Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas Number 2!

Our cute Korean missionary spent his second Christmas on his mission. He enjoyed it and although he missed home, he felt good about focusing on missionary work and made some lasting memories with his companion and zone. It was wonderful to talk to him on Christmas day and hear his cute laugh and voice. We found out his release date is July 25. Still not sure if we will go pick him up or just have the gigantic airport party!!! Either way, we anticipate it very much!!!
 Caroling with his zone!
 One of the pkgs we sent was treats and stockings for his whole appt, 6 Elders. We also sent him an advent calendar (little bags to open every day of December) and I think his most favorite was ornaments with pictures of family and friends with a letter on the back for him to put on his little tree.He LOVED those and I appreciate all who wrote them for him!

 Here is our ornament of our cute missionary!
 New companions!!
 On the 21st advent day he got chocolate covered popcorn.., his favorite!
 Santa even shows up in Seoul!
 Right before his most recent transfer

 Christmas came!! He was happy with his BYU beenie, picture book of family and mostly his yearbook of his mission this past year.

 These are the "imogi" pants (apparently super comfy and quiet funny!) at their Christmas party they did a funny dance skit thing and according to Elder Chizzy, it was EPIC!!! Glad they have so much fun!!
 A rare opportunity to have dinner at a members home. They mostly eat out or members bring food to them, he loves it when they get invited to a home!

December 8
My week..... Well, it was really busy, but with just kind of random things... We only had like one sit down lesson all week with a guy  on Friday... He was a pretty cool 24 year old that Elder Anderson found on the street and we were just able to teach a little bit about what we do as missionaries and he liked that. He doesn't have much religion so it is always fun to teach with people like that... He is korean by the way:) Haha don't let the name woody fool ya... Anyways, it really wasn't going anywhere and I was kind of worried about what was going to happen and I just remember praying a quick prayer and asking what I should do and it was farely similar to the answer you got to your prayer. Be patient, and just yield to the spirit. So I did and it all worked out. Hopefully we can meet with him again this week. Anyways, the rest of the week was very busy with a lot of stuff with my zone... Kind of insane quite honestly. Tuesday, we went down to Seoul for our Mission Leadership Council and it was really good. Our mission focus for this month is the Book of Mormon and it's converting power and I really liked it. I got to play the piano in that meeting which was pretty cool too... Haha there was a NY times newspaper reporter there trying to learn more about the role of sisters and what not but the photographer dude came and took pictures while I was playing the piano and it was a lot of pressure! Especially cuz it was with a song that I am not the best at, "Lead Kindly Light" But I pulled it together and it was aight:) Haha another cool thing about the meeting though was that we got to watch this thing by Pentatonics, an acepella singing group... They sang Little Drummer Boy and it wa really cool... I really hadn't ever actually listened to the words of that song before but we watched it, and then President Christensen talked a little bit about it... He talked about how the little drummer boy really says he has nothing to give so he just goes unto Christ and gives of himself, of his talents, and of his time. It says in the song, "I played my drum for him" which is like giving of ourselves, but my favorite part was the line, "Then he smiled at me," Talking about Christ. Christ just wants us to give of ourselves to Him and what a better time for us to do that than during Christmas. That really left a deep impression on me during the rest of the week. I shared it with my zone on Wednesday at our zone training meeting and I thought about it a lot... Lately, we just haven't been having the success that I wish we could have and things have been hard... It has been hard to get people to focus on the work and what not... There have been difficulties in the zone, but, the Lord doesn't ask us to be perfect, He just asks us to give of ourselves and then He will smile back at us... I loved that and it brought a lot of comfort to me for sure... Then from Wednesday to Friday, I went on exchanges to another area with, one of our district leaders, who has been having a difficult time with his companion and what not... We were able to go up and do some really good work and it was good for him for sure... I think it helped him while I was up there and he seemed to learn some stuff, and I did too. Then last night, he called me and asked him to give him a blessing today so since we are going to all get together as a zone, it was perfect

December 15
This week has definitely been an interesting one... For some reason, as the weather has gotten colder, people have too!! And it has been hard to keep a happy, optimistic attitude the whole time!! But we have found some good things and we talked to a lot of people this week. On Tuesday, it was snowing pretty hard and we decided to go out anyway and contact people on the street!! For about 3 hours we could barely see in front of us it was snowing so hard!! Haha but we still talked to like 20 people and got a couple of numbers and met some nice people... The snow kind of made me feel at home and comfortable, but more than that, I was just grateful that we kept working and didn't just take it as an excuse to not go out and work cuz it would have been really easy to do so... Then that night, we had our only lesson of the whole week with a Japanese dude that we met on the street and new about mormons... We met him and just talked a lot about what we do as missionaries and about the organization of the church... I don't know how much real interest he had because he was Buddhist and just kind of wanted to know why we were here and any time we talked about Christ, he just tried to change the subject... But we tried and it was interesting meeting a dude from Japan!!! This week has been a hard one with appt. and stuff though... All the students right now are in the middle of testing season and they are all stressed out. Students in korea study an absurd amount. Some go to school until 5 and then go to an academy until 10.... They just study all day. Really competitive here in korea which is a little bit different from home.. But a lot of times, students are the most interested in hearing about Christ so I think since all of them are taking tests, it has slowed down a little bit.. People are interesting hear in Korea!! But we just talked to like 182 people this week and tried to do everything we could to still spread the gospel. The best part about the week was that we caroled with our zone last night and it was super awesome!! I will have to show you a picture of it cuz it was super great. We had one of the Elder's dressed up in a Santa suit conducting and we just all sang american songs, hymns, and then some in korean. We got a lot of people to stop and we just handed out Book of Mormon's and it was really good. I really enjoyed it. It is weird for me to be where I am at now cuz I realize how much work it is to put something like that together. When I was younger, I just kind of went and everything was great, but I was the one that kind of put everything together and ran the show so it was a lot of work and I am glad it worked out! We will probably do it again this week which I am looking forward too... Silent night has been a song that has really stuck out to me this winter... I think about how we sing that at the forgotten carols and I love that part... It just emphasizes so well the spirit of Christmas and I love it... Christ is our Savior and He came here for us. I know that is true... I have met a lot of people that studied abroad in Canada and a lot of them don't know where Winnipeg is... Hahahaha I always tell them that you are from there and they don't know. Most of the time they just know Vancouver and Toronto which is kind of funny... There are a lot of koreans up there which is pretty cool!!! 

