WOW! What a crazy week! I am in a new area called 연산 (Younsan) and am serving with a new companion, Sister Brady! It is so fun to work with her because we are so similar and LOVE missionary work so much! At the beginning of the week, we were in a three-some with 이예정 자매님 (Sister Lee Ye Jeoung) because she was waiting for a member missionary that she is going to be companions with this transfer. It made the work so crazy because we were having to go to appointments in both areas! I didn't get to unpacking my bags until about Thursday or Friday! SO FUN!
Here in 연산, the work is much different. We have multiple appointments with investigators everyday and our English classes here are a HUGE hit in the community and in our ward. We have been finding most of our investigators from our English classes...and I am not surprised, because they are so much fun! I was so shocked to see the difference in the people here in the city, they are so with-it and fast-paced! I love it because it makes our job so much easier. These are definitely my kind of people! The ward here is also so wonderful and welcoming. They are very involved with our missionary work, but it is harder to get them motivated and excited about the work compared to my last area.
On Tuesday, we had a service project at a rest home. We help clean the kitchen and dishes after everyone eats. We wear these huge pink plastic aprons over our dresses and hair nets, because you just get soaked from head-to-foot. I love working with the Korean people because they are so fast paced and know how to get things done! I got to take all the chopsticks and spoons and clean and sort through them. You have to work as fast as possible or else the workers will come over and yell at you to go faster in Busan 사트디 (dialect) which is extremely hard to understand! We can't help but just laugh and laugh as we are working! I love every second of it!
We also had another service project on Friday in 이예정 자매님 (Sister Lee Ye Jeong)'s area. We went to a rest home and talked with all the grandmas and help clean their rooms and feed them. It was way fun but I could not understand a word they were saying. Haha that is the case with most people still, but especially grandmas.
I have finally been able to see an improvement on my Korean. It feels like you are never progressing because you can't see your progression and it is such a difficult language anyway that even missionaries who have been here over a year still feel like they don't know the language. It is so difficult, but everyday is an adventure and it is just too fun and exciting to get upset about it. I had to give a talk yesterday at church because I am the new missionary in the ward. I spoke on the atonement and missionary work. I was so shocked to have the ward members come up to me after and tell me that I had such good Korean. Haha! I couldn't believe my ears. Later in Sunday school, we sat in the lesson with a recent convert and an investigator. We were discussing what priesthood was and blessings we had received from our fathers that held the priesthood. It was then that I had seen how far I have progressed since the MTC. It was the first time that I completely understood the lesson and when asked a question or asked to share an experience, I was able to do it! I was so happy and felt so grateful that Heavenly Father has been blessing me so quickly!
One of the biggest moments for me this week was my first experience eating raw fish........yes, you heard right, Sister Kersey ate raw fish! I can't even believe that! HAHA! It was really not bad at all...you can't even taste fish...I actually thouroughly enjoyed myself. We were meeting with a potential investigator at a Japanese restaurant to talk and she ordered for us! So fun! Here in Korea, nothing fazes you! Everyday is an adventure in one form or another.
Because the musical fireside was such a hit in my last ward in 통영, we decided to do it for our ward yesterday as a practice for our investigators and less-actives. Elder Innis, one of the elders that serve with Sister Brady and I in our area, is an amazing jazz pianist so we had a fun time putting it together and making our ward excited about it. Again it was a complete success. We did a similar program about the Restoration and the spirit was so strong. Dad, like you always say, music is so powerful and can always bring the spirit! I truly believe this! I hope to be able to sing some jazz music sometime while Elder Innis plays the piano to bring back my jazz singing! I love it!
Yesterday after church, the bishop and his wife helped us missionaries go out and street contact. It was raining and the wind was crazy, but we went under a bridge in a park and tried taking advatage of the opportunity to have help from our ward. I am always so impressed with how out-going and confident these ward members are. They are not afraid to talk to anyone and I am so blown away with their testimonies of the Restored gospel. The bishop's wife kept telling me that I was fearless. Haha! I love my companion because she is fearless and it brings me confidence to get out and talk to everyone I can! I feel so priviledged to be serving with her and admire how she does the work and how focused she is. She makes missionary work fun and stress-free by just doing the work, staying on schedule, getting things done with no distractions, and having full faith and confidence in her message to the world. I admire her so much and hope to be just like her!
On Saturday, we had an English class for children. It was a blast and all the little girls loved it! We made American-style cookies (Snickerdoodles) and taught them what all the ingredients and tools were called and how to use them. We then had all the little girls go around and make the cookies using only English words. They all had huge smiles on their faces and thought the cookies were so yummy. We then explained that just as a cookie has ingredients, we can have ingredients in our lives that make us happy. We have blessings that Heavenly Father has given us that make us happy. We went around the table and talked about the blessings that we have been given. Each of the girls wrote them down on the back of their recipe cards.
I absolutely love it here in my new area and with my new companion. I love being so busy and feeling that every moment of everyday is important. I love missionary work with my whole heart. It is so fun to me...more fun than it is work. I love it! I have a very strong testimony about this work and the gospel that I am priviledged to share everyday. I know that this gospel is Jesus Christ's gospel. I know that it has the fullness of truth and I know that it is for everyone, no matter what their situation, no matter what their past, no matter what their needs are. I know that it has blessed me and that it can bless each individual in this world. I feel so priviledged and humbled to be here, in Korea, sharing this message and sharing about a God to a people that have never heard of Him before. With one investigator this week, I had the opportunity to share with her something that touched me so dearly that Ashley told me. Ashley said that she knows that God exists because of the wind, the sun, and just by being able to do things everyday. Because of her thankful heart, she knows that God is there. When I shared that with this particular woman, the spirit filled the room and I had no doubt that there was and is a God and that He knows me and this woman that I was teaching at that very moment. It was so sweet to hear this woman for the first time bow her head and pray to a God that she had never heard of. To see how she changed from that experience and to feel her faith increase was something that I will never forget.
I know that there is a God and I know that He knows each one of us individually. I know that He loves us and recognizes us. I am grateful for the love and support from each of you, my dear family and my friends. I love each of you so much and cannot express my gratitude for the prayers that I feel from you each and every day!
I love you all!