Sunday, August 26, 2012

Seriously Miracle Week

Wow, It was an amazing week. Like I can't even begin to explain it, it was so awesome. But now that I think of it most of the miracles happened between Wednesday to Sunday. 

But ya let me tell you about them....

So first of all on Wednesday we met with 성충모 and he asked about baptism again. So we went over all of the different commandments and stuff to see if he was ready or not and then we told him we would schedule an interview. So we did. It was on that Friday. So we went a couple of days, just called him and stuff and then Friday rolled around. So we had the baptismal interview and it turns out...... HE PASSED!

So we got the 침례식 all prepared and it was awesome. He had such a good baptism. He was visibly happier afterwards. Although he still has a long way to go (he has a lot of things he just doesn't know but he's humble and said he wants to learn more) I am confident he will make it. We have one of the members in our ward who will take really good care of him and that'll be such a blessing. But I did get a chance to baptize him so I got to bust out the baptism clothes and it truly was an awesome experience. He is such a good man. Love him. We then got the opportunity then next day in sacrament meeting to confirm him a member of the church and give him the Gift of the Holy Ghost. It was so good! Gah!!! 

It was also awesome because on the day that I went to the baptism, before we did I get a friendly visit from one of the coolest people in the country! 황성규 (I baptized him in 첨단) had his day off from 군대 and just happens to be stationed in 대전! So he called us and him and his Mom (who Elder 구 actually got a chance to work with and see her baptized) met us and took us out for lunch! Ahhhh it was SO good! The food was good too, but I missed them soooooo much! It was so good to see them and get to talk to them and it was just such a blessing. It truly was a day of miracles for me. It was hilarious 황성규b and I just were talking and it was just like "is this real??" it was so cool. So awesome to see him. He looks like a stud in his military uniform too, he has a hat and everything (see the attached pics). But it was such a blessing to me. Loved it.

But ya, it was just an awesome week. I can't remember a whole lot besides that but it really was an awesome experience to get to be here last week. I really appreciated it and I am thankful to my Father in Heaven for the opportunity that I had to be here serving in this area at this time this week.

I also got your package that you sent me! I really loved the pictures of ya'll at Lake Powell (although I am really jealous). It's good to see pictures of all of you in your "natural environment". It is fun.

I do indeed love hearing about all the fun stuff going on at home. I love it, it's so fun. I hope all of you had an AWESOME time this week (definitely looks like it) and I look forward to hearing from you next week. Remember that this gospel is true. Love ya'll, hope you remember that!

Elder Josh!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Wow.... this week was.... nuts.... 피곤....자고 싶어....NOT!!!

hahaha Hello there family! It has been an absolutely crazy week here in the office and I just was going absolutely nuts. We were so explainably busy It was insane. Just absolutely insane.

Anyways this week was Zone Conference week and so because of that we were just crazy busy in and of itself. BUT like I said we had a new member to our companionship last week: Elder Jarnagin. Boy, let me tell ya. We had a good week.

We started off with making a couple trips to the hospital. We were at the hospital/physical therapy/acupuncture/etc almost every day getting one treatment or another. It was really crazy. I learned a whole lot about the hospitals here and just how nice it is here (medical stuff is so cheap and we went to the acupuncture place like three times and there was never any charge just because we have a good relationship with the member who works there. It was way cool. But I did however get a little light headed at seeing him shove all the needles in him.... also he did this suction thing that was really gross that I was just like "alright no more I am gonna go sit down... Elder 구 go translate" and ya. Some crazy experiences at the hospital (one being that when we went there to get physical therapy and all that stuff that we just kinda went and said give us therapy and they pulled some strings and did it, way legit you have no idea!).

But ya this weeks rays of sunshine (there were two this week) were our two investigators 성충모 and 황준영. Probably two of the coolest people ever. Both of whom have a desire to be baptized and we are working on getting them prepared to go. I especially have been loving teaching 황준영. He is an absolute stud when it comes to the Book of Mormon. He reads every day. EVERY single day. And he always has thoughts or comments or some way that he can get the message/principles that are being taught in the chapter and understand/apply them. He is so cool! SO we just keep teaching him and we have lately been teaching all the lessons just through the Book of Mormon with him because it is just so good! He understands and it seems like he is really trying to find out if this is the right thing for him to do or not. It is quite the miracle to see it in action to be honest I really love it, we don't have to say or expound very much at all. We just read the BoM and bear testimony of it with him and he just gets it! It is absolutely the best.

