Sunday, 3 October 2010

Week 13 in Korea!

Transfer calls came...
And I'm staying here in Siheung for at least one more transfer! Which is great, because now two of our investigators have baptismal dates. Last Monday was the longest day ever, waiting for that call. It takes a while to adjust to a new companion, and I'm sure it would take even longer adjusting to a new area. But I'm glad that I get to stay. My bishop was super excited as well when we got to tell him the good news. I was so convinced I was going (after hearing some stuff through the grapevine) that I even started packing. Now my stuff is just really organized.
This week was a week of baking. There's a basket in the church that people put food in for the missionaries. And the last couple of Sundays, we've had an epidemic of apples put in that basket. Like... more than two people could possibly eat. My companion had a recipe for apple bread, and we just got rid of all the apples by baking apple bread and giving half a batch to all the members in our ward.
Brown sugar here is pretty fake, and butter is ridiculously expensive. Even margarine is super expensive. We ended up getting what my companion called "fake margarine." I didn't think that was possible, but when we used it, I saw just how bad it was. It was like working with clay, not butter. It's gross, but amazingly it tastes great in the apple bread. it just melts anyway.
So we've been putting a lot more focus on building stronger relationships with the members, (the bread was part of that), and we've seen so many blessings from doing that. It's weird though, because they all seem indirect, but I know that it's because we are showing our appreciation to the members we do have, miracles are being put into our path.
We were able to visit less actives that, before, were "never there" or really were never there. We visited a family that lived in by far the nicest/biggest apartment and apartment complex that I've seen here (it was more like a luxury hotel: gym, outdoor theater, fountains that are Vegas-style etc.) The son sat with us as we talked to the mom, and she just happens to be from the same hometown as my companion. The daughter refused to come out of her room when the mom asked her to. It was great talking to the mom, but I felt a real disconnect with the kids. As we were leaving, the mom opened the daughter's room (which is bigger than our entire apt) and told her to come out and say bye to us. She didn't. But when the mom opened the door, i noticed a piano in her room. So I asked, "Who plays piano?" The mom said the daughter did, and asked if I wanted to play something. I said "Sure." I came in, the daughter was in the corner reading a book, and I asked if it was ok. Then i played "Don't look back in anger." The kids absolutely freaked out, and loved it. The mom said "they'll never forget that." We left, and the daughter came out and really excitedly said bye to us, and the son, sniffling with a cold said, "See you next time!"
We were street boarding on friday, and this kid came up to me and said, " I belong to your church." It took me awhile to recognize him. He got baptized by my old companion earlier this year and went almost instantly inactive. It had been a real regret for my former companion, and his companion at the time (who is now the Zone Leader.) They both always talked about him,and had even visited him before, and he told them to not visit. So just the fact that he came up to us was a miracle in and of itself. But we told him to come to the church the next day, and we'd play some ping pong. He did, and we just talked mostly about just everyday stuff. No pressure. But when he was leaving he said, "I'll be at church tomorrow."
Yesterday, he was there! And so was one of the less actives we visit constantly. Then after church, we visited one of our active members. Her kids went inactive, and her husband wants nothing to do with the church. He literally slammed the door in our faces just a month ago when we visited and she wasn't there.
This time we were dropping off some Liahonas, and when he answered the door, we were a little scared. But we came in and talked to the wife for a little bit. She started to pack up some food for us as a thank you, and then all of a sudden the husband asks, "So, tell me what's different about your church." My companion and I looked wide eyed at each other, and preceded to teach the first lesson. I think the wife just kept packing more food for us so we could teach her husband longer, we left with two ginormous bags of food, when I think she was just gonna give us a box of Kimchi to begin with.
Amazing things happen when you show appreciation for what you have been given, instead of being upset over what you don't have. When you are truly grateful for what you do have, then God will give you more.
-Elder Reyes

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