Sunday, April 5, 2015

Letter 03/23/2015

We had a lot of good service opportunities this week! We successfully found a new service project (all 12 of the missionaries in both wards go to the same service project so I wanted out so spread the love and have more opportunities to find investigators - and it looks good!). One of our members owns a 떡집 (Ddeokchib - I think this is a restaurant or a shop that specializes in rice cakes) and she asked us to help her one day (we got to talk with her husband who isn't a member). And one of our members asked us to come over and help her prepare food for her mother's 제사 (CheSa - I don't know what this is). As we left this member's house we ran into a woman who used to meet the missionaries and we were able to teach her yesterday! When we made our change to 추가 lessons we started with teaching the members practice lessons but we have been teaching more and more to our members needs. My new favorite thing is studying and seeking inspiration for our members, teaching with the Spirit, and feeling like I fulfilled my missionary purpose by helping them come closer to Christ. Sister Choi and I have had so many experiences where our members have told us, "We're going to talk about repentance? I was thinking about repentance yesterday and I know I wanted to work on it" or "I know that you had inspiration when you planned this lesson because it's what I needed" and so forth. One sister who gave a talk in sacrament meeting yesterday talked about things she has learned while being a member of the church and at the end of her talk she said that she put a lot of it together and had realizations on this topic while talking with us. I haven't had very many investigators in this area but I feel like I've helped our members.  I love it! Love you!

Letter 03/16/2015

We had stake conference this week and Elder Aoyagi (a member of the quorum of the seventy from Japan - she was able to translate for him and his wife last time he came) came again! The theme was councils, specifically ward councils.
We've been meeting our members more recently and I love working with our members. They're so wonderful and I love hearing their testimonies.
We had interviews with President this week!
We met a less active sister who really wants to turn her life around and wants us to help her change. Her humility is so lovely.
We met Sister Kim (mother of Brother Park in our ward)! We taught her the Plan of Salvation. She isn't 100% is it's what she wants to do but she's opening up to it and I'm grateful for the opportunity to teach her. Brother Park is in the stake presidency and he talked about us in his stake conference talk. He said that his family (they have 5 kids!) (5 kids is HUGE family in Korea) had a family council about how to help their grandma! How cute is that?
Our ward sang at stake conference. 

Letter 03/09/2015

I had my last exchange (trading companions with another set of missionaries) this week. Sister Hoffman came to my area and Sister Choi went with Sister Hwang to the 2nd ward's area. It was Sister Choi's birthday and I made her a cake!
We had zone training meeting on Thursday. Because it was my last I gave my 마지막 말씀 (majimak malsseum - her final word, or last testimony). Every time missionaries give their final testimony they always say that they never thought the day would come and they don't know what to say and I never understood what they were talking about but I felt empathy for them this week. I shared Alma 26:12 ~ 

"Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.". 

I talked about some of the parts of my testimony that have been strengthened and I shared some stories like our fasting miracles with meeting 지승 (Ji Seung) and 예림 (Yeo Rim - the two 15 year old girls who were baptized last summer) and 예림's mother signing her baptismal form. And then I shared Isaiah 55:8~11 ~ 

" 8 ¶For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
 10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
 11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."

In missionary work we really want sunshine. We don't like rain and snow. And when God sends rain and snow it's easy to wonder why we don't receive answers to our prayers and why we don't get blessings. Sometimes God gives us sunshine and sometimes He gives us snow. But the snow helps plants to grow. It's cold and slippery and we have to wait a long time for it to melt but it gives plants the necessary water.
A brother in our ward referred his mother to us! We are so excited about all of these referrals we have been receiving lately! He decided that it's time for his mother to be baptized so we are going to start teaching her!!!!
I love you! 

Letter 03/02/2015

I love it when we have to get into an locked apartment building (you have to know the key code to get in to most apartment buildings in Korea) and someone else opens it for us so we can get it. They (the people they are visiting)don't even know but their simple act of trying to get into their home is furthering the work of salvation (because they are able to meet and talk to the people who let them in).
We visited a member last week and she was telling us how she's been baptized for a little over a year but doesn't have her temple recommend yet and she feels a little bit left out sometimes so we challenged her to talk to bishop and get her recommend so that she can go to the stake temple day this Saturday. She texted a few hours later telling us that she talked to the bishop!
When we left the house that morning Sister Choi said that she needed to buy toothpaste. When we went to another member's house that day she had two bottles of toothpaste sitting on her table and when we left she gave them to us. How did she know?
There is a certain less active woman that we've tried to contact but we haven't been successful. the elders ran into her and gave her our number this week. We were able to visit her and she came to church! She hasn't been to church in years! I gave her a Book of Mormon when we visited her on Tuesday and she had read it all by Sunday and was reading through the Index in the back (in the Korean BoM the topical guide and Bible Dictionary are combined into one)!
We went to the temple on Thursday! I went in the Korean session again with Sister Choi. There several women in the session from a branch in Russia. There isn't a temple so that Russian saints travel down to Korea.
We were able to meet another less active member who I have only been able to meet once!
We stickerboarded (I'm not sure what this is) outside of Homeplus (a department store) on Saturday night. It was really successful for all three teams.
Love you!

