Monday, September 15, 2014

Week 10 September 15, 2014 "Chu Seok=Thanksgiving"

   I don't know where to start because this week was just flat out awesome! I had so much fun this week. This past week was Chu Seok week which in Korean is like Thanksgiving for them. After I emailed last week our whole district went to the church and played games. That was pretty fun and one of the Sisters decided that she was going to order McDs. She ordered a bunch of fries and we all got ice cream so that was pretty sweet. For dinner Monday night we got invited over to the Cho's house. It was the same members that we helped move last week. They are awesome! They aren't in our ward so we had to get permission from Pres to go. We ate super good food and they even had cinnamon rolls! We acted out the story of Nephi building a ship for them and then sang "Nephi's Courage" and "We Will Bring the World His Truth." The spirit was so strong and I felt so happy that night. Every time I sing "We Will Bring the World His Truth" it really hits me because that is exactly what I am doing right now! As a missionary I am proclaiming the gospel to Korea and bringing them the truth. Brother Cho had told us there were some basketball courts down by the river so I was pretty excited about that! So after dinner my companion and I went down there to look for them and guess what? We found them! I was so excited they have like 4 full size courts so yeah it is pretty sweet. When we got there we saw some kids playing and I felt like we should go join them so we did for a little. We ended up scheduling an appointment to meet with them again and play Thursday night. 
    Tuesday we had our Chuseok Mission Wide Conference so everyone in my mission came. It was so much fun and was nice to see all my buddies. I thought it wasn't going to be fun and that we were just going to listen to people speak the whole time but I was wrong. When we got there we all sang the mission hymn to start off the conference. Then President Morrise's Mission President taught us about Korean culture and the celebration of Chuseok. His name was Pres. Han, he is the first native Korean Mission President ever in Korea. After a few more things we had lunch and it was delicious. They had all the good stuff. Meat, rice, fruit, you name it! I sure was full after that meal. After lunch we had a mission possible activity where we went around asking Koreans about Chuseok and telling them about our free Family English program. We picked up trash and did a little service project as well. Then the best part happened! We went to a park to proselyte and talk about all the stuff we were assigned to do but then I saw a big Korean kid I had seen earlier that day playing basketball all by himself. I said to myself, "A Korean should never play basketball alone, that is sad," so I went over and joined him. The three Elders I was with also jumped in to play and since the numbers were uneven another guy asked if he could join so we let him to make it 3 on 3. Playing ball in church clothes is a little hard but I was able to manage. I even managed to still be able to throw it down so now everyone that saw thinks I am going to the NBA haha. When we were playing I ran after a loose ball and ended up taking out a kid on a bike. :( I didn't even see him until I was sprawled out over the top of his bike and he was on the ground a few feet away. Luckily the kid was really tough and got right up. I gave him a high five and said sorry. He was all happy and not mad so maybe it made his day to get hit by a big friendly American dude who knows? After playing we went back to the church and prepared then performed a skit as a zone to report our result from the activity and how we found success. I had the genius idea to make it Star Trek themed because my name is Picard and it worked out so well. Everyone agreed and our skit was definitely the best! I will try and get a video of it and send it to you all so you can see it. Everyone refers to me as Captain now so that's pretty cool. After the skits we had a talent show. During the middle of it we had dinner then finished off the rest of it. Elder Hastriter and I sang a song In Korean about 바지 or pants that we wrote so that was pretty funny. The talent show went late so we didn't get home until like 10:45
     On Thursday we went to get my Alien card thing so I wouldn't get arrested for not having one and sent to Korean prison haha. They told us we had to go to a different place to get it so we just went the next day to the other place. After that we went street boarding and got over 500 people to put a sticker on it. The whole point of street boarding is to associate with Gangnam and let them know we teach free English. That night we went to our basketball appointment and to our astonishment the kids we scheduled it with didn't show up. There were some other people there so we just played with them instead. Next time we do it we are going to start with a prayer and share a little message because we forget to last time. We ran home from basketball to get home on time and picked up a snack on the way home. 
      Friday we got my card and had to wait 4 hours! After that I ate a kim bap for lunch and it was yummy. After studies I did laundry and made dinner. While I was reading in Mosiah 27 I realized I need to be as Alma and the sons of Mosiah after God smote them and they became such amazing missionaries. I need to bring about the knowledge of Christ to Korea, that is my job. Also while doing this I need to publish peace, good tidings of good, and declare unto Hanguk that the Lord reigneth. 
       Everyday it gets harder and harder to wake up on time because missionary work is sooo tiring. I honestly am tired all of the time and don't know how my trainer has so much energy after doing this for a year and a half! Its crazy! I memorized all the phrases from our 12 week study book for the first lesson. I can see as I learn more vocab I can memorize the sentences faster. I think I am progressing well so that's good. Patience is key in learning this language but it is so hard to not get impatient haha. A member named Max took us out for dinner and we had a good time. 
        It has been hard not to think about home and my future lately and focus 100% on my mission. A lot of discouragement comes about on the daily as well. It just makes me mad sometimes that I can't understand what it going on around me. I'm a missionary after all though and a Picard so I can work through it! I still have a long ways to go and a lot of growing up to do but that will come. It all just takes time and I don't like having to wait haha. After my mission I probably will be the best waiter guy there ever was! 
         Yesterday was a great Sabbath day! This group of 3 Japanese guys and 1 Australian lady came to visit our church yesterday. They are in Korea for 2 years studying religion. So we taught them about our church and everything. They all spoke Korean so I was pretty helpless haha. It was good though. They said they felt something they have never felt at other church so who knows maybe we will hear from them again. I got called on to say a prayer in front of all of them so that was pretty scary but turns out I did a good job. The 2nd Counselor in the Bishopric invited all of the missionaries over for dinner at his house and it was by far the best dinner I have had yet! They had bulgogi, chop suey, rice, shrimp, salad, spicy meat stuff, noodles, and some other things I don't know. For dessert we had cheesecake from Costco and a sweet potato cake the wife made. It was very yummy. Both his kids are less active. His son likes basketball so I am hoping I will be able to fellowship him using that and get him back to church. 
         We got a referral from another missionary in a different zone and we are meeting with him today so hopefully our appointment goes well and we follow the Spirit best we can. Well anyways Korea is great and I love my family so much!!! (Hyeting) In Korean they say this word as like a way to encourage someone say yeah HYETING!

Elder Picard

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