Saturday, March 30, 2013

New transfer

So as far as an update goes! :) This week has been just as busy as every. We have 2 investigators that are really progressing. Their names are 종정운 과 윤용돈. They are super cool. We have extended baptismal invitations to both of them and they have both said that if as they pray about it they feel it is right and they learn more about the book of mormon they will be baptized. So We are praying hard for them to feel the spirit and feel Gods love and help them however we can to understand everything. So things are going really well :) We weren't able to meet with the family refferal this week sadly because I got really sick and was stuck in bed for a day and a half straight. Not exactly fun, I think my body is still getting used to the Korean food and what not. One of my goals for this next week is to not get sick :) haha. But me and Elder 구병모 have been working super hard. We are out talking to people as much as possible and walking a ton trying to get to tons of innactive members and strengthen the members here. It has been really good and it is so great to see the spirit come into peoples lives and give them strength through these trying times on earth.
So today we found out our first transfer assignments! :) Im getting a new companion. They are putting a bunch of missionaries into my area. My house is going to be become a 4man house instead of a 2man house ( I don't know how we are going to fit haha:)) and the sisters house is changing from a 3woman to 5woman house temporarily and will be just a 4woman house. So our area is doubling size it is crazy! But it is super good because we have been super busy and now we will be able to help more people because there will be more missionaries to help out. My new companion is going to be Elder Barney. He has been out for 4 transfers so we are both newish missionaries in the field, so it should be exciting :) And since I am staying, eventhough I will still be in traning under Elder Barney as senior comp, I will be area senior which means I have to know how to get around the area and everything, so this week I am going to be super busy making sure I have that all down before my new comp gets here on thursday and I have to lead to all of our appointments. My companion that I have right now will be staying in 천안 but he is getting paired up with one of the new greenies coming in this week! Super exciting! So this next week will definitely be an adjustment but I am super excited to get it all figured out. I know the lord will help us through it all and it will all work out :)
Anyways I love you all so much! Hope everything is going well and can't wait to hear from you all again!
Elder Bigler

A PS - taken from the family portion of his letter, advice to siblings...
" I have found that everynight as I take time to meditate and think back on the day I can feel the spirit really strong as I go back and look for times where I might have felt the spirit that day. I know that one of the gifts of the spirit is the gift of rememberance and through the spirit you can remember these precious moments of each day. And a lot of times we don't recognize them in the moment, but when we reflect on them we can see them a lot more :)" Tyler

