Friday, November 25, 2016

Week Nine

(I'm pointing to Kamchatka on purpose)​​​​​​​

Dear People,

I'll hit the airport at 3 AM Monday. I can't wait to speak in English to real people who haven't heard about the restoration. I am actually more excited for the airport than Korea itself...

This week we had an in-field orientation workshop thing, and as part of it we practiced street contact. It was the first time I've ever tried in English and it was so easy! If I can have one normal conversation with someone in the airport on on the plane about the restoration, it will make up for all the stress that will come the first month in Korea. 

This is me being very serviceable by taking pictures of a random group of people. They took a really long time to retrieve their cameras.
This week we did a English + Food fast. T'was way spiritual, and gave me a solid testimony of fasting. I felt so good, I wasn't even hungry by the time we broke it. During my personal study in the Book of Mormon I noticed an epic example of fasting. After Alma the Older ran away from the courts of Noah because he believed Abinadi. He had "sore repentance"but then was visited by the voice of the lord. Later on when he was was looking for an answer to how to judge the people, he fasted and prayed for many days before being receiving his answer. He had heard the voice of the lord several times before, but regardless of that, and regardless of his righteousness, and regardless of his position as a prophet, he didn't feel entitled to revelation. He fasted and prayed for many days. He understood the eternal truth that we all need to exercise faith before any of the good stuff happens.
This is me bending over and placing my head in a bush near the temple.

My district is too good. On my birthday they somehow found time to decorate my room with streamers and balloons. I don't know how to react to people doing things for me like that so I just awkwardly hugged everyone and acted sarcastically super emotional as if they had put a ton of effort into it, but then I realized that they had all also bought me a bunch of little presents from the MTC store and had a card that they all wrote really nice notes to me in. I felt so bad for being sarcastic at all; I felt so much love from them. One of my eyes leaked a little bit when I read the card. 

I'm trying to not be as sarcastic, I've found it often drives the spirit away.

I was interviewing district leaders earlier in the week, and one of the the new native Korean Elders opened up to me a ton. I had never really talked to him before this, I had just told him I loved him in Korean every time I saw him. But apparently just that simple act gave me his trust. He told me his life story and everything he was struggling with at the MTC in his broken English. I was able relate to him really well somehow. We talked for almost a half hour, and he said he felt way better afterwards. I know we were meant to be able to have that conversation.

Boring story:

For the last six weeks Brother Driggs has been playing the role of Cho Ho Hun every other day. He is an investigator studying English at BYU and is going back to Korea in a few months. My companion and I have been teaching him all the lessons. He's been pretty golden. Yesterday was our last lesson with him. When we came in the room, we explained that we were "being transferred" and this would be our last lesson with him. We talked to him about enduring to the end and how easy it would be for him to revert back to his old life once he went back to Korea. I told him it would be really hard when he went back. He asked why, and I said that he may not be able to make friends in the church, or he may not have time for it anymore. We told him we loved him and we would be praying for him. It was sad saying goodbye, we had grown attached to this character of Brother Driggs's imagination.

After our lesson, Brother Driggs told us that Brother Cho is a real investigator that actually visited BYU and went back to Korea just four months ago. He was baptized before he left, and Brother Driggs described him as having one of the strongest testimonies he had ever seen. Before he left, Brother Driggs told him the exact same thing we told him in our lesson: It would be hard because he may not have friends, and he would be busy. They stressed the importance of enduring to the end.

When he came home, his parents told him that the church thing was probably good for him while he was in America, but they didn't want him to do it anymore. 

In America, after you're an adult, your parent's advice is nice, but can generally be blown off without consequence: "Thanks mom ... I'm an adult ..." 
In Korea, you generally live with your parents until you get married, and the hierarchy of authority lasts until you die. It would be a big deal to ignore their wishes.

So He didn't. Brother Cho hasn't gone to church for four months, and isn't reading the Book of Mormon. 

Brother Driggs told us where he lives now, and that we will probably meet him. I'm going to find him and beat him up.

Not really. I'll just tell him I'm mad at him.

Love you. Do what Christ would be doing.

-Elder Brown

P.S  I also met a North Korean escapee. I'll probably write that story later.

This is Sister Oh re-teaching us how to read time 
Korean snacks

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