December 22
Missionary age is a weird thing that is for sure... I hope I can help people out:) My week was really really good!! We had a pretty successful week. My comp is doing well. We get a long and we both want to work hard which is nice. I don't have to worry about him or anything cuz he is even older in the mission than me which is nice. Just not having to worry about all that training stuff makes it easier to focus on the people we are teaching and on just being a zone leader. I have enjoyed it so far... We had a couple really cool miracles this week with Scott actually... I called him on Tuesday night and found out that he had been fired from his job which was his whole life... He worked from like 8 in the morning to like 10 at night and never had time to come to church cuz all he did was work... Kind of a terrible sounding job but cuz he was fired, he really was pretty depressed and needed help so we went out and got hot chocolate with him on Thursday night... There he just kind of opened up to us about some stuff and we just kind of sat there and listened to his concerns and what not... It was kind of cool to see how what he was talking about led directly into something that we could testify would bless his life... So we ended up talking a little bit about the atonement and about the Book of Mormon. I shared Alma 7:11-13 which is my favorite scripture on the atonement  by far... I love it so much.. But it hit Scott so hard. He thought the words talked right to him. So from that time on, we just always taught with the Book of Mormon and he was just talking about how much he needs God and how he needs a sturdy foundation and all this different stuff and it was just perfect... And then he brought up coffee and alchohol and that stuff and we were able to make kind of a plan for him to stop those things and we taught some of the stuff from the Law of Chastity and he accepted all of that stuff.. He is 28 so he is hit with a lot of those things everyday, but he said he would keep it all and that he would try his best to keep the word of wisdom... So we set a date for January 18th for him to stop all of that stuff and be baptized.. He is super committed and doing awesome.. We met him the next day, and he read almost all of 1 Nephi which was amazing, and then he prayed a lot and got a job interview which made him believe in God even more.. It was really cool to see how God would do something like that. Humble him by losing his job to the point that Scott realized he needed the gospel, and then as he started making the necessary steps towards becoming closer to God, God blessed him with success... Really cool!! Scott ended up coming to church yesterday too and loved it. He has no background in church but he loved it. he said 3 hours was kind of long, but he soaked it all up and wanted to learn more. He wanted an english book of mormon too (he studied in the UK for awhile and is really fly at english) and he said he will keep reading it. It was a super big miracle and one that I am incredibly grateful for!! Super cool to see someone progress like that and see his life change... One thing I have thought a lot about this week, was just how sometimes, as we go through our trials, we feel alone. We feel like we are just kind of floating... I have felt like that for a little bit... Seeing all the people me and Elder Anderson taught just fall off the face of the earth was way hard and just nothing was going on... But this week, Scott popped up, David at least answered his phone, and the other kid that had a baptismal date answered his phone too... For me, I was wondering why all of that happened the way it did and what not... Then I was reading a talk from President Monson in the Relief Society conference in the Ensign and in the third or fourth to last paragraph he talked about how one day, with retrospect, as we look back on our trials, we will realize that we weren't alone, and that Heavenly Father and the Lord were with us every step of the way.. We just can't always realize it... I thought that was sooo cool and it hit me super hard!! I studied about that quite a bit and it made a big impact on me just realizing how perfectly they know us because of what the Lord did for us in suffering for our sins and dying for us. Really amazing and it was something I was really grateful to learn!!!

December 29
It sounds like your Christmas was a good one!! Everyone sounds happy and I'm glad that Santa came and what not... Haha it is weird to think that that was my second christmas away from home... I won't lie and say that I wish I would be away another one cuz that isn't true!! Haha I can't wait for next Christmas... But this Christmas I was really just able to focus on Christ and just give my time and talents to him... That was a blessing and one that I will probably remember for the rest of my life.... The best part about it all was finding A Little Drummer Boy (the song) on Christmas eve and being able to listen to that all day cuz that really was the theme of my Christmas and it was really good. I just have to give my all and He will smile back at me. I love that message and found a lot of comfort and happiness in it.
Well the rest of the week really wasn't that eventful or anything like that... The best part of the weekend was Saturday for sure.. We were able to pick up a new investigator straight of the street which was good and then we met this super weird dude from New York that bought us sushi, (yeah I ate it all... Still don't know exactly how I felt about it...) and he was a goofball. He said that because we were only 21, we couldn't persuade people to believe and that cuz we didn't have any experience, it wasn't effective... It was interesting for me to take a step back and realize that in a sense, that is very true. But our job as missionaries isn't to just persuade other people, it is to inform them about the truth and then they have their agency to choose. The Spirit is the persuader and I am super grateful I have been able to feel the Spirit's influence in a lot of different ways on my mission. Then we went with Scott to another ward's baptism which was really good. There weren't lots of people there and it was just kind of a discreet service, but the Spirit was there and it was nice to see someone get baptized. I sure hope that I get to actually have my own baptism while I am still out here, but I really have come to grips with the fact that if I don't, it will truly be ok and that because I am giving my all, Christ really will smile back at me and say "Well done, my good and faithful servant." That is my goal and I won't give up until the end!! But Scott really liked the baptismal service and even though he didn't come to church the next day, it was alright. At least he got to see that service and feel the spirit and see someone else get baptized!
Then on Sunday, I was just playing the piano, (I need the practice!! Haha I love those songs but I will definitely have to work on them a little bit:)) and one of our members walked in and said that we needed to sing with him during sacrament meeting... Haha kind of random but we sang Count your Many Blessings, (kind of a weird version at that) and it was aight!! Haha a lot of people in my house right now have colds so it was kind of hard for them to sing, but I thought it went alright for not having much practice!!! We get dragged into a lot of stuff but it's all good. Haha we are just kind of the multi-use tool for members. We do whatever they want us to pretty much..

