On Saturday I went to an activity for the Relief Society women at church and we brought one of our AWESOME investigators and her daughter. The activity? Baking cookies and bread. This might not sound so revolutionary to you, but let me tell you, baking is a pretty modern concept to most Koreans, and it was for our investigator, too, who is Filipino. We made banana bread and chocolate chip cookies. Being as I was the only American, by the end, all use of the oven and the timer was deferred to me. I think Korean Mormons only know about baking because American missionaries started using our apartment ovens to bake treats for our members, so it is well assumed that we are all baking professionals. The bread turned out really well, but there was too much dough in the pans, so we ended up having to cut out the very done edges and stick the underdone middles back in the oven. Horrifying. Another fun fact, chocolate chips are super expensive here and only come in tiny bags of maybe half a cup, so to cut the crazy cost, Koreans just buy chocolate bars and cut them up into chocolate chunks. For some reason we didn’t mix the chocolate into the dough before scooping out balls of dough onto the pan. I asked why, but…I didn’t understand the answer. So we painstakingly stuck four to five chocolate chunks into each cookie by hand. It started out as four to five chunks at the beginning, but gradually became more and more as we ran out of dough. The result was a lot of left over chocolate that we all shared! Not complaining.
Last Tuesday my Zone tried something different than the normal English survey we frequently do to meet new people. We brought huge stacks of Book of Mormons and a giant sign that said, “If you could ask God one question, what would it be?” We got the idea from our Mission President’s wife, and a lot of us had wanted to try it out, so now was our chance! It was a slow beginning, but by the end we had given out all of the Book of Mormons and answered a lot of great questions! As they were writing down their name, question, and phone number, one of the Korean sister missionaries would translate the question for me and we would think of a scripture to share. Once we looked it up, we would have the person read it out loud and then explain the answer further. We had some really wonderful discussions about the Book of Mormon and especially about Heavenly Father’s plan for each of us. I was amazed that a lot of the questions ended up being the same or really similar. The most popular question was, “Is there a heaven?” or, “What is in heaven?” We used Alma 18:30 to answer these questions along with the question, “Where is God?” Another really popular question we got was, “Does God love me?” to which I used one of my favorite scriptures in 1 Nephi 11:17. It seemed like a lot of the questions had to do with death, which made me wonder if that is because of the many non-Christian religions practiced in this part of the world. People asked, “Where will I go after I die?” and, “What is Hell like?” so we shared Alma 40:11 and Alma 40:26, respectively.
We received a few silly questions like, “What is the nature of hip-hop?” and “Can I be happy with her forever?” To the kid who asked the latter, who I’m sure was not expecting a real answer since he began walking away immediately, we shared Mosiah 2:41. He looked surprised, but enjoyed that we answered his question. A few people wrote down, “Are you happy?” My partner in crime, Sister Kim (I know, everyone’s last name really is Kim), and I thought that was a funny question. Of course we’re happy, we’re missionaries! With everyone who asked that we shared 2 Nephi 5:27. It was not until after the activity was over that we realized that everyone was asking if GOD was happy, not us! Oops. But everyone who asked that LOVED the scripture we shared, so I guess it was ok.
There were three questions that impressed me beyond all others. The first was asked by a man who I don’t think really wanted an answer because he threw down the pen and ran away before we could even read it. The question was, “Is it good to fight over religion?” If he had given us even ten seconds we would have had him read Christ’s words to the Nephites in 3 Nephi 11:29-30, but he didn’t give us the chance. His question was so good! I wanted to ask him why that would be his one question! The second was asked by a group of teenaged girls. They asked, “Does God know or care what will happen to our country?” For a country which is still divided, I can understand the great significance behind this question. No scripture could better answer their question than Alma 26:37. The final question was more specifically to our Savior. This young girl asked, “Did it hurt when He died for me?” I think we were blown away by the serious nature of her question because she was so young, but Sister Kim didn’t hesitate to open a new Book of Mormon to Mosiah 3:7 and hand it to the girl. We both bore our testimonies of our Savior’s sacrifice and what it means to each of us. Our new friend took her Book of Mormon with care and thanked us for our time. It was a precious moment, even among the hustle and bustle of the busy shopping street where we were set up.
I am so thankful for that opportunity to show people how special the Book of Mormon is. It really works in tandem with the Bible to teach us about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I know, for I have experienced it for myself, that the Book of Mormon can answer the questions of our soul.