Tuesday, June 30, 2009
My life is the same Ole’ except with New Miracles popping up all over the place! That’s the way missionary work should be! Lol, so chalk it up to the weirdest food I have eaten in country- lets go for more of the silk worm larvae! Haha it was delicious…… not! Anyway it tastes a lot like dirt! No worries when I come home I will bring some for you to try!Awesome to hear that the knudsens emailed you! They’re a great couple! We went to their house for dinner with our recent baptism and a guy who’s in Korea from Columbia! This guy has an amazing life story.
I won’t do it justice in here but he spent an hour telling us about his life. He was born out of wedlock in drug infested Columbia his mom was only seventeen and his dad left when he wasn’t quite one year old yet. This was such a traumatic experience that even though he was so young he remembers what his dad was wearing and that his mom was crying like crazy. Throughout his life his mom abused him physically, emotionally, and mentally. Then, at the age of fourteen she took him to meet his father to see what kind of man he was. His father was living with a women and had 13 children of which he all abused- he chased them off at the point of a machete. Throughout the rest of his teen years he moved away from home as he couldn’t stand living with his mother. He is amazingly brilliant and scored well on the test they take there that is similar to the ACT and got into the top school for psychology in the country. Because of complications(Depression) from his childhood he was kicked out and had to get treatment. Two years latter he was accepted into the 2nd best school but the same thing happened. In short he had a terrible life and came to Korea to escape it. He is fluent in English as in he sounds like we do when we are talking with friends and he taught himself all he knows about it in the two years he has been here in Korea. This Guy Hebert is absolutely amazing, from his life you would think he would be a hardened, tough luck kind of guy; but he has a special spirit about him. He’s got many fears right now because of what happened when he was younger- but it was ll to prepare him for the gospel. He is ready for it and I have no reserve in saying that the Lord has something special reserved for him here in this earth in the gospel!
The other miracle was 김 성 호, he was baptized! I got to baptize him this Sunday and he just came up beaming! Miracle.
Alright, funny story time! So there was a little boy baptized by the other elders in our house this weekend and he was nervous, more so about the water than anything else! They got him in to do it the first time and he bolted out of the font screaming and crying that the water was to cold(FYI it was freezing-I would know!lLol) After about twenty minutes his mom talked him into getting into the font again and as he was whimpering he was………….baptized…………and when he came up……….he was…………….Screaming Bloody murder!!!!!!!!! It was so funny to watch! We all felt bad for him though and wished that it could have been an incredible experience for him… at least he wont forget it! Hopefully his confirmation is better!So the rains have yet to hit- its just hot and muggy all over the place!
And no Carly event though I bought sparkly ties I did not pick myself up a manbag- Oh… wait… I do carry around something very similar to a purse! Lol I have to admit the idea of a purse when I get home is very appealing! It just holds so much stuff! I’ll stick with just the wallet though! Well, everything is good! Language is slow but it is coming!
Love you all,Elder Greg Grant
p.s. I'm staying in the same area for this next transfer!
Thursday, June 18, 2009
So this week has been one full of miracles! We started meeting a guy named 김 성 호 about two weeks ago and he is getting baptized this Sunday! He was so prepared from the minute that we met him! He loves the gospel and also loves helping me with my Korean! Lol in the last three meetings with him he has taught me a ton, to bad its all slang and can’t be heard coming from the mouth of a missionary! He’s amazing though- when we taught him the commandments he accepted all of them without a second thought! We taught him tithing was only ten percent and he said, “What, That’s all it is?” It was a testimony builder to me on tithing! Many times we think it is a burden to pay it, but it isn’t that much. Many people here pay their church over 50% of their incomes just so they get in good standing with their preachers! Its insane……. Preachers also sell there congregations to other preachers!Lol its quite the business, religion is, here in Korea.