The other beam was 성충모. He has been such a stud and has come out to church the last 3 weeks. Even though he hasn't been able to make it to all of sacrament once yet (he's so close though I have got to say). He is such an honest and good man. He has a concern about the Word of Wisdom. Not because he is an addict but just because if he is going to commit to do something he wants to commit to something that he knows that he can do 100%. He doesn't want to make any mistakes there. Which is so awesome. We are meeting with him and he has been coming out to church lately which has been absolutely wonderful and I feel like if we teach him right and if we have the spirit with us when we teach that he will really feel like he can do it. He is such a good guy. So humble and is willing to learn. I love working with him it truly is a pleasure to me. 

So this week I two experiences that I wanted to share. The first was really powerful to me and just made me glad that I am in the awesome companionship of priesthood holders that I am. Sister Furniss at the beginning of this week was truly sick and by tuesday she was not feeling or looking very good at all. We had decided to take her to the hospital that day but she said she would try and give it one more day before we went. So we did. And when we woke up the next morning we got a call from Sister Furniss saying that we needed to get to the hospital that she wasn't feeling good at all. So we went over to her house and she was all ready to go. But before we went she asked if we would give her a blessing. Now to be honest that is the first blessing that I have given since I came to the mission field. I really was preparing and was praying for the spirit to be with us as Elder 구 annointed her with oil and then I gave her a blessing. I totally believe that I was guided by the spirit to say the things that I said. Coincidentally this week I had listened to a couple talks about the priesthood and using it and I really had a lot of faith that the blessing would work. So we gave her a blessing and then took her to the hospital. They went in and gave her an IV to get her some nutrients (she hadn't eaten anything substancial in like 8 days) it ended up that me and Elder Jarnagin went back to the Office while Elder 구 stayed with her to translate. So as we left I just was praying and praying and about lunch time that day I got a call from Elder 구 and they were on their way back! When they got here Sister Furniss looked so much better. She was feeling better and over the last couple of days she has had an amazing recovery. I don't know if she is all the way better or if she has still got a way to go. But the thing that I do know is that God truly blessed her. Not only that but she truly recovered just as I had pronounced in the blessing I gave her. She had been in bed for like 6 days and the next day she was back up and at it. It truly was amazing. I really have a testimony of the priesthood. It is real. It is the power of God. If we are worthy. If we are ready. God will use us to bless his children.

The second experience I had was with the Book of Mormon this week. I finished it again this week and had some time to test Moroni 10:4-5 again. As I was reading the Book of Mormon Liahona a couple weeks ago I read the part about how to get your answer from Heavenly Father. It's like a "How-to: Get answers from God" type of thing way cool! But anyway I did as Moroni says. I thought about the Book of Mormon. thought about what it teaches the things that I have learned and seen come true in my life. I then got on my knees and asked God in prayer just a simple question: Is the Book of Mormon true? There was a pause and then just the sweetest peace came into my heart. It was there and it just stayed there with me the rest of that morning. I loved it. I love the Book of Mormon. I love the Gospel. I love God. I love the Spirit. Truly I testify that God lives. That he has restored his church on the earth today, and this is that church. I know it.

Don't forget it :)

I love you all so much. Hope that it was a good summer. It is crazy to think that summer is already over. We were sitting in staff meeting the other day doing some planning and all of a sudden we were talking about something that happens around my year in country mark (October 10) and I just was like... "what the heck....time can't be going this fast can it???" It was just nuts.

Hope ya'll have an awesome week. Girls starting a new school year. You are all getting smarter and bigger and it is just so cool to watch. I love it :) Mom is still keeping up with the girls somehow (cause she's legit????) and Dad is no longer a pirate (you have no idea how happy I was that he was growing a beard). But hey. We are all still going and let me tell you. I love you all tons :)

Take care, look forward to hearing from you soon!
Elder Josh  

Monday, August 13, 2012

Wow another week in the 대전 office!!

Dear Family!!

It has been an eventful week here in the office. I am progressively learning how to do everything with all the financial stuff so life is getting easier and easier every day. I swear I am gonna go crazy next transfer when the new senior couple comes cause i'm gonna have so little to do! But ya.

This week we met with 성충모 and it was really awesome but unfortunately we weren't able to meet with him the rest of that week. He did come to church and all which was good and it turns out that he has more concerns than he was letting on about so me and elder 구 are gonna work with him. Hopefully we will be able to get him baptized here soon. He has just lived a hard life and found peace in Buddhism. So getting him to realize that there can be peace found in Christ as well is hard. We are hoping that he will grasp that soon enough. Keep praying for him he needs it!

