Monday, July 17, 2017

Mission Accomplished!!!

Two Years: Two Shirts
Holy smokes, where has my mission gone?! I am not going to lie. I will not miss having to write emails to communicate with all of you. My hands get flipping worn out every pday! Gah! How am I expected to ball at ultimate capacity with tired wrists?! Beats me. Anyways, the last real week of the work was a complete blast! A lot of time spent on the streets and nearly the same amount of time spent eating farewell meals with members! Don't judge me when I am back and I am looking a few pounds heavier. Its Korean Culture! You have to eat all of the dang food okay!?

I will quickly cover EVERY night of the week by telling you that we ate with members, and we did eat most deliciously. Literally everyday. 

The next best thing that happened to us was Tuesday afternoon: we were able to meet two different investigators in the afternoon, one being the family that we found on Sunday. The son has mad interest!! We were so shocked, and realized then that we had a found a really prepared person. We also met them again on Friday and the mom was kind of just a spectator, but the son had some great questions that were squared perfectly with the Plan of Salvation so we focused on that and committed him to pray about what that could mean for him and his family. He texted us the next morning saying "It was a new experience for me, and the feeling was also very new. I liked it, and I will try again!" So great (not something that I have seen much of in these two years).

On Wednesday and Thursday and Friday, we had free afternoons and spent that time looking for less actives. It was a blast! We even found a guy that was baptized in 1993 and had not had contact with a single member or missionary since about 1994. Granted, he is Buddhist now, but still quite the find for Daren and me! Over these two years, I have really come to love working for and working with these less active members. My heart has been changed so much because of these people.

The coolest experience that we had would take way too long to write, but on Friday as we were looking for a few other less actives, I had the random thought to try and visit a man who went inactive when I was serving here last year. We found him, and although he hadn't been out to church or in contact with anyone from the church for over eight months, he mentioned how happy he was to have received a visit from us that day. As we talked for a short hour or so, he said some things that really hit me and that totally changed me forever. But the coolest thing was that we did not yell at him and tell him to come back or try to make him feel guilty about not coming out. Instead, we just sat and listened and bore solemn testimony. At the end of our talk, he let us pray together, and then after getting up off of our knees, he looked Elder Malo and me in the eyes and said, "See you on Sunday Elders"... I was so shocked. To be honest, I thought he might not come back for years more. But on Sunday at 9:53 as we were greeting members at the door, in comes brother Kyeong! We greeted him with a huge hug and a few small tears, and that was hist first time setting foot in the church in about nine months. What a huge huge miracle. What a game changer baby!! Elder Malo and I did celebrate with a chest bump afterwords! (haha)

Last quick thing! We get a random call yesterday from a guy we had met about a month ago, who at that time approached us and requested a copy of the BOM. Honestly, he hadn't responded since, so we had kind of forgotten about him. But yesterday in came the month-long awaited reply, and he told us that he wanted to meet like right NOW! So we raced back to the church and had one of the coolest meetings ever. The most innocent and pure guy ever! He said, "10 years ago, I had the opportunity to get baptized, and I am worried that I missed my chance. Is it allowed for me to get baptized today?" What!?!?!?! What a cool way to go out... (picture attached below) haha I am just kidding. We didn't baptize him yesterday, we told him he had to wait for just a few more weeks. He agreed. What a memorable day.

What a memorable two years. I sure did love my time serving for two years in this great country, and serving under the greatest Boss I will ever have. I loved and will forever be grateful for my mission. 

See you soon everyone!!

Elder Jenkins
Worn these babies out!  Must be time to go home!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Can't Believe It's Almost Over!!!

This week was definitely an exciting one. Elder Malo and I have been working hard to make every moment enjoyable, despite the sauna feel to the afternoons and the "great storms" in the night--literally!

The week started off by heading to the wealthiest part of our area for a big 4th of July party hosted by our bishop. It was so sick! People literally live in houses out there! It felt like a flippin movie, and we had a great time. You can be sure Elder Malo and I got the Koreans hyped with some American pride!

