Koreans show their love through food, so yesterday when our ward mission leader Brother Kim walked into church and handed me a bag of marshmallows, I knew we were destined to be friends for eternity. Officially, I already knew, but now I had proof. One of my friends from the MTC is named Sister Marcy (Mahshee in Korean), and when Brother Kim heard her name, he thought it sounded like “mahsh-uh-mellow.” Konglish – love it. Ever since then, he’s decided that marshmallows are my favorite food. Yesterday he gave me no ordinary marshmallow, but instead super fancy fruit flavored marshmallows all twisted up around gummy fruit candy. I think if I’d been around normal American candy for the past year, I wouldn’t have liked them, but they were sooo delicious! Like a circus party for your mouth. Ah, it’s the small joys in life!
This week it rained. I already experienced rainy season at the beginning of summer, but this was different. No one was expecting it, especially those of us without smart phones. No umbrella, no rain shoes, too much stuff in my bag, no back up plans, it was a disaster waiting to happen. During rainy season, it would drip two drops and then suddenly be cascading down the sidewalk and up your legs, but since we were expecting it, we were doing rain appropriate activities. Not on Thursday. We’d set aside the afternoon to look up old investigators and addresses, which involved lots of wandering around outside and checking our map. When it started, we waited under a bridge for a few minutes, but it didn’t stop. Rain, rain, rain. We decided we could do it anyway, so we zipped up our bags and adventured out from under the safety of the bridge… After about 2 minutes we were both entirely soaked, so we decided to hop a bus and try something else. You know in movies when the main character is already having a horrible day? Her boss just fired her and her boyfriend said he’s thinking this just isn’t working anymore, and while she’s standing on the sidewalk contemplating life, suddenly it starts raining all over her white heels, so she looks up at heaven and just gives in to the rain because there’s nothing left… then what happens? That’s right, a giant bus drives by and sprays her with muddy street water all over her matching white skirt.
That happened to me. Except I’m a sister missionary, so all my heels are waiting for me in Tennessee, and I wouldn’t dare wear a white skirt in a country where we sit on the floor all the time. Red bus number 7 came driving towards us through a giant puddle, and I saw the huge arc of water, maybe 9 feet high flying towards us. There was nothing to be done except make an entertaining sound.
But luckily life is super great and even being drenched three times over can’t get me down! On Wednesday I was on the phone with another missionary talking about how to renew our visas when a man walked up and started talking to my companion. She’s pretty decent at Korean for only being here for a month, but I could tell she just had NO idea. I put the phone away and jumped into the conversation to find that this man had met the missionaries years and years before when he was in high school. He’d only had English interest then, so anything the elders said about the book of Mormon didn’t stick or make any sense. He said it was ironic because now he doesn’t really know any English at all, but he’s spent a lot of his life exploring religions and reading the Bible. Just that morning he’d been thinking to himself that he needed more, that there was something else he was ready to do. Then, he saw us walking down the street. He recognized that two people walking together in nice clothes holding blue paperback books in their hands were probably Mormon missionaries and so picked up his pace to catch up with us. He started remembering what the elders had taught him so long ago.
He bought us each a drink at a little market, and then we sat down and talked all about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. Seriously, the gift of tongues is real. Right now I couldn’t tell you what the word for circumcision is in Korean, but as he was expressing his confusion at the difference between the Old Testament law of Moses and the New Testament fulfillment of the law through Christ’s life and ministry, I understood everything! We were able to discuss the importance of a living prophet for our time so we don’t have to be confused, and how tithing works to build the kingdom of god on earth and also our faith. It was SO GREAT! So many people say they’ve studied the Bible, but as I talked about necessary ordinances for salvation or apostasy, he was quoting the Bible to me, supporting our message instead of the other way around. As we were wrapping up our conversation, he said, “I used to have a Book of Mormon, but I have absolutely no idea where it is. Now I’m ready to study it. Would you give me another one so I can do that?” Ha! Yes, of course!!
Miracles, they’re HAPPENING!