Monday, September 8, 2014

Korean Thanksgiving

 It was a year ago, today, that Sydney called us from the airport.  She was off to Korea that day!  I can't believe a year has passed since she went to Korea.  Time has flown by and yet, some days, it seems to stand still.    I know she has loved her mission, even the hard days.  It's hard to believe that in a few short months, she'll be back on that plane and headed home.  

추석이다! Happy Korean Thanksgiving! Last year on 추석 I was watching my trainer Skype her family while simultaneously  trying to learn the Korean word for "house." And now my trainer is at home spending the holiday with her family and I know two Korean words for "house!" Isn't it strange that life just carries on? This year, Sister Matsen and I are celebrating Korean Thanksgiving by refusing to wear makeup and watching Mormon Messages at the church. We're excited.
This week was the week of miracles! 
1. I renewed my visa without my passport. This doesn't sound too amazing, but believe me it was a miracle. It was such a big deal that I didn't have it (I'll tell you the story once I return to the faraway place called "home") and I was silently praying the whole time that the man at the international office wouldn't notice and he didn't. While he was stamping my visa for another six months, I felt like I was flying.
2. My companion and I finished weekly planning within the allotted three hour time limit. Thank. Heavens.
3. Yesterday we were invited to two meal appointments because it was a holiday (Korean Thanksgiving lasts for three days. Isn't that the best?) and we had to eat so. much. food. Between an enormous lunch and an even bigger dinner I prayed that the four missionaries in our ward would be able to be hungry again and that none of us would throw up. And we didn't! Though there was a scary moment when it looked like the greenie was almost definitely going to. But he pulled through.
4. On Saturday we were finally able to meet with this less-active woman in our ward who we haven't been able to meet for the past two transfers. It went so well. We ate lunch, talked about her new boyfriend (the sort-of reason why we hadn't been able to see her for so long), and we shared my message about how the Book of Mormon testifies of the Bilble (see my email from a couple weeks ago). This less-active absolutely loved it and said that she felt like she finally understood the Book of Mormon. Considering that she's never actually read the Book of Mormon, I was very pleased! Baby steps. While we were leaving, she invited us back for next week and we considered it a very successful meeting. But we weren't sure just how successful a meeting until she called us the following morning (Sunday) and said that she and her boyfriend would be coming to church. WHAT. My brain was like, "Jubilation! They're coming to church! I'm down on the floor and I'm laughing!" But seriously, what a miracle! And an even bigger miracle is that they actually came! Just like they said. It was beautiful because I'm pretty sure this less-active hadn't to been to church in ten to twenty years. (Ha. I'm not sure on the numbers.) But the members welcomed her back with joy and warmth for they loved her still. They sat next to us during the meeting and her boyfriend was so nice and humble. He sang all the hymns (which is good), bowed really low to everyone he was introduced to (even better), and looked through the Book of Mormon (best!). There was this really cool moment when his less-active girlfriend even explained the Book of Mormon to him. I was so happy, I wanted to weep. Hopefully they come back next week.
Before I go, I want to share this scripture: D&C 67:13-14 "Continue in patience until ye are perfected. Let not your minds turn back; and when ye are worthy, in mine own due time, ye shall know." I know so much that God knows the end from the beginning! Our perspective on his plan is so short and so narrow, but He has it all worked out and if we trust Him and are patient, one day we too can know. 
Okay, this PC방 is too hot and I have Mormon Messages to watch!
I love you!
Sister Arvanitas

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