Elder True DeMille

Elder True DeMille

Sunday, August 31, 2014

They Call Me Father

Hey friends, and family! 

Seriously unprepared this week, but I thought I'd let you in on a few things that are going on!

First, I got my son! His name is Elder Ellsworth, and he's from Kansas and a mess of about 20 other states. He's from a Navy family, hence all the moves, and loves soccer, basketball, and debate. Haha. He's seriously the man! His Korean is outstanding, and his Introduction in Sacrament meeting was incredible. Everyone loves him already! He weighs in at about 6'1" and 75kg, so it's like we're basically twins. ...It's just that one of us is white.. hahaha. 
Anyway, training has been a blast so far. It's crazy to walk the streets with someone who is seeing everything for the first time, but he is doing everything with impeccable perfection! He even got us 2 phone numbers the other night... (Right? Talk about future AP?!) I love this kid, and ..well, I apologize because the only photos I have of us are of him passed out on the floor last night and me pretending to have died next to him.. haha. He's still a little jet-lagged, but is game for just about anything. He's super fun.
Other than that, the days have been all out of control (I was in a tri-panionship all last week) but we got a call from Elder Buntz (our Publicity coordinator in Seoul). He called and wants to write an article on our wall! Super stoked. That'll go down on Tuesday, with shots from a Go-Pro and such, and I'll hopefully have cooler news by then.
Goodness, sorry for the lack of updates, but that's just about it! Wishing Sister Bagley the best of luck back home for the next few weeks, and hoping that you all have the best week! I love you!

Elder DeMille

Monday, August 25, 2014

Prints With a Purpose

Before Elder DeMille left to serve his mission, he set up a storefront on Etsy. This was his way of helping to pay for his own mission. I haven't been the best at keeping it current, or advertising it, but in light of his most recent efforts in Korea to put a little color in the world ... I figured it was high time to share these items with you too.

There are 12 prints available in the shop now, which come in 3 different sizes. A few more prints will be added soon. Each has its own description with shipping details. Go have a look and see if there is one that suits you. Let's help him get these robots out into the world. We have readers here from 27 different countries now. I wonder how far the robots will travel!

Click here to visit the bots ==== >>>> DeliSupreme Art Co. on Etsy

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Doing What Missionaries Are Made To Do

So.. this week was incredible.

Possibly the longest, fastest week ever, Elder Johnson and I are still buzzing about how much we've done this week. We are conquering the world! ...Alas, we did get transfer calls this past Sunday morning at 6:30am (literally the second I started to pray), and found out that Elder Johnson will be going to Bongcheon, and I will be training! With just one short transfer together, we're already splitting! ..But, let me tell you what this dream team has accomplished.
It started with Zone Conference on Tuesday. (Well, actually we had a sweet family home evening with the ward on Monday but.. it's unrelated) ..We received various trainings on how to improve productivity and effectiveness when using Service, Family History work, and English Class as finding opportunities. We were told to revamp and redo things in a way where it's not pressuring anyone to listen to our message, but rather incorporating good vibes and morals while letting others (guests) exercise their curiosity and give them opportunities to ask about our church. Super good. So, back to these crazy events - When we were taught about Service, and told that Missionaries should be serving a lot more and finding service opportunities in the community, Elder Johnson and I basically caught fire. Haha we were so pumped! We left the training, convinced we would try to serve more (since we still don't have any investigators ... depressing, right? No way! There are other things to be done!), and that night spent so much time talking about what we wanted to do; walking into huge corporations, offering to teach their employees free english, checking out parks and planting trees, doing all kinds of service... ..big ideas, right? ..Right.
So, on the way home, we passed a wall we pass every night that is right across the street from our house. This wall ... is terrible. It's vandalized with terrible words and pictures, and every time Elder Johnson and I walk past it, we talk about how someone should cover it up. ..But, this night, since we were literally walking around ignited with some crazy random service spirit, we decided we'd waited long enough. The next morning, we got up, bought paint, and talked to the Apartment manager. He found the owners of the wall, and asked them if we could paint it (just to make it renewed.. restored..? My english.. ay yi yi..) and they came out looking at us like we were gonna destroy some of their property! We explained that we wanted to make the wall look brand new again (there it is...) and once they understood what we wanted to do they were blown away! So, long story short, we started painting, some people commented on how well I was painting.. (solid grey, I know, I'm quite talented and moving the brush up and down, haha..) and Elder Johnson told them I paint all kinds of things!
They went crazy and wanted me to paint some art! I figured there was no better way to prevent graffiti than putting beautiful art on a wall, so.. I took a picture of a sunset that my girlfriend Abby sent me from her time at Newport, and ... put it on the wall. Haha. It's not quite done, but they even wanted me to put one of my robots on it too! How insane is that?? My robots, and my art, will now be in Korea forever! It's not done yet, it's taken two days, and we'll touch it up on Tuesday, but the Manager already has another wall he wants us to paint when we have time. Crazy, right??
Not only that, but in our spare time, we DID approach big corporations, waltzing in their front doors asking for service opportunities. We met the Executive Director of the visual work of KBS (Korean Broadcasting System), as well as the Administrators of this huge park in our area where we picked up trash for an hour or two, and even met with the big guy at the KSA - the Korean Scouting Association! Haha! They want us to become volunteer Pack leaders and teachers! I doubt we'll be able to, but man, I promise, if you go looking for opportunities to serve, you WILL find them. (Steven (Pops), I got you something sweet from the KSA store, haha. You'll love it, and it should be on it's way soon! Always thinking about you!)
Then, on Saturday we hosted a huge musical event, and last Sunday I sang in Sacrament meeting if I didn't tell you that.. but it was incredible. Elder Light even did a song with one of our deaf members. Seriously, the week doesn't get any better.
So, this was the bang that Elder Johnson and I went out with. I hope you all enjoyed hearing about it, and I'll report to you about my new companion (fresh from el MTC) next week! Gotta talk to the beautiful girl and family! Love you all! Stay fresh, and selfless!!

