Monday, October 31, 2016

휴우... It's Over!


안녕하세요, 사랑하는 여러분!   

This week was a pretty exciting week.  We definitely saw some miracles this week.  For example, we were finally able to meet with our investigator Jason this week.  I haven't met him since I got to 신당.  He is really awesome.  He lived in America for a really long time.  He is actually more comfortable with English than Korean for learning the gospel, so that's an adventure, especially for Elder Kang.  He actually sounds kind of like a very stereotypical African American when he speaks English.  It's pretty funny.  He has a lot of faith in Our Savior, but he is now on a search on how to apply it, so we taught him about the first principles and ordinances of the gospel this week.  He really likes what we taught about repentance, baptism, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost.  He said he will get baptized after he gets an answer that this is the path that God wants him to take, so we will definitely keep working with him.  

The next miracle is our Halloween Party.  We dedicated our whole week to it, due to fairly poor preparation.  In other words, we were pretty much quarantined inside the church decorating and figuring out how everything was going to work from Wednesday to Saturday.  The miracle is that it worked ㅋㅋ We decided that it was completely necessary to put a haunted house in our party on Friday Night at 8:30, for reasons that will not be explained here.  Then, we also realized that we had no idea how anything was actually going to work, so we got a call at about 10:20 from our district leader, and we figured everything out about our party in 7 minutes, and then the next day we had our party, and it went really well!  The other Elder team had one of their investigators come, and he brought a friend!  We had a good amount of non-members at this party.  It was definitely a success!

Love you all!

Elder Tyler Conley

I asked for the reasons behind the last minute haunted house:

The idea for having a haunted house appeared on Tuesday night this week, so there was already insufficient amounts of time to make a real good haunted house.  We talked about it again, and by Thursday, decided it was probably not the best idea, especially since we hadn't started on it at all by Thursday night.  Then, once upon a time on Friday night, one of our Sisters rushed into the church at 8:30 and said, "Hey, I called all the members about the Halloween Party and the Haunted House, and they all said that they were coming, and are really excited for the haunted house!"  Soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo yeah, that's what happened.
 Did you know that if you put gummy worms in water and add a little vinegar...
They turn into disgusting slime? 

We added some extras!

It's Christmas time in Seoul!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Well, THAT Doesn't Happen Everyday...


안녕하세요, 여러분! 

It's been a pretty fun week.  I had a fun exchange with Elder Benson, another Elder in our district, on Friday and Saturday.  Elder Kang and I are doing really well together.  We are super united in the work here together in 신당 (Sindang).  

But then...

Elder David A. Bednar came to Korea!

He sure did!  This Wednesday, all of the missionaries in Seoul and Seoul South missions got together and were taught by this Prophet, Seer, and Revelator.  Some things from what I understood from his teachings are that faith requires action first, then the power will come as we step into the darkness, as faith is a principle of action and power.  I got the feeling that it is part of his vision for the church to have all of the members therein be completely self-reliable as far as spiritual things go.  He told us about how to pray in a way that truly invites the Spirit and opens the way for action on our part.  One of the more powerful statements that he relayed to us is that we do not need to be taught by an Apostle of the Lord to have the mysteries of heaven revealed to us, we only need to have the Spirit of Revelation and the scriptures by our side, and anything is possible.

As far as other things go, we had dinner with 2 different American families this week.  Well, I suppose one was an American/Dominican family.  Apparently, if you mix pig intestines, a whole pig leg, and curry together, it makes Dominican food.  Interesting, huh?  It was pretty delicious.  With the other family, we had taco soup.  It's been a little while since I have even thought about the concept of taco soup.  It was an awesome week.

I have the feeling that this week is going to be really, really good.  I hope you all have a really, really good week, too!

Elder Tyler Conley

This was a strange experience... Going across the river to the land of mystery... 
(the Seoul South Mission)

Suits On!


안녕하세요, 여러분! 

We had a really great week this week!  We had some super cool miracles happen with our investigators!  I haven't said anything like that for a long time, have I? ㅋㅋ  I was actually talking about it with Elder Kang yesterday while we were filling out our stats.  I told him that I haven't really had any super good investigators since I was a greenie in 화양 (Huayang).  In 원당 (Wondang), almost all of our investigators just disappeared, and in 일산 (Il-San), we just had one the whole time who didn't really progress or anything.  So this was a really exciting week for me.  Let me tell you why:

We met with 송동규b (Songdonggyu) this week.  We were a little worried about him, because we thought he just wanted English practice with us, because that's what it really seemed like.  But, last week, I met him with Elder Nam, and we taught him a little bit and told him to read Alma 32 before we met this week.  He did it, and actually, since he's 62, and his memory's a little faulty, he TYPED the whole thing.  He has tons of interest about faith.  He told us, "I read it but it was just with my brain, not with my heart.  That's kind of sad, because I really want to understand this, but I need to be able to feel it in my heart."  So, we talked about it and he has a huge desire to learn and grow his faith!  He also has a lot of interest in the Plan of Salvation and how we came to believe in all that we do.  It was a really great lesson with him. 

We also met with 이의수 this week.  His English name is Gaius, which is Julius Caesar's first name.  He is a huge history buff.  We sat down with him, and started trying to teach about the restoration, but he kept cutting us off every time.  But, when we started about the Plan of Salvation, it caught in his heart.  He opened his ears and listened.  Then, he really opened up, which is a huge miracle.  He told us about how he used to attend church, but all of the other Christian kids bullied him in high school.  It was pretty sad.  He is not particularly fond of any church now.  He knows for certain that Catholicism is not true, because of his super extensive knowledge of history.  He thinks that our church is different, though, and thinks that it might be worth it.  So, we will definitely be working with him to help him out.  

And our suits are back on constantly, so that's fun!

It's been a great week!  This next one will be really exciting, so see you next week!

Elder Tyler Conley

This statue is the biggest pile of garbage I've ever seen! 
(This is a traditional Seoul 해치, kind of like the mascot of Seoul)

And then there was Conference


안녕하세요, 여러분! 

This week was a pretty good one.  We watched conference this week.  That was exciting!  There were so many good talks given this time.  I personally was a really big fan of J. Devn Cornish 장로님's talk.  He talked about repentance and God's eternal love for us.  He taught us about not comparing ourselves to anyone, except ourselves.  That is a very important lesson to learn, and definitely one that I've learned a lot while on my mission.  God knows exactly what you can be, and what He wants you to be.  So, as long as we are doing what is right, and always trying to be better today than we were in the past, we are very successful in the eyes of God.  It is truly wonderful to know that we all have a loving Father in Heaven, who loves with such redeeming love.  

Shortly after General Conference on Sunday, we had a day of miracles.  It was really great.  It was wonderful to see the faith of Elder 강원호 grow and learn from what happened yesterday.  Nearly everyone we talked to had a considerable amount of interest, and although due to different circumstances, we were not able to make an appointment with them, I know that I just gave them something that could change their life.  We also met with the bishop of our ward yesterday.  He is a really great person, and we got really close to him, and are now working with him to help missionary work in this ward increase largely.  

Love you all!

Elder Tyler Conley

 Back to the River!
남산 Tower

Oh Dang! (as in Sindang)


안녕하세요, 여러분! 

This week was super awesome!  신당 (Sindang) is such an awesome area!  I have the best companion ever!  Elder 강원호 (Kang) is such an awesome missionary!  We have had a lot of fun together.  Whitewashing into the biggest area of our mission... Nice...  One of the biggest miracles I've seen since I've been here is that we haven't gotten lost yet.  Knock on wood...  Elder 강원호 (Kang) is working with the Deaf branch, which is a really big miracle.  There are new people that come every week!  This Sunday, we met with a really great family in 신당 (Sindang) ward, along with a couple extra young men. All 8 missionaries in the district were there, and we shared a message about missionary work.  At the end, our district leader asked a couple of the young men that were hanging out in the back who they could try to talk to the gospel with. They actually had legit people, and said that they would do it!  In Korea, things like that are a very rare occurrence.  It was pretty awesome!  

That being the case, finding new people to teach is surprisingly difficult here.  As I have been exiled out of Seoul for 10 months, I had forgotten a lot about what it was like to live in the big city.  People are really hard to talk to here.  They all say, "Oh, I'm busy, sorry." or just shake their heads and walk past.  It can be rather disappointing at times, but it's at those times when I remember who I can turn to, who has given me this opportunity to serve here in Korea, and then I smile, and everything works out so well!  It's a great life I live out here, in the service of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  I can't imagine anything else would be better!  

Love you all! Have a good week!

Elder Tyler Conley

 Escalator of Eternity
 Our member family (They're not actually in the picture, so this is just our district eating with a different member)
Me with Elder Kang