Monday, April 21, 2014


Right now, things are going pretty awesome.  Throughout my mission, I've had lots of great moments, but I've also had a lot of ".....this is it?" moments too.  The mission was supposed to be an adventure - full of miracles, fun times, and success.  So then why was I wandering the vacant streets all day hanging up fliers, occasionally teaching English to people, and then wandering the vacant streets again trying to find people to talk to.  When it's just the same routine day after day, it's gets a little, well, depressing.  This definitely wasn't the experience I was expecting...
Then, I came to Daejeon.  
All of the sudden, I was a missionary!  We have tons of investigators, we are riding the subway and running accross the city all day to get to appointments, we had THREE different people come out to church this last week (on my entire mission, I've only had an investigator come out to church twice), we're too busy on some days and have to even cancel appointments, and one of or investigators is getting baptized THIS SUNDAY!  The fact that my companion and I have been best friends from day one just makes it even better.  I've only been here for one week and I've already decided that I want to stay here for the rest of my mission, it's just that perfect.
So this week we were working super hard, had a good time, and then before we knew it, Sunday came.  We woke up, got ready, met one of our investigators at the subway station (the one that is getting baptized in 6 days) and went to church together.  It was my first Sunday in the ward, so I gave a talk in Sacrament meeting to introduce myself and share stories about the blessings I've received from serving my mission.  I had the ward laughing and smiling and nodding and halfway through, it hit me that I was just completely naturally and comfortably speaking Korean.  "Wait what?" I thought, "since when was I able to speak Korean like this?".  My entire mission, the language has been really hard for me.  But all of the sudden, I'm able to just do and say everything I need to without even thinking about it.  Of course, I still have a ton to learn and I'm nowhere near fluent, but I can actually say "yeah, I can speak Korean" to people and mean it when I say it.  Pretty cool, huh?
So church was great, we taught a lesson to our investigator afterwards and then rode the subway back with him to his house.  He's 18 years old and is super ready for baptism - his testimony is so strong and he wants it more than anything.  I'm so happy that FINALLY I'm not trying to convince or trick somebody into joining the church, but instead just helping somebody that already wants it.  Can't wait for this Sunday.
After that, Elder Skinner and I went home for companionship study.  We had two member visits scheduled for the night and wanted to be well prepared for them.  Following a laughing attack while we were trying to sing our opening hymn together (and 3 prayers to get us to stop) (and 2 other hymns 25 minutes after we gained control of ourselves in order to get us focused again) (I'm telling you, we're best buds) we started studying together.  What to share to our members?  Our favorite scriptures?  Our reasons for coming on missions?  No, no, none of that seemed right.... then.... I looked at the calendar.
It was Easter!
What the?  A holiday?  I forgot those existed!  Well of course we knew what to share to our members now!  We quickly planned our message, ran to the Subway station, and then took a taxi from there to where our first member lived.  We then shared with the family the Easter traditions we do in America, what they represent, and then together read "The Living Christ" document written by the Apostles in 2000.  Elder Skinner and I bore our testimonies about the main reason we are here in Korea - and that is that Jesus Christ came to this earth, atoned for our sins, died for us, was ressurected, and that even now today, He lives.  The spirit was so strong as we shared that simple truth.  We said goodbye, ran to the subway station, missed our bus out to Saejong (the new capitol city I told you about last week), and therefore ended up taking $20 taxi to get us there on time.  It's okay, I don't need to eat this week.  Haha, anyway, we got there, and shared the same message about the meaning of Easter to them.
As we rode the bus home from Saejong, Elder Skinner and I talked about how awesome the day was.  3 church attendances, a lesson to our investigator getting baptized, and 2 amazing member visits.  "Dude, I want to serve with you for another transfer - this is just too good" we told each other, and laughed our way home.  And of course, upon our arrival, we borrowed 4 eggs from our neighbors, boiled them, and decorated them to cap off the night.  Happy Easter Everyone!
Elder Graf

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