Elder True DeMille

Elder True DeMille

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Korean Survival Guide. Vol. 1‏

So, this week we had the raddest training on Korean Culture, and I took TONS of notes so that I could pass them along to someone who needed them. And, well, I learned a ton as well, but thought that it might be cool for some of you who may be preparing to come out here to study up on these as well and do what you can to prepare yourself to serve in Korea! Ready for this? ..Pay close attention!

The first thing is the most important. Don't ever forget this. ..After this, they fall into random order, but seriously. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER AS A MISSIONARY!!


  • Be the happiest missionary.
  • As you make missionary work more diligent, frequent, and obvious, other people will see you -- including members -- building trust, interest, and investigators.
  • Don't tell people you have a bountiful amount of time; tell them you are busy -- Why? If people think you can meet whenever, then they will feel like they can cancel whenever. Your appointment becomes more important to the people you are meeting when they understand it's the only time you can meet.
  • You can practice building 우정 (friendship) with your companion to make it so you can do so quickly and effectively with those on the street.
  • Talk with others about how our church loves to get kids involved ~~ Sports, activities, english class, etc.
  • When you teach kids, share the 몰몬경 얘기, it's like an old story -- and super entertaining for them to read and look at. 
  • Member missionary work is key to having fun!
  • We've all been sharing the same message for a long time -- the only difference in missionaries is skill.
  • 정; Koreans don't know  it, but they know it. It's like being warm-hearted. Do it all the time. Build that relationship with others, it's SO important. 
  • Eating etiquette is also very important to master. Read up, study up, and do it right! Food is important here!
  • Write members names and children's names in your planner! Use the planner and area book as regularly as you can.
  • If you know a member's name and a little bit of information (family, for example) you can talk to them so easily! But.. if you don't even know their name, things become tricky!
  • When we visit, always volunteer to pray. Name each of the family member's names in your prayer -- it's really good. Shows tons of respect and genuine love. You care about them, remember?
  • When you meet other members (or people on the street) introduce your family first! Show photos and explain. (I would HIGHLY suggest bringing a photobook you can flip through on this mission. Koreans LOVE family.)
  • Also be sure to tell them your talents, allergies, etc. Really introduce yourself, every time!
  • You have to introduce your new companion to everyone, even if they're older.
  • After being invited over, or visiting, make sure you send a call or text to thank them for their hospitality. 
  • Let people know you are thinking about them. Get in touch with them throughout the week! You have a phone!
  • "Heart -Attack"s ; They're good but.. there's got to be a point. A message, a visit, something like that. Don't stick a lot, but do it simply and do it well. It's a great conversation starter for members and their neighbors.
  • Make sure to ask members for feedback always!
  • Be more physical. Korea is very physical, if you want to really love the people, you can't be afraid of a little skinship.
  • That being said, give good feelings! Get rid of the handshake, and give hugs! 
  • Train by assigning your Junior companion to ask members questions about their lives, family, hobbies, anything!
  • Most people will understand that if you don't ask them questions, you're not really interested in their lives and thus, you're not friends. ..Ask questions. Be friends!
  • If you are a sister and you address people as 'sister' on the street, it's going to be ULTRA weird. Try to avoid that. (unless they're a church person) 
  • Call the Bishop, WML (Ward mission leader) and Relief Society President to introduce yourself right when you transfer to a new area. (Don't worry if you mess up, it builds a bond! Elder Eddy told our bishop he was the new prophet instead of missionary... hahah)
  • Always be with your investigators (or investigators in general) when you're at an activity. Always!
  • When you are with or around members, work even harder. Trust is easy to lose and very necessary to missionary work. 
  • Don't corner people or members.. it's scary. Even if you're just greeting them at the church. Spread out, take different floors. Create that sweet ambiance.
  • Don't speak English to eachother when you're in front of members; it looks like you're gossiping. There is a high chance they can misunderstand/misperceive what you're doing.
  • Koreans LOVE singing, and they're all good at it. Korean culture to go out and eat, go out and drink, then go out and sing! 
  • So, if you can sing or play ANY instrument, show them! It builds friendship and trust very fast. 
  • Especially, if can sing a Korean song, they will be blown away. They love hearing foreigners appreciating their culture enough to sing it. 
  • Think of your investigator as your companion when he comes to church -- follow him everywhere! (Except for the bathroom). 
  • You get a chance to start over every time you move, but try to do it right!
NEVER speak negatively about our country [Korea]. Don't compare the American church to the Korean church, don't compare the U.S. to Korea -- forget about it. Don't speak negatively about our country [Korea].
The people here are our stewardship. The hardest part my be to step outside yourself, and make your missionary self about other people, but you can do it. Start doing it now. Think about others, and forget about yourself.

