Seoul Temple

Seoul Temple
The Market

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Week 34 - And A Powerful Ally It Is

Title - In The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda is talking to Luke about the Force and he's telling him not to judge him by his size because his ally is the Force.  He's powerful because he has the Force, not because he's small.  He's got the Force, so that's a powerful ally in him. 

Hello Adoring Fans!
This week was pretty slow.  We did a lot of prosyleting por el camino if you know what I mean.  Anyways, yeah, the first week of the transfer is already over which is super crazy to think about.  Elder Ee from my house left on Thursday and Elder Han got a new companion named Elder Peterson, whose from North Carolina.  This means that we still don't have any missionaries serving in our ward from Utah.  What are the odds?  So yeah, considering the fact that 18 new missionaries arrived to the mission this transfer, I was not really affected at all.
So how about the week?
On Tuesday I went on exchanges with Elder Ee which was pretty fun.  We didn't have any appointments, but we still had a really great time out on the street proselyting.  Plus he showed me this shop that sells A&W Rootbeer.  It was like a buck fifty a can, but it was so worth it considering the fact that Rootbeer isn't sold in Korea outside of the American bases, stores that got it specially imported, and people who illegally purchased it from people that have access to an American base. 
So yeah, it tasted like my childhood.
After I ended my exchange with Elder Ee, Elder Kim and I taught 김동환 (Daniel).  We taught the last half of the Plan of Salvation to him and it went pretty well.  When we were done teaching him, we went out and proselyted for a bit and then came back after English Class ended.  The missionaries in our ward are going to be putting on a music program next month, so we met to discuss some ideas for songs and.  We're going to be doing some musical numbers with some of our investigators (including Daniel who plays the guitar) which should be pretty awesome. 
Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday were pretty normal days.  We did a lot of proselyting and some less-active hunting.  Some interesting events...
On Thursday some guy who told me that he was Buddhist called me satan when I kept trying to talk to him at the bus stop.  I told him that I thought that Buddhist people didn't believe in satan and then he just walked further away from me so I left.  Thursday night, I taught this kid all about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith, invited the Spirit, had him read Moroni's promise in the Book of Mormon, but he ultimately decided not to believe me because we don't believe in the Trinity.  He told me to go and read the scripture in Matthew where Jesus says something like "you can not know the Father without knowing the Father".  I told him that I know that what I'm teaching is true.  We ultimately decided to agree to disagree.  He was a super nice kid though, so I continued to talk to him for a little bit after I taught him. 
It's kind of silly that all of the other churches are trying so hard to prove that their church's doctrine is true through the Bible, because every church interprets the same verse of scripture entirely different leaving the honest seeker of truth just confused and discouraged.  That is why our message is so special:  we're not trying in any way to prove that the Church is true through logic and the reasoning of men, we're inviting people to pray and ask God, the Source of all truth, whether the Church is true or not. 
On Saturday we taught English Class and then met with Daniel again and had a really good lesson about faith, which is something that he has a problem with.  We read Alma 32 with him and talked about how when we have faith, we receive a special strength from God that allows us to overcome all of our trials and struggles.  However, it is really hard to have faith when you still feel that there is no need to have it.  I shared my conversion story with him and expressed that if it were not for the large decision that I had been faced with in my life, I would have not gone seeking heavenly guidance.  I expressed that it is the same for him.  It was a really good lesson and Daniel said that if he decides to join a church he's joining ours.
Saturday night and Sunday afternoon we taught some people who are meeting us because of English interest, but they're not super opposed to the Gospel.  We'll see if that goes anywhere.
Especially recently,  I've been realizing a ton the power of the Book of Mormon.  I've been putting an effort forth to use it more when teaching on the street and it's resulted in some pretty cool things.  I was able to invite two people to be baptized after sharing with them a verse from the Book of Mormon and then expressing that I know that every one can know that it is true through the Power of Holy Ghost. 
"Pray.  He is there.  Speak.  He is listening"
     -A Child's Prayer
Love and Miss Y'all!
Called to Serve!
Elder Huckvale

At the Meat Buffet before Elder Ee left.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Week 33 - From My Experience There's No Such Thing as Luck

Title - In Star Wars, Luke is training with his lightsaber and is able to deflect laser blasts, even though he is wearing a helmet that he can't see out of.  Han comments, "I call it luck", and Obi-Wan responds, "From my experience, there's no such thing as luck."

