This week I did nothing Thanksgiving related, except teach about it in English class on Wednesday. But, I still had a fantastic Thanksgiving! Thursday was Zone Conference, so we spent a big chunk of the day with our mission president and his wife and all the other missionaries in an hour radius learning how to be better people and teachers. We had pizza…not terribly Thanksgiving of us, but I did prepare a special music number with some other elders of “For the Beauty of the Earth.” At one point, everyone in the room was singing together and I took a moment to look around at the other missionaries in the room. It was a powerful moment. I was sitting in the presence of really great people who I hope I can be like one day. Listening to the other missionaries’ share their testimonies and experiences from the mission field and feeling their spirit and power behind their words helped me recognize that I have so far to go! But step by step, with the Lord’s help I can be who I need to be, who other people need me to be. I am so Thankful for the Gospel!
So I’ve had this great concern that I’m not funny anymore. I said this to Elder Benson, the elder who was in my class at the MTC, and he said it wasn’t possible. Yesterday I had three experiences that proved to me that I’m still funny. The first was in the morning. I was on member splits, but this week, the member I was with isn’t terribly great at English, so it was a little harder. But, she was laughing with me the whole time…so something was either going very well…or very not well. I guess both are possible! The second was during a first time lesson with a daughter and her dad. I did my little “clap clap clap” for excitement during the lesson and everyone laughed, and the dad did it, too! No one has responded to my childlike clapping since getting here! It was hilarious and AWESOME! The last was last night after making kimchi with some members. The dad was showing me the Korean way to peel fruit (Koreans hate fruit skins). I wasn’t doing so well, so after taking a chunk out of the fruit and not just the peel, he said, “Look at all that fruit we won’t be able to eat!” and promptly fired me from peeling more fruit. Later, he was going about peeling and he did an oh so slightly less than perfect job at peeling an apple and I said, “Look at all that fruit we won’t be able to eat!” The 5 other members in the room burst out laughing and said I was a quick learner. He just smirked at me.
This week I was an instrument in the Lord’s hands without even knowing it. Last week we went to visit a former investigator who just before her baptism stopped meeting with us because of family problems. She would only talk to us through the video camera and wouldn’t let us in, so I decided we would have to bring her ice cream, then she would have to let us in! Friday night we did just that, but she still didn’t really want to talk to us, so we just handed her the ice cream and spent a few minutes at the door being friendly. I honestly felt like such a failure! We did nothing but hand her ice cream and spend three minutes talking to her! My companion thought it was a great success, but I was horribly disappointed. Later that night, her mom called and asked, “How did you know it was her daughter’s birthday?” … What? We obviously didn’t know, we were just doing what seemed right, but the Lord knew. As soon as my companion told me everything the mother said on the phone, I burst into tears. I was both disappointed in myself for being so unsatisfied with the service we had rendered and overwhelmingly happy and grateful to have been able to bring so much of Heavenly Father’s love and joy to this family. I am so humbled by this experience and in great awe for how perfect Heavenly Father’s plan is. Through nothing more than “a good idea,” He was able to fill the small need of one of his daughters.
Even though I had to sacrifice playing in the Turkey Bowl, having Thanksgiving with my family and friends, and shopping on Black Friday with my dad, this one experience makes it all worth it. I have so much to be thankful for that my heart is run over with gratitude! I hope that you, too, recognize the great blessings in your life. They’re everywhere!!