Saturday, August 18, 2007

Seoul Searching

Before I dive into the inner depths of my soul, I must give credit for the title of this post to my dear friend Kelly who used "Seoul Searching" on her blog.

I have wanted to write a post about how my stay in Korea has effected my life. It's something I can easily talk about, but at the same time I have really struggled to write this post. There is so much to say I almost don't know where to begin. I remember when I went to visit Fred in Korea last July. While we were there I was introduced to Danielle Fowers, the Relief Society President of the branch ther, and who is also the wife of Doctor Rob (see earlier blog for details on Dr. Rob :o) We had such a good time with them at the temple and Danielle made me feel so welcome in the branch. I remember her trying to convince me to come over to stay and she kept telling me that I was needed there. That, along with several other experiences while I was there visiting lead us to re-evealuate our decision to live apart and do whatever it took to move to Korea. After that trip I returned home to Utah and "put my house in order" so I could move to Korea. It was a big leap of faith considering the circumstances at the time, but we felt it was what we needed to do. I obtained a visa on my own and purchased a one way ticket to Korea.

When I arrived in Korea I was taken in by the Tripp family whom I had only met once on my previous visit. They took me in as one of their own-- no questions asked-- and let me live with them for a month until Fred was able to get our housing situation worked out. Fred was able to get an exception to policy with the help of Art Mathisen who took it upon himself to walk our paperwork through the system. If it were not for him, we would probably still be waiting for it to get done. When we finally got a place of our own, Branch members stepped up and donated all kinds of household goods to furnish our apartment. There were many days when people would call out of the blue wondering if we needed anything. We felt so loved and humbled by their generosity. My wonderful visiting teacher Jackie Latin offered to throw me a baby shower which helped us get what we needed to prepare for Lucy's arrival. Our neighbors Matt and Tiffany Witt would offer to give us rides EVERYWHERE. Tiffany would always call to see if I needed to go to the store or just to see how I was doing. They even drove through a rain storm to pick my mom up from the airport when she came to visit. And the kindness goes on. These were just a few of the many blessings we received there.

Looking back on everything that has happened since then is a reminder to me that God does know us and and he uses other people to answer our prayers. Danielle Fowers felt that I was needed there. The truth is that I needed Korea in my life, not the other way around. I can't think about my time there without feeling a drive to become a more kind, more generous, more spiritual, more loving person. I am forever changed. From now on my soul will be spelled "Seoul".


Erin said...

Hey! I loved this entry! It made me think of our time away in New Mexico and made me remember the great ward there, too. Isn't the church wonderful? I need to look at that experience more positively...thanks for reminding me to "count my blessings instead of sheep".

Barb said...

I'm so glad you had a good experience living in Korea. Thanks for the uplifting story!

Travis said...

That's so nice, Melissa! I think it's great you made the sacrifice to go there, I know you'll always appreciate it. I'm happy you're home, though!