Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas: Korean Dating Holiday?!


A short video from Christmas Day: Five short months in the field and this very difficult language is coming along fantastically!  


video


Man, all I can think about from this week was the awesomeness of spending my favorite holiday away from home, in a completely foreign country, in a completely different way. What an experience.

First off, Korea does not really celebrate Christmas the way we celebrate Christmas. Instead, it literally is a holiday for couples to go on dates. Sounds a bit more like Valentines huh?  So Christmas is not the deal it is in America, and they don't love it the same way we do. And secondly, we had no snow, so for me it barely felt like Christmas at all. But maybe that is why I loved the change up this year.  Without all of the buzz and chaos surrounding Christmas, I honestly was able to focus on the Savior and the greatness of the Gospel that I get to talk about everyday! And, as a result, Christmas was DIFFERENT! Like sooo much better! Gosh is was awesome. Wherever I was, I had the Savior in mind which made Christmas so special. I hope all of yours was swell as well.
Other than that, it was not a crazy busy week.  We were just so busy getting ready for the ward Christmas party that we didn't get a lot of other interaction. We did  have zone conference in the mission home on Wednesday and it was amazing. 

Although Christmas has passed, never forget how incredible our Savior Jesus Christ is and what He means to us. I know He never forgets us, and He never loses track of us, so try and return the favor. And I can promise you that big blessings will be coming your way--and they will be much cooler than the presents you received at Christmas!

Love you all. Sorry I didn't have too much to write about this week, but next week you are in for a treat. We are heading to the Temple Thursday.  Going to be the greatest week ever!

Elder Jenkins


I Love Boxes!

Stuff from Merica!  Yeah!
Ok, I guess I did get a little bit excited about gifts from home.

Parent note:  
We are starting to see Korean language influence in his writing.  English sentence structure in simple form is Subject, Verb, and Object.  In Korean it is Subject, Object, and then Verb.  That makes for very difficult translation.  It also changes the way he uses adjectives.  He modifies two adjectives in this letter, great and awesome, by adding "ness" and they become nouns or objects in his sentences. The "awesomeness" of this is astounding to us:)

Monday, December 21, 2015

Merry Christmas to All!!!

Life in the Suwon Mansion! "Grandma" pants are stylish???
It was an awesome week. I seriously don't know where to start.  It is actually stressing me out right now trying to remember all of the goodness from this week.

So this week we spent a ton, and I mean a ton, of time doing the 전도! (finding) and still we were not very successful. Dang.  But it is still funny to me how the Lord blesses us ways other than the natural man inside of us would like to have received the blessing. I swear He always always is blessing us! 

This week he blessed us with some service opportunities rather than with success in "finding." On Thursday (I think), we were leaving the church to go "finding" and we saw this older lady that was pulling around her trash cart (this is how old retired people continue to make money, and it is sooo sad). Anyway, she just started waving us over, so we went over to help and my companion pulled the cart while I held her hand and helped her walk--about as slow as a human being can walk, but that was literally all she could do. The walk would maybe take 5 minutes at a normal speed, but we took 15 minutes to get to her house! It was fine. She was just a cute old lady who needed help.

Ironically, the same thing happened yesterday, with same lady! And this time, she moved even slower! (haha)

Our next opportunity came at night. It was a cold one, so we were walking real fast trying to get home. To be honest, I didn't see this lady when we were passing by her, but I did see the same exact waving motion as the other grandma and I knew I was in for another treat! This time, I put on an EXTREMELY heavy backpack which I cannot believe she was carrying and we walked her to a bus stop, where she proceeded to burst my personal space bubble more than it ever has been before: her face was literally inches from my face while she was just going off trying to sell us her very overpriced kimchi. To make it worse, by the way her toothless mouth smelled, it was fairly evident that she had been eating that kimchi all day (for those of you who don't know, kimchi tastes absolutely amazing, but the smell is not pleasant).  But it was still a cool experience serving the crazy old kimchi-selling lady.
The only Christmas decoration in Suwon

