Monday, March 28, 2016

Farming, Bowling, Baptizing!

This week was for sure one of the best weeks ever and I am just going to dive right in to my favorite news of the week: Junegun Kang was baptized yesterday! And how amazing that was!!! AH!!!  It really was like the coolest thing ever. Brother Kang had been meeting with missionaries for almost a year and a half, so I really came in midway through the 4th quarter (haha), but I still feel like I got to play the whole game. There really isn't an experience much like seeing someone's life change for the better, right before your eyes. Man, it just makes me so happy!!! WHOO!!!

The rest of the week, we just met with all kinds of people, trying to find other people to help. It was great. We went bowling with an inactive member, we farmed for an active member, and we met a lot of interesting people! One in particular that I want to share a pretty "intimate" story about!

So for about the past two months, Junegun Kang has been bringing his friend to English class every week, but I had never really talked to her much. Recently, though, I started teaching their class and started having a super fun time with them; we have actually grown really close through a simple English class. In this small span of about 3 weeks, I have come to know a lot about her and her beliefs and her extremely rough past. On Saturday I thought it wouldn't be a bad idea to ask her if she had some time that night to just kind of hang out and talk, and she said yes. That night at dinner, I felt the Spirit more strongly than I ever have in my entire life. I kid you not, it was sooo strong. She told us that she hates God, that He never has answered her prayers or bailed her out when she needed it most, and that she despises Him. After I heard that, I just tried my best to bear sincere testimony that God truly does love her, that He knows her, and that He cares about her so much. I really don't think she had ever heard that before. It kind of shocked her, I think, to hear news that God might not be who she thought He was. As I bore testimony to her, I am not so sure I have ever felt so close to God myself. I think that by articulating my beliefs, I learned some things about God that I never had thought too much about either.  It was SICK!!!! Just whoa. God sure is awesome. And He knows and loves each one of us! 

Until next week! 

Elder Jenkins

Work:  Feels like home

Synchronized Bowling

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

14 Lessons last week and a Baptism this week!

Our District at the Temple
Man this week was insane! Easily one of the very best weeks of my mission so far; they keep getting better and better. We met soo many awesome people, the weather was fantastic, we went the the Temple.  What more can you ask?

I will prune it, and nourish it!
I have so many fun things to talk about, but really not the time to get to the specifics. It was just like
no matter what happened, I was so happy and we were doing awesome things. It was actually a really really diverse week as well, so it made for some new experiences. On Wednesday we went out to a ward member's farm and helped her farm for a few hours, which was a blast. Then on Thursday we went to the temple and that was a ball. It was also fun to just relax with some other missionaries on P-day and so we all went to a buffet (yum). Saturday and Sunday became our busiest days. We met with 6 people total and easily the coolest thing to happen this week came to pass.  The work in Korean is soo rewarding but not without its challenges.  Elder Ely and I had been working with an investigator for like five weeks but it goes soo slow because the people in Korea work so much!  He works Monday through Friday 7am till 11pm and sometimes on Saturday.  He has come to church about 5 times which is pretty awesome when it's his only day off.  But finding a time to teach is really hard.  We have a couple more lessons and hopefully he'll want to get--or find time to get--baptized!

Me and Elder Wilcox
Yesterday in church they made an announcement about our recent convert of only 3 weeks:  he was receiving the Priesthood! So, yesterday, I had the privilege to be in the circle as Mucho received the Priesthood. It was so so so awesome!! This Gospel has just changed his life so much and although I have only seen about half of the process, I really have seen a change. He is just always giddy with excitement and full of smiles and I know that things like that really can come from the Gospel. Ah! I am such a fan of the things this message can do to people. It is so true!!! 

So yes.. A lot of other amazing stuff happened this week. We created our new record with 14 lessons taught in one week, which was crazy. Maybe that will be different next week, but we hope not!

I love you friends!

Elder Jenkins
Photos from our service project

Monday, March 14, 2016

8 Months!

Whoa, almost exactly eight months today! Crazy right? It's pretty rad I think. Time really does fly when you are having fun.

