Monday, September 28, 2015

Week 64 September 28, 2015 Chuseok Holiday Round 2 for me here in Korea!

      Well tomorrow I hit my year and 1 month in country so that is pretty crazy! It is hard to believe in have been here that long. This week felt like forever when I am now looking back on it. This whole week for some reason my tummy hasn't been doing so hot. I have been taking all the pills and everything. I just feel like Korea and being a missionary has rocked my tummy haha.  Overall I eat really healthy. I don't think it is bad enough to have to go see a doctor but I will give it a few weeks and if it doesn't get better I might.

        I had an interview with President this week and he had a lot of really good advice. Like always it was nice to talk to him and get some good advice. He definitely knows what is up and always knows what I need to hear. We proselyted one day this week all day at this huge shopping place called Shinsegae and talked to a lot of people! We are going to have to for sure go there again. We met this foreign couple and it was funny because the girl's last name was Picard with a k "Pickard" and the boy's first name was Daniel. His middle name even started with a "J" so they made my name! haha. After walking around for a while we took a break and got bubble tea. While we were drinking our bubble tea this guy came in there was no one in the cafe so it was just him, the worker girl, and us. After he got his drink he sat down by himself at a table not too far from us. For some odd reason I felt that I should say hi to him so I did. I then eventually asked him to come and sit by us and he did. He spoke English pretty good and has been wanted to practice conversation so he was super happy he got to with us. After he noticed my BofM sitting on the table he asked me about it because he had never seen it before. We then taught him about the BofM and he responded really well to our message. After talking for a while he had to go and before he left he even accepted the BofM and we got his number too!! That was a cool miracle this week that a wanted to share. We are going to contact him again and see if we can start meeting him. 

          We had a two day Chuseok conference and that was really fun. I could talk about it more it detail but I dont have time because it would take forever. We did this cool proselyting activity at Olympic Park for it in Songpa. We learned how to sing the Korean national anthem and then went and sang it as a mission in the park so that was pretty cool. I cant even imagine how shocked everyone in the park was that a bunch of foreigners were singing their national anthem. On the way home from the Chuseok conference I sat down next to this guy on the subway and he proceeded to ask me in English "Are you Mormon?" He turned out to have a friend who was serving a mission in Chile!! The guy studied in England so he spoke English super good and the whole conversation was in English. I had a super good conversation with him and before he got off the train I felt impressed to give him my BofM so I did. I told him that his friend would want him to read it and that his friend would be happy if he read it. He took it along with my name card. I couldn't get his number in time so I am just hoping that he calls.

           What I want to end on today is something that President taught me this week. He shared two scriptures with me (1 Peter 2:20 & 3 Nephi 12:29) and then talked about this importance of learning how to always recognize your faults instead of always blaming others. He talked about how important it was to have the attitude "its my fault" instead of the attitude "it is your fault." At times it may not even be your fault but those are the times where it is all the more important to learn how to take it and say it is your fault. Lets say someone gets made at you and you react in a mad manner as well. You and I both know that if you react in this way nothing good will come out of the situation. Instead think to yourself "did I do something to make the other person angry or upset?" If you think about it odds are you probably did or said something to make that person mad. I still am working on this and I hope in time I can come to notice that it is my fault instead or blaming others. The scriptures President shared with me explain what I just tried a lot better so maybe take a look at those haha. Till next time!!

Elder Picard

Monday, September 21, 2015

Week 63 September 21, 2015 "Families best jam, 21st of September!!!"

     Today marks the day of my families' best jam! I sure do miss dancing and having a good time to that song :( but it is okay because I will be there next year at this time to dance to it! My dancing skills will probably be a little rusty though... I think since I am a Picard and because we are born dancers that my moves will come back pretty quick haha. This coming weekend is Chuseok again so that is pretty exciting. This year we have a two day conference for it so I am guessing it should be pretty fun. I can't believe this will be my last Chuseok, time flies! Next thing I know it will be my last Christmas as a missionary. The Christmas season is the best and I can't wait for cold weather to come. The weather hasn't been too hot lately but the sun is still out and it is still humid. I think come October it should start to cool off so I am pretty excited about that! At night the weather gets nice so that has been quite refreshing. Last pday everyone in my house wanted to go to the zoo so we went. It was my second time at the zoo so it was whatever and nothing special just all the same animals I saw last time. Last time I went to the zoo was back when I was a greenie last September so it was kind of cool going back the same exact time I was there last year. 