AND THEN, we met a random man on the street who I felt was completely insane, but my companion chatted with him for a bit while I gazed off into the night sky--haha, not literally, but he was just talking about the craziest things that I had to clue what he was saying. According to my comp, he was telling us that we needed to "RAISE A CROSS" right in downtown Suwon for all those people who worked in Suwon who got kicked out, who spilt blood and shed tears.  Most interesting, he claimed that because God is from Salt Lake, and we are from Salt Lake, we need to just throw that cross up and represent all those ancestors! Imagine like a Southern Baptist saying those things and then translating it to Korean and that is what you would get! CHAOS! But at least he was right about God like being in SLC (haha).

Okay, one more service story. For the next two weeks, we are helping a less active member learn English because his parents are making him buy a wife from Vietnam and she doesn't speak Korean and he doesn't speak English. I really don't know how to react. I'm happy to help the guy, but it is really a freaking weird situation.. Yikes!

And to wrap all of the new news up: this week we did commit one of our investigators to be Baptized!!!!!! YES!!!!! First experience for me! And one that I hope happens much more! 

Don't forgot that God seriously is so great! And remember when you have a service opportunity, just know, "When you are in the service of your fellow beings, you are only in the service of your God"--even if it a kimchi-smelling lady who gets in your space.

I love you all! And MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Elder Jenkins

Interesting Fact:
I am like Korean with the way I eat now:  I can't use a fork, and I keep chopsticks in my right hand and a spoon in my left. I eat rice with every meal, and for a snack I mix rice, milk, and brown sugar together.  It is getting pretty weird actually.  I don't even buy American food anymore.

More Photos:
Clean huh Mom!
The 8th Floor, right... there!
Suwon is 20 mile south of Seoul.  A look at Our Meetinghouses in the Mission

Our work room.

Monday, December 14, 2015

If I Squint, I Can Almost See China!

The Western Edge of Korea and the Yellow Sea

Wow! Crazy week! But not necessarily for the work as much as preparing for the new work! So on Tuesday we spent my last day in Gimpo with our investigator!

He drove us and we just tore it up! It was so legit. We left the house pretty early and went out to Gangwha Island--the only place in our mission where you can see ocean! So we did some sight seeing, and then went out on the coast and ate some real seafood.
Best Food ever!



There's my Fish!
Literally the fish we ordered was just swimming in a tank and this like crazy old lady fishes it out, slams it on the table, and just pulls out this Machete and goes WHAM and cuts it up.


It was suuuper creepy. A little dark I suppose, but it was delicious!









And then we "hit up" the beach (haha); we just went out and sat in the sand and on the rocks and talked about life while we looked out on the ocean towards China. It was sooo nice!!! And a nice cherry on the cake for my stay in Gimpo. Sad to leave, but Gimpo is in a really really good place now. All is well!

So I arrived in Suwon on Wednesday and that is when the fun began. It is my first time in a 4-man apartment since the MTC, so it has been so much fun just getting to know them and my new companion. It really is like the exact opposite living conditions that I was in in Gimpo. Our house in Gimpo was like 40 years old and it was honestly not in a nice state, but our house in Sinpung is sooo nice.  It is nicknamed "The Mansion" in the mission. The city is amazing to go along with it. Golly this is a cool place! 

So some fun/new things:
  • On Friday, I saw a corpse. For real. The first dead body I have ever seen... Super awkward. Long story. But that was definitely a NEW thing.
  • Our ward is about double the size of Gimpo ward, so I have some work to do. On Sunday, I had to give a talk and we sang in sacrament meeting as well! 
  • This one is kind of bad... but it was hilarious. One night right outside of our house, we devised a plan where I would pretend that I had no clue how to speak Korean and then I just would speak, preach I guess you could call it, in English and my companion would translate for me. It was so awkward! I have not done this in English since being in Korea, so I really wasn't sure what to say, but it kept the guy on his toes because he had no clue of what was going on! And he listened! Just some fun with the new comp, but we might need to repent for this stunt actually... haha
  • And also, our new area is incredibly historic, so there are some really Asian-looking buildings and HUGE Buddha statues all over the place! Pics next week on that stuff.

