Monday, January 28, 2013
OH MY GOSH!!!! I just wanted to say that I am so extremely grateful that Colin was ok from his car accident and all of his friends too!!!! WHAT A MIRACLE!!!! I want to say a prayer of thanks right now! I am relieved and so thankful that you are ok Colin! I love you so much!
So this week went by quick. A lot of our investigators right now have not been wanting to meet with us and a lot of them dropped us. It has been hard on my companion, but not as hard for me because I have never met them before. The investigators that we have been meeting with have been doing great and really progressing well! Our Vietnamese investigator is still coming to church each week and keeping a study journal as he reads his Book of Mormon. He is planning on talking to his parents this week about the Plan of Salvation and his belief in this gospel. Our Sirlankin investigators met with us, but have still not had any desire to pray to God or find out that He is real. They are currently Buddhist and have very strong beliefs. They said that they motive in meeting with us is to learn about our Christian belief. While during my study the morning before their lesson, I had a huge impression that we needed to talk about Christ and why we have faith in Him. I felt that we needed to watch the movie Finding Faith in Christ so that they could see how Christ lived and get a visual for who He is. As we started the lesson, I asked them why they chose to believe in the Buddhist religion. They didn't really know why and said that it was just the culture of where they are from. We, and a member that was with us, explained why we each chose to believe in Jesus. We then watched the video, and something AMAZING took place! Both of the men's countenances had completely changed. I again bore my testimony of Jesus as our Savior. I asked them again to just take the faith to pray once to God and ask if He is real and I promised them that if they did their whole lives would change. To my complete surprise, they both agreed to try it!!!!
Another one of our investigators is our member's husband. He has been through sets and sets of missionaries, but has agreed to meet with us again. He is a very smart man and understands the scriptures on a total different level than I have ever seen. My companion and I met with him and his wife last night and discussed the Plan of Salvation for each of us. Through all of his questions, we sought for strength from the spirit and were able to him in ways that he had never thought of before. At the end of the lesson, we asked him to pray to God. He has not prayed since he was a child and believes that God cannot hear and answer his prayers. When we asked him, we were all shocked when he said yes!!!!
Something that I have learned more than anything this week is that we are God's instrument in bringing forth His work. How great is this calling! I have learned that it is nothing about the language or how much you know the scriptures, but it is all about being able to feel and recognize the Spirit and have the faith and courage to act on those promptings. I have learned more than ever, here on my mission, how the Spirit speaks individually to me. Sometimes, I will be sitting in a lesson and have no idea what the investigator is saying, but I have a thought and feeling to say something and when I do, it opens the investigator's mind and answers their question. This happened last night with our member's husband. Our investigator had a question about repentance, he and my companion were going back and forth with their opinions. Out of nowhere, I had a thought come to me and the feeling was so strong that I could not withhold my mouth. I said the thought, and the whole table got quiet. It opened his mind and heart and answered his question in a way I never would have thought. What a humbling thing to know that I am absolutely nothing without the spirit. Just like I cannot translate in Sacrament Meeting or a lesson without the spirit and I cannot speak any form of Korean without the spirit with me. It is something that is humbling and it has really taught me how I need to have the spirit with me all during my life. On my mission I cannot go a minute without it. I am so grateful for this experience and how much I have progressed and learned.
Everything else is going great here! The members are wonderful and have welcomed me in with open arms! I love them all so much already! The work is moving forward!
This week, I have felt very strongly about Jesus Christ and His example. I have realized His love for each of us and how we can have power and more of His love as we give His love and our love freely to all those around us. He truly does live. He truly lived on this earth and performed the atonement for each one of us. He truly did die for each of us and through His atonement was resurrected and lives today! I know that He knows us and loves us each individually, and I know that by His atonement we can have a fullness of joy. True joy. We can have all guilt taken away and feel the love and strength that comes in following Him. He is our Savior. I am so extremely grateful for Him!
I love each of you so much and am grateful for each of you! Give your love to someone this week and I promise that you will feel even stronger of the Savior's love for you!
at 6:18 PM
Thursday, January 24, 2013
What a FUN week! It was such a fun adventure getting to know a new area and new ward and new investigators! The ward members are so extememly kind and I love them all already! I had met one new baptized family a few months ago when they were baptized, and they are in this ward. When they saw me they were so happy and said that they were so sad when Sister Foy and Sister Brady left, but President sent me here so they are happy! I already feel like I have a family here! What a blessing!
So about half of our investigators in this area are English speaking men and half are Korean, so this makes teaching really exciting! There is always a ton of variety. I had the opportunity to translate in church this Sunday for our Vietnamese investigator who is preparing for baptism and our Sirlankin member. It was a total blast! And I was able to see how much I have improved in my Korean! So FUN and rewarding!