A little later in the week Elder Young, Elder Malo, and I were on exchanges and we visited a youth in our ward who is going to study in America this week, and so we had a lot of fun talking about things to do in America. We randomly started talking about all the things we have loved about our missions, and how that if he served, what that could mean to him. I remember telling him that there really is nothing better than these two years, and that he would never once regret doing them. I may or may not have gotten semi-emotional as we talked with him, but it was a great opportunity for me to be able to look back across these two years and realize how amazing it really has been. You truly do get out of it what you put in. And I have really learned God is there to shower the blessings as we do so!

Actually that same day we had a ton of free time and we spent the whole afternoon looking for about 15 different less active members houses! I will not deny being completely drenched in sweat--hence the sauna reference. On the bright side, I might have literally lost 4 lbs from the glorious hills of Seongnam!

And finally YESTERDAY the sickest thing ever happened! We got a random invite to a member's house in the evening, which we gladly accepted. So this guy lives on the third floor, and we got on the elevator at the basement 2 floor with an older woman. Right when we got on, we said hello and she instantly said "Latter Day Saints?" which is super rare for anyone to know in Korea and so we were pretty shocked. Then she said, "I have heard a lot about you!" That is generally a pretty negative thing in Korea, so I was worried. Then she said that she loves to learn English and I quickly replied that usually we teach others about our church, but if she has interest in that too, we would love to come over. By this time I looked to see that we had missed the third floor and were at the 5th--whoops! And right then another couple got on the elevator and heard what we are doing, but they didn't say anything.

As the woman was getting off at the 15th floor, she looked back at us and said, "You are welcome at our house anytime!" What?? SICK!!!! That never ever ever has happened on my mission! We said goodbye and then we arrived at the 16th floor where the couple was getting off, and right when they stepped out of the elevator they said "You are welcome at our house too!" NO WAY!!!!!!!!!! So long story short, we went back down to the member's house and had a great time, and right after the appointment ended we sprinted back upstairs to the 15th floor, said a little prayer, knocked, and she opened up the door and was so happy to see us. She let us right in and introduced us to her whole family! Husband and three kids. We told her we didn't have long and so she said, "well let's set up another appointment then!" And there you have it . . . tomorrow we are heading back with a follow up appointment. What an incredible blessing from the Lord. 

Anyway, this week was soo fun and such a happy one for Elder Malo and me. I sure love what we are doing here. Can't believe it's almost over.. 

I love you all! Have a fun one!
Elder Jenkins

Wednesday, July 5, 2017


This week was young money! Elder Malo and I really tried to stay on the grind early and often this week and the Lord totally laid out the blessings. For that, I am both grateful and happy. I have been serving here in Bundang for about 9 weeks now and not yet had a week like this: after a "trial of faith" the blessings really do seem to come--every time. We just needed to hold on for the ride. Here is how the week went down.

Monday~ Hell. It was literally the most hell-like atmosphere of my mission. Ah!!!!! As you know, Monday is typically the one day of real relaxation that missionaries get to have. And I will be honest, there have been plenty of times where I haven't been able to take full advantage of p-days due to appointments, meetings, lack of time, so I was okay with it when one of our members came up to us on Sunday and told us they needed us for a "small 2 hour move." I didn't really hesitate at saying yes. What I am saying, though, is that I definitely should have said no. It DEFINITELY was not a small 2 hour move. It was a large cosmetics company with over 300, 40-50 lbs boxes, and it took 6 whole hours. I literally have never in my life been so physically exhausted! That feeling lasted 4 days--thank you out of shape missionary body! 

Tuesday~ We didn't have a ton going on, but Suhyeon randomly randomly texted us during the day and man it was so cute! He said, "Hey guys.. If you have a little time today, I got a ball game and I would be so happy if you guys came to watch." My heart melted, and we spent the end of our night watching the 1st inning of a beer belly baseball league game (haha). The craziest thing was, Suhyeon had no clue, but the center fielder on his team is a Mormon from the ward right next to ours!!! How sick!

