednesday, we had another weird district meeting, but better than last week.  After that we met So Bo Hyun.  We taught him the Plan of Salvation, and he loved it. He still hasn't been to church because of work, but he loves the gospel.  Now we just need to get him to church, and he could be ready to go! That was the highlight of Wednesday.
Thursday was Elder Sullivan's birthday, so we had fun. It was super cold and rainy though, which wasn't cool. We had a cool member visit. They made him a cake, then met a recent convert who went to dinner with us, and then we did streetboarding in the freezing weather... not fun.  Pretty fun day though.  It's hard though, because now Elder Sullivan is in his last month, so he was talking about home all the time... I hope this doesn't go downhill.... pretty good guy though.
Jersey and Hat (Hiding the haircut?)
Friday we got punked 3 or 4 times.  Our only investigator who showed up was cool.  He is Christian, and loves the bible.  So we started talking, and he had a tough time accepting The Book of Mormon, and the priesthood. We get to meet him again today, but he is a pretty sweet guy. After meeting with him, we just had some more jundo, and some call time.  That night Elder Green and his companion slept over at our house.  They are in the coast, a place called Sok Cho.  His companion is the branch president, so they came in for temple day.  Super fun to see him and hang out with Elder Green again. He talked about how great the coast is... Man, I want to go there soo bad.
Saturday we sat at the church helping with English, a church yard sale, and appointments.
Sunday we fasted and jundoed. Not much new there....

Love ya,
Elder Mortensen

September 28, 2015 (Week 41)

September 28, 2015

Bowling, with the President
This week was pretty slow. It's Korean Thanksgiving this week, so everybody was getting ready for that, so we couldn't do much...
After email Monday, we went and shopped and got a hair cut... terrible idea. I said "this style, but half the length" and she took that as, nearly buzz cut... so now I feel like I have no hair, except in the back... not really sure why she did that, but I just sat there in horror until it ended... so if you don't see any pictures of me for a while, that's why, haha.  After that, we taught So Bo Hyun. He is 29, owns a chicken house (that's what Koreans call restaurants...) and is super cool. He understands The Book of Mormon only if he prays beforehand, and then he understands great. He read from the start to 2nd Nephi 22, twice, once with praying beforehand. Super cool. We set a baptism date for the end of October, so hopefully he can pull through. Later we went to a shopping place, so we picked up a couple things. I picked up the Seoul hat and Elder Sullivan picked up a hat that said 외국인 (foreigner). Pretty funny, maybe not to you guys, but to us it's kinda funny.  After that, we had some tacos. We found a good taco house and will be going back often for sure. After p-day, we just jundoed. Nothing too special.
Tuesday....we met a guy named Jay for lunch. He has lived all over the world, and pretty good at English, and man, he swore a couple times about people ripping him off.  That was super weird. I haven't heard casual swearing like that since I left. That's going to be super trippy coming back to in America. It was a good lesson with him, too bad he is moving down south.... just jundoed after that. We when down to a college hotspot and met some cool people, but its weird seeing a lot of young people. I'm used to seeing only old guys. We met a Mexican named Armando. He is here for a convention, and we helped him find a Starbucks so he could meet his buddy from work. Funny guy, he kept saying "I am Armando, the Mexican Buddha" really weird guy. He's from Mexico City though.  Later we met a family . They want to learn English, but have a little interest in gospel. Hopefully we can swing them toward the gospel.
Wednesday we had the most awkward district meeting ever. Elder Bybee maybe said like 30 words, and just had us discuss things and role play by ourselves.  Super weird, we were all kinda wondering what he was trying to get us to do. We kinda sat there lost for an hour.... later we just jundoed, then met some less active who is Korean, but hates Koreans. He lived in America for a little I think, and just wanted to vent, so he called us up.  Kinda good to talk with him, but he doesn't even live in our area. It was a really weird meeting. After, we did some more jundo, met our recent convert, who wanted to talk about how to deal with a prideful friend. Pretty good talk, kinda realized how prideful I've been so far on my mission. It may not sound like it in the emails, but realizing now, I've been pretty proud about some things.  Good lesson for him and me.
Thursday we didn't do much but jundo.  Nobody can meet this week due to Thanksgiving, 추석. (Choo Suk).  That night we did street boarding, and man, it was crazy where we went. Sometimes it felt like we were at like an amusement park. So many people. All the college kids were going places, some guys were trying to street dance (emphasize on the trying part). Kinda distracting.
Friday was super fun. We went bowling with president, missionaries from Gireum (all my old friends) and some other missionaries.  That was fun. I was in a lane with Elders Bean, Yetter, and Sullivan.  That was a fun time. I won with bowling a 142, then a 122.  Got super close to a better score, just 1 or 2 pins away from a strike and whatnot.  After, we all went to the office, and had a conference.  Talked about Thanksgiving here and what it means. We watched some cool videos, that just get you pumped about Korea. Great place. That was pretty fun. That night we went to the Han river, in the middle of Seoul. Pretty cool.  Sat there looking at the Seoul South mission. Pretty cool view.

