Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Korean Ice Cream bars lead to Church Attendance!

Okay, there is not a lot to talk about this week, but I will give it my best.

One crazy number from this past Thursday: the weather was not very good, so we decided to take some time in the middle of the day and make some calls. I know this sounds pretty crazy, but that afternoon we placed nearly 400 calls! And sad thing is... not a lot of appointments came from that. gah! Oh well! But there was other good things that came from this week.

So actually this story comes from two weeks ago, but at that time I didn't think too much of it. So throughout that week, it was a scorcher! So so hot! And there really aren't a lot of ways to cool down as a Korean missionary. We have to be out and talking with people, and on that particular day we had no appointments, which meant all day in the heat. And if I haven't told you already, Korean ice cream bars are super legit and cheap. On that day, I think I ate three. On round three, we took a seat on a bench in some shade just to relax for a second and some rough-looking middle-aged guy approached us and just sat down right by us. It was weird! That is not normal. He knew a lot about us, and so we talked for a bit and then invited him to church the next day. To our surprise, he actually came! He was decked out in some really funky clothes and he smelled like smoke and coffee, but that didn't matter a single bit because he actually came! So that day I got his number and gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon and set up a meeting for Friday. He was kind of confused as to why we would want to meet outside of church, but we taught him and it went fine. After that meeting, though, I kind of had the feeling that he was done with us. Faithless thought, but it just seemed that way. And then sure enough, he came to church again yesterday! haha awesome!!!! 

He was definitely the highlight of my week. It just goes to show that God doesn't care the slightest bit about what we look like, or who we were and what we have done. He just loves us and wants us to know about Him. And He always comes through in the clutch! I love Him. And I love His Gospel that has such a strong ability to change people. Now we are just praying that our new investigator lets it happen!

I love you all! Have a great week!
Elder Jenkins
Dinner Appointment!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Korea can be a Zoo!

Tiger Missionaries!
This week was a lot of fun--I say that every week, but I swear they just keep getting better and better!

It started last p-day, which was our Temple Day, so we went north across the Han River into the Seoul Mission and did a session. But here is a new swing to the game: we can now do Baptisms for the Dead (just recently allowed in our mission), so Elder Wilcox and I got to participate in that. Super awesome, and a really spiritual experience to say the least.
Farewell to a Great President!

Then that same day we went to the Seoul Zoo (my second visit) and we just went ham, haha! There were missionaries everywhere and we had a ball together.

Because of the really long subway rides to and from the Temple, there was also a TON of proselyting time--my favorite kind as well! I love talking to people in the subway, and so we kind of just split up with some other missionaries and went and tried to spread the word throughout the cars. Loved it!

Then, on Sunday, this less active guy (whose story I really need to tell sometime) came to church for the 3rd time in 4 weeks; before that, I believe he had been to church once in 2 years. So awesome to see him there.  And then yesterday, even though it wasn't p-day actually, we spent all day near the mission home participating in a Zone Conference activity, and it was sick! We literally spent about 6 hours of our day hiking this big mountain and when we would take breaks we would receive training and share testimonies. It was so cool, but wayyyy hot too!  A word--SWEAT! 

President and Sister Morrise!  Going to miss you!
This was actually the last time that I will see President and Sister Morrise! Their mission here in Korea is complete.  Happy for them, but so sad for us.  I love the Man!  And because of him, I can honestly say that I know our leaders are literally called of God. I know it!

Someone used this idea to talk about President Morrise yesterday, but I think that it is actually really applicable to all of us:

"When Jesus Christ was crucified, God's literal child was, yes, taken from the earth, and although that means His son is not physically here at our side and aid, God sends His other sons and daughters to be here at our side to help us and in some cases--Save us."

I know this to be true. God does send us His helping hand, and in so many cases it is through His other sons and daughters. I love this Gospel. I love it so much! 

Have a good one!

Elder Jenkins

More Photos:
Our Investigator from India

More Zoo Creatures

Can this be my Emojicon?

The cutest kid in Korea!
Quite the Ambush of Tigers!
Fortresses like this are common in the mountains of Korea

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Biggest Pork Cutlet in Suwon!!!

Another nice week!!! A hot one (easily the hottest of my mission) but an awesome one for sure! This week did have its bad though: the worst part came as Elder Wilcox and I found a  Korean superstition to be completely true. Supposedly, pork is like super super bad for you in the summertime in that it just makes you really sick. We didn't know this until after a lunch appointment with our member, which took place at a restaurant that advertises it sells the "biggest Pork Cutlet in Suwon"--which at the time seemed awesome! And it definitely is the biggest one I have ever eaten. Maybe the biggest mistake I have eaten in Korea as well because not long after that appointment Elder Wilcox and I were just hammered in the church. We couldn't  even move (haha), so we just laid in a room where there was at least some AC and tried calling some Less Active members. It was awful! I haven't been that sick in a long time! But hey, fortunately we learned the pork lesson quick in to the summer! We won't be making that mistake again!:) AND we learned a lot about some of our Less Active members. Yeah! There is a silver lining in everything, that is for sure.

