Monday, October 24, 2016

Elder Bednar comes to town!

Fantastic week this week! Wednesday we went to Seoul and back for a combined mission conference with the Seoul South Mission. It was one of the most spiritual and learning experiences I've had. There was too much that I loved to list my favorite part. In general, what I learned most was not from anything he said, but from the way he taught. It was basically a three hour discussion between everyone, not just him. The amazing power that this taught us about learning by faith and not just passive reception, and also by exercising agency and doing more, was electrifying. It was essentially an opportunity to witness the power of the most basic principles of the gospel in effect. When we pray, we pray not just with a desire to act, but in a way that ensures we will act. He also started the question and answer session by saying, "If you prepared questions for this beforehand, don't ask them." And yet every one of us had those questions answered - by faith, and by the Spirit, not by passively becoming a passive learning object at the hands of Elder Bednar, rather than an agent to learn for ourselves. 

The Spirit from this meeting continued to Thursday, when Elder Du Plessis and I saw many miracles. We went out to Hwengseong to visit a member and a less actives. We weren't quite sure how the timing of buses was going to work, though, so I was texting the member back and forth to try to figure out how we could visit. When we finally decided that if we were both in Wonju at 4:00 we could meet. We then grabbed a bus ticket with two minutes to spare to get to the less active's house. The whole timing of the day worked out miraculously, because we only knew which bus to take because of a person who had giving us directions last week. On that bus, we realized we didn't know where to get off, because we had never been that way before. I turned to the lady behind me, who had just gotten on, and asked if she know where the address was. She told us we needed to get off at the very next stop, which was only about a minute away. Then she told us to walk down the road to the right. When we did, we started seeing that it matched the one on our picture from a map, and we were able to find the house faster than I've ever found one before, despite being further away than any I've tried to find before. The person there told us the less active had moved. On our way back, someone called and wanted to meet, so we set an appointment. Then we caught another bus that just so happened to be going exactly where we needed it to. It stopped for a while in Hwegseong, where it just so happened that the member we had originally wanted to meet got on. We both ended up in Wonju together, so she wanted to take us to a restaurant. Then, during the message, she shared about some struggles she was facing, and how she hadn't been to church in four weeks. I felt prompted to share the story from general conference about when segregation was first ended in Africa, and church was combined for the first time. One family felt mistreated, and the girl complained about this to her mom afterward. The mom replied that the church was like a big hospital, and everyone was sick in their own way. This seemed to help here, and I feel that the whole day worked out the way it did so that we would meet and be able to share that. She came to church yesterday.

We are currently striving to talk to everyone, work with the members, and find new investigators to teach.

Have a good week everyone! Elder Jones, hope your meeting with Elder Bednar is life-changing as well!

Elder Bednar Conference

Out in the Country (last Thursday)

It's rice harvest time!

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