This week we got to go to the Seoul temple. It was so amazing to be inside a temple again! One of the other sister missionaries came up to me and said, "This is your first time at the temple since you came to Korea right?" So I said yes. She said, "It kind of feels like coming home again, doesn't it?" There is literally no better way to describe it. We are so lucky that we get to go to the temple once every transfer (transfers are every 6 weeks). Very few missions are this lucky. I didn't realize how badly I needed the temple this week until I was sitting down inside, waiting for the session to start. My life has been crazy the past four weeks. I am surrounded by people speaking a language that I hardly know, in a country that I am unfamiliar with, learning how to live in a new culture. I have been pretty chill about it this whole time, accepting things as they come, going with the flow. I haven't felt super stressed or anything at all. But I felt the peace of the temple more than usual this time, because I hadn't realized how crazy my life really was. I truly needed that peace. This temple trip was more appreciated than any other temple trip I have gone on. The session was in English, though all the temple workers had accents that were very Korean and kind of hard to understand. The temple really did feel like coming home though. Temples are one thing that remain the same every where you go. Even though I am in a foreign country, the feeling inside the temple is the same as it is in Logan or Provo. It was finally something I was familiar with. It was the first time I have experienced a sense of familiarity and comfort since arriving in Korea. I am so thankful that we had the opportunity to attend the temple this last week. :)
Also, I bought a 한복 this week! (That is the Korean traditional clothing.) The Korean culture is beautiful, and the dress I bought is beautiful as well. I am so proud to be serving a mission in this wonderful country! Korea has had a crazy history. Every one has tried to take them over at some point or another. It took them a long time to be their own country because everyone was fighting over them. Once they were free though, they modernized very rapidly. Now Korea is covered in city and people. I see Korea, and I see strength that I cannot even describe. The people here, especially the elderly, have gone through a lot to get here. They are all so strong.
I proselyted hard core on the streets for the first time this week! For me, this is a HUGE challenge. I don't like to bug people or make them feel uncomfortable, and in order to proselyte, you kind of have to. I have to keep reminding myself that we are giving all these people the chance to have salvation, and that they already know the gospel, they just need to have someone bring it to their remembrance. But I have such a hard time approaching people, knowing that we will probably be bugging them. Often, the people we talked to would be very friendly at first. They were impressed with our Korean, and loved that they got to talk to foreigners. But as soon as the gospel was brought up, they would pick up their pace and try to escape. You could tell that they wanted nothing to do with it. Like I said, this is such a challenge for me. I am kind of a people pleaser I guess, and bugging people on the streets is just not my thing. I know that if I were a Korean and a foreigner tried to talk to me about religion, I would be kind of weirded out. I know that these people feel the same way. But I just have to remember that our message isn't a burden, and that these people have the agency to choose. We hold the knowledge that will lead them to salvation. We shouldn't be ashamed to share salvation. It is a challenge that I hope to overcome.
Well, that is all I have to say for this week. I love you all and pray for you daily! LOVE YOU! BYE! :)
Love, Sister Maughan :)