Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Letter #37


I was so happy to watch Conference this weekend, so now I feel like I am filled in with the whole new missionary ages and huge announcements! It is absolutely CRAZY! I am still in shock even right now. I can't imagine having companions that are only 19 years old! This is definitely going to be an adventure... I am so happy to hear all of my friends that have decided to serve a mission! It is the best decision that you could ever make and you will be so happy with your choice. It has been the best experience of my life and you will have relationships and experiences that will change the rest of your life. I think everyone should go on a mission! I am thankful everyday for being here, learning more about myself, making eternal relationships, learning a new culture and language, and most importantly learning about this gospel and creating a firm testimony. I already can see how this mission will affect the decisions that I make the rest of my life!

Conference weekend is always a blast here in Korea. The members get together for four hours at a time on both Saturday and Sunday to watch the Conference. They are so devoted to come to the church for so long and sometimes even have to read the Conference with subtitles. On Saturday night they stayed for another two hours to watch the Priesthood and Relief Society Sessions. They are such devoted members and such huge examples to me. I learned so much in Conference and was especially shocked finding out what is going on in the world. Being here on a mission, I am in such a bubble and was shocked to hear what the world is stuggling with right now. It kind of made me scared to think about how my family is out in that world right now....

This week I had one of the most amazing experiences! On Tuesday night, we met with a woman named Jin who became our new investigator just a few weeks ago through our English class 30 minute introduction lesson. When we did the 30 minute lesson, we fill out an application sheet for English class and then share with them about why we are here serving missions and share a spiritual message. We had prayed so much about this lesson and to know what she needed to hear that would help her have the desire to learn more about the gospel. She filled out the application sheet and marked that she had absolutley no interest in God, Jesus Christ, missionaries, the Bible, the Book of Mormon, etc. We were kind of shocked, but continued with her lesson. We explained why we chose to serve missions and why we were here in Korea. Earlier that day, my companion felt impressed to share with her the story of Jesus Christ when he came to the Americas after his resurrection and blessed all the children. So we started to do that. We showed her a picture of Jesus blessing the children and read with her the story out of the Book of Mormon. After our short lesson, we started doing our English lesson. Before she left, we asked her if she would want to meet with us again before English class to learn more about our gospel message. We were absolutely shocked when she said yes, and even more shocked when she showed up early this week with her Book of Mormon in hand ready to learn. She had read the introduction, the Prophet Joseph Smith's testimony and the introduction of 1 Nephi and had TONS of questions for us. Earlier that day in personal study, I was reading in 1 Nephi and came upon a scripture that really stood out to me and during companionship study explained to my companion that I felt that I needed to remember that scripture for someone. When Jin asked us all the questions she had about the Book of Mormon, that scripture popped into my mind and I opened the book. To my surprize, she understood what it was saying exactly and it answered all of her questions.

Because of her questions about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith, we started questioning if we should teach her about the Restoration, but then felt that we needed to teach her what we had planned: The Plan of Salvation. She was so intriqued with this new information and started explaining that she understands now about a God and agrees with this plan that we were teaching her. A complete miracle! She said that for years she had thought that we had lived in a heaven before coming to the earth and that after we die we would go to a heaven again. We were shocked (especially with having no concept of God beforehand and with the common Buddhist belief about reincarnation)! The spirit was so strong and I was able to teach in a way that I had never taught before, and that I thought would never be possible. I completely forgot about language, and just completely understood and taught what was in my heart.

We had printed President Monson's talk from last conference and asked her if she would read it before our next visit. His talk was on the Plan of Salvation and we explained that it was a talk from our modern day prophet. She accepted it gladly and kept talking about how fun it is for her to learn these new things! She kept saying that it was all so interesting to her. We invited her to come to watch our prophet speak that weekend in Conference. She was so thrilled about our invitation. We will find out on Tuesday if she was able to go or not (she lives in a different area and would go to a different ward building). She is so ready for this gospel and so willing to learn. I have never seen anyone like this before! I feel so blessed for this opportunity to teach her and to see the influence that it is already having on her life! The feelings that I had after that lesson were like I had never had before and the way I was able to teach was like I had never known before! I know that I was able to be God's instrument in helping this woman receive the message that He has specifically for her!

