So, last Wednesday I rode a train to Deajeon to see off Elder Child and meet my new trainee. When I entered the room of new missionaries with all the other trainers, one of the trainees was standing up and translating for President Madsen. He was really handsome and yes, he's the one I got. His name is Hyun Kyung-Don. Upon our short introductions I learned that he is from Seoul, he's 19 but has already attended a year at BYU Hawaii and another year at BYU Provo. If you ask how, it's because he skipped high school to study for the ACT and TOEFL tests and got admitted to BYU-H when he was 17. He's fluent in English, which is a blessing and a curse because when I can't say something in Korean it's super tempting to just say it in English.
We had a crazy first day. We barely had time to dump his luggage at the apartment before running to an English teaching appointment. He flawlessly turned the English appointment into a lesson about true repentance and we got the investigator who previously only had English interest to agree to have religious discussions from here on.
We also met another potential investigator on his first day and he bore a super powerful testimony about why he chose to come on a mission. He has a really great habit of testifying in a way that makes it impossible to doubt that he believes what he is saying is true.
He is full of fire and dedication and so much humility. On our second day, we were in the middle of weekly planning and I asked him a question about an investigator. He paused and said:
"I'm so so sorry, I'm trying to focus, but I'm really hungry, I think if I ate first I will be able to focus better."
It was 7:00 and we had nothing but ramen for lunch. I forgot to feed him dinner. I'm a terrible person. He forgave me. I'm so excited to serve with Hyun Kyung-don.
I keep on re-learning principles that I've already learned before but just aren't seeming to permanently change my behavior. For instance, I absolutely must stay clean and organized or the Spirit will be restrained. My progress seems slow and sometimes I don't feel successful as a missionary. I'm almost at my year mark and it's hard to feel like I've really made an impact on Korea, but I'm I need to remember that success is conversion to the Savior. I won't be successful by working hard the way I want to work hard. I will be successful when I give Him all my heart and all my will.
I'm finally understanding how everything about the commandments and ordinances of the gospel just leads back to following Christ. We were sitting with a potential investigator who was asking what his family can do to progress and be a better family. In my mind I was screaming "get baptized and follow the commandments!" and as I was thinking about why those things bring happiness it hit me that following the commandments is just following Christ. That's what brings happiness, not just abstaining from coffee or changing behavior on a certain day of the week. It's trying to live like Christ that brings the joy of the gospel.
I know Jesus Christ lives. I know that He is the path to lasting satisfaction. I bear my testimony of this in His name, amen.
I love you,