Elder True DeMille

Elder True DeMille

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Radically Miraculous!‏

So.. it's hot here. ..Like. ..REALLY hot. You have this constant layer of moisture on you all the time that you thought could never possibly exist. ..It's pretty nuts. And, the best part is that it's supposed to be rainy-season now, and since it's only rained two or three times, all the Koreans we talk to are telling us it's gonna be even more ridiculously hot come mid-July and August. ..Challenge accepted. ..haha they tell us all these horror stories of summer, and how the humidity and heat is so bad that you can't sleep even with 3 fans and air conditioning. ..Then, we get to see the funniest, most terrified and concerned look on their face when we tell them we have no air conditioning. Hahaha. But hey, we'll survive. It's not so bad compared to the lake of fire and brimstone, I'm sure.
Last week was super rad, and went by SO fast! We played basketball, and tossed some disc (aka played frisbee) at Dapdong on P-day, and had our usual adventures throughout the week. But, THIS week, we had the raddest MIRACLE!!
Right after our extra long District meeting on Wednesday, my fearless senior companion, Elder Higham and I stepped out into the blazing heat, with the thick, heavy, somehow water-filled air weighing down our thin, fatigued, malnourished missionary bodies. We boldly attacked people on the street who spoke in different languages, and even used fierce weapons such as "I'm busy", "the silent treatment", and - too common among old Koreans - "I already know everything." ..Discouraged, but never admitting defeat, we battled our way down the streets near our church. ..Then, when all hope seemed lost, amidst oncoming traffic a car swerved off to the side of the road. Two honks sounded, the door opened, hazards flashed as if in sync with our weary, beating hearts, and we heard something. ..Something we recognized all too well.. ...English!
"Hello! Hello! Excuse me!"  - This lady, halfway out of her car was yelling at us from down the road! We rushed over, and the first thing she said was, "Yes, Hello! I want to go to your church!" ..Folks, this DOES NOT happen in Korea. 

..We looked at each other and pointed to our name tags, trying to clarify for her by asking.. .."Uh.. THIS church?" She said, "YES!" So, we got her number, she introduced her small family, and drove off! It was so strange! But.. we were SO PUMPED! We walked down the road, laughing and joking with each other about how crazy that was, when Elder Higham exclaimed, "Alright! I'm ready for the next one!" We both laughed, and not TWO seconds later, we heard crazy fast footsteps behind us. We turned around, to see the SAME lady! 

She said, out of breath, "Hi!! Do you remember me??" We both said, "Uh.. yes!" Thinking, how could we NOT??! And she said, "I have something for you!" She pulled out of nowhere two ears of corn ( a common Korean street snack), and boy did we partake! Before we had a chance though, she said goodbye and ran away! How crazy! I turned to Elder Higham and started shouting, "Say it again! Say it again!" Haha! I wanted more miracles that day, but, I guess 2 were good enough for us! Haha.
Anyway, we thought it was rad. Other than that, I did a lot of studying this week, and even put together a family tree of my Korean ancestors. Super cool. ..I have a TON of people in Korea I'm related to and don't even know! None of them know I exist either - what a surprise it will be when I meet them! Haha! Also, this week marked the 4th year after receiving my Patriarchal blessing. Cool, huh? Anyway. I love you all, and miss you like crazy! For those wondering, the language is getting much easier, I eat Korean food like a champ, I had duck for the first time this week (delish) and the weather is beautiful and miserable. We love it out here! Keep killin' it wherever you are! Have a great week!!

All the love,

Elder DeMille

Sunday, June 22, 2014


It's been.. One week since you heard from me,
Still got the 3 scars on both my knees - it's been
Only an hour since my last study - almost went through my entire library
2 hours since a meltdown or two, sometimes you do just what you ought not to do..
Yesterday, you started waitin' for me, and now I'll sit back, relax, and type up my story..

