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Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Long-Lost Letter to Emily

13 April ‘09

Dear Em

Your sparkly card was completely appropriate because all clothes in Korea are sparkly. All of them. Respectable grown-up businessmen wear sparkling neckties. Often pink.

It is so different and scary here. Also different and wonderful. Also the same and scary and wonderful. And everything that I need to do and know and be is all so overwhelming. I feel like I need to learn and do everything at once.

Thankfully, Sister Montgomery is a wonderful companion. She’s very patient and works very hard and genuinely loves the people she’s serving and the work she’s doing. This week has been hard on her because a lot of the people she wanted to teach “punked” us (didn’t show up to appointments, or cancelled them, or in one case just flat-out told us not to come anymore) and I can see it just breaks her heart.

I love your C.S. Lewis reference. In Conference yesterday, Elder Dallin H. Oaks, one of the Apostles, quotes C.S. Lewis about how the history of the world is one long string of people trying (and failing) to find something other than God that will make them happy. I tell ya, C.S. Lewis was a freakin’ genius. So even though right now I think that a day on my couch at home watching Avatar and Heroes would make me happy, I know it wouldn’t. Because God needs me to be working right now, and if I let Him down I will regret it for the rest of the life. Plus I’ll never get to go back to the mokyotang. (You HAVE to try the mokyotang.)

Yes, you are way ahead of me in the BoM – but I am reading steadily, and understanding more all the time, so watch yourself. I really liked your question* – it was something I’d never thought about before. I think the Nephite people had a different leap of faith to take than their counterparts in Jerusalem. They were never going to see His mortal ministry. In fact, it was a leap of faith to believe there even was such a place as Jerusalem, after a few years. The prophets all teach the same gospel, but they teach it according to the needs of their people. The Jews needed to not know Christ’s given name – everybody would have been naming their firstborn son Jesus! They couldn’t know that he was going to be born in such-a-year and be 5’7” and have brown eyes . . . they had to recognized him by the Spirit, not by name. The Nephites needed to learn by faith that what He would do on the other side of the world would matter to them. Different leap of faith. Different people. Same gospel. At least, that’s what I think. The gospel according to RoseE.

Bellatrix is an awesome name for a dog. The soap dispensers here are not possessed, but the maps are, and the ATMs, and the public transporation system’s card-swipers.

And my desk. Poor desk. Oh, and pens.

I need to learn to write smaller. I love you so much!


* I asked why Nephi, etc., knew Jesus’s given name, when the Biblical (Old Testament) prophets were never told His human name, but only His spiritual name, like Emmanuel.

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