Monday, January 25, 2016

Korean Kold!!!

Okay, I am going to be straight up: this week was freezing! Holy cow! I have never felt such cold, but we survived, and on top. So last P-day we went to the Huge Korean Zoo and it was desolate: no one was there because it was so dang cold. Basically, there were ten missionaries just running around having a good time. And it was a good time!

We had quite a few appointments cancel due to the weather, but we still had a few. There is one that I really want to tell you about!

So this guy was actually born and raised in China, but he has lived in Korea for like 8 years now so he is fluent in Korean. The crazy thing about him was that he just showed up randomly to church last week and told us about this "peaceful feeling" he had had like 4 years ago at our church. That feeling is why he came back after 4 years--he still remembers it. Legit! We scheduled an appointment for Saturday and he must have been excited because he showed up early for the appointment.  We didn't know much about him, so we decided to get to know him first. Then we decided to show him the video "Finding Faith in Christ" and boy was that a guided decision! The Spirit was really really strong!  Oh man, I could hardly believe it. And the funny part was, neither could he. He was literally laughing out loud because he was so happy. It was awesome!!! So we are going to start meeting him now, and he is the greatest!
On the Suwon Wall

We also visited a LOT of members this week and that was waayyyy fun! I think maybe my very favorite part about this Gospel is the happiness that it brings to us individually, but also that that exact same happiness can be shared so easily with other people.  Man, what good news this is.

Some funny things that have happened recently:

1. Some guy offered my companion and I his like 26 year old daughter to marry. (hahahaha) He was saddened by our response.
2. There was a time this week that my companion literally could not move his lips to talk to some guy because of the cold, so he looked to me but I had no clue was what going on due to the BRAIN FREEZE that I had received from the cold.  Needless to say, it got kind of awkward.
3. And you may not believe it, because I am still surprised, but I drew another comparison this week. This time:Tom Cruise--black haired, overly rotated teeth Tom Cruise. Man, what is up with these people?  Do they think all white people look alike?
We have to compete with devices in order to make contacts

Anyways, it was a fun week, and I hope you all know how much I love you!

Elder Jenkins

Monday, January 18, 2016

Introducing...Broad Fitt!

Man, the anticipation was mad on Saturday night! Holy cow! It was a transfer weekend and because of changes in the mission (fewer missionaries), we expected them to cut down a team of our Elders.  I honestly thought there was no way I was staying, but  .....  I get to STAY!  We were jumping up and down, and hooting and hollering! So nice. And that might mean I actually could stay here for a while.  I'm hoping to see the summer time here. That relieving news might have been one of the best parts of my week. I felt a lot of anxiety from the possibility of leaving. It would have been just like my first area: right when things are getting real good, out I go! But luckily I am staying and the work goes on.  Things are still pointed towards a Baptismal Service next month with hopefully 4 total investigators receiving it that day. How great would be the joy!!

So this week was our busiest week thus far, not just in our area but the mission as well. We had quite a few teaching appointments, but nothing like most missionaries in Utah haha. I just received an email from someone I knew in the MTC who was coming to Korea with us but actually stayed in Orem to serve, and in the email he said that they are teaching about 25 lessons a week. That sounds absolutely insane to me. So they might be your two polar opposites of missionary work, but, seriously, I wouldn't want to be in ANY other place right now. It is just one of those things. Perfection. This place is perfect for me! Gosh I just get so happy talking about it. This seriously is the greatest thing ever.

I actually don't have a ton of details from this week, but it was awesome. Here is a small list:

1. A kind of random, well really random, guy showed up before church yesterday and he wanted to learn and he stayed for church as well. That is exactly what you would want to happen on a Sunday before church I guess, but it is not common here.

2. I can't remember if it was this week or not, but I know I haven't told this one: we were sticker boarding and these two old guys approached us and they were looking at the board (which I was holding) and then I saw one of them just like staring at my face with the goofiest look on his face. I had no clue what was going on, but then he started like whispering to his friend and then some more of their friends started filing over and at this point I was became very self-conscious and then they started pointing at me and saying something and they were getting way excited. I was freaked! To make it worse, none of us could understand the "Korean" they were speaking, but then all of the sudden I figured out that they weren't speaking Korean at all. They were saying a name, SO I listened harder and then it clicked: BRAD PITT! (haha) It sounded more like Broad Fitt. But I got it, and then the roar started. I think one of them asked where's Angelina?  SO I got the Brad Pitt comparison! Hahahahaha I don't think they know what they are talking about, but alright I will take it. Then the guy actually literally went and bought us coffee because he thought he had found Broad Fitt or something... I don't know. But it was a super funny experience.

3. We didn't spend like any money this entire week, so my meals literally were ramen and dumplings! I may have gained weight because of this. Maybe I don't look so much like Brad Pitt anymore.
4. The language is progressing well, but some days are better than others.  Sometimes I swear I understand 95% of every conversation and then next time nothing.  Super weird!  The good thing is I feel improvement all the time, especially in this new area!

Anyway, another fun week! And there was much success--maybe not Utah "success" but it sure was great.

Love you all!

Elder Jenkins
PS.  Thanks for the update Dad, GO BRONCOS!!!
Across the Street from our New Apartment!

