Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Diamond In the Rough.
So this week, we visited a less active that turned out to be a diamond in the rough. :) We have been visiting less actives all over the place lately, and many of them have either ignored us, haven't been home, or have been to busy to talk to us. We were getting kind of discouraged because we weren't having any success. But last Wednesday, we knocked on a door that turned out to be a little miracle. The lady we were looking for answered, and immediately put her shoes on to come outside and talk to us.
As we began talking to her, we quickly found out that she joined the church in 1990, but fell away because, like most of the less actives here, she heard that we were a cult. She wanted to know the truth but didn't feel like it was going to be in a "cult" church. She actually went through a time in her life where she was sad and confused, and she tried to commit suicide, but something stopped her just as she was about to jump off the side of the apartment building. She wasn't sure why she had changed her mind. She hasn't been to church since 1990, but she was baptized in two other churches. She is still looking for the truth. We knocked on her door on Wednesday, but on Tuesday night she had prayed to God to know the truth. She wanted a way to find it. Well, Wednesday morning she had an appointment, but she accidentally slept in. About an hour after she woke up, we showed up at her door. God truly, truly prepares people to receive the truth. :) We ended up teaching the entire first lesson to her. She asked why a restoration was needed, so we explained about the Great Apostasy and taught about Joseph Smith. During the lesson, my companion turned to me and asked me to recite the First Vision in Korean. I of course said yes, and began the First Vision. Before, I had tried to explain things to this lady as best I could, but she refused to listen to me because she said I was a foreigner and couldn't speak Korean. But as soon as I started the First Vision, she tuned in and looked me straight in the eyes, listening intently. This was the first opportunity I have had to recite the First Vision in Korean, memorized, since I have been in Korea. I was pretty nervous, but I said a quick prayer in my heart before I begun, and the words flowed smoothly and accurately. The Spirit took its place, and my heart pounded so strongly. I have never felt the Spirit quite like that, except in the temple. I didn't expect it to be so strong, and I actually had to fight tears a little bit as I spoke. But our Less Active listened intently, and I know without a doubt that she could feel the spirit. I had heard from other missionaries that when you recite the First Vision, the spirit is unbelievable. I can totally agree with them. There is no doubt in my heart that Joseph Smith truly did restore the gospel to the earth. After feeling the spirit so strongly, there is no way I could deny it. Unfortunately, she wouldn't set up another date for us to visit, but we will be knocking on her door here and there for a while. We gave her a Book of Mormon and a Restoration pamphlet and committed her to read them. This was the highlight of this last week.
Being a missionary is not easy, but sometimes we witness miracles like this that help us remember why we came here in the first place. God is preparing hearts to receive the gospel all over the world, we just have to trust in Him and find them. Some of them are preparing to hear the gospel for the second time on the earth (less active members and former investigators), while some are preparing to hear it for the first time. But they are being prepared.
God has helped me so much this last week. Since this transfer began three weeks ago, I have experienced daily ups and downs for various reasons. The language is a constant struggle, but I am progressing. My companion is pushing me so so hard, but I am learning to pick my head up after the hard moments and move on. I have had some times of true homesickness, but then I am reminded by the spirit that I have an important purpose here, and I have all of eternity to be with my family when I come home in a year. I am learning to truly be happy. While my companion showered on Tuesday, I even started singing to music out loud for the first time since I touched down in Korea. :) It was kind of silly, but I sung out loud as I washed the dishes and I realized that God is truly helping me stay positive every single day. I slip and fall each day but He takes my hand and lifts me up. I will never stop owing Heavenly Father or Jesus Christ. Yes, I am experiencing more stress right now than I have my entire mission, but God is helping me, and I cannot deny that. I am so thankful for a loving, caring Heavenly Father who cares so much about me that he helps me be happy. :)
Love, Sister Maughan