Elder True DeMille

Elder True DeMille

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Bupyeong Forever!‏

So this week has been totally outrageous! Possibly one of the longest, most adventure filled weeks I've ever had in my entire life! But.. because well, I'm imperfect just like everyone else in the world, I can't remember everything perfectly, nor did I write a lot of it down.. so, you'll have to suffer through this rad summary of the bodacious events that happened this week. ...are you ready for this??! 

So Monday. ..We didn't have P-day. Bummer right? Ha! Wrong! This week was a temple week, so since we were given the opportunity to go to the Seoul Temple on Thursday, we had to wait for that day to be our P-day. So, naturally, we emailed Monday, thought about our families and loved ones back home all day, and had a great time! However, this week I went on splits/exchanges with Elder Brewer as he came to Bupyeong right after we emailed. I was his Senior companion although he's been out for over a year, and we had a super great time. We walked a ton, and were on the hunt for a present for Elder Chow (I wanted to get him something if he ended up leaving this week because it's transfer week), and ran into an American member of the church who wants to start attending our ward in Bupyeong (Sister F.), and even helped stop this guy from stealing some jewelry from a store. ..Honestly we just supervised, but I'm sure the Holy Ghost put some kind of sweet bind on this guy through our eyes. Later, we bought Oreo's, found a really stylish women's coat in our apartment, and had a fashion show. You could say we're pretty manly.
Tuesday was rad, we met with SJ, and talked to him a lot about Repentance and Baptism, plus the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. He's doing super super well, and even came to church again yesterday! We hope to give him a baptismal date soon!!

Wednesday was.. well.. pretty routine. We had a district meeting, and that was just about it! No other special news there.

Thursday was super super rad. Our Temple day, we raced to the temple early in the morning and I got to take part in my first Korean session. Naturally, I used a translator, but it was super cool to be a part of it! There were only 5 or 6 men, and tons of sisters! With the translator, it was as if I were just back at the MTC in Provo. After we went through, I got to see Elder Watts and Elder Shaver, plus Sister Hoffman! It was a blast being able to catch up with them, but we also had to race to go interview two people for baptism at 2 o’clock. We were on a super tight schedule, since traveling takes so long. We got to Gaesan, and performed the interviews, then headed back home. We only had an hour or so more of P-day, so we lazed about for a bit, and met up with SJ again at 6. We read the Book of Mormon with him for a half an hour, and met up with Sisters Rose and Debuse and a member to go grab dinner at around 7. We had Potato soup, but.. well, Potato soup in Korea is really filled with pig meat and ribs, and spine and stuff. Tons of meat, and super delicious. Afterward, we grabbed some ice cream, and headed home! Simple, fun day!
Friday morning we had a mission conference with Sister Burton, where I got to see everyone from my District back at the MTC! It was super neat, and way fun to meet up with everyone. We met in Yungdeonpo (I think that's how you romanize it) and it was super awesome. Later that day, we did weekly planning, had a simple English class on travel, and went home, anticipating our transfer calls that would come Saturday night.
..Psyche! We got a surprise call Friday night telling us that we would receive our calls that night!! We freaked out, and waited until almost 10:00pm for our call. When they called, they told us that Elder Chow would be going to Gimpo 2 to finish training Elder Hegewald (my boy!) And that I would be staying and would be the Junior companion to Elder Higham who is coming from Mansu. How crazy!! He's only two transfers older than me, and this will be his first time being Senior companion, so it will definitely be an adventure! But, I've heard his Korean is killer, he's from Canada, plays handball, and I've already met him a ton of times, so I'm stoked!! It'll be a growing, learning experience, that's for sure. But, I'm sure it's what the Lord wants for me right now. 