Wednesday~ We ate lunch with the Bill Gates of Korea who is in our ward. Yeah, it was epic. And I also realized I have not learned a single computer related word in these two years. That conversation was humbling. Then that night we met SuHyeon at the church and had an awesome lesson about the Restoration and closed up the spiritual night with some delicious fried chicken. My testimony of this chicken was, yes, once again strengthened!

Thursday/Friday/Saturday/Sunday~ These were the start of the dog days! It has been flipping POURING. And everywhere you walk just feels like you are walking through a sauna--our house, the subway stations, the marts, the street, EVERYWHERE! Luckily, you can't be outside and not be drenched in water, so I am able to blend in a little (not the wettest guy for a change).

The thing that was best about this week was that we were finally, after 9 weeks, able to get an investigator out to church. However, not just one came: three separate and real people came! Ah, it was so legit and a very exciting moment! Like I said before, the Lord really does bless us, we just need to be patient in our diligence!

I love this work so dang much. Only having three weeks left absolutely kills me! On the bright side, I get to see all of your beautiful faces soon!
Love you!
Elder Jenkins! 

Monday, June 26, 2017

A Little Catch Ball and a Game of Frogger

This week was so awesome. We saw so many cool things happen, and finally got to see some more fruits of our labors! We also had a lot of fun moments this week which are always necessary in this work! On the bad side, it is humid as crap out here!!!!! I am dying, but Koreans make sick nasty popsicles and tasty ice cream. Bitter sweet (haha).

In the early part of the week, we had some really fun and atypical things happen to us. On Monday we went ham at the local sports complex with like 35 missionaries and had some games of soccer, foot volleyball, and we even got to play some "catch ball" as the Koreans call it (Baseball Catch). It was awesome! Also that night we got really lost trying to find a restaurant to meet one of our wards' recent converts, and while doing so we illegally walked through a highway tunnel and played a legit game of frogger. Scary! Yikes!

On Wednesday, there was a sick annual combined Zone Conference at this big mountain in our area. As we hiked up the treacherous slope, we would stop along the way and receive training from the Turners as well as the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders. We were told to carry rocks in our backpacks, symbolizing something that was slowing us down or holding us back in our missionary work, and it was powerful! Elder Malo and I didn't mess around; we packed flipping boulders! It really was way heavy and the best feeling when finally at the peak of our ascension we got to throw them away and leave them behind. Quite the moving object lesson for me. That is totally what the Atonement is about; giving Christ the load and actually letting him take it. The weight literally disappears! Pretty cool.

During the week , we were also able to find some new investigators--one being a suuuper huge miracle! He had met with the missionaries in 2007, but then lost contact because of military and college and things like that. About a year ago, he was able to get a hold of missionaries once again, but was busy and couldn't find time to meet. Now a year later, he has time and major interest. Yesterday at church, he introduced himself in Elders Quorum and said in his introduction,that he feels like there was no coincidence in him meeting us again, and that he feels like God is basically telling him, "now is the time and now is the opportunity." How sick!!! Also, he is a HUGE baseball fan, and loves to play as well. When we first met him and he found out Elder Malo and I also once played baseball, he about lost it! He literally was sooo hyped, and requested not only that we teach him the Gospel, but also that we help him improve his velocity on his fastball! Of course, I am down. Oh man it was so funny! At the end of the first lesson, Elder Malo very sincerely and seriously and also quite obviously referring to the lesson asked him, "Do you have any last questions, or things you are curious about?" SuHyeon comes back with a super earnest and stern look, he paused for a few seconds (seeming to be collecting thoughts and/ or quite possibly just trying to take in the feelings he had), and then he said, "Yeah... How can I put more umph on my fourseamer?" hahahaha Pretty cool investigator.

Anway, we tore up Bundang this week. I love it baby! 

I hope you all have a most dope week. Until next!
Elder Jenkins

Sunday, June 18, 2017


This week was quite the fun one. I have really been enjoying myself recently. I have started to think that it is hard not to be happy when you are working for the Lord. I am having the greatest flipping two year experience that there ever was! Last week was just another addition to the party!

Monday: We went balling and I crashed into the wall once going after a loose ball. Korean churches do not have padded walls, so I came away with a nasty bruise (I've had a lot of those before).

Tuesday: We met this homeboy named Mr. An, and we had a very in-depth conversation with him about the church. It really was a lot of fun, and at the start of the meeting I had the thought that this guy was sprinkled in gold. However, as time passed I realized it was much more of the opposite. He did have interest, but only in studying the Bible. We can of course help with that, but he told us that would rather "stay on his path." Then he told us he was already too deep into the church he goes to now, and that learning about another church would hurt his public image.  Needless to say, I don't think we will be meeting with him in the future.

Wednesday-Saturday: This is when the title will make more sense! For some reason, we were fed like kings the latter part of the week. It started with the Bishop taking all of the missionaries out to a burger place called Shake Shack, and it was the most legit burger I have had since my mission started. Hands down! Oh man it was so sick. I will be honest, though, my stomach was not ready for full blown American food, but that didn't stop Elder Malo and I going back there the next day and eating it again!

On Saturday night, we went and played our weekly riverside court basketball game with some investigators! It was lots of fun and some new friends made. After doing so, we ate my favorite: Chicken!!!! 

And to close the delicious week, we went out to the Military Base and ate with a less active family from Texas, and they gave us legit tacos (with sour cream, cheese, hot sauce, and even guacamole--all of which are not Korean typicals). Yes, I was jumping up and down like a little middle schooler. It was so awesome. But besides the great food, it actually ended up being one of the more spiritual nights of my mission. In Korea there are a lot of less active members of the church, and when I say a lot, I mean the majority. All of them have different backgrounds and different reasons for leaving (or not stayin). This family in particular has some big barriers in the way, and it is a really sensitive and kind of a tough problem. Well last night as we were talking, I felt a really overwhelming feeling that the most important thing that we can do as members of the church, no matter the circumstance or the difference between us, is to love the other person and to be there for that person. I felt like I should tell them that, and that whether or not they were in or out of the church right now, it would not stop me from trying to become closer with them and trying to show my love to them. They were actually really touched, and honestly so was I! I didn't think I had those words in me, but I am happy they came out. My understanding of the church that I attend and my  understanding of the Savior seemed to really grow. I am awfully thankful for learning through experiencing. It is hard to forget when it happens like it did to me yesterday. 

This Gospel truly is complete and it is true. It is also freaking fun to me! I get hyped just thinking about the stuff that has happened to me because of it. I hope you all feel the same! 

I sure love you all! Keep it real!
Elder Jenkins

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Sleepless in Seoul

This last week was a fun one for sure! My new companion Elder Malo is a mad man; we are definitely going to be having a happy time together.

The first few days of the week was an absolute ball with Elder Goon and I visiting all of the members before he kicked out (transferred). We also went and played volleyball for our Pday. That is the first time I have played volleyball since I tore up the courts out at SVU! I will sure miss Elder Goon and the time we had together. 

Also I don't know why this became a theme of the week, but I saw a freaking ton of people sleeping in weird places in public this week. And, surprisingly I'm sure, none of them were homeless. Yep, you can bet your bottom dollar I took pictures!

Another random thing from this week was the unexpected arrival of the Monsoon Season, which brought a ton of rain.

On Wednesday, Elder Malo and I combined to make the most insane companionship of the mission! We started working right away and the week was filled with laughs and a lot of really great work. We set some high expectations for the transfer and instantly started working towards that by picking up two new investigators at the end of the week. Our great start was highlighted by a dinner with a less active family of 5. I had actually met this family last summer when I was in Seongnam on an exchange, and I really felt like they had a great chance and were at a near perfect time to come back to church. Although they weren't even members of the ward I was serving in, I felt a lot love for them and wished to be able to visit them once more. After learning I would be coming to Bundang, I quickly started trying to contact them to set up an appointment to visit them in their home. It took six weeks, but finally we were able to meet them. We learned that they in about that same time period had started reading the Book of Mormon, praying, and even watching Mormon messages and things like that once again! "The timing was perfect for you to call and visit us, what a coincidence!" I don't think so!!! There are no coincidences in this work baby!!! God truly does seem to prepare us individually for things ahead, even and especially when we can't see very far in front of us. 

