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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Week 105 - The Force Will Be With You Always

He's coming home (it really happens)!!!!  Thursday!  Yahoo!  Leaves Seoul at 7:30 pm on February 2nd and gets to Portland at 4:15 on February 2nd.  Talk about Groundhog Day!

Oh, and at the end of his email, he mentions his Homecoming Talk.  He will actually be talking in 3 weeks, Sunday, February 19th, at 1:00.  If you'd like the address, let me know!

Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2017 12:44:22 +0900

Hello My Adoring Fans!
This is my last e-mail I'll be sending as a full-time missionary here in Korea.  
This week we celebrated a national holiday and Elder Fehlberg followed me around as I went from place to place visiting all of the people that have touched my life as I've served here.  I have come to love so many Church members, both active and not, as well as investigators and other non-members.  It's been a long hard week filled with a lot of stress, anxiety, and goodbyes.  It's just goodbye for now though.
We celebrated 설날 (Sol-lar) this week and it was really awesome!  We spent all Friday at our house deep cleaning and then went to a conference on Saturday.  At the conference they announced that the missionary schedule would be changing and in many ways, but most notably that P-day will now begin at 8am instead of doing studies and then going out.  Luckily, President Sonksen cut me some slack and gave my group going home and me one p-day according to the new schedule.  It's been awesome.  We were able to go to the 목욕탕 this morning.  I had to go with Elder Fehlberg and Elder Hipps once before I go home.  ㅋㅋㅋ
I am so grateful that I have been able to serve a mission and that I've been able to serve here in Korea.  I love the people of Korea and I have especially come to truly love and respect many of the members here in 상계 (Sanggye) as I've served here for the past 8 months.  I am excited for the day that I will be able to return here and see them again.
Serving a mission has been the greatest and most difficult experience of my life.  I think that before I came out I expected that by the end I would be just like this perfect man who would know absolutely everything about life and how to be married and raise a family.  Now that I reach the end, I realize that although I've changed a lot, I still have a long way to go.  As I rely on the Lord Jesus Christ---as I humble myself before Him, as He promises, He will make weak things become strong.  I may not know everything, or very many things, but I now more fully understand that I need my Savior every step along the way.  I love the Lord and this work.  I don't know what lies ahead, but as I "press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men", then the day will come where the Father shall welcome me into His presence and shall say unto me "Ye...have eternal life."
Love and Miss Y'all!
Called to Serve!
Elder Huckvale
P.S.  Come to my homecoming talk!  It's 2 weeks from now.  

Elder Huckvale and his AMAZING Ward Mission Leader, Brother Kim

Elder Fehlberg, Brother Kim, Elder Huckvale

Packing up!  Aaaaarrrrr!!!!!!

Elder Hipps, Fehlberg, Baird and Huckvale

My Two Sons - Elder Jung and Elder Fehlberg


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Week 104 - Now Let's Blow This Thing and Go Home!

Title - Con't. from last week...  "You're all clear, Elder! Now let's blow this thing and go HOME!!!!"

Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2017 13:46:55 +0900
Hello My Adoring Fans!
This is my second to last week serving as a full-time missionary here in Korea and it's so incredibly hard to believe how fast the time has gone.  
Anyways, serving here in Sanggye has been great!  We've been seeing a lot of miracles in the ward as we've become united as a district and with the members in our purpose of helping others to come unto Christ.  
On p-day, Elder Fehlberg and I decided to go down to the 경복궁 (Korean National) Palace in downtown Seoul.  It was awesome!  The rest of the week was spent visiting and spending time with the members, serving and teaching.  We have some really great investigators right now and we're really exciting to see them progress.  Our miracle investigator from last week who literally came to our church seeking after the "Pearl of Great Price" was out of town this week,  but we're going to meet him this week so we're excited.  Our grandpa investigator, Brother Kim, is doing great as well!  He came to church again this week and stayed for all three hours.  He's a talker though so we're still trying to figure out how we're going to teach him effectively.  We also found a new investigator this week who's in high school and his name is 김재현 and English name Lebron Kim (he likes bastketball) who is also really cool and very sincere.  It's been so awesome to see the miracles that happen as we've humbled ourselves and tried our best to follow the loving Example of our Lord Jesus Christ.  

Since I'm going home next week though, this week has also been filled with the first of many good byes.  There are also many more to come.  

