Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Spring is Coming!

The weather has started to turn, and I am loving it--no more thermals, coats, gloves and scarfs. Yes! I love the Spring here in Korea; it is seriously so beautiful! The cherry blossoms are already starting to spring out just a little bit. Here are some highlights from the week:

On Monday we went to one of the three churches in our mission boundaries that has a basketball court and balled out for like 5 hours. Because of the recent schedule changes for missionaries, Pday has been stretched out and there is more time to do fun things. I swear if there was a crowd watching, the people would be chanting my name (haha).  There were like 26 missionaries involved, so we had a ball. We ended the day with the delicacy of Costco pizza, which is a rare treat in the life of a Korean missionary.

On Thursday we had kind of a funky thing happen. Right now we are living in a four man house--Elder Lee and I and then Elder Dalley who is from Springville and Elder Myeong who is a Korean as well.  The special thing about Elder Myeong is that he is like 26 years old. He has graduated from college, fulfilled his Military obligation, lived a year in Europe for work, and is also a convert of only about 3 years! In Korea, there is a mandatory military system for 2 years, which Elder Myeong completed like 5 years ago, but every few months you have to go back in for a day for some training in preparation for war that might come. On Thursday Elder Myeong had that day long training and so we just dropped him off in his military clothes with a bunch of other former soldiers and then worked as a threesome. The reason it was so funky is because we had scheduled 3 appointments and Elder Myeong and Elder Dalley's team had 3 scheduled too! We were just running to and from appointments for both teams, but it was a lot of fun and we met a lot of new people.

The highlight was a guy named Ike. He is the other team's investigator and is fluent in English. He lived in North Carolina for something like 20 years, so he even had a southern accent. It turns out his entire life he has been looking for a religion that fits him and feels true. We were able to have a great chat about faith using Alma's parable in Alma 32 and he really enjoyed it. Finally after some time, I just felt really strongly I should ask him "what if the Mormon Church was the church that he had been looking for, and that he didn't have to search any longer?" In response, he said one of the coolest things ever: he paused for a second and then in a kind of low and soft voice said, "well if that were to be the case, then the Mormon Church would get one strong believer." BOOM! Sick!

Things are pretty dang good here in Korea! Love you all and hope all is well.

Keep it real!
Elder Jenkins

Monday, March 20, 2017


I have so much to say because I loved last week so much. The weirdest thing was, though, for most of the week we were so caught up with jobs that kept us off of the streets. You can bet I was a little bitter about that.

We picked up all of the new missionaries from the airport and it was a really fun ride back on the subway. It is semi-hilarious, and also an incredibly spiritual experience, to see kids first exposure to a brand new language, a brand new people, and, for most of them, a completely new transportation system! The last one being the sketchiest; luckily this time we didn't lose any. But actually a really cool thing happened: the first person we talked to was not very interested at all (put in headphones when I was in the middle of introducing us--that wasn't the cool part trust me), so after that happened I turned around and asked the fresh missionaries what they would at least like to say in English to someone. I just told them to think about it for the next time we had the opportunity to talk to someone. Right at that moment, I saw a girl staring at us so I waved and walked right over and this is where I got really shocked! She just looked like some ordinary Korean girl, but ended up being a girl from Japan who was really curious about religion. So, instead of fighting the huge language barrier of Korean, the new missionaries and I got to teach the lady in English. I was kind of thinking "I should have given them just a little bit more time to think," but we nevertheless had a great talk with her and it really opened up the doors for the rest of our 2 hour ride. Also right before we had to get off the subway, I said hi to one more guy and I looked at his phone and he was right in the middle of sending his sister a picture he had taken of us, to ask who we were--great excuse to introduce myself! That doesn't happen every day.

Okay I am just going to skip all the way yesterday, which was the best day of the week for sure. We had a baptism!!!!!!! This is the guy who we first met only about a month ago. He just randomly came to church after I had sent a text a few days earlier. We gave him a date that day, and met him literally 5 times after that day and the sixth time was his baptismal interview. I really have never seen someone like this guy on my mission. I love him. Such a fantastic person sent from God. I know that! I didn't do anything! He came to us--in his words "God led me here." He knows it, and so do I! It was literally one month exactly from the first time we met to his baptismal day. Amazing. The Gospel does matter, and it makes a difference. Even in just a short month, I saw it change a man's life. Such a humbling experience.

Also yesterday we were FINALLY able to get outside and we had a district street boarding activity. We even took a couple of members and went hard. We gave away maybe 30 copies of the BOM and I was just eating it up. The only problem is that sometimes when we go all out like that, I get suuuper excited and a little crazy. I wonder sometimes if other people think I am drunk--it is just completely opposite of Korean culture to say 'hi' to even just one stranger let alone nearly yelling to a crowd of 25 people. I just try not let my face get too red, that way it doesn't seem too legit that I am drunk. Ah, spreading the Gospel is so sick. I love it!
I hope you all had a great week. Spend your week well!
Love you,

Elder Jenkins
We copied this off of the Mission President's blog:
Seth and his companions tracted out this person in August and he was baptized last week!

