WOW!! Can you believe it is already the second month of a new year!?! I know I can't! How is everyone doing? Sounds like there are some fun plans for the Super Bowl, I hope everyone had fun getting together. I miss those family gatherings!
Well another week has gone by in the Beautiful Daegu! There were some days this last week when it really really felt like spring time and I LOVED it! Unfortunately, it took another turn for the cold.. but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the weather will be changing for good soon.
I forgot to tell y’all about my fun P-day adventure last week! We went to the the Largest Buddhist temple in Korea, and it is the one of most importance as well. (Though the name is alluding me at the moment! haha sorry!) It was absolutely beautiful. Our bishop actually took us up there, and as a special bonus for the American missionaries, he found us a guide that spoke English!! She was awesome and she let us know what everything was and what everything meant-that had to be my favorite part-finally understanding the symbolism of things.
This temple is the home of the largest Buddhist Monk University and it houses the religion's most precious library! And Gwen, you would have LOVED the 'secrets' to this library. The library is a record of the Buddhist scriptures that are written on boards of wood. There are 80,000 pieces of wood, and each piece has 642 characters written on them. They are considered to be the most perfect record. Every monk that wrote on the plates had to pray and bow to Buddha before they wrote a single character, and did that every time. There is some belief that Buddha himself wrote it because the handwriting is exactly the same on all the boards. A more modern feature to this ancient temple was one of the temples houses Korea's oldest Buddhist statue. But the temple was HIGH TECH! It constantly measured the humidity and temperature, and if at any point it detected that the buildings where on fire, the Buddha would be send 6 feet underground to be protected. I'll have to share later all the other cool things I learned, but it was really neat to be able to go there and understand a little bit more about this religion that is such a huge part of Korean culture.As for the work, things are going great!! We are still doing a lot of tracting and proselyting and it’s going great! We've had some pretty neat experiences with the kind people of Korea!! This past week we were coming back from a visit, and we were taking a bus we've never been on before. Well, when in doubt, ask for directions, right!?! I had been talking to my companion in English, but I needed to know where to go so I asked the boy in front of us where the nearest Subway stop was at and where we needed to go. He quickly told us that it was the upcoming bus stop, so we got off really fast. When we got off and started walking I soon realized that he had told us the wrong stop... Luckily I'd been down that road before, so we made our way in the general direction of the stop.
As we walked a little ways, there was the boy again, coming our way. He came up to us and apologized profusely because he told us the wrong stop! He said he was surprised by Americans speaking in Korea, and he got confused. This boy has gotten off at the next stop and came to find us so that he could fix his mistake. We walked together to the Subway stop and we shared our message and got his number. He was SO NICE!! And it was so kind of him to go out of his way to make sure we didn't get lost. We're referring him to the Elders, and I'm excited to see what happens.
There are a few more stories like that this week, and I'm excited to see how things go! One student I talked to on the Subway texted us first, said that she read the pamphlet and proceeded to tell us all that she had learned about Christ, and she seems excited to be able to learn more.
I think of all these experiences and I'm grateful for Dad's perspective in his last email. He said that baptisms will mean nothing if there is not something deeper within. That is something that my companion and I have been trying to remind the members of here in this area. They are too focused on getting people into the water, that they forget to bring them closer to Christ. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father's method is always one of progression and growth, constant development and not just a singular moment or goal.
At our district meeting this week, Elder Han was talking about "ARISE". He shared a story about the Savannah's and how the lion and the antelope wake up in the morning running to survive. He said that as missionaries, we were awakened when we were set apart as missionaries, and now is the time to arise. Go up, Go forward. He said that if we wanted blessings withheld from us, then all we need to do is stay absolutely still. I loved that. I'm already awake, the sun is up, but am I running? Am I going forward? I'm grateful that every day brings a new day to improve and go higher.
I love missionary work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Like...A LOT!! It's so fun, and hard, and funny and worth every moment of it! Thanks for all of you love and support and prayers. The missionaries in the world can't do it with out them.
I miss you all! And I love you more!
kiss love hugs
Till next week! Be safe, be good, and behave!