Monday, January 2, 2017

MERRY CHRISTMAS!! (December 25, 2016)

Merry Christmas!!
Welcome to Korea...this aisle in the store is ALLLLL RAMEN!! Ha ha ha!
Yesterday had some really high highs and some really low lows. After skyping with my family (SO DANG GOOD!), attending church, and doing my studies (the highs), we had a caroling activity with the missionaries and members in our ward. Only two members joined us, but for our small Mokpo Ward, that was actually pretty good! The members didn't have hymnbooks, so they used mine. I asked to share with Sister P, and she said yes, but our heights are quite different and she held the book really close to her face, so I didn't have a way to see any of the carols. I was a tiny bit annoyed, but took it as a sign from Heavenly Father that He wanted me to get out and ์ „๋„ instead of just sing. So I started trying to pass out pass along cards and share Book of Mormons, but I just got rejection after rejection. When you get so many rejections in a row, it kind of blows your self esteem and motivation, especially on Christmas. I  thought that maybe people's hearts would have been a little more open! I ended up sharing two Book of Mormons, but I had hoped to share a lot more.

After the caroling activity, we had an hour left before 9 p.m. We decided to head back to our area, grab some umbrellas, and finish the night ์ „๋„ing there. By this time, my Christmas cheer was a little drained and I was feeling like a failure because I had been rejected so much. But I tried to keep smiling and listen to the Spirit to know who we could talk to. I thought of a man who sells apples from a truck by our apartment. I thought that maybe we could sing a Christmas carol to him and share a Book of Mormon. We walked to his truck and said hello (we always say hi to him) and told him "Merry Christmas!" All I said was, "Merry Christmas" and his kill-Beckett's-self-esteem attack begin. I am POSITIVE he understood me, but he asked what I said and I told him "Merry Christmas!" again. Then he looked at Sister P and asked her what I said and said that he can't understand me and asked what are we even doing. She told him Merry Christmas, too, and then he asked why we were celebrating Christmas. His voice was harsh when he talked, and I thought we could cheer him up. I bore him my testimony of Christ and told him that we wanted to share some of Christ's love and happiness and hope with him that Christmas night by singing him a Christmas carol. He sneered and laughed and looked at my companion and started telling her how he doesn't think I would even be able to sing good at all. That really hurt my feelings, but we didn't give up. Sister P told him that I could sing well, and that he should give us a shot and let us sing. He started talking really rudely again, and told me not even to try singing. Then he said a bunch of really rude, and degrading things, all to me. I don't know if he was a little racist or what, but he ripped me to shreds. My anger and sadness was building, so I just bowed to him and told him Merry Christmas one more time and walked away. We walked in the rain for like twenty minutes and I just cried and cried. It was a bit of a rough end to my Christmas. But Sister P was so kind and sweet to me. She helped me feel a little better.

This morning during personal study I decided to study forgiveness, because I was still feeling a little hurt. Yesterday in personal study I had studied about Joseph and Mary from the book "Jesus the Christ". Today I thought about some of the things I learned from Joseph's example. He had every right to believe that Mary had been unfaithful to him, and his heart and inside hurt sooo much, but his love conquered his pride and he didn't want to humiliate or embarrass Mary, even though he thought that he had seriously betrayed him. (Imagine his relief when he had the dream and found out that she had stayed faithful!) Then I thought about Jesus Christ, who in the act of dying asked God to forgive the very people who had beat Him, spit on Him, degraded Him, and killed Him. THAT IS AMAZING! That is true love. From pondering this, I realized that I have a lot left to learn about being charitable. I am thankful for Christ's example of perfect love for people, despite their actions. This was one of my favorite parts of a conference talk I studied this morning by Elder Kevin Duncan: "Forgiveness is the very reason God sent His Son, so let us rejoice in His offering to heal us all. The Savior’s Atonement is not just for those who need to repent; it is also for those who need to forgive. If you are having trouble forgiving another person or even yourself, ask God to help you. Forgiveness is a glorious, healing principle. We do not need to be a victim twice. We can forgive." SO! As hard as it is, my challenge for you all is to forgive somebody this week who is hard to forgive. Completely and wholly forgive them. We can do it through Christ's atonement! And sometimes the person you need to forgive is yourself!!
Mokpo Missionaries Family Christmas Picture (Yes, I wore the same outfit twice! Don't judge, IT WAS FESTIVE!)
Also, earlier this week we had such a FUN and AWESOME Christmas party! My half of the mission met on Thursday. It was great to feel so much Christmas cheer. I love President and Sister Madsen and the Bartons (Our senior couple)! We did a service project of peeling garlic for kimchi, made funny Mormon Messages, ate MEXICAN FOOD (that is a Christmas miracle in and of itself!) and sang hymns and watched part of the Church's Christmas devotional. It was a VERY MERRY time!! Also I got to see Elder Wesley Allen! He is super awesome!! 

Sister Allie Beckett

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