I was pretty down earlier this week. I knew that some people wouldn't listen to our message and I'm used to people thinking bad things about the Church, but I didn't think it would be like this. We go out proselyting for hours a day.....walking the streets and knocking doors. I struggle with the language and people reject us outright, call us a cult or tell us to just go away and talk to other people. Then, later this week, we were knocking doors in one apartment building. We had planned to go knock doors with some other elders....but for some reason things weren't working out, no matter what we did, and we eventually had to part ways. While Elder Hinton and I were knocking doors, a man answered and I was trying to talk to him in my horrible Korean. At first he said it was late...they were busy etc.....and then he suddenly told us to come in. We sat down and talked with him and his wife. They fed us some awesome Asian pear and talked with us. They were angels. Usually at least one person in the house wants you to leave...but they were really nice. They wanted a Book of Mormon and the wife loved reading the pamphlet on the Restoration. They attended another church but were very interested in what we have to say. The man liked me, it seemed, and was comfortable patting me on the knee and stuff (in Korea that's a good thing). I'm not sure where it will go, but I felt the Spirit and my own spirits were lifted. I know that I received a tender mercy from the Lord that night.
On Saturday, we played some basketball for a couple of hours with some members. The Bishop also played (he's a lifter and very competitive). It was awesome and I can't wait until next Saturday. Sunday was nice. We pretty much spend most of the day at church. Sunday night, the four of us elders went and knocked doors together in some huge apartment buildings. Elder Hinton and I got kicked out by some Gwali-jas (security types). It was my first time. They're a huge obstacle to the work....especially in the bigger, nice apt. complexes.
The other night, we went to the patriarch's house with the sister missionaries in our area. The Patriarch was soo cool. He seemed to like me, and said that he wished he spoke English so that we could talk more. There are two new converts that Elder Hinton baptized last transfer. They're college students and really cool. Really nice guys. One of them is applying to the BYU english language program for next year. That's an interesting thing. Korean Church members are some of the best at English. Since many of the young men (and women) serve missions, and some young people go to a Church school in the states at some point, they learn english. All Koreans take english classes in school, but few really learn the language. I was talking to one of the new converts about his mandatory military service. I told him of how my father had spent some time with Korean marines and really liked them. I like asking Koreans about their "Gundae" service.
I've had some more Korean food. I love Asian pears! Hay jon gook is a soup with some bones w/ meat on them in it. It was really good (hot temperature) and tasted like a really good, spicy chicken noodle soup. There's a lot of squid here but so far I'm too chicken to try it. The other night we had a shiksa (meal appt...basically) at a part member house. The soup was called shabashaba (Japanese soup). It had veggies and meat in it. The lady then put some garlic and noodles in and it was soooo good. I haven't had dog meat yet, but I will. I hate hate hate seaweed (therefore I avoid kimbop). The other day, we went to a meat buffet. For missionaries it is heaven because we don't get a whole lot of meat. It was awesome.
Today, we have an interesting p day. We received permission to leave the house at 8:30 am(usually it is 10:30 am), so we're going to do some fun stuff. I'm not sure what yet. Tonight we have the ward FHE, so it should be a BLAST. Luckily, we sleep on mattresses.....so I haven't had to experience the floor yet. Bugs and stuff aren't a problem on the 19th floor....so that's nice.
I love you guys and miss you. I love it out here in the field, even with the down days. It's amazing. I know that we are making a difference. I know that we are fulfilling Daniel's prophecy, and also Joseph Smith's prophecy as the gospel is "penetrating every continent, visiting every clime, sweeping every country and sounding in every ear".
Love, Elder Bocchino