Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween

Dear Ya'll!

First of all I would like to say HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

I hope you are all going to have an amazing day as Mom said filled with candy and chili and costumes and ghosts and fun! It is gonna be an awesome day for you I already know it (Probably because it's going on right now!)
As for me I am just here in 첨단 slaving away as usual! We are actually having a Halloween party tonight that we aren't 100% positive if we are going to be able to go or not but hopefully we will and If we can that'll be way sick!
Well yes, I am going to tell you about some experiences that I have had this week so lets get started!!

First of all we have my investigators. It has been a hard week and a good week at the same time with the 구도자's We have had alot of stuff going on. So first of all we have the Mother and her son that I told you about last week. We were only able to meet with them once and unfortunately we didn't get to teach a lesson because the Mom (the one with the real interest) wasn't there. So we chilled with her son got to know him a little better and just kind of hung out. It was disappointing but we still did get to go and they still want to meet with us so I guess taht is good! It is actually his birthday today so happy birthday to him!

Next off an investigator we got off of a 소개. He is way cool but we aren't sure about his interest in the church or not. Some days are really way good and others not so much. For example, we actually commited him to be baptized on the 27th of November. It was an awesome lesson, the spirit was there and he seemed really excited, so we invited him to come to church. So here we are: two smiling happy missionaries and what happens? He doesn't come to church, he's backing out of an activity that we invited him to and ya.... We are kind of confused but we shall keep working with him. Hopefully we will see some success there. He is a really good kid with a desire to change. We definitely figured that much out, we just gotta help him understand that coming to church and stuff is going to definitely increase the speed of that process. He's a way cool guy though (bought my companion a cake for his birthday on the 26th of this month HAPPY BIRTHDAY ELDER DODD!) but ya.

The next investigator that we have is a professor at a college. He is way cool, a really really nice guy with a big heart. He is Catholic and shares a lot of our beliefs but he has been reading the Book of Mormon and he is starting to really like it. It's way cool, but hopefully we can help him out. It would be so good to see him gain a testimony of the BoM and not just like it. Hopefully we shall see that happen soon :) Prayers for him!

We do have one guy who is way cool. He is a student at a university who is a brilliant guy with history. But he kinda isn't 100%. He really wants to join the church though and we are working to get him prepared. We had him interviewed by the bishop here and the bishop basically said that it is ultimately our choice as the missionaries. We will be working with him a lot. He's a nice guy, just not sure yet. But ya! Prayers for Elder Dodd and I; we need some guidance with him.

So those are our investigators at this point. We are working hard and things are going well between us (it's funny how a good companionship inventory can do that). We have had a couple hard days (namely Saturday and Sunday. All of our appointments on those two days just like crapped out. We had a guy fake us twice! GAH) But ya, loving it out here.

The language is coming slowly, but still it is coming. Our mission has this pass off thing that president wants all the missionaries to do so I can't really do as much of the study that I want (in fact I can't do any till I finish) so I am working on trying to get that done! it has been good though, I am learning quite a bit. I really just need to get off this 12 week program thing that I am currently on (MTC Infield Program, it's like they are trying to like break us into the field and stuff and have us start taking the lead in stuff. But my companion when he saw that I could speak a little bit (Brother Davis, Sister Corrigan just FYI they are all amazed at our 동이's Korean abilities thank you so much!) he just made me start doing stuff I didn't need to get broken in I just was like LETS DO IT!). I have 2 hours of comp study, then an hour of language. Most days we don't get out of the house till like 1. But recently we have had a lot of morning apts so I haven't been able to do my language because of the two hours of comp study.... It's hard...

But ya I am learning I can promise you that much! If you can send me more pics of fam and basketball and really anything at all that would be nice. I am putting them on my translator (which I am using a ton thanks so much!) and I can kinda show them to people. It's nice. Gotta build that relationship with people then people really do open up with you it's way cool. This will be a great P-Day I feel so I love ya all! OH if you wanted to email me a zip with some more music (Like Josh Groban'esque stuff I got some from my companion but anything there. OR like tons of cool arrangements of hymns, Let zion in her beauty rise, how firm a foundation, I know that my redeemer lives that kind of stuff) I would be gratefull I could use some more tunes (we listen to music while we study and contact formers and stuff some more would be nice :)) But ya!

Love ya all so much thank you for everything you do for me! I hope to hear from ya'll soon!

