Monday, January 2, 2017

Week Fourteen: Fish Alex

Dear People,

Alex (Shauna's note: Alex lived with us for five years like a member of our family. Jay stayed with his family for a while in the summer before 6th grade) and his mom drove all the way from Seoul on Wednesday and picked us up from our apartment to go to lunch. In my poor Korean I tried to express how sorry I was for how awful of a little kid I was in 6th grade, but she wouldn't have it, she said in her broken English that she didn't know how else she could thank my Mom. She took us to a ridiculously expensive restaurant and ordered $170 worth of fancy beef for the four of us. Later she took us to Korea's Walmart-equivalent "Lotte Mart" and started throwing things in the shopping cart for us despite our protests. She was talking to us in a "Mom low-form." We had suddenly both become her children. She bought us way too much stuff. My companion was loving it. Alex hasn't changed a bit, we caught each other up, It was awesome finally understanding them speaking in Korean to each other.  

The Church is in good hands. The missionary program is perfect, if all of us would just follow Preach my Gospel and use the tools we have been given, the church's progress would double. 

Because of the tools I've been given I know exactly what God expects me to be doing at any given moment, I just have to decide to do it. I'm really really bad at that second part, but whenever I ignore promptings I feel sick. Little by little I am going to get there.  Everyone can know what He wants us to be doing at any given second, we just have to decide to listen.

Attention all English speakers: The Book of Mormon in English is light reading compared to the behemoth that is the Korean Book of Mormon, understanding the Book of Mormon for Koreans is like learning a new language. There is not a sentence in it that is written the way a Korean would write it because it has to contain all the same meaning as the English. These amazing members read it anyway and gain so much from it even though it's hard. Read the Book of Mormon.

Everyone is super jealous of our area because we have 9 INVESTIGATORS! only about four of them have good potential, but we have 9 people that are totally cool with coming out to the church and talking to us about religion. That is unheard of in this area. I feel so inadequate, I hope that I'll be able to have something like this again by the end of my mission at a point where I can understand and say everything that I want to, but for know I am just feeling really grateful and am working to fill the shoes I've been given.

Miracle this week: On Saturday a woman called us asking what time church would start the next day because she wanted to attend. Apparently she went on a trip to see the national parks in the US and her Grand Canyon tour guide was a member. He was a champion and he talked to her about the church so now she's back in Korea and wants to learn more. Thank you tour guide for opening your mouth. She came to church yesterday and got to listen to my super broken talk about missionary work. 

Hopefully she wasn't too weirded-out by our members who were wetting their pants with excitement about a new face in Gunsan Ward and telling her about how we don't practice polygamy any more. I love them.

The English Book of Mormon talks about being an "instrument" in the the hands of God, and I've always loved that that can be like a tool instrument or a musical instrument, but Koreans have a different word for musical instrument, so the Korean Book of Mormon just says "tool". Boring. Either way that is such a cool analogy. Be submissive to The Master. Why would we do anything else? He knows what will make us happy, don't fight your personal happiness. That's just silly.

I love you all, and I love this work, keep doing the little things!

-Elder Brown

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