Monday, September 29, 2014

Week 12 September 29, 2014

   Humidity is not my friend... I am always sweating but luckily for me winter is coming. I can do cold but humidity on the other hand is no bueno. The food overall is pretty yummy but I still haven't found it in me to start liking kimchi but we will see what happens in these next 21 months. My pants have already started to get loose. My tight fitted suit isn't too tight anymore but my abs are still covered with a little layer of frosting haha. Most mornings I go work out with old people at a park so that's pretty fun. There is one old dude that is like my best friend and now every time he sees me he yells, "My Washington friend! How are you?" in a Korean accent so it makes me smile every single time. Also this week at English class was pretty funny we have one older man that comes named Tom and he knows very little English so he is fun to talk to because he pretty much mimics everything you say. This week I came into class and asked if I could sit by him in which he responded "you 싯 (pronounced as other word for poop) by me?" It was extremely hard not to laugh because he kept saying that phrase to try and implant it in his brain so he would never forget it. 
   I went to the zoo last monday and that was way fun. The monkeys by far were the best part. They were all just swinging around having a good time. Being able to swing like a monkey would be awesome. After the zoo we were super tired and hungry so we decided to go to our favorite pizza buffet. We talked to some kids on the street that could break dance so we had a little dance battle but they destroyed me. They thought I was super cool because I knew the songs they danced to and could dance a little as well. I bought my first Korean ties and they are all pretty sweet! I got 5 ties for 15 bucks! It was a pretty good deal if you ask me. I went to an American buffet this week which had most the stuff I love that I haven't been able to eat so that was good. 
   I have had a lot of really cool experiences and have learned a lot while reading the Book Of Mormon recently. Faith is like a seed and we have to nourish it or else it won't grow. Alma the younger got struck down and racked with torment for 3 days and 3 nights like we all know. I personally after reading that thought to myself that does not sound like fun at all! So now I am going to try even harder to always live righteously and be the best missionary I can.  After Alma's experience he was born of God and ended up becoming an amazing missionary by bringing many unto repentance. Lucky for me I am on a mission right now so I can strive my best to do just that. We have found a lot of people that are interested in the church but they always live outside of our area so we have to refer them to other missionaries. That has been kind of a bummer but at least we are helping the other missionaries in our mission out. I also learned of the importance to direct all my thoughts unto the Lord and cry unto Him for support and strength to help me through my mission. 
   We played ping pong before English class with all of our members so that was way fun and we are going to keep doing it before every class to make it fun for our members. One miracle this week was we came across a Korean man on the street and he asked if we were Mormon missionaries to which we of course responded yes. He asked if we could talk for a bit so we went over to a bench and talked. He had served a mission with a Christian church and was curious as to why we decided to come on missions. Then he went into how crazy he thought it was, out of all the people in the world, God knows him personally and loves him so much. He already knew a lot of what we were going to say to him but I felt prompted to tell him this. If we humble ourselves and are not selfish that is when God wants to bless us and make us feel happy. He gave us his number and told us to call anytime so we are planning on meeting him again. Walking home that night a man at his restaurant ended up giving us free ice cream after I simply asked how much it was. 
   Faith always wins. If I strive to be as valiant as Moroni I really have nothing to worry about because he was so incredible. Like my parents have both said many times I need to remember who I am and embrace it; my religion, my family, etc. We had an investigator call us out of the blue that we didn't even know. He some how found our number and wanted to do our 30/30 program where we teach 30 min English and 30 min gospel. We met him and he absolutely loved us and everything we taught him. He said we had a special light to our countenance and he felt so happy around us. We are going to teach him twice a week so hopefully all goes well. 
   Collin, the Korean that teaches us Korean, taught us and then took us out for 팥빙수 and man was that some good stuff. It is like a Korean shaved ice cream dessert with Indian red bean and lots of other yummy toppings. We had a stake soccer activity at Seoul High School Saturday morning and that was way fun. I also played baseball and basketball too. I saw some kids playing baseball so I ran over and asked to join and they let me. I played first base and then hit them grounders. After that they also let me pitch in the cage. Man has it been way tooo long since I have pitched. The next morning my arm was so sore. I could still put some cheese and heat behind it so thats good. I had my 12 week check up this week and that went good. I also had a check up interview with President Morrise. I asked him for advice on how to forget the past and move on. He simply said it will always be hard but that I just need to focus all my attention on what is happening now. Satan wants me to fail and will try and get me to think I am not worthy. He said that we all can be worthy but weak at the same time. We always have room for improvement and lucky for us God can make our weaknesses into strengths (Ether 12:27) if we turn to him. I have heard all this advice many times but this time it really hit me. Strength isn't free and a lot of repenting and work has to be done on our part. 
   One last thing, when walked to church yesterday my companion and I got scolded by a scary little 4 foot tall old Korean lady with a cane. She asked us if we were Mormon and we said yes then she just pointed at us and creepily yelled some words in Korean. My companion afterwards told me what she said and she pretty much said that we are a cult and a false church. So yeah that was kind of scary haha. 
    On a lighter note haha. The gospel is amazing and I am so lucky to have the opportunity to serve and hasten the work in Korea in this the latter days! #missionaryworkisthebest 
저 는 죄 가족 을 사랑합니다!
(I love my family!)

