Tuesday, June 3, 2014

My Purpose on My Mission

Hi hi!!! 

It was a good week!  It was a week of eating with members.  Which is great of course!  But there is no such thing as a skinny-re-entry program when serving in a ward like this.  I'm not complaning though--I just told Sister *** that we have to exercise more in the mornings!!!  Haha we have been getting up at 6:15 and going to the track behind our house, which is nice because we can go at different paces.  On Thursday, we hiked the mountain (big hill) that is right behind our house too which was sweet!!  It was a little foggy from the rain the night before so I felt like I was in the jungle!!  There's nothing like the greenness of it in Utah!! 

Monday, we went to a drama-filming set on the beach with the Masan sisters which was sweet!!  Then we took food from the Relief Society to a less active and a recent convert.  I really love this city because there is the downtown area, which is HUGE, but there is also like neighborhoods so you don't feel like you are in a huge city.  Like our house--we live right up next to a mountain! 

Tuesday, we did exchanges with the Miryang sisters.  I stayed here which was fun.  We were in the same district for 3 transfers when I was in Andong, and now again.  I really love her!!  We went to our service project, visited a less active, and then we had to get something from a member, and he bought us dinner! 

Wednesday was district meeting, which was good as usual.  Afterwards, we had a area meeting with the Elders and talked about our ideas for this area and what we can do to continue to improve it and to help the members.  Then we had English Class which was fun as usual. 

Thursday, we had lunch with a member and her daughter.  Her daughter is 4 and so cute!  She kept giving me princess stickers, and wanted to hold my hand everywhere we went.  Then she wouldn't eat her food, so we had to have a race to see who could eat it all first, and she won (of course) haha.  The member's husband (he's a member too) works for the UN in Baghdad and is there for 4 weeks, home for 10 days, and then that schedule repeats.  We shared the scripture Alma 26:37 with her about how God is mindful people in every land, and how we can feel him watching over us no matter where we are! 

Friday, we had MCM with our mission leader, who, like I told you last week, has SO many ideas for our area, so we talked with him about that.  It is fun to see his excitement.  I called *** and talked to them for a little bit which was really fun.  They were really happy to talk to me and were on their way to meet with the sisters and the senior couple, who serves in Daegu,in Andong.  They said they are doing well, and are going to probably go to the English branch in either Seoul or Daegu from now on, but the Andong sisters will keep teaching them.  Then Friday night, we had dinner with a member's family.  The sister is the relief society president and so great!  She met the missionaries on the street when she was in high school, and then served a mission in Seoul, which was fun to hear about. 

Saturday, we had lunch with another member's family, which was great.  Their daughter who  wants to learn English really well, and when I asked why, she said because it's attractive haha.  So cute!  Then we had English class again that night, and I taught the kids class, and acted out the whole story of Goldielocks and the 3 Bears for them.  I felt like Dad when he used to tell us bedtime stories, except I'm not that creative, and just go for the classics!! 

Sunday was church which was great of course.  It is so neat to hear the members testimonies and the love they have for the Lord and this gospel.  Then we visited a less active member, who's sister is a member in Daegu, and the sister called us an asked us to visit her.  When we went, she wasn't home, but after waiting for a minute and as we were about to leave, she came up to her door as she was coming home, and said "Oh, the missionaries" Haha.  She said she doesn't have any interest right now, but we told her we were going to visit later with one of the members that remembers her, and she said that was alright.  Still a miracle that she came home right as we were there though~  Then we had dinner at a member's house.  The parents, and then their daughter and her husband and daughter all live in our ward.  The daughter's husband served in Busan mission and served in Andong and Daeshin, as well as here, so it was fun to talk with him about that and the people there! 

