Monday, November 23, 2015

November 23, 2015 (Week 49)

November 23, 2015

Hows it going?
This week was a pretty quiet week.

Group Pic
Monday we played soccer in Nokbeon for P-Day, with 14 other missionaries. It was pretty fun. Teams of 4, first goal wins.  That got pretty intense, and my feet got wrecked.  I haven't exercised like that in forever.  For sure I'm going to do indoor soccer when I get back. That's probably the funnest sport out there, tied with outdoor soccer, haha (yes, there is a difference!) We did that, shopped, then headed out for the day. I went on splits with Elder Lujan, a greenie.  Greenies are funny. It's kinda fun to say "go talk with that grandpa" and they look at me surprised, then go do it. I can't believe I was like that at one time, haha.  After that, we met Ee Yoon Heng (이윤행)  이 is Lee in English but really pronounced Ee. (fun fact).   We talked about the restoration a little, but he got sidetracked on other stuff in the gospel.  He really likes learning about the church, not sure on the acting on the doctrine part. He's super nice and cool though. I can see him being a good member if he gets baptized.

Tuesday we had a kimchi fest! Us and 40 other missionaries went and made kimchi for a welfare center.  That was pretty fun. Luckily I didn't get judged hardcore again, but the grandmas would call us over then stuff a mouthful of kimchi in us.. man, that stuff is strong when fresh! Super tasty though. Got to say hi to a couple old Gireum buddies, like Elder Saunders. It's always fun to see him again.  He has been in Gireum since I got to K

orea (7 transfers, 9 months)... He is pretty well known in the mission for being there forever haha.  So we did that for a couple hours, ate lunch, then headed off.  We met Kim Dong Ho, our pastor buddy. We went through the Plan of Salvation, then we had English class to end the night.

Wednesday I was with Elder Jung Ui Gun.  He is the happiest, funniest Korean I've ever met.  We had a good time together.  We taught Lee Yoon Heng  again, and got through the whole first lesson. he accepted a soft baptismal commitment!  He is super cool and I really like him.  We also taught Jo Jin Suk.  He is really quiet guy, and the member we teach with and he went a bit off topic. We tried talking about the restoration, then the member went off on the Plan of Salvation, and talking about the DNA similarities of Korea, Japan, and China... members are good, but need to be reigned in a little bit... Jo is nice, but lives out of our mission, so we need to refer him over... bummer.  That night I was the only American, with 3 Koreans, and yet it was one of the funnest nights I've had this transfer.  They were all super funny, although I didn't catch a lot.  I know nothing about music, or movies or stuff like that... kinda keeps you out of the loop... but they helped a lot with my Korean.

Thursday we jundoed, then had missionary ward leader meeting, then  jundo... pretty boring day..... not much happened.

Friday I went with Elder Bluhm (pronounced bloom).  We went to the American military base for a dinner invite... so I had chicken haystacks and root beer floats!  That was cool. Their third kid, loves sports... and is named Garrett!  That was pretty trippy.  He would give me play-by-plays for football games, haha.  Really nice family, although there were like10 kids over there... I keep trying to like kids, but they don't help their case, haha. That was a pretty fun night though.

Saturday we studied, ate lunch with a less active, then helped some guy with computer programming. Elder Bluhm loves that stuff, so he wants to help people, and start a computer class for people to come to. Man, I don't understand that stuff at all. Looks kinda cool, like one big puzzle, but I don't understand it at all, haha. Kinda fun to learn a little though.  We did that, then went to a music night, that a different area put on.  That was a fun time, a lot of missionaries there too. I got to say hi to them. They always just brighten my day, seeing old friends again.  Too bad a lot of my buddies are on the coast... but the ones here are cool too.

Sunday was alright. I decided to fast, and it was a great experience. I haven't had a good one in a while, but this really helped me feel peace.  It reminded me of Mosiah 24:14-15.  That was the highlight of my day...

Love you all,

-Elder Mortensen

November 16, 2015 (Week 48)

November 16, 2015

So this week,
Temple Visit
Monday we didn't do much, went to Dong De Moon so Elder Ashby could get some shirts.  I looked at some coats for winter, but didn't get anything... yet.  I picked up a pretty good coat in this house, so I'll use that until it doesn't work anymore.  After P-Day, we had a couple appointments canceled, so we walked around all night and did some calls.

