Monday, May 28, 2018

Week 97: Buddha's Birthday and District Activities

View from the train
Discover Elephant
Trumpet and Thump 
Long nose but Short Tail
Stop the Problem
Take the Train
The proof is sunburn

So it was Buddha's birthday last week. For P-day we celebrated by going to a waterfall and a nearby temple. There are pics, but I gotta steal them. So more on that later. 
Sleeping in the car
 On his actual birthday though we went to District Sports Day for the second year in a row. It was so good. The young adults in Gangneung (This phrase can either refer to the whole district or just the Gangneung branch. Pretty handy) were in charge. They really nailed it. We played a lot of 족구* and Taebaek won the big relay race at the end. It was intense. But no missionaries got injured this year, save some really nasty sunburns. (I was pretty OK, don't worry, Mom)

On the train
Also. Other memes happened. Oh yeah, we rode the train home. I love the train. 10/10 would recommend. Also because of that we figured out how to get to the biggest cave in mainland Asia or something. 

Then we had more memes. More pizza in Donghae with my son. I always have sweet potato pizza with cheese crust. It's a delight. 

Did we have more memes? Oh yeah, our English Class Member (she's kind of our investigator now, honestly. Like, we read the Book of Mormon with her at night, and half the time English class is just a member present lesson with her) was in charge of some festivals in the surrounding towns. We went both days to talk to people, and she really appreciated it. We also met a cool stamp guy, and I totally bought a personalized stamp. 

Random church
And yeah, Saturday we picked up trash in the beach in 강릉 so that took up the whole day. We couldn't even see our grandpa to remind him about church. Luckily Sister Lee was at the library Sunday morning and reminded him. Apparently he just got up and left his stuff at the desk because he was worried he'd be late for the meeting. 

He was half an hour early. 

And yeah, Sunday was really good, and finally less stressful. It all just went smoothly. Almost as smooth as Elder O'Brien's mango juice. We had some random visitors from Utah, and one of the visitors will be a senior missionary starting in July. She really liked the 강원도, but she's worried that since she's Korean she'll have to translate for other old people in the office. But she was fun. Apparently she owns a sandwich shop in Layton. 

And yeah, after sacrament meeting one of the members just went out back and set up the church farm in less than two hours. It was really impressive. Now we just need to water it, and have really good lunches at church.† I love Taebaek. No one would ever do this kind of thing in Utah. 

But that's about all. Love you all! Maybe we'll get some pics^^

Best Wishes,
Elder Newton
* As near as Mom can tell, it's some kind of soccer/tennis hybrid sport.
 † "We just pick what we need on Sunday. It's all simple things like peppers, tomatoes and lettuce. Also sesame"

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Week 96: Buses and Exchanges and the Like

Elder Newton still doesn't have a working camera, so enjoy this photo taken by Elder Boden last week that looks as if it could have been taken from a bus window.
Discover Dear
Address and Acknowledge
Simple greeting but personal meaning
Stop the Problem
Block the Sword
The proof is Discussion


So yeah. We've weeked it up out here. It was an entire week. Many things happened. 

We had district meeting again. The Donghae district is great. They're doing such a good job and they're all so fun. We missed our bus home. but the view was pretty. Sorry the camera is still dead. ㅠㅠ It's chill though.

Surprise! Elder Newton did take some pix with his phone after all. This is the border of Elder Newton's area and Donghae, as seen from a bus.
Something I've learned out here is pondering while on or waiting for buses. You spend a lot of time on them, and it's a situation where it's rather ineffective to study or call people. Sleeping is pretty effective sometimes, if we're being honest. I just don't fall asleep well on them. I mean often. Anyway, I've found that that time is best spent pondering. It's just such beautiful scenery to take in. I've definitely gained appreciation for the scenery. 

An apartment complex where the missionaries do some service

Same apartment complex, but different building and day
Really, I've thought of everything from my investigators, to members, to just the beauty of creation. It's one of the moments of missionary work that I won't get to experience as fully even if I come visit later. So you've got to appreciate it while it lasts. 

Also we had exchanges with the legendary Elder Mann. He served here for six transfers a bit ago, and he's the kind of missionary you just hear all these stories about. He would walk down the road and have a story about every single store and owner. He loved them all so much, and it was really good to see. It was a short time, so we just saw about half of the branch with him while he was here, but the strength of those relationships was so amazing. 
Some buildings outside the Donghae church

We had a lot of other cool things happen. He fixed a cane for a member, we committed an English Class member to read the Book of Mormon, and played billiards with the youth Saturday morning. Then Elder Mann went home and the aforementioned English class member drove part of the Go family, a less-active member and an investigator to a meeting in Donghae about youth conference. Then we watched Elder Renlund that night. 

