Friday, September 26, 2014

Hey Family! - 9/21/14

This week has been pretty hectic and so I want to keep it short, we also are going somewhere later on today so we need a little more time so I will be cutting email a little short today.


Anyways this week!


Pday we went to the castle in the middle of Gwanghwamun and saw all the stuff there, super beautiful and awesome!  It was massive complex too, and then it was funny to hear the koreans say this is tiny compared to the ones in like China that they are partially modeled after.  Crazy it already took us like 2 1/2 hours to walk through most of it!  


This past week we have met with Ryan a lot (the man who went missing) and taught him quite a bit, he didnt get baptized this past week because he had to go down to the south of korea for a few days and we werent able to meet him, nor was he able to come to church so we moved it to this upcoming weekend, and we are hoping to meet tonight so fingers crossed that he will keep his baptismal date for this weekend!  He has been getting rid of his depression even more through prayer and reading the book of mormon.  Super sick, he has been keeping all of his commitments (even though he relapsed on his smoking, hes still willing to give it up).  Pray for him!!!!


We have also been meeting this past week with our less active Matthew.  He expressed to us his desire to relearn the gospel after we shared a spiritual message with him that he didnt understand at all because he doesnt remember anything about the gospel.  So we have been meeting with him almost every day these past couple of days and reteaching him everything about the gospel.  It has been an awesome experience as I can actually see him grow!  He even related to us his baptismal story.  He was baptised in the middle of december in Sanggye Ward in a giant kimchi bucket.  I can see his faith in him regrowing like it was back when he first received baptism.  Such an awesome experience to do this with him.  


In other news thats not too spiritual, we found two chairs on the street the other day that are way better than ours so we snagged them out of the trash.  Also found a spin dryer, first one in the mission!  Elders Grimshaw and Lee did what we call the "Sparta Challenge" in which you take 30+ yogurts (yakult esque things) and try to drink all of them and then hold them down for 5 minutes.  Elder Lee Failed and threw up after about 22 yogurts, elder grimshaw finished but unfortunately after only 4 minutes he hurled.  This week I have learned how to play a korean game called Jangi, its like Chess but everything is in Chinese!  And I bought an ocarina and want to learn how to play it!  


So this week has been good!  Im super excited for this upcoming week and all the miracles and challenges that will come along with it.  As always try to serve and love one another and only good will come of it!  Love all of you!


In President Monson's words from last conference


I have wept in the night

For the shortness of sight

That to somebody’s need made me blind;

But I never have yet

Felt a tinge of regret

For being a little too kind.


Have a great week!

Elder Yamagata

Whoa.... intense week.... - 9/14/14

So this week has been absolutely intense with everything that went on and how much stress there was.  I cant believe Im alive right now but its been great! So Ill just start from the top, theres some jumping around so hope you can keep up.


So as I said last week, our monday was cleaning day because literally no one was out on the streets of korea at all.  So we stayed in all day and cleaned our house till it was mostly spotless.  Even had to leave and help the sisters a little bit at there house taking out some of the bigger things that they couldnt lift (couches and yo's and stuff).  {Pretty fun actually as I finally was able to do some lifting like I had to when I was moving coordinator.  So we blasted some music and went ham on our house!  It actually reverted pretty quickly unfortunately but not as bad so we are working on cleaning it again.  With 6 men in the house its a lot harder to keep it clean! 


So on tuesday we had pday, spent most of it at members houses having meals with them and talking to them.  While at lunch with our bishop at his house, we kept getting a call on my phone from this unknown number.  Thinking its an ad we just kept silencing the phone and apoligizing to our bishop.  Finally after leaving it calls again and I figure we better answer it if they calling.  So elder bak picks the phone up and starts talking, informing me quickly that it was the police.... Now I know I didnt do anything wrong, so Im extremely curious.  He then informed me after the call that it wasnt about us, but that our investigator Ryan was just reported missing by his father, and we were the last ones in contact with him.  Oh man.... I have a suicidal depressed investigator on the loose somewhere and know hes missing... I was extremely worried about him and hoping that he wasnt going to do something stupid.  Elder Grimshaw gave me some good advice, said dont worry, everythings in gods hands.  I couldnt do anything, except pray, so I said one and went on my day.  Then a day passes.  Still no word on where he is until thursday as we are planning for our Talent Show (more on that later) when a certain message comes on our phone:


"Hi, Im glad to receive messages from you.  I traveled to Jirisan to take my life once and for all.  During the days I was away, my father reported to the police that I was missing to take my life.  But when I was on the verge of taking my life, the sorrow and utmost agony my family would feel came to my mind.  So I came back home.  Anyway, I'm so glad to send you a message again.  I love you, 

elder Seon Hyeong Su.  See you again."


