Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A week of complete madness


12/20/15

안녕하세요, 여러분!

This whole week was pretty insane.  Not in a bad way or anything like that.  I was actually super happy this week.  I don't really now why, buy I'm definitely not complaining about it.  Let's see here...

On Sunday, the bishop asked Elder Bradshaw, a super good violin player, to do a musical number for yesterday, and he chose a pretty difficult piece to play.  So, we spent a lot of time at home and he practiced, and I studied Korean mostly, as well as other things.  Monday was P-day, as usual.  We pretty much sat around the house the whole day.  Nothing extremely interesting.  Then, on Tuesday, we had English class, and Elder Bradshaw pretty much practiced the rest of the day. On Wednesday, we had District Meeting, and then we went on exchanges.  I went with the Korean Elder 설현우 (Sol hyeon wu).  We 전오ed around for a little while, and it turns out that my area has approximately five people in it.  Of course, that's an exaggeration, but people are quite scarce here.  Then, we went streetboarding on Thursday after we finished exchanges.  We also met with a member during this streetboarding.  On Friday, we did a little weekly planning, and went to a community center English class, and then Elder Bradshaw practiced this song that he's put at least 6 hours into at the church with the accompanist.  Then, we saw a baptism of an 8 year old member.  It was very special.  Then, on Saturday, everything broke loose.  I pretty much only slept in my area for the past 2 days.  Elder Bradshaw had to go to 의정부 for another Music Night.  It's pretty far away.  So, I actually went to 녹번 with and Elder there, and helped with their English class and their Family Home Evening.  It was actually really fun.  Then we got home at about 10:20 because of some miscommunication at which station we were meeting at to switch back.  Then, on Sunday, we went to church, and bishop told Elder Bradshaw, after all of the work he had put into this song, to choose a different song that was quite as fancy.  Then went back to 녹번 again.  There was a Music Night there as well.  That was fun.  Yep, that was my week.  Thank you all!

Elder Tyler Conley

And, hello, 원당!!

12/13/15

안녕하세요, 여러분!

Well, for the first half of last week, not a whole lot of regular missionary work happened, because, since our area was closing, there was literally nothing effective that we could do, so we just cleaned our house, except for a couple of member meals that we got.  The meals that we got before transfers were pretty insane.  On Monday, for P-day, we ate at a sushi buffet, and then the next day, the previous bishop took us to VIPS, which is a really big fancy buffet, then on Wednesday, our stake president took us to a super high quality meat buffet.  I literally only ate lunch for 4 days straight.  Then, we said goodbye to everyone on Wednesday night, and then it was transfers.  So, I said goodbye to Elder Jarrett, and met my new companion, Elder Bradshaw, and we were off on our way to 원당.  Elder Bradshaw is a super duper good violin player, so he has to do all these music numbers all around Seoul, so I get to come with him for a lot of them!  Yesterday, there was a music night in 일산 that the Sisters from 화양 were also involved in, so it was good to see a familiar face.  But, this week, not a lot of regular missionary work happened at all, because our area was closing the first half of the week, and then we were really busy while I was Elder Bradshaw this last week, so there aren't a whole lot of really cool experiences to report on.  So, sorry.

Till next week!

사랑합니다!
Elder Conley

Bye, bye, 화양 (and Elder Jarrett)!

12/06/15

안녕하세요, 여러분!

This was a fun week.  On Monday, we hiked up a mountain, ("mountain") for an hour or so.  Then it was Tuesday.  Just like any other Tuesday.  Except, we picked up another pastor investigator, who sells coffee and phones and does his service all in the same building.  He was pretty cool.  Then, on Wednesday, we had zone training.  It was a good one.  It was all about Christmas!  I love Christmas!  We talked about a bunch of different ways we can do missionary work that is focused on Christmas.  We also set some really high goals for our stats this month.  After zone training, 이신진 장로님, our office elder, came to us and told us our house was going to be sold, and that our companionship area was closing.  So, I figured out that day that the chances of me actually getting transferred went up to like 85% or something way high like that.  So, we spent most of Thursday cleaning our house, and we met with John again.  Then on Friday we met with our other pastor investigator.  All we really accomplished with that meeting was that our churches were different.  We also street boarded, and talked to people on the street about our new Christmas video and gave out hot chocolate to people.  That was fun as well.  It also marked Elder Jarrett's two year mark, so this last week is an extra one for him. 

Then, it was Saturday.  Transfer call day, but they come at 9 at night.  John and 김성민 both fed us, with lunch and dinner respectively.  They were both very sad to find out that both of us were most likely leaving, and said they probably wouldn't meet with any other missionaries, which is really quite terrible.  Then, we got our calls, and I am going to 원당 (wondang), which is clear outside the other end of Seoul.  It's going to take somewhere around two hours of total travel time to get there.  Then, on Sunday, Elder Jarrett and I, along with Elder Song from our district, gave our goodbye talks in sacrament meeting.  We also took some pictures with ward members, and said goodbye to them.  It was a fun week, that's for sure.  

See you next week, in a different ward!

사랑합니다!
Elder Conley
 Previous bishop, 최일광, (Choi ear gwang)
황인성 (Hwang een sung) and family with me, Elder Song, and Elder Jarrett

When a cold wind blows, it chills you...

11/29/15

안녕하세요, 여러분!

Yes, it actually got a little cold this week.  I actually had to wear... gloves!!!  Wow!  But, today, we are going hiking up a small "mountain", and I'm wearing just shorts and a t-shirt, just like old times.  Fun, fun, fun!  