Later this week, I received a call that I needed to conduct an exchange. This was a huge surprise to me because I had never even been on an exchange, let alone conducting one! The sister that I was to serve with for 24 hours was really struggling with the work and I was supposed to do something to help her....It was an interesting calling and I wasn't sure that I could do anything for her. We went on the exchange and had a wonderful time. It was interesting that Heavenly Father had his own plans in mind for that exchange, because all of the plans that I had set up to do completely fell through. But now looking back, I realize that it was exactly what my companion needed. We had a blast!

Sister Gilbert has given the mission a new assignment, and I would like to ask you all to do this assignment too! Get a new Book of Mormon and read it for someone else. You may not know this person right now, but Heavenly Father knows who needs this Book of Mormon. So read the Book of Mormon and mark the scriptures and passages that the spirit tells you to. Write down impressions in the book that comes to you. Then pray about who needs the book and give it to them for a Christmas present. I have started reading the Book of Mormon over again, and following the promptings of the Holy Ghost for the person that I will be giving my gift to. It is such a humbling experience to see how the spirit works in our individual lives and how it feels when you need to write down a comment or mark a scripture. It is such an amazing experience. I have noticed as I have been doing this a pattern in my markings and comments. I am starting to feel who needs this book. I promise that if you take this challenge, your love for the Book of Mormon will increase and you will learn how the spirit works in your personal life. I also know that you will know who needs that book and it will somehow change their life.

I am so grateful everyday to be here as a missionary and a representative of my Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that He lives and that He loves us. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. My heart is full of gratitude for the blessings that this gospel brings into my life and the people that I am able to talk with and teach everyday!

I love you all! Thank you for your love towards me!


커시 자매
Sister Kersey

Monday, October 8, 2012

Letter #36


WOW! I just found out about the age changing for Elders and Sisters serving missions! I can't believe that! What a huge change! That means Colin could go on his mission in just 2 years! Wow! Things are really going to change!

This week, my companion and I were so priviledged to see so many miracles! We have been so blessed, I can't even express my joy and gratitude that I feel. And I feel that I don't deserve all of these blessings that we have been receiving!

We went and visited a potential investigator during the week, and were able to talk to her about the prophet and we were shocked when she set a return appointment with us! She is Catholic, but her daughter lives in Orem and is a member of our church. She was so haspitable to us and her husband kept giving us more and more food as we sat and talked. She is very strong in her church and with her beliefs, but I was able to share with her a scripture from the Bible about prophets and their roll and how we need them now, even after Christ's death. She was so suprized and wrote down the reference to study later. I think she already knows in her heart that the church is true. I can't wait to continue meeting with her and teach her about the influence this gospel has in my personal life and in the world we live in now.

The work here in our area has completely turned since I arrived. We are having so much success with the ward members, less-actives, and receiving more investigators. It feels like a different area than when I arrived. We had 112 people at church yesterday and a less-active that we had visited a couple weeks before. I was absolutely floored when she walked in. She had told us in our meeting that her husband was very opposed to the church and that she has been attending another church. She also said that she was offended by the Bishop and that she did not want us to visit again. I had felt impressed that morning before visiting her that I needed to make a message card with a picture of Joseph Smith and write the first vision. Before leaving I handed her the card and thanked her for having us. Her countenance changed, and I strongly believe that she decided to come to church because she started to remember her testimony. She stayed for all of church and even bore her testimony! What a beautiful sight to see!

Another huge miracle happened this week! Back when I was serving with Sister Brady in 연산, we met a woman on the metro that told us that she had a sister that was a member of our church that lived in 금정(where I am serving now). We had a great visit with her and she promised us that she would feed us dinner sometime. We didn't think anything of it and forgot about it completely. When I arrived in 금정, one of the women in my ward came and asked me if I was the one that met her sister on the metro. She had spend 2 transfers trying to find the sisters that she had promised dinner to. We were able to get ahold of Sister Brady and received special permission to go to her home and have lunch all together with our companions. She was so kind and loved every minute of us being there with her and her son. By the end of the visit, the son accepted our English class invite and she said that she would attend Conference on Sunday with her sister! I was so blown away! I don't think it was just couincidence that I am serving here in this area! Everything is for a reason!

