Sunday, September 30, 2012

추석........and Interviews!

Well this was definitely not an easy week by any stretch of the imagination. Phew, but I am glad this one is over and we can start a new one.

This last week was just... bleh... one of the things that I really love about the Mission is that you really find out a lot more about who you are. I am changing every single day and it is just awesome. BUT this last week was just one of those stretching weeks and it was not pleasant at all. I just was weird from like Wednesday or so on (I'm fine now however I just like was wigging out before but that's when you really come to appreciate having President Interviews.)

So we did a whole lot of 광고 this last week. Put up fliers and stuff all over the place just to advertise our English program and try and find some people who are willing to learn about not only English but the gospel as well (if you remember I did this a lot when I was in 평택 with Elder Scoville). We had a really interesting time just talking as we walked everywhere within like a 2-mile radius of our house putting up these advertisements. It was quite the achievement I have got to say. I don't think that I have ever put up that many 광고's at one time before. But we did it!

We weren't able to meet with our favorite family this week because of the Holidays so we just met with some Less Active members and did a whole lot of 광고....And ya, that was the week. We did also have president interviews and that was probably the highlight of the week. I got a chance to just sit down and talk with my inspired Mission president. It really was an awesome experience and I am SO glad that the interviews came around when they did. I just have gotta buckle down and keep working. But one of the things that I really need to start doing is take some more time to actually enjoy myself. To be happy, to enjoy this experience because I've been just plugging away at it for the last year, and it has been really good, but everyone I meet keeps telling me I need to just kinda enjoy this a little more. Ahhhhhhh... as I have been talking a lot with Elder 구 during like Companionship study and all I have really discovered something about myself that is kinda interesting.

In my mind, there is only one way that I really feel like I progress. (BTW this doesn't translate correctly) 힘들어야지 발전할 수 있다 that's how you say it in Korean, in English it'd be like: It has to be difficult in order to progress. I really am the kind of guy where if it's not hard, there is no satisfaction to it........I don't like that. So if you have any tips on how I can be a little more grateful for the things that are just given that'd be awesome (because there are a lot of those). Frankly I wanna be able to be appreciative and find great satisfaction in even the things that God just does for me. Ahhh... any tips?

But ya, so I figured I would take a little more time in this email to kinda respond to emails that I have gotten from ya'll. So here we go! (Say that with the Super Mario accent please :))

So first, Mom (this will go in order of the things you asked in your email [I'm just looking for question marks]):
Korea's weather right now is AMAZING. Ahhh it is so nice. I love it, there is always a little breeze and the sun has been shining the last couple of days. Absolutely remarkable! Everyone was right, President even said so himself: "We live for October in Korea." And it is just that good. We get a chance on the weekends to get out and it is fun. And then yes. P-Day as well is always good, as long as I get my nap hahaha.

Brother 성 is doing awesome.... hold on so how did you type 성? Copy and paste? He came to church yesterday and told us that his baby is doing well, is healthy and already getting a little bigger! So excited for him. We haven't been able to meet him during the week to just kinda catch up with because of the baby but we will try and meet him this week (I told him to call us if he gets a spare second).

As to the girls's sports: I find it awesome that they are doing so well! I hurt for Kellie though, I know that pain and it SUCKS. I do however recommend those neoprene sleeves that you wear over your shins. I don't know if mine were just so minor that it helped or what but those made a big time difference. Maybe try giving those a shot? That might help Kellie out. Alissa is getting so Big. It is crazy. I look at the pictures of the family and it is just crazy. They are like the 3 towers (jenna, kellie, alissa), well I guess it is now (Jenna, Alissa, Kellie). Jenna running fast which is great to hear about, I don't even wanna try to keep up with that. I'm too fat. Ha. Alissa and Katie are rocking the soccer and that is just awesome! Alissa, go ahead and wear #11. Wear it proud! It's a great number! And Katie bug... Wahh, love that we are all doing so good. Although I am curious if people actually still call you "bug." That'll be interesting. But ya keep up the good defense! 

