The Weekly Postings of a Mormon Missionary In Korea
"Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. " --- John 8:10
Sunday, April 20, 2014
I don't feel like most of our learning in this life is supposed to come from textbooks or classrooms; most of it is experience. Often painful experience. But as we learn and become stronger, we can be confident that those experiences were given us for a reason.... No struggle need ever have been for naught. No cloud need go without it's silver lining.
Guess who has been saying that wrong in Korean for the entire week? Guess who figured that out last night?
부활날 말고 부활절...
As you may have expected, Easter isn't that big of a deal in Korea. We performed an Easter hymn for ward choir. I can't remember its name in English, sorry.
I got all the way through the Isaiah chapters in the Old Testament study manual that I found. That guy saw some things! I'm on into Jeremiah, which has proven appropriately lamentatious.
I went on a less active hunt with Elder S on an exchange. Complete fail. It was in a less populated part of the city and not a single one of them was home when we went. Time to shelve less active work for a while.
Also, you remember that massive jar of Nutella? Well it has been mostly empty for a while, but we never had the heart to throw it away because there was still some that you could scrape off the sides. Well, I sort of broke one night and went at it with a spoon for about 45 minutes and devoured about every scrap of Nutella left in the bottle. I'd be impressed if I wasn't so appalled.
We encountered a fair number of people who wanted to argue with us this week. A couple of JWs, a...전도사? (there isn't really a word for this in English. It's like a guy who is paid by his church to jundo or...proselyte? or something to people on the street. Anyway, he's sort of like a missionary for the church of SATAN!!!) who was representing the _________ church, which appears to be some form of Christianity that has everything valuable about Christianity taken out in favor of obsessing over weird last days prophecies, and also a guy who was flat out convinced that because if people don't eat food they die, but if they don't have faith they don't die, food is more important/powerful than God, therefore God doesn't exist. Does someone want to attempt to explain the grammar for this paragraph?
Also, just ate a bacon hot dog for lunch. "Looks like meat's back on our menu, boys! Wragh!" They just barely opened this place up right next to the college that we usually jundo at. Wow, I miss hot dogs and bacon!
Continuing on the food vein, the place that we eat at more than anywhere else is this little place called...don't laugh, it makes more sense in Korean, "Pork Cutlet Town". Everything there is big and cheap. They've recently begun to include some seaweed on my favorite fried kimchi rice, which I consider significant.
Spiritual thought this week might not come as a shock to any of you enlightened people, but I was supposed to teach people about the Spirit again in district meeting (which, by the way, is probably the worst idea ever. I'm the least competent expounder of the spirit, and yet that always seems to be my topic. Actually, maybe that's why it is always my topic. Anyway) and I came across a line in PMG that says something to the effect of "The spirit always edifies."
Well, I was really confused. In my experience, things that I've considered to be spiritual in nature have often come to me rather harshly. Sometimes even painfully. Yet, the spirit always edifies? My experience is backed up by scriptures. Look at Isaiah prophesying the horrors of the end of things as we know them. Look to Nephi viewing the destruction of all of his entire family, his entire nation. Think of the Savior weeping for the wicked of Jerusalem. Sometimes the truth hurts.
The problem arose from my lack of understanding regarding the word edify. I always associated it with good feelings like peace or reassurance. But it really connotes something to the effect of education + strengthening. It improves the mind and character and helps one to grow intellectually and morally.
Sometimes, the truth hurts. The spirit, which teaches us truth, sometimes hurts. And, when we remember that God, who communicates with us through the spirit, is our teacher, sometimes good teaching, even perfect teaching hurts.
I don't feel like most of our learning in this life is supposed to come from textbooks or classrooms, most of it is experience. Often painful experience. But as we learn and become stronger, we can be confident that those experiences were given us for a reason. And even if they weren't, even if we are just the victims of chance and circumstance then we can find a reason. No struggle need ever have been for naught. No cloud need go without it's silver lining.