I have been thinking a lot lately about what my purpose is on my mission.  The first think I think about of course, is our missionary purpose to invite others to Come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through Faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End.  We say this every morning.  (I won't type it out in Korean for you haha) Of course this is the most important thing, and really outlines our goal as a missionary.  This is the same for all missionaries though.  I wanted to focus on what my individual role is.  As I think about my mission, I didn't put a lot of thought into my decision to serve.  I just knew that I needed to, and so I acted on that knowledge.  When I came on my mission, I had lots of knowledge about the gospel, and I had a testimony that I needed to do what was right, but it wasn't something deep in my heart.  I feel like I kind of just went through the motions.  This really bugged me when I first got here, so I studied lots about Christ and His gospel, but most importantly tried to put these things in practice.  I could talk about the gospel as much as I wanted, but I needed to make it a part of myself.  As I think about this, I think of Enos.  Enos's father Jacob and uncle Nephi and grandfather Lehi were all great prophets.  He had so many examples and such a rich heritage to learn the gospel from.  He knew lots about Christ and His gospel, but Enos's soul "hungered" and he really wanted a personal testimony, not just a knowledge of the Savior, so first he repented of his sins, then as he continued to pray, his faith began to be unshaken in the Lord.  I would say that this story is similar to my mission.  I have learned about Jesus Christ and His gospel my whole life, and always just accepted it to be true.  But as I said earlier, I wanted Christ to be deep in my heart, and that couldn't come from just knowing about Him, but was really applying His teachings in my life and dedicating myself to living after the example He set.  So first, I had to repent of things that would keep me from this--which is obviously a process and something I am still working on.  But as I strive to do that, that is where I can see parts of me that I can improve, and set a goal to work on it.  As I have done this, I know that my faith-which is truly faith in Jesus Christ- is becoming unshaken .  I have developed a personal relationship with Him, and have received a little glimpse of understanding of the sacrifice He made for me.  I know that this is something I will need to work on for my entire life, and a goal that I have to dedicate myself to now.  I have come too far to go back, and KNOW that my testimony will never fall back.  It will only get stronger from here, and the love of the Savior and His place in my heart can only expand as I finish my mission, and then return home and continue this pattern throughout my life. 

I love you all so much and am so grateful for your amazing examples to me! 



Monday, May 19, 2014

Transfer Calls - off to Changwon

Hi hi from...not Andong.....Not Busan....Not Ulsan...but my new area a city called Changwon!!!  My new companion is named Sister *** and she is SO CUTE!  She studied at BYU-Hawaii for 3 years so speaks really good English, but I told her we have to speak mostly Korean haha

I am SSSSSSOOOOOOOOOOOO excited about it.  It was SUPER SUPER hard to leave Andong and all the wonderful people there (more on that later) but I am excited for a new area where I know I can grow to new levels due to the wonderful Atonement of Christ!!!

So last week was good! 

Monday we Skyped of course.  Then English Class that night!

Tuesday we jundoed for English Class, then our members daughter who was visiting with her 3 kids from America were leaving on Wednesday so we went and visited them and then went to  the oldest daughter's Korean guitar-type-thing class to see her which was super fun.  She  loved me (even called me from the airport before they got on the plane back to California) so we decided we will be pen-pals haha

Wednesday was district meeting, then we had to come back and deep clean our house before transfers.  Super exciting!

Thursday, we had lunch with the Indonesian woman that used to come to our English class every week but can't anymore, so that was really fun to see her again.  Then we weekly planned, went and visited one of our members who has her mission call to Seoul then had a chicken party with our Young Single Adults before transfer calls.  Guess what I ate.  Wait for it.  Wait for it.  CHICKEN FEET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Yes you did not read that wrong.  The actual taste was kind of a bbq taste, but SUPER SUPER SPICY so wasn't too bad, but you had to like eat the toes of the chicken and chew them all up to and you basically just suck the skin off the bone, so I wasn't too big of a fan.  I'll send pics of me eating them that are pretty funny.  Then we got transfer calls and I am in Changwon follow up training sister ***!!  Sister ***  (who I was in a 3-some with last August in Shinjeong) is going to follow up train Sister ***! 

Friday, we went and visited *** for the last time.  We were talking about Moroni 7, which they had read the week before together, and *** had a question about how we can judge good from evil without really judging people.  This was a really hard question and I wasn't sure exactly how to answer it (and don't think I totally did) but talked about the Plan of Salvation and how Christ will judge us all and how we just need to differentiate between good and evil so that we can make it back to live with God someday.  I kept trying to get her to explain it in Korean so that Sister *** could help teach, but she just kept going back to English which was really quite funny now that I think about it now, but was a little stressful at the time!  At the end I bore my testimony about how she can truly know for herself by prayer and reading the scriptures.  I am counting on her baptism before my mission ends!!!  *** is doing great and has already read half Jesus the Christ and the gospel principles book, and is continually studying the standard works each day.  They went to church in an English branch in Seoul on Sunday so it was the last time I saw them which was really sad. 

