Sunday, October 25, 2015

Nokbeon Week 17

Dear Family and Friends,
This week was really packed with activities and meetings.  First I'll start off with an update on our investigators at the moment.  Our most progressing investigator is Gyeong-Min.  He loves clothes and shopping.  He is always showing us the clothes he is intending on buying and asking for our opinion on which one he should buy.  He came to church again this past Sunday and seemed to do okay.  I think church was a little boring for him, but then again he is only a sophomore in high school, and he's been only three times.  We also took him to the Relief Society President's house where we had an awesome dinner.  She cooks so well by the way (Rotisserie Chicken, Cheese Cake, Kimchi Stew, Salad, more meat, and HashBrowns).   After dinner we had a great conversation about baptism and what it means.  The following day when we had the baptismal service for one of the members in our ward, he came and watched.  He enjoyed the service and got to talk with lots of the members.  The best part about the day was when he told us that he prayed and got a really good feeling, so he wanted to keep doing it! Awesome!
Our other main investigator is a man by the name of Se-Yeong.  He's in his fifties, and he has a son who is a senior in high school.  Se-Yeong is divorced and doesn't have a job right now, so he's in a tougher situation.  We went over last week and this morning to help him out at his house which has a cockroach problem and lots of clothes that he doesn't throw out.  Our service went well and definitely improved his living conditions.  We're going to visit again this week with our ward mission leader and to discuss  his situation and try to help him.  He's a super nice guy, but I sense that he's had quite a few tragedies in his life to create some hopelessness.  He also came to church this past Sunday.  We have some other investigators who we are working with also.
This week, as far as the activities go, we had to pick up Elder Collins' foreigner card this past Tuesday and then we had a meeting on Thursday for all the new missionaries.  President, his wife, and the Assistants trained us about dealing with stress, setting goals, planning, and softening our hearts.  It was a super great opportunity to learn, evaluate, and improve.  Each new missionary does this 12 week training program which consists of practicing new principles and learning from "Preach My Gospel" each week.  This requires an extra hour of companionship study each day.  I've really come to love that time to teach and learn with each other.
As district leader, I went on exchanges with Elder Apigo this week.  He is also a new missionary, and it was inspiring to see how hard he is working to learn Korean and love the people here.  We talked with lots of people on the street together and made some phone calls.  Calling is probably one of the hardest things to do in Korean because you can't see them and most of the time there is some background noise.  We also had our fourth district meeting of the transfer which went well.
Life as a missionary is so cool and I'm thankful for all the wonderful blessings I've received. Thanks for all the love!
Your Favorite Missionary,
Elder Wheeler
Elder Collins, Brother Lee and Elder Wheeler

Standing:  Sister Lee, Sister Robertson, Elder Luhann, Elder Wheeler, Elder Collins and Edler Coleman
Sitting:  Elder Lee and Elder Apigo

The newest ward member with his father

Elder Collins and Elder Wheeler with a boy in the ward being
baptized by his father

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Nokbeon Week 16 - Kimchi!

Dear Beloved Family and Friends,

This week was super sick!  We had tons of fun this week doing lots of different activities. One of the best things that happened this week was that we got invited to make Kimchi at a festival in another area.  They invited all of the foreign missionaries, and we went and made delicious kimchi for an hour.  I also ate a ton of it.  I just kept telling the older ladies who we were making kimchi with to keep giving me more, so they did.  I've learned that Koreans love people who love their kimchi.  Also during the process, I got interviewed by a Korean lady entirely in Korean! It was super fun.  Plus, I got the church's name out there!

I also had a really cool experience on Sunday night.  We had been invited to a fireside by President to listen to Mark A. Petersen who is serving as the head of the Korean department at BYU.  Anyways, he came and taught us all about religions in Korea so that we could better understand the people here and realize that we're not so different.  Well, we learned about Confucianism, Shamanism, and Buddhism, and it was so interesting.  I have found a deeper love for religion on my mission too.  Beliefs are just so awesome.  Well on the way there, we hopped into to a taxi, and guess what?  This guy is a huge fan of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  He was like, "I've been looking for 'Down By The River' by the choir and I have just not been able to find the CD anywhere." I was like no way, I've got that CD at my house haha.  We gave him a Book of Mormon and are planning on directing him to the temple Book Store with the collection of Mormon Tabernacle Choir CD's.  It was quite the miracle.

