Friday, February 17, 2012

Letter #5

An nyong hah sey yo!!!
So I don't even know where to start! This week has been incredible! One of my companions, Sister Kent left for Korea on Monday morning because she was in the older district. I can't believe how fast time goes! I was sad to see her go because she has become a great friend to me. I am happy to know that I will see her again in Busan, though! Now with the older district gone, we are the older ones...which means we are half way throught the MTC! CRAZY!!! It doesn't even seem real! My district celebrated our first month "anniversary" as we call them by playing ping-pong in our classroom with a mini, travel-sized ping-pong set. We had candy and watched Mormon Messages! It was a fun "party" least the funnest you can have while on a mission! haha!
On Sunday, the native Korean district sang a song for the branch as a farewell song. I had the opportunity to play the piano for them. It was fun to rehearse with them because it was all in Korean and they were so patient and kind to me. They are such grateful people and they always compliment me on everything I do. (When I bore my testimony to the native Korean sisters, they screamed with joy after each sentence I said! It was wonderful! They are so supportive and happy!) It is nice to have their smiling faces around to lighten my day and uplift me. My companions took pictures of them singing and me playing the piano because it was so funny to see all these Korean people surrounding a little blond, American girl. I guess this is just the start of looking out of place! They left with the older district on Monday, as well, and I am already looking forward to when more natives come.
On Sunday, one of the branch presidency members, Brother Stoddard, came and talked with my district during Sunday school. He shared with us stories about his mission in Europe. He had the opportunity to serve with Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. It was amazing to hear the story of how Elder Holland influenced his mission and what he taught him. I was so touched when he told us that while serving with him he felt a strong impression that Elder Holland would be serving on the councils of the church someday. He watched Elder Holland through the years in different leadership positions and he kept getting the same impression that he would be on the councils of the church. Finally when Elder Holland was called to be in the first quorum of the seventy, before becoming an apostle, Brother Stoddard received an impression that he was to tell Elder Holland about his impression that he receive all those years ago while serving a mission with him. He visited with Elder Holland, not knowing why he was the one to receive that impression all those years ago and why he had to tell him now, but while telling Elder Holland this story, Elder Holland's eyes filled with tears and it was one of the most precious things to him. He said that he was struggling to know if this calling was really right for him, and that Brother Stoddard's message was an answer to prayer. I was so touched by this story and how the Lord uses us to help others around us. If Brother Stoddard had not listened all those years to that prompting he had while on his mission, he would not have been there when the Lord needed him to comfort one of his children. Brother Stoddard then bore testimony to each of us that he knew that Elder Holland was an apostle of the Lord and that he truly is one of the most humble men that he knows.
I am grateful for the men of the church that lead and guide us. I know that they are men of God and that they are inspired and instructed by him! I love each one of you and miss you dearly! I hope all is going well and I am grateful for the love and support you show to me!
Sister Kersey

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Letter #4

An nyong hah sey yo!
I wish that I had a Korean keyboard so I didn't have to romanize every time I say something in Korean. Ha ha oh well!
First of all I just heard the news about Shannon and Loren! Congratulations! I am so happy for you both and am somewhat jealous that I won't be able to see the baby for so long! I also heard about Channing's father. I am so sorry to hear about her and her family's loss. Aunt Becky, please give my condolences to Ryan and Channing and let them know that I am praying for them. Also, I wanted to thank the Rasmmussens and Aunt Cindy for their kind words. That really made my day and I thank you for your support and prayers.
So this week was fantastic! I feel like each week gets better and better as a missionary! I am loving it! I have never been so happy and so cheerful in my entire life! Life is good. Last Tuesday we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the MTC. We were anticipating that day for many weeks because we knew that we would be getting someone great to come speak to us. Elder Holland and his wife, Elder Nelson and his wife, many of the seventy and their wives, along with eleven previous MTC presidents and their wives came to celebrate the event! It was incredible! They talked to us about the buildings of the MTC and who they were named after. Each is named after a significant missionary in the church. Then Elder Nelson ended the fireside with a dedicatory prayer for the five new renovated buildings on the MTC. It was amazing the blessings that were given in the prayer of having the enlightenment that we needed to fulfill our work as set apart missionaries while studying in these buildings. No wonder the spirit is so strong and the miracles so prevalent here!
The Korean language is still slowly coming. My focus this week is to learn more vocabulary. I have all the grammar forms down, but my vocabulary is weak. The minute I feel like I am finally getting somewhere, I am humbled once again when one of the native Koreans speak to me! I have a LONG way to go! I have tried hard not to worry about the language because I know that it will come if I just keep applying myself and not worrying about it.
My district and I have been growing closer and closer together. We go through ups and downs together. I am so blessed to have such motivated people in my district and with such strong testimonies of this gospel and missionary work. We all get along great and are loving and supportive of each other. It is a blessing because I see other districts struggling to get along and to stay obedient. I just can't stop smiling when I see all these young men and women sitting all together really trying to learn and feel the spirit during a fireside, lesson, or talk, even with others around them goofing off! They are amazing people! We also have our points where we are silly too! With eight hours a day together in a classroom, there are times (or many times) when we will have laughing attacks! And you can imagine how those are with me! I will be crying for twenty minutes because I am laughing so hard! It is fun and gives us a good break! I love them all! And I am going to miss them so much when we have to go our separate ways once we get to Korea!
The lesson that stood out the most to me this last week has been the scripture in Joshua 3:5. It says that if you sanctify yourself, the Lord will work wonders among you. I was impressed with this message and did research on sanctification. To sanctify means to make pure and clean. In Helaman 3: 35, sanctification comes from yielding your heart unto God. To truly be God's instruments, we need to become one with God, or sanctify ourselves to be taught by Him and to be like Him. In D & C 43:16, we are told that we are taught form on high and are endowed with power if we sanctify ourselves. My goal is to completely sanctify myself to God and become like Him so that I can be His instrument here upon the Earth. I know that by doing this, I will be able to teach others of Christ because they will see Christ in me.
I know that this gospel is true. I know that Jesus is the Christ. I am humbled to be His representative here upon the Earth at this time to teach and love the people of Korea! I hope that I can be His instument and bring those that are looking for the truth unto Christ! I love you all!
Sister Kersey