Never a dull moment when you are in Korea. How lets see where should I start?
So the language is really difficult and I can't understand people at all haha. But I'm trying to work really hard at it and I can fell myself getting better. Every time I talk in Korean people ask how long I've been here and I tell them and there always shocked about it. Guess the gift of tongues thing really does work in helping learn a language. I did kinda make a slip up the other day with the language though. I was just practicing with one of the less-active members that we talk to a bit and I though I asked him where he was going. He kinda looked at me funny and told me that saying that was a really mean way of telling somebody to go away. He is really good at English and cool but it's just the difference of one syllable haha.
So me and my companion went shopping the other day and it was probably one of the most stressful things that I have ever done. Korean supermarkets are not like Utah supermarkets. So the place we went to is like bigger than a wal-mart and has three floors. On every aisle there is like three people at those sample stall things and they are shouting to try and get you to come to try whatever they have. On top of that there are just like a billion people there and you have to constantly move out of the way and navigate around people to get to where you want. Holy cow it was stressful. And after that my companion and I had to carry everything we bought in boxes for about 2 miles. Lets just say my arms are still sore from that one. Haha there are a few things here in Korea that it's impossible to buy because of how much it costs. Cheese, butter, and anything that's American. It's like thirty bucks to buy one pizza from papa john's, not happy about that haha.
Right now we have 2 investigators. 최태짚 and 박준규. Both of them have really good potential. It's really hard right now because we have a church building like 5 minutes away from our house, but it's under construction right now. So right now we have to travel about an hour and a half to get to church. It's really hard to get investigators to come to church when it's so far away. When the church opens up in a couple of weeks things are going to be a little better. We could just talk to people on the street and ask if they want to come into the church.
Korea is not exactly an easy place to convert people to the gospel. My companion is a great missionary and works really hard all the time no matter what, but he's been out for a year and hasn't baptized anybody. There are many things in Korean culture that go against the church and it's hard to commit people to change when it's there culture. Smoking and drinking is a HUGE problem here. No joke. If we met people and ask them for a tip about Korean culture to make friends they always say that you need to drink with them. And every man here smokes all the time. I guess we need to change that part of the culture.
I thing that I am seeing that I probably won't do when I have more experience is talking about English. We have an English class that we teach once a week which I think is fine but anything other than that is not OK. Our goal as missionaries is to teach and invite people to come to the gospel of Christ. I think teaching English is not the best way to do that.
So the day we wanted to visit a less-active and we had to walk for about 2 hours to get there. Well we get there and there was nobody home. So we started to walk back. One thing I really like is that we really focus on trying to talk to whomever we can where ever we are going. Well we were walking back and my companion was mostly talking to this teenage boy and a middle-aged woman comes up to me and asks me in broken English if I am a Mormon. I said yes and wasn't too surprised because we get that quite often here. The next part was what shocked me. Still in broken English she said that she and here family wanted to learn about our church. Never heard that one before. Super amazing!!! She said that like 10 years ago she met with some missionaries a couple of times and then moved. So we set up an appointment and were are going to meet with her and her whole family in a couple of days. Just goes to show that when you're out working the Lord puts people in your path.
Our ward is really great and I think that it's really important to have a good relationship with the members. I think that's one thing that we struggle with. So I've have been really trying to get to know the members at church to have them trust us and want to help up. It will be easier when I can actually talk more than a more sentences to them.
The Lord's hand is in everything we do. I am learning so much. So missionaries don't take advantage of being in Korea. I want to help people here to but I also want to better myself in every way. Physical, mental and spiritual. I just love serving the people here and talking to them. It's great to see the smile of somebody's face when you start talking in their language to them.
I hope all of you are doing wonderful and I miss you all. The Lord's hand is in everything and I love this work
Love you all,
Elder Daniel John Meeks