Sunday, December 31, 2017

Week 75: Sunrise

Discover Sunrise
Break and Blind
Daily Event but Yearly Tradition
Stop the Problem
Kick the Sand
The Proof is Flipped

Happy New Year y'all! Out here we started off the New Year bright and early looking at the sun. It's a big thing out here. Try it sometime if you're out of grapes to stuff in your mouth. Luckily for us my companion didn't change this time, so we can skip over all that hassle and get to the other stuff. 

But also not much happened this week. We had a nice lesson on Wednesday? We used Christmas to lead into the Restoration. Maybe we'll talk about it someday by the fire with some hot choco.

Thursday was rushed with president interviews and then getting to Seoul. Also Facebook became a thing so that's weird. But yeah, President finally noticed that I've been here forever. He says I probably won't die here, but I think he doesn't know how down I am to move in to somewhere around here. 

Oh also we didn't ride it, but the super fast train is done now, so that's cool. The station is huge and also the church is renting space there for the Olympics as a Visitor Center thing. We're going to run it. It's so much pressure, but more on that as we get closer. The Olympics are one transfer away, but it's OK because now I can always say I served in the Olympic area during the Olympics. Weird. 

And ummmmm we had to go to Seoul and back? Nothing much happened, but we did it. Yay meetings. Sister Sonksen has the best breakfasts bt dubs. 

Ummmm, yeah. The weekend had an exchange in which I played clarinet to everyone from members in face masks to the owners of a pizza place by our house. It was fun. 

Oh well, I sent pictures this week, so we're all good now, right? Cool. Well then,  새해복 많이 받으세요~~~*

Best Wishes,
Elder Newton
* Receive many New Year's blessings. 
Bonus photos of a cool picture wall Elder Newton and his fellow missionaries ran into: 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Week 74 photo post

So we made seven boxes

And eight cookies

But then the numbers got too high so we just texted them scriptures

Also we had a sick Christmas party. If I ever get video I'll send it to you

Week 74: And So This Is Christmas

Me in Seoul with my PyeongChang scarf and greenie. Ain't it grand?
Discover Chick-fil-A
Explain and Expire
Sent early but received late
Stop the Problem
Make aging soup
The proof is arson

Merry Christmas everyone! This was a great week that you've seen most of already. I went through the temple which was simply fantastic and was then put on Facebook Live. I was #2kool4skool to wave, but nonetheless I existed and caroled in the middle of the Seoul with all my heart and soul. I'm hilarious. 
Elder Lee!

I took a pic of Elder Gilmore

Elder Remmington

Also Sister Sonksen continues to be an amazing cook and by this she remains an adequate substitute mother. She's the best actually. Everyone should meet her and play in her Big Band. 

But anywho we did eventually have to go back to our lovely Gangneung. We shared the Christmas Spirit by send referrals to missionaries because all our investigators are moving or going traveling. All of them. It's rather amazing, really. But it's OK, because there are other potential investigators and it's good practice for the Olympics.

As far as Christmas Eve is concerned, besides the fam and our mini concert, I had two great experiences. The first was during the sacrament hymn. We sang O God the Eternal Father and as we sang the last verse I felt especially drawn to the last line. I'll let you see it in English:
"And veiled the Lord in flesh,
To walk upon his footstool
And be like man, almost,
In his exalted station,
And die, or all was lost."

During this Christmas time I have to admit it wasn't all sleigh bells jingling and ring ding dingling too. It was great, and I was always doing my best to Light the World, but occasionally I didn't feel like I was partaking of the Light. But as I sang this and reflected, I realized something I've been testifying of all month: When we put the Savior as the center of our worship and celebration, our Christmas and our lives have more meaning. When we remember Him, and let his atoning sacrifice work in us, we can feel the true joy that I felt as I partook of the sacramental bread our little greenie Elder Alban blessed in our little church meeting in Gangneung. 