Hello Adoring Fans!
This week was pretty fresh.  We got transfer calls on Saturday and I'm not getting transferred, neither is Elder Kim or anyone else in our district except Elder Ee.  So nothing too exciting there.
Anyways, I'm really excited to continue being Elder Kim's companion and to be staying in 금촌 (Geumchon).  We're starting to see some movement among our investigators and finding more people to teach so I feel that we can get a baptism this transfer.
Let's look back now to Monday...
We had a zone p-day which was pretty choice.  We went over to 일산 (Irsan) and just played basketball, ping-pong, and 촉구 (Choku) which is like volleyball and soccer mixed.  It's pretty fun, but I'm not very good at it at all.  Curse my athletically-disabled body!
Tuesday was pretty good.  We didn't have any appointments, so we did a lot of proselyting and less-active hunting.  After we ate dinner, we were on our way to go to the church building to meet Daniel, and I ran into a guy that I met over a month ago who's kind of special and is Catholic (See "You Don't Know the Power of the Holy Ghost").  We talked a little bit.  The last time that I met him on the street, I talked to him about the Church and was able to quiet some of his concerns about it, but he was still hesitant to give me his phone number.  Right before I met him though, I was thinking about him again.  He told me his name last time and I had had the thought a few times of writing it down in my planner for this transfer, but never did.  Anyways, this time when we met him, it was pretty much the same which was kind of lame.  We had to go, so we didn't get to talk to him very long.  I keep thinking that maybe if I would have written down his name and remembered it, the encounter might've gone differently.
After we met that guy on the street we met with Daniel at the church building and had a pretty good lesson about the Plan of Salvation.  Daniel admitted that he believes that he believes that there is some sort of 신 (Unknown Force "a Great Spirit" or "the Force"), but he refuses to admit that that unknown force is our Heavenly Father.  Still, a month ago he was talking about how the only thing that he could believe in is a black hole, so we're seeing some progress.
On Wednesday, we had a zone meeting which was pretty swell.  We talked all about following the promptings of the Spirit and also having the faith to baptize.  After the zone meeting we didn't have any appointments, so we proselyted.  I had a really awesome experience after dinner.  We were out proselyting and I started talking to this kid who looked like he was 23, but is actually 16/17.  It also turned out that he's super good at English because he lived with his aunt in Bountiful, Utah for a year.  What the flip kind of crazy coincidence is that?!  His name is 노하송 (No Ha Song) and he was waiting for his mom to come pick him up on her way home from work.  We ended up talking for like an hour.  He told me about how his aunt and her husband are church members and that he knows a little bit about the Church but not very much.  He and his mom, and his grandma are all devout members of 성결교 (Sanctification Church).  I taught him a little about the Church, mostly about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith.  When I recited the First Vision to him, he told me that he felt a certain joy within him and I helped him realize that that's the Spirit.  I showed him some verses from the Book of Mormon as well and he was able to really feel the power of them.  It was a really cool experience.  However, he is a very faithful member of the church that he is attending and he really has a strong faith in his pastor.  Him and his mom were considering moving to his aunt's house in Utah.  They had prayed a ton about it and had brought the matter before the pastor.  The pastor came back a few days later and through revelation, told No Ha Song and his mom that God told the pastor that there is an 80% chance that No Ha Song could become a pastor which is his dream.  I tried to explain that when God answers prayers, at least in my experience, He doesn't do it in percentages.  He is the center of all truth, when I receive an answer from God, I know 100% that it is the truth.  I challenged No Ha Song to pray about whether his pastor is really a disciple of Christ and pray to have a confirmation that the revelation that his pastor received is true.  Anyways, No Ha Song and I both agreed that we were supposed to meet.  I tried to offer him a Book of Mormon, but he didn't want to accept it, mostly because of how others would feel about it.  Then his mom came and we talked for like a minute, but had to go because it was almost 9.  From my experience there's no such thing as luck.
On Saturday we met with Daniel again and one of our ward missionares, Julie, came with us again.  We had an awesome discussion, most of which I didn't understand.  Daniel and Julie know each other through English class so Daniel is really comfortable talking about his thoughts with her.  He probably would feel like that with us except I don't understand every thing that he says and Elder Kim is just naturally a really quiet and reserved person.  Anyways, the discussion was good and I was able to throw in a few things here and there.  Daniel is a super spiritual person and I know that he will get baptized, I just don't know when. 
After we met with Daniel we went to stake conference with one of our investigators that we haven't met in a long time, 이경용 (Ee Gyung yung). 
On Sunday we went to stake conference again with another one of our investigators that we haven't met in a long time, 이경철 (Ee Gyung Chur).  On the way back we taught him the Plan of Salvation and it seemed to have gone really well.  He is a really good man and has been reading the Book of Mormon since we met with him last time (he hasn't been able to meet because he's been sick).  He also consistently wonders about the questions that are answered through the Plan of Salvation.  Nice!
So yeah, had some pretty cool experiences this week.  The more I go about my Father's business, the more I realize that the Church is true and the more my faith in that knowledge is strengthened. 
Love and Miss Y'all
Called to Serve!
Elder Huckvale

During Family Home Evening, 
Elder Huckvale, serving as the "Good Samaritan" and rescuing Elder Han after he got mugged.  :)

Monday, September 7, 2015

Week 32 - Your Knowledge of the Bible is Insignificant Next to the Power of the Spirit

Title - In Star Wars, in the Death Star meeting room, Admiral Motti, who is the Commander of the Death Star, is boasting about how powerful the Death Star is.  Darth Vader responds, "The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force."  

