She's been on her mission for almost seven months, she's originally from Seoul (honestly I have yet to find a Korean missionary who isn't originally from Seoul), and I think she's just the bee's knees. Despite the minor problem that is our language barrier, we get along so well. I don't know if it's because we can only half understand each other or because we're actually kindred spirits, but we're always laughing and singing and sharing the gospel and having a grand old time. This week, during a particularly cold and disheartening walk through the wind and snow, she asked me to teach her the lyrics to "Call Me Maybe." She keeps me smiling and happy through my depressed missionary days.
A Bit More About My Ward.
Everyone is related! It's crazy. The entire ward is just one tangled mess of siblings and parents and cousins and I'm not really sure I'll ever be able to work out who is related to whom. But regardless of this ward's confusing family tree, they all are lovely. They're so excited to have another set of sister missionaries added to their family and they've already done so much for us. Heated blankets, bread, milk, cereal...this ward has provided it all. We may never have to go grocery shopping again.
A Bit More About Our Investigators.
We have three of them! All live in the other city we're assigned to, Sejong, and...well, it's been kind of a struggle for me to...love them. I know, I know, missionaries are supposed to love everyone and be generally kind-hearted, wonderful people and maybe I just fail as a missionary but, I'm not gonna lie, sometimes I struggle with loving my investigators. All three of them were found through the 30/30 English program and, as with most English investigators, their primary objective is, well, to learn English.
[Sidenote: I HATE TEACHING ENGLISH. Once, in days gone by, I toiled with the idea of living in a foreign country and being an English teacher. Yeah, not anymore. I have never felt moreused than when I have tried my hardest to be a good missionary and share the gospel, but instead am reciprocated with investigators whose only interest is English. So frustrating.]
Anyway, angry rant aside, I knew I needed to find a way to love these people and so I prayed really hard this week to try and love my investigators and to have the opportunity to sharesomething with them that would spark in them an interest about the gospel.
Since all our investigators are pretty young (ages nine and thirteen) my companion and I came prepared to simply teach them the Christmas story. As we spoke to these little children about the birth of Christ, I could see that their interest was sparked. They hung on our every word and even asked questions as we explained the miraculous birth of the baby Jesus and the real meaning of Christmas. And as I spoke of Christ, I finally felt love for them. Real, overwhelminglove and I was so grateful for my Savior who had helped me see that we need only to teach of Him and He will take care of the rest. His love and His message will change the hearts of our investigators. And it will change our hearts too.
For even Jesus taught, "Bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you." (Matthew 5:44)
I don't feel used anymore. I feel privileged. Privileged to be welcomed into the homes of the people here, to serve them through teaching English, and to love them by sharing the glorious message of the birth, life, and ministry of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
I love you all.