Last week we were planning on dropping NKL, and so for the following lesson, prepared to do that. She is THE SWEETEST, and we love her so much. I really didn't want to drop her, but we had thought that we needed to. However, when we first started out working on the English part of the lesson, I just felt nasty. Something wasn't right. I guess Sister Lee felt it too, because she asked if we could run to the restroom really fast, and when we got there we said a prayer about what we should do. When we finished, we felt strongly that we shouldn't drop her. I was SO relieved. We went back and taught a little more about the Plan of Salvation and a parable from Matthew, and I was able to bear my testimony about how the gospel has blessed me. NKL told us a little bit about why she likes Buddhism, and how she receives answers to her prayers when she prays to Buddha. It was really good to hear how she felt about that, and we could relate to her with how God answers our prayers. Even though she is still not progressing and doesn't really seem to have a desire to learn about the gospel, I know that if we follow the Spirit it will all go as it should. After the lesson Nam Kyong Lee gave Sister Lee and I a little bag with nice scarves that she bought for us. GOODNESS. We should be the ones giving her gifts! JUST TAKE THE BEST GIFT WE HAVE. Please. I love her SO much. I pray that the Spirit can really touch her heart and give her a desire to grow closer to the Savior.
One of my favorite members is an old grandmother that we meet with every week at a buffet. She is HILARIOUS. She is the one that really loves to try to get us to try strange foods, and laughs at us when we do. This week, we were not able to meet at the buffet, so we went over to her house for dinner. She made SO much food. With Koreans, if we refuse any food it is really disrespectful, so we have to eat and eat and ask for seconds and eat until we are almost sick to show them how much we love them. Luckily, it is always really good food, so it is okay, but this time I literally had the thought, "I can't swallow ANOTHER BITE." The grandmother is the SWEETEST, though. She is so humble and loving, and jokes around a lot. She gave us Gam (a tasty fruit) and Maeshil or something like (a drink made from a really hard fruit) when we left, and then stood out on the balcony of the apartment building and watched us walk away until we were out of sight. She is wonderful. She was just converted a few years ago, and has so much faith. Like many of the grandmothers here, she can't really stand up straight, and hobbles around with her back bent over, but she is super sassy. She's a cutie!
Okay, on Friday I had some of the coolest blessings and tender mercies. We had interviews with President Barrow, and it was awesome. He is so loving and kind, and it was wonderful to talk with him. While we were waiting to talk with him, we got to talk a lot with Sister Barrow. I LOVE HER. She is pretty athletic, and had all of us do two minute planks with her (which was super fun-I like planks, and Sister Barrow and I were having fun making fun of some of the Elders who were shaking while we were doing it). After that, we all sat around in the hallway and while she had us talk about our family history, our parents' love stories, and our favorite talks from General Conference. She is so spiritual, loving and fun. She loves to laugh, and one of her favorite things to do is take videos of us doing funny things. I am SO grateful for my mission president and his wife. They are already like my mission parents.
Friday night we went to teach our investigator family. It was okay, but we are worried that we might have to drop them. Anyway, when we were coming back I said a quick prayer that I would be able to really talk with someone and share a good message with them. When we got on the bus I sat next to an older woman who was very nice and talked with me quite a bit, but didn't seem too interested. She accepted a message card and eventually got off, and then a girl in front of me turned around and told me that she had been listening to me talking. She is a college student about my age that lives in Gyeongsan, and said she wanted to be friends. She even asked for my phone number! Uhh...YES. Thank you. We texted back and forth with her for a while later and she really wants to meet with us again. Miracle. Even Sister Lee was shocked. That was totally all Heavenly Father. I am so grateful that He hears our prayers and helps us SO MUCH.
This week WHIZZED by. On Saturday, we met up with two of our young woman age investigators. We first met with SMS, and took her out for lunch and then did a lesson. At first she was pretty reluctant to do the lesson part, but we started and it went REALLY well. We taught about the Restoration and through to Joseph Smith. She participated and listened very well, and agreed to pray that day. We then asked her *deep breath*...if she would prepare to be baptized on November 15th. SHE SAID YES! She even pulled out her phone and looked at her calender, checking and making sure that it would all work out. While she didn't actually come to church the next day, meaning we will probably have to move the date a little later, we are still really excited! After the lesson we had an awesome Young Women's activity, where we made cookies. I brought my recipe book and we did Snickerdoodles with SMS, LJS (one of our young women members) and her friend that she brought to church last week, OJW. It was super fun! After the activity, we grabbed OJW and LJS and taught the Restoration. She was a little more nervous about praying, but agreed to do it. And when we asked her if she would prepare for baptism on November 15th, she also said YES! It was incredible. It really is the perfect situation. LJS supports her and helps her so much, and even helped her say the closing prayer (she is very shy, and felt super nervous). The next day, she came to church, and we taught her about the Book of Mormon and gave her a nice Korean one as a gift. She is progressing well! We have been so blessed. Heavenly Father is giving us SO much, and I can't comprehend how much we have been blessed lately. I know that they still need to progress and actually come to baptism, but even having someone commit to a date is huge for us. I am so thankful!
We sang in church yesterday (us and the Elders), and it was super fun! We sang "Be Still My Soul", in Korean obviously, and one of the Elders did the melody, the other bass, Sister Lee alto, and I did tenor! It turned out really well! Also, we have branch activity coming up, and some of the sisters wanted to do a little small group acapella song. So we have two sisters on soprano, two on alto, me on tenor, and another sister on bass. Gosh, it is so much fun. I love it!
We get the hanboks this week! We should actually get them tomorrow or on Wednesday. Sister Lee and I have been so excited. No shame: we've put on the hanbok shoes and walked back and forth in our tiny apartment runway style on more than one occasion.
The other day when I was sitting on the bus going to teach our investigator family, I was thinking about something I had read recently in Preach My Gospel. On pages 94 and 95 in the "Recognize the Spirit" chapter, is a list talking about things we should pray for and think about when praying. It talks a lot about how prayer really is conversation with our Heavenly Father. We all know that, but I was impressed as I studied that how much I should really tell Heavenly Father about EVERYTHING. I should talk to Him about how I feel, what I am doing and working on, of course what I need and what I am thankful for, and just speak to Him as I would to my father. As I sat on the bus, I was impressed about how much, how desperately Heavenly Father just wants us to talk to Him. He is our Father. Like how Elder Holland described this relationship in General Conference, like our relationship with our mothers, He truly wants to hear from us, to open our hearts to Him, our thoughts, what we did today and plan to do tomorrow, everything. I think He is much closer to us than we think. Praying and talking with my Heavenly Father has become one of my most treasured opportunities I have each day, each moment. As I understand more and more prayer and my relationship with Him, it changes my outlook on everything. I know that if we really take thought, and just SPEAK, "pouring out our souls to Him" like in Alma 34:26, the floodgates will open and His love and Spirit will be poured out upon US. I love my Heavenly Father. I talk to Him every day. I am so grateful for this.
Please pray for SMS and OJW!
I love you all so much!