Tuesday we went on a mini exchange with one of the APs. We taught Kim Dong Ho, and mainly it was just Kahng In Ho that taught most of it... us, nor the members really talked much. Good lesson though, Kim really liked it. Kinda hard though. Since he is a pastor, he can't really make it out to church... Catch 22 right now... He really likes reading the Book of Mormon though. We did some jundo with Kahng after, then he took off. That night was just English class. Pretty boring again.... teaching 60 year old guys who think they are already pro at English isn't that fun... especially when you are the only one teaching. Elder Ashby is helping all the white people learn Korean, so it's just me pretty much.

Wednesday I was with Elder Judd. He and Elder Han Jung Suk and the other people in our house. They both just moved in.  Elder Judd is fresh from America. He is from Syracuse Utah.  Elder Han lived in Draper for several years, so he's pretty much fluent in English, kinda nice. So we went on exchanges, which consisted of riding the subway to 4 different places to give members some treats, since it was PePeRo day. PePeRo is pretty much just a big candy company. So imagine a Hersey's day in America, where you go nuts with buying people Hershey's bars. So we did that, kinda took a lot of time, but was kinda fun.  We would stop by, and they would start laughing that we cared about PePeRo day, since nobody really celebrates it. Kinda fun to see them start laughing when we pulled out the PePeRo. (In America its usually called POCKY sticks, pretty good).  That night, we taught Lee Yoon Heng. He called us up, and wanted to meet. Turns out it was for a class interview thing, he wanted to interview us about our beliefs. So we kinda gave him a basic overview for his class, then agreed to meet, to actually teach, not just help his class out.  Nice guy though, he was really funny.

Thursday we finally had a meeting with a ward mission leader.  They finally called us one.  We met with him, and the first thing he said was "why are there no baptisms here?", which is weird, because the bishop told us the day before that members shouldn't ask that. He wants to focus on less-actives and retention, not just baptizing.  You wouldn't believe how many less actives there are.  Only 150 active members and about 500-ish less active... and about 80% of them have moved, changed their number, or nobody knows who they are... almost impossible to keep track of them. so yeah... kinda getting pulled two ways, not one way with bishop and ward mission leader... ought to be interesting... I would rather trust the bishop though.  Other than that, we didn't do much, just some jundo and calls.
Friday we just jundoed and did weekly planning.  We had dinner with other missionaries, and a member, that was kinda fun.

Korean War Memorial
Saturday, in the afternoon we met Jo Jin Suk, who called us and wanted to meet. We met him and had a good talk, that was a fun.  After that, we went back to the house, so we could make three batches of cookies for English, and our investigator.. so that killed a lot of time... later, running late to Lincoln and Ellie's.

Not a lot of time, but things are going okay. Kim and You are still meeting us, which is great!

Love ya,
Elder Mortensen

November 9, 2015 (Week 47)

November 9, 2015

This week....
Halloween Party
I spent Monday night through Wednesday in Nokbeon again!  That was fun.  I love it there. It's changed a lot since I've been there, but still felt like home. I got to talk with Elder Apigo a lot, and man, it's kinda weird being not the youngest. It's weird giving advice, and saying the same things that I hated hearing about the language, missionary
work.  He's a great guy though. He's one of those guys that you can't be sad around.  He just makes everyone happy.

Wednesday we got trained on working with members, which I'm starting to realize how important that really is. Members are like those people you meet, and then you see them everywhere.  This week we taught a couple lessons with members, and now I remember their names, and see them everywhere.  It also gives them a chance to know us, so that they will help us better. PJ Rogers came last week, and talked a lot on the culture of Korea. I can't explain much, but relationship is everything.  So much goes into that, and without it, members won't do much with us. It was a good training.  That night we met with Kim and You.  They are doing good.  We met them yesterday too. We have one more time of English/gospel, so if they don't want to, we may only meet them one more time. I really hope we can keep meeting. I feel like 60 minutes, with a member there, will help solve a lot of their issues, and concerns.  They still make excuses for not reading, or not coming to church. That's the most frustrating part.  Kim says "back in the past, a pastor only wanted money", "Sunday is my day of rest", "we want religious freedom for our kids so they don't fight if they join other religions"... Most of this just translates to "I'm just lazy"... really annoying. I wish he would just be straight with us.

