This week I learned to love the people around me and have confidence in myself. Before I started my mission I couldn't really comprehend what it would be like learning a language and teaching the gospel in a foreign country. It was just something I knew I would be doing for the next 18 months. But from day one everything has happened faster than I can comprehend. One difficulty for me has been balancing learning Korean with learning the language of the spirit. I've been so focused on learning the language that I haven't focused as much on the spirit. I haven't focused on the feelings in the lessons that helped me to understand what people are saying. So this week I did just that. I worked on focusing on the spirit.
So normally when I talk to Koreans I give them a look that says, "I have no clue what you just said." This is not a good thing to do as a missionary because we are trying to speak their language not have them learn ours. In one of our practice lessons, Sister Kelly told me I needed to stop doing this. Instead of listening with my ears, I started listening with my thoughts and feelings or in other words with the spirit. I tried to act like I knew what they were saying. As I began to realize this, I realized that I do know what people are saying or at least the basics of what they are saying. The next time we did a practice lesson I felt more confident in what I was saying and began to feel the spirit guide me to what I needed to say. This has also helped me feel more love for the people. I felt that I actually cared about what they were saying.
Yesterday in church I was struggling to sing the hymns in Korean because I'm tone deaf and didn't even know the songs in English. So I just listened and followed along. It was so beautiful to listen to. I felt peace to know that I can learn Korean. I'm so grateful to my Heavenly Father who loves me enough to try my faith. There is a Mormon Message called The Currant Bush. This message has been going through my mind this week as I've struggled with stress and discouragement. In the message it says,
"I was living up in Canada. I had purchased a farm. It was run-down. I went out one morning and saw a currant bush. It had grown up over six feet high. It was going all to wood. There were no blossoms and no currants. I was raised on a fruit farm in Salt Lake before we went to Canada, and I knew what ought to happen to that currant bush. So I got some pruning shears and went after it, and I cut it down, and pruned it, and clipped it back until there was nothing left but a little clump of stumps. It was just coming daylight, and I thought I saw on top of each of these little stumps what appeared to be a tear, and I thought the currant bush was crying. I was kind of simple minded (and I haven’t entirely gotten over it), and I looked at it, and smiled, and said, “What are you crying about?” You know, I thought I heard that currant bush talk. And I thought I heard it say this: “How could you do this to me? I was making such wonderful growth. I was almost as big as the shade tree and the fruit tree that are inside the fence, and now you have cut me down. Every plant in the garden will look down on me, because I didn’t make what I should have made. How could you do this to me? I thought you were the gardener here.” That’s what I thought I heard the currant bush say, and I thought it so much that I answered. I said, “Look, little currant bush, I am the gardener here, and I know what I want you to be. I didn’t intend you to be a fruit tree or a shade tree. I want you to be a currant bush, and some day, little currant bush, when you are laden with fruit, you are going to say, ‘Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for loving me enough to cut me down, for caring enough about me to hurt me. Thank you, Mr. Gardener."
This has been a source of strength to me because when I feel discouraged or lacking, I remember like the Gardener, the Lord loves me enough to cut me down so I can become the person he wants me to be.
Right now our only investigator is Crystal. We have a lot of practice lessons and opportunities to prepare to receive a new investigator although I don't know what each day will bring. I know as I pray, God will help me overcome whatever comes my way. I'm so grateful to have this opportunity right now to be serving the Lord. Have an incredible week. I hope you continue to remember to pray because it is through God's help we can do all things.
Mustain 자 매