     This area didn't have a stickerboard so I made one and we took it out this week. We went out and stickerboarded on Gangnam Daero and talked with a ton of people it was really good. It was the first time I had been back stickerboarding there since last year so it was kind of weird to look back since a few of the missionaries I stickerboarded with last year are already home. We got 3 new English class students out of it so I would say it was pretty effective. While we were boarding we saw a lot of foreigners and talked to a lot of Koreans who lived in America. It is always interesting talking with Koreans in English because you just automatically want to talk to them in Korean. This super nice guy from Australian came up to us and said that we are really good people. He said that he has met a lot of Mormon missionaries in Australian and that they are always the nicest people. He just kind of thanked us for being missionaries and doing a good thing by serving a mission here in Korea so that was super nice to hear and I couldn't help but smile and be happy. 

     We taught Sister Lee again with Brother Choi and we put her on date for November 1 to get baptized!! I am pretty excited because this is the first person I have ever gave a baptismal date to on my mission. She is just the sweetest little old lady and I love teaching her. I really think she will go through on her commitment and get baptized. Since her son is a member we told her that he could even baptize her and she was pretty excited about that. We made a bunch of calls this week because of the party we had on Saturday. We invited a ton of people but only a few came so that was kind of a bummer. On Saturday we had a pizza party at the church where we watched Meet the Mormons. Like I said not a ton of people came out but I think for those that came it was a really good experience. We bought pizza and muffins at Costco and then took a taxi back to the church and we may of bought too much pizza... haha. A lot less people came than I thought would come so we had leftovers and got to take some home. We also got to take muffins home so now our house is full of pizza and muffins haha. My tummy got kind of rocked from eating all that American food so I am kind of taking a break and will just let the other Elders in my house eat all the leftovers. After church yesterday we had Dominoes pizza that a non member bought. The non member is a lady in our wards husband. Someone in there family died and a bunch of people from our church went to the funeral. He was grateful for that and then bought pizza, kimbap, and a bunch of other stuff to throw a meal at church for the ward. After that meal we taught a little girl who is like 10 in the ward and hasn't got baptized yet. Her mom is a member but I dont think her dad is. Her mom told us she had to get baptized so we just started teaching her yesterday. It is really hard to keep kids and to make it fun but I think I did a pretty good job for not having any time to prepare. 

       They had this big parade in our area and we went yesterday to talk with people and man was there a lot of people! They had a bunch of random things in the parade and I didn't necessarily understand the parade in whole but it was still fun. Like they had these kids from China who looked like they were from Avatar the last airbender do this crazy kung fu stuff, some Turkish people dancing, and Korean warrior dudes riding horses. I wish I would of brought my camera with me but I forgot it :( Well what I will end on is a little message about joy. Recently I have kind of been struggling to always be happy and feel joy throughout all aspects of my mission so I did a bit of study on joy this past week. Joy can be obtained through a lot of ways but I want to focus on just one. That way is through the Savior Jesus Christ and this gospel. Throughout all of the Book of Mormon prophets who relied on the Lord always felt joy. Those prophets didn't rely on themselves because they truly knew that they had to rely on the Lord to receive joy. I obviously love my Savior and know He lives but honestly I dont know how much trust and how much I have truly been relying on Him to bless my life with joy. Having a joyful life and mission is what I want so it looks like I have to start relying on the Lord and NOT myself! D&C 101:36 
36 Wherefore, fear not even unto death; for in this world your joy is  not full, but in me your joy is full.

Elder Picard 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Week 62 September 14, 2015 "Attitude determines our happiness"

 We got transfer calls and I will be staying in Seocho!! My companion Elder Smith goes home at the end of this transfer so he will be the first companion I kill. Seocho is great and we are still managing to get lots of food. We called a lot of people this week and got a good number of appointments so this week was pretty busy. We ate with all the people we met and some of them even had gospel interest so that was a miracle. Most of the time they only have English interest but we have been getting lucky lately. Elder Smith and I have seen a lot of miracles serving together so it has been great. Seocho is just a great area and I love Seoul so much. It for sure in my opinion is way better than Incheon. Incheon was alright but Seoul is where it is at. There are just so many people here to talk to, it's grrreaat! 