Nowadays, Elder Jarrett is just about dead.  When missionaries die, that means they go home.  He is going home pretty soon.  He only has until next week, on December 11th, then he's gone forever.  ㅠ  ㅠ  I'm going to miss him a whole lot.  On Tuesday, our zone and another zone all went to the temple, where Elder Jarrett gave his 마지막 말씀 (final speech).  I didn't actually cry, like I thought I might, but it was pretty heartbreaking. 
Sister Lenhart, Sister Lynn, Elder Jarrett, Me, and Elder Carmen

And then, the day got pretty fun.  The mission leadership had a meeting, and I didn't need to go, so I got to go on splits with Elder Paulsen.  For those of you who don't know Elder Paulsen, he's a pretty silly guy.  He was in the MTC at the same time as I was, just coming in a transfer later.  So, there we were, two greenies, out to conquer Korea on our own.  Just kidding, we just 전도ed the whole time.  But it was pretty fun, because neither of us really know Korean at all yet, so it was pretty interesting.  We met one guy who just talked our ears off about the difference between Korea and America, and how everyone's busy in Korea, and a whole bunch of stuff that I really don't know at all.  Then, we had to go meet the other leadership people at a subway station, and our day was over.
With Elder Paulsen

On Wednesday, we had district meeting.  It was for missionary work during Christmas, so Elder Jarrett and I went all out, and got a tree and lights from the basement, and we had the Sisters draw pictures on the board.  It was pretty fun.  Elder Jarrett and I wore matching Christmas ties, which was pretty cute.  Then, we went on exchanges with the zone leaders.  I stayed in 화양 with Elder Lundberg.  He is the trunkiest person I have ever met in my life.  He is so ready to go home.  But, with him, I finished my studies, and went to English class.  Then, on Thursday, we had to exchange back early, because the zone leaders had a 식사 that they had to go to, so we switched back at 1.  So, Elder Lundberg and I said to each other, "It was fun to do studies with you!"  That is, besides English class, the only thing we did together.  Then, for Thanksgiving, Elder Jarrett and I, with the other Elders, went to a meat buffet.  Also, on Thursday, our ward mission leader had me give Elder Jarrett a priesthood blessing.  It was a cool experience.  It felt a little backwards, because, since he's my trainer, he's sometimes called my father, and I'm his son, but I was giving him a blessing, so it seemed backwards.  But it was cool.  Then, it was Friday, and nothing happened besides weekly planning.  

Then, on Saturday, we had English class, and then a ward activity that we had planned.  We had the members bring food for snacks, and we all watched Ephraim's Rescue together with Korean subtitles.  I would label it a success.  Pretty much everyone there was crying, and Korean people really don't ever cry.  It was impressive.  It was a cool thing to do for them.  They all really liked it.  Then it was Sunday.  I was really tired.  It was the primary program yesterday, and it was really cute.  But, I was so tired, that I actually fell asleep for about ten seconds, before a member woke me up.  And then, in gospel principles, we talked about eternal marriage.  That was fun...  It was all missionaries, except for one recent convert.  It was kind of awkward.  

Yep, that's the week that I had.  Thank you all for supporting me and all that stuff!!

사랑합니다!

Elder Tyler Conley

Kimchi-making service project

11/22/15

안녕하세요, 여러분!

This was a pretty good week.  It was pretty low as far as stats go, but it was a pretty fun week.  

We had P-day on Monday,  and we went to a cool palace!  My camera was dead, so I do not have any pictures.  I can see if my companion has some, but we will see.  It seems to rain every single P-day now, or at least it has for the last three weeks, including today.  

On Tuesday, we did 김장, which is kimchi-making.  It was for a big service project, so there were a ton of missionaries there, as well as a  bunch of people from other organizations.  I didn't actually make the kimchi, I just moved boxes full of kimchi, which was still fun.  Then, we studied.  Because I am a greenie, I need to study for four hours a day, so that blew out our whole afternoon.  Then, we had a 식사(meal) with a member of the ward with the whole district.  The ward seems to like us better now that we can have the whole district at a meal together...  We taught them about temples, and apparently the man of the house, who is the first counselor in the stake presidency, is really into temples, so that was pretty cool.  

On Wednesday, we had district meeting and English class, and between those and studies, the whole day was gone, except for one hour, where we were able to 전도.  Then, I went on exchanges with Elder Carmen from that night until Thursday afternoon.  English class got over so late that we had to get home super fast, and we barely made it home by 9:30.  

On Thursday, with Elder Carmen, we met with 이동진, who is a less active member who got into a car accident, so he is now pretty handicapped.  We read the simple Book of Mormon Stories book with him, and just talk with him a little bit.  After that, and after we had finished our exchange, we had Missionary Correlation Meeting with 강민수, who is our ward mission leader.  He had Elder Jarrett bear a testimony for the spiritual message, and I sort of almost cried.  I don't know what I'm going to do tomorrow, when he gives his final testimony at the temple.  

On Friday, we had weekly planning, and then I went and passed off LPP with the zone leaders.  So, I was cooped up inside for the whole day.  But, I passed, so I have LPP with the AP's this Friday, and then I get the Certified Teacher achievement!  

On Saturday, we had English class again.  That night, we had a huge Music Night activity with our stake, but there were a bunch of missionaries from other zones there and stuff, so who knows what it was.  It was a great activity.  There was a lot of piano, some opera, and even a little Greenday!  I feel kind of guilty about listening to that last one, but it was also really sweet.  Our mission president was even clapping along with it and stuff, so I guess it's okay ;)  

Then, it was Sunday, and we had church and then studies, and then it was time to go to bed again.  Wow.  

