From July 1st...
This week we were able to see many miracles. The first happened with our investigator. This woman is in her sixties and has a Buddhist background. Last week was the first time she prayed and I talked about the miracle that that was to witness and how it strengthened my testimony of my Heavenly Father and how He knows us personally. This week, we taught her about Joseph Smith and the Restoration of the gospel. It was the first lesson where I was able to teach exactly half of the lesson with my companion and not need her help or for her to explain again what I was "trying" to teach! It was a wonderful feeling! I shared with her Joseph's experience in the grove when he prayed to God the Father and was visited by Him and His son Jesus Christ. I recited Joseph Smith's First Vision and the spirit filled the room so strong. Over the weeks, I can see a huge change in this woman and it has humbled me to see how the Lord works with His children.
Later during the week. we met with her again to play ping-pong (yes, I am learning how to play ping-pong! Haha! I still am horrible at it! I thought the kimchi would help with that, but I guess not...not yet anyway! HAHA) That morning right after I woke up, I said to my companion, "We need to ask 서 자매님 (Sister Soe) to get baptized today." My companion just said, "ok" and we dropped the subject. Later during companionship study, my companion said, "So are we still planning on asking Sister Soe to get baptized today." It just then hit me that I had said that that morning and didn't even know where that thought came from, because it came out of my mouth before I even thought about it. I said, "Well I guess so." Before playing ping-pong, we decided to watch the Restoration video with her to give her a visual of Joseph Smith's life and story. My companion and I bore strong testimony at the end of the video and you could cut the spirit in the room with a knife it was so strong. Sister Soe told us that she felt something in her heart. We asked her then to be baptized. My heart was racing right before I asked her and I used better Korean than I have ever used before. The words seemed to not be my own. I did so well that even Sister Soe and the bishop's wife who was with us both started freaking out about my Korean before she could answer my question. She finally answered and agreed to be baptized! We are planning to have her baptismal service on the 22nd, and promised her that we know that she will know our message is true by that date if she continues to pray, read the Book of Mormon, and come to church!
Later this week, we met with a little girl and her parents from our English class. We are starting to do a 30x30 program with her to learn English outside of class. A 30x30 program is where we teach about our church for 30 minutes and then about English for the next 30 minutes. We met the family in the parent's flower shop and sat around on benches with flowers all around us! We asked them about their religious background, in which we found out that they believe in Jesus Christ and have been going to a Christian church for the past seven years. We taught them about families and how our families have been blessed with the gospel. We introduced them to the "For the Strength of Youth" Pamphlet and how we were raised with these standards and explained how Jennifer, their daughter would also benefit from them. The parents gave us beautiful bouquets of flowers when we left and said that they plan to come to church as a family this next Sunday! We are so excited, because they are such a beautiful family and we can see how the gospel will bless their lives abundantly!
This next week we are starting our new semester of English classes and to start off the program, we are doing our Music and the Spoken Word fireside right after the class for our spiritual thought. We have asked the ward to come and for EVERYONE to bring friends! Everyone is so excited about it and have been telling us the friends that they are planning to bring. We can see this being a great opportunity for missionary work to teach people about the Restoration and also for our ward members to strengthen their testimonies of the prophet Joseph Smith. I am so excited to see how it turns out!
This week has been so much fun! The weather is starting to get hotter and very humid! My hair is always wavy and curly! It is fun! We just got our air conditioning working today which is a relief! Haha! But I am loving the work and the adventure of it all! I feel very blessed at this time to be the Lord's missionary! There is no place I would rather be!
I love you all and am thankful for all of your kind letters and words of encouragement and love!
I hope you all have a fabulous week!
From July 9th...
Happy Fourth of July! My favorite holiday and of course it is only celebrated in America! Haha! It sounded like you all had a ton of fun at the party! I wish I could have been there for all the excitement!
This week was CRAZY and went by SO fast! I feel like it was just P-day! We met with 서 자매님 (Sister Soe) again this week and she is doing great! We are still planning on her baptism on the 22nd and we are all so excited about it. She came to church yesterday and our ward absolutely loves her. She fits in perfectly! We taught her about having faith this week and what she can do to develope stronger faith. She is still struggling with the concept that there is a God and it is hard for her to pray because she feels that it is awkward. It is so hard to see her struggling because it is something that is so dear to me...being able to pray to my Heavenly Father whenever and where-ever I want to and knowing that He is listening to me.