Any way, what is the funny story for the week… So We were in a restraurant with the above mentioned baptismal date and he was teaching me how to say the word for chopsticks and I couldn’t get it right so I was working off of the"If you fail, try and try again" principle, and I couldn’t understand why people were looking at me funny and why our investigator was rolling on the ground with laughter. Come to find out I was saying it slightly wrong and I was saying the equivalent of the F word several times over in Korean! “Hey I didn’t know any better!” Lol It was quite a good laugh for me when I finally realized what was going on, and I did finally get the word for chopsticks down, it is a U sound not an O sound!Lol
Many miracles were seen this week as we are teaching tons of people, and upping our member taught lessons- its amazing how many people just appeared out of nowhere wanting to be baptized- currently we have 5 potential baptisms on the docket for the next three weeks four of which are almost certain to get baptized! I love this place- its got so much culture and just amazing people. I’m in Dong Jak for those who were wondering- its in the middle of Seoul, and its just like a county name in Seoul.
So I got the package from you Mom, thanks a ton- I loved all the pictures, and Dad were you really going to eat that Stone fly? Haha Wish I Could have been there to see that! Did you get the fish to rise for the stone fly hatch again then? That is one of my favorite memories of going to Yellowstone; that time we hit the hatch just right and spent like an hour throwing those suckers into the monster rainbows just sitting there waiting for us to feed them! Haha Haven’t got to watch the movie from home yet but I will get to it right after we go shopping, no worries! Lol we went to the temple here this morning and it was absolutely amazing. Its smaller than any temple I have ever seen before! Okay t-man I am sorry about your birthday but your present won’t be there for about three or four months because it is way expensive to air mail back to the states because of the exchange. It costs you about thirty and it costs me almost 100 so to slow boat it it is only twenty so that is how all packages will be coming! Lol P.s. your birthday is a Korean ping-Pong paddle, its sweet! Lol and I have yet to be beat here in country!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Glad to hear that missionary blessings go all around in ways of safety! Holy smokes that’s some crazy stuff when that happens. Glad you're all Okay! Now I will try to answer your questions since I just got your email. Normal day… there really aren’t;any normal days here in Korea, I have yet to go door knocking. It is the least a\effective way to contact people here in korea because they all live in high rise apartments and have cameras linked to their doorbells so they can see who is at the door, but we get a ton of investigators from the local universities chewn ang, and sum shirl colleges. Wow its akward to put those into English letters! Haha Glad to know everyone in the family is okay and that you took the white van and not the gray car! I love all of you tons! Love,Elder Greg Grant
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
So not much went down in the last week, the young man I told about last week is not going to get baptized and it looks as though we are going to end up dropping him as he no longer returns calls or texts and will hardly speak to us. We went and met with him last night and we both had the distinct feeling that it wasn’t his mom putting pressure on him it was just that he doesn’t believe what we have been teaching him. Its to bad that we couldn’t help him to see the importance of this gospel. Its hard to let people go, especially when you know that they are your brothers and sisters in the gospel. Its so much easier to talk to people when you view them that way too. This last week I have been trying to view people as someone I had met before in heaven and been good friends with, its amazing how much it has changed my view as I have done so, it almost makes me scared for every person who walks past because they simply don’t know what they are missing! I can truly say that I love the Korean people!
This last week was a particularly tough one with the language, I feel as though I should be making leaps and bounds, but am not- I almost feel as though I am at the same place I was when I came into the country. Not going to lie, it ticks me off! Haha everything in school came easy- I could pull A’s and B’s without even studying and all of the sudden I am studying harder than ever before and getting what seems like less result for the work. Its so frustrating, but hopefully it will eventually come. SO the miracle of the week came in the form of a twenty two year old young man. He has been coming to the church on Thursdays the last couple of weeks to play basketball and one day we were teaching a lesson on the streets at about 8:45 and he stopped to say hi, we quickly pulled him aside and talked with him for ten minutes and set up an appt. to play B-ball with him that Saturday, I have never seen someone ask so many questions or one who is so prepared to hear the gospel! We meet him for a third time tonight! He’s truly a great guy- who claimed to have crazy ping-pong skills which I quickly disproved as I beat him 21-9! Lol we had fun playing though! I have played enough ping-pong with Koreans that I feel as though I could safely beat Brock! OLSO
This last Wednesday was zone conference, it was Olympics at the Seoul Olympic stadium! I was happy as I managed to run a 5K in just under 20 minutes I still have a little bit of my lungs from tennis and working out back home! ol We then held the Olympics in the big stadium there, it was way fun and then we went back to the mission home for a meeting at 2. It was a great meeting and we talked about always having our line in the water like the successful fisherman.
