My last week was incredible. We were very busy and it felt like we never had enough time. We had investigators and other potentials to meet with, members to help, meetings to attend, and especially Christmas. We spent so much time preparing for the Christmas party and doing other related Christmas things.
I am so grateful for the people that I’ve met on my mission, though. Especially that last week, the thing that pained me the most was thinking of being away from them. I am awed every day by their strength, love, and goodness. The people we taught and talked with in English class (we had a final dinner altogether at a DELICIOUS soup restaurant), our incredible members, and those that we met on the street every day.
We met an awesome woman that last week. We had met her before on the bus, and later when we contacted her she invited us to come to her house on the Korean New Year for the traditional red-bean soup that they eat that day. It was such a good experience. Her house is actually a sort of Buddhist home, where people come and visit and she serves them. It was really cool. However, as we talked with her she told us, “Tell me about the gospel!” I admit, I was surprised. We just told her about the work that we do, and specifically how our message has changed our lives and can change those around us. We learned more about her beliefs and as we related with her, could feel the Spirit and had a great experience. She told us that while she had her own beliefs, she wanted her daughter to attend a church and was really impressed with the things that she saw and heard as she met with us. She is awesome. She does so much service in her area, and has such a loving heart.
As we were meeting with the woman, we got a call from the French Embassy about Sister Kim’s visa. (We had to go to Seoul again on Wednesday to fix some things so she could get it.) It was accepted! She was told that she could receive it and leave to go to the Ghana MTC on December 28th, the day that we would fly home to the states. It was so cool. We had been waiting and praying that she would be able to go soon. So exciting!
The Christmas party was awesome. At first, it didn’t seem like a lot of people would attend, but about thirty minutes after it was supposed to start, the seats were filling up. It was a great program! We had a lot of fun, and then afterwards were able to meet and talk with a lot of different people that were visiting and or weren’t members of the Church. It was a great opportunity.
The last day, Christmas, was a wonderful day. I loved going to church and spending that time with the members, with HBY and then seeing the Elder’s investigator’s baptism (which HBY attended.) The Spirit was very strong. While we had a lot of packing and cleaning to do, we also went and visited a family in the branch, made cookies with them and some visiting family of theirs, ate dinner together, and talked quite a bit. It was so good!
There was so much that I wanted to do that last week. While we didn’t have even close to enough of the time, we saw many miracles. I could see the Lord’s hand in everything. There were times when I felt like I was breaking, especially as I thought about the people I would have to leave and the life that was about to change. But I often felt a fire start to burn in me as I realized that I was not going to stop doing the Lord’s work. I would continue it and become an even greater instrument in some ways than what I was before.
This work will never end. And I will never stop doing it. While my time as a missionary in Korea has ended, I have felt again and again that life is also about to start. There is more to come. I am so grateful for the experiences that I had serving the Lord in the Korea Busan Mission. I know that the Lord is in charge of the work. He really lives. And He loves us. And I am grateful for the opportunity we have to continue to follow Him and one day become like Him!
I love it.
Love, Sister Stapley