Conference for us is in 2 weeks... All of it... so that'll be fun but it'll be great to see and hear from the Prophets and Apostles. I'm really excited for General Conference!

Elder Palmer is coming along great, he doesn't have any sort of computer background at all so that is kinda hard but you know. Take it one step at a time and he'll get it. in my interview with president he said that I basically have till the end of this transfer to train him otherwise there is probably the possibility that I will have to stay another.

And ya. Love you too Mom!

To Dad:
I already kinda told you about my life this week so I'm skipping that question. Ha!

Now skipping down to the language question, language is coming alright. I am understanding more and more every single day and it is getting to where I have a hard time talking to people who don't speak Korean because even when I speak English it makes more sense to say some things in Korean.

The office is hard, now that I don't have much to do I am just getting everything done too fast so I have free time. There are some days that I do training but there are other days that I literally just sit around..... All day.... I have to wait on my companion to do translating work so that is unavoidable but ya. I just gotta keep finding things to do and then find the 정신 to do them all even though none of them really need to be done...

We don't have a whole lot of people to teach but we already have two people next week who have said that they wanna meet so we will be able to meet with them. One of them is actually today! So it is awesome! Just gotta keep remembering that I am helping in a different way. 

As to Christmas... I don't really know, I'm gonna need alot of things later and I don't know if I really need anything now. I'd like to buy a nice new suit for the winter. That'd be cool but other than that. I'm good. Just your prayers and maybe like some Reeses Puffs. :)

And to Mom and Dad: Happy 22 years! Wah does it feel like? was it fast? Wah! Congratulations! I love you both so much!

Take care all and I hope you know that I love you!

Elder Josh

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Josh is walking next to his first greenie - Elder Palmer 
Well, I am back! 

I have kinda almost gotten over that cold of mine which has been wonderful. Although I am still suffering a little bit from the cough that I have it is quite the recovery process. Infact last P-Day I got a chance to take two naps in one day. I don't think I've ever done that before, but I do know one thing. I will definately be doing it again as soon as I get the opportunity. MAN it was so nice. But anywho (I didn't think I would come to be so much like my dad... weird... hehe) It has been a pretty good week. Me and Elder 구 have talked a lot this week and it's been really good. I really feel like we are getting along awesome anyway he is just like the best but we are even closer now. Cool right?

This week we did have one really cool thing that happened. The man who we baptized a couple weeks ago (if you remember his name is 성충모) he is an absolute stud and the last two weeks he hasn't been able to come out to church (his wife being pregnant and all) and so we haven't been able to see him a whole lot of late. But this last week he came out to Church! And apparently his wife had their baby! Wahhh!!! It was so cool to see him there and to get to see pictures of his son and everything. So cool. But I think the even cooler thing was to see how he has changed over the last couple of weeks. And also how our ward has stepped up to help him out. It has been awesome to see the light that has come into his face and just how he is changing. He looks happier. He is just doing so good. And it is all thanks to our awesome 선교 책임자 (Ward Mission Leader). He is totally doing more than his part in taking care of him. It really helps that He came from a similar background as Brother 성. So they are just doing awesome and I feel like Brother 성  is going to do awesome. He has already said that he wants to bring his wife with him out to church when she gets a little more "mobile." So we are gonna see if we can't bring the whole family into the Gospel. Now that I think about it that's really all we are doing in this area. Meeting with families. Trying to get families. We are teaching that one family that I told you about (who we weren't able to meet with again this week! :(    ), we are trying to help one of the other recent converts introduce us to his parents so we can try and meet with them. It seems like we are trying to do something here that I have never really done before. Hum.... Keep me in your prayers so I can know what to do, I need some GUIDANCE.

