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!