Sunday, February 22, 2015

Week 33 February 23, 2015 "Grateful for a week of miracles"

This week was transfers and let me start off by saying that my new area definitely is NOT Gangnam!! I like it here in Siheung but it is just way different. Siheung is pretty much straight country with a bit of city so it is still weird walking around not seeing just a bunch of really tall buildings like I did in Gangnam. The ward is a lot smaller then I thought it would be too. I thought Gangnam ward was small but definitely not as small as the Siheung ward is. We have a lot more youth so that is pretty cool and I look forward to being able to work with more youth instead of just really old people like I did in Gangnam. I also have been told that I won't get fed as much here in Siheung so that was kind of sad to hear. That's okay though because there is a lot more important things than food. I definitely look back after just a few short days of being here in Siheung and I am really grateful for how well the members and people in Gangnam took care of me. They sure did feed me lots of really yummy food. I also got a little chubby there... so hopefully here in Siheung I can start dropping the pounds I put on in Gangnam haha. I started doing Air Alert again and get up to either jump or run every morning so that has been a really good way to start off the day. My new companion is Elder Williamson from Orem, Utah and he is a pretty cool cat. We have a lot in common and get along well. He is significantly smaller than me and it looks pretty funny when we walk next to each other to see the height difference. Korea is a pretty safe place but Elder Willy said I could be his body guard and protect him if we ever get jumped haha. 

    My travel to Siheung was like I went back 20 years because it is a lot less city than Gangnam. I kept just looking around and asking where I am? My companion simply responded welcome to Korea. I was definitely in shock for a bit but I think I will be able to adjust. My new house is alright and a little bigger than the one in Gangnam. Our apartment is on the lucky number 13th floor so that is kind of sketchy... hopefully nothing crazy ever happens like the apartment collapsing. Of course it won't because lucky for me a have the Lord protecting me. My first day out here Elder Willy took me out to straight country. How you know it is straight country is because we had to take a bus 2 hours out into the middle of nowhere. We got out there and started walking to this little neighborhood to knock doors. On the way out we saw a guy riding a horse down the street so that was pretty crazy because I didn't even think they had horses here. It was my first time knocking doors because I could never do it in Gangnam with all the locked up apartments. The first few houses turned us away but a few houses later we got let in a house!! This old man said he was watching TV and let us come in. We talked with him while we were both thinking how did we get let into a house this never happens over here in Korea. My companion only has 3 three transfers left and that was the first time he was let in knocking doors so that proves my statement. It definitely was a miracle. The old man's wife even made us homemade mandoo to eat. We had a good conversion with them and will probably visit again but we decided to leave when a bunch of their family started showing up for the holiday. It was Solar this past week, which is like the Korean version of Chinese New Year or just the Solar calendar new year in general. I just wonder what all the family thought when they came in and saw two white dudes talking with their grandparents. Probably something like what in the world are these two white dudes doing here! We continued to knock doors and give out family English flyers and Restoration pamphlets and had lots of really good conversations. The people out in the country are way nicer than the ones in the working city of Gangnam. Turns out the neighborhood we were in is like one extended family so we taught like the whole family a bit about the gospel which is pretty cool. We then started walking back to the bus station and passed by this man outside his house making a fire. I was pretty tired and my comp asked if we should talk to him and fighting how tired I was I said yes. We talked to him and then his wife came out and told us to come in because it was cold outside. We got let in again!! Just a week full of miracles I guess. The daughter then proceeded to cut us an apple to eat and we started talking with the son, daughter, and mom. After talking for a while the mom went into the kitchen. She then came out after some time with a bunch of Korean side dishes. We proceeded to eat after they asked us to. Then she bought out the main dish which was steak! We were in shock. Then she brought out octopus and I was like uh oh... my comp ate it all so I didn't have to. We were the only ones eating so it was way weird. We asked them if they weren't eating and they said that they already ate. Before we ate we asked if we could pray and they let us. We shared a little message with them and introduced the 30/30 program which is 30 min English and 30 min gospel. The whole family was solid and super nice so I have a good feeling about them. We even were able to say a prayer before we left. We thanked them for the food and were on our way. There was such a sweet spirit in that house and I couldn't leave without having the biggest smile on my face! 

   We celebrated Solar as a Zone and had a good time. I am now in Gangso Zone. We had a big french toast breakfast, played basketball and volleyball, and even got to watch Meet the Mormons!! That movie was bomb! It was so good and I could feel the spirit so strongly throughout to reassure me that this church is TRUE. Also that there in nothing better I could be doing right now than serving a mission and sharing the happiness I have with the people of South Korea. I spoke in Church to introduce myself and cracked a few jokes to make the members left. Said I was ugly, not very tall,  and that I don't speak speak Korean well haha. I then bore my testimony best I could. The members are all pretty cool and I look forward to serving them. Yesterday we got to take the sacrament to an old lady in the hospital and that was a really cool experience. Yesternight we visited another old lady in the hospital who is an investigator and got to give her a blessing. I had a really spiritual week and we were blessed with lots of miracles. The mission isn't easy but I want to become the missionary the Lord wants me to become. So in order to do so I just have to keep trying hard and do the very best I can. It won't be easy. Life in general isn't easy but with the Lord as my team captain I know I can do this. I love you all so much and thank you for all the prayers, love, and support. You are the best!!! 

Elder Picard
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