Hello Adoring Fans!
This week was pretty fan-freakin-tastic!  I had a ton of really spiritual experiences this week that have helped to strengthen my testimony of the Church as well as the divinity of this work.
Unfortunately, though, we still are struggling to find people to teach...
On Monday, we didn't have p-day because this week we had temple p-day which was awesome.  Anyways, so after we e-mailed, we just proselyted, ate dinner, and then went and did family home evening at the church.  One of the sisters in our ward is an incredible ward missionary and is a tutor (?) has been bringing all of these elementary school-aged kids to family home evening every week and it has been really awesome.  None of them are members, but they are all great kids.  Elder Kim and I taught the spiritual message about the Creation.  We asked the kids what God had created and then we drew them up on the chalk board for the 6 days in which the earth was created.  Afterwards, we committed them to think about all God had created for them and given them and pray to Him and thank Him.  Then we played some other games with them.  Elder Kim and I only started coming to Family Home Evening last week, but it has been really fun.
On Tuesday, we had temple p-day which was awesome as expected.  The rest of the day was pretty laid-back for a temple p-day.  We went out to this cheap restaurant near the temple that is highly-regarded among the missionaries, and the then Elder Kim and I went to 동대문 (Dongdaemun) and got some cheap companionship ties.  재미 있다!  (Fun!)
On Wednesday we didn't have anything going on and it was raining, so Elder Kim and I went tracting in an apartment building.  It's by no means the most effective way for finding, but it was raining so we thought "why not?".  Plus isn't it essential for all missionaries?
On Thursday we had a mission tour back in my old area, 신당 (Sin Dang(Sheen Dong)).  President Scott D. Whiting of the First Presidency of the Seventy came and spoke to us and it was awesome.  The main theme of the mission tour was having the faith to baptize.  It is something that our mission really struggles with.  It's mostly due to the reputation that our mission has for being a low-baptizing mission.  Gosh dang it.  So we talked all about that and how there are people out there who have been prepared to receive our message.  It was a really great meeting and I definitely received a lot of inspiration from it and a renewed desire to do the work of the Lord.  Before we broke for lunch, President Whiting asked us to think about instances in which we have seen the hand of the Lord involved in the work in Korea.  After lunch we got back together and I got up and talked about how the Korean War had left Korea ravaged and within only fifty years, Korea had become a sprawling metropolis.  I really felt the Spirit testifying to me the love that the Lord has for this people and that it was He who helped them to get to where they are.  My love for the people was strengthened significantly. 
On Saturday, Elder Kim and I had a pretty interesting experience.  We had some time to kill in between lunch and English class so we were out proselyting and then these two guys in suits (who have apparently met Elder Kim before) came up to us and started asking Elder Kim about some verse in the Bible.  Then they wanted to Bible Bash us, but they didn't have a Bible so they had to borrow mine.  They kept like yelling at us and talking non-stop and then when they realized they were getting a little carried away they would throw in a little smile so as to convince themselves that they were doing this whole thing out of love.  One of them, who knew that I had no idea what they were talking about, kept trying to argue with me.  He kept talking to me about something and even after I straight-out told him that I didn't know what he was talking about, he continued to try to argue with me.  I got really fed up with it all so, being overwhelmed with the Spirit I raised up the Book of Mormon to them and asked them "Do you believe that God answers prayers?"  They kept trying to talk over me and say some lame excuse or avoid the question so I repeated myself until they stopped and allowed me to talk.  I then said to them "My friend and I have prayed about this book and we know that it is true!"  If they could have only softened their hearts, they could've felt the power of my witness.  But instead, they continued to argue.  I got fed up again and tried to say "If you will not read and pray about this book, then we are wasting our time", but instead of saying "wasting", I said "blaming", so it wasn't nearly as cool as I had planned it to be.  Anyways, they had to go somewhere so they left and Elder Kim bore one final testimony of the Book of Mormon and one of the guys said "Don't tell me all of that 'I know it's true' stuff!" as he walked away.  It was silly, but a really awesome experience though, and it really strengthened my testimony not just of the Book of Mormon, but also the divinity of this work. 
After English class, we went with 김동환 (Daniel) and the ward missionary mentioned above, 이윤희 (English name is Julie), to dinner at another ward member's house out in the boonies.  The guy we met, 김조수 (Kim Josu) is super rich and has this really awesome garden on his property with all sorts of patios and eating areas and a fountain that he all designed and built himself.  We ate dinner with him, Daniel, and Julie, and then we talked together.  It was really awesome, both Julie and 김조수 talked about their conversion stories and how the gospel has blessed their lives.  Daniel, however, just doesn't have any faith and he still hasn't seen any reason to have faith.  It's pretty struggily.  Julie, Elder Kim, and I, concluded that in order for Daniel to gain faith, he must have a trial in his life that is too hard for him to bare on his own. 
So yeah, this week has been really awesome.  There are many times when it's hard not to get discouraged as we struggle to find people to teach, but when I was particularly frustrated, I read in the Book of Mormon 2 Nephi 2: 11 which I'm sure all of you are familiar with which reads:
For it must needs be, that there is an oppostion in all things.  If not so,...righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad.  Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one.
As long as I stay faithful and diligent to the end, the Lord will bless me.  I know this to be true.
Love and Miss Y'all!
Called to Serve!
Elder Huckvale 

