Sunday, March 9, 2014

Week of March 2 2014: Buttered on Every Side

Dear Everyone,

This was another pretty great week. It feels like a really long time,
looking back now, maybe because there were some new things and some
regular things all together in one week---but it was really good. Last
week, we came back from the mission home in 부산 (Busan), and after some
extra meetings and other things, it turned out we had to wait take a
little later train than we'd expected. So we just talked a bit about
the people here while we were waiting, with some of the other
missonaries who were going the same direction as us, and got on the
train. We usually ride it a few times a week, just to go to district
meeting and other of those types of things. There were a lot of
people, so we weren't able to get any seats---we went to the car where
there's a little snack bar, tables, and a 노래방 (pretty much a karaoke
room), stood and talked with the other missionaries for a bit more
until they had to get off. We got back a little later, the main reason
we weren't able to do e-mails on Monday. This week we also got back
from another area a little later than we expected, so we won't have as
much time to write---it might be a little shorter, but I'll try to
include the important things.

The next day, we went to try to visit a few people, and also to try to
help my new companion Elder Laney could find out a bit more about our
area. We went to try to visit  이형제님 (Brother Lee (Ee)), who we
originally met in his apartment, and played Bach on the guitar before,
and has also been feeling sick the past few weeks. We went, and he
said he was still feeling a little tired, but better, so he couldn't
meet right then. I kind of thought he might be feeling like that, so
we gave him a little card with a scripture and just saying we hoped he
feels better, and to try to encourage him. He said thanks, and it was
nice. Hopefully we'll be able to meet him again soon and talk more
about how the Gospel can bless his life. 

That day we also went to one
of the members' car repair shop where we usually e-mail, and did that.
We also met with the two people we have been teaching for a while, 이형제님 and
박자매님 (Brother Lee (Ee) and Sister Park (Pock)), and our branch mission
leader 이형제님 (Brother Lee (Ee), who works really hard for his family)
also came and helped. It was interesting---we talked about prophets
and dispensations, and reviewed a lot of the things we had before
then, and then talked about the First Vision and the Restoration. It
was really good, especially since Brother Lee (Ee) had a lot of
questions. After the branch mission leader Brother Lee (Ee) shared his
personal testimony and conversion experience, the other one asked
about how members of most religions seem to have a similar
experience---something that gives them personal conviction about their
religion, and how it seems like that was the problem that Joseph Smith
was worrying about, that everyone believed strongly in only their own
church and contended with others because of it. It's a really good
question, and honestly one that I have wondered a lot about before.
The member Brother Lee (Ee) also seemed a little confused about how to
give a direct, specific answer to it, but just simply testified of how
sincere prayer and wanting to know the truth is the first step to
finding out for one's self, rather than just thinking that everyone's
thoughts and belief are already determined by their background and
kind of giving up because of it. I think he still was wondering, and
we still should try to help him understand better, but it was still
good. Afterward, we talked a bit about English, and about how students
eat meals at school ("lunch bag" or "lunch box"), and how when they
were younger Korean students used to do the same thing, in a box that
moms would make, called 도시락 (Doh shee-rock, a little box with rice,
kimchi, a fried egg and other things), but now mostly students just
eat at school. It was nice.

The rest of the week seemed to go really fast---we met someone we had
on the street a few weeks ago again in our church building on a rainy
day, after walking around the nearby neighborhood, trying to talk to
people and introducing it to Elder Laney. It started to rain a little
bit, and we bought some toast (buttered on every side) and went to the
church to meet him. He came, and after a short but good talk about
English, we asked what he thought about Christ, and his personal
beliefs. He answered very thoughtfully that he thinks Christ is our
Savior, that when we've already done everything we can and our
imperfections still remain, that he does the rest for us. It was
really good---he already knows so much, has great belief and
conviction, and also a desire to serve others (after retiring from the
military, he now volunteers in several places helping foreign students
with various things they need). We talked about Alma the younger's
conversion experience, and he seemed to like it. On Friday, we met
주형제님 (Brother Joo), a less active member, and read 1 Nephi 19
together, and talked about what it means to have faith in Christ. He
still has lots of hard things, but he steadily is getting better and
happier. On Saturday we met someone we had before, and it seemed like
he really wanted to learn and come to church, but for some reason he
wasn't feeling great, and after talking for a bit he asked us to leave
and not to call him back later. But we also met the other Brother Lee
(Ee) who works at a computer store, and talked about the Book of
Mormon, and shared 2 Nephi 33:10 with him.

Our branch had a really nice fast meeting, and the members seem to
really like Elder Laney. We planned for this week, got everything
ready, and met a new person named 강형제님, and he talked abouth how he
collapsed in 2003 and woke up a few months later in a hospital, and by
constantly exercising he was able to overcome his body's weakened
condition. He said he's focusing on making money right now and helping
his family, but we told him about the Book of Mormon and he seemed
interested, and said he would try to read the one we gave him. A lot
of interesting events, but really great to meet lots of people, and
again emphasized to me the power and truth of the words in the Book of
Mormon, that they are really inspired and were given to help us today
in our lives, and that they hold a lot of the answers to things we
wonder about, which we have actually been talking a lot about in our
mission recently. I also have realized how grateful I am for Elder
Laney, for his funny but sure, trusting and wanting-to-work-together
nature. And I'm also always grateful to all of you, for helping me to
learn so many of these things, and to be happy. I hope you're always
happy. I love you---keep it up.

-Elder Campbell

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