크라우더 장로! ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ

Monday, October 24, 2011

Reporting In

Dear Mom,

Well, goodness gracious I open up my mailbox to like 6 emails!!! HOLY COW! That was pretty exciting I have got to say. It has been crazy to say the least so I will answer your questions then tell you about 2 of my investigators.

My first day in Korea was spent at the mission home, that was pretty nuts. We just kinda chilled and got a bunch of orientation. Not a whole lot went on, we interviewed with President Furniss and I have decided that he is just straight up the best. He is so cool and so powerful yet at the same time he's just like a really close friend already. It is way awesome and I have a feeling I am just going to come to love him more and more.

My first area is called 첨단 [Cheom Dan] it is the 광주 [Gwang Ju] city and it is WAY cool. [NOTE FROM KRIS: If anyone knows the English verison of these names, we would really appreciate it if you'd let us know! - Follow up: Thanks to Helena who gave us the names of these cities!!] I love the apartment, it is small but we have a sweet shower where I can shower as long as I like and we have our own washer so all is well there. Weather isn't all that bad at this point although my guess is that it is going to get really really cold REALLY fast.

Next up YES, I am much taller than about 90% of the people that I've seen. The only ones that have been taller are the ones in my mission and the occasional GIANT Korean person. So ya, and do people stare... Yes... They don't stop.... like ever... OH and they also run away when they see us coming (at least the students do, especially if we have talked to them once already). We don't do much knocking doors, just street contacting because we would like have to get permission from an apt manager to knock doors because everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) lives in an apartment here. There aren't any houses that I know of.

When my companion and I teach it actually is really balanced. Apparently according to Elder Dodd I speak and understand better than any new missionary he has known so when we teach it is really balanced and we try to play off each other. My problem largely is understanding what the 구도자's [investigators] say because I have to like understand accents and stuff. So ya that's fun!

My day is spent like as follows:
6:30 Wake up
7-11 Study (We have 2 hours of companion study most days because of the infield orientation stuff the MTC gave us)
11:30 ish We eat lunch
12:30 ish We are out to appointments and 전도 [street contacting] and visiting members and stuff.
5 We eat Dinner
6-9(9:30) More appointments 전도 and such.
10-10:30 Try to stay awake till Elder Dodd gets out of the shower (I fail at this a lot)
10:30 BED

My ward is the 첨단 ward. We are the only elders in the ward and they are a sports ward. Like epically competitive and ya, we actually had a big stake activity this last Saturday that I have a funny story from. When we were at the activity we were doing a game where we did piggyback ride races. Long story short, I took two steps, leaned too far forward, and now I have a gauze pad on my right knee because I straight up died. It is actually pretty gross, it like leaks this fluid all day and is kinda nasty. I am getting better though; as long as it doesn't get infected at all I should be fine (at least that's what Sister Furniss says) so I should have a pretty sick scar when I get back. But ya!

So the two investigators I wanted to tell you about are a mother and her son. They are SO cool. She grew up with a member and he has explained about the church to her all through their lives together in school and all that. She is WAY interested in the Gospel (Interested enough infact that she took us out to dinner at OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE. It was like amazing I have got to say). She is so awesome. She basically said that she knows in her head that the LDS saints are good people and she just wants to know in her heart. SO! We have just got to get her to feel that awesome spirit. I am so excited and we should get to meet with them pretty soon actually so I'm excited!

That is about the gist of my week. I love ya all so much and thank you for the Christmas present! I love it so much, it is a big help. I am using it often and it will be a big help in the future (especially after I finish pass-off which is this program that the Mission President gave to us so that we can learn Korean better, I think I'll get to use it even more after I get that all done!). It has been fun and I am looking forward to some letters one of these days! Hopefully one of these days mail will come! Oh, and if you are happening to be sending me a package soon I could use some cereal, it is CRAZY expensive here and it is what we eat for breakfast hahahahaha!
I love ya so much and I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Elder Josh Crowther

[Josh sent a separate email to his dad answering his questions. Here is some of that:]

Daily diet is pretty sketch, a lot of rice but we eat with members WAY often. In fact, we eat with members ALL THE time. It is pretty nice. I have already eaten like squid and stuff it's pretty odd.

Language is coming slowly, I have to do pass-off first but then I think that it will really take off because I will understand more and can learn new words instead of just memorizing stuff. It is pretty scary to speak Korean but I think it will get easier. My understanding is coming, it is definitely better than it was but ya I just gotta keep at it!

