Saturday, November 30, 2013

Asking for Direction

Tarzan! No!

Oh ho, we're TOO LATE! If you would have just STOPPED and asked for directions!

We didn't even get to say goodbye...

Well, everyone I believe I had left off with one more story to tell.

This was quite a touching one for me at the time though the story is now a few weeks old. I would still like to share it. This was one of the most complicated situations I was in. I was on exchanges in a place here called BongCheon, and we planned on switching back in about three hours, because our Halloween party was that night. While we're working we get a call from another of the areas and it turns out that they had doublebooked their schedule, so there needed to be another exchange, they couldn't find members on such short notice in their area. So, after taking the jam packed subway, we get off at the right stop, and realize two things. One, neither of us had actually visited that particular church building before, and we had heard that it was a good twenty five minnute walk from the subway station. Two, the companion I was with had... well accidentally locked our phone so we couldn't ask anyone how to get there, and the battery was about to die. Now this is Korea mind you, downtown Seoul. There are so many alleyways and roads. Getting lost could mean that you are just one street over and you have no idea where you are. We prayed and were luckily able to track it down. Made the switch, and then I found myself with another companion trying to find a place in his area on a bus he had never ridden, to a place he had never visited to meet someone whose number we didn't have. This is a regular occurance in my mission. Long travel story wrapped up, we arrive at his house. We exchanged pleasantries, and talked with him and his son. The son then pulls out the Book of Mormon and begins talking about it. We learned their story. The son has had kidney disease for several years, and he told us of how he had found out about it and his subsequent reactions, with this final one turning to religion. But he didn't feel much in it, he told us. He had visited neigh on fifty to sixty churches he informed, and to use his words they felt hollow. They didn't FILL him. His dad, then, as he was away at his work, to his surprise meets some missionaries on the subway, who loan him a copy of the Book of Mormon. And his son studied it. And I mean studied it. When we had gotten there, he had diligently read the first book of Nephi three times. The first time he was curious about it. The second time he felt it to be true. The third time he was feasting. He told us that he *knew* it to be true. As we explained about the Book fo Mormon to his father, the son would finish everything. It was humbling for me to see this. It is indeed incredible, to see someone like this man. Hungry, as he put it. It is a common word used to describe how converts felt before they find the gospel. Thinking back to fast Sundays, I can't imagine surviving with that 'hunger' existing for longer than a few days, yet there are people across the globe with it. It is humbling.

On a sadder note as well, I was talking with the Sign Language People and they requested that I stay until I leave Korea, they tell me that there are just a whole bunch of people that they want me to teach, but that there is a whole new culture to learn, the language to master, and to actually meet the people. It was honestly with tears that I told them that this was my last transfer, that I would only be there for a little longer. I wish more than anything to extend right now, but I realized that too many wheels are turning. I wish, hope beyond hope that I had this chance. It was a testimony to me, realizing that of course missions end, but never did I realize what that means for me, to have a mission end. This work is the Lord's, I am forever in his debt for it. Those people prepared among the KSL using people will still be there, even if I won't be.

I love you all as well,

Good Luck, God Bless and God Speed,

Elder Annen