So sorry! I didn't realize I hadn't posted on the blog in a while. I have forwarded these e-mails via Dear Elder to my nephew in the MTC and my mind must have thought I had already updated the blog. Well this should catch you up on Elliott's news. We expect another e-mail late tonight, so check back tomorrow! Love, M
February 24, 2013
Hey family. And friends. Devoted stalkers. Fan club. And others.
Great hearing from everyone this week! Alisa, Nathan, and Vera, Newport sounded like a blast. I enjoyed hearing from all three of you! And I appreciated the interpretation thereof. It made me laugh. Out loud. Loudly. That last one may have been a bit redundant ^^. And Terry and Whitney, I'm excited to hear about your forthcoming bike-capades/ missionary works going on in Arizona! I always love hearing from you each week, and I was super sad last week when I didn't get an update. Life sounds super exciting back on the Western Front (Hemmingway had it all wrong, the Western Front is far from All Quiet).
Mom and dad, thanks for the updates on the extended family too. Seriously, it makes me super happy to hear about how everything is working out. It's a testament that God does take care of us. I'm also super STOKED to hear about curling. I eagerly await to hear about it next week!
I've got a great story this week. I think it rivals Nathan's "liver-and-onions" story.
You know how I said that Koreans feed missionaries a buffet of food whenever we visit? And there's this hope and mild expectation that missionaries will eat it all? Good. This is the foundation of the story.
We had a dinner appointment last Friday night at a member's restaurant. This member was a fairly renowned chef, but has since scaled back to spend more time with his family. He now runs a pretty small street-food restaurant; food that is high in calorie, high in fat, and it's all super delicious (순대 is a little tougher to handle. I'm not a huge fan of blood sausage. And pig liver - at least I think it was pig liver - is a little tough to stomach). Anywho, I was doing good up until the end (I had two other meals earlier that day - with investigators), and then I started slowing down. I simply announced that I couldn't eat another bite, and the missionaries kept pressuring me to eat. Giving into peer pressure, I ate, and then I just couldn't stomach anymore. Yeah, I threw up in the middle of a restaurant right after eating the meal in front of the owner. I wanted to just curl up and hide under a rock... I felt so bad. I apologized... I had no idea what else I could have done after the fact. It's evolved into a joke now. I understand what my limits to eating are, and I have new-found confidence that comes realizing that I can't do anything much more embarrassing that that. But seriously, I'm not super traumatized by it anymore. It's just funny to think about now - the entire situation was just so weird. Anyways, enough talk about this... just thought I'd share the funniest thing from this last week ^^
Oh, other big news... we found out who the new Korea Daejeon Mission President will be come July, and come July, a new mission will be opening up in Korea. Check out the Church News for more info. Super stoked... there's a possibility that I could be serving in a different mission that what I set out for (we've heard rumors on how the change-over will take place. I'll maintain that I won't really know until July rolls around, but still, it's exciting).
Finally, transfers. I'll be in 수원 still, but I'll be with a new companion. Elder 김일수. As you may have guessed, he's native. Super nice missionary; he works hard and knows how to make people feel good about themselves. He's not super good at English, but hey, it'll be a good opportunity to learn Korean and to work hard. I'm excited ^^
I think that covers all the temporal things, let's get on to the good stuff!
This last week has been most edifying. My new study plan for personal study has been working a little bit. I really like having some questions I can think about during the course of the day (albeit, somewhat superficially, but it's more than it was before). It's made a difference in my attitude throughout the day; it makes it easier to focus on being a missionary and thinking about the gospel and my investigator's needs. Some things will change around, but it's a start. This plan to take personal study with me throughout the day will work - it just needs to go through some refining. And it won't ever be a perfect system, but it will become more effective as I work to figure out how to keep me more focused on my purpose throughout the day. It's one of things I'm trying to do to have the companionship of the Spirit.
Speaking of which, I'm beginning to realize just how important the Spirit is when I teach. Honestly, I'm craving to teach through the Spirit. The effect that it has on people is amazing; there's nothing more rewarding that seeing the fruits of the Spirit, knowing that somebody has stronger faith in Christ and that you were a tool in the Lord's hands to bring it to pass.
I'm working to develop my faith and self-confidence, and all the while, trying to be humble. It's been hard, I don't think of myself as anybody particularly special, but I know that the Lord has given me talents... and has prepared me for South Korea in ways I don't yet realize. This missionary experience has been really good for me thus far. It's helping me do things I've needed to do for a while ^^ PS, I love Alma 44:4. It's great!
I love you all so much! I hope your week is wonderful! Stay healthy, be productive, and work hard!