Tuesday, March 7, 2017

February 27, 2017- Transfer Predictions

Forgot the Thank you's last week!
Valentines
My family! (I love them so much)
The Brown's
Emma (Elder Kim says thank you too!) 
Jared
Sarah
Ferre's
Hayes'
Burwell's 
And shout out to Shae for the Valentine's Day photo album! It was so amazing! 
And everyone in the pictures!!!
You know who you are! ❤❤❤
Love you all so much!  

Well this week has been good! Nothing really interesting or crazy. Tuesday we had interviews with President! That was super good. I love President and Sister Reynolds. They are honestly such big role models and they care so much for their missionaries. So grateful to have them for my whole mission (besides the last two weeks... they go home before me;)).

Friday I went on exchanges with Elder Ha. So I went to their apartment and Elder Jarman came to ours with Elder Kim. We had fun and proselyted a lot. We found a nice park with Koreans so we may have to hit that up again. We can only keep Koreans so we have to find the little neighborhoods and pools where there is a high concentration of Koreans. 

Sunday our District went to a meeting with our mission leader, Branch President, Mission President, and the stake President. This meeting was only for our District and Branch on how we can get the work moving in the Korean Branch. There was a lot of authority there.... pretty intimidating. 

Also we only have this week left in the Transfer... so of course we are going to try to make some predictions! We have a new Elder coming in, his name is Elder Blackford. So Elder Kim and I have the best chance of training him. Elder Jarman will be the companion of whoever is not training and we think that Elder Ha will leave for a while and go to the English program. Sisters stay the same ( Sister Hilliard and Kim) that's our District;) But they are predictions so we will see what happens next week lol. 

I have learned a lot this last week! And honestly it comes down to.... I need to do better. I have always taken things for granted in my life. My family, friends, sports, and school. All those things I just had/did. The mission has really helped me notice how ungrateful I was. I didn't work as hard as I could have in sports, in school. I didn't work the hardest for my family or friends. That gives me a sense of regret. I can't undo the past and try to fix it.... but I can improve and work on the future. I plan on working hard for everything now. I've been slacking on the language... thinking that I'm Korean, I grew up with it, it'll come to me. Yep well that's Satan all right! He's telling me to just settle, to wait, it'll come... I realize that I have been lying to myself for a fourth of my mission! Now I'm never going to settle for less!

Sorry that last paragraph was probably just a jumble of thoughts but I guess that is how everything feels right now haha. Just a jumbled life right now:D I'll send videos so you can see my face! 

I love you all! Always remember to be grateful and never settle!

🇰🇷Elder Smith🇺🇸

February 20, 2017- It's hard, but worth it

Hey everyone!!!
Wow the weeks just fly by! So I hope everyone got the pictures and
videos :) I like pictures and videos more than just typing out these
group emails. 1. Because you get to see some people and what I do. 2.
It's a whole lot easier to take a picture than to type out an email.

So about missionary work here. The New York South mission is so
unique! With 7 languages things look a lot different than in other
missions! In other countries you just have normal districts because
you are all speaking the same language right? Not here, we are all
split into language Districts.  Also Flushing (the area I am serving
in) is the only area where there is a Korean District. So that
means..... I get to stay here for over half my mission!
Also a unique thing about Flushing is that I see almost everyone in my
zone everyday. It's a smaller area and there is only one church
building where we all do everything so at any time of the day if you
head to the church you will see missionaries. It's really fun! We grow
really close to each other. It's like a big huge family :) in our zone
we have a English car area District of 4. A Korean District of 6. A
Chinese District of 6. And a Spanish District of 2 English
missionaries and 4 Spanish.

That's our zone! I just thought I'd tell everyone because this week I
didn't have much going on. If that's not interesting then I'm sorry I
hope you like my pictures and videos haha!

This week I was kind of down one day. I had no motivation at all. But
my awesome companion Elder Kim really helped me out. We talked about
some things and helped get me refocused on our purpose. It's these
moments where I am blessed to have others in my life. God gave us
families and friends for a reason. Let them help you, and help them
when needed. Sometimes I get really stubborn and frustrated especially
in missionary work. Sometimes you may not like the way people do
things. Everyone is different. I've learned to adjust and learn. Maybe
it is better to do it that way. It's hard. It really is, but when you
accept it and learn to change your attitude wow can you see the
blessings!

The mission is teaching me so many new things that I would never have
learned any other way! I still have a lot to learn, and the amazing
thing is I still have a year and a half of amazing learning
experiences ahead of me! It will be hard, but totally worth it!

Hope everyone has an amazing week!
Love you all!
🇰🇷Elder Smith🇺🇸
video

February 14, 2017- Just get to WORK

How is everyone!? This week was great!