I felt tears roll down my cheeks as I knew the Lord had not only heard my prayers but everyone in the District and the bishopric.  We quickly rushed to him at the church (he decided to go to the church to find peace!!!) and met with him and figured out what was going on.  Great lesson and introduced him to the book of mormon and taught him how to pray.  Met with him again the next day and before even teaching him, he said he read.  I committed him to be baptized on the spot without even hesitating.  He ACCEPTED a baptismal date for next sunday the 21st of September!!! He came to church on sunday and told me he had kept reading and praying and that every time he does it, his depression goes a little bit lower.  What a wonderful sign of the holy ghost working in this mans life!  I testified to him and he was happy to be getting baptized!  Then he told me that he would be getting baptized on the same day that Joseph Smith was visited by Moroni!  Wow I didnt even know that!  He was excited throughout church and he told me afterwards he cant wait to get baptized, but that he knows he needs to give up smoking!  I didnt even tell him yet!!! hahaha wow but he is super prepared by the Lord and I pray that he will be ready for baptism!!!


So Other stuff from this week!  We had our talent show on Saturday night and we spent alot of this week preparing for that.  Getting food for everyone and stressing if it will be enough etc etc.  Having to setup a sound system for something that I had never done before.  Working with sound and lights and getting people to actully come.  It worked!!! So many members and non members came, and ryan came for a little bit too!  I spun an umbrella like a mace, we had some singers and some performers.  REally fun!!! IT was super exciting after all the stress melted away.  People loved the food and the show went really well! The bishop was really surprised it was cool!   


One of the best things that I heard this week was from President and he told us of the old days where the missionaries would "cast their nets" and would bring in "tons of fish".  He told us that we arent fisherman and we dont have nets.  We are hunters and we bring them in one at a time.  We work on them, spend time with them, and some get away.  But the ones that come in are worth it.  


Super cool week and I hope everyone at home is having a good time and enjoying the season now that school is going back into session!  Busy days and busy weeks but dont forget God in everything you do


Love all of you!


Elder Yamagata

Whoa its been crazy - 9/7/14

This week has been crazy!  Im just going to give highlights and such.  One, Elder Anderson is gone!  Oh man what a bummer!!!  But in return, heavenly father and president gave me Elder Bak Jong Il, a korean companion from Pusan, who is fun and awesome!  We are having a great time together!  This week has been hectic from all the things going on, with unpacking, and then we having stuff like planning and a huge mission conference, not a whole lot of time to work, even this week.  


So one of the big things I want to share with you guys this week is about our new investigator Ryan Yoo.  On the outside you wouldnt think anything different of this man.  But after meeting with him, everything points to him needing the gospel.  He told us of his severe depression, his thoughts of suicide every single day!  It took me back to when I had my thoughts, I had my times of severe depression, I had problems.  I expressed to him my love, and he accepted it willingly, and I told him of how I was like that, and how I had changed because of the gospel of jesus Christ.  He wanted to know more, but we were out of time.  So we prayed togehter and walked him out.  After I returned back to the room where we were teaching, I reflected over momentarily what I have been through in my life and how because of the Gospel, I have completely changed and have a different outlook on life.  God has helped me so much in overcoming so many things, and I couldnt help but pour out my soul to him in thanksgiving, and maybe some tears might have accompanied it!  Hahaha but I am sincerely grateful for what He has done in my life.  He has changed my perspective on everything and he has given me hope for this life and the life after!  But he is progressing so much and he accepted our invitation to go to church.  He stayed for all three hours and the members loved talking to him.  I have a firm belief that he is preprared of the lord and will accept the gospel into his life!  Everyone pray for him!


Then nothing else really happened this week until saturday!  We had our full mission conference for 추석 which is like korean thanksgiving but it has a bigger focus on the ancestors of your family.  We all went and were taught what the holiday is and where it comes from, and also were taught and sung 아리랑 (if you want to know look at my photos and videos or this link  What a wonderful experience.  We talked a lot about prayer, this months focus, and how it can help us with so much that is going on.  And actually I have been doing a lot of it anyways lately!  Ahaha so go figure, God knows what we need!  The rest of conference we heard some drum performances and a Gayageum performance asa well from other missionaries!  It was sooo wonderful!  Full of the spirit and very fun!  Plus seeing all the other missionaries were good!  Unfortunately we were also informed that it would be the last all mission conference while we were here. :(  Sad!  But with so many missionaries it costs too much to bring them in Gangwando.  Over a couple thousand for them to come into seoul!  So we took a full mission picture to comemerate the moment and then we had some more meetings for training and such.  


