I don't even know where to start. This week was probably the craziest, most challenging week of my mission so far, but maybe my favorite.
We started talking to a man on the street on the way to the church one day (of course, in Korean) about the church and what we're doing in Korea as missionaries...etc...and he suddenly, randomly stopped in the middle of our conversation, looked at me and said excitedly,
"I am a boy." ...paused until I confirmed that he was indeed a boy haha... then "you are a girl."
"come" "sit down"
Then after exhausting his english vocabulary, returned to our conversation in Korean. It was hilarious.
This week Sister An and I found a grandma we had never heard of before in our records, so we tried visiting. We found one of my favorite people in the whole world. 봉임순 (bong-eem-soon) is 92-years old and still living on her own. We met her on the street and she took us to her house. She lives in a tiny, two-room house with taped-up walls and no bathroom. Her whole house is probably half the size of a bedroom in America. To get to her house, she has to climb up stairs and a hill. To enter she has to climb a step that is as tall as her waist. To climb up the hill and the stairs, she scoots on her bottom and has to take many breaks. Watching her made me want to cry. All four of her children have passed away, so she gets government care, but she her house is dirty and she hasn't been showered since last year. She is living in really hard circumstances, but she's one of the happiest people I have ever met. When we came over she showed us her 운동 (exercises). She balances on her bottom and waves her arms and legs around in the air. Everything she does is with a huge smile. We taught her about Jesus and she remembers what she learned at church years ago still. She exercises so that she will be able to come back to church when there is an elevator. When we sang "I am a child of God" to her, she clapped her hands for joy and started dancing. Before we left I gave her a big hug and she told me "I love you!" We are going to work on cleaning her house and taking care of her hygiene needs. I'm learning so much from her. She has the gospel, so she is happy even though her life is hard.
There are many grandmas in our ward, so we visit them a lot. Most of them still have to work to earn money, so their bodies are always sore, so we visit and give them massages. I love these grandmas and I'm so grateful to be able to serve them.
I am doing things everyday---cleaning grandma's ears, massaging sore legs, taking a lady to a bath house to teach her how to take a shower and wash her hair--that I never thought I would do in my life. But I am full of joy. I'm really learning that the way to really find joy is losing myself and just loving other people. I love these people I am teaching and serving.
I think I'm feeling a little bit of Christ's joy--it definitely didn't come from going to movies, playing video games...etc..it came from serving His beloved children. In Doctrine and Covenants 122:8 it talks about how "Christ descended below them all" (can't remember exact wording). He lost himself in the service of others and ultimately sacrificed everything He had for us. This is true joy. We are His joy.
I know the gospel is true! I'm so grateful to be a missionary and to be serving these wonderful people!
Sister Naatjes :)