It's been another busy week of street finding, lessons here and there with investigators for whom we're praying for inspiration on how to help them progress, and building better foundations of communication among Ward leadership and members.
I think honestly and simply the best thing that happened to me this week was running into a 12 year old Korean boy with his friend on the street during a particularly stormy, humid day. I remember thinking to myself as I usually do with foreigners that I shouldn't spend too much time with him because I have to be finding people to teach within the area. But as I brought up the message of the Restoration, he began telling all kinds of heartfelt stories about his relationship with Jesus and how God always answers his prayers. I was touched by his faith and his desire to do what was right. About 30 minutes after parting, I got a call from this boy who seemed desperate to know why I wasn't where he had met me 30 minutes earlier. He asked me to come back, and when Elder Woo and I did about 20 minutes later, the boy and his friend handed us two bottles of Pocari Sweat (chinese equivilent of gatorade) and said, "I just wanted to thank you and tell you to keep trying hard, I know it's probably so hard to stand out here all day." Late for whatever he had planned next, he and his friend quickly ran off. My heart was full the rest of the evening because of the kindness that boy showed us. It was such a simple act of kindness, and after a day of almost no success, I could only smile. I wished that everybody had as Christlike a heart as that young boy.
The other day, I sat at my desk just before bed thinking about everything that I've experienced on my mission. I reflected on the good things that I've done, the mistakes I've made, the successes and the failures, and asked myself if I'd been doing enough to serve the Lord. I have had times where I have sought for some sort of lift only to be shot down, and wondered why. The past few weeks I've faced several instances that have led to pangs of inadequacy and unexplainable lackings of motivation. It occurred to me that growing up I've been repeatedly praised for everything I can do, and very little berated for or reminded of what I can't. Even in times recently when I've met with the mission president or talked to my companion, instead of receiving the expected praise or pat of appreciation, I've been given an admonition against pride and a reminder of the deeper potential I haven't yet shown forth.
One of the greatest things I've learned about the nature of God is that He, in order to bring about His purposes for man and to propel forward their eternal progression, does not always shower praise and appreciation upon our heads when He and we both know we could be doing so much better. He pushes us for something greater. He does not praise us for our stagnancy in progression, no matter how far along we may be or what good we may be accomplishing. In my experience, the peace I expect and hope for never truly comes until I'm humble enough to recognize that I'm not doing everything I can be and cry for strength to do something greater for the Lord.
It is not until we let humility before God be our motivation and our strength that the Lord does miracles with us. Beginning to comprehend such a truth is to me a miracle in and of itself.