Sunday, November 29, 2015

Nokbeon Week 22

Dear Wonderful Family and Friends,

Happy Thanksgiving! This week was awesome in general, especially because we spent so much time eating.  On Wednesday we got taken out to an American style buffet by one of the members while I was on exchanges with the Zone Leader, Elder Ashby.  The member helped us with a lesson right before, and then we headed to the place on a super crowded bus.  During rush hour here in Seoul, the bus and subway systems are just packed with people.  On one hand, it makes it easy to talk with everyone, but on the other hand, it can be slightly awkward haha.  As for Thursday, we headed down to our ward mission leader's house which is pretty far away, but we ate well and shared some great conversation.  Our ward mission leader used to run an Antares here in Korea, so he's basically a master at cooking Korean food. Luckily, he's given me a couple of recipes and some good tips.  On Friday, we headed over to a part American family's home who live in our ward boundaries, but they attend the English branch in Seoul.  Unfortunately, the wife's mother turned off the gas while the turkey was cooking, which delayed the dinner for about an hour.  Despite the delay though, we had a super good time eating the American style Thanksgiving and talking with the caring members.

We experienced quite a few miracles this week.  On Monday we went to go visit a less active ward member and bring him some tangerines, but we were struggling to find his house, so we decided to call him.  Well, he came outside his house and we had a good conversation with him.  His wife and child aren't members of the church, so I was hoping for the chance to talk with them when his wife just walked out of the house.  It was super cool to talk with her and she kept telling her husband to buy us dinner some time.  Hopefully, we can start teaching her about the gospel.  We also met another member's non-member family on a short visit to their home.  Although we just went to give him an invitation for the Christmas party, they insisted on us eating fruit and provided us with delicious beverages.  The culture here is so great.  Plus, his wife and kids are super nice, and hopefully they'll come to our sweet Christmas Party.

As for our investigators this week, Gyeong-Min seems to have lost some interest for the time-being, but he is still insistent that he will come to church every week.  We all still struggling with getting him friends at church.  But our ward leaders here are great and they are doing everything they can to help out.  We weren't able to meet with our other investigator this week, but he is doing well and tried to read and pray.

The biggest event this week was probably our leadership training with our mission president, President Sonksen, and our implementation on the "Christmas Initiative."  Basically, we are brainstorming new ideas for how to share the Christmas Spirit with other people her in Seoul. One thing we are doing is trying to have 100% member participation in this program.  Since we can't use computers, we are trying to do as much as we can to help the members use the internet to share the gospel.  This past Sunday, Elder Jeong and I got up in front of the members during Sunday School and shared the initiative.  It looks like we are going to be visiting quite a few members in the upcoming weeks.  The one thing we hope everyone shares this Christmas season is the joy of Christ. #ASaviorIsBorn (

Thanks for all the love and support.  If you have any questions, please e-mail me at

Your Favorite Missionary,

Elder Wheeler
Elder Wheeler with a ward member

Elder Collins with a ward member

Elder Wheeler with the ward mission leader

Thanksgiving with the Russel Family


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Nokbeon Week 21

Hey wonderful friends and family,

This week was interesting in a nutshell.  We played soccer for P-day as a zone at our church building last P-day which was a lot of fun.  The Assistants to the mission presidents came down since they're part of our zone.  The stake president built two metal goals that we set up and use in the gym.  That Monday night, we went to visit a member, only to find out too late that they had actually moved.  One of the highlights of the week was definitely having the chance to make kimchi again at a service center.  I never knew I could love making kimchi this much.  The older ladies just kept feeding me and I threw down bags of Korean cabbage and sauce.  I think we might have to start a family tradition of making kimchi every year in the Wheeler home and maybe buy a separate fridge for kimchi, just depending if it catches on or not.

After we came back from the service project, we headed right over to a high school and started handing out English flyers.  It was a great time and we met a kid who is friends with one of the members.  He said he would come to church if he had time this Sunday.  Overall, working with kids and talking with young adults is the best and most effective.  This week we also met with Gyeong-Min twice.  He is doing well, but still has some fears about baptism.  He has committed to all the commandments and reads/prays daily, but because baptism is something new to him, he is hesitant to make the commitment.  Gyeong-Min is starting to like church a little bit more, but still doesn't really have any friends among the youth.  Since he's a shy kid, its going to be hard to get him to feel welcome among the youth.  Luckily, a lot of the adult members are helping out super well.  Last week we taught a lesson and it was hard to get a word in because he got along so well with a 26year-old recent convert.

