Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Catching up: August 20 - September 17

Top of Lote Mall in Goejoeng

20 August

Another great week. Elder Stagg and I went on exchanges on Thursday with the Yeongdo elders. I went over to Yeongdo with Elder Becket. We planned to meet up at the Lote department store on Thursday morning. Elder Stagg and I got there a little early so we started walking around the store until they arrived. Then we heard someone yell,"Elders!" We turned around and saw a man with ripped up skinny jeans, a black v-neck, sunglasses, cross around his neck, and long shaggy hair sitting on a curb. We went over to talk to him and he explained to us that he is Yoengdo's recent convert and he is waiting for them to go to lunch. Elder Stagg and I talked to him until the other Elders showed up and we exchanged.

The man, Brother Park, took us to the top floor of Lote DS to a buffet. We had a good time with him and it turns out he used to be in a really well known band in Korea years ago. After we finished lunch and got in the elevator Mr Park started rockin' out on an air guitar, the whole fifteen floors.

Later that day we had another appointment with a group of kids that the Yeongdo Elders had met a day before and they had invited the Elders over for dinner. The group of kids turned out to be two brothers, their cousin, and the oldest brothers girlfriend who all lived together to go to school. When we walked into their apartment room it was tiny. it was like ten feet by ten feet but half the room was taken up by a big long table with three huge computers and gaming units set up where they play League of Legends and Overwatch together.

They were some of the nicest people I've ever met and were super funny. We had a good time with them and then we shared the Prince of Peace video with them and they really liked it and we set up another appointment.

During our meal with them we got several calls and texts for emergency drills. We have been working on our 72-hour kits the past few days and I hope nothing happens because I can't live on three packs of ramen for three days.


Celebrating one year as a missionary in South Korea

28 August

I am emailing a day late because we spent all of yesterday preparing for an event we are having on Saturday. So our president gave us an extra little p-day. Both the Busan and South Busan Zones are putting on an escape room/house for all of the youth and their friends in our areas. Its called the House of Laban and its super cheesy.

This week went by really fast. We have spent a lot of time looking for investigators because we only have a few and the ones that we do have are sort of... unique.

Last Tuesday, Elder Stagg and I were doing language study in our apartment when I heard the sound of a siren. I thought it was just our neighbors watching a movie or something so I didn't think much of it. But as the sound continued Elder Stagg and I looked up at each other at the same exact time. Then we both ran to the window. Our apartment is pretty sound proof and we have like three sets of windows, so when we slid all of them open we hear this loud siren going off through out the entire city. We both sat there for a little bit and then got our cameras because we didn't know what else to do. We totally thought that we were about to get bombs dropped on us. We weren't sure what to do. Then we got a call from our zone leaders which made us even more nervous. When we answered our zone leader sounded really panicked and was like, do you hear the sirens? where are you guys?! Are you in the bomb shelter?! the we were like, WHAT? NO! then he said, good because its just a drill.

That wasn't even the craziest thing that happened to me this week though. I think I had the weirdest experience of my whole mission on Saturday. It started with us getting a call from a man who claimed to be Iron Man and wanted to meet. He ended up being a Korean man from Argentina so he had a thick Spanish accent. He wore a huge microphone around his head wherever he went. He took us to this catholic sanctuary, where he lived, and where there was huge graves of catholic missionaries who had been beheaded. While we were there I became the Black Panther and Elder Stagg became Spider Man and we joined the "Mormon Avengers". Turns out he had already recruited other missionaries in our mission to the Mormon Avengers and he called them while we there to ask if we were fit for the job. He made it clear to us that the job would be dangerous and once we are Avengers we are Avengers for life. And he is also a scientist who is trying to prove the Bible right scientifically. We found out he got baptized last year but he told us that he is a "Mutated Mormon" because it is okay for him to smoke the pipe. After we joined the Avengers and he trained us, he took us back into town, taught us the secret hand shake and then disappeared.

And that's what a 'normal' day is like here. I feel like the only normal day we have is Sunday and even those get pretty weird.