So yeah, not much else happened this past week.  Elder Bak is a great comp and we have an awesome time together working and talking about korea and america!  Im learning so much about Korea too!  I learned this past week some old chinese words for wife, girl, woman, etc that have negative connotations in todays society, never would have known that if it werent for elder bak!  Or another korean telling me its wrong ahaha.  


Well I have to go!  Cleaning day today so we have to get our apartment spotless today!  


I love all of you so much!  HOpe everyone is safe!


With much love


Elder Yamagata

This week in a nutshell! - 8/31/14

So this week was.... interesting to say the very least. 


I will start this email off with the last thing that has happened which is we got transfer calls!  I will be staying in Dobong but unfortunately, Elder Anderson will be moving on to greener pastures.  Actually he is not going that far, to Gireum area which is the area directly south of ours, literally a 15 minute walk from our house.  Hahah thats crazy and he will be training so thats fun.  Me on the other hand, I have the priveldge to be one of the few that gets to have a korean companion!  I will be serving with Bak Jong Il here in Dobong for another transfer.  Super fun and Im guessing my korean will improve quite a bit these next 6 weeks!  So I am really looking forward to next transfer, Im just scared Im not going to be able to talk or communicate with him the first couple of days.  


Last week Elder Kim was experiencing some stomach problems and such and went to the doctor and got checked out.  When he came back we found out he had not 1, nor 2, but 4 hemorrhoids!!!!  Ouch!  So he had two options and took the worst of them and opted to get surgery on what we like to call the 항문.  He has been down for the count ever since, in some of the most pain Ive seen on a man. He looked like he was about to kill someone when he came out of the bathroom this morning.  He cant really work anymore, but he will be transferring to a threesome next transfer out of our area.  We dont know what will happen with him really.  But I went on exchanges with him on thursday and he was knocked out the entire time except for the last two hours of the day super crazy and a lot fo study of different talks taht I have printed out lately.  Super cool though, but with him down it has kind of taken a toll on our district as we all have to help him and elder grimshaw out.  But its super fun!


The other thing that happened this week was the massive amount of pain we were in last night... We walked home and said when people ask us the hardest time on our missions we would say last night, august 31, 2014.  So first off church was great, had a fun time, and in gospel doctrine watched a bird fly into the church and then almost kill itself smashing into a closed window.  Super sad and crazy.  Then suddenly after church we were invited to go eat with the bishop at his house, and when we went over they had kimchi jiggae for us to eat, as well as some gogi and chopchae.  Super delicious and the spiritual message of elder kim and anderson bearing testimony was great.  Even though bishop called on me suddenly to share my testimony as well, it was awesome.  My korean has been getting a lot better lately as I have been really trying to study hard and learn more so I can really improve.  It has been paying off!  Then we went home and studied for an hour before going to another meal with O Hyun Sook and her family.  We always dread transfer meals because in korea there are no left overs, no leaving food on your plate, if you do it is a big sign of disrespect that traces back to the Korean War.  Anyways we walked in and she set up a griddle for us and had 4 big bowls of meat ready for us to eat, as well as some more in the fridge.  She is infamous in the mission for feeding missionaries till they're ready to die!  We did an estimate and ballparked somewhere between 12-15 pounds of meat that we had to eat, on top of all the side dishes!  Kimchi, Korean Pancakes, all kinds of other stuff.  WE were already stuffed and it was difficult to eat anymore but we perservered and ate almost all of it.  As a reward we had some awesome blueberry smoothie things and then shared a wonderful message with her and her family.  It was a wonderful night!  But sooo bad on the stomach, just came home and died!  Elder Suman literally destroyed their toilet though... so I doubt we will ever get invited back :(


The only other thing that happened this week was some good appointments with Jason.  We taught him and then elder anderson and grimshaw taught him on thursday when we went on exchanges.  Hes being doing really well and actually came to church this sunday!  WE were super excited, he came for the last 10 minutes of sacrament but then unfortunately he left about 5 minutes after to help his in laws with their store. But he came so w were happy!  


This week also I have been studying really hard about the plan of salvation.  And I realize how gratful for it I am.  I am glad that we have the opportunity to live with our families forever, and that God loves all of his children so they all have an opportunity to hear the gospel, even after they have passed through the veil into eternity.  Such an amazing blessing.


Anyways Im out of time this week!  I hope every one is safe and having fun, but also remembering the Lord in everything they do!  Keep the Missionaries in your prayers!  



Without Wax,



Elder Sun Hyung Soo


The weekly newsletter starring yours truly - 8/24/14

ELDER YAMAGATA!!!! Thats right ladies and gentleman this weeks weekly email is brought to you by boshintang, dog soup....


Anyways!  This week was amazing so Im going to just tell you the juicy parts and skip the not so fun parts!  