Monday, March 13, 2017

It Takes Guts to Get Through Transfer Week!!!

Gopchang-jeongol, or Beef Tripe Soup
This last week was kind of slow right up until the weekend and then it got suuuper fun. During the week we had two different exchanges and when we weren't doing that, we were involved in meetings and so we had no proselyting time. But I will tell you about what we were able to do.

So on Monday and Tuesday I went back to the area that we are combining with soon and did another exchange over there. It was so fun!!! But because the elders' area is shutting down this week, they have referred all of their investigators over to our area so we had another whole entire day of proselyting! My favorite! Sometimes I really feel like more comfortable talking to people on the streets than I actually do sitting down in a cafe. I love to proselyte! So we made a big goal of a number of BOMs to place and stuff like that. I think that day we gave away 25! That is definitely the most I have ever even thought about giving out. It was just so fun to stop practically everyone we came across and to introduce our favorite book and the effect it has had in our lives. Super fun!!!

Then on Wednesday and Thursday I went out to Incheon for an exchange and it was so cool going
out to the area where I landed a year and a half ago! The elders' apartment there was on like the 28th floor or something insane like that, so we were suuuper high! It made for a cool view.

Then yesterday was just a great day. Mr. Woo, my man, came to church again, and by the end of the block every member had googled him and found all of his videos on Youtube. Of course, they went crazy! It was so awesome. I think he liked the attention. And then our old homie Nogi Akira from Japan came out to our ward lunch and he too also found some fans--a lot of the members have traveled to Japan so they were all practicing their Japanese on him. Sick! 

Anyway, today we are all going to play screen baseball!!! I love this and I am sure wishing America had this. Hopefully we don't pick up a bunch of fans like our investigators have been lately--just kidding. Instead, I pray my body holds up. For real.

Love you guys.

Elder Jenkins
Office Staff

Mission Soccer Champs!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Woo! Mr. Woo!

The Han River
I loved last week, but for real sometimes I have the hardest time remembering what happened. Yikes. But I will tell you what I do remember and hold onto your seats because it involves my very first "famous investigator!"

Because I am new to the area, I have been sending out loads of messages to try and find people who might be willing to meet. This method has actually been pretty effective in my mission--a baptism in Gokbanjeong resulted from it actually! We also have an investigator we found that way who is all lined up to be baptized! Needless to say, I trust it. But anyway, I got a random reply a few days later from a man entitled Mr. Woo. Search it: Mr. Woo soccer. There you have it: former professional soccer player, who is also a pioneer of the fun game "freestyle football." Even Ronaldinho (look it up) asked for an autograph when he met Mr. Woo (hahaha). The reply indicated he wanted to meet and come to church. We met on Monday, and he came to church yesterday. He did tell us that he is a little hesitant coming to church because he basically doesn't want to publicity all over him. First time hearing that excuse! Solid! And here is another cool mix into things: he has a son attending ... the U! Sick! I love when super dope stuff happens like this on my mission!

The Famous Seoul Bing Desert Cafe
Then on Tuesday and Wednesday I went on exchanges to the area right next to ours, which was cool because our two wards will be combining this month and so that will also become our area! We had 8 hours full hours of proselyting time since we had no appointments whatsoever! You know me ... I had to make it as interesting as I could. I pulled out nearly every trick I had in my pocket: basketball, taking random people out for dollar burger day at Burger King, sign language translation, Spanish translation, restaurant proselyting... I have a few others, but I decided to save those for another exchange. It really was such a blast. And it was even warm enough that we left our coats at the house!!! Good thing too; I certainly didn't want that weight when I was throwing down on the basketball court later in the day.
Friday we had a combined ward indoor soccer/barbecue party. It was so sick! You know me: soccer fan ... Not. Perhaps Mr. Woo put some kind of spirit in me, though, because I really had a good time! Imagine that. I  even got some woos from the crowd. That might have come from me slamming little Koreans into the walls (haha). I couldn't help it. It felt a lot like indoor football (AFL) and I have some football experience. Of course, Korea does have the best barbecue in the world, so my belly was also very pleased afterwards.
Look out Streets of Seoul!

A lot of other cool things happened this week, but I seriously cannot remember.

One thing I did realize though: even when times are good, there will always be something that is hard too. Prepare for those times and enjoy them. After all, that is life isn't it. We had a really fun little high school student investigator who we had kind of been losing contact with, but we called yesterday and the phone was actually picked up. But, it wasn't his voice. His dad answered and all he said was, "Don't ever call again!" Elder Lee, the angel that he is, said something like, "oh okay.. Sorry to bother you" and the guy pounds the nail one more time by responding "Don't even think about calling again!" Boom! And that is the name of the game ladies and gentlemen: one moment you can be on cloud nine with the dope blonde haired Mr. Woo and the next wallowing in despair after a painful phone call.

If there is one thing I have learned, though, it is that attitude it everything! Choose to be happy!
Love you all!

Elder Jenkins