(February 28, 2016)
Elder Long, Elder Glover, and I at this street commemorating some famous Korean guitarist I have never heard of near our house
The sign in front of our Church
Elder Suttner and I’s beloved Daegu zone at zone conference a few weeks ago
This week seemed to really go by quickly.
It was one of those weeks where you were busy every day and trying the best you could, and then on Sunday night when you thought back to how the week turned out, you realized that it wasn’t like you had expected or hoped for. Elder Suttner and I are meeting with members, keeping in contact with our recent converts and less actives, talking to everyone we can, and asking for referrals, but we just havent been blessed to find the prepared people we are searching for yet. We are trying to maintain faith and obedience and just be patient. Hopefully those miracles we are waiting for will come more in the week to come.
A good portion of our days this week were spent out on the streets proselyting. When you dont have investigators, pretty much all you can do is head out, hit the streets, and try to find some. I think in a lot of missions the standard of missionary finding is tracting – knocking on people’s doors, but suprisingly I havent done that much as I have been here in Korea. Partially due to the culture and the reluctance of people to let you in, and also largely due to there being intercom systems and big apartments that makes it hard to actually talk to people at their doors, a lot of our finding is done talking to people on the streets, on sidewalks, crosswalks, and on public transportation. Our goal as missionaries is to talk to everyone. Elder Suttner and I take that very seriously. This week, on one night our appointments fell through so we decided to walk a ways away to a less active’s house the bishop told us about, and proselyte all along the way. We set out with a stack of pamphlets (maybe 15 each) 2 Book of Mormons each, and maybe about 40 or so cards. By the time we got back that night it was all gone and we even got a few peoples phone numbers. We stopped people walking in the opposite direction of us, we talked to the driver of a car in the middle of an intersection as we were crossing the street while their light was red, we handed out business cards to people as we passed by them on the escalator in the subway, and ran home by 8:59 with just seconds to spare. It is hard because I think Elder Suttner and I work as hard as I ever had before, talk to more people than I have before, and have as much faith as I have had before, but we have yet to find that golden investigator we are searching for. Through proseltying so much I have really learned that it is not our skill or talent that changes people to be ready to hear this message, but that it is our responsibility to follow the spirit, pray for direction, talk to everyone, and then wait for heavenly father to send put the person we are meant to talk to in our path. All we can do is be obedient and have the faith to find.
We also kept busy by going on exchanges with the Jungri Elders and Suseong B team, starting preparing for our Stake Presidency Meeting that we have coming up this week, bringing our investigators out to a stake wide choir competition/concert, and doing service by helping deep clean the carpets of our large stake center church building in preparation for stake conference next month.
One cool things that we did this week was to meet with the bishop and help with the planning and unveiling of our wards new member missionary work plan for the coming year. I am actually really excited about it. Our bishop calls it 1+1 (something that you see a lot on labels in convenient stores – basically the Korean equivalent of buy one get one free). Based on a conference talk by Elder Ballard from a few years ago, our bishops invitation is for each of the members of our ward to pray and fast to find one person (non member, less active, part member family etc.) and then work and invite them over the course of the year to come to church. The logic is that by each of us working together and doing a little bit, we can accomplish a huge work. If all of our ward of 150 were to just focus on the serving and sharing the gospel with one person, we could double to attendance of our ward. It is our job as missionaries to always be ready to teach these people, earn the members trust, and remind them of it as time goes by. I really liked the plan because it seems so doable but also so impactful. We talked all about it in ward council yesterday and I am really excited to see how it goes.
This week we are looking forward to 2 more sets of exchanges, a zone wide proselyting activity we are planning, and lots of new investigators and miracles.
I will end with a scripture I like that I shared in a talk a few weeks ago. Jacob 4:6
Wherefore, we search the prophets, and we have manyrevelations and the spirit of prophecy; and having all thesewitnesses we obtain a hope, and our faith becomethunshaken, insomuch that we truly can command in thename of Jesus and the very trees obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea.
As a missionary I have come to see that faith is not a belief or a wish, but a principle of action and power. If we really have strong faith in Christ, it is a power we can use, and command in the name of Christ. I know this to be true.
Have a great week!