Elder True DeMille

Elder True DeMille

Sunday, December 28, 2014

To The Roots


I can't even explain how cool it was to be able to SEE my family and loved ones again this year! They're all so huge -- ..and life is moving so fast! TOO RAD!!

This week was sincerely SLAMMED with stuff to do. We had mission conference, Christmas, a big Family History stake conference, and a sweet orchestra performance! This week was TOO cool! Thank you so much to all of those wonderful people out there who sent gifts to their missionaries in the form of presents, thoughts, words, or prayers! They certainly made our Christmas season even brighter! And yes, that includes you Family, Abby, The Stone’s, The Leppard’s, The Paul’s (second family), and the Cali Fam! You rule!

For those of you that don't know, Korea doesn't really celebrate Christmas. There are trees and lights here and there, and sales everywhere, but no one opens presents Christmas morning or anything like that. A lot of people take the day off of work and have a nice dinner with their family, but it's nothing like America. ...Ohhh how I love 'Merica. All the stores are still open, people still go to school, etc. It's pretty lame~ But! They do all go to their respective churches (except for ours of course) on Christmas Eve and worship so.. I guess that's cool. 

On the other hand, our Christmas was SO good. My family spoiled me rotten with gifts, and we were able to work out SKYPE for both my Mom & Scott in Utah, and my Dad, Annie, and Iza in California. Super cool. Not only that, I got to see my siblings, my second parents (the Paul’s), and my girlfriend Abby! ..Could life get any better?!
As the week went on, we focused a lot on our Family History Activity we were having for the stake. I was asked to speak at it since I'm (apparently) the only missionary in our Zone with an exciting family story, haha. It went well. We prepped all sorts of cool visual aids and such, and through talking with my mom a lot about it (she's incredible) -- I learned a TON. 

..And.. I figured I'd share some of it with you, so you can know a little bit more about Mister Sir Elder DeMille and his ties to Korea. ...Ready for this?
Punch it!

My Grandma Kim (Kim Chong Ye; 김정예) was born in Korea in 1947.Growing up, she was always in love with the idea of 'coming to America' -- In fact, she was almost desperate to do it. She and her friends would hand around the Army base to meet American soldiers to see if there was any hope there. Part of the reason she wanted to leave Korea was because she wanted to be treated with respect, and she didn't feel like women were respected there. She really wanted to further her education in Korea, but her parents would only pay for her two brothers to go to school. She and her three sisters were not afforded that luxury. She even ran away from home at one point to attend a secretary school and live in an apartment with a friend. ..In the end, this didn't work out well and, she returned home.

