*When I say "Deep Throat," I'm making an All the President's Men reference. Her voice wasn't deep. Now you know.
This week began with a referral from the 번부, or the mission office. We just call it The Boo. Anyway, referrals from The Boo almost never happen, so we were pretty darn excited about this and immediately called the number we were given. The lady answered, we'll call her Choi 자매님, and we tried to set up an appointment, but she said she was busy all week. So, we promised to call her again over the weekend and that was that.
[Side note: "I'm busy" is the excuse for everything. Busy with school. Busy with farming. Busy with spending hours in a PC 방. Every time someone tells us they can't meet because they're too busy, I want to slap them upside the head with a Book of Mormon and say, "This is eternal life! No one is too busy for eternal life!"]
Fast forward to. We had tried to contact Choi 자매님 again a couple of times, but she stubbornly persisted in her busy-ness. It wasn't until afternoon, when 이지우 자매님 and I had stayed in a bit later because she had a cold and we desperately needed to update our Area Books, that she finally called us. She wanted to meet as soon as possible.
I don't think my companion and I have ever moved faster.
After forty minutes, a hurried taxi ride, and an awful lot of running, we made it to the opposite end of town and knocked on Choi 자매님's door. She answered the door holding a box of chicken wings and graciously invited us in to eat them with her. Random, right? It gets weirder. In addition to the three of us, there sat two other ladies in Choi 자매님's living room. We'll call them Deep Throat and the Lady in Black. After a few minutes of awkwardly silent chewing, during which I was trying to figure out how we had come to be there and how I was supposed to eat chicken wings with chopsticks, the lady sitting closest to me and 이지우 자매님, Deep Throat, leans over to us and whispers conspiratorially, "I've come to give you a referral."
[Second Side note: Has anyone else noticed how much my mission is like Nancy Drew novel with all these strange situations and random plot twists? Just me? Okay.]
After a few seconds of confused blinking, it finally clicked. "Oh, you're a member!"
As it turns out, she was indeed a member from Suwon, and had come to 충주 with her non-member friend (the Lady in Black) in order to visit her niece, Choi 자매님 (also not a member). She told us that her son was also serving a mission and when we asked where, she replied with a sneaky smile, "Here in 충주. He's in your district. Elder Kim. I'm his mom."
How do these crazy things keep happening?!
Anyway, after my companion and I got over our initial shock, we buckled down and taught Choi 자매님 and the Lady in Black the first lesson. It went really well. The Lady in Black was even in tears (though, sadly, she lives in Suwon, so we can't continue to teach her). But, do you know what this means? We have another new investigator! Yes! Thanks Elder Kim's mom!
Little experiences like this, almost all of my experiences here actually, remind me of the scripture in Alma 31:35 that says, "Behold, O Lord, their souls are precious, and many of them are our brethren; therefore, give unto us, O Lord, power and wisdom that we may bring these, our brethren, again unto thee." As I've been on my mission, I've come to realize how truly precious each and every one of us is to God. Going out of our way to leave notes on member's doors, saying "hello" to everyone we pass on the street, walking twenty minutes in the dark and the freezing cold just to talk the non-member son of one of our members for thirty seconds...all of these are things I do almost every day as I desperately try to show these people that they matter. They are oh-so important to us, and each of them is infinitely more precious to their Heavenly Father. God truly does love us completely and individually and as I looked into the eyes of the Lady in Black and testified to her of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, I knew that it didn't matter that I wouldn't have the opportunity to continue teaching her, that I would probably never see her again. For that brief moment, I could see that she had begun to realize God's love for her. She received her first taste of this gospel that is so beautiful and so true and I was so happy to be the one to share it with her. In that moment, I knew that her soul was precious. I felt God's love for her. And I felt God's love for me.
Every day I become more grateful to be a missionary in this country and to have the opportunity to share the beautiful message of God's love.