I learned so much this week. I smiled a lot. I laughed a lot. I was also discouraged at times too, but I really do know how worth it all of this is. I love it!
I hope you all have a splendid week!

Elder Jenkins

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

What in the World Happened ??

Holy smokes!! I cannot believe it, but today begins my last transfer as a missionary. I really didn't even think about it until yesterday in church when some other missionaries were giving their little farewell talks in Sacrament, and I realized that I would be doing that in just six short weeks. Not just to another area, though, try a few hours away: 14. What in the world happened!?!?! I am a dead man.

This week really was a good one! We finally picked up some new investigators with great potential, we played some streetball, and we had a BBQ! For the first time on my mission, I had roasted marshmallows!!!!!!! What an experience. Oh jeez, I almost forgot: we also had root beer floats (another barbecue). I should just change the heading to "Merica Week!" It has been so long that it really did feel like I was trying those foods for the first time in my life. 

So on Thursday and Friday, I was on exchanges in the Zone Leaders area, which is like one of the richest areas in our mission. The timing happened to be perfect in that we had a dinner appointment with one of the more wealthy members that night. I am not complaining. Anything is better than our usual Ramen and Seaweed at the apartment! The weird thing was, though, when we looked on the map to find his house, it was like cleaaar out into the countryside--which usually means he is either living in some weird old shack or nice brand new apartment. Well we get out there and were looking around for his apartment, and when we get to the address, all we saw is a house. In truth, we were confused because in Korea like literally NO ONE lives in a house. Luckily, the guy stepped outside and said, "Elders! Head around to the back yard! We will be right there with the food!" Wait. Slow down... BACK YARD!?!?! I literally have never seen a house with a back yard my entire mission. And, even better, when we got back there, he had a flipping GRILL! I was losing it. I had totally forgotten those were even a thing. Needless to say, we ate really well that night, and the absolute most bat-crazy part was that right before we left, he pulled out a portable fire place thing and a bag of marshmallows and said "Dessert!" We did use chopsticks to roast the marshmallows. This may have been the happiest and coolest member meal I have experienced. 

On Saturday, for an Elders Quorum party, we had a BBQ! We had root beer floats and even no-bake cookies! Hahaha, what in the heck happened this week? Right after the BBQ, we ran to meet one of our new investigators at a nearby station and when we got there he said, "Elders you like baseball right?" Uhhh yeah! Then he said, "Well I have a friend who I want to introduce to you guys, and he is the manager of a screen baseball joint, and he wants to play some ball with you." So we went and played screen baseball and ate chicken with an investigator and his friend for free. And they are totally down to keep meeting and they agreed to come to church. Awesome! 

We had a lot of fun this week, but it seems like whenever you seem to reach a high, there is a low that follows and for us that came on Saturday night: Transfer Calls. Elder Goon is getting transferred! So sad. I cannot believe how close the two of us became in just six very short weeks. I hate transfers! But as I have learned many times before, change can be a really good thing.

Anyway, I have taken a lot of time to try and write this so it makes sense today and even with that I am still pretty sure the grammar is not correct, so I will give up now.

I love you all, and I hope you can find joy in the highest of times as well in the lowest of times. Have a good one!

Elder Jenkins

View from the HOUSE

Marshmellow Roase

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Great Refreshing Week!!

I had a super good time last week!! We went to the TEMPLE!!!!!!!!!!! It was the first time in like 6 months. I flipping missed the Temple and the feelings you can receive there. The temple was definitely the highlight of my week, but we did have some other cool experiences.