Saturday was much longer because of this, but we got to go to a combined mission fireside with the Seoul mission! I saw a ton of my old friends like Elder Taylor, Elder Eager, Elder Fisher, Elder Miller, Elder Dixon, Elder Christensen, you name it! I even got to see my bro ELDER PONS!! It was so awesome, and we'll get to see them again on May 31st for a Mission Tour with Elder Cook.
Sunday was awesome, as Elder Chow gave his final words in church, we got to take a ton of pictures, and meet with Mr. Y one last time as he took us out for lunch. Then, DN took us to dinner and ice cream! It was the funnest night, and we spent our spare time in the end of the night packing and writing letters. This week was seriously amazing, and super super long as well. I love all of you tons, and can't wait to keep hearing about the amazing work that is going on all over the world. Especially with the new mission calls!
Special shoutout to Eden Neff and Paige Simpson for their calls!!!

I love you all tons, and pray and think about you all the time! 

Talk to you soon! 

Elder DeMille

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Message

(In addition to his most recent letter, posted just before this, here is the Easter Message we received from Elder DeMille last week.)

Never have I worked so hard, felt so much exhaustion, been so utterly hopeless, felt so incredibly alone, or been so inexpressibly grateful for the positive attitude that I've been blessed with in my entire life. Please believe any missionary, in any circumstance, when they say this work is hard. So many people don't want to talk to us, blatantly ignore us, criticize us, attempt to expose us, and tell us we are ignorant young men; a disappointment to our families. There is a world filled with inappropriate things everywhere that tempt us and taunt us as we strive so persistently to retain the Holy Spirit. 

Being a servant of the Lord, a valiant messenger of hope and happiness; someone who stands for truth and righteousness is no easy task. The language is hard, working 24/7 is hard, and altogether being a missionary is hard. But I love it. I love it because I know that you (yes you, and you and you) and my family are all being magnificently blessed back home. I love it because my wonderful siblings and father get to read my spiritual thoughts and various testimonies in my emails, and I love how it brings my grandmother and I closer together. I love it because it is shaping me into the kind of instrument the Lord will be able to use many years after my mission. I love it because it gives me the opportunity to change even just one person's life for all of eternity. I love it because no matter how difficult it may be, how inadequate I may feel, or how discouraged I may get, the Lord called me because He knows I can do it. And, in comparison to our Savior, my trials often seem even less than insignificant although they sometimes carry such tremendous weight. In the words of Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, 

"I think of how dark that Friday was when Christ was lifted up upon that cross. On that terrible Friday the earth shook and grew dark. On that day the veil of the temple was rent in twain. Jesus, their Savior- the man who walked on water and raised the dead- was himself at the mercy of wicked men. On that Friday the Savior of mankind was humiliated and bruised, abused and reviled; it was a Friday filled with devastating, consuming sorrow that gnawed at the souls of those who loved and honored the Son of God. I think that of all the days since the beginning of this world's history, that Friday was the darkest. But the doom of that day did not endure.

The despair did not linger because on Sunday, the resurrected Lord burst the bonds of death. He ascended from the grave and appeared gloriously as the triumphant Savior of mankind. In an instant the eyes that had been filled with ever-flowing tears dried. The lips that had whispered prayers of distress and grief now filled the air with wondrous praise, for Jesus the Christ, the Son of the Living God, stood before them as the firstfruits of the Resurrection, the proof that death is merely the beginning of a new and wondrous existence.

Each of us will have our own Fridays - those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We will all experience those broken times when it seems like we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays, but no matter our desperation, no matter our grief, in this life or the next, Sunday will come. No matter how dark our Friday, Sunday will come."

Today is our opportunity to remember that glorious Sunday. Forget your Fridays; your darkest days, and your heavy burdens, because today we can lift up our hearts in knowing that because He, the Son of God, overcame His Friday, you and I can do the same. I know with all my heart and soul that it was He who rose from death to live again, who burst the bonds of mortality and provided us with the opportunity of success. When the bitter cup does not pass, drink it and be strong, because He will never abandon us. Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives: I know, that my Redeemer lives!

This is not.. the greatest song in the world.. no.. ..this is just a tribute.

Another week, another.. destiny? 

Haha welcome! Or, hello? Man, my English skills are going. I actually have no idea what I'm supposed to say to an American to start a conversation. Do people back home start with Hello? I wouldn't know what else to say! No one understands "what's up" here, haha. But hey, this week was actually quite the adventure. I was the Senior Companion for the entire week, gave a 5 minute talk in church, and managed to discover a few things about myself along the way. ...If you'd care to learn more… Keep reading.