Elder DeMille!

(Remember, the painting's not done yet..)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

This one goes out to the one and only.

..It was a long, hard day at Ultimate practice. ..Yes, Ultimate Frisbee, (it's my jam.). Personal things set aside, I was conditioning hard and trying to get noticed by my coaches so that I could maintain my spot as middle handler on the starting team. We ran, threw, dove, tossed, and got dirty. It was incredible. When practice ended with jokes and laughs, I grabbed my things and got in my car, music up - on top of the world. As I got home, I noticed no cars were there, and thought about how nice and long my wonderful shower was going to be with a house all to myself. ..But, as I opened the door to an older sister in surprising hysterics, things got real very fast.

"Where have you been??!" My older sister, Phoenix asked, with tears streaming down her face. I assumed everyone knew where I was, and simply replied nonchalantly, "..Practice." wondering what in the world had gotten into her. She asked why I hadn't answered her calls, and as I pulled my phone out of my drawstring bag to prove her wrong, I found that I had over 14 missed calls, 6 missed messages, and 2 voicemails. Immediately humbled and quieted, my sister explained to me all that she could.

My mom had been taken to the hospital after having an incredibly painful headache. This headache, we later found out, was an aneurysm. With evaluations, summaries, and diagnostics from the medical teams at St. Mark's hospital and the University of Utah, we found out that my mother should have died the moment the blood vessel in her brain burst. ..But, let me back up a little bit. My sister and I drove to St. Mark's ER center, a facility I was somewhat familiar with since I was training and trying to certify as an EMT at the time, and kept our uncomfortable mom company while she underwent various tests and scans. They came to the conclusion that she had had an aneurysm - an occurrence where a blood vessel in your brain explodes, and with the blood pooling to the bottom of your brain, it stops the flow of natural, necessary fluids throughout your body, thus - making it impossible for you to live. We were told that we were lucky to still have our mother at this point - almost half of the people who experience an aneurysm die immediately when the vessel in their brain bursts. ..But we had made it this far.
We were told that she needed to be taken to the ICU at the University of Utah right away in order to undergo a few more texts, and probably be scheduled for emergency brain surgery. ..I don't know if things have ever turned more upside down in my life so quickly before.
Sure enough, we spent hours at the University with loved ones waiting to hear news. We called others, had a few people come to give her a Priesthood blessing, and waited. The next day, she underwent surgery, and with so many factors in play, and such a small percentage of success, I had no idea how to feel. I didn't want to be in the hospital. I didn't want to feel that it was real. After all of the hours I had spent training to become an experienced personnel in the medical field as an EMT, seeing my mother as the patient in the Emergency Room, and ICU changed everything for me. It was so incredibly surreal.
But, my mom beat the odds. She got past the some odd 50% who don't make it to the hospital. She beat the near 10% who don't quite cut it through surgery, and she continues to challenge those 3% who recover fully without any side-effects. My mother went through her own Gethsemane from 3 weeks filled with stitches, staples, so many IV's you wouldn't believe, and enough hospital food to make anyone give up, to constantly battling blood pressure and regular household activities weeks to months after she was able to come home. ..But she didn't quit. Those weeks - months - filled with unbelievable events and emotion, pushed all of us to our limits.
But it helped me make a decision I know I'll never regret.