But for real, life is great. And I love you all so much!
Elder Jenkins
Love you Brother Chang!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Transferred!

Gangnam!

Wow fun week!!! But also the worst day of my mission came as well!

So on P-day we went out to Gangnam, which is sooooo legit.  It felt just like America; they had Taco Bell and everything. On the way there, we started kind of chatting up a kid in English.  He lived in Florida and Chicago during high school, so his English was pretty good. We talked all the way to Gangnam (40 minutes) which is funny because it normally takes us 1 1/2-2 hours of travel to see one of our less actives that lives IN our area, but only 40 minutes to pass though 3 different areas to get to Gangnam. Super funny! I love Gimpo! But anyway, we ended up hanging out with that kid the whole day; that night he came with us back to Gimpo and we ate at Moms Touch.  Afterwards, he wanted to see our church, so we took him there and actually ended up teaching the whole Restoration. It was soooo sick! He is definitely prepared I think. So that was our first Miracle.

Then on Saturday there was a performance of Handel's Messiah in a mission area that is pretty close to us. We invited DG ( the kid we met on Pday) and he said he wanted to go, so we went! The music carried a good message, and DG really liked spending the time with us! DG and I are born in the same year which is like super super important in Korea. If you aren't born in the same year, then you can't really be friends, so that helps our relationship with him a ton. As we were leaving the concert, we took the elevator downstairs and on the first floor there were big posters filled with church information. I pointed to a picture of the Manti Temple and told him that was my home! He started looking at the posters and he seemed pretty curious, so we just started teaching again and before we knew it we had taught him the about the Plan of Salvation, Temples, Priesthood, and then even Baptism. It was so wild! I was so giddy while it was all unfolding! I couldn't believe it. Gimpo is finally heating up!
Investigators to Church!!!
And guess what (now for the bad part of the week): I am leaving. The Lord's will, not mine. We got the dreaded call on Saturday night and I literally could not fall asleep. I just couldn't. I was tooo sad! I am getting transferred to a place called Sinpung (Suwon) and supposedly it is awesome and a little more city-like. I am replacing Elder Fleming, who is transferring in Incheon.  It will be a big  change, but a good one I am sure. 

The sun has set in Gimpo for me.
So yesterday I gave my little "farewell" in church and I just lost it. I cried harder in that little 3 minute talk than I did at my own farewell in Manti. I didn't think it would be possible to come to love a group of people that much in that small space of time. It kills me to have to leave them. I am tearing up as I am writing this! Gosh dang it! But just like it says in Corinthians, man cannot comprehend what the Lord has in store for those that love Him. 

I do love the Lord. So dang much. And I definitely am having a hard time comprehending why I have to leave Gimpo, but I know that good things are in store. All is well! 

I love you all so much!! Have a nice week! And look at the positives!!!

Elder Jenkins
P-day activities with investigators

Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving Feast!

I really love this place!!!

I really had a good week. Although it is getting cold, I am loving it more and more here! The good news is that it hasn't snowed yet, so I am doing okay. I hope everyone's Thanksgiving was good.  Mine was super weird!(haha)

I definitely forgot that Thursday was Thanksgiving day. For our lunch that day, we decided to go eat at Pizza School.  It is my new favorite Pizza place. Seriously delicious pizza: Potato Pizza, Sweet Potato Pizza, Bulgogi Pizza and some other unusual ones I have never before heard of. Now that we have found it, we eat there a lot. It reminds me of good old America.

Right as we finished the last bite of our Pizza, a member called wanting a Priesthood blessing. In Korean, this is a big problem for missionaries because to give a blessing, you have to use King form (Korean honorifics), which neither one of us knows! Nevertheless, we agreed. We met her and her husband and before the blessing she took us to this restaurant that serves what now might be my favorite food--Dak Galbi, which is superrrrr yummy! Chicken, vegetables and this stuff called Dok Boki which is like rice that is just crushed and crushed until it is super fine and rolled into little logs.  Then they put in this super spicy red sauce and stir fry it.  It is Freaking Delicious!!!! So, even though I forgot it was Thanksgiving, my stomach was super full like it usually is on Thanksgiving.

