Monday, May 25, 2015

Week 46 May 25, 2015 "I can testify that life is hard but that Jesus Christ truly does LOVE us!"

     Well time just keeps flying May is almost over! I am excited but also not that excited because I heard summers here are brutal and I hate sweating! Hopefully I can endure without getting too angry or ripping any heads off because I am so hot. The humidity by far will be the worst part. I could do hot but I have been told that the humidity here makes summers straight brutal. I forgot to take pics of my apartment but I will try and remember to do it so I can send some next week. I may just keep forgetting because it is a mess. My comp and I are the only ones that ever clean the place so that is kind of frustrating. I just can't live in a pig sty because I am so used to a mom that keeps the house so clean. I feel like the mom of the house sometimes because I seem to always be cleaning up after the another elders in my house or asking them politely to clean their dishes haha. We all get along really well in the house and have a great time together. Sometimes it even seems impossible to stop laughing because of all the fun we have. Of course we work too because you can't just have fun on your mission you gotta work too. 

     We met a recent convert this week with a girl that he teaches English too. We all had lunch together and were even able to tell the girl a bit about our church so that was pretty cool. As we were coming home one of the nights this week I talked with this really cool guy on the bus. It was funny how we met and I will now explain that. I was standing on the bus and a guy walked by me and even said "excuse me" so obviously I got out of his way. It at first was really strange  because it took me a sec to realize that he just had spoken English too me. Adding to the fact of him speaking English he even said "excuse me" and that never happens in Korea people just push their way right on through. As I stood there I decided to talk to him even though he had headphones in. I greeted him in Korea and then he asked me "why are you speaking Korean?" haha so then I just switched into English. He teaches English at a school here so he was really good. We had a good conversation and he seemed to be a little interested in the church so I gave him my card as I got off the train. So yeah that was just the meeting him part I will explain the miracle later. 

      We went to the old ward mission leaders' house this week and man does he have quite the character. He was super funny! It was later at night so we all just had a little bit of soup. All the elders came and for the message we just had a testimony meeting. As we left the house the old ward mission leader gave us hugs and even kissed us all on the cheek! Since you can't receive a kiss and not give one back we all kissed him on the cheek too. He was telling us the way he showed love for his comp on his mission was by kissing him on the cheek and giving him spankings haha. I am not sure I will start that and express my love in that way but I guess we will see. We got to go to the temple this week and my comp and I did initiatories. The workers were really cool and a few of them spoke English so it was 50/50 Korean and English. One of the guys asked me if I understood Korean and then switched to Korean on me for practice. I could pick out a few words and understand a lot more than I thought I would be able to so that was really cool. After temple we went to 영등포 after we went to Costco to play basketball. We showed up at the building and the elders of that area were there to tell us that we couldn't play because their bishop didn't want people using the building if the elders of that building weren't present. Good thing we had a bunch of Koreans there to save the day. They called the bishop and we ending up being able to play. We played for a while and had a blast. 

      I ate something not even that spicy this week for dinner but it sure did come back to haunt me during our meeting with the ward mission leader. Turns out my tummy does not like spicy food. I got up and ran to the bathroom during the meeting and when I arrived into the bathroom it happened. It felt like I had a little goblin in my stomach trying to stab its way out the pain was brutal. I ended up having to have my comp go to the pharmacy with a man from our ward to get me some medicine because the pain was so bad. The bus ride home was the worst and once I got off the bus it was a straight sprint to the house... In all that pain on the bus I looked to my left and saw the man I had met earlier in the week!!! He had not called us and I was wishing I got his number. My comp talked because I was in so much pain. We got his number and it seems like he will come to church with us next week. Even in pain you can experience miracles! It was such a cool experience. 

