Thursday, March 29, 2012


Josh was able to get a memory card to us through a visiting member who lives in Provo.  Here's a recap of his time in Korea thus far:

On the plane to Korea
Meeting his first companion, Elder Dodd
His desk in his first apartment
Ready to head out in his first area, Gwangju (that's his rolled up bed on the right)
Keeping track of where they've been
Brrr - Korea is cold!
First baptism on Christmas Day
Transfer to Suwon with 2nd companion, Elder Carter
It's cold here, too!
And sometimes, you spill on your white shirt.  How will I ever get this out?
Playing basketball on p-day, and getting to see MTC companion, Elder Miller
Zone Conference
3rd transfer to Pyongtaek with Elder Scoville - still cold :)
Love being a missionary

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Guess what... It's TRANSFER DAY

AND NO! I did not get transfered. Me and Elder Scoville are still together for another 6 weeks!

Which is really exciting because we are starting to get along pretty well of late and ya, it's pretty nice.

But ya, we had a pretty solid last week, we worked hard and saw some cool miracles and stuff. Had some people just randomly come up and say they wanted to meet with missionaries and stuff, but that unfortunately is not the way that ended up, BUT they are still on the horizon so that is alright!

SO yes, I had one experience that I kinda wanted to talk about a bit this week so ya. So we are meeting with this guy who is a Jehovah's Witness guy. And he is really nice and really awesome but I am very, very, VERY confused at humanity as a whole. Maybe just because I grew up different but it is just boggling my MIND! AHHHHHHHHH......... so anywho, we have been meeting this guy on Friday's the last two weeks and it is SO hard not to Bible Bash with this guy.... (It's all in English so I could go AT IT). But we try to apply PMG where it says to use the Book of Mormon to respond to objections. SO we are doing it. It is so hard..... LIKE we try and share scriptures with him out of the Bible every now and again because he is like "We have to use the Bible because your book is just a story..." So we are like ok and we go and show him in the Bible about some of the things we teach. But it is ridiculous to me. Because he is trying to convince us that he is right and he always while he makes his points just makes these bold claims and then is like "I can prove this to you out of the Bible but it takes time" and he does this like at the beginning of our visits and it's just like...... why not? Make your point. Please. (That is one thing that I still am working on, little bit competitive 아찍도 그래요....) So ya. So we shared with him last time we met 2 Nephi 29 (censoring out the "Oh fools" part so as to not offend him) and had him read the verses that just logically explain the reason for the existence of the Book of Mormon. But he's just like automatically REJECTING it because it's the Book of Mormon. So I'm like, WHY?! GHAHHHHHHHHHHH 왜 그래???????????????????????????????????????????

SO I got home that day and during my hour of lunch time, I finished the Book of Mormon again. And I gotta say I love the Book of Mormon. It's so true! Gah, I love it so much. I love reading it and I love how seamlessly it works with the Bible (of late I have made a goal to read all the standard works while on my mission so I am currently in Leviticus and I have gotta say the Bible times were messed up, man. I finally got through the 18 chapters of how to do sacrifices and am now learning what merits the death penalty..... If we still lived by the Mosaic law this would be some very different times...) ANYWHO. Ya, it's like, why would someone read about that rather than read the Book of Mormon? The Book of Mormon is simple, fun, complete, spiritual, 또한 다르게 해석할 수 없다! So it is the best.

But ya..... so I just want to add my testimony to that of everyone else. The Book of Mormon is true. Read it, try to apply it, watch your life change. It's that simple. It's what I did :).

God lives, He loves us, He sent His son to die for us. Through His Atonement, we can be made clean. It is so cool, I experience it day after day. Especially of late it has become extremely important to me to have hope in Christ. Hope in His Atonement.

He lives. I know he does. Satan would have us think otherwise, Satan wants us to fail. But if we are strong, if we truly want to repent, if we sincerly come before Him with that Broken Heart and a Contrite Spirit, He WILL forgive us. I think the thing that I am learning now the most is that if He forgives us, it is up to us to forgive ourselves. A hard task. Harder than we might think.

