Monday, February 17, 2014

Week of February 16 2014: Boo-roke

Dear Group of People,
This has been another pretty good week. I'll try to explain the high points without too much detail or being too boring, and I hope it will be helpful to all of you in some way. The weather as usual has been going contrary to what you would expect or what people say. For several days it was pretty cold, but mostly just cloudy---the thick kind of clouds that makes it feel like there's a big ceiling over the ground. It even started snowing lightly a few times, without sticking much. But that didn't really have a big impact on what we did, luckily. This week as well we were able to meet a few newer people and talk more about the Gospel and their thoughts about it. On Tuesday night, we met one of two people from our English class we've been talking with regularly for a while, 이형제님 (Brother Lee (Ee)). I didn't really introduce him in much detail, I guess---he's about fifty, really likes studying English, especially from kid's books he gets at the local library (including "The Giant Turnip", and one about an otter). He also is looking for a job right now and still living with his mom---he's trying to become a lawyer, and so has been studying for a long time for the test that's required. We talked about Alma 12 with him, about how God not just provided the Plan of Salvation but a way for us all to find out about it. We talked about prophets, and what he would think if there were a true prophet of God on the earth. He said he would want to know what he said and taught. When we invited him to pray, he talked about how in Buddhist scriptures from China, there's a teaching that he thinks is similar to prayer. It basically says think about your actions three times a day and whether they were good or not. He was saying that he thinks if it helps us to become better people, whatever the teaching, they're all pretty similar. But he did say he would try praying to Heavenly Father during the week. He's also taking the big test this coming weekend, so hopefully he will be able to relieve his stress by trying it.
We also went to visit the man I mentioned we found in his apartment, 이형제님 (Brother Lee (Ee)---a different one). His apartment is pretty removed from where we usually go, is pretty big and has lots of people in it. Whenever we go in to visit him, it reminds me of how many people there are around us all the time that we don't see living different lives---his house is pretty small, probably more than the one we live in. But it's nice, and has all the things he needs. We talked again, he asked what we've been doing, and then when we asked again abot the guitar he has in his house he said it was there when he moved in, and asked if one of us knew how to play it. We said not really, but kept asking if he did, and eventually he started playing something that sounded very familiar that he said was by Bach. It was nice---then we asked about what he thinks of God. We had talked about Christ a bit before---but not just about Heavenly Father. He said he would probably be powerful, kind of general---we talked about who He is in detail, and how we can pray to Him. He joked and laughed at some points, but also seemed to be listening very intently at others. At then end we asked if we could pray together, and just before we did his mom came in, and he had to go somewhere with her. It was still good to talk to him, and get to know him and about his life a little better. The same day we were able to meet with another person I mentioned before, who's originally from China. We texted him and agreed to meet in front of one of the big grocery stores nearby (이마트: E-Mart) and on the way there got a call from him asking why we weren't at the other one (하나로마트 (Hana-ro Mart). We turned back, met him and went to the church. We talked about similar things with him---what he thinks of God, if he's ever felt His influence in his life. He still said he didn't have a lot of big experiences or beliefs to help him believe, but asked us how we came to believe enough to go to a new place and only talk about it. We both shared our experiences and testimionies of the Gospel, and coming to know its truth through prayer. We invited him to pray as well, and he said he would. He still seems to have a lot of questions and is confused about certain points, but when we talked about how through his own actions he would be able to know better than just from us talking about it, he seemed to understand and to agree. It was really good.
We also were able to meet another person, who we first met a long time ago and have been visiting periodically at his computer shop for a while, and the week before agreed to try our program of teaching English and the Gospel to families. We went when we had agreed to meet and go to his house, and he sort of embarassedly explained that his son, who would be the one interested most in English, has to sing for a choir in the Presbyterian church they go to, and he had to go practice for it. We sat down and talked with him for a bit more (just a few tables and functioning computers and pieces of computers he's fixing around), and he eventually said that his wife was also a little unsure about us visiting. But we were able to talk with him about the Book of Mormon, which he's pretty curious about. His name is also 이형제님 (Brother Lee(Ee)), and he joined his church about 7 years ago, and teaches the children's class there. He really likes to talk, and gets very animated about different things that are important to him. We talked about the Bible, and how the Book of Mormon supports it and helps us to know it's true (he compared it to a word, 부록 (boo-roke), which he explained is like when you sell something and tape an extra thing on it---an addition). He's very busy helping provide for his family, and had to run out while we were talking to take his little daughter to a 학원 (private after-school learning place). He's a really great person, and hopefully we'll be able to visit him again and talk more about the Gospel in detail and help him to find out if it's true for himself.
We also did a few other things that were good, including visiting an area called the "New City"---lots of bigger apartments than anywhere near the main town, and a little more modern-looking. It felt different, mostly because there weren't really any other people there besides the workers constructing the buildings. We also got to go visit a less-active member who lives near the side of a mountain, who's very interesting---he had a new touch-screen phone, and also a computer monitor with nothing else attached to it, but he agreed he would try to read the Book of Mormon for 5 minutes before he went to bed one night---he's always really nice to talk to. On Saturday, before we had our English class, we went and tried to talk to people for a long time, walking around our neighborhood. We met one student who asked where we were from, if we could speak English, and then explained in perfect English that he lived in Pennsylvania for three years when he was younger. As we were walking, we got a phone call from our mission president, and I realized it was Elder Pickard's birthday, which I hadn't known---I felt a little bad, but it turned out to be an okay day. And on Sunday, one member came in during Sunday school and asked us to come help her with something---apparently her son is applying for high-schools, and needed help with introducing himself in English. After church we helped her, and she talked about how her son doesn't think church is fun---but that she knows it's true, and she will wait until she can help him to come and find out for himself. It was funny, but nice.
Recently I've been thinking about the nature of the Spirit World and the judgement that will occur after it, according to our desires and our actions. Sometimes that can feel like too much, that we have to make the right choices every day, every minute. I came to think that it's important for us to treat every minute that carefully and importantly, but also to focus on learning and not to get too caught up in things like that. I still feel like there are so many things I need to be better at and to work on---but I know that, like our mission president said before, this is God's work, and he is directing it---we just need to help to the best of our capacity. I know that the Lord loves and is blessing the people here, and I hope we've been able to help Him do it a little bit. I know he loves and is blessing all of you. I'm so grateful always for your examples and encouragement. You guys are really amazing---I know you're helping and blessing all of the people around you, too. Thanks for everything. I love you---keep it up.
-Elder Campbell

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