Sunday, April 21, 2013

Darkness to Light

Hopefully some news from Elliott will brighten your day.  So sorry to have neglected these posts until now.  Thank you so very much for all the support you give to him as he serves in South Korea.

Week three of Transfer 5. General Conference was awesome!
April 15, 2013

So family, friends, devoted stalkers, fanclub members, former companions, and all else who may read these blog emails... (I'm sure there will be another group in the near future?)

General conference was amazing.  First, quick sidenote to explain where I'm going with this:

Serving in Korea thus far has taught me so many things, one of which being that attitude affects everything.  The work is hard, and down-right discouraging sometimes, especially when you don't have investigators to teach and the people you talk to on the street aren't  always the friendliest (which I may change tactics from straight street contacting and information gathering to working with less actives and part member families... more info later ^^).  To illustrate, I'll share an experience from last Wednesday (I promise, there's a happy moral to all of this)

That day, Elder Benson and I were trying to visit a less active member (최문용).  We decided to walk (a forty-five minute walk) and talk with everyone along the way (we were out of travel money AND there's usually more people on the street than on busses).  However, everyone I talked to asked me, "Why are you even talking to me."  Obviously, I answered honestly, "I'm a missionary from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints."  Usually, this ended with, "I'm not interested."  Which is totally fine (albeit, when you're asked "Why" 7 times in a row, it's difficult to be patient always). but then came the eighth man I talked to.  I asked him where he was going, to which he retorted, "Where are you going?"  I answered, "To our friend's  house." Then, came, in menancing tones, "Then get to your friend's house and don't talk to me."  Ouch.  That sort of sent me into a funk. After a bit, Elder Benson shared a wonderful scripture with me. Doctrine and Covenants 122.. which verses, I can't remember.  But paraphrased, it reads: If all the powers of Earth, Hell, and Darkness were to combine against you, remember that all these things are for your own good, and that you will be better off.

Cool, changed my attitude for the day (and, in a seemingly symbolic manner, the weather changed from dark and dreary to sunny and bright). We (Elder Benson) managed to get contact info for 2 potential investigators, and lifted me out of probably the single most unfortunate funk I've found myself in.

Some people (more as of late) still aren't the friendliest all the time, but hey, that's totally fine.  I know I'm working with what I know how to do and trying to think about how to get better.  Yes, it's hard, it'd draining (walking 8 hours every day kills you), and it's spiritually demanding (yay personal study/awesome opportunities to consecrate myself to the Lord each day).

The tie into conference, and my new favorite lines come from President Uchtdorff's talk:
"Darkness cannot exist in the presence of light"

Powerful words.  We need to work hard to allow the light of the gospel and the light of Jesus Christ fill our lives, and when we do, there is no darkness.  There is no despair.  There is no reason to doubt and fear.  It's faith, hope, and charity through and through.  Our attitudes and outlooks change everything.

Oh, and next week, our bishop asked Elder Benson and I to give a talk in sacrament... about temple work!  I'm super stoked.  First talk outside of introductions that I get to give at church... in Korean ^^

The church is true.  We are blessed to have a living prophet and apostles to guide us and lead the Church.  The gospel is the way to obtain the Peace of Jesus Christ - a happiness that can't be dimmed by the storms of life.  Every day, I can feel God supporting me, and I'm grateful for all your prayers on my, my companions, and all the missionaries's behalf.  The Book of Mormon is the Word of God.  Read it, treasure it, apply it.  And I promise that as you read, treasure, and apply, you will feel that it's the word of God.

Until next week!
Elder Elliott Wedam

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