Monday, September 1, 2014

Week 8 September 1, 2014 "KOREA!!!"

 Well last Thursday morning I got up at 2am to be at the travel office by 3:30am at the MTC. I got all my bags packed and was ready to go so we headed over to the travel office at like 3:15am. We weren't told this but apparently we actually didn't have to be there till 4am so we had to wait a while for our driver to show up to take us to the airport. We got to the SLC airport, went through customs, and were off for Seattle. The whole time I couldn't fathom the fact I would be in Korea the next day!! Our flight from Korea was super long and I did a lot of sleeping because man was I pooped. As soon as I got off the plane in Incheon I was hit by the humidity and man now I know why I don't like humidity haha. The Incheon airport is MASSIVE!! It honestly is probably the most gorgeous airport in the World! One more reason why you, my parents, should come pick me up in 22 months ;) After I went through the passport place and got my bag, I met my Mission President and his wife. They are going to do a great job leading us. After that we headed outside, loaded our bags in vans, and then went to the subway to go to the mission home. We were given 2 Book of Mormons, 2 Restoration packets, and like 12 I'm a Mormon cards. Elder Andersen and I decided to team up on the train because we were told to talk to as much people as we could and man was it hard when you don't know much Korean. It was also pretty scary because everybody was staring at me like they have never seen a big Native kid before! haha. Lets just say I attract way too much attention ha. We managed to give out everything accept for the Book of Mormons. We had some pretty good conversations and everybody was surprised we knew some Korean. We also experienced what it feels like to get stiffed as a missionary... Man was that like, wow that hurt, haha. We got off the subway and had to walk like 10 minutes to the mission home. On the whole walk there I was in awe of everything around me. Absolutely no English.. I was here in Korea and it was game time!! Korea smells kinda of different and I still haven't adjusted. We got to the mission home and then ate dinner. Sister Morrise made it and man was it yummy! We had rice, Korean beef, salad, and kimchi. After dinner I had my interview with President Morrise. That went very well. He asked me if I would be an 100% faithful and obedient missionary. I responded yes I would and he wouldn't ever have to worry about me. So yep now it is time to show him what I got! I said that I want to become the best missionary I can and affect as many lifes as possible. 
   The next morning I got up and had breakfast that Sister Morrise made. We had french toast, bacon, and hashbrowns! My best jam. After that we had a few hours of intro classes. Then I got my trainer! It was funny because we set across from each other at lunch and had a good conversation. He actually told me afterwards that he called getting put with me like month ago! He saw my name was Picard and was like I am getting the captain! I had a feeling after lunch that I would get him too and hey look what happened. My trainer is Elder Hastriter, he is from Ohio, was in the Air Force for a year, he has 1 older bro, 3 younger bros, and 2 younger sisters, and overall he is a pretty awesome dude! We are very similar and he was just the trainer I needed! After more training, we headed for our area. I was put in the Gangman area so yeah I am pretty cool. On the subway over to Gangman my companion and I both had really cool experiences. The guy I sat next to seemed really timid and shy so I was scared to talk to him at first but then I got a feeling I needed to say hello. So I did. He responded. I asked him where he was going, what he liked to do, how big his family was, and what his job was to get to know him a little bit. I used as much Korean as I could but he could speak pretty good English so when I had to I would use English. I told him I was a missionary and felt he need to hear a message. He told me he didn't really know much about Mormons, pretty much just that we are Christian. He was born Buddhist but then switched to Baptist after marriage with his wife. He is at a point in his life where I feel my companion and I can really help him out. He said it was hard for him to have faith in Christ when he wants to but sees people who are Christian not acting as they should. I responded and told him I completely understand. Family was a sensitive subject for him because he really wanted to start one but his wife said she was too busy. He was also concerned about his financially situation. I told him the importance of prayer and how it works. He said that it was hard for him to prayer because he has never got an answer. I told him about how Christ answers prayers if we have faith and he said that faith is hard. I said yes it is but I can promise you if you prayer always and have faith in Him your life will change. He gave me his number and we haven't called yet but we are hoping to set up an appointment. While this was happening my companion also got a contact. Later that night we went out street boarding. It is where we carry around this board that says what is the hardest part about english? and has options where people we find on the street responded and put a sticker on. It is a good way just to talk to people and spark street lessons. I had kim bap for dinner and that was pretty good. At night Elder Hastriter and I went to the church to set up chairs with the Sisters. They had a ping pong table at church so we had to play and I won. 
    Then it happened... My first Sunday in Korean. Which means I had to give a talk in sacrament meeting! Probably the most intimidating thing I have done in a long time. Speaking Korean in front of Koreans is scary haha. My ward is awesome. Everybody pretty much is a millionaire. Everybody said I was tall and handsome so I was like yeah I guess? My companion is convinced that I am a miracle worker because out of no where 2 previous investigators showed up at church! Apparently every since I got here everything has been miracles. After church we had lunch and then planned. Then Elder Hastriter took me out around Gangnam. Gangman is the richest area in my mission and man it is incredible! You see Lambos and Ferraris left and right. I honestly have never seen so many nice cars in my life. There is no speed limit in the city so everybody just flies! We went to this grafitti tunnel and it was so cool. It is pretty much a tunnel where you go and paint grafitti from 10 pm to 5 am. After walking Gangman, on our way back to the house I saw a man sitting on a bench. We walked passed him, I turned around, looked at him and had a feeling we should go talk to him. So we did. Elder Hastriter ended up teaching him an entire 30 min lesson. I had no idea what was going on but got words here and there. Towards the end there was a pause and I had a feeling I should say, "The Book of Mormon is a good book," so I did. Apparently he was debating on whether or not to take it and my companion didn't know what to say. The man ended up taking it. My companion was pumped afterwards and said that everything I said, I said just at the right time. The gift of tongues is real because I didn't know what was going on but said everything just when I felt  I should say something. We also gave him our number so hopefully he calls. 
      This morning we got up and ran to an old people park where they have work out equipment. It was nice being able to exercise because I didn't get to at all last week. Then we did our studies and now I am emailing. After this we are going to a bathhouse which is pretty much like a place where they have saunas, hot tubs, cold tubs, and is just a good way to relax. It should be an experience because I won't have clothes on and I will be surrounded by naked old Korean men haha. So yeah everything is going awesome and I am so happy to be here!! 

Elder Picard

Last day at the MTC

My flight to Korea when I wasn't sleeping :)

My plane somewhere over Korea

My AWESOME trainer, Elder Hastriter!

This is my first place in the mission field.

Home sweet home.

My area

Nothing much, just a sweet Porsche

McDonald delivery scooter, just had to have a picture of it.

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