Sunday, April 24, 2016

Dongdaemun Week 14

Dear Family and Friends,

So this week has been pretty awesome with teaching two Chinese investigators.  We taught one who also came to church on Sunday and he seems really prepared.  He is 32 years old and had tons of great questions when we taught him with the second counselor on Sunday.  We watched the restoration video in Chinese and I felt like I was a new missionary again not understanding anything that was going on.  Even though he had another appointment to go to, he took the time to ask questions because he wondered so much about what we were teaching.  Its so amazing how a questioning soul really leads people to find the truth they have been seeking.

We have been having lots of success with the members this past transfer.  We have received two referrals that have both turned into investigators with baptismal dates.  It just goes to show that the key to missionary work has and always will be the members.  The older man that got referred to us is doing really well.  He is reading the Book of Mormon and praying which is the key to conversion.  It's amazing how prepared an investigator can get for baptism by just keeping the small commitments like reading the Book of Mormon and praying.  Brother Jo hopefully will be baptized next week.

This week we also had the opportunity to teach English class.  Our English class this week reached eight people which is a huge improvement from when I was first here.  Since English class leads to a lot of success with investigators, we have been working on the teaching and flyering mostly to get it rolling.  After teaching English for so long, Elder Ashby and I have actually started to get pretty good at it.  I'm in no way a perfect teacher of anything yet, of course.  But it's so cool to see the progess of students and especially their joy when they understand a concept.  Teaching the gospel is so similar.  Understanding is so vital.

Sorry I couldn't get a longer email off.  I had a lot written until the entire email got deleted, oh well haha.

Thanks for all the love and support!

Your favorite missionary,

Elder Wheeler

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Dongdaemun Week 13

Dear Family and Friends, 
So I'll start off with an experience I had this week which is one of the craziest experiences that I've had on my mission.  We had just gotten off a bus after a proselyting activity in another area when we started to introduce ourselves to the first person we saw.  Well, he wasn't very interested, but the kid who ran up asking, "Are you the mormons?" was pretty interested.  Now here's where it gets a little crazy. I asked him "how do you know who we are?" He goes on to tell me how he met this missionary in Nokbeon area during a street boarding activity who called him three or four times before the calls stopped.  As we are talking, we both realize that we met each other in January, called each other 3 or four times, and then because I got transfered and because he got a new phone, all contact stopped.  What's even crazier is that he is currently living in the Dongdaemoon area!  He's just one year younger than I am, and he remembered my age because I look super old to Koreans and he couldn't believe that I was 19.  Well we're meeting with him this week because he's looking for something to rely on and he wants to be different from his parents who are Christian and Buddhist, although we are a Christian church.  Anyways, I was just stunned that God planned it so perfectly and that this kid who was waiting for my call for 3 months just happened to meet up with us again.  This gospel is awesome.
This week also included my birthday which was well spent.  We started off by playing soccer in the morning and hanging out with our investigator who loves soccer.  We did some studies, headed over to the church to teach.  English class, which was fun, and afterwards all the Elders went out to a buffet for dinner which was delicious.  We also visited one of the college students in our ward who is currently serving as the ward clerk.  He's doing well and it was amazing to see his testimony of the Book of Mormon.  He's read it from the time he was 14 everyday and says that he can't start his day without it.  It just goes to show that the Book of Mormon is the foundation of testimony.  Then at about 9:30, the other Elders brought in two cakes that had been dropped off during the day, one of them by the bishop.  All in all, we ate quite a bit of cake.
This week we also had our weekly meeting with Brother Jo who was referred by a member in another ward.  He's in his mid 70's and he loves what we teach, but he also talks a lot.  The lesson went a little over, but he is preparing well for baptism and showed up for church on Sunday.  Plus, we got an emeritus member of the 70 helping us with the lessons, so its a blast.
Thanks for all the love and the birthday wishes!
Your Favorite Missionary,

Elder Wheeler

Elder Wheeler and Elder Ashby with their street boarding sign

A pig's head at a meat market

Chase at the pork stand

Elder Ashby at the pork stand

Chase, Elder Ridge and Elder Green with Chase's 20th birthday cakes

Elder Wheeler and Elder Green with cupcakes they  made for a young girl in the ward

Former Elder Mattingly with Elder
Wheeler and Elder Ashby.  They
look like three angels!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Dongdaemun Week 12