Also, I guess it's been over four months since I left on my mission, so that's cool.

Bye Bye, everyone!

Love,
Elder Tyler Conley

The offering Tyler took to his zone leaders when he went for language pass-offs.
A comic Elder Jarrett's mom sent to him.  Elder Jarrett's going home on Dec. 11.





There are six of them in there already!


11/15/15

안녕하세요, 여러분!

We had a pretty fun week this week.  A good amount of stuff happened.  On Monday, we 전도ed around 광나루, which is a rich area next to the river.  It's pretty far away, so we weren't able to get to the whole area, but we met some cool people.  On Tuesday, we had a house check by the senior couple.  It was pretty fun, because Elder Cannon said, "I guess we'd better see if your oven works or not..." and then he made us some chocolate chip cookies in it.  We have never even used our oven before, so it was really awesome.  I really miss chocolate chip cookies.  Also on Tuesday, we were able to do a 식사 (a member meal) with all of the missionaries in our district with the stake president (which is legal now, because they changed the rule where you can only have one team at a 식사).  The stake president is super cool.  He pretty much grew up in America, so he's fluent in both English and Korean.  But, we only spoke Korean there with him.  It was fun.  We taught him the Restoration as a message, and it was a very spiritual experience. 

Our Stake President-김현수, Elder Ellingford, Elder Song(송현빈), SP's wife-홍성미, Elder Jeong(정영기), Sister Lynn, Elder Jarrett, Sister Lenhart, Elder Carmen, Me

On Wednesday, it was Pepero day!!!  빼빼로 대이!  Pepero is a cookie stick type of thingy that's pretty good, and on Pepero day, you give some to the people that you love.  So, my companion/district leader got a whole bunch and gave it to the district at district meeting.  Of course, he said I was his favorite on his little note to me.  On Thursday, I went on exchanges with Elder 정영기.  He is Korean, and he is not terribly good at English.  We met with John that day, so we taught him bilingually.  Then, when we were closing our exchange, Elder Jeong said something like, "Because I could serve with you today, I'm tickled pink!" and I kind of totally just lost it.  He's a pretty funny guy.  On Friday, we were able to make kimchi.  Pretty much, we just salted cabbage and let it sit out for a nice long while.  It smelled wonderful.  Then, on Saturday, we were able to meet with a new investigator.  His name is Leon.  He is super awesome.  He reeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaalllllllllllllllyyyyyyyyyyy wants to find the truth, so he had tons of questions to ask us.  He's already read most of the Book of Mormon, so all he really needs to do now is to pray about it.  He is really cool.  He was born in Singapore, and raised in Canada, so his accent in English is super duper weird.  It's understandable, but strange.  I think he will get baptized pretty soon.  

Just before email today, I was able to pass off my last lesson in Korean to my district leader.  Now, I have to do pass of with the zone leaders, so I called them to schedule an appointment.  We were joking around, and they asked me how many goats and pigs I was going to bring for the sacrifices.  I asked if cows were okay, and they told me that cows are a little too big to fit in their house.  My response was, "Are you kidding?  There are six of them in there already!"  So, I might get an automatic fail on my pass-off but I think it was kind of worth it :)

That's all this week!  Thank You!!!!!!

Elder Tyler Conley

An additional story he sent to me, plus pictures of his apartment:

I have a story that happened last night.  Since Elder Jarrett is the district leader, he needs to get stats from all of the missionaries in our district.  When he called the sisters, they wouldn't answer, it even sounded like they were rejecting our calls.  We tried a whole lot of times, then asked the zone leaders to try.  Both the zone leaders and the sister training leader called, but they got the same response.  Elder Jarrett and I are pretty worried at this point, so we called President Sonksen.  We told him what happened, and he didn't say anything except, "I'll get the AP's on it" and then hung up.  It was pretty stinking sketchy.  Our area has a small history of strange stalker people for the sisters, so we were sore afraid.  Elder Kang, our AP, told us to go to their house and see if they were home.  We rushed over there, and they were home, and the only problem was that their phone was broken.  Elder Jarrett and I were a little put off by that being the problem.  Anyway, today, we found out that Elder Kang told the zone leaders that, if they weren't at home, the whole zone would have to go out and look for them.  They pretty much freaked the whole mission out.  It was a little scary, but it's over now.  I told Elder Jarrett, "Whoever can freak me out that much deserves a medal."
 Small kitchen, plus Elder Jarrett
"The bathroom's weird, because it's like the whole bathroom is the shower, so in the mornings, before the shower dries out, we have to take off our pants and stuff before we go to the bathroom, because it's all wet!"
 Bedroom/Study
Drying room

Relatively Boring Week, Sorry!


11/08/15

This is by 아차산, our local mountain.

This week was, indeed, quite boring.  I was only able to teach one lesson the whole week.  Elder Jarrett was able to teach another when we were on exchanges.  That's right, we did exchanges this week.  I went over with Elder Ellingford to his house, and partied it up with the Korean elders.  Party is probably not the right word, but it was a fun exchange.  We were only able to do studies and 전도 for the whole day, though, but we were able to 전도 to a different part of our area that I had never been to, so that was cool.  Elder Ellingford is a really awesome missionary.  He is a master of enduring to the end.  He didn't downright say this, but I think that he hasn't had such a good pick with his companions.  He's been in for over a year now, and a lot of his companions haven't been very good for him.  But he is one of the most awesome people I know.  That was a fun exchange.  

