Monday, March 30, 2015

Week 38 March 30, 2015 "Happy Birthday EJ!"

   We got transfer calls yesterday but nothing happened to our house and everyone is staying the same except we have to fit two more Elders in our tiny house. Now we will have six Elders in our Siheung house and let me tell you the house barely fits four so man is having six not going to be fun at all. Super crammed and we will be walking on each other toes! haha. I guess we will just have to figure it out though. The good thing is they will only be in our house for a few weeks while their house is getting remodeled. This next transfer will be my second with Elder Willy and my sixth in the mission field. Then before I know it I will hit my mission year mark at the end of next transfer! When I hit my year mark Elder Willy goes home so that is pretty crazy. If I go three with him I will end up killing him which would be the first time I have killed a companion. By the way "kill" in mission terms just means that you are your companions last comp before he goes home. This week for sure was a week full of miracles and was one NEAT week! I like change so when nothing changed with transfer calls I was a little frustrated but then I just realized I can't change anything and that it is all in the Lord's will anyways. 

    First off Monday night I got a call from the 계산 sisters. Sounds kind of strange that the sisters were calling me from a different zone and all but I promise it was for a good reason haha. They called and said that they met a man on the subway who had previously received a name card from me. Also that while they were on the subway they saw him pull out my card and look up our church website! He still hasn't called me but the fact of someone using my card and not just throwing it away was way cool! If the sisters wouldn't have called I would have never known too. With that experience I learned that I just need to work hard all the time and do my part and miracles will happen. The Lord controls what happens and it is my job to initiate and take the first step so miracles can happen. You never truly know what a simple hi or giving someone your name card can do in the long run. This week I went to the gym that our investigator owns and lifted a few times. It is just really hard to get up early and still have energy throughout the day. The man who owns the gym is Mr. Kim. We met Mr. Kim this week with his daughter Lucy and taught them English. They are doing the 30/30 program where we teach 30 min English and 30 min gospel so we got to share a message with them too. We shared a message on God and prayer and there was a really sweet spirit in the room as we taught. They both are just really good people and I love teaching them both. After we got done teaching them Mr. Kim wanted to take us out for dinner. We ate chicken and let me tell you chicken here in Korea is waaaayyy better than any place in America you can find chicken! Korean chicken is bomb! 

    So our mission is doing this 40 day fast thing where for 40 days at least one set of missionaries will be fasting every single day. This week we had our turn and let me tell you that fast brought some crazy miracles! On Thursday we were just out walking through this park called 비둘기 공원 and not much was happened we talked to some people and placed a few name cards but nothing that cool. Then it happened! As we were walking by this basketball court we saw this guy just about to start a little basketball camp thing and my comp asked if I wanted to talk to him. I was way tired with the fast and all but said yeah sure why not. So we started walking towards him and he saw us and got this big grin on his face and said hey I know you, you are Mormon missionaries! We of course said yeah we are. Then he said that he used to hang out with missionaries all the time and took the lessons 3 years ago! The crazy part was the missionaries who he used to hang out with a lot happen to be missionaries I know, Elder Dooley and Elder Chapman! I have never met Dooley but I did meet Chapman when I went to Dj Doman's house before my mission to talk about Korean with a bunch of his buddies that served in Korea. Then Dooley is a kid that Ej knows from college who I talked to a bit about Korea before I left as well! I guess it is a small world after all. He told us his English name was Tom but I think Dooley calls him Jeff from what he told me. Well anyways Tom told us that he wants to meet us every week, play bball, and learn about our church again! Later that night we met a LA who knew all of the same guys that were in the field when Doman was so that was pretty crazy. The LA's name is 백향준. On Friday we met that LA and Tom! That LA was a bit crazy and was telling us to like email our families and break the rules but we didn't. He must not of ever been told the rules or something. We ate lunch with him but he said he got baptized mainly just because he liked the missionaries so looks like we have some work to do. When we met Tom we did his bball camp with these two grade school kids and it was pretty fun. Tom is pretty good at bball and is going to America soon because he has the ultimate goal of playing in the NBA. We had a good talk with him after balling and I shared a little bit from the Book of Mormon. I showed him Moroni's promise and committed him to read 3 Ne 11 about Jesus coming to the Americas because I felt it just fit well with Easter next week and all. Tom is awesome and is my new best friend! 

