Monday, March 21, 2016

A Very Special Day...


안녕하세요, 여러분!

It is indeed a very special day today!  It is...

The First Day of Spring!!  Yay! and by that I mean it's my birthday...

We have had some fun today.  Just because it's a special day today, we've been listening to Christmas music for the whole day, and all of the other Elders have just been rolling their eyes at me because of that, but it's okay! ^^ Also, today, we are going to go to the 일산 (Il-San) elders' house to play some board games with them, and they just called us while we were emailing asking what kind of pizza we wanted from Costco.  We didn't believe them at first, but hey, I am always up for some pizza.

This week, Elder Eggleston was my companion for a lot longer than Elder Bradshaw was.  The Music Nights have begun for real now, so Elder Bradshaw and 이호현 장로님 (Elder Yihohyeon) are going to start getting pretty busy.  We also had Temple P-day again this week, which I don't really mind having it again already.  I really like going to the temple.  We also visited a good number of members this week.  Our relationship with the ward is getting really strong, and it's pretty awesome.  원당 와드 (Wondang ward) is super awesome.  We ate very well this week ^^  

The only 2 appointments we had this week were with 임상현 (Imsanghyeon) and with John and 산하 (his family?) while I was on exchanges with Elder Eggleston.  I'll talk about John first.  We were able to meet his wife this week, which is really good, because we were a little worried about her, because last time, we weren't able to meet with her, and John said that all the alcohol in the house is for her.  But last week, when we met, she was just as greatly prepared as the other 2.  We actually met with them for 2 and a half hours.  Not because we were just idly talking, but because they had so many questions.  We were planning on just teaching them the first lesson, about the Restoration, but we weren't even able to get halfway through it, because they just kept asking us so many questions.  It was awesome!  We ended up teaching doctrine from every lesson while we met with them.  If they don't get baptized, I will be super sad.

Next, we have 임상현 (Imsanghyeon).  We had an awesome miracle with him this last week.  He's finally trusting us a lot with everything about his life.  So, long story short, he pretty much testified to us for the entire lesson.  But that leaves too many questions, so I'll tell the long story.  When he was young, he had a dream.  He saw heaven and felt the peace He brings.  He knows that he lived with God before he was born.  He really liked that dream, and his only goal in life is to make it back to that place that he saw.  We were quite dumbstruck, to be honest.  It was a pretty awesome story.  We were just talking, and he all of the sudden asks us if there's anything in the Book of Mormon that tells about how to get back to heaven.  We were just like, "Well, the whole thing, but we'll give you 2 Nephi 31 to start."  He was extremely excited about that, and we were just out of it the whole way home.  Thank you all for your prayers concerning this wonderful child of God!

Elder Tyler Conley

 Elder Polley, Elder Conley, Elder Baird
Elder Bradshaw and Elder Conley

I asked Tyler if Elder Bradshaw lived through that hug.  This was his response:

Elder Bradshaw barely lived through that hug.  He barely lives every night, because I always make sure to give him a hug for 30 seconds to a minute.  He hates it, but I think it works out pretty well.  I think he secretly needs it.  Our companionship seems a lot closer since I started doing that.

Monday, March 14, 2016

The Age of Sarcasm is Over...


오!  안녕하세요, 여러분!

This week was quite a week.  It was a very exciting one, but it seemed to last forever.  I'm just looking at my planner at what we did this week, and I'm just so surprised that I haven't emailed since these things happen.  I suppose you all are wondering what the subject line refers to...

This week we had zone training.  I knew it was going to be pretty great, because the zone leaders came back from their meeting on Tuesday, where they learn what zone training will be about, and we asked them how zone training was.  Elder 이호현  (Yihohyeon) just said it was pretty good, but Elder Eggleston leaned over me slowly said, "We just got grilled for 5 hours."  What happened at zone training is that President Sonksen has decided that sarcasm needs to be completely done away with in our mission.  I agree with him, but that also means I have to pretty much completely change my personality, sort of.  The day that happened, our house was very quiet, because we didn't know what we could say without being sarcastic.  It's getting better now, though.  

Tuesday morning, we were able to meet with 김종우 (Kim, Jong-Woo), our investigator who we thought had disappeared off of the face of the earth.  He can only meet in the mornings now, so we need President's permission to move our studies around.  He told us that we have two chances, and if he's not progressing by then, we have to drop him.  So we met with him, and now, he has a huge desire to quit drinking and smoking, he wants to read the whole Book of Mormon, and he has a baptismal date for April 30th.  It was a huge miracle.  We had another miracle this week when we met with 임상현 (Imsanghyeon).  We were afraid he wasn't going to want to meet with us anymore, but we met and ate chicken together.  After our small lesson, he said that our words felt right in his heart, which is the first time he's ever said anything of that sort since I've come to 원당 (Wondang).  

