Monday, January 30, 2017

Sleeping on the Job?

I don't even know where to start because this week was flipping awesome. On Saturday, we celebrated New Years--Chinese New Year that is, but in Korea it is also a huge holiday! As a mission, we had some conferences where there was a new missionary schedule announced and some cool new training from several Apostles. We also went to a New Year celebration in an old Folk Village and enjoyed celebrating Korean traditional culture. It was super fun.

But, actually, my favorite part of the week happened Thursday after the world wide missionary broadcast: as a Zone, we went to the famous Suwon Train Station and had a sick proselyting activity. It was centered on the Book of Mormon, so some sisters made a life size BOM and we hit the streets hard. It was super effective! Soo many people would be walking by rather quickly and then all of a sudden hit the brakes and just stare at the huge Book of Mormon. That, of course, is when we swooped in: we did well that night and actually (from what I can gather) passed out the most copies of the Book of Mormon in one day in the history of our mission! In an hour in a half, 15 missionaries worked together to pass out 85 copies. It was so flipping crazy! After that, we celebrated with chicken and pizza!  I was pleased.

I got really sick this week, but because we had a lot of appointments I was just trying to push through it--especially because we had an appointment with an investigator who is scheduled to be baptized pretty soon. I just quickly want to introduce this guy: he is a man that knows a little bit about a lot of things, and he is always wanting to do something more. For example, he once thought that Koreans needed an easier way to learn English, so he made an English study book and started pawning it. On another occasion, he thought people needed nicer and cheaper pants, so sure enough, his house is full of home made pants which he also pawns. Haha he is one mad, motivated, industrious man! Most recently, he has been wanting to is learn how to make bread. And guess who loves to cook? Elder Olson!! So, we set up an appointment that was designed around cooking and then a little lesson at the end.

Well I might have not been the most interested in making bread and also I was dying--remember my illness--so I excused myself and laid down on the couch. About 10 minutes later, I woke up and Elder Choi was sleeping on the floor right next to me (haha). I guess bread making isn't his thing either, so we both passed out while Elder Olson and the investigator had some home cooking lessons. I woke up like 30 minutes later to the sound of Elder Olson saying things like "repent" and "baptism by immersion," so I got out of bed, grabbed the wall for balance, and quickly got myself into the lesson. Elder Olson is a baller! I learned that he had been solo teaching the investigator for about 25 minutes (while they were cooking) about the lesson we had planned to teach. We had planned to be sure he was going to be ready for baptism. So I just sat down, looked a little confused I am sure, and said "yeah well, I know my companion's words to be true!" And then we prayed and that was that! Certainly one of the more interesting lessons of my mission for sure.

Don't worry, though, I healed. But then I nearly lost my voice again preaching about the Book of Mormon at our activity (haha). I think I have finally fully recovered! 

This week was so fun. I love missionary work and the funny little moments and challenges that come with it.

I hope you all have been well and that you have another splendid week.


Elder Jenkins

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Frozen Korea!

This last week was nice. Nothing too crazy seemed to happen, although we did get snow and it may be some of the coldest weather I have ever been in. I loved it! Best of all: the heaters all broke down in the church, so 3 hours of freezing happened yesterday. That is actually a funny start to my first story.

Yesterday this investigator who we have been meeting for a little while attended church for the first time! Kind of an unfortunate day to attend (no heat), but he said he really liked it. We had planned on teaching him the Plan of Salvation during the hour of class, but because it was literally so cold that you could see your breath I had the bright idea of skipping out on that class period and going to a cafe where they had a working heater. Sound like 16 year old me? And, yup, e did just that. Rest assured, we didn't buy anything, we just needed some warmth! So as we met during church, in that cafe, we had a flipping crazy lesson. It was full of surprises and extremely hard questions, and it was so fun. My favorite part was when we asked him if he had been thinking about the message at all, and he told us that he had not only had pre-read the entire Plan of Salvation pamphlet, but that as he read it tears came to his eyes. Struck by the Spirit! Cool experience... just don't judge me for the location that is took place.