This week we also had the privilege to continue to build our bond with the members.  One of the members called asking us to brush up all of the fallen leaves in the church parking lot, so we spent some time at the church cleaning out grates and bagging up leaves.  As a result, we got the member to join us in a member present lesson to Gyeong-Min.  Since the challenge was issued to have a member present at every lesson, we have yet to miss one.  It's been amazing to see how the Lord provides a way for his work to be done.  These members are busy and we may call a lot, but the Lord always seems to make a miracle happen for us to reach our goal.  During PEC meeting before church on Sunday, the bishop made a comment about how hard the missionaries are working which really shows how much more trust we are gaining.  Jee-Hoon is doing alright.  He always seems to be sick on Sunday and his health is not very good, but he is trying.  He is continuing to read the book of Mormon and we are working with the Bishop to improve his living state.  We also got a less active church member to come to church this week!

Thanks for all the love and support that keeps me going to do this wonderful work.  I feel like I see the Lord's hand more and more in all that happens around me.  Thanks a ton!

Your Favorite Missionary,

Elder Wheeler
Elders in the cultural hall

Elder Collins, Elder Coleman, Elder Wheeler, Elder Apigo
and Elder Jeong

Elder Wheeler and Elder Ashby recreating
last year's pose!

Elders Coleman, Lee, Wheeler, Jeong, Collins, Apigo

Elders Coleman, Lee, Wheeler, Jeong, Collins, Apigo

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Nokbeon Week 20

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was super fun and full of member visits.  We also picked up a sweet new investigator!  So, to start off, for P-day this week we went to a super cheap market down in a place called Namdaemoon and bought quite a bit of cool cheap stuff.  I was able to pick up a 4-dollar watch that actually looks pretty nice.  I sent a picture below.  We also hit up the delicious falafel stand there run by this Arabian guy who speaks Korean, Arabic, English and some other language.  People are just astounding sometimes.  Then, that night, I went to finish my file on the computor that I have been making to help with member missionary work, only to find that the computer was gone.  After calling around, I found out that the stake clerk took it home to fix it and wiped all the files... That was a little frustrating, but luckily I had some saved on a flash drive and the stake clerk came and helped me get a lot of work done on it this past Sunday.

Tuesday was super fun between our member visit to the first councilor's house and English flyering right outside of a big high school in our area.  When we visited the member we were intending on showing the restoration video, but we were disappointed too find that it only played in Japanese... worked fine at the church though!  But overall, it was a good spiritual visit.  Although my companion hasn't been here that long, he is doing great at Korean and bore a great testimony.  Then on Wednesday after district meeting, we did Hot Chocolate Proselyting.  We asked a member if we good borrow his car, and he drove us, our hot chocolate, and a couple of tables to a busy subway station a little far away from the church.  People loved the hot chocolate and that's where we found our new 18 year-old investigator.  We actually met him that next day again with a member and discussed the Plan of Salvation.  He is doing well.

With this focus on member missionary work throughout the mission, I feel like we are becoming more focused on how we can help the ward.  It's definitely starting to become more of a team effort.  This Sunday after church, we got a ride from the ward clerk out to a nicer part of town away from our house and spent time with a couple of member families out there.  We were just planning on quickly saying "hi" and giving them some letters we wrote, but Koreans always absolutely insist that you come in, and they just start giving you stuff.  I love this loving culture so much.  The first man we visited works at the temple and his wife works constantly at a restaurant, so she doesn't have time to come to church.  They both work so hard to put their son in school in America and give their kids the best opportunity for success.  When we went to our Elder's Quorum President's house to thank him, they were having two other member couples over for dinner.  However, he also relentlessly insisted that we come in.  I was so grateful for the members and my companion too who really just adds lots of excitement to this work. 

The members have in turn also helped us with lessons and continually volunteered their help as we have reached out to them.  Missionary work is so fun, especially when you see the difference that it makes in other people's lives.  Thank you so much for the support and all that you do!

Your Favorite Missionary,

Elder Wheeler

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Nokbeon Week 19

Dear Family and Friends,

Another wonderful week has passed by here in Nokbeon, Korea.  This week was filled with appointments and assignments.  One of the bigger things that happened this week was our Zone Training, in which we got quite a few commitments to work with the members better in our ward. The number of received referrals from members has decreased, so we as a zone talked about how we could increase unity and effectiveness within each of our wards and do a better job as missionaries. The dynamics here are a little difficult because there are about 8 missionaries assigned to one ward, so we have to coordinate our efforts with one another while coordinating with the ward.  I've started to realize the importance of all the meetings and councils we have in order to effectively accomplish our purpose. So basically, I have started to create a list to divide the members up between the missionaries to make sure no member in forgotten about or left behind.

