I hope you all are doing well! I have not yet received your package, but transfers are, so maybe we will see it then! I feel so bad for my companion, he has gotten two packages in the time that we were waiting for mine, and always feels so bad for all the mail that he gets, as I don't get as much. It is a weird situation, but I feel bad that he feels bad for me! haha. Ever since coming to 부평, however, I have found such a passion for missionary work that has demanded almost the entirety of my attention. I have found so much joy! I have also found something here on a mission that I value more than gold, that is, countless friendships with people who share my convictions. It is quite different, indeed to be surrounded by so many people my age who share my values and my beliefs.
I cannot discount the people who have influenced me in Canada though! There are several people whos names I hold sacred and who have influenced me significantly. For them, I am ever grateful. I am sending off some letters today as well, I am sorry that it has taken so long for some of you! Most particularly, I value the parts in your emails detailing your mission experiences and studies in PMG. I look eagerly for those every week! They help me in so many ways. Dad has been very faithful in doing this, so thank you so much!!
So, to make things short, I have sooooooo much to be grateful for! This mission is a wonderful opportunity indeed and I am learning so much. Mom, you told me in your email to do something to celebrate my birthday, but to be completely honest with you, there is nothing that could make me happier than simply getting back to work! :) So, I think that is how I will celebrate my birthday this evening :)
I suppose I should report on transfers! :) Elder DeMille and I are staying together another transfer in 부평 (our current area, Bupyeong). Also, my trainer Elder Miller is going home this week! So, we are going to see him today for pday. Elder Berry goes home next transfer, so I will only have two companions still alive after next transfer! Strange. I am very excited to work with Elder DeMille for another transfer. He is a pleasure to work with.
This week, I went on exchanges with an elder who asked me how I don't feel any stress! It was an interesting question and I would like to share the answer I gave him. At the beggining of my mission, I indeed felt a lot of stress. I looked at all of the attributes and qualities of the missionaries whom I admired, either here or in the Book of Mormon and was overwhelmed with the things I felt I needed to do! I felt so inadequate in so many ways and was stressed so often.
I decided one day, however, to simply try focusing on one attribute I wanted to change. So I worked on that attribute diligently for a couple months and was amazed to see the opportunities that came to help me develop that attribute and then others as well. As I have applied this principle of focusing on one thing at a time, line upon line, I have seen miracles and have replaced my stress and feelings of inadequacy with satisfaction and joy. I have been able to accomplish so much as I quit worrying about things and simply start working on the small things I can control and change.
This week, however, I was beggining to feel a little bit discouraged again, mostly because our most progressing investigator 김대남 (kim day nam) is now progressing very slowly. We taught him the word of wisdom and it went super well, but he is not keeping any of his commitments very well, as he still drinks frequently with his friends and smokes and is too busy to read the Book of Mormon ... actually, that is something that I wanted your opinion on, how to get investigators to read the Book of Mormon. I have not had an investigator read more than 10 chapters in the Book of Mormon my entire mission so far, despite our emphasis on teaching with it and testifying of its importance. We talk about it almost every lesson.
Anyway, I was feeling a little bit discouraged and desperate to find out how to help him. One morning during personal study, I went in with the question "how are people converted and how can I help in the process?" As I was planning my study the night before, I felt strongly that I should read Jesus the Christ the next day, which came as a surprise, as I had not read it in a long time. Nevertheless, the next morning, after reading in the Book of Mormon, I opened Jesus the Christ, to the page I had left off on. The title of chapter 20 is "Peace, Be Still." When I read those words, still a little anxious and discouraged, I suddenly felt overwhelmingly calm. I realized in that moment that it is ultimately up to each individual person whether or not to accept our message ... I simply have to do my best to ensure that I teach with the spirit and provide for them the opportunity to change. That was a nice experience that I had this week.
Elder DeMille and I have also seen miracles as we have worked diligently to find investigators and less active members. However, more often that not it seems, we find success from sources independent of our personal efforts. I believe these come as a result of our hard work, but are there to remind us of our dependence on the Lord. For example, we have not had any success looking through the member records and trying to visit less active members; but this week, we had a man run up to us and declare he was a less active member of our church and that he wants to meet with us again. Yesterday, we had another man show up at the church and give the bishop his address, asking us to visit him sometime. Small incidents maybe, but they really reveal for me God's hand in this work.
Well, that is it for this week, I hope you all have a great week!
Love you lots! Dallin
|Elder DeMille remembered my birthday! :)|
|Elder DeMille's 6 month celebration - Subway dinner!|
|6 months just flies by around here!|
|Seoul Korea Temple - we get to go once a transfer.|
|Our district on a temple trip.|
|Subway doors guard access to the trains.|
|Ah ... a taste of home in a far away land.|
|Missionary work takes a toll!! :)|