First off, been riding a spiritual high lately as I seek the spirit out in everything I have been doing and have literally felt the spirit telling me to do certain things, ask certain questions and thank heavenly father for all that he has given me.  It has been really good especially writing down all of my spiritual promptings to be able to discern what future ones look like and how to figure out if it was from the spirit or not.  


So we met with our less active Matthew a lot this week.  The first time he taught us some korean because he is trying to get certified to teach korean to foreigners and so he needed to film himself doing it so that he could send it to the accreditation center to raise his chances.  The second time he actually called us and set something up so that we could go over and he talked to us about his baptism and his desire to come to church.  That night on saturday the bishop stopped by and ended up meeting with him and talking to him fora bit during class which was super cool and exactly what we needed!  Then on sunday he showed up!!! Super awesome, and stayed for all 3hours!!! Very nice!  He even expressed his desire to us to find his baptismal record so that when he moves to canada he can still be part of the church!  Super sick we are really excited to finally get him back to church!


Our other less active Yoon Yun Sup we met with this week a lot too.  The first time we helped him progress in his desire to family history work and help those of his family members who are passed the veil. He is excited to do the workand see his family roots.  The second time we met we explained the importance of coming to church in order that he can go to the temple to do baptisms for the dead.  He said he would come, and then suddenly near the end the bishop decided to drop in on our lesson right after he got off work and share his testimony about the temple and about coming to church and he said he would come. The third time we met this week we went into main seoul and visited the temple and family history center with him and helped him do more with his family history by having access to the records there.  Then we took pics in front of the temple.  What an amazing experience forall of us!   Unfortuanately though... he didnt not come to church and would not answer his phone yesterday.  So we are going to meet with him this week and see what happened!


OUr investigator Jason has been doing well this week with keeping the word of wisdom and everything.  On monday after p day we met with him and were able to give him a blessing of comfort in preperation for his job interview on tuesday.  He texted us the next day and said that his interview went great and that he had never slept so well before an interview.  We were super excited to hear that and everything else.  He is still having troubles seeing that we arent just telling him to come to another church, but we are telling him to come to the true church, which is somethign a lot of koreans struggle to understand it seems.  We are trying really hard to explain to him, and we think next time we will teach solely in korean so that he cant understand a little better about what we are trying to say.  Other than that he isdoing really well.  


This friday we also had the pleasure to go with our bishop to a less actives restaurant and eat some reallly expensive and good food there.  The meal for all of us was probably pushing 500,000 won which is around $500.  IT was super good though and we had some duck, pork, and more dog.  IT was really delicious but I almost threw up from wayyyyyyyy too much food!  Elder Kim didnt want to eat and neither did elder Lee so we had to eat more to make up for it.  Hahah whatever it was good food!  


So that about sums up my week.  Some street contacting here and there, some awkward lessons with some school students in the middle of thweek.  and another kid that from middle school and meeting with him and buying him some mcdonalds.  This week was super great and coupled with the spiritual high, I have not had a week like this on my mission yet!  Super great!  I cant wait for this upcoming week to help even more people come closer to the gospel of Jesus Christ and how great a thing this is to have on the Earth.  I pray for all you other missionaries out there too!  Keep up the hard work! 


Your brother in the Lord


Elder Yamagata

Family! - 8/17/14

Hey family back at home!  Its been quite some time!  Im gonna skip pleasantries and go right to the juicy stuff this week!  Which probably isnt much but still!


So number one!  We finally had a baptism here in Dobong!  It wasnt mine!  But it was practically the whole districts!  We loved this old man!  He is 84 years old and his name is Lee Bun Ku.  He was Elder Grimshaw and Elder Kims convert and he is the sweetest old man ever.  We have all had some great expereinces with him and although he doesnt remember much when he is taught, he has a sweet spirit and wanted to be baptised!  We know he will do well in the ward, they love him so much!  When I went to go see him he showed us his cheap mosquito killing spray, Called Good night. And then he turned and said in his small voice, "Good night moki" and sprayed a little bit.  It was probably one of the cutest and funniest things that I have ever seen an old person do!  He was extremely prepared by the lord and even defended his faith before he was baptized.  His son is a Devout Jehovahs Witness, which btw they are really pushing to make it big in korea we see them everywhere, and came to his house to tell his dad that he didnt approve of his joining our church.  His dad responded by saying that Jehovahs witnesses dont even accept god, so it doesnt matter what he thinks, he was doing it anyways!  It was awesome!  We saw the pamphlets at his house and we got worried but he picked them up, laughed and said they oppose god!  We all felt the spirit from this old man!  He has lived through a lot, and has finally found the true church of Christ that will bless his life!  I love this man and I will attach a pic!  Even though its not my baptism I still care a lot for this man and we feel like it was the entire districts baptism!  


