Sunday, June 28, 2015

They have to be out there

June 29, 2015

          To describe this week, well, our first appointment of the week was on Saturday.  And it was our only appointment.  We were also unable to visit and share a message with any members.  One sister had us drop by, gave us some groceries, but just told us to go before we could share a message.  I tried calling a couple we have never visited about dropping by sometime, but they said they just don’t know.  But the next day we got a call and they invited a less active couple for dinner and they wanted us to come!!  So we went to this super expensive meat house, and the less active couple didn’t show…and the member who fed us just got up and left before we could share a message.  So our teaching time is super low and we’ll probably get a call from our leaders or president about why it’s so low…yay.

          If success really is obedience and giving invitations, then we are succeeding.  But it is insanely hard when no one accepts and we have nothing to do but talk to people on the street and buses and put up free English ads.

          We did have a cool experience last week though.  We got on a bus and this lady, about 55-60 years old, starts talking to me in English.  She ended up telling me her life story about smoking pot every day in America, getting divorced and coming back to Korea to no family so she had 60 rabbits instead.  They controlled her life and it got so hard and one of her dogs died so she would drink and cry every night to “cleanse” herself.  I explained how that is just a temporary escape (she got rid of the rabbits but life’s still hard), but through this message she can find permanent release from her past.  She gave us her number, but we haven’t been able to contact her yet.  The best part is her name is Jacy Boo!  Such a great name.

          Sister Park doesn’t have keys to her house and also has some trouble with her dad, so we couldn’t meet or contact her at all.  Our one appointment was with the high school aged guy for English.  He had some deep questions inside about “what is man,” so we decided to teach the Plan of Salvation.  He asked questions like, “Were there animals in the pre-mortal life?”  and when we taught the creation, “How do you explain dinosaurs then?”  So he’s kind of difficult and it’s all so new to him so it’s tough. 

          Yeah, that was my week.  All the other time was filled with talking on the streets.  So far we haven’t found anyone willing to accept our message, but they have to be out there.  We’re just trying to find them.

          -Elder Anderson
This is Jace's testimony that he shared with us:
The thing that I would like to share with the family is something that I have really felt strongly while serving as a missionary.  It is that we get as much out of the gospel as we put into it.  The more we try to follow it, the more blessings we receive and the sweeter it becomes to us.  As we share our testimonies, we can feel the Holy Ghost reaffirm to us that our words are true.  If we freely share, we will be able to keep what we have.  But if we begin to fall short and stop doing the little things of the gospel that seem tedious, we steadily grow away until we wonder why we ever believed in the first place.  We all find ourselves on that road at some point, but it is important to remember that since we truly are children of our Heavenly Father, He will never give up on us and will always accept us immediately the very second we decide to start our journey back to Him.  This gospel is true and the only way to find true peace and joy in this life.  I am thankful for our Savior and His atonement and for the ability it gives us to overcome all of life's struggles.  This is the way.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Rebuilding Phase

June 22, 2015                        Rebuilding Phase

          It’s hard to believe that tomorrow marks 11 months since I left home.  Wow!  It has gone by pretty quick but I have experienced a LOT!  Things that can only be experienced on a mission and things only here in South Korea, especially Iksan.  Haha oh Iksan, such a unique place.  Where else can you have grown men growl at you or wave their arms like they’re signaling a rescue helicopter just because you said hi and asked where they’re going.  So many unique experiences, but it’s great!

          Sister Park is pretty much at the same spot, just not believing in God and not really wanting to.  Her life is going nowhere and it’s pretty sad.  All we can do is invite and try to help her make the right decisions. However, we tripled our investigators this week!!  In other words, we found 2!  The first is 18 year old Wi Sungmin who called off an English ad.  He looks and acts a lot like my old friend Jonathan Kuwada which is pretty fun.  He speaks English very well, and that is his interest, English.  But we’ll offer him the chance to accept the gospel!  The other is a man in his 40’s named Beak Jihoon who was once an investigator then decided to just attend English class.  His interest is English as well, and he just listened during our lesson.  It’s really hard when people come just wanting to learn English and then we try to help them receive the gospel because first off, it kind of takes them by surprise, that’s not why they’re here, and most don’t have interest.  But some do!  And it’s the most effective way to find people, too bad.  I have no idea how to teach English…oh well!  We’re just trying to get the message out to as many people as we can and praying that they will see the eternal value that it holds.

          On Sunday there was a special broadcast for Korea and Elder Christofferson spoke!  Too bad it was in Korean.  I’ve been in the field for 9 months but it is still super hard to understand.  In other news, a guy in the neighboring ward got his call to Ogden!  Missions are a wonderful opportunity and I am so happy and grateful for this chance to learn and grow so much.

          Elder Jace Anderson

Here is something Jace wrote to us:

“I don’t know if I would say that this has necessarily been the best year of my life, but it has been the best year for my life.”

Turtle boat

Spoiled myself and bought fruit

I still love them!


This was more of the same, lots of street contacting and lots of people completely ignoring us.  I don’t understand how people think it’s ok to disregard us as people just because we have nametags.  But that’s ok!  I still love them!