Elder Picard
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Buffalo in Korea, had to take this picture for my best Rigby family I love!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Week 11 September 22, 2014 "Korean Temple, AMAZING!"

 I would first off like to say that I have the best family ever!! Thanks Dad sooo much for the letters! It was so nice getting a letter with lots of words of encouragement. Dad you sure are one funny dude. All of your jokes were hilarious lol. All is well here in sunny Gangnam but it is supposed to start cooling off soon. After conference we have to wear a suit everyday until spring. To answer your question about the winter coat yeah I could probably buy one here and it would be a lot cheaper than sending me one. My speaker broke so thats a bummer. I will just buy one here, I should be able to find one. Dad was right on the money when he said that I need to be a "light on the hill." I already attract enough attention, but if I do just what you said I will be able to attract more and bring more interest of the gospel to the people. It is easy to get frustrated with myself when I don't understand anything going on around me but like you said I need to just make the effort to forget about me and shine the Light of Christ all over Korea. In all reality the Light of Christ is what missionary  work evolves around. We would not be able to touch a person's heart if they did not have the light of Christ in them. Lucky for everyone we all have the light of Christ and we all can know the difference between good and evil. So it is just that much more important that we are always doing what we should be doing to set the example for others. After all my goal in serving here in Korea is to help the people gain their salvation and I can't do that without love in my heart and a desire to serve them. 
    It has been hard to not dwell on the past and move on at times,  receiving the letters from Dad really helped. I just keep to keep moving forward and not look back. It is crazy how respectful and polite most of the people here are. I have noticed just by smiling and saying hello to everyone I can really feel a difference in the way they look at us as missionaries. I really loved what Dad said when he said "be a sponge"  and soak it all up. I had never really thought about the fact that I just need to fully submerge myself in the culture and pretty much become a Korean. 
    I was happy to hear that BYU is playing well and destroyed Texas! That is awesome you got to go to a Vandal's game and had so much fun. I'm glad Elizabeth is having a great time in middle school and is adjusting well. Sounds like she is just going to follow after the Picard trend and be an athlete by wanting to do all those sports. The only advice I could give her on sports is that she just has to keep trying and it will take time to improve and get better at a specific sport. Just work hard but HAVE FUN while doing it. McDs has most of the same stuff but they also have special things like bulgogi burgers and stuff. Korea is just awesome. So keep that in mind towards the end of my mission ;) I hope Ej got that job and that Sara will be able to find one soon. I pray every night for them that they will be able to find jobs and get married. They are awesome and I know they will. 
     Well my week was pretty good. At the start of the week I went of an exchange with Elder Woltjen. We had a good time and he is a pretty funny kid. I learned a lot during my studies this week as I read the Book of Mormon. I am almost done reading it and plan to set goals and read it a couple times on my mission because I need to have the strongest testimony about it that I possibly can. There is no doubt in my mind that it is true but it is never a bad thing to build on your testimony :) I read a lot about the importance of humbling yourself and trusting in God. Also that good never comes from Satan, good ONLY comes from God! I need to be a tree of good fruit and bare not bad fruit. There is a less active member in our ward that comes and teaches us Korean so thats pretty cool because I definitely need the help. My companion and I are going to try to speak more Korean and have days where we only speak Korean so that I can improve faster. 