One day, while hanging out with friends and other from the military base, she saw a new young man. She thought he looked sweet and innocent and didn't want him exposed to wherever they were going. She pulled him aside, and told him, "You don't want to go here." She told him what to say to the cab driver to get him back to the base. ..And, after that, they became good friends.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is my Grandpa Don.
Grandpa Don had been a member of the Church as a young boy, but as he grew up, as well as through his high school years his family fell away from the Church. He got a little wild in high school (like we all do) and didn’t have the best friends and he knew the only way to break away from it all was to really get some distance between him and his so called peers. He decided to join the US Army and... bam. Was assigned to serve in Korea.
After the previously mentioned experience they started dating and later fell in love. But.. once they decided to get married, things got a little complicated. None of the parents approved of the union. ..However, they were in love and they knew it was the right thing. They waited until Grandpa Don was 21 so he could make the legal decision without his parents' consent, and were married just two days later -- May 13th, 1970. They lived in Korea the first year and a half of their marriage while he was finishing his time with the Army.
They also had Elizabeth, their first daughter ( my aunt Liz) there in 1971. They lived there long enough so that all Grandma's family knew him and loved the baby - then it was time to go. My mom was born later in America in 1972, but after being married for just a little while, my Grandpa Don felt pulled back to the church he attended as a young boy.  He wanted their marriage to be eternal. He wanted their family to be 
forever. He knew they needed Church in their lives. At this point, Grandma Kim was so homesick she wanted to be around Korean people … anywhere. Don did some 
searching and found a Korean church that met in downtown Portland, Oregon, and one day they went.
Grandma hadn’t had any exposure to religion in her life and didn’t know what to expect. She was just happy to see Korean people. She listed to their service … but didn’t understand what they were talking about. It didn’t make any sense to her, even though she could understand all the words of it. No one welcomed her. No one said hello. It was very cold. Once the service was over, the people almost ran out of the room. They all headed downstairs in the church building, so Grandma and Grandpa followed them. Downstairs they were serving a big lunch for everyone. Grandma Kim was so disappointed. She could tell now that no one had been excited to come to church to learn about a gospel; they were excited to come to church to eat good food. She didn’t want to go to this kind of church.
After this experience, Grandpa Don wanted to take her to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He wanted to be able to be married in the temple. He wanted her to learn about the Gospel for herself too. He didn’t really tell her anything about it at all. For example, the very first Sunday they attended the local ward, he didn’t even tell he what she should wear, so she wore pants. She was a bit embarrassed, because all the sisters were in skirts and dresses, but it didn’t matter. They loved her. They welcomed her with open arms and were so excited that she was there. She felt so supported right from the beginning. She felt that this was the right place to be and that this church had something more to offer, something deeper. The Bishop then arranged for the missionaries to start meeting with her.
Grandma was a difficult investigator because she didn’t want to be baptized just to be baptized. She wanted to truly believe everything the Church taught. Grandma didn’t have any problems accepting the Law of Chastity, as she already believed it was right. The Word of Wisdom made sense to her, but it was difficult for her to give up her coffee at that time. She went through 3 different sets of missionaries before she was finally ready to accept the invitation to be baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Shortly after, she took a trip from West Linn, Oregon, to Oakland, California, to visit the nearest temple and be sealed to her family for time and eternity. She says that it was the most beautiful day and when her daughters, Elizabeth and Lisa, walked into the sealing room she could hardly breathe because they absolutely looked like angels.
...So, this is my family, and this is my tie to Korea. My dream is to one day find and meet the relatives we have lost touch with in Korea. My grandma has 2 brothers: Kim Yong Sun (김용순) and Kim Hak Bum (김학범) as well as 3 sisters: Kim Chong Sue (김정수), Kim Chong Wol (김정월) and Kim Chong San (김정산) -- who are hopefully still in Korea somewhere, with kids and grandkids of their own. Their parents are Kim Gui Yeol (김귀열) and Byeun Ee Deok (변이덕) and are all Kyeung Ju Kim (경주김씨). If you recognize these names or know someone who you think might be related... please let me or my mother know. Thank you all Have the best week ever!

Trying to find my family.. ...And rule the world, of course!

All the love,

Elder DeMille!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Merry Christmas!!!

Honestly, I wish I had a ton to tell you...
Well, the secret is, I do! 
...I just don't have the time to do it.. (Boooo!)

So, for now, I seriously hate to do this, but.
You've just gotta wait until next week! A lot of important communicating had to go down today to coordinate Christmas Skype's and an investigator I'm trying to hand over to my friend Elder Pace in Japan, so.. forgive me for my lack of information and zest! However, I love you all to pieces and want you to know that the missionaries all over the world are praying and thinking about you all day every day. YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW IMPORTANT YOU ARE.
Don't give up on yourself. 

And have the best Christmas ever! Remember the reason you're here, what you're meant to do, and how you're able to do it. Bless the lives of those around you during this time of year and you'll be able to feel the Savior's love! I love you all!!

All the love,

Elder DeMille!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Rhyme for the Times ...

So, here's my week in a nutshell. 

*Cool introduction*
..*Super rad beat*
......*Que nerdy kid serving in SoKo*


Monday - the first day of the week!
I emailed the fam, and was so stoked they could speak!
We shared some silly pics, and my mom talked a bunch,
Then Elder Helms, S and I went to "Yumsem" for lunch!
We ordered the special -- Kimbab the size of your arm --
We all tried to "one bite" it, and like... HOLY FARM.
It was hard! The kimbab was huge!!
We then headed to the mall where we knew our money we'd lose
As we dropped 5's and 10's for the loved ones back home
S helped us wrap all the presents and man --
He basically did it alone!
Then Tuesday came around, another lovely dawn -
We didn't do much, but ended up teaching S-son!
Again, I know right? This guy is a 왕! (King -- said like, "Wang")
And after we taught we ordered Pizza 에탕! (Etang)
It was 'uhlicious! And then later that night,
We met Sister Morisse who said with words so polite,
"There's an Elder you know who's hitpoints seem low..
We think he may only be able to take one more blow!"
So I, Elder DeMille, worried my ally might faint,
I took up my brush -- AND ROBOTIC ART I DID PAINT!
Though tired and worn, my zeal disappeared from my head,
And so I wrapped up in my soft blanket and dozed off straight to bed.
Wednesday was plain, another day in the ages -
Though of Jesus the Christ I read like 20 some pages.
With District Meeting, English class and the missionary works,
We ended up spending like 8 1/2 hours in the church. 