Saturday we cleaned... the entire day. Me and Elder Sullivan went at it hard. That took forever. The house feels a lot better now. For dinner, we went out to a pizza buffet, because all the smaller shops were closed, and we decided to go big for the holiday.
Night Shot of River Han
Sunday we studied, went to church, then did a lesson and planned. Pretty much, nobody is out this weekend, so we just got much needed work done in our house.  We've got a good line up and ready to work this week. I'm tired of being in the house.... that's been my week, had a good time.

Love you all,
Elder Mortensen

September 21, 2015 (Week 40)

September 21, 2015

Soccer Companions
Wow, this weeks been pretty fun. I'll give you some highlights, then fill in the rest if I have time.

Monday after email we just chilled at the house. We were all pretty dead after the hike. Super fun though, it was worth it. After that we just did some jundo.
Tuesday we went and cleaned up the other house, since Elder Yetter would be living there with a greenie. That was fun.  Took us a couple hours Then me and Elder Saunders dipped out to go meet Goose.  He is doing well.  He is a fun guy.  Maybe I'll see him down here, who knows?  Everybody comes to Shin Chone.  Came back, sent off my luggage, then had another appointment. Luggage is doing good. I switched the wheels, so it gets me by long enough to get to the road and call a cab. I love Korean mail.  Ship my stuff for cheap and it gets there the next day. American mail takes super long compared to Korean.  Our appointment after was sweet.  He is a Japanese guy, who speaks English, and has been here for 20 years.  We talked about almost everything. I can't really describe it, but the spirit was there super strong. He struggled with believing God was there and created a plan for us, but I know he felt something. I wish I could stick around to see if he meets again. That night we met with a less-active that we have been meeting with.  He bought us some really good soup, topped off with octopus and oyster.... yum. Octopus isn't bad, but my liking of it is slowly going down.  For sure going to try live octopus, but regular octopus is just super chewy.
 Wednesday Elder Bean and Elder Eagar got to help out with the new missionaries, since there are 18 new ones, and one of the APs is in military for a week. So they were gone the whole day, and from 1:00-6:00 Elder Saunders went to a trainers training, since he will be training this transfer. So me and Elder Sol Hyun Oo (from my MTC group) hung out and jundoed all day. Man, it would be soo nice to be fluent in Korean and jundo.  He works hard and it would be nice to fully express my thoughts.  Me and him split a pizza since it was our last day, and it was my birthday.  Cool guy.  After, we just went to English class.  Still super boring. After, the sisters gave me cookies, for a farewell/birthday gift.  That was cool.  They were the only ones who remembered it was my birthday. We went back and planned and packed everything up. Pretty lame birthday, not gonna lie.
Thursday was transfers. I'm now with Elder Sullivan.  He is from Sandy, Utah, and on his last transfer... another I get to kill off.... yipee.... he's a cool guy, though. He is a zone leader, so hopefully he wont get trunky on me. We're with Elder Bybee and Elder Skinner in the apartment. Shin Chone is a cool place. A lot of college students, a lot of people, and a lot of cool places to go.  Not the best for jundo, but after the mission it would be fun to go and hang out there sometime.  Who knows, maybe I'll come be an exchange student here. That'd be cool. Hmm, have to check into that.  met a couple people that night, then called it.
Friday was super fun. weekly planning was discussing 15 investigators (.... that's nuts!!!) so that was actually productive.  Later, we met a guy who was dressed like a Mexican cowboy, with 7 earrings. Pretty weird dude. We also ran into a stalker, who is looking for another elder in the mission. She's been following him for over a year now, and is completely nuts. Later, we met a drunk guy who would say "hi, I'm Korean Elvis Presley. Do you know Elvis Presley?" "Take my hand" "I met God Jesus and the Holy Ghost" repeated like 10 times... me and Elder Sullivan were laughing pretty hard at that.
Mexican Korean
Saturday we met a couple other investigators, a couple with dates. We are really hoping to get a couple baptisms by the end of this transfer. We have some really cool people.  Korea and Yeonsee Universities had a big rivalry competition, so all the students were hanging out Saturday night. So many people, it was crazy. It felt like I was at a college football game again.