My only lesson this week was with 김성민.  He is super duper nice.  We talked to him about prayer and faith, and then gave him a super weak baptismal commitment, because he's very reluctant to talk about the gospel.  But, it was apparently too weak, because it kind of just blew over.  He still wants to meet with us, though.  I am super excited for him, because I do believe he will get baptized eventually.  I think Elder Jarrett will have gone home before that, but hopefully it will be when I'm still in 화양.  Also, there is something about me that Korean people just love.  The old bishop and the Modelizer guy (Modelizer is just a burger place in our area) both know enough English to say, "I like you."  김성민, whenever he meets with us, says, "내가콘리장로볼때, 항상웃게되다!" which means, "Whenever I see Elder Conley, it always makes me smile!"  He's a really funny guy.

We also had a change in our bishopric yesterday.  The old bishop's final talk was really sad and touching.  He was pretty much crying the whole time, and Korean men don't ever cry.  So, pretty much the entire congregation was crying.  

That's all for this week, sorry.  

사랑합니다!

Elder Conley

I rike you!

11/01/15

This week was truly an exciting one.  I thought that we would have time to 전도 this week because the Halloween party was over, but not really.  This week though, it was mostly because we had so many lessons to teach.  We picked up 3 new investigators this week, and I would have that than just 전도 the whole week.  We were very busy with all of the lessons we had to teach this week.  We also witnessed, along with Elder Baird, somewhere around a thousand baptisms.  But, that's because it was just baptisms for the dead, in the temple.  The Koreans just spew the prayer out, and they dunk each person at least 50 times, if not more.  There was one lady who got 136 of them.  That was pretty cool to do.  

One of our investigators that we have had for a while got a baptismal date this week.  His name is John, or 김민수.  He has been meeting missionaries for a very long time, like since someone my trainer's age was getting trained here.  We were thinking that we were going to drop him, because he didn't really keep commitments or anything like that, but this week we asked him to be baptized, and he really wanted to.  His date is set for December 5th.  We also picked up three new investigators, all very interesting ones.  Our first two investigators are a 목사님 and his 전도사.  A 목사 is a Presbyterian pastor, and a 전도사 is one of their paid missionaries that can be very aggressive.  Their names are 김죠습 and 김명근.  They actually had some interest.  They never tried to pick a fight or anything about our doctrine, and they actually wanted to meet at our church.  They also want to meet again, which is very interesting.  We asked them to pray about and read the Book of Mormon, and I think that if they do that, great things will happen.  Our other new investigator is 김성민.  He is 26, and pretty much the nicest person in the world.  He is not super interested in the church, because he thinks that he has no faith, which is totally untrue.  He just wants to be friends, and talk with us.  He is very cool.  

On another note, we are pretty much best friends with the bishop in our ward.  He has fed us like three times in the last two weeks.  Two of those times have been super expensive Chinese food.  Whenever he sees us now, he comes up to us and says, "I like you," except he has a pretty Asian accent, so it sounds more like, "I rike you!"  No joke, that is what Koreans sound like.  


I think that pretty much sums up this week,

사랑합니다!
Elder Tyler Conley

Halloween Party Madness

10/25/15

오!  안녕하세요, 여러분!  

This week was literally the Halloween party, and that's it.  We didn't even have time to 전다/street contact, which is pretty much impossible in Korea.  We also found out yesterday that we did not eat a single meal that we cooked at home this week.  Whoops.  Anyway, this week was an extremely strange one.  We only got around to doing street missionary work on Monday, which was not P-day this week, because we had Temple P-day this week.  On Temple P-day, we go to the temple in the early morning, and then we have P-day the rest of the day, which is pretty nice, because you get a little longer to do stuff because you don't need to do studies or email or anything like that.  On that day, we went to 인사동, which is like a little touristy place, where you can get traditional Korean items and stuff like that.  I got a pretty cool looking traditional Korean bell.  Then, on Wednesday, we had district meeting, and did a little bit with deciding how decorations would go, and then we did some Language Progression Pass-off for lesson three, and then the bishop wanted to have an emergency meeting with us, so we had approximately 0 min. to do anything else.  Then, on Thursday, we had 12-week follow up, where all of the new greenies come and see how they're doing with President Sonksen and the AP's.  It was fun to see the people from my district there, like Elders Littlefield, Baird, and Polley.  President Sonksen is probably one of my favorite people on the planet.  Surprisingly enough, none of the other greenies believed me when I told them that we had no time to 전도.  I don't know why...  

On Friday, we had weekly planning, which took up the whole afternoon.  Then, we had to spend the whole night decorating for the Halloween party.  Everyone is just ready for this thing to be over by this point.  Then, it was finally Saturday.  We had to spend the whole day decorating, up until 5, when the party started.  The party was surprisingly much more fun than I had anticipated.  We started with a barbecue, which was really delicious.  Then, we started games, and the Korean Elders made a haunted house thing in the basement.  I should probably say that our church is three stories, with just the chapel, doubling as the cultural hall, on the top floor.  The basement is pretty creepy all by itself, so the haunted house worked out real well.  They did a really good job on it, because it was still pretty scary in the light, as well as the dark.  What perfected it is they had our ward mission leader, 강민수, get a fake ax, and had him put one of those most glorious horse heads on, and just had him wander around the basement.  It was beautiful.  Then, after a long period of anguish and torment (just kidding), the party was over.  