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Birthday week

Hey everyone :) Its been great to hear from you all. Thanks so much for all the wonderful birthday wishes :) I have to say birthdays in the mission field are a little different :) It was pretty much just a normal day in the mission field until the evening. When we got back to the apartment my companion surprised me with a birthday cake and a new tie and tie clip :) It was so awesome :) He was like I don't know what they usually do in America but this is what I have seen on TV :) haha it was awesome and so cool of him! I guess Koreans for a tradition of birthdays usually have some form of seaweed soup? I didn't have any but tomorro I am going on a split with 이우현 장로님. and he says he is going to make it for me :) haha anyways this week has been truly amazing! :) I started off the week going on a split with Paskett 장로님. He is super cool. He has been out about 5 transfers? I think...haha and he helped me learn a bunch of stuff that foreigners wouldn't know but that are so common to native Koreans that I probably wouldn't learn it from my 동반자 it was super helpful :) Then when I got back to my zone two native korean elders came and slept over because one of them had to go to a day of military training, because I guess in Korea it is required to serve and after you serve you have to go to day of training once a year until you are like 30 or something like that. Im not 100% sure it was a little confusing and they explained it all in Korean so I am not sure if I understood correctly or not ;) haha. Anyway they stayed over and we had a trio companionship for the day. It was fun :) I learned a lot of Korean really fast cuz my other two companions were speaking to eachother in korean and I had to understand quickly and say stuff otherwise I would just be left out :) haha and I didn't want that so I picked it up fast :) it was cool! And then the next day we had combined district meeting and it was so cool to see a group of several missionaries focused on looking for opportunities to serve more people here in Korea. It is so cool to see everyone's dedication to just wanting to help other people. I feel so blessed to be a part of it. We are looking for many new ways to serve the farmers in the area as they are starting to plant and also help a few families in the area were it is a single parent family and they are having a hard time and we are just going to help them clean up and teach their kids english and just help them however we can :) it is super cool. and it was about this time as we were discussing this that we me and my companion got a random call. My real compaion had gone on a compaion exchange because he is district leader and the missionary I was paired with was a new missionary who has been out only one more transfer than me. Since we were in my area I was told I was Senior companion! A little overwhelming if you don't know how to get around and can only partially communicate with people :) haha but then came the miracle of this random phone call: Some guy had received a book of mormon from some elders on the street about 20 years ago and they also gave him an english book of mormon. Lately he has been trying to learn english so he decided to pick up the english book of mormon and try reading it. He struggled but started reading the korean edition they had also given him. He couldn't understand the amazing feeling he felt when he read and he wanted to meet with us and learn about it and for us to help him read the english book of mormon too. It was so awesome. Since friday we have met with him twice, and he is so cool! :) He is totally progressing :) We then got a call from another area with a refferal! We called the guy and he wanted to meet so we went and met him. And then the next day we got a call from a member and he gave us a referral for a family of a dad and 3 kids who want to meet with the missionaries! We called him up and scheduled to meet with him this week! And then today we called and scheduled a few other appointments. Talk a bout a week full of miracles! We have been working super hard and have truly been blessed. I know that Heavenly father is watching over us and helping us find those searching for the hope and peace that comes from our message. When I got to this area we had 2 investigators, neither of which were really interested in the church. When I got to the area my companion was pretty much ready to go home and didn't feel like this area was being very receptive of the gospel. We weren't getting much support from the wards or ward members, and overall it was just a bit of a struggle. I sat down with my companion and told him that Heavenly Father was aware of his missionaries and he wouldn't send us to this area if he didn't know that the people here needed us. We had a bit of a pep talk and decided to set some goals and work as hard as possible. We have been talking to as many people as possible, helping others and doing what ever we can to strengthen ward members and strengthen the hope and light of Christ in this area. It has been a battle but since starting things have truly improved. We are now meeting with the mission leader weekly, he has been buying us food. The members all love us and we have no problem getting dinner appointments or help with investigators :) and it has been so cool to see that as we give everything we have and work our hardest God helps us go even further than we thought possible. Since I have gotten here we now have 11 investigators and 7 of which are really progressing in their undrstanding of the gospel. :) It has been a tremendous blessing and I know God is with us as we have been going forth :)
Ty's Letter to the Priest in our ward. It applies to all of us....

