Happy Lunar New Year 😀 In Korea, it’s a tradition to eat a bowl of ddeokguk on New Years Day. In English, i think it’s called sticky rice soup? Wow that makes it sound kind of disgusting… sorry! It’s really good though!! anyway, eating a bowl of that soup symbolizes becoming a year older. Well, every member and investigator wanted to feed us ddeokguk this month! So Sister Engebretsen and I can officially say that we are 7 years older… haha. We got offered this dish many more times but we opted for other dishes haha.
Lunar New Year or commonly known as Chinese New Year is a very big holiday in Korea and everyone goes out of town to meet up with their relatives. So for missionaries, it’s the perfect time to deep clean our house! We spent the whole day cleaning our house on Saturday!! oh man, staying in all day and cleaning is so much more exhausting than being out all day and talking to people… haha. And on Friday, we had a mission conference and watched the Worldwide Missionary Broadcast. They announced some HUGE changes in our missionary daily schedule and key indicators! Because I was an Sister Training Leader last transfer, we actually got to try out the new schedule and give feedback to President, but today is the first day we get to apply the new PDAY schedule! Before, we had to study till 11am and then try and fit email, grocery shopping, cleaning and etc. in till PDAY ends at 6pm. But now we get to leave home at 8am!! so crazy… It’s exciting to be part of the big change and observe the differences.
On Saturday, we also received our transfer call…. wahh, my companion, Sister Engebretsen, will be going to Imun!! I’m excited for her to go to my first area, but I am really sad that she will be leaving. She’s seriously the cutest person alive. Last transfer was probably the ‘low’ of my mission so far and it was just really hard for me emotionally, but Sister Engebretsen showed me endless & selfless love everyday, and made me laugh every single day with her overload of cute and awkwardness 😉 I will miss her, but I am just really grateful for the opportunity I had to serve with someone who’s so real, down-to-earth and full of love. I keep reminding myself that new experiences and changes only make us grow 🙂 My new companion is pretty much a Australian version of me! She moved to Australia when she was ten years old (like me) and has a “unique” Korean pronunciation(like me) haha. We will be the Oceania Duo!
I think one of the biggest challenges I’ve had to deal with, well.. still learning to deal with is accepting the infinite love our Savior and Heavenly Father has for me. It’s easy for me to see the good in others but to have that same kind of positive outlook in myself is a completely different story. Last week, I read Elder Gong’s talk ‘Becoming Perfect in Christ.’ I just want to share a few of my favourite parts from this amazing talk.
Understanding the Savior’s freely given atoning love can free us from self-imposed, incorrect, and unrealistic expectations of what perfection is. Such understanding allows us to let go of fears that we are imperfect—fears that we make mistakes, fears that we are not good enough, fears that we are a failure compared to others, fears that we are not doing enough to merit His love.
The word perfection, however, is sometimes misunderstood to mean never making a mistake. Perhaps you or someone you know is trying hard to be perfect in this way. Because such perfection always seems out of reach, even our best efforts can leave us anxious, discouraged, or exhausted. We unsuccessfully try to control our circumstances and the people around us. We fret over weaknesses and mistakes. In fact, the harder we try, the further we may feel from the perfection we seek.
Fully accepting our Savior’s Atonement can increase our faith and give us courage to let go of constraining expectations that we are somehow required to be or to make things perfect. Black-and-white thinking says everything is either absolutely perfect or hopelessly flawed. But we can gratefully accept, as God’s sons and daughters, that we are His greatest handiwork (see Psalm 8:3–6; Hebrews 2:7), even though we are still a work in progress.
As we understand our Savior’s freely given atoning love, we cease fearing that He may be a harsh,faultfinding judge. Instead, we feel assurance, “for God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:17). And we understand that time and process are needed for growth (see Moses 7:21).
For those who may feel chronically burdened or anxious, sincerely ask yourself, “Do I define perfectionand success by the doctrines of the Savior’s atoning love or by the world’s standards? Do I measuresuccess or failure by the Holy Ghost confirming my righteous desires or by some worldly standard?”
For those who feel physically or emotionally exhausted, start getting regular sleep and rest, and maketime to eat and relax. Recognize that being busy is not the same as being worthy, and being worthydoes not require perfection.5
For those prone to see their own weaknesses or shortcomings, celebrate with gratitude the things youdo well, however large or small.
As we act and are not acted upon (see 2 Nephi 2:14), we can navigate between complementary virtues and achieve much of life’s growth. These can appear in “an opposition,” being “a compound in one” (2 Nephi 2:11).
For example, we can cease to be idle (see D&C 88:124) without running faster than we have strength (see Mosiah 4:27).
We can be “anxiously engaged in a good cause” (D&C 58:27) while also periodically pausing to “be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10; see also D&C 101:16).
We can find our lives by losing our lives for the Savior’s sake (see Matthew 10:39; 16:25).
We can be “not weary in well-doing” (D&C 64:33; see also Galatians 6:9) while taking appropriate time to refresh spiritually and physically.
We can be lighthearted without being light-minded.
We can laugh heartily with but not haughtily at.
Our Savior and His Atonement invite us to “come unto Christ, and be perfected in him.” As we do so, He promises that His grace is “sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ” (Moroni 10:32).
For those burdened by cares to find perfection or to be perfect now, our Savior’s freely given atoning love assures us:
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
“… For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28, 30).7