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

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