Saturday, March 24, 2012

Letter #10

An nyong hah say yo!
This is my last P-day here at the MTC! I cannot believe the time is finally here for us to go to Korea! It doesn't even feel real. I have so many mixed emotions about going. I am so extremely excited, but more nervous than I have ever been in my life for something!
This week flew by! With the natives here everyday seems fun and exciting. I have started keeping a list of all the people they say that I look like. They say that I look like a movie star. So far on my list I have been told I look like one of the girls off of Charlie's Angels, Elle Woods off of Legally Blonde, Britney Spears, and Barbie. I don't know whether to take these as compliments or not, but it is very entertaining! They said that when I get to Korea everyone will want to talk to me because I am always happy and loud! ha ha! I guess we will see soon!
On Wednesday my branch had the opportunity to host in the new missionaries. That was fun and brought back memories of my first day here at the MTC. We get to do it again tomorrow.
We also were asked if we could get our pictures taken while we worked out in the gym, for the new MTC orientation page. That was fun and very entertaining. I did it just so that when Colin and Dallin get to the MTC they will see my picture and recognize a familiar face! haha! :)
We got our travel plans on Thursday and will be leaving Monday morning. We are flying to Seattle, then Tokyo, and then finally to Busan! It will be a long trip, but I am excited to be going with eleven others from our branch!
Even with all the fears and nerves that I am experiencing, something stuck out to me during Relief Society on Sunday that has brought me much comfort. Barbara Bradshaw came and spoke to the sisters and her talk was on Mosiah 7:33. She expressed to us the importance of turning to the Lord with full purpose of heart and putting our trust in Him. The Lord knows us based on the desires and intent of our hearts. He knows all of our capacity and our potential in being the instrument He needs us to be. We need to trust in Him always and be obedient to His commandments, because He knows us better than we know ourselves! Nephi was the perfect example of trust and obedience. Even when asked by the Lord to do things that he did not understand, He never questioned Him. 1 Nephi 3:7. Like Nephi, we should never question the Lord when He asks us to do something, and most importantly we should never question ourselves. He knows us and our hearts and our potential. He has full trust in us when He calls us or asks us to do something, so we need to believe that we can do it! We need to believe in ourselves because we are His children!
I know that Heavenly Father loves me and loves each one of you! He knows us personally: our joys, our struggles, our pains. He wants to be there for us and waits for us to come to Him in prayer. I have full confidence and trust in Him and His will! He has asked me to serve in Korea and I have confidence that He will help me to serve and brings those that are waiting for the gospel unto Him! I am grateful for this gospel and for the Savior's perfect example of how to live a happy life! I am so excited for this new adventure ahead of me and am so extremely humbled by your love, prayers, and support for me at this time!
Have a wonderful week! I love you all!
Sister Kersey

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Letter #9

an young hah say yo!
THE NATIVES ARE HERE!!! The Korean Natives came this last week and that means we are about to leave! I can't believe it! Time is flying too fast and I will be in Korean in less than two weeks! :) I am so excited for this adventure!
Having the Natives here is so much fun! The three sisters are in my room with my two companions and I. They are so extremely kind (as expected) and they help us so much on our Korean - and it has helped so much! This week my Korean has improved so quickly! I had fasted on Sunday for my companions because they are both really struggling with being home sick and scared to leave, and I think that by doing that Heavenly Father has blessed me more than them. I feel so blessed and so grateful! On Sunday I was asked to give the closing prayer in sacrament meeting for the branch. At the end of the meeting, Sister Shin, the branch president's wife, came up to me and told me that she had to open her eyes during the prayer because she couldn't recognize who was speaking. She said she was shocked to see me standing there - she thought for sure it was one of the Native Korean speakers. She said that I had no American accent when I spoke. I was so surprized by this! I had struggled so much with my pronunciation! Fasting and prayer does work! And I am so extremely grateful for all of your prayers for me too!
The Native Koreans have had a blast trying to pick up on the English while being here, which is an advantage for me because I ask them to give me a sentence in English and then I say it (actually I attempt to say it) in Korean. Then we correct each other on our grammar and pronunciation! It is a great trade off. One of the highlights of my week was when I curled my hair and Sister Seo (one of the Korean sisters) came up and touched it. She gasped and said "Oh my! You have barbie hair!" Ha ha! My companions and I laughed and laughed!
This morning I had a wonderful experience! The Mongolian Elder from the younger district brought a stack of names from Mongolia with him to do temple work on. He is a first generation convert and so he had many, many family names. He received permission from our branch president to do baptisms and confirmations for these names so that we could do the other work for them in the next few weeks. They were short on sisters and ask my companions and I to join them. So this morning I was able to do baptisms and confirmations. It was wonderful! It felt like forever since I did those last! It was a wonderful experience to see Elder Hem doing the ordinances for his ancestors. He was beaming the whole time. It was such a struggle for him because his English is very limited, but the temple workers and his district were so patient with him and let him take his time. The spirit was so extremely strong and I could feel the love that he had for his ancestors and his testimony of the work that was being done! It was a sweet moment and I will never forget the look on his face of gratitude for all of us to join with him in that experience! It made me think of how grateful I am for the temples so close to all of us! We are so blessed to be able to go and do this work for our ancestors any time that we want.
I am so grateful for all of you! Brother and Sister Rasmussen I cannot express to you my gratitude for your sweet letters! I am so thankful that we can relate to one another on our love for the Asian people! They are absolutely wonderful, and I am so excited that I will be able to be with them and immersed in their culture!
I love you all!
Sister Kersey