Saturday and friday were spent preparing things for the baptism, cleaning the font, fixing the boiler, doing the interview and everything else.  On top of that, on thursday and friday I was "benched" as I had to stay home and take care of elder grimshaw while Elder Anderson and Elder kim did exchanges to cover appointments!  It was super fun and also kind of weird, I was basically alone for 6 hours on thursday, and I spent the entire time cleaning our house!  Its still not entirely clean, but its a giant dent in it!  Elder Grimshaw was downed with a nasty flu thing that took him out of everything. It was cool though to stay in and get stuff done.


Tuesday was a temple day and it was great to be able to go to the temple to do the ordinances for the lord.  I was inspired to do initiatories again and it was fun!  Me and elder Anderson did them together and had a blast talking to the ordinance workers, feeling the spirit, and doing this amazing work of salvation.  After the temple it was a great chance to catch up with some people.  It was also a great surprise to receive not only a package from my mom with all kinds of goodies, but also a package from my dad with similar stuff!!! THANKS MOM AND DAD!!!! I love you guys!!! Getting stuff from home is always fun!  And getting food that you don't have to pay for or that you cant find in Korea is always nice too!  


We have been working alot with Jason, our referral from the sisters that we started with last friday! He does the family english program and then we teach him afterwards for 30 minutes.  He seems really interested in the messages that we present, and loves that in our church we believe that we can be in our families forever.  Hes a presbyterian and goes to pray at church everyday!  But we think that he will follow christ and become baptized and be a great member.  THe only thing he had a problem with was the word of wisdom when we taught it.  He seemed very hesitant to accept it, and he didnt, but we are going to try and push him into following it for just a day or two and then longer.  Hopefully we can show him the blessings of following it.  


So that is about our week!  Me and Elder Anderson are chugging along and doing good work here.  Everytime we teach we can feel the spirit and know that we are doing the lords work here in korea.  I love to know that I am an authorized representative of Jesus Christ here in korea and that I carry his Priesthood, and the authority to exercise it on behalf of him here.  I see the blessings of the gospel in my life daily, as I change and try to become more like our Savior.  This gospel is a gospel of change, and if you are not moving forward, your moving backwards.  Make sure that we are always trying to better ourselves and become more like Christ.  I can promise that as you do so he will bless you in ways you never thought possible.  He will flush out problems that you never knew existed.  He will make "Weak things strong."  I recommed obtaining a copy of Preach My Gospel and studying chapter 6 about Christlike Attributes.  Its one of the best chapters there!  



Have a great week everyone!  Love you!!!


Elder Sun Hyung Soo!

Yobosayo MARKUUU - 8/10/14

Hey whats crackalackin my peeps!  This week has been a little interesting so I will relay the best parts back to you!


Monday we went bowling as the elders in our district than to a buffett where we engorged ourselves with food.  After the buffet we were invited over to a members house for dinner and so then had to do some samoan ab crunches and put more food away!  It was super hard!  But we gave a great message with them and the sisters investigator who came.  They asked me how the gospel has blessed my life, and so I related how it helped me with my family relationships especially with people I had a hard time getting along with and seeing how loving them can bring you closer together.  It was a great spiritual lesson.  


Tuesday we didnt have much, just street contacted all day.  But while we were on the subway doing some jundo, an older lady followed us onto the train, down 4 cars, two more cars as me and elder anderson split up to see who she would follow, and then off the train and around the station!  We were freaked and so we hid for about 10 minutes till the next train came and we got on and booked it home!  Freaky!!!  Taht night we met with another member who is in the Bishopric, Gong Min Suck.  It was great had some Bulgogi! Pineapple and Grapes, then shared a great message with them.  And played with their son Dae Gwan!!! Super fun little fireball!


Wednesday we had zone training in Uijeonbu.  Lots of changes here, first off, we have to teach the 5th lesson now before baptism!  Crazy!  The church also just chose us as a pilot mission for 2 new pamphlets for misionary use, one called Meet the Missionaries and the other is called Who is God.  They can be really useful, except they gave us two, and told us we cant give them out!  We are still trying to figure out how to use them effectively!  Sounds fun, we are excited to be able to use them!  On the way back home I was just a big bugged about how everyone was talking about miracles in their area and finding and baptisms, and yet me and elder Anderson struggled to find someone to teach for weeks and still havent seen anything yet.  I was becoming impatient and it was hard for me to look forward at the "seeds planted" when I wanted to start "Harvesting".  We all talked and just tried to look for some stuff that may help us out soon.


