Elder True DeMille

Elder True DeMille

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!