So because of this week's heat wave, the appointments were a little bit down, but we still met with some really cool people and we actually were fed by a lot by members. Because appointments were slow, though, we were left with a lot of time to find this week which was great. Finding in Korea is nothing like I thought it would be. Usually the only way we can find people is through stopping them on the street when they are on their way to work or something, and then the other opportunities are usually just on the subway or bus. We hardly ever go "knocking doors"--it is absolutely so rare to knock doors here, which is due mostly to the apartment structures setup. But every now and then, there is a building without a password and locked doors. On Thursday night we found a huge group of those kind of apartments, so we went knockin! It was my first time in like 4 months, and only my 3rd time in 11 months, and it was classic Korean door knocking! It is the weirdest thing, but Koreans are so afraid of being robbed and stuff like that (even though this might be the safest country in the whole world) that when someone knocks on their door, they refuse to open. They just speak to you through the door. Getting them to open is nearly impossible. We succeeded only in getting a couple of people to scream at us and tell us to leave and to get some dogs barking.

As we were leaving, we obviously did not feel very productive. It was depressing, so we both plopped down on the bus stop bench and were just kind of sitting there when some younger aged lady came and sat right next to me and just stared at us! It was probably at my companion's handsome face, I don't know, but I took advantage and started up the conversation and she was sick! After a little small talk she asked, "So what brings you to Korea?" I told her we were missionaries and she got a really confused look and was like "what church??" Right as she asked, some dude at the stop just yelled "MORMONS!" hahaha what the? Then he just went off about how much he loves Mormons because they really helped him out one time back in the day, and then he offered to buy us dinner and all kinds of stuff. What a weird experience. Anyway, he left and then she asked, "so you are Mormons?" We responded in the affirmative, of course. As it turned out, we actually got on the same bus and she had serious interest! So I had the privilege of explaining our church for a few stops and I even got to give her a copy of the Book of Mormon. What a blessing after a looong day of what was looking to be a day with no visible results. Man it was so cool!

This experience helped me to realize that sometimes our blessings are just around the corner if we can be patient and endure well! God really does love us and wants to bless us as much as he can! It reminds me of a cool scripture in the Book of Mormon:

"...bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success."  

I know this to be true! It just happened to me this week, and it can happen to all of us--everyday. I love you all. Have a good week!!

Elder Jenkins

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Suwon Stake Activity

This week seemed to go by super quick, and I loved it.

So kind of a funny/scary thing that happened early this week: Elder Wilcox and I met these two older guys who are really close friends, and when we met them they were both a little red in the face. One of them has literally full body tats and is a former UFC fighter, but at least they were nice. So we talked to them for a while and then Elder Wilcox told them that he loves this famous Korean food called Kimchi Chigaay and the guys were like "lets go eat then!" So we went to a restaurant and they bought us a ton of food. We had to really push to get it down, and they didn't eat any of it! They just drank the entire time! They made us pour them shots and stuff (haha way weird, but definitely a moment I won't forget). Then before we left, they bought ice cream and made us eat that. Just when I finally thought we were getting out of there, they saw their favorite chicken restaurant(which is located right next door to our apartment). NO! And sure enough, now they were hungry and we get wrangled into having another meal with them. Again, NO! I was already super full, but we did it anyway. And this time they poured us the shots. Of water! They must have really been drunk because I am pretty sure they thought they were pouring real shots of alcohol for us. Haha I was dying! So yeah, I was a little freaked out, but it was just for one night so I got past it. As it turns out, though, they eat at the chicken place nearly every night so we have had to eat chicken like 3 times this week with our new Best Friends. In anticipation of that, Elder Wilcox and I have now been finding back roads to our house. So far so good.

This week we also had our Semi-Annual Mission Tour and we received an awesome training from a guy who is in our Area Presidency. We now have a mission goal for each companionship to be baptizing weekly!!!!!!!!!!!!! So sick! It got me and my comp super excited and driven to try it out.  It won't be easy, but we are shooting for that. How awesome would that be!

And now to yesterday and my reason for not emailing on schedule: We had a Stake-Wide Sports Activity and it lasted the entire day! We all left our church at 8:30 and didn't get home until about 5:30. It included every sport imaginable. I got to play basketball with Elder Wilcox and we did really well; it is the first time in 11 months that I have played a game where the score was kept and it was way fun. The main event of the day was Tug of War, and guess who was chosen to be the most important player on the team: Yup, that big, strong American guy--Elder Jenkins. It was super fun too!

Last night we ate authentic Indian food with our Indian Investigator. Needless to say, I think I will just stick to Korean food. I think it is much much better!

This week also had another really spiritual moment in it: SoYun was confirmed a member on Sunday and Elder Wilcox and I got to be in the circle. It was such a blast! The Lord has been all over our lives lately! I love it!!!!!!!!

This week sure was a fun one; I hope all of yours was as well! Have another good one "on me"! haha

Elder Jenkins