Monday, September 28, 2015

I Love This Place!!!

Thanks for the Catch! What a great Family!

I'll try to be quick, but I feel like I constantly am doing wild and memorable things. I think the whole mission will be the craziest memory! What a wonderful week. I love this place with all of my heart already! 

My favorite parts of my past week seem to all come from Mission Conference. It was so so awesome. I loved it! Even though it had only been a week, I had missed Elder Fleming so much! It was way nice to see him.  We did a lot of training the first day, and there was a hilarious talent show that night. Because our house is so far away from the mission home, we got to stay in Gangnam that night. That place is legit! So the reason why I tell you this is because on our way to the Gangnam house, there was this college aged guy who was kind of looking at me funny (probably because I was also hauling a bed around--we call them a Yo but I have no clue what they are called in America--which might have grabbed his attention). So he pulls out his headphones, looks at me, and says "You look berry Handsome" Of course, I stood up and ran over to him and started speaking in English and Korean. He was Amazing! He seemed so ready to hear the gospel. He actually gave me his phone number before I even asked. It made me feel so good. The Lord's work is so great! 
The catchers mitt was a sign that I needed to play catch with them! Right?
But Saturday was by FAR my favorite day of my mission. The coolest day! My favorite part was our little scavenger hunt thing with the whole mission at the Olympic Park near our mission home.  What a cool place.  There are crazy statues and Olympic memorials all over the park and there were people and families playing everywhere. I actually met this super nice family that was playing around in the big field in the park. They pulled out baseball mitts, so I asked if I could have a quick catch with them! Haha and they let me! What a fun experience. So I’ve been in Korea two weeks and a little baseball catch actually spurred a great little discussion about the church! 
Sharing the gospel and how to throw a knuck!
I love these Korean people.  We basically just walked around and talked to people the rest of the day. Elder Fleming and I got to share all of our stories and it was so fun.

And very quickly, my last story. After the conference as we were taking our 3 hour subway ride home, I opened up my scriptures because I was sort of bored and I was also kind of frustrated with the work and our area. Many of the people at conference were sharing some sweet stories about their investigators, and it sounded so great and fun. Being in an area that does not have any investigators made me kind of sad and frustrated. So as I opened up to somewhere in Doctrine and Covenants, one of the first verses I read was the line "I will hasten my work in its time" and I was like "Okay, I need to learn patience." Well, I said a quick prayer and did some internal repenting, and literally like 5 minutes later, this little couple sits down by me and starts speaking English.  They got out their phones and looked up The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints after I introduced myself.  That was a quick answer to my prayers. Heck yea! And then right after we transferred to a bus, a whole Filipino family started talking to us and they seemed interested! YES!!!!!!! So we gave them our card with our contact information. Who knows what will actually happen. But in that moment, the Lord hastened his work for me. And it made me so happy. I love the Lord, and I love this work!
An early Hyundai--I think...
Also, we continue to work with our farmer.  He is a really interesting man and I know he feels something when we share our testimonies with him and try to teach him.  It might take a while, though; he has a bunch of potatoes to dig!
Digging or maybe Hitting potatoes!

I like this work too!

A couple more things:

  • I love Rice Burgers!!!  The food here is sooo legit!
  • I also love rice!  Just plain old rice!
  • There is a place here called Loterria and it is a ton like Wendy's!  Dope!
  • They have this Melon flavored soda that is legit, and their little .30 cent ice cream bars are so so good!
  • Everyday we ride the bus and there are TV screens everywhere, so it's possible I see a few funny clips and baseball highlights.  oops!
  • My Comp is Elder Anderson from NYC and lately from BYU.  He is totally chill and speaks mightily in great Korean...I think?
  • I've been picking up a lot of phrases and talking as much as I can to people.  It's so fun trying to speak to them!  I've been making a lot of contacts too.  Koreans are so nice!
Sorry everything is soo scattered. I don't have much time. 

I am sooo happy here.  The Lord just nailed it with this call.  This is my place and it's glorious!

Love you all!

Elder Jenkins

A few more random photos:
That's dirt Mom!

Potato Patch

Korea is just Beautiful!!!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

What a Ride!!!

Monday morning (September 14) we had to wake up at 2:30 (yes AM) and report to the travel office! Basically from there, we drove to SLC and then flew to Detroit, which was about a 3 hour flight. There, we had a layover for about 3 hours and then we took our MARATHON of a flight to Incheon Korea!!! I think the flight was like 13 hours or something crazy like that.  But I took some Tylenol PM right at the start and I literally do not remember even taking off. I do remember landing in Incheon Korea, so I slept a good 12-13 hours!  We got off the plane and  met our mission president.  I love him already!