We also met with a new investigator this week to teach her the lessons. Her name is 박 자매님 (Sister Park) and she is absolutely wonderful! She has been attending our English classes on Thursday and asked us if we could start a Book of Mormon class because she thinks that the Book of Mormon is an answer book....which it is!!! She has so many questions right now about if she should be getting married and if she could be a good mother. We started meeting with her and taught her about Joseph Smith and the Restoration. She has a Catholic background and goes to mass every week with her mother, but as we taught, she said that she could feel that what we were saying and teaching was true. We asked her to read a few chapters from the Book of Mormon and we met with her again later in the week. We had a big discussion about faith and the steps of faith that you must take to return to God again. We asked her to be baptized by someone holding the proper priesthood authority on the 22nd with Sister Soe. She said that she would prepare for that date and that she believes what we had taught was true.
One of the highlights of my week (other than having a PB & J sandwich for the first time in 3 months!!! HUGE HIGHLIGHT) was going to one of our grandma's houses for lunch. I love visiting the widows and grandmas of my wards! We talked with her about her health and about how her family is doing. She fed us so much and then gave us all the extras for dinner...I love Korea because they always send food home with you after stuffing you full! She is doing well, but is sick. She needed to make kimchi, so as she sat on the floor with her piles and piles of cabbages, we sang her favorite hymns to her! It made her whole day and mine too! I was smiling from ear to ear when we left because we were able to lift someone that we love so much!
Yesterday I also had another fun experience! Sister Brady had been in 연산 for five transfers now and had never been to the end of our area. So we hopped onto a metro and headed to the end of the terminal! As we were riding, we saw that it kept getting more and more country! It was so beautiful and green and we could see small farms all along the mountains. When we finally got to the end, we were in a tiny town with almost no homes or people around. We felt good about this area though and started walking toward homes, talking to the couple people that we found on the way. As we were walking, we saw this beautiful home. In the front of the home was a small grandma hunched over pulling weeds around her garden. I said hello to her and we asked if we could help her. She looked surprized and to our complete astonishment, she said YES!!! (NO one in Korea says yes when you ask them if you can help them!!!) We were so excited! We got on our knees in our skirts and started pulling weeds in her yard and talking with her about her life and her beliefs. Her back had been hurting her so badly and she was so happy to have us helping her as a service. She started singing old Korean loves songs as we worked and I was probably the happiest missionary alive at that moment! I loved every second of it!!!! When we finally finished, she invited us into her home and made us tomatoe smoothies and we sang "I Am A Child of God" to her. When we finally left, she kept watching us as we walked down the road and I don't think I have ever seen a bigger smile on someone's face before. She looked at us like we were angels! That was one of the sweetest, most precious moments of my mission. It hit me that Heavenly Father knows each of His children. He knew that this grandma had a long life and her back was hurting her and all she wanted was for someone to keep her company. So, of all the places and people we could have talked to that night, He wanted us to be there for her. I love that Heavenly Father cares and knows each one of us, no matter where we are or what we have done with our lives. He love us and KNOWS us!
On Thursday, we started a new semester of English class! It was a HUGE hit! We had about 19 people come and the four of us missionaries each had to teach a class because it was so busy! After the class, we put on our special musical fireside. Everyone stayed and more people showed up! We had a total of 20 non-members there and 6-7 members and less-actives! It was AMAZING!!! We even had one of our investigators play her guitar and sing "I Am A Child of God". We were able to teach the whole first lesson about the Restoration of the gospel to all of these people and everyone in the audience was all ears! After the presentation, we set up the back of the chapel with refreshments and street boards of our church with pamphlets and Book of Mormons for people to take. Everyone stayed and mingled with eachother! It was a beautiful sight to see members interacting with people not of our faith and being missionaries by teaching them. Everyone had a GREAT time and were so excited for this new semester of English. They all said that they wanted to start bringing their friends and attending our Bible classes, etc. It was a great missionary opportunity and a huge miracle!
Well everything is going great and I am loving the work more and more everyday! I feel so blessed for the miracles that I have been able to see and witness everyday while doing this work! I hope you all have a fantastic week!
I love you all so much and I am grateful for your kind words of encouragement and love! I feel so blessed to have all of you praying and supporting me! Thank you!