Elder True DeMille

Elder True DeMille

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Battle Is At Its Height

..Hot, heavy, and humid, your breathing feels hindered -- though you cannot determine whether it is the atmosphere or the odds that seem to be against you as you draw in another difficult breath. You clutch tightly to the nearby mast with cold hands as you try to escape the anxious and nervous feelings inside of your war-stricken mind. ..Taking a final glance at the piece of rough parchment addressed to the King, your last written sentence sternly echoes in your ever-present conscious; '..your servant doth have twelve warships under his command and he is still alive, that the enemy shall never be safe in the West Sea..’.

You gaze behind you at the men standing thoughtlessly on each of the 12 warships. ..Men you've known and fought with for years. Men you have served -- men who have served you. ..You start to remember the thousands more who used to fight so valiantly alongside you, and your body starts to tremble. Men whose families you cared for, whose lives and character you so greatly cherished. ..Whose dying wishes you personally fulfilled.

..And yet, those 27,000 men are not with you now. Your once proud fleet of over 150 ships has been decimated by those against you to a mere 13, and as that fleet floats fearlessly behind you, you think to yourself, '..Are we really enough?’.

Then, a man runs to you on the deck, his footsteps quick and heavy, his body language anxious and abrupt, but his words calm and collected - experienced - as he conveys to you that your enemy has just left the nearby harbor with their forces. ..You hear the number - though it doesn't seem real. "Sir, there are surely over 300. ..How should we act?" He says calmly. ..He does not look scared.

He is confident in his Captain. A few more minutes pass, and after careful listening and quiet pondering you've decided that the time is now. Your plan has to work,there is no other option.

You make the call. You choose a man,sturdy and valuable, one you have trusted and loved throughout your experience in the war. You give him his orders, and send him on his way. His task is simple. "You are the bait, and nothing more. You are not a sacrifice. You are not a casualty. You will return. You are needed." ..You've promised him. As he leaves, you glance back toward the rest of your small but faithful crew, and make the signal. They begin to ready, and you close your eyes. 

Moments become eternities as you hear subtle voices calling your name. ..As you open your eyes, and gaze towards the horizon, you can see your dear friend returning as planned. ..With the 300 ships at his back, his distance is closing in swiftly. It's time to move. Your men, assembled and ready, follow your lead into the nearby strait.

As you listen to the steady waves crash against your battle-torn ship, you are caught up in the masterful plan you devised, that will decide the fate of your beloved country. You think about the strait you chose, and why you did so.. with currents so powerful.. ships can only enter safely one at a time .. we are thirteen strong. ..through the deep shadows of the surrounding hillsides..  friends and comrades will be blessed with concealment.. since we are only thirteen strong…and it's narrowness.. allows for the use of steel defensive chains we can lay across the entire width, to be used to restrict the enemy's movement as we lie in the shadows, avoiding the possibility of a surroundment. ..Since we are only thirteen strong, it would prove fatal.

..As you sail silently into the powerful strait you notice a heavy mist - as if an unexpected blessing- that helps to conceal your dear friends as they make their way, swiftly, secretly, into their pre-designated areas. The visibility is in your favor. The shadows are now your ally. You are simply outnumbered nearly 25 to 1. ..And before you know it, it has begun.

This is the story of Yi Sun Sin, a Korean naval commander, famed for his victories against the Japanese navy during the Imjin war in the Joseon Dynasty, and is well-respected for his exemplary conduct on and off the battlefield not only by Koreans, but by Japanese Admirals as well. Military historians have placed General Yi Sun-Sin on par with Admiral Horatio Nelson as arguably the greatest naval commander in history for his undefeated record against seemingly insurmountable odds despite no background in naval training.
As I read and learned about this story, which you should totally look up on Wikipedia, I was reminded of how important the role of diligence is. This man goes on to defeat the 333 ships in the Japanese army with his army of 13 warships. ..An unheard of victory in the history of naval battles. Not only was Yi Sun Sin a commendable and admirable naval commander with no experience, but he also was an admirable human being. Fulfilling his soldiers dying wishes personally, caring for their families, and suffering near-death torture and imprisonment twice for things he didn't do, he is the Korean Captain Moroni. ..Pretty cool.
I invite you to check out this story, and think about how awesome people can truly be if they just focus on humanity in it's most precious moments, and never lose sight of what is most important.