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Making up for a few months! Life in Seoul is good!!

Our cute Korean missionary is loving life in his new area. It is called Irsan and he says it's small like "New York" with parks. When he calls New York small, I can only assume Seoul is absolutely massive!!! I haven't updated for awhile so there's quite a few letters and pictures. He is doing well, frustrated that people won't accept the message, but happy to be a zone leader, happy to have great companions and friends, glad it is getting cooler there and happy his shoes are holding up pretty well!!!
We love this boy and the great example he is to us and his friends, cousins and siblings. Keep it up Elder Chizzy!!!!!!

 Elder Chiz and his favorite "brother", Elder Coats.
 An average Korean meal! I think I'll stick to meatloaf............
 The boys in his apartment having Sunday dinner a member brought! He loves it when that happens!
 He is very excited for autumn and that the weather is cooler, the summer was stifling and it is a nice change.
 Elder Anderson and Elder Chizzy managed to find a special friend. I wonder if they'll baptize him.......
 Things could be worse.......if you have a Halloween freak for a mom and she sends so much stuff you can feed your whole zone.........for a week.............
 Apparently, building big churches are like a competition in Korea. This one is pretty darn large.
 Cute Elders!
 Elder's Chizzy and Anderson! He loves his new companion and they are having  alot of fun!
 He teaches a lot in Dunkin' Donuts, in fact, he taught all the lessons to one of his investigators here, and another in Baskin Robbins. I hope he's working out and exercising!!!
Evidently these pants are all the rage in Korea. He says he's sending us all some....looking stylin' boys!!!

 I have never felt more pressure to eat with someone in my life. They basically made us eat and so we finally gave in and decided to go with them. Turns out, they take is to this resturant that is a seafood resturant and I'll tell you what, korean seafood is way worse than american seafood. It was so nasty mom. You would have lost your mind. We walked in and on the table, there was silkworm larva as a side dish and what not and I actually ate one, it was terrible. Then they brought out this raw fish which was probably the best part of the meal, and then they brought out this barbequed to heck full fish. Burned and everything and it was so nasty. It had the head and the skin and all the bones in it and they just told me to eat it.
(So, he got super sick and had a lot going on the next day in his new ward, he had his companion give him a blessing and was able to do what he needed to and felt like Heavenly Father really helped him)

The cool thing about it all is just that I got that blessing, and I was given strength when I needed it. The rest of the day I felt terrible but when I needed to talk, I was just given strength. It was a really interesting experience for me and one that I will probably talk about for a long time cuz the Lord blessed me with what I needed. I had to do my part. I had to stay at church and go to the fireside and push through and suffer a bit, but when I did that, the Lord blessed me and I really think the ward saw that and I think the Lord saw that I will do what it takes. The ward is awesome and I am so excited to be here. They are excited to have 8 missionaries in their ward and they want to do missionary work. Our bishop is awesome and we have a ton of amazing members. I haven't been this excited to serve in an area for my whole mission. The atmosphere is very different and I am excited. I am excited to be at full strength and to be able to just settle into doing this work:) It is going to be awesome and we are going to see miracles I know it. 

We found a lot of really cool people through contacting. We talked to this one guy and he took us in to Starbucks and bought us Banana Chocolate drinks that were like $6.50 a pop and that was good. It was even better cuz we taught him about the Book of Mormon and he said he would come to church. (He didn't cuz he got really sick, but we will meet with him again this week.) Then we have our two athiest friends, Jin and Kim Byeong Soo which are two really nice kids that are pretty strong athiests which is impressive for 19 year olds. But they are super cool and kind of somewhat open to religion which is all that we need:) We talked some about the B.O.M and ate Baskin Robbins with them which was fun:) The Baskin Robbins here is super bomb:)  They have so many weird flavors that are so good. It is pretty expensive, but what can ya do I guess:) It's cool!! I love Ice Cream that has cheesecake in it... Super good:) Oh guess what else!! So on Saturday after english class we all went at got Double Down Max's from KFC.... Do you remember what the Double Down is??? Haha they didn't have it for a long time and while we were contacting on Saturday, we saw that it came back and we were all so excited so we went and bought one even though we had already eaten dinner... It was so amazing:) Haha no buns, just two chicken breasts, bacon, a hashbrown in the middle, some cheese, and this chili sauce... Lanta it was sooo good!!! Haha I rather enjoyed that:)

You asked a little bit about my area.... It is pretty great!!! It is just a lot more open and a lot more green than those places I have served in Seoul. I love the air here too... It is really dirty in Seoul and it is nice to have good air... Haha I never thought that was a thing... But it really is!! What else.... I think more than anything it is just a lot more open and it makes it seem nicer. I love it. And for some reason, the people are way nicer too. We have had a lot of people just straight up buy us stuff off the street and then listen to what we have to say which is a great change. I feel like I have taught a lot more here which is really nice and it has strengthened my testimony for sure. Everyone in my house is doing great and our zone is doing really good!! They are all working hard and it has been good to work around them... Missionaries are just the best:) I love them a lot!!! What else... It sounds like everything is going well back at home!! It is crazy that 10 days from today is Halloween and that in 2 days, I will have been in Korea for a year!! Totally nuts... And by the way, you are right about the patience thing... It has taught me a lot about myself and about how I need to become better... It is definitely testing sometimes to not be able to see the success I want to, but I have learned a lot about how to patiently endure. I am pretty sure I also need to work on it a lot, but I am getting better:)

