Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas again!

Hey everyone,
Merry Christmas again! I guess it's Christmas Day for you now so it's still allowed to say it. It's pretty much done and gone away here. Sad. But it was a good year. It's always interesting to spend holidays in a foreign contry. Ok who sent my recorder?! I was so surprised to see that haha. You guys did well with all the gifts this year. Thank you very much. I'm really excited to play Pass the Pigs. That was a nice little surprise too. I'm glad you guys like the socks. We got some from our ward too but their not nearly as cool as those ones. Just plain dress socks. I just sent off some pictures so hopefully you get those. As you can see, my companions and I had some fun with the Santa suit before we had to put it away. Haha. It was really funny and I think my ward loved it.
Well there's not much new to report on here. Our zone went caroling last night in the bitter cold outside a huge department store. That was fun. People probably thought we were just a bunch of crazy white people for standing out in the cold and singing in Korean. But that's nothing new. Oh I got my visa extended today. Yay! I can stay in Korea for another year. Those are pretty much the only things that have happened since I last talked to you. Hopefully you like the pictures because those will make up for the lack of words in my email. My memory card is about full again because I took quite a few videos from the Christmas conference. I'll just send all those at once on my card instead of trying to put them on an email.
So yeah. I think that's it. Hopefully you guys had a great Christmas and have a Happy New Year! Oh I did find one thing I need. Some deoderant. Is that how you spell it? If not just sound it out. I would appreciate some from America because there isn't really any here. Sorry I didn't catch that sooner and you could've thrown it in your Christmas package. But if you could do that I would greatly appreciate it. Ok. Now I think I'm done. Happy Holidays! Talk to you later.
Love, Elder Dorius
1. Here's Elder Stanley and I at the Christmas conference.

 My uke.

 The first official legit snowfall of the year.
 Here is Santa getting chased down by the missionaries.

 And then getting taught my the missionaries.

6. And then proclaiming the Book of Mormon is true. Ha.


Sooo...for you that haven't noticed the resemblance...Elder Dorius was Santa for the ward Christmas party.  The fact that Elder Dorius was chosen to be the Santa Clause was so funny to us.  We just didn't really think he had the build for it.  It sounded like he had a great time...but a lot of the little kids were scared of him.
 Santa going down the "chimney"

2. Getting ready to hand out gifts

 The ward

 And here's a picture with all my gifts. I didn't end up opening them until that night when we got home. Haha. But it was really nice. Thank you to everyone who sent something! 

That was me when I was sick. Bleh.


Here's some pictures from the top floor (47th) of one of our member's apartment. Way legit. This is the most southern part of our area and is the newest part. The last one is some funny "grafitti" we found on a wall. I laugh everytime we walk past it.

It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas‏

Hey everyone,
Well it sounds like everyone has had a good week. Lots of singing and caroling and Christmas preparations. That's always fun. One thing I learned was that shops and places around here play Christmas music too! I thought that was only an American thing but I guess not. So it's been kind of fun to hear some Christmas music while we're out and about. However, some of the songs have been "Koreanorized" but it's still fun. Here's the deal with calling home. We can't use skype. Only calling. But we can call from here either on Sunday the 25th (Saturday for you) or Monday the 26th (Sunday for you). It will most likely be in the evening time for you guys. What works best for you? I'm good with whatever but we're kind of thinking about calling on Sunday just after chuch, which would most likely be around 8ish for you guys I think. Something like that. Also what number should I call? If you guys want to talk about it and decide just let me know.
Here's some other fun news. On the 22nd, we have a mission Christmas conference and there's a big talent show and skits and stuff like that and Elder Stanley and I are going to play Pachelbel Meets U2. We're actually going to meet up today in Seoul to practice so I don't have tons of time to write becuase it takes both of us a little while to get there. But anyway, we borrowed a way nice cello from one of our members and I have to carefully pack it into Seoul (no pressure) and we're going to have a little jam session. I'm excited. Just like the good ole days.
Thanks for praying for our investigators. We're going to try to give Richard a baptismal date this week. Possibly tonight. Or Wednesday. Depending on how the lesson goes and the Spirit and all that jazz. He almost came to church yesterday. He was planning on it and then all of a sudden got tired or something and fell asleep. Slightly frustrating. I'm sure Heavenly Father knows just as well as anyone how frustrating it is when people don't do what they're suppose to or what He knows is best. So hopefully if he has this desire and commitment to get baptized, that will help him put forth the little extra effort to do the right things and keep the commandments. We weren't able to meet our family this week because of some training we didn't know about so nothing new there. But hopefully they're praying about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith.
We've been getting fed like kings this week. For some reason, a lot of our members wanted to feed us this last week. I think between Wednesday and Sunday we didn't have to cook or pay for a single meal. It was awesome! And I just like getting to know the members a little more and building good relationships. Doesn't get much better than that. So that was pretty much our week. Can't complain too much. It's snowed a couple times this week but not enough to stick. It's still pretty cold but my six layers do well for me. And I bought some cool Power Rangers hand warmers. They help fight off the cold.
Well hopefully you have a good week. I'm glad you finally got my package. I was a little worried I accidently sent it by boat. I have a Christmas package pretty much ready to go. I just need to ship it off. Don't forget about calling. I need to know what time you want me to call and what number to call. I can take care of the rest. Talk to you later.
Love, Elder Dorius

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Pictures‏

1. Look how big our tree is!
2. That's our threesome. And our huge tree.

3. It has a big Christmas spirit.  :)

Here are your answers‏

Hey everyone,
Ok first off, before I forget, I called the bank this week and got my cards figured out. My debit card is all good and the bank is going to mail me a new pin number but it's going to be sent to you guys. So once you get that, just mail it to me or just email it to me. Whatever works. Here's some answers to your questions, Dad: 1. Man Su is in Incheon. I'm not sure exactly where, but I think we're fairly close to the ocean. I think we have a little inlet thing at the southern most part of our area. I'm sure if you just googled "Man Su" it'd find it. 2. One transfer is six weeks, not four. 3. Richard is doing really good. I'll talk about him more in my email. 4. I'll also talk about our other family in the email. 5. No I'm not getting tired of rice. It's just that Koreans don't eat potatoes very often and it's never mashed potatoes. The only times I've had carpet under my feet is at the temple and at the senior couple's house. But even then it was a big rug. Nearly every house in Korea just has wood floors because of the heating system. And it keeps the houses cleaner. I don't know if carpet is more expensive, or if it's just a culture thing. And no I still can't really understand everything people say. Not even close. That's why it was fun to understand everything the kids said. They say funny things. 6. As for Christmas music, I think Elder Stanley and I have it figured out. We might try Pachebel Meets U2. I have the piano music and we're going to try to figure out the cello part. But if you can get the cello part for us that would be really helpful. If not, we're just going to play something from that music you sent awhile back. So I wouldn't worry about going out and buying more music. We'll work something out. Umm as for other requests for your package, I would like some more dried mangoes. Those are yummy. And maybe some recipies. Either real dinner food or desserts. Maybe both. Those are kind of the only things I've thought about. I'm good on everything else.
This week was pretty good. Richard is the man. He's pretty funny. We've got him down to just drinking one cup of coffee a day now. It's awesome because he used to be so dependent on his coffee but now he realizes he doesn't need it and we can probably get him to completely quit this week. He's gotten pretty busy lately though. He signed up for this English academy thing in Seoul and is there Monday through Friday to study more English. But he still makes time to meet us a couple days a week in the evenings, and he texts us about everyday just to say hi or see how we're doing. We talked about the Plan of Salvation last time and gave him a pamphlet to read. He said he grandma told him about all this when he was younger so he already believes everything. That's nice. We're meeting him tonight and are going to teach him about tithing. That was pretty much his only other question about the church. Then we also want to give him a baptismal invitation. We'll see how it works. The only problem is that investigators have to come to church at least three times before they can get baptized, and he works every weeked to save money to go to America, so we're not quite sure how to make that work. We might need a miracle and some faith. So right now that's kind of the only hurdle. Our other family is doing good too. Pretty much the only way they can keep progressing is if they come to church. Each time we've met, though, they ask a few questions about church and seem to have a little more interest. They might just need a little more time. But last time we met, we talked about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith and committed both of them to pray to know if it's true. I feel like we're close with helping all of our investigators baptized, except for these little problems we need to overcome.
Oh hey Danielle. Now that my train of thought is broken I'll answer your questons too. 1. I don't know what the temperature is. We don't see it very often but there's some at bus stops occasionally. I'll have to check. 2. We asked a member if it snows a lot here and they said it actually doesn't as much because we're closer to the ocean. But we do get wicked bad wind that just goes right through to your bones. Not fun. 3. You bet we have a microwave. But there's no hotpockets so there really isn't a purpose for them. Ha. 4. Yeah we do quite a bit of cooking. Hence the reason I need more recipies. I've been learning how to cook some Korean food too. 5. People celebrate Christmas here, but I don't think it's as big as it is in America. A lot of the other churches around here have put up Christmas lights to match their giant neon crosses though. So that's nice.
Ok. Well nothing too much more exciting happened this week. We did meet a less active/part member family we've been trying to meet for like the past two transfers. They're from North Korea. They're really nice. They even let us come back to visit them. So that was a pretty good find. I had a pretty funny experience knocking doors. This super old lady opened the door and the first thing she asked was "where are you from?" When I said "America" she just looked at me and said something along the lines of "why in the world are you here?" By the time I only got a few words out she says "I am 90 years old. I can't hear anything you're saying." and then continued to ramble on about something else. Then a really nice guy came and took my card and just took her back inside. I thought it was funny. Old Korean women are the best. They either love you or hate you. Either way they're bound to do something funny. Anyway. This is turning into a book now so I better wrap it up. Talk to you later.
Love, Elder Dorius
P.S. Shout out to Jesse and Dad for their birthdays! Happy almost birthday! 

Small and simple things‏

Hey everyone,
It sounds like you all had a really good weekend. Good weather and good food all around, on top of soccer games all weekend. Can't get much better than that. And you  had a homecoming. That's exciting. I bet Sister Bishop was pretty happy. That's not good that mom isn't feeling well. She needs to eat more kim chi. I'm pretty sure that kills any germs that are creeping around your body because I haven't really been too sick the whole time I've been here. Knock on wood. But it's kim jang right now, which is the time everyone prepares kim chi, so some of our members just gave us a bunch of kim chi in the past couple days. We should be good for awhile. I actually haven't tried calling the bank yet. I need to make some time for that. I've used my credit card a couple times so I'm not completely helpless. I'll try to make some time for that this week and I'll look into my debit card. 
This last week was really good. We had transfers on Wednesday. I always think I have those figured out but President gets me every time. My greenie and I stayed together but we went back to being a three man area. The other two missionaries that were with us left and a missionary from my MTC district came in with us. So it's been pretty fun so far. I don't know if we'll stay a threesome very long or if we'll get emergency transfered or what. But that's what's going on here now. This is my 4th transfer in Man Su so it's starting to turn into a long time. All the places that I remember being green and "summery" are all dead and getting ready for winter. But it's ok. I like this area. I'm not complaining.
We also celebrated Thanksgiving this week. Because of all the army bases and other American families, all the missionaries get are assigned to a family that signs up to have us over and feed us. It's probably through the church because I'm pretty sure they're all members. So that was really fun. It felt like I was in America. I've learned that I'm grateful for three things: mashed potatoes, carpet, and being able to understand every word little kids say. Those were probably my favorite things from Thanksgiving this year. It was a good experience. I'm actually kind of glad I'll have another one in Korea. 
So here's another cool experience we had this week. One of our investigators, his English name is Richard, drinks coffee everyday. He said 5 cups a day. Well one day while we were meeting with him, he was saying how tired he was and that he needed coffee. So we explained to him that coffee is bad and showed him how it was almost controlling him. We told him to cut back to just one cup a day, and because he thinks we're the greatest thing to walk the streets of Korea, he said he'd do it. The next day he texted us and said that he only drank 2 cups that day and that he was still feeling fresh. He said he can feel power when he talks with us. Even on the phone. Haha. He's really funny. But he understands that his desires effect his actions and that if he has strong enough desires, he can do anything. It's really cool. He really wants to go to BYU so we talked about the tuition and being a member and all that and he seemed really interested. So I think we can get him baptized by the end of this year. That's kind of our goal. We'll see. I'm pretty excited about it though.  
Well that was pretty much our week. We're actually getting haircuts right now and it looks like my companion is about done, so I better go. Oh but I was talking to Elder Stanley a little while ago and he wants to do a musical number for our Christmas conference. By chance do we have any good Christmas music laying around? Either piano and cello or piano and vocals. Elder Stanley is good with whatever he said and I'll probably just stick with piano. So if you find anything please send it. Maybe by email. The sooner we get it the better. If not we'll just have to be creative. Anyway. That's my only request. Hopefully you have a good rest of your Sunday night and a good week. Talk to you later.
Love, Elder Dorius

Full view||Back to messagesHappy Birthday Mom!

I know it's a little early but I figured it's better to be earlier than later. Sorry it's not much. I spent a whole 5 minutes on it this morning haha. I'm still looking for a good gift so that might not come until Christmas. But hopefully you have a good day! Love you!
Elder Dorius
P.S. Also Happy Thanksgiving in a few days!

Six layers and still cold!‏

Hey everyone,
So grandpa and grandma are going to Kentucky?! That's exciting. I don't know anything about Kentucky but that should be fun. And that's cool Jill Christensen is going on a mission, but a little strange she's going to Temple Square. I didn't know they sent people from Utah there. But sweet! By the way, in the latest General Conference Ensign, there's a picture of a couple sister missionaries at Temple Square and one is Korean. Win! Man everyone is going on missions. Have you heard of any other calls recently? Or any wedding announcements? Those seem to be pretty popular things but they've kind of slowed down lately.
What's the weather like in Utah right now? Because it suddenly got way cold here. We went out contacting last night and I literally wore six layers of clothes and was still freezing. We tried walking around to find good places but it seemed like the wind would just follow us everywhere we went. Good ole Siberian winds. I think it even made my brain cold because I kind of had a weird headache when we were on the bus ride home. It wasn't very fun. But whatever. That's just how it is sometimes.
This week has been pretty good. We had Stake Conference yesterday and it was a satilite broadcast from Salt Lake. So we heard from Julie Beck, Elder Perry, and President Monson. It was good. And they played a video they made at the MTC to show Koreans what goes on there and kind of what it's about. They interviewed a girl that was in my last area so it was cool to see her and to see some of the Korean districts. Our family is doing pretty good. We're still trying to get them to church. That's kind of our main focus right now. We've taught them quite a few things so instead of just keep teaching lessons, we decided to step back a bit, and let them talk so we could answer any questions they had and help resolve their concerns. It was pretty cool. We figured out that they had some questions about going to church with their kids. So we talked about primary and all the little classes and I think it made them feel a little better. The mom even said it sounds fun. So I felt like it was a good lesson, but they're still not quite committed to coming. We'll see. We pray for them a lot.  Our English class is starting to really take off. We had 10 people, including a couple members, come and we were able to divide it into three seperate groups according to the people's language abilities and interests. It was awesome. This is the best it's been for as long as I have been here. So that's really exciting. Some of the people even said they're going to bring a friend next time. Hopefully that will bring in a few more investigators.
That's pretty much the extent of this week. Transfer calls are tonight, but I already know I'll be staying with my companion. We're on this 12-week program thing for new missionaries and traniers so we'll have at least one more together. So that's not too exciting for me. We could have some changes in our house though so it's still a little exciting. I'll let you know what happens. Talk to you next week.
Love, Elder Dorius

Reply to volleyball question

NNNNOOOOO!!!! Curse you Morgan High School and your great outside hitter!! But that's sweet Parker's going to play for BYU. I guess that's kind of my school now so I shouldn't be so distraught about Snow Canyon.

O Babylon, O Babylon‏

Hey everyone,
Wow. You guys would ditch out on going to the temple with your friends to go see Phantom of the Opera. I'm not even surprised considering all the "good times" you've had since I've been gone. Well here's a cheery little tune for you guys: "O Babylon, O Babylon, we bid thee farewell. We're going to the mountain of Ephraim to dwell."
But really. I'm super jealous. One of my companions loves musicals and everyday we sing songs from Phantom and Les Mis and Wicked. I would have much rather heard all about the nice warm weather of St. George. I think I would've been less jealous of that. It suddenly got really cold here. We all had to pull out our sweaters last night and I'm wishing I put mine on again today. We've had awesome weather lately and the fall has been beautiful so I'm mad that winter had to come so suddenly. That's fun you guys got to hang out with Eva. Did you learn any more Korean? Haha. I had some time this week to sit down with some of the piano music you guys sent me. Holy cow. It's awesome. I had forgotten how fun it was to just sit down and play some new music. I wish I had more free time to do that. The other missionary that likes musicals is really good at the piano too and had some music he's picked up here so we made some copies for each other. It was way fun. I've also learned a few new card games since being in a four man house. To say the least, we have had some fun. Most of us have pretty similar interests so we all get along together well and like doing things together. It's been pretty good.
This week hasn't been too bad. Our investigator family wasn't able to meet this week. We usually meet them on the weekends but it was their anniversary on Saturday and they had something else going on Sunday. So that was a bummer. We've been planning on inviting them to be baptized too so I really wanted to meet them and try to get them committed to being baptized. We've been doing quite a bit of advertising for our English class and actually had a couple new people come out. They don't seem to have tons of gospel interest right now but it's at least a couple new faces. We had zone conference this week. That was good. As usual. Every zone conference they celebrate all the missionaries' birthdays since the last conference. That was me. And 44 other people. It's always good to know you're just another drop in the bucket. But our president's wife made a little cake for all the missionaries who had a birthday, so that was nice. We've still been searching out for less actives. That's a pretty popular activity since we're a little low in the teaching pool. Luckily our bishop has been giving us some people to focus on and help. In fact just last night he called us and asked us to visit a sister in the hospital who had asked for a blessing. The bishop was out of town so he told us to visit this morning and give her a blessing. It was a good experience. It's super tough to give blessings in Korean but it seemed like that was what she needed. So even though we're not raking in the baptisms, I feel like we're still fulfilling our purpose by helping our members and less actives follow Jesus Christ.
Oh and Danielle was so kind to remind me of my one year mark. Thanks! It's pretty exciting. Our group is getting together next week to have a party. Pretty soon I'll be on the downhill. It's hard to think about that. So maybe I'll try not to for now. Well I think that's all I have. Between this and our other back and forth conversation I think I'm good. Oh wait. I just remembered one other thing. How did Snow Canyon's volleyball team do this year? Did you guys follow that at all? I was kind of curious to hear how they did. Ok. That should be it. I'll talk to you guys next week.
Love, Elder Dorius