Dear Family and Friends,
This week was great and enjoyable.  The best part of the week was, of course, conference weekend where we had the opportunity to hear from President Thomas S. Monson, who is absolutely amazing.  I really enjoyed his short but powerful speach! I just wanted to share a quick part that I liked, "It has been said that the door of history turns on small hinges, and so do people’s lives. The choices we make determine our destiny."  Deciding to come on a mission has been one of those monumental choices in my life so far, but the change that has occured has come from the small choices I've made daily to follow Christ.  Although I haven't been perfect at those choices, I can definitely witness to the fact that righteous decsicions affect our happiness.
This week I spent sometime on exchanges in Hwayang with the district leader out there, Elder Day.  We taught English class, met with his investigator and did some street boarding.  By the way, we just made a new streetboard for people to put stickers on that just says, "Happy/Sad."  They just stick a sticker on how they're feeling and then we talk to them about it.  Suprisingly, it works pretty well.  Getting back to Elder Day, we talked a lot with the ward mission leader who helped us teach.  He has lots of good ideas and really cares.  He even helped us out with our Zone training this past week.  Our month's focus is on "Passion for Finding," so for Zone training, we invited 4 members and did role plays with them.  It went super well and gave the missionaries a good opportunity to get some good feedback on how they're doing.
This week for investigators, we found a new investigator who agreed on a baptismal date! His name is Jang Choon, and he works as an apartment guard.  He works for 24 hrs and then rests for 24 hrs in that pattern continually, so he can only come to church every other week.  But he has attended lots of other churches and really enjoyed ours.  He watched conference and really seems to be looking for the truth.  We also had our 2nd visit with an older man and his wife at their house.  He is a very smart man who orginially let us in to his house because he was impressed with the way we were dressed and conducted ourselves.  We originally got in after Elder Ashby randomly (actually prompted by the spirit), rung this doorbell as we were walking down the street.  After I asked for a tour of his house (again prompted by the spirit), he was eager to let us in.  It was awesome.
I'm so grateful for the opportunity to serve as a missionary here in Korea where the food is spectacular and the people are so kind and considerate. Thanks for all the support.
Your Favorite Missionary,

Elder Wheeler

Time for a haircut!

Watching Conference

Whose face is that in shadow?

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Dongdaemun Week 11

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was awesome to say the least.  This Tuesday we had the great opportunity to go to the Temple.  It was a great time and afterwards we went with the Elders in the Zone to a sweet mountain and a cool Buddhist temple.  It was a pretty great Preparation day.  The next day, on Wednesday, we started an exchange with one of the Elders in Imun, named Elder Wyckoff.  He came to Korea at the same time as I did, and he has changed a lot.  It was a really enjoyable exchange.  We taught a new investigator at the church and visited this one guy's shop.  After teaching the guy in the shop, we gathered the other two people in the store and said a prayer together.  It was pretty epic.

Thursday was a great learning experience because we had a skills workshop at the church next to President's house.  All the missionaries in our stake and 10 members from the various wards came and we did role plays together for a couple of hours.  We mainly practiced inviting investigators to church and to get baptized.  

This week we had the opportunity to meet with two less-active members of our congregation.  One of them is my same age, and he's making a living by teaching kids how to create music using computer programs.  He's also released a few tracks.  His plan is to become a famous DJ in America.  His mom is Bolivian, so he also speaks fluent Spanish and pretty good English.  We met him at the church and showed him the restoration video which went well.  He committed to be more diligent in his scripture study which should really help him.  There's just a special spirit about the Joseph Smith story that blows my mind.  For some reason, I never get tired of sharing it.  

On Saturday, we had a ward barbecue in the backyard of the church.  We all ate so much meat and two of our investigators came.  Luckily, our bishop is a grill master, so it was pretty darn delicious.  The real miracle came the next day during church, though.  One of the referrals we received from a member in our Stake came to church and loved it.  He's about 76 years old and is so prepared.  We met him with one of the old area seventies that is currently in our ward, and we had a great lesson.  We set a baptismal date for the 30th of April.  Since it was fast Sunday, I also had the chance to bear my testimony during church which went well.  It stills amazes me how far I've come in my language skills; truly a blessing from God.  

Thanks so much for all the love and support!

Your Favorite Missionary,

Elder Wheeler

Elder Ashby "arm wrestling proselyting!"

Elders  Ryu, Green, Seely, Ridge, Judd
and Day holding Elder Wheeler
Elder Green, Elder Wheeler and Elder Ridge

Elder Wheeler, Elder Green and Elder Ridge

Elder Wheeler, Elder Green and Elder Ridge

Elder Wheeler photo bombing Elder Green and Elder Ridge's selfie

Elder Ridge, Elder Ashby, Elder Green and Elder Wheeler

Elders Wyckoff, Skinner, Seely, Judd, Ashby, Green, Ridge and Wheeler

Elder Ashby is on top of the world!

Buddhist Temple

Elder Ashby at his desk

Elder Wheeler and Elder Green in front of the cherry blossoms