"Dropped baptismal dates and such. But the work goes on" reports Elder Wedam after 12 weeks in the field. I love the work he is accomplishing and the insights he receives as he strives to live and serve as a consecrated missionary. I am very proud of him, happy for him! Monica
January 21, 2013
This last week was rather crazy. Our one baptismal date dropped us... 최상섭 dropped us. Sort of. I'll quickly explain - he met with a preacher from another church, and what transpired was a drop. But, he still likes us and isn't opposed to us dropping by once in a while. It's not over, though. As disappointed as I am in dropping the baptismal date, I really just hope the the other church's preacher has his interests at heart (meaning sincerely wants to help him overcome his addiction to alcohol), and not just trying to get another member to her congregation to earn a bit more cash.
But, in other news, we have two progressing investigators. Both of which are primarily English interest (at least initially. I get the feeling that it's developing more into gospel interest though). These two people, 남성현 and 이청용, are super cool. 성현 comes from a Buddhist family, but he's not opposed to learning about the gospel, and 청용 has a Christian background, and is really good at English (not fluent by any means, but he's one of the few I can keep a natural, albeit slow, flow when I speak. But he can pick out when we English speakers slur sounds together. In other words, mom and dad, I think you would feel fairly comfortable speaking to him if you used simplified vocabulary and what not - the need for translation wouldn't exist) Anyways, they're really neat, and they also make missionary work in Suwon super enjoyable. They both read from the Book of Mormon and take care to try to understand what it says. It's been a good experience =D
Also, I finished up the initial part of the mission language program this past week, known as Pass-Off. This translates to that I'm fairly free now to study Korean how I want to as long as I keep teaching the lessons in Chapter 3 of Preach My Gospel in mind. The new plan, reading the church pamphlets in Korean (which, I'm able to do now, and pick out words I don't know/guess meanings based on context and remember the gist of the English pamphlets). All in all, I'm super excited. It'll be fun. I'm really banking on as I continue to read to myself and aloud that listening and speaking will come a little more quickly. And, 청용 offered to help me with Korean - if I have a question on how to say something in Korean, he's more than happy to help/he has no problem introducing us to his friends who speak Korean (and telling them to speak Korean to me. One of the few times I've been super grateful for just how important of a role age plays in Korean culture). So, the language will come =) Slowly, but surely. As long as I've got a plan, I've got a reason to hope (used here in the same sense as Mormon uses it in Moroni 7 or how Preach My Gospel uses it in Chapter 6).
These last two days, I've read this most amazing talk, "Becoming a Consecrated Missionary" By President Tad McCallister. I hope that's the right spelling, and I hope that it's on lds.org. If not, a half summary will have to suffice. The talk outlines things that missionaries need to do in order to become a consecrated missionary - that is, a missionary who puts all of his or her soul into the work, holding nothing back, and is ALWAYS thinking of the work, how to improve, etc. And it talks about the things we need to sacrifice as missionaries: our fears, romantic passions, weaknesses, and disobedience. It puts things into perspective. The commandment we have to talk with everyone doesn't come our district leader, zone leader, mission president, Preach My Gospel, or the Brethren, but it comes from the Lord Himself (it also cites specific parts in the Doctrine and Covenants). And because the Lord commands it, He will provide a way (see 1 Nephi 3:7). But it then explains (and this is the part I really liked), "there is no magic pill, no amount of time we can wait, or memorized approach that will embolden us," but sometimes we have to just buck up and do it, to just do the work. And it's true, there's no instant solution to gain courage or substitution for work, and as we work and fulfill the Lord's commands, He will bless us.
The talk then concludes by stating: "I don't think that the Lord expects us to be perfect immediately, but He does expect immediate progression." And it's true. Therein lies the secret of being a consecrated missionary, working towards becoming the missionary the Lord has called. And it extends out beyond the missionary experience. The secret to living a life consecrated to the service of God is simply striving to become the person that Heavenly Father knows we can be, to work towards our full potential.
There was one more line I loved. "I don't think there is one missionary who's weaknesses outweigh his strengths because we are all children of God; His divine potential is woven into the very fibers of our being." What does it mean to be a child of God? I don't understand the weight of the answer of this question completely, but I know that because God is my Heavenly Father, I can accomplish great things with His help.
I love you all! Take care! Until next week!
-Elder Elliott Wedam