Wednesday, March 30, 2016

03282016 Easter in Korea

First off, Happy Easter. Secondly, Happy birthday Mom!

This week we had Zone Conference. They talked about not talking negatively about others. President and his wife committed to never do it again in their lives. I remember when Mom and Dad made a similar commitment to never criticize. I am interested in what you feel the difference between criticism and, I guess, feedback is, like in any relationship? I don't want to be critical but sometimes I feel like you kind of have to point out mistakes. I don't know.

Anyway my memories of Mom. I remember one time when I got a little mad at Mom. Instead of getting defensive, she just said something like, “Daniel this doesn't seem like you. Are you okay?” I remember every year planting flowers in the garden with Mom. I remember Mom always asking me how my day was, even if I didn't really answer. I remember Mom throwing popcorn into the air during Soul Surfer. :) I remember mainly just somebody who was always there, whether I realized I needed her or not. So thank you so much Mom!

This week we had several dinners with members of the Korean ward. One was to teach the daughter that was going to be baptized the next day. My companion shared the church's Easter video. I liked that because the idea of being born again. Through Christ I have found new life. What a wonderful message of Easter and message of baptism.

We also taught Grace (Kevin couldn't come) at a member’s house. She accepted everything about the resurrection and kingdoms well. She believes that the spirit world is close. Even though people may think of it differently, I think it is powerful to feel that those who have passed on are close, and concerned with us. 

We met one cool guy this week who like 30 years ago, in the Army in Korea, hit rock bottom. So he went with his friend to church and committed his life to Christ. He just came back with his now wife to see Korea again. Ever since he committed to Christ, he stopped drinking, smoking, stopped his sex addiction, etc. I loved just meeting him and hearing his story. I love that in our church those good people in other faiths are going to heaven.

Another cool thing this week was the English branch had an Easter breakfast so we got to have a delicious American breakfast and help hide Easter eggs so that was super awesome.
This week I decided to study the law of chastity. So I just wrote a pretty short thing about why I think God gave us the law of chastity. So here is my basic thought: God's goal is raising his children in righteousness. The way this is most successful is in families where both parents are committed whole heartedly to the family. Both to each other and their children.  So before marriage we build the thought patterns and habits that you will bring into marriage. And in marriage if you are thinking about, or desiring other women or men, then you are not completely committed to the family. This week somebody asked me what my dream was. I didn't really have a good answer. I ultimately said starting a family. And I do really think that is my dream.
Anyway I fasted this Easter Sunday and am so thankful for the savior, that I can be here on a mission. have a wonderful family and mother, that I was born in the gospel, etc. I love you all!
Hurrah for Israel!

Elder Sabey

Monday, March 21, 2016

03212016 I am happy and being in the right place at the right time is nice

Thursday we went to the temple. There were just a couple of cool experiences that day. After the temple we went to GangNam to eat at a restaurant my companion really likes. We happened to meet a Sister from Germany who married a Korean, and my companion was able to catch up with her and I got to meet her and it was cool. Then we took the fast train back to PyoungTaek. While waiting for the train we went and sat next to this guy and started talking to him. He was like, oh yeah we met yesterday! So I guess we met him while sticker-boarding and then happened to run into him in Seoul on his way back to PyeoungTaek. His friend is doing an exchange thing in America with a Mormon family. So although he used to think we were a little cultish, he has changed his mind. He asked some good questions and funny ones. But since we still had an hour or so left in our P-day we hung out with him and got his number and will probably meet with him again. So that was a good couple of hours. It felt like we were where we were supposed to be.
PyoungTaek is South of Seoul not far from the ocean

Abby [a new member] works with a girl named Grace who speaks French. Grace's husband is Ke
vin. Anyway they both came to church this week, and Grace was planning on meeting with us for dinner and a lesson at a member’s home. Kevin though had a lot of homework so he wasn't planning on coming. In gospel principles class, Abby talked to Kevin and said, just give an hour to God and he will bless you, and Grace wanted him to come so he came! I love when the recent convert and investigator put pressure on him, not me! But they are both awesome and pretty golden. He said he wants to get baptized just after school--so in June. So that is also exciting! It is cool listening to lessons in French. Beautiful language. And I can pick out a fair amount of words. Obviously not much, but some! Plus Kevin speaks English well, so that is cool.
But anyway, this week has been good. No we don't have any sport activities. We have gone and tried to meet youth through playing sports at the park with them. But no formal activities. And as far as Easter is concerned, no plans yet. I love the church’s Easter video, especially how it is similar to the Christmas one.
I have been reading the Miracle of Forgiveness. I always appreciate some criticism of modern society... haha. But I do love Christ as a perfect example. No matter how much you are better than another, or how much somebody has hurt you there is no reason not to forgive. And no matter what you have done, or where you have come from, you can still change through Christ. Then I have restarted the Book of Mormon focusing on the "Character of Christ." It is cool just to focus on people turning outward and noticing the difference between say Nephi and his brothers.
Just another thought. When a person, say your companion, feels validated as a person, then you can work to build each other up from there, but when he doesn't feel validated, pointing out mistakes or things doesn't help much!
Anyway, I love you all!
Hurrah for Israel,

