Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Plastic Surgery Anyone?

WOW, this week was sweet--so many cool miracles, lots of laughs, and some good weather!

This week we were super busy with exchanges! We had three back to back to back, so I actually didn't see my real companion for 3 days in a row. But exchanges are always cool--they seem to always be filled good learning experiences and hard work. Of course, weird things also seem to happen. Here is a story for the books. 

For those of you who don't know, plastic surgery is suuuper popular in Korea. I have heard that as many as 2/5 of the women here have "something" done. But because Koreans are very, very private about their personal lives, you will usually never know if someone has had something done. As a result, it has been a non-issue for me; that is, until last Thursday. We were riding up an escalator, and I bowed to the lady that was riding up next to me and we started talking. She had lived in Canada for a little while and her English was pretty good, so I was definitely not mistaken when I asked her where she was going and then heard her surprising reply: "I am going to get some plastic surgery!" WHAT THE? I was full blown shocked. First off, that is normally a very private thing, and second off why are you telling a random white stranger this? I was honestly so surprised, I almost asked "WHERE!?" Instead, I just showed her a Book of Mormon and told her that she could probably use a read! yikes..

Okay, now fast forward a few hours to maybe the biggest miracle ever! Recently I have been reading in the middle of Alma where it talks a lot about missionary work and the need for prayer, diligence, and an ear for the Spirit. So those are some of the things I have been even more focused on recently. On Thursday, we were riding back to the church on the subway, but it was the middle of the day so there were only like 10 people in the whole cart we were riding in. Elder Lee and I both made attempts to have some good conversations, but we both faltered quickly. I just kind of was sitting there alone and no one else was around, but I saw a guy down the cart a little bit that kind of looked a bit familiar. So I stood up quickly and walked over to him, knowing I was getting off in just a few seconds. I said hello, but nothing! 

Naturally, I was a little bit confused as to why I felt like I should talk to this guy and right as I was thinking this, I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned around to a shorter middle-aged woman who said to me, "Hey you are Mormon right?" Of course I said yes, and then she said "Give me your number!"  I was a little confused by this prompt and rather aggressive response (I actually thought to myself, "Yikes, she's definitely pyscho, but at least she hasn't talked to me about her plastic surgery yet"). Despite that thought, I did give her our number and we actually proceeded to get off at the same stop. So Elder Lee, this lady, and I walked for a little while and we learned some pretty cool things as we talked! About 30 years ago, she met missionaries for the first time because her middle school was right next to one of our churches. She came out to activities a few times, but nothing crazy. She said she was just left with a good impression. Well a few years ago she grew close to a Pastor of another church and ended up being baptized, but the Pastor recently moved away and then this woman fell away from the church because she no longer had a friend. She said at that time she was really quite disappointed in herself, and decided that she should find a religion or a faith that she would be cemented in. At that time, a memory came to her mind of some white guys in white shirts with black tags that she used to know 30 years ago.. and the search began! She recently had even tried chasing missionaries down, but barely missed them as they caught a bus. Sick! So when she saw me in close range, she pounced! I am awfully grateful for the feeling that I had to go talk to that guy, although he wasn’t interested. There totally was a reason. God guides!

So next: after talking for a few minutes, she had to run to the hospital for an hour. But she told us to meet her at the station when she was done with her appointment, so we did. And she came back! We talked more deeply, set a baptismal date, and committed her to come to church. And guess what: she came!!! And she found lots of friends! She came up to us before she left and told us that she had set an appointment with one of our members and she wanted us to be there to teach her the Gospel! Haha, missionary work is so cool. I love this life.

My week was fantastic, I hope yours was as well! And this coming one too!!

Love you!

Elder Jenkins

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