Monday, October 7, 2013

Now....Where Was I?

Alrighty everyone, sorry to have left you hanging there with that last story.

Now where was I? ... Oh yes... The older Brother in our ward. His name is Brother Hong, and he is one of the most awesome people that I know. He is incredibly fluent in English... and when I say English I really mean like Old English. He has memorized the greater part of the Bible IN ENGLISH, and just loves to quote it along with other things... Gettsyburg address for example ^^ Naturally, we hit it off quite well from the start. One of the things that has happened these past few weeks has really been seeing the progress that this incredible man is making. He was baptized several months before I arrived in this area, and I've heard several reasons for why he joined this church. The beginning ones were interesting. He told us that the only reason that he "joined this church is because of" us missionaries. He loves having people, especially foreigners, to talk English to (not 'with', mind you, 'to' ^^) But that's all he would tell us!! Everytime we met with him he would tell us this. I could list so many other complaints that he would tell us about our church, from the hymns that we pick to sing to the fact that some of the children are too noisy, he told us all of them. However, slowly but surely, he has changed. We had heard him tell one of his teachers that "the only reason he comes to this church is because of the way that the teacher 'lectures' and teaches him about the gospel. A few weeks ago, after a lecture about fast offerings, he immediately went and paid his tithing and fast offerings right then and there. Without a moment of hesitation. Most recently, after telling us that the songs we sing aren't hymns, they're just serenades, they are too quiet, etc etc, he mentioned to my companion yesterday of the fact that he loves the music in this church, it helps him feel peace and calm, helping him to relax after his week. It has been such an incredible blessing to be with this man and see his progress in the gospel. It reminds me frequently of how many times I feel I had gone to church thinking thoughts like the only reason I go is because my parents tell me too. The only reason I go is to see my friends. The only reason I go is cuz of my youth leaders. They usually bring donuts this week. Regardless of how many times those thoughts and reasons have crossed my path, I am eternally grateful for them, for they have helped me change as well. They have helped me experience all of the blessings promised to us. They have helped me to see, that taking a full day off of worldly things to exclusively focus on spiritual progress, both personal and others, is one of the greatest checks you can give yourself. It helped me see the blessing of the sacrament, to truly start over with a determination to do much better this week.

I stand right by this 92-year old Brother from my ward. The only reasons I come to church are often not the right answer. But, looking back has confirmed that as the promised blessings continue to be experienced, our very natures are changed. As we continually strive to be obedient, God helps our tendencies to come closer to His own.

The "Look Back Principle" is this: If you can look back on your life and say to yourself, I would have done that better, then you are progressing.

I love you all!

Receive Many Korean Thanksgiving Blessings Please!

Elder Annen

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