So this week was like sort of slower, but not too slow. We had some sick lessons to highlight our week though. On Pday, I got kind of a random text from our old investigator who had a baptismal date set but then sort of dropped off the earth for 2 months.  Anyway, he said he wanted to meet us! We met him on Tuesday,  and it really didn't go great. I felt like he showed a ton of digression in terms of his understanding and interest in the gospel. He expressed doubts about a lot of things that were never there before. We left feeling like we didn't help him all that much.. But we set up a return appointment for Saturday and when we met him on Saturday, everything was different. It seemed to go super well, and he accepted our lesson on Faith and then said the most sincere prayer I have heard from an investigator. It was so legit! The way he prayed was just as if God was sitting in the room and we were just having a casual conversation with him. It was so great! It ended up being the most he has ever opened up to us and we really got close through it. He also told us he is quitting his job this week and now he will finally have some time. Elder Ely and I had been praying that he could find the time, and now the answer finally came! So many things just came together for this one! LEGIT!

Yesterday, we met with another guy from Cameroon for the first time, and it was one of the craziest things that has happened to me since I came to Korea. First of all, the lesson was in ENGLISH--that was easily the weirdest part; like literally through the entire conversation, I would look at my companion with a questioning look and he would just give me the look of "I really don't know what to say, I've never done this in English before." It was a real grind! And to make it worse, he basically was preaching to us about the Bible and kind of like shouting and stuff, even though we were in public.  It was pretty awkward at first, but then my companion and I just started jumping in with the "Hallelujah" chants and verses from the Bible and it was actually really fun. He said some things that showed that he had built up a wall between his beliefs and ours, so I wasn't really sure that we would be able to share anything, let alone the Restoration, with him. But after about an hour or so of only really him talking, there was a small window of opportunity SO I jumped on it and started teaching the Restoration to him, and he just got quiet, and he listened! Amazingly, we actually got through the whole lesson and he accepted the Book of Mormon and told us he would read it. It was so crazy!!! I definitely didn't see it coming, but wow it was so great.

This Gospel makes me so dang happy, and I know that it helps other peoples' lives so much.  It brings the happiness that so many people want! How sweet this Gospel is!

I love you all, and just be happy!
Elder Jenkins

Monday, March 7, 2016

Climbing the Mountain

View of the City at night from a nearby mountain
This week included the actual transfer day, so I had to say goodbye to Elder Ely, and it was super sad. Ah, I won't lie, I cried like a baby! I still cannot believe how easy it is to get so attached to people in such a small amount of time. It is crazy! Because of Elder Ely leaving this week, there was a bit of time for me to do some great reflecting. Having my companion leave taught me so much, and now whenever I think about leaving I get super sad now. I still have quite a bit of time, but it made me realize how bad I really don't want to leave.  I really don't want to come home. No offense to you guys, but there is absolutely nothing like this work and the perspective it can give a person.

I sit at almost 8 months exactly and it is almost too hard to try and keep track of the change I have witnessed. It is so wonderful to me. This really is what life is about.. Just continuing to climb even when the mountain gets steep! And I can testify of this thing almost as sure as anything I know, that when we keep climbing, God's love is poured out so abundantly it can be hard to see it all. But it sure is my favorite thing, so thank you to a returning and amazing companion to help me realize this principle!

Another cool thing happened this week: my new companion and I taught the most lessons I have taught as a missionary, and it was so fun! We met with a lot of people and we had some fun and really pretty odd experiences.

I only have time to share one, so I will share the funny one.  It still cracks me up!
Elder Ely and I had been meeting
with a mother and her daughter recently, and they had been progressing pretty well we felt, so on Monday before Elder Ely left, we met them again and extended an invitation to be baptized. Well they accepted! So then Elder Wilcox and I went back on Thursday and we were trying to figure out the right date for them. We suggested April 10th and then their concerns came out--but they were not concerns we ever thought we might encounter.  They said that date would not work because they don't want to get their hair wet in April.  They are more comfortable getting it wet in like July! Oh no! And then they talked about makeup and stuff like that.  Elder Wilcox and I really had NO CLUE how to react.  They have absolutely no Gospel concerns, just concerns that we can't relate to.  We are working on trying to fix that, but we actually had to refer them to another area (the areas were modified this week with transfers) and so we are praying that they can help them.  It was definitely a blind spot for us (haha), but I'm confident it will work out!

Honestly, it was an awesome week and a sad one as well. But the work will move on! 

I love you guys!
Elder Jenkins