Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Letter 8/18/2014

Although I've felt myself change and progress I still get discouraged when I can't do everything that I want. Especially with us being sick this week. We're fine and it wasn't anything serious but it slowed down the work and wiped out all of my energy. It took me a while to figure out I was sick. I was so sad because I couldn't do all that I wanted. 

We have a lot of potentials right now but none of them have been able to meet us yet for various reasons.
Sister Lee got her visa!!!!!!!!!!!! (for her mission in Madrid, Spain - she's been Natasha's companion while she waited for her visa) She's leaving on September 15th. I don't know what's going to happen to me or our area (we're going to start shutting down sister areas this transfer because the number of sisters leaving exceeds the number of sisters coming in (we only have one coming in). We have transfer calls this Saturday so we'll see what happens. I'm really sad and I don't want Sister Lee to leave me! She's so wonderful and has taught me so much. I don't feel like it's fair because I'm her trainer but she's taught me so much more!

Yeo-rim was baptized on the 9th.
We had zone conference this week. I really enjoyed it! We had workshops taught by the senior missionaries, helping us to learn skills and be more effective.
We had another exchange on Friday.
We started teaching Ji-Seung and Yeo-Rim (the teenage girls who were both recently baptized - they showed up for English class on a week when it was cancelled because of a ward party. they joined the ward party, and became investigators)the lessons again!
I gave a talk on Sunday and guess who sat on the stage with me and gave a talk with me? Ji-Seung!! She was ssssoooo cute! She based her talk off of D&C 88:63. She didn't even have a script. She just shared her thoughts. When she bore her testimony at the end she repeated how grateful she was to find this gospel and what a blessing it was been to her life and that she wants to stay in the church forever! She's the sweetest thing! It was so special to be able to do that with her!
One elder in our zone had his companion have to unexpectedly leave him in a companion transfer (we had one temporary elder leave after he got his visa) and he asked the president if he could find his own companion rather than become a threesome. He asked a member about our age to come serve with him until the end of the month. Guess who his companion is? A man he baptized earlier in his mission! He gets to serve with someone he baptized!!

Letter 8/11/2014

This week was a good week.

Before Sister Kei left we met a family by knocking on doors that was interested in the English program. We went ot their apartment again but someone at their apartment said they were on vacation so we weren't able to see them. We went back a couple of weeks later and the mother was so happy to see us! She had lost our number and had tried to find us on the internet but hadn't been successful. Because we went back we were able to meet her! We taught her and her daughter (who's brilliant) and we will continue teaching them. The mother has been looking for a church and they're really prepared!

While proselyting one day we found a group of Japanese tourists. I talked to them a little bit. It was fun to hear Japanese again and to be able to see Japanese people again.

On our way home one night I felt like I should go to the back of the bus. I typically stand near the front so as to be able to talk with people who are sitting up there but I made my way to the back. There was a phone sitting on the seat in front of me so we took it and we were able to return it to the owner, who was a previous investigator of the elders. He said he would come to English class!

I get lost quite frequestly and it's rather embarassing. While I used to get really frustrated, I've come to notice that I usually have some of my best converstaions and miracle contacts while I'm lost. It may just be my confused brain, but I think I get lost on purpose sometimes to find people that wouldn't normally be in my path.

We were worried about Yeo-Rim (a young investigator) getting a signature from her parents (for permission to be baptized). Yeo-Rim didn't sound very hopeful and we were worried. When we got home that night we decided to fast as we began our planning. It had been a rough day and we had bought ice cream to eat while we planned. But we gave up our ice cream so that we could fast. Yeo-Rim texted us the next morning to tell us that she had received the signature from her mom! Based on what Yeo-Rim said, we think that her mom signed the form right around the time we started our fast. We knew that God answered our fast and our prayers!

