Sunday, March 27, 2016

Dongdaemun Week 10

Dear Family and Friends,
So it looks like the little bit of Chinese that I learned paid off this week! We are now teaching two new Chinese investigators who are really awesome.  The first one is a woman named Constance who has two daughters.  She speaks English pretty well and she just started to learn Korean.  Her husband is Korean and they communicate in English.  We met her on the street while English flyering, and she wanted to come learn English with us, so we met her at the church with one of our members.  She said that she is usually quite uneasy inside church buildings, but she immediately stated that our building felt really comfortable.  It looks like shes going to come with her daughter to church this Sunday which should be awesome!  The second Chinese investigator's name is Jack and he is a student at Korea University.  English and Korean are both a little rough, so teaching him is interesting, but hopefully we'll be able to get a person who speaks Chinese in for our next lesson.  

This week we also planned and executed a big Zone activity out in the Hwayang missionaries' area.  We decided to do cookie frosting on the street with people for Easter and it went super well.  People loved coming up and making cookies, but it did take quite a while to pump out 200 sugar cookies at the house.  Thankfully, my Christmas cookie making experience came in handy.  We got lots of people to refer over to the Hwayang Elders, so that was good.  We had so many cookies left over that we moved areas and did the activity in Imun.  Over there, we also had a ton of success and one of the college students we met went to church the next Sunday in that area.  To end the Easter holiday on Sunday, we had a big music night put on by our mission which went super well.  I was the mic guy for all the singers and violin players.  It was super nerve racking in front of 200+ people, especially because everyone hates the kid who messes up.  Well lucky for me, it went flawlessly.  The music of Jesus Christ's resurrection definitely was very powerful and left lots of people in tears.  

This week Elder Ashby and I went on exchanges in Imun area, and I had the privilege to go with Elder Judd.  He is a solid young missionary.  While on exchanges we taught a great English Bible class to two newcomers who were both foreigners (Mongolian, Vietnamese).  It continues to amaze me how many foreigners are living in our area.  Plus, I successfully learned how to tell people we are missionaries in Mongolian this week!
As for last P-day, we went up to Korean University and balled with a bunch of ginormous Chinese people.  Luckily, we had Elder Green on our team, who can dunk.  We ended up winning in the end, and it was just super fun.  Plus, we got one kid to commit to come to church this upcoming Sunday.  
Thanks for all the love and support!
Your Favorite Missionary,
Elder Wheeler
Easter cookie activity

Elder Wheeler, Constance, Elder Ashby

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Dongdaemun Week 9

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was really exciting and enjoyable.  For last week's P-Day, we started off with a big basketball game with a bunch of Elders from various Zones. It was pretty enjoyable meeting at the biggest church building in our mission and playing B-ball together.  We also spent quite a bit of time this week proselyting in another area in our Zone, trying to help them jump-start their area.  We  street boarded there on Tuesday and spent some time on Saturday teaching their English class with them.  

This Sunday we had a pretty cool miracle at church.  So believe it or not, there are quite a few Mongolian members at our church and at one point the missionaries were baptizing so many Mongolians, they had plans to open up a Mongolian branch, but it never got that far.  The missionaries haven't had Mongolian investigators for quite awhile, until one of the Mongolian sisters, attending college here, brought her boyfriend to church yesterday.  We actually had a lesson with him and he committed to come to church next week and take the next lesson.  It was a really cool miracle.  Along with that, Brother Khosobayer (another Mongolian member) was called as our new ward mission leader.  Luckily, he's really good at Korean so it's easy to communicate.  Unfortunately, I don't speak enough Mongolian to communicate fully with our investigator though.  Along with Mongolians, there are also lots of Chinese people in our area.  Elder Ashby and I are starting to study Chinese during our lunch times and we've actually started to get pretty good.  Since we meet so many Chinese people on the street, we've got down phrases to use such as "hello, I'm an American, We are missionaries, Are you a Chinese person?, Do you believe in the existence of God?, nice to meet you, I like church and Jesus Christ." Not bad for a week, but my pronunciation is terrible to say the least.  

This week we also met with one of our super awesome investigators, Dongwon.  He is the 31yr-old cryptography major college student I talked about.  Anyways, we're teaching English along with the gospel as part of the English Program that we offer to people on the street.  He is pretty good at English and is accepting the gospel part really well.  The only problem he has is waking up for church.  After our lesson with him on Saturday, we ate with the stake as part of the night held for the anniversary of the Relief Society, which was conducted at our building.  He definitely enjoyed the food and the atmosphere.

As for another sweet miracle, I went on exchanges with Elder Green, a missionary from Mesa and a district leader in our Zone.  Well, during our exchange, we met this 75yr-old guy who committed to come to church.  Well (here's the miracle part), he actually showed up to church and when the other Elders, along with the gospel principles teacher, told him about prophets, he exclaimed that "this has to be the true church because it has prophets!" He also committed to a baptismal date for next month.  Basically lots of unexpected things happened this week that were totally awesome.

Thanks for all the love and support.