Thursday we taught with a member couple, and they were great.  This guy, actually was a pastor, knew where they lived, they knew similar people, and hit it right off.  The husband got a little sidetracked, but it was all a good lesson.  The guy was like "oh, when you explain the Book of Mormon that way, I want to read it now", when the members explained what it was. I wonder how many people drop us, because they feel like they don't understand us, and we don't understand them. That night we met a Mongolian family that came all the way to here, just to be sealed in the temple. They knew some Korean which helped, but man, we are blessed in Utah. People travel COUNTRIES, not just 5 minutes, to get the blessings in the temple.  That really hit me.

Friday during planning, I kinda brought up how I feel Elder Ashby is really focused, but a little too much at times.  Since then, we have gotten along much better.  He still likes to do a lot on his own, (I'm kinda the same way) but we are getting better.

Saturday we taught Lincoln and Ellie, and met with a less active. Both were good meetings, although Lincoln and Ellie, man they are right there.... they are so ready for baptism, they are right there, but because of Lincoln's job, they are scared, and Lincoln can't even get baptized, since he is with the Chinese government.  I'm really hoping that we can get Ellie baptized soon, but I fear that because of Lincoln not being baptized, and his job, she will continue to hold out.

Sunday we went to church, talked with members there, then headed over to Kim and You and taught them.  Really hoping for them to keep meeting.  I get the feeling they are almost there too.

Well, love you all, there are the highlights,
-Elder Mortensen

November 2, 2015 (Week 46)

November 2, 2015

At the Border
Monday we had P-Day, which was going to Dong De Moon so Elder Sullivan could get some last things, and I tried to find a cheap coat.  No luck for me, but I'll keep looking around, maybe I'll just go without one, haha. Elder Skinner and I exchanged so that Elder Sullivan and Elder Bybee could go to the office for final interviews.  Se we jundoed and shopped, well mainly me since I'm the only one staying. We jundoed around and then met back up and we met Jung Jeen Kang.  He is 23, met him last week too. We took him to the church and discussed the restoration. We didn't get far, cause he would go off on random stuff.  Nice guy though, he says he is busy with a board game festival right now, so he is busy for a couple weeks... freaking life, why is Korea so busy?

Tuesday we did studies, then switched with Elder Bybee so Elder Skinner and Elder Sullivan could do language pass off.  That was okay, except me and Elder Bybee got separated for like 20-30 minutes though... He went off with one guy, and I talked with another for like 10 seconds, and Elder Bybee was gone.  He went down a street where it forked, so I didn't know where he went.  So I sat there for 20-ish minutes, when a guy came up in fluent English and asked if I was looking for my friend.  He said that my friend asked to borrow his phone, and told me where he was.  Man, that was a miracle. Elder Bybee was starting to get really nervous when I caught up with him.  After that, we jundoed and did some Halloween work.  The ward got involved and changed it up a lot.  So we got to work making stuff, helping get stuff done.  We then met Kim De Young, the recent convert. He is the bomb.  He helps us reach out to like 3 other less actives, willing to look up members, do us favors, everything.  He is the best.  So we started the fifth lesson, and talked with a less active on the phone. We had to end that to go meet a temple couple, who wanted to take us out for dinner.  So they took all 4 elders to a buffet. It was a pretty expensive place and I was impressed.  We talked with them, mainly Elders Sullivan and Bybee about their missions. Elder Bybee forgot about English class, so me and Elder Sullivan saved him and went and helped out there. I don't know how you forget about that, but yeah.... that took the rest of the day.

Wednesday I went with Elder Green all day! Elder Sullivan and Elder Greens companion went and played so Elder Green and I jundoed and talked all day.  He is doing good on the coast, makes it sound like the dreamland.... nothing much else happened

Thursday I got my new companion, Elder Ashby.  He was Elder Yetters MTC companion! They are super similar it is pretty scary.  Nice guy, works hard and fast. Kind of a rough transition from Elder Sullivan to him.

Captain America and Elder Mortensen
at the Ward Halloween Party
Friday we had the ward Halloween party.  That was pretty fun. We had 40-50 people show up, and we had a bunch of other activities.  I ran a bean bag toss stand, which was fun. I got to talk with some people, had a lot of candy, haha.

Saturday and Sunday were pretty normal days.  Nothing too new to report.

Sorry about short emails, love you all, take care!

-Elder Mortensen