We met with some active members, some less active members, some investigators, and even missionaries, but my favorite thing was definitely working with the less active members. Two of them that we focused on this week were people that I actually interviewed for baptism a year ago! They are coworkers and the one referred the other to the missionaries. They were both absolutely cemented in the church and the doctrine. Sadly, a few months after their baptisms, one small step after another, and one trial after another led one of them to less activity. That one then pulled the other one into less activity as well. And the truth is, sometimes I can really really understand them for not wanting to come out to church--trials can be so difficult and belonging to the church here can be very hard. They were both really struggling and were really hurting. The one thing that Elder Goon and I wanted to share with them this week was that no matter what, no matter the trial or the pain, there is nothing that can replace what this church can do. And even more than the church, God himself! God is where it is at. He is at the center of everything. He heals us!

I love the church and all of the things that come with it! Our experiences, whether we view them from our imperfect sight as good or bad, are worth it, and there is always a reason for everything. I Love It! 

Also, last night as a mission we held a "Special Music Night" kind of thing, which was set apart as a time for recent converts to share their testimonies and musical talents, and also for missionaries to share their talents. And it was DOPE! There is this lady who is a pretty famous singer here in Korea who was just baptized in my ward, and she wrote this song about the first vision and it was mad money!!! Yes, it was Sunday, and yes, we were in a Stake Center, but you bet your bottom dollar I stood up clapping and hollering after her performance. Man, the whole evening was legit. Music is such a great way to feel the Spirit and to have a flipping ball!

I am absolutely loving my mission. We are working hard, we are having fun, and I am feeling and learning so much! This is the greatest thing in the world.

I love you all! Have a good one!
Elder Jenkins

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Less Active Members

I think this week went well, but I can't flipping remember much!

The highlight was definitely visiting less active members! I always get so excited when I visit these less active members in Korea. The situations are always so different and they keep us on our toes for sure. Meeting people like that really helps me realize how grateful I am for the church membership and what it has done for my life. I love this church, and I absolutely love this gospel!

I am so sorry. This is the most lousy letter yet. Next week will be better I promise!
Elder Jenkins
The Competition: Street Contacting

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Happy Mother's Day!

It is a super, super cool day in the mission when you get to see you family face to face! For those of you who might not know, while on a mission, there are only FOUR times when you get to see you family. It isn't in person--just Skype--but it flipping feels like Christmas for sure! I could barely sleep last night I was so excited. Family is what life is about, and mine means everything to me!

As is typical, this last week was a lot of fun AND a lot of work. We met some awesome people, and we met some not so awesome people. But I love this life!

I don't have much time to write, and I feel like I told my parents everything through Skype anyway, but I will tell you something that I thought was really cool. Yesterday our ward and the Seongnam Ward were combined into one, which I think was actually really hard for a lot of people. During sacrament meeting, a lot of the speakers talked about being happy even when it doesn't seem like our situation is what we want, being united in one cause, and being a family full of love and kind words. It was strange: I was hearing all of these cool words, but because I was translating I wasn't really thinking about what was being said. I was just making sure the translation was pretty accurate. But all of a sudden it just hit me as someone really emphasized coming together and making things feel like a family: unity and love create the warmth and light we need to keep moving! Loved it.

Yesterday Elder Goon and I got some time in Little America! There is a small military base in our area, and we got a call from an American member who needed something from us, so we also made a plan to visit a few more families out there. Out there, it literally felt just like America: American food, American cars, white people! (haha) It was a lot of fun and it got Elder Goon and me pretty hyped up! We were walking away from one of the houses and Elder Goon looked over at me and said, "watch this." He did a "box jump" that was like up past my waist onto this wall! It was so dope. When he jumped, though, I heard a POP sound and so when he came down off of the wall, I looked around for his phone (or something) on the ground. To my surprise, my eyes met his pants and he had about a 10 inch rip down the middle! (hahahaha atta baby goonster! I will let my mom decide if she wants to post that picture). The best part though was watching him waddle around the rest of the night trying to hide his rip.

I love everything about my mission!!!!!! Words can't really describe. 

I love you all! I hope you have a funny week like I did!
Elder Jenkins