      One of our investigators, 배성호, came to church yesterday with us so that was really cool. He is a way solid dude and has so much potential. My comp has even talked to him about baptism before and he is so concerned about it and doesn't want to do it unworthily. He truly does care and really is searching for truth. I hope my comp and I can continue to help him out. Last night we had dinner with a member and they even had beef steak there so I was in heaven. The dad kept saying to me in English "beef steak eat a lot" so of course I didn't hesitate. The message I want to end on is something I learned this week during personal study. I was reading in the Book of Mormon manual I have after I read the actual book of Mormon and it talked about why Christ even coming to this Earth was a true act of love. If you think about it Christ was in heaven with God living in all glory and power. Then accepting His Fathers' will he agreed and entered this world through His mother Mary. He went from all power to having to be 100% dependent on Mary and Joseph, His earthy parents, to nurture and look after him. Adding to that instead of being showered by jewels and all wealth He was born in a stable!! What an act of love!!! I can testify that life is hard but that Jesus Christ truly does LOVE us and did what He did because of the LOVE He has for us!!! 

Elder Picard

He didn't send any pictures this week so I thought I would send a blast from the past. This is his artistic impression of Captain Underpants which I thought was appropriate since he keeps talking about his "tummy" issues with the food lately.  He has always added lots of laughter to our home.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Week 45 May 18, 2015 "My first week in Incheon"

    So I loved talking to you all last week, it was the best!! My new area is sweet and my new comp is super cool. His name is Elder Ely and he is from Georgia. My new ward is called the 청라 ward and it is a great ward! Everyone is super cool and the ward missionary leader is awesome. We had our first district meeting and missionary meeting this week and they both went really well. Our district has 10 missionaries in it so it is pretty big. During missionary meeting I was making the ward mission leader laugh his head off and he was loving it. I learned some dialect from Busan that not to many foreign people know and for some reason when I use that dialect the Koreans cant not laugh. Then I told the ward missionary leader he could become an apostle because he is so awesome and he thought that was pretty funny. My new house has 2 floors!!! It is the coolest house ever. I will take some pics to send next week or later on I just forgot to take some this past week. It is on main floor but then it has a loft where we all sleep. It also has 2 bathrooms and is way bigger than both the other houses I have lived in so I am in heaven and hope I stay here for a long time. 

     Before I left Siheung I had to say good bye to all of my buddies. I got 3 meals the day before I left so man was I stuffed. Siheung was a good place and I learned a lot there. My comp and I weren't always on the same page but it was good. Serving is the country definitely wasn't my favorite but it was something different that I needed. My new house has 6 in it and we all get along great so it is a blast! One of the older missionaries in the house, Elder Dewey, is training and the Elder he is training is a Mexican! Woo hoo!!! My prayers have been answered I get to serve with an amigo in my district! He speaks Spanish so sometimes he will speak to me in Spanish so that is pretty fun. He is also super funny so it just makes it better much better. 

      Out of nowhere this week my body just went whack and my stomach was trashed. We had service that day at an old people home and the whole bus ride to the place I felt like I was going to throw up... When we got to the service I was still just feeling like poo but decided to just fight it out instead of going home. I told some of the ladies there who were cooking with us for the old people and then one of them had me sit down. When I sat down she grabbed my hand and squeezed some pressure points super hard and then gave me a massage. I don't know how it was supposed to work but it really didn't do much. They hard someone go buy me medicine and the person who did brought back two bottles of I don't know what haha. I drank them and they didn't do too much but I couldn't go number "2" for the next few days so if that was what the medicine was supposed to do to me it worked. My tummy lately has just been kind of funky and pretty much rejects and or doesn't like a lot of what I eat. I don't know for sure what is wrong with it but it is common is Korea for your tummy to get funky so I don't think it is anything that bad. 

      We met an investigator named 강문선 who supposedly recently has had more English interest lately but when we met her we were able to talk about the Book of Mormon. It went well and was a pretty good meeting. This area has an English class that isn't just old people so that is awesome and I was stoked to have a super awesome English class. We don't teach every week but it still should be fun. We have a boy getting baptized in a few weeks whose parents are both members but he is older than 8 so they had to teach him all of the lessons and this past week we went to their house to do his interview. Elder Dewey interviewed but we all went to the members house and while we were waiting I was sitting there with the other Elders and the parents talking and because Elder Corona is a greenie he was super lost. It was kind of fun because he kept asking me what everyone was saying and I was able to translate. It made me think back to when I was being trained and in those same shoes. I guess my Korean has improved and I can understand more and more over time so that's good. 

