I will keep you in suspense a little longer.
To start off with, I want to share the good news of yesterday–our Vietnamese investigator was baptized!!! There was a lot of drama involved. We had originally had a baptismal date, but the family had said “no” so we had postponed it, but then on Monday, I got a phone call from the family saying, “yes, she can be baptized this week after all.” So it was a scramble, but we managed to get everything done and it ended up being the most beautiful baptismal service I’ve seen in Korea. Our members came out in droves (standing room only), the talks were good, the Spirit was strong. None of our other investigators were able to attend, but one of the Elders’ investigators came and really enjoyed it. It was such a great, sacred day.
The interview with Elder Aoyagi went really well. He doesn’t speak a ton of English, so I’m not sure how much he understood of what I said, but he asked me about my family, my area, my finding and my teaching. He said that I’m doing good and working hard. He then asked me if I had any questions for him or if there was anything that he could help me with. I asked him what I could do personally as a missionary in the Asia North Area to better sustain and support him and better fulfill my calling as a missionary. The answer that he gave me (addressed as “I need you to…”) was so sweet and sacred to me. He truly is a man of God. He closed the interview and as I was leaving, he called out to me, “I love you.” I was not expecting that and it caught me off guard. But this sweet, pure servant of the Lord spoke those words without guile, and although he didn’t know me and we had just met, I believed his words. They were so genuine. I was deeply touched.
The rest of the conference was awesome as well. I learned so much and felt the Spirit so strongly. I have massive amounts of notes. I was well fed.
Aside from the baptism, the miracles continued this week–among other things, we received two new investigators, one of whom we were meeting at the dread locale (more on that in a second). So we met her and we taught her a little bit, shared our purpose etc. and although she is Buddhist, she agreed to learn more and wants to introduce us to her daughter (who’s in her twenties). That was on Tuesday. Then on Wednesday, Sister Abbott and I were going home for dinner and had taken a different route than we normally would so as to avoid the paid missionaries from another church who had already accosted us once. As we were walking, we were still contacting and trying to talk to people. We said hello to one woman and said who we were. She then asked us if we had time right then. We said yes. So she turned around ( she had been headed to the market) and took us back to her home with her. Right then and there. She gave us milk and fruit and kimchi and we talked about her life and a little about the gospel with her. She, too, agreed to learn more. She is agnostic–she used to attend church but felt too much 부담 and she says that is a problem with most churches in Korea. But we will be meeting her again to talk more about the gospel.
Lastly, where we met Lotus (the English translation of the investigator’s name who we met at….that place). It was a traditional Korean restaurant. Not too bad, right? The thing is that this restaurant has one main specialty. It is something that the majority of missionaries eat at least once during their service here. Some seek it out, some eat it unknowingly and others reluctantly. Sister Abbott and I have no desire to eat it at all. What is this thing? What could possibly be worse than the sea snails, pigs feet, whole chest cavity of a fish, or anything else that I’ve already eaten while in Korea? Why, dog soup, of course. We found the restuarant and looked at the sign and then at each other. And instant dread filled our souls.
When we showed up, the supermarket next to the restaurant had a little dog outside. Who kept barking at us. I thought to myself, there is no way that I can do this. The dogs they use for soup here are big dogs. Like Duncan. I just kept thinking, I cannot eat Duncan. I can’t do it!
I had this dramatic picture display planned, but fear not! I did not eat dog! Lotus decided that it might be too much for us to handle, so she ordered us another traditional Korean soup–a whole chicken stuffed with rice and boiled with korean red ginger, onions, and green onions. It is served in a stone pot, still boiling. I’ve had it before and it is very delicious. So, you can all breathe a sigh of relief for me. Maybe in the future, this problem will again come up, but for now, I am okay.
I hope to write more next week. I have to run. My nose is already running, as I have a cold. You probably didn’t want to know that. Sorry.
And if you get the chance, think a happy birthday to Buddha. It is a national holiday here. So everything is very festive and Buddhist-like.
Love you all.