Nothing really happened on Sunday, except Elder Jarrett broke a window while trying to smash a bee.  That was kinda funny.

Till next time!

Elder Conley 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Happy Birthday, Elder Jarrett!


10/18/15

안녕하십니까, 여러분!

This week was a very fun week.  Well, I am not sure if fun is the most correct word, but it's the best one I've got.  We have had quite a few interesting moments this week.  

Last night, we had an interesting devotional, given by Brother Mark A. Peterson, who is a professor of Korean something or other at SUU.  He talked to us about some different religions of Korea, like all the Christians, as well as Confucianism, Buddhism, and shamanism.  Christianity, Buddhism, and Confucianism came from other countries (Middle East, India, and China, respectively), but shamanism is a straight-up Korean religion.  It's kind of like spirit communication to bring peace, but it's really weird and pretty far out there, but all Koreans practice it in one way or another, just like Confucianism.  The whole Korean culture is very Confucian.  The whole respecting elders thing is from Confucianism.  I don't even know about Buddhism.

On Monday, because it was P-Day, Elder Jarrett and I were pretty wiped out, because obviously we are more tired on P-Day than the other days of the week.  So, luckily, our favorite Alien shows up.  Again, we played rock paper scissors with him for military training on Mercury, and I did quite terrible.  I am Bottom Soldier.  I am a one-day old puppy.  Elder Jarrett is Top Soldier.  He is a tiger.  I am thankful that he showed up, because he really lifts our spirits whenever we see him.  He is probably one of my favorite people in Korea.  Also one of the craziest, but still my favorite.  An object of worry is that Elder Jarrett may have a stalker.  I am still a little skeptical, but it is possible.  Mrs. Kim is a lady that we met on the street.  She was very interested in English class, but she really likes being with Elder Jarrett.  She is also about 40.  She followed us into the barber shop last week, and was mad that we couldn't help her translate a book.  We referred her to Sister Bryan and Sister Lenhart, and they have done well in teaching her.  But she came into the church at the same time as we were making calls there, so we hid from her.  But she still found us, and luckily the Sisters took her away to teach her before she stayed too long. 

We have the coolest stake president in our ward.  His name is 김현수, and he lived in America for a very long time, so he is also fluent in English, which is a relief.  Anyway, he brought us lunch on Wednesday, right before district meeting.  It wasn't a small lunch, either.  It was like a bunch of Costco pizza, and 김밥, and 만두, and a whole bunch of other good stuff.  He talked to us about inviting members to do more missionary work, because they are not doing their part quite good enough.  After district meeting, I started an exchange with 상현빈 장로님, who is one of the Korean elders in our district.  He is pretty crazy.  We hiked up all of the remote places of our area, in 아차산.  We also have to wear suits now, and it is roasting right now, so by the time we finished our exchange, my whole suit's interior was soaked.  And then it was Thursday night...

For Thursday, we went to eat at the Modelizer burger place, where the guy there loooooooves missionaries, so he puts extra stuff on our burgers.  Then, we went back to the church to meet up with Bac, who is a Vietnamese recent convert.  Before I go on, I must relate another story that happened a while back.  Last week, I was on exchanges with Elder Carmen, and we met with our recent convert, 최윤정. (She's the one that's our mom).  While we were talking and eating, she told us that she wanted to throw a surprise birthday party for Elder Jarrett, whose birthday is on the 16th.  She told us that it would be too obvious to do it then, so she told us the 15th instead, which is Thursday.  So, we were waiting for Bac, but his bike broke, so he was running a bit late.  Then, by "coincidence", all of the other missionaries in our district were at the church.  They were all very worried about why Bac was so late.  Elder Jarrett didn't think much of it.  PEC was also cancelled, but almost at the end of our lesson, Elder Ellingford interrupted, and said that Brother 강민수 was here, and wanted to talk to him.  He is our Ward Mission Leader.  So, we finished our lesson, and went upstairs.  Elder Jarrett was sooooooooo surprised.  It was a very fun party, and I'm glad that he was still surprised.  He asked if I knew about it, and I said, "Ha, I knew about it the whole time."  

Saturday was another fun day.  After studies, we went to meet a Chinese person that we had met near the beginning of the transfer (and, no, I do not remember any Chinese).  He had brought a friend with him, and it was a very good lesson.  We didn't even have to ask to meet again, because Mark asked us when we could meet again.  They were super sweet, but they live in the 이문 and 당대문 areas, so we will have to refer them, sadly.  After that we had English class, where I talked with Zamany, who is a man from Afghanistan finishing his Ph. D. here in Korea.  He is pretty cool.  The other elders are working with him, but I am not sure how he is progressing.  To finish off Saturday, we had a hot chocolate stand at night.  It was not very cold outside, though.  However, we still gave out a lot of flyers, and Mrs. Kim even came to help us!

Korea is probably one of the purest places on the earth.  Not the air, which is nasty, but the people here are amazing.  Everyone smokes and drinks, but that's the same for everywhere outside of Utah.  No one steals, no one is mean, no one swears.  It really is an amazing place.

사랑해요!

Elder Conley
 Elder Jarrett blowing out his "candle"
My dinner's looking at me
My dinner's brains (or some other stuff, I don't know)


Three P-Days!!

10/11/15

오!  안녕하세요 여러분!

