Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Letter 9/22/2014

Jee-Seung (a 15 year old recent convert) is so amazing. She inspires me so much. I'm so glad that I have the opportunity to know her. She just gets it. Although so many people struggle with the Book of Mormon in Korean because it's so difficult (the formal old fashioned language is difficult) she doesn't have a hard time with it. I think it's like Isaiah. It's hard but if you have the spirit and the desire to understand it, you can. We had just had an investigator tell us that no one likes the Book of Mormon and no one wants to read it. So Jee-Seung almost made me cry when she told me that she didn't have a hard time reading it and she enjoys reading it. She's amazing!
We've been working really hard to organize and visit our less actives this week. We were having a hard time coordinating with our elders so we finally just told them to visit the men and we would visit all of the women. And things have been good! We have a special sacrament meeting coming up!

I had an exchange this week with Sister Glauser. She's one of my favorite people. She just gets it about missionary work. She knows why she's here and she's going to do everything required to do what God wants her to. I sometimes feel especially  impressed to talk to someone on the street but it seems to me that whenever this happens the person is extra rejecting. It's usually a random person in a place that I would have to go far out of my way to talk to (and sometimes turn around to someone behind me or cross the street). So I was talking to Sister Glauser about this because the promptings just lead to rejection. And she said she has a the same problem. We both came to the conclusion that sometimes God asks us to do things to test us to see if we'll really do what He asks. If I'm not willing to talk to everyone and go to great lengths to talk to people that I feel that I need to, why would God send me a prepared person? How could He trust me to find them?

Sister Glauser and I were talking to a woman who wasn't interested but when we asked her to let us know if she knew of any service opportunities for us she offered to buy us dinner!

A less active woman in our ward who moved out of our boundaries but prefers our ward called us on Friday wanting to meet immediately. We got permission to leave our zone to go meet her, not knowing why she suddenly wanted to meet us. But she wanted to meet to give us her tithing! It was so sweet to see her hand us her tithing envelope.

Sister Kei and I met a cute girl from South Africa on the street back in June but we were never able to meet with her. I had a feeling to call her the other day and we were finally able to meet her yesterday! She's so cute! And it was fun to teach in English! Holy Moses, my English has gone downhill. She came here as a missionary through her church but when she got here she found out that instead of teaching about the gospel, she was surprised with teaching English instead.  It was sad. She's been here for 2 years. She read along in her Bible and we were surprised when we asked her to read James 1:5 and it used completely different words than we are used to. (probably because of the "modern" translations) But we're excited for her!

Letter 9/15/2014

On Monday (the main day of the Chuseok holiday) we went to stop by less active member's homes because we couldn't make appointments and the streets were rather empty. We wanted to
 leave messages on their doors but we actually met a less active girl that I have been trying to meet for 6 months!!!

On Tuesday we had a mission conference for Choo-Seok (The Chuseok holiday). It was fun! We received training, had a proselyting activity, had a talent show and members made Korean food for us!

I had a sister on an exchange with me who is a really good singer so while we were visiting a member I asked her if she'd sing with me and it really helped to bring the spirit and help all three of us to learn more from each other. I was so grateful to have her there. I always see miracles on exchanges (when she goes on splits with other sister missionaries to train them). I always see why each person was supposed to go/stay in the areas and why everything worked out the way it did on the exchanges.
We have a ward activity coming up in October that we're in charge of. It's a culture night and each missionary is supposed to prepare food from each country (Japan, China, Thailand, US, Mexico, Germany). We have to make enough food to feed 100 people! And we have to make the food at the activity with the guests. Any ideas of what I can do for Japanese food?

Thursday was my one-year mark! Already! I don't understand! It came so fast! To celebrate we ate bing-soo!

I had the weirdest day of my mission on Friday! But i's a really long story. It will have to wait until after the mission.

Our proselyting tool focus this last week was the Book of Mormon. It was amazing to see how many people actually asked me about the Book of Mormon first. I was able to share the purpose and my testimony of the Book of Mormon to people on the street all week.