This week we met with our investigator Gyeong-min who is progressing super well.  He prays nightly and has a baptismal date for this upcoming month.  We are in the middle of teaching the second lesson.  I've learned a ton about how to teach better through talking about the gospel with him.  Elder Jeong, my Zone Leader, went on exchanges with me a we had one of the funniest and most fulfilling lessons I've had on my mission.  We have just become really good friends with Gyeong-min, and he has seemed to mix in well with the ward already.  He came to church this past Sunday and talked with all of the leaders and youth.  We still have a long way to go, but he has been super fun and refreshing to meet with.  

One thing that also happened this week was the chance we had to deliver cookies to a less-active and a member family that seem to be having a hard time.  The less active member enjoyed the cookies and we had a really great talk with him.  We are also working with Jee-Hoon on his family history work which is going well.

Thanks for all the love and support!

Your Favorite Missionary,

Elder Wheeler
Elder Wheeler, Elder Lee, Elder Coleman and Elder Collins on a bike ride last p-day

Elder Lee

Cookie delivery to a ward member
Elder Wheeler and other missionaries helping make Kimchi

Elder Wheeler and Elder Bybee


Elder Collins

"Generational" photo - Elder Collins is being trained by
Elder Wheeler who was trained by Elder Julseth

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Nokbeon Week 15 - Festival Activities

Dear Family and Friends,

I'll start off with the highlight of this week which was definitely this huge festival thing that we have been preparing for.  It was going to go well as planned before it started to rain and rain.  That caused the whole place to be cold and windy.  So, not as many people as we had planned for came out, but we were still pretty busy the whole time.  After the rain stopped, we brought tables and chairs outside to do our activities of Face Painting, Balloon Animal Making, and Bracelet Making.  After we started doing our activities, we found out that another booth was doing the balloon making thing for money a little down the street.... We of course did everything for free, and when the people down the street found out they came over and put a stop to our operation... We were definitely amateurs at it, but all kids really want is a sword anyways, and we were able to make that happen haha.  

Face Painting on the other hand was really swell.  People were just coming over and asking for really random things.  It was a blast and people seemed to really enjoy getting their favorite things painted on them.  Among the requests were a beetle, the hulk, Stitch, emoticons, Winnie the Pooh, and Spongebob/Patrick.  A lot of young moms were really excited to have their kids get drawn on.  It was awesome.  Bracelet making was also a huge hit for the kids.  In addition to all the people that came in our church, talked with us, and used our bathroom, President Sonksen and the AP's came down.  I guess I had been talking with President so much throughout the week that he came down to make sure I was doing it right.  I talked to one guy who lives across the street who was walking around our building.  He said he had always wondered what kind of church we were.  

The other great part of this week is our awesome investigator Gyeong-Min.  He is 17 years old and attends a automobile fixing highschool.  Well we met with him twice this week and he came to conference on Sunday which was awesome.  We talked with him a lot about who God is and asked some super great questions.  He has never really had religion in his life before, so its a really fun teaching experience that I'm learning a lot from.  He said conference was boring, but he got to meet the youth and talk with the awesome Young Men's Leader in the ward.  I'm so glad he has such an open mind to all these things.  His picture is below.

Lastly, we had some really cool miracles with nature this week.  On Sunday, we got stuck under a bus stop when it started to pour rain.  We finished talking to this guy, and we tried to figure out a way to get home with out being drenched in our suits.  We said a quick prayer and miraculously the rain came to a slight sprinkle just long enough for us to sprint home for dinner.  Also, on anouther occasion, we had two minutes left to be home on time, so I started to sprint home.  There is a stoplight between our house and the church, so I glanced back and asked, "Do you have the faith for the light to change?" and right as we got to the crosswalk it changed.  I love this work!