      I love how the Lord gives me miracles and answers as I read His word. I got my first hair cut in Korean and man was that a funny experience. First off, I didn't know what she was saying half the time so I was kinda of just sitting there and I told her to go a little shorter by making motions with my hand. That is the last time I am going to do that! I haven't had my hair this short since I accidentally shaved my head bald junior year. The funniest part was after I got it done. The lady that cut my hair was talking to my companion and said my new hair cut looked "sexy" haha. She asked him how old I was because she thought I was like 28!! Oh Korea how I love you so. 
       After English class on Wednesday we taught 5 of our class members about the fall and the purpose of it. We explained it pretty good and I would say that the Spirit was definitely in that room guiding us on what to say. They just didn't understand why if God is Almighty that he would make us suffer pain and sorrow. So we explained to them that He does this because He wants us to learn and grow. He only wants the best for us and will be with us every step of the way. They thought that we were just being punished because of Adam so we had to explain that we are punished for our own sins and not for Adam's transgression. After our lesson they invited us to go get chicken with them and you  know me I would never turn that down! We went and had a good time. I really feel that we left all those people thinking and that they all felt the Spirit. We are planning on continuing to teach them every week so hopefully it all works out. I showed all of them my family pictures and they all said that my family is so beautiful! 
         I went to the temple this week!!! It wasn't the biggest temple but it was really cool! I had a very good time and learned that I need to always obey and be doing what I should because if I am disobedient I am giving Satan power. I NEVER want that to happen so I have to be a good boy ALL of the time! Satan tries to get us to think that there is No other way, but through Christ our Savior, there is ALWAYS another way! After the temple I went to my first gogi buffet and it was sooo good!! It pretty much is a buffet with tons of different kinds of meat that you cook up for yourself at your table. I sent some videos and they should be in my dropbox. I had duck, spicy chicken, this bacon on steroids that was super thick, octopus which I did not like at all, beef, steak, lamb which is very tasty, and rice bacon. 
        The Book of Mormon has wonderful accounts of how to live your life! I want to be just like Ammon and all the other Book of Mormon missionaries that did such amazing things! I'm on my mission right now so lucky me I can strive every day to be just like them. I always have room for improvement and God will bless me with strength if I push on in faith. 
         I went on an exchange with one of the Zone Leaders so I went to his area for a day. I learned more of the importance of being patient and not getting frustrated. They had a bench and weights at their house so I was pretty stoked about that! I guess I just have to some how get transferred to that house. I have struggled to take council from leaders and humble myself but I have noticed I am doing a lot better with that so that's good! 
      Yesterday the Stake Presidency came to our ward and we had lunch together. My companion also punked me pretty good yesterday. He set up a prank with a guy in the ward. He told me the guy was less active when he really was a member and told me to go set up an appointment for this week. I didn't know he was a member at the time or that he spoke English. Turns out the guy served in Provo so his English was great and I just talked to a guy who was a RM. He spoke English to me after I talked to him about our church for like 10 mins and just started laughing and said man I am just kidding haha so that was pretty funny. 
        Today is going to be pretty awesome because guess who is going to the zoo? Yep that's right, this Elder is!! It is going to be awesome and I will definitely take a bunch of pics!! 
        Being a missionary is tiring but it truly is the best!!! :)

I love you all so much!!! 
From Gangnam to Spokane, Captain out.


Elder Picard
My first visit to the Seoul, Korea Temple, INCREDIBLE!
Elder Black and I, our parents grew up together in Moscow, Idaho.
My first district in Korea.
My first gogi buffet. Before I ate octopus my thumb was up, after I ate it definitely thumbs down.

Wonderful member who took us to dinner, pizza buffet yummy!

Rockin the Korean Gatorade bottle, somethings never change.

