Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Elder Bocchino was tagged by Elder Singleton and Elder Anderson (former roommates at the MTC in Provo) on a P-Day last month in the Gaya Zone. Can you spot him? (Hint: Elder Singleton has the ball, and Joshua is in white shorts and a gray shirt on the right...)

Thank you, Elders, for sharing these!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

"Falling To Samchonpo"

Greetings from Samchonpo!!!!! There's a saying in Korea: when you go off on a tangent in a conversation, or anytime you just get lost/off the beaten path and can't get back, you say "I fell to Samchonpo"'s kind of known as the "end of the line" here in Korea. Yep, that's where I'm at. I love it!

Where to start? The branch is tiny! Sunday meeting consisted of the Branch President's family (President, wife, 3 young children), two missionaries (who are the counselors), two middle school students, a 21 year old (the branch mission leader) and an American family of three. That's it! Take out the American family and we all fit in one van (yep, that's how we got home yesterday.....all of us....). The Church meetings were very simple, short and spiritual. I had to get up and give my "introduction talk" of about 2 minutes stating who I am, where I'm from etc. Church here in Sachon is about 2 hours long instead of three. We don't really have a Church "building"'s on the 2nd floor of a building. Very very small. We have a nice ping pong table though. I have a feeling that I will be very good at ping pong before I leave this area. Koreans are obsessed with the game.

The area is beautiful. We're on the coast and next to a deep inlet that runs up quite a ways. So many amazing views, at least compared to the gray landscape of the big cities. It's been fairly rainy recently, and I'm reminded of home as we drive along wet, two lane roads in a rural area. Yes, we are in the extreme south-west of our mission. We might go to a town that is on the western edge of our area in the next few weeks....I'm hoping to run into some Taejon missionaries.

We went down to the fish market by the dock the other day. It's covered with a collection of tents and tables where grandmothers come and sell fish. Rats are ran over my companion's foot. It's interesting to see the women cut up live fish and watch as the fish continue to move even after skinned and sliced several times. Kind of gross, but that's life. I went to the end of the dock and looked out at the several islands that sit off of our coast.

My Italian companion and I have been eating a lot of pasta recently......we're loving it! Samchonpo/Sachon is amazing! I love it and I'm excited for the weeks ahead! Love,Elder Bocchino

Monday, February 16, 2009


Transfer calls came in on Friday night. I've been reassigned to an area called Sah-chon (Sachon). I live in a city called Sahm-chon-poh (Samchonpo). I love it. It's pretty small and interesting. Lots of rice paddies. A big switch from the big city area where I started my mission (the center of Pusan). I'm with the other Italian in our mission: Elder Naccarato. We're already known as the "Italians" or the "Italian team" in the mission. I'm pretty excited and I'm pretty sure I'm going to love this transfer (6 weeks). I'm excited to start working in a new area with new people.

This past week we went with "Dre" (Kim Jong Duk), our 89-year old friend, to his senior activities center where he introduced us to his "friends". Basically, he told them to listen to the American missionaries, believe Jesus, and go to heaven. It was the coolest and cutest thing I've seen yet. For a 90 year old man to travel around the city w/ six young missionaries and tell people to come unto Christ, it was pretty touching. We ate lunch with the seniors at the center and I was able to sit next to Dre. I'll never forget it. I hated saying good bye to him. When I announced in church that I was going to Samchonpo, he got a worried look on his face and said in english "too muchy far" (very far away). Then he told me to take care of my body, learn Korean, and come back sometime.

He is one of my most favorite people in this world probably. The "poor farmer" who lived in Japan for 11 years, fought in the war, met missionaries, received baptism, and wants his "spirit to go to heaven forever to live"......the Gwangan grandfather......the man, the myth, the legend: Dre.

(Elder Bocchino with Kim Jong Duk)

I'm now the 2nd counselor in the Sachon Branch (small, with @ 20+ members who come out to church). I'll be spending the coming week getting used to this area, which will be interesting. I'm expecting to hitchike a lot in this area, which should be fun.

The Church is true! Stay close to the Lord! Elder Bocchino

Monday, February 9, 2009

25 Baptismal Dates in Mission

Hey everyone. No time to write today. Everything is the same as always! We're feeling some pressure from certain members to return to the English program a little bit....but we're holding strong to President Jenning's new vision of the mission. There are also about 25 people with baptismal dates in the mission right now!!! It's so exciting. The work is progressing! The Church is true! Love, Elder Bocchino

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Well hello! I officially had my "bump day" on January 30th! (6 months as a missionary). I forgot to burn a tie, but I might do it anyway. Not much news to report. We had a pretty great meeting at church: all about member missionary work. We showed a movie called "Small and Simple Things" which was made by the Charlotte North Carolina Mission. It's pretty great, all about member mish. work. The members seem committed to some pretty aggressive missionary goals this year, so we're hoping they receive the missionary spirit to help this work move along! Take care - Elder Bocchino