Happy Birthday tomorrow, Dad! Thanks for the great example and inspiration you have been through my maturing years, especially now, on my mission. I quite enjoyed your email this week, as I felt it was perhaps exactly what I needed to hear at this point in my mission. I can relate to the lack of faith that unfortunately sometimes is stimulated by a lack of visible success! I still work hard, but as you mentioned, there are times when I find myself simply going through the motions, not really expecting to see any baptisms.
Additionally, I sometimes discover, after some self evaluation that my personal missionary purpose becomes distorted to "helping Elder Higham learn Korean," as opposed to helping others come unto Christ. Learning Korean is indeed a worthy endeavor here in Korea, but it definitely should not become more of a priority than sharing the gospel. So, thank you!
I can't wait for conference!! We do, in fact, have to wait another week, before we can watch it with our ward. Elder Anderson and I had to print off a conference talk on the computer for a ward member yesterday and we opened lds.org to see a great big announcement, urging us to "watch conference live." Needless to say, my self discipline was tested.
Speaking of General Conference, I recall mom talking about the Korean children singing in the General Women's broadcast and have a bit of information to add that you might find interesting. Those were the children in the 영등포 (yeoungdungpo) ward, the ward in which Elder DeMille now currently serves. They sang in the giant 영등포 building, where we have all of our mission conferences, so I have been exactly where those kids were, many times!
I want a Korean companion! Now, don't misinterpret my expression; I do sincerely enjoy working with Elder Anderson! I have learned so much from him and have thoroughly enjoyed the time I have spent serving with him! But, transfers are coming up and I will have finished training him, so it is likely that we will part ways ... in the which case I want a Korean companion!
This fresh zeal was born Wednesday, as I went on exchanges with 김재겸, who having formerly served as assistant to President Morrise, now serves as zone leader in our 인천 zone. I quite enjoyed speaking Korean with him for two days; he is quite a proficient English speaker, but I didn't let him speak any English! He is going home next transfer, so he has had his time to learn English from the foreign missionaries! :) This glimmer of hope for a Korean companion is, however, simply a glimmer at best, since after I jokingly suggested to President Morrise that I should get a Korean companion sometime, he responded that it would likely not happen... But, I still have hope!
I did have an interesting experience with Elder 김 (Kim), however, that I would like to include. Last week, we received a less active couple as a referral from some sister missionaries serving in another area. For some reason, we completely forgot to visit them, until Wednesday evening, when I was suddenly enlightened to the fact that we had not visited them yet. I told Elder Kim, who, upon seeing the name, eagerly expressed that the sister we were to visit was actually in his MTC 동기 (I'm not sure exactly how that translates) ... they went to the MTC at the same time and were in the same district.
Apparently, she married shortly after she got off her mission, then became less active. Elder Kim had the chance to see her and talk to her, friend to friend, about some of her concerns and share with her a talk that he just happened to have in his backpack, which addressed her concerns perfectly! That experience should not have happened! Indeed, the hand of God was visible, testifying to His presence and 감리 in this, His work.
This week I spent a significant portion of my studies in Preach My Gospel learning about the role of the Book of Mormon in conversion and missionary work. We discovered that several members of our ward struggle to feel the spirit and garner testimonies of the gospel. All of these members without exception are not reading the Book of Mormon daily.
I read a talk from Ezra Taft Benson, who quoted President Marion G. Romney in his exhortation to read the Book of Mormon: "I feel certain that if, in our homes, parents will read from the Book of Mormon, prayerfully and regularly, both by themselves and with their children, the spirit of that great book will come to permeate our homes and all who dwell therein. The spirit of reverence sill increase; mutual respect and consideration for each other will grow. The spirit of contention will depart. Parents will counsel their children in greater love and wisdom. Children will be more responsive and submissive to the counsel of their parents. Righteousness will increase. Faith, hope, charity - the pure love of Christ - will abound in our homes and lives, bringing in their wake peace, joy and happiness."
For some reason, I felt I wanted to share that. Love you all and hope you have a great week!
|Pday bike ride for the missionaries ... we loved it!|
|Elder Anderson and I in his selfie!|