Wow what a week. I thought I would never survive this week, but I am still alive and happy. Sister Brady finally left this area after serving here for five transfers (seven months) and turned it over to me to teach my new companion. I was so nervous to find my way around this huge city and to be the one to know the ward members and investigators. It was definitely a huge change. From that first day getting my new companion, I had to answer the phone and talk to everyone. I was actually shocked at how much I knew. I was able to suddenly understand better and clearer than ever before, and have conversations with people, and not just conversations about the gospel (which is all the vocabulary I know haha). I definitely felt some help from people on the other side supporting and uplifting me and especially giving me the confidence I needed. There is no way that I could have been able to do anything without some divine help...it is just nearly impossible after just four months in the country.
The work is really hard right now to be honest. I am in the depths of humility. I don't know how else to describe it. We are one of the busiest areas in the mission with the largest English class and the most investigators. It is really overwhelming, especially trying to teach all these people about the gospel and not having the language to do it. It is truly amazing to be sitting in a home with a mom and her son and teaching, but not knowing how it is being done. It is like someone is speaking words, but they are coming out of my own mouth. I have never had to rely so much on the Lord in my entire life. I just pray and make a pact with Heavenly Father everyday that I will be completely obedient and work my hardest, if He will just use me for whatever He wants me to be and whatever He wants me to do. So far it is working, and I truly feel like Heavenly Father is literally walking by my side. I don't know how else to describe how this work is still going forward with two Americans that know such little Korean. It is amazing and I can't believe that Heavenly Father puts this much trust in such young people to be His mouth-pieces to the world.
Our investigators are all doing very well. They are all progressing and are very open to our message. They are so patient with us and for this I am so greatful! I love these people so much. I never thought I could love anyone with this much love. I truly love them with my entire heart, that when they are struggling it hurts me too. I think this is just a small taste of how Heavenly Father feels for them. And wow, I can't even comprehend that love! It must be incredible!
We had a baptismal date set with our thirteen year old investigator, 조 자매님 Sister Cho. She wants to be baptized so badly and has been ready for about three weeks now. Her parents just separated a week or so ago and she is now living with her alcholic father. Her mom, we found out, is not her real mom and that it was her father's third marriage. This has been so hard on her and coming to our church for lessons and English class is her only escape from her falling apart world. It just completely breaks my heart to see her going through this and there are so many times that I just want to hold her and cry with her. She has not told us anything about what is going on at home but I can tell when it is hard. She is so strong, and she always leaves the church with a smile on her face! We received permission from her father to have her get baptized, but she is waiting for home life to be a little better so that her dad can come to the baptism.
Sometimes I feel like it is absolutley impossible for this work to go forward. I am trying my hardest and yet so many people just don't completely understand the importance of this gospel in their lives. It is so hard to have something so precious and so dear to me and want to share that with others, but they just don't want to believe and they choose not to listen.
But I have a firm testimony of this gospel and know that we have a Heavenly Father that loves us and cares for us each individually. I know that He knows us personally and cares about everything we are going through. I know that this is His work and that through faith and obedience we are able to do what He wants us to do and ultimitely live with Him again! And what a sweet blessing. I am so greatful each day to be here. I am greatful to be among these beautiful people and experience their culture and teach them about the most precious thing in my life. What a unique and special opportunity to give my full self to my Heavenly Father in His work.
I love each and every one of you! I appreciate your words of encouragement and love you send to me! You are always in my heart and I pray for you always!