Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Week Nineteen

Dear People,

Two baptismal dates! Both this Sunday! Baek Ji Yoon, the golden sister that called because she met an LDS tour-guide at the Grand Canyon, was delivered into our hands. I couldn't make up a hypothetical person that was more prepared than she is. Last night we met and talked about the commandments and temples. She said in her prayer at the end that she wants to go to the temple. She also texted us several times later that day talking about miracles happening in her life that she is associating with meeting with us, so that's always a plus.
The other baptism also just fell into our hands, Jung Soong Hwan is 16, he's been coming to church off and on for the last few years, his sister is a member so everyone kind of just assumed he had been baptized too, but he hasn't, so we've been going through all the lessons with him and he's accepting like a champion, hopefully he'll get his parents to start coming to church again.

Fun fact, it's totally normal for Korean guys to wear makeup! Yup. Eyeliner mostly, but also lip-stuff sometimes. It's super awkward! Yay. It seems that the more feminine you are, the more attractive you are.

I am super good at having no hope that investigators are going to keep commitments, because I look at it from their position and know that I would be too proud to listen.

 I have always felt smug that I'm a generally faithful/spiritual sort of guy, I've felt pretty special sometimes, but I've realized that I know exactly the kind of person I would be if I wasn't born into the church with my exact circumstances. I cannot imagine my personality accepting the gospel by any other way than the way it was spoon fed to me. Our investigators have so much faith, Korean members have so much faith. I really didn't have to do anything to gain the testimony that I have and that is humbling. They've had to do everything.  I feel like God knew I wouldn't make it in any other way than if He pampered me up to this point. I am so blessed, I have freely received and now I must freely share this gift. Everything I have is from Him, so I can't keep anything to myself.

The church is so true it blows my mind. Everything makes sense. The is a concrete answer for ever gospel question. Teaching strengthens your testimony more than anything because you have to relearn concepts how your investigators would learn them and you have to answer questions that you have never asked yourself.

I blessed the sacrament for the first time in Korean this week. I had to define a bunch of words so it made me really think about the words which is always a good thing. During that sacrament meeting I felt something similar to being in the temple. Being in the temple and taking the sacrament are a couple of the few times when nothing else in the world matters. "a rest from all troubles, care, and sorrow" 

Every time you teach an investigator, ideally you would update their "Teaching Record" it keeps track of what they are learning, how they are accepting and keeping commitments. The more detailed the better. Sadly missionaries often neglect using teaching records or the Area Book unless something super important happens. When they don't use these tools they are wasting their time, future missionary's time, and the Lord's time, because we aren't building onto other missionaries work. I made a sweet recognition the other day that my journal is my personal teaching record! I love my journal, it helps me not repeat the same mistakes (as often). If I don't have anything to write in my journal, that's a good wake up call that I need to be more aware of myself and what I am spending my thought on all day.

So in case you are trying to learn to write Korean and you are left-handed, just give up. It's impossible. You have to learn to write with your right hand. I've been only writing with my right hand for the last two weeks. I don't know why my kindergarten teacher didn't force me out of being left handed, it makes life so much easier to write with your right hand.

Sometimes I think about how appealing a worldly lifestyle may be with the fancy ladies, and green tea, and not paying tithing, but my life is good! Really good! I get to wake up every morning, at 6:30AM and read some books, every day, for the rest of my life. It's fantastic! I love it. 

Keep reading general conference talks! Keep repenting!

-Elder Brown
We accidentally bought a ton of green tea icecream and had to separate it from the mint..

Korean "Bang"

 Baek Ji Yoon (with a picture of the Seoul temple in the back but you can't see it)

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