Monday, April 23, 2018

Week 92 bonus photos: Cherry blossoms and Gangneung

This message was still up when Elder Newton went to Gangneung (I assume in the missionary flat)

Week 92: Three Areas in One Week

A view from Gangneung
Discover Road
Curve and Crest
Winding paths but straight lines
Stop the Problem
Sever the Line
The proof is defenestration

The district (we're split up now but it's OK)
We started off the week by sending the sisters off and heading to DongHae for district meeting. It was my last chapel of the district, so I felt very accomplished. We had pizza with my Son and Elder Steward. (Sadly, neither are pictured. We'll do better for next week.) It's really green out on the coast. But Taebaek still has cherry blossoms because we're chill.

Then we had a quick one-day break and sent me off to Gangneung for exchanges. It was a good time. I met my old English class at the college, and then studied syntax with Joon and tried to write my talk for Sunday. That was fun. We also had pizza with all the young adults in the 강릉 branch. It was a good time with a lot of half word. Well, they said it. The missionaries were all ing it up. 
Joon and Elder 허! It was a good time at the college. There was a 소주 bottle floating in the fountain. Also a lot of drinking games on the lawn (not pictured)
이창! We kept on running into him this week. He bought us a lot of Ice Cream
I also may or may not have bought ₩4,000 worth of ice cream in really small amounts of change because ice cream bars are really cheap out there. Good stuff.

We went on a walk with Sister Lee and 예은 to end exchanges. It was one of the best member visits of my life
Well that's the three areas really. So we made the whole email! Yayyyyyyy O guess we have time for something else.

Oh yeah, now that there's just the two of us, the number of things we have to do for sacrament meeting has gone way up. Elder O'Brien is relearning the piano, I conduct, break the bread for the sacrament while he plays the hymn, and this week I even had a 25-minute talk. It would have been shorter, but a member forgot to come to church (it's OK though, we love him) and the only other speaker was our Primary child. We lucked out that he spoke for an entire 5 minutes. 

But yeah, the topic was the Book of Mormon, so in a stroke of laziness and genius I decided that during the week instead of working on my talk, I'd devote personal study to finishing the Book of Mormon. So I've finished it yet again. I just spoke on what I learned in this most recent reading and added a few stories for time. It worked out really well actually, because I may or may not have been finishing it up right before church.

Maybe I'll send a copy home, but it's all in Korean. I didn't really have time for an English draft for this one. Whoops. Just know I gave Mom a shout-out for Harry Potter Time. That should be sufficient.

Best Wishes,
Elder Newton

Monday, April 16, 2018

Week 91 bonus photos: A Sunday Evening of Tracting in the Cherry Blossom Wilderness

View from a rest stop in one of the other missions (Elder Newton and Mom weren't online at the same time, so an explanation will have to wait until next week)

Week 91: And Then There Were Two

Elder O'Brien
Discover 쌀국수
Cramped but Quaint 
Chill Rain but Warm Restaurant
Stop the Problem 
Clear up the Misunderstanding
The proof is Pizza

I like aesthetics

Elder O'Brien and his glasses

Well, we've had an exciting week. We've bought Elder O'Brien glasses and sent a package to his home. Both of which got us some cool potential investigators, or at least nice friends in the post office and glasses store. If we keep this up, we'll know all the shop owners in 태백

Our fearless zone leaders

Empty chairs at (not so) empty tables where my friends will eat no more
We also had to go to Seoul though. It was the worst except for the bus ride going through the one corner of Wonju's area I never really went to. That was great. We also showed up to Seoul about the same time as our zone leaders, so we got dinner together at a really quaint Thai restaurant. Good memes and special made vegan food were had. 

President Sonksen had an old photo book out (ft. Soohorang and Bandabi)
Also President Sonksen has the best house. We got to stay in the General Authority room, and I think I had the best shower since my last trip to a 목욕탕

Old Wonju missionaries (l-r Bond, Newton, Saguinsin, Lee, Horne)
As for our mission conference, it was a good time to see old missionary friends, watch some Netflix, and get some Korean cultural appreciation. Y'all should really watch "Korea From the Air" or whatever it is we watched. It persuaded me to move here forever. 

We liked the old man in the PC room
As for the rest of our lives though, it was pretty normal once we got back to Taebaek. We saw some nice people and did service. Started the farm at the church. Also we made a new friend from the phone. They live in Gangnam now, but they like to call us for English questions. They're really good at English though, so the questions are like, "What's the difference between 'get,' 'make' and 'have'?"

Sunday was good. A 녹번 member who served here randomly showed up. He's really cool. He had pictures from when the branch president's daughter got baptized.

The Pond
But our sisters have been sent off to Seoul, so now it's just me and Elder O'Brien in charge of this vast expanse of Korean countryside. Also five meetings at church every week. And we lost our piano players. So Elder O'Brien needs to relearn hymns again. I don't know how the sacrament will work, but we'll figure it out. 

On the bright side, we've combined districts with 동해 so I will finally be able to go to that church. My son is there right now too, so it's all a party. 

That's all the time we have for today though, folks. Hope you're all doing well!

Best Wishes,
Elder Newton

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Week 90: Cherry Blossoms Up a Storm

Cherry Blossoms at the 강릉 chapel
Squeeze and Squidge
Bland in itself but Spicy Dish
Stop the Problem
Don't get the medium
The proof is Droopy 

I just knew those balloon animal skills would come in handy someday
So, Easter Party was really good. I think my definition of a successful party has changed a lot as I've slowly moved to smaller and smaller church units, though. I think we had about 10 people there? 12? It made the Easter egg hunt really fun though, because all the adults participated too. We did that, an egg spoon race, and a special musical number ft. arrangements by Sister Cho. Then we switched into birthday party mode for our young woman. We got her ramen she likes and a sick Disney Princess notebook. It was a good time. We even had three investigators there, which was gr90^^ (I think we have pics)

​I think it was snowing at this point? It wasn't a lot, but it did pile up on the mountain outside our house a little
On Tuesday I don't think there was much. English class? We did get a random call from someone asking about why we don't have crosses on our church. Also if we celebrate Easter, and what our traditions were. It was nice to have someone be curious. 

The weather was just darn nice
Wednesday we went to Gangneung. It was the prettiest bus ride of my life since my transfer in the fall. Spring is so pretty, dangit. And Taebaek is so cold that we haven't had any yet, but the lower elevation has cherry blossoms up a storm. It's so pretty. No pics though. So you'll have to come here now or next year. 

Oh yeah, the meeting. It was good. President Sonksen spoiled conference, and my training went well. I hope they understand I wasn't telling them necessarily to study Korean Sign Language, but more to find fun language study things for them. Also I talked about spiritual gifts, and why we receive them. #D&C 46:9

Getting ready to watch the broadcast from Salt Lake City (on delay)
Then time went on untillllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll Conference! It was insane. We went on exchanges with Sister Fryer, which was weird. Also it snowed that day. But it was sunny at the same time? I dunno. We had super spicy 떡볶이, but it was delicious. But wow, it was spicy. 

Snack break
Also we made tortillas up a storm because apparently all you need is flour and water? I should have known this years ago. But it's chill. The members liked our tacos. Also the other conference snacks we made and/or bought. Sister Kim really liked the bag of chiplike things we found. The bag was the size of a small child. We barely dented it, even after eating it for two days straight.

Also the kids played with Sister Fryer's hair at lunch
Also we had a little miracle on Sunday. The morning session had just started when one of our investigators walked intp the church. We had told him about conference at the Easter party, but he didn't really seem like he would come. But there he was, in the flesh. He said Sister Lee had invited him, so he came. He even paid attention and everything. Or so I hear. He was in the Korean room. 

But yeah, that's a vague view of the week. I hope you all had a good time with whatever you did. I don't know what it was, but I'm sure it was nice. Good job. 
OK, this is hilarious. Ask your nearest Korean why. Or me. (It's because 노잼 [No-Jaem] is slang for no fun. But in English it sounds like No Jam. So yeah. Good Stuff.) We saw it on the wall when we were tracting.

Best Wishes,
Elder Newton
Pic of me from a bit ago, that explains my personality

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Week 88: I continue to request no #GenCon spoilers I don't care how cool it was

The missionaries with a local resident who likes the missionaries
Discover Time Zone
Rotate and Reveal
Day early but week late*
Stop the problem
Boil the Egg
The proof is life
Time Zone

Well it's been a fun time. It's just the two of us out in Taebaek now. And the sister missionaries. And the 10 members. But yeah. We've had a pretty fun week. It's flown by though. One second it was Tuesday afternoon singing to Elder Martinez in the 연못 and next thing you know it's Saturday and Sister Fryer's greenie, Sister Cho (not pictured), is arranging a clarinet accompaniment for our Easter Party Song. 
Sister Lee's tribute to Elder Martinez

We're still working on cleaning Brother ___'s house. It's a pretty long-term task, but since his house has so much stuff we got a couple old things he doesn't need. Elder O'Brien got a new chair and I got a Korean typewriter. It just needs a new ink roll. Neither of these things are pictured though. Whoops. I should have titled the email "Not Pictured"
Easter invitation for the church members

Ummmmmmmmmm we also picked up Sisters Cho and Fryer from the bus terminal to take her bags
to their house. It's on the other side of town, but only a 20-minute walk. Good stuff. 
View of Taebaek from the station

Other than that, we spent a lot of time consolidating teams. We had to move all the data from the old phone to ours and also try to meet some of the other team's investigators. Also ours. There's a lot to do. 
The monk and the bridge had matching outfits

Ummmmmmmm. Yeah. I dunno. The zone leaders called last night and asked me to give some training at zone conference about language study. I don't know who fooled them into thinking I was good at language study. Like I can speak Korean and conduct church meetings and the like, but my language study is the most random thing of all time. 

Let's give you a rundown of the things I've focused on in language study for the last year or so:

Writing Poetry
Korean Handwriting
Random Grammar Forms sometimes
Drawing Pictures of Vocabulary I learn (also in random spurts)
Korean Sign Language
A Korean Journal to myself because I'm bad at my English one
Typing on a Korean Typewriter

But hey, it's a good time and somehow we're able to speak Korean.
Elder Newton loves the moon

As for something spiritual, on Easter morning I read Mormon 9, and verses 11-13 were really good. Since it's still Easter for you all, give it a glance. Have fun with your conference spoilers. I'll accept them next week.

Best Wishes,
Elder Newton
* Because of the 15-hour time difference (16 hours during the Standard Time months), Korea is usually a day ahead of Utah. Also because of the 15-hour time difference, church members in Korea don't watch the semiannual general conference live but wait until the next weekend to watch together.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Week 87: Broken Expectations

l-r Sister Lee, Sister Fryer, Elder Martinez, Elder O'Brien, Elder Newton, Elder Jin
Discover Trash
Hoard and Heap
Healed leg but a plethora of canes
Stop the Problem
Here, let me show you something
The proof is distraction

Well, as for this week, we did a lot of stuff I didn't think was possible before 태백. First we spent almost all of our day on Tuesday cleaning someone's house. It's not close to being done, but we at least cleared his counter and threw away his newspapers. Also found some spots we could vacuum. It was good. Our goal for the next transfer is to clean his whole house with the branch. 
l-r Soohorang, Elder O'Brien, BP's wife, Elder Newton, Elder Martinez, Elder Jin, Bandabi
Then on Wednesday we took our branch president's wife with us to 강릉 for zone conference. She really wanted to see Elder Gilmore. Also she wasn't a missionary so she was a little curious about everything that goes on. It was really fun. We toured the Helping Hands Center afterward. Now that the Olympics are done, there's almost no one at the station. It's fun. 
At the Helping Hands Center after zone conference

Oh, we also made tacos in Korea for one of the sisters in the branch. She's so nice. We had a good message about forgiveness. Huh, I think our only chance to teach this week was to members in member visits. That's fun. I guess we went back to a house we had tracted before and talked at the doorstep for a minute. It's a younger family, but the wife is always the only one home. Well, this time she had her daughter. She's so cute. When we knocked she asked who it was, and the mom said we were 오빠. Which means we're her older brothers. That was some real right there. 

"Members ft. A Pillar of Light"
Speaking of cute kids, we had our youth activity on Saturday and Sister Lee brought her niece. We put tape on the floor of the church and played a board game. But anyway, we were picking teams, and I went with one of the kids because he really wanted to be on my team. But yeah, he just ran up and hugged me, and the little girl saw me being hugged, so I guess she decided I was a hug-worthy person and ran over to grab my legs too. It was the most endearing experience of my life. 

But then that night was transfer calls DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNN
Elder Martinez with a shopping cart and an umbrella

It's chill though. Because I'm not leaving.* Big stress reliever there. There was still the stress of putting together Branch Council and writing a 20-minute talk for the next day, but at least one thing was off my plate. It all worked out because half the district was transferred. My 20-minute talk ended up only being 2 minutes. I still talked for about 10, but we're chill.

And yeah. Elder Martinez told us Mexican history at our farewell 식사 last night. It was nice. 
Last pizza in Gangneung for the transfer

Have a happy Easter and Conference! Remember not to send spoilers^^

Best Wishes,
Elder Newton
 * In response to Mom's questions, Elder Newton said: "Yeah, I'm in 태백 with Elder O'Brien. It's good. Sister Fryer is training and sending Sister Lee to 강릉. It's cool. Then the other team closed so Elder Martinez is going to be in 원주 and Elder 진 is going to 춘천."