      On Monday night a member named Bro Ju took us out to this place in Gangnam called Butterfinger Pancakes and man was it tasty!! I haven't had breakfast for dinner in too long. Better yet I haven't had good pancakes and french toast in way too long. I for sure was super grateful because you can't find good American food like that in Korea too often. Well you can but it is always super over priced and you just don't have the money for it. So then when a member takes you out for something like that it is a straight miracle haha. We met Robert one last time before he left for LDSBC so it was good to spend time with him. I am going to miss that kid. He was pretty funny and always gave me a good laugh. We met our investigator Sister Lee this week and she took us out for dinner then we taught her at the Church with our ward mission leader who always teaches her with us. She is kind of old and can't understand us too great for some reason so we have to teach her with our ward mission leader. The lesson with her went great and I even asked her if she would get baptized at the end. She then responded "Isn't that why I am meeting you guys? To get baptized?" and that is just the question you want your investigators to ask. I haven't baptized anyone yet on my mission but I think she could be the first! She is just the sweet little old lady and is truly searching for the truth. We are going to have Bro Choi, our ward mission leader, give her a baptismal date this week so we will see how that goes. 

        I went on an exchange with Elder Perkes and jeez did we have a crazy day. We ate lunch with this guy I met on the street and then went over to his workplace. He was trying to get me to translate some documents he had and there was no way I could of. He works for the UN International Bank or something and I did not know the vocab to translate want he wanted me to so I just said I couldn't it. He then blew me up with a bunch of Korean I did not know saying big numbers and stuff so I just did what I could. I understand a lot more than I thought I would but we will have to go back and meet him with a member. We were able to then teach him and he even accepted a Book of Mormon. Then on top of that we even got a return appointment which means a new investigator!  Elder Perkes and I were out walking around to our next appointment and saw this huge foreigner eating chicken outside a chicken house so of course I had to say hello. I greeted him and asked where he was from and then he told us he couldn't finish all his chicken and invited us to seat down and eat! This guy used to be a body builder and is now a fitness trainer down on the US base in Pyeongtek so he was huge. We didn't get a pic with him but I wish we would of. We talked to him about a lot of stuff and he had a ton of questions about our church. It was a super cool experience. Idk if he will ever meet missionaries again but at least now he knows who we are. That night we met Femme, our recent convert, in Gangnam for dinner. We went back pretty far into Gangnam so it was weird being back on my old stomping grounds. 

         We got blessed with the opportunity to help this old man change his tire. He was really struggling so we asked him if he needed help. I didn't do much but the other Elders in my district who knew what they were doing helped him. I will be honest I don't know how to change a tire so I just kind of watched. I probably will need to learn how to do some of those "manly" things when I get home because I was too much of a "pretty boy" before my mission haha. We met 2 potentials for dinners this week. One of them took us to Subway and his name was Mr. Kim. He was super cool and I think he may be interested in starting the 30/30 program. We also went to Smoothie King with him and then we had to head home. The other guy took us to this place and we just got rice bowls with chicken. His name was Vaniel and was an interesting dude to say the least. He said he loved black people and that he hung out with them all of the time when he lived in New Zealand. He did this black man accent that was hilarious. We then went to McDs and had a lot of ice cream. Vaniel gave my companion the nickname "Ice-cream Baby Monster" because he said he ate ice cream like a baby haha. After greeting some drunk old guy in the line of McDs he told me I was handsome and then bought us McFlurries. He gave us his name card and said to call him and that he would buy us food haha. Korea is great! People just always want to feed us :) I could go on and on about this past week but it would take way too long to type and I dont have that much time. 

