Monday, December 26, 2016

Elder Santa Seth!

호 호 호, or Ho Ho Ho
Christmas was sooo awesome this year! I can pretty easily say that this was my favorite Christmas of all time. Here is how our day went.

We woke up and, as usual back home, we went right to the presents! There aren't really Christmas trees here so that wasn't a thing, but opening presents is still the same. Thanks to my awesome family!  After opening presents, we used all of the food we had been saving up for our "Christmas morning breakfast" (bacon, which is rare here, and eggs) and made a masterpiece! Then we went to a cool church meeting, which was followed by a delicious lunch with all of the members. And, the highlight, a special appearance from Santa Claus! (haha me)  Quite a reverent Sabbath activity I would say. Why am I always the guy that gets chosen for the "big white man" chores here in Korea? It was my first time being Santa, and I daresay not my last. I will say it was a real test of my language skills.

After the lunch ,there was a cool little baptismal service for our little investigator named Kim Dae Hyon. It was such a cool experience. Here were his wise words for Gokbanjeong Ward: "Hey, I am Kim Dae Hyon, I have been meeting the missionaries now for about 3 months. It was fun. We always played games together. Today I am getting baptized. In the name of Jesus, Amen!" It certainly was an awesome experience seeing someone like him get to step into the waters of baptism and open the gate to a flood of blessings to come!

After the baptism, we went with our whole district to the big huge Christmas tree located in the incredibly busy part of our area and did a really fun proselyting activity with a violin and sticker board! It was such a blast trying to help others come to a knowledge of who Jesus Christ was! As we did that, I had a cool and rare experience of someone walking up to me and screaming "JESUS" at the top of his lungs and saliva flying all over my face. Nice.
And to wrap the day up, we met with this fun member family. They have these four cute little kids who really love and respect missionaries. We ate some great food and had some great laughs. After a while, all of the kids kind of filed into another room and what followed was one of the most interesting moments of my mission. For about an hour and a half, these two parents just unloaded everything they were having a hard time with right on me and my companions' shoulders, and there was a LOT of weight. I honestly think years and years of things just accumulated. It was difficult to know where to start or what to do or say to them. So after a while of listening, I felt there was an opportunity to quickly say something. I said, "How easy do you think the life of Jesus Christ's was?" They were kind of silent and so I said, "Pretty dang hard right? Not easy at all. So then why are we, as imperfect human beings, expecting our lives to be easier and more joyful than that of the SON OF GOD--the only perfect human being to ever walk the earth. Now I know, just as well as you do, that there are positives and there are negatives of life. But where is our focus? Is it how happy we will be while living here? Where is your focus?" Yup. I really do believe this to be true. We all have it hard, but what are we choosing to focus on? The positives? Or the negatives? I know that as we choose to focus on the Savior Jesus Christ and the positives, we will be a happy people!!!

I sure was happy this Christmas Season. I love you all, and I wish you a Merry Christmas!
Elder Jenkins
Christmas Photos
Loot from home

Elders Choi, Olsen, and Jenkins

Monday, December 19, 2016

Brother Jenkins, the MTC Worker

Wow, we had quite the week! If you are wondering about the title, on Wednesday it was transfers. Surprisingly, my companion and I received a missionary straight from the real world. He has not even had MTC experience. His parents dropped him off at the mission office about 30 minutes before we arrived. His name is Elder Choi and he is from the big city Seoul itself. He will be with us until February, and then he will finally go to the MTC! So our job? Birthing him straight into the work. It has been so fun. After every lesson, he says something like, "WOW! That was sooo fun!!" or "That made me SO happy!!" I love it! This kid is just on fire, and it is spreading all over Gokbanjeong.

Okay I don't have much more time, but Elder Choi was definitely the highlight of my week--an early Christmas Present. I will share one fun story that came with the newbie.

