This year, instead of wandering around between member meal appointments searching on empty roads for people to teach during the festive Thanksgiving holiday, President Shin and our zone leaders planned epic training sessions for us to practice our teaching skills throughout the whole week. When I heard about this, my second thought was “We need something fun to do on one of those days to break up the monotony of teaching the same thing for hours and hours everyday.” I called up our zone leader and suggested a talent show.
I don’t know why. Clearly a missionary talent show would be a great idea. I could tell he just wanted to brush the idea off the table, ignoring me ’til I went away, but unfortunately for him, I took his “Oh, yeah that would be a good idea,” as “Oh sure, let’s do it!” So I spread the word. I don’t know if anyone else really believed me either until Wednesday’s training session when he announced that we would in fact be having a talent show the next day at 3 o’clock. Thursday was the big Thanksgiving Day, and most missionaries didn’t have appointments, so we’d be playing games and hanging out at the church anyway.
The lack of preparation by people led to some AWESOME talents. We all drew numbers to determine the order, and our entertaining afternoon was kickstarted by a talent presented game-show style. The talent show host would point to someone’s shirt and this elder would tell us the color. He was usually wrong though due to being color blind! Next we had an elder demonstrate his illustration skills on the chalk board… and so it continued! We saw everything from your typical musical numbers, some Korean rap and beatboxing, an elder did pushups while balancing a basketball on his neck, some really bad jokes, some really good jokes, some martial arts flips (super impressive in missionary attire), voice dubbing (what’s that called where you imitate someone’s voice?) which led to a whole scene of the Lord of the Rings being acted out, poetry being read, and my companion totally demolishing an elder at basketball.
What was mine you ask? Well, I couldn’t very well whip out my French horn, so I demonstrated my flexibility by… licking my elbow. I always love showing off that talent because inevitably everyone in the room then tries to lick his or her own elbow, which is super entertaining.
Missionary work is really amazing. Even though we were in meetings or members’ homes all week, the Lord still prepared people to hear our message. As Saturday’s training meeting was wrapping up, our final one for the week, we could see someone outside the chapel walking back and forth. At first I think we all assumed it was a member, but then our elders went to go check. A few seconds later they stuck their heads back in the chapel and motioned for us to come out. Sister Harless and I tripped out of the room to find a beautiful Korean girl we’d never seen before. MIRACLE TIME!
Sister Kim is from Seoul and recently moved to Gwangju. But she has a member friend in Seoul who had told her all about the church, so when she came to Gwangju she knew she wanted to learn more. She looked up the church online and had been calling and calling the chapel, but in normal Mormon fashion, no one answered because we don’t have any full-time clergy to answer the phone. She gave up and came straight to the church only to find a building full of missionaries. How lucky are WE!? We’re meeting her tonight! What’s really crazy is that in another part of the mission where missionaries were having similar training meetings, the exact same thing happened. The Lord is really preparing people who are ready to receive all the blessings and happiness He has in store for each one of us. I’m so lucky to be a part of that!