This week was great but at the same time I had a rough time. Lots of anxiety and stress where one day I just didn't feel up to doing anything. Now looking back, I know it was just the adversary just trying to get me down and cause me to doubt. So as you read this email don't worry. I'm totally happy now! :D
Last Monday, I never mentioned how Crystal had been canceling all our appointments that weekend. Honestly, I didn't want to mention it to you all in case I might jinx the appointment we had set for Monday at 3:30 pm. However, we met her!! And all is well! :D
We usually get to the church early so we can go over our lesson plans and prepare spiritually before an investigator comes. While waiting for her to come, we both had to go to the bathroom really bad, and it was like 5 minutes till. I figured we could both go at the same time and finish before Crystal even arrived. But I was wrong. As soon as I walked out of the restroom I was bombarded with a huge bear hug from Crystal. While we were in the bathroom she came and had been walking around the church calling out for us. She was soooo happy to see me! I definitely could feel her love. She was so sad that she couldn't see us since Wednesday. My anxiety of her dropping us was immediately relieved when she told us she missed us.
She told us about how she will be going to Pyeongtaek for 3 weeks for a job and so she won't be able to see us for a while. We were all sad :( But she wanted to make plans to meet with us every single day this week. So, after scheduling the week, she mentioned that she wants to come to church on Sunday. She has a lot of curiosity about the process of the administering of the Sacrament and said she knows it will really help her for while she's away. We were so overjoyed to hear she wanted to come to church. Without even knowing we had planned to teach her that day about keeping the Sabbath day holy and invite her to church, but she invited her self before we even taught her. Amazing!
We continued to meet with her every day this past week and it was great. Thursday was our temple day. Sister Chestnut and I were asked to do initiatories. Which was such a great experience. There was an American temple worker so I was able to hear it in Korean and in English. Great blessing and great reminder. After finishing, Sister Chestnut and I both changed only to find out we were able to attend the 10:30 am session endowment session. Which really was great to hear, because I had been looking forward to that, but thought I wasn't able to.
Later that evening we heard from the elders that Sam decided to no longer get baptized and not meet anymore. Which just instantly as I heard it I felt knots in my stomach. I hate depressing news. Basically, he talked to some friends and his wife and they feel that he is moving to fast with religion and advised him that he should look into other churches first. Which I understand, BUT he already knows this church is true! He has had so many spiritual experiences it was shocking that he made the choice to choose not to be baptized. While walking home, I was just so angry at God. Why could He let Sam go so easily. Why was all the miracles we were seeing in Gyesan all falling through? Is being on a missionary really worth it, if the miracles never fall through. So far on my mission I've seen sooo many tender mercies, but later learn they weren't really anything. All those thoughts led me to wonder what will happen with Crystal. Is she not going to be baptized? I mean we had just had a great week with her, but she's going to be gone for 3 weeks! A lot can change in 3 whole weeks. She only took 3 weeks to start believing in God. The idea of Satan being able to tempt her and her not have our help scared me. I didn't want her to go.
But during our walk home Sister chestnut and I talked it out and I really was grateful that she had the idea to sing some lines from different happy songs we could think of. Like "Don't worry, be happy" "There is sunshine in my soul today" " Don't stop believin!" " Cause I'm happy... " "If your happy and you know, clap your hands" and etc. While singing we were able to laugh and find relief. Relief I really needed.
Sunday came and Crystal did come to church! She really really liked it I think. It was cute that she clapped a little after the first speaker. I forgot to mention to hear we don't do that. haha but it was fine. She was really happy to be there, and after sacrament the ward members introduced themselves, especially the bishop. He ended up just asking her questions to get to know her and well that first 2 minutes turned into us 4 all going to his office to chat for the rest of church. 2 whole hours!! It was a miracle for sure! It turned into a lesson where I know for sure she was able to fully find answers to her questions. Our Korean is bad, but having the bishop there being able to help explain things to her understanding was so needed. She and him seemed to have really similar lives. She is really looking for direction on what she should do with her life, and he had done the same thing. I just loved every moment. He was able to help her see that the gospel can help her find direction for her life. He would ask her questions about if we had taught her something and I was so glad we already had, she was confident and smiled because she was able to understand what he was talking about. I couldn't tell you what was really said now, I can't really remember. Probably why this email doesn't make much sense but I do remember him adding a 3rd witness to ours that she can come to know the truth about Joseph Smith truly being a prophet of God and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God along with the Bible IF she is willing to ask God. I could tell that I was blessed with the gift of tongues and my understanding was increased because I was able to follow the conversation so, so well.
After the meeting she said goodbye and we all even cried a little. But we'll keep in touch while she's away. She plans to continue to pray and read the Book of Mormon so that's great. And I thought back to Thursday night and realized I too had gotten something out of the visit with the Bishop in his office. My job as a missionary is to invite. It can be really really hard seeing people we care about have the truth right in front of them, but choose not to have it. Everyone has their one agency to choose. My job is to just help them know the truth and teach them how they can find out how to know for themselves if it is true. I will continue to pray for Sam, hoping that the Lord will direct his life and he can be able to discern the difference between the spirit he felt meeting with the elders and other feelings. A huge thing I've learned so far on my mission is that I have to continually trust that the Lord has a plan for everyone I meet.
I know this church is true and as long as I am striving to do my best and live according the the commandments and be a good missionary then I'll be able to see success in my labors.