President and Sister Meyer with Seth and new companion.
We got on the subway and started talking to people--well tried talking to people.  Hahahaha what the heck?  But somehow I gave a Book of Mormon away. Yeah!  That night we slept at the mission home and I can't believe it, but I slept like a baby even after sleeping for 13 hours on the flight.

Because we like lost a day-- Tuesday--my first real day was Wednesday. I got my trainer and we were assigned to a place called Gimpo.  It is the biggest area in our mission and we have only me and my companion and two sisters.  That is it!  We have sooo much ground to cover!!!
The Country

The City.  From my apartment window!

So my first crazy story comes from Friday. We had this appointment to go help this guy on his farm which really surprised me because everyone told us that there was only city in our mission! I got suuuper hyped to go to the country! It was farming I wasn't quite familiar with because we basically just picked these little seeds for him. My companion talked like the whole time, and I could not understand anything!!! Because he lives in the country, he has this super weird dialect so all I could understand was the word... God haha! But it was cool being in the fields in the country. So then afterwards we had a little lesson prepared and he wanted to open up with some singing. We sang "Nearer my God to Thee" two times through for some reason and then we sang another song from his church two times through as well! When we started teaching, he interrupted and just talked the WHOLE rest of the time!!! Hahaha. Well, we just went with it.  Less time I have to try and make up sentences with my broken Korean! Then he prayed with us and that was it.  Afterwards my companion told me that the guy said he was trying to be a preacher for another church.  Oh well, we tried! But while we were there, we were right next to the Ocean and... North Korea so that was way cool!
Headed to the farm!
On this ultra sophisticated Korean contraption

I don't have much more time, but I feel like I already have a thousand stories about this crazy country! The people are amazing! Whenever we walk by people, we say hello and bow and they do the same. That creates a lot of conversation opportunities. And the food is sooooo legit! I really feel like I am settling down well already. Things are so much different here, but there are also a lot of American things. We just ate at a McDonald's and the other day I had a Mountain Dew.  Everything else has been all Korean food! I just love it here! I really do!  I miss you all, and hopefully I can say more things next week! I love the Gospel and I love "trying" to share it with my Korean brothers and sisters.  Love you all!
Those fish are looking right back at you!
A few more funny things.

  • You cannot cross your legs here like I love to do.
  • There is this stuff called banana milk and I love it
  • The grapes are incredible.
  • The pancakes are NOT sweet.
  • Ice cream is sooooooo goood!
  • Temple trips are scheduled once a transfer
  • To cross the street, you don't push those buttons! I guess those actually call the cops, which I almost found that out the hard way. But we left, so I never found out what happened cause we ran.
  • And we sleep on the floor basically (haha)! 
I am in such a lucky place. I get the city and I get the country where I hear a weird Korean Dialect! What a dope opportunity!

I am blessed!!!

Elder Jenkins!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

4 Days Until Takeoff!


Can you believe that on Monday I will be leaving the US for quite some time? SO wild, and to be honest, it is bitter sweet leaving. I really have enjoyed the MTC; I literally have learned so much about myself and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In no way do I feel ready to be thrown into the field or to try my Korean out, but I really cannot wait to do it anyway.  How else am I going to learn, right? Four days. Holy Cow!!

Honestly, it has been a really fun week, but ... I am having a hard time remembering details.  Maybe the most real part of the week was Friday. At like 11:00 am, we got our flight plans! We are flying out on Monday at 7:30, which means we have to be at the travel office by 3:30 am! Then, we have a 3-4 hour flight to Detroit, a 2 1/2 hour layover, and then another 13-14 hours to the promised land! So excited to get there! 
Travel itinerary and the new name tag:  pronounced Jen-keen-su.
Only a  few hours after we got our flight plans we got our all-Korean name tags. That was pretty thrilling as well.  I think this was the day where it really hit me: "I am going to KOREA"!  I have been so excited since then. It sounds like when we land in Inchun, we slap the new tags on, find the APs, and then get on the subway and start talking to the people about Jesus Christ! Thrown to the wolves maybe? Who knows, but I'm giving some Books of Mormon away for sure.  It will be Elder Fleming's and my last hurrah as a companionship, so you know we will make it count! 

