So christmas is over, and in a few days it 2015. wow. its crazy how fast the time goes by. i mean when you are in high school you think it goes kind of fast, when you are waiting to go on your mission it doesnt go at all, but on the mission it goes faster every single day. sometimes i feel like two years isnt anywhere near long enough to preach the gospel and learn korean, but i know with the lords help anything is possible so im not even worried about it. ill just be diligent and give it my all and the success will come. anyways. the language continues to progress. slowly but surely. its weird, i dont ever feel like im getting better on a day to day basis, but i can tell that i am significantly better at korean now than i was two weeks ago. that kind of how they said it wouyld be in the mtc though. our teachers compared it to the sunrise. you dont really notice it all at once. but a year from now we will definitely see that the sun has risen and its bright outside. and can speak korean. so the work here in andong is pretty slow. we have 4 investigators, they are all very nice people, and i love them, but i wish they were progressing investigators. we have been doing a lot of contacting on the streets lately, trying to plant as many seeds as possible. we hand book of mormons or books of mormon, out like candy, i like do ing that. its way easier than i thought it was. its funny the way proselyting goes is i say hi, ask them where they are going, tell them who we are, and either they arent interested, or they start talking to me and i just look at my companion and he helps out, from then i get bits and pieces of what they are saying, but all i can really do is testify. thats what is important though. i can teach the gospel and i love it. christmas here was great. it was good to talk to all of you, you guys look great. the rest of christmas, we went to lunch with a member, and we went proselyting. this week me and my companion have set a goal to talk to 200 people. hopefully we will gat at least one good investigator out of it, if not we will keep doing it until we do. its good to have goals, they make you stretch. anyways, i know this gospel is true and that everything about it is amazing. im so grateful for the opportunity to share it, and bless the lives of others.
Elder Dobbins' desk is on the right
We had the pleasure of talking to Elder Dobbins today, on Christmas Eve (Christmas day in Korea). He was at their church house making the call. We asked him to tell us what's on the white board behind him and he turned around and said, "I have no idea."
A short synopsis of our conversation:
He is well and loving Korea. The language is coming along, slowly. He loves the people and the food and the kim chee is much better than here in the states. He eats it everyday. The scarf that he is wearing was given to him by the mission home. He lives in a VERY tiny apartment and sleeps on a mattress on the floor. We asked about the toilets and he said they are normal toilets.
He wakes up at 6:30am and has scripture study, companion study, individual language study, then companion language study. They are out of the house to proselyte at about noon til they eat dinner. They ride the bus everywhere. We asked him is he saw a Wal-Mart there or anything American-like and he said no, just Pepsi.
His companion, Elder Jeong no Yeong has been in the area for 3 transfers (about 15 weeks). He will be leaving for home this next transfer.
Elder Dobbins is so excited to be on his mission. He bore his testimony to us in Korean and it was pretty cool to hear him speak in Korean. He said his testimony has grown so much since he left home.
What a great blessing it is to be able to see and talk to our missionary!
Ok so it is almost an entire week in korea it is crazy, so much to tell so i will go through it as chronologically as i can remember. at 2-ish in the morning we got on a bus then a train then three airplanes later we were in korea. the travel really wasn't bad, but im glad i dont need to do it again for a while,. funny story, when we got to the airport in busan, we went through customs and were informed that our bags had not made it to pusan with us, so we had to fill out a bunch of paperwork and stuff, and we later found out that for one reason or another the bags had not made it through seoul, but would be at the
mission home at 11:00 that evening. we met the mission president and his wife after that, they are really great people and i love them so much. the next day and a half consisted of training and us meeting our
trainers. my companions name is elder jeong no yeong, i think that is how you spell it i dont know how to romanize korean, but it sounds like that. its funny, because if you remember the best two years and
the part where elder calhoun says 'thats not what they taught me in the mtc' thats kind of exactly how i feel right now. i love it though, i am learning and can feel myself improving every single day.
my companion is really a great elder, and i have learned so much from him already. with christmas we haven't had all that much time to do a lot of proselyting, and the lessons we lined up have fallen through,
but we were apparently in charge of planning and conducting the branch christmas party, and i think it went very well, i love the members of the branch. my first area is an area called andong, it is the northern most mission, is freezing cold, and covers about one third of the entire mission. its us and a pair of sister missionaries over half the mission, i love it! our proselyting area is huge, so we do spend a lot of time on busses, but that just means we can talk to people who have nowhere to go for the nest few minutes. its perfect. the food is really good, i haven't ate anything i dont like yet. lots of rice, so much rice, its a good thing i like rice. the bus ride here fro the mission home is about 3 hours long. we have to do it again o day to
get ready for the mission christmas party. i cant wait for the christmas party, all the missionaries will be there. but im more excited for afterwards, when we get to go spread the message of the gospel on christmas day. anyways, i love this gospel and korea and everything about both.
this one is something a member of our district drew the 1st day
the first is our class and our teachers
Welcome to Busan
President and Sister Barrow
elder jeong no yeong and elder dobbins
hello, so i made it to korea safely, its awesome and i love it already!