Afterwards, my companion blessed her (in English) and even though she and her husband couldn't understand the blessing, they said the Spirit was powerful for them! It just goes to show the Spirit is always the same, no matter the language!

I also need to tell you my funny experience for the week (there always seems to be plenty of those). We took a guy out to dinner that I met a couple of weeks ago and we paid (which is super against Korean custom since the older person always pays), but he is so chill so it was okay. We ate some new tasty Korean food and then we just talked for like a long time about life and stuff. And then I told him I played baseball a lot in America and he just got like HYPED! Then he said, "Do you want to come play on my team man?!?!" "We aren't like great, kind of beginner, but we need you!" (haha) So I said, "How about I coach you and I play?" He was like jumping for joy.  I was being kind of sarcastic, but Korean people literally DO NOT understand sarcasm, SO I might have gotten myself into a Korean Baseball League! Super funny. This also just goes to show that the Lord uses your talents to help others come unto Him. He cares about what you care about, and so he will use what you can do to help strengthen the Kingdom. So come spring, crossing my fingers for 9 new investigators! haha

New things this week:
  • We had street waffles and these things called "shoe cream."  Shoe cream is now easily my new favorite snack! These things look like a fish: the outside is like a batter and inside is something like a banana cream filling! SOOOOOOOOOO delicious and warm on a freezing cold day!
  • Today we are headed to Gangnam to have Mexican food!!!  Bet I never get to say that again haha.
  • There is this thing in Korea called the waygukin discount! Wayguk means foreigner! When you are a foreigner, they just give you the discount without you even asking.  It's great! 
Things I am thankful for (since it is Thanksgiving back home):
  • My family!
  • My beliefs!
  • My friends!
  • And I am so thankful for the opportunity to be serving in Korea--the absolute, without a doubt, perfect place for me to serve.
I love you all! And I am Thankful for all of you. I truly am.

Elder Jenkins
Photos:
I'm thankful for my "Harmony" pants, which translate to Grandma, so my grandma pants!
Pic of my bathroom/shower
Ahh Biscoff--available in Korea!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Getting a Jump on Christmas!



It's Christmas season in Korea--at least for the missionaries!

This past week seemed to fly. We had a temple day on Thursday, which meant like a double P-day last week. We emailed on Monday like usual, but the P-day activities fell back to Thursday.

So we left the house pretty early to get to the temple. It is in the Seoul Mission, so it takes some time
Love this Temple
to get there. And what a blessing it was to attend the temple!!! Seriously the greatest blessing. And it was also a much more meaningful experience for me to have sooo many members, potential investigators, and close friends in mind! I really feel like I found some new things that I needed through the temple. After the temple, we went to our Zone Leaders' area and had a huge party with our whole zone and it was legit. We played a ton of Korean games--pretty sure they were children's games, but I was loving it. We were all screaming and running around--kind of immature (haha), but super fun! And all of the games were in Korean so I learned new words as well.

On Friday, we had our interviews at the mission home which is 2.5 hours away by subway. I had a great visit with the mission president about the language and culture, faith, and upcoming transfers. We actually had to run out to Incheon, though, before our interviews, so on Friday, including our trip to Incheon and to and fro the mission home, we spent 6 hours traveling on the Subway and Bus.... insane! On the bright side, it provided a great opportunity to find. And that I did! I just tried to take advantage of the fact that people can't go anywhere when they are stuck next to you on a subway, so I chatted up everyone. For real--one person to the next. And I found some Gold!!! It is crazy, so crazy, when you can see exactly why the Lord put you in a specific place at a specific time. It is dang fun! 
My view for much of the bus ride--but I chose another



So on Friday I had a long 6 hours of sitting/travelling which turned into 6 great hours of finding which was truly a blessing in disguise. I challenge all of you, when it seems like you are doing something that is wasteful, look at the good that can be accomplished if you change your attitude. You will surely find it!