Had to take my picture with the legend #23.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Week 10 September 15, 2014 "Chu Seok=Thanksgiving"

   I don't know where to start because this week was just flat out awesome! I had so much fun this week. This past week was Chu Seok week which in Korean is like Thanksgiving for them. After I emailed last week our whole district went to the church and played games. That was pretty fun and one of the Sisters decided that she was going to order McDs. She ordered a bunch of fries and we all got ice cream so that was pretty sweet. For dinner Monday night we got invited over to the Cho's house. It was the same members that we helped move last week. They are awesome! They aren't in our ward so we had to get permission from Pres to go. We ate super good food and they even had cinnamon rolls! We acted out the story of Nephi building a ship for them and then sang "Nephi's Courage" and "We Will Bring the World His Truth." The spirit was so strong and I felt so happy that night. Every time I sing "We Will Bring the World His Truth" it really hits me because that is exactly what I am doing right now! As a missionary I am proclaiming the gospel to Korea and bringing them the truth. Brother Cho had told us there were some basketball courts down by the river so I was pretty excited about that! So after dinner my companion and I went down there to look for them and guess what? We found them! I was so excited they have like 4 full size courts so yeah it is pretty sweet. When we got there we saw some kids playing and I felt like we should go join them so we did for a little. We ended up scheduling an appointment to meet with them again and play Thursday night. 
    Tuesday we had our Chuseok Mission Wide Conference so everyone in my mission came. It was so much fun and was nice to see all my buddies. I thought it wasn't going to be fun and that we were just going to listen to people speak the whole time but I was wrong. When we got there we all sang the mission hymn to start off the conference. Then President Morrise's Mission President taught us about Korean culture and the celebration of Chuseok. His name was Pres. Han, he is the first native Korean Mission President ever in Korea. After a few more things we had lunch and it was delicious. They had all the good stuff. Meat, rice, fruit, you name it! I sure was full after that meal. After lunch we had a mission possible activity where we went around asking Koreans about Chuseok and telling them about our free Family English program. We picked up trash and did a little service project as well. Then the best part happened! We went to a park to proselyte and talk about all the stuff we were assigned to do but then I saw a big Korean kid I had seen earlier that day playing basketball all by himself. I said to myself, "A Korean should never play basketball alone, that is sad," so I went over and joined him. The three Elders I was with also jumped in to play and since the numbers were uneven another guy asked if he could join so we let him to make it 3 on 3. Playing ball in church clothes is a little hard but I was able to manage. I even managed to still be able to throw it down so now everyone that saw thinks I am going to the NBA haha. When we were playing I ran after a loose ball and ended up taking out a kid on a bike. :( I didn't even see him until I was sprawled out over the top of his bike and he was on the ground a few feet away. Luckily the kid was really tough and got right up. I gave him a high five and said sorry. He was all happy and not mad so maybe it made his day to get hit by a big friendly American dude who knows? After playing we went back to the church and prepared then performed a skit as a zone to report our result from the activity and how we found success. I had the genius idea to make it Star Trek themed because my name is Picard and it worked out so well. Everyone agreed and our skit was definitely the best! I will try and get a video of it and send it to you all so you can see it. Everyone refers to me as Captain now so that's pretty cool. After the skits we had a talent show. During the middle of it we had dinner then finished off the rest of it. Elder Hastriter and I sang a song In Korean about 바지 or pants that we wrote so that was pretty funny. The talent show went late so we didn't get home until like 10:45
     On Thursday we went to get my Alien card thing so I wouldn't get arrested for not having one and sent to Korean prison haha. They told us we had to go to a different place to get it so we just went the next day to the other place. After that we went street boarding and got over 500 people to put a sticker on it. The whole point of street boarding is to associate with Gangnam and let them know we teach free English. That night we went to our basketball appointment and to our astonishment the kids we scheduled it with didn't show up. There were some other people there so we just played with them instead. Next time we do it we are going to start with a prayer and share a little message because we forget to last time. We ran home from basketball to get home on time and picked up a snack on the way home. 
      Friday we got my card and had to wait 4 hours! After that I ate a kim bap for lunch and it was yummy. After studies I did laundry and made dinner. While I was reading in Mosiah 27 I realized I need to be as Alma and the sons of Mosiah after God smote them and they became such amazing missionaries. I need to bring about the knowledge of Christ to Korea, that is my job. Also while doing this I need to publish peace, good tidings of good, and declare unto Hanguk that the Lord reigneth. 
       Everyday it gets harder and harder to wake up on time because missionary work is sooo tiring. I honestly am tired all of the time and don't know how my trainer has so much energy after doing this for a year and a half! Its crazy! I memorized all the phrases from our 12 week study book for the first lesson. I can see as I learn more vocab I can memorize the sentences faster. I think I am progressing well so that's good. Patience is key in learning this language but it is so hard to not get impatient haha. A member named Max took us out for dinner and we had a good time. 
        It has been hard not to think about home and my future lately and focus 100% on my mission. A lot of discouragement comes about on the daily as well. It just makes me mad sometimes that I can't understand what it going on around me. I'm a missionary after all though and a Picard so I can work through it! I still have a long ways to go and a lot of growing up to do but that will come. It all just takes time and I don't like having to wait haha. After my mission I probably will be the best waiter guy there ever was! 
         Yesterday was a great Sabbath day! This group of 3 Japanese guys and 1 Australian lady came to visit our church yesterday. They are in Korea for 2 years studying religion. So we taught them about our church and everything. They all spoke Korean so I was pretty helpless haha. It was good though. They said they felt something they have never felt at other church so who knows maybe we will hear from them again. I got called on to say a prayer in front of all of them so that was pretty scary but turns out I did a good job. The 2nd Counselor in the Bishopric invited all of the missionaries over for dinner at his house and it was by far the best dinner I have had yet! They had bulgogi, chop suey, rice, shrimp, salad, spicy meat stuff, noodles, and some other things I don't know. For dessert we had cheesecake from Costco and a sweet potato cake the wife made. It was very yummy. Both his kids are less active. His son likes basketball so I am hoping I will be able to fellowship him using that and get him back to church. 
         We got a referral from another missionary in a different zone and we are meeting with him today so hopefully our appointment goes well and we follow the Spirit best we can. Well anyways Korea is great and I love my family so much!!! (Hyeting) In Korean they say this word as like a way to encourage someone say yeah HYETING!

