Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Revisiting Gyeongju!!!

I'm back in Gyeongju!!!! For the day...thought I'd come back to my old area and spend some time with friends I made here. I miss this place.

I don't have much time. This last week has been good!!! We've gotten some good contacts from people...hopefully we'll be able to meet with them again.

At church, we were able to answer some questions that a recent convert had about the timelines of the Bible and the Book of Mormon and how they match up. It was a pretty good class.

Sister Lee is still doing great!!! She really had a strong conversion experience and continues to diligently live the gospel.

We made flyers for our English class and are trying to get a lot of people to come. We're trying to make a good new start and do some missionary work through our English class. We'll see how it goes.

Next week we'll have Zone Conference.

sorry...I really don't have time.........the mission is great! Love, Elder Bocchino

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Still here in Bangojin!

On Saturday we did have an unusual day. In the morning we played soccer with the ward men/boys and then ate at a member's restaurant. Then my comp and I took two of the boys to play basketball at the Young Men basketball tournament in the ZL area Shinjung. Way fun!!! We're hoping to do that again in a few weeks and include some other branches. Playing basketball is a great tool we can use to build relationships with young men here in Korea. They're funny when they play b-ball.

On Sunday night (Sister Corrigan's last night) we had an awesome dinner appointment with some members. We had spaghetti, real salad (with cucumbers!), fruit salad, Costco pizza and cheesecake. Amazing. That's all I can say. The American-ness of the meal was somewhat offset because we ate while sitting on the floor, but it was still great. The wife told lots of funny stories making fun of her husband for dating a lot when they were younger (prior to marriage). They're hilarious and really great members.

Our Branch Mission Leader has been in America for a few weeks, so we've been teaching Gospel Principles class in his absence. That means watching movies hahaha.....we watched The Testaments over the past two Sundays - good movie.

Yesterday we went to the mission home for a meeting for all district leaders in the mission. It was interesting, despite being mostly administrative.

Yep, really nothing crazy to report. This transfer is ending, but Elder Murray and I will be staying together here in Bangojin for another transfer. Love, Elder Bocchino

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Emergency Response Meeting

We're gonna try to get into a university or community center weight room for our P-day today. I'd love to pump some iron.

Sister Lee is still doing great! We watched The Testaments (movie) with her and she loved it. She is very spiritually sensitive and really feels that God is happy with the choices and decisions she's made. She has a wonderfully strong testimony of this gospel and constantly hungers for more knowledge. She also works two jobs to support her son and daughter, and is an angel to the missionaries. What a wonderful woman and an inspiration for me to do better!

A member who was baptized, maybe two years ago, went to serve in the Temple for the first time last week. A great experience! It's great to see the members here in Bangojin deepening their faith and working to apply the Gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives. She had some questions after she went, so we went with the Sister missionaries to meet with her. Great discussions!

Last Sunday, the Branch had a practice "emergency response" meeting to test the emergency calling plan, and all gathered to the church building that night. We ate kimchi pancakes and ramen and had a great time! Way fun! I just hope we don't have to do that for real, like I'm sure churches in Haiti had to do...please keep the Haitian people in your prayers!

We set up an appointment with a potentially great university student investigator last night, and got punked. We'll see if we can find some other time to meet him. Still working on trying to find less active members! Always interesting...I'm pretty sure I'm beefing up my resume for whenever I apply to work for a private detective agency...seriously.

We've been having some very interesting and spiritual district meetings lately, thanks to the district members. I've been learning a lot from the missionaries I'm around, and they're seeing a lot of baptisms and interesting experiences. Last week, we attended the baptism of two girls and a middle-aged woman. I was able to interview them and found them worthy for baptism. President Jennings was able to attend the service, and gave a great talk!

Ulsan is doing great! We're still working on becoming a Stake. Things are good! The Gospel is true!!!! Love, Elder Bocchino

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Slump Day!!!

If the going-home schedule doesn't change with the changing pdays, today is my SLUMP DAY. That means 6 months until I'm in America!

So, a very cold week in Ulsan. It apparently snowed buckets in Beijing, Seoul, Taegu and even the little town of Yongchon (where Elder Singleton is) but it was just very cold rain in Ulsan. Disappointing.

It's been pretty hard to actually have appointments with people over the last few weeks due to the plethora of holidays, but we've still had some interesting experiences. Sister Lee continues to progress since her baptism and is so happy to be living a gospel-centered life. We met with her, her daughter and her son the other day and ate seafood soup with them (yep, definitely ate some tentacles and other things I couldn't identify). The daughter is a college student who the sister missionaries want to meet. The son is a really shy high school student. Sister Lee really wanted us to help them and wants them to join the church.

Sister Kim (a member who was baptized a year and a half ago) is going to the temple for the first time tomorrow night. We're helping her prepare for that. We're also teaching the Gospel Principles class since the teacher is visiting America for a month. That's fun! The Sisters' baptism (Sister Ooh) was confirmed last Sunday.

Yesterday, we had District Meeting. It was great! We discussed the Book of Mormon and Faith. It was also my companion's year-in-country mark. So we ate WHALE MEAT SOUP. Tasted kind of like beef...but fishy.

Tomorrow we have interviews with the mission president, then I'll interview 3 of the Shinjung Sisters' investigators who want to be baptized this Saturday.

With the difficulty in meeting people recently, the spiritual high points have been district meetings and Sister Lee. We hit a low last week when Elder Matsurra and I were on splits. Searching for less actives, we ran into a father who didn't like that we knocked on his door, so he yelled at us in Korean low-form* and slammed the door in our faces. At one point, this man had invited missionaries into his house to teach his daughter and allowed her to be baptized, but now for some reason felt perfectly fine making us feel like trash and let us freeze on his porch. The day had been full of disappointments and discouragement for us, and I wanted to talk to him again. I almost knocked on his door again because I wanted a confrontation so badly (and had some uncharitable thoughts). Instead, Elder Matsurra and I just stood there...cooled down...and then just laughed with each other. Elder Matsurra has a chuckle that's contagious. The cute puppy downstairs also lifted our spirits. I'm pretty sure I repented later for my angry thoughts. ^^

Discouragement, Doubt, Fear...all are opposed to Faith. I testify that as we live faithfully we have no need to fear, and by exercising our faith we invite the Holy Ghost and legions of angels to work by our side. I'll try better to remember that next time!

The Gospel is true! Love, Elder Bocchino

ps the lunar new year isn't in's in bad!

*note from Sis. Bocchino: we inquired about Korean low form, and were told "Korean low form is a form you can use when speaking to someone younger than you (usually quite a bit younger than you and usually only if you have enough age to make it work), or with a romantic interest, or with family, or to animals, or when you're really really angry (at someone younger ish than you.) and then it's kinda like a very rude hand cuts."