Bonus: we were cleaning the church with ward members, and they decided to throw away their Christmas tree.  I was like, "heck, no, we are taking that home."  So I carried it home in the rain and protected it with my umbrella. 

Have a mad week! As will I!

Elder Jenkins
Pictures from the week:
This will make it feel like Christmas in our apartment--even though Christmas is Korea is not the big  holiday it is in America

Korean Temple

Monday, November 16, 2015

Bow Low; Speak High

Some ward children

Jeez time sees to be flying. It isn't fair! I seriously cannot believe how fast time is moving. I have loved every single second of this so far! And this week was another great one for the books. Yeah, full of a few lows, but the highs are what I like looking at--obviously!

Not a lot of appointments this week or much of that, but even though we were not sitting in someone's living room teaching about Jesus Christ, I still feel like I truly made an impact this week! On Wednesday we went to 통진 high school and taught English from like 10:30-5. Ahhh sooo crazy! I about died, but what a blast that was. I truly have come to love service opportunities. And in turn, I am really served as well. Our topic for the day was culture and I learned soooo much about Korean culture. Buckle up: some things literally don't make sense.
Full Day of School

Okay so one of the first things we talked about was student life. High school kids in Korea show up at 8 in the morning, and they literally do not go home until 10 or 11 sometimes. They always serve dinner at the school, so I had school dinner. (haha)  Also, there are 3 different types of high schools: Academic, Commercial, and Technical. And a separate category for the kids that play sports! If you have potential to be a professional athlete, then you just go to a sports school and there is hardly any studying! (haha) It blew their mind when I told them that I drove a vehicle to school everyday. They seriously could not believe that. So those are just a few of the things I learned, but really, their lives are sooo much different.

And the culture is really different (I keep learning that) and all of that really really applies to what I do as a missionary.  No doubt, it is challenging at times. In Korea, there is a HUGE emphasis on something like class, but it is all about like age (not money). Whoever is older than you gets to tell you to do whatever he wants. And it is hard. And to make it more difficult, with each class there is a different way to speak--which just means basically variances in how you conjugate each word. When I see really old people at church, I have to speak in a high form; if it is just a normal person close to my age, then I speak in a middle form--which is how everyone usually speaks; and then to kids there is a completely different form. In total, there are 7 forms, but we really only use the middle and high forms. But the reason I tell you this is that in church if you don't use the right form to the right person, they hate you!! I accidentally used the normal form to an older lady in church and she chewed me out. Using this custom, the oldest person in the ward deserves the most respect. So we have to respect him more than our Bishop! (haha) You also show respect by how deep you bow, so the more respect, the deeper you bow! And the other thing is that if you speak English in front of Ward Members, you lose their respect and it is like impossible to gain back. So I am soo careful! But that makes life super challenging to someone who doesn't really speak Korean yet.  I have gotten really pretty good at interpreting: just go where they point and start moving stuff!

So truly there is sooo much pressure that comes with this culture. When you breach that line and do something American, you are toast! So I am working on perfection because that literally is what is asked of us. They don't care how long you have lived here. No matter what, you have to do things the right way! 

But anyways, I love it! Things are so much different, which makes life so fun. You have to always be at your best and on your toes.

We finally tried knocking door. Dad told me all about "tracting" in LA on his mission and I want to say, it is nothing like that here.  So this is how it goes; we knock, they won't open until you have told them who you are, why you are there, and anything else they ask. Basically we just talked to doors (haha).

We went to a Costco last week and let's just say it's not quite like the one in Spanish Fork.  It still felt a little like home, though!

But it really was an awesome week. I am learning that when you are in the service of your fellow beings, you really are in the service of your God and that makes me soooo happy! Service is where happiness lies my friends!

Have a nasty week!!

Elder Jenkins


Some Halloween photos with a ward family:


Monday, November 9, 2015

Cold, Wet Week in Korea!