In my English class this last week, my 40-60 year old students asked me two questions with our remaining time. They wanted to hear something great - something incredible - that had happened in my life, as well as why I became a missionary. Teaching with Elder Han, I asked if I could combine the two, and they were more than thrilled. I was able to share this tender story, that I hold close to my heart, and explain to them that honestly, I am out here because my mother is still alive. I know with all of my heart that this gospel is true, and because I am a missionary I have found and continue to find immeasurable happiness in sharing these truths - but before I came out here, I didn't have that desire to share. It just wasn't something that I felt I would give so much for - to spend so much time just hoping to have others hear about this church, this way of life. So instead, with all those lonely hours at home, all those hours in the hospital, and seeing how much my mom suffered so that she could return to live with us again, I decided that I would do it for her. I came out on a mission to show my Heavenly Father how thankful I am to still have this amazing person in my life, and to do whatever I could to pay Him back. I know it doesn't exactly work like that, but it was an opportunity to give all that I am to the Lord because He let me keep all that I am - which is my mother - for a little while longer.
Today, I am so grateful for another year with the most incredible human being that I have ever met and ever will meet. Thank you for never giving up mom. On me, or the Lord. Thank you for showing everyone that we can make it through our own Gethsemane, and that family is worth every ounce of sacrifice. I love you more than I could ever express. 
But know that these 2 years started because of you.
I love you mom.

Happy Birthday :)

Love, your son,

Elder True DeMille

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Warmer ... warmer ...

This week has been pretty good! We taught our first "Book of Mormon Class" on Tuesday, and had tons of success! Our members, and even some investigators, and less actives there, and it ended up just being a giant, somewhat heated testimony meeting, haha! Our members and even some investigators were testifying about the Book of Mormon to other investigators and less actives - it was great!
Other than that, we had District meeting on Wednesday, had tons of choir practice throughout the week (I may be singing a solo come the 23rd... yikes!) Had Korean Sign Language class (as if it isn’t hard enough to just learn Korean, I'm now learning another language here! Haha! We learn it for the deaf members in our ward! So cool, and so nice!) We also got to go to the temple on Thursday, which made my entire week.
The temple is seriously the greatest place. With Korea being so busy and noisy all the time, it's truly refreshing to be somewhere so quiet and peaceful. We seldom get that here. ..And, even though the temple was fantastic, the real highlight of the week was Elder Light and Elder Lion's (We like to call them Elder Dark and Elder Tiger sometimes.. haha) investigator's baptism this week! His name is Yong, he's a 25 year old Chinese man, who has been investigating the Church for about a year now and knows Chinese, English and Korean! He had one of the most beautiful baptismal services I've ever been to, mainly because of his incredible testimony. There were talks and musical numbers amongst members and friends, most of them were from the English branch (which makes me crazy uncomfortable - I have no idea how to interact with English-speaking people who aren't missionaries..), but when Yong bore his testimony it was like he lit the room on fire with his soft spoken voice. It was absolutely awesome, and I don't know if I've ever seen so many people cry at a baptism - Korean and English alike. I also met a missionary from Japan there, who was just on his way home, stopping in Korea with his dad who served here 30 or so years ago. His name was Elder Jackson, from the Kobe Japan mission. He says Elder Pace (a dear friend who is serving there) is a wonderful guy and a great missionary. ..Which is just what I was hoping to hear.
During Yong's baptismal service, a brother gave a talk about the Holy Ghost that hit me a little differently. He talked about how much his son likes to play the game "Hot and Cold" with him in the house. He and his wife hide some kind of treasure, whether it be a cookie, a treat, or a toy, and let their son loose to try and find it. I'm sure you're all familiar with the game. But.. without any help it'd be pretty hard, right? So, the closer he gets, or when he's headed in the right direction, they say "Warmer.. warmer... ooh.. hotter.. hot! Hot! You're red hot!! You're on FIRE!!" So, naturally, when he gets further away, they do the opposite. "Colder.. ...mm.. colder.. cold, cold! Ice Cold!! You're FREEZING!! Wrong way!!" The brother compared this to the Spirit and, how, when the closer we get to our Heavenly Father by making right decisions and going the right direction, the warmer and warmer we can feel the Holy Ghost inside of us. And, vice versa, when we go the other way, or make mistakes, we can feel the Holy Ghost leave and our bodies and insides start to grow colder and colder until we are "ice cold". So, as wonderful and as thrilling as baptism is, it is only the beginning. It is the key to unlocking, unwrapping, and enjoying the gift of the Holy Ghost that will help guide you each and every day for the rest of your life.
..Your goal as an investigator, member, nonmember, less-active, average joe, or superman should be to begin with the end in mind. Focus on the most important goal - the temple - , live worthy and make the right choices so that when the time comes you can receive the enduring blessings of the temple and the Lord can say, "Ooh, hot! Hot!! You're on fire!!!" ..We join this church to make and keep sacred covenants that qualify us for eternal life. We join this church so that our families can be together forever! Other organizations can make your life more pleasant, satisfying, uplifting, sure, but only the Lord's church can provide a way for us to make it all the way back home.
I love you all, and am always praying for and encouraging those approaching and contemplating baptism. Never give up. You're getting warmer! I know that it is one of the greatest decisions you will ever make, and is only the start to the endless blessings that will be available to you. 
Just - don't stop moving. 