I teach all the time! We see the other missionaries on Mondays and Tuesdays (Mondays because it's P-Day and Tuesdays is District meeting) I actually met a missionary who is a friend of San Ha's! So I somehow gotta get a hold of that kid :) If you could help me out that'd be awesome!

It takes about 2 weeks to get letters to me (I think I'm not sure. I haven't gotten mail yet). The letters first go to the mission office, then they forward them out so it is a bit delayed but it still does work. My companion got mail just the other day so I know it does work!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

First P-day in Korea

Dear Family,

Well, here I am on my first P-Day in Korea!!! It is pretty sick if I do say so myself. A lot has been goin on and I am not exactly sure how to get it all in! So I shall do the best that I can :).

So first of all my new companion. His name is Elder Dodd and due to the fact that we are having like security issues or something (I am not really sure as to what it is just sketchy) I can't tell you a whole lot about him. He's way tight though and we are doing a lot of really good work.

We've been out just working like good old missionaries do. It has been pretty sick if I do say so myself. I have just loved every minute of it. My legs are already getting way sore from so much 전도'ing but I am loving it. I have been speaking a lot of Korean, not so much to my companion as to ward members. I am making friends in the ward with people like the Bishopric and such, it is pretty nuts. I am also making some friends among the young mens organization, so lots of the priests are pretty tight and we are going to be playing basketball/soccer with them on Saturday I think. That has been nice.

We have been eating at a lot of members houses and it has been really awesome. I frankly love Korean food so much it is just boss, but then again I haven't really gotten to anything to weird yet, so lifes ok there. It has been pretty safe. I could have tried squid at church on Sunday but I backed down (they can't tell me what it is otherwise I'll trip). I just need to not know and I think things will be fine because they kill everything with sauce which is way nice. I love it though.

We have met with 4 investigators up to this point (we are diligently searching for more) but the last 2 we just barely got and they were a referral from a member. Oh my gosh, they are so awesome! She is kinda hesitant to get started learning about the church but she does want to learn so me and my companion will work on it! Ahhh, she and her son are so cool though, love them!

The thing that I think that I am coming to realize more and more is that Korean is really hard haha! It has been ridiculous trying to learn more and right now I am just trying to get my mind used to hearing a lot of Korean so that I can actually contribute a little more. But I do street contact by myself and that is definitely helping (I think some old man thought I was an idiot and couldn't understand ANYTHING so he basically just told me that Americans are all Fat....He was hilarious....)

So yes it has been pretty sick out here. I am looking to keep working hard and hopefully this Wednesday we will get to see some of the fruits of our labors. We teach an English class so it'll be nice to see if anyone we contacted actually comes :). So ya!

Loving it out here, I hope all is well at home. I'm sorry to hear that Alissa was getting picked on, tell her that if I was there I would give those boys a firm talking too....... Hope she gets better. Wish all the girls luck for me as they start basketball. I hope that Jenna and Kellie start :) Ahhhh that'd be so cool.

Love ya all so much, I know the church is true! Take care of yourselves!

Elder Crowther

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I'm in Korea!

Hey Ya'll

Well I am officially here in Korea now! I made it safely and life is going great! Already have had some fun experiences here but I will tell you more about that in a sec.

Just wanted to say thank you to all of you and all that you have done for me, I am sorry to mom and dad but NEITHER of you picked up your phones. I hope a message was ok with you both.

In the airport me and my companion went and contacted a guy! It was so cool, we talked to him about the church and what we do and everything. He was so nice and awesome I loved it! I get to do it in Korean tonight so we shall see how that goes.

So ya plane flight was crazy long, and not that comfortable but it was chill anyways. Got here in about 12.5 hrs, we traveled like 12000 miles to get here it was pretty ridiculous! I was crammed into that lttle seat for a very long time!

I slept like a baby though. Last night was WONDERFUL oh my goodness gracious it was just so wonderful I can't even describe it. Sleep is something that I will forever treasure I think. Gah!

So ya, I want to say I already LOVE my mission president. He is soooooo cool! Wow, I got to sit by him on the bus ride from the airport back to our mission. We talked about all sorts of stuff and he is just the coolest guy EVER! I look forward to getting to know him more!