Thursday, … we painted a whale --
And I can tell you right now it was certainly not up to scale.
But our main man S.O. was having a somewhat "off" day, 
So we thought that our lava-spouting mammal would make the frowns go away. 
That night we played basketball, my second favorite sport -- 
Some say they like the way they dribble up and down the court,
Though as our night came to an end, we turned off the lights,
and we locked up the church and wished the stars all good night.
Friday, ...was where things just didn't click.
We woke up in the morning with Elder Helms oh so sick -
So we made him some soup, bought crackers and tea, 
and around that time I prayed pretty hard for TV.
But.. ..I read, I studied, and sat around feelin' healthy,
While poor Elder Helms was all germily-wealthy. 

Saturday seemed to come quickest of all,
We spent 3 some odd hours in the A.M. playing futbol. 
Then English class came and went, 
And let me tell you - Helms was still not 100%.
But we worked hard, and later that night,
I learned some Japanese sign language, and man -
Then, well Sunday was so rad I could boast..
See our man S.O. finally RECEIVED THE HOLY GHOST!
We all gifted him a tie, and K.T.H. gave him soap - 
To keep himself clean! We think he'll use it - I hope. 
Outside of that, there's not much to tell,
But I hope by this rhyme you can all tell I'm swell,
My week went by quick and I hope this one does too,
Because I can't wait for Christmas!! What about you? :P

All the love,
All the time.

Elder DeMille!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

You've had a birthday.. shout.. "Salvation"?

Haha what's up everybody!

This week was definitely one to remember. Wanna know why?? 

..Yeah, you're right.. you probably don't .. 


..All the love,
Elder DeMille!

....Haha psyche! I'm tellin' you anyway!!!

This week, December 4th (I'm sure my mom posted about it everywhere, or she got a hold of your phone number and called to tell you anyway -- that superwoman) was my YEAR MARK as a Missionary!! Isn't that crazy??! It sure didn't feel like it, but the overnight transition from "Young missionary" to "Old missionary" wasn't as thrilling as most would think. A few new wrinkles on my Book of Mormon, saggier ties, grayscale scarves... ...I think I could get used to it! ..Whipper-snappers! Heh!

Anywho -- I'm still new to a lot of things out here, ..such as...

B A P T I S M ! ! ! ! ! 

Our investigator, was baptized!!! I performed the ordinance, and - me being me - had to say the prayer twice, but man -- it all went so well!! He was a champ the whole time, loved every minute of it, and is so proud to have finally done it! Elder Ellsworth showed up too, and it was super cool to have that kind of reunion between us all. I thought a ton about how neat and special an experience such as baptism is -- and decided I couldn't really put it into words. I wrote as much as I could in my journal last night, but when it came down to it, some words that I was told one day kept echoing in my head.

"Elder DeMille ..What do you think the most powerful force in the universe is?"

"Like...In the whole universe?"

"Yes. What do you think the most powerful force in the whole universe is?"

".. I'd have to say God. ..right?"

"Is that what you think?"

"Well.. yeah. Nothing is more powerful than God. He's omnipotent, omnipresent.. omni.. powerful."

"..That's usually what people say. And it's not a bad answer -- in fact, it makes the most sense. But, what would you say if I told you there is something more powerful than God?"

"..I'd ask you what it is, haha. What could be more powerful than God?"

"..Elder DeMille, the most powerful thing in the universe is a made-up mind."

If God had never made up his mind in the beginning to become who He is today, ..none of us would be here. None of us would have these experiences, these trials, these opportunities to grow or to even exist. ..But God did make up His mind - maybe once when He was young and susceptible, like us -- we don't know. But He chose to follow something. To become someone He knew He could be. And because of that, we have the same opportunity to do the same. And it all became because of His decision, both way back when, and when we lived with Him in Heaven before we came to earth. Remember how we chose to follow something, someone we knew we wanted to become like? ..It went like this:

In solemn council sat the Gods;...

