Hello from Busan! I feel like it hasn't been that long, but I know that it has and I have a lot of news to share. First of all I transferred again, and after only one transfer in Sangin. I received a transfer call to go to Sujong in Busan. Needless to say, but of course I will say it, it was quite unexpected. I thought perhaps that Sangin would be my last area, but obviously the Lord has other plans for me. However, this leads me to bigger news. On my last Sunday spent in Sangin I had the incredible privilege of seeing my investigator receive baptism. It was an amazing and special day. I feel so blessed to have been able to be a part of her journey. She is a wonderful woman and I am so grateful that I had the chance to come to know her. I am very sad that I had to leave Sangin the day after she was baptized.
For someone to accept Jesus Christ as a Savior, let alone the Savior after being raised in a Buddhist country testifies to me that He is searching for His disciples all over the earth. For those who have never been outside a world where some people have never had any introduction to Christianity it actually feels like a miracle, and I do not use that word lightly. Looking back over the time that I have spent with her I don't attribute her being baptized to anything amazing that I said or did. I know that she had been prepared by our Heavenly Father to listen to our message. She was touched by the message of the restored gospel and because of her desire to have faith; the Holy Ghost was able to witness to her that it is true. Her conversion was not fast. She had met with missionaries for some time before she was willing to entertain a baptismal date, yet once she did she was determined to do anything that was required of her to become His disciple and be a member of His church. It strengthens my faith to see such conviction from someone who has to leave some very strong ingrained social customs and practices. Her faith, determination, and conviction have impressed me so much that I know that I will always remember her. I learned so many things from her through being able to teach her.
As I come nearer to the close of my mission, I have begun to reflect on all the things that I have learned, the situations that precluded my testimony increasing, and the miracles that I have witnessed as a minister in Christ’s name. I have repeated myself so many times that I think I should have found a token scripture that says, “I cannot do this work alone”. I feel it intensely. It has been, and will continue to be impossible without the guidance of the Holy Ghost. It’s not only that, I have had my own little epiphany (maybe it’s later than it should be, but at least it came), and it is this: no one can come to accept Christ as their savior, enter the waters of baptism, and become His disciple, except through Him. I know this seems elementary, but actually it involves complex reasoning. When Jesus was teaching His followers, they came to Him and asked Him clarifying questions and the Pharisees relentlessly hounded Him to justify His answers. It is recorded Mark 19:26 that as He was instructing His followers on His commandments they became disheartened, as they worried that it was impossible to meet all the requirements to return to our Father in Heaven. Even the disciples were troubled, and they asked Him who could possibly be saved then? His simple response sums up His whole purpose on earth. Christ said: “…with God all things are possible”. That is my epiphany; I can do nothing, you can do nothing, together we can do nothing for our salvation. It is impossible. “But with God all things are possible”. I hope that as life gets more routine when I get home I can still recall that ah ha! moment I had while contemplating this scripture one morning, especially when I have moments of self-doubt. Anything is possible with God.
I love you all and I know this is the restored church of God on the earth today, and it can change lives.