Sunday, 19 September 2010

Week 11 in Korea

Ok, so a few days after I siad I wouldn't get to email until Wednesday, they sent us a text that we could email today! False alarm. Anyway, 추석 ("chew-suck", it didn't make me laugh until I Romanized it) week has begun.
Ok, so at the beginning of the week I went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders again. I went to "Bong Hwa" with Elder Grant, specifically so I could fellowship one of the youth in that area, named "No-Jun-Jol". His dad is a former Bishop, and is in the latter stages of battling Pancreatic cancer. Because of all the things going on with his dad's health, his faith has waned, and he declared that when he turns 20, and is no longer "forced" to come to church, he will go inactive.
We had a full day planned before I'd get to visit that family. But it was a day filled with miracles. We were street boarding at 1:00 (a terrible time to do that finding activity.) There are never males out at that time, and Elders aren't allowed to proselyte to women. So we had these goals set, and with how it went for the first half hour or so, it didn't seem possible. We picked up our street boards, moved across the street, and found a staircase to reevaluate our goals, and say a quiet prayer. Even though we were doing horribly, we actually increased some of our goals. We went out, and were able to find some amazingly prepared people. There was a point where Elder Grant and I were both teaching full-on lessons to different people at the same time. Then, after we had reached our goals, we were getting to ready to pack up. I saw a man crossing the street coming towards us. I said hello. We started talking to him and he was super open to everything we said. He then asked us out of the blue "So how do I get to your church?"
We had a couple of appointments that went well, and then we had a meal with an investigator. I swear there was more meat on the grill towards the end of the meal than there was at the beginning. What we ate between the three of us could have easily fed six people!
So it's the end of the night and I finally get to meet this family again. I was excited to share some of my experiences with No-Jun-Jol. We get there, and No-Jun-Jol and the rest of his class are stuck at school (teachers can do that here, even though it was 8:00!) But I still played some songs for the family on the guitar. The last time I met this family, the dad never got out of bed, and that's the case most of the day. But as I was playing "Blackbird", he came out, and sat in the living room with us. Then the Young Men's leader who was there with us asked me to share how I came to know  that the Book of Mormon and this church are true. My Korean isn't that good yet, to be able to share my whole story in the language, so Elder Grant helped translate. The spirit was so strong. Even though I didn't get to talk to No-Jun-Jol, I was meant to visit that family that night. The mom was in tears. And the dad was very touched by the music and the testimony I shared. He shook my hand as we were leaving for what felt like 5 minutes, and just looked deep into my eyes. I've never experienced a more intense or meaningful "thank you" like that before.
Even though we set out with a plan and a goal, sometimes our Heavenly Father has more important things waiting for us. So when we think that things are going wrong because they're not going according to how we planned, or expected them to go we just need to recognize the miracles taking place. Sometimes we don't realize until afterward, but it is amazing when you feel it in that moment... "Ohhhh, this is what is supposed to happen." "THIS person, is who I was supposed to talk to."
When you can recognize those things, frustration turns into patience, doubt becomes an undeniable faith that God is watching over us every step of the way.
-Elder Reyes

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