Letter 9/8/2014

We're really happy to find a PC-Bang (internet cafe) that's open. We were worried that we wouldn't be able to email because everything shuts down. (It was Chuseok - Korean Thanksgiving) Today we're going to 영등포(Yeongdeungpo - and area) as a gathering of whoever wants to go to play games and watch 17 Miracles!!!!!!!! And tomorrow we have a mission conference with a talent show, training, food, and a proselyting activity. The holiday times are really ineffective (for missionary work). REALLY ineffective. The holiday was lengthened this year for the first time. 

I asked her about Elder Aoyagi's (a member of the Quorum of the Seventy who is from Japan) mission tour, which she went on with him as a Sister Training Leader. This is her response:

He had a translator with him at stake conference but he didn't have a translator at mission tour because he just spoke English and then other missionaries translated into Korean for the Korean missionaries. I sat on the stand next to Sister Aoyagi to translate for her. She had a copy of her husband's talks in Japanese so I only translated for President and Sister Morrise's talks and the comments made by missionaries. I was kind of embarrassed by my Japanese but anyways. We had a meeting afterwards with the ZLs and STLs (zone leaders & sister training leaders) to ask him questions. I translated for her then too and I translated for him a little bit (for him I translated from Japanese into English and for her I translated from English into Japanese). It was scary! My brain was fried at the end of the day! 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Letter 9/1/2014

We had transfers on Wednesday! I think I already told you what was going to happen but Sister Blickenstaff has come to join us. Our five-man house is a mad house. (There is also another companionship of sisters in the apartment.)

This week will be crazy. Wc have MLC (Mission Leader Conference - I believe - for Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders) and our ward council meeting on Tuesday, Elder Aoyagi's (a member of the Quorom of the Seventy who is Japanese) mission tour conference on Wednesday, and zone training on Friday. I'm pretty certain we'll be okay. MLC is going to be different and we have a lot more to prepare for it. I'm really excited for our mission tour.

We had stake conference this weekend and Elder Aoyagi came to our stake! It was so fun!
A few weeks ago one of my sisters (on an exchange) told me that she wanted to hear what Japanese sounds like so I told her I would pray in Japanese for our next prayer. But it turned into a lot of silence and almost 50% Korean. I was so sad to have forgotten my Japanese. I was devastated but I trusted God that He would give it back to me if I focused now and studied Korean as well as I can. I was a little bit worried for Elder Aoyagi's talk but I understood everything!! (He would have spoken in Japanese, and then had it translated into Korean) (maybe with the exception of a few words but then Korean pulled through and helped too) I was so happy. Listening to Japanese was like Christmas!

We taught three people for the first time this week and we're excited for two of them (one of them dropped us the next day because she didn't want to be pressured to be baptized as she was just English interest and she wanted to cut the cords before we became friends and it became hard). One is a girl our age and she's super sweet and nice. She goes to school is ANSAN (Natasha's first area where the high school students that died in the ferry accident were from) and she comes home on the weekends. The other is a woman who was referred to us because SHE WANTS TO LEARN ABOUT THE BOOK OF MORMON!

Letter 8/25/2014

A sister who used to serve here has been in town and we have been able to meet less active members through her coming and it has been really good!
We had two exchanges again this week! (She goes on training exchanges with other sister missionaries as a Sister Training Leader) I'm grateful that I get to know all of my sisters! I've learned so much from all of them!
We went to the temple on Thursday! I appreciate it more and more every time I go.
We went to the Spanish embassy on Friday to get Sister Lee's visa! She's leaving in just a few weeks! (Her companion has been waiting for a visa so that she can leave to serve her mission in Madrid, Spain. She has been assigned to Natasha temporarily, while she waits for her visa)
We got transfer calls on Sunday morning! We normally have them on Saturday night but they delayed them at the last minute because President didn't feel ready to assign the trasnfers. We have a new companion! Sister Blickenstaff! We will be a threesome until Sister Lee leaves. I don't know her at all but I've heard good things about her. I'm so glad our area isn't being shut down! I was worried! Three sisters areas shut down this transfer and five more will be shut down next trasnfer!!!!! We got one sister this transfer but she's Korean! She's our first Korean sister to come to the mission since lst Spetember! Everyone's excited!
We have had a recent boom in potential investigators and it's really exciting right now!