I guess Elder Olson and I had become like weirdly habitual with some small things. For example, I always walk out of the front door first and call the elevator and then Elder Olson closes the front door. That doesn't seem like a big deal, I know, but on our first day with Elder Choi aboard the ship, we left the house in what I thought was our ordinary manner. But when we returned home that night, 9 hours later, our front door was wide open--Elder Olson wasn't the last one out the door apparently. To be honest, we all thought "intruder" and kind of panicked. Elder Olson and I threw our newborn behind us, I grabbed the first thing I saw, an umbrella, and Elder Olson grabbed a shoe horn and a bag of frozen Kimchee (haha). He took the left side of the house and I went right! It was so intense! Everything seemed to check out okay until I got to the bathroom: the door was closed and I swear I heard something in there so I took off screaming and busted in there flailing around my little umbrella. Yup, no one was there (hahaha). I'm sure that was quite the first impression for Elder Choi! It did make for a fun laugh afterwards. If there had really been someone, though, they would have had a bad night: a bag of frozen Kimchee to the head and a swift jab from an umbrella would most certainly spell a trip to the hospital!
All Clear at the Apartment

Anyway, on the more slightly spiritual side, Tuesday we literally did service for nearly our entire day and it wore me out! Honestly I was getting a little grumpy, but I kept remembering one scripture: "When you are in the service of your fellow beings, you are only in the service of your God." I really felt like I came to believe that so much more last week. Thankful for those small experiences.

Anyway, love you all! Have a great Christmas.
Elder Jenkins

Saying farewell to MTC Sister Robinson

Monday, December 12, 2016

Officer, Stop Him. He Needs Baptism!

Ya Him with the Backpack!
So much to talk about and not enough time, which seems to be the story of my mission: "literally, just give me 1 minute!"

SO, first with some cool news: yesterday there was another baptism in our Ward. The weird thing is that I knew this girl clear back when I was in Shinpung a year ago and now she was finally baptized in a different ward. Sure enough,  I got to see her be baptized, which was so cool. It has also been so fun to see such growth in someone because of the Gospel. It totally is true, I'm telling you.

Then we had a couple of cool experiences with investigators this week: we found a family!! Literally the first one of my entire mission. For some reason, it is like the hardest thing to find a family to teach in Korea. It took me a year and half, and I am so excited to be able to bear testimony from experience how much the Gospel of Jesus Christ can bless a family. Finally! I love this family centered message!

Then we finally met up with this guy who literally was the first person I talked to in this area. He actually said: "after texting for a while and now finally meeting, I KNOW this was no accident that we met! Totally destiny man!" Needless to say, he wants to learn! YES!

Also, I am sure you heard, but our President got the boot! Impeachment in process in Korea.

And this week we had a "Caroling" proselyting activity near this huge subway station and it was sooo sick! There were like 20 missionaries singing and then about 5 missionaries stopping everyone and talking to them about the church, Christmas, etc. It was soo dirty and absolutely a blast. It felt like we had this perfect background music for proselyting. I loved it. And in case you are curious, the super fresh Christmas Sweater was only, yes, $10.

Such a fun and spiritually uplifting week over here in KOREA!!!
Love you all

Elder Jenkins
More photos from the week:
Zone Training

You want me to SING???

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Light Korea!

Last week was so fun and way effective! As a result, today is P-day but we still have three different appointments.  So busy, and ... I LOVE IT!

Highlight reel:

1. I ate fried silkworm from a stranger's spoon on the street! That is about as sketchy as it gets! (haha)

2. Also on the same night, I may have pulled out some sick dance moves in public--actually in front of a crowd of people. Yep, I still got it.

3. Thursday, we went to the Temple and it was so great! It feels like it has been a while. As always, the temple is a great blessing because we get to spend some time extra close to God.

4. That same day, we went tie shopping in the biggest underground shopping mall in Korea. My pocket is definitely feeling that one, ouch! There are some flipping sick Korean ties. I LOVED THE ONES WITH WHALES ON THEM!!!

5. I also got accused of being in the CIA twice this past week.  

On the more somewhat spiritual side, I was just texting some random people in the phone and a lady answered a few days later by saying that she was trying to find the church right that moment! (Guess I've still got dancing skills as well as texting skills.) Of course, we pulled her right into the church, and she brought her 25 year old son! She came this past Sunday as well! That was such a cool blessing straight from the Lord! Yesterday there was a confirmation in our ward and Elder Olson and I got to participate in the ordinance which was such a humbling experience! I just love the most amazing opportunities that the church brings into my life. I sure love God and the way He blesses us.

Anyway, I love you all and hope that you spend your week well! Need anything? Hit me up!!

Elder Jenkins