Monday, May 23, 2016

마지막 (The Last) Email

So I don't know how it happened, but this is my last email as a missionary. My heart is full of all sorts of feelings that I can't explain. I have learned to love this country and the people here, the language and the culture. I love the Korean members, the missionaries I serve with, and just everything about being a missionary in Korea. No, it hasn't been easy. But I didn't expect it to be. It has been the most amazing 18 months of my life, and has changed my life and my expectations more than I could have ever imagined.  Going on a mission was the BEST decision I ever made.

 So here are some goodbye pictures:

This was our district's last proselyting activity together. Sticker boarding. :)

Young woman's! Including our two investigators. :)

Both me and Elder Tanner are going home, so we had to get a picture with all the youth of course! We love the youth so much! The two girls standing next to me on both sides are our investigators. :)
Our branch president's cute daughter! :) We are best friends. She cried when I had to say goodbye. It was so cute but so sad. :(

So no, we didn't get to have a baptism this week. Our investigator didn't feel like she was prepared enough. But that is okay, because I know that she will get baptized someday. And it was also a relief knowing that she wants to be baptized when she feels its right, not just because I was leaving. She is reading the Book of Mormon, praying about it, and applying it to her life just as she should be. She is still coming to church every week and progressing. She just needs a little more time. The good thing is, since I am coming home I can contact her as much as I want through Facebook and other Korean social media. We already plan on making a chat group for the two youth investigators, their member friends, and me. Missionary work doesn't end after the name tag comes off. :)

Okay so I really cannot express the amount of gratitude I have in my heart right now. I never ever thought that I would be called to serve in Korea, but here I am, and I have almost finished a full time mission here. This has literally been the BEST decision I could have ever made, and the Lord sent me to the most amazing place, with the most amazing people. Yeah, the language is a little tough, but I love Korean and my heart aches thinking that I might not have the opportunity to speak it every day after this week ends. The Korean saints are such strong incredible people. They face challenges much different than we do in America, but they do their best to stand strong and keep the Lord's work moving along here in this beautiful country. I think I will be leaving half of my heart here, and I know that it is going to be really hard getting on that plane on Friday. But I also look forward to seeing my family and friends for the first time in 18 months. I am so grateful that I have support behind me, people who love me and uplift me through this adventure in Korea, both those in America and those in Korea.

I really wish that I could put my feelings into words better, but for some reason I just can't. Serving a mission has been the biggest blessing, and the value it has had in my life is something that you can't put a price on, or express in the English or Korean language. ;)

 15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
-Doctrine and Covenants 18:15

This was my mission scripture, and I don't know for sure if I brought even one soul unto repentance while I was here, but I can honestly say that the joy that I have felt serving has definitely been something that has to have had a heavenly source, and I have received endless help from above. I have lived without the things of the world for so long, yet I have been happier than ever before. The gospel is true and Heavenly Father is in heaven watching us and helping us, guiding us and teaching us. He is preparing His children all over the world to receive the truth, and I am so glad I got to be a part of His army for a short amount of time.

I know that the gospel is true, and I know that Joseph Smith truly saw God and Jesus Christ, leading up to the Restoration of the true gospel. I know that the Book of Mormon is true, and I know that God created a plan for us. I know that through His plan we can return to Him and
live with Him and our families forever. I know that through faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring the the end, we can receive eternal life and live in happiness forever. I know that if we keep the commandments and strive to live the law of heaven, we will be happy on the earth, and we will be even happier in the life to come.

I guess what I have truly learned is that the gospel is for our happiness. Heavenly Father truly wants us to be happy. That is why He created all of this for us. That is why I sacrificed my life for 18 months -- to help other people find the joy and happiness that I have found.

I am leaving part of my heart in Korea, but part of my heart lies in America waiting for me. I can't wait to see all of your bright eyes and smiling faces. And hugs.... Koreans don't really hug so being hugged will be so nice haha. :)

 Because of the time change this week will actually be 8 days long for me haha. But yeah...

SEE YOU ON FRIDAY!!!! Love and miss you all!

With love from Korea,
Sister Maughan

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