But we can do it.

I love ya'll, I hope everything is going well at home!

Elder Josh

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Wow... 진짜!

Well, hello there people sitting at home... how are you doing? What's the weather like? What's school like? Are you all dead from running so stinking much? I mean seriously, you are getting a spot on the news because you run... that's not cool cause I'm fat and out of shape.....(WHICH by the way I am working on fixing..... I have started running on the treadmill in the mornings. I did almost 3k in 12ish minutes this morning which was cool because I haven't run in a while..... so ya!)

Sounds like that is definitely a crazy old week in the crazy young family full of just downright crazy people.... 아싸!!!!

So yes, I was going to include some pictures in this email BUT I realized I did not take any pictures this week.... I did take a video of me and those in my house bench pressing one another BUT... too big to send home.... SO sorry. But to make up for it I have a surprise! I found a way to get some stuff home to ya'll! So I will send home my old memory card (MTC through my 3rd transfer) and that has about 1000'ish pics SO I hope you enjoy that. I don't know when exactly you will get it but one of the members in the American Branch here lives above the temple and she is going back there on Wednesday, so I will make it a point to get some stuff in her suitcases that is homeward bound (she offered so I will take her up on it!)

Alrighty, so lets talk about my week shall we? Well, first let me find out about my week. *Erghm....* (pulls out planner) ALRIGHT.

So this week we did a lot of visiting Less Actives (because 90% of the members here in Korea are the aforementioned state, it is a good thing to do...) BUT they weren't home a lot. So we visited them and talked with people on the street as we went to and fro and yes. We didn't have a whole lot of lessons we could teach but we did get a couple lessons this week and it was pretty cool.

One of the people we have been trying to get reactivated is named 문성수. He is this cool guy in our ward and we actually were able to get him to come to church on Sunday! Well, at least sacrament, BUT we will take our victories where we can get them.... He is an interesting fellow, for example: LAST week as well, he said that he would come to church....BUT he missed... WHy you might ask? Well, he was in 인천 at an exorcism....he's very into the "supernatural" if you will. SO we are trying to get him reading the Book of Mormon and praying again and it has been quite a task. He's a fun guy, way nice, but a little stubborn. We will keep working on him though. He also has a WoW problem but we are working with him one step at a time. That'll have to come later, but it's funny just because we were walking with him to sacrament meeting and he was like "go ahead! I'll be just a second...." we are both thinking "NO you are RIGHT IN FRONT of the church. JUST COME IN." But ya he was like "I need to go smoke real quick..." So we waited while he smoked and then we went and got him into sacrament meeting. I sat by him and started to get a headache from the fumes (which is probably from that and also the unpredicted spontaneous waking up in the middle of the night for NO apparent reason.... been going on for a while now. If ya'll could pray that I could get a full night of sleep that'd be appreciated)

But yes. That is him. He's a way cool guy way nice. Just a little confused/stubborn (he actually said so himself) so ya! If you could keep him in your prayers that'd be awesome (for those of you who can't read 한글 (family you better be able to by now I've been here for 8 months) that is pronounced Moon Sung Soo).

So ya! That is the highlight of the week pretty much, not very eventful but ya. Well. we actually did have one other experience this week. On Friday morning we got a call from one of the members in the American branch and he wanted us to come meet this Jehovah's Witness guy who has been coming over to his house and trying to convert him to J-Dub'ism (very common here for some reason, at least if they don't live on the base).... So we went over and talked with this guy and he had a BUNCH of questions and all. So we just basically spent some time answering questions. But it really opened my mind to just how much confusion there is about the church all over the world. It is amazing how much misinformation is out there. He thought that we were like soldiers, that we got like a severance package when we got home and didn't have to do anything because we served a mission. Also it is just dumb how people just try to find everything that is wrong with our church (for example, he asked us if our leaders when they go to different contries fly economic or buisness class..... just to then point out that every single time one of THEIR leaders went someplace they flew economic class because you know that's just the thing you have to do if you wanna be a good person). It is just weird.

