Monday, February 29, 2016

New Flat; New Scenery

Sunrise from our New Flat

Man this week was insane.  It was easily one of the best weeks in a loooong time. I cannot believe how busy we were, but it made for a productive week. But where to start? AH!

Okay, here is how the fun began: On Monday (P-day), we finished all of our packing preparations to move to the new house (our old apartment sold),  and then we hit up a glorious Bathhouse. Those things are so stinking legit! So after coming out a new man, we ate at an all-you-can-eat buffet called VIPS, and it was so awesome.  It had Salmon, ribs, chicken, everything basically.  It was great! Then we went to a family's house (it is pretty pointless to tell you their names because you won't be able to read them) but it went well. We taught them the first lesson, along with some English, and they were very accepting.
Packing argh!

The next day, Tuesday, we moved. The move took like ALL day!  It was crazy. On Wednesday, we had interviews with our Mission President and those were also legit. He is such a boss! On Thursday I went on exchanges with a Zone Leader and we literally just went finding the whole time, and it was really fun. Then on Friday we had this huge English Advertisement thing with almost our whole Zone and it was a blast! I have never seen that many people surrounding our sticker boards. While we were there, we decided that we should call this Less Active Member who lives right where we were.  He actually came out and hung with us. He told us he wants to be a good baseball player, so I told him I played way back in the day.  Well one thing lead to another... and guess what my new name is? Coach Jenkins! That night we actually went to a batting cage thing and he took some swings... and I couldn't help but take some myself! It was so fun! But I definitely have lost some skills.  I think I will just stick to the title Elder Jenkins for now. It really was a fun night with him, and I think that slowly but surely he is going to come back.

Then on Saturday we had maybe the coolest thing happen in my entire LIFE! The other elders' investigator got baptized!!! Man it was so sick!!!! His name is 무초  which believe it or not sounds like Mucho (just like the word in Spanish). It was a hectic time leading up the the actual baptism as well. I have a funny story that will explain this perfectly: So about 30 minutes before it started, the person performing the baptism told us he had forgotten an extra pair of underwear and he needed us to run and grab some, so we literally ran back to our house and picked those up.  On the way back, we saw Mucho like in full sprinting fashion.  We chased after him and asked what he was doing (thinking maybe he had a last second change of mind) and what do you know? He had forgotten extra underwear too! (haha) He was looking for a store to buy some real quick. Classic! Everything worked out though, and the baptism went great.  Easily, the best thing I heard this week were Mucho's words in Sacrament yesterday after he received the Gift of the Holy Ghost: "I just feel so good."  How cool is that!

This really is what the gospel does for us! It brings in those good feelings that truly cannot be matched elsewhere. Remember those feelings, and don't forget them. They really do change lives.

Also on Sunday, a Filipino girl came to church.  She sat by me, but she doesn't speak Korean, so she asked me to translate.  I really tried to focus and pay attention, and I was able to translate almost the whole meeting for her.  I know it wasn't me.  I had heavenly assistance.  I really feel like the Spirit just kind of took over, and it sure was fun.  And then, I taught Elder Quorum's meeting in Korean as well.  Crazy day.

This week we also received our transfer call and I found out that I am staying in Singpung!!! Life sure is great right now, and I hope all of yours is as well! Remember, it always can with the Spirit.

Elder Jenkins

View of the  Hwaseong Fortress Wall from our Flat

Paldulmun  The South Gate

Monday, February 22, 2016

Cow Head Soup

Last week with the best guy ever!

Yikes! Already at seven months.  I really cannot believe that. It really is sad. But we had a good week, so all is well in Suwon!

Last Monday wasn't actually P-day for us, which means ... we went to the Temple on Thursday. And yes, I loved it so much! Actually this big group of Russian people were there, and they couldn't speak a word of Korea or English and yet they they were doing their Family Work. How cool was that experience! Oh man. I couldn't help but smile at them; they were all so so happy to be doing the work for their ancestors. For them, that really could have been a once in a lifetime trip to the temple, and it really did show with the way they treated the sessions. Seeing them sent me into thoughts about how easy it really is to take for granted Family History and especially serving others in the Temple. I know I am going to work on being more grateful for my once-in-a-transfer trip to the Temple. It was really a good experience.