My dad said to me once, "..though it may not be easy at times, or pleasant, the test of a man's character is not how he acts when things are difficult, but how he acts in the trenches and agonies of his trials."

..Yi Sun Sin's dying words were, when wounded by a single bullet in a later battle,
""The battle is at its height...beat my war drums...do not announce my death."
May you keep beating your war drums! The battle is at it's height! 

I love you all!! Have the best week!

Doctrine & Covenants Section 58
26 For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward. 
27 Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;
28 For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward.

All the love,

Elder DeMille!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Are You Trying?

What's up ladies and gents!

This week wasn't crazy eventful. We celebrated "International Hoffman's Day" on P-day in behalf of Sister Hoffman's birthday, and went ham! (crazy). It was awesome! Missionaries came from all over just to celebrate, and we ended up going to the Anyang river in our area and playing all sorts of games. Frisbee, Soccer volleyball ( a real sport here, it's so fun! ), And tons of rugby. Rugby was by far my favorite. Elder Salazar (from Oly! Hooah!) taught us how to play, and Elder Matthews (From Austraila - Brisbane) helped ref and keep us all in line, haha. It was incredibly fun. I ended up scoring 3 touchdowns and got some sweet cuts to prove it! Remember that "no grass in Korea" thing? Yes. It's still that way. Hahaha.
Outside of that, not too many events went down this week! We had a great time just enjoying life, and watching all the flowers bloom. I've decided lately that, man.. I just love this experience! Sure, it's trying sometimes, and takes a lot of patience, but.. what doesn't? Why not just be happy with the moment that you're in, and try to kick life's butt?! Haha so, I saw this cool video today and wanted to share it. Granted, everything in our lives may not happen this perfectly but, I believe that as long as you're trying to be a good person in your life and are showing others that sweet light I know each one of you has inside, you'll make a difference.
..And that's all anyone wants anyway, right?
..To make a difference?

So here's my question to you!

..Are you trying?

Have a great week!

All the love,
Yours TRUEly (See what I did there? Ha, I get the puns from my brother Dawson.)

Elder DeMille!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Just a Lil' Guy

So, here's a short one this week, although I love you all with all I've got, and miss tons of you terribly!
We had tons of miracles this week, but the one that touched my week the most by far was simply having the opportunity to hear the words of our beloved Prophet and apostles. ..For those of you that may have missed it, that may not know what I'm talking about, or feel that conference is just too hard to listen to.. ..Give it a chance. Or, give it another chance. Take some notes, grab some candy, spend some good time listening to it and I promise it will change your life.

Thank you for all the love and support! Sorry this one's short, but I've gotta go! Big things today for Sis. Hoffman's birthday! (a.k.a. International Hoffman's Day) -- and a big shout out to my friend Jake for basically just being the coolest guy alive, and another for my friend Grace Huxtable who I just heard is going to the Philippines! Strap up missionaries! Haha it's not easy, 

But it's WORTH IT!
All the love,
Elder DeMille

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Happenings


Long time no read.. am I "write"? Haha… Oy.. First line and I've already got you sitting as far from the edge of your seat as possible.. ...Great. I guess that means there's nothing to lose, right?

I've been thinking a lot lately about why I write these mass emails in the first place.. 
I mean, I usually talk with the people who are most prominent in my life right when I get on, and chat with them until I have to get off.. and my mom is definitely always aware of how I'm doing, whether it be through talking or the journals that I send home, so I guess the only people left for me to really write this for is.. well.. you!  Yeah.. you!! 

Haha pretty awesome, right? I'm sure half of you (or, most likely far more than half of you) have never met me, and I'll never meet you -- but somehow we're having this incredibly distant communication going on. And man, that's something special! You're like, a mystery pen pal! And, even though you usually don't write back, I'm happy to keep you (all of you) as entertained as I can! Haha. It's okay, I'm sure when Nephi was writing his record to all of us, he had no idea what we'd really do with it. Whether we'd share it with friends, keep it to ourselves, read certain parts over and over again, or commit crazy acts of bravery because of it! ..So, whether I really inspire you that much, or whether you just like to read this in your free time, I invite you to ..well.. keep doing it!
Something I wish prophets DID do back then was talk a little bit more about themselves, though. They tell super cool stories, and we all learn so much, but.. if we're really supposed to liken the scriptures to ourselves, wouldn't it be super cool, and so easy if we knew more about that person/prophet? ..A good friend of mine once said, "I feel it is a common practice among people to hardly know each other." ..How are we supposed to walk a mile or two in someone's shoes if we don't know what size they are?? Why is it that we like to be so vague, and so distant oft times with other people?