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Letter #8

an yong hah say yo!
Happy birthday Ashley and Colin! I hope you both had wonderful birthdays!
Thank you Aunt Terri and Aunt Cindy for your letters! They really meant so much to me to hear your inspirational advice and to fill me in on what is happening with your families! I am happy to hear that all is well and so many new and exciting adventures are happening!
Also thank you so much Brother Carlson for the note on what to do for investigators without a Christian background! You have no idea how much that helped me this week and how much I used your advice. It changed my perspective and I know that it will not only help me here but out in the field as well!
So yesterday my companions and I had an adventure! My companion, Sister Wells-Longshore, was sick so we got to leave the MTC and go to the BYU Health Center down the street! I was so so so excited for our fieldtrip and my poor companions had to hear me singing and talking to everyone about it! It was a beautiful day and the perfect day to escape the MTC! I have to admit that it felt nice to leave, even for the twenty or so minutes that we were gone. As we were walking to the Health Center, people kept stopping and talking to us on the streets! That is when it hit me - I AM A MISSIONARY!!!! It was so cool! I loved every minute of it and it really made me even more excited to get out in the field and get to work!
So this week was absolutely wonderful! We were visited by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and Alex Boye this week! I know a complete contrast, but they were both so inspiring and wonderful! I was able to sing in the choir for when Elder Holland spoke. His talk was amazing! He pretty much told us bluntley what we were supposed to be doing as the Lord's missionaries! No one knew that he was coming to speak, and as he entered the room, the spirit was so strong and I knew that he was an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ! It was a wonderful experience! Something that I absolutely loved that he said was, "Rise to the full height of your stature." This really made an impression on me! To be missionaries for the Lord, whether set-apart or member missionaries, we need to be our full selves and do our very best in every situation. This is what the Lord expects of us. I believe that each one of us needs to live this principle everyday so that we can be an instrument in the Lord's hands everyday of our lives.
Alex Boye's message was wonderful too! He spoke to us on the importance of positive self-talk and how that will influence our futures! He explained that when we believe we can't do something or that we are not as good as someone else, we are being selfish because we are thinking of only ourselves! He said that as we have faith in ourselves and do our best, we will be able to be happy and be a positive influence in other's lives. I loved that he explained how we can turn any situation into a postive one. I believe this completely! We can always find good in every situation; we just have to focus on that part! We all have been blessed with unique talents and ablities for specific reasons. We need to love those and use them to influence others for good and bring happiness into our own lives!
Because my companion was sick, I missed sacrament meeting with her on Sunday. The Elders in my district did a special sacrament for the two of us. It was the first time that I have experienced this. The spirit was so strong and I was touched by the reverance that the elders had. The priesthood is powerful and so real! Dad, I am so blessed that you are a worthy priesthood holder and have given me this example in my life! And I am so happy to have both of my brothers have this priesthood. It has truly blessed my life and I know that it is the power of God on earth!
I love each one of you! I am so happy to be here and be doing what I am doing at this time! This is a once in a lifetime experience and I am grateful to have it! I hope that you all have a wonderful week!
Sister Kersey

