Friday, December 27, 2013

December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas to all of the wonderful parents of the great missionaries serving in the Korea, Busan Mission. Please enjoy seeing your son or daughter singing or performing at our Christmas Meeting on December 18th. The following is the link to the video:

Thank you for your love and support of your son or daughter.

President and Sister Gilbert

Sunday, December 22, 2013

December 23, 2013

I don't know what I want to write about right before I talk to you on the phone.  I'm really excited for Christmas morning.  (It will be like 5 on Christmas Eve for you, right?)

This last week was the primary program.  There were 6 kids who participated and one of them was our recent convert.  They actually did a pretty good job.  Two of the kids had a violin part and they asked my companion to help them prepare.  It was really nice because we never meet with the members aside from Sunday.  This last week we had two nights of meeting with these kids and their mothers.  The other missionaries here have it fixed in their heads that doing a lot with the members doesn't work well in this ward but I loved how those two meetings helped our relationship with them and increased their trust in us.  I'm trying to keep a look out for more opportunities like that.  I just wish my Korean was better so I could actually have conversations. Most of the time I just fake it.

Kim In-jae, one of the students that studies at the church, just got permission from his parents to be baptized!  We just walked in to say hi one day and he just casually told us to start teaching him the lessons.  "What?!"  I still have no idea how he got his parents to change their mind.  Up till this point he has been forbidden from even taking lessons so we haven't been able to consider him an actual investigator.  He spends a lot of time with church members and we've read the Book of Mormon with him so he knows a ton but we still have to teach him all of the lessons before he can be baptized.  There won't be any problems getting him ready so I'm just worried about his parents changing their minds again.  We should see a baptism this transfer. Miracles!

I got my Christmas package but I haven't opened it yet.  I also got a small package from the cub scouts.  Many thanks to them.

For Christmas we are having our weekly p-day.  There is going to be a small party at the mission home for us serving in Busan.  The rest of the day we will be at the church listening to Christmas music and making and eating food.  Last night we went caroling with the sisters.  My companion played the violin.  It was great.  We tried to pass out some Book of Mormons to the people that stopped to listen but few would take them.  One dude gave us some cans of coffee though.  We gave them to some of the grandmas selling stuff on the side of the road.

That phone number is right to call.  I can't wait!

Love you,

Elder Stapley

Monday, December 16, 2013

December 16, 2013

Tristan seemed to be in a rush this week.  Most of his comments are in answer to questions we asked. 
 Me in Masan with Seung-hyun an Meen-gwan.

Elder Neilson grew up in Coppell, Dallas Texas but his family currently lives in Katy, Houston Texas. He entered the MTC September 2012 and has been in Korea for exactly a year. I have never seen him wear burnt orange... He says he does not usually.

We won't be able to Skype but you can call me at 011-82-10-9680-3542.  If you could call at 8 in the morning Korean time that would be great.  We are allowed an hour to talk.

This week I got a letter from Gma and Gpa Waite.  Thanks so much!  I also got the small package from the youth.  I loved it!

I don't know what happened with that bishop.  I would need to ask someone in the ward.

We don't have a family history center here but we did in Masan.  We don't do a ton with family history work as missionaries.  Elder Hall and I looked into it and talked with some missionaries that were really good at it.  There isn't much we can do right now but apparently president is getting training regarding family history work and we will be focusing on it in the near future.

Last week one Elder in my district got an email that his ldsmail facebook account was ready and he had some notifications of friend requests.  When he called the zone leaders they said not to touch it yet.  Apparently that is happening a lot sooner than we thought though.  We haven't heard anything else about it. 

I'll try to send some Christmas cards and letters but they might get there a bit late.

