Sunday, May 29, 2016

Dongdaemun Week 19

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was very enjoyable.  We met with a few people before Elder Ashby left and then we went shopping for Souvenirs on Elder Ashby's last P-Day.  We were able to have lunch on Monday with Sang-Jae who we referred to the Elders in the Seoul South Mission.  He was extremely prepared and it was amazing to see how quickly he progressed in such a short span of time.  He should get baptized within the next couple of weeks down there.  We also met with Brother Jo and his member friend Brother Park, who referred him to us.   Brother Park shared his conversion story as we ate dinner.  On Tuesday we had temple day which always renews the spirit of missionary work as we spend time pondering in the Lord's house.

On Wednesday, after waiting at the bus terminal for a while, Elder Kim arrived from Sokcho.  We headed back to our area and went up to Korea University to proselyte before English Class at night.  Elder Green also got a new companion who is Korean.  His name is Elder Kang and this is his first area.  Its pretty fun having a new missionary in the house again and it reminds me a lot of my first transfer as a mission which seems like such a short time ago.  This week for missionary work we taught two lessons to Chinese people.  One of our Chinese investigators is named Jack and he is really curious and awesome.  Communication is a little difficult, but when we asked him if he would like to go to the Celestial Kingdom he said, "Of Course!"

Sunday went especially well!  We were able to give Jang-Choon the Gift of the Holy Ghost during sacrament meeting.  It went well and he seemed to enjoy all 3 hours of Church.  Just before church started, an American Family from Utah showed up.  The Dad served here about 23 years ago.  I asked if they would like me to translate for them and they accepted.  Translating is always difficult since the Korean language is backwards English, so you have to wait to hear the entire sentence before you can start translating.  Luckily, it went well and I was able understand pretty much all that was said.  For dinner we went over to a our ward mission leader's house where they fed us so much.  I still am amazed at how much food actually fit in my stomach.

Right now missionary work here in our Zone is looking really hopeful.  Our Zone is having lots of great success right now.  I'm so grateful to be serving at this time. Thanks for all the love and support.

Your Favorite Missionary,

Elder Wheeler

Newly baptized Jang-Choon eating dinner with Elder Ashby and Elder Wheeler

Elder Ashby, Jang-Choon and Elder Wheeler

Elder Ashby, Elder Yetter and Elder Wheeler at the temple
right before Elder Ashby and Elder Yetter conclude their missions

Elder ?, Elder Ashby, Elder Yetter, Elder Wheeler, Elder Ridge and Elder Green

Chase's district before transfers

Dinner with Brother Jo and Brother Park

Elder Wheeler, Elder Ridge, Elder Green and Elder Ashby with a member family

Elder Kim and Elder Wheeler with the family
that Chase translated for in Sacrament meeting

Elder Lee, Elder Green, Elder Kang and Elder Wheeler

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Dongdaemun Week 18

Dear Family and Friends,

This was a great week especially with the Baptism of Jang-Choon on Saturday.  Jang-Choon was just really prepared all around.  The High Preists' Group Leader even got up during Sacrament meeting for his talk and talked about how Jang-Choon was the most prepared investigator he has ever seen.  He has attended a lot of different churches, but really liked meeting with us and coming to church here.  He is always smiling and has such a great attitude, humbly listening and praying about the message we shared.  For the service on Saturday, since only the second counselor could make it, Bishop asked me if I would conduct the meeting.  It was pretty nerve racking, but I'm glad I did it.  Quite a few people came including our wonderful Mission President who bore powerful testimony.  Another highlight was the missionaries' "I am a Child of God" musical number with the ukulele and the guitar.  Jang-Choon also said that he felt good while Elder Ashby was baptizing him.  All in all, it was a pretty great time.