This week I also spent a lot of time with our ward mission leader who is continually an inspiration to me.  He works so hard, and this gospel is just like a burning fire in his chest.  We went to visit one of our investigators this week, but he wasn't home at the moment, so we took the time to visit a less-active member who is doing well.  Although he works on Sunday to support his family, he is really persistent with missionary work, and his mom got baptized about a month ago.  After the visit we had a good MCM with him and the other missionaries.  

We met with Gyeong-Min twice this week again, and he is accepting everything really well.  We taught him about keeping the Sabbath Day Holy and he was all over it.  He strongly stated back to me that it is important to keep God as the first priority in your life.  We also went with him to a five dollar Korean buffet which was pretty good.  He is a little shy at first, but he has a pretty loud personality.  When we went to the buffet, he convinced my companion to eat a pepper which almost made him cry. It was super funny.

To end the week, we went to a funeral service on Saturday night for one of the members whose Mom passed away.  I was reminded of the beautiful Korean culture and how different it is from the American style funeral.  Although it was a solemn occasion, it was great to see lots of the members and spend time talking with each one of them.  On Sunday after church, we spent some time visiting two member families and delivering cookies that we had made.  Unfortunately, both times the parents weren't available, but we were able to converse with the kids for a second.  One of the families that we visited is just so awesome and basically gets everything done.  I was glad to put those Thank-You cards to use that you sent me Mom! Thanks!

The food is great and it has been raining a lot here lately.  Not much else to report.  Thanks for all the love and prayers! 

Your Favorite Missionary,
Elder Wheeler

Elder Collins

Elder Wheeler

Elder Wheeler

Elder Apigo

Elder Jeong

It's hard to resist a photo-op with a Lamborghini!


Sunday, November 1, 2015

Nokbeon Week 18

Dear Family and Friends,

This week has been quite the experience.  One of the biggest highlights came on Saturday when P.J. Rogers, a missionary who served here and became a Korean Celebrity, came and taught us about the Korean culture and learning this difficult language.  He was super hilarious and gave out tons great advice on how to really build the trust of the members and the people you meet.  One thing that really distinguishes Korea is the level of its relationships.  To some level, all of the Koreans practice Confucianism in their deep respect for their ancestors and the way that they interact with people older than them.  One of the things I love about Korean culture is how the older generation has a deep responsibility to take care of the younger generation and the younger generation has to respect those who are older.  Even when they address others, they refer to them as brother, sister, mother, grandfather, and so forth.  To conclude our day on Saturday, we had a music night at the church which was super fun.  The missionaries sang "Nearer My God to Thee" and Elder Jeong ended with a sweet solo.

This week we spent some more time with our great investigator Gyeong-Min who accepted the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity.  He is such a prepared kid who has tons of potential.  Our other investigators met with us this week too and we spent some great quality time teaching. Unfortunately, one of our older investigators fell asleep during the restoration video...  We also met a 70 year-old man who is super awesome.  He attends a Presbyterian church, but he was super open to read the Book of Mormon and really kind. He had an amazing conversion story to Christ that he shared.

This Sunday, we spent a ton of time with the Bishop after church.  Church ends at 1 here in our ward and after the bishop finished with interviews, we met with him and our recent convert Jee-Hoon.  He's been having trouble getting to church because of his health, so we spent a lot of time discussing how to help him find a job and get in shape.  Our bishop is awesome, and he shared some sweet advice.  After that ended, we went with the Bishop to visit an older lady who is over 100 years old!  Although she can't attend church because of her health, she is still one of the strongest members I have seen, just constantly talking about Christ and asking how the church is doing.  Her husband was a patriarch who used to be a pastor for another church over 40 years ago.  I could just feel how legendary she was.  We took the sacrament to her and talked with her daughter who is not a member.  After that, we visited a less-active member who didn't answer.  So I called her and asked if she would like to talk with the bishop, and she declined quickly, which was disappointing.

On this past Thursday we headed over to our ward mission leader's house for Missionary Correlation Meeting and for a delicious dinner.  He fed us so much food which included some very well flavored chicken...  Apparently, they personally killed the chickens in their backyard, but I'm not sure if I believe that.  Our ward mission leader could also possibly be one of the three Nephites. He's over 80 but still going strong and helping tons of other people.

Thanks for all the love and support this week!  It was well needed.

Your Favorite Missionary,

Elder Wheeler
Back row:  Elder Coleman, Brother Lee, Elder Apigo, Elder Jeong,
Elder Wheeler, Elder Collins and Elder Lee
Front row:  Sister Robertson and Sister Lee
Sister Lee before she leaves for home

Elder Apigo, Elder Wheeler and Elder Jeong