Monday, October 26, 2015

Week 68 October 26, 2015 "Happy Birthday Grandma Peggy!!!"

   Happy Birthday shout out from Korea to my the best grandma, Grandma Peggy I love you!
Elder Smith goes home in a few days. He has been a great companion and I will miss him.  Excited to meet my new companion Elder Whitney.  I have learned the importance of talking to everyone I possibly can. Don't leave anyone behind, the parable of the lost sheep is good to remember. Christ loves all his children. I need to always be on the search for the one.
    I am reading the Doctrine and Covenants and New Testament. I have set a goal to be done in 2 months. Then I will try and read the Old Testament, cover to cover.  I learned recently if things weren't bitter than you couldn't taste the sweet. If we didn't have trials or bitterness, we wouldn't be able to enjoy the sweet or good times. You need to accept the bitter to find the sweet. Be grateful for the agency to choose, and make good choices.
    We are starting to have a movie night once a month for our english class. Our first movie was Chariot of Fires and I really didn't understand it very well, I guess I don't really get British Movies.
I am king of the house in ping pong, getting really good. I could probably even beat EJ.
    Thursday we were able to go the temple. It was wonderful. I love the temple. We had an appointment that night but got punked so we ended up going to dinner at our tab.
    I was able to meet one of my dad's good childhood friends, Luke Wardle. He lives in China and had great stories about my dad as a kid and teenager.  I love my dad, he is the best man I know. He had some crazy mission stories in Taiwan where he served that he shared with us.
    John 1:7-8 talks about how we are all a light and we need to remember how important our example is for others. Sometimes I forgot I am a light and I don't shine it for others or am not the example I need to be. I need to remember everyday to shine my light for Christ.
    Having a testimony is not just for us but for others. Our testimony can be an example for others and help others. I have really never thought my testimony is for others, just that is was for me.  Christ blesses us with a testimony so we can share it with others. I have been blessed with a happy disposition and need to remember to always be happy and give my best.  I shouldn't use excuses about being tired, etc. I am trying to be better with my prayers. If you have any tips please share them with me.
    I had a great talk with President Morrise. He was so kind in all the wonderful things he said about me. I know I can be really hard on myself and need to be kinder to me. Please keep praying for me, I feel your prayers.
    I get to meet Elder Smiths family as they are coming to pick up their son. It will be great. That would be fun to have my sister and parents pick me up. I found out July 8th is my date to fly home. President will fly home July 1st and so I will be with the new president for a week and then leave for home.
    I love my family. I love getting letters. Dad writes me every week and it was great to get a letter from Sara.  Thanks for all your support.  I really like getting letters that give me tips or ways I could improve. I would love to get stories of when you have felt the Spirit, or when you were converted. That builds me up and is so great to share with others in Korea.  I shared dads conversion story with Brother Wardle and it brought him to tears.  The Wardle family was my dads first influence of the church. I am so grateful for them and for the wonderful eternal family I am belong to.
I love Korea, I love the people, I love the food.
I love you all.
Elder Picard

Monday, October 19, 2015

Week 67 October 19, 2015 "My first baptism!"

       I had my first baptism, it was awesome. Sister Lee was so ready and baptizing her was such a cool experience. The spirit was so strong and it was an experience I will never forget. Now I look forward to continuing to help Sister Lee progress in the gospel towards going to the temple and beyond. I have yet to meet her husband but it would be really cool if we could start meeting with him and help him come unto the waters of baptism. It was just such a neat experience taking someone all the way from the beginning to receiving baptism which as we all know isn't the end. This is my last full week with Elder Smith and we already get transfer calls again Saturday!! Times flies when you are having fun serving the Lord. It is going to be super weird getting a new comp like always. I am pretty good at making friends but getting a new comp is a completely different story. Instead of becoming friends you have to become brothers since you are together 24/7 so it is significantly harder. Elder Smith will be the first comp I have taken to the death of his mission and it has been really weird. Just cause like he is going home and I haven't been home for a while so it is hard not to get trunky and stay focused sometimes but I am doing good so don't worry. His Dad is actually coming to pick him up and I may even meet him and Elder Knapp's Dad so that will be neat. Also Luke Wardle called this past week and we are going to meet this week so that will be cool meeting one of Dad's old friends. As of right now we have no investigators so it is back to the finding since our one investigator just got baptized. Finding is always the hardest part so wish me some luck and hopefully we can find some good potentials. We found a few decent potentials this past week so maybe we can pick them up in the near future. 