My mission has helped me to understand the principle of God making weak things become strong unto us. I've been very frustrated with my weaknesses as a missionary, especially because I want to do the best that I can as a missionary. But I've found that the things that I struggled with the most have become some of my strengths because I've had to work harder to oversome them. It's really like God giving me a gift of a strength. I just have to work a little bit for it, like if He gave me employment. If He gives me employment He's giving me a salary; I just have to work to earn that salary.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Letter 8/3/2014

We went to eat bing-soo with Ji-Seung and Yeo-Rim on Monday to celebrate her baptism. On the bus ride back I saw a picture of a Maori man so I told Ji-Seung that my brother-in-law served in New Zealand. The first thing to come out of her mouth was; "were they married in the temple?" I was so surprised. We had a nice talk about temple marriages, ending in her making me promise to invite her to my temple marriage and she promised to invite me to hers. And she started reading D&C of her own choice! That was the last time we saw them until Sunday because they were at youth conference all week. It was so good for them! They BOTH BORE THEIR TESTIMONIES with the rest of the youth in sacrament meeting. Yeo-Rim cried during her testimony and is took her about 20-minutes to regain her composure. In her testimony, Ji-Seung said that the only regret she has is that she didn't find the Church and come into the Gospel sooner. This is a 15-year-old girl who has only been baptized for a week! Ji-Seung was confirmed yesterday. After church we taught Yeo-Rim the second lesson (the Plan of Salvation) and we gave her the baptismal commitment. She's getting baptized this Saturday and confirmed the next day! We can't believe how well everything worked out and how much the two of them have changed in the last month, especially after going to youth conference.

Someone asked me recently how to recognize promptings from the Spirit better. This is something that I have spent numerous hours worrying about, studying about, focusing on, and being quite desperate about. So I gave this person advice based on all of the things that I found had helped me. And this is the best way that I thought to explain it:
The main thing that I learned when I felt like I didn't receive revelation was that it's okay that I don't know how to do everything. If I were to build a chair, the hammer I used wouldn't need to know how to build the chair. Only I, the builder needs to know how. The hammer is required for me to fulfill my purposes but the only thing that it needs to do to help me is to just be a good hammer. The hammer just needs to be strong, functional, well-shaped hammer. It's not glamorous or prestigious. It just keeps it's self together and follows the guidelines of hammers and it's good. And it's the same with us. We don't know what to do to accomplish our work but we can make ourselves good tools to receive the revelation by being obedient, working as hard as we can, doing what we know is good, and following guidelines. We don't know how to do it but God will guide us and use us as we just try to be a good hammer. Then we will be a good tool for God to use us as He will.

Letter 7/27/2014

Little 지승 (Ji Seung) was baptized yesterday!!!!! 

Last Monday we had a birthday party for twin girls who were baptized in February but had to stop coming to church in April because their grandma forbids it. We're hoping to still fellowship them and keep them close to the church until they move out.
We met 지승 (Ji Seung) everyday this week to finish teaching her the lessons and prepare her! Missionaries used to teach the 5th lesson (laws and ordinances) after baptism but it's now required to teach it before baptism. She's just so cute and prepared!
Transfers were this Wednesday. It didn't affect us but we got two new elders and a new flatmate.

We had two meals at members' homes this week!! On our way to one we saw a woman looking at us while we waited for the bus but we were talking to someone else so we didn't talk to her and lost track of her. When we got off the bus we noticed that she got off with us and she called out to us asking who we were. We excitedly told her who we were and talked to her briefly as we walked into the area of apartments. We got her number and we gave her a Plan of Salvation pamphlet. As we were going to the apartment where our member lives, we got a little turned around and it took us a little longer than normal to get in. But once we walked in we saw the same woman come in through another door! And she knew our member! When we went to our member's apartment she told us to go get her so we could all eat and teach her together. So we went up to her floor to find her and she lived behind the first door we knocked on!

