Sunday, December 29, 2013

Happy New Year

We have one day left of 2013. Is anyone else freaking out? I'm freaking out.

Anyway...thank you to everyone for all the lovely Christmas messages. I appreciate them more than you'll ever know. And a very special thanks this week to the Morgans and the Michaels. Your Christmas cards made it all the way to Korea! I was a very excited Sister Abba to receive them! Thank you!

This week Christmas miracles abounded! It all began Monday night when our two little nine year-old investigators suddenly called us and said that they had begged and cried enough to their parents and they had finally conceded in allowing them to come to our ward Christmas party! That's right, our investigators are begging and crying to see us. So after one very long and stressful car-ride offered by one of our angelic members, we successfully picked up our two little friends from Sejong and brought them safely to the Christmas party. They had a great time and my companion and I were overjoyed that they were able to come, but now the real test is getting them to come to church. Nine year-olds do not like the idea of 9 o'clock church. All the prayers for them would be much appreciated.

Christmas Eve felt like just another day and I was beginning to fear that I would pass the entire Christmas season without it ever really feeling like it was Christmastime, but then my dear roommate Sister Kinikini surprised us all with a Christmas-themed ice cream cake which we gleefully devoured at 9:30 at night while dancing around in our pajamas to Christmas music (and yes, Johnson family, we even danced to Michael Buble's "Feliz Navidad." :)) The night ended with the four of us gathered around the enormous paper Christmas tree my mom had sent me, a little sick from eating all that ice cream, but still well enough to sing a verse of "Silent Night" in Korean and talk about how grateful we all were to be missionaries at Christmastime. Christmas morning arrived just as any another Christmas morning: I was wide awake and excited, not because of any presents that I expected to receive, but because at 6:40 a.m. my family called! Best Christmas present ever.

The rest of the day the four of us visited and caroled to all our members and put into literal action the message that, "The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear." My companion, my roommates, and I spread as much Christmas cheer as we possibly could and we had a grand old time walking in the cold and singing our little hearts out. All in all, it was a very merry Christmas.

Since the brand new year is set to begin soon, I've been thinking a lot lately about the resolutions I want to make this year, especially since I'll be spending all of 2014 as a missionary! In the January 2014 issue of the Liahona there's a great message by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf about setting and achieving one's goals in the new year. My favorite part of the article comes when he says this: 

"[One] thing we need to remember when it comes to setting goals is this: We almost certainly will fail--at least in the short term. But rather than be discourage, we can be empowered because this understanding removes the pressure of being perfect right now...Remember, even if we fail to reach our ultimate, desired destination right away, we will have made progress along the road that will lead to it.
And that matters."

Every day I wake up with so many goals in mind: to not be afraid to talk to people, to understand the scriptures more deeply, to not eat so much ice cream even though it only costs 500 won...
And every day, in one way or another, I miserably fail. 
But what I, and every one of us, needs to realize is that's okay. Because even though I fail in some ways, in so many other ways, I'm growing and progressing. Little by little, I get a tiny bit closer to my ultimate goals--to be a good missionary, to be a good person, and to be a true disciple of Christ. 

So, set goals.
Write them down. 
Try to keep them.
But also realize that you will almost definitely fail.
And that's okay. 

"Even though we might fall short of our finish line, just continuing the journey will make us greater than we were before."

I personally witness the truth of this

I love you all.
And in two days...

Sister Abba
Sydney and her new companion

Pappa and Sydney reunited at the Christmas party

Sydney reunited with her trainer for their little investigators baptism

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