This week is the big week when our mission receives our first batch of missionaries who only trained 9 weeks at the MTC, unlike me who had 12 weeks. I did the math with some other missionaries and we figured out that in May, the next transfer after this one, all except 4 sister missionaries will be training new missionaries in my mission. So I know that the huge mantle of responsibility for training and being senior is coming… BUT not yet!
I am, however, moving again! I’m off back to Gwangju! I’m not going back to Songjeong, I’m going to a new place called Nongseong and Chungjang. Like when I first came to Korea, I’m going to be serving two different wards with Sister Sheffield! She was with me in the MTC, so we are going “Co-senior.” This is going to be SUPER fun, and I’m excited to be going back to Gwangju! But, once again my heart is torn by having to leave Yuseong. Here, I really feel like I started to get it. To be able to really make connections with people I meet on the street, to understand the needs of the members that I serve, to be able to love my companions unconditionally. Here in Yuseong, I learned ALL the names of the people in my ward! This is quite a feat because a Korean name is like learning a new vocabulary word, but I did it! I love the wonderful people here SO much; every time I move, my bigger heart aches. A few months ago I told my mission president that my heart and capacity to love just keeps growing and growing, so I don’t think I’ll ever find a man who can fill up all this new room for love that I have. My mission president told me not to worry, that “he” was out there somewhere, I’ll just have to look carefully… after my mission.
A super exciting update! Remember the sweet mom that we found while knocking on doors? Well, on Saturday, we decided to stop by again, and she was home and we spent a whole hour getting to know her better and understanding her story. It’s amazing to me how my nametag, or not my nametag, but the calling it signifies, representing Jesus Christ, really comes with a special ability to soften people’s hearts and help them better understand their purpose in life and their relationship to heavenly father. I couldn’t do this alone, I’m terrible at teaching and understanding people’s real concerns, but as a missionary I can recognize the difference as I meet total strangers and they see something different about me and open up their lives to me. I absolutely know that God is watching over me and his children as I work every day to tell people about the super happy and wonderful message I’m sharing. I’m never alone, and in moments that I feel I am, I can look down at my name tag and see the name of the person whose work I’m going about doing, “예수 그리스도” (Jesus Christ).
This week I sat down next to a woman on a bus and she immediately asked me about the book I was carrying. I always carry a Book of Mormon… or really a 몰몬경 because it’s in Korean… so that’s what she was asking me about. She was flipping through the pages before I could recover from my surprise, which just led to more surprise. We ended up discussing it, Daejeon, her family, and meeting later.
We’re meeting on Tuesday!