       Friday we had a Mission Tour and Elder Whiting from the Quorum of the 70 came. Man did he have some stuff to say. We straight up got spanked haha. Well not literally but a lot of vocal spankings. It was hard to take but we as a mission for sure needed it and I learned a lot from his training. Our mission most definitely is not disobedient what it came down to was the fact of us not getting many baptisms and how it was unacceptable. A while back Korea did really good with baptisms but missionaries lately have been to stuck on the fact that Korea is hard. So Elder Whiting said we need more faith and we also need to destroy all doubt. Like it says in the scriptures nothing is impossible with God and His only Begotten Son in the picture. I think since it is so hard to get baptisms here it is super easy to doubt and just accept having no baptisms. Don't get me wrong I am not saying I have never thought or said those things but now I know more of why I have to destroy all of that. I having been trying to work on my faith but man is it hard. I can do it though because like Elder Whiting said they only send the very best missionaries to Asia. I don't know how I could be considered that great but from here on out I am going to try and be and do the very best I can and not accept anything less than that!!!! 

Elder Picard

Monday, October 12, 2015

Week 66 October 12, 2015 "I need to allow God to shape me into who He needs me to be"

The weather is starting to cool off so that has been super nice. We have to wear suits now all of the time so nights are nice but sometimes the sun comes out during the day and gets me hot:( haha. Man conference is always just so great. Especially when you get to watch it as a missionary it makes it that much more meaningful and better. I received a bunch of good tips now I just gotta make them apart of me and how I do missionary work. I can't just talk the talk now can I? No, I gotta walk the walk. This transfer keeps coming close to an end which means my comp, Elder Smith, goes home really soon and I get a new comp. I mostly like will finally go senior and have to give up my diapers haha. I like my diapers and being senior just seems like stress sometimes so if I don't go I will be fine with that. I started a goal to finish the New Testament and D&C in 70 days. Studying that has been really good and I just learn so much. We will see if I can stick with the goal because sometimes I gotta study other things and prepare for stuff.

      We have been proselyting a lot lately because that is really all we can do here haha. We went to Gangnam Daero and did some more stickerboarding (English Class advertising). We always talk to a ton of people but haven't managed to pick up a ton of new students :( Oh yeah and wow are some foreigners not nice people at all. Anytime I see a foreigner I ask them where they are from and I have received super rude responses telling me to leave them alone. I have managed to keep my head and not get frustrated but when they are so rude to you for asking a simple question it is hard. While we were in Gangnam proselyting a guy took a pic of my hairstyle and said it was cool. So maybe ill be famous? haha. I dont even remember how I did my hair but apparently it was cool. Sister Lee is doing great and we taught her two times this week. The second time we taught I was on an exchange with Elder Kim, our ZL, so it was super nice having 2 Koreans there to help teach. I didn't have to say too much just like simply testifying and stuff it was great. Being with Elder Kim for a day makes me really want a Korean companion. It was super nice because he is fluent in the language and was there to teach and correct me. He taught me so much Korean in just one day of an exchange and really helped me want to speak Korean. I guess I just have to be really obedient, pray, and maybe if it is what I need I will get a Korean companion at some point (knock on wood) haha. 

        We met this lady who is in her late 20s that has a lot of questions about our church so we may be able to pick her up as an investigator. We met her while eating with Femme, our recent convert, she was sitting at the table next two us and asked while we were eating if we were Mormon. We of course said yes and then she said that she really likes NuSkin from Utah haha. She turned out to actually have a lot of good questions and maybe even some potential. We planned to meet again this week so we will see what happens. Elder Smith and I went and played basketballFriday night at the place with all the courts. We have tried just about every method to find so we thought we would give basketball a try. We actually were able to talk to a ton of people and it was really good. So many people over there spoke English and were Koreans that lived in America so that was cool. We are going to start going over there every Friday for a bit to ball and make the missionaries known over there. 

