|My sweet MTC companion|
It was only a sunny smile, and little it cost in the giving, but like the morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.
I wish I could put a little dash and my name after that. But that would be a matter of some dispute as, in doing such, my name would also need to be on the cover of best sellers around the globe which would require a huge team of valiant men and women finding their way into every Barnes and Noble, Borders, and library and replacing my name with his. That is what the New York Times refers to as a "huge waste of time".
So I guess you win, F. Scott. You happy?
That was a rhetorical question as the one in question has, I think, passed on. But it's easy to see that he was, in fact, happy. And, well, I am too.
Things are well here in sunny (and I mean that in every sense of the word) Chun Cheon City. We spend a vast majority of our days going from door to door, preaching this message of happiness and peace. Yes, we get yelled at and laughed at occasionally, yes, we get doors slammed in our faces, and yes there are those times when particularly large dogs don't act their part as "man's best friend". But then there are those times when a nice little old lady invites us in, shares her dinner with us, then proceeds to empty her fridge into containers for us to take. Yes, all of that happened this week and it has left us completely exhausted, but falling asleep with grins on our faces.
In going from door to door, I have come to recognize something that is somewhat disconcerting. And it is that those who claim to be believers in Christ, who display a sticker on the door and profess that they follow him, are often the rudest ones. And then there are the Buddhists, who most often kindly send us away with a smile and a "work hard, you are doing great things". Something is wrong here, wouldn't you agree? I respect Buddhists and their beliefs and I am so grateful for their kindness. But I think that being a follower of Christ does not stop at a sticker on the door. A true follower of Christ is one who strives to emulate him, develop his attributes, and demonstrate perfect love for all his fellow men. So, as a missionary always extending commitments, I am going to commit all those whose eyes have traveled the long journey of this letter, believer in Christ or not, to strive to be less judgemental, more forgiving, kind when someone cuts you off in traffic, and understanding when someone (either intentionally or unintentionally) offends you. Take the great F. Scott Fitzgerald's advice and smile, why don't you. He's right you know, it really does make life worth living.
Whew. Let me just hand the microphone back to Ellen and bring us back to real life. Want to hear something cool? (another rhetorical question--of course you do). I ate pig liver, pig intestines, pig lungs and cows blood this week. All in one meal? And the best part is that I am neither dead nor dying. Cool, right?
I wish you all the best in all your endeavors. Even if your endeavor means perfecting your recipe for the perfect grilled cheese sandwich. Yes, actually, do that then send me the finished product. I can't think of a better way for you to use your time. :)
Love from the other side of the Pacific (and a little hop over Japan and a few strokes in between),
P.S. This beautiful temple (we got to go on Tuesday) and my cute little district.