Your Favorite Missionary,

Elder Wheeler

Eddy with Elder Ashby and Elder Wheeler

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Dongdaemun Week 8

Dear Family and Friends,

This week started with a great training with President about the Easter initiative and how we're going to apply it.  We saw the wonderful new Easter video made by the church and learned a lot about the importance of the Resurrection.  (Here's a link if you want to watch it - it's 2 minutes long):  #Hallelujah Video—Find New Life 

After our monthly Zone Training meeting on Wednesday, I started exchanges with a younger Korean missionary named Elder Ryu who is serving in Hwayang.  They just white-washed that area (both missionaries are new to and opening the area so there are no previous contacts)  so they currently don't have a lot going on right now, so we were able to spend a lot of time talking about finding new investigators!  During the exchange, we also helped the Relief Society President basically rearrange everything in her house.  That was super fun, but a lot more than we expected. We ended up bringing desks and big wardrobes down the staircase from the second story.  Also this week, we attended soccer with our investigators and youth in another area in our stake.  We had a blast again, and when we finished we headed right to the Elder's house in that area to shower before we left for a baptism in ShinChon.  Well we couldn't find the other Elder's house and they didn't pick up their phone, so we ended up changing in the subway station bathroom before we hopped on the subway for ShinChon. We searched for this place for ever and by the time we took the bus to the Subway station and hopped on the train, we were projected to arrive about 20 or 30 minutes late.  Two of Elder Ashby's investigators were getting baptized, so we had to be there, and we ended up arriving right before the actual performance of the baptism.  That was definitely one experience that I will never forget because we got there on time miraculously for the baptism.

This week for our investigators, unfortunately, no one showed up to church, but we found a super sweet new investigator.  He is about 30 years old and is a couple inches taller than me.  He asked some amazing questions about our church and right now is finishing graduate school in the field of cryptography.  Both of his parents were divorced when he was a kid, and he seems to really be looking for something more in his life.  As for our other investigators, most of them were too busy to meet this week with Korean school starting up and all.  However our investigator who is a senior in high school is doing well and we have an appointment with him tonight.  

This past P-Day was also probably one of the most fun P-days ever.  We went to the wax museum and back which was thoroughly enjoyable.  I'm so grateful for the opportunity to work with so many great members in this ward too.  This past Sunday we visited another less active member with the first counselor and he agreed to come out this next Sunday to church.  We ended Sunday night by eating dinner with the Bishop and his family who are amazing.  

Thanks so much for all the love and support.

Your Favorite Missionary,

Elder Wheeler

Chase ran into all sorts of famous people this week!

Bruce Lee

Al Pacino

Robert De Niro

Steven Spielberg and ET

Albert Einstein


President Obama who even let the missionaries climb aboard
Air Force One

Tom Cruise

Tiger Woods

Elder Ashby relaxing at his desk

A Korean woman playing a cool instrument

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Dongdaemun Week 7

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was a very interesting week.  After Elder Kang left, I spent some time joining Elder Erickson and Elder Ridge's companionship.  It is actually quite difficult proselyting on the street with  three missionaries instead of just two.  Well, we met a potential investigator at this Cafe which went well.  He said the reason that he decided to meet with us again was because I said that we wouldn't force him to believe.  We taught him the entire first lesson and he committed to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. I again realized how influential choice is in our Heavenly Father's plan.  We share this wonderful message with others and it is left up to them to act up the things we have shared.  We also spent a lot of time talking with students in that area.  One of the best things about the area I'm currently located in is the presence of one of the Top 3 universities in Korea, Korea University.  All of the students here are like ridiculously smart, so it makes talking with them really enjoyable.

On Wednesday, my new companion, Elder Ashby arrived.  We have been serving with each other since that time and it has been really enjoyable.  It's been pretty weird since we both knew each other from the MTC.  This week we got fed twice by an investigator that we are trying to help.  His name is Eddy, and he took us out for dinner on Thursday and Saturday.   He really needs our message, but at the same time, doesn't feel a need to hear it.  Luckily, he came this week to English class and enjoyed it so much that he committed to come to church the following day.  However, due to his back problems, he was unable to attend.  We did have one investigator show up though.  Brother Byeon came to church again and we watched the restoration with him.  He said he felt goosebumps and was super glad to be able to visualize what happened to Joseph Smith.

Other things we did this week included visiting a sweet member family in our ward.  The father is American and his wife is Korean, so it was an interesting dynamic of using both English and Korean for our message.  We also visited a less active member of our congregation with the former bishop of our ward. As for Saturday, we started out by handing out English flyers, only for the rain to start with a continuous downpour.  My shoes were soaked through.

As for a cool miracle this week, we were walking out of our house towards an appointment, when I  felt the prompting to turn down another way where a guy was standing.  We started to talk to him when this lady popped out her store telling us that she wanted to learn English with her daughter!  So, we set up a program to teach her the gospel and English every week and referred her to the sister missionaries in our ward. Missionary work is amazing and the gospel is the best.

Thanks for all the Love and Support!

Your Favorite Missionary,

Elder Wheeler

Elder Ashby making sure to knock on every door!

Elder Wheeler and Elder Ashby in front of the church