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!

Monday, October 12, 2015

I Love Squid!

ONE MONTH! What in the world? I have been in Korea for an entire month! That doesn't sound like much, but it sure feels like a lot, but it also feels like it has been going by soooo fast! I don't have a ton to talk about this week, but a couple cool things did happen.

So early in the week, we had 3 people to meet and they were in all corners of our area. That meant a TON of traveling! I bet we spent 6 total hours on a bus, which made me tired and grumpy--haha not very missionary-like, but I am working to overcome! Anyway, after our last stop I was almost asleep on the route home when all these teenagers came and sat by us in the back of the bus.
Bus Time!

So they started trying their English on us, and it turns out that they are this big time rapping crew here in Korea! So we spent like 45 minutes just talking about all these American rappers they like (I may have shared my favorites as well--also not very missionary-like, but I am working).  Anyway, it was so fun! We are going to try to meet them this week. So that is my worldly experience for the week.
My favorite experience came from Conference. I LOVED IT!  I actually got to watch it in English which was nice. I think I really received some things that will help me to keep working. It truly was a blessing for me to take a break from all the chaos here in Korea and to listen to the Prophet and his Apostles speak. It really was incredible! Being out here made me realize how much I have always taken that for granted. Don't be like the old me; instead use that opportunity to grow and to learn! 

Foods from this week were legit! We had a zone training, so I tried some new things. 
  • Squid in this suuuuuuuper spicy sauce, but it was easily my favorite food thus far.
  • Cup Bob which is rice, tuna, fried chicken, mayo, and maybe sesame sauce... in a cup. My second favorite food! And cheap! 
  • Squid soup! Delicious!
It's getting COLD in Korea!  The shopping malls are insane here.  One in our area is completely underground.

Language slip off the week:   I think I might have told a member that I would never eat that. But I meant I have never eaten that haha! 

I think I had more, but I can't think of anything more right now.  Anyway, I am running out of time. But know that I love, care, and remember you all!

Elder Jenkins

Some photos of our apartment:
Supposedly one of the biggest in the mission

Word has it, this apartment is in poor condition compared to others in the mission.

But it is clean!

Monday, October 5, 2015

I met Bruce Lee!

Okay! As always, I don't have much time, but it will work.
Seoul Korea Temple

Awesome week!!! On Thursday we went to the Temple and it is so legit! To get there, we left mission boundaries and crossed the Han River.  That by itself was a cool experience. The session was actually in English, which surprised me.  It was sure great to get back in the Lord's house!
The Han River

My quick story comes from some day this week--which one, I don't remember because it seems everything is mushing together! It is terrible.  Anyways, we were making an attempt to find a less-actives house and as we got on to this PACKED bus, the bus driver and a passenger were going hard at each other in an argument.  They were full on screaming! It scared me, first of all because I was like right in their laps and second of all I had not a clue what was being said! Anyway, because of this 45 minute long argument (no lie, screaming for 45 minutes hahahaha), the bus driver skipped like 5 stops so we missed our stop!

We finally hopped off and started walking for like an hour or so and we got so lost,  but we stumbled across this sick like man-made canal that leads right to the ocean.  It was cool.  But as we became more lost, it was getting later in the day and we had something to get to so we just hopped on this random bus and rode it for like a long time--maybe an hour and a half.  So I, being the soft greenie, totally knocked out.  I woke up to this Korean guy saying "excuse me" in English because he wanted to sit next to me.  I made room and I instantly started talking to him about how he knew English. As we started talking, he told me a TON about his life. He had served in the US Army and had lived in Washington state and had been to Mormon Church! WHAT?? So after some stories, I felt prompted to ask him if he was happy. He looked at me like I was insane! Then he said, "I have absolutely no clue what happiness even is!" Whoa.... could be golden! And his name is Bruce Lee. Way cool.  To pull the story together: if that terrifying screaming match did not take place, and the bus driver did not miss all of those stops, and if we hadn't gotten ourselves even more lost, I would never have met Bruce Lee! 

This experience helped me to realize that God has a plan, even if you have no clue as to what that is. Don't worry: sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride! hahaha But don't fall asleep too long on the ride because you might just miss what He wanted you to find!

Cultural Craziness:
  • Bathhouses are a huge thing here.  Interesting...
  • You separate trash from food trash.  The food trash goes in the freezer...yup gross.
  • I am actually 20 years old here.
  • Our bathroom is one small room and the shower head is right next to the toilet, so you soak everything in the bathroom when you shower.  That is how all Korean bathrooms are. 
  • Many of the juices have chunks of fruit in them.
  • We sit down on the floor in restaurants, cross-legged (finally a place I can cross my legs!).
  • I played basketball with some members.  Wondering if garments are magic:  I made 7 3-pointers in a row. 
  • Our area covers the islands west of the mainland.  It takes two hours to get there--on a bus.
  • We played Korean pool and it is insanely difficult. 
I love you all wayyyyyy too much! Missing you everyday!

Elder Jenkins!
More photos:
Han River Island

Looking west from our apartment