Rewind back a day, on which we saw a huge miracle.  So Elder Ridge and I were teaching a 77 year-old man English and the gospel at the church as part of our 30/30 program while Elder Ashby and Elder Green were on exchanges at the mission office.  Just as we start, we get a text from our investigator who says that he got a feeling that he should be baptized and was wondering if he could get baptized on the same day as Jang-Choon.  I was so surprised that I almost couldn't focus on the lesson.  After the lesson was over, as we were walking out, our 77year-old investigator, who is retired special forces for Korea, beats Elder Ashby and I in arm-wrestling....Pictures to come haha (Pretty Embarrassing)

So we agreed to meet the investigator who texted a couple hours later.  Our investigator's name is Sang-Jae, and he is about 25 years-old.  He's currently attending Korea University and has been to church twice already.  We meet him at the school and first went to watch our other investigator (who is Chinese)'s Taekwondo show full of flying kicks, breaking boards, and lots of screaming.  After seeing our Chinese investigator's show, we headed back with Sang-Jae to the church where we had one of the most spiritual lessons I've been a part of.  He had so many great questions and we just ended up talking heart-to-heart for a while.  We've already taught him the first the lesson since we met him a week and a half ago on the street.  He should be baptized soon, but since he lives in a different area, we are going to refer him this week.

So this was a pretty great week to end the transfer on.  Elder Ashby leaves for America in 3 days,  My new companion will be a Korean transferring from Sokcho who started his mission at the same time as I did.

Thanks for all the love and support.  If you have any other questions, feel free to email me!

Your Favorite Missionary,

Elder Wheeler

DaePyeong arm wrestling Elder Ashby

DaePyeong beating Elder Ashby

Elder Wheeler, Jang-Choon and Elder Ashby at
Jang-Choon's baptism on May 21, 2016

Jang-Choon with the Dondaemun missionaries

Elder Wheeler, Sang-Jae, Elder Ashby and a ward member

An investigator and Elder Ashby

An investigator with Elder Wheeler

Missionaries at dinner with a family from the ward

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Dongdaemun Week 17

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was quite the adventure!  To start off, a bunch of the missionaries went to the mission home to play basketball together.  Sports are some of the best stress relievers for missionary work for some reason.  Then, we started an exchange that night with the Imun Elders which was pretty fun.  I went with Elder Skinner, and since it was raining so much, we decided to knock on doors in a building.  We met one sweet old lady who wanted us to come in and talk with her really badly.  We told her that we weren't allowed to be alone with a woman and she responded, "I'm 80years-old now, what difference does it make anymore whether I'm a man or a woman."(In-direct translation) Anyways, she was pretty hilarious and just ended up giving us delicious yogurts.

On Wednesday, we met with two of our Chinese investigators Woohang and Gooshil.  Both of them attend Korea University and are attending a Christian church.  We watched the restoration video which apparently one of them had already seen when he was living in Northern Ireland.  Two sister missionaries met him there and showed him the video.  I guess we can never know how far our planted seeds will grow.  Their biggest question was about the importance of baptism, since they haven't heard about baptism in the church they are currently attending.

This weekend was also a big training at our church building for Korea's EFY (Especially for Youth) camp.  All of the young single adults gathered on Saturday, which meant we got to see a ton of people who were returned missionaries from our mission.  Pretty weird to say the least.  That Saturday we also met with a less active member of our congregation named Young-Jin who took us out for dinner.  He's fluent at English and Spanish and of course Korean because his mom is from Bolivia and his Dad is Korean.  We had a good talk on the Subway ride back about the blessings from keeping God's Commandments.  My favorite scripture regarding that is Mosiah 2:41.

"And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it."

Anyways, this Sunday four of our investigators ended up coming to church.  And since I don't have time to talk about all of them, I'll just share about Jang-Choon.  He'll be ready to be baptized this Saturday, hopefully.  He's a really sincere 50 year-old man who is always smiling!  He's progressing really well and all the members are excited for his baptismal service this week.  I'll share more about him this next week!

Thanks for all the Love and Support!

Your Favorite Missionary,

Elder Wheeler

Cookie Frosting at Children's Grand Park as a zone proselyting activity

Face Painting too!