     We were riding the bus this past week and I almost punched a girl straight in the face by accident. I was telling all the Elders a story and during the story I swung my arm showing an action of what happened in the story and this girl comes out of nowhere. I didn't even see her and wouldn't have swung if I did. My comp was sitting by a guy from the Philippines who saw what happened and he along with everyone else was laughing so hard. Then right after that I accidentally lead Elder Corona into the girls bathroom. He had to pee really bad the whole bus ride and as soon as we got off I walked him into a building and sent him into the first bathroom I saw. The door was open and I didn't see the sign but as soon as he got in the bathroom and was going I noticed that it was the woman's bathroom. Then some lady comes walking out of the stall and kind of freaks out but man was it so hard not to laugh. We had some many laughs that day it was crazy. We had a boss meal last night at the ward missionary leader's house and since I said during sacrament meeting that I was a 식신 which means "God of food" I had to eat a lot! I was so stuffed but the food was tasty so I wasn't complaining. 

     Well that is enough on what I did. To end this email I want to share something I learned this week. I was reading somewhere on hard times and why we have them. You can look at it from the aspect that just like a gardner who wants his plants to grow to what they are supposed to become. If those plants grow into something besides that he will chop them down and wait for them to grow again. God likewise does this to us. He cuts us down and gives us hard times because He loves us and knows our potential. He knows the beautiful plant that we are supposed turn into and won't accept anything but that. 

Elder Picard
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My new companion, Elder Ely from Georgia.
My new area, love the city!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Week 44 May 11, 2015 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”—Phillipians 4:13

    Happy Mother's Day Mom!!!!!! You are the best. I am so lucky to have such a great family and THE BEST mama ever! I loved being able to talk to all of you over the phone for Mother's Day, it was great. Now I just have to wait till Christmas which will probably come before I know it. Well we got transfer calls and I am going to a new area! My new companion's name is Elder Ely and I will go exchange and get him Wednesday. My new area is call Gajeong and it is in the city of Incheon. I look forward to going back to a city because country is alright and all but I think I like the city more because there is more people to talk to. My new house in Gajeong is the biggest house in the mission so I am pretty stoked about that!! Also everyone in the house is way cool and they all love sports so it will be a blast! 

    Well with the combination of wards and all we got a new building like I said and it is way nice. Since we have such a nice new building missionaries are always there now to do tours and stuff. The stake president wants 4 missionaries there everyday so we have a rotation and did it on Tuesday this past week. We pretty much just became visitor center missionaries for a day. It was awesome because we were actually able to get like 4 people in, have good conversations with them, and give them a tour of the church. The way we got them in was we just stood outside the church and asking people if the wanted to see our church. We also did some proselyting around a park close by and on the intersection by the church. It was a way cool experience and I really enjoyed it. One girl in particular came by that I felt impressed to say hello to actually was curious about our church and asked me why I was speaking Korean to her haha. She spoke English well and we took her inside and were able to talk about the Book of Mormon and how our church is different. Another guy we gave a tour was a guy we saw on Sunday and then saw him again. He is a seventh day adventist and really respects our church. He even said a while ago he met with missionaries and taught them Korean. He was an old guy but spoke English super well. Maybe E. Willy and his new comp will be able to meet all those people that would be cool.

    I got to go to the temple again so that was great like always! We had Zone training this week and that was really good. We have like 5 missionaries going home in our zone that gave their farewells and they were all really good. They had lots of good advice that I for sure will apply to my mission so that it can be that much better! Elder Bodily talked again on the fact that we need to find it in ourselves to be happy during the hard times because it is during those times that we grow the most. I think this can apply to life as well and not just a mission. Missions are hard but life is too. God gives us trials so that we can learn and grow but not to completely destroy us. We are only given things we can handle and God knows what those things are. Worry can also come into the picture but honestly if we are doing all we can to improve and better ourselves there should be nothing to worry about. Not only the lost sheep are the ones that Jesus helps, He helps all of us! He will carry all of us through our hard times and with Jesus Christ and His help there is NO reason to worry. I have struggled with this a lot on my mission but I am going to stop wasting countless energy on this and use that energy on something that matters other than worrying. I want to end with a scripture that is just great. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”—Phillipians 4:13