But before I start I want to give out some thank you's!
To:
Angela, The Neilson's, and the Bambrough's! For Christmas (sorry really late thank you's)
Also to uncle Rusty, Aunt Becky and the girls! For an awesome Valentines gift! 

Tuesday we had a Mega zone conference which is all the missionaries in our stake. So there were about 50 missionaries there considering we only have 4 stakes in all of New York South :D there are about 9 million  people here in Long Island, but our church is still very small. We have throughout the mission only 3,000 regular sacrament attendance. So the church is nothing like it is back home in the West. But with that all said, I love it! The members here are insanely strong and faithful. They are truly converted and each and everyone of them have to work so hard in their everyday lives (living in New York is ridiculously expensive). Let alone having callings in the church. Our Stake President is a spiritual Giant! When he talks to us as missionaries or to the stake he is overpowering. He shows so much love and care for the stake and carries that message over with such power. 

Our stake President and many leaders have said our Branch President (President Lee) is one of the most powerful and faithful men he has ever met.
President Lee is the best! He has 2 young kids. Lives about a hour away from our church. Never misses meetings. Always has time for members and missionaries. I have never heard him complain once.
He has put new light into being a leader here for the Korean District. I want my District to know that we can truly help, that we can strengthen members and help them to become better. I learned that missionary work is not about numbers and baptisms. For me it's about the connection with members, less actives, and people in general. 

I wasn't sent to this mission to just baptize people. I'm starting to realize that I was sent here to this mission to be with members, less-actives and strengthen people who are maybe struggling a little more than usual. I have been blessed to see many people all of a sudden have light in their eyes and have joy in their lives. It brings me true happiness to laugh and talk with them! 

Well sorry about my blabbing! ;) back to the week! 

Thursday!
Huge Blizzard!!! 
Or so they said. It snowed all morning but stopped... they closed things down and cancelled school. Honestly it was nothing... I was very disappointed considering it was the first snow for a while! Honestly it's already February and it just barely snowed on Thursday, I thought storms here were huge, I guess not. Utah is pretty bad I hear though. My video I'm going to send is me getting excited for a big storm, but it died a couple hours later. 

Being a missionary is honestly one of the best things in the world! It is a true blessing and opportunity to be out here. I feel so great and I am learning so many Gospel truths out here! The spirit I feel is amazing, I feel so happy. Sure I have down days, but those days quickly disappear as I go out and work. Sometimes I just pray and plead for blessings and help, but usually it just takes work. I have found the greatest blessings when I just go out onto the streets of New York and just go to work. I try to pray with my feet and try to show God that he can trust me.
Sometimes we just pray and plead with our Father in Heaven for blessings, but we don't do anything! So I ask all, what are we doing to show our Father that we truly want these blessings? Are we doing our part? 
That's where I have been catching myself lately. Am I doing my part? Am I working and showing God that I want this? These blessings? 

Honestly this goes for everything in life, school, work, and hobbies.
Are you doing all that you can to show God you want this job, that you want to do good on this test, you want to be great at this sport? It takes work, most things are not just going to be given to you. Work hard in school with homework, at work... Work harder do better, be excellent in what you do! In sports and practice, work harder than you did the day before! 

One thing I learned on my mission is this... WORK! I admit to not working hard for my goals at home, at school, in sports. Now I see, now I truly see what work means. And I hope all of you can reach for your goals by really working hard for them! It may seem hard or even impossible at times, but ask God for strength and he will help you, if you are willing to put in that work and try to reach that goal! 

Sorry I went on a rant... I've been doing that lately! But I love you all so much and I hope that these long emails aren't too boring! I will be sending videos also so watch out for those! Hopefully they work! :D

Have a great week! 안녕!
사랑해요

🇰🇷Elder Smith🇺🇸


February 6, 2017- Chinese New Years Parade

Wow...... Monday already! This week flew by! I hope everyone is doing well! I had a super great week! We had a parade this week! It was so awesome! I don't think I saw one white person the whole parade hahaha. I am literally in China everyone! There were so many people! The biggest parade I have ever seen! 

It was so fun! Also yesterday we had a movie night! It was Joseph Smith the Prophet of the Restoration. It's a great movie no matter how many times I re-watch it :) 

Joseph Smith was a true Prophet of God. I don't care what people may say about him or how much stuff gets thrown at me about him here in New York, I know that he was called of God. Joseph Smith and the early members of this church had so many trials and hardships, but that only came because this is the only true church on earth today, and Satan was trying to stop the work. Satan is still trying to stop the work today. I realize that whenever I get tired or lose motivation. I then say to myself this is Satan trying to slow me down. That always helps me whenever I am sad or discouraged. 

So please don't get discouraged there are many blessings ahead of us! Doubt your doubts before your faith. Because this is Christ's church and his Gospel. It contains the everlasting Gospel! This is it we have it, and we can all receive the blessings that come with being in this church!

