Tuesday, November 19, 2013

So... 8 days til a year mark in country? My, time fies

Catching up a bit. I will not bore you with excuses for posting so late. 

October 14, 2013

Well, 가족, 치구, 형, 누나, 동생,
What a week.  Conference was awesome.  Really awesome.  More on that later though.  Exciting news, I renew a visa today.  Exciting, right?  And my heart is broken... the toilet museum is closed on Monday.  Later.  I keep telling myself later.
Elder Pruner and I met a new investigator this last week.  His name is Kim Daegyu (김대규) and well, I like him a lot.  Fun story.  Elder Oman and I met him a super long time ago (at least 15 weeks ago... we met him the last week that Elder Erekson was in 평택).  When we met him, he was going to dinner with one of his students (should have mentioned... he's a teacher at an education acadamy, or 학권.  Specifically, he teaches Korean.  So, the equivalent of an English teacher in the States).  Anyways, I started texting him 4 weeks after we met, and we've been in pretty frequent contact, culminating in setting up a lunch appointment with him.  We meet, and as we eat lunch, he has some questions about our church... like some of the stuff that people bring up when they have a bone to pick and want to argue, but he actually was just curious about it.
He then explained why he asked these questions.  Turns out the student that 김대규 was with asked his mom about our church.  His mom, being part of the churches in Korea recognized as Protestant, and not knowing a lot about our church, told her son some things that a lot of people are told to disuade them from learning more about the church... along the lines that we're a cult, we still practice polygamy, etc, etc, etc... Anyways, here comes the cool part.  When this student told 김대규, 김대규 just said... "I'll just ask Wedam about this."  And so, he did ask us about polygamy and why people call us a cult.
After lunch, the conclusion that 김대규 has about our church is that people call us cult simply because they don't really know what we believe.  And, he had such an enjoyable time that we got another lunch invitation (standing, not definite) and the definite command of "keep texting me."  There's more details, but suffice it to say that we did a good job in representing the Church at this lunch appointment.  That's what I'm thrilled about.
So conference.  I think my favorite line came from Elder Oaks (I think it was from him?).  Telling the story of a grandmother who raised her grandson to the best of her ability, and her grandson still wound up in jail, she asked the question, to the effect of, "Why?  Even after all that I had done, why?"  To which came the reply, "I gave him to you because I knew that you would love him no matter what." Powerful words.  Really.  It exemplifies the Savior's love and our command to love everyone.  Jesus Christ loves us, no matter what we do.  Similarly, we need to love our neighbor, no matter what they do.  And if we can't do that with all our neighbors, are we willing to at least do it for our family?  Our friends? Our investigators?
I try.  I really do feel a love for a lot of these friends that we teach... I think about them constantly -  how to help them be happier, make covenants, find peace.  It's hard.  It takes a lot of energy, but I know that it's worth it.  Using every talent and resource to help people come to know who Jesus Christ is, to help them know who God is, to help them know about the Plan of Salvation.  And to help them understand and apply.  The message of the Gospel leads to happiness.  The proof for what we teach is the Book of Mormon.  And I know, I really know, that the Book of Mormon is true.
I love you all.  So much, I'm glad to hear that despite all the trials on the homefront, that Heavenly Father has blessed and protected my family and my friends.  I love the promise found in Doctrine and Covenants 30 - "Your family shall live."
Elder Elliott Wedam

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