Then I had to pack all my stuff to send.  I sent two big boxes home by boat this week, so wait for those in a few months haha. 

Saturday, Sister *** and I celebrated our last lunch together by eating Sushi (haha my new favorite food) and then went and had English class. Then we had a Young Women's activity that the members planned making cake, which one of our investigators came to which was good!  (there is one YW and then the girl that has her mission call who came)  Then we went and had dinner with two of the members who got baptized last summer (an older couple who I love so much).  They were really sweet and gave me a present of a traditional Andong mask! 

Sunday was the last day at church which was really good. Haha on the way to church this lady who I had talked to on the road a while ago recognized me on the bus and started talking to me first. She said she doesn't have a specific religion, but her kids go to a different church.  I got her number and told the sisters to teach her!!!   We had 42 people again yesterday which was awesome!!!!  One of the less active sisters brought her 2 sons which was great!!!  It was really hard to say goodbye to everyone who I have such good relationships with there.  The investigators, members, and just other people there have taught me so much and I have learned so much from them, especially about love.  I said in my talk in sacrament meeting that when I first got called to Andong, I was talking with Sister Gilbert and she said "Andong is Love."  It is so true!  There is such a special spirit of love and service between all the people there. 

Today was Transfer Meeting which was good. My trainer Sister *** goes home today so it was sad to say bye to her!! She wants us to go visit Gangnam (yes like the song.  That's where she's from) when you come! 

I am so excited for the new adventures that Changwon will bring!!!  Yesterday at church, they had 79 people, and the elders or sisters have had a baptism for the past 3 weeks!!!!  The building is beautiful too--I will send you a pic! I don't know much about it yet but I am so excited to learn! 

I am so excited for this chance to serve here, and to push myself even further to keep Christ at the center of my heart so I can be more obedient, more grateful, and show  more love to the people I serve.  I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!

P.S.  I loved what you said about having the power to bind Satan.  In the Book of Mormon it says that Satan will have no power in the last day (Ether 8:26) because of the righteousness of the people.  Not because he will be bound by some high mighty force, but because we will love Heavenly Father and Christ so much that thoughts of disobedience will have not place in our hearts, and Satan will have NO POWER!!!  What a day to look forward to! 


Sister Emily Maridell Burgoyne

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Success in Andong Continues

Hello my dear family!!  It was SO GREAT talking with you this morning!!  I love you all and it was so fun to see you move and talk!  It made me realize how great it is going to be when we will all be back together in the fall.  (Not in a trunky way, because I have also realized that everything at home seems pretty close to the same haha) 

Anyway. Because Mom kept asking what happened this week-

Tuesday was our big activity that we have been planning forever!!  The YM and their friends, and the elders played basketball, and we had other games with water balloons and such with our investigators and their kids which was SUPER fun!!!!!!  About 20 missionaries came up from Daegu and they helped a lot, and it was great to see them.  At night we had a talent show that turned out great as well.  It was super hilarious.  I will attempt sending a video, but I don't know if it will load or not!!  I have a bajillion pictures (ok maybe only like 300) from the day and will send some of my favorites. Including the Young Men wearing my harmony pants. 

Wednesday, we had district meeting. Great as always.  Our district leader, Elder ***, talked about how Heavenly Father sees us not as an acorn, but the oak tree that we can become.  I like the analogy and thinking of the potential we have.  We just do what we can to follow the commandments, be obedient, serve others, etc, and when we look back, we can truly see what and who we have become.  So neat!! 

Thursday, we had to go renew my foreigner card because I have been here for almost a year (yeah I know. I can't believe it either!)  and then went and visited one of our members.  I have probably talked a lot about her because I love her. She and her husband were baptized last summer, and she has so much faith and trust in the Lord.  I love talking with her. 

Friday, we went and visited ***, which is always a highlight.  We decided we would talk with them about a few of the commandments before fast sunday this week (because we had the dedication last week) and it was really neat.  We taught about Tithing, and he already had a testimony of it and shared how it helped him when he was  attending a different church.  Then I asked him what he remembered learning about Fasting and Fast Offerings from the lessons, and he basically recited exactly what it says in PMG.  Then we taught about studying the scriptures and he said, "so if we study for a little bit separately, then share what we learn and study some more together, is that what we're supposed to do?  Haha yep that's basically it! They are studying the gospel principles book together along with the scriptures, and he is half way through Jesus the Christ.  Awesome!  We gave them a whole list of scriptures to study about what we taught so I can't wait to ask about it this week!!!!!

