Dear Best Family in the Whole World!!!
I just love you all SO much! Thanks to everyone who wrote me this week:) I loved hearing your words of encouragement and comfort! I have the best family and friends ever:):):):) It just makes me so happy!
This week was probably the busiest week we've had in Geumcheon:) We got 4 lessons and had some incredible experiences! Mostly involving Elder Quentin L. Cook coming to our mission:) What an incredible blessing it was to hear him speak.
On Saturday morning, we were blessed to hear him as he spoke to the Seoul and Seoul South missionaries (about 400 of us). We were all sitting in the chapel waiting for him to come in, and stood when he did. You really can feel the power of an Apostle of the Lord when they come into a room. Anyway, President Ringwood, the area authority announced that Elder Cook wanted to shake all 400 of our hands. It was the best:) He and his wife stood at the front of the chapel and we all walked by and he asked us each how we were doing. It was an incredible way to minister to us as a fellow group of the Lord's servants. I was so impressed by that. And it's pretty cool to say I got to shake his hand in Korea. haha. But anyway, he gave us an INCREDIBLE training, and through that I received a lot of revelation for my missionary work and our investigators. SO GOOD:) He said that he feels that D&C 31:7 is the most important verse of scripture for the church right now, and talked a lot about how the Lord will establish His church by Our hand. I loved that, and felt especially impressed as he talked about how missionaries and members need to work together to build up the wards where they serve. Before he said that, I had always regarded my missionary work with investigators and my responsibility to help reactivate and strengthen members as two separate things, but really they are the same work. He also taught us a lot about our missionary mantle and how powerful our setting apart is. And he told us if we'd only have more faith and invite more people, we'd have more success. What a powerful thought. More faith=more success:) Anyway, at the end of his talk he did something wonderful. He gave the group of us an apostolic blessing, which was maybe the coolest thing ever. He blessed us that our hearts would be filled with joy and confidence that we were serving well, even though we may not have as much baptismal success as other parts of the world. He blessed us to be able to share that joy with the Korean people and that we would have the assurance that we were serving where the Lord wanted us to be. The best part of that blessing though was that he promised us very powerfully that EVERYBODY we love will be blessed by our missionary service. Everyone. Our family, friends, future spouses and children. Everyone. He really impressed upon us that there is nothing better we could be doing for our loved ones than to be here serving Him. That was such a comfort to me, and I know that the Lord truly is blessing and watching over all of you:) So just know that. Anyway, it was such a good meeting! I loved every minute.
That night, we were able to take Lee Johnwha to the fireside he gave that night. We got there really early to get a good seat, so we had a lot of time to talk to her about our church and apostles, and that was just so good. She also brought one of the kids she is taking care of, who is two years old. I was pretty worried about that, because generally kids don't like to sit down for long periods of time, or be very quiet haha, which is fine, but I just really wanted her to be able to pay attention to Elder Cook's message. Anyway, so I just prayed that he would be able to be calm so she could listen and that other people would help him do that so she could pay attention. Anyway, I was still a little nervous about it, because babies usually just like to be loud at least some of the time, but he was PERFECT for all 3 hours-- DEFINITELY A MIRACLE. I know that the Lord blessed him to be content and calm the whole meeting. Anyway, Elder Cook talked a LOT about the temple, further witnessing to Sister Sexton and I that we need to focus our teaching on the temple, seeing as we met her on the way to the temple and nearly every lesson we have with her she brings up the temple. I feel like the Lord keeps dropping us not so subtle hints;) It's perfect. Anyway, it was really good, and I was so glad she was able to come. I'm sure we'll need to answer a lot of questions on Tuesday though, because the temple isn't something most non-members know about. haha So that's perfect!
One last thing I wanted to mention was this story. On Monday we had lunch with a ward member (the stake president's wife) (also, I ate a quarter of a watermelon for dessert.... that was.... fun! haha people love feeding the missionaries a LOT of food here:)) and she was telling us about the boy that I wrote about in my last email that just left on his mission that we sang I'm trying to be like Jesus to. She was telling us about how she was his seminary teacher for a long time, and she was so worried about him all the time, because it always seemed that he didn't want to be at seminary. She said she had tried everything to help him become interested in the scriptures and help him feel welcomed, but by the end he only barely graduated. This made her really worried about him going on a mission, but he started his papers and prepared well and was able to go, and of course is now serving well. But she said that when he first started his papers, so was talking to her husband about this boy, and about those people that prepare all of their lives for missions and are very serious about their testimonies, and then about those people that seem to just make a mad dash at the end to be ready. She asked if it was better for someone to not go in the latter case, because they hadn't prepared as long. Her husband said something to her that she said she'll never forget, and now as a result I will also never forget. He said, "In the kingdom of God, there are plastic plates, silver plates and gold plates, and the Lord can use them all." What a touching concept. Honestly a plate is just a plate, although sometimes we associate a greater value with a gold plate than a plastic one. Really though it's important to remember that no matter how inadequate we feel or unprepared for the challenges and missions the Lord calls us to fulfill, He can use every single one of us to help and bless the lives of others. At times it's hard to recognize our own self worth, and realize that we are helping the Lord when we do our best, but he knows how to best use us and the places that we will be of most help. I'm so grateful to be able to be an instrument in the Lord's hand, even when I'm sure there are finer instruments He could use, because I know the Lord is truly holding me in His hand, and He's doing the same for you.
Anyway, as a quick close, I'll just say that this week, I was able to understand a LOT more Korean that I have before, and I'm so grateful that the Lord is helping me with that. I know that as long as I do my best, the Lord takes care of the rest. Anyway, hope you all have a wonderful week! I miss and love you all, but know that the Lord is watching over you!
PS. pics are of some Seoul Missionaries from my MTC district, the four Geumcheon sisters at the temple.Love you all!