Monday, July 8, 2013

Star Spangled Banner

Another Monday already?  The heck?  Where does the time go on a mission??
Anyway, life is a party as a missionary as always.  Today was kind of a let down though.  Our whole district decided we wanted to go to the beach in Buan (just to play on the beach, not in the water of course).  Super cool, right?  We bought water guns, a volleyball, towels, and we were READY.  We even got approval from our Mission President (don't worry, Mom, this was allowed).  Anyway, Elder Ward and I woke up early, got ready, and quickly went to the bus terminal for the 1 1/2 hour ride to Buan.  There, we waited for the rest of our district to arrive from their areas.  When they got there, we all went to eat lunch and then started to go to the beach.  But first, we checked the return bus schedule to see what time we all had to leave to go back to our areas and OF COURSE, Gunsan had one bus leaving in 20 minutes and another in 4 hours.  Because 4 hours would be too long and we wouldn't get back home in time, we had to take the bus RIGHT THEN to go back home.  So we went to Buan just to eat lunch and then leave and come back home.  Everyone else went to the beach without us.  Oh well, other time I guess.....  Haha it was fun seeing a new city though, especially a beach/touristy city like Buan.
Lesson learned, check return bus times before you go.  But anyway, mission work in Gunsan has been going really well.  This last week, our new Mission President, President Shin (pronouced sheen), came.  He is incredible, we are all so excited to be working with him.  He's definitely set the bar for us high.  While investigators are awesome, he really wants to make the focus also on members and less actives to strengthen the wards and stakes.  Right now, our stake has about 300-400 active members.  It's President Shin's goal to make every stake in Korean have the church standard of 2000 active members per stake.  So Elder Ward and I quickly jumped on finding all the less actives we can even more than we were before.  So far we've only found two or three, but we still have about 300 more to hunt down. 
As far as investigators go, we had an awesome experience this last week.  We're teaching this wonderful person named Hahni.  She is from the Phillipeans and is married to a Korean.  She can't speak Korean though, so we had her attend the American Air Force Base Branch with us this last week.  Earlier in the week, Elder Ward and I noticed it was the Fourth of July, and then said something like "cool" and that was the end of our celebration.  But at the Branch on base, the branch president during the meeting's opening said "We will now begin our meeting by singing the Star Spangled Banner after which brother so-and-so will offer our opening prayer".  It was kind of nice to have that small slice of home and July 4th while we are over here in Korea.  Yay for America!
Anyway, that's the end of my time, so I have to go.  Until next week!
Elder Graf

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