Tuesday, August 6, 2013

August 6, 2013

Thanks for the pictures and for sharing Uncle Ethan's Email.  I wish I could give you some pictures but I left my camera charger and battery at the MTC.  I have no idea when I'm going to have time to get another. Hopefully I'll have time next p-day.  Sorry.

I would like to bear testimony of the gift of tongues.  My Korean is bad.  It was bad at the MTC.  But the moment I started doing missionary work my ability to speak and understand jumped.  We went out proselyting on my first day and I was shocked that I understood more from these native Koreans than I did from my teachers.  Not that I did well but it was still really cool.

I don't know how much you know about my area, I think you got pictures at least from my mission president.  I am in Masan.  My companion is Elder Hall from St. George.  We live with another companionship and also have a pair of sister missionaries.  We have one native in our apartment and he's way cool.  His companion is the district leader which makes things super easy.  

Missionary work is doing well here.  We have a really small ward but it is a ward.  The week I arrived they had three baptisms, a woman and her 2 daughters.  I missed the actual baptism but I got to participate in the confirmations Sunday.  They are so great.  They fit in really well at church.  The oldest daughter went to a Korea wide youth conference and this Sunday she got up and bore her testimony.  It was way powerful (not that I understood her) and then told her Dad "If you could join the Church that would be great."  The dad is not sure about the church but we're working with him.  It would be wonderful if the entire family could be together in the Gospel.

We have been working with some less actives in the area.  Most of the addresses we were giving are really outdated and don't exist anymore but we did visit one brother.  He is really poor and lives in a tiny house in a back alley.  He invited us in.  We sat down on the floor in his tiny entrance room and listened as he talked to us.  I understood very little and even my companion could only get the gist of it.  We shared a message about the importance of the sacrament and invited him to church the next day.  He did come to sacrament meeting the next day.  He took the Sacrament and then escaped while I was giving my introduction and my companion was translating for some Americans.  I get the feeling that he isn't getting much support from the ward so we're going to follow up on that.  Its hard cause he doesn't work and Koreans tend to judge that.

We have a few more investigators but the problem with Korean men is that they are always working.  They are rarely home and they never have time for us.  We aren't supposed to proselyte to women so that isn't very effective for us either.  In Pusan there were enough people that we could find someone to talk to but here when we walk down the street or get on a bus it is all women.  The Sisters are so lucky.

I have been excited for real Korean food ever since I got here and couldn't wait to try everything.  However since I got here we have had American food, Chinese food, Japanese food and ramen.  Finally today we had a lunch appointment at a member's house.  It was really good.  We had some sort of soup.  I wasn't sure what was in it so I asked my companion.  He didn't know either.  "Well, I think it came out of the sea but.......".  Anyway it was good and not too chewy so I'm guessing it wasn't octopus. The only problem was that they put all this delicious food out in front of us and then gave us a massive bowl of rice that we had to eat all of over the course of the meal.  It was really hard getting it all down.  I just wanted to eat the tasty food!  I somehow ate it all and then they cleared the food away and brought in desert!  How do they eat so much!?  Anyway I said a prayer and ate a respectable amount and was blessed to not feel terribly sick. Another witness that the Church is true.

I'm out of time.  I love you,
Elder Stapley

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