Elder Sabey

Monday, March 14, 2016

03142016 Miracle in forgetting my keys

This week was good!

Happy Birthday Rachel!!! My memories of Rachel. First, when she used to come and sleep in my bed at night, and I would secretly find it comforting myself. I remember when she would just go out and talk to our neighbors. And they all loved her. I remember in one of my first days of high school, she ate chipotle with me during lunch which was super nice of her. Obviously her gift giving is memorable. When we had Christmas in Island Park, I think she bought for me. It was awesome. I was amazed she was able to pack so much in the car... Haha. Basically she is super nice, kind, good with people, and loving people I know!

Daniel's last zone

This week was good. We had zone training. So my first time in a new zone. It was cool to meet some new people and see some friends again. 

Daniel's new home Pyeoungtaek

Elder Rees [my MTC companion] was going to be in my zone, but he broke his leg in the car accident, so he went home for a couple months to heal up again. So he left the day before our zone training. In zone conference talked about working with members and staying positive. It was good. We also went and played basketball with a member and his two friends. We went home but I forgot the keys. So we had to go back to the park a little later and they were still there. We found our keys and talked with them a little bit longer. The member opened up to us a little bit and we had a good talk about the law of Chastity and the atonement. It was cool. Miracle that I left my keys I guess...

 Random thought for the week. It is interesting working with both the English Branch and the Korean wards because I notice the differences a lot. Members in the English branch seem just to be more willing, or at least able, to help. I don't blame that on the Korean members, but I do find it sad. I think culturally they are just "busy" and very performance oriented (which results in the many academies and a test oriented society and stuff). Also twice I met with really active members’ kids. One 21 year old didn't know that the Godhead we separate and one 17 year old didn't know that pornography was wrong. Again I feel like that must be a little cultural. Parents seem to not teach their kids as much somehow. Obviously that doesn't apply to everybody. At times I feel like for missionary work, and the church, to really progress in Korea, we need to change culture, which is an intimidating thought. However, I also see God work through us imperfect missionaries to do his work. And I know that all will be made fair in time. So I guess I am thankful for the gospel. It is such a comfort to me. I have been reading the miracle of forgiveness and I love how Christ is able to condemn sin, yet preach forgiveness. That is something I think the world needs more of.

Anyway I love you all 
Happy Birthday Rachel!
Hurrah for Israel.

Elder Sabey

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

07032016 New Home

Well my home is a Lotte Castle. Like a brand named apartment. So it is pretty darn nice. We have hardwood floors, two bathrooms, a couch, solid kitchen and gym for the complex that we use in the mornings. 
Investigators. So we have a Nigerian couple who are going to get baptized next Sunday. Their names are Abby and Ola (like hello in Spanish.) I met them for the first time when they came to have their baptismal interviews. They are super nice and seem really prepared. We went to a members’ house for dinner to celebrate them passing the interview and met a super cool family. The wife is Japanese the Husband American. They both had two kids with their first spouses, got divorced and now have one kid of their own. Anyway, they are fun and awesome. To end our spiritual thought Abby gave the two daughters a talk (like preaching style) about not comparing and having confidence and stuff. The girls I like really liked it, and perhaps needed it. It was weird since he works kind of with the military, we ate like real American food. Pot roast, pasta, brownies and ice cream :).
We also met with a cool family whose husband got baptized but wife doesn't as of now want to get baptized. They come to church and have two adorable daughters. Basically she said he main concern is happiness in her family, and that that can happen without baptism. They just seem like a happy, and very energetic family. Well at least the kids. So those are the investigators right now.
More about elder Picard. He is from Washington. He played football and basketball. He is pretty tall. He knows a lot of good Korean slang and stuff. He is very outgoing (to the point that some may get annoyed.) But I really like him. I like his attitude. He may not always be the most obedient, or whatever, but he realizes he is imperfect and tries to improve. 
My MTC companion got hit by a car a little so had to go to the hospital and get class removed and stitches and stuff. But all is ok now!
My thoughts for the week are pretty simple. That just complimenting people is awesome. It makes starting conversations easier, it helps people open up, and it just is a better mindset to have. To look for the good makes everything, relationships, work, etc. easier to do. So that is another one of my goals is just to compliment a lot more. I think it goes with what David sent me. How choosing unity and Zion is the goal not a return to ease or comfort.
Hurrah for Israel!

