Monday, July 25, 2016

July 25, 2016 (Week 84)

July 25, 2016

Elders Mortensen and Benson
Traditional Korean Wear
This week.. well, we went to the missionary mall for ties/jerseys/ everything you can imagine.  I picked up some jerseys and whatnot.  I saw all the same ties that all the missionaries have, so I didn't buy much.   After that was a music night activity. We had Elders Pelina and Bradshaw come and play for us again, and it was great. We had 10 or so members come to the location, had about 40 people just sitting around listening at all times. That was sweet. We met some super sick people.   That was a good day.

The next day we had President interviews.  It was a pretty good time.  His advice was, "get ready". We have 6 or so zone leaders and AP's leaving, and half the mission will be training in the next 3 months.   But after that we went out and proselyted the rest of the night.

Wednesday was District meeting. After that, we met June. He's a 60 year-old, frustrating guy. He says he wants to learn, but never gives us a chance to talk.  I have a pretty short temper with him. We will meet one more time, after setting some guidelines of what we are doing here.  After was English class. That was good time.  I just chat about America the whole time, hamburger prices/restaurants,  sport salaries, where everything is, accents there, etc.

Thursday we had the service activity, then met with David. We went over the Plan of Salvation, and it was pretty good. We had member there but seemed to me a bit too strong. He kinda took over at times. It's hard sometimes, getting the member to participate, but in the best way.  But it was a good lesson.  We're still working with his wife, and how to get her approval.  After that was just some more proselyting.

Friday we had planning, then we met 구장효.  We sat there forever waiting for him.  He finally showed up, saw the church for 2 minutes, then left. He said he would come back on Sunday. (He texted later and said he can't join a church that doesn't have a cross... what the heck?) Then we street boarded again...way too much.  After that was missionary coordination meeting..

Saturday was exchanges with Elder Benson. He's a great guy, pretty funny.  We didn't do much besides proselyte, but it was a good time to talk with him and just break from the usual.

Random T-Shirt
Sunday we had church.  David came for Sacrament Meeting again.  Then we went and had a big zone activity (already on Facebook).  That was cool, but we got put on regular street board station, while everybody else had face painting, or cookie decorating, or name writing... everybody just kinda left our station.. so it wasn't the best...  but oh well,

Well love ya,
-Elder Mortensen

Thursday, July 21, 2016

July 18, 2016 (Week 83)

July 18, 2016


Beach in Gangneung
Well this week was a lot of meetings, zone meeting, English class meetings, church, fireside, so not much really seemed to happen this week. Also, a lot of people just kinda didn't answer.

We did met David again, taught the Restoration and Gospel of Jesus.  He came to church again too! He is doing good, just his wife is big into her church, so might be struggle down the line.

I'm settling into the ward. It's going pretty good.  The good news is that its only 40-50 members, so you can actually get to know the, not like 100+ wards.  It's kinda funny though, I've been seeing a lot of missionaries I was with before I went out to Gangneung, and they all ask about that area.  All I say is that it's the best... Unless you've served out there, you can't really understand the vibe of out there.  But Do Bong is a good place.   I'm the oldest missionary in our district, so I'm the leader here... :P not fun. We have some good returned missionaries to help us out though, so it's been good so far.

That's really the only big update for the week. I got to see

Dobong Church
a lot of old missionary buddies here, but slowly realizing that a lot of my buddies have gone home already... Pretty trippy to think about..
But yeah, nothing too special to report otherwise.

-Elder Mortensen

Friday, July 15, 2016

July 11, 2016 (Week 82)

July 11, 2016

Ok... well, this week has been interesting.

City of Dobong
Monday we went and celebrated July 4th by eating at McDonald's, then went back and played some games.  It's was down pouring for a week straight there, so not much else to do.   After that we had pass off, then Family Night.  Family Night was playing American games, like limbo, three-legged race, spoon egg race, and baseball.  Good day. We also sang the national anthem for the start of it haha...

Tuesday we had a branch party and koo koos... it's a sushi/ everything buffet... suuuper good. Especially the cow beef on top of rice, that's the best, I probably had 2-3 plates of that alone. They also had waffle maker, ice cream, chicken, spaghetti, tons of sushi variety (spam, sushi, fish, shrimp, beef, bacon, octopus.....)  super good meal, sad to say bye to the Gangneung folks.  After that was getting the English banner we made... 4/6 missionaries on there have now left,  but hey, we got our faces on it, haha... We did that, hung it up, said hi to So Han Suck, the 89 recent convert, then said bye to Jung You Suck, our ward mission leader. After that, had dinner with Go Young Ook, said bye to him, then came back down and met Juhn Dong Hoe, our referral.  Man that talks a lot.   Met with a lot of people, but it was a good time.  Sad to say bye, not sure when I'll be able to go back.