Ha! Barenaked Ladies reference for you fans out there. ..Although, it probably doesn't sound quite right.. and, I really didn't have a meltdown. ..At least, not 2 hours ago, haha. This week was filled with adventure! But, I've spent some quality time with those I love this week so, I'll keep this one short. First, highlights of the week! ..ARE YOU READY FOR THIS?! -beh neh neh neh-na-neh-na-neh neh neh neh neh!
Monday. I decided I wanted to start wearing glass on my face all the time. Good idea? ..Yes. Why? ..Clarity. ..I can see clearly now.. the blur is gone.. ..hahaha. My vision has really been bothering me lately so I got my eyes checked out and got hooked up with a sweet pair of optics for 50 bones. Test, frames, lenses, and all. What a steal! If you or your kid need/requires glasses and/or contacts, fear not. They're super cheap here. It's like 3$ for a box of contacts, and 1$ for a 500mL bottle of Salene. Anyway, aside from that, I referred my relatives info I got from my grandmother before leaving to my President, and am waiting to hear back. I hope the work gets goin'!
Tuesday was spent with my brother Elder Munk, and we got invited into this lady's home who we though was a less-active, but in reality has never heard of our church and holds her own worship service in her house! She has this giant wooden podium, and GIANT wooden cross on her wall -...Terrifying. ..She wanted to buy our BOM though, and fed us so much Watermelon I thought I was going to grow a plant inside of me, so. .. it all worked out.  

Wednesday was nuts. I went from splits to district meeting to trying to help Elder Ellsworth whose small intestine and appendix were rubbing together, causing some pretty bad pain, to setting up a finding activity with everyone in our Zone in our Area, to having interviews with the President in the space of like 5 hours, and without going home. ..Pretty wild. We visited a less active right after, and all went well. That night, we even got a call at 9:20pm-ish to help a different Less active carry maybe 50 or so boxes down 2 or 3 flights of stairs. ..By the time we got home and passed out, we decided that this must be what American missionaries feel like. ...needed. Haha.
Thursday we spent the night with two of my favorite people; J (11) and S (9). We teach them English, and teach their parents and them both our lessons afterwards. We often play "Ward Fish" - a hilarious version of Go Fish that my mom sent me (Have any Sunbeams?)  that the kids love. This night, the kids kept stealing my glasses, and J showed us his sweet cup-stacking skills. S drew my face on a balloon, and they kicked it around all night, dying at the idea that they were kicking my head around the room. ..haha, silly kids. They rule.
Friday I received a blessing from President in hopes to help me sleep better, and it was greatly needed and appreciated. ..He is seriously the man. Sister Morrise thinks I may suffer from anxiety but, I'd rather not think about it. ..it might make me anxious ;P Haha. 

Saturday we met up with our newest investigator, T. He's handicapped, and in a sweet electronic wheelchair - He's the man. His English is incredible, and he's always super happy! He's been through a lot, and is really needing some friends, so we're hoping to help him feel a little more loved. He's even got some sweet piano skills, only playing with one hand and a thumb! Such a blessed young man! I hope we see him more!
And well, Sunday was the uze. (abbreev for usual?) but hey, that's a week in the life of Elder DeMille! I wish I had words of wisdom for you this week but, well.. sometimes you've got to figure things out for yourself ;) Always know that the Lord loves you, and cares so much about you! Congratulations to Maddy Hayes for her incredible mission call as well! And Farewell Zach Stone, and hello Amy Williams! ..Also, congrats to Sarah Cameron as well! Man, things are changing! 

Love you all!

Elder DeMille

Sunday, June 15, 2014

This One Goes Out to my Old Men

Dedicated to both of my Dads. 

"Quit! Give up! You're beaten!"
They shout at me and plead.
There's just too much against you now.
This time you can't succeed!

And as I start to hang my head
In front of failure's face
My downward fall is broken by
The memory of a race.

And hope refills my weakened will
As I recall that scene
For just the thought of that short race
Rejuvenates my being.

A children's race; young boys, young men
How I remember well.
Excitement, sure! But also fear.
It wasn't hard to tell.

They all lined up so full of hope
Each though to win that race.
Or tie for first, or if not that
At least take second place. 

And fathers watched from off the side,
Each cheering for his son.
And each boy hoped to show his dad
That he would be the one.

The whistle blew and off they went 
Young hearts and hopes afire.
To win and be the hero there
Was each young boy's desire.

And one boy in particular
Whose dad was in the crowd
Was running near the lead and thought,
My dad will be so proud!

But as they speeded down the field
Across a shallow dip.
The little boy, who thought to win,
Lost his step and slipped.

Trying hard to catch himself
His hands flew out to brace,
And, mid the laughter of the crowd,
He fell flat on his face.

