Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Coach they're calling a holding penalty on me everytime...

Did I ask for your excuses?! You want to act like a star, you better give me a star effort, you hear me?


Forget about him! Alan! you're up!
Now, I don't want them to gain, *another yard*
You BLITZ ALL NIGHT! If they cross the line of scrimmage I swear I'll take every last one of you out!
And you make sure, that they remember, FOREVER! the night they played the Titans!

Love that one ^^ No connection I'm afraid.

Alrighty everybody! Hello! How are you? I'm fine thank you and you?

All I can say is... I'm going to be so I'm going to be so incredibly weirder when I get home. I will explain. So, for those of you who can remember, I just got transferred to the area with the English branch included in it. Now, I can be a funny guy. I have no problems whatsoever going up to complete and utter strangers, speak to them in Korean, carry on a conversation, get a appointment and the like... I have no problems with that! Absolutely none! I don't think that I seriously look at myself anymore and really realize that that's what I 'm doing, but yeah! So, I've been thinking as people constantly and consistently remind me that I'm going home and not to get trunky, that I'm actually not going to be that weird when I get home. I honestly was thinking along those lines when I got the transfer call. Then last Sunday came around...

Do you know what reverse culture shock is?

I didn't either... But ooohhhhhhhhhh boy......... Heh... Yep...

So... We're waiting at the subway station for someone we invited to church. All of a sudden, a foreigner comes out of the subway, nicely dressed, comes right up to me, and says "Hey Elder how are you?" And do you want to know what I said?! I just looked at him for a second.. then another.. and then responded, "I'm fine thank you and you?" ... now that might not be that bad, it's an acceptable answer. But considering the fact that I had said it in a KOREAN ACCENT, made it ten times more awkward. If it was on purpose it would have been funny. If the foreigner had been there for several months he probably would have gotten a good chuckle... Instead, he just kind of looked at me funny, sadi he was fine too... and then walked away... You could have cut the awkwardness with a butter knife. Man... I kind of shook it off then went to the English sacrament meeting. I have never seen so much blonde hair in one place in my life. Ok I probably have, but... WOW. What followed was a day full of people coming up and talking to me and my responses full of blank stares trying to understand what language these people were speaking to me in ^^ Needless to emphasize further... I will be when I get back home ^^ So, please cut me some slack ^^

But this weekend was full of incredibly wonderful moments. We were able to watch General Conference, as well as two baptisms. They are such wonderful people, I know I felt the Spirit incredibly strongly in that baptismal room. One of the Brothers that was baptised was the husband of a convert, baptised about twenty years or so ago. That wonderful wife of his bore a tender testimony at that service, speaking first of the love that she had for this son of God, her husband. She had led her life, filled with love for both him and for the gospel, and was blessed to see her husband baptised for the remission of sins. She spoke often of patience and being blessed with the ability to wait. What captured my attention the most though was her words for how much she loved her husband.

This spoke deep to me, and the words mentioning that 'charity never failieth' entered into my mind. I continued to ponder that. Why is it that charity never faileth? Why not patience? Why not faith? And who could forget humility and diligence? Why charity?

Perhaps the Lord's example points to a solution. Those who have felt to 'sing the song of redeeming love' know that the greatest feeling, comes from knowing that someone loves you unconditionally. Regardless of what you've done, knowing that someone will never ever voluntarily turn away from you, gives the greatest everlasting hope. To start again. To keep going. To not only survive and get through something, but to discover, to create, to excell!

The possessor receives blessings just as sweet, though maybe more difficult to express through words to those who have never felt it. I cannot yet express it. I have not yet felt pure charity, I do not yet know what giving such charity feels like.

However, I do know how it feels to receive charity, and to give only an imperfect amount of it.

I love you all,

Make this a great week,

Loves and misses,

Elder Annen

Monday, October 7, 2013

D-Day date 받았네!!!!!!!!

D-Day, December 17th is the last day of missionary work for me, and I should be getting my travel itinerary soon that'll tell me when I'm going back to America! ^^


Normal? What do *you* know about normal? What does *anyone* in this family know about normal?!

Now wait a minute young lady

We ACT normal Mom! I want to be normal! The only normal one is Jack Jack!! And he's not even toilet trained!



Lucky... Oh, I meant about being normal!

Speaking of which I really have no idea what on earth normal on a mission is supposed to be... I'm not sure wif this is supposed to be what happens all the times in other missions around the world, but all I know is is that I haven't really met anyone who has had to move as often as I have had to. It's been nice this last little bit, didn't move for five months, but here we go again ^^ Packing! Love it ^^

You guessed it, transfer calls. I'm not one really for statistics, but most of the people that I know end their missions with four to five areas. I still have a little bit to go and I am on to my seventh area, and my twelvth companion! ^^ Am I excited or what?!

I unfortunately don't have enough time to really share a spiritual thought, but I thought I would give an update on the mission on goings for once ^^

Please pray for us!^^

Elder Annen

Now....Where Was I?

Alrighty everyone, sorry to have left you hanging there with that last story.

Now where was I? ... Oh yes... The older Brother in our ward. His name is Brother Hong, and he is one of the most awesome people that I know. He is incredibly fluent in English... and when I say English I really mean like Old English. He has memorized the greater part of the Bible IN ENGLISH, and just loves to quote it along with other things... Gettsyburg address for example ^^ Naturally, we hit it off quite well from the start. One of the things that has happened these past few weeks has really been seeing the progress that this incredible man is making. He was baptized several months before I arrived in this area, and I've heard several reasons for why he joined this church. The beginning ones were interesting. He told us that the only reason that he "joined this church is because of" us missionaries. He loves having people, especially foreigners, to talk English to (not 'with', mind you, 'to' ^^) But that's all he would tell us!! Everytime we met with him he would tell us this. I could list so many other complaints that he would tell us about our church, from the hymns that we pick to sing to the fact that some of the children are too noisy, he told us all of them. However, slowly but surely, he has changed. We had heard him tell one of his teachers that "the only reason he comes to this church is because of the way that the teacher 'lectures' and teaches him about the gospel. A few weeks ago, after a lecture about fast offerings, he immediately went and paid his tithing and fast offerings right then and there. Without a moment of hesitation. Most recently, after telling us that the songs we sing aren't hymns, they're just serenades, they are too quiet, etc etc, he mentioned to my companion yesterday of the fact that he loves the music in this church, it helps him feel peace and calm, helping him to relax after his week. It has been such an incredible blessing to be with this man and see his progress in the gospel. It reminds me frequently of how many times I feel I had gone to church thinking thoughts like the only reason I go is because my parents tell me too. The only reason I go is to see my friends. The only reason I go is cuz of my youth leaders. They usually bring donuts this week. Regardless of how many times those thoughts and reasons have crossed my path, I am eternally grateful for them, for they have helped me change as well. They have helped me experience all of the blessings promised to us. They have helped me to see, that taking a full day off of worldly things to exclusively focus on spiritual progress, both personal and others, is one of the greatest checks you can give yourself. It helped me see the blessing of the sacrament, to truly start over with a determination to do much better this week.

I stand right by this 92-year old Brother from my ward. The only reasons I come to church are often not the right answer. But, looking back has confirmed that as the promised blessings continue to be experienced, our very natures are changed. As we continually strive to be obedient, God helps our tendencies to come closer to His own.

The "Look Back Principle" is this: If you can look back on your life and say to yourself, I would have done that better, then you are progressing.

I love you all!

Receive Many Korean Thanksgiving Blessings Please!

Elder Annen