Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas week

So actually, Christmas is not really a big deal in Korea. It's definitely here, though, and everyone knows what it is. As a district, we wrapped a bunch of Book of Mormons and plan an giving them away as kind of a fun and hopefully successful project. In Seoul, most all of our finding activities are streetboarding - we go out on the street in a crowded area and ask people to pick a question on our board and put a sticker on it. We nearly never go door-to-door, which I'm quite okay with. 

Something I've wondered about a lot on my mission is why so many people reject the word. I think of examples of great missionaries in the scriptures who converted nations of people and wonder why we don't see the same thing today. In Seoul, there are many churches. It is astoundingly clear when, from any point you stand, you can see at least three churches, with the typical red-lighten cross high in the hair. Looking out at the city from a higher point of view, the city is literally covered in these crosses (I'll try to get a picture at some point just to show you). There are so many churches in Seoul, and they come in shapes, sizes, and names I never imagined a church having. It is easy, then, to wonder about this. People recognize us immediately on the street, and usually see us like any of the others calling "lo here" or "lo there." One funny and weird thing, too, is that we often streetboard next to Jehovah's Witnesses who are also proselyting. They are really nice and great people, certainly following Christ in the way they know how; but with such obvious "religious excitement," how is our church different from all these others? Certainly, as missionaries, we are physically doing the same thing as the others. 

The answer is the same message we share when we first meet someone: The Restoration and the Book of Mormon. There are many who share our core belief in Christ. I've met many great, warm, Christlike people here who have strong testimonies of Christ and who aren't of our faith. But when we consider this sea of crosses across Seoul, many similar is message and appearance, but no two being exactly alike, I am reminded of Joseph Smith's own question: Which one is true? Our message is bold: Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ. Considering the doubt and confusion I am just starting to see and understand, having always been a member of the church, it only now is clear why that is significant. Christ leads His church himself through living prophets, like in times of old. He has declared, yet again, like in times past, His word and gospel through the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is the foundation of my faith. As I study it, the depth, power, and spirit that it contains make it clear that the book is true. The implications of this are massive - all the revelations and truths taught in the church are true, and all that has been spoken of really will come to pass. Many people will turn it aside without a thought, and many will deny it. But the truth is simple - The Book of Mormon is true. We can find out by obtaining the word it contains, praying about it, acting upon it, and witnessing the precious blessings it brings. This process we complete over and over again as we strengthen our faith, and again and again it proves true. Thus, the church is true, and it can never be proven anything else. 

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas season! Take a little time to think of all the miracles in our life, including family and the greatest gift of love, which is our Savior. 

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