One of the amazing guards in the escape room

3 September

Pretty crazy week. we spent most of it preparing for our stake youth activity. All the missionaries from the Busan Zones got together and put on a big escape room/building in the Kumjeong church. They had to get from point-a to point-b passing levels of puzzles and killing guards with their Nerf guns. The main goal was to kill Laban, find the gold plates, and escape with Zoram. It was super cheesy but the youth said they had a lot of fun. Elder Pak Insu and I were guards right at the begging of the maze. It was fun but really awkward when the Nerf guns malfunctioned and we stood there in an awkward silence and then just fell to the ground like we got shot.

On Wednesday our recent convert took Elder Stagg and I out to dinner down at Nampo. After that we went over to get ice cream at Baskin Robins. While we were eating the ice cream this tall guy with huge puffy hair came and sat at our table with us. He didn't say anything at first which was really awkward but then started speaking to us in English. turns out he was visiting from japan and didn't know any Korean so he asked us where he should go to visit. After we talked with him for about a half hour we found out that he is a member of our church and just got off his mission in japan. Our recent convert, Lee JunHo, tryed to explain to him where he should go for sight seeing. It was funny to watch a Korean guy and a Japanese guy try to communicate with each other in their very broken English. Then the Japanese guy asked if he could sleep at Lee JunHo's house and Lee JunHo said,"No I live with my parents."

It was getting late so Elder Stagg and I had to leave but Lee JunHo and the Japanese guy went to go get something to eat together. When Elder Stagg and I got home we get a call from Lee JunHo and all he said was," Elders, the Japanese guy is sleeping at my house, okay bye."

We are meeting with this old man named Yoo JeYoung. We really likes our church but he has some very interesting beliefs. He loves to start teaching us about random things in the middle of our lessons so they tend to be pretty long. Last time he taught Elder Stagg and I how to punch correctly if we ever get in a street fight back in America. I thought he was gonna have a heart attack in our church.

The work is going well here, I hope you guys all have a great week.


Typical meal for us here in Korea

10 September

I'm sitting in the Samsung Service Center and the guy next to me smells like dead fish... but anyway not too much happened this week. We are down to only one actual investigator so we have just been doing a lot of finding. Finding is like the biggest problem in our mission. People just don't have too much interest. So President Jeong has advised us to come up with creative ways to proselyte.

We have tried a lot and most of them have been fails. Elder Stagg and I made a board to invite people to English class. It had a big spin wheel on it with some questions but when we went out on the streets to use it someone spun it and the wheel just broke off and fell to the floor. it was super awkward.

Last night us and the sisters went down to the beach to try to do "song proselyting." It was a fail. Elder Wtagg and I have ukulele's but we don't know how to play them. but we did anyways. We "played" the ukuleles while the sisters sang. eventually we put the ukes down and just sang but I don't know if that was much better. We got a few people to stop and talk to us and a few drunk guys to be our audience for a little but besides that nothing. We are going to try again next Sunday but as a district.

Nothing much else going on here. A few more warnings about north Korea and we have heard a lot about the storms in the US. All Koreans feel they need to tell us about it since we are American. We also saw a news article with a picture of our old mission president, president barrow, on his air boat helping people out in Texas.

The work is going great here. Everyone be safe and I hope you all have a great week. may the odds be ever in you favor.


Chillin at Lote Mall again

September 17

This was the last week of the transfer calls. Elder Stagg got called to Yoengdo which is just the next area over so we will still be in the same district. I will be stay in Goejoeng and my companion is the one and only Elder Haskell.

On Thursday we had mission tour with Elder Yamashita from the Seventy. Him and his wife both came down to speak to us. After that I went straight up to Yoengdo to go on exchange with Elder Avilla. We met with their investigator who's wife and kids are actually living in Provo, Utah.

The next morning we went and played soccer with a bunch of 40 year old guys and got wrecked. Mostly because we ran from the house to the field which is on the top of a massive hill. Then I went back in time for Goejoeng English class.

In our English class we only have two people come and they are both old ladies. The sisters teach one in basic and Elder Stagg and I teach the other. At the end of our lesson we were talking about food and we asked if she liked McDonald's and she replied, "I love make donuts, I make donuts all the time at my house." Then she promised to bring us home made donuts next but Elder Stagg and I were laughing so hard we couldn't reply.

Last night we did our district singing proselyting down at Nampo. It was really hard but pretty fun. Elder stagg had to pass out flyers while the other missionaries sang because we cant.