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Letter #7

An nyong hah seh yo!!!
So much has happened this week! We got the new district on Wednesday and they are wonderful! They are so excited to be here and it has been fun trying to help them with the language! One of the Elders from the new district is from Cambodia and is the first Cambodian to go to Korea! He had never been to the temple, so this morning to whole brach was able to be there for his endownment! It was an experience that I will never forget! Having the whole branch there made it so special because we are all like family. He was so happy and the Spirit was so strong the whole time during the session! When we walked out of the temple, the snow was falling and the whole world was white! It was his first time seeing snow too, so we took pictures and were all white by the time we got back to the MTC! It was a wonderful morning!
So on Saturday morning I had the best day since being here at the MTC. I want to write to you what I wrote in my journal that day, " Today was the best day I have had so far at the MTC! I had an incredible experience in TRC today with my companions. Our subject to teach was up to us this week because it was an introduction lesson. We choose the doctrine of Christ and had prepared a lesson to be fit for a member of the church. When we arrived at TRC, however, we were told that our family was a real investigator who had met with the missionaries just the week before. We had not planned our lesson for an investigator adn had only brought our scriptures with us. We had no idea what to do and no time to plan or change our lesson, so we just prayed for support and love and went into the room. The moment we entered the room, a feeling I have never felt before came upon me. I could literally feel the mantal on my shoulders. It was a feeling I cannot describe. A feeling of power and peace was upon me and at that moment I was exactly where I needed to be and was in my Heavenly Father's hands. The investigator's name is Kim Mary and is from Jeju Island ( the island in the Busan mission!), and is a freshman in high school! She is an exchange student and is living with a couple who were recent converts of the church (about 20 years ago). The host mom, Lisa, knew no Korean, so they also had a member there that knew both Korean and English. So after meeting her and getting to know her, we started our lesson. It was incredible how the words literally flowed out of my mouth. There were times when I wasn't even thinking about how I was saying words or phrases, but I knew what I was saying to her. The Spirit was incredibly strong and she was so intent on what I had to say. I was able to look her in the eyes and tell her, from my heart, my thoughts and beliefs." It is amazing to see how the Lord uses His servants to do His word and to say the things He wants them to say! I was so humbled to feel His power with me and to see the Spirit that could come from my words. I could see the impact I was having on this young woman in that woman and it changed me!
This week I also finished memorizing the First Vision in Korean. It was really funny because I was waiting in line in the cafeteria reciting the First Vision and it was the first time that I got through it! I started freaking out (and you all know how I am when that happens) and this poor elder in front of me had to be the one that I freaked out on! I was so excited and was telling him what I just did and that he literally had just witnessed a miracle! haha! I seriously thought it would be impossible to do, but I did it! He said he was proud of me because he couldn't even do it in Spanish yet! ha! And right when I finished with that, our teacher had us start memorizing D&C 4 in Korean! Now I know I'm in trouble!
The Korean langauge is coming...slowly, but it is coming. It gets discouraging at times, but I just make sure that I keep an eternal perspective of why I am here - and that is not to learn Korean, but to bring the Korean people unto Christ. The language will come!
I found out yesterday that Busan now has the members to build a temple now! I was so excited to hear this news! I don't know when they will have the money and when the right time will be to build a temple there, but my dream is that someday there will be a temple there for the people!
Everything is going very well here! I have made it through 2/3 of the MTC and only have a month left! I am so excited! I have been so blessed here at the MTC with wonderful companions, friends, and an amazing branch presidency and district! I cannot stop talking about how wonderful they are! We are all friends, especially my district, and now we feel like a family! It is going to be so hard to say good-bye to all of them when we go our seperate ways in a month!
I love you all and I hope you all are well and happy! I am grateful to be here and to be a missionary of my Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ!
All my love,
Sister Kersey

Letter #6

An nyong hah sey yo!
First of all congratulations Kira and Joe on your new baby! She is absolutely beautiful! I am so excited for you and your family! Thank you Aunt Cindy for the pictures and the kind, encouraging words! That meant so much to me!
So this week was pretty difficult for me. The language is harder than ever and I felt pretty discouraged. There was one lesson that my companions and I taught where I didn't even say a word. It was horrible! But I keep a good attitude and just look at how much I have progressed and thank Heavenly Father for how much I have learned so far. My companions and I are pushing ourselves even more and now we are starting to do lessons without notes or notecards. It is hard but it will be worth it in the end. My companions are wonderful and we are very good friends. It is crazy to see how different we all are and our contrasting personalities, but how well we work together. I think this is because we are all here for the same reason: to help others come unto Christ. I am grateful for them! 
This week we received three new roommates, so now we have a full room. They are only here for three weeks because they are going state-side, but they are very kind and I enjoy their company. Tomorrow we are getting the new district of Elders and Sisters going to Korea! I can't believe that we are now the oldest district! To set the ton for the new district, our whole brach is having an SYL (Speak Your Language) Day on Thursday for the whole day. So we will only be speaking Korean! We have had a couple of half days as a district, but this will really push us to go the whole day! I am grateful for my hard-working district and their diligence and willingness to learn! They inspire me and I love that we all work together and uplift eachother! It is a blessing! We all just want to be obedient and the best we can be!
By the end of the week, we had TRC with voluteers that come and listen to us teach. We taught about church attendance and how you receive revelation by attending church. It was the first lesson that I felt that my sentences flowed and that I knew what the investigator was saying. I hope that it will continue getting better.
We started learning how to proselyte this week and received a new "investigator". He is Buddist and does not know who God is. It has been a humbling experience and challenge to learn how to prepare and teach lessons with someone who has never known a God before. I realized that I am going to have to deal with this a lot while in Korea and I am so humbled at the opportunity to teach of such a special topic that is so dear to me - how I know there is a God. I am still searching and studying on how to do this and explain these simple truths and I would love to know if any of you have any suggestions, experiences, or comments that would help me to learn to teach this.  
This week the principle that stood out the most to me was that I can do nothing without the Spirit. I am here on a mission simply to be an instument for my Heavenly Father to bring His children closer to Him and unto Christ. I simply need to be obedient, humble, work as hard as I can, and have the spirit, and the Lord will simply do the rest! I rely completely on Him. He knows where I need to go and what I need to say and the people that I will touch. I just need to listen and He will lead me! I am grateful for this gospel and know that it is Christ's gosple on the Earth!
I love you all!
Sister Kersey