Me at the Provo Temple at the beginning of my mission

As usual, I don't have much time so this will be short. But I've been thinking about the last four months and I can't believe how blessed I am.  My first day at the MTC and how much I loved my time there, and now Korea! I admit I wasn't so sure about my call to this place, but it is simply the most perfect place for me and I love it sooo much.  Bring on the next 20 months!
Me at the Seoul Korea temple a few weeks ago


So, my companion and I definitely went to our Irish Band man's house this week and my companion played the guitar while I read a book (church approved).  Doesn't really sound like me does it?  Reading while music is in the works.  The mission is changing me drastically.

On Thursday we had splits and we taught a group of high school kids English. I was literally the only white person there! That felt super weird without my whitey comp, but we had a great time nonetheless. I was definitely looked to for my English speaking skills. I was overwhelmed by all of the questions. Just because I am white (and American) DOES NOT mean that I know every single thing about America!

The cool moment of the week came yesterday, which was a super gloomy day where not a lot was happening. We ran to a bus stop to get out of the rain and I was just kind of camping there, minding my own business (probably pouting about the weather a little bit), when some guy walks up to me and says in really good English, "I Love your temple." I was so shocked! We ended up getting on the same bus and I told him all about our church and temples--in Korean. So fun! We traded phone numbers, so hopefully something comes of it. This made me realize that the Lord truly is in all of our lives. His hand literally is everywhere, but it is our job to look for it! 
My Korean is getting sooo much better.  My ability to talk is improving immensely!  Hopefully I can keep improving.

It was a fun and wet week! I love and miss all of you! As always!

Elder Jenkins
Fun facts about this area--Gimpo
  • We ride the bus all the time.  The subway is about 30 minutes away and we don't ride it much.
  • We walk a ton.  I think we walked 3 miles yesterday, in a heavy rain.  We were WET!
  • We never knock doors.  Everyone lives in apartments and you need a code to get in, so we just walk around and talk to people on the street. We also talk to people on the bus.
Gimpo Ward extends farther west including several islands. Yes that's North Korea across the river



Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloween--Not a Korean Holiday

We have these sick BOM cases because Pres always wants us with one in hand!




Halloween Sunset
Halloween! Yeah! We didn't do anything cool for Halloween because they don't even celebrate it here! What!  But all of you were obviously on my mind on one of my favorite holidays. I love and miss all of you! We actually had an English class on Halloween, so we shared a bunch of our Halloween experiences with the Korean people and they could not believe some of the things we do. It was super fun to look back on the idiotic things I used to do around this time back home.



SO this week was full of many emotions, and some real fun times. We taught one Korean class on Monday, and then on Thursday we went to a high school for 6 hours and taught English. It was a ball! I love those kids; I seriously love them so much. And they love us too! We are white and speak English, so when we get to the school's location we become instant celebrities and it is hilarious! It makes me feel nice. When you introduce yourself, there are like ROARS from the students! Hahahaha it is so funny! All I said was, "I am Elder Jenkins, I am from America and I really like baseball" and they lost their crap! That is a fun thing for me. Then on Saturday we taught another English class, and afterwards some mom tried like hooking her up with my daughter... hahaha every one likes the American lifestyle here!
I Serve in a Beautiful Place
Anyway, it was a really pretty enjoyable week, but to be honest it started out super crappy! On Tuesday, we had made a plan to go and visit a less active member that lives quite a ways away-- maybe 1.5 hours. So we trekked out there and I was just in a terrible mood. I sometimes just feel like we aren't getting done what we need to, and we spend so much time travelling.  Right when we got on the bus, I was just kind of mad and negative. And, to pile on top of that, we looked for like 3 hours to try and find his restaurant and we weren't having any luck. It was the most frustrating thing! We finally found it on the second floor of a factory and it didn't even have a sign. So, by the time we got to him, I was not in a good mood. But the thing is, when we found him he was ecstatic! He was so happy. He couldn't believe we had found his restaurant (and neither could we haha-- put a sign up!!!).  But even though he was so happy, I still wasn't. I was being a selfish piece of crap. So we left and when we got on the bus, I pulled out a talk that I really have come to rely on and love. This quote really stood out:

         "True character is demonstrated by looking and reaching outward when the natural and instinctive response is to be self-absorbed and turn inward." 