The next I found that night while preparing to carol to a less-active member. Seeing as most of you are on Christmas Eve yourselves, it seems fitting to send to you too. Unfortunately for you I typed it in Korean and don't have time to translate. I commend you all to find a Korean.* 

형제 자매 여러분 줗은 밤 보내고 계시죠? 오늘 경전 읽다가 제3 니파이 1:13 찾아봤습니다 
"네 머리를 들고 기뻐하라, 보라, 때가 가까이 왔으니 이 밤에 표적이 주어질 것이요, 내일은 내가 세상에 와서 내가 나의 거룩한 선지자들의 입으로 말하게 한 모든 것을 이룰 것임을 세상에 보일 것임이니라.
한 2000년 전에 크리스마스 이브에 예수 그리스도께서 이런 말씀 드렸는데 오늘 날도 그 말씀 기억하는게 중요합니다 이번 성탄절 기간 곧 끝난데 우리가 계속 예수님 왜 이 세상으로 왔는지 깊이 생각하면 좋을것 같습니다 

마치도록 몬슨 회장님의 말씀 인용해볼께요

"주님께서 오셨으므로, 우리 필멸의 삶은 의미가 있습니다.
주님께서 오셨으므로, 우리는 곤경에 처했거나 괴로움을 겪는 이들에게, 그들이 어디에 있건, 손을 뻗는 방법을 압니다.
주님께서 오셨으므로, 사망이 그 쏘는 것을 잃고 무덤이 그 승리를 잃었습니다. 우리는 그분께서 오셨기 때문에 다시 살 것입니다.
주님께서 오셔서 우리 죄의 대가를 치르셨으므로 우리는 영생을 얻을 기회가 있습니다.
주님께서 오셨으므로 우리는 오늘밤 그분을 경배하기 위해 형제애와 사랑의 결속으로 모였습니다.
소중한 주님의 영이 우리와 함께하시고, 그분이 우리가 축하하는 모든 것과 우리의 삶의 중심에 계시기를 그분의 거룩한 이름으로 간구합니다. 아멘."

메리 크리스마스!🎄🎅

Merry Christmas to you all, and to all a good night!

Best Wishes,
Elder Newton
* Or Google Translate.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Week 73: Music Practice and Doorstep Performances

So we found a stage at the college

It has weird pointy thing
Also aesthetic study spots are a thing

Discover Man
Grunt and Groan
Early Dawn but Late Start
Stop the Problem
The Proof is Meandering

I would like to warn all you prospective missionaries out there that you will perform music a lot more than you expect on your mission. The members just always want it. So we've been practicing as much as we can between exchanges and appointments all over the district. We're a mess, but our pieces are coming together nicely. We'll make sure to video our Christmas party performance. 

Also on Friday our boiler broke, so on Saturday we got to go to the public bath in the morning. It was pretty great. We met one guy who had come out here from Gangnam to stargaze. He was studying aerospace engineering, a word I will always be grateful to know. Shout-out to Elder Brown. 

And ummmmm oh yeah, so at night it's cold, and a bunch of our appointments fell through this week so we spent a few nights caroling with the clarinet. It's amazing how many people aren't into it, but it's OK, because there's always one or two people who let us in. My favorite was this little family we played for on our first night. We were a little surprised when they let us in to be honest, and putting the clarinet together takes a minute, so we played the Christmas videos we have on our phone. The little girl, she must have been 4 or so, just loved it. We gave them the link to find the other Light the World things and she just held the card and was like, "I wanna see!" and it was adorable. 

And that's about it from Gangneung. We're gearing up to go to Seoul right after this so we'll catch you up on the temple and such next time around. Merry Christmas!

Best Wishes,
Elder Newton
So we're doing fun things for a member who lives right by the church

Monday, December 11, 2017

Week 72: 'Last Jedi' Comes Out in Five Days and I'm Stuck in Korea?


Discover Applesauce
Bob and Bake
Simple concept but specific recipe
Stop the Problem
Short the Circuit
The proof is flabbergast

So this week has been fun. The world is being lighted one pie at a time. We baked some for our neighbors which was really fun. Then we wrapped a bunch of copies of The Book of Mormon to give to people yesterday. It was fun. I think I have a few pics

Our Book of Mormon activity
Elder Alban has been doing great. He's learning Korean so fast, and finding his voice as we teach and practice teaching. 

But yeah, Thursday was crazy. So we begin by meeting our investigator at the college. He's a 72-year-old studying philosophy, and we were just expecting him, but lo and behold he's brought a friend who's a very young woman. She had a picture of the Salt Lake Temple on her phone and everything. It was a rather surprising referral, and they were certainly a fun pair to teach. He kept on talking about really random stuff, and she was always trying to pull him back on track for the lesson. But yeah, little miracles. 

