Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Letter #3

An nyong hah sey yo!
So this week has been a great one! Lots of studying and so many uplifting talks! Mom thank you so much for my package! That made my whole week! I was smiling from ear to ear! It sounds like all is well at home and that makes me so happy to hear!
The language is finally coming!!! What a relief! It just suddenly seemed to hit one day. I still have SO SO SO much to learn, but I am hearing what I need to and being able to put sentences and thoughts together!
About 12 Korean missionaries came this week to the MTC to get ready to go back and teach. They are the most amazing people I have ever met! So extremely kind and so generous. They are always smiling and wanted to help everyone. They are so Christ-like and so willing to help us with the language. They always compliment us, even when we sound terrible. I feel so priviledged to be going to Korea and that I will be able to be amongst these wonderful people and learn and LIVE their culture. Their energy and smiles are contageous and I feel amazing around them!
I have been playing the piano every Sunday in church and it is nice to be able to contribute something to our tiny branch. Sister Shin, our brach president's wife came by the other day to check up on us sisters. She is so wonderful and uplifts us. She always stresses to us to just enjoy the MTC and not worry about the language. I have been doing that and if feels so great to just relax and learn.
I absolutely love the sisters in my branch! They are my new great friends and are always so uplifting. I am so blessed to have friends so quickly and already feel like we are family! I just can't wait to be on the plane on the way to Korea with them!!!
So rumor has it that tonight, being the 50th anniversary for the MTC, that someone VERY important is coming!!! There are 700 guests coming...I am pretty sure it will be the prophet and some of the apostles! I can't wait! I have joined the choir with my companions so that we can have a great seat for tonight and be able to sing! We are singing Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer. It is a beautiful song! It will be a great experience!
Anyway that is about all that has happened this week...not too many new things. I am loving being a missionary and I feel so blessed everyday to be here and by having this opportunity to get prepared to share the gospel of truth to the Korean people. I have never been so happy and have never felt so close to my Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ! This has already been an opportunity of a lifetime and it hasn't even really started yet! I know that this gospel is true and that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. I know that He knows and loves us all individually and is with us always to lift us and help us. I know that the plan of salvation is the plan that brings happiness to families and everyone in the world. I love you all!!
Sister Kersey

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Letter #2

An nyong hah seh yo!
This past week was pretty discouraging for me. The Korean language seems to be getting harder and harder. With so much information to retain, I feel like there is not ever enough time to fully keep up. I guess that is why the Lord only expects so much from us and promises to do the rest.
I have loved that in this past week we have learned more about the gospel and not just the language. We have been able to have more time to practive senarios on one another as fist being the investigator and then being the missionary. I have learned so much from this experience and it has been a blessing to see how the gospel works from an investigator´s perspective. It helps me to understand their needs more and explain to them the gospel in terms that are simple.
I have been extremely blessed to have a wonderful district. There are nine of us (six Elders and three Sisters) in my district and it is wonderful to see that we already feel like a family. I am so impressed with the Elders in my district. For being 19 year old boys, they are spiritually on a higher level. I am so blown away with their selfless determination to do what is right and to put their heart and soul into the work. It is harder for my two companions to see their potential, but I am blessed to be able to and to have that open relationship with them. I know that they can trust me as an older sister and I view them as Colin and Dallin and so it is easy for me to love them and be patient with them. I just wish my companions had more patience toward them and their points of view. There is so much to learn from them if we just listen and let them express themselves. I look up to the Elders so much for I know it must be much harder for them to be doing this work than the sisters. They need the support and the uplifting words and I am glad that I can do that for them.
I also am so blessed with my branch presidency. President and Sister Shin are both from South Korea and converts to the church. They are so kind to us and I know that Sister Shin loves me because she always comes and squeezes my arm whenever I see her. She thinks that i am so beautiful because of my hair and complextion. Ha ha. President Shin is constantly smiling and he always stresses that if you just smile, you will be that much more effective everyday of your life. It will change your attitude and it will draw people to you. He always laughs at me because I can never get a smile off my face. Everyone thinks I am crazy because I am always happy even when things are hard. I´ve never noticed, but I am blessed to have that. Brother and Sister Jennings, the old mission presidents from Busan are the counselors in the presidency and I love talking with them about Busan and all of the weird, crazy, and fun things there! They talk A LOT (which I LOVE) so I know much about Busan already! Everytime I am able to talk to them, I become more and more excited!
On Sunday morning during Relief Society, Rosemary M. Wixom from the general primary board came to speak to us Sisters. It was exactly what I needed to hear, especially after struggling all week with the language and just feeling discouraged about myself. She is such a powerful woman and speaking with her after the meeing, she hugged me and her eyes just glowed! She taught us women that whenever we felt discouraged, to sing a primary song, because it teaches us what we already know about ourselves and what we believe. She reminded us of the millions of children around the world that are praying for us everyday! I am so grateful for those children! And mom, you are so lucky to be working in the primary right now! To help build these children´s testimonies ! She went on to explain that if you ever feel inadequate about being a missionary, or a wife, or a mother, to just remember that the Holy Ghost is your talent and beauty, and with His help you will ALWAYS succeed! Her testimony inspired me and was exactly what I needed to hear!
Later duting the MTC fireside, Clayton Christensen, a past member of the quorum of the seventy gave us a talk about being missionaries our whole lives. Back when he was a seventy, he and the other men in the quorum got together and went throught the Doctrine and Covenants and recorded all of the blessings that Heavenly Father gives to his missionaries (both set apart and member missionaries). The list was huge and very powerful! Some of the blessings that stood out to me were power and strength than no other man, your enemies will have no power over you, gates of hell will not prevail against you, your tongue will be loosed, your words shall be the Lord´s words and as scripture, you will never be weary or hungry, your joy will be great, and angels will be around about you to bear you up! We can ALL be missionaries and be able to have these blessings in our lives!
Well my time is short and I just once again wanted to express my love and gratitude to each one of you! Thank you for writing me and thinking of me! I love you and miss you all!
Sister Kersey

