Daventry missionary returns from Korean assignment

Zoe Gibbons and her missionary companion Lee Yoon Jeong
Zoe Gibbons and her missionary companion Lee Yoon Jeong

A Daventry woman has returned from South Korea, becoming fluent in the country's language while on her Christian mission.

Zoe Gibbons, 20, spent 18 months in the Asian country and told her congregation at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on her return how grateful she was for the opportunity to give service 5,500 miles away from her home.

It wasn’t all plain sailing though and one day when Zoe and her companion Lee Yoon Jeong were out on the streets trying to follow the ‘going about doing good’ example of the church, she felt very discouraged and sad.

With tears in her eyes, Zoe felt like giving up and going home but two children came up to her with two little teddies and gave her one.

“This simple act of kindness deeply moved me,” said Zoe.

"It made a lasting impression. At that moment I knew that God loves me and that with his help I can do anything.

"I was reminded that day that all of us really are God’s hands here on earth to do what we can to help others.”

Even though Zoe spent three months in Provo, Utah, USA, on an intensive language training course, when she arrived in Korea she was still very lost.

Having a native South Korean, Lee Yoon Jeong, as her missionary companion really helped and now Zoe is fluent in Korean.

Lee Yoon Jeong also taught Zoe much about Korean culture and history.

As well as teaching people about the beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Zoe and Lee Yoon Jeong also taught English in schools, went weekly to care homes helping the elderly and also on a weekly basis made up and distributed food boxes to the poor and needy in Seoul, South Korea’s capital city with a 9.8 million population.