Friday, July 28, 2017

July 23, 2017

(Nate's mom, here.  I got an email from a member in Youngdo, and she sent the pictures and the note below:)

Hello this is sister P who belongs to Youngdo branch! Elder Beckett and Elder A are awesome missionaries and they are doing great in our small branch. 

They wanted to experience something special and so they just had 'Dog meat' with my family. 
We hope it would be a good experience for them! :)

Ps. Elder Beckett said: I don't want to go back to America so if you want to see me, you have to come to Korea :) :) 

Ps. Elder Avila said

Dog meat..

The missionaries trying dog...
Now here is Nate's email for this week:

I have some cool news! About baptisms! But not in Youngdo...So, do you remember when I was in Kyungju, my training area? FYI that was last December. Wow. Anyway, one day me and my trainer, (Elder J L) were walking down the street behind the church to head to the church for something. I was kind of tired and didn't really want to talk to people, but I saw this man with his wife and daughter. I said, "Oh, your baby is cute, how old is she?" in Korean. He looked a little confused, and I realized he may be from a different country-- there are lots of people with Korean heritage who grew up in other countries and immigrate to Korea for work. It turned out that he was from Uzbekistan and spoke Russian and English. His name was S__! Sound familiar?  I have sent you a picture with him and me and his baby before. He became an investigator. But after we continued to meet and testify to him, he refused to make any commitments and didn't seem interested in learning. While we did love him and would continue to be his friend, we stopped seeking to visit his family to teach them the gospel in hopes that later he would be again open to missionary lessons. But we would still see them from time to time at church or other activities.

Well, I got news a few weeks ago that he decided to get baptized! So he made the necessary changes in his life, and was baptized! I think this week or next week, they said, he will receive the priesthood and baptize his wife. That is so cool to me! I was so grateful for the missionaries in Kyungju who helped him again, as well as, perhaps even more, brother 이주형 (J L ) and the other Kyungju members who continued to be his friend, eat out with him, encouraged him, and spend time with him when we could not. Members are so valuable-- while missionaries want to spend all the time they can with people, we can't just "hang-out" really. So members who can spend that time that we can't with investigators who aren't quite ready for the Gospel are absolutely invaluable.
So that family accepted the Gospel, and now their little girl will grow up in the Gospel. So great!

Ok! Some things about Youngdo:

We are a small branch, yesterday there were 23 people at church. Of them, there are 2 men who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood, our recent convert, another man who we don't really know how comes in after sacrament starts and leaves before we can talk to him, a few young men and women (some whose parents come and some whose parents don't), and a few middle-aged unmarried women. The members are so faithful and good; as I come to know them and their conversion stories, I am amazed at their goodness. There are some who have had experiences that no one should go through, but have stayed so faithful throughout. 

One of the women in the ward (similar age but a little younger than mom), Sister C_, introduced us to her boyfriend and his son to teach a few weeks ago. They want to get married, but she wants to be sealed in the temple, so her boyfriend agreed to meet us! So we started meeting with them. He is very faithfully attending a different church, the Presbyterian church(장로교, 누나!), and is such a faithful and good man. In his lifetime he has had many spiritual experiences, prayed and received answers, and sought to do what's right, so I think it will be really easy for him to accept this message. He has a few beliefs that are different from the LDS church, such as God, Jesus Christ, and Heavenly Father being one being (the trinity), and a few other things, but as we have talked and studied the scriptures together he is accepting things really well. However, another branch member who originally introduced our investigator, Brother J K, to his girlfriend, attends the lessons as well, and while this member is an outstanding person and everything, they would absolutely take over the lesson and we would only get a few sentences in during the entire hour or so that we would meet. This made it hard to create a very spiritual environment to teach simple and testify personally.

Well, we had planned to meet again on Thursday. I was excited because we were going to be able to meet Brother J K with only his son and Sister C, and not the other member, which meant we could try to understand him a little better, and build that relationship with him. I was on exchanges with our DL's companion at the time. We prepared and came to the church. While there, his girlfriend in our branch called and said that she hadn't sold enough from her little food stand that day so she had to stay open and wouldn't be able to attend the lesson. When she told her boyfriend that by phone, he had gotten a little mad and didn't want to meet, as he didn't know the missionaries very well and thought we wouldn't be able to communicate with him very much. She said to give her boyfriend a call and ask if he would still come.
We said a quick prayer there in the parking lot. Then we called her boyfriend 3 times. It went straight to voicemail each time. We decided to send him a quick text that just said, "안녕하세요 형제님! 오늘 최 자매님이 올 수 없어도 여전히 만날 수 있을까요? 저희가 형제님과 형제님의 아들 보고 싶고 오늘 특별한 메시지를 준비했어요." Hello Brother K! Even though Sister C can't meet today, can we still meet? We want to see you and your son, and prepared a special message today!"

We sent the message, and then prepared the room we wanted to teach in.

Well, about 5 minutes later in walks Brother J K and his little 8 year old son! We had some time all to ourselves with him, just talking and getting to know him. He seemed to really enjoy talking with us, and we had fun drawing pictures with his son. He kept his commitment to read the Book of Mormon, and seemed to understand it really well! He even read it with his son. He likened it to the Bible a lot, which was great.

We then taught the plan of salvation. While we did it, we would ask his little son to draw pictures of things like the earth, or a sun, moon, and stars. About halfway through the lesson, Sister C, his girlfriend came in! The lesson went really well, they accepted everything really well. And... they accepted a baptismal date for August 19th! So we are so happy and excited for them. It was amazing how God turned a potentially negative experience for our investigator to a great and happy one when we prayed and did our best! 

I better go now, I love you all so much! 

Elder Nate Chad

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