Friday, March 19, 2010

Spring Cleaning

Im getting used to the area im in now. i know how to get from our house to the church at least. one thing thats hard about transfering is learning names of the members in the new area. each korean name is like a vocabulary word that i have to memorize and put a face with; and when theres 80 active members it can take a lot of time. so far i have the ward mission leader and bishoprics' names down.

we had a good zone conference on monday about spring and spring cleaning. the AP's talked about how spring represents a new start or rebirth and how we can become cleaner by 'polishing' our skills as missionaries. president Jennings also gave a good talk about cleaning and how when we clean there are four things that we focus on. they are the things we throw out, the things we change, the things we keep and the things we need to buy/acquire.
he went on to say that as missionaries and children of Heavenly Father we need to throw out the things that keep us from coming closer to Him.
for things that we need to change he talked about repentance and how it is a change for the better. as we throw away our sins or bad habits, we change for the better and become clean through the atonement of Christ.
he also talked about the things to keep which includes the spiritual gifts that we've aqcuired and the desire to serve. and then he ended with things to obtain on our missions. i've had a while to reflect on the things that i've gained/learned on my mission and realized that ive learned a lot but theres still a lot more that i need to learn before i go home.

i've got to go to a whale musem. talk to you later.

elder wells

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Way to Salvation

its been a while since ive had time to sit down and write out an email. i had to make a new gmail account one week and i got transfered last week. the branch im in now is a little bigger and im excited about it. if everything works out, i could be here until i go home in august. as i missionary ive learned to deal with change but i still don't like it. i miss my last area and my greenie.

the city im now in is a lot bigger. i get lost a lot and have to really rely on my companion. its called ulsan and its to the northeast of busan. i guess the only thing special about it really is that it has a huge hyundai factory and a bunch of other factories. so a good majority if the men we meet on the street work for hyundai. oh another cool thing is that theres whale restraunts here so ive made it a goal to eat whale before i leave.

the investigator situation isn't very good here so we called up some former investigators and met one of them yesterday. he was a nice older man that learned a lot from the missionaries but wouldnt give up his beliefs about buddhism or come to church. we talked a lot and explained the importance of a true religion. most buddhists in Korea are really peaceful people that think that having a belief is good, no matter what kind of belief it is. its hard to show them that religion isn't just a way to live a better life, its the process of salvation. we testified of Christ as our savior and explained how his gospel is the path that leads to salvation. our investigator took it pretty well but was still confident in his own beleifs.
i learned a lot yesterday about my purpose as a missionary and the importance of this message. im not here just to baptize people, increase the membership of the church or to show them how to live their lives; im here to teach people about the way to recieve salvation. i know its the only way to return to our Heavenly Father and i love sharing it with the people of Korea.

elder wells

transfer, new responsibilities

im only on today for like 10 minutes because i got transfered...i left my greenie and probably my favorite area. im with a realy cool companion and good area so its not too bad.

im pretty positive im going home in august.

we dont get to go to the seoul temple during our mission. the only time we can go is the week we go home we take a train from busan to soul and go to the temple. im excited to go in august.

my 'kid' is doing good, he got sick last week but is doing better. im really going to miss him but im his zone leader now so i can call him whenever i want.

i have pictures to download but i dont have my camera right now so i'll do it next week.

im doing really really good. im as happy as ive been on my mission and things are starting to make sense/work out. like the language and stuff. i am really tired though. i think my face has lost a lot of color and im just not as 'spunky' as i used to be. i think its because of the work and a little because of the korean culture too. everything is about respect and humility and it has 'mellowed me out'. my new companion has a lot of energy though so it should 'wake me up'.

im not getting a new mission president but i heard the seoul west mission is getting shut down in july so there will only be 3 missions in korea. it doesnt effect our mission at all.

i dont have time to write a big email but tell everyone i said hi. thanks for asking questions, i like answering them.

Elder Wells

Monday, March 1, 2010

20 Lessons

this week was pretty awesome too. we have been working closely with our ward mission leader, brother olson, and he is helping us out a lot. we try to teach a lesson at his house every week and on tuesday when our investigator 'punked' us we taught a practice lesson to him and his family.
last saturday through monday was a holiday in korea called soular. im not sure but maybe its the chinese new year? anyway we had pday on monday and just have time today to email. we were busy during the holiday and had two appointments sunday night so we did splits with brother olson and our branch president. i got to go with the branch president and have dinner with a less active family. it was kind of a surprise to see how many missionary rules the branch president didnt know about. i also got a taste of how much freedom normal people have compared to missionaries. wow. it was a good learning experience for both of us. the splits was fun and i hope we are busy enough to do it again sometime.
our branch is a little behind but we are trying to put into practice the 'to the rescue' program where the ward selects families for the missionaries to teach. we dont normally teach 20 lessons in a week so our mission has included a new stat to give missionaries 20 teaching opportunities. the new stat is lessons taught to a member. this is usually done at the end of a dinner appointment or just a quick visit during the week. we have a plan to teach 20 lessons this week including lessons to a member and are a little behind but might be able to do it. if not, we plan on teaching 20 lessons next week for sure. i never thought 20 lessons in a week would be possible but we are receiving a lot of help from the ward members and the Lord.
gotta go.

elder wells

Email from my kids dad

Dear Elder Wells,

I am Brother Hyun Seog Cho, who is Elder Cho's father. I heard from Sister Olson and President Jennings that you are one of the best missionaries. When I heard that you would be my son's trainer, I was very glad and happy.

As a father, I know that Elder Cho will need your many helps on almost everything he does as a new full-time missionary. However, I believe that you will be the best to help him to be improved as a successful missionary as you are.

In my personal and family prayers, praying for your success is included, please know. I love you as much as I do my son, because you are my son's Companion.

Best Regards,

Hyun Seog Cho

Miracle after miracle

This last week was one of the most amazing weeks i've had on my mission. everything we planned worked out and we are starting to see results. on sunday we had 2 investigators come to church along with friends of other members. We spent the majority of the day in the church teaching lessons to potential investigators, investigators, new members, and less actives. then we went straight from the church to a dinner appointment where we taught another investigator and watched the restoration dvd. since then we have been using every resource we can to teach these people during the week. most of our investigators are in school and because of the schooling here they study until 10pm so they have no time to meet during the week but they found a time to meet with us on monday. amazing. we also found an old investigator and had an awesome lesson with her and 2 sister from the relief society. the investigator was really open and told us that her family dropped the missionaries because she felt that if she joined our church she would lose friendships and be treated differently by people in her appartment complex. one of the members with us (a convert) said that she felt the exact same pressure and was able to overcome it by joining the church with her husband and family. she said that no other relationship was more important than her family and testified that as a family they could overcome those fears and come to church. the investigators husband has interest too so we hope that this family will continue to meet with us and have the courage to come unto Christ. They seem really prepared to here this message.
the next miracle happened last night when we went to go teach two boys the new member lessons. the kids' father is less active and the mom isnt a member so we've only been able to meet the boys at church. we decided to visit them without making an appointment and when we got there the non member mother welcomed us in, talked for a while and listened to our lesson on Heavenly Father and families. she told us to come back next week and is now a new investigator. it couldn't have been more perfect. i really have seen the Lord's hand in this work and can testify that he prepares people to receive this message. i love the Lord, the work, and the people of Korea.

Elder Wells