Last week I started saying my goodbyes to a lot of the people who were important to me in my previous areas. Writing final goodbyes and also being able to speak with them on the phone... HUGE TENDER MERCIES!! I've come to love these sweet people SO DEARLY. Even though it's been nearly a year since I've seen or talked to any of them. I do not doubt that these people, and my cherished relationships with them, are part of the reason I came to Korea. Through my relationships with them, being able to help them in turn strengthen their own relationship with God and with Our Savior, Jesus Christ, has been priceless... beyond my ability to describe with words.
Also, as far as the miracles go... this one is pretty crazy. Hits my list at number one as the strangest experience I have had as a missionary (so cool it happened here at the end). Our day on Saturday went exactly opposite of what we had planned! District meeting in the morning, then we were supposed to go with a couple less actives and our investigator to a primary activity... which fell through. So instead we were able to attend English class in the afternoon. Afterward we had plans to visit some other people, which all fell through. We prayed and had the thought to visit a sister we had intended to visit this week, but hadn't been able to. This sister is in her seventies, and completely inactive. Her husband attends church faithfully each week, but she says she is too far gone to go to church and that her health isn't good enough. She likes to sing hymns with us, but as far as any gospel message, she always says, "I don't know." Or the equivalent in Korean...
Anywho!! So we walked up to her home that afternoon and saw an older man with a bicycle standing outside in front of their house talking with the two of them. We decided to walk up and introduce ourselves, but this person already knew who we were! In talking with him, he already knew A TON about missionaries, our church (history and all), and the gospel. Not only that, but he was super familiar with the Book of Mormon... like the equivalent or greater than an average member. That in itself was strange enough...
But then as he was leaving he told this older sister that she needs to listen well to our message and go back to church. More than anything else she needs the gospel in her life now. And then he started preaching to her parts of Moroni 10...!! And said if she wants to be with her family forever, she needs to start living the gospel life again, and also help bring her less active and nonmember children along as well... Basically everything we would have wanted to say to her but she wouldn't have listened to unless it came from someone older than her (culture thing here in Korea.).
And we set up an appointment then and there to pick her up for church next week. She hasn't been back in maybe a decade or longer. After that man left we sang and prayed with her. And she looked so happy, thankful, and her face looked quite a bit brighter.
Quite the experience!! Not really sure what to think of it. But realized that God works through unexpected and diverse means. I am so grateful that we followed the guidance of the spirit and were in that place at that time. Couldn't have even conceived of that simple impression to visit her going any better... Complete miracle!!
Running short on time, but I know this gospel is true! It really does bring us closer with our families as we embrace it! I know Jesus Christ is our Redeemer and Savior, and that He helps us through not only our difficult times, but also shows us the way to improving. Also God loves His children. He loves them, and loves them, and LOVES THEM SO MUCH!
Have an awesome week! Talk to ya'll next week!
Sister Marissa Hatch