Daddy, I laughed and laughed at your mini email! haha Thanks for making sure I had something to read. And the other 2 emails were amazing. I'm printing off one and I’m TOTALLY going to use the orange analogy in a lesson out here.
So, Happy 4th of July!! Sounds like everyone had a pretty grand time. All day I was looking for an American that I could say hi and "Happy Independence Day!" but it didn't end up happening... so instead I said it to my District Leader that night! I was so excited, especially because he had forgotten! lol To celebrate our country's independence, I did the most American thing I could do in Korea... I went out for pizza and Baskin Robins! =] it was delicious! haha I even wrote myself a little "happy independence day" sign, and drew myself some fireworks. haha Not as cool as Stadium of Fire, but it was worth it! (and now that I write that I make myself sound a little pathetic hahaha it was fun though!!)
This week was, of course, a great week. This week I really learned the importance of keeping records. If y’all remember, I mentioned that when we first got to this area there weren't very many records, and the records we did have for a couple YEARS out of date. Then, when we wanted to make new records, we found that there weren't ANY forms in the house. (FYI, missionaries have teaching records for their investigators as well as a simplified progress record so you can keep track of the work, the people and the needs of the area... we had none of those). Along with those records in our Area Book, we also have a Member Book which allows us to get to know the church members in our area. To our disappointment as we studied the Member Book we realized that past missionaries had filled its pages with some unkind words and opinions of the members. Information like that does not help new missionaries, like ourselves, view some of the members with love. Needless to say, all those things NEEDED to change.... So this week the projects began!!
First, in our few weeks here we've seen the worth and the greatness of the branch members here. And because we want future missionaries to have this same love for the members, we realized the current member book needed to go! And then we realized if WE were the ones to re-write the member book, then opinions and bias might still creep onto its pages so... We are having the members make their own member book!! We made a new form for the members to fill out, with all the basic information that we need, including an introduction of the family. Who better to learn from then the family itself? My favorite box has been "describe your family in one word". It's been fun to see the families filling out this little form. Now, not only do we still get a taste of the family's personality and their strengths, but we can help future missionaries in this area to not be misguided from someone else's opinion. I think that's important to remember. There are so many opinions in the world and soo many different ideas and judgments. Instead of letting others influence your thoughts and actions, find out for yourself!! Get to know someone for yourself, and really try to see the good in them. People are so amazing!! It's been fun to see them as God sees them.
Another thing with records this week happened on Sunday. After making a blank progress record we were able to fill it out and give it to the leaders of the ward for ward council that Sunday. On the record we report about our potential investigators and the less actives of the branch that we have visited. The record was full!! There was an amazing spirit in that meeting as we looked at the names of people in this area who are in need of our help. We discussed each of them individually and made individual plans on how we can help them. The entire meeting, no matter what matter was being addressed, the members in need of rescue were remembered and were planned for. It was a complete difference from the last ward council meeting where a record wasn't present. Records truly help us remember.
Later that day as we had a lunch appointment with a member family, the mother was talking about the journals she has been keeping, in particular a Spiritual Journal. She explained her love for studying the scriptures, but there have been times when she hasn't felt much nourishment and growth from her studies as she would have wished. But she then explained that she began to keep a study/ spiritual journal. In there she would write the thoughts and impressions she received during the study time and anything else that she had learned. She soon realized that when she wrote them down the next day she would learn even more during her study time. And then, on days that were hard, she would read from this special journal and she could see all the help, guidance and comfort Heavenly Father has given her. It was amazing to hear her testimony.
Records help us remember. The progress records helped us remember those in need. The Spiritual journal helped that sister remember the Goodness of God. And the scriptures help us remember the precious truths we think we may have forgotten. In my personal study this week I learned a LOT from Helaman 5 (esp. 35-47). This chapter is truly amazing and it has a lot to do with remembering. First, the 2 missionaries in this chapter are told to remember their Names. They were named for their ancestors. They are descendants of a great and faithful heritage, and their father promises them that as they remember who they are and who they are named for then they will have the same power and blessings as their great grand fathers once had.
Later in the chapter there is an account of a man, named Abinadab, who remembered. Abinadab was once a member of God's church, but through his life and choices but fell away, and in a sense became Less- Active. In a moment when they were encircled about by, what I like to think of as the clouded darkness of the world, Abinadab was able to remember. He remembered what he had once been taught, and in the remembering he was able to help others around him see through the dark clouds of world and recognize the light and protection of the gospel fire that was surrounding them. When he remembered, and when he helped others remember that is when they all were able to experience unspeakable joy and together they were granted peace.
The world we live in is scary. It's full of filth and darkness that is blinding us from recognizing that light of the gospel that is surrounding us. I hope, like Abinadab, that we remember. We remember the truths that are inside us. We are Children of God. God loves us. God gave us Families as a Blessing, and through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which was restored by the Prophet Joseph Smith, we can be with God and our Families for all Eternity. What wonderful news!!! I love this gospel!! I love the light that it gives and I am grateful and humbled to know that I can share this light with the people of Korea.
Thanks for all the love y’all!! I promise that I feel it all the way over here in Korea!! Thank you for your wonderful examples! I remember each of you, and in that remembering I am strengthened in my purpose and desire to continue to serve. Never doubt the influence you can have on others, help them remember too!!
Till next week!!