When Sydney and Nick were little, we lived in Japan. I too loved the cherry blossoms that seemed to be everywhere. If only Spring would come to Pittsburgh.
So, I've decided I'm coming back to Korea every spring for the rest of my life. Everything is cherry blossoms and everything is beautiful.
Korean Fun Fact #3
Let's learn some Korean! One of my favorite things about the Korean language (but also one of the hardest things for me to figure out when I first got here) is that there are two very different ways to say the word, "no."
The first 아니 is used to answer questions of "yes or no." It literally means, "It is not."
The second (and my more favorite way) is 안되, literally, "It does not become." When we express this kind of "no" in English, it sounds more like, "Nooooooooooooo!"
For example, it's the difference between this...
"Luke, I am your father."
"No, you're not. I have no father."
"Luke, I am your father."
Much more dramatic.
This week saw lots of miracles. First of all, we found investigators while 전도ing (on the street) and that almost never happens. Secondly, the pretty investigator I talked about last week has a baptismal date for! YAYAYAY. In our last lesson we taught her the Word of Wisdom and she had no problems at all. Not even with coffee. It was quite miraculous. But even more miraculous was what she said after the lesson, "This is fun! That was my favorite lesson thus far. I like learning about the commandments!" Wow. Never heard that one before.
But back to the street miracles. I'll just tell a few because I'm kind of running out of time...
So we were riding this bus out into the middle-of-nowhere (in case you haven't noticed yet, we're frequenters of the middle-of-nowhere) and this older gentleman starts talking to my companion. I say gentleman because that's exactly what he was. He was wearing a tweed coat with elbow patches. I love Korea. Anyway, they start talking about religion and he tells her that he already attends a church, but he's really bothered by the way that the people there profess their religious beliefs at church, but don't actually follow them the rest of the week. He adds that he's lonely and fed-up and more than a little depressed, so my companion quickly explains that we have a happy message that we're sharing and that, if he would like us to, we would love to share it with him too. And so wordlessly, this tired, sad, old man reaches into his tweed coat, pulls out his business card, and gives it to us. Just like that. Oh, how I wish that happened every time.
So we called him later and set up an appointment for. We half-expected him to bail on us, but miracle of miracles he actually showed up! We listened to his religious history, his problems, and his battle with depression and we went straight into the Plan of Salvation. And my favorite thing about this man was that, while I specifically was teaching him and telling him the things I knew to be true, he listened. He didn't care that I was American, he didn't try and correct my Korean, he just listened and nodded along as I told him what God needed him to know: God loves him. God knows him. His life has purpose.
But the street miracles don't end there!
Just, while I was waiting for my other three Gongju sisters to get off the bus, this Buddhist monk walked up to me and was like, "It's hard, isn't it?" And I was like, "Help! Help! I don't know Korean!" Ha. Actually I said something more along the lines of "Um, what?" because 1. what a vague way to start a conversation, 2. he was speaking with a country accent and I was more than a little confused, and 3. I was more than a little distracted by his exciting Buddhist monk outfit.
[Side-note about Buddhist monks: Okay so he was actually a monk yet. More like a monk-in-training. They all wear this fun outfit, kind of like gray pajamas, and usually have on a sort of bracelet made of giant wooden beads. Oh, and they're heads are always shaved. Then once they become a real monk, they get to wear the orange toga thing (like Aang from Avatar) over their gray pajamas and go live with the other monks I presume. And yes I did just make most of that up. Someone please send me some info on Buddhism, I'm so confused.]
Thankfully, my Korean sisters came and saved me. We learned that this Buddhist monk believed pretty much everything we believed, from prophets to tithing to the Great Apostasy. He had gotten so tired of the confusion and hypocrisy in Christianity that he had given up and became a Buddhist instead. The only piece he was missing was the piece we had--the Restoration. Sadly, he was also the sort who was more interested in listing his own beliefs that listening to other people explain theirs, but he did gladly accept our offered Book of Mormon and carried on his way with a bow and a vague, "May luck bring us together again." Hopefully he calls us.
And that's that. I love the Book of Mormon! I love this gospel! I love sharing it!
And I love you!
Have a happy Conference Weekend!