Anywho, I have been reading in the Book of Mormon a LOT lately (in fact, I have a goal to finish it this week) and it is just CRAZY. I have learned so much, I love the BoM it is so cool to read. I am actually reading right now in 3 Nephi where Christ is teaching the people. It has been a pleasure to read about Christ and learn about His life. I wanna be more like Him. I wanna know Him better, I have recently come to a realization of the fact that I don't know Him nearly as well as I would like to. SO I will be studying a LOT more. I'm excited.

It has been a crazy time here in Korea and as I am sitting here in the email place there is a really cute dog sitting right next to me and I kinda want to pet it. It is so small. AHHHHH so cute. Wow........ my bad haha.

I will try and send some letters home with this lady that's headed home so I will look forward to hearing from ya'll next week!

Love you tons, remember that the church is true. The Book of Mormon is God's word. He lives, He loves us. He knows our weaknesses but has promised that if we will take our weaknesses and go to Him, He will make them strengths. I have found a lot of comfort in that especially of late. I pray for ya every day. I hope that you will remember that God lives and will help you on condition that you ask. Please ask, be the person God wants to help you be. It's so much easier than doing what I did. Just listen, be obedient, have the courage to do it even
when it's hard (that one is more for me than for you but ya :))

Love ya'll,
Elder Josh

Monday, March 12, 2012

Hum..... revival?

Well, hello this week! It has been a wild ride to say the least and I can't tell you how crazy it has been. I have been on all sorts of ups and downs of late so I guess I will tell you about them!

This week started off well. Me and Elder Scoville talked on Tuesday and got stuff straightened out. We are still working out the logistics but besides that life is still pretty much the same (only BETTER because we got the spirit back in our companionship). It was awesome.

We were working really good and all this week and then Elder Scoville got SICK! AHhhhh!!! Noooo!!!! SO long story short, I spent a LOT of time on the phone calling through the old investigators who we have (one of whom we are meeting tonight!) It was a fun old time though.

So we have been trying to teach all of our investigators this week really well and it started off great! We had an awesome lesson with one of our investigators and he felt and recognized the spirit and everything, it was AWESOME! But later that week as we tried to get in contact with him to meet again we couldn't.... so we got in contact with one of his friends and apparently the two of them heard bad things about our church from one of their friends and don't want to meet. The one who had the awesome lesson has blocked us and we aren't 100% sure that we will ever be able to contact him again... so we are a little nervous. Then to add on top of all of that we aren't able to meet with like any of our investigators for some reason. They all just won't respond to our messages or are too busy to meet. SO we tried to work with our ward and get some people from them to teach but we haven't been able to. It's been really frustrating.

But there were 2 really cool miracles this week.

1) We met with this new investigator named Zachary. He is a referral from one of the 2 military branches that we cover and he is sooooooo cool! He is so willing and awesome I loved meeting with him. He's way cool!

2) On Sunday we went to church and all and we were just doing stuff and I had to go to the bathroom. So I went in there and I'm standing at the urinal and our Bishop walks in and uses the stall next to me. We start talking a bit (this isn't weird, just deal with it, it's either detailed or its not :)) and he is like "Hey, will you and Elder Scoville come to my office real quick?" So I said sure (finished my business) and went and got Elder Scoville. As we were meeting with the bishop he said that he had been to the temple on Saturday and had been doing a lot of thinking about Missionary Work! (which is oddly coincidental because me and Elder Scoville were really frustrated with how to get to work with our ward better on Saturday). He said that while he was in the temple that he felt like the agenda (I can't remember the exact translation of the word he used but that's about it) of the missionaries and the agenda of the ward and the agenda of the mission leader, were 3 different things. And we need to make them 1! SO we were way stoked because we hadn't seen this fire out of him since I've been here! SO it was way WAY cool. He told us that over the next 3 weeks that he would be interviewing all of the members of the ward making sure that they understand that they have a duty to do missionary work and setting individual goals with EACH of them to see to it that we get 소개's from ALL of them.

Needless to say I'm excited.