    On Saturday we used the #BecauseHeLives initiate cards a lot and had some really good success with having people look up the video and showing them. We went around and showed it to all of our buddies here in Siheung that have there own little businesses. We showed the video then we would bare testimony and every time we shared it the spirit was way strong! One man, our bike shop guy friend, even teared up a bit. Yesterday after church we walked past this guy we have met before and he said hi. After we were done talking to him I heard another man say hi from a distance and turned my head to see a guy sitting out in front of a little convenient store smoking and with a beer sitting in front of him. We walked over to talk to him and sure enough he has been looking for someone to help him get over smoking and drinking. He wasn't drunk at the time we walked to him and he said he wanted to believe is Jesus and quit smoking and drinking. Also that he has been wanting to quit but that no one will help him and that people just see him as a drunk. We testified that we could help and that through Jesus Christ and His Atonement he can overcome his addiction. We are meeting that man tonight so I sure hope we can help him and bring happiness into his life. Well I think that is enough email for this week haha. I know that Jesus Christ lives and that He is by our sides helping us through all of our trials! Even if we don't think he is there or that we are too unworthy for Him to be there I can testify that He is there! Like it promises in Isaiah 41:13 "For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee." I too promise that He will help you because He loves EVERY single one of His children! Now go out and share the #BecauseHeLives video with someone and blow up social media with it as well. 

Elder Picard

No pictures this week, hopefully next week he sends a million :)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Week 37 March 23, 2015 No longer a "greenie"

    It is crazy how fast this past transfer went by. We get transfer calls on Sunday so this is the last week of my 5th transfer! I am slowly turning into an "old missionary" now and can't be labeled a "greenie" anymore so I am pretty excited about that. My companion right now only has 2 transfers left after this one so my prediction is that I will leave and he will train to the death. I did although just get to Siheung so who knows what will happen? I definitely don't know but it is all in the Lord's hands and whatever happens is what is supposed to happen. My companion and I struggled a bit this week in our relationship but I was able to learn a lot from our disagreements and we managed to get over it. We still don't a lot of the times see eye to eye but that is just something that will happen and that we have to work through. I am so lucky that all my companions have been way hard workers and have pushed me. I mean I still have a loooong ways to go before I can say I have become a "consecrated missionary" but with time I believe I can get there. I still lately have been way tired and it is super hard to stay awake sometimes. So I am not sure how I will get over that because even when I get up and do all the things I am supposed to, I am still tired! I sleep good at night so I don't know what it is haha. Probably just a hard thing I will have to somehow master being out here on my mission. Well I am officially not from Washington anymore :( I am just the typical Utah boy Mormon missionary now. It is going to be like just another transfer when I come home to a different place then where I left from because I won't know anything about the area, have no investigators, etc. haha. 

