Sunday, December 6, 2009

Gyeongju to Bangojin

I'm transferring out of Gyeongju after 18 weeks here. I love Gyeongju and was expecting to stay, but I'm hoping that this transfer will be fun too. I'm heading to the big city of Ulsan to an industrial area called Bahng-oh-jeen (actually fairly close to Gyeongju). I'll be District Leader and co-senior with Elder Murray. He came to Korea 12 weeks behind me.

Last week we gave Nadia (the Russian lady) a Russian copy of the Book of Mormon. One nice lady from English class took us out to eat the Japanese soup Shabu Shabu (basically meat and veggies flash boiled). Delicious.

We walked way down into the rice field/outskirts south of Gyeongju last week looking for a less active member. We asked a really nice man on the street where we could find a real estate office to look at a map, and he just went into his own business and printed us off a simple map from the computer. Nice guy #1. Then we went to the address and asked a man working in a small garden nearby if he knew the person we were looking for. He knew the family and took us to the house where we talked with the (very old) parents of the church member, and the man persuaded them to give us the son's number. Then we talked to that man for a while after. He was so shocked that we traveled all the way out there to find one member who hadn't come to church in like 15 years. He was an angel. Very nice and had lived in that same spot for over 60 years, born and raised. Nice man. Out of the whole experience we gained a simple map from one man and a phone number from another, but I felt the Spirit and the kindness of those people. Good times.

Mr. Jung (I'm so sad to leave him) continues to testify that our church is a good Christian church to people he meets. It makes me feel good to hear that. He's not going to get baptized any time soon, but it makes me feel good to see that someone's perspective of our church has changed. He's been a good friend to me and will continue to be great to the missionaries. I'm going to miss playing cards with him.

Nadia came to church with her daughter and a Filipino woman. I hope they continue to come and get closer with the Church members.

On Sunday, I had a hard time giving my farewell talk in Church. Church members see missionaries come and go all the time, but I only get to have one Gyeongju, and only get to see those people so often. They didn't know I was transferring, so when I got up and said that I was being transferred, people were surprised. The Branch President might have been mad that I didn't tell him right away haha. I shared Ephesians 2:19 and talked about how the love that I felt in Gyeongju helped me feel less like a foreigner and more like a Gyeongju person/branch member. I love Gyeongju and I love those people. I felt their love so abundantly and I'm thankful for that.

After Church we went to the traditional house of an English class member (her husband has a huge black beard!). We just chatted for a while. She's really nice. I didn't know but she's a member of the Unification Church, led by Reverend Moon from Korea. Nice lady.

Sunday night we had our usual dinner appointment with Hye Jung, the recent convert high school girl and her brother and mother. We ate delicious food, promised to keep in touch, and then we had to go. It was freezing cold outside, but I felt warm from the love of that family. I'm going to miss them. They've been like a second family to the missionaries in Gyeongju for so long.

So I'm headed to Bangojin. The Gospel is true! Missionary work is amazing!!!

I love you guys! It's almost Christmas! Happy Holidays!!! love, Elder Bocchino

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