This has been a pretty great week---including the weather and everything. But I'll try to tell you about it in a way that's understandable and not too long. First of all is my companion, Elder Judd, who is pretty amazing. He is a very kind, patient, great person and missionary. One thing that he's very good at is just being nice and kind. If someone gives him something, even if it's something small and simple, he's always really grateful, and you can tell he means it. He also treats others politely always, and thinks of their feelings first without any regard for other things. He's a great example, and because of him this last week we were able to do some pretty great things. We visited the same person I wrote about before who's in the hospital---his name is 림형제님 (Brother Lim), and he's a very cool, interesting person. After talking about his strong belief in an gratitude towards God the last time we met, we visited him again and just talked about how the Book of Mormon is a strong expression of God's love for us, and how He gave it for us to come to know about Him and Jesus Christ more fully and with greater conviction. He likes reading a lot, and so he's already started to read the Book of Mormon after we invited him to last time, although says he thinks it will take a while to understand, like the Bible did for him. As we talked abou that, I thought about my own personal experience. It's not that the Book of Mormon didn't make sense as much, just that a lot of the time when I tried reading it in the past, like some other books, it could be easy to move along without really thinking about or comprehending exactly what it was saying.
When I thought about it again, it seems like those times were when I was trying to read because I thought I had to, rather than thinking about how the Lord wanted me to in order to come to understand Him better. When I tried to do that, even if I didn't read that much, I found how much easier it was to understand the actual message it had for me rather than just the substance of the text. We told him how if he tried to read with a sincere desire to understand what God wanted for him and if it were true, he would be able to understand, and that God would give him an answer to that question for himself. He said he would specifically ask God when he prays about it, and seemed very determined and happy. He's in his fifties, and most of his children live outside of the country, and he said he prays every day for their welfare and in gratitude to the Lord for them. After that, we weren't able to meet him (he left and went back to his house)---but hopefully he will be able to remember.
This week we also had a district meeting. Most of you probaby already know what that means---it sounds pretty weird without any context, but I realized I haven't really explained specifically how it kind of works for us. We usually do it on Wednesday, and meet in the main chapel of the building we end up doing it at. We set up tables in a roughly u-shaped pattern, and usually just sing hymns until it starts, which is pretty nice. After starting, we talk about the people we've met, if there's anyone who we need specific advice with how to help them, and things like that. Then someone usually explains a part of language learning, after which there's a talk and a teaching-practice activity of some kind. At this last meeting, one of the missionaries who lives in our house, Elder Himmer, had a practice about sharing our testimonies with those we meet. It was pretty different from the way people usually run the activity, in a good way---his style is also pretty different. He's actually from Washington (Gig Harbor), is very enthusiastic and touchy (in a literal way). After he did that, and talked about Abinadi, our district leader kind of talked for a long time about doing missonary work happily. He talked about how he's been a missionary for a while and still hasn't really had anyone be baptized that he's taught. He said sometimes that's been very stressful for him, but it helped him to realize how to do missionary work happily---without only focusing on the results of our efforts that we can see. It was really nice and good.
On Thursday we also did an exchange---Elder Himmer went with Elder Judd, and I was with our district leader 정장로님 (Elder Jung). We mostly just stayed in the neighborhood of the church, and surprisingly, even though it was really cold, met and talked with a lot of people and shared our testimonies with them. After dinner, we went back to the church to get ready to go out and try to talk with people more, and suddenly the other missionaries came in and asked if we had a copy of the Book of Mormon. They had met someone on the street who wanted to read it, and we ended up talking with him for a long time about it. He kept expressing how surprised he was and how amazing he thought the things we were talking about were---and said he wanted to meet again the next day. It was a pretty amazing experience---one of the most obvious miracle-type things I've ever seen. Later Elder Himmer told how the first person to talk to him was Elder Judd, how one of his friends who had been walking with him laughed at him, but he kept talking to them, and after Elder Judd shared his testimony he wanted to come to chuch to read the Book of Mormon. I was so grateful for his bravery. It was pretty great.
This week was also transfer week, and I got a call that I have to leave Ulsan and go to a place called 김천 (Kim-chun), which is pretty far away and doesn't have too many people---but my companion is Elder Pickard, who is very responsible and cool---I'm really excited, but more than anything grateful to be able to serve people, like all of you are. I'm so grateful always for your examples and for everything you've given me. I hope you're all healthy and happy. I love and miss you. Keep it up.