Elder True DeMille

Elder True DeMille

Sunday, December 28, 2014

To The Roots


I can't even explain how cool it was to be able to SEE my family and loved ones again this year! They're all so huge -- ..and life is moving so fast! TOO RAD!!

This week was sincerely SLAMMED with stuff to do. We had mission conference, Christmas, a big Family History stake conference, and a sweet orchestra performance! This week was TOO cool! Thank you so much to all of those wonderful people out there who sent gifts to their missionaries in the form of presents, thoughts, words, or prayers! They certainly made our Christmas season even brighter! And yes, that includes you Family, Abby, The Stone’s, The Leppard’s, The Paul’s (second family), and the Cali Fam! You rule!

For those of you that don't know, Korea doesn't really celebrate Christmas. There are trees and lights here and there, and sales everywhere, but no one opens presents Christmas morning or anything like that. A lot of people take the day off of work and have a nice dinner with their family, but it's nothing like America. ...Ohhh how I love 'Merica. All the stores are still open, people still go to school, etc. It's pretty lame~ But! They do all go to their respective churches (except for ours of course) on Christmas Eve and worship so.. I guess that's cool. 

On the other hand, our Christmas was SO good. My family spoiled me rotten with gifts, and we were able to work out SKYPE for both my Mom & Scott in Utah, and my Dad, Annie, and Iza in California. Super cool. Not only that, I got to see my siblings, my second parents (the Paul’s), and my girlfriend Abby! ..Could life get any better?!
As the week went on, we focused a lot on our Family History Activity we were having for the stake. I was asked to speak at it since I'm (apparently) the only missionary in our Zone with an exciting family story, haha. It went well. We prepped all sorts of cool visual aids and such, and through talking with my mom a lot about it (she's incredible) -- I learned a TON. 

..And.. I figured I'd share some of it with you, so you can know a little bit more about Mister Sir Elder DeMille and his ties to Korea. ...Ready for this?
Punch it!

My Grandma Kim (Kim Chong Ye; 김정예) was born in Korea in 1947.Growing up, she was always in love with the idea of 'coming to America' -- In fact, she was almost desperate to do it. She and her friends would hand around the Army base to meet American soldiers to see if there was any hope there. Part of the reason she wanted to leave Korea was because she wanted to be treated with respect, and she didn't feel like women were respected there. She really wanted to further her education in Korea, but her parents would only pay for her two brothers to go to school. She and her three sisters were not afforded that luxury. She even ran away from home at one point to attend a secretary school and live in an apartment with a friend. ..In the end, this didn't work out well and, she returned home.