A really rad llama pen from Peru that one of the in-active members that we've been working with gave me.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Week 31 - We Are Offering a More-Than-Substantial Reward

I am a week behind.  Sorry!  This is last Sunday's email.  This week has been a little crazy for us.  :)

Title - In "The Empire Strikes Back" (we think), when the Empire has hired Bounty Hunters to find Han Solo and the Millenium Falcon.

Hello Adoring Fans!
There weren't any attacks from 북한 this week!
This week was a pretty slow one.  We did a lot of proselyting this week as we struggle to find new people to meet with.  Unfortunately, for the entire month of August, most of our most promising investigators were out of town on business trips.  Anyways, the week was still good and we had some pretty cool experiences. 
On Tuesday, Elder Han had to go back to the army to do a training, so Elder Ee was with Elder Kim and I for the day.  In Korea, every male must serve in the military for two years at some point after they've graduated high school.  Since Elder Han's already done his service, he has to go back to the army to do like a training or something every few months.  Anyways, so we were with Elder Ee for the day and of course didn't have any appointments.  So we went out into the country looking for a missing in-active member who unfortunately we were still unable to find.  Dang.  When the Church was first introduced into Korea, it spread like wild fire and many people were baptized in the 60's and 70's, but most have since become in-active.  There are so many in-active members here.  I think that in my last area 신당 (Sindang), there were in total 1,000 members within the ward boundaries, but only 250 of them are active.  Dang.  Anyways, that's what the situation is here.
Outside of in-active member hunting, on Tuesday I had a pretty cool experience while I was proselyting.  I started talking to this guy who was on his way home from work and he was really exhausted and a little bit struggled.  But alas, I continued to talk to him.  Then he got a little bit snappy at me and told me I was wasting my time and to go back to America and go to school.  Then I told him about how I knew that it was the will of God for me to be in Korea right now.  Then, getting lost in my own thoughts, I let out a huge sigh.  Then he laughed.  It was pretty funny and a really cool experience.  Within an instant he changed from a struggled businessman to a friendly child of God.  Then we talked about families for a little bit and how excited I am to start my own family because that's really where true happiness is.  Then his bus showed up and he had to leave. 
On Friday, Elder Kim and I met with a less-active named 박찬우 (Pak Chan Oo).  We just met him at the train station near our apartment and then went and hung out at the nearby Dunkin Donuts and talked with him for a bit.  He was baptized a few years ago, but became less-active.  He's a super nice guy and doesn't have anything against missionaries or the Church, he just slowly fell away from the Church because he never acquired a firm testimony.  Anyways, we're probably going to meet with him again this week so that'll probably be good.
On Saturday, we met with 김동환 (Daniel).  We had a pretty good lesson with him about the Atonement and we talked a lot about how the Atonement only works if you have faith in Jesus Christ.  Then we talked about faith and his lack of it.  We committed him to read Alma 32 and pray for faith.  He also said that he can probably come to Church every once in a while.  Classic 김동환.  Anyways, yeah, it was good.  Saturday night we went street-boarding which is always really fun.  I'm usually the one who holds the board so that I can lure people over and then the other missionaries come over to them and teach them.  Nice!
All-in-all, this was a pretty jammin' week!  In all seriousness though, yeah it was good.  The hardest struggle for me has been remaining diligent in trying to talk to as many people as possible.  I've decided that anytime I don't want to talk to someone, I'm going to recite in my head Mosiah 3:19 which says:
For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit , and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child
I don't want to be the natural man, I want to become something more, and my Heavenly Father has provided a way for me; He's provided a way for all of us.
Love and Miss Y'all!
Called to Serve!
Elder Huckvale 

A Baymax cup!  At Baskin-Robbins... in Korea!  Odd!