Thursday I went on exchanges with Elder Lee the new greenie in our area and elder Sumans 2nd son.  WE spent most of the day street contacting and I spent most of it trying to get him to help me.  I found out about 3/4 through the day that he doesnt have a testimony and so its hard for him to go out and try to spread the gospel.  It was tough, but that night we had an awesome lesson with Matthew Walls. Our american investigator.  And also, we met him with two american members who also live around us, and work with him!  Crazy!! We taughtabout the plan of salvation and had a really good time teaching him!  And free food! hahaha


Friday weekly planning was cut a little short as we had to take a taxi to an appointment that was about a 45 minute walk from our house!  We met Ee Jay Jun, Jason for short, who wants to learn english, and so we did the family english program!  We didnt teach him but just met and set expectations for what actually happens.  We ate and then street contacted that night.  I met some buggers but I held my self and was proud that I didnt blow up on them.  


SAturday morning we met with Jason andactually started teaching him.  The teaching went great but the lesson went better as he listened well and asked some small questions.  We are really excited and hope he progresses well!  Then later on Saturday we taught english and that was fun, me and elder Anderson gave the spiritual message about family history and Introduced family search, which has taken a big chunk of our mental capacity trying to get people to do family history work!  Super fun I wish more people would do it!  


Sunday was a normal sunday.  Went to church and thought about The atonement the entire time and how I am blessed to have it in my life and utilize it every day.  I have been studying about doubt this week and I see that by having faith in Christ and his Atonment as stated in Lectures on Faith we erase any room for doubt by having knowledge of Christ and his Atonement.  So i am truly grateful to have it in my life.  The rest of the sunday was spent trying to understand sacrament meeting, helping members with some stuff  around the church, then we visited some less actives who acted like they werent home and finally went home to study the rest of the night.  I battled the natural man for 20 minutes in me as I sat in my chair fighting off thoughts and feelings in me.  It was a strong battle that felt like forever, and no matter what I did I felt like I couldnt win.  But as I continually tried focusing on the Savior and on Heavenly Father and my calling, I was able to get enough strength to fight off everything and get out of that bad situation.  It was crazy!  But then I studied the book of mormon by candlelight for fun!  Super fun night that ended with Me and elder Anderson watching the 50th year celebration of the church in Korea and the prophet joseph smiths 200th birthday celebration!  Super fun!  



So yeah thats my week in a nutshell.  Studies were good as I focused on Faith and Obedience this week and really tried to exercise faith in everything that I did.  Reading the lectures on Faith by Joseph Smith really helped too!  Its a great read for anyone that wants to learn more about faith.


Today isnt p day because tomorrow is temple day, So im on exchanges today with elder Grimshaw and we have some appointments lined up.  We are pumped to go to the temple tomorrow too!  I love having it in our mission and being able to receive the blessings of it every couple of weeks!  


Well I have to get going and finish some other stuff up!  Hope everyone stays safe and has a great week!


Elder Yamagata

P.S. Send me pics!!!

You ate what?....... 8/3/14

So Ill just go in order by what we have done this week!


Monday:  We went to 상계 and hung out with our zone and played table tennis and some games like signs and the name game!  Super fun and then went home and then that night we had a dinner with a member who has been less active for 8 years and it went great!  Really brought the spirit into the house! It was super fun!




I was super stressed about today because I had to go on exchanges with the Zone leaders!  I went to 상계 with elder Harrison and it was super fun!  We had a lot of appointments and I got to know him pretty well.  I was stressed that I wasnt going to get along with him but we have similar personalities and it was really fun!  They moved into a new house that had AC!!! We havent had AC ever in our house and so it was super nice!!!!  For lunch that day too I homemade some fried chicken!!!




We finished the exchange and had to bolt to district meeting so that Elder Anderson could teach his district meeting.  He was a little nervous, there was a sister training leader, zone leader, and an Assistant to the Pres there as well!  He was under some pressure!  But he did well and taught us about listening with love! Afterwards we just did some street contracting and then had english class.  The biggest one we have had in a while! 17 People came!  What a blessing!




We were busY!!!!  Our first appoointment punked us, which is sad but better because we needed more time for our lunch with our member who food us.... DOG SOUP!!!! Soooooo goood!!!! I was extremely surprised at the texture and the taste of this type of dog!  Super delicious.  We shared about Christs Atonement and it was super good!  Then we street contacted for about an hour, where I got attacked by not one but TWO giant CICADAS!!!!! BLEH... Disgusting.  But then Elder Anderson had to do pass off with someone so me and Elder Grimshaw talked about his new camera and some other stuff for a while.  Then after dinner the bishop out of nowhere called us and asked us to go with him on some visits so we went with him in his brand new chrysler 300, super nice.  No one was home but it was still fun to go!