Our Vietnamese investigator is so kind and has such a passion and love for this gospel. He has so many questions and reads the Book of Mormon every chance that he gets! He is waiting right now for permission from his parents in Vietnam to be baptized. They are an extreme Catholic family and do not approve of him changing his religion. We are all praying hard for his parent's heart to change so that he can become a member of the church!
We also have two sirlankin men investigators. We taught them the plan of salvation this week and about the doctine of christ that allows us to return to live with God again. They are both Buddhist and do not have much interest in the church. They cannot seem to believe or want to try to believe in a God.
We also met with one of our ward member's husband that she referred to us. We have about three ward member referrals of our ward member's husbands. On Sunday we also met a man that lives in Utah that is here for a little while in Korea with his family and he referred his whole family to us too! Super exciting how this work is moving forward here!
We have an adorable grandma investigator that we visit about two times a week in the hospital! She is so sweet and wants to be baptized so much, but has a hard time coming to church because she is sick and cannot climb stairs. We are working on trying to get her there and especially to have her really understand our doctrine.
Other than that and a bunch of other people we are teaching, we are still just doing missionary work: visiting less-actives, ward members, and procelyting every chance we get! It is fun! It is so fun to see how the work is the same in every area that you go to. This work really is the same all over the world! SO COOL!
Well, I am glad to hear that everything is going really well at home and everyone is healthy and happy! I am so happy to be here and for this opportunity to be the Lord's missionary! It is an experience that I would not change for the world! It truly opens your eyes to the world and who you really are! What a special and sacred opportunity! I have learned so much this week that the only way to truly do missionary work is by giving love, as Christ did. Christ truly is our perfect example. If we can learn to love everyone, no matter who they are, their situation, or how much they hate you, you will be able to change the whole world. Love is truly the key to success and happiness in this life and in everything that we do. I am so grateful for all of you and your love to me! I can feel this everyday, along with all the prayers that you pray for me! THANK YOU!!!! I truly love you all with my whole heart! I know the Jesus Christ is our Savior and that He knows and loves each one of us individually! He loves you and He knows you!
I hope you all have a wonderful and happy week!
at 8:31 PM
Sunday, January 20, 2013
We had so many miracles this week talking with people on the street and subway. There was one girl I was talking to on the subway and telling her about our English class. I invited her to come the next day and got her phone number. Then out of no where I had this impression to ask her to have dinner with us the next day. So I did. I set up and appointment right there! So FUN! Later she got busy, but wants to meet again later!
My companion has also been calling a lot of people in the phone from past contacts that we had received and has been setting up a ton of appointments. The work is finally starting to go somewhere! :)
We also met with our less-active young woman and her friend that she referred to us. She has so much interest in learning about our church and we were able to teach her the first lesson of the restoration. She was so intentive and she had so many questions. She was thrilled when we gave her a Book of Mormon and asked her to read and pray about what we had taught her. I have never seen anyone so excited about learning!!! It was so fun to see that!
On Saturday, we were invited to a wedding for the stake president's son. It was beautiful and so fun to see members from the stake. Because I have served so long in Busan, I know so many people here in the stake! It was so fun!
On Sunday, my last day with the ward, I had to give a talk. It was probably the best talk I have given yet in church. I was so comfortable it was crazy. The whole ward, of 110 people were all staring at me and it was so quiet. I hope everything that I said made sense. I just kept feeling like I needed to say that I loved everyone, so I did. Their reaction after the meeting was shocking. This ward is one of the biggest and by far the hardest ward and area in the mission. The members dislike the missionaries so much, which made the work really hard the past four months. But after my talk, the ward members kept coming up and talking to us missionaries and thanking us for our work. I was so shocked!!!! I think there is going to be some big changes in this ward! It needs changed...I hope I helped a little in opening this ward up to missionary work. All of the women kept saying that I was the prettiest sister missionary that they had ever seen and that had served in their ward....it was really funny. I truly loved those ward members, but I am not very sad to leave. I am ready for something new.
