Hello my incredible family!
It sounds like you're all having a fun father's day:) I'm so glad! This week was really good for us:) I seriously LOVE being a missionary! So many blessings every single day:) I don't know what I"m going to do when I get home, but that's ok. Today's a big day though, because it's my 8 month mark, and I have officially been living in Korea for 6 months! How fun! I love it here, and am really feeling immersed in the work, which makes it easy to be happy! This is just the best:)
Anyway, this week I had some really cool experiences! The first one involves a referral that one of our less active members gave us. The member is really incredible, but she just works all day and night saturday, so she literally gets off work just in time to get to sacrament meeting, but she is usually too tired to come. Anyway. It's a hard situation, but we're working with her. Anyway, we were so excited because she called us and said she had a man and woman who wanted to learn english from us through our family english program where we teach 30 mins of english and 30 mins of gospel. So we set up an appointment for her to introduce us, and that was on Saturday. When we came, we were a little surprised to find out that the man has cerebral palsy, but he's maybe the happiest and nicest person ever. Also, his english is quite good, which is fun! His story is the saddest but also most inspiring I've ever heard though, so I want to share it with you.
This man's name is Park Dongsu and he's 39 years old. He was born with cerebral palsy, and has no use of his arms. He can only do things with his feet, including driving his wheel chair. When he was 9 years old, his parents decided that they didn't want him, so they abandoned him. Thinking about this experience alone is incredibly sobering. I remember a lot of things from when I was 9. He remembers his parents and the day they left him, and it's seriously the saddest thing ever. Because of this, he literally has no family. He has every reason in the world to be sad and depressed and just live a mundane and sad life. However, he doesn't. He is one of the most accomplished and talented people I have ever met. He loves writing poetry, and has published several of his poems in a book, something that I think is pretty impressive for anyone. Also, his poems are incredible! Sister Sexton translated them for us, and they made us both cry. One was about his mom, and how sorry he was that he couldn't have been born differently so as to make her happy, and to serve her, but of course he wasn't. As I listened to those words about him wanting to be a good son, I just couldn't help but think about my family and mom, and how incredibly blessed I am to have the family I do. Wow. I am pretty confident that compared with his trials, I have never experienced any thing to justify me complaining. My family loves and supports me in all I do. They are wonderful examples to me, and they gave me the wonderful blessing of this gospel. I couldn't be more grateful. This experience really gave me such a better perspective on our trials and challenges and how blessed we truly are. Anyway. This man also is an INCREDIBLE artist. He paints on the computer with his feet, and he showed us one of his paintings, and it was maybe the best painting I've ever seen. SO GOOD. He also makes these incredible 3D models of things. He showed us these two that he made, and I wish I had taken a picture of them, because they are so good! They look like professional modelings of houses and such. One of them was a scene of a block of houses and there were street lamps and trees and grass and everything, and then he plugged it in, and all the houses and street lamps lit up! So cool! I wish I had a pic. I'll try to get one later. Anyway, it just really made me think about if I am reaching my full potential, because of all that he can do, and how much he has had to overcome. It was seriously such a blessing and humbling experience to meet him. And he is so happy and was making a bunch of jokes and laughing. It was so awesome. Anyway, I just thought I'd share that, so we could all remember how blessed we are, and that things are never as bad as we think they are. Through the Savior and persistent hard work, we truly can overcome all the trials and hardships of this life. I'm so grateful for that. I truly know that my Savior lives and He loves us with an infinite love. I know this with all my heart. :) What a wonderful truth it is!
In other news, we met with Lee Johgwha last week, and she had her son over. He was really nice, and Lee Johnwha was able to explain the whole Joseph Smith story to him, and that was really cool to hear her tell. We love meeting with her, and things are going well with that. Also, the woman I wrote about last week, that Sister Lyman and I visited on exchanges, has apparently been reading the Book of Mormon in her spare time since we met with her, but she still hasn't made time to meet with us, because she has a lot of doctor appointments recently. But it's so exciting, because her son said she never would even touch it before! She's the nicest lady, so I really hope we can help her more.
On Sunday, our ward had ward conference, so on Saturday the Ward decided to go and visit less active members and invite them to come. It was so cool to see the ward members be involved in missionary work. Our ward is seriously SO good at helping less active members feel comfortable and loved. It warms my heart to think about it. It was funny though, because we all split up to go do the visits, and the bishop didn't give anyone specific assignments, but we all just went out and did it, and so at our first house, we knocked on the door to find out that the Bishop, stake president, and us, the full time missionaries, had all come to the same person's house. Thankfully, they were so happy and not intimidated, and they totally came to church yesterday! haha. So hopefully that was just inspiration for all of us to be there. But yeah. So many less actives were there, and I know that it was all because of the work of the members. There also were two non-members there, so that was really good to talk to them with their friends, and build a good relationship with them. Our ward is SOOO good! I serioulsy just love them:) They make our work much more manageable, and watching them love and help and lift each other warms my heart so much:)
Also, afterwards, we had lunch, and this one family brought JELLO. hahah. I was so happy! It's been a loooong time since I had Jello. And then the ward gave us TONS of leftovers, so we're probably set on food for a good while:) Also, the weather is getting really hot here. It's weird because it's not actually that hot, but mostly the humidity is really bad, but I don't mind. The weird thing too is that it'll be sunny and cloudless and super hot one minute, and then suddenly (and i mean suddenly) pouring! This last week we even had a sudden hail storm! So weird. But it's fun for sure:) Life here is so good, and I'm feeling like I"m understanding a lot more Korean, which is good too, although I still have a long way to go. But Heavenly Father is SO NICE to me. I seriously feel SO blessed everyday to be a missionary, and just to see everything I'm seeing and meet all the people I do. It's wonderful. I love this church and the Savior and everything about being a missionary:):):)
Love you all SOOOOOOO much! Hope you have a fantastic week:)
Some pics of my view from our appartment and me by the gangnam style sign in gangnam:)