Monday, March 23, 2015

Tender Mercies From The Lord

Hey ya'll! Well this week was a great week! You know how I told you last week that Crystal had left for a month? Well, she's back now! Turns out her job was delayed a week so she was able to come back last Thursday. Up until she came back our time was really open and so we ended up making appointments with members so we could practicing our teaching and Korean with them. This week I really struggled with my Korean. I felt almost as though the more I tried the more mixed up my tongue was. I just had the hardest time forming sentences or expressing myself in the way I wanted. But even though I had a hard time, the Lord showed many tender mercies to me and my companion.
As usual we had English class on Friday. Sister Chestnut and I are officially the children's english teachers now I think; which is totally ok with me! :D There are about 8 kids and the girls are so cute and remember our names so I enjoy it a lot being able to teach them. Teaching them English isn't too difficult because they learn at school already, but it's the keeping them busy that's the hard part. As compared to Sister chestnut I have a little bit more motherly qualities. She's amazing in so many other ways though. She seems very okay with me taking the lead in class. So, I always have to keep up with their attention spans, and there's always pressure because all the parents are there watching. I feel like she and I have done really well at teaching them and helping the kids all have fun. There's one boy in particular named Mayan. He's so good at English that he even swears. And when he does I just can't help it, but my motherly instincts kick in and I scold him for it. BAD WORDS ARE NOT OK! Haha it's kind of silly just seeing how much of a mother I feel like I am to him. But he needs it. His mother passed away a while ago. Don't know how or exactly when but he doesn't have that motherly figure in his life. Just his dad who has his own personal struggles and being a single dad on top of that must be really hard. They have been coming to our English class for a long time now. I definitely think Mayan's dad likes us missionaries being a good  influence for his son. I'm really glad Mayan has us too.
Anyways, back to my story...
During English class we always end by playing games. Either musical chairs, do you love your neighbor, or duck duck goose. I promised Mayan last week that we would play Duck, duck, goose. Which he didn't fail to remind me about it haha. So we played Duck, duck, goose. While playing a less-active member came with her little 5 or 6 year old niece named Elsa. She was so cute and has the cutest little laugh. I just wanted to keep her as my own daughter! She is a very honest little girl. You know how little kids are they see something and comment on it...usually without a filter. Well this little girl joked about Mayan's hair and how he looked like a bum. All the kids were laughing and laughing and Sister Chestnut and I didn't know the word she said so we didn't understand. As soon as I saw Mayan storm out of the room it all just clicked; I knew he got his feelings hurt. Because I am a missionary I always have to stay with my companion and class wasn't over yet so we couldn't just leave the kids and go after Mayan to see what was wrong. I was rather annoyed by the parent's as well, because they didn't do anything. But eventually little Elsa was told by her aunt that she needs to say sorry to him which she did, but she didn't really know why and was laughing while she said sorry. It really hurt me to witness all that and not be able to make it better. At 8pm, all the classes join together for a game and so during that transition between I learned from Mayan's dad what happened and that he was in the car crying. I immediately wanted to comfort him. So, Sister Chestnut went with me and I was able to try talking to Mayan.
He was really hurt and upset and I tried my best to comfort him. I was really sad that his dad was laughing but I understood that his dad just doesn't know what to do and laughs when it's a weird situation like that. I don't know if Mayan feels any better. I hope he comes again this coming week, but I tried my best and even promised him a little snack for his birthday.
Because of that experience though, I realized I'm really am good with children. I've gotten compliments throughout my mission about it, but it didn't hit me until that moment I helped Mayan. So as I told Michelle, I'm thinking maybe early childhood education wouldn't be a bad major for me. We'll see though. I'll continue to pray about it.

After talking to Mayan for a little bit, we went back inside and joined everyone else in playing a  game. When English class ended, I looked up to see that Crystal had sneaked in. Sadly, too late, but it was great seeing her again. She seemed super excited and wanted to talk to us a little, which was great because a 19 year old girl (a member) always likes staying to chat with us for a little while after class as well. As soon as they introduced themselves to each other it turned into a member lesson! Amazing!! Sadly, my Korean was still lacking and I couldn't fully understand where the lesson was going, but having a member there was such a blessing!! I tried hard to participate and add a couple comments or testimony to what the member was saying but it was mostly our member 주민주 teaching. We eventually had to end it because of our missionary curfew but it was a great time. Through it Crystal was able to make a friend and they even walked home together. So that's great.
On Saturday, all our plans got canceled :(  So that was a bummer. Our only back up plan was to proselyte and try finding a new investigator. Sister Chestnut got a really great idea to go hike the Gyeyang mountain and talk to people while we hike. Because it was so spontaneous we would have to hike in our flats and skirts. But it was either that or just walk around town all day. So, what did we do? We hiked :) About half-way up I decided  it was the worst idea ever; I am so out of shape! But it actually was really successful we talked to about 3 or 4 people. At the top of the mountain, we even met a guy who has met missionaries before and turns out that Saturday was the first day he had hiked in a long time and it just happened to be the day we decided to go hike as well. What do you think of that?? Miracle right?:) My body however, doesn't appreciate that hike, my calves are sooooo sore and I got a blister from wearing my flats on a hike. It wasn't the best decision to hike in those, but it's an experience I'll never forget.

Sunday was so great! Sister Chestnut and I fasted all day for Crystal and for Sam. Which I was so humbled when I already started seeing blessings during church. Since Crystal came back she was able to come to church again. That was a blessing! She came a little late, but the fact that she even came was great! This time we all actually went to Sunday school class (gospel principles) which was the young single adults, and 6 missionaries. Blessing number 2 haha. There I was able to witness how amazing this ward is. Our ward mission leader taught the lesson which that day was on Prophets. He and a couple of the other members were able to help her understand the history of prophets and how the calling of prophets and apostles works today. It was such a tender mercy because they were able to teach her and explain things that I couldn't in Korean. Crystal has lots of questions and so a result of one of her questions lead to another member lesson but this time with our ward mission leader. He was able to explain more deeply the Plan of Salvation and a couple other things like prayer and how to learn for herself that what we are teaching is true. I again stumbled on my Korean, but I felt the spirit all through out church and I knew that the Lord didn't need to help me with my Korean. He has a bunch of actual Koreans who were there to help teach her and answer all her questions. So that was such a tender mercy. She met a couple other friends so that was a blessing as well. Without our knowledge Crystal even made an appointment by herself to meet with the Bishop which I think went really well. She came out of it looking happy so that's good news :D
She doesn't know when she will leave again yet, but she does want to see us again. Especially since Sister Chestnut will be going back to America next week.
Wow! America! Time is flying. I feel like I just became companions with Sister Chestnut and now it's already her last week OF HER MISSION! I feel like if I blink even for just a moment then the rest of my mission will just fly on by! I'm loving every second of it. I hope it doesn't go too quickly!
Sister Kelly

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