     We got to play bball with a potential this week so that was pretty ballin'! We played with a guy that owns his own little restaurant and we met him by eating at his restaurant. We only had 3 people so I had to take my comp and our friend 2 on 1 but don't worry I still beat them. I still somewhat can ball but for sure need to start playing it more so that when I get home my old man can't beat me ;) Dad you might still get me on the jump shots but I will just make you run around and get tired haha. We played horse too and I tried to do a trick shot from the top of a playground set thing but could never hit it. While I was over there a bunch of little kindergarten age kids came up to me and were trying to talk to me saying "are you a foreigner? where are you from? etc" just like all kids say when they see me. I said I was Korean and they were like woah haha. I think they were on like a field trip to the park or something because they had a supervisor there. I somehow made them think that I wanted to play tag so then I was chased around the playground by like 20 screaming little Korean kids and man was I scared. Then the supervisor lady said it was dangerous and called all the little kids over and they stopped chasing me. My comp jokingly said "nice, way to be a good example" but hey it wasn't my fault they just started chasing me. After playing bball we went to lunch with our buddy and got some Japanese food. This week we met Mr. Kim and his daughter Lucy at the Gym he owns. We just randomly met this guy through me being my curious self and wanting to walk into a Gym and see how much it costs. Mr. Kim at first seemed to only have English interest for his daughter but after meeting then we could both tell that he has a really good heart and may have slight gospel interest. We taught them both English and were able to share a message about prayer too. Mr. Kim told us we could come to his Gym anytime too. So I was pretty stoked about that and the blessing of being able to work out at a Gym for free! We just have to get up earlier than usual to go so it is pretty hard sometimes but have gone a few times. 

     This week we met our investigator 김기준 and ate dog with him. While we were eating with him he ordered a beer and we didn't know what to do so we let him drink it and then everything went south from there... He has struggled with alcohol every since my comp met him 4 months ago and we have been trying to help him but idk. He doesn't have a job right now and is pretty old so his life just isn't the best at the moment. We ended up having to walk him home because he was so drunk and even carry him part of the way. He even tried to go to the bathroom on the street but we didn't let him and found a bathroom. So that was a pretty crazy night to say the least. We had to drop him because we both felt we couldn't do anything more for him. He didn't keep our commitments and was kind of just meeting us without putting forth work on his side. So hopefully in the future we will be able to help him more but at the time being all we can do is pray for him. 

    I got to go to the Temple this week so that was awesome! After temple we went to this mega buffet that literally had every kind of food you could think of for a missionaries' last hoorah that goes home next week. Yesterday the other Elders had a baptism so that was way cool to witness! It was my first one that I have seen on my mission and the spirit was way strong during it. I am just so blessed to be apart of this church and it is incredible how all around the world the wonderful ordinance of baptism is being performed in the same manner that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was baptized in. I will continue to push on with this mission thing and do my best so don't worry about me. I love you all so much! 

Elder Picard

Eating dog in Korea

Mega Buffet

Monday, March 16, 2015

Week 36 March 16, 2015 "More miracles in Korea"

    To start off the week Elder Willy and I went hiking for P-Day! It wasn't much of a mountain more of just a big hill but it was still pretty fun. Well it was a Korea mountain so for sure not as big as ones in Utah or Washington. I definitely am not in basketball season shape anymore because when I got to the top of that mountain I was pretty gassed. On the way to the top we ran into a lot of interesting things. For example we found this weight room like a literal outdoor weight room, it was the coolest thing. So of course we had to lift a bit before continuing to ascend up the mountain. We talked to a lot of funny old dudes while lifting and they were pretty confused on the fact of why 2 Americans were there. We started to walk back up and ran into this buddhist shire, which was pretty much just a rock, and this guy was singing and playing this instrument. It was kind of strange but also interesting. While passing by the "sacred" rock this really friendly and loud lady came up to us and told us we were good people. She said we were doing a good job as missionary but then wanted us to worship the rock and we were like nah that's okay. As we were leaving she told us to come back anytime and gave us a chocolate bar! So it was for sure a strange experience but hey we each got a free chocolate bar out of it! This week I get to go to the temple so of course I am pretty excited for that because going to the temple is the BEST! The only thing bad about temple week is you don't have P-Day Monday, so the whole day of Monday, my body is like hey isn't it P-Day why are you working hard? haha. Not that I don't do missionary work on P-Day if I get the chance but I think you know what I am trying to say. We still email Monday so that is why I am emailing right now so mom I am not being disobedient haha. 

