Happy news from Elder Wedam in Suwon, the walled city just about 20 miles south of Seoul.
January 7, 2013
Greetings family! And devoted followers!
So, I probably should explain what happened a little more with the emergency transfer... so my new companion was training, but his missionary had to go home because of a foot problem. This missionary was a native Korean... and when he was younger, his foot was run over by a truck, so one foot was fairly flat. The pain was bad enough that he couldn't stay in the field anymore, so he went home, and I went up north. Everything is fine... that missionary is going to get surgery, but rumor has it that he won't be coming back out again. Fun, right? So, all in all, nothing super concerning (at least as far as my safety and spiritual health goes), but unfortunate for the Elder.
Oh, and Mom, funny story about your letter. It arrived. I haven't had a chance to look at it... mostly on account of that it landed in Songjeong. So, Elder Anderson and Elder Houston are sending them up to me. I'm convinced the mission office isn't aware that I transfered. And as for my hand-written letters (I promised you two in the past week...), they're written, I still need to send them. You may be getting two letters in the near future, possibly even three?
This last week has been amazing. Elder Miller is a great companion for me. He's really helping me progress as a missionary - he's helped me feel comfortable speaking on the street more, AND he does a really good job of not making me feel a lot of pressure (like the bad type of pressure - the type that nobody really likes). He's a blast, I like him a lot. And it's been fun seeing Elder Paskett again after MTC. He's awesome. He reminds me of Mason a lot ^^ And Elder Campbell, he was an AP when I arrived (now training Elder Paskett), he goes home at the end of this transfer, but he's been working super hard. It's been a real treat; all three of them are angels. You can totally see how Christ-like they really are. They're committed to the work and render service without guile. All in all, this transfer, as inconvenient as it was, was good for me. I've learned quite a bit in the last two weeks - and missionary work has become even more fun because of it. I even got a phone number on the street yesterday, and I almost taught a street lesson. It's been so fun and worthwhile!
I'm glad to hear that New Year's Day was fun. Portland is always a blast, and being with the entire fam can only make it better. Fun fact about South Korea, New Year's is a bigger deal than Christmas. We went hiking with our ward New Year's morning, and there was a nice little drum beat thing going on. And we ate some traditional New Year's food for breakfast - we're talking 떡 soup. It was delicious. Then, yesterday at Church, we had a nice little "Shake Everybody's Hand in the Ward" event right after sacrament. It was fun.
Yesterday, I read in Alma 31. Somehow, I got from studying about fasting to Alma's mission to reclaim the apostate Zoramites. There was a good little twist - the Zoramites were proud; they had the attitude of, "We're better than everyone else because God elected us to be saved, and nobody else will be." Then, we read Alma's prayer, culminating in Whitney's favorite mission scripture (I'm running off of memory right now)... "Behold, Oh Lord, their souls are precious and many of them are our brethren." That's the attitude we need to have, both as a missionary and as a child of God. When we understand that God is our Heavenly Father and that we are all His children, it's easier to keep that attitude of loving everybody. As members of the Church, we can't afford to be proud... even in Alma 7 (I think, it's early Alma at least), we read that pride was a great stumbling block to the Church. Now for the personal tie in...
Last week, I said that one of my goals was to develop humility and charity. My action plan is to simply do missionary work. To teach the gospel, and as I teach, have the attitude of Alma... that the people of South Korea's souls are precious. They may not be the apostate Zoramites, but the principle of loving is still the same. I'm working towards the mindset of share the gospel with everyone, and invite them to learn more about it. As I do this, I'm hoping that I'll gain a better appreciation for God's work and glory... to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of His childrent (see Moses 1:39). I'm hoping that as I seek to make His work my work, then I'll be able to emulate Christ better. What better way to become like Christ than to seek to do the Father's work? As of now, those are my clear stones =)
I love you all. The homesickness disappears day by day, and even though I miss you and Oregon, my heart is in South Korea right now. I can feel the beginning of something big about to happen, and I'm excited to see what it is!
Until next week!
Elder Elliott Wedam