I hope this finds you all happy and having a great time camping ... Canadian camping! When Koreans camp, they set up tents in a park and hang around for the day. When they go hiking, they get all dressed up in spotless, seemingly brand new hiking gear and walk on a trail in the city. It is quite amusing. ;)
To start, I will mention that I had some wonderful experiences this week ... First, I would like to thank Dad for the wonderful father and priesthood example he has been and is. I've had some experiences here in Korea that have really made me appreciate what a special father he is in a way that I'd never understood before. It truly is such a blessing in my life and has provided me with a clear vision of the kind of man, father and priesthood holder I want to be. Thanks dad.
I had a particular experience with the spirit this week that I deeply appreciate. As I mentioned in a previous email, I had been impressed while reading Preach My Gospel to start making a more serious effort to visit less active members. Elder DeMille and I spent the week hunting many of these people down, with absolutely no success ... not a single person we visited was home or lived where the record said anymore.
However, we had stake conference this weekend, in which President Ringwood (our area president), another general authority (whose name now escapes me), and President Morrise were all in attendance. President Ringwood, when he got up to speak, informed us of that the topic of the conference was the Work of Salvation and noted that he'd been given specific instructions directly from President Monson on what to say in this little Incheon stake, as well as whom to invite (the missionaries and all of the youth were specifically invited toevening session).
During his talk, President Ringwood stressed two major points: member missionary work and less active member reactivation. He told of several stories of wards that have been very successful in reactivating many of their less active members and testified that we would see miracles if we worked together as members and missionaries to find less active members and bring them back into the fold.
I look upon this experience with reverence and gratitude ... I suppose the Lord could have simply let me hear the instruction from President Ringwood on the importance of less active member visits, but He allowed me to experience receiving that inspiration directly for myself before the conference, and then confirmed that inspiration through President Ringwood. I have been studying lately how to be more able to understand spiritual promptings, and this was indeed a great blessing to me.
I suppose I will mention some things I learned in Preach My Gospel this week. Thank you for sharing what you've learned! I read in the first chapter, and found an additional answer to my search for the capability to understand more clearly the promptings of the spirit. I read one paragraph that stood out to me. It exhorts us to keep our expectations high. Lowering our expectations decreases our effectiveness, therefore lowering our desire, and as a result, we will have difficulty following the spirit. So, this week, I have set HIGH expectations, starting with being exactly obedient, a principle beautifully demonstrated by the stripling warriors in Alma 57:21 in the Book of Mormon. Their strict adherence to God's commandments brought miracles. I am therefore expecting the same as I strive to be exactly obedient here in the mission field.
I will cut this here, as I have some other emails I would like to answer. Love you all very much!
|These huge apartment buildings dot the landscape in Bupyeong - rows and rows of them! Bupyeong (population ~500,000) is one of ten districts in Incheon, a suburb city to Seoul.|
|Night view in humid Bupyeong.|
|Beautiful tract of green in Bupyeong!|