(PMG Pg. 152) Read it if you have time its what we need to do to succeed at all things in life! Tennis, we have to practice we can’t just go and aimlessly hit a ball for four hours and think it will make us better even if it is fun! Lol Love ya’ll, Elder Greg
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Costs about .98 cents for a one page, regular sized letter.
Elder charles Greg Grant
Korea Seoul West Mission
Songpa PO Box 31
This is the address for the mission home; he gets his mail every couple weeks when he meets with the prez.
If you mail packages, send them to the following address, which is also to the mission home:
Elder Charles Greg Grant
Korea Seoul West Mission
Packages are a little spendy to send...anything over 4 lbs. is better to send in the International boxes that have a flat rate...you can stuff an anvil in there if it will fit and it will still cost you the flat rate: ) I have found so far, that it is cheaper to send small stuff in a shoe box from home...but he hasn't needed an anvil yet: ) Keep Smilin', Susan
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Chasing Maple in the City
Seoul's Top 5 Hiking Spots
It's that time of year again when the autumn leaves start to show lovely shades of red, orange and gold. Koreans love this particular time, when they head to the mountains to look at the changing colors of the dan-pung, or maple leaves. We'll tell you where to go to see some of fall's fantastic foliage.
1) Gwanaksan Mountain
With a beautiful boulder stream and a wide climbing path, Gwanaksan offers the naturalist a taste of all that is lovely and good in Seoul. The varying trail and open spaces allow one to take in the romance of it all while hiking up an intermediate level mountain. For a little cultural edification along with your exercise, hike to the three-story stone pagoda (2.7 km up) or to the Portrait of Prince Pyoryeong (2.7 km up). Take Subway Line No. 4 to Gwacheon Central Government Complex Station, exit no. 10. Walk straight from the exit for about 15 minutes. Follow the road as it curves to the right, look for two spirit posts on your left to mark the entrance to Gwanak Mountain.
2) Cheonggyesan Mountain
Think of this mountain like a "Hiking 101" class and a good introduction to the whole Korean hiking thing. With gradual slopes, clearly marked trails through lots of "tree tunnels," and plenty of pretty wooded pavilions, you'll not lack for any colorful displays here, though your will probably thank you. From Sinsa Station, take Bus 8442 to the Cheonggyesan Mountain entrance stop. Cross under the bridge where the outdoor market is and walk up past the little diners to the clearly marked trails. Two main courses, about 2 hours and an hour and a half, respectively.
3) Suraksan Mountain
This mountain is by far the most fun to climb. While it starts out relatively slow with its moderate incline, sparse woods and dusty gravel path, a little more than halfway up, you get to scramble over enormous boulders and navigate granite inclines. The more experienced hikers casually walk down a 70-degree incline, their hiking boots magically sticking to the rock face. The views are well worth the hike as well, as Suraksan Mountain is surrounded by various peaks, providing optimal views of autumn's colors. Take Subway Line No. 7 to Suraksan Station, exit no. 2. Walk straight for less than five minutes and turn left when you see the silver clock fountain. Follow the trickling mountain water fountain until you hit the base of the mountain.
4) Dobongsan Mountain
Well known for its challenging hikes, the mountain itself looks rather intimidating. Located northeast of Bukhansan Mountain, Dobongsan is famous for its beautiful rock walls. The mountain has many beautiful peaks such as Jaunbong (the highest at 739.5 meters), and boasts picturesque mountain temples. Take Subway Line No. 1 to Dobongsan Station. Get on the National Road and walk for ten minutes. Another option is to take Bus No. 141, No. 142 at City Hall to U-I-dong for 50 minutes.
5) Bukhansan Mountain
Located just north of Seoul and visible from Gyeongbukgung Palace, Bukhansan Mountain offers towering granite peaks and a more adventurous hike for those who like to be challenged. Full of lush greenery-now a rainbow of autumnal hues - and a voluptuous mountain stream, Bukhansan is surely worth the effort. From City Hall, take Bus No. 704 or 8771 to its last stop. From there, board the mountain shuttle bus to the ticket booth and hike to your heart's content. Get there early - hikes usually last all day.
New Bridge Fountain Performs Water Dance in Central Seoul
Seoul’s latest urban redesign project is a high-profile new city landmark -- and a new entry in the Guinness Book of World Records. This month the Rainbow Bridge Fountain, the world's longest such fountain, opened on the Banpo crossing of the Han River in central Seoul. The fountain runs along both sides of the 570 meter-long bridge for a total length of 1140 meters. With the nozzles at rest pointing out and slightly downwards, the effect is of a waterfall coming off both sides of the bridge. But the water jets can also “dance” in time to lighting from under the bridge, creating undulating patterns of water and light. The effect is especially dramatic when seen at night from the Han River Park on the south bank, with the lights of downtown Seoul and Seoul Tower in the background. The bridge itself is a double-decker, with a lower deck view something like being inside a waterfall.With computer-controlled choreography, the bridge fountain can perform a variety of shows. Show times are daily at 2, 3, 4, 7:30 and 8:30 pm.
The Rainbow Bridge Fountain is part of a larger 30-year Han River Renaissance project began in 2007 to make better use of the Han River Park (Hangang Park) and surrounding areas as central urban space and to set the tone for Seoul as an attractive environment. The effect of the ambitious river renaissance project is already being seen, not just in high profile installations like the Banpo bridge fountain, but also in overall improvements in access to and landscaping of riverside parks along both banks.
Best way to get there is as a pedestrian or on bicycle from any nearby Han River Park access. From the south side (Banpo-dong) the nearest subway station is the Express Bus Terminal stop, line 3 or 7.
[Input: May.11, 2009, 18:28/Modified: May.11, 2009, 18:34] Source : Tourism Promotion Division, Seoul Metropolitan Government
Hello and how the heck is everybody!So the computer is being really slow about opening up emails to read so I figured that I would get a jump start on writing this email! SO to make a long story short- what a crazy week! I feel as though last p-day was just yesterday. Which mom you will be happy to know that we went hiking on. (Yesss.......I KNEW it was in his blood...even in Korea: ) We went to the most famous hiking “Mountain” in Korea. It was more of a hill with a lot of rocks in the trail all the way to the top but it was just gorgeous the whole way up! We got up there and had an incredible view of the bigger part of Seoul, the pictures of it didn’t turn out to great because of the smog though.
So I just read dad’s email that says that NADAL LOST AT THE FRENCH!!!!!!!!!! YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. SO pretty much this means that ROGER FEDERER is like the best player of all time as soon as he wins it on Sunday! SO glad to hear that! Last P-day as we were waiting for a bus back from the mountain there was a court right by the bus stop and there were some guys playing on it! I wanted to go down there and show them how its done but figured I better get on the bus! The play on dirt courts here in Korea, I can’t wait to try them out. Many areas have tennis courts next to the apartments which people play on for exercise in the mornings! Hope I get sent there one of these times!SO we had interviews yesterday and president told Elder Haviland and I that unless something drastic changed in the mission we would be together the next transfer. Elder Haviland will now have been in this area for six transfers! Lol He just loves it here, or so he says.
We went to dinner at a members house Monday night and there little boy was running around, reminded me of Michael cause he stripped his diaper off and was running around stark naked! Lol Embarrassed his Mom to death!
So we have an investigator whom I am way close to we are the same age here in Korea (Korean age I am 20) and it means alot to be the same age as someone, we had a baptismal date set for the 25 but his mom doesn’t want him to be baptized. As we have been teaching him we couldn’t tell whether or not he really wanted to be baptized or if he even believed what we were teaching but last night confirmed to us that he loves the gospel and wants to be baptized with all his heart, he let the two members we were teaching with leave the room then asked us to wait a moment and told us… he was in tears as he said he would have to push his baptismal date back so that he could talk it over with his mother. I love this kid to death, his name is Pock G Hong, he has an absolutely amazing spirit, please keep him in your prayers and pray that his Mom’s heart will be softened towards the church.Hmmm, I can’t really think of much else to write about.
We went on splits this last Monday and I was with Elder Rowes companion, hes so quiet just as is Elder Rowe and because of that when we were contacting I did lots of talking which was very good for my Korean it made me use it more than I have ever had to before and let me know that if I will just take a second to think I can say much more than I think I can.
I don’t care what kind of mail I get! The E-mails are quickest but i love both! Just keep sending them is all I can say! I got your snail mail letter yesterday at interviews so it has been fun to be able to read it. So I guess you also want to know a bit about the area I am in, it has two huge universities who’s names I am to lazy to try to translate over to english! Lol We do a lot of talking up there, most people are willing to listen, but being willing to learn is another story! Almost everyone we teach has a Word of Wisdom Concern, they all have to go into the army and in the initial hazing they get hooked on beer, and the army gives them all the cigarettes they want for free so most men smoke, and we aren’t allowed to contact or teach women because of the culture. I’ll try to send pics. And something for T-mans birthday within the next Week, by the way how much money is still on my debit after I bought my translator?Hope all is well and sunny at home!
Love you all,Elder Greg Grant
Charles Grant (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Wed 5/27/09 10:16 PM
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Hey Family and friends!This has been a great week here in Korea! The weather is really starting to heat up now though! Wow, I never knew that it could feel so hot! Lol sometimes it’s the food as well and not just the air which I am feeling outside! I’m am finally starting to enjoy eating Kimchi though many types are way to spicy for me to even atemp to eat a lot of!Lol For the most part we eat at our house for it is cheaper than eating out every meal! My companion and I made potatoes and chicken with gravy the other night! I do have to say I was pretty proud of us, I had no idea that I could make food like that! It was the best meal either of us have ever cooked we decided! (I will send pics. Of it when I send back my memory card.) I actually got the letter with it in it here in Korea the MTC must have forwarded it so thanks mom!
Daily happenings here………….hmmmmm….. Kind of hard to remember from day to day so I will tell a funny story then I will tell a kool story again. A couple of nights ago my comp. And I were returning to our house at about 9 0’clock and we were walking down this alley that is by a bunch of restaurants and there were about ten drunk old men outside of these restraints. There were two who were just totally wasted and they were leaning all over one another and staggering around in the middle of the alley. ..... It was so funny because we turned around and he was bent in half with the other guy looking at him waving his hand in front of his nose saying in Korean- “yikes, that just ain’t right!” it was stinking hilarious to hear this drunk guy use a phrase like that even in Korean! Haha
Now to get to the serious work! This last week we have been working really hard to contact as many people as possible and just yesterday we met someone who is really interested in hearing the gospel. We were out tracting on the street and stopped him about 50 yards away from our church and started talking to him, he said he was way busy and that he had to get to school quick but we ended up talking to him for lalmost an hour and got a return appointment! It was amazing because you could tell that he had been prepared to hear the gospel at that time. He had all sorts of questions which no one had been able to answer for him and we had all the answers to what he wanted to know! I can’t wait to meet with him again tomorrow for if we can commit him to reading the Book of Mormon I think he will come unto Christ and join the church!So now answers to some of the questions I have been asked.
My companion Elder Haviland is a great guy, he the district leader for our district and he is from Utah! He loves sports, loves hunting, and most importantly he loves the work! He plays lacrosse and goes to school at BYU! Not gonna lie he is a thousand times easier to get along with than elder Rowe ever was! Lol Thus we get along great! Haha The food is great here, its just noty as sweet as back home, that is something I really miss is like sweet and sour chicken type things! I could eat that kind of food every day! Here in Korea many times it is sour but its never sweet-only spicy spicy spicy! Haha, I love it though this I a great country! I sleep on a little tiny YO its about a foot to short so my feet hang off for what feels like ten miles!Lol its all good though! No worries Carly I have adapted to the sleep schedule fine though it’s a pain to wake up at six thirty- I still get up before the time passes! Hundred percent obedience baby!
SO what is going on in the world? We have heard news about North Korea firing up some nuclear missile testing! Is this true? Wait I know it is true, but whats going on with it? Haha Its funny to see how south Koreans act to north Korean news, it seems like they could care less what their neighbors do because they have the U.S. on their side! :LolHope all is well back home! I am loving Korea, and all that comes with it!Can’t wait to get the pictures form you Mom! If you haven’t sent the package yet, we loved the Velveeta cheese! Its great to use for cooking and makes for some easy food!If you send off the package soon I will get it in two weeks when we have zone conference! I love you all and wish you the happiest coming week!Love,Greg Grant