Well, I think the title for this post should be something like "Heart and Seoul." Maybe a little corny, but I know Elliott is already following the Lord's counsel and putting his whole heart and soul into serving the people in this new area.
November 10, 2013
Well, it's official.
I'm in Seoul. Just south of the Han River... like in case there was a map that was keeping track of my Korea expeditions. PS. It ain't exactly Kansas up here.
Yesterday, church was AWESOME! Two new missionaries in the area, me and another sister (Sister Debouis... I don't know the English spelling... but I do know the Korean!). We gave our talks at church yesterday, and the members loved us! Elder Erekson has been training me on how to get tight with the members, and so we'll be tag-teaming it. I'm quite excited! All the members are really nice (oh, by the way, this ward is about the same size as Klamath Falls 3rd ward... with active members and less active. So, that made it feel a little more like home). The bishop and stake president were incredibly nice and paid us some nice compliments. Which is always a boost.
PPS. In case I forgot, the name of the ward I'm in is Hwagok. Maybe Bishop Phair knows where that's at?
Lately, I'm been thinking about this idea of agency... specifically, how it relates to my purpose as a missionary (and member doing missionary work). When I was down in Pyeongtaek, I've had the wonderful realization that my job as a district leader was to really be a missionary's missionary... and it helped me understand what my job is as a minister of Jesus Christ. Really, I can only help people if they want to be helped. I can't force anybody to accept the gospel and apply it in their lives - that would run contrary to this idea of agency. Really, conversion only happens when our investigator (or other missionary, or person we/you are teaching...) has a spiritual experience. My role is to help set up an environment in which the Holy Ghost can really testify. My tools are the principles of the gospel, whatever talents I possess (by the way, I've thought a lot about what President Stewart said when he set me apart as a missionary... that I would use my talents, even ones that I didn't know about. Totally true. I've discovered some wonderful, albeit not showy, talents that I'm incredibly grateful for), and who I am (I'm learning more and more that being Christ-like isn't just a commandment from God, but it's really a matter of necessity in order to always be happy). And then comes the second half of the trick. Inviting people to do stuff. Inviting people to read the Book of Mormon, to pray, to make changes in their lives that will help them live more in harmony with the Gospel and God's will. For the longest time, I thought that my success and effectiveness was linked to the number of baptisms I've had, to the number of people I helped get out to church, to the number of lessons that I was able to set up and teach. But it's not. Really, I'm thrilled if I, in some small way, can help inspire somebody bear their testimony to a friend, help somebody want to read the Book of Mormon, or to help somebody better understand who Jesus Christ is. I'm grateful for these small things. And, like what dad has told me, I won't know exactly how much of an impact I've made. All I can do is give my all to the work... to give my all to invite and encourage my newfound friends to live better lives.
I love this opportunity to teach. To serve. The church is true. And know that I love you.