Sunday, July 30, 2017

Week 53: Turn left

We walked to a high point in a village just off of town, but the lady at the top wouldn't even hear our music : (
Discover Goats
Bleat and Bray
Strong spirit, but weak... nothing  Goats are too good
Stop the Problem
Turn Left
The proof is here

Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo it was a pretty good week. We got an AC. I'd like to send a shoutout to President Sonksen. 

In other news, there's not a whole lot so I can just tell y'all about the best decision I've made as a missionary. 

See once upon a time it was Saturday morning and time to plan for another day. We had streetboarding in the evening and English class in the afternoon, so all we had left to plan was the morning. As we were thinking, all I could think was, "Go to Hoengseong." And since there was nothing, we had time to go to Hoengseong. 

What we all need to understand about 횡성 is that in 횡성 there is nothing. Well there's a little. There's even a copy of Shannon Hale's Princess Academy in one of the local libraries. But anyway, there is very little in the way of population. So we get there about half an hour after we planned to, due to some delayed buses and people on the street. So we have to hurry and grab lunch at the Isaac Toast

In Isaac Toast we have a nice conversation with some Sri Lankans, but otherwise lunch is uneventful. However, this is the setup to the best decision. Because as lunch ends, I'm left with a choice, do I turn right or left out of this restaurant. 

The right road is oh, so appealing, with its faster route to the library I'll study Korean at, and the chance to walk by the 횡성 bus terminal. However, as the subject line and my Discover poem state, I turned left. 

Upon turning left, we passed a bus stop, with a decent number of people, and there's one college-aged kid who looks like he'd be great to proselytize to, but before I can even pull out a sticker to offer him, he looks up at us and this kid's face just lights up. He walks up to up, and says, "Hey Elders! I was just on the way to your English class!"

It turns out that about seven months earlier a couple of missionaries in California had had the same idea as me (at least concerning proselytizing to this kid) and had baptized him. And now he had moved back to his hometown to become the newest member of our little Wonju Branch. And he's such a nice man. He helped the other elders with a lesson after church yesterday and everything. I love Im YoonSup.

Turning left is turning out pretty good for us so far, but it's about to get even better with what happens after we stop talking to Yoonsup and keep moving along our way to the library. 

We ran into Brother Pan! Like not even a meter away! And he was nice and didn't hate us!

Disclaimer: I don't know if I mentioned this, but about last transfer Brother Pan went mad less active because of many reasons, and now is not really a fan of any church-related things or people.

But now it's slightly better! He was with his daughter and they were just going out for a fun day together. It was sweet, and while we didn't talk much, I can tell he's doing better than he was before. Not that he'll come to church, or even meet with a missionary anytime soon, but I think one day he'll be ready to come back. 

And that's about it. There could be more, but I want to finish this email. So. Yeah. Best wishes!

Elder Newton

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Week 52: Pioneer children sang as they walked and walked and walked and walked and walked

Discover Jump-rope
Hop & Scotch
tense focus but slacked string
Stop the problem 
Set the table
The proof is continental drift 

Hi everyone! This is a normal week with no milestones at all.* So no one has to freak out and say blasphemous things about Elder Newton going home one day. Elder Newton lives in Korea and will not leave.

So yeah, now that we have that out of the way for next week, let's go into the weeeeeeeeeeeekkkkkkkkk 

*excited cheering in the distance*

See, they were cheering about something going on far away. It's not actually about my email. Because it takes time for sound to travel, ya know?

*Different excited cheering. Also in distance*

OK, that one might be for the email.

(I don't know what all that was. I'm sorry. A year in Korea does things to ya)

Anywhoooooo, I was pretty busy this week. There was a less-active youth to meet, a potential investigator who really wants to meet, so we set up like three appointments, but it never quite worked out. But it's OK. We also taught our Mongolian member (who's back in Korea for a bit. See some previous email) some Korean. We teach him semi-regularly now, and he's working to get his Mongolian roommates to come so they can meet the missionaries. Isn't he the best? Member missionary work is good.

But also besides that there wasn't a lot this week? There was only one picture for me to share, and I forgot my camera, so we'll shove that to next week.

Oh by the way we got our new district member. We would have gotten two, but Sister Cheon broke her toe real bad, so she went home. Now we don't have sisters for a transfer. We cleaned out their house. It was very nice and clean. Also it had an air conditioner. 

But yeah, our new kid is Elder Bond. He's chill. He's in his third transfer. Very nice. I like him. He speaks Chinese a bit. I will learn maybe.

And yeah, that is news. Oh yeah, also I conducted the music in sacrament meeting. It was stressful. But it was OK. I have to do it all transfer now. So that's cool. Next week we have Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd, though.† So that is scary. Oh well. That is officially all I think. Byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Best Wishes,
Elder Newton
* Check the subject line. 
† A hymn in 6/8 time. Mom sent a video to demonstrate how to do this.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Week 51: In which Elder Newton was assigned to Pocatello

My Korean father is the best. It's great not moving
Discover Script
Click and Clack
One line but 12 rewrites
Stop the Problem
Set the lights
The proof is harvest

So this week was Music Night. And that's about all I worked on. I wrote a script for it, and we made stage directions, and I had to learn how to relate a story involving a blown-away hip in Korean. It was intense, and also took up literally all the time. Except Thursday. We went to the Han River on Thursday. But it was far, and then that afternoon we did more music prep. 

Also I learned this week that Kangwondo (why does Korean look this way in English I swear) is the Idaho of Korea. It's big, there's not a lot of people, and the rest of the country makes potato jokes about it. But the potatoes are good. Like all McDonald's in Korea use our potatoes. Also for snacks after church on Sunday we had potatoes. It was amazing. 

Also we made banana bread for Music Night.

