First the funny, then the spiritual, then the random.
So yesterday was April Fool’s. Which is stupid and not celebrated in Korea. However, I played the worst trick possible upon myself.
First I have to explain about our bathroom. Our house is old. And was originally built in the traditional Korean style–aka squat pot and no shower, just a faucet about waist high. It is tiny and when we shower (it is a hose with a shower head attatched to the waist-high faucet) everything gets wet. So we lift up the toilet seat so that it doesn’t get wet and nasty. Unfortunately, yesterday after I was done showering, I grabbed my towel and I watched as my toothbrush fell down into the toilet, slid all the way, and disappeared. I put on our big, thick rubber gloves, but I couldn’t reach it. Then I made Sister Abbott try, because she has smaller hands, but she couldn’t get it either. It is just stuck there. Lame!!!
Secondly, miracles. We have seen so many miracles this week. We don’t know enough Korean to function in this country without miracles. We have to have them to survive. Until this week, I’d never made a phone call by myself. We would put it on speaker phone and Sister Choo would tell me what to say. That obviously wasn’t an option. So I called people and made appointments. Or I had Sister Abbott call (who’d never called at all) and we would put it on speaker phone and I would tell her what to say. My ability to speak and understand Korean didn’t miraculously improve, but somehow, the little I knew seemed to be enough.
Then there is the Vietnamese miracle. We are teaching a woman from Vietnam who has almost no Korean and absolutely no English. We can only teach a couple principles at a time, because we teach in a mixture of Vietnamese, Korean and charades. Neither Sister Abbott or I know Vietnamese. We learned some words, though, because we teach her with the gospel pamphlets. So I can say things like “Heavenly Father,” “Jesus Christ,” “gospel,” and “prayer” now. But at the end of lesson, we wanted her to pray. We had taught prayer, but she wasn’t understanding that we wanted her to pray. So I prayed in Korean to show her. But she still didn’t understand. So I prayed in Vietnamese. I mostly read the pamphlet, but still, I prayed in Vietnamese (I don’t read Vietnamese either, but she understood). After that, she prayed. It was wonderful. She committed (we think) to reading the Book of Mormon and the Restoration pamphlet and she came to church with her husband and baby yesterday. It was such a miracle.
It just proves that Nephi was right–when the Lord requires of us something that we don’t think we can do, it is because we are only looking at it with our limited power. But if we count the Savior’s grace in addition to our own strength, it will always be enough to accomplish that which is required of us. When we do all we can and are obedient and qualify for the Holy Ghost, but still find ourselves blocked by the Red Sea, the Lord will part it. When we’ve put everything we have on the altar, the Lord will provide a ram. I know that is true and I know that there are miracles everyday. We just don’t always recognize them for what they are.
Now for the random. My last week in Daegu, we were at a member’s restaurant talking with them. Sister Choo and I were talking about how quickly time goes by. The husband then said, “Sister Markland, do you know the fastest way to Seoul?” I, of course, said, “no.” He then replied, “With someone you love.” I loved that. Apparently it is a Korean proverb–although I don’t know what the people in Seoul say. But my time is going by so so fast–less than fifty weeks left. Only ten more fast sundays. This is crazy!
But I love it all so much. I will try to send pictures when the cherry blossoms bloom here in lovely Jinhae. I haven’t been down to the ocean yet, but I hope to do so soon.