Well, we enjoyed a wonderful group Skype session with Elliott on Mother's Day. He looks so happy (although quite thin). My heart nearly burst with happiness seeing that quirky smile of his (you know the one) surface so many times during our conversation. He told us then that he had been transferred that week a bit to the south of Suwon to Pyeongtaek. He is now a senior companion and two companionships share an apartment there. The junior companion of the other duo has pneumonia, so Elder Wedam, Elder Oman and Elder Erekson take turns staying indoors with him while the other two work out in their assigned areas. This transfer, one of their areas includes an American military branch of the Church.
May 20, 2013
Hey Family, Friends, Stalkers , Fanclub Memebers, Former Companions, and Current Teachees,
What a week. I must say, serving in the 평택 area is definitely a different feel from the last 2. First, I'm a lot more proactive in the ward & the American branch... I'm really trying to make an effort to learn who everyone is in the 2 units we serve. Speaking of which, there's this really stressful moment on Sunday when the Military Branch is concluding and the Korean ward is starting... that takes some serious focus to switch between two cultures... and to keep who is in which unit straight. Plus side, it's a bonus. Elder Erekson (the other senior) sends positive reinforcement my way... saying that I'm doing just fine (despite how terribly inadequate I feel as a senior companion and trainer). But, it's fun. I'll learn a lot (already have).
We get fed American food often. almost every day. The Korean members don't invite us over all that often, so Elder Oman and I are going to try something new... we invite our members to eat with us at the church (hey mom, thanks for teaching me how to cook and to be adventuresome in the kitchen). We have some nights we need to cook on our own, but hey, with how much we're invited over, it's a time to save some MSF and use it to build some relationships with members. Boom. I'm stoked.
Anyways, this has been a really good, albeit very hectic week. Turns out I'm more literate in Korean than conversant, but that's been a blessing considering one of the people we teach stutters. And then takes half an english word and half a korean word and splices them together. It's hard to understand. So hard. I about cried after that experience yesterday.... but he's remarkably easy to text. Not gonna lie.
I learned a lot. Commitments are key in missionary work. And commitment making and keeping evolves beyond an invitation... it's a proactive effort in helping people keep what they committed to. And, really, my ministry is to help other people come unto Christ by repenting (in other words, by keeping the commandments and living a Christ-Centered life). I've been thinking more and more how we can help the people we teach, and I've been focusing a lot on what we can do outside of our appointments. Elder Oman gave me some really good ideas, and I can't wait to see how they work. I've also been practicing my commitment inviting via training. It's been a blast. I've noticed a huge difference in how I study after focusing on a commitment.
So, until next week, a testimony (I won't write in Korean... it doesn't do anybody any good if they can't understand it, or even read it)
One of my favorite scriptures is Alma 5:26. Alma knows that feeling of wanting to sing the song of redeeming love. I felt that same feeling when I decided to come back to church. I feel so now. I know this is God's work, and that He wants each of us, His children, to be happy. We can be happy by living the gospel of Jesus Christ. Despite all the stress and trials that I've faced, I'm happy, and my happiness is centered on knowing that God wants me to live up to my full potential. I know that He is mindful of my prayers. I know that He is mindful of your prayers. I testify that He lives. He remembers us. He loves us. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Elder Elliott Wedam