Monday, May 21, 2012

Bring on the Tan Lines

Dearest Family,

I can hardly believe it has been a week since I heard all y’alls voices!!! It was sooo wonderful to talk with everyone.  I explained to Sister Gilbert that it felt like we were just sitting around the kitchen table, like always, laughing hysterically and swapping stories! I loved every minute of it.  When you don't talk to your family for months you're almost afraid that you won't recognize their voices... (Silly yes...) so it was such a comforting moment to realize how familiar each of you still sound.  ^^ I loved every moment!

The next day brought more family fun!! I FINALLY GOT THE PACKAGE! And letter!!  Hehe It was WONDERFUL!!  Thank you thank you thank!  The contents were so much fun.  I'm excited for the craft and the goodies. A big thanks to the primary kids and their BEAUTIFUL cards!!  I loved all of them!  And another shout out to the Belnap’s! Thank you!!  The only sad part is, I think someone stole some things.... yeah... so the package was open on one side, and on the registry on the outside mom, you wrote "hair bows", but there weren't any in there (only a super cute flower from the Belnap’s).  Sad day.  But I loved everything else! The opened part of the package was just enough for someone to slide their hand in, so for future reference you might want to put to good stuff in the middle...

We had fun this past week for sure!! With 김수진 and everything else. So, as a missionary we try and find service opportunities to do every week. Well this week was tons of fun!! haha We found an opportunity at an old person home... a BUDDHIST old person home haha.  You think English grandparents are hard to understand?!? Holy Cow!  You haven't heard Korean Grandparents talk.  Good thing I’ve perfected my nod and smile haha! It was a lot of fun; though, for the first hour we just dusted and talked to everyone.  They are always so excited to share their stories. And then the last hour we got to help feed them lunch. Me and this cute little grandma had a pretty good system worked out. She would spoon up some rice, tap the side of the metal bowl *ding ding ding* and I would use the chopsticks and place some meat on the rice. She would eat and all parties were happy haha.  It'll be fun to go back this next week.

These past two weeks with 김수진 were soooo wonderful.  These lessons leading up to her baptismal date were so tender and powerful. To see her great faith and conviction in following Christ's example, even when it was hard, was amazing.  The greatest part was she wasn't just excited to be making this choice for herself; she was more excited for the blessing that would come to her family.

This week we also saw the amazing support of the ward members. Like on Sunday, not 2 minutes after telling the bishopric about 김수진 baptismal time, did we hear the Relief Society talking about who was going to bring what food, and who would bring a gift, and who would send out invitation reminders...etc!  On Friday, after an appointment was canceled, we were invited over to a sister's house from lunch. When we showed up there were about 10 of the Relief Society sisters there, just eating and chatting and 김수진 was in the middle of them!!! We had NO idea that she would be there!!  But the RS got ahold of her number and they invited her themselves.  It was such a touching moment as a missionary to recognize that the members were just as involved in bringing people unto the Fold of God as we were.

The Baptismal service was great, definitely hard... definitely NOT as organized as my Longshore genes would have liked it to be, but the Spirit was there and that's all that matters. 김수진 looked like an angel in her white dress and I had the privilege of braiding back her hair and tying the "princess bow" on her dress. It was a special moment for sure. Everything went smoothly.  I'm always surprised on how short the actual ordinance is, but I realized that that is exactly how it needs to be. It's by Small and Simple things that Great things come to pass.  Heavenly Father's plan isn't big and flashy; it's not about presentation or ceremony.  It's simple and tender; it is easy to understand; yet there is great power behind its simple principles.

At the Baptism, 김수진 was able to bear her testimony and it was amazing to see how much her faith has grown in just a month.  I know that it's not because of anything my companion or I did, it's because she allowed to Spirit to enter into her heart, which allowed her to follow God's plan.

At the service we were able to give 김수진 the gift that we had prepared. We got her a small Bible and BoM/Triple with cases that we had made. We also gave her a picture of Christ and the Temple.  The RS gave her a large BoM/Triple and the BoM study manual that has tons of good quotes and explanations.  They also prepared some roses for her as well.  It was wonderful (and the food afterwards was delicious.)

Then, to see 김수진 again on Sunday as she was confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost was another tender moment.  It was such a spiritual moment.  It was almost as if you could see the Holy Ghost coming to stand sentinel by her side, always willing to be her companion, to guide, and warn, protect, testify and comfort, if 김수진 was willing to be worthy of His companion.  I love the Holy Ghost's companionship, and Sunday was a little reminder to me that I need to not take it for granted.

Every day I feel so humbled and blessed that, for some reason,
Heavenly Father trusts me to do His work. He trusts me enough to send wonderful souls, such as 김수진, my way and allows me the opportunity to teach them.  I love missionary work, especially missionary work in Korea!!!!!!!

So next week I don't know when my email will come, but it will be a bit late.  We have the ward picnic next week and who knows how long that will last!!  OOO and this week we have our Area General Authority Elder Ouiagi (sorry... I only know how to spell his name in Korean... and he's Japanese... hahah ya, sorry!) But Mission Tour is this week and I’m super excited to hear from him.  I'm in a small missionary choir that gets to sing for him!!

I love you all!! I miss y'all like crazy!  Take care this week!! Kiss Love Hugs!

PS Congrats to Tyler and Brookelyn and Zach and Katelyn!!!!!! Sorry I can't be there but I’m sending my love from Korea!

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