Monday, October 6, 2014

Week 13 October 6, 2014 "My dad's story helping me in Korea"

    This past week over here in Gangnam was a great one! I continue to learn more and more each week. Studies keep getting better and better as well. The Book of Mormon is such a great book! I have been learning so much while reading it. One of the biggest things that has came up a lot recently is of the importance to trust in God and have faith in His plan for all of us. Also that we shouldn't need something severe to happen to us like the Lamanites and Nephites of old in times of hardship to be able to believe and have faith in Christ. We will all make mistakes but it is important for us to always use the Atonement and to not procrastinate the day of our repentance. I've learned that as I humble myself more and more everything starts to fall in place and I stop worrying about myself as much. I am still learning and hope to be able to say that I have 100% forgot myself and gave my mission to the Lord!
     Tuesday night we met Max for dinner and he took us to Doni Burger. After dinner we decided we wanted some dessert. On our way to Cafe Bene to get 팥빙수(the really delicious Korean shaved iced that I love) we ran into a man on the street who only spoke a little bit of English like a lot of the people here in Korea. He was standing out in front of a chicken restaurant and asked where we were from so we told him and then he asked if we liked chicken. You all know I love chicken so I responded with a big smile on my face and said yes. Then he points to his table where he has this big plate of chicken and asks us to eat with him so we did. We finished the first plate and then he ordered us another huge plate with a ton of chicken and some fries. We told him that we were missionaries and I think it was at the moment we realized the man was drunk... He was a really nice guy and we shared our purpose of why we are here as missionaries and were able to teach him a street lesson. I even committed him to baptism because my companion told me it is worth a shot and hey it worked!! He said yes but he was also drunk... He thought I was 25 and my companion was 15 so that was pretty funny. Apparently this man was the CEO of the chicken place we ate at and owned quite a few of them in Korea. We didn't believe him at first because of course he was drunk and then we asked the workers and found out he really was. 
    At district meeting this week we talked about how important prayer is. Prayer is amazing and I have really seen it work its magic more and more each day. It also requires a lot of faith on our part to know the Lord will help us. After English Class that night Arnold and his mom invited us to go get  팥빙수 Arnold is the only kid in our English class and he is awesome. His mom wants us to start teaching him English and she wants to do the 30/30 program where we teach 30 min English and 30 min gospel so hopefully that will go well when we get it set up. 
    It started pouring down rain on Thursday when we were street boarding so we went down into the subway station to get out of the rain. Being tall and not Korean is continuing to attract way too much attention. Like 10 girls took pictures of me and one in particular started calling me handsome boy trying to get my attention and when I looked she took a picture. Then the subway station cops that have no authority to kick us out because we have a license to proselyte came over and told us to leave so we did. We taught the Zone Leader's a lesson for my 6 week follow up and that went good. Then we had Burger King for dinner. In studies that day I learned to hold tight to the Word of God and build my foundation upon the rock of my Redeemer, Christ the Lord! Sorry if this email is all over the place it is really hard to make it flow haha. 
    We played basketball with a less active, 햔호, and we had a great time. We played with some kids that were already there and they all thought I was going to play in the NBA haha. This less active is a few years older than us and his family really wants him to serve a mission so we are trying we befriend him best we can so that we can get him out on a mission because I know he would be a great missionary. He took us to KFC for lunch after we played and that was way good. We met with our progressing investigator 강세용 who we are teaching the 30/30 program and our lesson went really good. We taught him the restoration and he thought most of it made sense so that is good. He always points out to us that he loves how happy we always are and wants to be that happy. We gave him a Book of Mormon and we committed him to read it and pray about. He also wants a big size Book of Mormon in English so that he can read them side by side to help with his English. 
    The good shall have everlasting life, so be good! This is one of my new motto's, it is a good one. All we need to do is be good and we receive everlasting life that sounds like a pretty good deal to me! Saturday was an amazing day and I had a really cool experience. I was teaching the advanced class and when we split off into groups to do the role play activity I was with Mr. Chan and Mr. Yong. They both spoke English very well and after our role play they both just started asking questions about the Church and what Mormons believe. I was all by myself because my companion was across the room so I had to think and answer fast. Lucky for me the spirit definitely was there and helped me answer their questions. After class Mr. Yong still had questions so my companion and I took him into the other room where it was more quiet to answer his questions. First off, it was a miracle that Mr. Yong even showed up! It was the first time he had been to English class and found out about it online! The question came up as to whether or not I was born into the Mormon church because he felt like most Mormons were. Then he asked if both my parents were born Mormon and I said no. At that time I had the amazing opportunity to share with him Dad's conversion story. The spirit was so strong in the room and Mr. Yong had to of felt it!!  I got choked up at the end because if it weren't for my mom and her example to my Dad of the joy the gospel can bring to your life and my Dad's desire to find out for himself if the Book of Mormon were true. He would of probably not married my mom or  got converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and I wouldn't have the amazing family I do now or even be on a mission right now. At that very moment I realized how important it was that I make them proud and be the great missionary they raised me to be. For dinner a member, Takiyama, took us to a Japanese restaurant after we practice taught him a lesson. 
    Sunday night we got invited over to the 최's house for dinner and FHE, the less active we played basketball with earlier in the week and his family. How it works in Korea is the mom and daughters cook while the men eat until the men are done eating then they come in and eat what is left. The mom came in and squated down next to me and started to put a whole bunch of different foods on my plate even some food I didn't want to eat. She said "I am your mom and you are my baby ok?" Then she started feeding me! haha. My companion hasn't even been fed before and he said it was crazy how fast the family adjusted to me. Yep so now I can say I was fed by a Korean women on my mission haha. They said that I am now their son and that I have to come over every Sunday for FHE now. During dinner I noticed peanut butter in the kitchen and said I love peanut and they ended up making me PB&J toast and bringing it out to me haha. The message we shared with them was about Moroni's promise and my companion had me share the story about my Dad again so that was cool. When we left they loaded us up with food and even gave me the rest of the peanut butter. The whole family kept telling me I was handsome and thought it was so cool that I am half Lamanite. One of the daughters said she would get a Costco card and get me more peanut butter whenever I need haha. 
     Not being able to speak Korean and understand as much as people around has been extremely hard on me. It is hard not to lose patience and to not give up. I just keep remembering how amazing the gift of tongues is and keep working as hard as I can because that is all I can do at this point. I just have to trust in the Lord and He will loosen my tongue when the time is right :) Sorry if my grammar and all is off and if my email doesn't make sense. I mean you have to cut me some slack because there is a little bit of Korean in my brain now throwing my English off haha. 

Elder Picard

Japanese restaurant with Takiyama. 

My best bud, 햔호
My Korean family, the 최 family
Just a selfie in front of the really cool Louis Vuitton building at night. 

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