Picking up my mission call from the church office in Takapuna was like getting a big birthday present. Actually, so much better than a birthday present. I gotta admit, having to wait a few hours before I could actually open it with my family was such a struggle! Especially knowing that this letter in my hands will determine where I will be serving for the next 18 months.
Living away from home definitely has its ups and downs.. I love the freedom and the sense of independence, but the fact that we can’t all be together in one room is absolutely the worst! I’m currently studying at The University of Auckland, my sister is studying at BYU Provo and my parents are still in Dunedin. This meant we had to find another way to share this special moment with each other. Although we couldn’t physically be together in one place, I’m so grateful that my family was there with me via Skype. THANK GOODNESS FOR THE POWER OF TECHNOLOGY!!
As expected, the most frequently asked question while I was waiting for my mission call was “Where do you think you’d go??”.
Because I knew that Heavenly Father wanted me to go on my mission, I was willing to go anywhere and honestly didn’t mind where I would go. It was still exciting to think about all of the different places I could be called to serve in and all of the languages I might have to learn, but deep down, I always thought I would either go back to Korea or stay in the Pacific area.
When I read “Dear Sister Lee, you are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned to labour in the Korea Seoul Mission”, it felt so right. It felt perfect.
I absolutely LOVED my childhood in Korea – roller skating every single day, staying out with the neighbourhood kids till 7 at night, collecting glass bottles on the streets to take to the little convenience store so that we could buy some lollies, lining up outside in the school field to sing the national anthem, catching the subway to Gangnam and spending the whole day reading comics at a bookstore. Oh man, so many good memories.
Growing up in both Korea and New Zealand has made me really appreciate strong work ethic, cultural diversity, and exploring God’s beautiful creating of the nature. I am beyond grateful for this opportunity to be able to go back to my home country exactly 1o years after we left and share the gospel and love of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Also, I’m always surrounded by returned missionaries who served in Korea and they would talk endlessly about all of their experiences, so I can’t wait to get out there and experience for myself what all the excitement is about! (Check out my sister’s mission blog)