Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Blessings of Obedience

Dear Family,
This week was a mixture of frustrations and miracles, we got to hear from one of the seventy, Elder Choi. He spoke in General Conference a year or so ago and gave the talk about "Loud Boys". During the mission tour he talked a lot about obedience, using those loud boys as an example. He said before he gave that talk he had to meet with them to ask if it was okay to use their story. While meeting he mentioned that it would be nice if they could come to Utah to see him give the talk. The next day one of them called him:
"We've talked about it and decided we will be there, we just need you to say it is okay, please say we can come"
Elder Choi thought about it. He loved them very much, but also knew that they didn't really have the money, they all are in their early 30s and have families and jobs and would have to drop everything to come to Utah for a week, not to mention the expense of the plane ticket. So he talked to his wife and told them no. They were disappointed, but because he said not they were obedient and didn't go.
He also told a funny story about his son, Sunbeam (I love Korean names). In Korea there are three things every boy has to do: mission, school, military service. Usually by the time you are done with all these you are about 28 and that's when most people decide to think about getting married because it's hard to do the other things if you have a family. Sunbeam had been home from his mission for a year or two and was going to school, but had no plans for marriage in the near future. His father, however, had different ideas. It just so happens that among the loud boys one of them is the bishop in their home ward. So Elder Choi gave him a call and told him to talk to his son. The bishop called Sunbeam up and in an interview told him he needed to think about getting married and that in two weeks he was to come back to his office with a name of a girl. That weekend Sunbeam spent one entire Saturday going to the temple, from the earliest session to the last one. He said that he started with a lot of names, but each session it would get fewer and fewer. A few weeks later he met with his bishop again and the bishop said "Have you thought about so and so*?" Sunbeam was a little surprised because it turns out the girl he mentioned had actually purposed to him a year earlier, but at that time he was not interested in marriage. So 6 weeks later they were married.
He also talked about obedience in his own life. Or rather his wife did. She told us a story about when he was 16, he was a recent convert at the time and was asked by the Stake President to give a talk at Stake Conference about preparing to serve a mission. He declined saying that he didn't think he would be able to, frankly he wasn't planning on serving a mission. His dream was to be a general in the army and the training that it required would make it impossible to serve a mission. However, after refusing he felt so bad that he prayed and thought about it a lot. He then forsook his dream and decided to serve a mission.
After his mission he got married and picked up a new dream, to be a successful business man. He went about getting more and more fame and climbing the social ladder and as his wife said "we were about to be REALLY rich". But then he got a call from the President of the North Asian presidency asking him to be in charge of the church offices in Korea (I can't remember the real name of the job). He came to talk to his wife. Taking the office would mean that he would make a LOT less money and his ambition in life to be a big business man he would have to give up. At first his wife asked him
"What language did you talk in?"
"He's Japanese, your Korean and you were speaking in English? There must have been a misunderstanding, call him back"
Anyway, after talking they decided that better than his ambition to be a great business man was his ambition to follow the Lord so they accepted the calling and never looked back. What a great example.
Hope you are all doing well, I love you lots.

Sister O'Bryan
Daejeon PO Box 38
Chungcheong bukdo 300-600
South Korea

I let my companion cut my hair, she did a pretty good job, huh? She was excited for a new experience--- it reminded me a lot of when I let Josh cut my hair, except maybe because she's a missionary it actually turned out good from the first time.

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