Monday, November 10, 2014

The Last Area

Goodbye SeJong, hello Dunsan, oh....... hey Daejeon.....nice to see you again.

Now, to you people, you probably have no idea what that means really, so I'll explain.  For the last seven months, I have been living in the city Daejeon in the neighborhood of Yuseong.  That's like living in New York City, but on Staten Island.  I've been serving in Yuseong all that time, but also in the city of SeJong - which is about 30 minutes north.  It's been a very long time, but a very wonderful time as well.  In Yuseong/SeJong, I've made many friends, experienced many things, seen two of my investigators get baptized, and have truly come to love the area.

Transfer calls came and I knew I would be leaving.  "What new and foreign land will President be sending me to next!?" I wondered.  "Will it be the south?  The sprawling traditional country towns?  An ocean city again?  I sure hope I get an ocean city again.....".   Clearly, I was excited to see just how I was going to be spending the final stretch of my mission.  I mean, I love Daejeon - and it's been a great time - but I've already seen and done nearly everything there is to see and do here, and a new area is always nice

During my time leading up to when our calls would come in, I was busy saying goodbye to everyone and announced to them that I would be leaving soon.  "Where?"  they asked, and I would respond by telling them that it would most likely be somewhere far, far away.  I met with the military general one more time and he took us out to eat a delicious meal.  My English class in SeJong celebrated our last day together and each one of them gave me a going away gift.  I taught farewell lessons to each of my investigators and visited all of the member families that I had come to love so much.  It was actually really hard to say goodbye to everyone - Yuseong had literally become my home and all of the people here, my family.

But alas, the day came and I waited in patience for the call to come.  The phone ringed and I looked at caller ID - it wasn't the APs, but was my old companion Elder Skinner.  I answered.  "Dude did you get your call yet!?

Clearly he had gotten his.  "No, I didn't.... what's happening to you?"

"My comp and I are staying the same - but you need to get your call - you're gonna flip!"

My phone began ringing again - this time caller ID said the APs.  "They're calling right now - I gotta go!"

And oh boy, did I flip.  My new area is Dunsan.  It's still Daejeon - just the next neighborhood over from Yuseong.  Literally a step, not a stone throw, but a step away.  My new companion?  Elder Oliverson - he's from Castle Dale, Utah.  And our position together?  Daejeon Zone Leaders.

Stress.  Lots of stress.  Still staying in Daejeon - not getting that nice fresh start I was vying for.  Zone Leader too sounds great and all - but whenever you ask a Zone Leader whether or not they like it, they'll always hesitate for a while - definitely doing a little "should I tell him, should I not, should I tell him, should I not"  mental battle until they finally blurt out with a smile "it's always great to serve the Lord"

such saints.

Haha, anyway, I was definitely stressed all week long trying to build my mental strategy for how I will going about adjusting to the minute yet also drastic changes.  Thursday came and I said by to first SeJong, then Godfrey - my one and only greenie - and headed to the mission home.  And ever since then, I had no idea why I was stressing out so much.

Dunsan rocks! It's like the Manhattan of Daejeon - the big city center. All of the members are so nice too.  And, it is also designated as the ward in the Daejeon area that all of the English speaking foreigners who are living in Korea attend and so on my very first Sunday, the Bishop had me translate 2 of their talks into Korean during sacrament meeting so the rest of the ward could understand.  Talk about pressure for a good first impression.  "Hi ward members I don't know at all and I just met today - you all now get to see my Korean ability".  Luckily, it turned out great and all I got afterwards was compliments about how good my Korean was.  Success.  And being a Zone Leader....... I have always liked leadership positions.... ;)

So a great last 3 months it will be.

Elder Graf

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