    This week we went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders and that was pretty fun. I went to 화곡 with Elder Bodily and we straight balled out together. While we were out proselyting we had so many miracles happen. God was just sending people our way to talk to. We literally got 3 numbers in like 10 minutes. First we talked to this old guy who asked us a lot of questions and went off on Christianity and how see saw it. We attempted to try and answer his questions best we could so hopefully we did. He gave us his number so hopefully the ZLs can start meeting him. Then after talking to him we ran into this middle aged man that we had previously said hello to again. I thought we needed to talk to him again so we did. He said he was on his way to a mental hospital and surprisingly spoke really good English! He was the nicest dude and was way funny. He said hey aren't you guys Mormons and we said yeah. Then he said my mom told me about you and we said yeah what did she say about us and he simply responded that his mom said "Be careful." haha. So yeah that was pretty funny to hear and we told him that we were nice guys and he thought so too so that's good. He told us that he was Christian and we said that's great. He was a bit curious about are religion and gave us his number too. He told us he was bipolar and schizophrenic so that could be a problem... but idk. Then after talking with that really nice kid we ran into another guy who said he met missionary like 20 years ago or something crazy like that. He was in a hurry but then we chased him down and got his number because if he hasn't met missionaries for a while he probably still has questions about the church. For dinner a LA in the ward told us to go to this chicken place and that she would cover the tab so we got free chicken woo hoo! The English class over there was way funny and they all loved me. They asked if I would be there again and I said not for a while because it wasn't my actual area and they were all pretty sad to hear that. One guy even said that I have to come back so he can buy me dinner. This guy was a straight baller. He was pretty old but was rocking some Kevin Durant basketball shoes! After English class the same lady that paid for chicken took us out to get ice cream because during English I said something about liking ice cream. We go to this little mart and she grabbed two baskets and just started filling them with ice cream. She even got us M&Ms too like 10 packs of peanut ones. We told here it was fine and that she didn't have to buy that much but she did anyway. She ended up dropping like 40 bucks total! I found out from E. Bodily when we got home that she is way rich so I could kind of understand why she did that. Either that or I just attract food and people that want to pay for me haha. We ate so much ice cream that night and couldn't get anywhere close to finishing it all. 

      We met the guy that took us out the other week for dinner at his bike shop to teach his kid English and share a message. His son is so cute and couldn't really focus that well and was hard to teach. The guy, 손정수, was working on a bike but his gf was there and Elder Willy ended up teaching her about families and prayer while I kept the little guy entertained by throwing paper airplanes with him. We ended up being able to leave them with a prayer and just had a good time. We both have good feelings about that family and hope we can continue to teach them. We met this guy from Bangladesh at a cafe that is one of E. Willy's friends. We also went to the park and when we were walking through the park we ran into some dudes playing basketball and joined so that was pretty fun. Well some more stuff happened but I don't have enough time sorry. 

      This morning during personal study I had a really good study. I will end on something spiritual real quick. Well first off this church is true 100%! Immortality is given to all man but Eternal life is something that has to be earned and obtained through the atoning sacrifice of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! One thing that blocks us from receiving this gift is sin. Sin is a roadblock but with the Atonement we can all make it through that roadblock. This being said makes sin the only thing that will hold us back from being able to walk back into the presence of our Heavenly Father clean and worthy to enter His presence. So I don't know about you but I for sure want to receive exaltation and eternal life! It is not going to be easy but nothing is easy. All things take work. I am so grateful for Jesus Christ and all He has done for me. I can't even come close to comprehending all He has done for me but I can have faith in Him in all that I do. I hope that made sense haha. Well anyways I love you all!! 

Elder Picard

Working out in a secret Korea mountain location

What a view!

Ice cream

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Week 35 March 9, 2015 "Miracle on my way to Zone training"

Last P-Day my companion and I had quite the adventure trying to find a Costco we had never been to before. We got a little lost... First off the Costco was out in the middle of nowhere and I mean who puts a Costco out so for with like no bus stops close by. We got there and had to walk a bit to the Costco then when we were going home we couldn't find a bus stop that would take us back towards our house. At this time I had a huge box of groceries I was trying to carrying around so let me tell you it was not the funnest time. We finally found a bus stop and were able to go home so most likely we will not be going out to that Costco ever again. 

     This week we had Zone training and it was my first one here in Gangseo Zone. I was blessed with quite the miracle on my way to Zone training. We had to take two different buses to get to Whagok and one the second bus is where the miracle happened. I got on the bus and noticed there was a seat next to this man who looked to be around college age. I asked him if I could sit there and he said yes so I sat down next to him. After a minute or two I started talking to him and we got a pretty good conversation going. I told him that I was a missionary and my purpose of being here in Korea. He was really nice and accepting to all that I had to say. He even asked me some questions that I was able to answer. I mean I probably didn't answer them that well with the Korean level that I am at but I tried. I stumbled quite a bit on what to say but managed to get through and complete all of my sentences. I am not fluent that's for sure but I definitely felt the spirit and it helped me say what I needed to. I taught him about the Book of Mormon and pretty much ended up teaching the whole first lesson to him. It was about time to get off the bus and I felt impressed to offer him my Book of Mormon so I did and he accepted it! It was the coolest thing someone actually took a Book of Mormon. That for sure doesn't happen too often here so it was really cool. I gave him my name card and committed him to read the Introduction. I am not sure if he will call me back or not but the important thing is that I tried and did the very most I could do at the time. If the Lord is ready for that man to hear the gospel I know he will call me. A lot of times we have to just put our faith in the Lord and let him do the rest. Who knows maybe that man will not call me but 10 years in the future he will call some missionary and be ready to accept the gospel. This experience has taught me the huge importance it is that you just simply open your mouth. That very thing is extremely hard on missions and in life when talking to a stranger but I truly can feel a difference at the times I opened my mouth. I have always loved to talk to people but that doesn't mean for me it is easy to open my mouth sometimes. I just know that everyone needs to hear this gospel so I try as hard as I can to speak to everyone. Don't get me wrong there are some days in fact a lot of days where I just don't talk to people but those days always turn out to be not very happy ones. Not saying just talking makes you happy but talking about the gospel DOES! 

    Since my companion is DL I had to go to some super long 3 hour meeting for all the DL's in the mission. I wasn't too stoked at first but I ended up learning a lot of good stuff. I learned that pride turns off priesthood power and that humility turns it back on. This being said it is very important to never let pride get in the way. Since I am an athlete and all it is very hard not to be prideful. I mean sometimes you are prideful without even knowing it or in the smallest of things but even those things can get in your way. Another really cool thing that I learned was from a talk President Dieter F. Uchtdorf gave. I can't remember the name but he talked about when he was a pilot he had this pen with 4 different colors that he would use. No matter what color he wanted to use at the time the pen would always being accepting and put forth ink. He then related this to the fact of us as God's children being in place of that pen and how important it is that we let the Master (God) do the thinking. Our part in this is to do the work and being accepting to His plan at all times. If we want success in our lives we cant just sit back and not do the work. The Lord has already told us what to do and how to live our lives so now it is our job to live according to His teachings. I know all of this to be true and also that if we let the Lord guide the pen with us as the ink that He can make one spectacular masterpiece!! I love you all so very much. This mission for sure is not easy and is HARD emotionally and physically but I know with the Lord's help that I can DO this!

Elder DJ Picard 

We were out walking in the country and found a horse ranch haha. 
This is a family we are trying to start teaching that we ate the really good three layer bacon with (삼겹살).

 I ate this huge (왕돈까스) which is like a giant slab of pork meat that is fried with breading on it.  

Monday, March 2, 2015

Week 34 March 2, 2015 "He who fears being conquered is sure of defeat."