Have a wonderful week, everyone!
You're hot! RED HOT!!

All the love,

Elder DeMille!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

I'm Back ... One Year Older and Wiser Too?

Wow.. where do I even start this week??

..Well.. I think that should be pretty obvious. I owe you all a huge apology! I totally spaced writing last week - we were in a hurry, and amongst writing back loved ones, sending stats, and trying to be on time, I got a little side tracked, haha! But hey, let me give you the low- down.
영등포 is incredible. We've got the only church with a basketball court and possibly the only house in the mission with 6 elders in it. And with no AC (in the house), 4 fans, and a living space made for 4 1/2 elders, it gets pretty exciting. Plus, my new comp is the man. Elder Johnson - a rock climbing, mountain hiking, mischief making fanatic, is a killer missionary. His Korean is really good, and hi is never afraid of talking to anyone. Which is so important out here. We're both pretty fresh (He's only 2 months behind me) so we're both learning a lot.. but we've had a ton of fun.
We've been escorted by mopeds through villages, have messed up subway travel plans, have spontaneously gone to dinner with way inactive less actives, have enjoyed Costco smoothies many a time, have devoured Krispy Kreme doughnuts, have started diets, have played with caterpillars, played basketball, badminton, soccer, and uno, have just recently received bible-bash whippings, and are pretty much doing work on the streets! We love it! Elder Johnson is from Murray, so out of everyone so far, he definitely understands me best. It's so rad. All SLC kids do the same things, I swear, haha. His most used words are, "dude", "like", "gnar", "gnarly", "sick", "dope", "tight", and "I'm finna drink, some milk!" Hahaha. I love him. We've also got Elders Han (DL) and Bryan, and Zone Leaders Light and Lion in our house.
Everyone is happy and hardworking, and they all love my robots, haha. They even already had me help make a flyer with Sister Allred for our weekly "Friendship Night" - an opportunity to strengthen our youth through sports and other games. But shoot, other than your typical tracting almost every hour, nothing is too different.
Our area - specifically me and Elder Johnson - are the newest here, and it was just opened 2 transfers ago, leaving us with.. not a lot. No investigators, hardly any potentials, no contacts.. but.. I'm sure that if we work hard we'll find success! After all, Elder Johnson and I are unstoppable! And well.. haha other than that the only exciting thing that happened was my birthday! AND BOY WAS IT A GOOD ONE!
I got packages from both my girlfriend, Abby, and my family, and I was BLOWN AWAY!! They made my day beyond special. I could go on and on about the presents I got, but my most favorite thing from my birthday here were the pictures "from the hood" that my mom sent me. She had Abby take pictures of all my friends, dressed up in goofy accessories with signs that had HAPPY BIRTHDAY messages on them for me!! To see some of my dearest friends, and even sweet family members (including Abby's family) was the COOLEST  thing. It just helped me to feel loved, and helps me know that I really do have people back home who love me - whom I've made a difference for.
I've had so may incredible times with so many incredible people it's almost unfair! Goodness - I'm so blessed. Thank you, to everyone who made my birthday absolutely wonderful! I loved every second of it (tracting and all) and even got surprise birthday cake from the Sisters. Everybody rules. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
This week, being thankful has been on my mind. And because of that, I've thought a lot about my prayers, and if I'm really being thankful and doing my best to be sincere when I pray. Sometimes I rush through them, and assume that the Lord knows what I need, and as long as I'm doing what's right he'll help me out. But.. reading through my Memory book this morning, something Sister Sloan wrote stood out to me. She said, in Jesus the Christ, James E. Talmage says, "True, (haha.. almost like he's talking right to me.. eh?) the Father knows our needs before we ask, but by asking we acknowledge Him as the Giver, and are made humble, grateful, contrite, and reliant by the request."
He's absolutely right. Remember that God knows and loves you. He knows what you need. ..But, if you're not humble enough to ask, how much harder would it be for you to recognize the real significance of those blessings you're constantly receiving? 

I love you all! Remember the Lord always, and never give up. 
We were meant to have joy. 
Find it.

All the love, and all the prayers,

Elder DeMille