Monday was where it all began. First senior day of the week, and I got the privilege of leading the travels to Sanbon! (산본) We played soccer with a TON of missionaries there, including some of my pals, Elder Fowler, Elder Campbell (who is ridiculously amazing at said sport), and Elder Stowe! They all seemed to be doing really well, and were super focused on the work. So awesome! Elder Stowe has an obsession with bread right now (I'm sure it's because it's just familiar) but it was silly to see him carrying a whole loaf around with him because he said he was hungry.. haha. 

Tuesday held a few more adventures, I got to plan and lead out our next lesson with SJ, and he's doing so well! We talked a lot about Faith in Jesus Christ and things like that, and he is totally progressing. Later that day, however, as I was walking with Elder Chow, he pushed me and I realized three things.
1. Right now, I strongly dislike when people touch me. Haha, When I first came out, I messed around with Elder Chow, and he always got upset when I touched him. I asked him what was so weird about it, and he told me one day I would understand. Missionaries, especially Korean ones, just aren't very touchy, haha. ..And now, I fully understand. Touch me, and die.

2. I am an empty husk of a man. Haha, I seriously have gotten rid of so many emotions it's insane. Namely, the crying one, the jealous one, and the yelling one. I hardly ever get angry, cry, or pout. My mom would be so proud :)

3. My self-confidence is pretty much nil. I'm still trying to figure out whether this is a good thing or not, but I feel like I'm really just a normal dude, walking around, talking to other normal people. Chow told me when I first came I had this certain "swagger", and now I walk like a normal business man, or missionary. Haha. Apparently there's no more pep-in-my-step. But, of course I'm still myself.
Wednesday was a bit more interesting, we had District meeting and I got to lead exchanges with Elder Ellsworth in my area, Bupyeong. We got some rad snacks from our new couple missionaries in our area, Elder and Sister Lee, and did some sweet Uke-jammin' in our apartment that night. Also, here's a tip: If you have blonde or red hair, and you are coming to Korea, you do not need to worry about a thing. Seriously. When I'm with Elder Chow, we both kind of blend in, I'm Korean, he's Chinese, ..We're Asian. BUT. When you walk around with Elder Brewer, or Elder Ellsworth, people come talk TO YOU. It's nuts! We had two girls come ask us to be their boyfriends.. ...and.. yeah. Haha, the adventures continued. Half of our contacts that day were people coming to talk to US. So crazy!
Thursday morning we finished making a Book of Mormon case for SJ, met with the raddest member, JY, who helped me translate my 5 minute talk for Sunday, and even let me record him speaking it so I could practice with it. After that (that was the evening) we stepped outside into the pouring rain, caught a taxi home, and wandered the glistening streets. (Sounds magical, doesn't it?) ..We also heard about a terrible accident this week that happened in Korea. Around 300 high school students missing from a ferry that capsized in the ocean. Absolutely terrifying. Pray for those souls please. 

Friday we watched some old school videos before we prepared for English class (Namely "Pioneers in Petticoats" and "Johnny Lingo" produced by the waayyy old BYU college) and had 10 people show up to English class! The most we've ever had! We taught people about phone etiquette, and practiced calling and ordering pizzas through another phone in the church. It was hilarious. I was at one, and Elder Chow was at the other with the class, and we practiced ordering pizzas. One guy requested two large pizzas, breadsticks, chicken wings, a cake, two 2 liters, some other random item and used a 20% coupon on his order.. ... you know how fast I had to do that math??! Hahaha. It was a really good time. Saturday was the usual, we just walked the streets, and got lost at one point thanks to my incredible sense of direction, but that was that!