So down he fell, and with him hope. 
He couldn't win it now.
Embarrassed, sad, he only wished
To disappear somehow.

But as he fell, his dad stood up
And showed his anxious face
That to the boy so clearly said;
Get up and win the race!

He quickly rose, no damage done. 
Behind a bit, that's all
And ran with all his mind and might 
to make up for his fall.

So anxious to restore himself 
To catch up and win,
His mind went faster than his legs;
He slipped and fell again.

He wished that he had quit before
with only one disgrace
I'm hopeless as a runner, now. 
I shouldn't try to race.

But in the laughing crowd he searched
And found his father's face,
That steady look that said again,
Get up and win the race.

So up he jumped to try again
Ten yards behind the last
If I'm to gain those yards, he thought,
I've got to move real fast.

Exerting everything he had,
He regained eight of ten
But trying hard to catch the lead
He slipped and fell again.

Defeated! He lay there silently
A tear dropped from his eye
There's no sense in running anymore.
Three strikes; I'm out. Why try?

The will to rise had disappeared. 
All hope had flown away.
so far behind; so error prone-
A loser all the way.

I've lost, so what's the use, he thought,
I'll live with my disgrace.
But then he thought about his dad,
Whom he'd soon have to face.

Get up, an echo sounded low,
Get up and take your place. 
You were not meant for failure here,
Get up and win the race.

With borrowed will, getup, it said. 
You haven't lost at all.
For winning is no more than this:
To rise each time you fall.

So up he rose to run once more
And, with a new commit,
He resolved that win or lose
At least he wouldn't quit.

So far behind the others now,
The most he'd ever been,
Still he gave it all he had; 
He ran as though to win.

Three times he'd fallen, stumbling,
Three times he rose again.
Too far behind to hope to win,
He still ran to the end.

They cheered the winning runner
As he crossed the line first place,
Head high, and proud, and happy - 
No falling; no disgrace.

But when the fallen youngster 
Crossed the line last place,
The crowd gave him the greater cheer
For finishing the race.

And even though he came in last
With head bowed low, unproud,
You would have thought he won the race,
To listen to the crowd.

And to his dad he sadly said,
I didn't do so well.
To me, you won, his father said.
You rose each time you fell.

And now when things seem dark and hard
and difficult to face,
The memory of that little boy
Helps me in my race.

For all of life is like that race,
With ups and downs and all,
And all you have to do to win 
Is rise each time you fall.

"Quit! Give up! You're beaten!" 
They still shout in my face.
But another voice within me says
Get up and win the race!

-Delbert L. Groberg

The words I say will be few, but I want to sincerely thank both of my amazing fathers for being the incredible examples they have always been to me. For teaching me to love, to reason, to understand, and how to be a real man with a real heart. I love each of them with everything I have, and feel so blessed to have both of them in my life, both blessing me in remarkably different ways. ..Thank you both for encouraging me, and teaching me to rise each time I fall. For always helping me back up, and for making me feel like a winner even when I've come in last place. ..I want the world to know that I have the greatest fathers in the whole universe, and that nothing can stop me from trying to be more like them. Thank you, for being the ones I could go to with problems, concerns, and sometimes to escape the wrath of my wonderful mother. I owe you both more than you could ever imagine, and hope I'm making you proud. Happy Father's Day!!!!

All the love,
Your son,

Elder DeMille

PS - Happy Birthday Elder Higham!!!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Faith is the Strength of the Soul Inside