General Conference was of course an amazing experience.  Unfortunately, we only got to see the Sunday Session this week due to the festival on Saturday.  I really enjoyed Elder Christofferson's talk on a need for a church organization and why we can't just make it on our own.  I love this thought he shared.  "One, we do not strive for conversion to the Church but to Christ and His gospel, a conversion that is facilitated by the Church. The Book of Mormon expresses it best when it says that the people 'were converted unto the Lord, and were united unto the church of Christ.'"  I've found that the church facilitates this better than anything I could possibly do on my own.

Thanks for all the wonderful Support! Happy Birthday Dad!

Your Favorite Missionary,

Elder Wheeler

Zone Conference
Gyeong-Min and Elder Wheeler

Gyeong-Min and Elder Collins

Face painting practice

Festival float

Sponge Bob travels to Korea!

Elder Coleman in action

Elder Apigo flashes a peace sign

Elder Jeong and Elder Wheeler

Elder Collins, Elder Apigo, Elder Coleman, Elder Lee, Elder Jeong
and Elder Wheeler at the festival

Elder Collins

Elder Wheeler in his $50 suit!


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Nokbeon Week 14 - A Wonderful Week

Dear Family and Friends,

This week the weather cooled down a lot, so it was super nice when we walked outside and talked with people.  One thing I did a ton this week was phone calls...  This upcoming Saturday there is a huge festival on the street outside of our church, so the city called and asked if they could use our bathrooms.  So, we are all putting on English Classes, Jazz Piano Performances, Bracelet Making, Face Painting, and Balloon Animal Making.  About 800 people are planned to come through our church, and we basically have been put in charge of planning it.  Long story short, I have never talked to the Bishop so constantly and for such a long period of time!  I have also been coordinating with President Sonksen a bit to borrow missionaries from the surrounding areas to come and help us out.  I think this will turn out to be a huge success in getting people to have a cool experience with the Church in a fun way. 

In addition to many phone calls, we also started teaching a 17 year-old investigator this week.  He is attending a high school in the area that I was trained in, and he is studying car auto-mechanics.  We met him twice this past week; he is super nice.  We're looking forward to having some lessons with the youth in the ward, but none of them have time to help since they all study until 9 or 10 o' clock at night.  We taught him the first lesson, watched the restoration video and he received it really well.  Lately we have been trying to focus a lot more on talking with the youth and the younger generation because they are usually more humble and will have a bigger influence on the future.  

Saturday was the busiest day of the week by far between basketball class, English class, and family home evening.  I also had the opportunity to do exchanges with Elder Coleman in my district and discuss how we can increase success within each of our areas.  We had a couple new students at English class, but lately we have been trying to figure out how to make it better.  As for family night, we had a low turnout of members, but our investigator came, so that was a big success.  It was good to see him make friends with all the missionaries. 

I felt the influence of the spirit strongly in my missionary work this week.  While we were English flyering on Friday, I met this really cool guy who then ran off after the light changed.  I didn't think much about it until we were having a lesson in a nearby Dunkin' Donuts and I saw him walk by again.  I was pretty surprised and almost went out at that moment to talk to him.  Well, we just finished our lesson and walked out to find the same guy waiting outside.  I felt strongly that the Lord had led us to find and talk with him on that same day, and sure enough we set up a return appointment!

The best thing that happened out of these things during the week, though, was interviews with President.  He said exactly what I needed to hear, and I was able to express concerns and receive guidance for how I can do missionary work better.  I'm so grateful to be in a mission with such great leadership.

Thanks for all the support and love!

Your Favorite Missionary,

Elder Wheeler
Nokbeon District Temple Day (9/29/15)

View from p-day hike (10/5/15)

Elder Coleman

Chase in front of rescue helicopter training

Chase and a first responder