After we got back, we jundoed in the downtown part of Andong with the elders and only had about an hour.  We had a sticker board we made and on the top says "What is your question of the soul"and there were 4 questions- does God exist?  How can He help my family?  Does He know me?  And one other I can't remember (oops) that they could put a sticker on, then we had a survey where they could fill out about what they put, and write their number and a friend's who would be interested. In 1 hour, we gave out 40 copies of the Book of Mormon and received 53 contacts!!!  We have only had time to call about 20 so far, and 2 already said they wanted to meet again!!!  That has to be some sort of record. 

Saturday, we had lunch with the youth/young single adults to celebrate our activity being over and all the work we did for it, and then visited one of the harmonys that we visit every so often who is 92 years old and has cancer.  She has gone to another church in Andong forever, but she said she would come to our church this week and so

(drumroll please.  this is where it gets good)

SUNDAY!!  I love Sundays. We always see miracles. Especially on fast sundays.  There were 41 people at church, and there wasn't even any special event going on!!!!  Also we went and picked up our harmony and she came (get excited for the picture).  Also *** fasted with ***!!!!!  Ah I was so happy!!!!  And there were 4 less actives at church!!!  It was obviously a great day!!!

And then this morning, I talked with all of you!!!

So that's my week!!!  I love serving.  I have thought a lot about missionary work this week, and studied about basically what missionary work is.  I found a quote by President Monson saying "The missionary opportunity of a lifetime is yours.  The blessings of eternity await you.  Yours is the privilege to be not spectators but participants on the stage of Priesthood service." How true that is.  We are not here to be spectators of the world around us, but to make a difference, especially in our lives, and the lives of those around us.  We have been called, and now we must follow through with that calling!!!  I know that this mission has and will continue to forever change me, which I am eternally grateful for.  One last quote from President Monson: "Dedicated missionary service returns a dividend of eternal joy which extends throughout mortality and into eternity." I encourage you to think about this too and how you in each of your lives can feel of this eternal joy.  What a blessing it is!!!

I love you all so much!!!  I hope you have a week full of miracles!!


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

New Building Dedication

Hi hi!!

Sounds like you had a great week!!!

Sorry this is going to be quick today because we are in Gumi for P-Day and all of the missionaries have to use the computers here because it is a holiday and everywhere else is closed.  Anyway!

YES!  The dedication for the building was yesterday at it was AMAZING!!!!!!!!  Guess how many people we had there.  70!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I wish I could write that in bold letters with star stickers all around it just like I did in my journal last night!!!!  Just imagine it!  It was a great meeting!!  When we started planning this meeting in December or January, we set the goal for the meeting as 70 people, and thought it was maybe a little crazy, but felt good about it.  So we continued to plan, and despite the fact that things continued to go slow, we kept working and inviting people, so then yesterday at the meeting people kept coming and coming and coming!!!!!  Lots of people from the stake visited, which helped our numbers but still it was fabulous!!!  I taught primary again, but it was in English and Korean because there were kids from America as well as Korean kids, so I would say a sentence or ask a question in English, then have to say the same thing in Korean and write everything in both languages on the board.  It turned out pretty good though, and I had lots of fun doing it!!  President and Sister Gilbert came which was so fun to see them, and to introduce lots of our members (especially ***who came to church for the first time yesterday!!!!!!!!) to them.  I translated for Sister Gilbert during sacrament meeting, which was good, but kind of exhausting!  Haha  I hope I did an okay job.  There were also less actives there that we had heard about before, but never seen, as well as a former investigator that we have been trying to contact for a really really long time!!!  I was too busy to take pictures during the meeting, but Sister Gilbert has some that she said she would email to me, so I will get those to you when I get them!!! 

The rest of the week really just lead up to that. There was nothing too super exciting, just lots of planning for that, as well as the big activity we have tomorrow that I am still holding my breath that everything comes through, but should be great! 

This morning, we came to Gumi for P-Day and hiked up to a waterfall that was SO BEAUTIFUL!!!  I will send some pictures--it was SO MUCH FUN!!! 