Besides that nothin much else goin on. Im pretty pumped for next transfer. Its going to be a very interesting one with Haskell. But we are hopin to get a lot done.

Friday, August 18, 2017

August 6 and 13 updates

August 6th

My last time with my best buddies in Hogye
I have just been transferred back to Busan but this time its South Busan Zone. I was pretty bummed to have to leave Hogye but I'm excited to serve in 괴정. And my comp is one of my best friends from the MTC so its gonna be really fun.

My last week in Hogye was awesome. On Wednesday night we went with our investigator down town to go play some basketball. We played a bunch of pick up games and won all except for one. Our friend that we went with was probably the best one there. The courts filled up once the sun went down and fortunately I didn't look to bad because they were all Korean, and because I dunked it (the rim definitely wasn't ten feet but I don't think anyone knew that).

Our youth all had youth conference this week so we didn't see them too much but we got to say by to them at church yesterday. They all got up and bore their testimony which was really cool. Every one of them broke down into tears and it was really spiritual, but then the crazy old man got up after them and rambled on about some "doctrine" that I've never heard of before and killed the vibe. classic fast and testimony meeting.

Second hour we just listened to the branch president talk about his trip to utah and about how amazing the bishops store house is. That was literally one of the reasons he went to utah.
After church we said our good-byes and went home to pack until it was time to go to dinner at the branch presidents house where we got to hear all about the bishop's storehouse again. The home teachers also came with us and shared the message at the end which was weird not having to do it.

It was really sad leaving Hogye but I am excited to meet some more amazing people in my new area. I have been in korea for a good while now but I still feel like a greenie, hopefully that will change before I go home.
D&C 93

August 13th

Me and Elder Stagg on the top of the mall
Was a pretty crazy week in ??. It is a lot easier to switch areas and get to know the ward when you can speak the language a little. Every time we get transferred to a new area we have to get an introduction talk in sacrament meeting. I learned that in my new ward I will be giving a talk every other week. yay!

Yesterday, before I gave my intro talk, the first counselor got up to conduct and said, "We will first be hearing a talk from our new missionary, Elder Maki, from South America," and everyone was like, woah. When I got up I said, I really like the name Maki but my real name is Elder Matua and I'm from Lehi, Utah and everyone started busting up.

On Saturday we had our weekly English class but we didn't have a very good turn out. about half way through the class we get a call from a kid asking if him and his friends could come to class. we said yes and a few minutes later three high school kids walked in. apparently they saw the banner outside and thought they would try it out. they were pretty funny but all the English they knew was swear words from TV and league of legends so we had a lot of teaching to do.

After the class we we had planned to go play soccer of at the junior high so we invited our three new friends to come with us. They told us that they were planning to go play soccer at the same exact place at the same time, so we all went together.

They told us that their high school had challenged another high school to a game of soccer. When we got there, there was about 60 or more kids warming up to play soccer. right when we got close to the field our three new friends started shouting to everyone, "Aye we got some American friends! look at us!!" The entire field went silent and everyone stop and stared at us as we walked in. It was super awkward but pretty funny. After a few minutes we noticed that the Deshin Elders were already there and were watching us the whole time. They walked up to us and were like, that was quite an entrance. They split up the elders between the two teams and we played until it was too dark to see. After the games we got a bunch of the kids contacts and a few of them said they would meet with us next week.

It is gonna be a really interesting transfer but every day is interesting here.

#thechurchistrue

Last time with the best Zone in Hogye



Thursday, August 3, 2017

Updates: July 23rd and 30th

July 23rd

One of my little homies who comes to church alone
This week went by really fast. I had two exchanges in a row and they were both in the same area. It was down in 신정, which is so terrible at night because their A/C broke. So we all slept around one little fan. On the first exchange I got to go to 신정's English class. I met this guy named Yoon HeDuck who is sort of a legend to the missionaries here. He is a little bit special but he has a crazy good memory. He remembers every missionary he's ever met and where they're from, their full name and when they go home. When he met me and I told him I was from Lehi he told me all the missionaries he's met from Lehi and around it. Then he asked what my full name is and I said, Mica Nu'ualiitia Matua. And he said, oh Mica Nice-To-Meet-You Matua.

