Sunday, January 11, 2015

Week 27 January 12, 2015 "Perfect love casteth out all fear"

   I have been meaning to start one of my emails with this but I keep forgetting. Everyone has a smart phone in this country it is crazy! I will legitimately be walking and see like 6 year old kids talking or playing on their smart phone. I stand there like who in the world are you talking to? Your babysitter? haha. Korea too is extremely safe. At night I will see way young kids just walking around or playing at the park by themselves. It is like where is your mom? The police here have to look for things to do sometimes so a lot of the time they will just walk around or sit in there cars just chilling. Seems like a pretty good gig. The people overall are pretty nice here but occasionally when I greet someone they will just look at me like why is this big white dude trying to talk to me in Korean go away haha. The drivers are pretty crazy and I pretty much almost get hit by a car every other day but maybe that is just me because I am big or something. The really love their horns too. Even if there is no possible way of getting through traffic they think if they honk their horn every car in front of them will just disappear. I still wake up everyday and can't fathom the fact I am in Korea. Sometimes it feels like I am in a dream but then I wake up and realize I truly am in Korea. Korea feels like home now it is kind of weird. I feel like I wouldn't belong in the United States anymore for some reason haha. It is crazy how time works and everything. Although the Lord knows all so maybe I am just supposed to become Korean for 2 years. 
    Well we started the week off with a boom and got Outback Steakhouse once again! It just gets better and better every time. I am pretty spoiled in Gangnam and lots of missionaries tell me that I don't even know Korea yet because Gangnam is a pretty westernized city. So who knows maybe when I transfer I will be once again shocked with a new way of living. The man that took us to Outback was a member that we met on the street who served in Korea way back when. He had some good mission advice and it was nice to hear from an American about his mission in Korea and get some tips. He really emphasized the importance of connecting with people in ways where they will first and foremost feel comfortable being around you. Not just springing religion on them right at first but trying to show love for them through just becoming their friend. This actually transitions into a really cool miracle that I was blessed with this week. So there is a Brother in our ward who is the only member of his family and he comes every once in a while. Recently he hasn't been able to come because he broke his ankle and also with family conflicts and all it can sometimes be hard for him to get to church. The last time I had been over to visit him was when Elder Hastriter and I had given him a blessing for his ankle. So this week I was thinking to myself that it had been a while since we had visited him and I had the thought that it was about time to go visit him again. We didn't call and just surprisingly showed up. We get there and I phone his apartment, his wife answers and asks who it is, we respond, and sure enough the sliding door to the apartment opens right up. Which was really weird at first because she usually hesitates as whether to let us in or not. We get up to his apartment and his wife is in the kitchen with the door shut so we couldn't see her. I have met the wife before but she didn't come out and talk to us this time. We sit down on the coach and ask him how he has been and stuff. Then we ask if we can teach him a practice lesson to work on our Korean and he said yes. We proceeded to begin teaching and then we hear someone come in the house. It was his daughter! I had never before seen or met here before so we were able to greet her finally. She walked into the kitchen and came out a few minutes later with a tray of oranges and juice boxes. I was shocked... they were giving us hospitality and essentially welcoming us into their home which had never before happened by anyone besides the dad, who was the member we were teaching. After we got done teaching him he said that his son was in the house too and that he was going to see if he would come out and talk to us. As he walked away I sat there praying to God to please let me meet his son. Sure enough out walks his son. I was shocked and could barely spit out the slightest Korean. We shook his hand and introduced ourselves then sat down on the couch and had a really good conversation with him. Gospel didn't come up but oh well, the important thing is I finally got to meet him after almost a year of missionaries trying! Turns out we had a lot of the same interests and we were able to connect really well. It was a miracle! I will continue to be his friend first and foremost and if gospel interest every comes up so be it. God works in mysterious ways so maybe I was just sent to be his friend who knows. If that is the case I will try and be the best friend I can be. 
    I went to Costco this week and hooked up with all the good groceries! We found some birthday decorations along with 4 of July decorations this week in our house that a previous missionary got and left. So we decided to put them up in the other Elder's room because they weren't home just to be funny. It was fun to see their reaction when they got home. We forgot about some potatoes, onions, and radishes in our cabinet and found them with an insane amount of mold on them while we were cleaning. It was pretty gross and we threw them out right away. We walked a lot this week pretty much all around our area. People in Gangnam usually don't have much gospel interest and it has been hard to find an investigator. We were able to teach 5 practice lessons to members this week so that was pretty sweet! We planned a surprise bday dinner with Claire and 은지, two of our best English class members, for E. Black's bday at On the Border. He had to wear a sombrero and they came out and sang to him. It was way funny because he was super embarrassed so we were all just laughing. 
      Church this week was pretty crazy. It was like rise of the American businessman or something. Like 4 businessman were here on business from American. We actually had Elder's Quorum in English because they were here. Elder Knapp and I taught the lesson and it went well. We taught on the first great commandment and on obedience. It is cool because as a missionary I am able to be tested on the daily with both those things. Obedience is hard but key as a missionary and the days I am more obedient the better the day goes. Also I most always show love to God through prayer and all that I do because that is what I am commanded to do. Gods love us all so very much so we must love Him back just as much. Fear can also come up out here in the field a lot but like it says in Moroni 8:16 "perfect love casteth out all fear." As long as I love I have nothing to be scared about. So my challenge I give to you all back home is to keep i loving and rely on the Lord because thanks to Him everything will work out and all be okay. Don't hate just love because "love is all you need!"

Elder Picard 

So excited to eat my favorite meal Chicken Alfredo!

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