But ya other than that this week to be honest was pretty normal. My 9-5 time is kept pretty busy whether it is frantically working on getting things done or studying and trying to get better at Korean and be a better teacher is all going well. I am finding that I like studying a lot. Like a lot! I have recently been using on the computer (cause I'm one of the few missionaries in the mission that is allowed to do this) a program called Anki. It is a flashcard program that you can just study and it has been such a blessing. I am able to study Korean as well as scriptures and things like that all while being in the office OR with Elder 구's MP3 it has a mobile App that I have been using as well. 

This week however we are getting into our groove as missionaries again and it was really nice. We got out to 전도 the other day and we just went and it felt so good. I just got into the groove and was going and talking to everyone and it was the best. I love being a missionary. It truly is a blessing. I had an interesting experience this week in which Dad was actually there! And so that was nice but anyway we were doing something and Dad asked me what I had learned on my mission. So when I woke up it really stuck with me (as you can tell this happened early this week and I am still telling you about it!) but anyway I took some time that day in my personal study time to go over some of the things that I have learned on my mission and it truly was a good study. i have progressed and come so far on my mission. It has been so good! recently I have started a little bit more detailed study of the Christlike attributes (because I am very VERY 부족하다) so ya. Last week I worked on humility (because that was what the attribute test said I needed to work on and all) and this week because of Zone conference I am doing Obedience. It has been a blessing to try and be more and more obedient. Ya, it's hard. I'm not even gonna lie. But it is so worth it! I love it because it brings the spirit. And I'm not kidding about that.

This week speaking of which I wanted to tell you about one lesson that we had with a less active by the name of 김청수. We had a fun time with him playing catan and then afterwards we shared a spiritual thought. We were sharing Elder Holland's message that he gave at the last general conference about the parable of the vineyard. We Read the last two paragraphs of the thing after which we started talking about covenants. All of a sudden I got the feeling that I needed to start talking about the temple. So I did. I talked about the awesome blessings that we can receive there and the amazing spirit that is always in the temple. All of a sudden the spirit in the room changed. He totally opened up to us and told us about his concerns and things and it was just absolutely awesome! We have some work to do now but It was such a good lesson and I was so glad that I followed the spirit because it made all the difference! Gah it was so good!!!

I truly know that God is guiding this work. I am beginning to realize that the price that we have to pay is obedience. If we are obedient we invite miracles. We invite the spirit to be our constant companion. And let me tell you no one can do this work without the spirit. Trust me I have tried to teach by my learning. It doesn't work. But when we teach by the spirit. We change peoples hearts. It's the truth. God lives. He loves us. Christ truly did the Atonement and through him we can return back to our Father in Heaven. They are guiding this work. It is not easy. Not at all. But the Joy that the Gospel brings is unexplainably real. I know it's true! I say this in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Hello familia! It was a CRAZY week

So ya this week was absolutely nuts, like I can not even tell you. But ya it was an awesome week and to top it all off it ended on a high note.

So ya! This week was "In and Out" week as we call it in the office as we had all of the new missionaries coming in and send out a bunch of the old missionaries as well. It was an absolutely nuts week. The craziness started on tuesday with the coming in of the new missionaries there were 10 of them 3 koreans and 7 americans and man we threw them under the bus hahaha. It was awesome. We went to the 대전역 to pick them all up and then right from the 역 we made them start 전도'ing. It was AWESOME. I got to go out and 전도 with Elder Jarnagin and elder 조광진.We had an absolutely awesome time. Went around and 전도'ed for a bit then visited one of the members in our ward and ya we were just all over the place! It was so fun.

We then took them back to the office and let them go to the welcome devotional with president and then we went to bed. I feel bad for the two greenies that went with me because we gave them all 5000 won to go eat but we didn't end up going to eat. I think they may have been a little bit hungry but I am not sure haha. It was pretty awesome we worked hard. The next morning we all got to go over to the Mission home and eat a delicious breakfast with Sister Furniss. She made French toast and all of the american goodies and we just pounded all of it it was the best. Then we just had a day full of paperwork. Kinda fun but then we did get to go out and meet with김세환 and we had an awesome meeting with him and it was really really good. I took Elder Bricco (another one of the new missionaries) and went to meet him. It was a good meeting and we commited him to come to church and he said yes! Had an awesome dinner and all then the office elders (Elder 황, Elder 구, and Me) went back to the mission office and set up the beds and then went to go try and find a place to go to shower in the morning (one of the public bathhouses) and ya!