Not much time, just know that I'm doing good. Elder Sullivan is cool, hanging in there with the house, and the area is super cool. It's going to be an interesting 6 weeks. Who knows what will happen after that, knowing my luck.  Love you all!
Elder Mortensen

September 14, 2015 (Week 39)

September 14, 2015

Hiking on P-Day
Today, we got up at 4:00am, hiked a sweet mountain, did personal study on the peak, chilled, then came back down, ate and are now emailing. Super fun morning.

Last Monday we went and ate some food, then played some board games at home and just kinda chilled. Pretty good time to just relax.  After p-day, we went and visited Goose, Elder Saunders recent convert. His uncle died in the military (his officer shot him in the heart, he didn't know there was a real bullet, thought it was a fake...).  So a couple of Sundays ago he was doing pretty bad.  We visited him and reviewed the afterlife and Kingdoms of Glory with him.  He is doing better, but we ended up spending over 1 1/2 hours with him... I didn't want to tell him to leave, but I hate killing more time than is allowed.  Oh well, glad he is doing good.
Tuesday I skipped in the journal to get caught up to date (for the most part) so I can't really remember what happened, haha.  We did a lot of jundo, got punked by a couple people, then later visited a recently reactivated member, although he attends in the Pusan mission, as his family lives there, but he works up here.  He loves Elder Saunders, mainly because he's known him for so long (Elder Saunders got to Gireum area when I got to Korea... he is staying and training next transfer too ).... Since he didn't know me, we didn't really talk. That started me feeling like I want to stay in some places for a while, and actually have a relationship with the members. In Preach My Gospel it says to contact investigators daily... that's a bit much for me, but I feel like that's so you actually have a relationship with the person.  That he just isn't another investigator, but an actual person that you want to help. But, guess I'll have to start fresh in Shin Chon, since I'm moving...
Wednesday we lived at the church. We did studies, then went to zone meeting. That was pretty good. talked about becoming more spiritual, and learning to recognize the spirit more. Pretty good stuff, feeling like that will help me a lot.  After we met with a college student.  He lived in Alabama for like 7 years, so he is pretty great at English. We talked with him, but he kept getting side tracked on other things. So we spent the whole hour trying to get him directed back to gospel, but he's too caught up in other things, and says he doesn't read... so who knows, maybe later he'll make time for us. Since he came from the U.S. culture to Korea, he is considered somewhat of an outcast.  He sees how robotic the Korean culture seems to be, and how the people are all told to just fit in line (clothes, hair, lifestyle etc. ) Everybody seems the same, he feels. He hates that part. That was fun.  Later, we picked up some pizza, came back to the church, ate for 20 minutes, and taught Angel, our recent convert.  He is still doing good. Then we had English class... about fell asleep again, it can be so boring.  Teaching 50 year old people who don't care at all about the gospel.... lame.
 Thursday I went with Elder Eagar on a mini exchange. We just did studies, then worked together until 6:00-ish.  Pretty good time.  I love just talking with others.  That seems to help most of my issues. He talked about how I'm just hitting the growing pains of my mission.  Everybody goes through them, but you'll come out happy on the other side. Definitely true.  The mission is great, but hard right now. I feel like I don't know enough Korean to be truly involved, but old enough to the point where I should be involved. Frustrating. Later, after getting with Elder Saunders again, we visited a less-active. Man, he had a nice home... he had 3 pianos, a huge flat screen, lived in the nicest apartments, and it was super huge. Freakin' rich guy. Super nice, used to be in the bishopric, ward mission leader, young mens leader, but lately he didn't believe in leaders, and is expecting a Joseph Smith like answer to his prayers... kinda sad, but super nice guy. Hopefully Elder Saunders can meet with him more.
 Friday we did planning and studies, then jundoed.  No good contacts for like 5 hours that night... not much to report there, except I'm learning a lot from stuff like that. Hard to explain over email.
 Saturday we studied, then jundoed.  Met a couple cool people. We met with Bek Joon Sang.  He feels like he needs to know EVERYTHING about the gospel and our church before he makes his decision.  He says he is making progress, but I honestly don't see it. It's probably a good thing I'm not meeting with him anymore, because I just wanted to shake him and tell him he doesn't need to know every small detail. He's worried about how many wards there are, and not whether The Book of Mormon is true.... I get a little fiery with him everytime we meet.  We had English class after, then jundoed for a little bit before dinner.  Then jundoed after. This jundo was a lot better.  We met some super cool people, including Johnny. He is like 50, and super cool. He lived in Seattle for a couple years, and has been working here. Like the kid we met, he notices how everybody here isn't really happy . They may pretend, but they truly aren't happy. They all seem to fake it.  He is super tired of the busy-ness here, and wants to just live in the mountains. He has a buddy in the states who is a Mormon, and loved his example. He noticed that we have something different and totally saw how the gospel could fit into his life. That was cool.  Then got our transfer calls..... Everyone is staying here except me.  I'm moving to 신촌 (Shin Chon) pronounced "sheen chone".  That's where the temple is, and a lot of cool hang out spots. It's pretty much the heart of Seoul.  The neighboring place, (Sin Dong/ sheen dong) has all the famous places, but Shin Chon is close. It should be a fun time. I'm kinda sad to leave here though. this transfer has been good to me. My house mates are super fun, the people we are working with are cool, and the area just flipped for me.
Sunday we had church, said goodbye to some people, then headed out. Played around with my wheels on my suitcase, switched some around, so hopefully they will work better. Packed up most of my stuff, while Elder Saunders studied. Then we jundoed for a little bit, and headed over to meet a less-active. We went with him to an orchestra thing that was going on that night.  Holy smokes, I'll take Riley's driving over his. He was driving 30 kilos under the speed limit, drifting lanes, trying to find the place on his phone, making u-turns all over the place... a 20 minute drive turned into an hour drive. The orchestra wasn't bad, but not the best use of time.  I love music though, even classical stuff.  The drive back was 10 times worse...
Rasicst dog... barks only at us white folk.
 Well, that was my week, heading out of here on Thursday. It's crazy, Elder Saunders will do at least 6 transfers here.  We do 16 as foreign elders. He might go for almost half his mission here.