So after the Temple, Elder Ely and I went to this super amazing meat buffet, and I pounded! It was expensive, so I got our money's worth! Then on the subway ride home, some really really old grandma motioned me over to sit by her, so I promptly did so.  After I sat down, I was kind of just looking at her, not knowing what she needed, and she pulled out a paper with music on it. The words  were in English, and she just proclaimed that I "Sing!" (hahaha) I was like way startled and so I just kind of looked around and all the other missionaries on the subway were just laughing at me.  There were no help at all! Then she told me to sing again, so I just decided to wing it. I couldn't figure out the tune or anything, but I tried my best and it sure made her happy! But honestly, I haven't felt that awkward in a  looong time. It is funny now, but it was really embarrassing then.

This week, we were also fed fried chicken 3 nights in a row! It was sooo good, but terrible at the same time. By the way, Koreans have fried chicken down to an art. Oh man, like wayyy better than American chicken. Needless to say, I gained a couple of Kilos this week!

We were also fed Cow Head Soup this week--brain, tongue, and everything else right into the soup! Not gonna lie, that one was hard to get past. But I finished the bowl.  I definitely didn't ask for more.

This week, we also taught quite a few lessons, and we picked up a family! What a blessing that was. And they are awesome.  We are meeting them again tonight, and it feels really great.

I had an awesome week, filled with the Lord's humorous hand! I hope all of you did as well!
Elder Jenkins

Monday, February 15, 2016

Chinese New Year

This week was just mostly fun although we did not have a ton of appointments. Korea! But we are working to change that!

One of the best things came at the start of the week: It was the Chinese New Year, which is a big deal!! That translates to NO PEOPLE OUT.  Everyone gets the week off and they all go back to their hometown which literally is always clear out in the boonies, so it makes it tough to meet or even see people. I am being very literal when I say that you sometimes will not even see a person outside while you are on a 30 minute walk. It is crazy! So we had a mission conference instead. And it was dope! We had some great training, and we rode the subway where we actually found... wait for it... people! So I had fun going to the conference and coming back.  I also learned a lot of good things, and my companion gave his last talk, which made me flippin emotional.  I am going to miss this guy (he goes home in two weeks).

Later in the week we tried sticker boarding as a few people were back in town, and I had another first doing that:  some teenage girl kinda snuck up behind me and whispered in my ear "Hey handsome boy" hahahaha! I almost screamed; I was so freaked! But it turns out, she might have interest in ENGLISH and the gospel--Not me.

Then later in the week we met with the less active who came to church last week; we went hiking with him and taught him a lesson. He told us he really is looking for spiritual experiences and that he really liked church. He truly is ready to come back which is so cool. Yesterday, we met a LA lady who I have been wondering about forever--her phone number doesn't work and the address we have is wrong, so we haven't been able to get a hold of her.  Anyway she came back to church yesterday as well!  AWESOME! After church we went and hung out with another less active member who is close to our age; we took ramen and brownies and just let him talk for a while. It was really good. We left him with a message, and I think it got him right in the heart strings. Less Actives are so great. I love these people!

Highlight of the week: My companion did a Baptismal Interview for the other Elders' investigator and he passed! About 2 weeks and he will be in the waters.

Other news- 
1. Ate eel, and it was crazy good!
2. Ate raw sting ray and I loved it. I only had a small piece and then it was gone, but it was legit. My comp had like 3 pieces, though, and he said it had some really weird side effects! I'm glad I didn't eat too much!
3. Also ate some fish that had both of its eyes on one side of its head.  It was the ugliest thing I have ever seen, but it was also wayyyyy good! Go Korea!
4. We went to the Aquarium last P-day and it was pretty impressive.
It was a great week out here!  Still awfully cold:  Saturday was 17 degrees and yesterday was -11.
Elder Jenkins

Monday, February 8, 2016

그래 야생마!!! geulae yasaengma!!! Yeah Broncos!!!!

