Monday, September 14, 2015

Back to Back

It seems lately that I have been having to learn multiple lessons about life and stuff lately.  Being honest, being truthful, patient, kind, loving, caring, selfless.  Which I'm glad to do, because let us be honest, if I came back home the same that I left, I would have wasted two years of my life.  So onto the adventures that happened this week that have added to Elder Yamagata's stock of wisdom haha.

First off this week, the most exciting, but not in a positive way, was a wonderful day where I felt like me and elder Megargel just needed some outside time, hitting the pavement trying to find people to teach.  Not much success there, so we decided to hit the phones and try to get some appointments set up for ourselves for later on  in the week.  On the way home, I felt like we needed to try one more guy.  "Maybe this is the one," I thought to myself.  My companion had started talking to a man and he waved us off.  I felt like I needed to keep trying to talk to him.  As I pushed just a little bit to get him to talk to me a little more, that's when all h**l broke loose.  Next thing I knew, he has his hands on my shirt grabbing at my shirt and neck.  My hands reach to his shirt and neck.  Elder Megargel eventually stepped in and he let go of me.  I thought "Ok time to go, this is way past what it was supposed to be, he's obviously not the one," and as I started to walk away he grabbed me by the belt and started talking about calling the police for me being aggressive and attacking him for not listening to me.  I almost lost it on him.  It took everything I had not to deck him in the face.  He would not let go of me, and started talking to people like "Oh this missionary American just was attacking me and is now trying to run!" (Both of them lies).  So they call the police and they came, started questioning both of us.  Eventually, they let me go while they continued to question him, I think they crossed him and he kind of confessed that I had not hit him or touched out of anger, only out of self-defense.  But so much happened in the middle, I freaked out (who wouldn't?).  I turned to elder Megargel after the man had let go of me to act out me hitting him to someone else and asked him to give me a blessing right there in the middle of the sidewalk with a bunch of people around.  He did so and I felt comfort and peace.  My Korean stayed with me enough to be able to tell the police my side of the story.  Eventually, they let us go (commenting that they were surprised at our Korean and that we were elders in our church).  I walked away, thinking of the scripture that says miracles follow those who believe.  And there was definitely a miracle there.  I walked away when a small voice spoke to me to my very heart: "You are my servant, and nothing will stop you from doing this work"  I knew the lord had taken care of me and had kept me safe and also from doing anything to make the situation worse.  It was the greatest blessing and miracle I had seen in a while!

After that, on Friday, we had a conference with the Mission President and the APs of the mission.  There we learned about finding methods and specifically focused on having the faith to baptize.  It has been something that I have talked about before, it's not easy getting a baptism in Korea.  Just like many other missions, it is not super high in that department.  But our mission president wants to change the culture of saying it's hard, and make it so we get more.  It was great to hear that from him.  He definitely brought questions to my mind, on in particular I'm now studying "How do I know if I am being rebellious or if I am simply denying to follow Church culture?"  This is a big question in my mind lately, and I'm happy to be trying to figure out the answer!  Later on that day had an interview with the president to talk about that event.  He wasn't mad, which was surprising, just asked me never to get that far again.  What a loving man, he makes me think of Christ.  How much we mess up and all that he asks us is to not do it again.  That's true love.  

Finally, the last experience I had this week was with Elder Megargel and I during our weekly companionship inventory.  I told him after praying about it that I felt inspired to tell him that he needed to start taking notes, especially about what the Spirit was telling him.  I talked about it for a while and then felt good.  He responded "Well that's great, but I don't think it's important or anything to take notes, so I appreciate but I don't know if I will do that."  I was stunned, I had never heard a missionary say that before.  I wanted to quickly come back, but I couldn't think of anything except that he had his agency to do what he chooses.  So I went to bed that night kinda upset and flustered (don't know if that's the right word).  As I prayed I felt prompted to talk about it tomorrow.  So the next day, Sunday, as we walked to church I brought up what he said.  And how I wasn't feeling the spirit super strongly.  He told me "I don't feel like we need to talk about it at all, I feel fine" reminded me of the Ricciardi letter that I love to read, and that we also just watched being read by President Uchtdorf at new mission presidents seminar.  So I turned to him and said "Elder, when missionaries get along, it is for two reasons.  1 They get along in obedience, or 2.  In Disobedience.  The reason missionaries don't get along is because one missionary wants to try, and the other doesn't care.  So tell me, elder, do you feel like you are doing what is right?  Because if you are, maybe I'm wrong and need to change."  We walked the rest of the way in silence.  When we got to the church I talked to him so more of pride and how our missions are places of growth and selflessness.  He told me that he didn't want to change in certain places in his life, that any change had to pass his "Checks"  I heard that and the words came to my mouth immediately "Any checks you have been immediately dropped when it passes the check:  Is this what the Lord wants me to do?"  

And he stopped, and then told me "Well, I do need to learn how to study, and if that involves taking notes, then I will do it."  Application of what we had learned the day before at mission conference of using our AGENCY to soften our HEARTS so that our WILL is given to God.  It was amazing and I am proud of him making that adjustment and being willing to learn and grow on his mission.

If we don't learn to grow and change and become like a child, willing to submit to all the things that the Father seeth fit to inflict upon us, then this life WILL SUCK!  It will not be fun, it will be like what the snipers do to get in position, skull dragging.  Let us learn this simple lesson, never be too prideful to change.  We are not perfect, and if someone tells us to change to become more like the master teacher and exemplar, Jesus Christ, then let us do so with a willing heart and mind. 

Love you all

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