There were some really good things about the week, and then there was the normal disappointment that comes along with doing missionary work here! It was a really good contacting week numbers wise for me this week. We contacted a lot and I set up a lot of appointments with people. The way we contact is kind of interesting. So when we contact, we try and get to know the person a little bit, and then we try to move it into a gospel discussion. It usually turns into us trying to make it so they don't run away... (I have had people literally run acrossed the street during a green light because they don't want to talk to me... I guess I am super scary.) Anyways, if they don't get scared off, we try and give a really short summary of something that makes our message special, and then testify, and then try and get their phone number and set up an appointment. I have been blessed with a talent to get numbers! I don't really know why or how I can get so many, but I can get quite a few. Usually out of 20 people, I can get 3 or 4 numbers which is a lot compared to a lot of people... Anyways, one day we walked out to one of the crosswalks by our house and the first 3 or 4 people I talked to gave me their phone numbers and set up appointments with me! That made me happy! I think I have told you about how it is the little things that really bring happiness and what not... It is those type of little things that really do bring satisfaction into the work here in Korea. I haven't gotten the opportunity to see a lot of baptisms, but I have felt the satisfaction that comes from working hard and enjoying the little things. Anyways, the disappointing part is that a good majority, didn't meet with us again. (actually none of those people have met with us again... Maybe there will be a couple this week but I doubt it because it is the korean equivalent of thanksgiving this week...  But, that just seems to be the way it goes. We work hard, do everything we can, and then they use their agency in the wrong way. It can be incredibly frustrating, but agency is very central to the plan of salvation and I don't want to force anyone into doing anything so I will just keep inviting people to come unto Christ!!

Good things..... I went to a stake meeting yesterday and got to ride in a car for an hour!! I didn't every really realize how nice it is to have a car!! Haha I cannot wait to drive again when I come home:) I think that is going to be so sweet!!! Other things.... um.... I went and played basketball a couple times in the morning and even though it was really dark, it was really fun:) I was also able to play the piano a ton on sunday!!! I really really love playing the piano. I never thought I would say that, but we go to the church early on sundays and while everyone else studies and what not, I play the piano and it is one of my favorite times of the week. I can't wait to play more when I get home and learn some cool songs:) I have learned a lot more hymns and I just love it:) I also love to sing hymns!! Music is a great thing that I have really loved throughout my mission:)

 His zone in Seoul before he was transferred in September
The Seoul temple
 Playing in the rain! This is probably my favorite picture he's sent yet! He looks so happy and cute!
A member bought all this food for the missionaries. They are growing boys but WOW that's a lot of food!!!!!!

We had an appointment last night with the guy that we have met a couple times now... The kid that just got back from the army and is 24... Yeah that guy. We taught him again and he really has a lot of really good intent to learn about our church. I asked him last night if he found out that our church was true, would he join it... And said if he found out it was true, he would. i feel like that is a perfect example of learning with real intent. Learning with the intent to act on the answer that you recieve. We talked a lot about Christ and the role He has played in our lives.. I have thought a lot about that this week and I feel like I have learned a lot about him because of it. Without Christ, we would have no purpose in this life and it would be kind of pointless to be here. But because he came, suffered for our sins, paid that price, and then died on the cross, we have purpose. Because we believe in the resurrected Christ, I feel that we have even more purpose. It doesn't end here and we have the capability to return and live with our families for eternity in the Celestial Kingdom. That is what Christ has provided for us. I read a verse in 3 Nephi 27 today that I really liked. It was verse 14 I think and it talked about how because Christ was raised up, He can raise us up to the judgement bar of God and judge us according to our works with mercy. I really like that imagery. The other thing that I was touched by was just the fact that Christ had to let himself die. He was God's Son. He could have stopped at any point, but He didn't. He endured and secured our salvation voluntarily. He had to give up His life. I am so grateful He did!!!

 Have a great week:) 사랑해요!!!:) (Love you!!)
치슴 장로:):):) Elder Chisholm:)

Friday, August 30, 2013

Wierd hats, heat, service and good food in Seoul!

Elder Chizzy is having a great summer in Seoul. He is ready for the heat and humidity to be gone and is enjoying being with 4 elders in his apartment. His companion is from Guam and he speaks fluent Japanese as well as English and they're working on his Korean! Josh is still a zone leader and loves his calling to lead 24 missionaries. We feel like a big part of his mission is to help lead and train the other missionaries as he trained so early in his mission and has been a zone leader now for a good portion of it too. He has had some hard times with many investigators that he's loved not be able to be baptized for one reason or another and he's learned that even though he wasn't able to "finish" the conversion process for them, he is still so glad he was able to teach them and plant that seed. We are so proud of our boy and love hearing all his experiences! I can't say that I miss him any less, but I can say that his growth and maturity is nothing I could have taught him. He has learned so much and his testimony has grown in so many ways. I love being a missionary mom, the blessings to him and to our family are too numerous to mention and I wouldn't trade it for the world!
 A hot, humid day in Seoul. I think maybe a little TOO hot.......... (he said this was at 10:30 at night and he and his companion were a little delirious, I'm wishing they had a popsicle!)
 Top right is Josh. Here he is with his zone on a service project day.
 His view from the top of the mountain. Seoul really is huge!
 The sisters had a baptism last week! He and his "4-some" got to go as the priesthood presiders. Happy happy day for this cute 14 year old girl!
 Josh was over the top THRILLED with this meal, you can see the member outside grilling on his patio. He had them over for HAMBURGERS! And see that thing in the corner? It's an AIR CONDITIONER!!! Something that is very very luxurious in people's homes. He loved going here for a dinner appointment.

Josh loves these boys!

I went to this meeting and it was exactly what I needed. We talked about how we have to have the spirit with us always and how it will be the deciding factor in our missionary work. So I thought a lot about that. President Christensen talked a lot about removing distractions and just focusing on the important things and working our hardest. And then he said something that I really really liked. He said, " Believe. Trust. Know. Don't doubt. Don't fear." I loved that so much. Belief is belief in the Spirit. Belief that if we are called to go into a hospital room with an old lady in it that is dying that we can give her a blessing and that the Lord's will will be implented. Belief that we will, if we have the spirit, work those miracles as we do his work. I thought about that a lot. And then trust. Trust in the Spirit that even though at times, it may tell us things that are uncomfortable or hard, but that is will be the right thing. And then Know. Something I have learned a lot on my mission is the importance of knowledge. The importance of understanding. President Christensen talks about it constantly, how we must understand. Whether it is a principle or doctrine, or in this case, the spirit. We have to understand how it works in our life. And then the last two. Don't doubt. Don't fear. It made me think of Isaiah 41:10 and how much that scripture means to you, but also how much it means to me. It is an amazing scripture and it helps me remember and understand how much Heavenly Father wants to help us and push us forward. So that was a great lesson I learned. Then on Wednesday, I was able to give a training to my zone.  A very big zone!! 24 people now with 10 of them being sisters!! It's crazy stuff and I felt very blessed to be able to be giving a training in front of all of those great missionaries. Being a zone leader and training at the same time is hard, but I love being a zone leader. I love working with the missionaries in my zone and seeing their hard work and dedication. It pushes me to be better and I just love all of my missionaries tons!! Anyways, thursday was really the first day that I was able to do missionary work and I really implemented some of the things I learned from the training, and also, I did things the way I wanted to do them. We worked sooo, dang, hard. Haha for 4 days we were talking to every person we saw, asking for numbers, getting numbers, setting up appointments. We have no investigators so we have to start from scratch and I love it. I love the fact that I am with a young missionary that will work hard!

We had a really big zone service activity on Tuesday and it was super sweet! Haha way fun:) I told Dad about it a little bit, but we just went and hiked up a mountain and cleaned up trash as we did that... It was super fun. My zone is super awesome with a lot of way cool people. It has been fun to get to know each one of them and to just serve around them. I am glad I have them to watch over and stuff cuz the investigators have been a little bit slow the past little while.... Haha except for one guy... So get this, I went on exchanges out to an area in my zone that is super far away. About a 2 hour total trip and while I was there, my companion had a guy walk up to him and the missionary he was with and he said he wanted to learn english... Anyways, they taught him and they said he almost accepted a baptismal date and stuff.... Well, the next day when I got back, we had an appointment with him.... Turns out, this guy is on parole!! Haha lanta.... Not only that, (and just so you know, I was not planning on telling you all this cuz I think it might make you worry, but I trust you to trust me and to not worry!! It is a crazy story though so I wanted to tell you:)) but he was in jail for 8 years cuz he hit a policeman in the head with a hatchet... I still am not totally sure if the policeman died or not... I didn't want to ask, but it really surprised me cuz this guy is really so dang nice!! Haha he wants to follow Christ and stuff... He came to church on Sunday an brought us apples and is just way nice... Haha totally crazy... I leave for a day, and I come back and to put it simply, "So I am teaching an ax murder..." Hahahaha:) I don't know if that is true but I think it is hilarious...l Elder C' companion absolutely loves that... I think it is funny too..

I feel like my Korean has progressed a lot since I got Elder A... Having to talk all the time really helps and just being pushed to be better has helped a lot... So that is a good thing. Another good thing... I have done p90x for the last week! Getting up 30 minutes earlier and working out hard... It has felt really good quite honestly!! I feel like I am getting in better shape and that it will really help a lot:) Another good thing/ spiritual experience is that I feel my prayers getting a lot better/ way more specific and it has made a big difference in my day to day things. I feel like I am being a lot more sensitive to the spirit because of it and it has been super good. Like I have really recieved answers for investigators which is really cool. I've found that when I am more specific, I get very specific answers. I have also listened a lot more during lessons... The ones that we have had anways, to what questions I should ask and stuff and that has helped a lot... Just searching for questions that would help them think and to feel the spirit... That takes a lot of effort and I am always tired after those lessons, but they are always so good. We had some good lessons this week that didn't have good results, but I learned a lot from them and so they were good in that sense... I feel bad, cuz a lot of times, I feel like my mission has been so much for my own personal growth and that I haven't influenced that many people here in korea... But because I am trying my best and going out and doing everything I can, I know that even though I don't have the stats to show it, I have been successful... I guess that realization was a great thing and a spiritual experience as well:) Another cool thing that we are going to do is that we are going to have a musical fireside for all of our stake/zone!! It is going to be really cool and it is going to follow the order of the first lesson in pmg... It will be really cool and I am really looking forward to that... It will be in September on the 29th hopefully!! Oh and about the temple, we get to go next week to the temple so I am really looking forward to that:) I love the temple.. I had never thought of that symbolism that you had told me either and that is really cool... Christ is the living water and if we come unto him, we will never spiritually thirst again... That is a great lesson and I love the symbolism that goes into the temples... I love the temple so much:)

