Sunday, July 26, 2015

Nokbeon Week 5

Dear Family and Friends,

So this week contained quite the miracle because we picked up a new investigator, and he actually came to all three hours of church!  We even had to go on splits with the members to be with both our new investigator and Jee-Hoon.  The man we are teaching is named Brother Gwauk and he's in his 50's.  We met with him twice this past week.  He has been to a bunch of churches and seems interested in learning something new through the Book of Mormon.  Although he said church was boring, he is doing well in keeping his commitments.  Jee-Hoon is progressing well at a steady pace.  He continues to become more social and each week he seems to become a little bit more part of the ward.  We're planning on taking him to the temple this week to show him the outside and the family history center.  Our third investigator, Brother Lee, loves the Book of Mormon and thinks this is the right church, he is just insistent on reading the entire thing and comparing it with the bible before he takes any actions really. 

Other fun things that happened this week consisted of meat grilling at restaurants, a trip to Dunkin' Donuts, and our new Family Night that we started at the church.  So one of our English class members took us out to this expensive meat place on Tuesday where all of the missionaries had the chance to feast. We had English class following dinner, which went really well.  Although sometimes I get corrected on my spelling, I've actually improved a ton on my English teaching skills.  I teach the basic class every week, which is super fun.  

After English class on Saturday, we had our first Family Home Evening night at the church for those that don't have the opportunity to do it weekly.  We had about ten people come out, plus the ten missionaries that are currently serving here.  We played lots of hilarious Korean games which are similar to the games back in America, just with a Korean twist.  We also had a small meal after, but we ran out of the food pretty quickly, so one of the members insisted on buying us ramen and forcing us to eat it at the church.  Korean kindness confuses me sometimes, but I love it so much.

One of the big factors this week was the rain.  It just didn't stop coming down and was really random about how hard it would come down.  It reminded me of Arizona where the rain is like typhoon status for 30 seconds and then just disappears.... We'd have our umbrellas closed for a little bit and then have to whip them out super randomly.  One night we forgot our umbrellas and just got soaked.

Thanks for all the love and support! This upcoming weekend is already transfer calls again.  It amazes me how fast time has flown by on my mission.

Your Favorite Missionary,

Elder Wheeler
Elder Jeong, Elder Pons, Elder Song, a Korean friend, Elder Hansen, Elder Yetter
Elder Mattingly and Elder Cazier

Chase with his dream car after his mission!

Elder Song

Elder Song studying

Elder Song not studying


Elder Yetter wearing a member's glasses

Elder Wheeler wearing the same glasses

Members and missionaries at the church for Family Home Evening


Monday, July 20, 2015

Nokbeon Week 4

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was a super great week in the mission field!  Of course, the headliner of this week was the baptism of Jee-Hoon who is just doing super well.  Elder Song met him about a week before I got here, and we have been teaching him ever since.  He has really opened up to us about the things he has gone through.  Because of his tough situation back at home, he has struggled through his life.  And although baptism is just the start, he already seems to have made a lot of progress.  The Bishop has really taken a big interest in his situation.  So through all the lessons, he decided he wanted to be baptized and the service went really well.

So on the day of the service, we forgot to remind him to bring his white shirt to wear for the service, so he ran home and back in like 15-minutes and made it right before sacrament meeting.  That was a little embarrassing on our part, not to mention that we accidentally flooded the baptismal font... I didn't realize there were TWO valves to turn off, so one of the clerks shoveled out water for a good 10 minutes, flooding the women's restroom.  However, regardless of those two disasters, it all worked out like it always does.  Our mission President came and spoke, along with the Bishop and a young single adult member.  We, as the missionaries in Noekbun, sang a hymn, along with the young single adults singing a song from the children's song book.  It was a super special and spiritual service, and my favorite part was Jee-Hoon's huge smile after he was baptized.  

This week also included a wonderful temple visit on Tuesday where we heard the final testimonies of missionaries returning home this transfer.  I really enjoyed it.  As for P-day yesterday, we spent the whole time at our ward mission leader's house trying to move an industrial sized oven into the second story of this house.  Let's just say between the angry landlord and the small balcony we had to fit the oven through, we were there forever.  It was quite the experience, especially since we forgot to bring an extra pair of clothes.  However, it all worked out and we were able to eat tons of delicious kimchi stew afterwards.  We didn't have any time to e-mail because of our late appointment.

Among other things this week, we had the opportunity to visit a family in the ward whose son leaves for the two year mandatory military service this next week.  We had some great watermelon and felt welcomed in their comfortable home.  Although I probably sweated through all my clothes this week, it was a great learning experience, especially with my wise companion Elder Song.  He relates so well with people and continues to constantly teach me.

Thanks for all the support!