Another of my favorite things from this week: On Saturday, we met with this Less Active guy for the first time and just tried to get to know him a little bit. He told us about his conversion 15 years ago and the effect the church has had in his life. Then basically he told us that he didn't need the church anymore. "It's too hard to be Mormon" is what he said, "Too many rules." Whenever someone says that, I make fun of them and say "You only lived according to the standards for a few months! I have been doing this for 20 years!!!" When I say that, they stop trashing us and listen. That's when the fun begins!  회개하라!! So we talked to him for a while about the importance of keeping the commandments and how that can also bless others around us. He still kept fighting us though. Finally a thought came to my mind,that honestly made me just a little bit emotional as I delivered it to him. I told him, "You not keeping the commandments is not necessarily the thing that is the hardest for me to hear. Knowing the church is true, and knowing that God is real, and denying all of that is really hard for me to hear. Imagine how hard it would be for you if your beloved son who had accepted, loved and relied on you, suddenly left you and then threw away everything that you had done for him. I imagine that is so hard for God, the one that loves you more than ANYONE else." God does love us, and He is our Father. Please don't forget that, or throw that away.

No more time! Have a splendid week!

Elder Jenkins

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

My Camera Was Stolen!

Elder Jenkins and his Sons, Elder Choi and Bratt!  They Grow up so Fast!
This week was so flipping fantastic, and it was also incredibly cold! The combination made for an interesting angle at missionary work, but it was all so dang cool. Let me tell ya.
The Zone
 So maybe one of the coolest things that has ever happened on my mission happened last week: two weeks ago on Saturday we had some time at night to place some calls to some potential investigators, so I decided to call a few people that I thought might accept an invitation to church. One of the first people that came to mind was a guy who I actually had met with several times when I served in Shinpung (Our neighboring area) almost a year ago. At the time, he really had no interest in church. In truth, he really did not have much interest or motivation. On top of that, he was actually living in Gokbanjeong area (my area now) so things ended pretty quickly. But for some reason I thought it would be good to call him. To my surprise, he picked up and said "Maybe I will come. I will see." We all know that usually means no, but to my surprise he showed out to church! And he absolutely loved it.
Our Work Area

He commented after the meeting, "This church just fits who I am." Of course we proceeded to set up an appointment for that Wednesday, and he willingly agreed, and we met and it went so well. During that short meeting he said some things that were just crazy. All we could think was "Holy Golden." He told us that "Just a few minutes before the time you called me, I was in super deep thought as to where my life was, and how much religion could mean to me right now. But not just me, the world needs a true, pure, and a more spiritual focus. The world needs a true religion! And then guess who called? YOU! The world needs the Mormon Church." Yeah! That is why we are here friend. So right then, he pulled out his phone (calendar) and said, "We need to schedule all of our appointments for the next 2 weeks right now. I want to meet with you every day I have off!" As he scheduled the appointments, I leaned over his shoulder and said, "Well if you like the Mormon church this much, how about becoming a member?" Then I pointed to the 29th of this month and he just entered it in his calendar right on the spot! That man is prepared and eager. He came to church yesterday as well, and he is really planning to be baptized in two weeks! Sick!!!!

Anway, I took too much time on that story. God is just real. And He really does prepare His children! His time is all it takes.

FYI: My Camera was stolen this week.

Love you guys!!!

Elder Jenkins

Our Flat

Our Yos...Sleeping Mats

Keeping it clean!

Monday, January 9, 2017

The Clothing of Old Korea

This week was so flipping awesome! I have so much to say, but I won't. Honestly, no one but me and my two companions really care that much about what happened, so I will be brief.

