I’M BACK IN GWANGJU! And I am seriously excited to be here. I had totally forgotten that in our church culture, missionaries who transfer a lot are assumed to be bad missionaries. A member even asked me, “Are you not a very good missionary? Why have you transferred so much?” When people ask me, “Why?” I just tell them that it gives me an opportunity to meet more of the awesome Korean members and people and to spread a little sunshine around the whole mission. They like that.
It’s a crazy adventure because before I got here, Sister Sheffield had only been in this area for four weeks. Only four weeks to learn the ropes, the buses, and the people. It results in us staring at the bus map a lot and wandering around a little bit, but we’ve only gotten on the bus going the wrong direction once. Unfortunately, we didn’t realize until we were at the END of the bus route. So we got off the bus, walked across the street to the opposite bus stop and waited. Since it was the end of the route, the same bus driver picked us up 10 minutes later after he took a little break, but he just pretended not to notice that we’d literally just gotten off his bus.
On Friday night, a friend Sister Cho texted and said she wanted to meet on Saturday! We were super excited, so we set up an appointment at the church. It was going to be a super short lesson, and only the second one with this lady, so we were just going to talk about Heavenly Father and the importance of families. We read together “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” and then asked questions about the proclamation and our families. At one point, the lady we were teaching was talking about her two kids and began to get very teary. I understood the idea of what she was saying, that she wished she could have been and could be more for her kids, especially her son, but I didn’t understand the specifics. She had to pause and collect herself as her eyes welled up with tears, and so we continued and testified that Heavenly Father loves each of us just the way she loves and cares for her kids. The lesson ended really well, with a promise to meet again this week. After the meeting, we discussed the lesson and what had happened. Sister Sheffield has a better grasp on Korean than I do, but she was just as surprised as I was in the lesson. Luckily, we know that we don’t have to understand everything, because God does, and he can help us to know what to say and teach, just like he did in that lesson.
Oh, by the way, Happy Easter! In Korean, Easter is literally, “Resurrection Day.” Yesterday we went to the Nongseong Ward, where Sister Sheffield’s last companion was visiting with her mom and sister before she heads back to America this week. Before church, the bishop asked the returning missionary’s mom if she would like to bear her testimony. She said she would be happy to, as long as she could do so in English. He said of course that was fine, and that she had ten minutes. She said she normally took three weeks to prepare a 10 minute talk in church! But, when she got up with her daughter (who translated) she gave one of the best 10 minute talks I’ve ever heard! She said that when she thinks of Christ’s Resurrection, she thinks of the 3 days that his disciples had to wait and how sad and lonely they must have felt after having Him there with them. When she has a hard time or a problem, she gives it three days, and always after three days the problem is gone, or she knows how to manage or solve the hardship of her trial. She said the gospel is great because Christ doesn’t promise that our lives will be easy, but that we “will come off conqueror” (D&C 10:5) if we just follow him and do our best. And he’s given us tools to do better than our best! Through prayer, the scriptures, words of living prophets, church attendance, and great people in our lives, we can do anything, no matter how hard. What a great promise! All because Christ is our Savior; He lived, died, and lives again for us so that we can do the same.