Korean fall is actually pretty short compared to summer and winter... Same with spring... But it is an exciting time that is for sure! This is the only time that I have to experience the crazy heat here though... Next year, I will be here for the rainy season and come home right around the time it gets ridiculously hot:) so that will be nice!! Haha and my meetings have been for various things. I went on exchanges on tuesday, we had district meeting on wednesday but we combined as a zone and talked about some of the activities coming up, and then I had to do pass off with two people... Do you remember the pass off thing? Haha I am on the other end now. I am the one testing the new missionaries with their korean and teaching skills. It is a good training opportunity and helps me see how far I've come. (Lets see how far we've come, lets see how far we've come. hahah I love that song! Matchbox20:) Listen to it for me!!) Anyways, then the next day, we had a mission wide leadership training meeting for DLs and ZLs and it was alright! Haha it was a long day but it was good hearing from President. And then yesterday, I had a stake meeting that just the ZLs go to and we talked about what we need to do for missionary work in our zone.. (We just need you to come here... Your missionary efforts are sweet mom!! But for reals though:) Super awesome:)) Our zone is struggling all around with us working with members so they are really pushing for the members to do more and refer more and all that jazz... We will see what happens!! I hope it gets better. It turns out we aren't doing that music thing as missionaries cuz the stake is already doing one in november so we are just going to do a joint thing... still should be good though right!?! I think so:) I don't know if I have told you this, but I sing in the choir in our ward! Haha it is kind of a joke, but it is fun. There are like 10 or 15 people in it and me and Elder C are 2 of the 3 guys that can actually sing. It is a weird situation but it is kinda fun. The choir director is somewhat out of her mind... But that makes it pretty interesting:) I thought you would like that!! Also, we had our axe murderer friend come to church again yesterday and he scared everybody there I think. It was cool cuz the sisters in our ward had a baptism... (The cutest most innocent little 14 year old girl. Haha it was really cool:)) But he just kind of followed us around all day as we were preparing for the baptism and what not. He really is a super nice guy and really just needs friends,  Christ dealed with a lot of very interesting people during his ministery and it makes me think about how sometimes it is very easy to judge what a person has done in the past. We obviously have to be careful with this guy, but we do have to trust that he is sincerely looking for the truth and for comfort.  Anyways, for other things this week, it was kind of just one of those busy with a lot of other things kinda week! I am still trying to help my companion out and that takes a lot of time, and on top of that, dealing with some issues within the zone takes a ton of time too. But we finally found a good new investigator last night and I taught what I thought to be a really good lesson to this guy that just got back from the army 3 months ago. It was the first time I had taught a lesson like that since I had studied a lot about the spirit and it was a lot different than ones in the past. My korean felt better, my questions were way better, and he ended up teaching himself a good majority of the lesson. He is a super money investigator that I am really excited about cuz he already has that christian background cuz he attends the presbyterian church.. But he has very similar questions that Joseph Smith had so in a cool way, we were able to relate Joseph Smith's story to him and he really accepted it well. The spirit was super strong and I felt very satisfied with how it went. I love when those things happen and we are able to feel the joy and satisfaction that comes from following the spirit and knowing that we were teaching exactly what that person needed to hear:) Good stuff!! I have also been working out hard in the morning and I feel super good:) 

Haha bring on winter for heavens sakes!!!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Happy 20 Birthday Elder Chizzy and we've reached the Half Way mark!!!

 Birthday Dinner at Outback!!!
 We sent him a "party in a box" with cake mix, frosting, sprinkles, candles, balloons, candy ice cream , noise makers and gifts! He said he had a fun birthday!
 Elder Chizzy, Januario from East Timoor and Elder Coats
 Super happy day to get KRISPY KREME donuts in Seoul!!!!
 Another investigator!
On July 31 they got 1/2 priced ice cream for Baskin Robbins, looks like the boys (Elder Chizzy, Coats, Arrington and Whitlock) are enjoying it immensely in the heat and humidity of Seoul!

Over the past few weeks Elder Chizzy has had two new companions. One from Idaho and now he is training again a new missionary from Guam. He is a zone leader over 22 missionaries and has had a few great weeks and a few very difficult weeks. He is halfway through his mission and I have really seen his growth in so many ways. He is totally fluent in Korean, he relies on his Savior completely, he loves the scriptures and the people and he loves his mission. He remains positive when he has trials, and he has a great attitude even when it's so hot and humid and he has a lot of responsibility! I am so proud of my 20 year old boy and am amazed at his growth in this past year. I miss him terribly but I am so happy with how he is doing and wouldn't trade it for the world. Here are some excerpts from his letters this past month.

"Haha it's still humid beyond belief though... I have never sweated more in my life!!! Haha it was an amazing week:) 19 Lessons, 2 New baptismal dates, 5 new investigators.... OH man I don't know what exactly is going down in this area but it is exploding!! It is awesome!! Haha funny sidenote.... Those stats don't look like much compared to a lot of missions in the world, but those are the best stats I've had in my mission so its cool:) Haha but really, it has been a great, super tiring, week!!! Just throw in on top the fact that it was my birthday and I am a bit worn out to say the least:) Man.... I don't really know where to start with all of it!!! I guess we will start with the fourth of July... So I went to the dentist in the morning who lives in the other mission actually, (I got permission so it's cool:)) and it went well.. I explained to him what I wanted and he checked it out. It didn't have much decay so I just filled it up and all was well... Well, then we were going back home (a hour and a half long subway trip) and got maybe twenty minutes into it when my companion told me he forgot his bag and the dentist.... So we got off at the next station and walked to the other side... Well, we walked onto the train, and my companion started talking to this guy, and it turns out the my companion had met this guy the night before in our area and this guy bought my comanion apple juice... (this is a solid hour or so away from our house and area...) haha it was honestly the craziest "coincidence" ever... Just the fact that we had to get off the train we were on and got on the same car of the same train of that guy... Blew our minds.... He told us he was thinking about coming to church and meeting with us, but now he will have to because of that... haha super crazy!! We will meet him next Saturday... then we went and ate at a buffet cuz it was the fourth of July and made our way home. That night, we met with a guy that I met on the street and he was amazing. He totally accepted everything we were teaching him and said that he wants to become a member of our church. It was super easy to understand him and he was just super awesome. Totally prepared. Maybe the most prepared person I have taught yet on my mission. We are going to meet with him again next Monday hopefully:) Then, we met with this kid on my birthday, (I'll explain a little about that in a minute:)) and he is going to the army on July 31st so we thought maybe we could get him baptized before then... well, we taught Jesus Christ's Gospel and he accepted a baptismal date for the 28th!! haha totally crazy and now we just have to get him to church. His name in Jeon Joon Woo and he is a nice kid. He has no faith so we have a lot of work to do, but I have a lot of faith that he can get to where he needs to be!!! So that is our one baptismal date... Then the other one is with a guy named Januario from East Timoor... Ever heard of it??  Me neither!! Haha we met him on the street my first week here and he came to church yesterday and was bomb.... He speaks Tetum (east timoor lanuage) Indonesian, Portugese, Some English, Some Korean, and a little Malasyian... Yeah sounds tough right?? Well, we taught him which was a cool experience cuz it was awesome to see how we can use technology in spreading the gospel. We taught him about the Book of Mormon and then watched the Restoration movie (in indonesian:)) and the spirit was crazy strong so we invited him to be baptized on the 28th as well and he accepted!! Haha it was insane.... Just a crazy way to finish out the week... It was a crazy week with a ton of blessings involved that is for sure:) Then for my birthday, Me and my companion were sitting there during study and decided we had to go do something for it... so we decided to go to outback!!! (most expensive decision of my mission so far:)) haha and it was sooo dang good to eat some american style steak and bread and stuff!! Granted it was 70 dollars... BUT, it was sooo good and sooo worth it:) Haha it was way fun and it made my day a little bit better. I also made the funfetti cake (lanta..... Soooo dang good!!! Haha) and I opened those presents and stuff!! It was super fun and by the way, those nerf guns are stinkin beastly for little guns!! Haha super fun:) Thank you for your package!! I loved it for sure. I hung up all the b-day posters on my wall and of course I love the Independance Day stuff!! Especially the sick quote from the president:) Haha so sweet. So thank you for that!!! That was a short version of an insane week!!!"