On Saturday we played ping pong with our investigator who is 13 and got wrecked. But it was good because he brought his two friends who are twins. It was impossible to tell them apart. After we played ping pong we taught a lesson to our investigator and his friends wanted to sit in. It went really well and hopefully we can get them back for more.

The brothers who come alone
Our Branch president is still in Lehi for another two weeks. He ran a lot of the stuff over here so its been pretty busy without him but I think we'll make it two more weeks.

My comp leaves in two weeks and yeah I love serving in Hogye. We almost had dog soup with our ward mission leader on Wednesday but the restaurant was closed.

July 30th

It was a pretty crazy week. Last Monday we went to a massive Buddhist temple which was pretty cool until it started pouring rain and we had to ride a bus back that was packed full of French people.

Visiting a massive Buddhist temple
On Thursday the young men had a "camp out." They just slept at the church. But it was good because they invited us to come eat dinner with them. Then on Saturday we had our weekly soccer with our little homies. The cool thing was that our two young men that usually come couldn't make it but all of their non-member friends still showed up to play with the missionaries. We had 25 people come out which is a new record. and out of that 25 we only had 9 members and the rest were non-member high school kids. Five of them drove 45-minutes from a different city with the Bongojin elders.

Unfortunately when we got to the field it was all taped off because they were redoing the track. But there was another school about ten minutes away so we all walked to it. When we got there we realized that that field was also taped off and being redone. The next closest field was on the other side of town so we had to take a bus. When we got to the bus stop, the bus we needed to take was just driving away, but when it got about 100-yards away it had to stop at a red light and we all took off running to catch it. We got there just as the light turned green and started slapping the side of the bus and it luckily stopped. We had finally arrived at the field when we noticed that it too had been taped off, but the track seemed to be dry so we got on and started playing. After about two minutes this old "guard" man came and kicked us off. We were on a compound of about five schools with three fields so tried all three but the other two were currently being worked on. and the old guy followed us around yelling at us, telling us that we would not be able to step foot on the fields until next week.

We were in the worst situation. We had 25 people, most of which were non members, no where to play and it was getting late. We sat there for about 15-minutes not knowing what to do. Then got all our stuff and started walking away when one of the construction workers called us over and asked, Where is your leader? Elder Kim TeHoon volunteered and had a conversation with the other workers. They told us to wait until the old man left and we could play on the field as long as we were careful of the track.

Good times visiting Buddha
We thanked the construction workers about a thousand times and then started playing. It was a huge miracle. All the boys had a lot of fun and the ones from Bongojin told us they want to come again next week.

We have one week left in the transfer. It will be probably the most interesting transfer yet since we have 19 missionaries leaving including my companion. It'll be crazy and I hope everyone back home has a great week.

Alma 29:8-9

Monday, July 17, 2017

Multiple Updates since June 2017

July 16, 2017 - Food stand lady

This week went by really fast. We had our first zone conference with our new mission president. He is really good at English and he told jokes for like ten minutes that you would find on the back of a Laffy Taffy. He has about six missionaries here who are from his same ward. 

We have been told to stay indoors until after 1 o'clock because it is so hot here. I never new how humid it was in Korea. We are basically drenched in sweat 24/7. We've been walking around all day proselyting because we need more investigators so I'm gettin a real nice farmers tan. 

Last night we were walking around proselyting through a market that comes by our house every five days when we were stopped by a lady standing by a food stand. then she just kept telling us to eat and we cant turn down food so we started eating. Then she pulled out here phone and showed us that she had all the missionaries phone numbers but they were all old so we gave her the new ones. after we talked for a while we found out that she came to church a long time ago and her daughter got baptized five years ago. She told me and Elder Proffit that she would call us later and take all the missionaries her out to eat. 

We have three weeks left in the transfer which is crazy because my companion will go home and I will be at my year mark. Its been a crazy but amazing experienced and I cant wait for the next half. I love this church and I know that it is the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

Going to do some archery
Yeah that's far
Call me Bulls Eye

July 9, 2017 - They give me no nutrients

This was our first week with our new mission president. He is Korean but fluent in English. He ran the headquarters for the church in Korea or something. But on Saturday our investigator got baptized, who is president Jeong's nephew, and we got president Jeong to come down to baptize him. It was the first time we ever met him so I think we started off on a good note. 

