I don't know how it happened... but I have been on my mission for 6 months as of tomorrow. I don't feel like it has been 6 months, but it has! 12 months left! :)
So this week, Ansan had this crazy street festival. People from all over the world came to do performances and acts... there was SO MANY PEOPLE at the festival. So we took advantage of the thousands of people, and we decided to English sticker board. Sticker boarding is when we have a large board that asks a question on it. We give people stickers as they walk by and ask them to put a sticker on the board, answering our question. So we had a board that said "Why do you want to learn English?" The answers were things like "because of school tests" "because my mom is making me" "because of work" "because English is fun". Two of the elders held the board, two of the elders gave out stickers with me and Sister Jeong. We ended up handing out around 1000 stickers, which means that we talked to 1000 people in 2 days. It was SO FUN! In the process of talking to people, we handed out a TON of English flyers for our free English class. We teach free English every Wednesday. People in Korea really want to learn English, so it is easy to find people who are willing to come to a free English class. And when you give them a sticker to stick on a board, and a chance to talk to white foreigners who speak Korean, they get really excited. :) We also got to laugh quite a bit at the elders because middle school Korean girls find American men really attractive. So they asked the elders if they would take pictures with them. The elders ended up taking probably 30 pictures with Korean middle school girls. So funny. :) The cool thing was, while we were at the festival, we got to catch glimpses of traditional Korean dances and performances. We are missionaries so we couldn't watch any of them, but we talked to people and got to see some of the Korean traditional dances as we talked to people. It was a once in a life time experience, and it was SO COOL.
We also had zone conference this week. As a zone, we hiked a mountain with President and Sister Morrise, and we received training's on the way up. There were a couple of places we stopped at in the mountains, and while we stopped there Sister Morrise and President Morrise, or the APs would train us. It was super fun. :) I also got a lot of prayers answered through zone conference. One sister in particular made a comment that will forever change me. I appreciated her comment so much that after zone conference I couldn't help but thank her for helping me open my eyes and see things the way she did. She is actually a greenie right now, so she hasn't been in Korea long. But her testimony... it was incredible. So what exactly did she say?
We were talking about trials on the mission. She said something along the lines of, "We are meant to walk as Jesus walked right? We are supposed to follow His example. Well, He suffered in Gethsemane. He was spit on, beat up, rejected.... Are we not supposed to have trials too? Are we not supposed to experience our own Gethsemane? If we truly want to follow Him, we must experience trials too."
How true is this comment? When she said it, the spirit filled the room so strongly. Are we not supposed to experience our own Gethsemane? If we didn't experience trials, we wouldn't entirely be following Christ. Because we experience trials, it shows that we are following Christ. We are walking in His footsteps. We might not experience the pain and suffering He did. We won't experience anything close to it. But, because we are following Him, we will experience some pain and we will suffer sometimes. Trials make us grow. They make us stronger. Without them, we wouldn't progress. If we want to follow Christ, we will experience trials. But that is part of God's plan, and through our trials we become even stronger followers of Christ.
사랑해요! I love you all! Can't wait to talk to the family next Sunday!
Love, Sister Maughan