Monday, April 22, 2013

North Korea

Why do I always worry, year after year that something is going to go wrong? It never does!

Hello everyone! This one was really short and to the point I think. This however, does not reference the Boston marathon nor any of the other accidents that have occured recently, I was really sad to hear about all of those events. This quote in many ways is referring to the situation that South and North Korea currently find themselves in. Today I wish to just release my own, for lack of a better word, my own statement on this situation.

Before I do, I want to say thank you to everyone who has expressed concern and worry for me. I'm really grateful for those and for the prayers that have been said for the missionaries here and around the world.

In reference to the quote however, area few situations I would like to bring up, for convenience, let me try two: the swine flu, and for those of you who lived in Utah a couple of years ago, 'Snowmaggedon.' We all remember what had happened. The news media all of a sudden gets the wind of a possible big story, and within a couple of days, they have already reported all the necessary facts, stretching them to their limit, trying to get the story to be seen, to be read, to be watched. The amount of coverage on one subject has those who read it believing that the problems are so much more severe than they actually are.

The Korean people are not worried. I talk to them everyday, lots of them. This is not the only time that North Korea has bought a new sword and rattled it and waved it in the air for everyone to see. He has done this consistently every year for many many years. There were times when the misionaries came here after the war, when the original dictator would often say that he would "celebrate his birthday(April 15) in Seoul," and he never did. This past week, you notice that date has passed as well. This has happened countless times to the Korean people, and though Kim Jong Un has been bolder than before, he has done so knowing that the more attention he gets the better it is for him. As many a spoiled child knows, if you want to get the candy, you sometimes have to throw the tantrum.

Thank you so much for your concern, it means the world to us. We are not yet worried. Nor is the Lord worried. The greatly increased number of missionaries in South Korea in many respects is also what should be expected. As missionaries, we are set apart from the world, we are indeed set apart not only away from the lifestyles and the evils of the world, but also set apart towards a greater number of blessings and greater amount of protection. As missionaries, we are granted an enormous amount of protection, for more than we will ever truly realize in this life. The more protected missionaries that are sent into the field of South Korea to labor, the more protected the country of South Korea will become. If North Korea still decides to continue with his plans, I say so be it. So be it. The Lord has sent hundreds of missionaries, young people who have dedicated, consecrated, two years of their lives to the service of their fellow men, and why, if not to come forth at this time to be a blessing to those who may need the help of the Army of God? Why? The Lord protects and watches over us, the influence and the Spirit that we as missionaries feel at all times and in all places cannot be described in the simple words that our tongue can express. The power of the Spirit at your fingertips, is awe inspiring. We are not worried. We have never fought, yet we do not fear death. If we are called this day to fight to protect our fellow man, so be it. It will be with the arm of God.

What will we do with all these missionaries? We will do what Elder Nelson said we will do. We "will bless the children of Almighty God."

God Bless, and God Speed
Elder Annen

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Security Message for U.S. Citizens

A Security Message for U.S. Citizens

The U.S. Embassy informs U.S. citizens that despite current political tensions with North Korea there is no specific information to suggest there are imminent threats to U.S. citizens or facilities in the Republic of Korea (ROK). The Embassy has not changed its security posture and we have not recommended that U.S. citizens who reside in, or plan to visit, the Republic of Korea take special security precautions at this time. The U.S. Embassy takes as its highest priority the welfare of American citizens in Korea. Should the security situation change, the Embassy will issue updated information.

We urge U.S. citizens to keep in regular contact with family and friends. For further information on specific countries, U.S. citizens should consult the Country Specific Information pages, Travel Alerts, and Travel Warnings at as well as the Worldwide Caution.

Honesty? Honestly!

I’ve got to admit Jack, I thought I had you figured! Turns out you’re a hard man to predict..

Me I’m dishonest! And a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest! Honestly! It’s the honest ones you have to look out for! Because you can never predict, when they’re going to do something incredibly... stupid.

Hello everybody! How are things going over there? I hope just fine and dandy and that everyone is happy and healthy ^^ Things are going quite well over here! At least, as far as the missionaries here. We’re not entirely sure as to how the relationships between the North and the South are going exactly, but! So far it seems that he just likes to be breathing threats and not much else yet^^ So we will see how this goes!

These past two weeks have unfortunately been pretty uneventful. We’ve been doing a lot of advertising for our English class, we’re trying to start one up, and that is also the only way that we can actually get them to even open the door to talk to us. Imagine! Here, we don’t get too many doors slammed in our faces, because people just like to yell through the door “Who is it?” and as soon as they here that we’re missionaries, we are greeted with either silence or lots of yelling saying “YOU’RE DONE!” and then silence ^^ But! When we advertise for English, the people are much nicer about it. Seems to work a little bit. I can honestly say that I am surprised with how much work it takes to put an English class together! It is something else! If you look on the blog or whatever, I think Mom’s posted the picture that we use for our advertisements^^ I love that one, it just kills me! People get a good laugh out of it too. Which reminds me, Mom, I’m just fine if you put a copy of that on the fridge ^^ It’ll give everyone a nice chuckle when they see it. Maybe we should make it more professional looking... Oh well, wanted something that’ll catch people’s eye.

Recently, there has been a fascinating subject on my mind. The subject of honesty. Hence the quote ^^ However, the feeling of this quote is not quite the one that I wanted to convey. The quote that had actually brought this thought to mind, was a quote by the prophet Joseph Smith, which I think you will find fascinating. “No one can ever enter the celestial kingdom, unless he is strictly honest.” I was listening to a man by the name of Truman G. Madsen, and he mentioned in his talk that to the question, are you honest in your dealings with your fellow men, the answer that is universally given is, I try. Eventually we must do more than that. But what truly is honesty? Might I suggest that honesty is a crucial difference, it is the line that separates many fascinating subjects. The spark for this spiritual thought was a run in that we had here with an American apostate. Fascinating fellow, in the sense that he blamed the church for every failure, every problem in his life. One of the interesting things that he told me was, “Oh yeah, you get really good at tricking people here when you are out here on your missions.” Might I suggest to you that what this man did not understand was the principle of honesty. The difference is crucial. Honesty. Honesty is the difference between, for example, flattery and compliments. Honesty is the difference between manipulation and friendship. Honesty is the difference between perjury and testimony. It is truly honesty that makes the largest difference in our lives. Imagine, for example, the amazing change in the world if everyone was honest. Perfectly and completely honest. The change would, I imagine, solve innumerable problems that occur in our daily lives. Remember that in the thirteenth article of faith, it starts out with, what was it? “We believe in being honest...” We believe in being honest. Why would that be so? Why is it, that the beginning of the list of virtues that is so ingrained in every primary child’s memory, is honesty? The answer is already on some of your minds as you read. Maybe because this virtue is the virtue that underlies all others. If we are honest with others, we are honest with ourselves, if that is so, then that will very soon lead to honesty with God. So, one of the challenges I make to you now is to step up. You know how much this virtue means to God, you even know as to how this virtue will change your lives for the better. But you still hold back. We always seem to hold back. STOP! Stop thinking that, well, he doesn’t understand the situation I’m in, he doesn’t understand that if I hadn’t lied in that situation, that it would have caused more problems... Just stop. We all know the excuses, we’ve given them to ourselves countless times. Try it. See how you feel afterward, then keep trying to do better. I know that these things are true with all of my heart. I hope you believe me. But, if you don’t, in complete and utter honesty, it doesn’t matter to me. I hold myself accountable to God, and He, knowing all of my weaknesses and shortcomings, will be the one to render judgment.

Love you all tons, and miss you too,

Good Luck, God Bless, and God Speed,

Elder Annen