Monday, October 12, 2015

Sharing My Last Words at Zone Training

This week was my very last Zone Training. They ask everyone who is going home that transfer to share a 마지막 말씀 or last words of advice to all the missionaries.

There were 3 of us: Me, Elder Ellsworth and Elder Robinson who will be leaving at the end of this month.

Some people are good at going up and just speaking but I spent a good amount of time preparing so I didn't randomly start crying. Contrary to my hope, I did start tearing up but I had good notes to keep me focused.

So . . . I wanted to share my "last words" with everyone. [Disclaimer: I still have 2 weeks left. This is just what I shared at my last Zone Training.]

"As I was thinking about what to say I ran across my journal entry from the first day of the MTC and I think it captures everything I want to say:

'There are just so many emotions and I'm so tired.'
[hopefully people laughed]

I was really tempted to just say that but I don't think that will benefit anyone~  ㅋㅋ

As many of you already know, both my parents served in Korea about 25 years ago. I grew up eating 김치 and speaking 반말. My parents were so happy to find out that I would be serving in Korea. They both love Korea. And that is something I would have never understood if I had never come here.
Even though I am far away from my parents I feel like I have never been closer to them, because I can finally share with them the love of this country and this people.

Even more than developing a better relationship with my earthly parents I have also strengthened my relationship with my Heavenly Father and His son, Jesus Christ. Heavenly Father also loves the people of Korea and as I have served here I have only come to feel a small portion of that love but as I have loved these people my faith and testimony in a loving Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ have grown.

A scripture that I have come to love is in Mosiah 18:30. I originally liked this scripture because I was impressed by how many times the word "Mormon" was used . . . but I have come to love it for a different reason now:

And now it came to pass that all this was done in Mormon, yea, by the waters of Mormon, in the forest that was near the waters of Mormon; yea, the place of Mormon, the waters of Mormon, the forest of Mormon, how beautiful are they to the eyes of them who there came to the knowledge of their Redeemer; yea, and how blessed are they, for they shall sing to his praise forever.

How beautiful is Korea to me who here came to the knowledge of my Redeemer.

It was 가가호호ing [ed.: door knocking] in the tall apartment buildings in 수지 (Suji) where I learned to follow the spirit.

It was 전도ing [street proselyting] at the 사거리 [intersection] in 부평 [Bupyeong] where I learned to conquer my fears.

It was with the members in 계산 [Gyesan] where I learned to express my love.

And it is on the rolling hills of 성남 [Seongnam] where I have offered the most powerful prayers of my entire life.

Korea, to me, will always be holy ground.

I guess my advice to you all today would be to love it. Love every minute of it. Embrace this opportunity to become. Yes, sometimes on our journey of becoming it may seem like God enhances our weaknesses, elongates our trials, and sometimes even enlarges our pet peeves and frustrations.
However, we were made to do hard things.

All of those things will be swallowed up on the day when we can look back and see the lows but also the glorious highs and see truly how far we've come and what we've become.

So make Korea your holy ground. Make it beautiful to your companion, your ward members and your investigators. Make them sing the praises of their Redeemer forever.

There has not been a single night where I haven't knelt down and thanked my Heavenly Father for this opportunity to serve in Korea and the opportunity I have had to become, to become more than I ever could have been. And I'm still growing and learning.

I would like to end with a quote from Doctor Who. Right before the 10th doctor regenerates into the 11th doctor he said: "I don't want to go." Just like the 10th doctor ended his old life and was about to start a new life and a new adventure, I too, am ending this life as a full-time missionary and starting a new adventure of my own.

But now, I can face it with a strong, unshaken testimony that this church is true. The fullness of the gospel was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith in these latter-days. Heavenly Father loves us so much He sent His only begotton son to the world to atone for our sins. Through Jesus Christ we can return to live with Him someday. And that hope can lighten our lives as it has to mine.

I say these things in the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.

These last 2 weeks are going to be the best. I am continuing to see miracles every day.

I love you all!
Have a wonderful week<3

- Sister Holdaway

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