          I would just like to end of a quote I found in the missionary's quote book. The writer of the quote was anonymous and this was the quote "We can either complain that roses have thorns or we can thank God that thorns have roses." Attitude determines our happiness. God has blessed me with so much in my life and continues to bless me everyday of my mission. When I find a thorn (trial, difficulty, etc.) I have so many roses in my life a few little thorns don't matter. This life is so beautiful and we are so blessed with the opportunity to come here, progress, and prepare to meet God. I love you all so much and lets together try our best to thank God thorns have roses!

Elder Picard

Monday, September 7, 2015

Week 61 September 7, 2015 "My life is goood, really goooood."

    I got my pills!! Thanks Mom, you are the best. I hope they help and give me lots of energy while also helping my tummy not to hurt haha. I will try and find a greens pill or start eating lemons. I think a lot of me being so tired was just the humidity and heat of the summer. It is starting to cool off and I don't feel as tired because my body likes the cold haha. I loved the pics and letters too so thanks for sending those. I love getting pics and can never have too much so feel free to send um anytime! For pday last week we had a ping pong tournament at our church with some missionaries from other areas. It was super fun but one of the Koreans destroyed everyone and won the tourney. I am getting pretty good though so I will probably be the ping pong master when I get home. We have 4 ping pong tables at the church and play every Saturday with our English class so I get lots of good practice. I did ab ripper x a few mornings this week and man is that a good work out when you dont have much time to exercise in the morning. This area continues to feed me a lot so my tummy is happy all of the time. It is such a blessing to be in a wealthy area where people always want to feed you. My life is goood, really goooood. 

        A family from our ward took us to this super nice chinese restaurant called Chai 797 and it was super tasty. The portions were small but the food was great! They even had peanuts as a side so I was loving it because peanuts are the best! After eating we went to their house and it was super nice, they even had a robot vacuum thing! We ate these super good ice cream sandwiches with them and shared a lesson. I asked for a referral at the end because I need to get better at doing that and they had some neighbors who have met the missionaries before. On Sunday the Mom of the family who fed us told us that their neighbor has been in the hospital so we might go give him a blessing with her husband. It would be a really cool experience because the man who we would give the blessing to is not a member and is part of the family they wanted to refer to us.This week I found some cheap bulgogi so I have been eating that with rice and veggies for lunch and it has been great. As a missionary you don't have too much money or room for food in the fridge so you usually by something and eat the same thing until all the food is gone from the fridge haha. So with the repetition of cooking the same things a few times a week you get really good at cooking that specific meal. We met our investigators, Brother 조범진 and Sister 이민자, and both lessons with them went really good. We took Brother Jo to our tab and then watched the Restoration video with him at the church. I think we are building a pretty good relationship with him and that he has a bit of interest about the gospel. He is the referral we got from the member last week so we should have some pretty good support while teaching him too that will help. Sister Lee is doing really well. We gave her a huge family Book of Mormon that is as big as a math text book because she wanted one. She can't see very good so she was super stoked when we gave her the big one and said that she will read the whole thing now! 

         We had interviews with President this week. He and Sister Morrise came to our house to make sure it was clean and we did our interviews there. President always has really good advice and tips so it is nice talking with him. He always knows just what I need to hear and truly does care for me. I am so blessed to be in Korea and have such an awesome mission president. Some English class members from Gangnam randomly showed up at our English class so it was super nice to see them. It was a happy reunion for sure! Tonight a member is taking us out for pancakes at some place in Gangnam so I am pretty excited about that. 

          I read in Enos this week and learned a ton. Enos was the man!! He had such strong faith and knew He had to put His trust in the Lord. He truly gave up his will and let the Lord change him into the person he needed to be. I think giving up our will to the Lord is one of the hardest things. It requires a lot of humility on our part and is just tough. I hope by the end of my mission I can do just what Enos did and submit myself willing. Also I learned that a lot of the time in progression it is our bodies that hold us back. What I mean is our spirits most of the time are willing it is just our flesh that holds us back. I am going to try and not let my spirit be overpowered and let my flesh halt my progression. Another thing that we gotta realize to progress is that God is good and we are just okay. Even Jesus said God is the only one who is good and man does that take some humility to say that!! (Mark 10:17-18) Well I hope this all made sense sorry if my English is no good. You gotta give my a break I am trying to learn Korean over here haha ;) 

Elder Picard