At the MTC, a speaker one Sunday evening said, “A smile is a gift you can give to everyone.” Since coming to Korea, I’ve thought a lot about this and also one of my great advisors at Butler University. Every one of her emails ended with “Smile!” No matter the topic of her emails, there was always that reminder to have a great day and smile, regardless of what we are going through. Even if my Korean isn’t that great yet, smiling and laughing is universal, so I try to always have a smile on my face and especially share that with people I pass by who don’t seem to be having the greatest day. I was greatly impressed by a certain bus driver we had yesterday. We rode the bus more than usual to get back and forth across town for lessons and meetings. There was one bus driver we had twice! There are so many buses in Korea that to have the same driver was a novelty even to my Korean companion. He remembered us and wishes us a good day, but that wasn’t what impressed me. What impressed me was his determination to encourage all the bus drivers he drove past. He was always sending a friendly honk and waving to other drivers or opening his door and window to talk to drivers stopped at the same light. He was bringing a little sunshine into everyone’s life just by saying, “Hello, how’s life? How’s the family?” He is a great example to me!
This week, I met the prince of Korea. You might be thinking: but I thought Korea was a republic and didn’t have a monarchy anymore. Well, that’s true. But family heritage and history are very important to Koreans, so they all know their lineage. This man is the closest descendent of the last king of Korea. My companion and I were walking home after a really great day and I was being overly exuberant…well, you know, typical me…and a woman stopped us and asked why I was being that way. I really had no idea what she said, so I just said, “Oh, we’re missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” My companion filled in that we were happy because we’d had a really great day and were sharing a happy message. Then the woman asked if we wanted to meet the prince of Korea. We were both confused, but then around the corner walks her husband who gave us a fancy business card for the Imperial Culture Foundation of Korea and a little of his family’s history. It was the cherry on top of the evening!
Every week it is our goal to talk to 140 new people, just like this couple. Hardly anyone is interested, but there are people out there who know they need some light in their lives and are looking for happiness and joy. It’s up to us to find those people! When we email our families, we also email our mission president and report our progress. As of Saturday night we only had talked to 84 people during the week, so we decided to knock on doors after church. I’m sure many of you have had Mormon missionaries knock on your door or pass you on the street. Imagine that being me! We knocked on 112 doors yesterday in the span of two hours. It was exhausting! Almost all Koreans in cities live in apartments, so we started at the top of each building and went down floor by floor. There were a few interested people, so we’ll see where that takes us! Our message was simple: Hello! We are missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Nice to meet you. We are sharing a short message about the Bible and the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon has Heavenly Father’s words, just like the Bible, through prophets who teach about Jesus Christ. We know the Book of Mormon is true and can bring our families happiness and guidance, Thank you!
Even though not a lot of people came to the door, but just talked to us through the camera attached to their doorbell, it was still a fun time with my companion sharing our testimony. With the great and the not as great on my mission, it’s easy to remember to smile and be positive because I know that Heavenly Father is watching over me (Psalm 146). “You will find that your day will go the direction the corners of your mouth are turned.” I know that is true! And so I hope you have the GREATEST of days and share your light and smile with someone this week.