(September 14, 2015)
It has been another good week of missionary work here in 중리! It really feels like this week has gone by quickly. It was another one spent meeting investigators, members, and less actives, teaching english class, giving service, attending meetings, going on exchanges, and all of the fun that goes along with it!
One of the biggest highlights of the week was a Mission Tour where we were visited by Elder and Sister Yamashita of the North Asia Area Presidency. That entailed a large meeting at our stake center here in 대구 where both our zone, the 대구 zone and also the 울산 zone came together for a day of instruction and learning from President and Sister Barrow and Elder and Sister Yamashita. Despite being a long day of meetings, there were so many great things to be learned and Elder Mitchell and I, and probably every missionary in attendance left the meeting spiritually fed. His remarks covered a vary wide variety of topics but especially talked about our needs to “Open Our Mouths” and share the message of the restored gospel to everyone we came in contact with. I will be honest I feel that Elder Mitchell and I were doing a pretty good job of that before the meeting, even talking to a bunch of people that day on the bus and subway to the meeting, but left with a resolve to improve our efforts. We are looking forward to good results from that. The messages we heard also addressed a lot of other topics including following the vision of our mission leaders, building a mission culture as individual missionaries, visiting the sacred grove every morning through our morning study, becoming full purpose missionaries by understanding the Gospel of Jesus Christ, working with members but not teaching them their duty, having a God’s eye view, and focusing on our investigators and their needs in all that we do. It was truly a unique privilege to shake hands with and hear messages from a member of the quorum of the seventy.
Another big event of the week was an exchange with the 대구 zone leaders, Elder Willis and Elder 오기택. I had the opportunity to serve with Elder Willis in his area of 수성 and we had a full exchange of great proselyting, meeting with one of their investigators, and visiting with the bishop of the 수성 ward’s family and sharing a message with them (we even sang them a song from the Children’s song book with Elder Willis playing the Ukulele). Also on the exchange we had a really great miracle in meeting with one less active. While Elder Willis was serving here in 중리, my current area, when he was trained, he baptized a man that we havent been able to contact of meet with. However, because he still remembered where he lived, before we went to 수성 on our exchange we dropped by his house to see if we could visit him. We had no appointment, and it took us a while to find the right house, but we were able to meet him! He greeted us really warmly, we talked for a while, and he agreed to come back to church. We also got his new phone number so we can keep in contact with him in the future. He wasnt able to come to church yesterday because he went to visit family, but we are expecting him next week!
The rest of our week was pretty normal and full of good lessons, visits with members, and of course all of the occasional cancellations and twists and turns as well. We were only able to meet with our best progressing investigator once this week because he was busy but he is continuing to read the Book of Mormon and praying to find answers to his questions. Our next step is just to hope he becomes less busy and can make it to Church!
One great thing about missionary work is all of the little miracles that come to you throughout the day and this week Elder Mitchell and I had an experience that showed us just that. Despite trying to meet investigators or members, one night during planning we were not able to make any appointments for the upcoming afternoon. Not having a sure plan of what to do, we decided the best thing would be to look for new investigators and do some street proselyting. In order to kill 2 birds with one stone, we selected a handful of less actives who lived relatively close to each other and decided we would try to visit them and proselyte along the way. We went to the first house and it turns out that the family had moved and no one was living there. We headed to the next house and no one was home. By this point we were kind of discouraged, especially seeing as though we werent having too much luck with the people we were talking to on the street either. We started heading off toward the next address but realized that the address is in the older address system and we couldnt find it how we thought we could. We decided to head in the general area and see if we had any luck. As we were walking, on what felt like just an instinct I said “let’s try going that way” and Elder Mitchell said “yeah I think so too.” As we were walking up the street one of the members of the ward popped his head out of a shop and said “Elders, come in!” It turns out that we ran into the our Elders Quorum President at his work, which we didnt even know was there. We had actually been trying to meet him for weeks but couldnt match our schedules. We had a great talk, shared a good message with him, and he gave us all the details about the less active members we were trying to visit, including the man we were then going to visit who had moved to another area entirely. It was a small thing to meet him but I really felt like it was Heavenly Father guiding us to where we needed to go. I have really come to see that as you look at the things that happen, you can see God’s influence and love in what we do. Even when it doesnt seem like it, God is guiding and helping us!
Well I hope all is well and that you have a great week! Lots of love from 대구, Korea!