Sunday, February 1, 2015

Sokcho Week 10 - Seoraksan National Park

Dear Family and Friends,
Wow so first I'll start off with the awesome thing we did this morning.  We hiked a famous mountain in Sokcho called Seoraksan.  It was absolutely beautiful, and on the way, we stopped by a few Buddhist temples and experienced the culture.  We saw a lot of cool things on a challenging but really fun hike.  At the top, there is a shop set up where a couple of guys sell tea, coffee and hot chocolate.  Since there is no road to the top, they hike all their supplies up there every morning.  It seems like quite the job.
This week was again really awesome.  We had English Class again on Saturday, and the number of students was quite a few more.  We had to split off into 3 groups this time instead of the regular 2 groups.  Later that night, the less-active family we have been working with came again to the youth activity.  Seems like the kids want to come every week to the youth activities, so it looks like the number of attendees has officially doubled.  For the activity, we played ping-pong and "Sorry!"  It was super fun, and Yoonsung (the awesome deacon in our ward), Toto (one of the less-active family), and I pulled out a last-second win in the end.  Although "Sorry!" only requires the ability to turn the card over, I was pretty happy about winning.  
As for our investigators this week, Brother Jeon has set a pretty firm baptismal date for the 15th of February.  He is taking all the right steps, as he fully committed to keeping the Word of Wisdom, along with other commandments.  All the members are really excited because there has been about one convert baptism in the last 5 years or so.  I love getting to teach him because of the things I learn from him.  He always tell us the things he feels strongly about when he reads the Book of Mormon, such as how he feels he needs to pay tithing.  Even at such a older and wiser age, he is still super humble and teachable.  On a slightly sadder note, an investigator that we met with randomly texted us and told us that the church "didn't match him" and not to call him again.  We have no idea why it happened because he was super interested and cool, but I guess there's not much more we can do.
This past Sunday, we were able to call the people we have been talking to this past week, who we previously got phone numbers from.  We ended up setting up about 5 appointments for this upcoming week, which is a huge miracle.  Sokcho is really such an amazing and cool place to serve in as a missionary.  Thanks for all the support and prayers!
Love your favorite missionary,
Elder Wheeler
Editorial note:
"Seoraksan is the highest mountain in the Taebaek mountain range in the Gangwon Province in eastern South Korea. The national park attracts many national and international tourists all year round, but the main season for Seoraksan national park is autumn. The autumn colours in the area are considered amongst the most beautiful in Korea. The red and yellow forest is interrupted by rocks and small mountain streams flow amidst this. The park contains several famous temples, including Baekdam-sa.

One of the tourist attractions overseas visitors consider the most memorable is Seoraksan - the mountains that Koreans love most. Outer Seoraksan has fantastic cliffs and big fountains, while the beautiful inner Seoraksan exhibits the highest level of splendor and sensation by displaying various forms and colors that nature can offer during the four seasons. The Seoraksan Mountains have multiple hiking courses, valleys, and cultural artifacts hidden in each valley, and are internationally renowned as a habitat for rare plants and animals. UNESCO designated the region in 1982 as a Biosphere Reserve."
Chase in front of the chapel in Sokcho

Elder Wheeler at Seoraksan National Park on P-Day 2-2-15

Elder Wheeler and Elder Lanford



Chase in front of Buddha


The Sokcho District in front of Buddha


Elder Lanford and Elder Wheeler

Sister Missionaries and Elder Elwood and Elder Lanford starting the hike.

Elder Kim, Elder Wheeler, Elder Lanford and Elder Elwood

Elder Kim

The Sokcho District at the summit


View from the top of Seoraksan



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