One day, while hanging out with friends and other from the military base, she saw a new young man. She thought he looked sweet and innocent and didn't want him exposed to wherever they were going. She pulled him aside, and told him, "You don't want to go here." She told him what to say to the cab driver to get him back to the base. ..And, after that, they became good friends.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is my Grandpa Don.
Grandpa Don had been a member of the Church as a young boy, but as he grew up, as well as through his high school years his family fell away from the Church. He got a little wild in high school (like we all do) and didn’t have the best friends and he knew the only way to break away from it all was to really get some distance between him and his so called peers. He decided to join the US Army and... bam. Was assigned to serve in Korea.
After the previously mentioned experience they started dating and later fell in love. But.. once they decided to get married, things got a little complicated. None of the parents approved of the union. ..However, they were in love and they knew it was the right thing. They waited until Grandpa Don was 21 so he could make the legal decision without his parents' consent, and were married just two days later -- May 13th, 1970. They lived in Korea the first year and a half of their marriage while he was finishing his time with the Army.
They also had Elizabeth, their first daughter ( my aunt Liz) there in 1971. They lived there long enough so that all Grandma's family knew him and loved the baby - then it was time to go. My mom was born later in America in 1972, but after being married for just a little while, my Grandpa Don felt pulled back to the church he attended as a young boy.  He wanted their marriage to be eternal. He wanted their family to be 
forever. He knew they needed Church in their lives. At this point, Grandma Kim was so homesick she wanted to be around Korean people … anywhere. Don did some 
searching and found a Korean church that met in downtown Portland, Oregon, and one day they went.
Grandma hadn’t had any exposure to religion in her life and didn’t know what to expect. She was just happy to see Korean people. She listed to their service … but didn’t understand what they were talking about. It didn’t make any sense to her, even though she could understand all the words of it. No one welcomed her. No one said hello. It was very cold. Once the service was over, the people almost ran out of the room. They all headed downstairs in the church building, so Grandma and Grandpa followed them. Downstairs they were serving a big lunch for everyone. Grandma Kim was so disappointed. She could tell now that no one had been excited to come to church to learn about a gospel; they were excited to come to church to eat good food. She didn’t want to go to this kind of church.
After this experience, Grandpa Don wanted to take her to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He wanted to be able to be married in the temple. He wanted her to learn about the Gospel for herself too. He didn’t really tell her anything about it at all. For example, the very first Sunday they attended the local ward, he didn’t even tell he what she should wear, so she wore pants. She was a bit embarrassed, because all the sisters were in skirts and dresses, but it didn’t matter. They loved her. They welcomed her with open arms and were so excited that she was there. She felt so supported right from the beginning. She felt that this was the right place to be and that this church had something more to offer, something deeper. The Bishop then arranged for the missionaries to start meeting with her.
Grandma was a difficult investigator because she didn’t want to be baptized just to be baptized. She wanted to truly believe everything the Church taught. Grandma didn’t have any problems accepting the Law of Chastity, as she already believed it was right. The Word of Wisdom made sense to her, but it was difficult for her to give up her coffee at that time. She went through 3 different sets of missionaries before she was finally ready to accept the invitation to be baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Shortly after, she took a trip from West Linn, Oregon, to Oakland, California, to visit the nearest temple and be sealed to her family for time and eternity. She says that it was the most beautiful day and when her daughters, Elizabeth and Lisa, walked into the sealing room she could hardly breathe because they absolutely looked like angels.
...So, this is my family, and this is my tie to Korea. My dream is to one day find and meet the relatives we have lost touch with in Korea. My grandma has 2 brothers: Kim Yong Sun (김용순) and Kim Hak Bum (김학범) as well as 3 sisters: Kim Chong Sue (김정수), Kim Chong Wol (김정월) and Kim Chong San (김정산) -- who are hopefully still in Korea somewhere, with kids and grandkids of their own. Their parents are Kim Gui Yeol (김귀열) and Byeun Ee Deok (변이덕) and are all Kyeung Ju Kim (경주김씨). If you recognize these names or know someone who you think might be related... please let me or my mother know. Thank you all Have the best week ever!

Trying to find my family.. ...And rule the world, of course!

All the love,

Elder DeMille!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Merry Christmas!!!

Honestly, I wish I had a ton to tell you...
Well, the secret is, I do! 
...I just don't have the time to do it.. (Boooo!)

So, for now, I seriously hate to do this, but.
You've just gotta wait until next week! A lot of important communicating had to go down today to coordinate Christmas Skype's and an investigator I'm trying to hand over to my friend Elder Pace in Japan, so.. forgive me for my lack of information and zest! However, I love you all to pieces and want you to know that the missionaries all over the world are praying and thinking about you all day every day. YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW IMPORTANT YOU ARE.
Don't give up on yourself. 

And have the best Christmas ever! Remember the reason you're here, what you're meant to do, and how you're able to do it. Bless the lives of those around you during this time of year and you'll be able to feel the Savior's love! I love you all!!

All the love,

Elder DeMille!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Rhyme for the Times ...

So, here's my week in a nutshell. 