Elder Picard

Monday, September 8, 2014

Week 9 September 8, 2014 "Good food helps with missionary work :)

 Well this week was great! I can slowly see my Korean getting better and I can understand more than last week. The only thing that is frustrating is when I don't understand one bit and am completely lost. Especially when I spark conversations on the street and half the time whoever I'm talking to just goes off and says words or using forms I have never heard before and don't understand. I know I have only been here for a week but I just felt useless and my companion pretty much does all the talking. It has been hard not to get impatient and think I will never learn this language. Everyone in my district has done a great job of encouraging me and lifting me up. I just feel like they were a lot farther than me at this point but to my astonishment they said that I'm way farther than they were. That was nice to hear, now I just have to stop worrying. Missionary work is sooo tiring and during studies it is hard not to fall asleep. I think I am getting better at staying awake but man it is hard! Especially in meetings where I have no idea what is going on because I don't understand. It is just time to suck it up I guess and go to work. Who cares if I'm tired, hungry, or whatever I'm not here for me. The Korean people need me so I have to find those looking for God. I must find all the Lord's lost sheep no matter how long it takes.
   You know how I was telling you about the bathhouse I was going to after I was done emailing last week? Well I went and it was extremely weird at first because I was surrounded by a bunch of naked old dudes that kept looking at me like they had never seen a big white dude before haha. A bathhouse is pretty much a giant spa for men. They have saunas, hot tubs, and cold baths. My companion got a massage because he is crazy and was having back pains. Then he tried to make me get one but I didn't want to. I finally agreed to get this thing where they scrape off all of your dead skin so he would stop bugging me. I'm never doing that again... it hurt like crazy and wasn't relaxing. Afterwards it was time for dinner! We went to this place and I had this crispy cheesy pork with rice and veggies. It was pretty yummy. Then we went and got me some herbal life I can take as meal replacement for breakfast and dinner to save money. Lastly we went street boarding on Gangnam Daero which is like the main street of Gangnam so there is always a ton of people walking around. A big american dude holding a board attracts so much attention! We worked really hard so on the way home we got some ice cream. 

