Monday, June 2, 2014


Yep. It's been one year!

I've decided to embrace it, and not dread that there are only six months left! Minus four days! Hehe. Anyway. There are a whole 6 months left, and a million more miracles to see :)
A lot happened this week, so I think this will be more of a bullet point form -
  • Interview with President Christensen. Wonderfully inspired. I told Dad a little about a metaphor that really helped me, so I'll copy and paste: I've been running in circles of idealism and inadequacy - both in me and in others...He is very wise and perceptive - he talked about sand, how the more you squeeze it, the faster it falls. And the best way to keep the sand in your hands is to just hold it calmly. I feel like I knew these principles, but I couldn't figure out how to loosen my grip (which was even more frustrating), but in that, he sort of gave me permission to calm down and just let it go and run normally. And it's been awesome!
  • We had an awesome first lesson with a young mother - call through your Potential Investigator sheets, even when you think "That was way too awkward, there is no way they'd want to meet again" - because sometimes, they do! (hypothetically, of course :))
  • And S___, an awesome investigator with a very honest, open heart; she told us about one of her spiritual experiences at church - she was too busy, wanted to rest, but knew she should come to church, she did but was a little distraught, but then she got a big feeling of "Calm down, S___, it's okay. God with take care of you because you're here." Wow! She really has Alma 19:10 kind of faith.  (. . . Blessed art thou because of thy exceeding faith; I say unto thee, woman, there has not been such great faith among all the people of the Nephites.)   And we could help another recent convert (Sister W___) by sharing that experience with her, expressing that it is worth her time to attend church, even when she's tired. (She didn't go last week, and was considering not going to Elder Cook's fireside for young adults (by the way, just a minor side note, Elder Quentin L. Cook came to speak to Korea :)), but we got to talk with her about it ;))
  • We got air conditioning! I can't express to you what a tangible blessing that is. Actually, I'll try - it's the difference between walking out of the shower and being sweaty again before you dry, and actually drying off. Or the difference between being able to fold your arms when you pray and not feeling the suction cup-effect when you pull them apart :)
  • Fun thing - near the army base, after we taught a Korean class, we walked, and saw a member, and another member, and another set of missionaries - and there just ended up being a little impromptu party of eight members who didn't exactly know all of the others, talking on the sidewalk. That's one thing I love about this church; it's like a huge, awesome family, and you have best friends instantly wherever you go :)
  • I went on an exchange on May 29th, the day with a big "ONE YEAR" stamp on it. And it was awesome! We were on the street talking to people all day, and went "streetboarding" - we have a board with questions that the Book of Mormon answers (Is there a God? Why do bad things happen to good people? etc.) and give people stickers to post. And if they're interested, we talk more, if not, they had a little fun, and know missionaries now :) We talked to one lady for a very long time, in probably the most in-depth explanation of the Book of Mormon, prophets, etc. that I've given on the street. So we still got experience to teach together! Then there was this HUGE swarm of about 7th grade age boys that came out and swarmed the sister with the board, all reaching for a sticker - it was awesome ;) and we ate Indian curry for dinner! :D Happy birthday, self!
  • On Saturday, Elder Cook spoke to us in the morning, and to members at night. Lots of amazing things: Among other things, he talked about Doctrine and Covenants 31:7 ("Yea, I will open the hearts of the people, and they will receive you. And I will establish a church by your hand;") and how that could be the motto of the church right now - hearts opening, "establishing" (strengthening, build up, love, graciousness, etc), "by your hand", and at night, he, and his wife spoke about the temple. How important the family is, and the central role of the temple in building strong families. He ended speaking of  "the atonement of Christ is the great healing agent." which is one of the truest things that I've learned as a missionary. All things that are unfair, that are burdensome, that are hard to overcome by yourself, can be made right through the atonement of Christ.
  • On Sunday, we met and taught three people, all fluent in English - entirely unheard of here! One sister brought a lot of co-workers to church; her niece and her boyfriend came, too, so we talked with them a little about the church, and it was awesome.
Study: There have been some amazing studies this week, but I'll share one: (I learned this in terms of forgiveness, but it applies to any burden:) commandments are not hollow statues of coersion from a cold God, nor (though better) guidelines for our good that Christ, as our perfect example, will show us how to do and, like a good coach, follow them himself and do it with us. More than those, He makes it possible to keep those commandments, by taking the burden from us. He helps me to keep them in ways that I cannot myself. He truly is that advocate, and through that selfless act, I am made free.

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