So this morning we went to a Korean bathhouse. Basically it's a big room with a bunch of guys showering and sitting in pools and doing the sauna and all sorts of cool stuff. It rocks, I love it, best way to wake up in the morning. Gah, it was so good.

I'll let you know more about my adventures on Monday (Because I'm sure that there will be more) but ya I love you all. The church is true and life is AWESOME!

크가우더 장로!

Picture: Mark and Julie Ann Furniss (Josh's mission president and his wife)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Last email from the MTC - 6 days to departure

Dear Everyone!!!

Well ya here I am with 6 days left in the MTC basically and I'm going nuts to say the least! I have gotta keep my head though and stay focused because quite honestly I think I am gonna go insane if I don't. It has been quite the experience here in the MTC and I am loving it but am very much ready to get to the field and do this.

Well family since there are SO MANY STINKING QUESTIONS!!! I will begin to answer them now and give myself more time to think of a story or two for the week.

@Dad: Conference was a blast. I am now desperately in need of a new journal as I go into the Field seeing as how I took all my conference notes in my journal (They are just that important) and so ya, 20 pages of notes later I am running out of space. We viewed conference in 19M big gym and everything and that was awesome; saw a lot of people, lot of interesting conversations and got some fun pics (Elder Plummer, Elder Blackham, Elder Frazier, Elder Turner, Elder Bateman LOTS of elders that I know by one way or another. I have some pics but I am waiting till next week to send them home seeing as how I won't have to pay to print off a CD). As to your flight plan question, I will answer that in a minute. Basketball stories are scarce this week seeing as how I didn't play a whole lot. Lots of soccer (I am going to Korea) and so I've been doing that quite a bit. I'll take a picture of my knee, I totally jacked it up playing but ya. I do, though, have to say that I had my first "+10 blocks in one game" game (and seeing as how we only play to 7 that's pretty good). It was a slaughter to say the least and I discovered that I can get my hand about 11-12 feet in the air if you just let me set up for a jump and I got some adrenaline. That's pretty fun.

@Mom: To be perfectly honest there isn't a whole lot I want for Christmas. I'm on a MISSION! That's my present most of all, but as to things I could use. I need a translator and I am planning on buying one sometime next week in Korea so I'm gonna be needing some money. And I kinda am down to like 100 dollars (which is my emergency money) because I've been using my "cash" for "needed" things (Temple Breakfast, Dry Cleaning...Lamination...Things missionaries need ya know?) So ya I kinda am worried about that but not too bad. Just thought I'd let ya'll know. But ya I don't know how much translators run in Korea but I will need to be getting one in a very very short timeframe so... just a heads up. BUT if you are gonna send me an email saying "I WANNA KNOW WHAT YOU WANT" then I will have to say I want a shiny Korean suit. The nice kind that is all tailored and pretty :) So ya :)

@Jenna: Yes, Jenna, I did get your letter! I haven't had a whole lot of time to do responses to stuff because well frankly, even on P-Day "Personal Time" is usually being dominated by prep and other stuff we have to do. So I apologize for not being as diligent about my responses as I could have been. Today though I promise I will write everyone in my family a letter because well, honestly, I've been meaning to and I just kinda forget. I'm sorry, I'm a lot absent minded and ya. :) So I will make sure you all get your letters this week. Leaving the MTC is just straight up exciting though and I am so ready to go! Living with a companion is different ya, but it's fun to always have someone who (like it or not) gets to stick around you all the time so I get to talk a lot. Which is chill in my book. As to my companion in Korea, I honestly have... No idea. I hope it's a native Korean, because that would be a crazy challenge but I would learn a lot really fast and it would be really good I think. So ya!

@Kellie: Let's see, who has been writing me? I'll give you a list of who I can think of... this week though has been pretty scarce, for my whole district. So I think I got a DearElder like 2 weeks ago from Daniella, I got a letter from Estee a while back, Victoria wrote me about a month ago, Shannon about 2 weeks. Cam wrote me last night though and that is actually one of the emails I need to be sure to send today. So ya :). YES I am definitely gonna be a missionary for Halloween, I'm gonna wear the tag and everything! It's gonna be so cool. I actually get new tags when I get to Korea, sooooo... I am probably gonna send my current set of tags home (Mom, don't let the girls break them, they are very precious to me, just ask Dad about his). So ya :) And yes.... I have tried the Orange Juice, and honestly NOTHING HAPPENED. That was like the biggest bummer ever, everyone talked it up and it is really nothing at all. Although the powerade is boss and Chocolate Milk is pretty dang beast too :)