"I am doing pretty good:) I am tired.... haha this week has been a long one... I wish I had some really cool things to tell you about this week.... But everything, every single thing we had planned fell through!! Ugh.... it was rough... so I am just happy it is a new week and I get a new start... Cuz it was definitely one of the harder weeks of my mission!! I didn't want to have bad news.... But yeah... Januario just had work so he couldn't come on sunday... He still should be baptized though next week so that is still good:) Our other one, the kid going to the army tomorrow, came in on Friday and told us he didn't think he was ready.... He passed the interview technically by answering all the questions right, but he failed himself... It was ridiculous and soooo sad to see him reject that chance cuz we did everything in our power to help him... he grew a ton in his faith and there was nothing else we could have done... but he couldn't take that stuff and it was soooo hard. I was pretty crushed. That same night, our other investigator with a baptismal date took a baptismal record home to get it signed by his mom and she opposes him getting baptized and ripped up the baptismal record and threw it away... Some background story on that, he told us on Thursday that he was moving next week.... Freak.. Haha so we thought about trying to baptize him this Sunday and had a pretty good plan to do everything and teach everything, but his mom wouldn't let him... super sad.. We are really going to try hard this week to work with her and try and convince her otherwise cuz he wants to be baptized. He has that desire but because he is only 14, he can't without parental permission... rough stuff. So, this week kind of all fell down the drain and it was insanely mentally, and physically draining in every sense.... I am exhausted and really needed this p-day more than any other p-day!!"

"It has just been one of those situations that absolutely nothing has went right in the last week and a half. It is really kind of insane how nothing has went right at all.... I have searched a lot for things that I need to improve and I think I have found some things so I am working on those... I did have a good experience during sacrament meeting where I was just praying and thinking about how everything has been so bad, and Heavenly Father, through the Holy Ghost definitely comforted me in saying that it will all be for my good and that I will become a better person through these experiences. I think that is true. I know that is true. Things are hard, and things aren't always perfect, but up to this point everything has helped me grow and so I know that I need to learn from this and just keep moving forward with faith. At the end of Sacrament meeting, we sang Press Forward saints and that was kind of cool as well... I felt like that was a message  directly to me... And I love the part of How firm a Foundation that you included... It is true... Heavenly Father won't always take those trials away, but he will bless them so that they will sanctify us and make us better. He did the same to Joseph Smith in D&C 121 and 122. He tell him that all these things will be for his good and I know that is true in this situation as well. It's cool. I am learning and it has helped me see my progression. I don't know how I would have dealt with something like this before my mission or even at the beginning of my mission. So that progression is good!!"

"It is my time. I learned what I needed to. Had the experiences that were necessary. Now it is my turn to go out and just do missionary work all out and work the hardest I can. I have a standard and I need to raise it even higher cuz that is what the Lord needs me to do now. Haha it blows my mind that it has been a year.... Really cool though:)"

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Goodbye Incheon!

 Josh made a very special friend who he will miss A LOT while serving here, she has sat with him in church, waits for him at the door and holds his hand the whole time. They have become best buddies and he will miss her!!
Josh and his comp, in his favorite apartment so far!

Transferred again!

Elder Chizzy is being transferred again! Back to the heart of Seoul to Dongdaemoon. He will be back in the Seoul mission and will still be a zone leader. He seems to be excited but is having mixed emotions since he has only been in Incheon for 6 weeks. Apparently he is needed in Seoul and in the Seoul mission! He has learned a lot from the short time he's been in Incheon, he's learned how difficult it is to be with someone 24/7 who speaks zero English, he's learned to deal with a companion who wasn't really like him or necessarily got along with and to love him anyway! He's seen miracles in his area and he's exercised faith while teaching his zone members, which has resulted in miracles for them as well! He's learning that the almost unbearable heat and humidity is common for Korea and that air conditioning is a luxury almost unheard of there! He has gained a very strong testimony of Joseph Smith from reading a book he had in his appartment, he read it cover to cover (over 500 pgs) in whatever spare time he's had and loved it. We love how grateful and kind and converted he is. He is positive even when it's hard, happy even when he has very bad days and weeks and so incredibly faithful and commited to what he's doing. We couldn't be more happy that he's where he is doing what he's doing. Being a missionary family is the BEST!