Anyway,  I will send pics in a minute but I love you all SO MUCH!!!! I am SO EXCITED to talk to you next week!!

The church is true and i love being a missionary!!!


Rice Farming in Korea


Sounds like it has been a great week back at home!  

The church move was yesterday and it was SO GREAT!!!  The church is SO beautiful.  I will send pictures in a bit.  It looks like the inside of a real church building.  The dedication is next week and the stake presidency will come up, as well as President and Sister Gilbert, so we are working really hard to invite everyone we can-members, less actives, investigators, etc. and want to work on getting the members to all invite friends as well.  I know that it will be great!!

This week was good! Last monday, we went to Hahoe Maul, the traditional Korean village that Andong is famous for which was fun.  The have the traditional mask dance/festival thing there so there was a mask museum with masks from all over the world which was super cool!!

 Tuesday, we went and visited *** and his wife.  We went to Pungi where they live and they showed us their 학원-English Academy.  We were talking about how we were going to visit our Harmony later that day (which is really confusing to get there on busses and stuff) but they said that they would just drive us there because the road from their house to her's is only like 20 minutes!!  "Are you sure?"  we said! " Yeah we'll get lunch on the way!  It's just our way to help out God's plan and to help his servants" was his response!  I've never heard a recent convert say anything like that!! I love him and his wife SO much.  They have lots of questions about the gospel, and are both so excited to learn.  He showed us the pictures of his baptism in Tahiti and one of the sister missionaries there was a girl that went to Olympus a year older than me!! 

Then we went to visit our Harmony and she was talking all about how the elders visited her, and how she made them food, but they couldn't eat it all so they took it home, and then she made us the same food.  Haha here's the thing.  The elders never went and visited her...and she talked about it the majority of the time we were there hahaha we were laughing pretty hard.  Her dementia is getting progressively worse, but she LOVES coming to church.  It is so cute!  Yesterday, she brought the BIGGEST bag of bean sprout things that I have ever even  imagined of seeing.  Seriously it was bigger than she is.  We ate some with lunch after church, and then each of the members took a grocery-bag size home with them.  It was hilarious, but she was so excited about it!!!

Wednesday was district meeting, and then we did exchanges and I stayed in Gumi with Sister ***, and Sister *** came back to Andong with Sister ***.  We went and visited one of their harmony members who made us dinner and then taught their kids english class which was super fun!

Thursday, we switched back, and then on the way home visited one of our eternal investigators.  Her sister is a member, and she has met with the missionaries off and on for like 10 years, but doesn't have any desire to join the church.  She just likes the people.  We'll continue keeping a relationship with her, but I don't know exactly how to help her!

Friday, I got to cross RICE FARMING IN KOREA off of my bucket list!!! We went and helped one of our less actives and it was SWEET!  Ok it's a lot less glamorous than it sounds.  It was just planting day and there was a machine that you put a tray in, then it put the dirt, water, seeds, dirt in and Sister Choi and my job was to continually put these trays on a big cart for like 6 hours.  We laughed the entire time.  It was pretty fun!  Haha

Saturday, we went and met with a girl that was on our contact list from last October before I got here.  We have called and texted her every so often since then, but her parents didn't really want us to meet us, not because they are against religion, because they are fine with that, but they want her to spend her time studying.  So when we were talking with her last week, she said "Oh if you have time let's meet" and we said of course we did so we went met her.  Her parents said it was okay because she said she would practice English with me, which she did.  She wants to be a chef and is going to a high school for cooking.  She showed us some pics of her food and it looked so good!  She liked what we talked about the gospel, but we don't know if we can continually meet with her because of her study schedule.  We will defs try though!!  Then we took the train to Yeoungju where the elders were playing basketball with a member and his friends, and then our investigator and her family were there watching, so we went and talked with them and all had dinner together.  it was really good!

Then yesterday was the first day in the new church which I already told you about!!!

So it has been a great, fun week here!! I have loved being able to think about everything that is happening and the miracles that we are seeing!!  I am so grateful to be a missionary at this time.  I know that my personal testimony has really become firm as I have been able to share it with others!  My knowledge and love of the scriptures has especially grown. Sister ***
and I were talking this morning about how we have learned, and are still learning of course, really how to study the scriptures and apply it to our lives, and the lives of those we teach!!  I love it!!

I love you so much!!!!  I hope that you have a great week!


Monday, April 21, 2014

A Great Week!