Hello Everyone! So this last week had been our last week ever here in the MTC. its crazy, i cant believe that on monday i will be on the plane to korea!!!! it doesnt seem real the time here has gone by so fast. it weird because it seems like i have been here all of my life, i dont remember what i did with my life before i came here, but at the same time i feel like i just got here yesterday. the days, weeks and months all mesh together and in all honesty i could not even tell you guys what i did yesterday without thinking about it. this week has been really good though i have enjoyed it a lot. i feel like in the last two weeks alone my ability to speak korean has jumped so far. me and my companion can pretty much preach the gospel in korean now, albeit vary rudimentarily, and very simply, but we always get our message across. with both of our investigators, one will 'get baptized on saturday and the other we 'sent to other missionaries' because we told them we will be heading off to korea on monday, they were very excited for us, but were sad at the same time. it is kind of weird, because we know that our teachers are playing the roles of the investigators they taught, but we still fell the love that heavenly father feels for them and we know that we love them as well. other things that have happened this week include starting to pack! and geting our travel itinerary. we are flying delta airlines all the way through and first we get up at 2:30 AM to get to the travel office by 3:35 AM, then we go to the airport to catch an 8:20 AM flight to seattle, we then get on a flight to seoul korea at 11:24 am on december 15 and arrive at 4:0-0 PM on december 16! after that we get on a flight to Pusan at 5:15 and arrive in pusan at 6:20PM. thats it. from there we will meet our mission president, and stay at his house for two days, and after that we will head off to our forst areas!!! a week from now we will be proselyting!!!! I have also been assigned at the travel leader, which basically meant that i am responsible for everyone making it to korea safely. and we will. nothing else much going on right now, my ability to spell is worse and worse every day. i am so grateful for auto-correct. something awesome i learned at one of the devotionals this week was when Elder Zwick came and spoke to us and told us that "this is no longer a dream" it is real now, the work is real, the savior is real, and satan is real, and he will stop at nothing to try and take us down. he knows what we are capable of, and he really has no chance as long as we focus on our purpose all of the time, that is something i have been working on very hard the past few days is what is important this very moment, and give my whole heart and soul to the moment. if we can do that, we will be so blessed. our teacher told us that the koreans have a saying and it says, "you work when you work, you eat when you eat, and you play when you play, if you play when you work, you are a idiot, of you work when you play, you are an idiot. it seems a little harsh and i couldn't remember the rest of it but it basically meant that we need to focus on the task at hand and it is so true. i know this gospel is true and i cant wait to give it to the wonderful people of korea.
PS - I spoke to Elder Dobbins today during his layover in Seattle and he said that his P-day will most likely be on Monday for him, Sunday for us writing to him. He will let us know for sure. He sounded great and excited to move on from the MTC. Plane flight to Korea is about 11 hours. There was definitely a sense of maturity in his voice too. We are all so excited for him. And by the way, I just learned from my grandmother that we have Korean relatives, so you never know, Elder Dobbins may run into some of our family.
so we only have a week and a half left here in the mtc its crazy. i cant even beleve that next monday we will be on our way to korea. the time has gone by so fast and i have loved every second of it so far. its reached the point where i cant tell if something happened yesterday or a week ago. as far as crazy super interesting stories go i dont have all that many, really all that is happening here is we are learning everyday and coming closer to the lord. the korean continues to progress. its kind of wierd, the korean comes in spurts. for a while i will struggle with something and i wond be able to understand it, but all of the sudden it makes sense, after i put in the work of course. i cant wait to get to korea. me and my companian have come so far, and so have all of us. really my favorite thing that has happened this week has been being able to actually teach somewhat decently. it is smooth and our investigators understand. we commited one of our investigators to baptism, which was awesome. we still need to teach her the commandments, but that will happen on saturday. our other investigator is doing well, last lesson however he asked us what a testimony was, and we barely managed to get the point across. we will have to try again today. anyways i love it here, and for the next week and a half i cant wait to learn as much as i can!