Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Week of March 25 2013: Transfer to Ulsan!

Dear 여러분,
I never really know what to write at this point---but I guess anywhere's a good place to start. So maybe just like this: I got transferred from Jinju, my first area. I think the past few days were some of the weirdest I've had in a while. Walking around and seeing things that I've gotten so used to, and then realizing how I haven't seen them for that long---but also I have, in a way. I just remembered a lot of the things I've done here, and especially all the people we've met with. I don't  think I really described well enough how incredibly generous and genuine the members and everyone here have been. They've always helped us with lessons whenever we needed it, and usually do a much better job of teaching. Most of the people we've been able to teach came from them sharing the gospel with other people. I know this is all kind of general, but I just hope you understand how grateful I am for them. We went to church this Sunday, and a lot people weren't there---they're all really busy, working in very hard jobs and taking care of their families and others. But I was able to talk to a lot of them and thank them, and remember even more of the great things they've done for me.
Then on Sunday night we went to the bishop's house for dinner---he's really an amazing guy. He goes every week to take care of his mom, but still made time to have us over. They made food without meat, which kind of made me feel bad, but also shows how amazing the people are here. It was something I've never really had before---you take rice paper dipped in water, and fill it with vegetables and other things and wrap it up and eat it whole. It's kind of like just making spring rolls---but a lot better. Before that I was kind of feeling a little weird, but being able to eat with them reminded me of how much love the members all have for each other, and it was really great. I'll miss everyone here, but I hope I can show other people as much love as the members here have to us. My new area is a city called Ulsan---the pronunciation is more like Ursan, but there's not really a good way to write it. Also, I'm going to be companions with a new missionary. I'm a little nervous, but I'm thankful for all your advice and everything, and I know it will help. I love everyone and miss you all. I've come to recognize more how much God loves us and is aware of all of our lives---and I hope you all know that I know that.
Keep it up, everyone.
-Elder Campbell

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Week of March 17 2013: Other people's prayers

Dear Everyone,

Hope everyone's doing well and this week was great. I keep forgetting
how time is moving for everyone else, and kind of for me, too. Sorry
also for my lacking letter last week---I'll try to make up for it this
time in details, but it might be hard. This week really almost felt
like a day. We had interviews with the mission president, which was
interesting---mostly just talking about how things are going, what
help we need, etc. He asked if it would be good to have sister
missionaries in Jinju, which is interesting because we've been
wondering if that might happen lately. Almost all of the people we're
meeting/trying to meet with are women, and it's kind of hard since we
have to have a male church member, and our ward members are pretty
hard-working people. Right now the nearest sister misionaries are on
an island called Gojeh which is an hour and a half by bus from here.

We're still meeting with Sister Lee (E), who I don't know if I already
told about in more detail. She's studying English at a national
university here in Jinju, and is pretty awesome. After the first time
we met, she read all of 1 Nephi in a week, and this last time she read
all of Matthew, which is pretty impressive. She studies really hard,
and speaks English really well. At first I think she didn't totally
understand how reading scritpure is different from that kind of
learning---but this last time she said she really felt good while she
read, and is starting to understand better how these things can help
her life, which is really great. She also brought my companion a bunch
of English books, and lent me some books for foreigners learning
Korean, completely out of the blue. She's a really amazing person, and
I hope we can help her well.

Also sorry my details about food have been scanty. I think the problem
is that most of the time we just make it ourselves, so it doesn't
really end up like Korean food. I think one of the things I've come to
appreciate the most is rice with this red sauce and 김 (kim), which is
dried seaweed, sprinkled on it. It's pretty simple, but really
satisfying, especially with tofu. Right now we don't have any kimchi
in our house, but whenever we do eat it it's great. This week one of
our really great members took us to a vegetable buffet, which I didn't
even know existed. It was really great, actually. There are
restaurants here called meat buffets all over, but this is the first
vegetable one I've ever seen. Basically just everything is made out of
vegetables---they have some meat-looking foods made out of non-meat,
but mostly just lots of vegetables, soup, kimchi, rice, etc. Maybe if
we go again I'll take a picture.

This week was more kind of trying to figure out how to find things
myself, etc.---but it was good, and I was able to learn a lot. I've
come to realize how much other people really support us and one
another, and it's really awesome to see. It reminded me of one of
President Monson's talks about how God answers other people's prayers
through us. I'm so grateful for all you guys have given me, and I just
hope I can help othe people the way you guys have helped me. I love
you guys. 감사드리고 열심히하세요.

-Elder Campbell

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Week of March 3: Everyone Supports Each Other

Dear Everyone,

Hey guys---we're back in the post office, which is really the most exciting place around here. I might have mentioned it before, but the postal service here is really nice. They have all the boxes, tape, and everything you need to send here for free, and also lots of reading glasses and things like that---I don't know. It's hard to explain. This week was interesting. I was kind of in a rush last week, and still am a little, but I'll try to do okay. My new companion's name is Ahn Young-gyoon. He's really great. He just came from a city called Kim-chun, which is kind of like the countryside, and Jin-ju is kind of a bigger city, so he was a little surprised at first. He also couldn't believe how dirty our apartment was---I guess I kind of just got used to it. But we cleaned a bunch, and tried to visit a bunch of people, most of whom moved a while ago. I found out how much I don't know about the bus system here, but it worked out alright. 

We met with Sister Lee (E), who I think I talked about before. She's really great---she wants to go to B.Y.U., and is applying there now. Elder Ahn was worried that she thinks she needs to join the church to go (or in order to get a discount)---but she's really diligently trying to learn on her own, and is a really great person. And the members in our ward are really trying to help her a lot. I think I'll have to write more about our ward next time---they're all really amazing. We had a meeting with the ward leaders, though I'm not sure why we didn't really do it ever before---but it was really awesome to see how much they care about each other and how hard they work. Specifically, the Relief Society leaders are really great---they talked to us for a while about people they thought we should help, and they've helped us with a lot of other stuff before. It was a little different teaching with someone new, which is to be expected---but my new companion's really great, and things are great in general. 

This week we also met a lot of new people in our district---my companion's the new district leader, so he has to call people a lot, and I'm learning more about how much everyone supports each other. We had our first meeting, and then went to a restaurant we've been to a lot, but is really great. If anyone has time, look up Soon-Tubu Jjigeh---it's basically really hot soup with soft tofu, which maybe doesn't sound great but it's really awesome. We've also been going to the toast restaurant pretty often.

I hope everyone's doing well. It's crazy to hear about all the great things you're all doing. I hope you all know how much I love and miss you all. I know the church is true, and how much Heavenly Father loves all of you. I know things are hard, but I also know that that's what helps us learn. Keep it up.

-Elder Campbell