On Thursday, I was with Elder Eggleston for the whole day, and we met with a family, whose father's name is John.  He is Korean, but he's really good at English, so we taught both of them in English.  We just met with him and his son, and I do believe that they are the most prepared people I have met during my whole time in Korea.  They are asking all the right questions, and our message can help them out so much, and they are so ready for it.  I'll be meeting them next time as well, because Elder Eggleston and I need to go on exchanges again next week so the other elders can do their music night practicing.  

About Music Nights, they have begun again.  I pretty much won't have a companion this week, except for Elder Eggleston, and that's probably the way it will turn out for the rest of the transfer.  

Some other fun things that happened this week:

We got a bishopric change.  Our bishop is the same, but the counselors changed.  They're all still really awesome.  The second counselor became our ward mission leader, and he's a really great guy.  He really wants to help us.

On Saturday, we advertised our English Class.  The whole time we were doing this, I just had this strange desire to say, "What's up, man?" to someone.  I can usually find at least one person who will be able to that when we hand out flyers, but this time, I was rather flustered with it all, and it was frustrating me.  But, then, Mark passed by.  He is black, and was born in Cameroon, but grew up in L.A.  He was like, "Hey, what's up, brother?" and came and gave me the bro handshake.  It made me whole week absolutely wonderful.  

Last night, we had this  massive streetboarding activity with the whole zone.  What ended up happening is Elder Benson, Elder Baird :) and I all went around with a streetboard and just talked to people and told them they were really handsome.  Koreans get really happy when you compliment them, so that worked out pretty well.

Fun week, right?

Elder Tyler Conley

A Very Necessary Exchange


안녕하세요, 여러분!

This was quite a week.  A whole lot of stuff happened.  On Tuesday, we had our Temple P-day, which was really great.  I really love the sense of peace and joy that comes from attending the temple.  We can all learn so much there.  After attending the temple, the 원당 (Wondang) elders and Elder Ahn, and Elder Swan from my 동기 went to this massive bookstore that was attached to a large subway station.  It was pretty great.  However, we ended up spending an hour trying to find where to eat after the temple, so we did not have a whole lot of time to spend.  The reason for that is that Koreans get a day off on March 3rd, because that day marks the beginning of their independence movement from Japan.  So, every restaurant we tried to go to was totally full with a 30 minute wait or so.  It was pretty bad.  On Wednesday, we had dinner with 홍무광 형제님 and 차미례 자매님.  They cooked American food for us.  However, since I have come to Korea, I have discovered that I have a small distaste for American food, and cannot eat it very well.  It was delicious, but it also destroyed me.  On Thursday, I went with Elder Eggleston clear up to the far northern region of our area to visit a member.  That took so long to do.  But it was pretty fun.  

Then it was Friday...

I had found out at the beginning of this week that we were going on exchanges with the AP's on Friday.  At first, I was a little worried because I wondered if there was something that I had done that they needed to correct.  As it drew closer, however, I decided I was going to use this as a moment that will help me to grow exceedingly, and that's exactly how it went.  I stayed in 원당 (Wondang) with Elder Yetter, and Elder Bradshaw went to 화양 (Huayang) with Elder 김한중.  All I am saying is that God really knows how to choose his servants well, because Elder Yetter was really able to follow the Spirit to find out what I needed.  I am a new Elder Conley now.  I have begun something so wonderful, and it will be great.

That's what happened this week!  사랑합니다!

Elder Tyler Conley

 Elder Anderson, Elder Swan, Elder Polley, Elder Littlefield, Elder Baird, Elder Biesinger 
with Elder Conley in front (his MTC group)
 Elder Eggleston, Elder Conley, Elder Yetter
Elder Bradshaw, Elder Conley, Elder Yetter

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Some Ups, Some Downs

I've added names and places is parenthesis from Google translate. If anyone is reading this that knows better what these places or names are, please let me know. I have a hard time keeping track of what he's talking about with all the Korean characters, so I hope the translations help.


안녕하세요, 사랑하는 여러분!

This week was a pretty good week.  I don't feel like I have said that for a while, but I can definitely say that for this week.  We only spent half of the week inside the computer room making music instead of the whole thing.  That's a miracle in and of itself.  However, pretty much the rest of the week, I did not spend any time with Elder Bradshaw.  On Thursday, there was the choir practice for the Easter Music nights, so I was supposed to be with Elder Eggleston, but he had to pass a missionary off for LPP at the same time, so I spent a while in a trio with Elder Flora from 일산 (Il-San) and Elder Petersen from 금촌 (Geumchon).  Trio 전도 (mission work) is, quite honestly, a little hard.  Three people asking you to believe in Christ is a little scary for some people, so we didn't have a whole lot of success, but it was definitely a fun 2 or 3 hours. 