Wednesday I got back into Seoul. I forgot to switch my wheels on my luggage, so I kinda struggled with that... (I had packed in 70% of stuff, then realized I didn't switch out the broken ones yet, and just went with it. That won't happen again. Trust me on that one.)  But I met Elder Du Plessies, and Elders Peterson and Benson, my new housemates. I got to know the place a little, then met a 60 yr. old man that wants to read the Book of Mormon in English, but is terrible at it. So we kinda reestablished what we want to do.  After that was English class.  Not bad, I guess that are some scout troops around here. I met a couple leaders... who knew?

Thursday we had a service project feeding food to the elderly.  I got put on dishes duty the whole time.  Man, I'm getting pretty good at cleaning dishes. My wife will love me, haha.  That was cool. We did that, then met Robin.  He is a missionary of some other church, but once he heard about the Kingdoms of Glory,  he started to be really surprised, and wanted to meet.  He is sincere, but requires 4+ examples in the Bible to believe it. It's a struggle, especially with the Plan of Salvation. But, he is cool.  After that we went and visited a couple less-actives with the bishop.

Friday we didn't do much, tried doing music proselyting, but everybody we met was super busy, so didn't work too well.
City Logo

Saturday we met a couple cool people, who came to church the next day!  That was cool.  One has a date now  I'll follow up on that later. Gotta run, but this place is great!

-Elder Mortensen

July 4, 2016 (Week 81)

July 4, 2016

Ok.. well, I'm leaving Gangneung City, going back to Seoul. 도봉 (Doe Bong) area.

Elder Mortensen and ??
Transfers came. We are getting closed down.  The new senior couple is coming here and they are playing around with zones again, so they closed our area.  Elder swan is going to Gireum (my former area, ) and I am going right next door to Gireum, same zone 도봉 Doe Bong.  Super bummed to leave here, this is my second home now. I love this city.  I've heard good things about Doe Bong though. Elder Hall was there before me, and I know a couple other people that have been. My new companion is from South Africa, not sure how to spell his name.. (white guy though... dang... haha)   this may be my last area, too...

This weeks highlights....

Gangneung branch is the best branch in the world.  They are just a little sweet family. (for example.. the other Elders went less active visiting with the Elders Quorum President, and they came and picked us up after they were done, dropped by the Branch President's house, and they went in quoting Alma going to Amulek asking for food. So the Branch President's wife, and another sister that came over cooked us up a meal on the spot, so much fun last night. )  If anybody gets to come to here, blessed are they. It's worth learning Korean to just talk with these people.
Branch Photo with Visitors
Investigator wise, nothing too special, hopefully they meet us before we leave.

Sorry, nothing too special, just a whole lot of emotions right now.  Literally all I think about it how much I'll miss this place.  This literally is a little city of heaven.

Love you all,
Elder Mortensen

June 27, 2016 (Week 80)

June 27, 2016

"I will love you in really and in dream" - Some random shirt I saw.   Really bad English.  Mine is slowly getting there too.

Monday we went to a war museum type thing.  There was an old war ship that we got to tour all over, then a submarine from North Korea that they found that we got to walk through, then a couple planes and tanks and stuff.  Pretty cool place, that was a fun day.

Tuesday we did a couple projects, one included making a Nerf gun shooting board,  the latest of projects to try and get people to talk with us. So we got that all made, then tried it out. It worked pretty good, we got a few people besides 15 year old girls to do it.  A lot of guys bragged about doing military then missed.  It was kinda fun.  Nothing much else happened that day.

Wednesday we had district meeting, talked about "grateful in any circumstances" and just continually giving thanks. It went over ok.  Then did teaching stuff with Sister 조혜원 (Jo Hey Won).  After that we went and headed up to the college area and tried to talk with some leftovers from summer vacation.   Yeah,  nothing too special again...

