This week was a CRAZY one for me! The first half of the week consisted of lots of meal appointments with members and friends and running around getting Sister Painter ready to go home. In all that running around though, we saw countless miracles. Heavenly Father wanted to send her out with a bang at the end of her mission!
In our short six weeks together, we didn’t get to start teaching a lot of new people, mostly it was helping people we already know, like Coco and Sister Lee, learn about God and improve their lives. But, a few weeks ago we were waiting at a bus stop and a woman introduced herself to us. That’s already pretty rare. Who wants to risk a conversation with missionaries if they can help it, right? Even more interesting than that was that she asked us in English if we were missionaries from Utah, meaning she recognized us as Mormons. Score. (I love not being from Utah because then I can talk about how there are members of our church all over the world!) Lots of people in Korea like to speak to us in English, but after a few sentences we figured out she really was fluent and was more than just curious. It was just before the Lunar New Year, so we couldn’t meet with her again until this past week. On Sister Painter’s last full day in the mission field, we taught the “First Lesson” or how we introduce our message to people. We talk about God and the importance of families. After that we talk about prophets and Jesus Christ, the most important and central part of our message. Then we talk about the need for a restoration of Christ’s original church and how the Book of Mormon is evidence that this restoration has happened. Our new friend Mona has an extensive background with the Bible, so she understood the scriptures we used and how it all connected. I think that the whole time she was waiting to hear about the Book of Mormon. She asked where she could get one and if she could borrow ours. Well, of COURSE! She’s lived half of her life in America, so we gave her a Korean Book of Mormon and the mini paperback Book of Mormon I carry in my bag. We’re going to meet her again!
As Sister Painter and I taught Mona, Sister Painter’s last lesson before she shipped out, we were totally in tune with each other, as well as with the member who came and shared her experience coming to know that the Book of Mormon is true. It was a cool experience, even though in another language, to understand each other and be so unified that we could go back and forth and be flexible to adapt to our new friend’s needs. When Sister Painter recited Joseph Smith’s First Vision for the last time as a missionary, the spirit and feeling in the room was startlingly present. Even though in Korean, I could feel and understand the truth behind the words.
When my new companion sister Lee Seojeong came to Yuseong, the miracles and awesome experiences didn’t stop. We visited some members and immediately found new people to teach because of those visits! Also, the other two sister missionaries in our apartment and we were sitting down to lunch and made an apartment shopping list of necessities. We even made some offhanded remarks, desires for things we can’t buy because we’re poor missionaries like a bigger cooking pot or more laundry racks. Things we’d like, but don’t really need like what was on our shopping list (eggs, kim – aka seaweed – so delicious, laundry soap, etc). Then the next day, through the generosity of the members we are SO privileged to serve, we received EVERYTHING on our list, including a bigger cooking pot and two new laundry racks. Whoever believes that God doesn’t live or that he doesn’t care about His children on earth anymore needs to come to Korea. There is evidence EVERYWHERE! I’m so lucky!