Feb 26 at 9:07 PM
Life is good in Korea! We got yelled at by Elder Holland, and it was fantastic. Not joking. We had a missionary conference combined with Seoul South mission at which Elder Holland was the key note speaker, of course, and he is a very passionate man. When he gets into it, he gets into it. (There was also a Korea-wide broadcast that evening, and he also yelled at all of Korea. It was pretty great.) Please don't misunderstand: He wasn't angry. When I say "yelled," I just mean really loud speaking. He certainly doesn't talk like that at the pulpit in General Conference.
At the missionaries' conference, one of the Seventy who spoke before Elder Holland made a remark that I found to be true. To roughly paraphrase, when you get to listen to an Apostle of the Lord, things seem to become a little clearer. Absolutely true. I've made it a personal goal to read the New Testament, and I understand some things, though not nearly as much understanding as persistent, consistent study and pondering will bring to my mind and heart; but when Elder Holland took us through John 3, the way he explained and expounded on the story of Nicodemus (and included us in that discussion; he didn't just talk, he helped us figure stuff out for ourselves) everything was so... clear. The way Elder Holland talked about the scriptures just reminded me that all that stuff really happened. Real life, real people, real lessons. Yay Apostles!!!!
Also, before the meeting formally started, Elder and Sister Holland shook all of the missionaries' hands. O,o I know. We were freaking out. They wanted to know our names and where we're from. When I said "Olathe, Kansas", Elder Holland said, "Olathe, that's a good place." :D I was grinning so wide. And I guess I was a little more flustered than I thought I would be, because when I went to introduce myself to Sister Holland, I definitely almost said Sister Giles (only because I had just heard her say her name to Elder Holland). It was good stuff. When he stood up to speak, Elder Holland said that he interviewed us today, just by shaking our hands and looking into our eyes for a few seconds. Brothers and sisters, I absolutely believe it. Yay Apostles!
In other news, I love our investigator 함윤혜 (YunHae Ham) so much! Sister Giles and I talk about this all the time, that we feel like she's one of our best friends. And she's progressing so well. It's amazing to me just how tangible the gospel is. I think I've sort of taken it for granted my whole life, since I've had it for my whole life. Of course you don't drink alcohol. Of course you don't shop on the Sabbath. Of course you pay 10% of your increase for tithing. What I think was missing is the why behind all of that. I've grown up doing it, and I've known about why we do all those things. Each commandment has a specific blessing attached, right? But why do we keep the commandments at all? Well, as I've been watching Sister Ham progress through the lessons, I've gotten to see her make decisions to follow commitments because she loves and respects Christ. And that's really the root of it, isn't it? When we love and respect our Savior, we want to follow Him, we want to be closer to Him, so we keep His commandments. And when we do that, what do we find? Whoa, we get even more blessings! Don't you just love that's the way Heavenly Father works?
Have a good week, everyone!
PS - My mom found the picture of Elder and Sister Holland at: https://www.mormonchannel.org/listen/series/conversations-audio/elder-holland-episode-22