Sunday was EASTER! SJ showed up to church which was totally awesome, and he loved it! Everyone was super super friendly, they passed out about a billion boiled eggs to everyone in each class, and we went around having "wars" with each other. You smash your egg against someone else's, and whoever loses (as in, whoever's breaks) has to eat it! ..But, I love eggs, so I secretly liked losing. I gave my talk, which went really well, and as I sat down the lady next to me on the stand, the conductor, even helped by marking a few things I could have pronounced better, but couldn't stop saying "excellent!" Later, we met with DN, another investigator, and had a sweet lesson on how he can grow his faith, relating to Alma 32.
Anyway, this week was totally rad, totally stressful, and totally okay. And, actually, in honor of Sister Hoffman's birthday last week, I wanted to share another poem I wrote. It's about moments and well.. how you shouldn't ever let them pass. Inspired by my dad, and my experience as a missionary. 

The fleeting moment you are in
this minute
what was there then could never be there again
the fire so shut up in your bones

I write as though you could comprehend
where it had gone
though you are losing another
to embrace the one you are in now
breathe again
the little details of experience
through your tired mind
so flooded in thought
as you unknowingly carve and paint
with potential
for the knowledge
woven into the very fabric of your soul
that in this single moment
lies eternity.

Love you all!! Keep keepin' on. And don't forget about those who are most important to you!

Elder DeMille

Because Of Him, We Can Live Again

Sunday, April 13, 2014

..Because We're Made of the Stuff of Eternity!‏

So this will be short, sweet, and well, hopefully to the point as I write to you with the last few minutes of my email time! Haha! 

Welcome again, ladies and gentlemen, and might I say that this weeks general conference (Or, perhaps last week's, in your case possibly) was outstanding! But hey, let's start with Monday.
Last Monday, we really just chilled out, and got some shopping done. Nothing too exciting, nothing too extraordinary, but we had a really sweet day. We also went to a "고기" buffet, or, "meat buffet" with Elders Clawson and Thompson, our Zone Leaders. It was sweet! You cook as much food as you want, right in front of you, and eat ’til you drop for about 10 bucks. Delish.

Tuesday was another glorious "Senior Day", in which I take the role of the Senior, and plan for the day, lead the day, set goals, lead our travels, lead discussions, lead lessons, and pretty much lead, lead, and lead some more. But it was good! We decided to go knock some apartment doors, and after getting rejected a handful of times just hit the street. That night I cut Elder Chow's hair again, and it was quite the adventure! Haha! That's pretty much our Tuesday for you.
Wednesday was.. well, exciting. We got a call in the morning from a panicked Sister Rose explaining to us that Sister Watkins had just had a seizure. I gave them information on what to do, got other various information, and we contacted the AP's. Everything got under control, Sister Watkins ended up being totally fine, and will have to do a couple checkup tests at the hospital in a week or so. But all is well! That day, we had District meeting, and other than that, just talked to people on the street all day.
Thursday we had interviews with the President at our church, and got to film a few minutes of advice for the incoming missionaries. I talked about treating your companion like Gold, and Elder Chow talked about keeping your heart on fire, and your mind on ice. We walked a ton that day, and taught Kim Dae Nam about Prophets, and invited him to come watch General conference!
Friday we had English class, where we talked about food, the cookie monster, and found out that three of us have moms named Lisa. Hahah coincidence? I think not!
Saturday we were able to watch the Priesthood session in the morning, and watch the Saturday afternoon session with our ward at night. ..Seriously took like the whole day.
Sunday was more conference; to be specific, like 6 hours straight! We watched the Sunday morning, then had lunch, then the Sunday afternoon, then Saturday morning. Haha yikes!

Anyway, this week was totally rad, really really simple, and inspiring! I wish I had more for you today, but I don't..! I'm sorry, I love you all!

Elder DeMille

Our first package from Korea! Silly Elder.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

BONUS FEATURE: It's Prom Season and I Miss These Elders!!!

Here's an added bonus for you today. Each of these boys is serving a full time mission right now for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in California, Peru, Argentina and South Korea. This was how they asked their dates to Senior Prom last spring. Love it! I miss them so.

What's Up From the Land of Korea!

Welcome to another exciting episode of "Elder DeMille's Really Exciting and Somewhat Surprising Mission in the Land of Korea" Episode, ..a billion? I swear I've written so many of these mass emails.

