Sunday, November 3, 2013

Miracle of Miracles

Because of daylight savings time, we are now 14 hours behind Sydney.  This is a good thing because we get her letters earlier.  Korea does not observe daylight savings.   I sent Sydney many of the nice comments people send to me on email and the comments on the blog.   Sydney loves to hear anything from her friends and family.  Any mail is a welcome sight to a missionary.  Thanks to all who have been so supportive and loving.  

An Exclamatory Statement. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MADDS!!! I hope your birthday was filled with magic and gladness and birthday wonder. I'm glad you liked my package. Love you, sweetie.

An Exciting Announcement. So, every Monday morning at 7:30 our whole mission has a conference call in which we share miracles and listen to any announcements from our mission president. This morning, President Shin made the very exciting announcement that, in December, reporters and photographers and what-have-you from the New York Times are coming to our mission to do an article about the work of sister missionaries here in the Daejeon Mission!. Is that not strange, random, and exciting?! All my companion and I could do was look at each other blankly and say, "Why?"

Who knows. 

But still, it's exciting! Apparently they did a similar story about elder missionaries in Uganda a couple of years ago. All I know is that fancy newspaper people our coming to our under-dog, forgotten mission in the middle of Korea and I'm excited about it. :)

All the Things I Keep Forgetting. I realized this week that I haven't talked a lot about investigators or lessons or any of the other experiences that one normally associates with missionary work. The truth of the matter is, we haven't really had too many. In fact, thus far, I've pretty much told you all there is to tell. My area is just now getting into missionary work, so investigators have been a bit, how should i say this, scarce. Actually, scratch that--non-existent. Non-existent may be a better word. Luckily, I have a terribly clever mission president who has presented our mission with a program that is beginning to counter-act the problem of a lack of teaching appointments. Instead of filling all our extra time with only proselyting, President Shin has set up a program in which missionaries arrange to meet with the members of their ward and teach them one of the six lessons in PMG for twenty minutes. The members are to pretend to be investigators and to ask us lots of questions while we're teaching so that we can 1. practice answering difficult questions, 2. practice teaching the missionary lessons, 3. speak Korean, 4. strengthen the faith of the members, and 5. build stronger relationships with them. It's also a great way to get referrals because, as we teach the members, they really begin to understand what missionaries do and then are far more comfortable referring us to their friends. Brilliant, no? So, even though I haven't had much to report investigator-wise, our ward is really starting to get behind member-missionary work and I feel so blessed to have been able to teach in the homes of every single one of the members of my ward. My love for them has truly grown, as has my desire to work harder and become a better missionary, for I want all the best for this incredible ward.

This week especially, our ward really pulled together in an effort to increase member missionary work. On Saturday, we had a Dessert Party for the youth and almost all of our Young Men and Young Women brought their friends! Our bishop's daughter even brought four! It was wonderful and I truly began to see what an important strength the youth of the Church are. As the Dessert Party finished, my companion and I were able to talk to all of the Young Women and the friends they had brought. Many of them agreed to start coming to our English class and, miracle of miracles, one of them is now our new investigator! In fact, that very night, we met with her and the member who had brought her to the Dessert Party and we taught the Plan of Salvation!


But the good things don't end there! Over the course of these twenty minute visits with our members, Sister Lee and I have been focusing especially on some of our less-active members. We wanted to help one sister in particular, as she a four-year old daughter and six-month old twins, and the only thing that's really stopping her from coming to church is getting her and her children to up and ready by herself. Unfortunately, we didn't have time this week to stop by her house and formally arrange a way for her to get to church, but then, in the middle of sacrament meeting, miracles of miracles, in she hurriedly walked, with one baby strapped to her front, one baby strapped to her back, and her little four-year old trailing behind. As soon as she sat down, the members of my incredible ward each took one of her children to hold and she was able to get up during the meeting and to bear her testimony. And in addition to her, two of our other less actives came to church as well--I've never seen our sacrament meeting so full! 

In D&C 121:9, it says, "Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands." How that perfectly describes my ward here and my dear Cranberry ward back at home. This is truly a Church of families and I feel so blessed to be apart of two incredible ward families, both here in Korea and back in little Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania.

I thank you all for every word of kindness, love, and encouragement you send my way.
I love you all so much.

Sister Abba.
This is Sydney's costume.  She was Snow White, kind of.  

It's fall in Korea too.  

Giant leaves are exciting, I guess. 

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