*Cool introduction*
..*Super rad beat*
......*Que nerdy kid serving in SoKo*


Monday - the first day of the week!
I emailed the fam, and was so stoked they could speak!
We shared some silly pics, and my mom talked a bunch,
Then Elder Helms, S and I went to "Yumsem" for lunch!
We ordered the special -- Kimbab the size of your arm --
We all tried to "one bite" it, and like... HOLY FARM.
It was hard! The kimbab was huge!!
We then headed to the mall where we knew our money we'd lose
As we dropped 5's and 10's for the loved ones back home
S helped us wrap all the presents and man --
He basically did it alone!
Then Tuesday came around, another lovely dawn -
We didn't do much, but ended up teaching S-son!
Again, I know right? This guy is a 왕! (King -- said like, "Wang")
And after we taught we ordered Pizza 에탕! (Etang)
It was 'uhlicious! And then later that night,
We met Sister Morisse who said with words so polite,
"There's an Elder you know who's hitpoints seem low..
We think he may only be able to take one more blow!"
So I, Elder DeMille, worried my ally might faint,
I took up my brush -- AND ROBOTIC ART I DID PAINT!
Though tired and worn, my zeal disappeared from my head,
And so I wrapped up in my soft blanket and dozed off straight to bed.
Wednesday was plain, another day in the ages -
Though of Jesus the Christ I read like 20 some pages.
With District Meeting, English class and the missionary works,
We ended up spending like 8 1/2 hours in the church. 

Thursday, … we painted a whale --
And I can tell you right now it was certainly not up to scale.
But our main man S.O. was having a somewhat "off" day, 
So we thought that our lava-spouting mammal would make the frowns go away. 
That night we played basketball, my second favorite sport -- 
Some say they like the way they dribble up and down the court,
Though as our night came to an end, we turned off the lights,
and we locked up the church and wished the stars all good night.
Friday, ...was where things just didn't click.
We woke up in the morning with Elder Helms oh so sick -
So we made him some soup, bought crackers and tea, 
and around that time I prayed pretty hard for TV.
But.. ..I read, I studied, and sat around feelin' healthy,
While poor Elder Helms was all germily-wealthy. 

Saturday seemed to come quickest of all,
We spent 3 some odd hours in the A.M. playing futbol. 
Then English class came and went, 
And let me tell you - Helms was still not 100%.
But we worked hard, and later that night,
I learned some Japanese sign language, and man -
Then, well Sunday was so rad I could boast..
See our man S.O. finally RECEIVED THE HOLY GHOST!
We all gifted him a tie, and K.T.H. gave him soap - 
To keep himself clean! We think he'll use it - I hope. 
Outside of that, there's not much to tell,
But I hope by this rhyme you can all tell I'm swell,
My week went by quick and I hope this one does too,
Because I can't wait for Christmas!! What about you? :P

All the love,
All the time.

Elder DeMille!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

You've had a birthday.. shout.. "Salvation"?

Haha what's up everybody!

This week was definitely one to remember. Wanna know why?? 

..Yeah, you're right.. you probably don't .. 


..All the love,
Elder DeMille!

....Haha psyche! I'm tellin' you anyway!!!

This week, December 4th (I'm sure my mom posted about it everywhere, or she got a hold of your phone number and called to tell you anyway -- that superwoman) was my YEAR MARK as a Missionary!! Isn't that crazy??! It sure didn't feel like it, but the overnight transition from "Young missionary" to "Old missionary" wasn't as thrilling as most would think. A few new wrinkles on my Book of Mormon, saggier ties, grayscale scarves... ...I think I could get used to it! ..Whipper-snappers! Heh!

Anywho -- I'm still new to a lot of things out here, ..such as...

B A P T I S M ! ! ! ! ! 

Our investigator, was baptized!!! I performed the ordinance, and - me being me - had to say the prayer twice, but man -- it all went so well!! He was a champ the whole time, loved every minute of it, and is so proud to have finally done it! Elder Ellsworth showed up too, and it was super cool to have that kind of reunion between us all. I thought a ton about how neat and special an experience such as baptism is -- and decided I couldn't really put it into words. I wrote as much as I could in my journal last night, but when it came down to it, some words that I was told one day kept echoing in my head.

"Elder DeMille ..What do you think the most powerful force in the universe is?"

"Like...In the whole universe?"

"Yes. What do you think the most powerful force in the whole universe is?"

".. I'd have to say God. ..right?"

"Is that what you think?"

"Well.. yeah. Nothing is more powerful than God. He's omnipotent, omnipresent.. omni.. powerful."

"..That's usually what people say. And it's not a bad answer -- in fact, it makes the most sense. But, what would you say if I told you there is something more powerful than God?"

"..I'd ask you what it is, haha. What could be more powerful than God?"

"..Elder DeMille, the most powerful thing in the universe is a made-up mind."