..Alright, to start off, if any of you who are reading this are from Olympus High, and have gotten a mission call, or know someone who has gotten their mission call in the senior class, please tell them congrats! I love that it's that time again, and it's so crazy to see where everyone is going!!
So this week, was pretty intense. We started Monday off right playing my ULTIMATE favorite sport. It was so ULTIMATEly fun and ULTIMATEly the best P-day of all time. ..Can you guess what it was?? ..Ultimate Frisbee you say?? ...Wrong. We played Ultimate Disc. ..haha it was super rad, and we all had a super fun time. No pics, sadly, but missionaries from all over the zone gathered in Bupyeong and played some sweet Ultimate Disc! Everyone had such a great time, and it was sooo good to toss again. (Yes, I'm a Disc-addict.. ..Sober for almost 4 months..) The relapse was well worth it. Monday Chow and I bought "companionship shirts" which we'll send a picture of someday soon, and also had dinner with our 1st Counselor! We went to a buffet called "Ashley's" and Elder Chow ate me under the table. ..It was nuts. That kid punishes food. On the way home, we even got jumped by one of our fellow friends at a market who exploded out of the back of this huge white van and started screaming at us while holding two huge boxes of strawberries, "TWO FOR TEN!! TWO FOR TEN!!" So, naturally, out of my super manly instincts, I whipped out my wallet as fast as I could and purchased the strawberries so I didn't wet my pants from being absolutely terrified.. hahaha!
Tuesday was pretty rad, I went on another split with Elder Empey, and pretty much walked around all day/night long. Nothing too exciting, but when I first got there, his Bishop called us and told us to come visit him at his work! So of course, we went, and he was actually at the church across the street. We walked up to him and started to just casually talk to him and his wife as they played with their kid in the parking lot, and then the Bishop came up and asked, "Elder DeMille! Is your mom's name Lisa?" ..In Korean of course, so I'm in total Korean mode, and am totally confused as to why in the world this guy knows my mom's name, so I keep saying, "Yeah! How do you know? How do you know??" He wouldn't answer, and had me stand on the steps of the church to take a picture, and then started to film a video! He looked at me and said, Okay, talk to your family! Hahaha I was in Korean mode, and so confused! So, hopefully the video my family received made sense.. haha!
Wednesday was pretty simple, Empey made me beans on eggs on toast which is supposedly what they eat for breakfast in England (Why that applies to Korea is beyond me) but it was pretty delicious. 

Thursday was really simple as well, we taught a new investigator about Prophets, and related it to people making a movie because he wants to be an actor really bad. We told him that we are like the cast, wanting to make a movie, but not knowing how, we need direction! So of course, God is the Director, but he also doesn't really want to get out of his sweet chair and come back and forth to us all the time, so he has someone called a Prophet, or Producer, that tells us the right way to do things. Rad huh? It was more in-depth, but this is all that time really permits right now, haha.
Friday was a Split with Elder Thompson, a Zone Leader. We talked to about a billion people, and talked to someone who believes in 10 different dimensions of the universe and that Jesus is an alien. ..Interesting! Haha. Another man talked about how Adam failed, so they sent Jesus, and since Jesus failed and was crucified, Adam was reincarnated and sent like 4 more times. They currently worship Adam the 6th. ...What?

Saturday was tight! I passed off "The Savior's Earthly Ministry" with Elder Thompson, putting me even closer to passing off the whole pamphlet in Teacher Training. We un-split, and actually ended up dropping one investigator this week. ..It was really sad, but that’s the way it had to be. He didn't have gospel interest anymore. .. :( We hit Ediya Espresso that night, and I drank the most delicious white hot chocolate I have had in my entire human existence. ..Like.. wow.
We hit our goal of talking to 115 people this week, and did really well! Since I'm out of time, a huge shout out goes to my boy Elder Bradshaw (Elder Swagshaw) who is currently recovering right now. I love you to death, and am praying for you day and night brother! This week was a week of patience for me, and I'm sure it is for many of you out there. Remember that sometimes our difficulties require the heavenly virtue of patience, and that someone is always there to help you. I love you all! Stay strong, and be True! ...(Heh, not literally though, cuz well.. I'm me and you're you.. so be you.. )

Elder DeMille!