It has been yet another exciting week.  I probably say that every week, but that's okay, because every one of them is exciting.  This one is special though, because we got to watch General Conference for the last two days.  It was pretty awesome.  I wish I could say that I perfectly remember it all.  But, that is not true.  I remember almost nothing from conference, and it has been not even 24 hours since I watched it.  I did take notes this time, so hopefully I remember a little bit.  I do remember where Sister Neill Marriott says, "I'm from the deep South." :)  All jokes aside, I really enjoyed this conference.  I personally thought that one thing that was extremely emphasized was mothers in the church.  It just so happens that my mom's birthday was on Friday, so it all fit perfectly.  I have the best mom in the world.  

I went on another exchange this week, but this time it was with Elder Carmen.  He's a lot more reserved than Elder Jarrett, but I still really like him.  I was also able to pass off the second lesson in Korean yesterday, after conference.  

Last P-day, I was able to travel to 동대문 (Dong Dae Moon), which is the area right next to ours.  We went to the most amazing tie shop that I have ever seen in my life, and got four amazing ties for less than $15.  We also went to the 목욕탕, which is the Korean-style public bathhouse.  That is all I am really going to say about it.  I will say that it was very soothing, and it relieves stress so well.  

I will finish by talking about our investigator, Mike, a.k.a 김용일.  He is a really great person.  He is however feeling a lot of 부담/pressure from his mother.  His mother is a super devout Catholic with Parkinson's.  He feels that he has to go with her to church every Sunday.  So, we are not being quite so blunt with him, because we want to maintain the trust that we have with him.  So he will be in my prayers so that this whole situation can work out.  

That's all, folks!

사강해요!
Elder Conley
New ties!

Crazy Korean Adventures

10/04/15


!!!  안영하세요여러분!
This was another exciting week, for many reasons.  However, it was not quite as exciting as the last couple of weeks, most likely because I don't feel quite so weirded out by everything.  I actually went on exchanges this week with the zone leaders, because my companion is the district leader.  I went on exchanges with Elder Jolley.   He was a very happy soul.  He is a lot different than Elder Jarrett.  He is a lot louder, and doesn't follow people quite as much when he goes 전도-ing.  Mostly what he would do is ask someone to shake our hands, and when they didn't, he would just say, "Your hair is very stylish," as they walked off.  While we were on the exchange, he was reading a book about different religions from our perspective.  He happened upon Zoroastrianism.  I don't even know what people follow this religion.  It is really weird.  Basically, after people die, the body is not allowed to contaminate fire, earth, or water.  So, because they couldn't bury them, cremate them, or send them off to sea, they would (I'm sorry this is kind of gruesome) put them in a tower and let the vultures eat them.  Let's just say, our exchange was very exciting.
On Tuesday, we got to hang out with Mike and Sue, our investigator and recent convert.  They took us to a mountain park type of thing, and we ate lunch there, and talked about the gospel with him.  It would seem that Mike really does want to come to church, but his Catholic mother with Parkinson's is holding him back.  It is a little sad, but I believe he will be baptized soon.
I passed off the first lesson in Korean, so that's cool.
(I asked Tyler what his language pass-offs were.  His response: "Language pass-off is a system we have in our mission.  We pass off all five of the missionary lessons to our leaders in Korean, along with our How to Begin Teaching and street contacting strategies.  We pass them off to all of the leadership in the mission from the district leader up to the assistant to the President.  I just passed off lesson one to my district leader, who is also my companion.  I am supposed to be done with passing off to the AP's by the end of my second transfer, which is when my training ends.")
And, to answer questions that 여러분 (you) might have, no, I have not seen conference yet.  Because the translation from English to Korean is so hard, they have to wait an extra week before they can release it here.  I do, however, know who the new apostles are already.  One of the Sisters' recent converts, who is American, saw it already and told us.  
We had some cool things happen to us this week while we were 전도-ing.  The first happened on Tuesday.  We had 2 meetings scheduled for that day, as well as language pass-off.  The meetings got canceled, and we forgot to do pass-off.  If that had not happened, we would not have met one of the coolest Korean kids I have ever met.  He was about twenty seven.  We met him at about 6:30, and kept talking with him until about 8:30.  It was crazy.  It was all gospel talk, too.  We were actually able to show him around our church, and he said it had a really good atmosphere.  We really need to follow up on him again.  
On Thursday, we met up with someone who was supposed to be really mean to us.  We met up with a Presbyterian pastor.  For your information, Presbyterians are, almost as a rule, the meanest people to LDS missionaries.  They are pretty much the big church in Korea.  Anyway, we started talking to him, and found out he was a pastor for that church.  We talked some more, and I was nervous for what was going to happen.  He was actually one of the nicest people I have met, and we actually succeeded in giving him a Book of Mormon ^^.  How crazy is that??!
I think that about wraps it up for this week.  See you next week!
사랑해요,
Elder Tyler Conley

추석 파티!!!! Thanksgiving Party!!!!

09/27/15

안녕하세요, 여러분!!

It has been yet another super exciting week!  It was 추석 this week, which is basically Korean thanksgiving.  All of the Korean people leave to go to their parents'/ancestral home, and then they eat all day, and do something weird with ancestor stuff.  I don't really understand it.  But anyway, after about Thursday, we saw maybe 3 people in total for the last 4-5 days.  Yeah, 추석 is a huge party.  But President Sonksen knew about how huge it was, so we had a big conference on Saturday, and deep cleaned our houses on Friday.  

The Saturday conference was pretty sweet.  We went bowling to start our day off.  I got a whole 84 points, a new high score!!  Yay!!  I am so terrible at bowling.  For just about the rest of the day, until we went back to 화양 (Hwayang), I was kickin' it with Elder Baird.  It was so fun to see him again, even though it's only been like a week.  

