Monday, February 17, 2014

Andong is the Promised Land

Happy Sabbath Evening to you all!!!!

It has been a great week!!!!  After we compiled our Key Indicators (stats) last night, I realized that this week was I think the highest for my whole mission, lesson wise!!!  We had 3 member present lessons and 5 other lessons.  5 progressing investigators and 2 with a baptism date!!!  (more on that in a bit)  I know those probably seem low compared to some other areas in the world, but we thought that it was an absolute miracle!!!  Like I have said before, Andong really is the Promised Land!!!

Monday, we went to a Confucius village (pictures to come) for P-Day which was fun, neat, interesting, etc.  We also went to the Burger King that just opened here, but it was not very delicious.  I told Sister *** that I will save my burgers for when I go back to America.  Then we had English Class which was fun as always!

Tuesday, we went and visited one of our old harmonys (grandmothers).  We try to teach her about the gospel, but she usually just ends up telling us stories about her life, which are SUPER interesting!  (I can't understand everything she says, but Sister *** catches me up on the rest)  Then we went and taught *** and ***.  We gave them stickers to put in their Book of Mormon stories book every time they pray and they each prayed 11 times last week!   So cute.  We asked them again how it was, and they said  that they get a warm feeling each time they pray!  They wanted to come to church this week, but our member couldn't bring them so we will pray and have faith for next week!  They have been texting us (yes they both have smart phones....what is this world?)  "we miss you"  "we want to see you!"  "we love you!"  Haha so cute!!

Wednesday, we went and visited the partially deaf harmony that one of our members referred us to, and I have sent stories about.  This week, she had just gotten back from the 떡집 (rice cake shop) and had PLENTY that she was so excited to share with us.  She also had a WHOLE stock of bananas for us, but fortunately we were sneaky and had a black grocery bag in my bag that we would take a bite of something and then when she wasn't looking, throw it in the grocery bag.  Then we just got rid of it later.  Hahaha we thought we were pretty clever!  Then she decided to feed us ramen, but we couldn't get out of that one, so we ate it.  No wonder I am getting fat here!!!  All those crazy harmonys!  Anyway.  We tried to teach her about the plan of salvation and she kind of listened, well as much as she could.  The whole time she was worried that we were going to miss the bus back, which was an hour and a half later, so finally we just went and waited at the bus stop with her.  Always a great adventure!  That night, we went and got bread from a famous place here in Andong with one of the Young Women, Unsue, and ***. We had fun and taught them about prayer, which was good.  We are hoping that we can start the lessons with *** soon!  

Thursday, we had district meeting.  I taught about the new flip-chart type things we got this week.  It has pictures about each section of the lesson on on side, and then a part for us to write things on the other.  (Daejeon mission made them).  Funny story--I had practiced one part that I wanted to say about helping our investigators to visualize what we are teaching about more for a couple days before. The words and grammar forms were really tricky.  So I said it, and I was pretty excited about it.  But then Sister *** and Elder *** started laughing at me!  I just kept going, but then I asked Sister *** why later and she said because after I said it, I got a big smile on my face like I was really proud of myself, nodded and went on.  (Yeah that was totally subconscious because I did not think I did that!)  I told her about how you used to tell me that when I was little, after I did something good , I would make a face, and wait for everyone to recognize it haha.  I told her it was probably the same look.  Obviously my companion knows me very well!!!

Friday, we walked to the downtown part of Andong and back (it only took like 40 minutes-we found a more direct route)  and jundoed as we walked.  Then we had a lesson with our investigators *** and *** .  (The sisters that are 20 and 18.)  We finished the third lesson with them and talked about Baptism, the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End.  Then we challenged them to baptism on April 13 and they accepted!!!  (Andong does not have a baptismal font, and in the summer, they baptize people in the river but its too cold for that still, so April 13 is the day of general conference in Daegu).  We explained how they do not need to understand everything yet, but that they still have time to learn, as long as they will keep praying and reading the Book of Mormon, their testimony will continue to grow!   We are SUPER excited!!!

Saturday, we had English Class.  Then, that night, our investigator  invited us to her house for dinner to meet her family!!!!!!!!!  We rode the train to Young-ju where they live, and they picked us up at the train station.  She and her husband are both super nice, and they have two kids, a boy who is 11, and a girl, who is 8.  It was fun to get to know them!!  As we talked, we explained some of how our religion is different from other religions.  We decided that they are not actively searching for religion right now, but are open and want to learn about it.  It may take some time, but we DEFINITELY know that they have so much potential!!!  She texted us afterwards and told us how much her family loved having us over and that we will have to do it again soon!

Sunday, was church, which was good as always but nothing super special!  Then we went and had dinner at one of our members houses with *** and *** so they could get to know each other better, which was great!

So obviously, overall, it was a really great week, as every week is. 

I borrowed a few of the old conference session DVDs from the church and have been listening/watching them as I exercised in the morning and gotten ready for bed at night. It has been so much fun!!  I love hearing the deep testimonies each of our church leaders have of the Savior and their dedication to follow Him.  They are such a wonderful example to each of us of following the will of the Lord.  Each day I serve, I hope that I can do a little more and reach a little higher to do more for others and overall, just act and love more like the Savior!  It has been so neat to see the little miracles that have happened as I have focused on that, and know that they will keep coming!!

As for your questions, the branch is great!!!  Nothing too exciting to report, but just good overall!  Yes, the elders are having just as much success as us and are working very hard as well.  The members say Burgoyne more like Pore-go-ing, or just Bur, and it works!
Yes transfers are this week and we are hoping and praying that we can stay together another transfer!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

Well I love you all and hope that you all have a wonderful week!!!

Love you!