I am pretty excited. I am bouncing out of Incheon right into the heart of Seoul! I will still be zone leader but will stsy in the Seoul mission! I am happy to still serve with President Christensen! I have just hear that Dongdaemoon is a good zone and that it is a lot of fun. It will have a lot more people so that will be really cool. . Haha this last week was kind of a blur.... When you have something like a transfer, it kind of blows out everything about the last week... We had some success and some cool miracles! We really just had a good time so that was good:) Life was much more exciting this week and working was a lot funner. I realized how much I have improved in my Korean in these last 6 weeks this week for sure and I am definitely grateful for that. I have learned a lot so I am hoping I can continue working hard and keep learning.  It will be nice to serve with an american again just so when we need to understand each other, we can. There are a lot of super young missionaries in my zone... I was looking at it, and only 3 or 4 of them are older than me in the mission which is totally insane but that just means I get to step up and be a leader which will be awesome. I will miss Incheon that is for sure. I was just starting to get to know my ward and the area and what not so it is definitely weird, especially cuz I was only here for 6 stinking weeks!!! Haha and I was in Gaebong for 6 months!! Haha kind of nuts... But I learned a lot in thisarea and I feel like I am leaving it is a better state than when I got here so that feels good. WE found three new investigators this week which was super good. I taught the first lesson in english for really the first time on my mission and it felt really good. Haha the guy is korean but he was like fluent in english so I just taught him in english and  I felt it went really well. It feels good sometimes to teach in your native language:) Haha but yeah, like I said, this week kind of got all blurred up with the news that I am bouncing out of here and my thoughts have been all over the place like "Why did I even come to Incheon?" and "Why do I have to leave now?" And "What do I need to do in Dongdaemoon?" So those things have been troubling me a bit, but like I shared when I talked to my ward yesterday, we just have to trust the Lord and trust that he knows what is best for us always. I don't know to what extent I effected people in this area, but I know I changed a lot and learned a lot of things that will help me throughout the rest of my mission. So I will just keep trusting the Lord and realizing that he always knows what is best for me no matter what."

Monday, May 6, 2013

Moving to the new Seoul South Mission and Zone leader!!!

Just a little update from our Korean missionary. He's been called as a zone leader and will be moving into the new Seoul South Mission to Incheon. (A coastal "smallish" city of 2.6 million!) it looks like a nice city, and is home to big name Asian business like Samsung. He has had a pretty tough few weeks, in fact, he says they were so tough he didn't want to even tell us about them.  As hard as that is, he is being humbled and refined, and for that trial, I think he is grateful. 

"So I'm getting transferred and.........I've been called to be a zone leader in the new Seoul South mission in Incheon! Crazy huh? Haha Incheon is sweet from what I have heard. It isn't in Seoul so I will be in the new Seoul South mission which is kind of sad but not really a big deal. I am serving with a Korean companion as well for the first time so I am fairly excited and pretty nervous!  I don't know much about incheon and the church there! There is a ward so that is good?I didn't think I was going to transfer but I am so excited for the opportunity!! 

Don't worry, I got a lot of pictures and will write all the great peoples names down!!... It is crazy to me how close you can get to people in 6 months and what not but I love them!! Haha I am super excited to go out there though,.... It is going to be an awesome opportunity and it will be a good change of pace for me that is for sure!! Haha I wasn't going to tell you tons about my week this week cuz it was another tough one... Maybe the toughest of my mission. We had about 8 people cancel on us and we really didn't teach at all this week. It was really hard, but I learned a lot about enduring and I wanted to tell you about something that you said last week really hit me hard. I was thinking as we went to a missionary meeting a little bit about the holy places thing that you talked about last week and I actually, at first, didn't think about it tons. But I was sitting there and all of a sudden it came to my head and it really made a huge impact on my week. We contacted a ton this week and i found that as I focused on making those times, those contacts, into a holy ground, a holy place, the spirit was so much stronger and at least I felt the spirit. It was really cool to see like how you said, a place on the street, or the subway can be turned into that little  spot of holy ground. In the bible dictionary, it talks about how the opposite of holy is common or profane and I thought about that a lot. The places I am talking to people are very common, but when we transform them from common to holy, through bearing our testimony and showing our light, it is so cool how it can change. It says in D and C 87:8 Therefore stand in holy place and don't be moved or something like that. We can always be standing in those places if we are worthy and able to make those places into something holy. Super cool!! Thanks for sharing that. 

The language is coming:) It will probably shoot up with a Korean companion!! I will miss Elder Brewer. He is a great guy and I'll miss him. The best thing about this week was that holy ground thing. That was a really cool realization for me to come to and to learn from . I also loved church yesterday. That 11 year old is still getting baptized next Sunday so that is cool!! I might not get to see it.... But he will get baptized so that is great:)_ I don't have to see it... Just as long as it happens I am happy:) I will miss my ward mission leader a lot, and another return missionary is awesome so I will miss him as well. They rock! And my bishop is awesome so I will miss him too. I will miss my house a lot… 

And I will just miss knowing everything about Gaebong!! Haha I know a ton of people here and have a lot of memories so that is tough. My zone has 16 missionaries I think... So fairly big!!
Yeah my companion was my last district leader and he is a super good guy and I am excited!! I leave bright and early on Wednesday morning and then head out there. It is kind of a strange experience moving. I said goodbye to most of the people in my ward yesterday and that was kind of tough! I have been here for a long time and don't really know anything else so I am excited for the opportunity for sure!! I am still very surprised at the fact that the Lord trusts me so much. I have never heard of anyone doing exactly what I am doing right now. Be trained, train, train for a transfer, and then go be a zone leader. It is kind of unheard of and sometimes I just don't totally understand why he trusts me so much ya know? I feel fairly unadequate most of the time and I am a little nervous!! And yeah I get a new mission president and everything so that will be an interesting experience cuz I love my mission president. But it will be good. That happens in July:)"