The next day, we had just enough time for weekly planning, and then I went on exchanges with good old Elder Paulsen, all the way back from the MTC!  We served in 일산 (Il-San) together for this exchange.  I went on a short little exchange with him 2 transfers ago as a greenie, so it was really fun being with him again.  Especially when both of you don't really know Korean at all... ^^  I also got to spend some time with Elder Polley, my MTC companion.  We're pretty much best friends.  That was really fun, too.  Saturday was a really fun day.  The first thing we did that day was locate the house of a referral that their area had received.  It led us out clear to the boonies.  I'm pretty sure that that area is pretty similar to 태백 (Taebaek) or some other city clear out in the countryside.  I have a picture.  Then, the day took a little bit of a turn.  We were waiting for an investigator, when a lady walks up to us.  Now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure she was 신천지 (?) or some other really hateful religion.  She started asking about Allah, and other weird stuff, and then told us about the Trinity.  We tried to tell her our beliefs, but she just shouted, "틀려!" at us over and over again (That means "wrong", but it's a really rude way to say it).  That experience put us in just a wonderful mood for our lesson with their investigator.  Sadly, the investigator only came to tell us that, since he was so old, he was unable to understand the Book of Mormon or learn about our religion.  That's an excuse that old people use a lot, but I am not able to validate it.  So, Saturday was also a really sad day, but Elder Paulsen and I still managed to have a good time together.  

On Sunday, we had church.  One of our members, 백정환 (Baekjeonghwan), asked me why I wasn't at Family Home Evening last night.  But he was really funny about it.  I told him it was because I was in 일산 (Il-San) the whole day.  Then, before ward council started, him and his wife were sitting across from us.  He looks at me with this smile, and leans over to his wife and says that I ditched them last night for 일산 (Il-San).  She gasps in a sarcastic way and says, "장로님!  배도!" (That means "Elder!  Apostate!")  ㅠㅠ (tears).  It was pretty funny.  I'm pretty much best friends with their family.  Also, it snowed on Sunday, with enough that all of the members that went to ward council had a snowball fight that Elder Bradshaw and I were present for.  We started to sneak away, when the same 백정환 (Baekjeonghwan) just comes and pelts me with a snowball.  I had a bruise for an hour or so.  It was pretty funny.  Sunday was a fun day.  

We received transfer calls this weekend as well.  The verdict is thus:  All of the Elders in 원당 (Wondang) are staying.  Sister Lautaha leaves, and is being replaced by Sister Lenhart from 화양 (Hwayang, Tyler's first area)!  In 일산 (Il-san), everyone is staying except for Elder Biesinger.  He is being replaced with a Korean Elder, whose name I have completely forgotten.  We will call him Elder Kim.  (I really wish he would make up names like this for everyone!)

Elder Conley

An extra little bit from his letter to me:

I feel that I must tell you that things with 임상현 (Imsanghyeon, Tyler told me to pronounce it eem sang hyun) are at a difficult area right now.  He told us earlier today that he only met with us as friends.  He said that his mind is just kind of black, and that nothing has ever helped feel right inside.  He told us all of his feelings about it, and doesn't really want the gospel because it hasn't helped him yet.  We haven't officially dropped him, but things are at a critical point right now.  So, some prayers would be nice.

We've been praying for this man as a family. If anyone reads this and would like to join us, please feel free.

 Elder Conley with Elder Paulsen
 Elder Conley with Elder Polley
"The Boonies"

I have a picture today!


안녕하세요, 여러분!

This week, when I say that we did not really do anything this week, I totally mean it.  

We did not really do anything this week. 

The main reason for this is that Elder Bradshaw got drafted by President again to write up a music piece.  I have been stuck in that computer room for pretty much this whole transfer.  As of right now, that piece is almost done, so hopefully this week is the last one that we have to spend in there.  

We had three appointments planned for this week, but they all cancelled.  2 of them were to be with our investigators, 임상현 and 김종우, and the other was with a former investigator of the other Elders' area named Charlie.  Personally, I suspect that he is actually a less active that tried to meet with Elder Jarret and I back in 화양 once, but we were told not to, because he has a little bit of a reputation for being strange with missionaries.  I think he will try to meet with us again, and I will be able to see if my suspicions are correct.  The only lesson we had with anyone this week was with 박태호, who is the less active we are working with right now because he wants his daughter to be baptized.  However, when we visited him yesterday, his daughter was not there, so we taught him alone, with his really young, energetic, cute son.  We talked about the Spirit for most of the time, and had a really powerful lesson.  We asked him if he would bring his family to attend church on Sunday, and he said he would!  So, I definitely look forward to next Sunday so I can see them there.  

Besides that, we did not do anything this week.  Sorry I don't have a whole lot to report on, but see you all next week!

Elder Tyler Conley

I have a picture today!  This is our area from a taller building.