Sunday, July 14, 2013

Fastball, Fastball, CHANGE UP

Remember the little saying "all you need is love"?  Love really is the key and Elliott seems to have found a giant key ring!  Thanks be to Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, the source of love and every good thing. Love to you all. M

July 7, 2013

So, family friends, and the like,

Most important, least exciting news first.  This was another short transfer.  In short, I may have time for a 17th transfer and still be back home at the original time I was scheduled to.  So, yes, a new transfer starts next week.  It's number 8.  Boom.

Speaking of which, I'll be doing training.  Yes, I'll be training a brand new to the field missionary.  Exciting, yes.  Nerve wracking, slightly.  Will I be able to do it?  Of course.

So, onto more fun news.  Our investigators.  We have a pool of three that are either progressing or are almost progressing (this last week had a ton of meetings that sorta slowed down our ablitly to do some missionary work).  But, we've got three.  Rodrigue is back.  A member lesson that was rather awkward a few weeks ago turned into a huge blessing because he saw one of our members up in Suwon and was talking with her.  And he came to church yesterday!  He's still looking for a job, but hey, he's coming out to church! Bak Gi Cheol.  We weren't able to meet with him this last week because of our meetings, but I'm really excited to meet with him this week. I'm hoping he'll read the BoM assignment we gave him.  We'll be talking plan of salvation with him. Scott (Choi Seok Ho).  He was a referal we got last week.  He's atheist, but he loves meeting with us for English.  AND he asked us to explain about our church.  He likes us.  Like a lot.  Like, he told us straight up in the lesson "I didn't attend church because all the other christian denominations fight and put each other down.  You don't do that, I like it."  And he accpeted a copy of a BoM in English and in Korean.  Building friendships one person at a time ^^

So that's where we be at as far as investigators go.  It's stressful, exhausting, and sometimes downright discouraging.  But hey, all relationships are.  And that's what missionary work comes down to.  We help others build relationships with God, and in the process, we build strong relationships with them.  And, you love the people you teach like family.  The biggest blessing I've received thus far is that I can literally feel that my capacity to love other people has increased so much.  And, I love it.  So much.  I love loving people!  And it's making this experience so worth it!

The church is true, my friends.  The Book of Mormon is God's word. Whenever I read it, I can feel God's love, and I can feel the Holy Ghost teaching me.  I love pondering the words of life.  I love how they apply in life.  I love the gospel truths we have restored to us. Read it, ponder it, and pray about it.  Judge for yourself if it's true.  That is the invitation we give to all people.  I promise that you'll get an answer in a way that is completely recognizable.  God will make no mistake in how He communicates with you, because He loves you.  I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Elder Elliott Wedam

Day one in Seoul South Mission, and address

June 30, 2013

So, before I forget: 

Seoul South Mission
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
24-1 Ogeum-dong
Zip code : 138-855
South Korea