After the baptism we went to our weekly soccer with our youth and their friends. We had 22 people come out and a bunch of them were non members which was really cool. We played members vs non members and we lost 4-5. 

Yesterday we had a bunch of people come out to church. A lot of less active members and our investigators. We have to little chinese kids who got baptized last month in another ward but then their family moved to hogye so they come to our church now. They are 4 and 8 years old and their parents aren't members so they come to church every sunday by themselves and sit with the missionaries. The 4 year old ones name is sung yoon and he literally climbed on top of my head in the middle of sacrament meeting.

Last night we had a ward BBQ at the branch presidents kindergarten that he owns. It is sooo hot in Korea right now. and it is super humid. So the whole time at the BBQ everyone was dripping sweat but it was still really fun. Hogye is a really awesome place to serve and I feel so lucky to get to serve with all these amazing people.

July 2, 2017 - Some random pics


The District
The soccer homies - Ward youth



June 25, 2017
We got our transfer calls yesterday and both me and Elder Proffit are staying in Hogye. I'm pumped I get to stay here. Yesterday we had two investigators come to church. They are both about 13 years old and one of them is our new mission presidents nephew. We set his baptismal date and are planning to have president Jung baptize him.

I went on exchange with the zone leader and he came here to Hogye. We hopped on a bus in the morning to go to out service project and got a little lost. We were talking on the bus and after about an hour and a half elder finch looks out the window and says, this is my area. So we got off and headed back the way we came on a different bus. turns out the place was only two stops away from our house.

We have found a few more investigators. Hoyge is a really small town, for Korea, and almost everyone here knows us. A lot of our new investigators have met the missionaries years ago. and we see the same people on the streets everyday. We try to talk to them when we can but most of them don't want to here it but we keep looking for the ones that do. at least the know who we are. Besides that not too much else going on this week.

Alma 26:15

Throwback to the skating days
Homie still got it

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Two updates in one - Goodbye President Barrow

Dinner with Ward Mission Leader
Yesterday we got to go to president Barrows farewell for the Ulsan stake. We get a new mission president in two weeks. He is a Korean guy from Seoul. A lot of the missionaries know because they are from the same ward and he is the father of one of the sisters in our mission.

Last week we had a stake sports day which was really fun. We had a soccer tournament and our ward won. We got all of the kids that play with us every Saturday to come which was cool since they are almost all non members. Yesterday we met with one of our investigators who brought four of his friends and we are now teaching one of them who lived in Texas as an exchange student.

One of our investigators runs an English academy and we met with him on Thursday. He was really busy so we sat there for a while. But the whole time we were waiting we were talking to this kid and teaching him English, and about our church. English is actually a big way we find people. Besides that nothing much else going on.

#thechurchistrue

Laughs with little Giungmin
Elder Profitt couldn't hang

2nd Update

Sweet az ride
Anther crazy week in 한국. On Tuesday I went on an exchange with elder Youngblood over here in Hogye. Our plan was to un-exchange Wednesday morning at zone conference since we were having it at our chapel here in Hoyge. But on Wednesday morning, when we woke up and started showering we get a call from the zone leaders telling us to get our 72-hour kits and our passports and head to the mission office. We were really surprised for the change of plans since we live 3-hours from the mission home, but we got our stuff together and hoped on a train. When we got there the whole mission was gathered. We ended up having a huge mission conference for President Barrow's farewell. It was really good to see all the missionaries that I haven't seen in months.

President Barrow instructed us to start doing companionship and language study outside, at the library or in a cafe so we can be around the people more. It has worked out really good. We have already met several people just while studying. We have had a few people just walk up to us in the library and ask if we teach an English class, which we do. a little bit racist but its chill.

We had a little boy get baptized on Friday since he just turned 8. There was some drama between some of the family members and some of them ended up leaving but it still turned out to be an awesome baptism.

I hope everyone is doing good back home.

#예수그리스도 후기 성도 교회


Love you all,
Elder Mica Matua


Visiting one of many Buddhist temples here
Korea-Busan Missionaries farewell President Barrow