Tuesday, June 16, 2015
I got to play baseball with the brothers of the ward again this week! It was seriously the funnest thing. And I was of course in a dress again. I started throwing with one of the elders, and we were in the middle of this park. Within 5 minutes of throwing with him, a ton of Koreans were turned around watching me. Some middle school boys kept trying to compliment me in English. "Good! You good!" It is definitely quite the sight to see a foreign girl playing baseball in a dress in the middle of a park in Korea. But I think I found my new missionary tool haha. ;) I also played catch with one of the members of the bishopric and the ward mission leader. Me, Elder Eads (the really really tall one in my district pictures), the second counselor, and the ward mission leader made a giant square and threw as fast as we could to each other... kind of a race. It was seriously the funnest thing ever! I wanted to keep playing forever. :)
I also got to speak in church yesterday. Luckily my Korean companion could help me translate everything clearly. I translated all that I could and she helped me translate the rest. I spoke on building a bridge of faith. I actually really enjoyed speaking in Korean. It is kind of fun. :)
This weekend, the missionaries of Ansan will be putting on a small musical for a ward activity. I am not sure exactly how it is going to work, but if I can video it I will. I am super excited. Our district leader, Elder Barton, is a theater major so he is going to help put it all together. But we want to show the ward what all missionaries do. We will just be singing and acting it out. It should be super fun. :)
So I have been thinking a lot about the youth in the church, especially in Korea. I still feel like I am part of the young woman program, not a missionary. (I mean I totally feel like a missionary, I just don't feel old enough). ;) I was in young womans just over a year ago after all. But I have been specifically thinking about the less active youth of the church. In the ward I am serving in currently, there are only about 4 active young women, and 1 active young man. There are quite a few primary kids. But there are a ton of less active young men and women. Their parents are strong in the gospel and come to church, but they refuse to come. They are totally cold to the missionaries when they see us. One woman in our ward yesterday bore her testimony in Relief Society and told us about her daughter who, like many youth in this ward, fell away from the church. She expressed her feelings on the matter, saying she felt like she had "lost my daughter." She expressed how she felt a longing for her daughter to be strong in the gospel, but felt like she was too far gone to bring her back.
So many youth in the church, when they hit the age of puberty, decide to go the opposite way despite what they have been taught growing up. They don't want anything to do with the gospel, the scriptures, or the missionaries. They focus only on friends and themselves. I am so shocked at how many of the youth in Korea have taken this route. More of them have taken this route than the other more preferred route, staying strong in the church. I want so badly to know how to help bring them back, but when missionaries try to talk to them they straight up ignore us and refuse to even interact with us.
So why do they choose to go this way? Why do they choose to totally shun the church? I have learned that Satan's power is stronger than we realize. The world looks very appetizing at age 14 when everyone you see around you is part of it. When the only people who are not engulfed in the ways of the world are your parents and your family, you want to be accepted by those outside of your family. You want to be like everyone else, you want to fit in. You want to be absorbed in a life of texting, earphones, friends, and doing things that Heavenly Father would not want you to do. But is the world truly happy? I can promise, the people of the world are not truly happy. I have seen it here more than anything else. Everyone is engulfed in the ways of the world, but no one is happy. The only way we can be happy is by living the gospel.
I have found true happiness in living the gospel. This time on my mission has been probably the happiest time of my life. When we do as God would have us do, He will shower us with blessings and happiness that we cannot even imagine. I am so thankful that I chose to live the gospel at a young age. I don't know what I would do without it in my life. I know that this gospel is the only way that we can feel true happiness. God loves us and He wants us to be happy. He just asks that we follow Him.
Love, Sister Maughan