Elder Dj Picard
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You HAVE to watch this movie. Some fun trivia, this was Angie's (Elder Picards Mom) first 45 record she ever bought and her 4th grade teacher Mrs. Burnham would let the kids rock out to it occasionally, great memories!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Week 43 May 4, 2015 "May the 4th be with you"

Happy early Mother's Day Mom, you are the best!!!!! Well down in the books goes my first full week of being 20 years old. It doesn't really feel like I am 20 or anything at all. I mean I still don't have facial hair or chest hair so I still feel like a little kid in appearance haha. This past week was a good one and was filled with lots of fun activities. For my birthday last week my comp and I went bowling for 3 hours and that was a lot more tiring then I thought it would be. After that 2 of our LA buddies took us out to dinner at this really good buffet. Then of course we had to get Baskin and Robbins for desert because you only turn 20 once after all. I am coming up on my year mark too so I think it is time that I buckle down and work as hard as I can. Not saying that I haven't been working but I mean you can always work harder. Missions constantly push you in lots of different ways so there is always some way you can improve yourself. I read in PMG this week that your attitude determines pretty much everything. Most of all it determines how much you love the Lord. When I read that it really made me think and realize that a lot of the time my attitude isn't the best. It is really easy to get a selfish and or angry attitude for me so I think I found something I can improve on. My whole life I have had a bad attitude sometimes and I would love to be able to be sitting on the plane on the way home from my mission and be able to say that my attitude changed to a good one. So yeah attitude I realized is way more important than I thought.

    We had Zone Conference this week and it was really fun. We went to a really cool island and our leaders gave us some of the trainings at a park until it started raining and we had to go back to the church. All of the trainings were way good but I personally liked President's. He hit on a lot of good things. He said that we all need to quit with sarcasm, back biting, and complaining. Instead of doing these things he said we need to compliment others, smile, and just be happy. I do tend to have a lot of negative energy for no reason and there really is no reason for that. Being happy is a lot more fun than being angry for sure. A scripture that has become one of my favorite scriptures is Proverbs 16:32 and I would suggest that you all check it out because it is a good one :) The times I get angry I read this and it really helps me straighten up. When you are angry it doesn't help anyone but when you are happy you can BRIGHTEN someone's day! At Zone Conference we did this 7 min workout competition and I beat President so yeah I am pretty boss. Not really though because beating a 60 year old man isn't saying much haha that is what President told me after I jokingly was bragging haha. 

    I went on an exchange with the ZL's this week and got to go with Elder Bodily again. He came to Siheung for the exchange and we just had a blast together. He was trained here so we actually got to teach one of his old investigators so that was cool. Also we taught Alex, Kevin, and their family again and just had another way solid lesson. Elder Bodily was super stoked after the lesson and said I was lucky to be teaching such a prepared family. They really are a great family and I am lucky to be teaching them. Elder Bodily goes home in a week or so and we were able to have some more good talks on the mission and he was able to give me some more tips. One thing I really like that he told me was that I need to find a way to be happy during the hard times and not let them get me down. The reason for being happy during the hard times is because it is during the hard times that we learn. I mean if we never had hard times and life was a piece of cake we would never learn. He said missions aren't supposed to be easy they are instead supposed to be hard and change you into a better person so he told me to just let the mission do its thing and not worry. I passed off Lesson 4 in TIP to Elder Bodily so now I only have 1 more lesson left then the AP pass off left. We had a really cool miracle this week and ran into this guy on the street who invited us to go eat with him. We were able to give him a Book of Mormon and he said he wants to meet again so that was really cool. 

   Recently I have been really tired so if any of you that went through a similar problem during your mission have any tips on how I can overcome being tired please let me know. Well we have transfer calls this weekend so we will see if I leave Siheung or what happens. It is crazy to think next transfer will be my 7th transfer!! 

Elder Picard
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