Monday, May 19, 2014

My week in Korea!


So after finishing my short time on email last week we speeded on into Seoul to play volleyball with some other missionaries!  What a fun time we had there!  Afterwards we came back and then got suddenly got invited to a member meal that was really cool.  We had a great time and then just came home and hit the hay, we were all exhausted that day!  Tuesday was a little bit of a let down, a 9 hour Contacting day..... so fun!  Definitely is hard to get out of the house when you look at your planner and see nothing for the whole day, so you know you are going to be on a street corner for a long time.... But we ended up doing it with elder Chisholm and Elder Jeong,  and later in the day I told Elder Jeong I wanted to go hunting, and he turned to me and then in English told me "The Koreans one night hunting in club to go booking."  At first I was a little confused but then he wrote it down in my planner and I read it out, and it was definitely not your normal missionary vocabulary hahah.  He told me the wordsm hunting one night and booking are all bad words in korean hahaha.  Thanks  I really wanted to learn!!! Not!Haha but it was super funny.  That night we did some calls for about 2 1/2 hours. with no luck we had another empty day ahead....  Wednesday we had our district meeting, talked about being the 4th missionary.  I was asked to give a spiritual thought and so talked about Elder Neal A. Maxwells talk called Notwithstanding My Weakness.  It kind of perfectly went along with what we were talking about.  And then we talked about turning our will over to heavenly father to become better missionaries.  We listened to a song on the cd called The Work that was written about missionary work.  It was called the "Hardest Thing I Ever Had to Do"  It was really powerful and talked about some attributes of the 4th missionary.  That whole CD is really powerful and great to listen to!  Afterwards I had to do Pass Off with Elder Hendershot to finish the 3rd lesson.  It took about 30 minutes and I taught the 3rd lesson in about 15 minutes.  It was super weird at first but definitely became more fun as we kept going.  Finally passed off lesson 3!!!!!  Then Street contacting and Calls to finish off the night!  Unfortunately, calls only benefited our saturday!  That seems to be the only time people can meet lately!  On Wednesday our Zone Leader Elder chisholm went on Exchanges with the district leader from Gumcheon and so they brought elder landford down here for the day.  It was funny because they (Elder Landford and Elder Jeong)  got lost on the way back from the train station and called us to go find them and bring them back to the house.  Then we went out and I ended up going with Elder Lanford for a couple of hours, really nice guy!  That night me and Elder Smith smoothed some things over from email last week that I told president some stuff that bothered him so we talked about it and resolved everything pretty quickly!

 

Thursday we were supposed to go out and Street contact all day but luckily Elder Jeong called us and asked if we could come to his lesson at 2, so we went for an hour and came back, and it was with our old investigator Charlie, the one that was super prepared on the street.  We taught him about Eternal Families and Marriage and About the Temple.  He was super into it, but when Elder Jeong tried teaching about baptism, he kind of backtracked and didnt want to talk about it that much.  He doesnt think he is prepared enough for it, and doesnt like pressure at all (typical korean haha) .  It was still a pretty good lesson.  Afterwards, me and Elder Smith went less active hunting in JungSan,  walked the wrong way for about 30 minutes, realized it and started walking the right way for another 45 minutes just to get to where we needed to be.  Found no one and walked home hungry haha.  After dinner had our ward mission leader meeting where Elder Jeong tried telling our ward mission leader that we need to try to do more activities with the ward and such (like I did when I got here) and so after a lengthy discussion, he told him if he wanted to do something that he would have to plan the whole thing and then get it approved and such.  Elder chisholm was definitely ticked, as well as some of us too.  He was telling us in the middle of it that we talk bad about the ward and that we dont know what we are talking about because we are foreigners and such.  It definitely bugged us a little, but we got over it.  So now we are planning to do some family home evening stuff with the Ward.  Hopefully it will go well!  

 

Friday, we had some house inspection and passed.  We just were told we need more fans in the house, the 2 we have are not enough when the summer comes, we need 1 per person.  thats insane!  Its already gettting pretty hot out here though,  yesterday it was about 28 Centigrade.  And 50 percent humidityy! I will die this summer!!!! Weekly planning was good, and me and Elder Smith were able to work on ourselves a lot and tell each other what we want to improve on!  Confession Session has definitely been better these past couple of weeks/months.  We had alittle hiccup in the middle of planning for one person, but we were able to both recompose within seconds and figure it out by talking.  I can definitely see growth in both of us!!!!  After planning we Street contacted for a couple of hours, then met with Mr Choi, our investigator from forever ago!!! He wanted to meet again and he took us to dinner and then to a Bingsu place down the street (Bingsu is Ice flakes with ice cream and other toppings in it, this one had red bean, called Pot, super delicious) Afterwards we walked to a park and then we talked about coming to church and praying and stuff.  He kind of pushed against us and told us he was too old and needed years of preparation to be able to go to church and theres too much pressure there so on.... And then prayer he said after he got married again (we didnt know he got divorced, or had another kid) that he didnt have anything to pray for help for, so he stopped.  We encouraged him to continue praying and then prayed right there with him and his wife before we left.  On the way home we took some photos over a buys streeet and then ran over a mountain and to our apartment so we werent late home!  Definitely was tired when we walked in the house, and elder smith was sweating up a storm!  