Music Night was so good though, you don't understand. It was also so much stress. Things are good now that it is not a thing we have to plan. 

So it was all about pioneers and the history of the church, because it's July and whatnot. I think I'll just send the script we made. It explains things better. But you'll have to wait until next week, because I did not download it. 

But the best part by far was member involvement. Like Old Branch President Kim played some clarinet duet, and also told us the pulpit in the chapel could become a stage. My mind was blown. Then we had a sister in the branch who played harmonica. And she was mad good. But even better than that, was because she played, she was able to invite her less-active family and her nonmember husband. And they had a great time. They also brought her nephew or some sort of relation, and he was the cutest thing of my life. 

Oh yeah, and then transfer calls came, and I wasn't transferred. So that was a good day. 

Then on Sunday we had the Mongolian member come. He's nice. Translating is still hard. But the member who just moved to America and then came back for a few months gave a talk that was pretty understandable. So that was nice.

Best Wishes,
Elder Newton

Elder Lee is good at district meetings and English, we promise

That's another mission. We had a picnic here. We kind of had to. The town out here is so small it didn't even have a convenience store that could charge my transportation card. But it did have a post office

Munmak is pretty

Look we're so happy

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Week 50 bonus photo post: My favorite place in the world

The front
Right side
Left side
And a Korean typewriter wow

Week 50: 🎶It's Christmas in July🎶

Discover Heart 
Bump and Beat
Adult Perspective But Childlike Innocence
Stop the Problem
Paint it Blue
The Proof is Christmas

So this week things happened, but nothing this week was better than Saturday morning so here we goooooooooooooooooooooooo

So our area is huge out here in the good old GangWon Province. And there are not many people. Especially on the edge. But we had nothing to do Saturday morning, and so we went to Munmak. It's like an hour bus ride. And there are no people. Their whole market is like five tents. Or maybe it's bigger? But I only saw a few tents.

But the point is, we decide to wander and proselytize still. It's what we do. And then we stumble upon a heaven on Earth. Like as I stood there, I wondered if I would be Zioned up and translated into Heaven.

It was a coffee shop (Oh that's why we weren't translated. The dang coffee).

It was not just any coffee shop, though. It was Munmak Christmas. It was completely decked out. (See pictures.) There was even a K-Drama* filmed there. I assume for a Christmas special. Fun Fact: It was the first cafe in Munmak. That was just three years ago. Isn't that insane?

So yeah, we go in, and there's no one there but us and the owner, who is definitely one of my top 10 favorite Koreans of all time. We talked to him for like an hour and a half. All through language study, companion study, and kind of a sudden lesson. 

So yeah, the heart poem is actually all about a discussion we had about a painting he had up. His granddaughter drew it. You can kind of see it in one of the pics (It's Where's Waldo).

And yeah. It felt so Christmas, and also he sold bagels for only $3 which is mad cheap around here. So I had my first bagel in ages. 

And yeah, it felt like Christmas. I was able to talk about it again in the middle of July. The guy started the shop because he knows everyone always remembers their Christmas memories. Isn't he so pure? I want to be him. If I take anyone to Korea we're visiting him. 

And the best part is that at the end when I offered him a Book of Mormon —

By the way,  he has a wall stock full of books (including "The World Is Flat") that he has read all of. They're books from his home —

Anyway he said he'd read a little before. He studied with missionaries in the ’80s. Isn't that cool? 

And I'm out of time soon. So here's pics from not Christmas Shop.
This is the sunset under which I got the other team a new investigator while on exchanges
This is Munmak. So much rice. Later I will rant on how there are too many rice words
My language is hard. No one uses this word. But also they do. I swear to King SeJong
Best wishes,
Elder Newton

* Apparently the name of the K-drama is 여동생을 구해주세요 which Google Translate tells me is "Save Your Sister." Unfortunately I was not able to find information on this drama on IMDb. I'll keep trying.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Week 49 bonus photo post

Bandabi gets Mike Wazowski'd

Sometimes I take pictures of my cooking

Pokemon Go!

Aesthetics on the bus

It's a ha

Week 49: In which Elder Newton sings to a Seventy

My Discover Poem from two weeks ago. Now it's Korean
So yeah, other stuff happened this week, but everyone will want to know about the Seventy*, so we'll get on that.

So first off it was an all-day meeting. (Not counting when he came to church on Sunday too.) Getting to and from Gangneung is an ordeal. But it's a pretty ordeal. 

So the meeting is amazing, and I forget everything as I'm sitting here typing this. Elder Choi went off for a long time on eternal marriage and the purpose of companionship. I learned a lot about the purpose of full-time missionary work, and why I need to be doing this and not only member missionary work. 

But we'll fast forward to the part where we sing to Elder Choi.

So at one part of the meeting Elder Choi does a demonstration by singing with his wife for us. It was very pretty, and so afterward he asked for volunteers to come up and sing with their companions. 

Naturally no one raised their hand.

So I'm sitting there in this grand predicament. What do I do? I like singing, but I also know my companion will not like me if I do this. But also we are just sitting in silence. But Elder Saguinsin is tone deaf. But like, he's still all right at singing. And Sister Choi/Gu said that we would have our mouths filled if we volunteered ourselves earlier. 

And so, like any good Elder Brown would do, I shot my hand into the air.

So we get up, and it turns out it was all a trap, and I actually had to do a proselyting roleplay. And it would be a couple.

Disclaimer: Proselyting to couples is very difficult and never works.

But we did it, and they told us to offer to sing to them. And so we sang "I Am a Child of God" and taught gospel truths.

So that was cool. 

And yeah, there are pics in another email. Hold tight.

Best Wishes,
Elder Newton
* Elder Yoon Hwan Choi of the Asia North Area Presidency