I'm going to apologize in advance, because, well, this week has really slipped out of my hands! We've been so focused and determined to find and teach new investigators, while conducting exchanges and splits, and waiting for transfer calls this week. It's been mayhem! But, I'll try to recap this week to the best of my 18-year old ability, haha. Let's do this!
Monday we went to our first Preach My Gospel Teacher Improvement (PMGTI or "Pass off") Brunch at President's house, since I finally passed off my first pamphlet a few weeks ago. Elder Meeks and I did it at the same time, so both Elder Berry and Elder Meeks accompanied us to said divine banquet/brunch. It was DELICIOUS. Sister Morrise made us french toast with bacon, watermelon, strawberries, buttermilk syrup, hash browns, and some super good mango juice. Like, man was it divine! Anyway, we got to talk to President for a while which was cool, and we started to talk about how my dad works as a Production Designer in Hollywood. Turns out he ran into a Korean Film Archive Director on the subway the other day and decided to give me his card! Haha! He said he hopes I get to see his place, and check out some movies! Guess we'll see! :P Later, we found out that President Uchtdorf's favorite movie is School of Rock but.. don't tell him I told you that, haha. However, feel free to like him more than you previously have - that scores some big points! After brunch we hit Costco for my first time in the country, and bought some sweet goods.
Then, Tuesday we had exchanges. Elder Brewer came here around dinner time and we legit hardly did anything all night. He felt super sick, so we just had a long companionship inventory while he lay on our futon with a towel on his head. We talked about our families and girlfriends and stuff, and it was really cool. ..And much needed to be honest. We also played Book of Mormon Battles, this game my mom sent me. So rad! It's like glorified "war" and was a good time. I recommend you play with 4 people though, haha.
Wednesday we unsplit early and met two new investigators: KJH and EHS. KJH met us at Bupyeong High school and walked with us to the church (where we thought we'd be meeting) only to tell us he was busy and that he'd catch us around sometime. ..Wha? Haha. Then, we went all over our area looking for Brother E who told us he was at like three different parks, when we finally found him at an exercise place by our house. So odd. We taught him for 30 minutes and tried to set up a return appointment with little success. That night, we tried to visit a less-active, EYJ, who is super nice, but he wasn't home. Instead, we ran into a guy on the street on the way home who loves missionaries, is from Elder Higham's old area, and is obsessed with Canada. Go figure! Plus, earlier, when we were trying find Brother E, we ran into this French woman who Elder Higham talked to in French forever! He's super good! Apparently, she was lost, looking for her dance studio for Olympic Training. Cool, right? (The Olympic training part, not the whole.. I'm lost, please help me part)
Then, Thursday was Zone Training at Dapdong, which was really good. Elders Berry and Meeks taught me some sweet pen tricks from across the room (I sound like a pretty focused missionary, right? ..Haha they were harder then you'd think! ..Sorry mom.. ) And Elder Witt kept making me bust up laughing, he was being so funny! What a guy. After the meeting I got my "Spider man" package from my other family, the Paul's. It was KILLER! I loved it. Thank you Lou and Pops! And all my homies from the Winder 8th Ward! Your letters really made my day, my week, my month!! Later, we taught EMH and his family, and we felt like we were really getting through to his wife - I feel like they will really progress if we're not scared to teach them and testify.
Then, Friday we met KDN and PGS helped us teach him again! It went really well. We talked about the Plan of Salvation, and he liked it a lot. PGS made a huge sacrifice to be there too, he brought his entire family and was late for a meeting he had. So crazy! He came through big time for us! During the lesson we taught KDN how to tie a tie, and he thought I'd be leaving soon so he bought us some sweet Pizza Hut. Super delish. Then, we taught KHT at 3:30 and had a pretty stiff first lesson - we just need to build more trust. Later, on our way home from the church , our ward mission leader flagged us down and had us walk with him back to the church. He was super concerned about the ward, and the sister missionaries (just wants them to have more success) and how he's supposed to help us. We bounced a ton of ideas off of him. He still seemed down, so, we're gonna kick into gear this week and try to get some ward activities going. To put the soul back in Seoul! ..Er, Bupyeong! Haha. After that, English class was the usual, and just before that we had a less-active member chase us down the street, telling us to come to his shop sometime so he could give us a free windbreaker. ..We'll go this week, I'm sure. ;P Haha.
Saturday we were stood up twice for lessons, and the same thing happened Sunday after I gave another talk in church. I've learned this week that, well, things don't always go as planned, and well, life requires a lot of faith. I can't say much more (time is always against us! hah!) but, Edgar A. Guest says this about faith:

"It is faith that bridges the land of breath
To the realms of the souls departed,
That comforts the living in days of death,
And strengthens the heavy-hearted.
It is faith in his dreams that keeps a man
Face front to the odds about him,
And he shall conquer who thinks he can,
In spite of the throngs who doubt him.
Each must stand in the court of life
And pass through the hours of trial;
He shall be tested by the rules of strife,
And tried for his self-denial.
Time shall bruise his soul with the loss of friends,
And frighten him with disaster;
But he shall find when the anguish ends
That, of all things, faith is master.
So keep your faith in the God above,
And faith in the righteous truth,
It shall bring you back to the absent love,
And the joys of a vanished youth.
You shall smile once more when your tears are dried,
Meet trouble and swiftly rout it.
For faith is the strength of the soul inside,
And lost is the man without it."

