Sunday, November 12, 2017

New Updates: October 22 - November 5

October 22, 2017

My Goejoeng Crew - I'll miss them
Pretty good week. It started off with my friend Steve from my old area coming down and taking me and Elder Haskell to McDonald's. Then on Wednesday we went to go find a new service project. Our Branch President referred us to this place and gave us their number and address so we called and went down there having no clue what it was. When we walked in the door there was a room full of handicap people dancing along with a program on TV. Elder Haskell and I helped them make some art projects and then ate lunch with them. It was pretty fun and we go back again tomorrow.

On Saturday we went to a play/musical that some other missionaries had put on.  We brought our investigator Yoo Jaeyoung and he seemed to like it even though it was really weird.

Yesterday our Branch had their primary program. It was very interesting since there is only three kids in the primary but they did really good. They all had to sing solos and do a bunch of speaking parts. Then the Primary President sang the last song and decided to sing a hymn in English. She sang "I Know That My Redeemers Rives," hahaha but she did really good too. The missionaries also had to sing in it but we didn't do very good. It has been really good serving in this branch and seeing their faith. They help me to want to be a better member my self.
좋은 하루 되세요!

October 29, 2017

Im writing a little bit early today because I still have to go pack so more of my stuff and go send it at the post office. I am being transferred to Jeju island. I catch a flight down there at 3 o'clock today.

Attending the baptism of the Sisters' convert
This week was pretty crazy. On Tuesday we went to our service project again and worked with the handicapped kids. This time we did yoga, sort of.

Yesterday Elder Haskell and I had a man come to church with us who we met on the subway. His name is Brother Son and he is about 70-something so he fit in really well with our Branch. He ended up really liking church and he also got to see some to the baptism of the Sisters' investigator right after.

Elder Haskell was the one to baptize their investigator and he was super nervous. Unfortunately the boiler at our church broke so the font was freezing cold. It made it worse that Elder Haskell had to dunk her three times because her knee kept coming out of the water. By the third attempt the whole Ward was around the font yelling, 'slowly! slowly!' as she went into the water.

After church we met with all the missionaries in our district at our church. Our district leader gave us our new smart phones and we all set them up together. We went from a flip-phone from like the 1800's to a new Samsung Galaxy and it's so weird.

Well I'm pumped to be going down to Jeju. It was an awesome experience serving down here in GoeJeong. I love all these members and I hope to see them again one day.

I cut Elder Haskell's hair


November 5, 2017

Me and my friend Lee Jaebok
Super busy week. It was pretty crazy getting out of Busan. Sending all my luggage was terrible. I met up with the other Jeju missionaries at a subway station. Lee Jaebok was there to say hi. I went with another Elder and two Sisters and not a single one of us had ever been to Jeju before. They just told us 'hop on the subway. Go to the airport, and go tell the front desk your name.' Those were all the instructions we received but we luckily made it here. The flight was about 45-minutes long and it was so weird being on a plane again.

Jeju is by far the most beautiful area on the mission. It was weird to see palm trees as we walked out of the airport. It is just like being in Hawaii, just not as humid. When we got here we went to the Jeju church to get the smart phones since the Jeju teams hadn't got them yet. My companion Elder Stout and I hopped on a bus to Soguipo. I'm not sure if that's how you spell it. There are two areas on Jeju. They just split the island in half and Jeju area has four elders and two sisters and the other side of the island is mine and Elder Stouts.

The legend, "James Bond" of Jeju Island
The bus ride to our side is about an hour and a half. We got off the bus and walked another 20-min to our house. By then it was about 8:30 p.m. Standing in front of the gate of our house was "James Bond." James Bond is a man that I have heard about my entire mission from any Elder who has ever stepped foot in Jeju. He is about 40-years-old and has a mental deficiency. He follows the missionaries around everywhere. Apparently he was waiting at our house all day. He offered to carry my bag for me and when we got to the house, since James Bond can't go inside, he ran around back to his hang out spot, which is our back window. We went inside and Elder Stout slid open the glass window so James Bond could talk to us. We ordered some pizza since I hadn't eaten since the previous day and we just sat there eating pizza talking to James Bond through the window until it was time to go to bed.

