Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter number TWO in Seoul!!! And happy it's SPRING!

Our cute boy is doing well in Ilsan, Seoul. He has been there a long time and will most likely  finish his mission in this area. He has two companions that he loves a lot and they have a lot of fun and are teaching like crazy! He loves teaching and street contacting and will miss that part of his mission the most. He loves being zone leader and enjoys his missionaries he has stewardship over! He was "super stoked" to find his favorite American snack, Cheezits, and even though they were really expensive he just "couldn't resist!" He's also completely disgusted with his teams (The Jazz and BYU) and says the reason they've done so bad is because they're missing their favorite fan. However, he is thrilled with the HEAT's stats and thinks he'd like to teach LeBron the missionary lessons.  He said on Easter morning he was up really early and watched the sunrise over this little playground and appt out his window. He said he was so grateful for the sun and "The SON" and even though the rest of his day was relatively quiet and his easter pkg didn't even get to him in time, he was so happy to be able to be there in Korea on that day, with Jesus Christ's name on his heart, representing Him as a missionary. So proud of this kid. Happy he's doing so well. In the next week his little sister's mission call will arrive as well... WE LOVE missionaries at this house!!!

Anyways, we went to this appointment with this guy late on Wednesday night and it was kind of weird cuz Elder Smith had only talked to this kid  on the street for like 1 minute but he wanted to meet again... Haha that usually means one of two things. Either they are super prepared, or they want to bash on us... Well, this guy was of the bashing quality and it was a very interesting lesson... Both of my companions are pretty young so they don't understand a ton, which in this case was good, but some of the first things this guy said to us were super rude... He told us that is regrettable and annoying that we serve missions and that we are wasting our time and like all of this stuff... Koreans usually are pretty nice, but this guy was being super rude and he was just attacking us in this kind of smug, super stuck up way.... So we listened to him for a bit and he was just posing every lame excuse for why our church is wrong... Haha he said that we have to believe in Christ to be saved and only through the bible can we believe in him and like all of this stuff... Kind of pathetic things really. Haha if we went by those standards, we would easily qualify for salvation... I am grateful it is a little bit harder than that. Anyways, he asked us how our church was established and this is where most people really start bashing on our church so I kind of took over the lesson and taught him the Restoration through Joseph Smith and it was so powerful. It says all over the place in the scriptures that the Holy Ghost will support you as you teach of truth and the spirit was so strong. It was so strong. I can't remember who said it, but there was a quote by an apostle or prophet that said that the Spirit will give you the words to speak, even in contentious (or some word like that:)) venues... Well, this guy was beating down pretty hard, but I quoted the first vision, and then testified of the reality of that vision and then testified about Joseph Smith and about the truthfulness of our church. I could just feel the Holy Ghost so strong and I knew, that he knew, that what I was saying was true. I told him that no one could take away what I know from me and that I know with a certainty that this message is true... He sat there for a minute, and then told me I should read the Bible more.............. I was not particularly happy about that and I was super sad cuz he denied the Spirit that was there, but it was a great opportunity for me to testify. President Monson talked about courage in his talk in priesthood session and about how we need to stand up for what we believe... So did Elder Holland. But that experience kept coming up in my head during those talks because although I had done that at other times in my mission, it had never had the profound influence it had on me on Wednesday.... It was just really cool and I learned a lot from it. I don't know if that dude will meet again, but he will always be able to remember my testimony..... 
Anyways, that was a cool experience!! I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since that night... Things just keep reminding me of it and I am just grateful I was able to be worthy and able to do those things.... My mission has taught me so much and it is stuff like that experience that I will never forget.... So cool.

This week has been kind of weird because of conference and I have thought a little bit about home this week.... Haha with this being my last conference, thoughts of home pretty easily came up, but the thing that keeps hitting me is that my mission doesn't end and the things I learned here and the person I became doesn't just get left behind in Korea... I also absolutely loved President Uchtdorf's talk.... It was exactly what I needed to hear and I was so grateful for it....... I loved how he said that because we are eternal beings, we are not accustomed to change and that there are really no endings, just everlasting beginnings.... Those were some of my favorite lines in all of conference.... It blew me away how personal it seemed to me and how much I needed that... It made me thing of the next 3 months very differently... I am not working to finish my mission, but really, I am working to start my mission... Whatever life brings, whatever school brings, whatever the next challenge is that lies ahead, that is what I am working towards. Haha my mission may end in a literal sense cuz I have to take off my missionary badge and I don't have to proselyte anymore, but my mission to return to my Heavenly Father, which is the most important mission, is still going on and just that insight by President Uchtdorf was awesome

Anyways, this week was super sick for a lot of reasons but like I said, we got a baptismal date with *****... Did I tell you about him last week?? We talked to him on the street and then last week he came to church... Well, on Tuesday we met him again and it was in the middle of a crazy busy day.... Maybe one of the craziest days on my mission, but anyways, we met him in this little coffee shop and he had so many questions about everything.... We ended up giving him a short explanation of the the Restoration which he loved, and then we started talking about baptism and a little bit more about the priesthood... The week before in Gospel Principles class, I had talked about the priesthood so he had a lot of questions about it and about if he could have it... At one point, after we had talked for a little bit he just said, "So, I need the priesthood!1" Haha and cuz he is money at english everybody could understand and it was really cool.. We went on to explain that we had to be baptized and confirmed a member of the church before we could get the priesthood and he was pretty excited about that!!! So we set a baptismal date for April 27th, right before transfers which is really cool... We also met with him on Thursday and it was an awesome lesson... He asked us about his purpose in life and about where he will go after he dies and all of that stuff... It was really cool to be able to teach about the plan of Salvation and about how we will be able to return to live with God... He understands better than any other people I have met on my mission... He is so prepared and I am so excited for him. He came and watched conference with us as well and he loved it. He said that he received a lot of deep impressions about God and that he learned a lot... And he met a lot of our ward members and spent a full hour talking to just them... We didn't even have to worry about watching him or anything... It has been really cool to teach him that is for sure!! Super big miracle.

As I have served my mission, I have learned a lot about obedience because of how strict mission rules are and stuff like that, and I have seen a lot of not super obedient missionaries.... It is kind of sad to think that not everyone wants to keep the rules exactly, especially because when we keep them, we get so many blessings. It is definitely something I have worked on, but more than that, I just saw that when missionaries, or investigators, or members, keep the commandments, or in a missionaries case, the rules that God sets, they are so much happier. In vs 41 it says "consider the happy state of those that keep the commandments" I love that. I hadn't thought about that scripture before we had taught him either and for some reason it came up in my mind. Definitely a cool little prompting and a good thing for me to realize. Then on Saturday, we were able to meet with a kid that we all talked to on the street last week and he was super prepared!! It was cool. We gave him a book of mormon on the street and he had read some of it before our appointment which was legit!! We talked for a long time about the history and importance of the Book of Mormon, and then we committed him to be baptized on May 25 and he said yes which was awesome!! I hope he can do it and I think he can. As I taught about Joseph Smith though, I got a little emotional, I didn't cry or anything, but I just realized that because a 14 year old boy decided to pray almost 200 years ago, I am hear in Korea.... That blows my mind. I have learned a ton about Joseph Smith on my mission and my testimony of him being a prophet of God is a great blessing in my life and I would never trade that for anything

Elder Chizzy