This week, we started preparing for a church open house with our ward that we will be having on the 20th. The Elders, a ward member, my companion and I set a table outside of the church and tried stopping people on the street to introduce them to our church. No one seemed interested and were all in a hurry going to this place or that. Finally, I saw a woman and her son walking across the street. I ran with my companion to their side and started talking to them about who we were and asked them if they had ever seen our church building before. They were very kind and asked us a lot of weird questions. They came to the table and said hello to the member and the Elders and then just went on her way. I had a feeling in my heart that she would be coming back. About 10 minutes later, she came walking down the street again and we said hello. She kept walking, then turned around and asked if she could see the inside of our church. My companion and I took her on a tour of the church, and the moment we walked into the chapel, a distinct, strong feeling came to all of us. There was no doubt in my mind that this gospel is the gospel of Jesus Christ and the true church on the Earth today. She was so impressed with our worship service and we invited her to come to church on Sunday. She said that she would not join us, but I would not be surprised if one day she showed up again. I have a good feeling about her.

Also, this week while on the metro coming home from the church, I sat by a woman and we started talking about the Book of Mormon. She started saying all of these mean comments saying that the Bible was the only true book on the Earth. I pulled out the Book of Mormon and opened up to the introduction. She quickly read it and then I explained to her that in this book we are able to find all of our answers to life's questions. We had glued in the front cover a section of PMG that talks about questions people have and where to find the answer using the Book of Mormon. She was so impressed and kept flipping though the pages. I had to get off at my stop, but told her that the Book of Mormon was a gift from me to her. She was so grateful. I will probably never see that woman again, but at least I was able to teach her truth in that moment and give her the gift that was the most precious to me!

I am so grateful for all of these miracles and so many more I was able to see this week! Heavenly Father has been blessing us so much! I feel so extremely blessed! This church is true! This work is the most amazing work in the world! I am so extremely blessed to be here and for my testimony! I love each of you so very much!


커시 자매
Sister Kersey

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Letter #35

So the last few days in September and beginning of October in Korea are the Korean Thanksgiving! It is a huge deal here in Korea and everyone goes and visits family. It was fun for us, too because we were able to go to the Bishop's house for a traditional Thanksgiving meal of chicken and fried fish and vegetables. It also made the rest of the weekend extremely hard to do missionary work because everyone was from out of town or were with family. So, all of us missionaries got to get two p-days! FUN! Yesterday we had a whole mission-wide p-day with ALL of the missionaries in our mission! It was a BLAST! We had it at our church building, which was great for us because we didn't have to travel far. We were split up depending on the zone we were in and had sweatshirts made by our zone leaders. The whole day we played games, ate food, learned how to make Korean rice cake, and sang a song for our Christmas card for our families! I had so much fun and it was great to see some missionaries that I haven't seen since the start of my mission.
It really freaked me out to find out that this week is my half way mark in my mission. I am super sad and am shocked with how fast time goes by, especially on a mission. I still don't even feel like an official missionary yet! Crazy! I pray for the time to slow down, but the longer I am here, the faster it seems to go.
This week, my companion and I did a lot of proselyting and trying to find people to teach. I had a great experience one day as we were doing the "If you could ask God one question, what would it be?" activity with my district. I was able to talk to so many people and really teach them right there on the street. I met one girl that was a member of another church and was able to open the Book of Mormon and teach and testify to her right there. Something about Korea that I failed to mention is that there are MANY missionaries from other churches. MANY! But, most of them are under-cover missionaries that are paid to pretend interested in a church, to be baptized into the church, and then to get a leadership postition and take over the church. We run into missionaries all the time and it is also very hard for us to talk to people when they see that we are missionaries because of the bad reputation that missionaries have here. This girl that I openned the Book of Mormon to was from a church that worships Heavenly Mother and does not believe in God. I testified to her that God was our father and that He does really live. And I truly believe and know that! He is our individual father and He does love and know each one of us!
We also were able to meet with a member of our English class to do a 30 minute required introduction of our church. She had absolutely no interest in our church and said that she did not want to learn about God or any sort of religion. After much praying about how we could teach to this woman's needs (because we only had that precious 30 minutes), we felt impressed to share the story of Jesus coming to the Earth after His resurrection and blessing the children. We had her read the story from the Book of Mormon, and she could not understand it (most Koreans cannot understand the Korean Bible or Book of Mormon). We pulled out a picture for her to look at and explained the story. She has a four year old daughter that comes to class with her, and we told the mom that Jesus loves the little children so much because of their innocence and purity. We went on to tell her how this church has always been a family unit in our lives and that no matter where we move in the world, if we walk into one of our churches, we will learn the same things and have an immediate family. She was so moved by this, especially because she is moving to Australia in about a 6 months or so. After English class, I asked her if she wanted to learn more about God's plan for her, and we were absolutely shocked when she said YES! So we are going to meet with her every week before English class to teach her the lessons. I know that her heart was changed and I am so thankful for this miracle to have a new investigator!
We also had another HUGE miracle! On Sunday, because of the holiday, we had church at 8:00 at night. Our ward was tiny because everyone was out-of-town, but we were shocked to see a whole less-active family of 5 walk in to take the sacrament. We had been trying to work with this family for the whole transfer, and it was a complete miracle to see them there!
I know that this gospel is true, and as we stay diligent and follow Christ, we are able to perform and see great miracles! I am thankful and blessed everyday to be here as a missionary and representative of my Savior, Jesus Christ! I am extremely blessed for all the love and support I recieve from you each and every day!
I love you all and am praying for you! Have a fantastic week! :)
커기 자매
Sister Kersey