I have also concluded that about 70% of the people here are some sort of crazy.  Just about everywhere we go, we find someone that's talking to themselves or something.  Half the time, my companion doesn't even know what they're saying.  For example, we met an old man on the street sometime this week.  He was very nice, but he had a very interesting conception of God.  We asked him what he believed about God, and he said, "I believe that God is water."  We didn't even know what to say to that.  And then, there's Gloria Sanchez, who, believe it or not, is Korean.  Her English name is Gloria, and she likes the name Sanchez, because she likes learning Spanish.  She is pretty much crazy.  She is one of our English class students.  She comes to the advanced class area, but she really needs to be in basic, maybe intermediate.  She can speak a little bit of English, and, technically she can speak Korean, but nobody can understand it.  She reminds me of an anteater when she speaks, because her tongue is in her lips.  I don't even know.  

Again, for 추석, we had a fun time on Sunday.  Nobody told us that our church time had changed, so we were all just chilling at the church, waiting for people to come, and then no one did.  We found out from a member that it had changed to 4 in the afternoon.  After that, we had a small 추석 meal that a member brought us, because he was not going to be at church.  And then, for church, all we did was watch Meet the Mormons.  I did almost tear up at the missionary mom part, but I'm okay now.  We did have sacrament meeting after that, at about six, and our progressing investigator, 김용일, or Mike, came!  It was his first time there!  That is so exciting!!  If he comes 2 more times, he can be baptized.  I would just love it for him to be baptized, because his wife is already baptized, and I would really like them to be together forever.

That's all for this week, I think.

With love,
Elder Tyler Conley
 Funny email tag
 Tyler with Korean elders
Boiling pig intestine soup
The next week I asked Tyler if he tried the soup.  Here's his response:
"Of course I tried my intestine soup!  It was really good.  You could just feel the insides of the intestine falling apart in your mouth and just dissolving on your tongue.  I am sure Dad would like it.  Maybe I will be able to get some at the Korean market when I get home, and you can try it."  Ewwww!

I Have Finally Arrived in Korea


09/20/2015

Hello, everybody!  Family, friends, both old and new, 안영하세요!
I have finally arrived in Korea.  Yes, it is true.  There is a world outside of the MTC, and it is beautiful!  Korea is such an awesome place, except, in the city, it smells a little like sewage all of the time.  I'm not sure exactly what to say, because there is just so much to say.  But I will try.
Our first 2 and a half days here were not very notable.   We slept at the temple grounds, and stayed with the mission president for a couple of days.  We went proselyting on Wednesday, with just the greenies.  It did not go very well, believe it or not.  Especially when Elder Polley and I tried to talk to an old lady in our broken Korean.  Those old ladies just spew it out like you wouldn't believe.  We had no clue what she was saying, so we hurried and said goodbye.  
After that, we visited the King 세종 museum.  It was pretty cool.  We watched a 4D movie about some naval general of Korea that saved it from Japan on the East Sea (the Sea of Japan), outnumbered over 10 to 1.  It was pretty sweet.  In the pictures, you will see one of me trying to convert King 세종.  That was taken at that museum.  
                                    

On Thursday, we got to meet our trainers.  My trainer's name is Elder Jarrett.  He is pretty much the nicest person I've ever met in my life.  We arrived in our apartment, which is, luckily, only about a five minute walk from the church.  And it's a two man apartment!  We did our weekly planning for about an hour, so I would be caught up on our goals and schedules for the next few days.  We then went out street contacting.
Street contacting is kind of exciting.  Now, I am at the point where my conscious tells me to talk to all of the men on the street, because in our mission, we are not allowed to proselyte to women.  My very first day, my companion had me share some street testimonies about the Book of Mormon.  On one of them, my companion asked the person we were talking to, "He's pretty good, right?" and he answered, "Yeah, he sounds like a native Korean."  So, that was pretty cool.  I am getting better at street proselyting, though.  I can start one, and do it all the way through, all by myself.  I still rely on my companion, though, because, although I can speak all right, my understanding when people talk to me is pretty much garbage.  
We speak a whole lot more English here than I thought we would.  Most of the time, when we see a university or high school student on the street, we 전도 them in English, because they absolutely love speaking to people from America in English.  It's kind of nice, but I also do not really know how to teach the gospel in English :(  It's kind of sad, actually.  There are also a whole lot of Chinese people in Korea.  I'm pretty sad about that, actually, because, since I have learned Korean, I have completely forgotten how to speak all of my Chinese.  I can understand a little bit, still, but my speaking is all gone, except for how to say "hello."
We have one official progressing investigator right now.  His name is Mike, or 김용일.  He is pretty awesome.  I haven't officially met him to teach him one of the lessons yet, but I've played basketball with him and stuff.  His wife, Sue, or 최윤정, is a recent convert, and I barely missed her baptism.  She's super duper nice to the missionaries, to the extent that we call her "Mom.  We also call her that because she brings us food literally every single day.  I don't really mind, but it drives Elder Jarrett a little bit bit crazy.  
Now I have to tell 여러분 (y'all) about some of the people that I've met.  There was a middle school-aged boy at our English class named 한을.  He really likes video games, so, since what he was supposed to do is just free talk in English, we had an exciting conversation about video games.  It made me feel like I was right at home.  We also met a guy on the street, who was working out.  He is the same age as Elder Jarrett, and in Korea, that makes you automatic best friends.  we exchanged phone numbers, and he actually texted us first!  That is so exciting!  We are actually meeting with him tomorrow, at a coffee shop at 세종 대학교.  I really hope he becomes an investigator.  Now for the last special person that I have met in this last week.  All of you are going to think I'm totally joking about this, but it is entirely true.  We met a man from Mercury, who had us try to see how well we would do in the Mercurian military by having us play rock paper scissors.  That is entirely true, according to him.  I personally think he was totally insane, but it's all cool.  
The food here is pretty awesome.  My first night in my area, we went to a meat buffet, where you cook meat on a grill at your table.  It was super good.  My companion had my try a hot 고추 pepper.  That is when I decided that all Korean food is not very good.  I was being incinerated from the inside out.  I ate a monstrous bowl of ice cream, and I still couldn't feel the inside of my mouth for about half an hour.  It was crazy.  But other Korean food is still good.  I found out I really like 물 김치, or water kimchi.  It is kimchi inside of  a jar of spices, so it marinates in the water.  
My district is pretty cool.  Sister Lenhart, from the MTC, if anyone knows her, is actually in my district, being trained in 화양.  화양 is the name of my area.  Apparently, it is one of the best areas to be trained in.  I can see why.  Our ward loves missionaries, and they work super well with us.  I met both the bishop of my ward and the stake president, because he lives in our ward boundaries.  They're both pretty cool. 
Let me just tell you, that between the jet lag and walking for the whole day, the 요 (the bed mat thing) feels so good to get into.
Well, I think that about sums up my week.  If you have any questions, comments, jokes, or other people that would want to be emailed, just send them in.
Love you all!!
Elder Tyler Conley
P.S.  You can see Seoul South from my area!!
P.P.S.  Mexican food does exist in Korea.