Love you all! Have the best week!

Elder DeMille

Sunday, January 18, 2015

A "Mass-ively" Short Letter

Ladies and Gentlemen!

I, Elder DeMille, do solemnly apologize. 

This week was amazing, but the past few days have been so hectic trying to get my foreigner card (Alien Registration card) updated and renewed. It's insane. So, I wasn't able to prepare anything this morning for you, I'm terribly sorry.. 

I do have this cool poem my mom sent me last week. It helped me out a lot, and is really really rad. So, check it out, and know that life in Korea is going. It snowed a TON last night, so we're on ice, but it's still great! It's cold, delicious, and spicy as always! Love you all tons!

John S. Tanner wrote lyrics based on the Psalm of Nephi and set it to the tune of Be Still My Soul. Here are the lyrics:

“I Love the Lord” 
I love the Lord. In him my soul delights.
Upon his word, I ponder day and night.
He’s heard my cry, brought visions to my sleep, 
And kept me safe o’er deserts and the deep. 
He’s filled my heart with his consuming love, 
And borne me high on wings of his great dove. 

Yet oft I groan, “O wretched man am I!”
My flesh is weak and I’m encompassed by
A world of sin, which holds me in its thrall,
If I give in and to temptations fall.
Then strength grows slack, I waste in sorrow’s vale. 
My peace destroyed, my enemies prevail. 

Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. 
Rejoice, my heart! And let me praise again. 
The Lord my God, who is my rock and stay 
To keep me strict upon his straight, plain way. 
O let me shake at the first sight of sin 
And thus escape my foes without and in

The slightly being close to deported missionary,
(That was a joke mom, don't stress, haha)

Elder DeMille!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Moments Like These

This week has been amazing! I'm not quite sure why, but for whatever reason I feel like I've grown A TON in the past week or so. It's weird, you're right! But.. it's true! (Heh..) -- I had that moment the week where everything just kind of made sense. My stress is gone for the first time in this past year, I feel happier, more confident, and I feel comfortable in my own skin. Of course it's not perfect, and I still have so much room to improve, but  -- I don't know, I feel like after this long battle of concern and self-doubt I've finally been able to accept who I am and everything I've done. It's neat, really. It's like having a really beat -up car and thinking "Oh yeah, haha - I remember that dent.. that's when I reversed across the street into a fire hydrant.. That was so funny!" -- recognizing your weaknesses, and accepting them as learning opportunities, I suppose! Haha -- I also had that crazy movie moment this week where I looked in the mirror and was totally surprised by how old I look. ..Silly, right? Hah~ maybe it's just me.
And my new area, Geumcheon, is tooo cool. It's a lot like my greenie area, Bupyeong, and is teeming with friendly people. As of now, we have one investigator we're working with whose wife, son, and daughter are members, as well as a Less-Active we're trying to get to come back to church who is 19 or so years old. He spent 4 or 5 years with his mom in England, and has a Korean -English accent when he speaks, hahaha. It's intense. He's rad.
And.. Elder Eddy is THE MAN. I know I probably say that about every companion that I have, but I mean it -- he's amazing. His last companion/trainer was Elder Gibbons, who just went home because his body was literally falling apart. (Legs, feet, hip, you name it). And Elder Eddy had been working hard learning everything about the area and pushing poor ol' Grandpa Gibbons (his mission name) around in his wheelchair. They both worked so hard. 

