Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Heresy and Testimony

January 31, 2016

Dear Family,

So we found that Chinese member in the other ward, and she came to our ward yesterday for church, but the Chinese people didn't show up...so that was kind of embarrassing. Maybe they didn't like it since they couldn't understand anything, I wouldn't blame them :)

The way that Korean age works is that as soon as they're born, they're considered 1, and at the beginning of the New Year everyone gets a year older.  So if you were born in December, you could be 2 years old after only a month on this Earth. The reason for doing that is because they just have everyone in the same grade in school be the same age to make things easier, and the school year starts at the beginning of the year. So in Korean age I'm 21 now, and all last year I was 20. Then I'll go home and be 20 again, so for a year and a half of my life I will have been 20 years old. Koreans use the same calendar as we do, they just count age differently.

Update on JS, that really prepared investigator...we kept trying to call him to set up an appointment, but he wouldn't answer, so we sent a text asking if we could be this week.  A couple days later, at like 1 in the morning, he texted us back, saying (roughly translated), "Hey! I didn't know that your church was heresy, but I heard that you were from my sister, and I was really disappointed. Don't contact me again, and I don't want to see you again. Are you not embarrassed before God?" I don't know what it is, but heresy is kind of a big thing in Korea. Apparently all the preachers tell their congregations that other churches are 'heresy,' especially the Mormon Church. We actually had a Book of Mormon from the member who referred this kid to us that had her testimony in it. So we added our testimony to it, adding that he shouldn't take anyone's word for it but should find out for himself, and left it on his doorstep. But for now, that's about all we can do.

While we're on the topic of heresy, I have another story from this week. We met with JH (he's the guy who was going to be baptized but wasn't ready to pay tithing) and were helping him teach one of his students (who is a man in his 40s). He decided that to practice speech, each of us had to get up and give a 3-minute speech in front of everyone. The student got up and gave his, and when Elder Yoon and I took our turns, we just bore a brief testimony. When I gave my testimony, the student started asking me a bunch of questions. It felt like a press conference or something. It was a really good opportunity though, he asked things like how our church is different from other churches, and what makes the Book of Mormon so special. Then he asked, "lots of other churches think that Mormon is heresy, what do you have to say about that?" I just said that people are entitled to their opinions, but if you want to know for yourself you can read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. JH wasn't satisfied with that answer though. He said that when someone asks a question like that, you have to come up with three reasons why they are wrong. Then he proceeded to show us an example. He talked for like ten minutes of all the different reasons why our church isn't heresy, it was pretty cool actually. And then he conveniently got a phone call that he had to take, so we were free to teach this student whatever we wanted without interruptions. He was really interested and had lots of questions, but when we tried giving him a Book of Mormon and setting up a time to teach him, he said that his preacher warned him to not meet with Mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses, so he declined. I really hate Korean preachers.

As far as LG, we were able to meet him on Saturday and teach the Restoration. We taught out of the Restoration pamphlet, and finished the lesson in maybe 20 or 30 minutes. At the end, we asked him if he had any questions or if there was anything he didn't understand. He didn't say anything at first, but just sat there and read through the pamphlet, over and over, looking up every five minutes or so to ask questions about details. This continued for over an hour, until we finally told him that we had to go because of a different appointment. It was crazy, I can't believe how interested he is.  He didn't bring up conflicting points or view or anything, just purely wanted to learn about it.

Have a great week!

Elder Hines

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