I love it!!! And I love this work! 

Have a great week! 
Love you all!
🇰🇷Elder Smith🇺🇸

January 30, 2017- Transfer, Got my homie back

Well Transfers came and went! I am of course still in China!!
(Flushing, NY). I will honestly probably be in this area for a year
straight #NYkoreanmissionaries. Ha there is only one Korean District
in the whole mission, so it's not like we can go anywhere else besides
the English program :) it's pretty nice though, I love Flushing!
My homie is back! My companion 김찬우 장로! (Elder Kim). I was in a trio
with him two Transfers ago. He went to the English program for one
Transfer then came straight back! He is from Inchon Korea:) he is
super cool and speaks pretty good English! He is very funny! Can't
wait to be serving with him his Transfer.

My week was pretty uneventful besides that. Just a whole bunch of
meetings! We had a District Leadership meeting with The mission
President, it was just me and 3 District Leaders who were District
leaders for the first time. It was so funny I was the oldest District
Leader there 😂

This week is going to be good! Got to learn some Korean and speak a
lot! Elder Kim will help with that though!
Well sorry there is not much to tell! I am loving New York! This is my
home now! Even though it costs a boat load to do anything... that's
the down part of it. I am enjoying the city, the food is amazing, the
people are great (sometimes), and I love being a missionary!
It's all about Diligence. Work hard and the Lord will reward you.

Thanks for all the love and support! Till next week! 안녕!

🇰🇷Elder Smith🇺🇸

January 23, 2017- I'm Moving

So...... Transfers are tomorrow! I just got a call that I will be packing and most likely Elder Kim will be coming back to Flushing! So..... I finally get to be a junior companion! The cool thing is though...... I will still be the District Leader! So that will be interesting. Haha but everyone thinks now that I will be training the new Korean Elder coming in March. His name is Elder Blackford. Awesome thing about being the only Korean District in the mission is that you know who is coming in already and can guess who is training. So that was today for you haha! I'm pretty excited though, even though it will be hard and I need to learn some Korean very quickly! Korean is getting better! Sure it is still hard, but I really enjoy reading Korean! Speaking and stuff is still really rough, but I love just sitting down and reading the Book of Mormon, pamphlets, or talks in Korean. :)

This week I've traveled a lot! I went to Jamaica twice which is the area right under Flushing! It's only 5 miles away but it took 40 minutes to get there! That's what happens when your in the city ;) I went there with a member on splits. We visited a guy who is at the hospital he is super cool. His name is John. He served a mission in Korea and then served in the US ARMY over in Korea. 

This week we just had fun and tried to find people like crazy! We found one person who lives in Manhattan, his name is Jimmy. He came all the way from Manhattan on Sunday just to meet with us for a lesson! He is super energetic and fun. He has a lot of struggles in life, but doesn't let that get him down. 

It will be exciting to see what happens with him! I hope everyone had a wonderful week! I know I sure did. I learned a lot about myself this transfer! I had to learn patience.... A lot of patience! You will get along with some companions, but that doesn't mean that you will agree with everything they say. That's what I had to learn this transfer! I also realized that I have to take a look at myself first. Maybe there was something I needed to fix. That's when I  saw the changes in myself and my companions!

I challenge all of you, if you have a relationship with someone that may not be the best. First look inside yourself, change what you can change, then the rest will fall into place.  If you truly do all you can to change yourself and make it better, it works! If it doesn't just know that it's not because of you! 

Love you all! 

🇰🇷Elder Smith🇺🇸

January 16, 2017- The Week of the Trainee

Hey everyone! Sorry about the group email last week! I went to the
Manhattan temple for my 6 month mark!! Wow I've been out for 6 months
it's kind of crazy to think about! This week was Elder Jarman's 5th
week on the mission. So........ Elder Ha and I made him lead this week
as part of his training! It was so fun! Partly because at times he
didn't know how to get around the city haha ;) we took wrong buses,
almost took the wrong subway train... he also had to lead a Korean
lesson and had to tell us what we were gonna do each day! :) it was a
great experience for him and he grew so much from it!

Our Trio is pretty awesome I would have to say! Sorry about emails
haha I should probably start writing these bad boys out in the
morning! I'll do better next week I promise! I also have a ton of
pictures to send!

Hope everyone is enjoying life! It is still hard to find
investigators! We found an old 80 year old man that is super nice! His
name is 권 도영 or brother Kwan for everyone else ;) hopefully everything
starts going well. We have met with him twice so far! The work is
great I am having so much fun!

I can honestly say now even only after being out for 6 months: I can't
come back the same person anymore. The mission has changed me so much!
Honestly I have a changed view on everything. How I treat others and
how I can trust God more than ever. Everything I do anything I ask for
I know God will answer and help me!

I love you all! Till next time!!

🇰🇷Elder Smith🇺🇸