Monday, June 8, 2015

It's A Mask World

So there is this new trend in South Korea. Everyone has been wearing hospital masks. At first, I just figured there was dust in the air so people were wearing masks because of that. Koreans say that there is a lot of dust blown here from China and it is bad to breathe in. So they wear masks. But this last week, the amount of people wearing masks skyrocketed within about two days. Then schools began to close. More hospital masks. Less people out. We didn't really know what was going on until this lady wearing a mask at the bus stop sat next to us and started telling us about 매리스 (which is supposed to be Konglish for MERS I think). She sounded pretty freaked out about it. So yes, MERS (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome) is in Korea. Our mission has told us what precautions to take, though none of them are anything really new. Wash hands, don't touch your face, just be careful etc. It's all stuff I already do. We can wear masks if we want, but it is our choice. I did buy a mask just in case. Plus I wanted to join in the new trend. ;) But if any of you have heard anything about MERS in Korea, just know that I am safe and so are all the other missionaries. If it gets bad, our mission president will know what to do. :)

So this week, the elders had a baptism! We got to attend the baptism yesterday after church. The spirit was so strong. They baptized this man who is actually Chinese but lives in Korea. After he passed his baptismal interview last week, he was seriously glowing. Ever since then, you could see a light within him.  Elder Barton, our district leader, performed the baptism. There is just a certain spirit that is present when someone takes the step to receive baptism. Heaven feels closer. God's love and approval is almost tangible in the room. The spirit literally surrounds you from every angle. I wish I could say I remember my baptism better. I do remember being dressed in all white, my hair in two braids because I was worried about it coming up out of the water. I can remember sitting on the bench waiting for my turn to go into the water. I can remember sitting on the chair, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. I can remember the white baptismal blanket I received, the scripture set I got from Grandma and Grandpa Stucki which is currently with me on my mission, the beautiful white dress I changed into after I was baptized. I have never felt cleaner. :) The brother who was baptized yesterday will actually go back to China next week. And the church is very very small in China... if it even exists at all. He will have to be very strong and do all he can to keep his testimony strong. I am so thankful that I grew up in a place where the church exists and is so strong. The members are strong, the wards are strong, and the spirit is strong. It will be a challenge for this brother to keep his testimony in China, but if he continues to pray and study the Book of Mormon, God will help him stay strong.

So lately, we have been focusing on sharing the church's beliefs on families more on the street. I have been reading Elder L. Tom Perry's last talk before he passed away from last conference. He talks about how most religions believe that families are essential and an important part of this life. But he also points out how our beliefs are different as well. "For time and all eternity" is a much stronger bond than "till death do us part." And we know how to make eternity a possibility. Bearing testimony about family has become one of my favorite things to do. The longer I am away from my family, the more my testimony of eternal families grows. Sometimes its hard to think that I will be away from my family for 11 more months. But then I remember that I have all of eternity with them. 18 months is just a tiny amount of time to sacrifice. And the time is honestly flying. I reached my 7 month mark last week. But I am so thankful for the knowledge that my family is eternal. I am so thankful that we were sealed in the Logan temple when I was 15 years old. I will always remember the feeling of the temple, and the moment we stepped into the sealing room. Brady looked up at me and said, "Daysha, I feel like I am floating." What a perfect way to describe the temple's spirit from a child's perspective. I was dressed in all white for the second time in my life. I can't imagine not knowing that my family could be eternal. I am so thankful for the opportunity to help other families become eternal families. I know that only through this gospel can we become eternal families. And even if our families are not all members, I trust God's plan. He wants us to be happy. After this life, we may not understand exactly what is going to happen. But I know that God loves us more than we could ever imagine. His plan will not fail. We will be happy after this life.  We just have to trust Heavenly Father's plan and do our best to make good decisions while we are on the earth. His plan is perfect.

I love you all and hope you are safe and healthy! :) I pray for you daily. Miss you!

Love, Sister Maughan

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