Thursday we cleaned the worst house ever.  Imagine our family room, covered in months old food, stains, cigarette ash.  Some of the food was just covered in old flies that had died on it,  and a mountain of clothes that had never been touched.  It was nasty.  This was one of our members houses. He had moved out, so we threw out about half of his stuff since it was old, then helped him move to his new house. So dirty, it's amazing.  After was meeting some guy that has his religion, and like most people was commanded to not change his religion.  Nice kid though.   After we went to meet Gayan, from Sri Lanka. It was a good lesson.  He really wants to learn about everything, including who God is.  Cool guy.  He is funny.

Friday we planned, then went and cleaned his new house, then threw out a lot more of his clothes, since they smelled awful and were super old, and he had brand new ones he has never worn.  After we did Nerf gun activity again. It was pretty good.

Air Show
Saturday we had English class, then met Thomas.  He understands everything, just doesn't really apply it to him... that and he is 15, so still a little young to fully understand.  After, we went to Kim Young Hee's house (Branch President) and had a wonderful dinner.

Sunday we had church, everybody that said they would come bailed, but it was ok.  Some new couple came and gave their love tale for half of sacrament though. (They met and married within 3 weeks at BYU Hawaii... good night...) We tried to meet some people afterwards, but they all fell through...

Well, take care peeps!
-Elder Mortensen

June 20, 2016 (Week 79)

June 20, 2016

Ok, this week was fun.

Traditional Korean Wear
Monday nothing really special, except the fact that people in Korea go just as nuts about bingo as Americans do. So excited over a simple game.

Tuesday as we were leaving the house, we hopped on a bus, then a guy called us. We gave him our card on Monday, and he wanted to learn about our church!  So we hopped off, hurried to the church and talked with him. He's a nice guy. He's slightly special, but lesson went over well... that was a cool miracle for us. After that, we headed into Seoul for the conference on Wednesday... Good ol' 3 hour bus ride. Nice nap though..

Wednesday was mission conference with Elder Yamashita.  Really funny guy.  He gave a great training.  We did that from 9-5, then hopped on a bus back here.  Today was sweet though, I got to see all my buddies from the mission, some of them for the last time before they go home.   Man, so many people I've never seen, and I didn't realize I knew so many people, haha, some of them I haven't seen since I left Seoul last year, so that was cool for me.

Thursday we had just left the house when a random former investigator called and wanted to meet. So we hurried down to the church, met him at a cafe nearby, and then showed him the church... he said he didn't have much interest, but we think theres a little since he called us up to meet. Following him, we headed down to the catholic college.  Pretty good time, but a lot of people are bouncing town for vacation.  After, we were talking with people when one guy says he's busy, but his friend wants to meet us, so gave us both his and his friends numbers and then left.  After that was just good ol' English class.....

Friday we had weekly planning, and studies, and then we went and met 한웅(Han Oong). We met him when Elder Swan first came.  He is doing good. He wants to believe in God, but doesn't.  But he likes meeting us because he feels good around us and respects us.  That was cool to hear, so we will try to build off of that feeling with him.   Right after, we rode a taxi down to meet our referral from yesterday.  Really nice guy. 전동호 (Juhn Dohng Ho).   He met missionaries as a high schooler, but got busy so he quit meeting, and wanted to meet with us again, so he was pretty excited to meet us.  Nice guy, but reaaally likes to talk... a lot... about random stuff.  We managed to get across our goals with him, and expectations..

Saturday wasn't much. We had English, then met Thomas. We went and ate pizza together, then taught him the Plan of Salvation.  He took it really well and liked the fact of no heaven and hell.  We set a plan for him to get baptized in Guatemala, so hopefully that will go through.

Member hand-me-down Piano
Sunday we had church, then after 전동호 (Juhn Dohng Ho) met us, and we got the branch president to teach with us. It was good, but those two just talked together for 30-ish minutes about who knows what.  Random stuff I couldn't follow.  So, we eventually got around to a lesson, went well, says he's down for baptism. Not much else happened...

Well, love you all,
-Elder Mortensen

June 13, 2016 (Week 78)

June 13, 2016

Oki doki.
Branch President and Family
Monday, we went on the hike with the branch members. That was cool, good time. The festival was pretty sweet. A lot of sellers, some amusement rides, all that jazz.  There was more cultural stuff that we wanted to check out, but due to the hike, that was kinda hard.  After that was just Family Night.