Next day we went to the 목욕탕 and showered up real good and then went home and changed and showed all the greenies their new areas and who they would meet and all it was really fun! Hahaha. We then got out and trained them (I had to give them a presentation about all the money and stuff kinda boring) and then ya! Then the trainers came met their greenies and they were out of there! But that's right about the time that all of the returning missionaries started coming back to the 본부 to go home! So it was pretty ridiculous, we had like probably 30-40 missionaries in the Office and my stress level was SO high (I am slowly discovering that office work is perfect for me because I really Really don't like noise...weird right?) So ya. Got all the going home certificates made and all and got them sent on their way to president and ya! Ate dinner again at the mission home and then Elder 구 and I did all the dishes (that took like 1.5 hrs) and that was pretty much the day.

Next morning got all the returning missionaries on their way and said goodbye and then back to work. Got the check prepared for the week and went to the bank (but because I kept forgetting things we kept having to come home Trust me I learned my lesson) and that was where we had our first miracle of the week. Elder 구 had put something in my bank bag to get all paid and for some reason it didn't work at all...... I was so confused and so we were calling people and all and we just couldn't get it to work. So they were just like "come back later with this one and we'll do it then" so we did that I got everything else paid and we came back to the office and Elder 구 started looking at that payment slip and just couldn't figure out what was wrong with it..... because nothing was.... So as I began preparing the documents I needed to submit to 서울 and everything (speaking of which I just put that in the post bag!) and while I was preparing that I found out that I hadn't planned on that bank slip being prepared at that time. SO as I was reviewing everything it turns out that we were just fine without the slip and because that one slip did not work everything went right for me. Elder구 is still confused as to why it didn't work so we will try paying it again? But ya it was a total miracle to me because I was SO stressed about that (it's the most 부담 a human being can get in this world I think) so ya!

It was good

Also this saturday out of the blue I got a call from 정은주. Now if you remember 정은주 she is the Mother of 황성규 who I baptized in 첨단 ward! She just called me out of the blue and I was so SO HAPPY! AHHHHH, I was so happy to get a chance to talk to her (because when I was a greenie I couldn't understand even a tenth of what I can now) and so it was SO SO good. Ahhhh I loved it so much! WE just talked and talked and talked and it turns out that she is coming up to 대전 to visit 황성규 because he is doing his army service here and she said that we will get to meet at the end of August! AHHHHH I'm so EXCITED!!! Ahhhh I love them so much GAh it was so good!

The next miracle we had occurred on sunday. We were sitting in Sacrament meeting and one of the investigators that we had been teaching that week (성충모) CAME! And he sat through most of the meeting and all and then as we were walking around after the meeting going to visit some people he calls us out of the blue and was like "I wanna get baptized"............... We were like "uhhhhhhhhhh what?" and then Elder 구 explained it to him and it was awesome and he wants to get baptized on Sunday. So we have a date! BUT we have to push it back so we can teach him everything! But he is so cool! I love 성충모! He's so cool. So it really was cool to me because I had been fasting for a baptism in our area this month and then all of a sudden we get that phone call and it was just like. WAHH... it was so cool. It still is so cooL! We have some work to do but still it was so cool!

Just a good week. I decided this week that I wanna be better again (I know your all thinking It's about time) but ya. I decided I am going to be more obedient. I am finding more and more that obedience (순종) is one of the HARDEST things to do 100% but it brings the most blessings. (See D&C 130:20-21?.... maybe?) SO I am carrying around my little "white bible" and I am trying to know it even better! It has been really good and I am really excited But I gotta say it's the little things (like referring to people as Elder and that type of stuff) so ya. Some habits I gotta break BUT i'm definately gonna try! It's so exciting!

SO ya.

I think my favorite scripture this week was in Helaman 3:35. I might have shared it once before but it is just the best (especially with it being fast sunday). Go ahead and read it! I love it. Fasting has such power to it if you do it right (Trust me you can do fasting wrong too) and so ya. It has power, it brings the spirit, it brings miracles. Why? Because it's an act of faith. And As long as there is Faith, There will be miracles. I know that to be true. Give it a shot. Watch the blessings come in your own lives :) I promise you they will!


have an awesome week!
Elder Josh