It described exactly what I was doing. And I was not happy at all! AT ALL! So the rest of the week I really worked on charity and the blessings truly did come. I became sooo much happier. From this humbling experience, my testimony of charity and trying to develop Christlike character has truly been strengthened. When we can see every one as they truly are, as Children of God, then we really can begin to develop the character that I believe we all want so badly. So try it, and I know you will be blessed.

I really and sincerely love all of you!

Elder Jenkins!

My typical day:
  • 6:30 wake up and work out
  • 7:30 shower and have a small breakfast
  • 8:00 individual study
  • 9:00 companion study
  • 10:00 language study 
  • 11:00 lunch
  • 11:30 travel to appointments
  • 9:00 pm plan for the next day, write in my journal
  • Sleep!  I'm sleeping great!  I am physically exhausted every night so I just drop cold.
Neat and Tidy, A House of Order!


Monday, October 26, 2015

Staying in the Gimp!

Staying in the Gimp! Obviously. And that is good news because we have some good things to work with in our area!
Gimpo Ward Party

In the video, you will notice I am singing.  In Korean.  The MTC Choir experience is paying off.

Speaking of Korean, some days I understand 40% of what is said to me, others 80%.  It is coming.

So I will try to be short and concise! We've been going to Inchon every day for proselyting activities which has been way fun.  There is a huge conference on family history being held there at the church and we are helping find people to come.  Then we are home in our area for the evenings.  

The Irish guy came to Korean class on Monday night.  He is a hoot!  The other students that attend are from Ireland and Wales, and he is from Wales so they had a ball talking about home.  They are all here teaching English (trying to pay off college debt) and so they are trying to learn some Korean.  We might be the only area in the mission with enough foreigners to hold Korean class.  I love it.

Tuesday night we met with my man Bruce Lee. This man is a stud!!! We just went out and he had coffee and we had smoothies and we talked for the longest time. He seriously seems so ready. I love him! I love him! I love him! Even though we didn't spit out a lesson on him, the Spirit was heavy when we met. I nearly cried and I was just sharing why I was in Korea. Gosh it was crazy. I feel that he is such a miracle for us. 

Second miracle! On Monday night I called this guy I had met earlier this transfer to see if we could meet and he acted completely uninterested. It freaking burned me, especially because he seemed so curious when we talked before. So that weighed me down for a while, but then all of a sudden he called back on Tuesday night when we were coming home from an activity and he said, "Hey I am pretty hungry, lets go get something to eat!" So we met him, and then he took us on like a 15 minute drive to this restaurant he knows. Throughout the night, he really opened up to us and it turned out to be a brilliant experience! I was so dang happy the whole time we were together. And also, that night I partook of the most delicious food I have ever eaten in my entire life. UNBELIEVABLE! That really rounded out the night for me (reference to this life changing food below).

Once again, I'm short on time, but what a week. Nice bounce back for me. These may seem small and not cool to you, but they truly are blessings in my eyes.

I love you all!

Keep on tearing life up back home.

Elder Jenkins
A typical beautiful Korean morning!
Okay awesome week for culture!
  • They have Milk flavored EVERYTHING: Milk Soda (which is easily my favorite drink); Milk flavored ice cream (haha I know right?... and that is my favorite ice cream actually); Milk and Honey flavored potato chips (delicious, really).  I bet they have Milk flavored Milk!
  • Speaking of milk: Blueberry, Melon, Watermelon, and my favorite- Banana flavored milk!
  • Kimchi is absolutely delicious to me now as well! Funny, because it was my least favorite thing in the world before my mission! But I seriously cannot get enough of it now. Whenever we go out to eat, everyone just like gives me their Kimchi trays because it is my kick!
  • Moving on to more foods that are so tantalizing you would not believe:
  1. - Samgyeopsal, which is the super yummy pork belly stuff! Easily the best food I have eaten here. I seriously cannot explain how delicious that was! 
  2. - Chinese noodles covered in this crazy black gooey sauce. Looked dreadful, but super good!
  3. - Dak Garbi (dak means chicken and garbi I have no clue--maybe freaking spicy or something because that is what it was). What you did was put it on a lettuce leaf or this other kind of leaf and eat it like a sandwich! Way good, until I tried that other leaf. It tasted JUST like ibuprofen. I swear on it! It was the nastiest tasting thing I have ever had. I could not believe it! Seriously still in awe. I was gagging! hahahah
  • And the other weird thing that I cannot get over is separating your trash when you have leftovers and then freezing it! Super gross!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Giants on the Subway!