But yes I did have a cool opportunity this week to study quite a bit about Joseph Smith. It was really interesting to see just how much stuff that Joseph Smith went through for the church. Not only that but it was interesting to see exactly how hard Satan worked and is still working to stop this work. It is ridiculous to me just how much persecution our church gets. It just strikes me how brutal people were to the early saints, to anyone who desires to believe in this work, even now, it seems that there is always something that has to get in the way. It's hard. I think of the things that they went to and the amazing faith that those early saints had to of had in the gospel. It makes me want to strengthen my faith because I may not be attacked by a mob like Joseph Smith, I may not be driven out of my home like the early Pioneers, but I am going to have challenges that are just as real to me. I wanna be strong in my faith. It is gonna take time and persistance but it is possible.

But as to the rest of the week nothing really super eventful. We are going to a really cool place today so I promise I will take lots of pictures and will send them before P-Day gets over!

Responses to emails: Mom!!! I can't read what place the girls got! You need to get your quality bumped up on your iphone camera! (Ask the girls/dad, or if your feeling tech savy turn it up!) But ya. I actually don't hear from a whole lot of people to be honest. I have some people who I need to respond to (Tyler from college), Nicholas, Chase (But I am hesitant on responding to his because he might be home by the time my letter gets to brazil) Cam and Victoria. Haha, I just kinda need to write some letters. Just buckle down and do it. If I do i'll hear back from people. But ya. I think that Chase, Tyler, and Victoria have been the most consistent (as far as friends go If we include family it is definitely Mom/Kellie). But ya.

Just want ya'll to know that I love ya and I know this gospel is true. I love it, it brings light and understanding into my life and into the lives of those who sincerly study and learn about it. I love ya'll and hope you have an AWESOME week!

Elder Josh!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Well one more week past by and this one took its toll

WOW, this week was crazy. It was transfer week and like I've told you a couple times in my emails home it is really a CRAZY week in the office during transfer week. We had a total of 8 missionaries come in this week and 5 going home. It is always an exciting/sad sight to see knowing the future that is ahead of both. It gives mixed feeling I have got to say. 

So ya this week we welcomed in the new missionaries as well as I got my first Greenie! I know weird right? I'm in the office and training? It's totally weird. Our new senior couple came in this week and they are so cool. They are the Palmers and are from Salt Lake City Utah. Sister Palmer is actually Korean and this is the first time that she has been to Korea in the last 30 years. So I think it is quite the shock for her to be back. Elder Palmer is my Greenie and he is pretty cool. Lived all over the place and is now learning how to be the Financial Secretary here. He is doing a great job and is learning well. It'll be a bit before he will get it all but I think he will get it pretty fast, he's a smart man.

This week was just busy however. People coming in, meetings, trainings, etc. It really gives me kind of an idea of how the Elders did it when I came to the Mission. Quite a fun little adventure. It is so weird, out of the trainers from our mission one of them was at the MTC with me! It is absolutely nuts! It really is starting to hit me when all these new missionaries come in about how far I've come. You really start to feel thankful and a little intimidated by just how far you've come but just how far you have to go.

We unfortuantely were not able to meet with our favorite family this week. They were really busy so they said that they would meet with us next week. Kinda sad BUT we will see them more so that'll be exciting.Hopefully they are reading the BoM and praying like we've asked them too. They would be such a good benefit to our ward!

Unfortunately this week with all the greenies coming in, one of them decided to bring a cold with them from the good ole' USA. And everyone except for Elder Campbell in the office has gotten it. SO I am feeling absolutely wonderful right now. I can't even begin to describe it. I think I'm going to sleep all day today. That would feel nice. Which reminds me of a request I wanted to make. I need a package. I need a package full of Emergen-C (that drink like thing the boosts your immune system) and it needs to last me the winter. I got a cold last winter and I absolutely HATED it. And having this cold right now just reminded me how much I hate being sick. SO if you could send that that'd be much appreciated. 