Elder Sabey


Feb. 28, 2016

Well I am getting transferred. I am going to Pyeoung Tech (평택) There are also two English Branches down there that I have partial responsibility for. My new companion will be Elder Picard. He was in our zone before and he seems super fun. He is a unique guy that I hear has a unique missionary style, but I am excited for it. I hear the apartment is nice and the English Branches feed us well, so I am excited! I guess there is a lot of farm land down there and two American military bases, so that is a lot bigger of an area than I am in now. So that happens on Wednesday. So I will say goodbye to people this week. I have finished the first three lessons in our teaching improvement program and just started the fourth. Elder Yang will become a trainer, so he will get a Korean, so he will have to give Scott and another referral (Jake) to the other Elders so they can teach them, because they are interested in English. So I feel bad for him. 
It was kind of sad saying goodbye at church. Especially to the sign language members. They are so nice. (Me and two of the Sign Language people.)

 Also the family at whose house I skyped at, the mom said she had a companion names sister Sabey. I am wondering if that was Patty, or Brenda? Her name is E You Me (easy to remember in English.) 
I will be saying goodbye to some people tomorrow and our ward will have a family home evening tonight to say goodbye to mainly Sister Leavitt and Elder Godfrey because they are both going to America. I think I am ready to leave though!
There is a Chinese guy names Yong. He joined the church maybe a year or 2 ago. He is awesome.  We would meet with him a little with Elder Swanson, but then he had to leave Korean and just came back this week. So I was thankful I can meet him one more time before leaving as well. Sunday felt just really good. :)
Anyway, I was thankful to read about Grandpa's Funeral. I have loved the talks I have received and am sad I could not be there. Hopefully you edited what I said! I just kind of wrote quickly my thoughts. 
So for my spiritual thought this week, I was reading in Revelations, which is a prophesy of the last days. I loved the first few chapters. Obviously there is some weird imagery, but basically it said if you endure the trials, or temptations, etc. then you will be saved. It just really emphasized that it is ok that it isn't easy, but endure it well. It reminded me of Joseph Smith and D&C. Anyway, I don't expect any part of life to be easy. But I am very slowly coming to be okay with trials. Just having the wider perspective of eternity is so freeing. It is such a blessing.
Hurrah for Israel!

Elder Sabey

02222016 Memories of Grandpa Blair

How is everybody (specifically Mom and Grandma) doing? I love you.

I want to share a few thoughts. First, we said that grandpa may die before each of my brothers came home from their missions.  He never did until my mission.  When my president told me he had died,  I had a little time to think and reflect. One of my memories is when I went to basketball camp at BYU. Grandpa would always take me every morning. He would ask questions about me and life and basketball and whatever.  I felt like he really cared and was interested in me. Another is when we were visiting Grandma and Grandpa and I wanted to go downstairs and watch a movie or tv or something, but Mom said that I really should spend time just talking to Grandpa, so I begrudgingly went to sit and talk with Grandpa. I don't remember what we talked about, but I remember thinking Mom was right. I also of course remember going to their house every week for dinner this last year. I specifically remember several times when he talked about Grandma. He truly loved her. And wanted to show his love for her. He would put down his laptop and talk with her. I realized that in his old age he was still changing and realigning his priorities  to become a better person. Then finally, the last time I saw him, I hugged him and he said, "I don't think I will see you again." I was surprised and choked up saying goodbye to him.

I learned many things from Grandpa. I learned to appreciate the miracle of language. I have thought about The Miracle Worker, the play and movie grandpa loved.  I remember when grandpa and my mom talked to me about a child learning a language, and how miraculous it is. Especially now that I am learning a new language, and I listen to a child speak effortlessly and fluently, I am amazed. I am so grateful for language. That I can communicate thoughts, ideas, feelings, with very little effort (at least in English.) I learned that relationships are the most important thing in life. He loved people. He loved getting to know me, inviting people over to his house, learning others’ culture. He loved people. And to the end his number one priority was Grandma and their relationship. I learned to love hymns more. Israel, Israel God is Calling comes to mind. He would always have Dell play piano and have us all sing. He would always love having Dell do things with him: again a focus on relationships. I learned more about hard work and a love for learning. He loved his work and never gave up learning, or creating. I hope I can have a fraction of his dedication to and love of his career. I also learned more about dignity in suffering. Many times I knew Grandpa was in pain, more than I am sure I realized. But he was always funny, with his unique and endearing humor. Never complained, but was thankful for the blessing he did have.

