Sunday, November 24, 2013


*Translation: "Suddenly...Investigators!" It sounds cuter in Korean though because there's alliteration! :)

This week, by far, has been the craziest week of my mission. So. Many. Things. But let's begin with a story...

Right after I emailed last week, my companion and I decided to hang out in the place we email a little longer and eat some lunch. As we went to sit down in the corner of the cafe carrying our over-priced sandwiches and our Book of Mormons, I noticed a woman sitting alone, avidly reading the book laid before her. Since I myself enjoy a good book now and then, I leaned closer and narrowed my vision in a effort to get a peek at the title. (Yes, I realize I was being nosy, but I did it for the sake of good literature). To my surprise, even the title wasn't visible, I recognize the book she was reading--leather-bound cover, tabs on the side...Most definitely the Bible.

You know that feeling you get when you realize you probably should do something, but you really,really don't want to? Your heart starts pounding and your armpits start sweating? Yeah, that was me. I knew, as a missionary, I need to do something.--introduce myself, give her a Book of Mormon, just something. But I also knew that whatever I said would probably be awkward, would probably be grammatically incorrect, and that whatever she said back I would probably not be able to understand. But it didn't matter. I was a missionary. And I knew if I did nothing, then I would be a mouse. I did not want to be a mouse.

So I said a quick prayer and quietly began to eat my over-priced sandwich, promising myself that before my companion and I left, I would say something to the woman reading the Bible. As I ate, I read my emails from my camera. The first one I flipped to was from my old roommate Karen, who is currently serving her mission in Calgary, Canada. Can you guess what it was about? Being afraid about opening you mouth and sharing the gospel with strangers. Coincidence? I think not. Karen had the same hesitation, the same heart-pounding, nagging feeling--but she knew what she was, who she represented, and what she need to do. So she opened her mouth and let words come out. (Go, Karen!) 

But this point, I knew there was no getting out of this. I had said a prayer for courage and almost immediately, my prayer was answered. I knew what I needed to do. Now I just needed to do it. So I opened my mouth and silently prayed that intelligible Korean words would come out of it. I turned to the Bible-reading woman and asked the first thing that came to mind, "Perchance, are you reading the Bible?" (I promise it sounded way less awkward in Korean. I think.) 

The woman gave a start and looked up at me. I smiled and carried on.
"We're missionaries! We love the Bible!"
Her face broke into a returning smile and my companion helped me take it from there. We talked about our religions, we gave her a card and that was that. She returned to her Bible and we returned to our sandwiches and I was content.

Well, almost.
I knew there was one other thing I could do. Over the course of our conversation we had talked about how we read the Bible and the Book of Mormon together, for they support and complete each other. Here she was, reading the Bible and here I was...with a Book of Mormon. But, by now, it was time to go. I knew I needed to act fast. So I as I gathered my things to leave, I turned to the woman one more time and offered her the Book of Mormon.
She accepted it.

And then, because I was relieved that she had take the book and so proud that I had had the courage to give it to her (and also just because her sweater looked really, really soft) I awkwardly asked, in English this time, "Can I hug you?" 
She accepted.:)

And thus began the week of miracles. This week we found not one, not two, but six new investigators. And even though none of them were this woman we met a week ago, I know that Heavenly Father saw our efforts at the beginning of the week (and for the past two transfers) and so blessed us for the remainder of the week. Even if it wasn't quite in the way we imagined.

And, by far, our biggest miracle has been 오다은. She's 11 and she is wonderful.Her mom dropped her off at English class this Saturday, she came to church to watch the Primary Program with us this Sunday, she ended up being in  the Primary Program,  had a lesson with us and one of her new friends in the ward, after church, and now has a baptismal date for December 8th. 

I guess this week especially, I've seen how very much God is mindful of us. He sees our struggles and He sees our efforts and I know that,if we trust Him and are patient, He will lead us to where we need to go.
He knows us. He loves us.

And I know that, if we seek Him, we can know Him too.
I love you all.

Sister Abba.

Sydney and the big stone lion, last week we had Mushu, remember?
This is how you advertise for English class.
Enjoying a rice burger or as Sydney calls it, the greatest creation ever!

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