Funniest moment of the week: We met some random guy and asked if maybe he had had some past experiences with missionaries. It turns out that he is a former investigator (kind of) and used to meet with missionaries a lot. Hearing that, we asked him what his impression is of the church. He took that as what was his first literal impression of the church. He responded: "I will tell you what, I had never seen such BLUE toilet water in my entire life until I stepped into your guy's church. Frankly I was quite amazed!" Haha, thank you janitor. Interesting first impression.

Also, last week we met with an older crazy guy who was so hilarious. I think he kind of had a lapse in his memory which made for a really comical hour lunch appointment. I will give you one little glimpse: He began the lunch with one of those " hallelujah Jesus" opening prayers and then proceeded to give us a complete bombardment of weird political stories with an occasional sermon on Jesus thrown in between. He was quite the talker--he talked suuuper fast and would randomly laugh hysterically. After about 15 minutes of him on a solo, I took an opportunity (a moment of silence) and shot him the Restoration lesson as quickly as I could. The whole shabang! He looked a little confused and then said, "WHOA Take it easy! Slow it down!" We all kind of giggled and then I just whipped out the BOM and said, "You need this book sir!" He took it in his hands for a second and then sadly turned it down with another whale of a story on being baptized by the laying on of the hands. No water needed...first time hearing that. So as he was going on and on and on, I took the BOM back and slowly--very stealthily--slipped the BOM into his bag. I'm guessing that because of his jumpy memory, he will just figure he put it in the bag himself! Now, we are just praying that he reads it.

Last pday, as a District we all threw on some Traditional Korean Clothing and explored old Korea! That costume was easily one of the dopest things I have ever worn. 

Also, for all of you out there who are wondering if I really did any missionary work this week.. Last week was actually one of the most spiritually inspiring and most fruitful weeks of my mission. The Lord totally and completely blessed us with so much good. OH! It was so flipping exciting and fun to see all of the fruit.

I love you all, and I hope you have a fantastic week.  Email me.  Please.
Elder Jenkins

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

New Sun! You Receive Much Fortune!

This week was a blast! Things really picked up which made for a super fun week. But, honestly, it's probably just fun for me and my companions, so I won't go too deep into details.

First I want to tell a pretty funny story that happened on Sunday. Because it was Christmas, we went as a district to a normally well-populated subway station to do some fun proselyting activities. But the thing I didn't completely realize was that in Korea, Christmas is just a dating holiday. Nothing about families or Jesus. As a result, this subway station was just completely PACKED with people who were on dates. There was barely even space to walk, which made for a super fun time--lots of contacts!! Anyway, it was a complete blast. As we were walking back towards the entrance of the subway to head home, this foreigner stopoed us in our tracks and just looked in awe at my companion Elder Olson. He was from another Asian country, so he tried speaking some English but you could tell he didn't know a lot. So then he was trying to speak Korean, which he didn't know a lot of either, but it was better than his English. Frustrated, he just started blurting out English and Korean together and in English he says "See You Again" and then in Korean he says "That is my favorite song!" Then he said, "Aren't you the artist?" to Elder Olson, but Elder Olson--still being pretty fresh in Korea--couldn't understand what was happening, so he answered "Oh yeah! Of course!"( hahahaha) The guy just FREAKED out!!! He started shaking his hand like a thousand miles an hour and then pulled out his phone and just started taking selfie after selfie with Elder Olson! I'm sure those pictures came out hilarious because Elder Olson's expression was one of complete and utter confusion! Anyway, after a while of the guy talking about how cool it was to meet a celebrity, he left and Elder Olson just turned around to us and asked, "What in the heck just happened??" Elder Choi and I were both fighting tears trying to explain that he just confirmed to a guy that he was indeed a famous American Singer.

Yesterday our cool little no longer investigator friend, Dae Hyeon, got confirmed a member of the Church and it was such a powerful experience! I love this church so much and the incredible power that comes with it.

Okay other than that. A ton of other dope things happened, but I'm out of time.

I love you all! I hope that with this "new sun, you receive much fortune!" (translation for "Have a Happy New Year!!)  See you!

Elder Jenkins