Sunday, January 22, 2017

Week Sixteen

If you're ever sad, just know that this puppy is probably more sad.​

Dear People,
The woman that called us because she met an LDS tour-guide came to church again yesterday for Testimony Meeting. I didn't understand everything that people were bearing testimony of, so I was just praying the whole time that they would say good stuff and that she would feel the Spirit. By a miracle, the youth had just come home from a three day nation-wide youth conference sort of thing, so all 6 of our youth bore beautiful testimonies. When Cho Hyeon Suk, a 17 year old priest, broke down on the stand a little bit while sharing some spiritual experience and our investigator started crying! Yeeess! She was also couldn't even sing during the closing song because she was so emotional.  I love the youth of the church so much! There is absolutely no way any other 17 year old Korean boy would do something like that. The gospel of Jesus Christ changes human nature. 

After sacrament meeting she was asking about the Word of Wisdom and informed us that she already decided to stop drinking coffee for some reason earlier in her life... So yeah she's pure gold. He son is middle school age and she knows he doesn't have a real purpose. She knows this is special, and wants her family to be like these strong little families in the church.

I'm so glad I get to stay in Gunsan to see these miracles. Whenever I come to church I'm so stressed and I expect all these people to apostasize at any moment. Our poor bishop has served as bishop for over 20 years. Being a bishop for 20 years takes more than 20 years from your life-span. It's about six times harder to live the gospel in Korea than Utah. The church seems so fragile until something like yesterday happens and you are reminded who is running this show. This is not a church of the world. This is not our work. It's His work, He'll hasten it in His time, and it will roll forth boldly and nobly until it fills the world. God is the orchestrator. The Spirit works here the same way He does anywhere else. 

We met with a Canadian woman who wants to learn Korean. She had some misconceptions about Mormons that I've never heard of before. She thought ever single member was paired up like missionaries were and couldn't leave sight of each other... It was super awkward trying to explain that that's not a thing...

Elder Benefiel: "When I go home I won't do this anymore.. I'll walk to school by myself... wear earphones and stuff..."
Elder Brown: "Yeah, like at home my family is totally normal... they aren't.. like that.."

She looked super skeptical. We totally made it look like we were hiding something. She's also Lesbian and I don't know if she knows the church's stance on that.. She will be fun to teach.

I try to put my self in the shoes of people who don't believe there is a God, but I can't. It doesn't seem possible. I was trying to think of why I have such a strong conviction. It was almost surprising to acknowledge that I have no recall-able memories of seeing God. I haven't heard his physical voice or felt his physical body, so why I feel the lingering warmth of His arms around me? Why do I always feel that light feeling you get after having a deep conversation with someone? It's the little things that have built up throughout my life, the habits that my parents helped instill in me that let spiritual experiences build up on each other until my testimony cannot be broken.

I know God lives. I know Jesus Christ lives, suffered for me, and is always waiting to help me up. I love the companionship of the Holy Ghost when I am worthy of it. I know the Book of Mormon is true and that the gospel was restored through Joseph Smith, and I know that Thomas S. Monson is God's chosen prophet and holds the keys of the kingdom today.

I love being out here. I feel so unhelpful and inadequate most of the time, but I am growing and am not discouraged at all. I want to be exactly obedient, I want to open my mouth to everyone, I want to be God's instrument, and as long as that is my desire, I will be ok. I will get there. I love you all so much, keep doing the little things!

-Elder Brown

P.S. It's ridiculously cold.

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