Monday, February 10, 2014


Dear Mom and Dad


일산에 환영합니다!!!!!


Welcome to Ilsan!!! This place is amazing I love Korea!!!!


The flight here was super long!  Luckily we were pseudo allowed to watch disney movies and such on the plane and so I watched planes and a couple of other movies to keep me entertained as well as a couple other older movies, studied, and talked to some of the people on the plane in Korean.  So exciting yet super long!  We flew from detroit over through canada and then over Russia and through parts of China.  When we were approaching Korea, we came from the north and I thought we were going to fly over North Korea.  But we flew around instead over China and into Incheon Airport which is super nice and fast!  We mad it through cutoms and got our baggage in a couple of minutes.  The longest thing we had to wait for was walking from the terminal to customs which took us like 10 minutes.  I didnt sleep at all on the flights so at this point I had been up for around 24 hours.  We walked outside and met our President, President Christensen and his wife.  They were super nice and we also met the office elders and the Assistants to the Presidents.  All of them were super friendly and funny.  After loading all of our baggage into their vans to get ready to go, they pulled out a box of Book of Mormons and told us we had a 40 minutes subway ride into Seoul, so we were to Jundo 존도 from Incheon all the way to Seoul.  That was crazy!!!.  I placed my book of mormon with the first person I talked to, and then gave out several passalong cards to people on the train after semi talking to them.  The asistants came around and helped out and  trained us a little bit on how to street contact.  It was really fun!  After finally making it to seoul and to the church building next to the temple, we ate some light snack and then hit the hay.  I had been up around 27 hours at this point and was super tired.  I knocked out instantly.  The next day they had us eat breakfast with president, do some studies, and get interviews out of the way.  Then after all of that they took us to Gwanghwamun Square and Jundo there for about 1 1/2 hours and then went to the museum there to see some cultural stuff.  We wrote out names in Hangul 한근 and saw some historical stuff about the language and some generals. Kinda interesting.  The next day we met our trainers!!!!! I was so excited but also sad, after being with elder Jarrett for almost 10 weeks it was hard not to be with him, but I was placed with this awesome Elder Smith from San Diego.  He attended MIT and played volleyball for them, he also was a pro gamer on the MLG circuit.  He is cool but we have some differences in personality that are a little bothersome sometimes.  We were assigned to the Ilsan 4 area, an area in the most northern part of Korea.  I am near the DMZ yes, but not actually near it at all, still several ways away.  The area is huge and guess how many missionaries we have in our ward???? 12!!! 


Isnt that crazy????? We are so used to only 2 per ward that to have 12 in one ward is nuts!!!  I see almost all of them on a daily basis and they are all really cool.  I live in an apartment with 5 others, Elders Smith, Hendershot, Elwood, Chisholm, and Rhodes.  They are all super chill and have been helping me out soo much! The area is beautiful, but the church is super far away!  Its 30 minutes by bus and its way out of our main city.  But its really nice, however its placed right next to 2 mega churches and they look creepy.  I'll try to take a picture soon, I havent been taking many because I was put straight to work.  I have been Jundoing and Studying non stop these past couple of days!!!


I hope everyone is well at home.  The weather here is cold but manageable, Its snowed the last two days, the first day a bit thick, and today its been just dusting.  The people are super nice and the ward I'm in is one of the biggest ones in Korea.  Theres only like 3 stakes in all of our mission.  Isnt that weird?  And our bathroom is a little, interesting.... The shower head comes straight out of the sink,,, and theres no divider or anything between sections of the bathroom.  Just a big drain in the floor.... Kinda weird but Im used to it now.   The food is good and I'm getting used to Kimchi so Im not starving.  And the second day here me and my companion went to Costco together with everyone else and bought food for the next couple of weeks.  Super helpful to have one here!


Well I pray everyday that everyone is safe and that we can all turn to Christ when we have troubles that we need help with.  Christ is there for even the small things and we should always turn to him when we need help with anything.  He has definitely been helping me out here in Korea. 


Hope everyone is safe and has a great week!  Love all of you!!!!!!


-Elder Yamagata
McDonalds trashcan in Korea! 
Me and Elder Smith (had to edit the colors so that we didnt look so white bceause of flash haah)

All of us at Mcdonalds Elders Chisholm Gildea and Hollingshaus, and Sisters Anderson Yang Hunsaker and Ko?

Some of the apartments here, theres tons!!!!
Our bathroom , you can see the shower head in the top right and no dividers or anything haha!
One of the mega churches, fun fact, you can see a church from almost anywhere in Korea.
 Me and elder Jarrett Together for the Last time

 Busy Korean street
Me elder Jarrett, Lundburg and Kim at the Museum
Me writing my name in Korean at the Museum
Me and brother Sung our awesome teacher!

ME and Brother Lund our other Awesome Teacher!

Photo Shoot at the MTC

Photo Shoot at the MTC
Asian face with Brother Lund!

Sister Baek our zone resource!

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