This week in Gangnam was really really tough! Elder Arredondo and I got cancelled on about 5 times! On the bright side, we got to walk around the area a lot and get to know the streets. We don't ride buses here, which I love cuz walking around is just my style. We do have about 20 or more subway stations in our little area (crazy huge number, cuz this is one of the metropolises of Seoul) for when we need to move fast or leave the area for meetings.
We met some really cool people. We also met some really weird people. One of them was a man who came to English class and we all just got a weird vibe about him. He seemed kind of autistic, a bit. He was kinda creeping on me, so I wasn't sure what to do. He gave us KFC he had bought, tried to take a picture of me, and then left right when English class started. Confusing. Anyway, that happened right after getting rejected and railed on by some guy on the street about how our church is false and the Book of Mormon is not true. Well, I told him that I've got a witness, an answer from God that it is true, so while there's not much I can do for him, there is nothing he can do to me either. Just a normal missionary day.
I was feeling really really depressed after those 2 experiences, though, and feeling like I could do nothing right. I felt like if I was a god missionary, I could have left that man with a better impression of our church. And I just felt weird and out-of-whack from the guy at english class. On the way home for dinner, I was flipping my mission coin, and I looked at the words on the back, "Full Purpose of Heart". It hit me that all God asked of me was to serve Him and His Children with full purpose of heart. He never required me to be perfect at street-contacting or know exactly how to handle every situation, He just asked for my best effort.
The next day, I was still in a down mood, and in companion study we read from the Book of Mormon together in Alma 26, about a missionary named Ammon talking to his brothers and fellow missionaries after their service among the Lamanite people. He talks in there about a lot of things, but what stuck out to me this time was that he and his brothers went through a lot worse rejection than I did, and a lot more privation (verse 27). When they were depressed, the Lord comforted them.
When we read this verse together, I felt like I was getting a big hug from my Father in Heaven, like He was saying to me, "It's okay, I understand. Just get back up and give it one more go, be diligent and I will give you success." I felt like the Full Purpose of Heart thing and this chapter combined to help me out of the little depression I had worked myself into. I feel like Heavenly Father picked me up, dusted me off, gave me a big hug, and comforted me like the little child I am to Him. He also showed me lots of ways that I can do better. First he reminded me that my purpose is to serve His other children and Him with my best effort. Then he showed me that when it's hard and I'm depressed, its another opportunity to develop and show diligence. I learned a lot more, but it would take all day to write. The biggest thing I learned, or was reminded of, is that God is mindful of each of us, and that He really does want to help us in our problems. We just need to turn to Him and do our best to follow Him.
When we ask for blessings, He usually answers with opportunities for us to gain them ourselves.
I love this work, and I love all of you! I love my Father in Heaven most of all, for letting me learn and grow and have the opportunity of serving Him in this way as a missionary.
Thanks again! Have a great week, everyone!