Gangnam Style?

WOW, quite the week it was. It was one of those weeks that makes missionary work really really tough and honestly just depressing. But it was a week that I learned from as well. There is always something we can learn, right?

First of all, the most depressing part of all: the Super Bowl is not a thing in Korea.  For me, of course, that was heart breaking news. But through my email updates, it sounds like I am having a really good start to this week! YEAH! I have seriously been waiting for the Broncos to win the Super Bowl my entire life.

Honestly, though, I just want to talk about one awesome thing this week. On Tuesday, we were sticker boarding by the BIG subway station in our area, and it was a packed house. Seriously there were sooo many awesome people. But nothing crazy happened until we were just about to leave. We saw this girl with a guy and they are pretty close to our age and she saw us and just stopped and started jumping up and down.  She was so excited to talk! She just yelled at us: "I am doing missionary work right now! He is Less Active and I am working so hard with him!!! HELP!"

What a surprise that was. I have literally looked through all 900 of the records in our house, and I honestly couldn't recognize who this guy was.  SO we got him to start talking to us, and he had an awesome story. He was baptized in 2009 and almost immediately after joining the church, he started a huge business/schooling trip. And guess how long it lasted? 7 years..  It ended just two weeks ago, and that is the first time he has been back in Korea in all that time. And we "happened" to run into him! God seriously is so great! Naturally, we really built up the relationship, and, what do you know, HE CAME TO CHURCH YESTERDAY!!!! Yeah! It was so awesome! It truly made me so happy. And I think the best part were his words after church: "Wow, I've really missed that." This
Gospel changes lives.

Other than that, not much else good happened this week to be brutally honest.  It was a tough week. On Wednesday, 4 of our appointments cancelled and the rest of the week was very similar. I think the investigator that actually had the baptismal date for this month is dropping us right now. It seems that not a lot has gone our way this week, but our miracle on Tuesday was all I needed! 

Life really is full of soooo many ups and downs, but if we can just cling to the rod, ALL will be well! Trust God, and all things will ultimately work for our benefit.

I love every one of you who reads this! Don't forget it! Have a week! And tell grandpa I am praying for him.

Elder Jenkins

Monday, February 1, 2016

Simulated Baseball Champs

They call it Screen Baseball and it was so dope!

Sort of a slow week to be honest, but we still made it fun. The weather also warmed up a lot, so I was naturally much more joyful!  We literally had more appointments than than ever before this week.  Unfortunately, we also had more cancellations than ever before.  Dang!  Don't they understand how important our message is???

So to start things off, we played screen baseball last p-day with some members, and it was such a blast!!! I have never heard of it, but it was basically a simulated baseball game with video pitcher and batting cage type hitting.  I don't think it exists in America, certainly not Manti. It was legit! And honestly, it is pretty accurate so it made it intense. I found out that Koreans are really really competitive.  My companion and I were on one team and we just dominated, which we probably shouldn't have done because after it was all said and done, they invited us to come back to play Jokgu! It is the Korean man's sport, and it is seriously soccer and volleyball mixed. I think we are in trouble for the rematch. Anyway, simulated baseball was a blast!

That went deeeep!!  Clear to the back of the screen haha!

On Wednesday, we did my favorite thing:  sticker Boarding. It really was such a good time! We made so many great contacts and I just enjoyed myself; it is soo fun because you literally get to talk to like hundreds of people in the span of maybe 45 minutes--lots of conversations.

This week we were able to teach at least a few lessons, and we did a LOT of proselyting.

I also tried Maeuntang this week, which is a super spicy Korean soup with a big fish right there in the middle of the bowl.  It was really legit and I've gotten used to whole fish in my soup, but this one had TWO eyes on one side staring up at me.  Oh well, yummm!  Korean food is such an adventure and so delicious, I'm not sure I ever want to eat American food again.

I don't have any more time, but I love you guys! Have a good week!

Elder Jenkins
More photos: