Monday, October 16, 2017

Week 64: The Boys Are Back in Town

Because Elder Newton was short on time this week and was unable to send a photo of himself with his "new" companion, enjoy this very first photo of him and Elder Pulsipher taken on July 28, 2016, the day after they entered the Missionary Training Center.
Discover Server
Click and Crash
Simple circuit but complex fallout
Stop the problem
Lettuce Leaf 
The proof is Crunch

Goooooooooooooooooooood Morning John, it's Tuesday! Why is it Tuesday?* I dunno really, all I know is something worked out that way. Sorry to leave you all waiting, but the good news is I got to make that joke. Never would have done that otherwise on my mission. 

So yeah, "Welcome to Gangneung" as they say around here. And by they, I mean the Seventh Day Adventist whom we met on the street my first day here. He was a nice man. Elder Pulsipher says we see him around sometimes. 

Speaking of the man, it's good to be back. I always wanted to be with the man out here, but it was a bit of a joke. I guess if I've learned anything out here, it's that if you have a joke wish for the Lord, he will grant it 99% of the time. I'm glad this was one of them though. Elder Pulsipher has eaten a lot of meat so far, a little disappointing, but this week while grocery shopping we only got vegetables, so it looks like we'll have to slowly ease him into the veganism. Oh, who am I kidding? The man could never be vegan, he's used 11+ eggs in the last two meals he's eaten. I love him. 

Oh my goodness I'm getting ahead of myself, I didn't tell you about my last full day in Wonju. It was so mad rushed. 

So we start at home for personal study and run out the door at 10 to catch the next bus to Munmak because heaven knows I'd never leave Wonju without getting one last bagel at the Christmas Cafe. We went well, and it turned out Elder Bond had the same thought, so we ended up having all 4 missionaries doing companion study in a Christmas Cafe in the middle of nowhere. 
Unfortunately we couldn't stay long, because we had to run to the other middle of nowhere, our beloved HoengSeong, for an appointment. Somehow we made it in a little under an hour and a half and got to say goodbye to our investigators up there. I also got pictures with my favorite rice field and some bread shaped like a cow. (It's the closest to 횡성 beef I'll ever have. It had blueberries and cream cheese in it)

It's me eating my cow-shaped treat

We couldn't stay too long though, because we then had to rush to the center of somewhere to see one of my favorite investigators of all time. He lives right above the main market just by the church. He gave us great snacks, which we shared with his pet cat who had been a kitten when I first got transferred to Wonju. I played him some clarinet as a parting gift and he talked about how much he had learned from missionaries. Also he said he felt we were his true friends, and man was I touched. 

But wait, there's more. Right after him, we started off yet again to our member-referred investigator who is such a humble man. He made us dinner (which he really shouldn't have) but it was delicious and also got us the dinner we didn't have time for in our plan. 

Then I had the hardest goodbye of all when we went to the church to meet Old Branch President Kim and his family to give back his clarinet. (For the record, the hard goodbye was with them, not the clarinet.) He had just gotten back from a vacation with his family, and he felt oh so bad that he couldn't feed us before we left. He gave us a bajillion snacks though, and Sister Jung (his wife) almost had him order us a pizza. They're such a good family. We talked for a bit, but it was late and so he drove us home so I'd have more time to pack. 

And yeah, the point is I love Wonju. 

But back to Gangneung. The members are great here too, and the recent convert is one of the coolest people of all time. He's an English major and so far he's taught me about syntax and multicultural conflict resolution. 

Also when I gave my talk in church this Sunday, there was an audible gasp when I subtly mentioned the whole vegetarian thing. It was rather funny actually. I'll have to explain the branch here later though, because I'm low on time.

Best Wishes,
Elder Newton
* There was a churchwide email server problem Sunday night, which was Monday — Elder Newton's preparation day — in Korea. His mission president kindly allowed the affected missionaries to email their families the next morning.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Week 63 bonus photo post: Chuseok

Chuseok is the Korean harvest holiday. It's roughly equivalent to the Thanksgiving we celebrate in the United States and Canada. Because so many people go out of town, leaving no one for the missionaries to teach, President and Sister Sonksen held conferences in Seoul during this time. Elder Newton got to see many friends who are serving in different areas. He also got to see the new stake center in Seoul and learn some fun Korean games. Unfortunately, he didn't take any pictures there, but he did share some views of Wonju during Chuseok:
The Empty Market

You don't understand

It's always so packed

But there was no one

Week 63 photo post: Scenes from a hike

Elders Bond, Saguinsin and McKinnon set out on their hike ft. lens flare
Elder Newton took many pictures of these birds
Helpful interpretive sign
Elder Newton's mother has no idea how to align photos properly on Blogspot

Week 63: I can't express myself in English at this point, let alone Korean

Elder Newton representing the Welsh dragon on a hike.
Discover Wonju
Sprawl and Spread
Strong Individual but Shared Challenges
Stop the Problem
Tug the Rope
The Proof is Disease

There is no way to put my feelings for this place into words to be honest. Even the Discover Program is failing me in expressing even a — goshdangit I'm far too sappy. It's a good thing we had conference so I had to skip a final talk in Wonju. I would have been a mess.

Anywhoooooo I got transferred. That doesn't happen a lot. Honestly I hope you all understand it's weird for a missionary to be with a companion for more than one or two transfers and an area for more than three or four. I think I'm just stubborn and would refuse to move.

But anyway, we had a great week out here. There was no time for anything, so review is easy at least. Tuesday we cleaned our whole house all day. Then Wednesday was P-Day and we hiked all day, but we went to the highest mountain. There was a Texan there. I am still sore. There are lots of pictures though.

On Thursday we went to Seoul. I took basically no pictures there. Sorry. But we had a great time with the other missionaries. I had lunch with Elder Horne and we had some cool games. The new stake center is huge. Yeah, it was just fun day. 

And of course this weekend was great. Conference is amazing. The only downside was old Branch President Kim was on vacation so no one was there on Saturday. ㅠㅠ We had nice snacks though?

Also transfer calls came like a half-hour early. We couldn't even start our Pizza Party. But it was still fun.

And yeah Sunday was mostly just conference and being with the part of the branch that showed up to conference. Saw a couple miracles on the street last night with investigators or just people I like to meet on the road (I've been here so long I even have those) whom I was able to say goodbye to. 

And yeah, by the way I'm getting transferred to 강릉 so that is super sick. My new area contains the entirety of the Olympic Proceedings, and you'll never guess who my new companion is. That's right. It's Elder Pulsipher.†
Elder Newton and Elder Pulsipher in Provo, back in the day
I think I have to re-vegan him. And yeah. That's it I guess?

Best Wishes, 
Elder Newton
† Elder Newton's companion in the Missionary Training Center.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Week 62 photo post: So this is (kinda) what Bird School looks like

This does no justice but the place is literally nestled in the mountains like a 20-minute bus ride past the Christmas Cafe

They all have little English words of inspiration on the buildings

It's so wide open spaces

Also I exist (ft. Elder McKinnon)

Me observing my Avian Kingdom

And just basking in the glory ft. Tie Flip

The gates are so epic

It's just so glorious

If it weren't for other missionaries we'd have no pics of me (ft. Elder Saguinsin)
It's us wow

Look at that Hoengsung sunset
We found a good study place

Week 62: An Overdue Picture Challenge

Discover Chain
Rally and Rushing
Ripped Tide but Bound Cause
Stop the Problem
Hold Your Breath
The Proof is articulate

So that was based off the only session of #GenCon I've heard so far. It was amazing and I listened to this talk at least five times. Maybe six. I'm not sure

Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut we have no time so here's some random, but cool pics Mom requested to go along with other things I sent or something.
This cat was in the most random alley and just sat like that for the whole time. Wow

When missionaries run low on food we eat things like rice spaghetti for lunch. It's by the Book of Mormon for extra blessings

This one is also an animal, but it's a pen of pigs in a basketball court in front of a meat stand. It's not common in Korea, but it felt a little Korean

In order to make up for the lack of public transportation or my door (I think I lost those ones, but I think I've sent them in the past) have a smiling almost black-and-white 혜지

Also these lanterns are still mad aesthetic
And ummmmmmmmmmmm we had exchange. I found a college similar to Bird School not too far from the Christmas Cafe, which just means I have more reason to move to Munmak. And also on the way there we ran out of money on our cards so we had to pay for our ride with bills and long story short we ended up with 37 100-won coins in tow. But one was from 1998* so it was chill. 

And yeahhhhhhhhhhh that's it!

Love you all!

Best Wishes,
Elder Newton
* The year Elder Newton was born.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Week 61 photos: A trip to the beach

At the beach with Brother Kim and a bunch of other people

I can see Japan from this beach! (Not really, it's too far away)

I wasn't here, but it's pretty (📷: Elder Bond)

I stopped making silly faces too early

We taught Jasmine English again. Except she's fluent. So we just told her about eternal families. She lives in Seoul now
I love art

Post this on social media and I think you can get something cool

I (no joke) have been going to HoengSung since this rice was planted. It's about harvest time now