Our sandwiches, cut diagonally because of the Pythagorean theorem

After that lesson we taught our English class by making sandwiches. It was a good way to combine lunch into it, and at the end we got Astronaut Ice Cream from Maryland, which is my new aesthetic. 

And also because that day was kids day, we met up with the other Elders and gave balloon animals to the children who were getting out of school. They had a lot of fun with it. 

And I got Cheese 호떡 which was ₩2000 but so worth it
We had a pretty expensive lunch on Saturday, but it was totally worth it. We met a guy the other week and he knew missionaries from before, so he invited us to the grand opening of his restaurant.
Our Banana Bay restaurant from the outside
It's right near one of the famous beaches and it was really Christmas-y. I forgot to take pictures inside, but it's chill. The point is, he was really nice, gave us some free appetizers, and liked the note we gave him inviting him to church on Christmas. 

Sunday was also pretty great on account of our aforementioned Christmas activity and also there was a training meeting for the district at the church. This was already great because we were going to get a really good meal afterward, but the best part was that since it was a district activity Old Branch President Kim and Current President Jung came out. They even brought their kids, who, let me tell you, are just crazy.
Members on the ground
Also, I have realized I know a decent portion of the members out here. I think I've mentioned this before, but I'm basically a member of the Gangneung District. It's a great place to be, and I think I'd be perfectly OK dying out here and only going to Seoul for our temple trip next week.
Oh yeah! By the way, I've pretty consistently been calling Brother Kim since I came out here, and as I told him about our Christmas plans I mentioned we were in search of a clarinet. Well, since he was coming out here anyway, he offered his clarinet to lend again, and since we were having a hard time finding instrument stores, we took the offer. So now we have Brother Kim's clarinet in Gangneung. He seems happy because now no one will make him play for the Wonju Christmas things. He's so funny. And yeah, all the members saw him give it to me, so they made me take it out right away and play carols. They also said I have a lot of pressure for the Christmas party. So yeah. 

I'm back as a music missionary and it's Christmas. I guess we'll update you on our antics next week

Best Wishes,
Elder Newton

Sunday, December 3, 2017

The photos of Week 71

Fun lake

And beach studies
Elder Alban talked to old people in Korean
Also his first kimbap
Giving old ladies pie

Our activity

Week 71: Have a Bite of Fruitcake

This week has been quite the blast. But before we begin let's give a shout out to Sister 서 for her translation of this week's Discover poem. She thought it was weird but she did it anyway. What a trooper 

So yeah, this week started with me singing "Fruitcake" after losing in the Family Home Evening game, and it's just been increasingly Christmas-y since. Like we headed out near the Olympic stadium to give Elder Alban a taste of winter (he is so not ready) and met a really cool doctor we gave the Book of Mormon a few weeks ago and he's been reading it during his breaks at work. Isn't that cool?
The stadium

It's so pretty

District meeting was all about Christmas and Light the World. I love Lighting the World. We have little scratch-off calendars and I send a video to our lovely recent convert every morning. (I say lovely because he tends to read these emails)

Speaking of Light the World, on day one the other elders made a bunch of apple pie cake things and we took them downtown to give out to people. It was so much fun and we showed a bunch of people the New York vending machine thing which they all just died over. We even gave some pie to the street vendor by us. We'll try to get some pictures of that. We didn't get pictures of the kids who came by carrying a fridge past us mid activity. So you'll have to imagine three high school students trying to lug a big ol' 냉장고 and then some foreign missionaries running to help them cross the street and get the behemoth into a little restaurant. It was so fun. 

And yeah, we also accidentally walked into a bar which we thought was a quaint cafe on the Water day, and we got free tea. That was interesting. Almost forgot about that one. Ummmmmmmmmmmm yeah. Pics to come. Hope you light the world good!

Best Wishes,
Elder Newton

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Week 70 bonus photo post: Pics From the Annabel Lee Cafe

I got a muffin and not the famous Gangneung coffee

It's so cute

Next time we go I need to see the other floors

Look at our kingdom by the sea

I may have only gone because of the name