AND I AM DEFINITELY GETTING SOMETHING NEW!!!!!! I am now serving in 김해. It is still in Busan and in the Busan stake, but is farther out of Busan and not so much city. But it is a HUGE area!!!! I am so excited! And the branch is HUGE, but is a branch because they need a few more priesthood holders to make it a ward. But they are the complete opposite of the ward that I am coming from. They LOVE, I am talking LOVE the missionaries!!!!! And the work here is BOOMING!!!! I am so excited and on fire to start in this area! I am taking Sister Brady's place AGAIN!!! I took her place in 연산 when she finished follow-up training me, and now she is returning home and I get to take her place here! I am so excited. And I am follow-up training again. This is kind of a pattern with me. It is Sister Brady's trainee and she is AWESOME! A amazing missionary and just likes to get things done! Very focused! I am so excited. She is also Korean! :) My Korean is just going to sky-rocket! I am so excited! I guess most of the investigators here are from other countries and so I will be translating in Sacrament meeting and in the meetings at church. I am just a little intimidated, but have had a little practice with the older missionaries if they need to understand something. It is going to be a blast! I just can't wait to get to work!!!!! I am squirming in my chair right now just thinking about it! :)
Well anyway, I am sure next week I will have so much to share! AH I CAN"T WAIT!!!! I just wanted to thank everyone that remembered me on my birthday! It was one of the best ones I have ever had! Thank you all!
I know that Jesus Christ lives. He is truly our Savior. He loves us and wants us to know Him just like He knows us. We can know Him as we reach out to others in love and service, just as He did while He was on the earth. This new transfer, we are focusing on the God Head as a mission whole and inviting all the ward members, investigators, people we meet on the streets, and our families to reach out in love to one person a day in a random act of service. In the morning, in your morning prayer, ask to see a random act of service that you can give, then during the day strive to see that and reach our in love for all around you. I promise that as you do this, you will find a sweet happiness that you have never felt before, and you will come to know your Savior Jesus Christ in a way that you never knew Him before!
I love you all so much! I am so grateful to be here and to be Heavenly Father's instrument in the beautiful country of Korea! Have a fantastic week!
at 7:25 AM
Thursday, January 10, 2013
This was a great week! My companion and I worked our butts off trying to have the best planning and be the most focused! This is the best kind of missionary work and my absolute favorite way to do the Lord's work! My companion always says that she is so impressed with the way that I do things out here and that the time just flies by! Haha! Like Dad always says, "time flies by when you are having fun!" This is so true. And when you are busy and thinking of others, the time is fun! We don't have any investigators right now, but because we do such careful and thourough planning, we are never bored and always busy!
We dropped by a less-active's house this week that we always drop by. She never answers her door and in all the time that I have served here, I have only talked to her on the phone but never seen her in person. But this week, she opened her door and let us in! Maybe because the weather was freezing, or because the cookies that I left on her door the week before, I don't know, but it was a HUGE Miracle! We sat in her home and just talked. We shared a message from General Conference from our prophet on blessings. She was so open and so kind to us. Before we left, she said that the cookies we gave her were so delicious and she said that she wanted us to come back and teach her how to make them! I had made snickerdoodles, which cannot be found here in Korea, and all the Korean people LOVE them! They are the best way to make the members and the less-active members love you! haha! I love being an American! :) She gave us a HUGE bag of food before we left. I couldn't believe it!
We have had so many experiences like this this last week and such huge miracles! I am so grateful that things are starting to get back to normal! :)
Last night, we met with my recent convert to do a lesson. She is doing great and is so happy being a member of the church! She brought her non-member boyfriend along that has absolutely no interest in the church. We had planned to teach her the first lesson about the restoration, but he explained that he had met with the elders and had that lesson. So on the fly, we switched the lesson to the Plan of Salvation. We focused on our recent convert and told him that if he wanted to listen he could, but no pressure. He listened the whole lesson and even asked questions. 박 자매님 (Sister Park) was so great and just kept bearing testimony and her feelings about the Plan of Salvation and how she felt at her baptism. At the end of the lesson, we asked her to read 2 Nephi 2 and call us if she had questions or could not understand. I then looked at her boyfriend and asked him if he would do the same. To ALL of our surprise, he said yes! I asked him if he had a Book of Mormon. He said that the Elders had offered him one and he did not accept, but that tonight, he could not reject! There was a change in him and he said that tonight in our lesson, he had many questions answered that he never could find the answers to.
I know that this gospel, the gospel of Jesus Christ is the true gospel on the earth! It has all TRUTH! It does give us answers to all of life's questions, and even personal questions in our own lives! I love this gospel! I am so priviledged to be here serving the Lord and having this opportunity to completely focus my thougths on my Savior and serving His people at this time! I love this work. I love all of you!
Have a great week!
at 8:53 PM
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Happy New Year!!!! I can't believe that it is already 2013! Where has the time gone? I was leaving for my mission just one year ago....the time has flown by! Holy cow!
