The Path of Christian Discipleship

The Path of Christian Discipleship

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Free Hugs ... Free Picture!

Hello again,

First of all, mom you didn't spell 감사합니다 right, because you wrote it in English ... but it means "thank you" (editor's note: mama wrote "kam sam ni da" but couldn't remember if it means "please" or "thank you"). I hope Jacob is doing alright - that swollen ankle sounds painful. Congratulations on winning bronze at provincials though!

Dad's calculations were indeed right, we did get transfer calls this weekend. I wasn't too anxious for the last one, as I figured that I would be staying put. However, I had no idea what was going to happen this transfer, so I was a bit nervous. I am being transferred to 부평 (Bupyeong), as a senior companion to Elder DeMille, who is going into his third transfer (or as we say in the mission, I am "greenie breaking" him). Elder DeMille will be my fourth companion from Utah. :)  My new area, Bupyeong, is actually one of ten "Administrative Districts" within the city of Incheon, with a population of 553,000 people crammed into an area slightly smaller than the city of Red Deer!

I was terribly intimidated when I got that transfer call, as I still feel much less than proficient in Korean and we are the only elders in the ward, but I am indeed thankful and excited for the wonderful opportunity this is to learn and grow. Also, I have been curious to see what it would be like to be the only set of elders in a ward, and this is one of the few areas in our whole mission where there are less than four elders and two sisters in a ward. There is one set of sisters in 부평, and they are both "young" as well. I'm very sad to leave 만수 (Mansu, my current area) and Elder Berry, as I have gotten close to him and the ward. I have full trust, however, that the Lord is sending each of us exactly where we need to go.

Oh, before I continue, I thought you might like to know that Elder Miller actually does have my camera charger after all! I talked to him at a conference we had this week and he said he found it, so I will have it soon. The conference to which I refer featured Sister Linda Burton, who, as you know, is the Relief Society General President. It was a great conference. I also found out that her husband was the last mission president of the former Seoul West mission, so they know a lot about Korea. We have Elder Cook coming in May as well, so that should be fantastic. I was actually with Elder Miller when Sister Morrise told us during interviews a while ago that Elder Cook is coming soon, and Elder Miller started chanting: "We want Holland, we want Holland!" It was quite humorous, but perhaps does reflect my personal desires :) ... but I am very grateful to have the opportunity to listen to Elder Cook as well!

I was reading a talk by President Eyring this morning entitled "Mountains to Climb," in which he referred to some of President Monson's favorite scriptures. Well, he only referred to one (Joshua 1:5, the one that says "I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee"), but reading that scripture stimulated my remembrance of another scripture that President Monson frequently quotes, in Doctrines and Covenants 84:30? - I can't remember the verse exactly, but it says something about the Lord going before your face, on your right hand and on your left, with angels to lift you. I really appreciate those two scriptures. I think we would be wise to consider their relevence in our personal lives, since our prophet mentions them so often. They have had special meaning to me recently, in conquering my feelings of inadequacy and doubt regarding my assignment in 부평 (Bupyeong).

I am having Elder Berry send me some pictures of our district, taken during our last 전도 (proselyting?) activity together. We made some "free hug" and "free picture" signs and gave free hugs and took free pictures with people on the street ... don't worry, the sisters hugged the ladies and the elders hugged the men. :)

It was an activity that Elder 박 came up with to improve the image of the church here ... churches here generally have a very bad image, since the people are bombarded by 전도사 (payed, professional missionaries who do the same things we do) on the streets everyday. That is a major point of focus in our mission: differentiating ourselves from all the other churches who are out on the streets of Seoul. Koreans really like that "hug and picture" sort of thing, particularly with foreigners, so it was quite successful. :)

Anyways, I hope you all have a great week! Love you and pray for you all,


A popular street contacting activity here in Seoul ... Koreans love to hug and take pictures with foreigners! 

From left: Elders Knapp, Park, Higham, and Berry.

At a local park in Incheon.

I do "photo-shoots" in my spare time ... here's classic missionary attire for spring 2014!

Catchin' a few zzzz's ...

Elders from my first area.

We look like Secret Service guarding the "President" ... not!

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