But other than that I am just plugging along and loving every minute of it (the Mission, not this Cold). I love being a missionary, I am trying to be better and better every day. It is really hard. Like REALLY hard. But It is worth it. Please pray for the people here, pray that they will be led to the missionaries. Pray that we will be able to find them and that they will be prepared. God does lead this work, I know he does. It isn't an easy work, but this work brings more happiness to more people than anything else! I love the opportunity that I have to be here, its the best.

Love ya'll have a great day!
Elder Josh
P.s. the pics are of all the returning missionaries and then one of our investigators who moved to 수원. 
P.P.s. Tell Victoria I did get her letter! Please and Thank You!

Monday, September 10, 2012

A busy busy week

Well, hello there family! It was so great to hear from you today and it was an amazingly busy week.

So this next week that is coming up is transfer week. I spent most of the week preparing for the new missionaries which included a long list of things to do: Preparing money, preparing training, preparing stuff... ya, I also had to type like an 8 page talk and stuff. It was a busy week.

But ya we just were all over the place. It was a really busy week. Worked Monday-Wednesday, then all of a sudden on Thursday we got caught in repairing the Furniss's house. Friday we had just a normal day and then Saturday and Sunday we did transfer prep. So as to getting out and meeting with people.... it didn't happen a whole lot this week. Kinda unfortunate but ya take what comes (especially in the 대전 선교부 본부 [Daejeon Mission Headquarters]). But we did however get a chance to meet with our family who lived in Canada. We had a great time and taught them the Plan of Salvation. It was cool to see just how much knowledge that we have as members of the church. People really do wonder about things like where they go after they die, why they're here, where they were beforehand. It really is quite interesting and it makes one really grateful. And it was a great time to get to share it with them!

So ya...I really don't have a ton to talk about this week. We didn't do a whole lot eventful things this week (unless you count repairing the carpet in president's house as an eventful thing).

But I guess I will share a thought that I had while I was attending ZLC this week (I get to go to all the fun meetings so that is fun). But while I was there President went around and asked everyone about what was the one thing that they wanted to share with the people of Korea. As he was going around the room asking everyone and as I had a chance to think about it, I was going through my mind of all the things that I wanted to share with the people here: the Restoration, the Plan of Salvation, Book of Mormon, etc... but then the thought came to me: "Ya know, I really wanna share a message about Christ, about His Atonement, and that is it." That was a kinda cool realization, so when President asked me that was what I said. If that's the one message that I can share, that's the one I want to share. I read about the Apostles in the New Testament and how they were proud because they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His [Christ's] name. I am trying hard lately to develop that desire even more. To help people come unto Christ. It is a pleasure to be serving as His servant, and to tell people that He lives. 

Yup, that's about it. Sorry I don't have a lot to talk about this week. I am very grateful to Great Grandpa for the 100$. I bought a very nice Korean book lately that is just the best. I am learning a lot here in the 본부 and I am trying to be really good about studying and always being productive. It's been fun.

Just want you to all know that I love you a bunch and I will do my best to try and get some pictures. I haven't gone anywhere worthy of taking pictures so ya. But I did attach the talk that I am trying to apply in my missionary work of late. It's a really good one (Mom maybe you can use it at the MTC!) But ya!

I love ya'll!!!
Elder Josh 

(P.S. Victoria had mentioned that she'd sent a letter and would like to know if I got it. I haven't yet if you could let her know :)) Thanks!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Hey, guess who lived through 2 Typhoons this week?

ME!!!!!! Yes this week was a little hectic. One of the biggest typhoons in Korean history went up the west coast of our mission on tuesday. And then to back it all up, another typhoon decided to come over the top of our mission the next day! Wah!!! It was crazy... Not. I expected it to be much worse than it was to be honest it was kinda depressing. I was expecting like buildings to be swaying and stuff like that but there wasn't any of that in 대전. Although in 목포 and the Elders were in their apartment on the ninth floor and the building was swaying so bad that one of the elders got like motion sickness.

Crazy right?