Weekly planning took 5 hours today.... We had a lot to talk about to find more investigators and such so it took a while to get things done.  Then after that dinner and then we had a Street contacting activity together and members were supposed to come.  No one came except for these two american members who just recently moved into the area this week, and only because they were trying to go home and passed by :/ its ok we just keep on working!  ^^




On exchanges with Elder Suman now!  We got punked by our first lesson, but met a man on the street who was a little crazy.... tried telling us that there were no women in the world, only men.... very strange. But then we had an awesome less active lesson where I taught about family history and getting him to do baptisms for the dead, and he was all game.  He quickly took over and was doing everything on his own!  Awesome!  Sped back down to our house and taught matthew, the investigator turned less active.  It was a bit long but we taught him all the commandments.... Hes coming to church soon so we need him ready!  English class to finish off the day, and pizza!!!! super good!




Not much, just fast and testimony meeting, several less actives came to church and then we went and street contacted for a little bit.  Studies at night and we were able to print lectures on faith by Joseph Smith which is nice!  We are super excited!  


So pretty cool week we have been having a lot of fun in the house and just going and doing crazy things.  Im excited to see where the rest of this transfer is going to go!  Im learning a lot about virtue as thats my study topic this week.  Keeping thoughts clean is definitely hard.  But constantly thinking about other stuff thats more positive is great!  Ive made a lot of talks this week that no one will ever hear!! ^^  Keeping your thoughts clean is an active process that takes a lot of work!  So we keep on working!


Hope everyone at home is doing well! Being safe and having fun!  Lots of stuff is changing!  


Elder Yamagata

My Week in a Box - 7/27/14

So this week has been very idk how to describe it.  The beginning of the week was bittersweet as we got so many member meals because A couple of the missionaries here were leaving!  So we had meal after meal after meal..... at one lunch appointment at a buffett we got a call from another member telling us that we would be having dinner with them at nigt... I literally started crying.... I couldnt eat anymore!!!!!!  So much food, but now we are dieting!  Cant eat anymore without getting sick haha.  So the first 2 days of the week was just that.  Meal after meal after meal.  


Wednesday was transfers and we were blessed to be able to have a greenie come into our house by the name of Lee Min Young.  Very nice young kid from the south of Korea.  Defintiely funny guy.  Doesnt mind speaking english.  WE also got another Elder elder Grimshaw from Noekbun area and Sister Choi from Gangneung zone way out east.  So our district changed quite a bit.  Very fun though and excited to be serving with these new people! ^^  


This week we were punked 2 times by our progressing investigator and then on sunday when we called him, this 35 year old mans mom yelled at him and opposed him coming and getting baptized and such.  She called us a Cult church and a cult belief.  We have dealt with that a lot lately, especially as people look us up on the internet. Most people here in Korea dont use Google like we do, they use naver which isnt as good and unfortunately for the church when you look up our church on naver almost all of the websites say that we are 이단, whcih is a cult.... Our church website doesnt show up until the 2nd page I think.  ITs so sad, we even have a QR code to show people our website, and they dont believe it, they go to naver first and then walk off because they think we are cult....I pray taht soon the website will be fixed and people will realize we are not a cult.  


Not much in terms of spiritual things happened this week.  I finished Jesus The Christ in my personal study and definitely learned a lot more about my Lord and Savior.  I highly recommend the book to anyone who is wanting to learn more about Jesus Christ.  I am also trying to read the new testament which is very dry and hard to read sometimes.  But we persevere.  


Since not much spiritual happened this week, Ill share some funny stuff that happened.  First off I deep fried Fried Chicken for lunch on wednesday, very scary, didnt know waht I was doing.  But it came out alright and I also made french fries.  Everyone was kind of freaked out because the oil was splashing everywhere!!!  On thursday we went subway jundoing and I bought a stretchy fanny pack.... Its Helpful ok??? It really is nice to not have everything in your poickets got all sweaty from working outside all day.  My pants ripped when I tried to lift Elder Scalfs box.  Very sad day for my pants :(   I Ate Jellyfish and Octopus in one sitting.  Very cool, pictures online now.  Found a waterfall near our house, that we are probably going to visit soon!  It rained for 5 straight days here!!!! So crazy!  And I made videos of some basic korean words and grammar that you can use?  I dont know but email me what you want to hear and Ill make a video of it~!!!  I also Found out that the old korean but still very common word for wife is "Our House Person" small explanation in the videos!  


So yeah, not much happened this week, we are hoping to meet with some people this week and hopefully we will start seeing some progress here again in Dobong.  We found out from President this week that a couple of years ago that the devil really got into the ward here...  He wouldnt tell us specifics but that it really messed up the area and we are still fixing it now.  Very creepy!!!!


So I hope everyone at home is doing well, I heard there are some new additions to our family and so I cant wait to hear and see pictures of everything!  Congrats to everyone, you are all in my prayers!  Love all of you!