If God had never made up his mind in the beginning to become who He is today, ..none of us would be here. None of us would have these experiences, these trials, these opportunities to grow or to even exist. ..But God did make up His mind - maybe once when He was young and susceptible, like us -- we don't know. But He chose to follow something. To become someone He knew He could be. And because of that, we have the same opportunity to do the same. And it all became because of His decision, both way back when, and when we lived with Him in Heaven before we came to earth. Remember how we chose to follow something, someone we knew we wanted to become like? ..It went like this:

In solemn council sat the Gods;...

Silence self-spelled; the hour was one
When thought doth most avail;
of worlds unborn the destiny
Hung trembling in the scale.
Silence o'er all, and there arose,
Those kings and priests among,
A Power sublime, than whom appeared
None nobler 'mid the strong.

A stature mingling strength with grace,
Of meek though Godlike mien,
The love revealing countenance
Lustrous as lightning sheen;
Whiter his hair than ocean spray
Of frost of alpine hill.
He spake; --Attention grew more grave,
The stillness e'en more still.

'Father!' -- The voice like music fell,
Clear as the murmuring flow
Of mountain streamlet trickling down
From heights of virgin snow.
'Father,' it said, 'since one must die,
Thy children to redeem,
Whilst Earth, as yet unformed and void,
With pulsing life shall teem;

'And thou, great Michael, foremost fall,
That mortal man may be,
And chosen Savior ye must send,
Lo, here am I - send me!
I ask, I seek no recompense,
Save that which then were mine;
Mine by the willing sacrifice,
The endless glory, Thine!' ...

Silence once more. Then sudden rose
Aloft a towering form,
Proudly erect as lowering peak
'lumed by the gathering storm;
A presence bright and beautiful,
With eye of flashing fire,
A lip whose haughty call bespoke 
A sense of inward ire. 

'Give me to go!' thus boldly cried,
With scarce concealed disdain;
'And hence shall none, from Heaven to Earth, 
That shall not rise again.
My saving plain exception scorns;
Man's agency unknown;
As recompense, I claim the right
To sit on yonder throne!'

Ceased Lucifer. The breathless hush
Resumed and denser grew. 
All eyes were turned; the general gaze 
One common magnet drew. 
A moment there was a solemn pause;
Then, like the thunder-burst,
Rolled forth from lips omnipotent - 
from Him both last and first:

'Immanuel! Thou my Messenger,
Till time's probation end,
And one shall go thy face before,
While twelve thy steps attend.
And many more, on that far shore,
The pathway shall prepare,
That I, the First, the Last may come,
And earth my glory share.' ...

'T was done. From congregation last
Tumultuous murmurs rose;
Waves of conflicting sound, as when
Two meeting seas oppose. 
'T was finished. But the heavens wept;
And still their annuals tell
How one was choice of Elohim,
O'er one who fighting fell.

("Elect of Elohim" - Orson F. Whitney)

Agency is too precious a gift to waste. While I believe decisions determine destiny, God will not live our lives for us, nor control us as if we were his puppets, like Lucifer proposed to do. He gave us the power to act. To choose. To define. To become. Got will not act to make us something we do not choose by our actions to become. Truly He loves us, and because He loves us, He neither compels us, nor abandons us. Rather, He helps and guides us. The real manifestation of God's love is in His commandments. God knows better than we do what we can truly become -- and if we follow His path, his guidelines, his commands, we can achieve all that we are destined to be. The most powerful thing in the universe, is a made up mind. Sean made up his mind. --Now it's your turn. Test the Lord. 

Make up your mind. 

All the love,

Elder DeMille!!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

One Year Ago Today! ... Hurray Halfway!!!!

One year ago today, we waved goodbye to this young man. It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do and I cried all the way home. He was so excited to go! He was so brave. He actually made us drop him off a bit early because he just couldn't wait anymore. It was beautifully painful and we were all so proud and so heartbroken all at the same time. I wouldn't trade it for anything, but already ache a bit at the thought of sending out our next missionary this summer ... his stepsister.

Thank you all for supporting our fine missionary man along his journey in the Korea Seoul South Mission. Your love and support have made all the difference to all of us!