So the work is REALLY slow right now. All of our investigators are not wanting to meet and none of them are progressing. We have been doing a lot of less-active work, which has been nice since it feels like a long time since I have just focused on the less-active members of our wards. We had a complete miracle this week! We decided to go drop by two less-active women at their shops. They are both women from the 연산 ward. I have been visiting them on-and-off since my third transfer (so about 6 or 7 months now). They are very sweet woman, but everytime I would drop by their shops, they would be awkward and act like they didn't have time to talk. But this week when my companion and I dropped by, they sat down and actually talked to us and let us share a message! It was amazing! So cool to see the little-by-little change that is happening in both of them! :)
I have learned a lot about opposition in all things these last few weeks. I feel like everytime there is about to be a big blessing or break-through, Satan comes in and attacks us with thoughts of inadequecy or that we can't do it. Just when we feel like we have done all that we can do and are about to give up, we receive a blessing that brings us more knowledge and understanding and we grow and are able to be an even bigger influence! My companion and I have been helping each other through our own personal challenges and are seeing the many miracles that come from overcoming our fears with faith, and relying on God in all things!
I also have seen the influence that obedience has in having success as a missionary. These last two transfers have been hard to give my whole heart to the work, stay focused, and be completely obedient. I can see the change in myself and in the work from doing this. It makes the work hard and everything seems to fall apart. I believe that with obedience in all that we do, our success will not only improve, but we will gain God's trust, and our testimonies will also increase in a way that is indescribable!
Last night, we met with a young lady that teaches English at the university here in Busan. I has been a long time since I have taught the Restoration lesson in English, but it was one of the most amazing experiences for me. I was able to see how much I have improved in my teaching and especially how much my testimony has grown. I could tell that this young woman had felt the spirit, and I even told her that the feeling that she was feeling right now is telling her the truth of the message that we had shared with her. I have realized that the Spirit is so much more than just a feeling that we receive, but it is a message of truth and guidance from a loving Heavenly Father to His children to help them understand where to go and what to believe. What a beautiful blessing that God has given to each of His children to communicate with them!
I am so blessed to be here as a missionary and the life-long lessons that I will forever remember, that will shape the decisions that I make for the rest of my life! I am excited for this new year, and I hope that you all have a wonderful holiday and a great start to your new year!
I love you all!
at 5:36 PM
Merry Christmas! This last week, was such an amazing week! There were so many miracles, and my heart is so full of thanks to all of you for your endless love and prayers! Thank you! This week, at our ward Christmas party, a whole less-active family came, another less-active young woman with a friend that has gospel interest that she refered to us, and four potential investigators, one investigator, and another new friend of a potential investigator that was refered to us! WOW! Talk about miracles! And on Sunday at church, 4 potential investigators and one investigator showed up! I feel so blessed! My companion and I are having so much fun working together...she is definitely one of my favorite companions! I love her so much, and she is such a blessing in my life!
So on Thursday, we had our mission Christmas party and were asked to write a letter to someone we love about the true meaning of Christmas and our testimony of Christ. I would like to share this letter with all of you, and would like to ask my family to read this on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with the two families! :)
"Today is our missionary Christmas Party and we have been asked to write to someone we love about the true meaning of Christmas and our testimonies of Jesus Christ. I thought of you all right away and would like to share just a few thoughts with you.
First I just want to say that I know that Jesus Christ is each and every one of our Saviour and Redeemer. He loves us and knows us each individually. He feels our happiness and joy and He also feels our sorrows and pain. He rejoices with us when we rejoice and weeps with us when we weep. He understands when no one else does and becasue of Him, we can know that we are never alone! He loves us!
From His birth in a stable, to His death on the cross, He has set the most perfect example for each one of us. He gave His life to love and service to those around Him, and because of His devoted life to His father, all will be healed. Whether you have struggles or trials mentally, physically, and emotionally, through Him and only through Him can we completely overcome these trials and find peace. This peace and healing can come in NO other way, but through Him. This is true joy and true love!
This Christmas, I have thought a lot about the wise men and shephards that came to see the Christ child. I thought about the gifts that they brought and the marveling that they had as they saw the babe in such humble, yet perfect circumstances. I think about if I was a wise man or shephard, what I would have brought to Jesus the Christ to celebrate His birth. I believe that we can all give a gift to Christ that shows our love and appreciation for ALL that He has done for us. Because through Him, we even have life and a way to return back to Him and have full, everlasting happiness.
This Christmas, I would ask you all to think abotu that perfect gift that you would give to Christ if you visited Him on His birth. This is not necessarilly a tangible gift, but maybe one of moral character and coming closer to Him. I hope that you will find this gift and strive this next year to focus your thoughts on your Savior and coming closer to Him by giving this gift to Him throughout this year and the rest of your life!
I promise you that as you do this and focus your life on coming to know your personal Savior, you will come to know Christ because you will become more like Him.
I know that Chrsit lives. He is our Savior, Lord and King. I love you all and I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a great start to the new year!"
I love you all!
at 5:32 PM