Are you my Yobo?


Elder Yamagata




Wow what a week! - 7/20/14

This week was pretty Fun crazy exciting thoughtful knowledge-filled spiritual weeks I have had on my mission (btw Im slowly starting to forget english so please excuse me).  


So highlights of this week!


Tuesday we had an awesome lesson with our Baptismal Date Mark!!! We taught last week for the first time with him, and then this week we Taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  He is definitely fun to teach and the spirit is always extremely strong with him.  Even as we were teaching the part of repentance, he closed the book of mormon and said I need to pray and just started praying for forgiveness right there!!!! When we taught about the Holy Ghost he said he wanted it!  So I took the signal and invited him to be baptised right then and there and he accepted!  We are really excited for him, and even though he punked us later in the week because he couldnt make it to the church, we are still hopeful that he will enter into the waters of baptism next month! 


Speaking of being punked by him, we went on exchanges to teach him, I was with elder Suman as Elder Anderson went to meet someone else.  Me and Elder Suman talked a lot and got to get to know each other better.  I related my conversion and mission story when he asked about it.  I'm really grateful to be a member of this church, it was a long road getting here, but I know that I am where I need to be now :)  All of you that have been apart of me getting here, thank you ^^


Thursday we had quite an interesting experience, probably one of the most powerful of my mission to this point.  Let me relate...


. On Friday we met a man who suddenly wanted to meet one day.  He found us and gave us his card and said, call me and we can meet, I want to know.  So we met him on Friday and sat down.  Immediately he started saying that we needed to learn who the "True God" of the bible was, and he went on a rant, bible bashing up a storm.  Some of the stuff didnt even make sense (Noah, Adam, Moses, Abraham, Issac, etc were not prophets, only guides.  Only prophets were Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, and Jesus...)  Elder Anderson and I remained calm, and tried to teach truths where we could, but we were getting beat down.  Elder Anderson started losing his patience and eventually we gave up and told him that our purpose wasn't to fight or argue, it was to teach. We finally decided to pray altogether, and we offered him to say the prayer.  After we left, Elder Anderson looked at me and was surprised at how patient I was (I have really been working on that lately, I dont want to be impatient anymore).  He asked if I was ok and I didnt answer, because I was trying to comprehend what I felt.  After a couple more steps, I choked back tears, realizing that what I felt was God's love for this man.  This man who was so strong, so faithful, and his soul was yearning for the truth.  I cried and lamented over this man, wishing I could help him, asking God to help him find the Gospel in his life.  I never lost my patience because I was consumed by God's love for this man, I wanted to teach him the truth about the Gospel.  It was an interesting experience and Elder Anderson was shocked at how I felt, during the prayer his fists were clenched into balls and he was shaking he was so mad, but I put my hand out and stopped him, and he realized it was because I loved this man. 


I dont know how to explain it, but I felt something for this man.  Something that I had probably never felt in my entire life.  Its been days since then, but I am still praying for that man, by name, every night.  I hope that we can meet again and that we can bring the light of the gospel into his life so he can experience the blessings of the gospel too.  


On saturday a Plethora of activites happened.  We left studies early to go teach someone at 10, who then never showed up because he thought it was at 2 we were meeting.  So then we went on exchanges and Elder anderson went to go meet him, and the guy brought his friend and the friend brought his dad!! Crazy!!! The Dad said he didnt know why, but he felt like he needed the book of mormon in his life!  They said they would come to church (they didnt, dads wife got sick) and they took book of mormons.  Great!!! Like I said earlier, mark didnt show and me and elder Suman waited for 45 minutes for him.  We had some great talks and such.  Right after we met back up and then left to Gireum, we had a musical to perform in!!! The musical and fireside was a hit, we had around 50-60 people show up from about 4 different wards.  President even showed up and gave some good words about the pioneers of the church.  Me and Elder Anderson performed in the musical about a Missionary who was giving his farewell talk and recounting stories from his mission.  We were both in the MTC scenes,  and we have videos!  It was super fun and we had a great time there!  We also got transfer calls and Me and Elder anderson are staying together another one!!!! Scalf, Boyack, and Sister Martin are leaving and we are getting some new people here which is good.  We are really excited for the greenie also coming to our area! 


Sunday was good, the best part being a 2 1/2 hour Jutek hunt with our old bishop.  We searched and searched for this house with no success, finding no one.  Ultimately, we gave up and said we wouuld try later to find it at a real estate office.  But we shared a message with him and had a great time working with him.



So thats this week, Im rushing a little now because we have a shiksa with the bishop and his family in 5 minutes and we are probably going to be late. It was sudden so not too many problems.  But I love all of you at home and miss you so much!   Hope you have agreat week!!!


Elder Yamagata