So I have been thinking a lot about what I would want to say to the priest quorum. I am truly proud of all the young men that you are. You have all been a strength to me and I know you will be great missionaries. I know now there is a stronger sense of urgency in the preparation of missions and I would like to just add my personal affirmation that this sense of urgency is needed. Young men Heavenly Father loves you and knows what you are capable of. And he knows that through you he can bless the lives of many of his children. Dont ever under estimate yourselves. Search deep in your heart and ask yourself if you know these things, this message, to be true and if it has blessed your life. If you are unsure you need to get down on your knees and PLEAD with your father in heaven to help you find the answer for yourself. It is no longer enough to go off the testimonies of others. Your testimony will be tried throughout your life and unless you have gained an adamant testimony for yourself right now you will not be able to go forward with faith, hope, and trust in your father in heaven throughout all of the struggles of this life. But I know that if you get down on your knees and pray with REAL INTENT, and a DESIRE to know you will receive an answer. I did this and I did receive an answer. And despite the struggles I know that God is there and that Christ is helping me, and that I am growing every day. I also want to talk to you about one more thing. You all are the Elect of God. We hear this a lot. But what does this mean? Think about it. Do you know what your full potential is? Are you working your hardest every day to reach your full potential? We know where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going. These three questions are some of the biggest questions of life. And you know the answer to them. You know how to work hard, you know how to be patient, you know how to be respectful, and you know how to exercise the true love of Christ. Are you doing this? I want to try to illustrate something. Picture a graph showing the potential of three people. The first person on a scale of 1-100 is 60, the second 40, and the third 80. Now picture them all reaching the level of 40 for their potential. Who is the most successful? The one whose maximum potential was 40. The other two could have accomplished 60 and 80 but they only reached 40. It is not enough to be satisfied with ourselves. We have to push ourselves to become the very best we can be. We cannot look to compare ourselves to others and be satisfied. WE NEED TO REACH OUR POTENTIALS. Every day we should be working hard to become better than we were the day before. We cannot become lax and be ok with where we are. We need to always want to improve. We can do great things and we have to work our hardest to become the best we can be. And at times it can be hard. We come to a mountain that seems impossible to climb. We try to find away around it and know there is no way but to climb. But like Elder Holland said, dont give up, you keep on going, there is help, and something better on the other side. I know this is true. Hope in Christ can help us accomplish all things and if we put our trust in Christ, and work our very hardest we will surpass our potentials. Through Christ all things are possible. If you will do everything you can and reach your potential and turn to Christ to keep going you will be able to become more than you ever imagined to be possible. I know that you all can accomplish anything you set your minds to. Decided today who you will become and work your hardest to become that person. As for me I want to be able to return home to my Heavenly Father and in that day be able to look into his eyes and say I worked my hardest every day, learned as much as I could every day, and became all that I could be and more through Christ. And then I know he will look back at me and say, my son I am proud of who you have come. 
I will not be satisfied with being good, and I know you all, you all can accomplish anything. You are a group of the strongest young men I know. Do not be satisfied with good. Strive to be great! Work hard and always know that Christ is your strength and when you can't go anymore he will help you and you will be able to get through all things. I love you all and I can't wait to get back and see the men that you have become. My favorite word, BECOME. Everyone, BECOME, true disciples of Christ!
I know this gospel is true, through it we all find strength we dont have on our on. Through this message there is always hope, there is always love, there is always purpose, and I know this message has blessed my life and many of those around me! I am so grateful to be able to serve and I know you will all be great missionaries! Work hard, and never give up :) No football game was ever won in the first quarter. The game is won by the team that can push through and push hard when the other team gets tired and wont get back up. Everytime you fall, get back up! No matter how many times you fall you are still a winner if you get back up. You only loose when you give up. Be strong, trust in Christ, and get back on your feet and press forward! You can do it, I know you can!

Elder Bigler

Friday, March 15, 2013

in new area and pics!

Hey everyone! :) It was so great to hear from you all! Sorry I haven't had a lot of time to write, and still dont have a lot of time. Things are super busy here in the field :) Haha I feel like I don't even get sleep at night, it is more just a short nap and then I am back up again. But it is awesome cuz sometimes I literally feel like something is carrying me through the day giving me the energy I need to keep going. I know for a fact that this is the spirit and that it is supporting and carrying us through life. I know that it is on the "wings of our redeemer" Jesus Christ that we can always find the strength we need to get through all of life's challenges. And then after the challenges always comes the blessings! You all are in my prayers and I know God is looking out for you :)  
Dad, I am so excited to be here following in your footsteps. The Korean people are amazing and I am learning so much so quickly :) By the way the 전안의 감동님 served his mission from 1991-1993 in Daejeon so he may know you! :) He brought out his picture book and we were trying to see if we could find you in there but the pictures werent very good quality so we couldn't really tell :) haha.

So this week has been awesome! :) Me and 구병모 장로들 have been working super hard. It is so amazing to see the miracles of God working everyday. I have definitley felt his strength. I got really sick a few days ago and practically collapse and the train station after having thrown up a few times. Our apartment is about 10k from the train station and I had no idea how I would make it back. I said a fervent prayer asking God to give me the strength I needed to get home. I felt a calm relief come to my body and every step I took I felt as though I had just enough strength to take another step. Then as I was walking we saw this boy and when I saw him I felt complete relief. I went up to him and talked with him, and bore my testimony of the restoration and gave him a book of mormon. He was really interested and we hope to meet with him again. As soon as I walked away the pain and weekness came back, I threw up around the corner and barely made it home before completely collapsing on the floor. My body was completely spent but I knew that God had given me the strength I needed to talk to that one boy and make it home safely. I felt so blessed to know that my father was looking out for me and could use me, even when I had no strength, to bless the live of someone who needed to hear the gospel. That night I was really stressed because the next day was really busy and there was no way I would be able to have strength to get through the day. But when I woke up, despite my weakness, I always had enough energy to get to the next thing and bare my testimony and help share the blessing of the gospel. I know this gospel is true and that God wants all his children to hear it and that he can give us all strength whenever we need it. If we will trust in him and always give him all we have, he will make up for the rest. I have definitely gained a testimony of this and am so grateful to have had this opportunity. I since have returned to full health and am working just as hard as ever! :) Yesterday I went to church and was asked to speak in church. :) I could tell the branch president was saying it kind of jokingly because he knew I was a greenie and most greenies cant even understand the question to speak in church. When I said sure in Korean he seemed a little surprised :) haha it was cool. He was like, wow you speak Korean well! :) and I got up and gave a 10 minute talk in Korean and I definitely received the blessing to be able to speak Korean. I have truly been blessed with the gift of tongues. I can understand a lot more Korean than people think I can and I am constantly surprising people :) I have definitely been blessed to be able to communicate with the people and I am so grateful. I know I wouldn't be able to do this without the lord. It is awesome cuz a lot of times it is like when I listen I hear a bunch of nonsense sounds that don't make sense, but then after they finish speaking I have a thought come into my mind of what they said and I know these thoughts are inspired of God because they are always right and I can completely communicate back, often using words I didn't think I even knew :) It is an amazing experience and it has really helped me grow close to the members. They are all super impressed and they keep saying I look like a movie star :) haha I have been truly blessed. My trainer is really surprise by how well I am able to communicate. He says I speak better than most missionaries who have been here for like 6 transfers :) So that is comforting and I am continuing to work as hard as I possibly can to learn as much as possible. It is so cool cuz I feel like while I am here on my mission I learn things so much faster than I did before. I can pick up on things and understand them super fast and remember them! :) I have learned so much and since I have realized this I am trying to learn as much as possible as fast as I possibly can! :) I have truly been blessed and I look forward every day to being able to share the things I have learned with people I meet. I have a strong testimony that God loves each and every one of us and that through him all things are possible! :) I know I wouldn't be able to do this without him and I know that this is his gospel and his work and that he is helping me bring it to all of his children so that they can all have the opportunity to return to him. All of his children have been with him before and deep down all children want to return to their father. I want to help them feel of his love and know that he has provided a plan to help them return to him. He is our loving Father and he is with us through everything. I am so grateful to be here and to have this opportunity. I would challenge everyone to strengthen their testimony in their love of their Father in Heaven and pray to him in deep prayer in the name of his son Jesus Christ to know if these things are true and to know that he truly loves us. And it is my testimony that he will bring comfort to your souls if you do these things with real intent wanting to know with all your heart. And it is by that feeling of comfort and peace that you can know that these things are true. I am so grateful for everyones support and and I am so grateful for the support of my savior. I know he is with me and he is helping me everyday. 
I love you all so much, I am sorry I don't have much time to share all of my awesome experiences from the week but I will try to share a few every chance I get! :) And I am going to send a few pics :) Love ya!!!!

-Elder Bigler

Me and 구병모 on the train on our way back from a mission meeting

the view off my porch in my apartment I wake up to every morning :)

The Ward mission pres is rich so he took us to this super nice restaurant in 온양

Me at a Korean monument

Chonan , it looks like New York at night

map of my area! It is huge. Covers one ward and one branch and has about 6 train stations in it. It is probably about the size of all of Pheonix.

First view from the ground in Korea

Me in the Korean airport

Monday, March 4, 2013

Hello from Korea! See Pics

This is my first real email from Korea!:) Haha how is everyone doing?Anyways holy cow I am in Korea!!!!:) It is so awesome here. I cant hardly understand a word anyone is saying but it is fun anyway :) 

On wednesday morning (first morning here) We went to bath house! :) Haha it was an interesting experience but definitely very cool. Then the APs took us back to the mission home and we had breakfast. Sister Furrniss made us french toast! Probably the last american breakfast I will have here besides cereal :) haha. It was cool. Then we went and did orientation learning all the mission rules and about Korean culture. It is cool, some of the differences you would never even notice but they are totally there. Haha for one when we count on our hands we start with our hands closed and open one finger at a time. When Koreans count the start with their hands open and put down one finger at a time :) Haha interesting huh? Well anyways after that we went out for our first 전도. I was paired up with Erickson 장로님. We had a lot of fun. And we had a super cool experience. I went up to this guy to talk to him right?....and after I kind of told him a bit of our message and what our church was about he started saying a bunch of words I didnt understand. Erickson 장로님 translated and told me that the guy was really interested and wanted to buy me and him coffee and sit down and tell him more! FYI that like never happens in Korea :) haha. So we gently explained that as members of the church we dont drink coffee, and I think that impressed him even more. Anyways he took us into this really expensive shop and bought us Orange Juice (Since we wouldn't drink coffee) the orange juice was like 6,000완, $6 a cup! It was delicious. Anyways we taught him about the restoration while he was drinking his coffee and we gave him a book of mormon and committed him to reading it. He was extremely interested it was so cool. He then asked for our phone number so he could meet with us again! Since when does the investigator ask the missionary for their phonenumber? Haha anyways we gave it to him and he made a memo in his phone to call us to learn more. We then got his number as well and told him we would call to schedule and appoitment to meet again. He was really excited it was so cool!:) we then left and continued 전도를 하고있어요. It was fun :) Elder Erickson then said that he had never had an experience like that in all the year and a half of his time on a mission, and he said it was greenie luck :) haha. Anyways we then went back and had testimony meeting and Sister Furrniss took lots of pictures to put them on the blog. I guess there is a Daejeon mission blog. You can find in if you search it on google. and She updates it often and puts pictures and stuff on it :) Anyways then the nextday, Thursday we got to meet our companions and where our first area would be! :) My first area is 천안. It is the biggest area in the whole mission! :) haha it has 1 ward and 1 branch. It is a big city and totally looks like new york! haha. :) It is pretty cool. My companion is a Korean native, named 구병모 장로닙. He is very short haha, and although he speaks english pretty well he doesnt speak it often because he likes the way Korean sounds better :) haha. So we dont talk a whole lot but he is a lot of fun :) He is probably like 5'2" haha and we definitley look a little weird walking around the city :) Haha I am a ton bigger than pretty much everyone here it is really funny. :) Im not worried of anyone trying to pick a fight with me :) I could probably pick most of them up with one arm :) haha. just kidding. but it is cool. Anyways it was funny the other day while me and Elder Koo were 전도 하고있고 we were talking to this younger guy and we eventually got his number. When elder Koo put it in his phone he already had the number in there...turns out someone he had 전도ed earlier had given him a fake number and it just so happened that the fake number was this guys number:) it was really funny and the guy laughed pretty hard :) We called him right there to make sure it was the right number and it was. haha so it was an interesting experience :) anyways thats life in Korea for the past few days :) There are definitely some new smells to get used to, and some language to learn, haha but I am getting the hang of it :) 

Anyways I wanted to let mom know that my sacred place, or as us missionaries call it, our personal groves, is in several different places while I have been out here. I think the most sacred time for me of the day that I really get to refill my spiritual cup is in the evening times when I am writing in my journal and reflect on the miracles that God has given me that day. I try to think of at least 3 miracles I saw and write them down and then pray and thank God for giving me those miracles and asking to receive more the next day. This helps me always focus on the best things that have happened every day and definitely helps me feel closer to my Heavenly father :) Other than that I also enjoy my personal scripture reading time in the mornings. I am going through the scriptures topic by topic :) since missionaries get an unlimited amount of free scriptures I grab one book and go through thinking of a topic and highlighting things that apply to that topic as I read. Right now I am going through looking at Characteristics of Christ. It is so cool and has really built my testimony that the book of mormon is truly another testiment of Christ. Every page is full of these characteristics :) 

비글러 자로

FYI all mail is to just be sent to the mission home and then they will forward it to my address :) Love ya!!!!!

So, do ya think that FYI was a hint?! His mission address is posted on the last blog post... just in case! :)

Tyler sounded great when we got to talk to him as he was leaving the country.  As you can tell he's excited to be in Korea, and excited to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with others!  Thank you all for your love, encouragement, and prayers for him, and the letters never hurt either! Below are some pictures that his Mission President's Wife posted on their site... Enjoy! Love, Dad & Mom Bigler