Hello!!! How is everyone doing?? Thanks for y’alls letters this week! Seems like things are going great for everyone. Crazy to think that we have just ushered in a new year!! 2013!! As Korean tradition goes, everyone goes up a year in age at the New Year...so between my American age of just turning 22, my Korean age of 23 last year, and now my new age of 24 this year, I'm feeling like time is going really really really fast. But it'll be fun to say that in my life I was 23 and 24 TWICE! Lol
Some other moments that hit me a little hard and made me realize how fast time was going by was the fact that this past Friday was my ONE YEAR mark as being a Set-Apart missionary and this Friday, the 11th, will be my ONE YEAR mark as a missionary with a name tag. I can't really comprehend it and I don't really like it, but I had some really neat moments this past week that have given me a new perspective.
For the past transfer I have been trying to meet an investigator that was taught by my companion and her pervious companion. Her name is Kiran. She in from Nepal and is here with her husband and family while her husband goes to school. Because of the holidays and her preparing to return to Nepal, we have been unable to meet. Christmas day I was able to send her some Season’s Greetings with a message telling her that we loved her and that we were praying for her and her family. She replied with “thanks” and told us that she knew that only God could send the missionaries. It was a sweet message. But as things would turn out that ended up being our last communication with Kiran.
On New Year’s Day, we sent her another salutation and said we could meet during the week if that would work better. Not a minute later, a reply came back saying the number had been disconnected and was no longer in use. My companion and I kinda freaked out and we cleared our schedule for the next day so we could head out to her house. We got there and there was no reply...we couldn't call her...There was no sign that anyone lived there anymore...All we can assume is that her plans to return to Nepal in February were moved up.
I have never met Kiran, but I loved her from the beginning. Just hearing about her from my companion and how the other teaching lessons had gone, I was SO excited to meet her and teach her myself. My companion recalls the first time that she met Kiran and in stumbled English, apologized for not being able to communicate very well. Kiran's reply was quick and full of love. She told her it would be ok because they would be able to communicate heart to heart. As we left Kiran's house my heart just sunk. With every car that passed, every person that walked by, my heart would call out, "Are you Kiran?... Are you Kiran?.. Are you the one I get to teach about God's love and your divine potential? Are you Kiran?" The hour bus ride home, I thought about that question a lot... "Are you Kiran?" Specifically the answer is "No", but generally the answer is "Yes". Everyone here in Korea, everyone in the world, is “Kiran”. They are a beloved Child of God who is in need of the message I bear. The same excitement I had to share this message with someone I had never met is the same excitement I can have with everyone on the street, everyone I pass by. When I ask the question in my heart, "are you Kiran?," the answer can always be a resounding “Yes”. I will forever be grateful for Kiran and the lesson I learned from her. I know that as she returns to Nepal, and she continues to search for Heavenly Father, He will find her. Kiran helped me begin this near year with a new perspective.
The next learning moment came on Friday as we did a 10 min member lesson. Sister Bek is the mother of 5, with the 6th of the way. Her husband is not a member. The stories of her strength of character and spirit and example could go on and on and on... but today I learned a particular lesson from her.
My companion and I have been talking about how we want to go back to the beginning of our missions! Back when there was more time, back when we had the drive and desperate prayers of a new missionary. I was thinking about that a lot, and during the lesson Sister Bek said something interesting. She said that many times in our lives we wish to go back, or to redo something, or to start again; but those thoughts tell Father in Heaven that we are not trusting in His plan and who He is creating us to be. In this life we will go through ups and downs, we will have great times and hard times, and time that we will need to change through the Atonement of Christ. But if we always bring ourselves back to the straight and narrow pathway, then those moments of trial will ALWAYS be for our benefit and good. They will be moments that Heavenly Father included in our personal Plan of Salvation because they are the moments of refinement that help us become who we are. So my thoughts have changed. I don't want to become a new missionary, I want to be THIS missionary who has chosen today to go down the path that Heavenly Father has created for me. I have chosen to be the missionary that trusts in the Lord, trusts in the Spirit, and trusts in what God is creating her to become. I chose to follow Him and I choose to go forward, not backwards.
I'm grateful for the timing of the new year and the opportunity we have to evaluate and make ourselves accountable, both personally and to the Lord. There are going to be a lot of endings and beginnings for me this year of 2013, but I'm excited for each of them.
Thank you, to everyone, for all your prayers and support, love and kindness. I need your strength and I feel in every week. I love missionary work!!! I love it. I love it. I love it SO MUUUCHHH!!! Hehe
OH!! Funny moment this week!! I was at a member's house for dinner and we were looking through old pictures when all of a sudden the face of Josh Brereton was there on the page!...but wait! That can't be Josh! haha It was Brother (Elder) Brereton! Back when missionaries had "mission moms" that cooked and cleaned for them, this Sister was Brother Brereton's mission mom!! So fun!! I took pictures of the pictures, so I'll send those home as soon as I can. It was a fun little experience lol The sister is 소경자 (So Gyeong Ja).
AND this past week was like Christmas Part 2!! I got packages from the Girls, and the Martineau’s and Carlson’s! Thank you notes are coming, but snail mail is slow. I just wanted to tell y’all thanks!! Really, the packages were wonderful!!!! =] And Mom and Dad, I got the Christmas letter from y’all...not a fan of my pictures lol! But I LOVE the black and white ones of y’all at Tyler and Brooklyn's wedding! Oh my goodness! I have the cutest parents in the world!! Hehe
LOVE YALL!! Talk to you next week! The email we be later...it's a transfer day. Calls come this week!!
OH fun fact, by May we will have 110 missionaries here!! In 3 transfers there are 10 new sisters coming!!! AHH!!! That means pretty much EVERYONE here will be training at the same time! so fun!!