I am so grateful for the blessings that have come as I've been able to serve the Lord here in Korea.  I am so excited for the future and glad that I worked my hardest and will continue to work my hardest until the end.  I know that there are a lot of lessons that would have remained unlearned if I had given up and gotten trunky.  Like I talked about last week, it's never too late to change.  I especially realized that this week as I've studied humility alongside with pride.  I have come to understand this week more than ever that God loves all of His children equally--all of the people that have lived, are living, and will live on this earth and all the other worlds which He has created.  He loves all of us equally, yet He loves us with an incomprehensible, unimaginable love.   
Love and Miss Y'all!
Called to serve!
Elder Huckvale

Elder Huckvale ran into the Kang's, one of his "adopted" Korean families.  So amazing!  They have been such a blessing for Elder Huckvale.  They are not members of the church, but their son (seen above) was a foreign exchange student with Elder Shepherd (one of Elder Huckvale's previous companions) and they adopted Elder Huckvale as well.  Love this so much!!!!

Celebrating Elder Fehlberg's birthday!

Beautiful snowy Korea!  I think we sent it all from Washington!!!


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Week 103 - You're All Clear Elder!

Title - In "Star Wars", Luke is making his assault run down the Death Stars' trench and Darth Vader is right on his tail.  Vader is about to shoot down Luke's X-Wing, when out of the blue, Han Solo comes and shoots at Darth Vader, causing him to fly out of control. Han Solo then yells, over the comlink, "you're all clear, kid..." 

Date: January 15, 2017 at 7:43:40 PM PST
Hello My Adoring Fans!
I'm coming down to my final weeks here in Korea as a full-time missionary(!).  I can't believe how fast the time has gone and how little time I have left.  This week was awesome.  The weather's been pretty cold here (not as cold as it is back home so I hear), but we were still able to get out, find some investigators and see some miracles.  
This week we had temple p-day so Monday was a regular day.  We didn't have any appointments during the day, so we decided to go out and visit some less-actives in our area.  We were on our way to visit this one guy, but while we were going there, we kept feeling weird about it.  We were about to turn down one way, but then we didn't feel right about it so we continued straight and then reached a point where we needed to turn.  At that moment I realized where we were supposed to be going.  We kept going that direction and ended up visiting a less-active member that we didn't intend on visiting.  She was home and so we shared a quick message and prayed at her doorstep and then left.  It was a huge miracle!  The Spirit is so awesome!  Through us, the Heavenly Father was able to reach out to one of His children in need by putting us where we needed to be at the right place and the right time.  We visited the guy we had intended on visiting, but he said he was too busy to talk so he sent us away.  That was okay though, we helped the person who the Lord sent us to help.
On Tuesday we got to go to the temple!  Every time we go to the temple we get to hear the testimonies of the missionaries going home that transfer and as a result I was able to bare my testimony.  I shared Mosiah 4:11 about humility and encouraged my fellow missionaries, as King Benjamin directs to "humble [themselves] even in the depths of humility".  I continued on to say that when I didn't rely on the Lord and gave way to my pride, that's when missionary work became difficult.
At night we had to go to the church because the sisters missionaries' church key was working.  When we got there we found them talking with a college student.  It turned out that he was a kid that came to buy the Triple Combination.  We explained to him that we don't sell things here, but that we could meet him again and bring one and talk about it.  He agreed to meet us again.  It was such a huge miracle!  He is so prepared to receive the Gospel!
After that we went to meet with another investigator at his house.  He fed us some really good pork and we introduced him to the Book of Mormon.  We're going to be teaching him English and we're really excited to see him progress in the Gospel!
On Thursday we met with the kid who found the Church.  We had a lesson with him with one of the members from the ward who just returned from his mandatory military service.  The lesson was great!  The kid's name is 유승원 (Brother Yoo).  He's 19 years old and attends another Christian church with his mom.  He lived in the Philippines for a while and saw the Church there.  He's heard a lot of bad rumors and wants to figure out if they're true or not for himself.  He's super nice and has a very sincere desire to learn.  We taught him the Restoration and he brought up a concern about being able to see God, but we helped him to understand that he can know for himself as he reads and prays about the Book of Mormon.  It was awesome!  To make things better, the member who helped us lives in the same neighborhood as Brother Yoo and so he rode the bus back with him and got his number.  What an incredible miracle!
On Sunday we had our grandpa investigator, 김봉호 (Brother Kim) come to church for the second time now!  He really enjoyed it and this time even stayed for Gospel Principles class and had a great time and contributed a lot.  He's come such a long way.  When he first met the missionaries last year, he vehemently opposed the idea of baptism (because he was already baptized in another church), but when we talked to him on Saturday, he said that he would consider it.  His heart is changing and it's been amazing to see! 
As I've said before, I've been reflecting a lot on my mission and whether or not I've become the person I'm supposed to be.  I've made a lot of mistakes on my mission and I've recognized a lot of my weaknesses.  But I want to change.  I am working to change.  Conversion is not an event, but a process.  It doesn't end after a day.  It doesn't even end after a lifetime.  Conversion begins when we choose it to, and it's never to late to start--it's never too late to change.  
Love and Miss Y'all!
Called to Serve!
Elder Huckvale

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Week 102 - Elder Huckvale, You've Switched Off Your Targeting Computer!

