Monday, October 14, 2013

Week of October 14, 2013: Running In No Particular Direction

Dear Everyone,
This one will have to be pretty fast---I wish it wasn't, but we just don't have too much time left after going to the other city in our area to do some stuff with the other members in our district. This was a pretty exciting week in a regular way. The weather and other events are actually related this time, so it makes it a little faster. On Monday, we spent the P-Day part at the market near our church searching for cheap ties, unsuccessfully but seeing lots of good stuff in the process---displays of interesting food, cute kids and families buying cute/funny clothes, stores with retro Korean pop/show tunes playing out front, and lots of live seafood, including crabs in cardboard boxes covered with sawdust that were still alive and flailing around, and a few things that escaped and were running away in no particular direction. 
After that, we met someone who's been coming to our English class for a while, but we stopped being able to see for a while, and now lives and studies at the university here. His name is 박형제님 (Brother Pock), and he's a really funny guy---he studies English, and speaks well. For his English class at school, he had to make a video report, with a good plot and funny/fuzzy dialogue. Then we talked a bit about prayer---how we can pray any time, for whatever reason. It seems like a lot of people maybe don't specifically pray, but in serious or extreme situations, ask for some kind of help. I told him about one time that I kind of put off studying for a test, and at the last minute prayed a lot that I'd be able to do alright. I didn't specifically get answer that it would be 100% okay or see the test answers in the air above me, like some people probably have, but I just felt a natural sense that it would all work out alright---and it did. He said that was cool, and it seems like different churches and different people have their own way of solving those kinds of problems and worries. Maybe he's right---he seemed pretty stressed about school the last time we saw him, but was able to deal with it. But it was good.
After that, on Tuesday we did an exchange with the zone leaders here. Elder Judd went to another area, and I stayed here with one of the other zone leaders. We spent a bit riding the bus because I still make lots of mistakes and take the wrong one, but it was good, and we got to talk to a lot of nice and helpful people. People kept telling us a typhoon was supposed to come, and it did while we were riding the bus. It started raining pretty heavily, and so we hurried to find one of the less-active members of our ward our members had told us about but we hadn't been able to talk with on the phone for a long time. He teaches 검도, which is sword-fighting, and so we got to see the place where he teaches, with lots of swords, armor, old paintings, and big dodecahedronal balls for little kids. He said he hasn't been to church since he was a high school student, and just really hasn't thought about it for a long time. We just talked a bit about the Book of Mormon, and when Christ came to the Nephites, something he didn't seem to have a great memory of---but how he invited all of them to come unto Him, and how as members of his church we are commanded to do the same to other people---us to him, and also him to show good examples to others around him. He was really nice, although did seem a bit surprised when we came. 
After that, we took the bus to the church and met the other missionaries there, where everyone was so wet we took off our shoes and socks to let them dry. At night the wind blew pretty strongly, enough to break almost one companion's umbrella in every area here. The windows rattled kind of a lot, and it turns out one of them isn't totally sealed shut, so some water came in on our deck area---but we were able to dry it up with fans and other things. The next day we met again at a zone meeting, which was pretty good---we had some good discussions, especially about reading into and searching for the deeper meanings of scriptures, something our mission president has kind of been emphasizing. After that, we did another exchange with the missionaries in the other city here, by the ocean. I stayed here again, but it was fun---we got to do an activity, which Brother Pock from before was able to come to, and it was really fun. 
Finally Elder Judd and I got to come back here, which was actually really good---I missed him a lot. He's always nice to everyone, and tries to make things easier for them. That day was a little different---after coming back here, we just walked around a lot, putting up flyers for our English class near the river near the downtown area, and greeting and trying to talk to a lot of people. We also got to meet with Brother Sheem again, who's really great---he always seems really happy, and is just a sincere and genuine person in general. We talked about last week, when he came to the new member's baptism, and what he thought about it. After we talked about it a bit more, he said he would be baptized when he felt and thought our church was right. He's a really great person---he still remembers from a while ago when he learned about Jesus Christ one time at another church, about how he took all our sins upon Himself, and even though he sometimes he sometimes forgets things, he always remembers that part. It's really great to be around and to have met him.
On Saturday we came to church to watch Conference, which was pretty fun---not too many people from the branch came, so it was just us and the one sister from Switzerland who came from here originally and is visiting, and the new member who was baptized last week---we watched, and then ate food we each brought together. It felt good just to be able to listen to and think about the talks all day, but also energizing, since we didn't get to really do much else. There was a lot I liked---hard to remember, but especially someone from the Presiding Bishopric who talked about brother/sisterhood and inviting everyone to come with us and helping them feel welcome as Christ would, and also Russell M. Nelson had some good things to say---overall it was great. 
On Sunday more members came, and we similarly, after setting up the projector and things like that, watched, ate together, and talked a bit. Afterwards we practiced a song we were asked to sing for a Mission Tour this week, an event I didn't know about until recently, which someone from the Area Presidency is coming to do. 김자매님, our branch president's wife, helped a lot---it seems like she's had a lot of experience doing things like that at church events, which aren't really my "forte"---but hopefully it will go well. Then we went with the Sisters, which we've been planning to do for a while, and sang hymns out on a bridge near the river in the downtown part of our area, trying to talk to the people walking by. It was windy, but good. Sister Burton, serving in our area, who plays the violin, brought it, and played really well despite the wind. It seemed a little funny, just us singing hymns together, but it felt good. I'm so grateful for the Gospel and for the knowledge that gives us about how we're related to each other and to God and Jesus Christ. I'm so grateful for the members, investigators, other missionaries and everyone around us. I'm so grateful for you guys, and for the leaders in the church and for how we are all able to support each other and help each other to do the things we need to and want to. I hope you guys are all happy, and know how much I love and miss you. Keep it up---pray for anything you need. I love you.
-Elder Campbell

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