Another interesting week at the MTC. My companion has some type of stomach pain so we have been in and out of the hospital, the clinic, and pharmacy for the whole week, so we missed some gym and service activities. We don't know what's wrong yet, but he has been feeling a little better. If you are interested in good news, Sister Wi (She's from Sri Lanka and speaks English as her second language and can't read very well) is progressing incredibly quickly and is getting a preach my gospel and BOM in her native language. She is the first Sri Lankan to ever serve a mission in Korea. Also Sister Russel got called to give a surprise talk in church this past week, and she did very well.
So aside from the discussions we had this week on bath houses and the danger of eating live octopus and dog, one of the cool cultural things I continue to learn about Korean is their concept of prayer. Koreans pray kneeling down, but some of the Buddhist tradition has crept in, so they put their arms in front of them and kneel looking at the ground. Furthermore, they use an honorific tense while praying that is reserved for basically just God. Occasionally, someone will use it for a king, but mostly just God. It really brings a spirit of humility and reverence to the prayer.
So my lesson on Christ for this week is something I read in Mark and Mosiah (a Book in the Book of Mormon for those of you who don't know). There is a rich pharisee or scribe (forgive me if I quote poorly from mark, it is not in front of me) who approaches Jesus and asks "Master what must I do to be saved?" Jesus responds that he must keep the ten commandments such as honoring his father and mother and avoiding sins such as stealing. The man responds that he has done this since his youth, and asks if there was something else he had to do to be saved. The Savior responds that he must sell all of his possessions to the poor and take up his cross and follow him. Unfortunately, the man went away because he was very rich.
The question I have to ask everyone today is what are we willing to sacrifice for Christ? Christ says that anyone who gives their life for my sake will receive one hundred fold in the Kingdom of his Father. The prophet Abinadi, found in Mosiah, gave up his life to testify of Christ and teach his commandments to a wicked people. We are not asked to give up our lives. However, he wants us to live in a way that proves that we are his disciples and that we love him and appreciate his sacrifice for us. Some of us may give up our wealth to the poor. Some of us may give up friends and family to join his gospel and follow him. Some of us may give up addictions or bad habits so we can better feel his spirit. Some of us may give up our pride and become humble. Regardless of what the sacrifice is, the more important question is how and why we give it.
We must be sincere in following the Savior and we must truly seek to become more like him. We must do more than just believe in him; we must turn our whole heart, might, mind, and strength to follow his teachings. I know that not only will we be blessed after our death for our sacrifices, we will also have peace in this life. For whoever shall save his life shall lose it and whoever shall lose his life for my sake shall have everlasting life. Let us be humble. Let us follow Christ's teachings so we can better our own lives. Take Christ's yoke upon you; follow his gospel and his teachings, then Christ will take your yoke, your burden, your infirmities upon himself and ease your guilt, shame, and heartache with peace, joy, and love. For he was bruised for our transgressions, and with his stripes we are healed. That is my prayer for all of us that we may be healed by his sacrifice if we turn to him.