@Alissa: My favorite part of conference.... That's a tough one Siss, i'm gonna have to say that I liked two parts: I liked J. Devin Cornish's talk when he talked about how because God is our Father the things that are important to us become important to Him and He's willing to help us out with that. That was really cool, then the other one was Henry B Eyring's talk on the Book of Mormon. I had actually been praying a lot about the BoM (I'll talk about that more later too :)). So that talk was very helpful and an answer to a prayer. Favorite part of the MTC..... That's tough, probably my teachers. They are amazing. Brother Davis, and Sister Corrigan. They are so helpful and such good teachers. I love em both and have learned SOOOOOO much from them it is ridiculous. I love it :)

@Katie: yes, bug, I'm gonna remember your birthday, don't you worry. I already know what I'm gonna do. :) But it's gonna be a little early because I can't exactly send it out and have it get there when I want. So you'll get it pretty soon. Don't you worry :)

So ya, that is everyone's questions-- hope ya'll are happy with the responses so ya!

Now the two exciting things:
First off....
I GOT FLIGHT PLANS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

so ya let me describe them to ya'll:
Leave Salt Lake City, UT (at 11:15 AM) and Fly to San Francisco, CA (arrive at 12:18 PM [local time????])
Leave San Francisco, CA (at 2:10 PM 10/10/11) and Fly to Seoul, Korea (Arrive at 6:35 PM 10/11/11) -> That's gonna be a long old flight

So ya that is the plan. And it is getting closer and closer every day I love it! So ya! I am planning on calling family when I get to California, because that's when I know I'll have the most time (I am gonna need a phone card I'll see what I can do though, I still have to dry clean another suit....)

So that is that. It is so exciting! AHHHH!

Secondly, I promised a story, so here it is....
Last week I lost my suit. (Yah I know right?) I gave it to the dry cleaners and they just straight up lost it. So after checking with the dry cleaning office every day for 6 days I finally found it! Take a guess at what happened.... Me and one of my companions went to the office and turned in our suits, he is a 1 suit elder and I am a 2 suit elder. So his suit gets rushed. Well, they rushed his suit, under my name. And then delayed his...... SO I got it back and it's all pretty but I now know the people at the dry cleaning office and how they do their jobs :) I just have spent that much time there haha! SO ya that's one of the stories. And second of all, we have had some native Koreans with us the last 2 weeks. They are HILARIOUS. Oh my it is awesome, but ya so we kinda got in trouble with the security office because we kinda were screaming REALLY STINKING LOUD (for all my Korean friends we played Shocking and then we played 007. I'll send home pictures of my back after we played. I got destroyed). So ya the security guys came and told us to be quiet haha. So ya that wasn't so good, but hey, it was a fun game anywho! And we have since toned things down again so we don't play those games anymore. But ya so that's been that!

And lastly...
I don't know who reads these letters and frankly I appreciate very much all who do! It is great to have people who care enough to keep track of where I am.
But I thought that today would be a good time to issue a challenge.
As I have been studying these last 12 weeks I have really come to realize the importance of the Book of Mormon in my life. It brings more peace and comfort than any other book on this earth. As I have been studying I have prayed to know that it is true. And I think It was said best at conference "We must either decide that the Book of Mormon is from God, or from the Devil." There is no middle ground. Not with this. I know it's of God, it has brought me comfort in times in my life when all that I had and wanted came tumbling to the ground. With my Struggles, with my Sins, with everything that I do. The Book of Mormon can bring peace to our souls in a way that nothing else can. The Book of Mormon is the Word of God. I know that to be true, I have tested the promise in Moroni 10:3-5, and I know for a fact that if we sincerely want to change, if we sincerely want to have God's love in our life, if we will do WHATEVER IT TAKES to come to know Him, that God, our Eternal Father in Heaven, will answer our prayers. I know that to be true. That is the message I am taking to Korea, that I know it's true and by that fact I know this church is true. That Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God and that he receives revelation from Him for us. I know God is guiding this church and I pray for your prayers as I go to share this message. I know it's true, and gosh dangit if you don't sit down and find out. We must decide if it's from God or the Devil, that is our choice. But anyone who honestly and truly reads that book can only come to one conclusion. It's from God. I know that to be true, and I testify of these things in the name of our Savior and Friend, Jesus Christ. Amen.