   On Tuesday we had mission tour. It was good but super long so I kept drifting off. We pretty much just sat there and listened to talks for 4 hours. The part that was super cool was that Elder Aoyagi, a member of the area 70 in Japan. He spoke on the joy we can find through missionary work and the fact that I'm here to help others. The Lord will direct and bless me if I am obedient. I need the spirit to be successful and I must be willing to give up everything to this work. If I pray to God in faith he will help me and I will master Korean. President Morrise talked about not being prideful and foolish because pride is a monster. Don't let humility disguise itself as pride. Don't ever say "it's ok" or "it's not a big deal" to things I know I shouldn't do because that is pretty much telling the Holy Ghost to get lost. I need to be peaceful not angry. I can't justify anger so I need to work on ways to avoid anger and steer towards happiness. For lunch we went to a Korean restaurant and had some soup. Sitting on the floor while eating is weird and I need to get more flexible. At night we had english class and it went really well. We teach free English to Koreans on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
  One of the ward members took us to a really expensive Brazilian grill and man how I have missed steak and other delicious meats! We had the idea to use basketball to teach but there aren't many places in Gangnam to go play. We went to the Nike store and got come contacts but haven't been able to set anything up yet. We had Zone meeting this week and I had to introduce myself to the zone in Korean. We ate at Pizza School and I had a half sweet potato/ half bulgogi pizza, it was nummy! They talked about the importance of protecting your companion and how I have to lock my heart for the next 2 years and more things along those lines and the conference. On Saturday we helped a family from the English branch move stuff around their house. The dad works at costco so after we were done moving we ate this delicious chicken pesto pasta from costco. I was in heaven, pasta is the best! English class was ok but only 3 people showed up because this week is Korean Thanksgiving. Everybody leaves the city for it pretty much but we will see how many people we can talk to this week who didn't leave. For dinner we order chicken from this place called Mexi cano. Food here is great! Lastly we went street boarding and talked to over 200 people! Elder Hastriter and I got told we were the most handsome guys these two Korean girls had seen all day so they came and stood next to us to take a selfie haha. Then some crazy drunk dude came over and started yelling around asking us for help to find his gf. He saw we were holding a board with stickers on it and started yelling at everyone to come pick a sticker and put it on the board. Then he starting high fiving every single person that walked by and asked everyone what there name was haha. He thought my companion's name was Elder and told his gf he was here with Elder. Then E. Hastriter took the phone to talk to his gf so she could come find him and take him away. The drunk guy claimed he was from Mexico but he didn't know how to speak Spanish and was utterly confused when I asked him in spanish where he was from. Luckily his gf showed up and they left. On our way back to the house that night we had a really good conversation with this couple and I really felt like they were lost and truly need our help. We gave them our card so hopefully they call :)

  Yesterday was my first fast Sunday in country. I was tired pretty much all day. I bore my testimony at church and I was told I did good which is nice to hear. After church we went home to study and I memorized a lot of sentences that I am required to memorize. We have this program called 12 week and it is a training program on how to begin teaching in Korean. I was pooped after I had memorized all that stuff and fell asleep :( Then I woke up and made myself dinner to break my fast. I fasted for all of my family so hopefully there are blessings coming your way! Being here has been great and I will just have to continue to push on because it will only get harder. I love you all so much! You are the best family one could ask for. The Picards are number 1!

   One more thing, there is no speed limit here in the city so everyone flies!! The other day these 2 Lambos were racing and they were going so fast! I have to constantly watch out for cars. They don't really care that you are a pedestrian so you pretty much just have to watch out. Everyone just does whatever they want here haha. Everyone is super friendly and honest here so it is not scary at all just crazy to see how unregulated everything is. 

   The gospel is true and I am blessed to be a representative of the Lord for the next 2 years!

   Live Long and Prosper! :)
                         Elder "Captain" Daniel Jackson Picard       P.S. Everyone here calls me Captain it is pretty funny and my companion ordered me a tag that says Elder Captain in Korean 

Elder Hastriter and President & Sister Morrise

So many nice cars

My Korean name tag and me in Korea!

They even mis-use Native symbols here, I am a little native boy and definitely don't look like that.

At the Nike store getting contacts.

Hard to get a good picture because cars actually fly here!

Beautiful day in Korea.

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.