Tuesday I was with Elder Coleman on exchanges.  That was a good time. Today we started out our advertising at the festival. We found a little bridge in the middle of the two walkways, so we set up camp there, and then advertised for Gospel and English, but when nobody really went for gospel, we focused more on English, since everybody here is affected by that.  It's hard to describe how much they study/like/need English. You walk down a street and can count more English academies than cars on the road it seems. After, we met So Hahn Suck, the 89 year old recent convert. Good man. Nothing else super special happened..

Wednesday was an interesting district meeting. I planned it all in just regular English, then just felt the need to do the whole thing in Korean, so it was a little rough, but it was good. Talked a lot about the Spirit.  There's a great talk called "Know thyself, control thyself, give thyself".  Kind of an older one, but really good.   After that, I did teaching program with sister Jo Hey Won. Pretty much role play the missionary lessons, memorize words, and work on better teaching. It's a pretty fun thing now, hated it as a greenie though.  Then we met Gayan. He is from Sri Lanka, and is studying here at school. Good guy. We talked about religion with him, comes from a Buddhist background but doesn't really care about religion, kinda just thinks all are good.  Hopefully he is willing to try out our church, not sure though, funny guy though.  We did a little advertising, then met Go Young Ook with sister Jo Young Ah. It was kind of awkward, we all sat on a bench outside his lab, read Enos, and tried to apply it to him.  It went over somewhat well, but after, she says,  "yeah, he doesn't have any interest, just English/friend interest. I kind of feared that already, but it was hard to hear. So we dropped him. We might visit occasionally, but teaching side is over... sad.

Thursday we did more advertise, and English class, nothing too special.

Friday we had weekly planning, then we went and did advertising, then came back ate, and walked to some less-actives houses again.. Again, nothing really special.

Saturday we had sports day with the entire church district (stake). We played soccer, tennis soccer, had a race (I came in second, behind Elder Coleman! wohoo, I'm not too out of shape!) and ate a ton of meat. More than healthy, thick bacon and duck meat... (duck is really good).   A kid named Thomas came, cool kid from Guatemala, he is here studying, and his family is all Korean.

Sunday Thomas came to church, that was cool. We had a good lunch, then advertised, then met Thomas again.  He is a normal 16 year old kid, likes books, games, pop culture, but seems to like our church.  Hopefully we can help him before he leaves next month.

Well, take care,
Elder Mortensen

June 6, 2016 (Week 77)

June 6, 2016

Ok... this week...

"Take up thy bed and walk"
Monday, we went and saw the ocean, ate a buffet. That was P-Day for us.  After that, we went and did flyer-ing for English class before Family Night.  Family Night we played baseball with a ping pong paddle and ball. Pretty fun time.  Our college buddy came again too!

Tuesday we went and had Pizza Hut (super expensive here. It's a nice sit down restaurant here.. ) with Jay Won. He lived in South Carolina for a couple years, Connecticut, and other places, so fluent at English. We've ran into him a couple times before, so we finally got an appointment with him! He was really cool, he took a Book of Mormon, read a little bit of it, and seemed to have interest. After that, we visited So Hahn Suck, the 89 recent convert.  Visiting him is always fun.  Everything he says is just, "well of course God made it that way, nothing else makes sense".  Such strong belief in everything we teach.  Then we just confirmed a couple more less-actives houses, then headed back for calls/dinner, regular proselyting.

Wednesday we had Zone meeting. That was cool. I got to sit with Elder Hall again.  He is doing good, loving it up in Soak Cho. The Zone training was weird.. .all about the "mysteries of God". I don't know,  Zone meetings are always kinda weird in general, that and President was here, so the zone leaders looked to him for everything.   After we got cancelled on twice, one guy just said "sorry, but I don't believe in God"... We went away thinking "so why did you agree to meet in the first place, then confirm it later??"  Man, this country sometimes... So we tried snack proselyting, but it was just the same high school students looking for a snack, like kids in Costco... Probably won't do that for a while again.

Thursday we went up to Joo Moon Jeen, toured around that area for a little, then came back for English class... Same old, same old.

Friday we went to the college but everybody has tests, so they won't meet us for a couple weeks.  Dang it, that's our whole teaching pool. We spent the night in that region.
Saturday and Sunday was prepping for the festival going on this week, making boards, planning, getting things done, nothing too cool.
Switching "L's" and "R's"

This week wasn't the most exciting, talking religion is hard with these people.. (they treat it like a business job.. I'll explain later... )

Love ya,
Elder M, over and out.