Title - In "Star Wars", Luke is leading an attack run down the trench towards the thermal exhaust port.  As he gets closer, he turns on his targeting computer which will help him aim his torpedoes.  All of a sudden, Luke hears Ben Kenobi's disembodied voice telling him, "use the Force, Luke...let go, Luke... Luke, trust me."  Luke turns off the targeting computer and over the radio he hears a voice from the Rebel Base which says, "Luke, you've switched off your targeting computer.  What's wrong?"  Luke then says, "nothing.  I'm all right."

Date: Mon, 9 Jan 2017 12:49:14 +0900
Hello My Adoring Fans!
This week has been so awesome serving here in 상계 (Sanggye)!  The new year is starting off great and we've been seeing a lot of miracles in our ward!
We had a lot of cancelled appointments this week and as a result did A LOT of proselyting activities.  We also had some celebrations here and there for a variety of reasons.  
On Wednesday at our English Class, we decided to invite one of the grandpas in our beginner class  to church, and he came!  We called the night before to confirm with him and he sounded really drunk, but nonetheless he came on Sunday and really enjoyed it!  It was really exciting to have an investigator come to church for the first time in a while.  We're going to start doing the Family English Program (30 minutes English 30 minutes Gospel) with him starting on Wednesday so we're really excited for him.  He seems really interested in continuing to come out to church!
Also, last night we said goodbye to a family from our ward by throwing them a giant goodbye party.  I'm really close with them, so it was really sad to see them go.  After we ate a meal, the time was turned over to anyone that wanted to express their thoughts.  A lot of the members of the ward got up, including me.  As I sat there listening to the words of love and gratitude from the other members, I felt a strong prompting to stand up and say some things.  I just thanked them and expressed my love for them.  It was really awesome.  I really felt like a member of the Sanggye Ward.  I love the members so much and I'm so grateful for the privilege that I've had to serve alongside them for these past 7-8 months and be able to finish my mission with them.  

I love the Lord and His work!
Love and Miss Y'all!
Called to Serve!
Elder Huckvale

Celebrating Elder Hipps' and one of the Sisters' birthdays

Street boarding - Facebook style

Apparently Elder Huckvale impulsively bought a $10 turtleneck.  :)


Week 101 - The Attack Run

Title - In "Star Wars", during the climatic battle to destroy the Death Star, as Gold Leader leads his squadron of fighters into the trench, he says, "we are starting our attack run."

Pics - Subway fun; English class
Date: Mon, 2 Jan 2017 12:46:22 +0900
Hello My Adoring Fans!
Happy New Year!
This week has been a pretty great one here in 상계 (Sanggye).  It was hard though.  I realized that for my entire mission I kind of saw my last Christmas as the end of mission.  I worked really heard up until that point.  For a few days there though, I had to refocus my energy and my effort and remember that I have one more month left to serve the Lord as a full-time missionary.  
끝까지 견딥시다!  (Let's endure to the end!)
This week we had our Christmas conference!  We focused on repentance and on the power of the Atonement not only being able to help us overcome our sins, but also being able to help us to carry our burdens and work through difficult times.  It was really good and I learned a lot!  I came to more fully-understand that the better-acquainted a missionary is with the Atonement, the better he will be able to teach about the Atonement.
On Saturday we had our Mini MTC!  It was awesome and almost all of the youth attended and had a great time.  I was in charge of one of the stations so I didn't get to explore that much, but all of the youth seemed to really enjoy it and their desire to do missionary work was strengthened.