I'm sending a picture of our Thanksgiving.  Also a picture of from Masan with Seung-hyn an Meen-gwan. 
I'm really sorry for the terrible email.  I love you!  I know that you are praying for me.  I feel your support.
Love, Elder Stapley

Sunday, December 8, 2013

December 9, 2013

My new area is very different from Masan.  We have a ward here but not really.  It used to be really big but a bunch moved away and a bunch more left the church with an apostate Bishop. We have a sacrament meeting attendance of about 20-30.  Many of the members travel a lot and some are insane.  This area seems a lot more exciting than most.  One of the members is aggressively insane, one of our less actives is waiting for a wife he ordered from Vietnam to arrive and there are a few prostitutes in the area that like to try to seduce Mormon Elders.  The Bishop is unemployed (but awesome) and his 1st councilor spends most of his time in Seoul. The members are really discouraged because they have seen their ward go from a hundred members to where it is now.  We have a lot of work to do.

The biggest bright spot is an older unmarried sister in the ward.  She runs a free study group out of the church.  Korean kids usually have an academy after school where they study together. This sister puts one together and feeds these kids dinner every weekday for free.  She always includes a spiritual message and has the missionaries come by as often as possible.  We sometimes help them with English and we say hi every time we pass by the church.  Because of her efforts this area actually has a lot of baptisms.  In her class right now there are a number of recent converts and one kid that is just waiting for parental permission to be baptized. Unfortunately, it probably won't happen anytime soon.

The church building here was the second built in Korea.  This week was the 50th anniversary of when it was built.  The Book of Mormon was translated into Korean in one of the classrooms.

The apartment is smaller and the faucet sprays all over the place when we turn it on.  The downstairs neighbor smokes a ridiculous amount that leaks up through the bathroom floor.  We have air conditioning, oh yeah, its winter.

I did get the package from Sister Weyland and the Halloween letters from the Waites.  Thanks!

Despite the success here in the past I got here at a very slow period for the Elders.  The students at the academy have all been converted or can't get permission so we need to find new investigators.  We do have one progressing investigator but we haven't been able to meet with him because he is in China.  He is actually Chinese and doesn't speak any Korean.  He was doing really well but it sounds like Satan was doing all he could to discourage him before he went to China.  I sure hope he has continued reading the scriptures and praying while he has been away.  We should be able to meet with him this week.  In the meantime we have been proselyting a whole lot.  I thought it would be easier here in the city but I think it is actually harder. When there are lots of people they are more hesitant to stop and speak with us.  This last week we only got one good solid contact.  He really is solid though.  We are meeting with him tonight.

How are you all doing with missionary work?  Do you have anything that I could share with the members here?
Elder Stapley

Monday, December 2, 2013

December 2, 2013

Seung-Hyun wasn't able to get baptized.  He had his interview and passed just fine but wasn't able to get permission from his parents.  I really think he can get it soon though.  I'm going to keep praying.  They said they would think about it.  We had Seung-Hyun give them some family pamphlets and church material.  I bet they come around. 

Unfortunately I probably won't see the baptism.  I'm writing from Busan right now.  I got transferred!  My new companion is Elder Nielsen.  He was in my district when I first got here.  He's from Texas and played the violin at BYU.  President doesn't like leaving missionaries in their training area for long.  I worry that Elder Jo didn't have enough time to develop good relationships with the people yet but there isn't anything I can do now.

My new area is Soojung (the romanization of that isn't right but that's how it's pronounced).  It is in Busan and we have a Costco in our district!  There is a team of Sisters here as well.  Sister Taylor and Sister Hingano from my last district transferred here as well.  It is a fairly big area and it's in the city so there is a lot of stuff.  

I did get a copy of the conference edition today.  I've been waiting forward to that more than Thanksgiving.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, I was able to eat a sorta Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday.  We had a party at the church and had a bunch of investigators over.  No turkey but we had fried chicken from a restaurant and the Sisters made stuffing and mashed potatoes.  I was able to make an apple pie and a sort of chocolate pie.  I used the pudding I got in the package from G&G Stapley in the chocolate pie.  The Koreans loved the chocolate but had problems with the crust on the apple pie.  It was hard for them to swallow (that's to be taken literally).

Are there any Jacquiers in Manhattan?  I was talking to an Elder Richardson and he has family in Manhattan.

I don't know yet how calling home is going to work.  President is trying to get permission for us to Skype but that hasn't happened in the past.

I'll try to send some more pictures next week.  There is just one computer that sends pictures here and it's busy.

Love you!