Reason number 233 on why I love Korea: You can wake up to go to the public bathhouse at 5:30 AM and there are already grandmas awake sitting outside on their stools chitchatting.
Not to put any unnecessary pressure on you, but for those of you where were interested in sending me a birthday present (September 12th), but had no idea what to send, I compiled a short list of suggestions:
- church pictures (Christ, Joseph Smith, women...)
This birthday is the first time I get to skip a year. Because in Korean age I have been 23 since the Chinese Calendar New Year (February 14th) then I guess I never really get to be 22, except for a couple of months when I go home. To be quite honest, I'm always a little confused on my age and usually just settle with something around the beginning of the 20s...
A while ago one of my previous companions wrote home to her family expressing some of her concerns on the difficulty of mission life: the heat, the lack of investigators, learning a new area, and a concourse of various other difficulties. In reply she did not receive condolences but instead a chastisement from her father who told her if she was going to complain it would be better not to write at all.
"You knew it would be hard," he wrote, "so why are you complaining."
At first I thought it was a little harsh, but then she explained that he often expresses his love like that. While she was growing up he was always the sharpest with his family, stating that faith was something that could not be wavering and that although he had faith and if he was righteous he would make it to the celestial kingdom, it would mean nothing if he was there alone. For that reason he wanted to make sure that his children always made the right decisions.
It reminded me of an anecdote about Dr. Kim Ho Jik, the founder of the church in Korea. One of his young students wrote in his book that one day when he was a young student he went into Dr. Kim's office to accept a church calling from him. The student felt inadequate, but knew he could not outright say "no" so instead he said "this hat is too big for my head." Dr. Kim looked sternly at him and then said "you had better make your head grow to fit fast."
Sometimes I feel similar inadequacies, but as I give my weaknesses to the Lord and let Him stretch me I find that there is no need to complain, there may be pain and hardship, but I become fit to take it. I become more of what God would have me be and I become more qualified for the blessings He would give me.
So when we feel beat up and picked on by the Lord, like the butt of some cosmic joke, sometimes we just need to realize that He is molding us so that we can fit the hat.
Love you all.
Daejeon PO Box 38
Chungcheong bukdo 300-600