Sunday, August 9, 2009

Gyungju Ward

Elder Green and I are working it in Gyungju! Gyungju is very beautiful, tucked into a valley surrounded by rolling green mountains. It's been misty and wet this past week, so I've kind of felt like I'm in Washington again. Definitely not as hot as Taegu! There aren't too many big buildings in Gyungju because the local government wants to preserve the "traditional feeling" of the ancient Shilla capital. This has caused the city to spread out across the valley, with universities and larger apartment buildings on the outskirts. It makes missionary work harder, but the town really is charming. A nice evening walk along the river or through the tree-filled park is pretty sublime. The people are nice and have seen missionaries around for years. It reminds me of Sacheon...though it still doesn't occupy the same special spot in my heart that Sacheon does. :)

We had church meetings yesterday. The Branch has about 30ish people coming out each week. Not bad at all. A good number of youth too. Great people, very nice and welcoming. Very warm. I LOVE the small branches. We meet with a high school girl (Hyae Jung) and her family on Saturday and Sunday nights and they feed us. The girl was baptized a few months ago. They're great! My MTC companion, Elder Heaton, was one of the first missionaries they started meeting. Missionaries love them. The mom cooks delicious food and we hang out with them, play card games, and teach about the gospel. Great family.

The Branch President is a convert of 3 years. He's a powerfully built man about 5.5 feet tall. Great personality, very warm and funny. The whole Branch seems great. When I got up to give my introduction talk yesterday, I felt accepted and appreciated. Great people. Oh, note of interest: this is my trainer's (Elder Jeff Hinton) greenie area. He's excited for me. This is also my MTC companion's (Elder Heaton) greenie area. I'm taking the place of the last senior (Elder Kim) who is also in my dongee. Since he's half-Korean and super smart, he was really good at Korean, so I'm intimidated trying to fill his shoes.

Korea is great!!! Hard to believe I have about 11 months until I'm home. Love you guys! The Gospel of Jesus Christ is true! Elder Bocchino

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