Elder Eddy is 19, like me, and was born a month earlier in July 1995. He's from Kaysville, UT, and loves just about every thing there is to love. We get along super well, and have been working super hard this past week. The coolest thing about Elder Eddy though, is how generous he is. It's crazy. His trainer, Elder Gibbons once said, "I want my kids to understand that giving a gift is better than having a gift." -- and even though Elder Eddy isn't his real son, he totally understands that. It blows my mind. Day 1 and I'm learning tons from this guy. He is constantly sharing -- always trying to give out candy and CTR rings in his broken Korean to kids on the street and at church, preparing food for us and always offering to do everything. He's amazing. One day Elder Ellsworth (not my son, the other one) and Elder Eddy were talking, and Elder Eddy said something so rad that Elder Ellsworth actually wrote it down. Haha it said, " I always thought that if I ever got rich I'd spend my money on poor people. ..But whey would Got trust me with money if I'm not willing to spend it on poor people while I'm poor?"
As missionaries, we learn so much from those we live with, and we're often taught and influenced by the things they personally experience and learn just like you might be influenced by your close friends or family. In the outside world, though, it sometimes seem too common a practice among people to hardly know each other, or themselves. This world, and our lifetime is so packed with infinite experiences and opportunities that amidst them all we often just find ourselves lost - wasting time, not really doing much, content with the static and common practice of simply passing time. ..Haha now, I'm not saying we should all go crazy and make our lives incredibly busy with as many activities as possible; nor am I reprimanding or accusing you of wasting time (because let's be real, I was probably the King of it back home..) --but learning how to really understand why time is important is something everyone should learn. My dad put it this way. (Sorry if you've read this before, but it's awesome.)

"..As I grow older, I realize more and more that it is only the moment you are in, right now, this very minute - this fleeting second - that is the most important moment. We don't get any of these moments back. We don't get to redo them. We don't get to relive them. We can only replay them in our minds. I guess I pass that thought on to you because I know you're getting flooded with moments right now and are eager and excited for what's next. Relax - take it in - breathe in every little detail of every little thing that you are lucky enough and privileged enough to experience. Even the moments you hate or that madden you or that you can't wait to end... even those moments are worth being conscious in. ..Stay awake in the moments of your life.  ...LIVE them, LEARN from them, EMBRACE them. They will define who you are, and you will define what they mean in your life to come."
These past few weeks or so I've experienced a LOT of moments. You have too! And though maybe you feel like you haven't changed at all, you're probably taking this moment to contemplate something you've never really thought about before. ..And that's rad. Keep growing, keep fighting, keep beating the odds. Keep your head up, and keep changing people's lives with the ways you decide to capture and take advantage of YOUR moments. Set goals and follow your dreams and make things happen. You can do anything. Heavenly Father has chosen the time and the place for each of us to grow, so we can learn the lessons we personally need and do the most good with our talents and personalities among the lives of others. ..And sometimes, you won't even realize all those moments that are happening right before your eyes, and that's okay. That's the thing about knowledge; sometimes you gain it without knowing. You can't be fixed in 2 years. ..That's something I've learned. We can't fix ourselves in 2 years - otherwise, why would God have given us an entire lifetime to prepare to meet Him? He knows every single effort that we make, and I promise that as you try hard to do your best, as long as your heart feels good you will be doing alright. Keep trying. Trust yourself. Love yourself the way you are. Don't change to fit society. Defy the odds, kill the game, and understand yourself so you can do what you know is right inside. 

You are who you choose to be!

I love you all, have a tremendous week!!

All the love,

Elder DeMille! 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

So Long Yeongdeungpo!

So, I don't have much to say today, other than I'll be leaving Yeongdeungpo! I'm headed to Geumcheon (which, if you remember is where my last companion Elder Ellsworth is) although, there are two wards, two houses, and four sets of missionaries there. So, I won't be living with my son, Elder Ellsworth, but I will be living with an older Elder Ellsworth. Confusing, right? :P
I'm being sent to Geumcheon to be companions with Elder Eddy in place of Elder Gibbons who just finished being trained. So, I'm sure it'll be quite the adventure! With another Costco in our area, friends all around, and another new area to explore, I'm pretty excited! Leaving my best bud here will be ultra-sad, but I'm going to try to do my best to keep in touch with him, just like I do with my other 'recent-convert' back home. Haha. I love you all, and can't wait to see what this next place brings! Hopefully more pictures, right?

Let's rule the world!

All the love,

Elder DeMille