So this week has been incredible. Sometimes, in my hurry to tell you all everything that happens in a week, I neglect to tell you all how incredibly happy I am to be on a mission! This has been the very happiest time of my whole life. Sure, it's been filled with some hard and challenging times, but I have never experienced such great joy as I am now. I think so frequently people talk about the responsibilities we have to do missionary work, but people don't talk NEARLY enough about the overwhelmingly wonderful blessings that we experience from it:) I'm just SO HAPPY! The past few days I've cried several times with joy-an experience I never really had before preparing to go on a mission. This work in the best:):) Also, transfer calls came and Sister Sexton and I are staying right here- Something we screamed for joy about:) haha. Hopefully our neighbors don't hate us too much;)
Last Monday, we had the wonderful opportunity to go see some traditional Korean sights. We saw a wall around this city, which we hiked up to the top of the mountain and saw how beautiful Korea is! I was just in awe! I don't know if I have told you all before how beautiful Korea is! Much of Korea is skyscrapers and all of that, but I love it because in the midst of these great cities, there is so much greenery and mountains! It's the perfect mix of my two favorite things! It's green like Virginia and has awesome mountains like Utah. I just get so excited every time we leave our apartment because of how beautiful everything is! God has made such a wonderful place for us to live:) Also, I found a cool new feature of my camera, which takes a video at the same time as a picture, and then links all the little video clips together from a day which is way cool. Not sure I can send the video to you, but it's really cool to see, and made our hike a lot of fun:)
Lately, I've been reading in the New Testament, and Jesus has been repeating something a lot regarding fear versus faith. I feel like it's a lesson He's trying to teach me, but I"m not very good at following yet. But, this week I've been trying:) I was reading particularly about the instance where His disciples are on the boat and He's sleeping and they are really afraid that they will die, and he just says, why do you fear oh ye of little faith. And then of course He calms the storm. That really struck me this time around. Jesus was so calm, that he was able to sleep- He really trusted that His mission was not fulfilled, and because of that He was a peace and was able to calm others. This week I was able to remember this principle and apply it to two experiences. One was English class. We started a new English class in our ward, and so Tuesday night class is still a little empty, but usually we at least have a few people. Two weeks ago apparently no one came, so last week everyone was being really pessimistic about it, which kind of bothered me. So I just went on preparing our lesson as usual, and then set up the room for a bunch of people haha. My companion and I just waited at right at , which is when it starts, we had 2 people come, and by the end we had all the chairs filled. I think sometimes we let our fear get in the way. If we hadn't been prepared, maybe God wouldn't have wanted to send people for us to teach. Sometimes we just have to move forward as though a miracle is bound to happen, and through that we show God we are doing all we can and expecting His help. The other experience was incredible. All the missionaries in our area decided to do this big English activity on the street to get some contacts and find people to teach. We were mostly targeting our activity towards junior high and high school kids, and because of that did the activity near a school when school gets out. However, that particular day, apparently the kids had gotten out early from school because of a test. So as we started out, everyone was really scared that it wasn't going to be successful, but before we left we remembered to say a prayer, and I just knew that because we had begun by asking for God's help everything would be alright. So at first no one was really coming by, and we had to go somewhere else because some big trucks were parked on the sidewalk where we wanted to be. But soon, people came and we had many good conversations, and we blessed by the Lord to get 46 numbers in only 2 hours!! An incredible thing! We also have made an appointment with someone, who seems really interested, from the girls, and I think the Elders are having success with their list of people as well. I'm sure that as we continue to follow up with these people we will be able to meet with others as well:) I just know that when we have faith and do our best, that God makes up the difference:)
Also, this week, we had Sister Burton-the General RS President come to our mission, which used to be her mission when she and her husband were mission President, only it was called the Seoul West mission at that time. It was incredible to have her and her husband teach us and give us some training. She told us that a big reason for the age change of missionaries was not just to have more missionaries in the field, but because of the incredible strength and missionary spirit that would return to the church after missionary service. She really impressed upon me how important it is to not go back to my old self when I go home, and that there is so much to be done in the church, and missionaries alone cannot do that task. It makes me happy, because I really just want to be a good member missionary, mostly because I know how happy it will make me and those around me. I want my children to want to serve missions because they see me doing missionary work in my home. Also, afterwards, we got to talk to Sister Burton personally for a minute, and she said something that really touched me. She said, "whenever I try to explain faith to people, I tell them just to look at a sister missionary." It's not so much the words that she said, but the way she said them with tears in her eyes that made me think they were true. I truly hope that people can see our faith as we do missionary work. What a blessing it is to be an example of the believers:):)
Also, in Young Women's (my favorite part of the week:)) we were asked to share our testimonies of Joseph Smith and the Restoration. This was such a touching experience, and I"m not sure I've ever born such a powerful witness of Joseph Smith. The girls all shared their testimonies as well, and also some experiences they have had with sharing the Plan of Salvation with their friends at school after the horrible accident. I just have such respect for young women and especially those who grow up in situations where they do not have many Mormon friends. These girls are so incredible:) I love our ward.
As a grand finale to this week's letter, I just want to share this incredible thing that happened at a meeting with Sister Burton. One of the meetings was opened to the general public, and afterwards I got to see Sue- the incredible ward missionary from my last ward! I have never had a more joyful meeting with anyone at anytime:) I just cried tears of joy! I really thought that I wouldn't see her again, but I was so grateful to see her! I'm so grateful to have served here in Korea, because without that I never would have met the incredible people here. They have changed my life, and I think I'll always be a little (or hopefully a lot) Korean on the inside.
Have a wonderful week everyone! I hope everyone's finals week is going went well! You all are incredible and I pray for you every day, and I know Heavenly Father answers our prayers:) Love you!