But in 대전 there was sporatic bursts of rain and wind. Nothing really worth mentioning. Although I got to say it would have been much MUCH more interesting if I had been down in 광주. Slightly jealous? Maybe a bit. I dunno. It was boring here and I was expecting my first typhoon be like something that I would never forget....BORING.

Anywho, Mom like you expected this week was kinda slow. We weren't able to meet 성충모 this week which was unfortunate but we did get to meet one of our investigators 황준영 a couple times and that was way fun. Although it is really depressing because he is moving to 수원 to my old ward..... :(. Dangit I wanted to baptize him! He is so ready. So so so ready. Just a way cool guy.

But other than that, this week we spent a lot of time in trying to do some reactivation. We have been working with one of the Elders before us's recent convert. He is a way cool guy but just needs a kick in the butt to do anything. So we have been "lovingly" giving him that "push." But hey, he says he enjoys being with us and he came to church for the first time in a month. Which is a definate improvement. So that was way good.

I have just been doing a lot of study recently to be honest. Trying to get good enough at Korean to where I am comfortable with the language (and the only time that I think I will be comfortable is when I know it all...... so I still got a long ways to go). But ya. I have recently (with that awesome 100$ that Great Grandpa gave to me) bought a book to study some Korean with. There is actually a test called the TOPIK which is basically a Korean test for foreigners to test proficiency in the language (I probably need one of those for english seeing as how many times I have used the spell-checker in this email). Unfortunately the don't offer the test in America. But they do in Brazil. So maybe after I get home and stuff me and Chase (currently known as Elder McCloskey) can take a little road trip so I can take a test haha... that makes me laugh... go to Brazil... to take a Korean test... haha

Anyway ya this week was just kinda slow. All our investigators are either getting baptized (which is WAY good) or moving away (which is okay cause he is still in our mission). We did however find this one family a couple weeks ago that we are teaching that is going way well. We have met with them 3 times (they can only meet on weekends) and they are way nice. We teach english and the gospel and they are way cool. The Dad is a doctor and his wife and two daughters lived in Canada. SO we more than teaching english just kinda chat for half an hour cause they are all fluent. Which is nice. But then when we talk about the Gospel it is way cool because the Dad seems way interested. He is a stud.

I have been doing some thinking of late and I decided I need to be more happy and have more fun. I just had this realization the other day that is kinda weird. I don't really feel like I have actually accomplished something unless I have struggled and worked and suffered and given everything that I have to see it happen. I look at the things both on my mission and before and the things that are just kinda handed to me that I just do a little bit and it works don't feel half as satisfying as things that I have to suffer and bleed out of my eyes for. So one of the things that I am gonna try and work on in the future is just being happy. I guess also being grateful would also have to be in there because if I am more grateful I find that I'll probably be more happy. SO ya! Pray for me would ya?

Hey ya'll I love you tons. I love hearing your stories from home (thanks to mom and dad, the rest of ya'll don't tell me a whole lot) and getting to kinda see what kind of people you're becoming while I'm gone. It's a load of fun and so interesting and I'm so proud of all of you (Dad and Mom you're included in that statement). Keep beeing awesome examples to me will ya? I am really grateful for it. I hope ya'll are enjoying reading the Book of Mormon together! I heard you started reading together again and that is awesome! It is such a blessing to read the Book of Mormon. It's true. I love that. I think one of the cool things that I have learned on my mission I have learned with Elder 구. That is the concept of "I cannot deny it." No matter what the world may think, no matter what the people may say/do, I know that Jesus is the Christ, that he is the Son of God, and our Savior and Redeemer. I have felt the power of His Atonement in my life, and I cannot, nor will not deny it. I hope ya'll know that too. I think that one of the verses of "How firm a foundation" says it best: The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose, I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes; That soul, though all hell should endeavour to shake, I'll never no never, I'll never no never, I'll never no never, no never forsake!

Cool right?

I love ya'll hope you have a good week!
Elder Josh!