Letter #34


Congratulations Shannon and Loren on your new beautiful baby! How exciting! I am so happy for you both and he is absolutely adorable! During the week I randomly thought about you both and had a feeling that you would be having your baby sometime this week! I am so happy to hear that it went well and that you are both healthy and happy!

This week flew by and was an absolute blast! We just kept seeing more and more miracles happening. I absolutely love it here in 금정 and love my companion Sister Chase! She is absolutely wonderful and one of my favorite companions so far. Even though she arrived in Korea only 6 weeks after me, we have been having a blast! She is so fun and I feel like I can be my absolute silly, crazy self around her and she loves it!

This week for our English class, the topic was on food and we decided to make an American meal for our class! We set the table and make spaghetti. It was absolutely hilarious making the spaghetti in a rice cooker...I would never have guessed that could work so well. Our class got a kick out of our American etiquette and eating their spaghetti with a fork and spoon rather than with chopsticks. It was one of their favorite classes and we were rolling the whole time watching them try to have American manners (I didn't realize how completely opposite everything is here compared to at home...not even how you eat is the same. haha!)

We have been really struggling in this area to have any success with people talking to us or progressing. It is a college city and very busy, but extremely hard for missionary work. We have tried going up to the college and handing out English class fliers, but no one seems to be interested in us or our message. The other day, after our zone conference, we were on the metro with the Elders going back to our area. One of the Elders in our area is a brand new missionary...this is his second week here in the field. My companion and I sat next to a woman and started talking with her, but she seemed completely uninterested and got off at the next stop. The new Elder sat down and tried talking to a man next to him that completely rejected him and got off at the next stop. So there we were, the four of us (the two Elders, my companion, and I) sitting in a row. I looked down and saw the Book of Mormon in the new missionary's hand and had a feeling to share with him a scripture. I reached for the Book of Mormon and thought "Heavenly Father, I don't know what scripture to share with him.." Then the thought came "Share your favorite scripture." So I turned to Ether 12:27 and handed it to the Elder. He read the scripture and in his broken English said "Thank you." We again sat in silence. Suddenly a man from across the isle looked over at us and said "What is that?" as he pointed to the Book of Mormon. The Elders got up and sat next to the man. They taught him shortly about the Book of Mormon and where it came from and gave him the book as a gift. What a cool have a feeling to share a scripture and to have someone on the outside be moved by that simple act. The new Elder was so excited and later told me that that was the exact scripture he needed at the time because it gave him courage to keep going because with God "our weaknesses will become strong". He knew that he could keep going, even after rejection! What a sweet experience that I will always cherish the rest of my mission and life.

We also had another miracle at church on Sunday. One of the daughters of a less-active family that we tried to visit came to church, along with one of our investigators. Heavenly Father has been so good to us in such a difficult area to keep his work going! I am so grateful!!

This work is the most rewarding work in the entire world. There is no words to describe the feeling that is with us everyday as we go out on the streets and testify of what we know is true deep in our hearts. I know that this church and gospel is true. I know that Heavenly Father loves us and blesses us as we are obedient and try to do all that is right. I love missionary work and I love being here in Korea teaching the gospel to these beautiful people!

I love each of you!


커시 자매
Sister Kersey