Monday, November 12, 2012

Crazy week

{Nov. 11, 2012}

Hey everyone,
Those were some good emails. Everyone must have had a pretty eventful week because everyone had quite a bit to write about. It was fun to read. I liked grandpa and grandma's pictures. Those were way funny. There is some awesome fall leaves around here too. It's probably the best I've ever seen anywhere else. We didn't do anything for Halloween this year. It's not very big here and I kind of forgot about it. But Thanksgiving is coming up and to answer Danielle's question about that, yes we will have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. A lot of members in the English branch in Seoul sign up for missionaries to have over and they feed them, but because we're so far away from Seoul our mission president and his wife invited our zone over to their house for Thanksgiving as well as a couple other couple missionaries I think. It should be really good. President Henderson is going to be a mission president?! That's so sweet! He'd be an awesome mission president. And Mikelle finally got her call. Is that the same mission that Elder Jordan Weaver is in? That's too bad that he has to come home. Do you know when? Will he be able to go out again? How's the new James Bond movie? Worth seeing?
Well this week, like most of yours, was pretty eventful. We went into Seoul last Monday evening and had our zone leader council Tuesday morning. This month our mission is focusing on receiving revelation through the Book of Mormon so we've been trying to use the Book of Mormon more in our work. It should be pretty good. I've always liked the trainings on the Book of Mormon during my mission. I think they've been some of my favorite. Then we had some elders in our zone moving to a new place so we helped them out with that Tuesday night and Wednesday. It was quite a bit of work. But I was kind of fun to really experience a move in Korea. They moved from the 15th floor of one apartment to the 18th floor of another. They have huge electric ladders that have a pretty big plank type thing at the top and they just send that up to the window, people inside put a load of stuff on it, and then they send it down and put everything in a truck and send it up again. It's a little nerve racking to push desks and dressers and such out of a 15 story window and then hope it goes down. But it works.
We also had the pleasure of dealing with some problems in our mission. I guess that's the beauty of being a leader. It wasn't very fun, but I learned a lot about leadership and gained some skills in that department of missionary work. Hopefully. It's probably safe to say that I might use those again sometime in my life, but I don't really hope so. It kind of had an impact on our work this week, but I think it helped other areas with their work and effectiveness.
We realized this week that we need to be more connected with our ward and with the youth. My companion and I were brainstorming ideas of activities we could do with the youth here to build better relationships with them. Any ideas? We're mostly going off our own experiences of young mens and other church activities, but I thought I would ask and try to get some more input. I don't think I realized how important it is to have really good relationships with members until recently. It seems like I'm realizing and learning quite a few things right now that I wish I knew two years ago. It's kind of annoying, but I guess that is life. And that's also why we keep journals.   
We had a baptism yesterday. Surprise! It was a member baptism. A little girl got baptized by her dad. It was good. I also got to do another baptismal interview this week. Those are always good. So fortunately the week ended pretty well. I think we'll be back on track this week and should have a pretty good week. We have an appointment tomorrow with some lady who wants to learn English and she's bringing two friends. That's usually a good start. We'll see how it goes. Hopefully you all have a good week as well! Talk to you later!
Love, Elder Dorius
P.S. Dad, the jaw is doing good. Still a little sore, but a lot better. Oh but I do have another question/concern. My driver's licence expired last month. Is that a problem?

Good stuff all around

{Nov. 4, 2012}

Hey everyone,
Sorry I'm a bit early today. We are going into Seoul today and my companion needed to by a new backpack before we left so we got an early start on our P-day. I'll just work on my letter and wait for your responses and add my imput as they come in.
We had a pretty good week. It was our District Conference out here in Gangneung, so all the branches came here and had some really good meetings. Our President and his wife spoke and Elder Yamashita from the area presidency came and spoke as well. Normally, missionaries are only allowed to go to the Sunday sessions of conferences, but our president gave us permission to go to all the meetings. He figured we are a pretty vital part of each of our branches and that it would be good for us to go to all the meetings. And it was. Elder Yamashita spoke in English and had a translator and our president spoke in Korean. It was pretty impressive. They had a huge push on missionary work and going to the rescue. Apparently there are about 1000 members on record in the whole district, but there is definately not that many coming out to church. That's about 200 people per branch. But at that point, it's a ward. So there is a ton of less active work out here. They talked about Elder Nelson's talk and asking the missionaries and giving them some direction on who to visit and try to bring back. It was really good. Our branch had a choir so we got to sing at it too. It was fun. The other fun part was seeing all the members. Since this is my second time around in this zone, I've been to almost every area and have met a lot of the members. My favorite was talking with the Tae Baek members. There was a girl that we re-activated while I was there yesterday and still going strong. It was really good to talk with them again.
We went on exchanges this week. We have a former AP in our zone now and he's in a threesome, so I went with him and one of his companions. It's kind of hard to give training to a former AP. It went something like this:
Me: "Well I read about working with members in PMG and it was really good. So I thought we could talk about that today."
Former AP: expounds doctrine in words so great human hands cannot write them.
Me: "Yep. So that's today's training."
While I was on this exchange I got my package from Danielle. It was the best package ever!! Holy smokes! I can't believe it! The most unbelievable thing though is that no one spilled the beans to me. It took me a couple weeks to get caught up and it was still a surprise. It was a good way to find out. That shirt is my new sleeping shirt.
Our investigators are doing pretty good. Or at least one is. He came to district conference yesterday and liked it. He said he wants to come every week so that's a good sign. We're hoping to get him baptized this month. Our less active work is doing pretty good as well.
Well that was pretty much our week. Thanks for doing a good job on my college stuff Mom. That looks good. I'll try to study a lot of Korean to make sure I do well in that class. Should be fun. Have a good week! Talk to you later.
Love, Elder Dorius

Lots of good stuff

{Oct 29, 2012}

Hey everyone,
Well it sounds like you guys had a pretty good weekend. A "Moodyful" weekend. Haha that's funny. Is it really time to start signing up for classes?! I like that list you have going. As for an artsy class I think a music class would be fun. Maybe jazz. That sounds like fun. Or a percussion class would be good too I think. I was thinking about trying to do some percussion ensemble stuff to get some extra curicular stuff going. I don't know how competitive it is or what not but maybe you can look into that. And I kind of like the idea of "intro." I think I'm a bit rusty in everything, so I don't really want to get up there and then bomb all my classes. What exactly is the film class? I kind of want to do some photography sometime, but it's not a super desperate thing. It just sounds fun. But so does the music classes. Dang. There's too much good stuff. Sorry I'm not being very decisive. Music sounds good, either jazz or a percussion class if that is possible. As for Korean, I do want to take some classes. I don't know what level I am, but I kind of feel like I'm a at a pretty average "missionary" level. I guess that's something I can figure out when I get there. And MTC would be sweet. I think the Korean department is a bit hard to get in becuase it's not too big. But once again, I can look into that when I'm there.
Wow that was a lot. Hopefully that helps. So here's a pretty cool "coincidence" that just happened like an hour ago. It's my companion's birthday today and one of our English class member's took us out to lunch. Holy cow it was so good. And then he wanted to go to a coffee shop and talk some more, because that's Korean culture. We figured since it was our P-day and we have some time we would go. Don't worry, we got smoothies. But anyways, As we were getting into the elevator to go up to the shop, one of our new English class members stepped out and we just managed to get a little wave in by the time we passed each other and recognized each other. It was pretty crazy becuase we gave her a Book of Mormon and are going to try to pick her up as an investigator. We must have been supposed to go to that coffee shop at just that time. And then when we were in the actual shop, they had a Lionel Richie song playing. That's when I knew we made the right decision.
Transfers happened this week, but nothing happened here. We're going on our third transfer together. We've reached the level of an "eternal companionship." But it's good. I don't like transfering and I especially didn't want to move for my last transfer. Lately we've been having some pretty good success with less active members. We've been doing a lot of searching and it's not been too bad. Probably the best out of all my areas. Usually a lot of less active members move somewhere else and they pretty much disappear, so it's been good to actually get in with some and meet with them. And a lot of them are part member families, so hopefully we can keep meeting with them and start to teach their family members. We're also working on a little referral program that one of my old companions and I did in my last area, so this week we'll be visiting a lot of the active members as well and get them going on this to help us find more investigators.
As far as investigators go, we've got one guy who is pretty solid. The second time we met him, we reviewed the restoration by watching the restoration DVD (briliant, right?) and then we talked about it for a bit. There was one part of the lesson that had the longest quite session of my life. It was so intense. But I think everything was just settling in for him, and so I asked him if he had any questions and he was like, "How does that baptism thing work?" So we jumped on that like a puma hunting her prey. We pulled out pictures, scriptures, and even showed him the baptismal font. We haven't quite got a date with him yet because of his schedule, but we're kind of planning for the end of next month. If he just comes to church I think it will be set.
We have our district conference coming up this weekend and our branch is doing a special musical number, so we've been practicing for that. It's pretty fun. It should be a good meeting. Our mission president is coming and one of the councilors in the area presidency is coming. And he's Japanesse so he's just going to speak in English and then have a translator. So that will be nice. I'm pretty excited. We also have a big meeting coming up in a couple weeks for the 50th anniversary of the Korea mission. So there's a lot of good stuff to look forward to right now.
Well I think those where the highlights of my week and everything I wanted to share. I took a sweet picture from this cafe we were at and I wanted to send it but I didn't have my cord. I'll have to send it next week. Hopefully you guys have a good week. Maybe Mikelle will get her call this week. We'll see. Talk to you later!
Love, Elder Dorius

I have malaria!

{Oct. 22, 2012}

Hey everyone,
Ok I think I need to make a trip to Texas. That sounds like a lot of fun. For some reason a lot of the emails seemed to have lots of surprises or stuff that I didn't know. Like Mikelle putting her papers in (I'm working on the revelation now, give me a minute), Katie going to college and all the cousins growing up, and Mom with a tablet. I think I knew that last one but it just still kind of blows my mind that Mom can handle that type of technology. I'm going to be the most outdated one in the whole family. That's embarassing. Ok for Mikelle's call I'm going to say...back east somewhere...maybe church history...Ohio? Sure. Either that or Uganda. She would fit in nicely there. Any other news on calls? No, Danielle, I haven't gotten your package yet. We were in Seoul last week and I thought it might have gotten there then, but it hadn't. But it might be there by now. I probably won't be able to get it for the next couple weeks though because we aren't going into Seoul for a bit. Unless we transfer. But that's not looking very likely. We find out tonight. I really liked Grandma's hill billy friend. It kind of reminded me of one of our "friends" who rides around town on a little motor bike and picks up cardboard. He hangs out in front of our church sometimes and smokes and asks us if we have a meeting. There certainly are some interesting people in the world.
This week has been pretty good. We had that blood drive but they wouldn't let me give blood. I had spent the night in a malaria-risk area and that was all it took. I was really looking forward to fullfilling the blood portion of the goal of leaving behind my blood, sweat, and tears in Korea, but so much for that. I even told them I was O- but that wasn't good enough for them. It seemed like a pretty good service project though. We also had interviews with our president so it wasn't a complete waste of a trip. My mission president is the man. Everytime I talk with him I my respect for his knowledge and wisdom grows. He gave me some good advice. We talked about goals and instead of setting goals for the end of my mission, he said to set goals for the end of the year. That way it's not like a countdown or a trunky goal and it will continue afterwards and give me something to keep working on when I get home. Genius.
We had a pretty cool miracle this week. Some guy who was contacted back in the summer randomly called us and wanted to meet. Apparently he had made a couple appointments with the missionaries but something always came up and he had to cancel and he felt bad about it so he called us up and met us. He's sweet. He has some good potential. We taught a pretty solid first lesson and committed him to baptism and he accepted. So it's looking pretty good so far, but we still have to keep going. Finding has been doing pretty good lately. We're just trying to get to the next step and keep them meeting and progressing.
Ok remember how you told me about Elder Scott Heinrich and Sister Jill Christensen? Well get this. While we were at that blood drive, one of the office elders came up to me and asked, "Do you know an Elder Scott Heinrich serving in the German-speaking Alpine Mission?" I guess he had emailed our mission about something and asked about me and Elder Stanley. It was pretty crazy. I just found it pretty funny that it happened the same week you told me about that referral. Such a small world.
I had another one of those "boy, I'm glad I stuck with the piano" moments yesterday. We have district conference in a couple weeks and our branch is singing at it and they wanted to practice yesterday. The girl who normally plays the piano had something come up and they didn't really have anyone who could jump in there and play, so they asked me to play it so we could practice. It was kind of rough and I've gotten a bit rusty, but it was still fun to play. But I could almost hear Mom and Allyson in my head saying, "see, I told you that you would use the piano on your mission." I quote our beloved prophet: "Thanks Mother."
That was pretty much the highlights of the week. Not too bad of a week if you ask me. You'll have to keep me updated on Mikelle's call and give a report on Malea's farewell. Oh and I had a question for Dad. Is there anyway to prevent those little sores/cuts that get in where the cheeks connect to the gums? Or is there something I can do to make them better? I've had a couple recently and they're kind of annoying. If you have any suggestions I would appreciate them. That's pretty much all I need. Have a good week and we will hear from you later.
Love, Elder Dorius

Conference is the best!

{Oct 15, 2012}

Hey everyone,
Wow it was kind of nice to get a couple emails from a few extra people this week. Thanks Moody's and Chris behind the desk. Haha. Ok that story about Sister Jill Christensen and Elder Scott Heinrich is way cool. How did they find that out? That's what I want to know. I feel like I have no connection to Salt Lake. We need more Koreans going to Temple Square! Except there was a lady who came to our English class for the first time this last week and she had been there. That was kind of a miracle story too. We have a couple adds for our English class in the local newspaper and we also hand out little fliers, but apparently this lady saw our flier in some intersection that I didn't even know we had advertisements there. So that was kind of cool. The part of the story where she gets baptized is still in the works. Thanks for the jokes Dad, but I don't have time to read them. Maybe someday. I'm sure they can wait. As well as those cinnonmon rolls. Those better wait too.
Ok conference was amazing! I think it's safe to say it was one of the best ones ever. At least in the past six months. Priesthood session was my favorite. It felt like a punch in the face and then pushed onto the ground only to be picked up, brushed off, and sent on our way again. President Eyring had some pretty funny parts as well. I was dying when he was talking about the "small plates" they made in their family. We had an investigator come to the Sunday morning session, so we sat with him and watched it in Korean. Or at least attempted to watch it. It was pretty hard to understand everything. We were able to bring the DVD home and watch it on our little DVD player though so we can watch them again. Holy smokes, Elder Holland really called down the fire this time around. He gave a somewhat similar talk while I was in the MTC, but it kind of had a similar theme: you've come this far and now you can't go back. It was kind of cool to experience those talks at the stages of my mission that I did, though. It was super motivating to hear during the first few weeks into my mission and now it's another good reminder of the things I've learned and committed too. As were all the talks. You can always count on conference for that.
As for the rest of the week, we went into Seoul for zone leader council. We got to our president's house about 8:45ish and we just sat and hung out with him and his wife and talked. They also gave us ice cream for my birthday. It was really nice. We got a training on revelation through prayer. It's going to be a good focus this month. Oh we also picked up a new investigator through our church's basketball hoop. We were inside the church doing something and we heard someone shooting so we went out and found this kid playing basketball. We played a bit and talked a bit and then he said he was curious about our church. It was pretty cool. I don't know how solid it's going to be but it was at least good to pick up another investigator. 
We're going into Seoul again tomorrow for the blood drive. Woot! Except there's a small chance I might not be able to donate. Apparently one of the areas in my last district has a danger of malaria and if anyone has been there they might not be able to donate. We'll have to see. Maybe if I tell them I'm O- they'll let me in. Haha. It should be good though. Oh and I was going to tell you it was a good thing you didn't send a package, because I just sent off a box of stuff today and it cost 50 bucks. And that was by boat. It was kind of a big box. Pretty much half my life was in it. Hopefully it makes it, but I wouldn't be expecting it anytime soon if I were you.
Well I hope you guys have a good day and a good week. When I was outside today it felt like marching band season. I was tempted to do a little marching but I decided it might be better to maintain my image haha. At least I don't have the big overalls. Talk to you next week!
Love, Elder Dorius

The field is white, already to harvest

{Oct 8, 2012}

Hey everyone,
Thank you so much for all the birthday wishes! That made my day. And it was good to hear from the Jeff and Jen household. I love their family. Especially the twins. Haha that story was super funny. I laughed pretty hard at that. Ok. I was way stoked to hear about the new age for missionaries. I heard from one of the missionaries in our zone who is also the branch president, so while he was doing some branch stuff, he checked out the highlights and told us about it. So crazy! I feel like that is so young, but then in my personal study I read about the two thousand stripling warriors and figured if they could do it then, why not now? But I do agree with President Monson. Think about it and pray about it and talk to your priesthood leaders. Even though the stripling warriors were young, they were exceedingly valient and true at all times. But I think it's going to increase the number of missionaries, especially the sisters. It actually won't affect Korea because they were already sending missionaries out at 18 because of the two year military duty. But the missions will start getting younger. It's going to be interesting. I was thinking about who all was going to be going on missions now.
It sounds like the rest of conferece was good. At least from the parts you guys saw. It's kind of funny how you guys have so many other things going on and can't quite catch all the sessions whereas we've been planning and looking forward to this weekend for weeks. I can't imagine doing anything else and missing conference. I want to hear it all and just absorb all the talks. Especially priesthood session. Elder Holland is always super good. Did Bishop Gary Stevenson speak? I shook his hand. Twice. That's my only claim to fame up there on the stand.
This week has been pretty good. It kind of felt like a trial of faith with potentials not meeting and other investigators falling through. But like always, our hard work paid off, and the beauty of it is that it didn't happen until Sunday night. We talked to more people than we ever have before this week and then Sunday night we picked up a new investigator who also accepted a soft baptismal commitment, and we met a pretty cool family who wants to learn English. The mom and the son said they'll come to general conference on Sunday and want to check out our church. The dad is a pro ping pong player (where's Scatagories when I need it?) and said we can come over to his ping pong practice place (I'm on fire now!) and play anytime. So watch out Kadin and Kylie! It's game on. Then at the 10:25 buzzer shot, our investigator who was baptized last year but not confirmed texted us wondering if we could meet today. Unfortunately we have to go into Seoul today so we couldn't meet, but he's at least back and wants to meet. It was so awesome.
That's so funny that Ty and Logan pray for us all the time. We're actually doing our zone focus on the principle of "praying always" so I've been thinking about that a lot. We got the idea from a talk by Elder Bednar in a conference in 2008. I can't remember which session though. Maybe October? Anyway. It was a good talk. We're going to focus on that principle, planning effectively, and then acting on those prayers and plans with faith. It should be good.
Well that's about all I can think of from this week. It went by pretty fast and I think this week will be even faster due to our meeting in Seoul and conference. But it should be a good spiritual boost. Thanks again for wishing me a happy birthday. 21 doesn't sound too old to me anymore. I've been that old since I stepped off the plane in Korea. And sometimes when we talk to people on the street we ask them how old we look and I got 28 the other day. So I'm good with 21. It's not quite as bad as some of the other birthdays coming up this year. Hehe. Hope you all have a good week! Talk to you later.
Love, Elder Dorius


1. This was when we found 50 bucks. Woot.

2. Here's the rice fields. I think I've seen about a whole cycle of rice fields now.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Happy Chu Seok!

{Oct. 1, 2012}

Hey everyone,
Ok today was a good email reading session. I felt like there was a good variety of emotions. I quite enjoyed all of them. The pictures were also a plus. I like the one of Kadin trying not to throw up in the band. Good job Kadin. Maybe you should go do the drumline. It's way more fun there haha. The twins had way good times in the 5K! I was impressed. And way to go Mom and Dad for bringing up the rear. That actually takes a lot of effort. Chu Seok has been pretty good. We got to go over to a member's house Sunday afternoon and have lunch with them and then play some games. The last time we visited them I introduced Pass the Pigs and they loved it so much they requested that I bring it again. We also made little snack things. I don't really know how to explain it. We flattened out pieces of dough in our hands, put some sugary stuff or red bean paste in them, folded them up, and then steam them. It was pretty fun. And our members were really impressed at how well we could do it. Beginners luck. Or just foreigner luck. Something like that. We also had a zone activity in Won Ju and helped a member there with some yard work at a house she just moved into. Then yesterday we spent our whole P-day cleaning our house and reorganizing stuff. So it was a pretty good holiday.
Here's some pretty cool news. Our mission is doing a blood drive! I didn't think we would be able to because we're chuck full of vacines, but apparently they still want our blood. It must be healthier or something. But I'm way excited for that! It's a part of the 50th anniversary of missionary work in Korea.
We had a pretty lucky find this week as well. Unfortunately it wasn't a golden investigator, or any investigator for that matter, but it was 50 bucks! We were heading towards a member's house and we decided to just walk and try to talk to people along the way, and a little piece of paper caught my eye and it was a 1000 won, which is about a dollar. Thinking it was my lucky day, I bent down to pick it up and then another paper caught my eye. It was 50000 won, which is about 50 dollars. Then I realized I probably couldn't just take that and buy ice cream for me and my companion. We tried to find the person who lost it but no luck there. Our mission president said it's basically our money now and we can do whatever we want with it. We actually still have it, but I'm pretty sure we're just going to give it to fast offerings. Since we couldn't help the person who originally lost the money, we might as well give it to someone else who needs it.
I had another "I love Korea" moments sometime this week. Most little kids when they see us wave and say "hello" and we do the same to them and usually that's the end of the conversation. But one kid got pretty brave and decided to try out some more English that he learned. Now usually it's something like "Where are you from?" or "Where are you going?" but not this time. This kid was original. After his nice greeting to us he said, "I'm in the bathroom!" We just gave him a thumbs up and replied with "Good job!" It made his day. And mine.
I can't really think of anything else that happened this week. Oh I did pack up a box of stuff to send home while we were cleaning up the house. That was a little weird. I'm just going to mail it by boat so it doesn't cost me a fortune. So don't expect anything too soon. Other than that, I think that was our week. And it's looking like this week is going to be pretty normal as well. The blood drive isn't until the 17th so I'm just going to be getting ready for that and try to beat all my old times from high school. I'm going for a new personal record. It should be good. Have a good week! You'll have to keep an eye out for all the good talks at Conference and give me a heads up. Talk to you later.
Love, Elder Dorius