Korea is known as the "Land of the Morning Calm!" Sure is Beautiful!
First off, sorry my weekly is so much later than usual; we actually went out to lunch with a potential investigator which delayed our computer time. Anyway, the crazy thing is he is from France, so we went out for burgers and got to speak in English! He is such a great guy, but more on that later...

So this week was started with our greenie get-together thing, where we all got together and kind of discussed how we can help our trainers help us. It was so fun seeing Elder Fleming and my "dongi," which in English means something like "same time entering the MTC" (MTC cohort). It was so much fun seeing President as well!

The reason why I tell you this is because on our way home, good things started happening! While getting on the subway, I saw this freaking giant white guy so I instantly walked over just to see how tall he was. Of course we talked for a while and it was so cool! While I was talking to him, I looked down the subway just a little ways (yes this implies that I am for once taller than some people, and I am also much much bigger than most Korean people, so I basically have to stand up in the subways because I just don't fit), but I saw another foreigner and I saw him peeking at me so I just kind of loudly said, "What's up man."  He was completely astonished! In our wail of excitement, he asked for my phone number and so that is how we met our Frenchman! Screaming across a subway!

Two of the Giants on the Subway:  Me and the Frenchman we met
THEN on Thursday we were walking around an E-mart looking for this puzzle of the Salt Lake City Temple.   Haha in Korea? I know right! The title translates to "Beautiful Building" or something like that.  We were looking for it for some members, and we ran in to another foreigner from Wales. He ended up being the coolest guy! He had worked with some Mormons before and he just loved talking about them, and then he told us his whole life story after that. He invited me and my companion to be in his band. Yup. Band haha! Instead, we made him a deal: If we go and record with him, then he has to come to our Korean class. He is coming tonight, so you should expect an album with my name on it coming out soon! haha

The coolest thing of my week came on Friday! Scott D. Whiting from the Seventy (who actually gave the last prayer in Conference) came and did a conference with us. His words were absolutely monumental--like singe your eyebrows kind of a message. The craziest part about it was that he asked for an interview with me! So we just had a short little interview about life and it was the chillest thing ever! Goodness it was cool.

He interviewed 12 missionaries from the mission total.  I think I was the only greenie.  The interviews occurred after four hours of conference where he kind of scolded us, so I was pretty nervous.  But I sat down and he was the coolest guy.  He LOVES Manti, and he COULD NOT believe that my old man was a knife maker.  We just had a very casual talk about what I did before the mission.  At the end, he said "you need to thank your parents for doing such a good job with you."  So, way to go mom and dad--a GA said that, so you are in the clear.  Then he said, "we surely need to meet again Elder Jenkins" and he told me he would not have a hard time remembering knife making father and small town Manti.  What an experience.  Out of the 150 missionaries in the mission, I was so privileged to meet personally with a General Authority.

But anyways, it was a very enjoyable week for me! I hope yours was as well.
Couple funny things:
  • My clothing size in Korea is 3XL (and I've lost weight!)
  • I think I actually have been swearing in Korean without knowing it, so I will have to quit that! Trainer told me! haha
  • This cooooool member had us over for lunch yesterday and he told me that I sounded fluent because of the intonation I use!  I couldn't believe that, but I guess that means some humbling experiences will be sent my way soon!

From your homie in Korea

Elder Jenkins
More photos:
The Coooool Member!

Canal looking north into North Korea!

New Suit!