Your Favorite Missionary,

Elder Wheeler
Elder Yetter and Elder Wheeler at the temple on July 14, 2015

Elder Wheeler and Elder Pons

Elder Song and Elder Wheeler

Elder Landford and Elder Wheeler

Elder Lanford and Elder Wheeler
Back Row:  Elder Wheeler, Elder Yetter, Elder Pons, Elder Mattingly, Elder Hansen
Front Row:  Elder Jeong, Elder Song, and two sister missionaries at the temple

Elder Jeong, Elder Pons, Elder Mattingly and Elder Yetter

Elder Yetter slack lining

Chase slack lining while Elder Cazier watches

Chase and Elder Hansen

Elder Yetter

Chase, Elder Song and Elder Yetter
Elder Wheeler, Elder Song and Jee-Hoon at his baptism July 19, 2015

Elder Wheeler, Jee-Hoon, Elder Song, Sister Sonksen, President Sonksen and a ward member

Jee-Hoon's baptism

Elder Hansen, Elder Mattingly, Elder Yetter, Jee-Hoon, Elder Song,
Elder Pons, Elder Jeong and Elder Wheeler

Now that's a smile!

Jee-Hoon and Elder Song

Elders Cazier, Hansen, Jeong, Wheeler, Song, Pons, Mattingly and Yetter

Elders Yetter, Mattingly, Song and Pons

Elder Song

The roof

Working Hard

Elder Jeong

Elders Yetter, Song, Hansen and ?

Elder Song

A much deserved meal after a working hard

Front table:  Elder Mattingly, Elder Pons, Elder Hansen, Elder Yetter
Back table: Elder Wheeler, Elder Song, Elder Jeong, Elder Cazier

The ward mission leader?

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Nokbeon Week 3 - 날씨가 왜 그래요? Translation: And the weather is?

Dear Family and Friends,
This week was a roller coaster of weather.  We had a super hot night on Friday and, since we don't have air conditioning, we all sweated through studies on Saturday morning.  Luckily, we each have a fan that we put to use 24/7.  Plus, it was so humid, so it was impossible to get dry after we showered.  Then the rain started to pour on Sunday, which was a much needed answer to our prayers.  It's currently raining right now and it looks like it may increase the next couple of days.

Regardless of the weather though, we had a blast running around and doing missionary work this week.  Brother Jee-Hoon is still planning to get baptized this weekend, and to make it better, the members really helped us teach the commandments to him this past week.  Our investigator had a pretty scary nightmare on Wednesday, so we met him and really helped him calm down.  He came to the church breathing heavily, with a wild look in his eyes.  I felt the guidance of the Spirit helping me to share comforting words.

Saturday was probably the craziest day of the week.  We got a call right after language study from a guy that we met the day before who asked if we had time to eat lunch! So he took us to eat pig intestine soup which was magically delicious!  He was impressed by how well I ate it.  Although he didn't seem to have a lot of interest in our message, he took a Book of Mormon and agreed to read it.  After our lunch appointment, we headed over to the church so I could plan with Elder Pons (My Zone Leader) for a presentation that the Bishop asked us to give to the youth.  We shared some pictures of our families and some interesting videos that our parents sent us.  Everyone loved the skiing video that featured Sam Hettinger on a snow board and Gray falling hard at the end.  In the end, we were able to show the youth how fun living the gospel can be.  After we played some games with them, we had a small testimony meeting and then headed to English Class.

English class went so well that one of the attendees took us to his house to have dinner with him.  We had a great discussion along with one of the other English class members who tagged along.  During our meal, we got a phone call inviting us to the funeral of a member's mom.  So we took a taxi there and had a really spiritual meeting which mainly consisted of hymns.  It still amazes me at how powerful music is.

Thanks so much for all support and love I have received.

Your Favorite Missionary,

Elder Wheeler

Here are some questions my Mom asked me and my responses:

1.  What is something difficult you are being asked to do?
One thing that has challenged us this week was a commitment from the Zone Leaders to invite one person to be baptized each day.  It's pretty difficult because it can be pretty awkward if we're not confident and especially since all of the people we invite are those who we run into on the street.

2.  What new foods have you tried recently?
Pig Intestine soup.  I also have gotten pretty good at cooking Korean food such as Kimchi stew, curry, and soybean stew.  We eat lots of rice.

3.  What's something you miss about America?
I probably miss Chipotle the most at this point, outside of my family.  I also miss the space in America.  Everything here is really cramped.  I honestly have trouble fitting into most restaurants.

4.  What do you love the most about Korea?
My favorite thing about Korea is honestly the people.  They are so loving and willing to go out of their way to help you.  I can't tell you how many times people have just bought and given me free stuff along with helping me find where I am going.  

5.  Do you feel safe where you are living and serving?
Yes, I feel very safe here in Korea.

6.  How are things with your companion and your language? 
I'm doing well with my companion.  I pretty much speak in Korean all the time now, even to Americans...
Elder Yetter wearing Brother Charles' glasses

 Elder Song, Elder Jeong, Elder Hansen, Han, Elder Yetter and Brother Charles
eating chicken and watermelon at the church before the youth meeting.

Elder Yetter, Brother Charles and Elder Pons

Sign in front of the church

Large church across the street