..Our business in life isn't to get ahead of others - to have faith that we will come out on top, or in first place - but to simply get ahead of ourselves. To break our own records, to out-do our yesterdays with our todays, to bear our trials and difficulties more beautifully than we ever dreamed we could; to give like we never have given. To do this kind of work, or any kind of work, with more force and a finer finish than ever before. That's the real challenge. To get ahead of ourselves. "So wake up, and do something more, than dream of your mansion above.." 

..Go do something. 

All the love, 
Elder DeMille.

..and yes, I'm still in Bupyeong. ..For life!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

One Year Ago Today ... the Call Came

One year ago today was the most exciting day our family has ever had! It was the day Elder DeMille received his mission call. We had several family members in town for his high school graduation on June 6th, but the mission calls was so much more important. It was going to be life changing. It was something he aimed for his whole life and he was truly excited to see where the Lord needed him.
We  chased down our sweet mailman a couple hours before he would get to our house just to get our hands on that precious white envelope. Then that lovely piece of mail had its own photo shoot with everyone before it came to rest in a place of honor on our mantle. We invited everyone to come over at 8:30pm that night for the big event. Finally, the time had arrived!
I can't fully explain how amazing all of this was. My mother is from Seoul, Korea. She came to the States in 1972 before I was born. She has only been back to visit once. This cute little ball of fire was the first one to run up and hug him. What an awesome way for her grandson to learn about his heritage. What a huge opportunity to try and find relatives we have long since lost touch with. Elder DeMille would have been happy to serve anywhere in the world ... but this was truly a tender mercy. We love our missionary!!!

Sunday, June 1, 2014


This week has been totally unreal. Elder Higham and I have been working our little missionary butts to the bone and have really seen some incredible things. I don't have a ton to write to you this week, other than a few events that have happened along the way! 
First, we had the temple this week, and that was incredible in and of itself! I received wonderful inspiration there on a few things I had been earnestly seeking for, and couldn't have been happier. ..Then, just yesterday, was probably the biggest day of the week. ..Scratch that actually, it WAS the biggest day of the week. And honestly, I couldn't really tell you why! But, bright and early, on our way to church we watched a man who was heavily intoxicated on the street pretty much pass out while hitting his head and stumbling into a sign on the street. ..We rushed over as he was bleeding from his forehead, knee, arm and leg, and I took my handy-dandy handkerchief that Uncle Rod gave to me before I left. I stopped the man's bleeding on his forehead (which was pretty bad) and helped him up off the ground. All he said to us was "thank you" over and over again, and I was happy that we could be there to help him out. I let him keep the blood-soaked handkerchief, and hoped he would be alright as we made our way to church.
There, we had not one, but TWO investigators come to church! That hardly EVER happens, we were SO stoked!! KDN came, and another man named KHS. We enjoyed church, and taught KDN after church with a member, (one of my favorite guys on the planet) PGS. He's incredible! We taught KDN the word of wisdom, and found out he smokes 20 cigarettes a day! ..Yikes. He also loves to drink, and all sorts of things, but as we explained it, his first question was, "So, what happens if I do these things again after baptism?" ..haha. It was a great question, but also really made us realize that he is truly preparing for baptism. Sooo cool. PGS was wonderful to have there. He smoked and drank in his day too, and was only converted about 5 years ago. He told KDN how to stop, why it's bad for you, and testified so strongly. We're going to be working together to get past this, and I couldn't be more excited about it! ...Sheesh, I really don't have a lot of time.. yikes!
Anyway, that whole thing was awesome, and later than night a ward member invited us over for dinner .....and it was like.... ......wow.

They killed/fried two whole live octopi in front of us, and we ate tons of shells/clams/seafood too. Raw fish, all this crazy stuff, and some really delicious normal meat, haha. It was terrifying, and Elder Higham and I were trying hard to just not look at the things we were eating. It was intense!
I wish I could say more but, well, all I really need to say is that Korea is an adventure, and I know this church is true! I love you all so much!! Have a wonderful week!

Elder DeMille