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Letter #1

To my beautiful family and dear friends,
I cannot believe that I am here at the MTC as a full-time missionary! It doesn't even feel real! I only have 20 minutes to write this e-mail and I don't even know where to begin! I have absolutely been loving the MTC! The spirit here is so strong and the positive attitudes from all the missionaries is contageous!
I have two wonderful companions, Sister Baker and Sister Wells-Longshore! We are all very different, but I already can tell why we are together and what I need to learn from both of them! Sister Baker has taught me of exact obedience by wanting to be five minutes early to everything and Sister Wells-Longshore has taught me how to stand up for myself! They are both wonderful and try their hardest to be obedient and take this time seriously! I grately appreciate that.
I am in a wonderful district here. I am so impressed by the Elders in my district. They are so self-motivated and have such strong testimonies of this gospel. I was so touched my their strong spirits -  even as 19 year old boys.
The Korean language has been a struggle and I feel somedays that it will be impossible to teach anyone in Korea! The Korean language is the second hardest language to learn here at the MTC and I can feel it! I have learned how to read, write, and pray so far! Missionaries are truly taught from the spirit and I know that Heavenly Father has been helping me to learn. There is no way that I could learn this language at the rate that I am without His help! My companions and many in my district have been extremely home-sick and overwhelmed by all that is expected from us. I am grateful for the opportunity I had to go to school and work hard so that it does not stress me out or effect me negatively! I have felt completely at home here and I have been extremely patient with myself in learning the language. I am so grateful for this so that I can completely focus on the work and not dwell on what is happening at home. I can feel that all is well and that gives me comfort. 
I have been teaching a Korean investigator with my companions. We have already taught him two times this last week. He came from Soeul Korea and is here in Utah to learn English. It has been a very humbling experience for me. I have learned that the language is not what teaches of the truthfulness of the gospel, but it is the spirit. In a fireside given by Jeffrey R. Holland, I learned that if you first become converted and bring the spirit with you to your lessons, the Lord will do 99% of the work. As I was teaching Chway Moon Young (our investigator), I had the opportunity of bearing my testimony of Heavenly Father's love for us. Although it was only two small sentences long and I could barely pronounce the words, the spirit came so strongly into the room and I know that he could feel of the sincerety of my message! This was what Elder Holland was talking about! This is how I know that the church is true and that missionaries are truly God's instruments here on the Earth. All He needs is for our willingness and testimony and He will do the rest!
I am so grateful for each one of you and your love and support for me. I truly can feel your prayers every day. They are powerful and they help me not get discouraged. I am grateful for the strength that I have learned from two beautiful parents and their testimonies that have helped create my own.
Mom, thank you so much for the wonderful e-mail! Your testimony will give me strength! Thank you for your confidence in me! It has always brought me peace and made me strong!
I wish that I could tell you more because there is so much more to be said, but for now I want you all to know how much I love and appreciate you in my life and the examples you set for me! Until next week!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Britanie was set apart as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-Day Saints on Monday, January 9th, 2012.
Her parents dropped her off in the Sacramento Airport Tuesday, January 10th.
She arrived in Salt Lake City that afternoon, and was picked up by 
her brother-in-law Jordan.
The next day, I dropped her off at the Missionary Training Center!
The Spirit was VERY strong at the MTC, and I cried as I drove away!
She was so HAPPY! We are going to miss her very much!