Monday, January 11, 2016

6 Month Mark!!!

At the Temple with Elder Stowe
Wow what a great week.  I don't remember if I told you, but last week we kind of had a surprise attendee at church. We taught this investigator in the morning before church, and I think he must have just felt some pressure to stay from some members. I sat  by him during Sacrament and about half way through someone got pretty emotional on the stand and he just turned to me and basically said, "WHOA, I gotta go." And he just took off! NO!!!  I was assuming that someone's emotions just completely ruined anything we might have had with this guy and I was quite upset about it.  I just could not believe it!  But the next day we decided to give him a call to see if he could meet again and he was just like "Oh yeah for sure!" I was in disbelief.  We met him on Tuesday and literally his first sentence was, "so are we like going to step this up to like twice a week or what?.." Obviously we said yes, and then he went on to say "Well I have been thinking pretty hard, and you know what, I think I can join your church." YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!! Out of nowhere. Once again, I was in disbelief!  So we are definitely stepping it up with him.

Then on Thursday we spent quite a bit of time looking for a Less Active Member's house and we had absolutely no luck.  In the process of getting lost looking for his house, we actually were in a place we had been before but I had no clue.  I realized it while we were roaming the streets and I looked over into this office and it was a guy we had met like 2 weeks ago.  He is just way busy, so we hadn't seen him since. We ran over to his office and he let us in and we kind of pulled a lesson out of nowhere, and it just rocked him! He was like even tearing up and everything. At the end of the lesson, he said "I really like what you guys are doing, and I really like your church and I think I want to start trying to come." What the? Out of nowhere. We had two very similar but incredible miracles! NICE!!!

Then it was my companion's birthday and we had a ball.  It was literally the craziest day.  I loved it! We ate at an all-you-can eat meat restaurant, we had cake, and we had a dance party at our house that night (no girls)! Sometimes you really do need something like that to help you let some steam off.

On Saturday we met another new investigator. He is from Cameroon and is looking for a new church. It honestly sounds like what we have to offer can really fit well with what he is going through right now.  I really feel good about Desmond!! But to comment on that appointment, it was HARD! Teaching the gospel in English was a hard adjustment, but the coolest thing is, no matter what the language or the circumstance, the Spirit can be felt, and the Spirit changes lives.  How amazing and unique is this gospel!!! 

Well that's my week from over here in Korea. I love you all!

Elder Jenkins

Monday, January 4, 2016

Suwon Madhouse!

Elder Ely and me at the Temple

Another week seriously just flew by! I am trying to piece together all that happened, so bear with me.

So last Monday wasn't really our p-day because we went to the temple on Thursday; when that happens, Thursday becomes p-day. After emailing on Monday, we went and sticker-boarded at the most populated place in our area and it was a MADHOUSE! Gosh it was so much fun, and it was honestly pretty successful as well--which never hurts. On the way back from the Suwon Subway Station, we had to stop for this Korean TV Drama that was being filmed, so we were just hanging out at a little back-road intersection for almost an hour. It was pretty cool to see all of the TV action behind the scenes. We had to wait quite a while which meant... a perfect opportunity for a street lesson! And we took advantage. Elder Ely talked to one friend and I talked to the other; they were actually extras for the show (haha), but we had like a GREAT talk and we left them with some of God's word. Man, what a good time. Who would have thought an hour delay for a TV Show would be a good thing?
The awesome Elder Lee!

The other good thing that happened this week: We went to the TEMPLE!  I was able to see my friend Elder Lee from the MTC. Yeah! The temple was great and it was super fun to re-connect with old MTC friends.

Probably the coolest/funniest thing that happened this week was our appointment with our investigator Young Tuk Park. It was such an awesome lesson. We watched the Restoration video for some review and to see how he felt about Joseph Smith.  At the end of it all, we tried to commit him to pray about Joseph Smith and his response was so priceless.  He said "No. Why would I need to pray about that?" I really couldn't believe he was saying that. Even after the great lesson and everything, he just shot it down.  After an extremely painful moment of silence where we didn't know what to say (thinking he was rejecting the lesson) he said, "I don't need to pray about it, you guys already told me that he was a Prophet. You guys are also missionaries, which means you cannot lie, so like of course I am just going to believe what you say!" (hahahaha) After scaring the crap out of me and Elder Ely, he comes in with like the cutest, most innocent answer! Obviously we needed to do some more teaching/explaining, and after more explanation he agreed to pray about it. It was an experience filled with whirlwinds, but a great one nonetheless.

Oh, and I almost forgot: for New Years we had no plans, but early that morning our bishop texted us and invited us to come to the church at 7am. Not knowing what was going on, we put on some exercise clothes and just booked it to the church. When we got there, we hiked this mountain right by the church with a bunch of ward members.  We sat on the mountain top and watched the sun rise on the new year.  I thought it was a little strange until I saw literally like 5,000 other people sitting on the hill. I guess that is a normal thing to do for New Years.  It turned out to be super cool, and afterwards we had the traditional soup Koreans eat for breakfast on New Years!

Well a fun and fast week here in Sinpung. Love you all!
More Korean Fun Facts:
  • 80% of Koreans go home in an elevator
  • Korean members almost never cry in testimony meetings, not quite like the Manti 8th Ward
  • My apartment is all Utah boys except Elder Ely, who is from Georgia
  • So far I like Korean winters better than Utah winters
  • Rice Cake Soup (Tteokguk) is the traditional New Year's soup we had.  It is almost white and it means something like have a fresh start and good luck in the new year.   Pretty good too!

Elder Jenkins
Recent converts we continue to work with: