Elder True DeMille

Elder True DeMille

Monday, February 24, 2014

Elder Watts Experiencing a Korean Delicacy

I couldn't resist posting this! It got a good laugh from all of us and we applaud Elder Watts' enthusiasm and courage. (I wish Elder DeMille could watch this! He would die of laughter.) His mother shared this with us on Facebook after he told her all about it last night. Here is what she had to say about it. 

"Elder Watts has prepared his whole life for Korean delicacies. This week he tried Beondegi, silk worm pupa. He is loving every experience."

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Week three, complete! Holla from SoKo!‏

So, this week has been... well.. crazy!

First of all, this is going to be short. I've already spent quite some time replying to loved ones, but I'll give you what I've got!

..Let's see. If I could explain this week in one word it would be..  .... Unorthodox. Hahaha! Starting with one of our new investigators, we are now teaching the Gospel in English to ..well.. Americans! We have two right now, and the first really threw us for a loop. ..You see, Elder Chow has been in Korea for so long that he actually can't really speak or teach in English very well, so as a nice surprise I was able to somewhat take lead on teaching this investigator. We were just trying to get to know him, and we were tripping up all over the place. It was crazy. We finally resolved the whole mess by talking about the Legend of Zelda, which relates because the Triforce is engraved on his wedding ring. .....Hahah.. what? SO cool! On the inside is the famous Zelda quote, shared by both rings, "It's not safe.. ...to go alone". ..Cute or what?
 View from our apartment on the 10th floor

This week I finally came to the realization that every car here in Korea is smaller than in America, and Hyundai and Samsung make just about everything. Also, if you'd like to come to a place where the Elevator buttons actually work, this is the place! When you push the "door close" button.. ... well.. ..It closes! You can select and deselect floors you'd like to visit, and it literally blew my mind, haha!
Piano stairs in the subway. You step on one, and it lights up and plays the sound of the key!

Next, we had an Exchange week this week and it was absolutely bizarre. I went to the Kaesan area, and absolutely died! Elder Brewer, my new companion for that day, gave me ONE house rule I could not break. He looked me in the eye and said, "Elder, OTL." ...I was SO confused. Then, he drew it on a mirror for me with a whiteboard marker, and drew a circle around it, then crossed it out. In Korea, OTL is text-lingo for an emotional/physical breakdown, as OTL looks like a guy on his knees with his head on the ground. He wrote it in my planner, and made me promise not to break it, while.. .. only a few hours later.. I contracted food poisoning. ...Yikes. ..I spent all day at this new companion's house sleeping and tossing my cookies left and right while a few other Elders went and bought me various drinks and things like Gatorade, Sprite, and Tea to help calm my stomach. ..Nothing worked! I was absolutely sick for two days. I went back to our house after the first night and continued to rest the rest of that day. I was finally healed and restored by Friday. ..Just in time for our Zone Leadership meeting!
Korean emoticon expression for desperation / disappointment / failure
(image of man kneeling down with both hands to the ground, crying)

Zone Leadership was really fun, and well, just a bunch of Zone people talking about missionary work. We, as a district, placed a goal to give out 100 Book of Mormons this week, and just barely missed it by 11. Elder Chow and I placed 25 of those ourselves, and 13 of the 25 last night alone! We do work!! Let's see... what else.. ..I apologize for the scattered thoughts, hopefully this is making sense to you! On Sunday we sang "Because I have Been Given Much" in Sacrament meeting, and later in Mission Conference that night we sang "Called to Serve"! ..Lots of crazy opportunities this week!
A Valentine's gift from the sisters. We all got one and I'm the 'tame tiger' 
because I'm being trained.

Saturday morning the pipes to our sink broke while we were doing the dishes, and water flooded our kitchen, so we made a mad dash to three different stores and bought a bunch of electrical tape and patched everything up nice and tidy. Scott would be proud :) Then, Sunday morning, while it was still super dark out, our light in the bathroom died. So.. we set up a bunch of various lights we had in our suitcases (bike lights, headlamps, candles) and had a .. rave-type lighting system. Haha! Too funny.

Also, a few days ago, I was showing an investigator the picture book my sister Phoenix had made me (which I use ALL the time, THANK YOU!) and he was trying to figure out what kind of dogs we owned (Shih tzu's) but couldn't think of the name! He was CONVINCED it was a Pikachu. ..Hahahaha I was dying!
True & Izzy, our Shih tzu                Ash & Pikachu from Pokemon

Other than that, this week has been an adventure! Placed 25 Book of Mormons, talked to 91 people, and hopefully have J and another sister's baptism next Sunday. I'm crazy excited, and totally nervous. The Bishop has asked Elder Chow and I both to do the baptisms if they are both baptized that day. ..Elder Chow still hasn't had one. ...How crazy! The Lord sure loves us, and no matter how frustrated I get, I can always press forward. I love you all, and wish you the greatest week ever!! Until next time! 

Elder DeMille

Sunday, February 16, 2014

...The Work, and the Glory. (Another day in the life, Week 2!)

..This week, was.. well... ...RAD.

Haha the work out here is SO fun, and so much more interesting than the MTC!! I can now fully understand why missionaries say the mission flies by, and that the work is so much better out here. This week alone we talked to 87 people on the street (real conversations, not just a 'hello'), so my Korean is definitely improving ... slowly. We have a "Pass-off" program that I'm studying and will hopefully complete within the next few months, and by then I'll be a Korean machine!! Let's see.. Biggest parts of this week were as follows.
First, we made french toast. ...in Korea!! Hahaha. Everything I do is so much cooler just because I'm 6,000 miles away from my home. We made French toast like my dad always used to, and dipped our french toast in the batter, and then in the Korean version of frosted flakes, which has a lion on the front instead of a tiger. ...Also, we met with another investigator who is a young 17-year old kid, and challenged him to be baptized! He accepted, but didn't really seem so sure about it. We're going to try really hard to become his friend this week, and really make him feel more comfortable in the church. The bishop's son is one of his close friends, and we're hoping it will all work out. After we extended that invitation, the Bishop's wife and kids took Elder Chow and me out to dinner! It was absolutely delicious, but I had no idea what anyone was saying.. haha. It was a bit discouraging, but only because I like to talk to people so much. ..I'm not one to just sit and be quiet (unless I'm pouting of course) and it's a little frustrating to not be able to understand everything, or anything sometimes! However! It was a delicious experience, and really gave me some motivation to keep studying diligently. ...I'm pretty sure that everyone in my ward thinks that I can't talk though.
Next crazy thing is that we got a member referral who is such a sweet guy. He is around 40 years old, but only looks like 29 or 33, and cannot speak. He can say yes, and no, but is incapable of speaking, and is also suffering from a physical limitation on the right side of his body. ..He is very, very nice, and we met with him for the first time last week. He is representing Incheon this year in Ping-Pong for the Korean games too! ..We met with him at the church, and Elder Chow and I moved this huge ping-pong table from the basement of the church (apparently there's one in every church) to the 2nd floor, by carrying it and rotating it up the stairs. ..What work! Haha. It was nearly impossible, and then we had to take it back downstairs before Sunday, only to be told in Priesthood meeting that they may want us to bring it back up! Anyway, we brought the table up and played with him for a while, and then started to try to get to know him. We decided that for the next lesson we are going to go buy a whiteboard, and have him write questions down that he may have, since he can write still. But truly, an awesome guy.
Also, later in the week we played soccer with an investigator and our Young Men's group which was SO fun! I haven't played in FOREVER, and was totally fine playing, and had the best time ever. ..I've learned that soccer is super prominent and popular here, and is a great way to spend time bonding with ward members and other missionaries, as well as investigators. Other than that, we spent some time painting message cards for our good friend, and have been doing some really good work out here! Thank you for all your support, and I will be sure to keep in good touch! I love you all!! Thank you for your emails, and love! Remember that you can do anything with the Lord!

Much love,

Elder DeMille
Our average, every day street/alleyway. ..Can you find our church? Hahaha. ..Bet you can't.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

New Missionary Orientation

It has been a busy week since our new missionaries have arrived.  I saw some at the temple today and they are doing well. Here is a picture taken at the New Missionary Orientation on February 5th.  It was taken just before they set out for their new area with their new companion.
Sister Groesbeck, Secretary
Korea Seoul South Mission

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Pancakes, chicken nuggets, ramen, and some 짱.‏

Hello from Korea!!!

So.. you're probably all going to hate me.. (Well.. maybe just my mom and my girlfriend..) because this keyboard is super hard to use, and I'm only going to write a little. However! This week has FLOWN by! ..haha.. not to mention I just FLEW to Korea and am a pretty FLY guy... heheh...

Alright, for real now. 
Korea. is. so. cool.

The flight seemed like eternity (3 hours to Detroit, 14 to Korea..) but was actually super fun. I ended up sitting next to Sisters Bagley and Drischel, and Elder Empey who is now in my zone. ..Well, actually Sister Bagley is in my zone as well! So that's rad. The flight was super super long, but we slept a lot, read our Book of Mormons, wrote in each other's journals, watched "Monster's University" and "The Guardians", and ate really really weird meals on the plane. But hey! It was quite the adventure. ..I didn't get sick until the very very end when we were descending, and at that point I was genuinely concerned I was going to toss my cookies in Bagley 자매님's lap, haha. Anyway, quite the adventure it was. After we got there, they had us hit the Subway with Book of Mormons, and told us to talk to as many people as we could, and to try to place one. ...I soon realized that I seemed to have learned Finnish in the MTC. ...It was seriously so impossible to understand anything anyone was saying! ..Nevertheless, I tag teamed it with an Elder familiar to the area (Elder Light), was able to recite the First Vision in Korean, and place a pamphlet. I talked to around 10 people, and was content! A few of the new missionaries placed their books (I'm pretty sure both Watts and Grossgebauer did) which made us pretty stoked. That night we all slept on the floor on these things called "yo's", which are like.. yoga mats on steroids. Super comfy! It was the best night's sleep I'd had in a really long time. Way better than the MTC beds. The next day or so we did a few orientations, got our passports, exchanged our money, and met our new companions. My new companion is ELDER CHOW! ....HE is the MAN! But get this! A lot of people think we look similar, we both "hung loose" in our new companionship picture, and not only that but..

-We have the same birthday, August 1st. He is exactly 2 years older than me
-We both play the Ukulele. One is sitting on our couch at home (Mom, feel free to send uke music)
-We both had parents divorced, and mom's remarried, and are both currently living with our mom
-We both live with 7 people in our home
-We both played football in high school, and then switched sports.. He's a lax bro, I toss disc.
-We both love art, and we both paint; we have acrylics and a canvas or two at the house
-We are both part asian, he's a quarter chinese, I'm a quarter Korean
-We are both part Italian. ..Swag.
-We both absolutely love hot chocolate. ...like, two cups a day or more.
-And we both have girlfriends. ...Except, well.. He had one, and then was Dear Johned.. so he's rooting for me to get Dear Johned so that we can be even more alike.. haha.. 

-The one difference is that well, he's shredded, and I'm not.. haha. But.. just you wait! Ha!

Isn't that crazy??

Anyway, I'm running a little low on time, but had to share a few more things without too much detail that have happened here. 

First of all, the fruit here is DIVINE. Like, incredible. Best fruit I have ever had in my whole life, although it is quite pricey. Don't worry mom, the fruit was from ward members
Second, the wind is always blowing, which really helps keep my hair nice and beautiful.
Third, they have banana-shaped bread that tastes nothing like bananas but is extremely delicious
Fourth, a member in my ward is straight up an Asian version of Ami Neff and is hilarious (legit, they look the same)
Fifth, it is bitter cold here, but it's the only thing keeping me awake.. haha. If I get warm I just about pass out. The days are long here.
Sixth, I walk an average of 5-6 hours a day.
Seventh, (I don't know why I'm counting) We had a "meat party" on Saturday night, where I couldn't understand anything anyone was saying, but indulged in some delicious boiled meat and was challenged to eat a pepper through rock paper scissors..
Eighth, I lost, and ate the pepper.
..Ninth, the rain came down and the floods came up as my face lit on fire and I leaked an incredible amount of tears from my tear-ducts.. haha. SO hot!
Tenth, I played "ute" afterwards, the Korean game we have in our basement with the half-cylindrical sticks and little people you move around the board. We played with the whole ward and it was SO fun! (If you don't know what it is, look it up and learn how to play. It's kind of like an ancient version of Sorry, with sticks as your dice. So so fun. I even won the last game for our team! It was hilarious!)

Also, on Saturday I was able to meet with two of our investigators, Mr. Y and J, a father and his daughter. We taught them english for 30 minutes, and then shared a gospel message. I invited them to be baptized, and they accepted!! J wants to be baptized on March 2, and Mr. Y wants to be baptized soon, but still wants to really think about it. The lesson was so so cool. The work is really coming along, and is so real! We even had a potential investigator that we just met on Friday show up to Church yesterday! How cool!!

On Sunday (Yes, today is Monday in Korea. ..12:36pm to be exact) I gave a talk, and offered a prayer in Sunday School!! Like... wow! Hahaha! So intimidating! All the Korean people either talk about my big eyes, my Korean grandma, how handsome I am (..psh.. where do they get that comment? *smiles, and melts all hearts in room..*) How I look like some famous cello player, or how good my Korean pronunciation is. Apparently, even though I can't speak, I have good pronunciation so... huzzah!

Anyway, I'm out of time, but I love you all, and want you to know that everything is great here. If you've sent mail to the mission home, I'll get it on the 21st because we only get mail once a month. But I love you all, think about you all the time, and will write you all soon! Much love!!

Elder DeMille

(The subject line refers to the divine dinner Elder Chow and I prepared last night. ...Like, yum.)

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Well now it's official!

Welcome to Korea Seoul South Mission. We are grateful to have Elder DeMille serving in Korea.
With Elder Chow and President and Sister Morrise

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Then and Now

I hope they call me on a mission, when I have grown a foot or two.
I hope by then I will be ready, to teach and preach and work as missionaries do.

You've grown.
 You're ready.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


Yesterday, I spent the entire day glued to Flight Aware, tracking Elder DeMille’s travel progress ... And after about 16 hours of total flying time, with one short layover in Detroit, we finally saw him land in Incheon, South Korea. He arrived there at 7:20pm their time, which would feel like 3:20am here. Just four hours later, as he was approaching midnight, I received this short email message and was finally able to breathe a sigh of relief!

“Hey mom! Just wanted to let you know I made it safe and sound, have already contacted 5 people and gotten one man’s info!! We are loving it here! I love you so much!”

Here are some fun photos of the Incheon Airport for your viewing pleasure since we don’t have new photos of Elder DeMille there yet. It’s really beautiful. Hopefully, I will be able to see it in person one day.