Sunday, November 8, 2015

Elder Conley's Arrival

09/16/2015

Dear Brother and Sister Conley,

I just wanted to send you an email letting you know your son has arrived safely in Korea. He looks very happy to be here and ready to work hard. We are excited to see him serve here in the Korea Seoul Mission. Attached below is a picture with President and Sister Sonksen. 

Regards,
The Korea Seoul Mission

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints       예수그리스도후기성도교회
Korea Seoul Mission                                                            한국 서울 선교부
Office - 82-2-734-3653                                                  사무실- 02-734-3653


Monday, November 2, 2015

He's Off to Korea

09/14/15

Tyler left SLC to fly to Detroit and then on to Seoul, Korea.  He got to call us from the airport at about 6:30 in the morning.  We woke everyone up and had a nice visit with him.  He sounded great!  He sounded so excited to go, and less anxious than I thought he would be.  Before he hung up, we asked him to bear his testimony to us in Korean...

Tyler's testimony

Friday, September 11, 2015

Over the Top of the World

09/10/15

Hello Family!!  안영하새요!

This time at the MTC has been a good nine weeks.  Since time is relative, it seems like it has been both a short and a long time.  Even though it felt long at times, I have enjoyed it thoroughly for both the influential people and the huge feeling of the Spirit that is present here.  I'mg going to miss my teachers and my district so much!  Sung 형제님 and Driggs 형제님 are some of the best people that I have ever met.  Sung 형제님 is very ADHD, but he is very funny, so class is always great when he is the teacher.  He is naturally Korean, but he speaks tons of English to us in class.  Driggs 형제님 is a little more strict when it comes to English, which is probably necessary.  He is also really funny, but his humor is a little hard to recognize sometimes.  I am also going to miss  my district  so much.  They have influenced my a ton.  I'm not going to relate my impressions of them, because they are all just about the same as they were in the first email I sent.  They are all such great people, and have made me really strive to become a better person.  

Our first baptism is on Saturday!! How crazy is that?  I'm kidding a little bit.  One of our investigators/teachers has a baptismal date scheduled for Saturday.  His name is Gorrell 형제님. He is the investigator that Sung 형제님 roleplays for.  I really enjoy teaching people now.  It's pretty fun to see how the Spirit can affect people in such a way.  

Just think, in four days, I will be on a plane on my way to Korea.  Our flight plans are:  We fly out of Salt Lake (Monday) at 7:30, and land in Detroit (What??) at about 1 o'clock.  Then, at about 3:30, we begin our flight to Korea.  Apparently, we get to fly from Detroit over the top of the world, through the Arctic Circle.  How awesome is that??  I am so excited to go to Korea, and have some food with superior quality.  I am getting tired of the MTC food.  But it's okay.  

I'm going to finish by sharing a short testimony, first in Korean, then translating to English.

저는 예수 그리스도가 우리의 구주 라는 것을 알고있습니다.  저는 몰몬경이 잠된 책 라는 것을 알고있습니다.  저는 예수 글기스도의 속죄를 통해 우리가 깨끗할수있다는 것을 알고있습니다.  저는 복음을 통해 우리가 하나님의 면전에 돌아갈수있다눈 것을 알고있습니다.  예수 그리느도의 이르미로 간즣 드립니다.  아맨.

I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior.  I know the Book of Mormon is true.  I know we can be clean through Christ's atonement.  I know that through the gospel, we can return to God's presence.  I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.  

Thank you for all you've done for me!  The next time you hear from me, I will be in Korea! (and then I will be sending you tons of pictures. :) )

Love,
Elder Tyler Brett Conley

Here are some pictures...
1. A picture of me and Elder Polley
2. A picture of my full Korean name tag
3. A picture of a lion turtle, because that is a Korean legend/myth thing