He gave us some other requests that we are working on so far this week and it has been cool! I have a feeling that the sun may be beginning to peak over the mountains as far as missionary work in this area goes. It has a BRIGHT future if that is the attitude the Bishop has!

And the reason that I called this email Revival is because on Sunday is when all this good happened!

So ya!

That is so exciting to hear about everything that is going on at home! I saw Katie Gallagher is off her mission! That is weird..... really weird..... but ya! Mom/Dad are in better shape than Jenna/Kellie......that is kind of shocking..... JENNA AND KELLIE YOU GOTTA REPRESENT!!!  I CAN'T BE THERE TO KICK THEIR BOOTYS YOU'VE GOT TO DO IT!

Glad to hear that Alissa is beasting it on the cello! If you want to have a really cool thing to play together (Mom/Alissa or I guess also Kellie/(Mom/Alissa) you should do John Schmidts Love Story meets Viva la Vida together! That'd be way cool!) Also, Alissa is our athletics boss right now eh? Glad to hear it! Keep killing them sissa!

Katie bug is a trumpeter eh? Well, good for her! That is so exciting that she is going to be a marcher! Just like her Mom! That is fun.

I have not gotten anything as far as the mail goes of late and I think it might be because the mission office is either A) on strike or B) doing something different with mail or C) just hasn't gotten anything yet. I was really depressed/surprised this week because NO ONE in our 4 man  house got mail after Tuesday. SO we were confused. Like all of us......

Now I do have to say sorry for the pictures. I bought a new SD card for my camera and I don't think the card reader can read it (something about the SDHC internal electronics being different or something). I am going to nab Elder Jolley's cable tonight and I will send you some pics around 5 o'clockish here. I PROMISE we already made plans!

The language is going well. I remember that you had asked about that and ya.... It is going well. Korean is hard. Like REALLY hard. Because there is a million ways to say the same thing.... and then you have to adjust to all the regional stuff... and ya.......... Long story short, there is a reason why it is considered the hardest language in the world.... PLUS the pronunciation is ridiculous. It blows my mind to say the least but ya! It is coming along, slowly but surely. I really have been blessed with a gift because it is coming really REALLY fast (there is just an infinite well of things to still get./.......). But ya! Keep praying for me I need all the help I can get!

I love ya'll so much and I gotta say I am looking forward to hearing from ya soon! I love serving as a missionary, every day brings it's own set of adventures and trials but every day is so rewarding!

Love ya'll so much!
Elder Josh

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Another week here in 평택... Or I guess for those who can't read Korean, that's PyeongTaek

So ya, what's going on!? It is such an awesome day to be emailing once again (I thoroughly enjoy email can't you tell?) AND I was totally going to send some pictures this week but for some stupid reason my card reader that I am using does not read my card........)

So yes, it was another fun week here in the MISSION FIELD! I thoroughly have been enjoying things and it is just a wonderful time here. I however had a pretty rough week as far as appointments and investigators and stuff goes but because it is in the mission field I guess it's ok! So ya!

So I don't have a lot of stories this week because well we didn't get to do a whole lot of teaching this week. We were constantly out trying to find people but it yeilded little to no results. Met some way cool people and all but as far as actually getting the work moving here this week it has been kinda hard. People didn't answer phone calls and were busy and all so it has been sort of difficult. But anywho, ya!

My week was actually spent a lot of time out of my area. On Monday I went to 대전 [Daejeon] and fixed Sister Furniss's computer, Tuesday went to 수원 [Suwon] for a meeting and then on Wednesday I went to 안성 for a split. SO I didn't actually get back to my area and be able to work till Thursday! SO ya. It has been a busy week as far as travel goes and in all the meetings and stuff I learned quite a bit that I will try and apply in missionary work over the next bit.

SO yes. Recently I read in Alma 32 about faith and I LOVED it. Those verses from verse 27 on have been a comfort to me on SO many different days and it's weird how it constantly seems to come like when I need it the most! So I would encourage you all to read Alma 32 soon and I know that it can be a help in your lives like it has been in mine.

I love ya'll so much, so this letter is short this week was just WAHHH. Hope you have an awesome upcoming week and I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Elder Josh