Silence self-spelled; the hour was one
When thought doth most avail;
of worlds unborn the destiny
Hung trembling in the scale.
Silence o'er all, and there arose,
Those kings and priests among,
A Power sublime, than whom appeared
None nobler 'mid the strong.

A stature mingling strength with grace,
Of meek though Godlike mien,
The love revealing countenance
Lustrous as lightning sheen;
Whiter his hair than ocean spray
Of frost of alpine hill.
He spake; --Attention grew more grave,
The stillness e'en more still.

'Father!' -- The voice like music fell,
Clear as the murmuring flow
Of mountain streamlet trickling down
From heights of virgin snow.
'Father,' it said, 'since one must die,
Thy children to redeem,
Whilst Earth, as yet unformed and void,
With pulsing life shall teem;

'And thou, great Michael, foremost fall,
That mortal man may be,
And chosen Savior ye must send,
Lo, here am I - send me!
I ask, I seek no recompense,
Save that which then were mine;
Mine by the willing sacrifice,
The endless glory, Thine!' ...

Silence once more. Then sudden rose
Aloft a towering form,
Proudly erect as lowering peak
'lumed by the gathering storm;
A presence bright and beautiful,
With eye of flashing fire,
A lip whose haughty call bespoke 
A sense of inward ire. 

'Give me to go!' thus boldly cried,
With scarce concealed disdain;
'And hence shall none, from Heaven to Earth, 
That shall not rise again.
My saving plain exception scorns;
Man's agency unknown;
As recompense, I claim the right
To sit on yonder throne!'

Ceased Lucifer. The breathless hush
Resumed and denser grew. 
All eyes were turned; the general gaze 
One common magnet drew. 
A moment there was a solemn pause;
Then, like the thunder-burst,
Rolled forth from lips omnipotent - 
from Him both last and first:

'Immanuel! Thou my Messenger,
Till time's probation end,
And one shall go thy face before,
While twelve thy steps attend.
And many more, on that far shore,
The pathway shall prepare,
That I, the First, the Last may come,
And earth my glory share.' ...

'T was done. From congregation last
Tumultuous murmurs rose;
Waves of conflicting sound, as when
Two meeting seas oppose. 
'T was finished. But the heavens wept;
And still their annuals tell
How one was choice of Elohim,
O'er one who fighting fell.

("Elect of Elohim" - Orson F. Whitney)

Agency is too precious a gift to waste. While I believe decisions determine destiny, God will not live our lives for us, nor control us as if we were his puppets, like Lucifer proposed to do. He gave us the power to act. To choose. To define. To become. Got will not act to make us something we do not choose by our actions to become. Truly He loves us, and because He loves us, He neither compels us, nor abandons us. Rather, He helps and guides us. The real manifestation of God's love is in His commandments. God knows better than we do what we can truly become -- and if we follow His path, his guidelines, his commands, we can achieve all that we are destined to be. The most powerful thing in the universe, is a made up mind. Sean made up his mind. --Now it's your turn. Test the Lord. 

Make up your mind. 

All the love,

Elder DeMille!!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

One Year Ago Today! ... Hurray Halfway!!!!

One year ago today, we waved goodbye to this young man. It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do and I cried all the way home. He was so excited to go! He was so brave. He actually made us drop him off a bit early because he just couldn't wait anymore. It was beautifully painful and we were all so proud and so heartbroken all at the same time. I wouldn't trade it for anything, but already ache a bit at the thought of sending out our next missionary this summer ... his stepsister.

Thank you all for supporting our fine missionary man along his journey in the Korea Seoul South Mission. Your love and support have made all the difference to all of us!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

December ... Already?

This week we had transfers!! ..My dear son (Elder Connor David "Fade-Away" Ellsworth) left to Geumcheon with Elder Preisler, and I received my new main man, Elder Stephen Paul Helms! Hahaha - for those that don't know, the name 'Steven Paul' is held by two of the most influential people in my life -- so I just about died when I heard his full name. What are the odds?? Haha too cool.
He's super cool -- he stands at about 6'1", blond hair, blue eyes, loves listening to movie soundtracks, dubstep, and classical music - he loves to game, play the uke, go paintballing, and do all sorts of outdoorsy things. Haha his favorite color is blue, I assume he enjoys long walks on the beach and wouldn't mind a pina colada or two as he gets caught in the rain, but most importantly he comes from a family of 3 older sisters (27, 25, and 22), has one younger sister (18), and two younger brothers (15 and 11). His life before the mission consisted of A. Killing the game, B. BYU, and C. Chik-Fil-A. He was born in '94, and as a special gift can impersonate just about anyone you can think of -- it's ridiculously entertaining. If you'd like to know more about him, I'd suggest reading his biography. Hahaha.. I think we're going to get along just fine.
So, there's my new comp -- and since it was transfers this week, things moved incredibly slowly.. But hey -- here's some highlights of our week! 

1. Transfers were sweet. And... at transfers, Elder Helms soiled his suit with a ..really big.. bottle of olive oil that he was carrying in his bag. Haha.. not to self.. put things in ziplock bags just to be safe. We've currently washed it three times, this time with hot water, and it's looking pretty good!
2. For 'Thanksgiving' (nonexistent in Korea) we bought a rotisserie chicken, and three other boxes of different chicken, along with Costco rolls and muffins, times 6 2-Liters of soda.. :) ...Needless to say, we didn't feel so hot the next morning, seeing as we ate at 10pm and fell right asleep afterwards.. hahaha. Yikes.
3. I attended my first 김장! (Kim-Jang?) Which is where you get together with tons and tons of people and make tons and tons  of KIMCHI! The best is that while they make it, they eat it! And feed you too! Haha. We made a ton of kimchi for the people who needed it in our ward (deaf members and missionaries :P ) And had a huge meal afterwards, which was insanely delicious. Kimchi and Pig stomach. ..Mmm... :)
4. I performed with Elder Song in my first Filipino Choir! We had a huge event at the church on Saturday (maybe it's on the internet?) where a ton of Filipino people came to hear us sing some of their traditional music. There was a presentation about the special relationship between Korea and the Philippines, and the Ambassador of the Philippines was there, along with our Quorum of the Seventy representative! Elder and Sister Bunce were there too, (the ones who took pictures of mine and Elder Johnson's mural and put it on the web) and since - me being the rascal that I am - I was making faces at people in the audience while singing, I got to experience my good pal Elder Bunce come and tell me afterwards that I look very photogenic with my tongue out.. hahaha. ..I'm still trying to get this whole "growing up" thing down, I guess :P But hey! He got at least three good pictures of me! Haha. Later I met the man who filmed it all and he told me he "zoomed" on my face too, haha. Like this, " Hey. I zoomed on your face. *imagine zooming motion with hands towards your face* Zzzzzzzz!" Hahaha. Super fun. So, maybe you'll see my face up on the web again. Haha - cool!
Outside of that, I've just got one super cool quote for you. 
..It's super cool.

" Whenever the adversary cannot persuade imperfect yet striving Saints such as you to abandon your belief in a personal and loving God, he employs a vicious campaign to put as much distance as possible between you and God. The adversary knows that Faith in Christ - the kind of faith that produces a steady stream of tender mercies and even mighty miracles - goes hand in hand with a personal confidence that you are striving to choose the right. For that reason he will seek access to your heart and tell you lies - lies that Heavenly Father is disappointed in you, that the Atonement is beyond your reach, that there is no point in even trying, that everyone else is better than you, that you are unworthy, and a thousand variations of that same evil theme.

As long as you allow these voices to chisel away at your soul, you can't approach the throne of God with real confidence. Whatever you do, whatever you pray for, whatever hopes for a miracle you might have, there will always be just enough self-doubt chipping away at your faith. Not only your faith in God, but also your confidence in yourself. Living the gospel in this manner is no fun - nor is it very healthy. Above all, it is completely unnecessary! The decision to change is yours - and yours alone. Confidence is yours if you only want it."-Elder Jorg Klebingat

And, by the way, our golden investigator is getting baptized next Sunday! Wish us luck!! :) 

Love you all! Make the decision to change if you are uncomfortable in any way! 

All the love,

Elder DeMille

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Short, but sweet!

Huge apologies here, but I've had probably the most special email time today, and it was time well used. So, keep in mind that while there are so many voices in the world competing for your attention, please remember to care about those people you may not usually listen to or take time for as well. It's more than rewarding. I promise.

However! Soo quickly, this is a summary of our week. 

Pday we went Christmas shopping. If you haven't done this yet, you should probably get started. ..Especially if you're reeeaaaally far away. It's important!
Next, we had senior week for Elder Ellsworth, who - we got our transfer calls - will be headed to Geumcheon this wednesday! He's going to go be companions with Elder Priesler, and they're just gonna tear things up. I know it! Speaking of which, I'm getting Elder Helms, who has been out almost just as long as I have! And we're going to tear things up-- I'm sure of it!
We also attended (my second, Elder Ellsworth's first) a Korean funeral. It was pretty hard, sad, and depressing but -- I felt a special spirit there that helped me feel a ton of love, and a special gratefulness for my ancestry. ..I'm proud to be Korean.
We also celebrated Sister Kim Chun's and Sister Allred's birthday, and experienced one of our deaf members in our ward GIVE A TALK!! Toooo cool. And then, we had transfer calls, and now we're going out to a buffet for lunch. ..An almost strictly meat buffet. ...Mmmm... :)
Haha I love you all, and can't thank you enough for all the love, support, prayers, and emails that you send throughout the week. 

You are my lifeblood!!

All the love,

Elder DeMille!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Monday Already?

I don't really have a clever way to start this email today so... ..I'm just gonna jump right into it! … SHAZAM!!

This week was P-A-C-K-E-D. In fact, it was so packed with adventures that there is no possible way for me to recount everything that happened this week in such a small email.. ...that would take.. ..like a week. Hahaha.
But! I can tell you, for those of you worrying about me (despite my invincibility and immunity to all elements) I'm sleeping and feeling a lot better. ..Maybe not necessarily sleeping well, but I'm at least falling asleep a lot sooner than I usually do. Which is great! Elder DeMille: 1 Insomnia: 0. 

So thank you for the prayers! ..As for those who want to know about my so-called "adventurous" week, it went a little bit like this:
First, I got to talk to all of you beautiful people last week, and had the chance to help celebrate Sister Glauser's birthday later that afternoon! There were a ton of missionaries there who'll die soon (..wow.. that sounds ominous.. // "Dying" on a mission simply means "going home"), and it was super good to see them all. But, the party didn't entail much - I pretty much stood around for a handful of hours just talking to other missionaries. ...Goodness, they all probably just think I'm exhausting. Hahaha.
Later in the week we met our super stylish and wonderfully golden investigator, along with is old high school friend who first introduced him to the Temple Square missionaries in Utah! .. I swear he's my brother Cole Tucker in a Korean body. ..Literally, I hung out with one of my closest friends all night -- haha, too chill.  He took us out for dinner, as well as dessert, and told us his life story, which included how his 4 1/2 year long 'perfect' relationship tragically ended as his girlfriend came back from her mission and told him to move on.. more or less. ..Super sad~ :( And, since he didn't get married (in America) fast enough, and have the chance to work on his American citizenship, he got shipped back to Korea for military service - which is how we met, haha. He made sure to stress to me the entire time that I have to spoil my girlfriend so bad that she won't forget about me but.. ..I don't think there's any problems there - Abby is the greatest ever.
Then, we decided to be punks and mission hop. ..Yep, haha we went to Seoul mission! ..With permission of course. We took Elder Song to the train station in Seoul so that he could go to Busan for a day or so (weird military thing he had to get done), and thus, our tri-companionship adventures with Elder Whitney (I like to call him Elder Wheaties, who knows why though..) began! Only notable things there was that it was FREEZING, and we did a practice baptismal interview with our investigator. All went flawlessly- except- He didn't really know enough about prophets to say that he believed in the men, which is the second question of the interview. So, I guess we just didn't teach it well enough, and that through teaching it again, he'll hopefully come to understand them well enough to take a leap of faith. ..That was basically it, though my journal is chalk-full of details and stories from this week, haha. Oh! And we went to Seoul mission again (I know, I know, I'm crazy..) to pick up Elder Song on Thursday at 11pm (got home and to bed around 1am...haha. SO TIRED.), as well as went to our Bishop's house for dinner (also in Seoul mission) last night. Lemme tell ya, you might see me home sooner than you think! :P (Relax -- total joke!)
..However, for those maybe wanting something in the more "enlightening" kind of category, I learned something cool this week:
In Ether 4, (v. 4-6), it talks about how all these great and marvelous things happened to the Brother of Jared. ..And that he wrote them all down and sealed them up, along with the interpreters used for his writings. And then, the Lord said to the Brother of Jared, "They shall not go forth unto the gentiles until the day that they shall repent of their iniquity and become clean before the Lord.”

..Now, you may not think it, but I think the key here is humility. In order to receive blessings and knowledge from God, we must humble ourselves, admit our flaws and mistakes, change our ways, and by doing all of this "exercise faith" in Him. It's also clear in Ether 4:15:
"Behold, when ye shall rend that veil of unbelief which doth cause you to remain in your awful state of wickedness and hardness of heart, and blindness of mind, then shall the great and marvelous things which have been hid up from the foundation of the world from you - yea when ye shall call upon the Father in my name, with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, then sye shall know..”

We have to rend that veil of unbelief, which is often caused by pride. Do your best to understand that you can't do it all by yourself, and that.. .. well, you haven't been doing it by yourself all along. 

..Love you all!!

And, this week, I especially love my sweet grandma, 김정예, and hope that she has the best birthday ever!!! 생일 축하합니다 할머니!!! 사랑해!!

Elder DeMille!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

You Know Who You Chose To Be

Nothing too crazy this week, other than our investigator getting closer and closer to his baptismal date! We're hoping he can feel ready by it - if not, we'll push it back and keep working hard to grow his faith and help him understand that Baptism in and of itself is an act of faith.
But! I've got to keep today short since, well, all of you wonderful people decided to email me this week! Haha! Thank you so much! And a special thank you to all of those wonderful people out there who keep my mother happy. She's the most important!
I used to make it a point to always tell people (when trying to arouse the motivational and inspirationsal feelings inside of them to become greater, or "level up" or things like that), that "You are who you choose to be". It's a quote from one of my all-time favorite movies, the Iron Giant. I'm sure you've seen the movie, and if you haven't - go grab it and a bowl of Sister Morisse's brown sugar popcorn right now. You won't be disappointed.

Anyway, I reflected a lot this week through my journal as I studied, and came across the thought that.. well, rather than thinking, "You are who you choose to be", it should be "You know who you chose to be."
..We chose to be like Him since before the beginning. God loved us so much He gave us a chance to become like him. To return to live with him, to have help along the way, and to find real happiness which will last us for the rest of eternity. ..That's why you're here - because you know who you chose to be.
Now, I'm still growing, and I have so many doubts, fears, worries, and questions that I can hardly even think about counting them, but - the Lord has blessed me SO much. Sure, I might be sick right now, sure, I may have a really difficult time sleeping, but man, I haven't experienced a single real night-terror in almost a year. I'm healthy enough to walk, run, jump, play basketball, soccer, and any other activity that I wouldn't have been able to do just a short while ago. He's helped me beat the odds, and has blessed me in countless ways. My younger sister, and best friend have joined the church, and are reaping the blessings of the Spirit, and my younger brothers are just becoming more and more like incredible champions every day. Taking the time to realize what has happened while I've been away, makes things so much brighter. As people compliment the things I do, and the random walls I paint, I've come to understand that there's a much more appreciable skill. ..To carve and paint the very atmosphere from which we look.. ..To affect the quality of the day - that is the highest of arts.
So, change your day. Forget about what has happened, and what might happen, and live in right now. Radiate that light you chose to have, and take advantage of this incredible opportunity to become like the person you already know you want to be. 
You all rule- and I hope you all have a wonderful week!

You know who you chose to be!

All the love,

Elder DeMille

Sunday, November 2, 2014

"Happiness leads to free soda from the lady at the chicken place."‏

This week was a lot better (not that any week is necessarily "bad" as a missionary) because it was absolutely packed with silly, exciting, and partially terrorizing events. ..Check it. 
First - I'd like to let you know that I'm the kid who never sleeps. You know.. the one you always wake up to in the middle of the night at a sleepover who's just staring you in the face because he's got nothing better to do than try to figure out why your face is so oddly shaped..? ..Yes, that's me. Nice to meet you.  Haha~ But this week, I had the greatest night's sleep since I've been on my mission. ..You hear me?? The GREATEST night's sleep!! - I know what you're thinking... "Why is this guy telling me about how well he slept.. ?..." Haha I truly just wanted to take a moment and thank those back home for their prayers -- You have no idea how big of a difference that night made.
The next night a friendly Korean elder came to our house on exchanges and spent the night with us. ..He warned us he snores super loud- and everyone was thinking, "Aw, yeah, sure sure, no big deal bro.." ..But you have no idea. When 10:30pm hit, it was like our whole apartment underwent an extreme renovation. Construction, wallpapering, furniture rearranging, hardwood replacement.. you name it! The amount of noise coming out from this sweet Elder's mouth was unbelievable! Haha! I mean, I've heard some loud snoring before, but this.. this was unreal! Elder Song and I (insomnia buddies) took turns hitting his yo (what people sleep on.. kind of like a super thick camping pad? --I prefer the floor) to make us feel better.. haha. Maybe I need to work a little bit more on my patience - But.. then again, I did also receive a little revelation as to why I slept so well the night before :P

Outside of that, we had a great spiritual district meeting on Wednesday, I cut Elder Whitney's hair that night (though I really need to cut my own sometime soon..), did a small painting for my man Uncle Bryan (Elder Bryan- now adopted into the family), and with Elder Ellsworth's help, named my first human being. ...Haha yes. You read that right. And yes, it is a weird thing to say.

We named our investigator! (a.k.a- gave him an American name -- he's been dying for one) It was intense. He gave us Korean names, and in turn we gave him an English name. My Korean name 도진리 (Said like Doe Chilly) stayed the same because he loved it, and Ellsworth took on my family name "도" (Doe) And took on the Korean name 건호 (Gun Ho) Because it sounds kinda like his first name (Connor) and is a super sweet Korean name. Next, was the big moment. Haha. For our investigator OJH We talked about various names and came to the conclusion that he would hereby be known to the world as Sean Oliver O!! (remember, O is his last name). Haha and - fun fact - his middle name came to be because of one of my very best childhood friends. Yes, Elder Oliver Hulme, there is a man living in Korea named after you! Hahaha. And, Sean loves when we say his name in Korean order - O Sean Oliver - because it makes his first name sound like "Ocean". Thus, giving him his first nickname. Haha- things moved pretty quickly this week. :P
Thursday we hit the beautiful temple, and wrote letters all day, finishing with some ball, and while we were at the temple Elder Whitney and I both got sweet Halloween packages from our adorable mothers. Score. So, we (naturally) decided we were just gonna pound some candy for lunch. But! Upon returning home.. feet weary with exhaustion.. arms numbing from the cumbersomeness of said glorious packages.. we smelled a smell. ..But, it wasn't just any smell. We discovered a savory scent.. subtly sneaking through the air.. tenaciously teasing us with it's playful perfume of perfection (check out those alliterations Mrs. Bliss!)  ..It was.. GAMARO Chicken. ..This chicken, like all Korean chicken - Is indescribable. We couldn't resist. We pooled money, and entered the 'dungeon'. Elder Ellsworth and I fought off at least three minotaurs and a couple dragons, but in the end the princess (a.k.a - store owner) was so pleased with us so happily saving her life, she decided to give us free soda! Thus - "Happiness leads to free soda from the lady at the chicken place." Bam. In the end we had Oreo's, Utah truffles, and chicken for lunch. ...We're still figuring things out.. okay?
Friday was normal - Saturday was packed. With a Halloween party, we had a crazy haunted house. (think Korea.. Asian ladies.. the Grudge... crawling at you on all fours.. haha you get the idea. Terrorizing right? Check.) On the second floor, and split up into teams and did all sorts of crazy activities like apple bobbing and finding candy in mounds of flour with our face, and other good stuff. I even sacrificed myself to participate in chugging a hazardous-waste like mix of soy sauce, ketchup, mayo, mustard, onions, and whipped cream...hahaha. Let's just say this week has been better.
Oh! And I learned some Tagalog (Philippine language) since Elder Song and I decided to join the English branch choir for a huge Filipino event! Who’d-a thunk I'd be called to Korea to speak Korean, Korean Sign Language, Tagalog, and English? Hahaha too cool.
And to make things even better, we caught the sunrise at the river this morning. 
Life is good. ..Really good.

Enjoy the pictures mom, and to the rest of you - Have a great week!! 

All the love,

Elder DeMille!