We met with a lot of people this week but my favorites are probably our Filipino crew. A Filipino called Mark was baptized in our branch a few months ago and now he always brings his friends to come meet us. On Friday they came over to the church and played ping pong and we ordered chicken. They always want to order chicken with us since they can't speak Korean to order it. They are a super funny group of little guys.

Me and Elder Stout in our area on Jeju
Yesterday at church Mark came so I had to translate for him and it was so bad. Im pretty sure he didn't understand anything. I felt super bad. I need a lot more translation practice. The advice I got from other missionaries was, 'If you don't know what they are saying just make it up.' But most of the members in Jeju are English-speaking so when I try to do that they just start laughing. Our investigator also came half way through sacrament meeting and knocked down all the chairs in the back on accident and it was super loud.

We also have been meeting with our friend John a lot. John is a 26-year-old Korean who lived in New Zealand for awhile so he is super good at English. He just opended up a resturant and invites us over to eat just about every day. We have also been helping them around their new buildings and restaurants.

Jeju is an awesome place and I am so grateful to be able to serve here. The members are also amazing as usual. I hope you all have a great week!

Elder Mica Matua

My Filipino Crew in Jeju
Beautiful little town in Jeju, sitting on a hand

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Catching up: September 24 - October 15

September 24, 2017

Pretty average week. Don't have too many investigators right now so we do a lot of proselyting. One of the only meetings we had this week was yesterday after church with our friend Chang. He is a Chinese guy that moved here a little bit ago and can't speak any Korean. He ordered some beef from America and barbecued it at his house for us. We had a great time but he was really confused why we wouldn't drink with him. The word of wisdom is definitely going to be the hardest part for him.

Besides that not too much else going on. We haven't heard any more threats from North Korea lately but then again we don't really hear anything. Hope ya'll have a great week.

October 1, 2017

Pretty good week. We got to gone down to a baptism In Yoengdo with one of our investigators which was really cool. Our investigator has known the missionaries ever since he was a little kid and that was the first baptism he has ever been to. And he said he really liked it. The person getting baptized was a members boyfriend and we also got to go to their wedding the next day. They just had it in the chapel and it was very simple. During the ceremony all the old ladies were preparing the food in the back of the room so it was really loud.

Elder haskell and I got kicked out of our house for two days for remodeling but our apartment looks really good now. Not too much else goin on around here. We are all excited to listen to general conference next week. And also next week is a big Korean holiday so we will be getting together as a mission. hope you all have a great week.

October 8, 2017

This week was good. It was general conference week and also a huge Korean holiday week. On Thursday every district in the mission was instructed to go to a museum in our areas. We also had to find certain people and take pictures with them.

On Wednesday the mission got together to do a huge sports day. We played soccer and did relay races. It was nice because it was like the first time I had run in a few months. Then we played one ball dodge ball which was pretty fun.

Elder Haskell and I just watched General Conference at the church by ourselves. Except for Wunday we watched it with the ward. Actually they watched it up stairs in Korean and we watched it downstairs by ourselves again.

Its always really cool to watch General Conference as a missionary. And also a lot easier to stay awake. Every thing here is going great. I hope you all have a great week.

October 15, 2017

Pretty interesting week. We met Iron Man again and he took us out for some lunch. He had to come check up on me and make sure I was doing my part as Black Panther.

Elder Haskell and I sat at the immigration office for like three hours to get our visa extended since we have been here for a year. I went well though. Except for when we tried to walk out the rotating doors and Elder Haskell got stuck in between and the whole building saw it.

Yesterday we had a social media meeting with the Busan youth and young single adults. They announced to all the missionaries that we will be getting smart phones in the next month or two so we were being trained on social media missionary work too. They had all the missionaries help the members but they knew how to work the phone a lot better than we do. It should be really helpful to get the smart phones since all of Korea runs off of them.

They taught us a new term yesterday at the meeting which is smombie, smart phone zombie. Which was funny because we get run into on the street about five times a day by smombies.

Hope ya'll have a great week.

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