          We had a zone conference this last week which went well.  Our new DL is from the hot spot of the mission, so he was pretty surprised with how slow the work is here.  Our ZL served in Iksan once, so he understands.  He told our DL, “There is nothing to do in Iksan but street contact.”  And one of the AP’s said, “there is no problem with the missionaries there, things just aren’t moving.”  We had interviews with Pres. and were hoping for some advice.  Even he was stumped.  He just said to “hang in there.”  We really are doing all we know, opening our mouths with people, but for some reason it’s not moving.  Pres. said that there must be some reason that God is giving us this trial.  So, we’re pushing forward!!  Pres. Shin is not one to say that a certain area is hard, but he announced it to the whole zone how difficult Iksan is.  He even told me that if it gets too rough to request a split.  He usually discourages those things, but Iksan is a special place!

          The good news is that we were able to meet Sis. Park Jimeen again and she came to church!  She just doesn’t think that she can come to believe in God, and says that she hasn’t felt the spirit yet.  She did say that her heart felt a little warm during Sacrament meeting when my comp shared a scripture with her.  So she’s progressing, just slowly.

          We’re still on the search for more people who are willing to learn, but we are always inviting, and that’s our purpose.  It’s hard when people always reject us, but we’re doing our best with what we can control.

          Elder Anderson

Here are some excerpts from Jace’s email conversation with us.  We have been praying that he would get to this point in his mission.  He has such a positive attitude.    

“It’s still as hard as ever, but it’s like the story of the people of Alma where God blessed them with the strength to endure.  It’s a great blessing, but I want to be able to help people and teach the gospel!!!!

“I try to just learn through it but it’s hard.  I wrote pres. today saying that it’s a privilege to work here and learn these things.  You cannot experience this stuff anywhere else, so I guess that is a privilege!”

“Yep, we both feel like we can make it anywhere in the mission after this.  It’s kinda sad but our mission is low on missionaries and it would probably be better to have this team somewhere else to be honest.  But, nope!!  There is something here that we need to do.  I know it.”

“Pres. just said to hang in there.  We are doing all we know how to do.  Even he was stumped.  He said he has no idea why things aren’t moving.  He told our new DL that he threw in his 2 best elders, but isn’t expecting too much.  Hahaha but we’re always inviting everyone!!!  That is not like pres. at all.  Such a weird situation here….haha.”

My favorite!!! Corn ice cream!!  It really is super good actually.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

June 8, 2015

This week was a pretty tough one.  It is hard when there is only 1 investigator, no members to visit, and hardly anyone to talk to on the streets.  So, it was a slow week.  It is so hard to find things to do.  I feels so ineffective at times.  I’m going to talk with Pres. this week and see what he says.

We met with our investigator, Sister Park Jimin, once this week.  She still hasn’t recognized any kind of answer, but I don’t think she is sincerely trying.  She didn’t come to church, so her baptism date is now dropped and we don’t really know how to contact her again because she has no phone and we accidentally scheduled our next appt. on zone conference day.  So…..shoot.

We met that pastor guy again and cleared up some more stuff (like Jesus being a polygamist) and met with a new lady and her son for English, doesn’t look like they’ll become investigators though, way too busy.  So we really need to find some people we can teach, but no one is willing.  Super tough.

Anyways, I would like to challenge all of you to thank the missionaries next time you see them.  Just thank them for serving.  I know that they would really appreciate it.  Let them know that people care about them.


                                      Elder Jace Anderson

sushi buffet!!! asia is the best!

June 1, 2015

This week was full of VERY UNIQUE experiences.  Good news first, Sister Park Jimin has a baptism date!!!  June 14.  The bad news is she isn’t very sincere about it and doesn’t yet believe our message.  At this point it is more of just a goal.  At first, she rejected the invitation.  But when Elder Kim explained that it is a date we work toward together, she ended up saying ok.  So she still has a ways to go and needs lots of prayers!

Other good news, a random guy came up to us on the street and forced $50 on us and left!!  We have very different problems here, not robbery, but the opposite.

Crazy experience!  During district meeting this lady randomly walked in the church saying she was really sick and asked us to heal her.  Super crazy.  My comp and district leader gave her a blessing and she left.  The poor lady was so scared that she was going to die and was asking whether or not she’d go to hell.  Definitely a one of a kind experience.  Ikson is just that, one of a kind. 

Bad news.  Han Bit, the one I thought was golden, turned out to be gay and said “He would love to stop meeting.”  So that was disappointing.  We are down to 3 investigators, all female, and only Sister Park met with us last week.

Even worse news. During the 34d hour of church our adult members (all 6 of them) were chatting, and the BISHOP decided that they should all go out to lunch after.  Umm, NO!!  No wonder this ward is on the verge of extinction.  There is no interest in missionary work and they all disobey together.  They invited us, but we said we had other plans.  We called Pres. and he said to be straight with them next time (yes, there will be a next time, this is not a rare occurrence).  Luckily Sister Park left before it.  How is an investigator or new member supposed to survive in a ward where everyone goes against what the missionaries taught them?  Yeah, super disappointing.  And the people on the streets were extremely rude this last week.  They refuse to even say hi or look at me when I try to talk.  Super hard. 

 My condolences go out to the Perry family.  We lost a wonderful man on this side, but there is more incredible missionary on the other side of the veil.  I am so grateful for the prophets and apostles and knowledge of God’s plan.  We are so blessed!!


                                                                Elder Anderson

I proselyted  to a lady on a bus, she didn't accept but gave me this crazy rice cake thing. haha

Us trying to talk to people on the street, there were none.

My district!!!