Now as I was thinking of the time I wanted to watch TV more than talk with Grandpa, or when he said goodbye to me, I wish I would have known him better. I wish I would have spend more time and effort learning about him, like he did about me. I wish. But I realize I did not. I know I am where he wants me to be. Like Matt said, "you are learning a new language, and serving the lord. Exactly what Grandpa did his whole life." and I find comfort in knowing that I will see him again. That I will have an eternity to spend the time to get to know him better. And that through Christ all will be made right. So I guess what I am most grateful for is that Grandpa raised my Mom in the gospel. That I too can have this gospel in my life. That he was a true disciple of Christ, honoring the Sabbath, loving others, serving, and changing. I love him and am honored he is my Grandpa.

Love,  Elder Sabey

02152016 Zone Conference

Feb. 15, 2016

This week was really good!
In multi-zone conference, we talked about planning mainly. It was good, and I am not a good planner so hopefully I will get better. Then I had a wonderful interview with the president. We talked about something I felt like I have done well and something I could improve. For things I am doing well I said I have worked hard to study Korean! And thing I could improve I said that I am not good at confronting or addressing problems. I don't like conflict, so I just avoid it, even if I maybe shouldn't. So yeah pretty exciting!  Anyway in the process he said something which reminded me of something in my patriarchal blessing, which I hadn't understood, and perhaps still don't, but gave me a new insight in to it. Plus, my patriarchal blessing was one of those few times I clearly felt like God knew and loved me. So it was a comforting and faith building moment, to have my mission president relay to me a similar message. Then my companion and I had a good talk and I think we understand each other a little better. Anyway, the past few days I have been happy.

It was cool, we had President Whiting, the area president attend our ward. Yeah, Ward, not Stake. I feel like as a member of the seventy, you only attend stake things, but this week he came to our ward because there was a big training meeting in our building after. So that was cool! Nine less active members came to church because of him I think. It was cool! Plus, is was cool to have him speak in English and then have a translator translate. I wish every talk was like that! Our ward then made a big meal for him and it was cool!

So as far as investigators go, Scott is our main one right now. We are doing the Family English Program with him, which is just 30 minutes of English and then 30 minutes of gospel.  We meet with him twice a week. He doesn't believe in God, and doesn't want to pray and stuff, but I think likes me, and was curious about the Book of Mormon, so he took one. So planting seeds is always good!

So to answer some questions. 
I still feel like a total beginner! I don't feel like I am naturally a good teacher, and then trying to teach in another language it hard. But in some ways it is really good, because it forces you to simplify. And that is good. But we don't teach a whole lot, and often the people have English interest, so I feel like I don't get to practice a lot in Korean. But slowly it is getting easier. I am not sure I will ever not feel like a beginner.
My companion is good. I like him. We are different in some things, but we both want to work hard. So it is good!

New years in Korea is cool. Like Taiwan, they go to their hometown, but only for a few days. So Seoul gets super empty.

 Like on that night we went to Time's Square and home and there were like 10 people that we passed! Maybe more, but they most were still carrying stuff indicating they there were leaving town. We then went to a basketball court and I played with these 3 people and we got their numbers and one of them came to our basketball meeting! But anyway, I don't think they do the envelopes with money like in Taiwan. I think they do this ceremonial bow to their ancestors. And have a family day or two, and eat rice noodle soup thing. the tradition is when you eat that rice stuff, you eat another year so become a year older. (Because everybody changes ages at the new year’s.) So Everybody has that. I had it like 5 times this past week. It is delicious, so I don't mind.
Anyway, I loved all the thoughts and testimonies that you shared with me this week. I am strengthened so much by the faith of others, especially my family. But one group of people that has strengthen my faith her is the deaf group of members in our ward. One of them is now going blind too. Anyway, I see him come to church and have other deaf people have to like physically move his hands in the motion of signs so he can understand things (which is slow). I can imagine that he only gets a few sentences a week. But he and the others come. They are happy, fun, and faithful. I just love them, even though I can barely communicate.
Like mom's talk, no matter the trials or seemingly unfair events, we can be faithful and happy. God will make us the people he wants us to become. I have a testimony of that. And like David I don't always live that testimony, but I want to.
Hurrah for Israel!

Elder Sabey