This week has been incredible. I have seen countless Miracles. 'Its been another week on my mission that I will never forget. The work here in Onyoung is special. I have been able to see, know, and feel that the work here has been and is being prepared by the Lord. I have felt this week that it is truly a special time to be here in Onyoung, and I know it is a blessing and a privilege from the Lord.
This week in Korea, it is 추석 (Chu seouk). It is very similar to Thanksgiving for us in America. It's where Koreans all gather around with their families, spend time together, play games, eat lots of food, and in some cases they give thanks and show gratitude for their ancestors. I haven't seen it, but I hear that they bow down and show very sacred thanks to either their living ancestors or their ancestor who has passed away. It is around this time of the year and always includes a full moon. The streets have been super busy throughout the week, but once it hit Saturday, Sunday, and today (Monday), the streets are just empty and everyone is spending time with their families.
Yesterday, we had four investigators out to church on the holiday! We had like no members there because they all went to their home towns, but each of our investigators loved church! We were planning on two investigators coming, but randomly one of them brought a friend and another one of our investigators just walked in randomly in one of our lessons before Sacrament meeting! We had a Chinese investigator come who we met on the street about four weeks ago, where he denied us and wouldn't give us another chance to meet... We fasted about one week later and saw him on the street! He said out of nowhere, "How can I get to your church?" Then we got his number and ended up seeing him again on the street the next week. We had an appointment with him this week and he made it out to church! After the appointment with him, we called the next day to confirm him coming to church but he blocked our number out of nowhere!!
On Sunday morning and Saturday night after praying so hard for investigators to come to church, we got an invitation to go to another ward for a lunch for the holiday. I wanted to go, but I felt as if we shouldn't. I prayed and still had the feeling that we shouldn't... I told them we had to meet an investigator to bring to church (the Chinese guy that had blocked our number and I'm sure had cancelled coming to church). But about two hours before church started, we called his number one last time and it WORKED! He answered and told us to meet him out front of the train station! On the way to church, one of our members passed us and gave us a ride. We got to church and our other new investigator was there! He brought a friend! (Before church on Saturday night, I was talking to my comp and said, "Hey, we really need a referral this week. We have to try and ask or get one at church!") Our investigator came with a friend! We had a lesson with all three of them and a member! Super awesome! During the middle of that lesson, another investigator from Cameroon walked in! We met for like 40 minutes then went to Sacrament meeting! After Sacrament, we said goodbye to everyone and asked our Cameroon investigator if we could meet with him cuz our first lesson was in Korean and he can't speak or understand it.
Well, as we were meeting, (2nd time we met with him), we felt that we needed to talk about baptism. His belief in God and Christ is very strong. He has very good intentions and understands things very well. We asked some very good questions that helped him ponder. The Last question we asked him was, "If Jesus Christ wants you to do one thing, What do you think that is?" And as he thought about that he responded and said, "Are you going to ask me to be baptized?" From then on till the very last of the lesson, I learned the principle that the Lord does give you exactly what you need in the exact moment. I said, "Lovise, it is not me that wants you to be baptized. It is the Lord, Jesus Christ." He responded and said, "I have already been baptized..." We explained to him that because he was baptized when he was younger, his baptism enabled him to strengthen his faith in the Savior and bring him closer to him. I promised that he was blessed because of that. I promised that, that is what Christ wanted him to do. It brought him closer to Christ.
After promising him blessings, we slowly started to begin the conversation on the priesthood and how important it is. If we must enter into God's kingdom, we must enter in by his power and authority, His key. I had no idea that I knew what I was saying. I do know though that my words were the Lord's. I felt it. He felt it and my companion, as he bore testimony, felt it as well. We invited him to be baptized, and he said he will think about it this week! We are praying for him!
We met a kid this week, as well, on the street who is 16 and is fluent in English. He studied in China. Long story short, he has a dream to be a magician. He is super good at magic and is such a good kid with so many good intentions. We met with him and he opened up to us so big. He told us of his life struggles. He told us his parents don't believe in him and don't support him in his magic efforts. He has been bullied and kids are not very nice to him. We told him he can accomplish anything he wants to, and we gave him a commitment to go home, kiss his mom on the cheek, and give her a big hug! (We said go do it for us cuz we can't see our moms!) Hah! He did and said it went well! He is such a stud. I call him my little brother and I know that if his parents ok everything, he can and will be baptized. (When he was younger, he e-mailed one of the best magicians in the world and was sent a pack of cards from Chris Angel.) Super cool!
This week was amazing! I'm learning about boldness, and I am learning about how to bear testimony though the Spirit. I have been praying for love 5x everyday and am feeling the Savior's love. The Lord is placing prepared people in our path! He is helping us and giving us the specific revelation for each of His children. I love my mission.
Have a good safe week! I love you!
Elder Cole Thomas Johnson