Hello hello!!!
It has been a great week!! Not quite as exciting as last week, but still a good week none the less!
Tuesday we had zone meeting which was good. We did lots of practice teaching, which is sometimes awkward, but fun haha. I love teaching with Sister Choi so that is good!
Wednesday, we went and had lunch with *** and his wife *** .  He had lots of questions about stuff he had been reading in the Doctrine and Covenants, so I answered those the best I could... Haha He said he hadn't read much more in the Book of Mormon, and had been focusing on other stuff, but I told him how the Book of Mormon has to come first. He has to read it, pray about it, and gain a testimony of it, and everything else will fall into place after that. Everything we really need is right in the Book of Mormon. It really is so great!! We taught his wife more as well. She had read through 1 Nephi 12, which we were pretty excited about! We were talking about baptism, and she said, "Wait. Who decides who gets baptized and who doesn't" You do!!! We invited her to baptism and she said that she will think about it. She wants to be really sure, just like we want her to as well. We want her to do it for herself, and not just to follow her husband. She is doing what she needs too-studying, praying, and has real intent, and so she WILL get her answer.
Thursday, we had interviews, which was great. It was our last interviews with President since he will go home at the end of next transfer! While President interviews everyone, Sister Gilbert always teaches, which is always so awesome! For the last few transfers, we have been focusing on the "questions of the soul" and how they can be answered through the Book of Mormon and so we each took a turn to teach about the one we chose. I talked about knowing that what we are doing is really the Lord's will for us, and related it to Words of Mormon 1:7, my latest favorite scripture, and how Mormon did not know exactly why he was abridging the record, but knew it was a commandment from God, and so he followed! I love hearing from the other missionaries in my district as well, and their great examples.

Friday, we went and visited a lady who was baptized last summer with her husband.  They are probably about 60 and investigated the church for 5 or 6 years before getting baptized.  She studies the Book of Mormon SO much, and has such a strong testimony, but still has a hard time really feeling like part of the church.  It was good to talk with her.

Saturday, we had dinner with the sisters who had a baptismal  date a few months ago.  They  are both SO busy with school, so can't meet often, which is really sad.  They want to learn, but maybe the timing is just not right now.  We will keep a good relationship with them and pray for the best in the future.

Sunday, was Easter!!!  I is barely even recognized here, but I told Sister *** we needed to celebrate!  We went to Daiso (it's like a fancy dollar store) the other day and I told her that we had $10 to make an Easter Basket for each other.  It turned out really fun!!   I hid her's and so she had to find it.  It was great! Then we went to church.  It was the last day in our current building so we packed everything up after church and so they can move everything Tuesday!!  We are SO EXCITED!! We went and saw the new building the other day and it looks like a real church building inside.  I will send pics next week:)  One of the members daughters, who lives in California, is visiting for a month with her 3 kids who are 8, 6 and 3, so I got to teach primary to them in English yesterday, which was fun.  I didn't know they were going to be there, but luckily had my Liahona in my bag that had an Easter activity in it so we talked about Christ's birth, drew a pic of it, talked about His miracles, drew a pic of it, and then his resurrection, and drew a pic of that.  Then sang some songs.  It turned out pretty fun!!  She served at Temple Square, and when her husband (who is American) was going to school, they lived in Holladay, so that was super fun to talk to her.  She was really excited about it!

I have been studying the Book of Mormon really in depth--writing down my thoughts, looking up subtitles and other references, etc.  over the last 9 months, and I am finally to the end of 2 Nephi!  I was thinking a lot about Nephi this morning, and all that we can learn from him.  When we first read Nephi's words, he is humble and obedient,  and has a testimony, but relies a lot on his father's testimony.  As we read through 1 and 2 Nephi, however, we can see how Nephi's testimony, submission to the Lord's will, and pure faith in Jesus Christ, grows, develops, and is strengthened.  In the beginning, we read of Nephi's obedience- his "Go and Do what the Lord commands" attitude, and desire to learn as he prays to understand the tree of life.  At the end of 2 Nephi, as we read Nephi's last words, we can see how his testimony is COMPLETELY centered on Christ, as well as the Christlike love and charity he has for his people and for us--who he knew he was writing for.  I hope that as I look back on my life one day, I can say the same about myself.  I know that as I look at the last 14ish months of my mission, I can see how my testimony has turned from being something inside of me, to now constantly desiring to share it with others. Now it is completely centered on Christ and truly knowing what He has done and can do for me.  I love that we can read the Book of Mormon and learn from the prophets in it.  There are so many things that we can use in our lives today!!!