    Well February is no more and March has begun! Hopefully the season of spring doesn't go by too fast because I hear the summers here are brutal. I can't believe my birthday is next month and I will be 20. I sure am getting old haha. This email will probably be one of my shorter ones because not too much happened this week. I enjoyed all of the pictures I got from baby Olive's blessing and other pictures of the family. My whole family is just so cute! I am not sure how everything is going with the transition of the move but I sure hope that all is well. Hopefully with Dad being by himself in SLC for a bit he isn't eating too many french fries and is keeping himself healthy. He sure does love him some french fries! When the move gets all finalized and you get into our house in SLC you will have to let me know so that I can tell my mission president so he doesn't think my family is still in Spokane haha. Then also it would save me from probably getting ninja kicked when trying to get into our house like on the RM. Things in Korea are going well but the spring weather is still all over the place so I never know when it is going to be cold or not. It is kind of annoying because when it looks nice I go out in just my suit and then it gets cold and when I go out with a coat it is not cold. So maybe I will just have to start flipping a coin to determine whether or not I wear a coat that day. 

    We had interviews with President this week. It was really nice talking to President about mission life and stuff. Talking with him always helps that's for sure. I am lucky to have such a loving mission president that is so willing to help. If I didn't I don't know if I would be able to make it through. I have been reading the Miracle of Forgiveness by Spencer W. Kimball and let me say that book is incredible. You truly know it is a good book if Elder Picard reads it because I am not a reader and if the book keeps me interested then it has got to be good haha. I am slowly starting to enjoy reading more so that's good because after all when I get home I will be a big college boy and will have to read BIG books. Definitely while reading this book I have noticed so many weaknesses I have. It also expounds on meanings of certain things I never knew so it is really cool to learn from it. In particularly this morning I read a part that really hit me. Spencer W. Kimball illustrated a story of a lark who saw a man walk by with a black box. The lark did not know what was in the box so he flew down to ask the man. The man then said that it was a box of worms and all the lark had to do was give the man a feather and the man would give the lark a worm. So of course the lark realizing he had millions of feathers was like sure why not. The lark after eating the worm was very happy and said wow what an easy meal. The lark then flew back up into the tree and happily sang. The man continue to come and the lark continued to pay and get a worm. After a while the lark had no feathers left really to give and could barely even flutter to keep himself in the air for more than a few seconds. The man stop coming for the lark had no more to give. The lark was left ashamed and in a swamp of sorrow. Hopefully that made sense. What Spencer W. Kimball was trying to say is that Satan makes things seem harmless and that sin will be happiness but in the end sin will never bring happiness. I learned a lot from this story and I hope you all can too. 

       This week we met with a group of high schoolers and took them out to dinner. Elder Willy promised some kid dinner and he end up bringing some of his friends so he had to buy them all dinner. They were for sure typical crazy high school kids but we had a good time and were able to talk about God and His importance in our lives. I don't think many of them had too much potential but you honestly never know what effect one simple meeting can have in the long run. A few wards have this soccer thing they put on every Saturday so we got to go play soccer for a few hours and that was fun. We met with a less active and he took us out to a meat buffet. I ate a good amount this week and it brought back memories of how much I got fed in Gangnam. Yesterday the ward had a little BBQ so that was for sure one of the best ways I could of broke my fast yesterday. I am trying to email a lot faster these days so like I said they may get shorter. I would like to end with one quote by the great Napoleon, "He who fears being conquered is sure of defeat." Kind of a harsh quote but it has helped me. There really is no room is us for fear. It for sure is hard not to fear in this life because it is HARD. That is how it is supposed to be though. Life will be hard. We are just so lucky to have a way out of this hard life into happiness. I know this gospel is true and with the help of Jesus Christ we can DO this! He knows our fears and also our weaknesses but He will ALWAYS be there to help us through. 


Elder Daniel Jackson Picard

My new little buddy
I figured I would take pictures of other people eating to change it up a bit.