On Sunday at church, we had a less-active brother come who we visited last week!  He came to church last week too.  We weren't able to visit him this week so we weren't sure if he would come, but to our surprise he came!  It was a really big miracle!  Also, one of the young men who graduated high school last year brought his friend to church!  It was super cool!  We're going over to his house tonight to do Family Home Evening and we invited his friend to go to.  We're really excited!  Also at night while we were streetboarding, the other elders team met a guy who is really prepared to hear the Gospel!  It's an exciting time!
During the Christmas conference, before the meeting began, I started to think about what would I say to someone who asked me why I served a mission.  I hadn't had many baptisms.  I hadn't even had that many investigators.  Why would I spend two years out on the streets proselyting and teaching people to return seemingly fruitless in my efforts to find, teach, and baptize?  I would say I did it because I know it's true.  I know that this is Jesus Christ's true Church restored to the earth.  He is the Savior and Redeemer of all mankind.
Love and Miss Y'all!
새해복 많이 받으세요!  (Receive many New Year's Blessings!)
Called to Serve!
Elder Huckvale


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Week 100! - Chad...Now That's a Name I've Not Heard In a Long Time...A Long Time (Part 4-Conclusion)

Title - our 4th (and final!) call home!

Pics - Stake President luncheon; lunch; Ward Christmas party; Christmas; "family" photos part 2

Date: Mon, 26 Dec 2016 12:29:16 +0900

Hello My Adoring Fans!

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone's enjoying the Christmas season with their family and friends as they celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

This week has been really awesome!  Although there was a lot of excitement and things to do as a result of the Christmas season, we were able to do a lot of missionary work and see a lot of miracles!

On Monday Elder Fehlberg and I went and took family pictures with Elder Baird and Elder Hipps! 


On Tuesday the stake president, President 송병철 (Song) invited all of the missionaries in our zone and any investigators or recent converts that could attend to his house for lunch!  It was really awesome!  He even put money on the transportation cards of all the missionaries so that we can have a little extra as we go from place to place.  It was way cool!  That night we went out to the 닭 갈비 (Chicken rib) buffet with the other elders and some of the YSA and young men who graduated high school this year.  It was really cool to get to talk with them and get a feel for how they're all doing spiritually.  It was a blast!

On Thursday we got to be out all day proselyting and visiting people and we saw a ton a miracles!  We met with a less-active brother in his 70's and committed him to come to church for Christmas.  We then met with a new investigator who we're going to teach English to.  Along the way we visited less-actives and were able to meet a lot of really cool people, including a kid who met with the missionaries a few years ago, attended church and almost got baptized.  It was awesome!

On Friday our ward mission leader, 김영기 (Brother Kim) took all of the missionaries out to the American-style buffet, Ashley, and we ate and wrote letters to some of the less-actives in the ward.  It was amazing!  Afterwards we went to a high-foot traffic subway station in our area and did a caroling activity as a zone.  It was a blast!  Elder Hipps dressed up as Santa Claus!

On Saturday we had our annual Sanggye Ward Christmas Party!  It was so fun!  In Korea when they do Christmas parties, all of the different auxiliaries (including the missionaries) prepare skits or musical numbers and then perform them for the ward.  The young men did a really funny skit about life in Sanggye Ward and their take on the foreign missionaries was absolutely spot-on.  The missionaries in our district sang a "O Come All Ye Faithful" and then just for the heck-of-it danced to "Feliz Navidad".  I want my brother Luke to know that my performance goes out to him "from the bottom of my heart" (he'll get it when he reads it).  The ward really loved it and we (of course) had a blast putting it on.  Elder Hipps reprised his role as Santa Claus and came and brought presents for everyone.  The party was really well-attended and the kid we met on the street a few days before came as well as some less-actives, part-member families, and some non-member friends that the members brought.  It was awesome!

(Check this out... because it's hysterically awesome!!!)

Sunday was the big day!  Christmas!  We had our ward's special Sacrament Meeting and it was really good.  We were hoping to have a bigger turnout in terms of non-members, but we worked really hard to invite people and help them to come, so it's okay.  The sisters' investigator from English Class came and I think that she really enjoyed it!  After Sacrament meeting, we borrowed some devices from the ward members and were able to Skype our families!  It was so cool to see my family again, but it was also really surreal because deep down I know that I'll see them a month from now.  Aw jeez.

After we Skyped our families, we spent the rest of the days out on the streets proselyting and caroling to members as a district.  We had the merriest of times.

I am so grateful that I have been able to spend this Christmas here in Korea as a missionary.  I originally would've felt a little bummed that I will have to wait another year to spend Christmas with my family, but this Christmas in Korea has proved to be one of the best of my life.  I really think it's because during this Christmas, more than any other Christmas, I really did my best to focus on others more than myself.  As I did that, I think that I came to more fully understand the meaning of Christmas.  It's about giving of ourselves the way Christ would---being a light unto the world as He is.  I know that He lives and that He is my Savior and Redeemer.

Love and Miss Y'all!

Merry Christmas!

Called to Serve!


Elder Huckvale