Tuesday was Zone Conference, and we hiked a "mountain" up to a sweet ancient Korean mountain fortress. (Loads of pictures there too, don't worry) It was so rad! We received various trainings along the way, mostly about faith, hope, charity, and love (things that qualify us for the work), and how we can improve ourselves/learn more about those characteristics. I got to hang out with Elders Meeks and Munk a TON which was incredibly fun, shared my recently prepared no-bake cookies (thank you Elder Morgan for the delicious recipe), broke an apple in half with my bare hands (literally pulled the halves of the apple apart) for Sister Blickenstaff (I know, I know, I'm amazing..) stood on top of a super crazy tall wall overlooking Korea (#fearless), had a really rad testimony meeting, got to hang out with Elder Clawson a lot (my man! He's going home soon..) and talk to Elders Bryan, Witt, Pruner, Lynn, Westbrook, and Thomas a ton as well! Great Elders. The hike was really, really rad, and it was such a good opportunity to relieve some stress, as well as get some time to ponder some things. It's not so often you're up in the mountains with a bunch of friends during your mission!
This week was really something special - although each week is challenging - because we started to see a difference in a lot of different people. Elder Higham and I took some silly pictures and printed them out throughout the week to deliver them to Ward members who had birthdays this week, and we got a lot of love back in return! PKS and his family pulled us in and prepared a full dinner for us, while tons of other members are wanting to come to our English class and receive our daily English message we send out!
We got 2 new investigators this week, along with a ton of other potential investigators too. Plus, on Wednesday we did a sweet "finding opportunity" in Kajung in which I did an exchange with Elder Ellsworth and later wrote a letter of recommendation to the U.S. Embassy for his recent convert. ..No pressure.I'll be honest, I've gotten a little caught up in my own stress this week, but all of these new experiences have given me a new sense of hope. ..And I think that's really important. President James E. Faust taught that, "Hope is the anchor of our souls." I believe that we only have hope because we have opposition (as it is with all things); without opposition, hope wouldn't be necessary. ..But, I also believe that God- Our Heavenly Father- often puts us in situations where we are given the opportunity to make a decision. We can struggle for our lives through our trials without calling upon that Being that created us, or we can call upon the Lord, and trust in Him to reach out to us and lift our hands which hang helplessly down. When we can take advantage of a difficult opportunity and turn to the Lord, we will consistently be able to work through trials and difficulties with confidence and assurance that all things will work together for our good. Because the Lord loves us, He has given us hope, and many opportunities to strengthen that hope. The better our understanding of God, the better we'll be able to look to Him and more easily handle our trials. As we often or occasionally let ourselves think, "If He loved me, this would be easier", let us think for once that perhaps the opposite is true. "Maybe the Lord loves you too much to let your life be easy. If your life were easy, you wouldn't grow a bit. You wouldn't learn a thing. You wouldn't become strong, courageous, and experienced. If everything happened the way you wanted, you'd become a weakling, and you'd never know what you were made of." (John Bytheway) ..But, "None of the trials and tribulations we face are beyond our limits, because we have access to help from the Lord." (Elder Paul V. Johnson)