 

Saturday.  We needed to do exchanges all day satuday so I went with elder Jeong again and unfortunately they decided to make it an all day thing.  I was definitely pushed to my limit that day at some points.  I had to do companion and 12 week study with him.,..... in KOREAN!?!?!  I was pushing the limits of my language abilities for more than 3 hours!  I was exhausted afterwards, but then we had to walk an hour to an appointment in Baeksoek, only for him not to show up.  So we went less active hunting down there, no one ever answers the door so after I told him we were going street contacting. Then it was about 1 1/2 hours of trying to get him to jundo with me and me pushing him and trying to get him to do more work.  He really doesnt like street contacting, actually he hates it.  Most Korean missionaries do.  But we have to do it!  Its a part of our life here.  Eat Sleep Jundo.  Hahaha  Then english class was fun and I taught the basic class as always, they love me as a teacher there!  So fun!!!!

 

Sunday we had church as always, little bit tough to stay awake, and I wasnt the only one.  Everyone was starting to fall asleep during classes and sacrament.  It was warmer and all of us were exhausted!  But after church we had some studies and then a great member meal with Kim Hyung Sup.  The Elders Quorum President.  Super fun and when it came time for the spiritual message I was suddenly asked to teach along with Elder Buck.  So we planned for about 1 minutes and then tried teaching the 3rd lesson Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It soon went sour as our member was trying to be the hardest investigator ever, literally.  He switched between a couple of religions and asked some hard questions that had all 8 missionaries stumped.  He served in LA and so knew some of the harder questions to ask us.  It was hard but defniitely good practice!!!  Afterwards we had spaghetti and hot wings ahaha.  Great meal!  

 

 

I hope everyone is doing well at home.  I Have been learning tons out here and need to start making these emails more spiritual instead of temporal.  Ill start next week!  But for this week I just hope everyone remembers the missionaries in their prayers everytime, we definitely need all the help we can get in Korea.  Especially when we just found out that 3500 members actively go to church in our stake, and that there might be up to 40,000 members that are in the seoul stake..... Definitely scary!!!!! 

 

I love all of you and miss you sooo much!!!!  Have a great week!  

 

 

Elder Yamagata
 

 
Us at a members house!

 
What they do with jaywalkers!

 
This giant thing I found......scary

 
A recurring sight in korea for some reason...

 
Me and elder smith

 
what they do to their doors here in korea!

 
A fan cover i look like jaffar

 
got to eat taco salad after house checks!!!!

 
Jungbarsan at night!

 
And Folding rolling bikes in korea, great invetnion!

 
Me and Elder Jeong on Exchanges!

 
the youth in our ward!

 
The General Authority and Some of the Office Elders in our mission!

Us at the meal on sunday!

Happy mothers day!!


So not much happened that was that exciting this week!  Like they did but I dont have much time!  So highlights of the week and I will try to catch up next week (probably not but you can ask me details and Ill try later!)

 

Monday!  Ilsan Horticulture Festival 2014 one of the biggest flower festivals in the world!  so nice!!!! So many pictures!!!

 

Tuesday:  Not much!

 

Wednesday:  Zone training!  Learned about being a disciple of Christ and how to apply that more to ourselves!  Watch the Come unto Christ video on Lds.org!!!

 

Thursday:  I dont really remember... hahaha

 

Friday.  Weekly planning with a lesson thrown in.  Afterwards, went less active hunting with Elder Chisholm and Jeong.  Not really fun and ended up on the outskirts of town, 45 minutes away from home at 8:10. Not a very good place to be!

 

Saturday:  sooo many lessons!  Had 6 scheduled and 4 confirmed but then had to move one to do a member visit with a member of our bishopric, and then another one canccelled saying he had to work!  What a bummer.  But we met with our most progressing investigator Sung Soo.  We taught about the book of mormon and he said I believe it!   We asked him to pray about it and he said he would try!  So we are hoping that it comes to fruition and that his parents dont  반대 us.  It would be a really sad day if that were to happen!

 

 

Sunday:  Church was ok, but after church was able to talk to an emeritus General Authority, a 70 who was also President Hinckleys Korean Translator and Who translated the book of mormon the first time.  He was really cool and after talking looked at my name badge and saw that it was japanese.  Asked the kanji roots for it and then made me a korean name based off of it.  I am now 선형수 장로.  (pronounced Sun Hyung Soo) Super cool!!!! I am excited!  Then later we had a missionary fireside that literally 3 people showed up to... Sad, but we had fun with them!  IT was a blast but our ward mission leader was thoroughouly upset hahaa I dont know how to spell that.  But it waas fun regardless!

 

This week I also just learned more about the power and authority of our calling and the blessings that could come from being obedient and doing everything the lord has commanded us to do!  I will elaborate more hopefully next week!  Now its time to go to Seoul!  

 

Hope everyone has a great week and It was great to talk to you guys today!  I really miss everyone at home and I cant believe I have almost been out 6 months!  Hope everyone has a great rest of their mothers day!  

 

Love

 

 

Elder Benny Yamagata ^^
















 
My favorite flower!  The Bleeding Heart!

 Some more flowers.....
 













 Giant roses over 6ft. tall!!
 









 Gangnam Style!!
 


 
Alice in what?....

 Daily occurences!
 
 
Sunset in Korea!

 
Supposedly tow trucks race out here for the tows, they are sports cars through and through and you can hear and see them race each other all the time, they even have turbos on them!

 
Bus rides make people tired...

 
Like Elder Smith!

 
Hananimoe Kyowhey.  Bad romanization there are a lot of sounds I cant type, but eitherway,  Crazy church, believes god choked on noodles, heavenly mother lives in seoul and sells salvation muffins.... no joke

 
Ward mission leader last night at our fireside!

 
My new Korean name based off of my japanese name!!!! Exciting!  With the Hanja roots! 

Map of our area where my finger is is where our house is!
 
video
Sleeping on the bus... enjoy
 
video
More sleeping on the bus....