That's the new mailing address.  Learn it, love it.  The test will be the next letter or package I receive.  I hope it passes.
So, family, friends, and the usual gang,
To answer some more of your questions from last week.  Our new president's name is President Maurice (I'm not sure of the spelling... Koreanized... 마리쓰.  I think.  It's close enough).  He be from Utah (again, I think), and really any information I have about him comes straight from the Church news.  And, in other exciting news, there's a mission tour this coming Friday UP IN SEOUL, and there are apparently transfer calls coming in next week.  So, I have no idea how things will play out.  There's a possibility I may be up in Seoul in the coming 2 weeks, like serving there.  Exciting, no?  Other than that, things are pretty much the same.  We be playing by the rules, and we be working hard.  Very hard.
This last week was phenomenal.  We got a member referal (yay!), and his English name is Scott.  He's really nice and has the most adorable 3 year old son (American aged.  5 in Korean).  He also has a super nice wife who works near where we live.  all in all, they be a really nice family.  He knows English pretty well, and I speak Korean much better than I did 8 months ago.  All in all, it's a good combination.  Another super exciting moment was with our investigator 박기철 (Bak Gi Cheol).  He is super cool.  Speaks Chinese, Korean, and English, and wants to learn more about the Book of Mormon.  He got super excited after we got through the awkwardness of last week's meeting, and he really opened up to us.  But, I was speaking very broken Korean, so we let the Holy Ghost and the Book of Mormon do all the talking, clarifying only as needed.  He accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon and exclaimed that "maybe we can study this together and find the answer to my questions".   Sidenote, I can't remember if this statement was in English or in Korean.  All in all, he seems really excited about the Book of Mormon.  Really excited that there's additional scripture, and that our understanding isn't just limitted to the Old and New Testaments.  We left that lesson feeling pretty happy!
And, to add more to my own happiness (Elder Oman didn't know this person...), the Elders in my old area picked up a former investigator (최성용) that Elder Miller and I taught.  Yes.  I'm super thrilled.  Like really thrilled.  As in, I was almost crying tears of happiness type thrilled.  So yes, this has been a most uplifting and encouraging week for me.
거의 끝나야 합니다 (I'd be using 반말, but like, I'm not sure exactly who reads this blog, so pardon the awkward formal ending).  저는 여러분을 사랑합니다.  그리고 매일 매일 여러분을  위해  기도하고  있습니다.  이 교회가 참되다는 것을 알고 있고 하나님을 우리 모두를 항상  기억하십니다.  예수 그리스도께서는 제 구주 이시며 제 모든 죄를 위해 돌아가셨습니다.  저는 몰몬경을 읽었고 성신의 권세로 몰몬경이 하나니의 말씀이라는 것을 알고 있습니다.  이 것은 제 간증이고 저는 이 모든 것을 예수 그리스도의 이름으로 간증 드립니다.  아멘.
I hope you can find a translator for that ^^.  But it's my testimony, in it's most basic form.  It's never been anything flowery or fancy, but it's mine, and I treasure it.  I know this is the true church.  I know that God lives.  He loves us.  He loves me.  Everyday, I can feel Him leadning and guiding me, and everyday, I learn just a little more about how to leave everything in His hands.  I trust in His promise that my "family shall live" (DC 33), and that if I "labor diligently" to testify of the gospel, that the friendships and relationships I have in this life will extend into the eternities (2 Nephi 25:23).  My hope right now is that all I meet can see "the image of God engraven on my countenance" (Alma 5:19), and that at the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, I will be among the people who "see him as he really is" (Moroni 7:48).  I trust in my God.  He is a God of miracles (2 Nephi 27:23... I think), and He is more than capable of doing His own work.
Other really neat things from this week.  Sacrament meeting in both units yesterday was great.  One of the most memorable quotes from yesterday was, "If faith is the antithesis of fear, then faith is courage".  It's true.  The faith to act is courage in it's purest form.  I'm reaching a point on my mission where fear and doubt are no longer luxuries I can hold onto, and I can honestly say that as nervous as I am about this new chapter in my full-time missionary service, I'm excited to see what miracles God can work in Korea.
I love you all.  So much.  I look forward until the time we meet again, but until then, this virtual visiting will be enough.  There's work to be done, people to meet, and friendships to form.  And that's what this life is about.  Relationships and happiness.  I'm happy.  Happier than I have ever been.  I love missionary work, as frustrating as it may be sometimes.  But it has been perhaps the single most rewarding experience of my life thus far.
Until next week!
Elder Elliott Wedam
PS, Since I told him I would - Elder Erekson (a roommate from last transfer who's now up in 곡반장, which is the area adjacent to my last one) says hello.  He's pretty neat.  One of the many friendships I've formed while on the Pennisula.

God is in Control

Although Elliott has been assigned to serve in the newly formed Seoul South Mission,  I don't have the new address at my fingertips.  Hang on for that information. Thanks for your patience.

June 23, 2013
Well folks, we're fast approaching the year mark.  The end of this transfer, and I'll basically be there.  Time flies fast, doesn't it?
This last week.  So hard.  By far, the most emotionally demanding week thus far.  A beloved missonary transfering out of the area (Elder Erekson), being dropped by an investigator (Mrs. Taylor), and having to drop three absurdly adorable kids (the kids I told Whitney about).... on top of really unfortunate events that left me a little lacking in MSF funds, being told I'm terrible at Korean (that was the icing on the cake).
Nevertheless, we've seen some miracles.  In the form of Rodrigue, 박기철, and a plethora of street lessons.  Yes, Rodrigue came out to church again yesterday.  He loved it.  We have to teach him really slow - English is his second language.  But he likes meeting with us.  We're working on tracking down an elusive copy of the book of Mormon in French.  But I'm super stoked.  I love him to death.  Then 박기철 (Bak Gi Cheol).  He's awesome.  He works at an international trading company.  Wants to learn about the Book of Mormon (although, he's not interested in baptism..... yet).  And yeah, he likes us.  And speaks to us in very fast Korean (albeit, simple Korean).  Yep, it was a confidence booster when I could understand him near perfectly (and by me, I mean I was blessed to hear and listen as well as I did.)  So, our teaching pool has shrunk to 2.  But we have 2 people with good potential.  As really exciting things happen, I'll update you ^^
As far as the new mission goes... I only know boundaries and who's going from my mission.  If you want boundaries, look at the Seoul West Mission.... it's a super small area, completely serviced by a subway system.  But, I may be able to go to the temple every other month.  Which would be terribly exciting.  And maybe scope out a college I can study abroad at (courtesy of UO study abroad... but that will be later).  And, I know who's coming from the Daejeon mission.  It's a good group.  I'm sad to leave some people behind, but alas, I have all eternity with them.
Good to hear that Aunt Jerri's arm is doing better.  I was thrown off a bit last week with that.  Quite a bit.  But that's good.  Please, when you find the alleged high heels, send a pic ^^
I guess what it all kind of comes down to is that I'm super thrilled to hear that things are going great at home, that everything is really all right.
I love you all.  I love studying the scriptures.  I love pondering them.  I love the insights learn.  2nd Nephi 25:23 is especially good.  I know that God will grant unto us our righteous desires!  Be faithful, and have hope.  God is in control, and He does nothing save it be out of His wisdom.
Sorry about the lameity of this letter, but I gots to get going.  Better Content Next Week!