Letter 02/23/2015

Wednesday was transfer day! Sister Choi and I dropped off Sister Hoffman and we came home alone. On our way back we got a call from a less active member who wanted to meet so we met her for dinner! We also met two other members that day. We talked a lot about missionary work with one member and she really pumped us up for this transfer. Sister Choi also skyped home on Wednesday(because it was the Lunar New Year, and that is when Korean missionaries get to call or skype their families, rather than Christmas - it is the big family holiday)
On Thursday we had a zone training meeting because missioanry work moves at a rather slow rate during the new year's holiday. We hiked, received training, watched Meet the Mormons, ate food, and played games. On Friday we had a district meeting. I made 떡국 (deokkuk - rice cake soup - the traditional Korean food for New Years)for the missionaries in our two wards, we made message cards for our wards, and we played sports by the river. It was fun! We also had dinner at a member's house. We've been trying to run around the whole city delivering the cards over the past couple of days. We helped our ward clean the church too! We weren't able to meet any investigators this week because of the holiday but as we were delivering cards we were able to visit with a less active member that I've never been able to meet! Miracle! And we got lost as we were wandering yesterday. We stopped on the side of the road to think and one of our former investigators past us on the street so we talked to her! Miracle! And then a member walked by who showed us the house that we were trying to find and invited us over to her house. Miracle! It's a been a good week full of miracles and happiness!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Letter 02/16/2015

We got our transfer calls yesterday! I'll be alone with Sister 최 (Choi - but pronounced Che) now! And we'll only have one ward.
One of our cute little YWs (Young Women) who brought friends to the ping-pong tournament asked to meet us at the church and she invited friends over. We taught them a little lesson and played ping-pong with them.
We had an exchange this week with the 산본 (Sanbon - a mission area) sisters. It was my fifth time to go to 산본 (Sanbon) on an exchange. When we met back up the 안산 (Ansan - her first area) sisters came to Sanbon because one of them had to do a teaching evaluation. Sister Choi needed to do one too. The trainer is supposed to teach with the new missionary but we didn't have time so the Ansan sisters taught me and Sister Choi taught Sister Hoffman in English all on her own! She did great. She might be the cutest person ever.
After the many months of tears, cold showers, cold house, and calls with our lanlord, we finally got a new boiler! It was one of the most exciting things to happen.
The seven 1st ward (one of the wards she has been assigned to) misisonaries sang in sacrament meeting. I loved it. We sang "Nearer, my God to Thee."
I'm so grateful to be a missionary. I have learned so much and met so many wonderful people. I've come closer to God and come to understand His gospel and plan of happiness better.

Letter 02/09/2015

(With her companions, Sister Che and Sister Hoffman at the Seoul Temple)

At our FHE (Family Home Evening) last Monday a member girl who's 14 brought two of her friends! And then they came to our ward ping-pong tournament on Saturday! They brought along a third friend and we also had a girl from English class come and bring her friend!!!!! We were surrounded by tween/teenage girls!
This week was busy and fun!!!!! MLC, Zone Training Meeting, and 12-Week Follow-up!!!!! Our training at our zone meeting was about faith. Faith is something that I've really come to understand more on my mission. When was little I used to say a prayer, telling Heavenly Father that I believed I could fly if He wanted me to and then I would climb up onto the arm of the counch and jump off convinced that I could fly. But He never wanted me to fly. He wanted me to walk. Sometimes I really want to fly - I want to be better, I want to oversome this and that and fly to the moon but I'm not able to be perfect and it really bothers me. But maybe I'm not meant to fly - I'm just meant to walk and that will get me where God needs me to be.
We visited a member this week and practiced teaching a lesson that we planned out for an investigator. The investigator told us that she didn't have time to meet us that week but after we got home from teaching that practice lesson SHE CALLED US AND ASKED TO GO TO HER HOUSE a few days later!!!!
After our ping-pong tournament Sister Hoffman and I were walking side-by-side and Sister 최 (Che - they are a threesome right now)was walking by a member. We passed someone and Sister Hoffman and I both had a feelign to turn around and chase her down. In the best way you can after turning around, chasing someone down, and then introducing yourself, we explained who we are and why we wanted ot talk to her. We bore our testimonies of the Book of Mormon and this message and she said that she would pray and if she had "the feeling" she would call us!