Oh yeah, he was around. It was spiritual. He had a lot of good stuff. He talked about what we have to do to prepare for the second coming using parables in Matthew 25. Check it out sometime. 

Sunday went smoothly. I love it when that happens. I could report more, but we're low on time and I've been droning on. Sorry. 

See y'all later! (But not too soon)

Best Wishes,
Elder Newton
Elder Newton and Elder O'Brien wish you peace from the side of a highway

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Week 95: My Mom Is Really Cool

Special visitors from Wonju!
Discover Mom
Bear and Birth
English Language but Welsh Heritage
Stop the problem
Cut the Apple
The proof is choice

Well we've had some memes this week. 

What did we do?


Oh that's right, I had to spend a great deal of time at the church making the Taebaek Church History for last year. It was fun. Also hard, seeing as I wasn't there. It's OK, I just spent almost seven hours in the clerk's office on Sunday. It worked out though. 

We also saw the family. They still exist, if you weren't aware. 

Oh by the way, on Saturday I was waiting for the computer to load and found out how to proportion a balloon kangaroo. It's sick. I'll demonstrate sometime. 
The famous pond of Taebaek
Also Old Branch President Kim is still the best. I called him, along with our whole branch, to wish him a happy parents day. It was good. Then he said he was planning on visiting on Sunday. So it was great. He kept our sacrament meeting attendance not too low and then after the family conversationing we did some clarinet. Then I had to do clerk stuff and so his family looked around the Pond while they waited for that and the water to turn back on. Once that was done they came back and did the dishes and cleaned a bit even though everyone else was gone and they had a two-hour drive back home. They're the best. They also gave me fake meat to eat, which I thought was hilarious. 

And yeah. Those be the memes. Peace✌

Best Wishes,
Elder Newton
Elder Newton with his "Korean father" and a reunion of clarinets

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Week 94: We Say Goodbye to an Old Friend

The last photos my camera ever took

Pretty good sunset though
Discover Camera
Focus and Flash
Brief moment but lasting image
Stop the Problem
Run away
The Proof is Mint Chocolate Chip 

So my camera died this week. We don't really know what happened. But it got us a picture of the sunset before it died. A few minutes later it said there was a lens error and won't turn on ㅠㅠ

It'll be chill though, we still have companions and smartphones, so I'll try to take what I need. There'll be a lot to take pictures of this transfer. I might buy a new one, but I don't know how to get a solid deal in the 시골. We'll see what happens

Other than that though, other things happened. I watched a train go into a tunnel from, like, less than 5 meters away. I'm still not quite sure how we got into that situation. We waited for our companion for like half the day because his old area is far and we were told he took an earlier bus. Good times. It took him so long, he called to make sure he was on the right bus. 

We also got to see Americans. They have the pictures, I think. They were tall. One was pretty fly at Korean*. They bought us Baskin Robbins. S/o for that one. 

Then we had other countryside adventures in proselytizing. An old man talked to us about stinky whales and other assorted topics for a very long time. We almost invited him to be baptized and everything. 

Saturday was great, though. We didn't have much, but then in the middle of personal study our Young Man called and asked us to help him and his dad set up a mirror in front of their house and paint it. It was also his birthday so we got to see him even though he would have missed Mutual for test studying. We'll ordain him to be a priest soon, so that will be really nice. He'll be able to bless the sacrament and everything. 

Oh yeah, and since it was Children's Day we spent a good minute making balloon animals near the pond for the children. It was really nice, and a lot of people approached us. And by a lot, I mean around 10 at the max. Which is good for out here.

Sunday was also good. I love fast and testimony meeting. It's so much easier to plan. Then we taught about testimonies in Sunday school as well. I think the youth were able to learn a lot, and our investigator also was able to stay involved throughout. We try to make it fun for him. 

That's about it. Thanks for all the memes, and we'll see you next week 

Best Wishes, 
Elder Newton
* A lifelong friend of Elder O'Brien's who completed his service in the Korea Seoul Mission last year and returned to visit with his parents. 
The pond in Taebaek

It has been fun to see this pond through the seasons

Elder Newton says it has gotten even prettier …

… but he has a dead camera. : (