As I might have mentioned last week (maybe not, it's hard to remember, haha) I was just called as District Leader, and the thought occurred to me that, well - if I don't know the people/missionaries/awesome sons and daughters of God that I'm working with as well as I could, then I can't possibly hope to properly lead them.. ..or better yet, serve them! After all, how am I supposed to sincerely thank someone for their hard work if I don't even know their favorite ice cream?? ..Unacceptable!

So, we spent our District meeting this week getting to know each other as well as possible in the short hour and a half that we had, and it was incredibly successful. ..Not in the sense that I wasn’t nervous, or felt like I was killin' it as DL, but.. (because I was definitely struggling) in the sense that we all came a lot closer together! It was awesome!!

That being said, I want to talk just a little bit about the people around me! I find myself randomly switching from reporting on my life, to giving advice, to sharing mistakes, and preaching via 'El Mass-o Email-o" (my spanish skills for ya), but I figured this was one of those times where you might just want to hear about what life is like. ..You know, the happenings. Or, as Elder Salazar would say, "The Hannin's". 

The less recent parts of missionary work and adventure were immensely hard. I was given some mountains to climb and rivers to cross, but I want everyone to know that I'm past that. I'm OK! Life is amazing, and I couldn't be happier to be serving out here, I'm seriously having one of the greatest adventures of my life. Go to Lake Powell and St. George all you want, haha. You'll never beat this 2 year man-making adventure.

I still live in Geumcheon, my third area, and my third transfer in this area. My last area was Yeongdeungpo, and before that I served in Bupyeong. Both for 4 transfers. ..A transfer is 6 weeks long, give or take, in case you were curious. ..Time is flying by! It's amazing out here. 

I'm currently living with Elder Mun (pronounced Moon) (Moon Seong Chan, or, in Korean 문성찬) - my companion- and Elders Doyle and Hendricks. Elders Mun and Hendricks are my same age. 1995 folks! Bam! and E. Hendricks was actually a good friend of mine in the MTC. ..Only took us a year and two months to be in the same area. Killin' it!
Elder Mun is a character. He's still learning English - so half of the things that come out of his mouth are just plain HILARIOUS. I'm sure it's exactly how I sound when I speak Korean, haha. His favorite things to say are "What's your purpose?", the "It's Friday" song, and random phrases he learned from Starcraft, hahahaha. Elder Mun ladies and gentlemen. LOVE him. He also plays a little violin, (which I tried this week and am TERRIBLE at, haha) is a great artist, and has got everyone on the street convinced he's from a different country, haha. No one believes he's Korean. He's developed an English-style Korean accent. WIN.

Elder Doyle is a spitting image of my little brother Dawson's personality. Puns, jokes, incredibly interesting and random facts, interests in acting, debating, ruling the world, dancing, awesome-ing, you name it. It's crazy cool to see. I figure if my little bro back home ends up like E. Doyle here, I'll be pretty stoked. He adds a lovely spice to our daily lives, haha. And man, this guy really does know a TON of random stuff. ..And he's also an EMT like me! Just.. from Idaho! Haha! Word.
Elder Hendricks hasn't been here very long (in Geumcheon), but I know a ton about him because we're good friends. ..That being said, the most important things we've discussed are that 1. He doesn't ski or snowboard, and 2. He doesn't like spaghetti.

..Needless to say, we're basically best friends. I'm not the biggest fan of pasta (not sure if I've ever told anyone..) but hey, load it up with cheese and meat and you bet I'll eat it!
Korea has made me one of the least 'picky eaters' in the world, I swear. From live octopus, to fermented cabbage and a rainbow of vegetables on the daily, with a hint of either ferociously hot or unbearable (yet bearably) spicy, and a dash of dog soup, I'm pretty sure I can eat anything. ..And Dad, I eat the HOT salsa now. ..by choice. Bam!

Not much else to really report on this week.. hopefully this will suffice for all of you! Have the greatest week, and get to know those around you! Ask questions! What do their parents do? Why do they like the stuff they do? Why do they do the things they do? Why don't they? Where did they? Who are they?? Haha! It's so fun! Life is up to you!

Have the raddest week!!

All the love,

Elder DeMille!