This week was so fun! The temperature is cooling down, we met with some people who haven’t had time to meet with us, visited with lots of members, had lots of inspiration, and are just having a GREAT TIME!
It all started last Sunday night when we decided to 갑작이 (suddenly, without any plan or warning) visit a member who had before told me she had time for us to visit on Sunday afternoons. Sitting there with her was one of her neighbors, just having a pleasant afternoon chat. The member was so excited to see us but was astonished we’d found her house because the elders could never find it (ha!). Little did she know, I had actually been there to visit before, but she hadn’t been home. Before we could even ask or say anything, she told us she was having a hard time with the ward goal for each member to refer a friend to the missionaries. I was surprised she brought it up because sitting right there was a nonmember friend. The member pointed to her neighbor and said, “All my neighbors, including her, think I’m weird and crazy because I’m a Mormon. She already goes to church so she can’t become a member!”
I had to take a few seconds to think what to do. How to best help this member feel confident about helping others and sharing the gospel, and how to give this neighbor a positive experience with the missionaries and the restored gospel. Sister Harless and I had come with a stack of Book of Mormons and an object lesson that demonstrates the need for Christ’s church to be restored, so we decided to go with it and, instead of using those things to just strengthen the member, to also strengthen this friend, too! So we asked her some questions about her faith and religion, read some scriptures from the Bible together, and with the member’s great help, taught all about the importance of prophets, ancient and living, and the need for a Restoration of Christ’s Gospel and the ensuing blessings that have come since. We even committed her to read the Introduction and first chapter of the Book of Mormon. It was so funny! While the member whipped us up a simple and delicious dinner, the neighbor read her assignment and asked us questions! When she left after dinner, I complimented the member profusely on her excellent teaching skills! I think she was surprised herself! She didn’t even recognize it for what it was; a great and successful first appointment and a member referral!
I am loving this opportunity in Chungjang ward right now to focus and push the members to do missionary work. They are all going above and beyond to accomplish their goal. I love promising them increased joy and satisfaction in their lives, and I know that my promise is true because that is what’s happened in my life the past… whoa, 14 months! Nothing brings the same joy (D&C 18:15-16) as sharing what brings you your greatest happiness, whether that’s manifested in eternal families, increased knowledge, or a living prophet, it’s all the same restored gospel.
This past week we had zone conference. Remember zone conference? We used to have to prepare a talk on a Christ-Like Attribute and The Joseph Smith Story, but now with a new mission president, all that “who’s it gonna be” stress is gone! Instead we spent the whole meeting studying the scriptures and learning from each other. During President Shin’s training he shared a definition of joy he learned from someone else. It went like this:
He said if we prioritize our lives in this direction, starting from the top, we will find the greatest joy and satisfaction. The day after zone conference, a member was telling me she was having a hard time finding time for everything she feels she needs to do. So, I told her about President Shin’s “JOY” and told her that people who follow this pattern, serving the Lord, helping to satisfy other people’s needs are pretty busy. She agreed, and I said, when we’re that busy, we don’t have time to think about ourselves. I asked her how much joy she gets from thinking about her own problems and difficulties. She chuckled and said none. Thinking about this pattern of joy, it occurred to me that blessings come from the top and all fall to the bottom on us. We can constantly be trying to bless others and help the Lord, but as we do that, we in turn are more and more satisfied and joyful and get more and more, so many blessings!!! I am so privileged to have this opportunity to be set apart from the world, somewhat careless to what’s going on except in the lives of the wonderful people in my neck of the Korean woods. Every day, all day, it’s a Joyfest!