Love you all,
-Elder Mortensen

September 7, 2015 (Week 38)

September 7, 2015

Elder ??
Monday we met a guy named Kim Ui Joon. 김의준.  Super cool guy.  He went to Iowa University for 4 years. He has a lot of the same opinions on stuff, like he doesn't like smoking, barely drinks, (loves coffee though). Lives the law of chastity already, I'm pretty sure.  The one downside is that he just believes that believing is enough. He doesn't see why we need to change our lives, if Jesus will accept us as we are. Haven't met him again, but hopefully he will meet again next week. Later, grabbed some Baskin Robbins at night, and watched the Testaments after planning. That was pretty fun.
Tuesday was temple day.  We took an hour bus ride on a freakin' crowded bus.  That was a terrible idea. But the temple was nice. Always good to go there.  I didn't really know anybody there, so didn't really talk with others. So sad, everyone I know is either in America, Nokbeon, or on the coast..... After that we went to some museum, when the war memorial was across the street.  We saw some cool art things, but overall it was kinda lame.  Stopped by Dong De Moon and we all got soccer jerseys (I got a sweet Korea one, with my name in English now) and a couple 1 dollar ties :D.  After that was jundo to end the night.

 Wednesday we ate at Mr. Pizza buffet since it was Elder Saunders year mark in country.  That was great. I had Hawaiian pizza for the first time in 8 months, and man, it was delicious. I love pizza now, it's pretty good here. We eat it quite often now. Later met with 염상준.  He is 30s, really strange, and has no job, no college, and likes video games. We tried to talk at a McDonalds, but it was super loud, and he was talking with a full mouth. Later we talked at a cafe for a little bit with him. Got another appointment, but he punked it... (weird guy).  We ran into a member after, who bought us some 빙수 and we talked with him. He is a cool guy. We talked with him for our dinner hour, then went out to meet our half recent convert Angel. We met him before English class and taught the first lesson again to him.
Thursday we did weekly planning... and man, I have no idea how to help investigators. Everytime I look from their view,  I think "I'm a 16 year-old, why do I care?", or "I've got buddies at my church, eh, who cares".  So everytime I just see a dead end, so I'm not sure how to help them.  For me the gospel just clicks and makes sense.  Trying to get that figured out.  Later went to the church for singing practice. Me and Elder Eagar talked a little bit there.  He is a cool guy to talk with too.  Not much else happened.
Friday was mission tour.  Elder Whiting (of the Seventy) is our new area president, so he came and stopped by. Talked a lot on the Holy Ghost and faith to baptize, pretty good stuff.  Got to see a couple friends there, since there were 4 out of 7 zones there, and yet, nobody from Nokbeon or the coast..... lame. After the conference, Pres. Sonksen came up and was like, "Elder Mortensen, you have an interview with Elder Whiting"... gulp... that was scary.  The interview was cool though. We talked about some stuff  I'm struggling with, and kinda humbled me a bit.  Read Abraham 1:2, so I would recommend that scripture to read. Great stuff.
Needs some English help :)
Saturday was pretty boring, got punked and jundoed .
Sunday was Fast Sunday, so we jundoed on empty stomachs.... not fun but was a good experience.

Love ya,
-Elder Mortensen