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

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

On the Streets of Bundang!

On the Streets of Bundang!

Giving Them Out by the Cases
I had a great time last week, but I also had one of the hardest days of my mission. We still don't have a lot of investigators so we have been spending a lot of time out on the streets putting in the work! Contacting definitely is not the easiest part of missionary work, but it is for sure one of the things that I love most in my life. The dynamic almost cannot be matched: one moment complete celebration from a great talk with a nice and cool person, and the next an absolute smash down from a group of pastors from another church. THE LIFE! This is every day of my life, but generally more filled with "I am busy" and "not interested" or the classic "hand to the face." But I'm telling you, one good conversation is worth the 100 rejections that follow it. They are always worth it. This week my companions and I made some lofty proselyting goals and it took about a thousand rejections (not exaggerating) and a lot of hours, but we were successful!
BOM Tally Marks

We spent every day until Thursday proselyting, but then our lives got turned upside down. Elder Kim, our new companion--waiting for a visa so this is his pre-MTC experience--had been coughing quite a bit, but we had originally just assumed it was a cold. So, on Thursday, we had an appointment with a new investigator in which he told us some of the coolest things I have ever heard from an investigator. Because they were so sick, I will share a few of them with you! The first time we met, we talked a little bit about baptism and the importance of it, but he rejected the offer, so we left him the assignment to read 2 Nephi 31 and asked him to think about the date we had offered him. When we walked into his office on Thursday, I looked at the white board behind his desk and he had written on his calendar: "06/03 Baptism." (haha Okay and Why?) So I just instantly said, "Hey man! You warmed up to the 3rd?!" and he said, "I read what you told me to read... I guess I need to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ." Then he told us that he had also been having his wife (who we have never met) read the Book of Mormon! We proceeded to teach the Restoration and he accepted all of it soo well! It was a complete miracle for sure. I was soo hyped after the lesson, until I realized that Elder Kim was now coughing pretty hard and his breathing was all weird...
Hospital Check-in

Hospital Waiting
We decided to go the hospital to figure out what was wrong, and we spent from 7:30pm until about 12:30am in the emergency room. That was definitely the most intense night of my mission. People were running around screaming, blood was everywhere, and ambulance lights were flashing for dayyss. Finally, we got word that Elder Kim had a pretty serious case of pneumonia and that he needed to go home to recover for a few weeks. SO SAD. And, honestly, really scary! But I was really grateful that we weren't there for one of the more crazy cases that we witnessed. Elder Goon and I also had a really special opportunity to give Elder Kim a priesthood blessing that really struck me strongly. After the blessing, I just had a powerful feeling that what was happening had a reason and that all would be well. Great timing in a swirl of chaos. 

So Elder Kim went home on Saturday, and he should be back in just a few weeks, luckily. 
Sending Elder Kim Home

On another crazy note. The yellow dust and microscopic dust has been at an all time high here in Korea over the past few days! Resulting in huge distress for the Korean people. Everyone wearing masks, people not leaving their homes.. Stuff like that! Guess that means some good time for knocking doors! maybe a blessing in disguise. Could be time for my first family! hahahaha

All in all, this was a great week full of mixed emotions. I think I am learning the important lesson of finding the silver lining. I love my mission. I love this Gospel. And I love the Lord.

Oh, and..... I love you guys too! Have a great one^^
Elder Jenkins
Foot Volleyball!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Change, the Name of the Game

This week was sooo much fun--not just one day, though. Literally everyday was mad money. I love my life so dang much. Let me do my best to explain my heaven in a few paragraphs. Buckle up!!

Monday~ Was like the coolest pday of my mission! There was a mission-wide pday activity where we rented out a big sports complex for 2 hours, and we played soccer, basketball, foot volleyball, and kickball. It was so fun! We split everyone into teams and formed big rally crowds and everything. There were literally people all over the field coming to watch us. Koreans, I think, were amazed at a bunch of crazy foreigners playing kickball and chanting! We also had a 3K and you might not be surprised that I sluffed out and got an ice cream.

Tuesday~ Was my last day in Songpa and so I visited some people and took my luggage to my new house. It was also the anniversary of the North Korean Military establishment, so it was a pretty intense day for South Koreans! There were jets flying all over the place. I am sure it was just us (South Korea) letting them (North Korea) know that we were prepared, but it was kind of intense walking around on the streets that day.

Elder Dalley
Wednesday~ This was the craziest morning of my mission for sure! New missionaries usually arrive at about 5 pm on Tuesday afternoon, but because of all the noise coming from the North, their flight got delayed for 12 hours which, if you do the math, means the early hours of Wednesday we were at the airport! We woke up at 2:45 and to help ourselves wake up a little more we went and played ping pong. At 4:00 am, we left for the airport. It was definitely the longest day of my mission. But it was also a lot of fun because we got some good work done. I got my two new companions: Elder Kim who is waiting for his visa to go to California on his mission, and Elder Goon who is in his 4th transfer. I am loving life with them!
Thursday~ I forgot.. Street contacting for sure. We don't really have any investigators in this new area. We did visit some recent converts and had our first District Meeting.

Friday and Saturday~ Proselyting (my fav).

Sunday~ First Sunday in Bundang, and I killed the opening talk (haha). Elder Kim and I did a combined joke that the ward thought was really funny (it was about accents--he has a Busan accent and I have an American accent--maybe only funny if you are Korean). However, it instantly got us several meal invites! We also bounced back to Songpa and went to a baptism of a kid that I had been teaching there with Elder Lee. Super fun baptism and he looked soo happy! It really was a great fresh start for a kid who has had a hard past. 

This week was soo amazing. I love this work!!! I hope you all are loving life! See ya!
Elder Jenkins
Goodbye to the Mission Home-What a Great 3 Months!
Awesome Investigator!

3AM Ping Pong