We had an exchange this week with our 김포 (Kimpo - and area) sisters! Sister van Weezup came to 목동(Mokdong) with me. she so happy and positive she makes everything seem better! I love her so much!
지 승's (Ji Seung's) baptism was really good! It was so fun to see the difference in her after her baptism! The ward provided snakcs afterwards. She told me that A child's Prayer is her favorite church song so we surpised her and sang it for her. We also bore short testimonies. 예림 (Yeo Rim - another young investigator)sang a song too! It was so cute! I'll send you a program later. She and 예림 (Yeo Rim) are going to youth conference this wee kand we hope that it will really help them and introduce them to good friends!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Letter 7/20/2014

지승 (Ji Seung) is getting baptized on the 27th! She's so ready! Her answers to the baptismal interview questions were so good! 

We got transfer calls on Saturday. President had already told us that we're both staying so we had no surprises. Of my 6 transfer calls, I've only had one that didn't tell me we weren't both staying. Sister Lee will stay with me until she gets her visa (for Spain) (about two months) and then a new sister will come to be my companion. I hope I can finish training her before she leaves!

We're getting a new flatmate on Wednesday who will be a greenie so we'll have two greenies in the house! I kind of missed the important step of going to the training for trainers so I'm a bit worried about training her. 

Letter 7/14/2014

We came to our area on Wednesday just before district meeting. We came back with a surprise new companion. Sister 이승연 (Lee Seung Yeon) was called to the Spain Barcelona Mission and she's going to serve in our mission for a couple of months while she waits for her visa to come through so that she can enter the Madrid MTC. She was thrown right into missionary work without any MTC training! She's so good though! She's amazing. She's helped our investigators a lot.

지 승 (Ji Seung) accepted the baptismal commitment yesterday! We had another baptism for a little boy in our ward yesterday and she was in attendance.

We taught a woman for the first time this week who originally just had English interest but as the lesson continued she found interest in the gospel too, especially the Book of Mormon.

We went to the temple on Thursday, as you can see from the pictures.

On Friday night Sister 이승연 (Lee - actually Ee or I in Korean - Natasha's new companion) talked to the Young Women and our investigators about how much better and happier her life is with the gospel. She had been searching for a church for a long time, since she was a young teenager and she was baptized her senior year of high school while she was staying with a host family in Utah. She's the only member in her family.

Letter 7/7/2014

예림 (Yeo Ring) and 지승 (Ji Seung) came to church again! The ward members fellowship them well!
A sister brought a friend to church last week and she came this week too!

We had MLC and zone training this week. The focus was on the Book of Mormon. Sister Kei and I did our training on Moroni's promise. An interesting thing that I read about it is that all church members should repeatedly follow Moroni's promise, with not only the Book of Mormon but with all truth. I believe that if we follow this pattern of asking God we can know everything that we need to know.

In my studies this week I had an interesting realization. I discovered that when I'm disappointed with myself because of my shortcomings I'm focusing too much on my actions and my outside and that instead of focusing on those I should focus on inward traits (like the Christlike attributes) and I'm better be able to overcome my weaknesses.

Letter 6/30/2014

I had an exchange this week with Sister Glauser from Utah! She's so cute! And she's a wonderful missionary! We had a practice lesson with a super cute sister in our ward who was baptized a couple of years ago. We practiced teaching part of the first lesson with her acting as an investigator. It helped renew my testimony of the Restoration as I bore my testimony of the First Vision and the truths we have received from it. We also visited a less active member who was overjoyed to have someone to feed. 
This week we have MLC (missionary leader conference) and zone trainings.

We were able to confirm (where they live) a lot of previous investigators and inactive members in our area this week as we walked around visiting them.

지 승 (Ji Seung) and 예림 (Yeo Ring) came to sacrament meeting yesterday, one of our sets of elders had another investogator there, a member had a friend there, and a couple who used to be investigaors came! It was a booming sacrament meeting!!

We went to our service project this week (delivering lunches to elderly people who can't leave their homes).