On Tuesday, we had our weekly MTC devotional and this guy named Bishop Causse came and spoke on this scripture from 2 Corinthians about the Lord calling the weak things of the world to preach His word. He also talked quite a bit on becoming a bold missionary!  Very, very relatable--for me at least.  I feel so weak with my language skills right now, but I also know the Lord will provide a way if I "Open My Mouth"!  Faith!!!!  So he told some stories that related to that really well and they were awesome. But then there was a "Thug Life" moment after he said amen.  He turned to us and said, "The closing hymn is supposed to be sung by all of you, but instead I am just going to be bold and play the closing hymn without any singing by you." He strolled over to the piano and banged out a crazy version of a hymn  It was so cool! Like big time mic drop. Then basically he  just walked out.  I am going to miss devotionals, that is for sure!
The Crew!

Maybe the coolest moment for me this week happened last night. A bunch of our District went downstairs for a while, but Elder Fleming and I stayed in the room for some studying and the kid that wants to get reassigned was in our room as well. So I kind of started being me and began asking questions to try and figure out what he was thinking at this point and trying to gauge some things for myself. We had a really really powerful discussion. I shared with him the famous story of the Elder who in is farewell talk shared the story of a dream he had about the pre-existence and his best friend there. To try and sum the story up without taking forever, the Elder and his friend got their calls to go to earth:  the friend was to be born without the gospel and without much at all; the Elder was to be born with it all, but most importantly the gospel. Their farewell was very emotional, but the Elder made a promise that he was going to find his friend on the earth. Then the dream ended.

A few months after sharing this story in his farewell, his bishop received a letter from him with three words that formed a very amazing sentence: "I found my friend." I believe that in the pre-existence that things like this happened to all of us, but I especially believe that something like this happened to me. I just wanted the Elder who is hoping to be moved to think about it.  I believe that I had some friends that were born without the gospel and that some of them currently live in South Korea.  I told them "I will come and find you." Dang, I'm holding back tears as I write this because I just believe it so strongly. I have some friends to find, and that is why I am going to Korea...

I miss you all, and I love you so much. I cannot wait to put on my Korean jersey for the Lord! My Provo jersey is getting pretty worn out (haha).


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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Korea is part of my plan

The quickest week of my mission so far. Holy cow! It really does seem like I was just writing you, but even in quick time a lot has happened.  Most of those things have been super sweet!!! 

The District

First off, one of the Elders in the District made the decision to re-submit his paperwork to get reassigned. Kind of unbelievable. When he first said that, I wanted to punch him, but then I realized that this Korean experience has been very difficult for our entire District. It is such a grind trying to learn the language and trying to learn the gospel at the same time. So maybe I can understand him just a little bit, but I have had a hard time with it as well. In fact, for a short time I let it change my attitude from being happy and excited to being frustrated and angry. For some reason, I let it affect me that much. 

However, the Lord answered my prayers very quickly! I know that I was called to Korea by God the Father himself. I know that I NEED to go to Korea. I don't always know why, but I know it is the perfect mission for me. And even though this is incredibly difficult, I know the Lord has a plan for me! 

Tuesday, we heard a rumor that someone special was coming for the Devotional. Guess who?  ELDER OAKS!!!! I actually got to hear two Apostles in my stay here, and once again choir provided a very nice seat. This experience just turned my whole week around! Elder Oaks delivered a great talk on the importance of missionary work, and for me the Spirit was felt very strongly. It just made me happy, which is exactly what the Spirit is supposed to do. I also just love it when a prayer is answered through someone else's words. 

Study, study, study

A funny part of my week was in one of our lessons with a "14 year old rebel child." The freaking Elders before us took him some candy to reward him for a kept commitment, so then in our lesson he pulled it out and started eating it. Then out of nowhere he said "I stole these" with a big old grin on his face! He knew exactly what he was doing.  Seriously, Elder Fleming and I had the hardest time explaining to him why that was so bad. Our vocabulary has not yet reached the point where we can talk about not stealing Lifesavers nor his excuse of peer pressure.  After a while of struggling, I couldn't help but to start laughing at him. At least I learned the lifesaver lesson in the MTC rather than the field!

Kind of out of time, but I just want to say real quick that in the Pre-Mortal life, we all chose a path.  However, upon receiving our bodies we lost knowledge of that choice and path, but God still remembers. He roots for me and you to stay on our paths every single day. He just wants the best for us because He knows the end reward for us if we do those things to stay on the path. I think every time I feel the Spirit through scripture study, a talk, a prayer, whatever good thing it may be, a little bit of that path is unveiled for me and I remember just a little bit of what my path looks like. I know that going to Korea is right smack in the middle of my path; I know I am supposed to be serving there and I cannot deny that. It is part of God's plan for me. God has a plan for all of us, and we can't forget that.

I love you all so dang much! It is a great day in the Kingdom!

Elder Jenkins