         Well I will end on a few things I learned from conference. If I said everything I learned it would take forever and I dont have enough time. I really liked President Uchtdorf's talk he gave in the Priesthood Session. I had a really cool spiritual experience because of what he spoke about. As you all know my name is Daniel so when he starts talking about Daniel the prophet it was really cool. Since my name is Daniel, I like Daniel the prophet should be a believer and be able to live under peer pressure. Daniel the prophet was the man and had so much faith in Heavenly Father and never gave up. I just gotta believe like Daniel and not doubt. Along with that belief I need to allow God to shape me into who He needs me to be. I will do this by forgetting myself and realizing this mission, my life, everything, is the Lord's. It will be hard but I want to be a pretty pot so I gotta stay on the wheel and let the Master Potter shape me!

Elder Daniel Jackson Picard 
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Monday, October 5, 2015

Week 65 October 5, 2015 "they shall mount up with wings as eagles"

     It's October!!! This past week was a good one because I gotta ate lasagna. A sister in the ward invited us over for dinner and asked me what I wanted to eat. I then asked her if she knew how to make lasagna and to my surprise she did. I was in heaven because I hadn't eaten lasagna for like 2 years. They also hooked us up and gave us a ton of bulgogi to take home so now our frig is loaded with meat. Seocho ward is the greatest. They are too generous and always make sure us missionaries get spoiled. I can't even imagine how awesome Christmas will be here. Good thing I have been exercising because if I didn't I would for sure get obese in this ward haha. I don't wanna go home a big boy so I gotta keep exercising. 
     Recently we have been trying to figure out ways to up our proselyting game because it is so hard in Seoul to find people on the street. We did a lot of English stickerboarding on Gangnam Daero this week and were able to talk with a lot of people. I even danced a little bit to get peoples attention because they kept ignoring us and it worked. I most still have it because a bunch of people stopped and watched me dance then talked to us. We usually stickerboard outside this store with music so I wasn't just dancing without music haha because that would be weird. People really enjoy taking pictures with us too for some reason so maybe we will just go next time with a sign that says free pictures with Americans and see if that works to pick up investigators or English class members. It is always fun going back to Gangnam Daero because we talk with a lot of foreigners. On the way home we talked with these Amish people in Baskin Robbins and they were pretty nice. We were walking past Baskin Robbins and their kids were staring at us so I went inside and said hi haha. It is always nice to have a conversation in English with Americans. It is super hard too though because I feel like everything I say is awkward and doesn't make sense. It is just so much more comfortable speaking in Korean haha. 

       We changed Sister Lee's baptismal date to October 17 because November 1 is Stake conference. I have said it many times before but I will say it again, Sister Lee is amazing. She pretty much is our grandma and treats us like her grandchildren. She has already read all of the Book of Mormon, D&C, and is now working on the Pearl of Great Price. She for sure is "golden" and came to us so prepared to hear the gospel. It is such a blessing to have been able to teach her all of the lessons and witness her incredible conversion. Her son should be able to baptize her so that will be a really cool! He isn't in our Seocho ward and lives above the Han River but we have planned for him to come down and baptize his Mom, Sister Lee. After we taught her this past week she insisted on taking us out for dinner. We ate chicken ribs,닭갈비, and it was super good. Our ward had a hiking activity where we picked up trash and hiked. There wasn't too much trash at all so we pretty much just hiked and it was super fun. I also took a bunch of pictures and climbed some trees like a crazy monkey haha. After the hike we went out to eat with all of the ward. We ate at the Mandarin and got hooked up. The ward just kept ordering us stuff so we ate a ton haha. Later that night we had another meal where Sister 최명숙 went all out and cooked us a 3 course meal! I think Seocho might almost have Gangnam beat on the amount of food I have eaten. Yesterday Elder Smith and I got the wonderful opportunity of giving a blessing to a member in our ward's neighbor who is in the hospital. The man was probably in his 60s and isn't doing too hot so we gave him a blessing. I did the anointing and Elder Smith did the blessing. It was super nerve racking because it was in Korean but the spirit definitely took over and it was all good. The man couldn't speak so after the blessing it was really quite but you could feel the spirit really strong. 

        I was reading this past week and came across the scripture my dad loves so I will end by sharing it. It is Isaiah 40:31. The Lord sometimes blesses us a lot slower than we would wish. I for sure have come to realize this on my mission. The Lord wants us to be patience and knows our potential so sometimes he waits to bless us. I know that through the Lord Jesus Christ our weaknesses can become strengths and that He will never leave any of His children behind. When we draw closer to God He will through His son renew us with strength! 
31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strengththey  shall mount up with wings as eaglesthey shall runand nobe weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Elder Picard