Elder Ashby capturing the moment

Elder Ridge, Elder Wheeler and Elder Green

Elder Wheeler, Elder Ashby and Young Jin

Chase with former Korea Seoul Missionaries!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Dongdaemun Week 16

Dear Family and Friends,

It was so nice to talk with you over Skype today, although it was only a short 40 minutes! Since we talked for a while, I just wanted to share a really cool experience that I had this week.  So this Sunday, none of our investigators ended up coming to church so we joined the members in the Gospel Doctrine class for the second hour of church.  One of the female members there who had been coming out to church for the past couple of weeks made quite a few comments, which led my companion to talk with her after the meeting.  Well, in the end she invited us over to the hospital to give her daughter a blessing.  We talked with Bishop after our monthly lunch with the entire ward and he gave us a ride to the hospital where we met her and her two daughters who seem to have been in the hospital for a while.  We gave the blessing, which went well, and then she ended up telling us she had been praying for the missionaries to introduce themselves so she could request a blessing for her daughter.  Her daughter, when she was first hospitalized, declined a blessing, but this time felt ready to accept one.  Her daughter is actually a returned missionary, but hasn't been coming out to church lately.  After our meeting together she asked us to bear our testimonies of Christ, again stating afterwards that we shared with them exactly what they needed.  It amazes me still how the Spirit guides us daily to find those people who are seeking help and comfort.

This week has been really great overall.  We are now teaching four new Chinese investigators which brings the total to 6 Chinese investigators.  Chinese people are also awesome, but Koreans are still my favorite! 

Thanks for all the support!  Sorry for the short email.

Your Favorite Missionary,

Elder Wheeler

Elder Ashby carving his name into a concrete slab behind their house

Chase's zone

A sister missionary with Elder Ashby and Elder Wheeler

Elder Wheeler, Elder Apigo and Elder Ashby

Elder Wheeler and Elder Ashby with some
recent converts from one of Elder Asby's
previous areas

Skyping with Chase on Mother's Day

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Dongdaemun Week 15

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was really satisfying and a lot of fun.  To start off, we had quite a few lessons scheduled for this past Tuesday, but they somehow all ended up cancelling.  It was pretty unfortunate, but we had some time to street board outside of Korea University where we met some really cool people.  One guy we met was on the way to find a book about happiness.  So we gave him one, the Book of Mormon!  He is 30yrs old and has been looking for a job recently after graduating college.  He has been noticing a lot of the unhappiness of some of his friends after they had found jobs and that got him wondering how he could be more happy in life.  We ended up meeting with him again later in the week and it went super well.  We were about to give him his commitments when he asked, "Is that it? Do I have to do something before we meet again?" It continues to amaze me how the Lord guides us to those who are truly seekers of truth and happiness.

This past week we also had the opportunity to visit the previous Bishop at his Jewelry shop which is at the far end of our area.  Well we had a great time and he bought us traditional Korean 떡볶이(Tteokbokki).  Anyways we ate well and then did a role play with him.  If there's one word that every missionary knows it role play.  We usually do them together as missionaries to practice teaching situations and to improve our missionary skills.  Well it was great to get some feedback and work with the member on missionary work.

Well things have been rolling lately here in our area.  Just this past Saturday alone, we had 15 people come to English class, which is a huge bump up from the 4 or 5 people who normally come.  The basic class consisted entirely of old men ranging from 60-80 yrs old which was absolutely awesome.  I'm amazed at the drive of Koreans to learn English even in their old age.  Our class had two young couples completely at different levels which made it difficult, but fun.

Sunday was also a successful day.  We had two people come to church, except one of them left right after sacrament meeting because of a wedding he had to attend.  We had a great lesson with Jangchoon (our investigator who did stay) and the gospel principles teacher.  We taught the Plan of Salvation to him and he accepted it well, but he has a concern with the word of wisdom and not drinking alcohol.  Hopefully, he tries it and recognizes the huge blessings that it brings.

Thanks for all the love and support.  It's definitely starting to heat up here in Seoul, and we can finally take our suits off.  To be honest, it feels so good.  Just looking to get a good farmers tan before I go home!

Your Favorite Missionary,

Elder Wheeler

"My, what big ears you have, Elder Green!"

Elder Wheeler, Elder Green, Elder Ridge and Elder Ashby
posing in a sign at the Seoul Zoo

Elder Ashby

Elder Wheeler

Elder Ashby, Elder Ridge, Sister Peni, Sister Arcillia,
Elder Wheeler and Elder Green