Sunday, January 11, 2009

Street Contacting in Gwangan

My companion Elder Choi ("Chway") and I are still rocking it here in Gwangan. I'm learning a lot from having a Korean companion. It is interesting. We're still meeting with the Buddhist family, and apparently we're changing some perceptions they've had about Christians. He might not be ready to receive the gospel, but I feel that we're doing good things with him and I'm glad we're meeting with him.

One thing we do a lot of here in Korea (especially in the Pusan mission) is work with less active members. We have names and info about members who were baptized years ago but haven't been out to church for a long time. We then go out and try to find their houses and make contact with them. It's like detective work, as we have a name and an address and have to go talk to neighbors and local authorities in order to figure out if they moved, how long ago, where to....etc etc. I find this work very fun and rewarding, but it can be extremely depressing as well. Most of the time, we will find out that the people have moved, and since no one in the church knows them (and they aren't home taught) they're pretty much lost. No one knows where they moved to, and the Church won't be able to find them ever again. It's easy to get depressed. There are maybe 85 people who come out to church in our ward here in Gwangan, but literally hundreds of less-active unknowns who get lost over the years. These people were baptized because they liked missionaries, wanted to learn english, or maybe because they truly accepted the gospel, but they quickly fell away and became forgotten. It's sad. What is most rewarding is when we can find less active members who want to meet with us and who want to come back to church! I wish and pray that we can find such people.

As for proselyting, my companion likes to do street contacting. I find that while Koreans are more interested in American elders because we're foreign, they're more willing to give their phone numbers to, and agree to meet with, Korean missionaries (probably because the Korean missionaries are better at explaining what we're all about! lol). I find that I'm learning a lot about the work by watching how my new companion does things.

Elder Choi has been sick for a few days, so I've been able to do a lot of reading. I've read a lot of the book, Jesus the Christ (by James E. Talmadge), and have learned a lot more about the Savior. Mostly, I've gained a greater desire to become a better teacher. The Savior was (and is) the greatest teacher ever known. He always went about doing good and used every moment to teach others. I've paid some attention to His specific instruction to the Apostles. Since a missionary's calling is an extension of sorts of the Twelves', and since the Twelve were being called to missions at the time, I hope to take some of that instruction and personalize it. I take great comfort in knowing that all the rejection and suffering we will face in the Lord's work is suffering for the Lord, and will be for our benefit. My testimony has been strengthened, and I hope to become a better missionary throughout my mission.

Happy New Year (the Korean one is in a few weeks)! Elder Bocchino

No comments: