Sunday, December 7, 2014

Week 22 December 8, 2014 "Thanks so much Saltese ward family, you are the best!"

  I can't believe there is only 17 more days till my first Christmas in Korea, that's crazy!! I am really excited for my first Christmas here in country and can't wait to Skype my family. It is going to be the best! Time flies over here in the mission field when you are having fun and even when you are not it's crazy haha. There are hard times and not so hard times here in Gangnam. Lucky for me I get to learn from the hard times and do my best to make all times fun ones!! I am all about having fun and you sure can have a lot of fun on your mission. We are still trying to find more investigators and people to teach because we only have one right now. It has been really hard not having a lot of investigators and people to teach so I have had to be really patient. Which you all know is hard for me sometimes haha. Patience is everything out here. I have to be patient to do just about everything. I mean especially with Korean because it doesn't just come. I wish it did but I just have to keep working for it. I am slowly progressing and can see my Korean getting better and better each day so that's good. 

     This week wasn't too exciting and pretty uneventful but that's okay because I mean sometimes you just have those weeks. We did a lot of proselyting this week and a few practice lessons to help with my Korean so that was good. After email this week we did meet this crazy guy who wanted to take us to get coffee and we said that we didn't drink coffee so we went and got hot chocolate with him. I was really confused with what was going on and at first I thought it was a miracle we found someone but turned out not so good. The man spoke English but not very well. He said it was the first time he met Mormons and wanted to know all about our church. He was full of questions and wouldn't really give us time to answer. It got to the point where he was just trying to prove us wrong and wasn't even listening. It was really hard to not get frustrated but somehow I managed to do so. I gave him a Book of Mormon and my card then bore my testimony of its truth and left it at that because that was really all I could do at that point. 

      My Korean mother who calls me her son told me to set the goal of baptizing 100 people but by the look of things right now that would be extremely difficult. I guess she has more faith in me than I do of myself haha. I also am not in South America so I think 100 might be a little too high. We will see though maybe I can do it? I bought a basketball this week from the Nike store because I am crazy and can't wait till I can play some basketball. The youth in the church in Korea isn't to strong so I am hoping that when spring comes around I can use my basketball skills to pick up some youth investigators and get them interested in the church :) This week I actually went to a high school to see if I could play with their team and do a little coaching but they turned me down. The team was doing really weird warm up drills and at first I thought they were some sort of Karate team because they were doing a variety of different somersaults. It was kind of entertaining to watch but weird. Our ward mission leader took us out for dinner and is starting to try and help us out more so that's good. We had Zone training this week and were trained on using time wisely, how to use our area books, and how to find people that are prepared to hear the gospel. I also went on an exchange with the Zone Leaders since my companion is District Leader. The exchange went good but the Zone Leader I went with and I do not have a single thing in common so it was kind of hard but I learned a lot. I had eggs for breakfast on the exchange and turns out my body is starting to reject eggs. So I had a big tummy ache and had to go to the bathroom. Turns out the toilet was already kind of broken but then I made it worse... We spent like 2 hours trying to fix the thing and couldn't get it to flush. So yeah there is a funny story for you. I got to play basketball with a bunch of little Filipinos who were non members so that was way fun. The Zone Leaders live in the area where our Stake Center is and it is where the English branch also meets so it is a good sized building for Korea. They get to have a lot of fun activities over there with a gym and all so I for sure had a good time getting to run around and all. 

     Well yesterday was my 4th fast Sunday in country! My companion and Elder Hegewald had to do a little introduction of themselves because they are new to the ward. Since Elder Knapp bore his testimony he told me I had to go up too so I did. I did pretty good but then got caught up on a sentence towards the end and just had to close my testimony because I didn't know how to say it in Korean. It is really hard not being able to express myself in Korean but I am kind of getting used to it. That night we went to the 최's for family night, dinner, and to teach a practice lesson. We taught the Plan of Salvation. The lesson went well and my companion had me teach most of it so that was tough but with help from my 12 week study packet I got during training I managed to do it. They had me sing a Christmas song solo in English for the closing song so that was kind of funny. After family night we helped my Korean mom, 최선옥, insulate one of the rooms in their house so their house wouldn't get cold. Korea sure is pretty cold during the winter that's for sure. I am doing my best to keep myself warm though.

      I got the advent calendar last week and I was so excited when I saw what it was!! Thanks so much Saltese ward family, you are the best! I hung it up in our house so now we have a Christmas tree :) I had a good personal study this morning and one of the biggest things I learned was that Christ is with us every step of the way throughout our lives. When we our weak, He will make us strong. When we are sad, He will cheer us up. When we are lost and don't know what to do, He will show us the way and bring us unto the greatest possible happiness we can ever imagine!!! All of this made me come again to the realization that although it will take time I will learn Korean and as I am obedient he will help me and guide to those who are ready to hear the gospel!! I would challenge you all back home to look for opportunities to share the gospel any chance you get. When you do so I can testify that the Lord will always bless you. He wants all His lost sheep to be found. Time to keep working and pushing on!! Hurrah for Israel!!

Elder Picard

Thank you so much Saltese Ward family, you are the best! Now we have a Christmas tree and I LOVE IT!

They got really fancy and decorated a pillar in the subway station by my house so I had to take a picture with it because I LOVE CHRISTMAS!
At Olympic park in SEOUL

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