I am so grateful for you and your example.  I say that every week, but I know that it is true!!

We are headed off to Hahoe Maoul (the traditional Korean village which is the reason Andong is famous).  I have wanted to go since December, so finally planned it!  (I'm getting really good at planning P-Days haha.)   Get excited for pics next week!

I love you!!!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Miracle Week!


So I'm just going to start off with our huge miracle of the week because I have been so excited to tell you all about it!!!

We were at the church on Tuesday working on some boards for our little visitors center when the church moves and we had planned to go do something else, but felt like it was more important to stay at the church and finish what we were doing.  A little bit later the phone rang and they asked if they could speak in English so I got on the phone and said "Hello?"  It was a man who told me that he lived in Pungi Up (Town) which is part of Young-Ju, the city above Andong which is part of our area, and that he was baptized last week in Tahiti on vacation and would be attending our branch, so wondered where he could have his records sent, and if he could bring his wife ,who is Korean, to meet the members.  WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!  So we keep talking.  He is French, but lived in Australia for a long time and learned English.  He has been in Korea for 15 years teaching English in the little town of Pungi and been married to his wife for 10.  We talked for a bit longer, and he said if we were ever in Pungi or Young-ju to give him a call and he and his wife would love to meet us.  Well we didn't have any plans for Wednesday yet so I said, "Well, we have time for lunch tomorrow.  Does that work for you?"  He said that was great and that he would meet us at the train station.  He said he would probably be the only foreigner there so would be easy to recognize.  I said I would be the other and that we would meet tomorrow!   (Obviously we are totally freaking out about this as I am frantically trying to explain everything to Sister ***  in Korean and call the elders to tell them about it.)  So we go to Young-ju for lunch and we get to the train station and this man looks EXACTLY like John Locke from Lost.  Seriously.  I was laughing so hard inside.  Australian accent, scruffy beard, bald head and probably like 50.  His wife  is about the same age, and is really pretty.  So we sit down for lunch (enjoyed some nice Goorl Gook-Bab, which is basically Oyster and rice soup.  It was actually pretty good) and I ask him about how in the world he found the church in Tahiti.  He told me that he has been a part of basically every religion you can think of searching for the truth. He was raised Christian, but in his adult years, he has traveled to India to learn about Hinduism.  He almost became a Buddhist monk.  A few years ago, he went to Australia to study Christian Science, and after that gave up and decided he would never find the truth.  His wife just followed him through all of these.  They have studied the Bible together every morning for a really long time.  Anyway so he went to Tahiti because he and his wife want to move there.  He said at the airport, he met a member of the church, but didn't think much of it.  He had seen missionaries in Australia (not in Korea) and had always thought they were kind of weird.  But on Sunday, next to the place he was staying was one of our churches and he felt that since it was Sunday, in order to be a good Christian, he should go to church.  He went and said that the moment he heard the man who was speaking's testimony, he felt something different and genuine about it, and immediately knew this was the true church.  So he talked to this brother for a while, and then went to FHE the next night at the church.  The next day (Tuesday) he had an interview with the mission president, who said that he should just get baptized while he was in Tahiti.  So he received all the lessons (in French which is his native language), and got baptized on Saturday, AKA General Conference Saturday.  Then he got confirmed on Sunday (Or as he said Received the Holy Spirit), came back to Korea on Monday, called us on Tuesday and we had lunch with him and his wife on Wednesday.  WHAT?!?!?!  Seriously.  I still can't believe it.  He has been listening to conference every morning with his wife, as of Wednesday, had read through 2 Nephi, read parts of the Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price, and is going to start  Jesus the Christ.  We talked to his wife about religion and she was raised Catholic and then after high school, never really attended church.  She has always heard that our church is a cult, so was a little worried when her husband came back from Tahiti saying he was baptized into this church, but wants to learn all about it. He has explained lots to her, but he learned it all in French, and they are talking about it in English, which they are both REALLY good at, but it is neither of their natural language. And I have a firm testimony that people need to hear the gospel in their native language.   She has read online a lot, which obviously not everything online is good, so had lots of questions, especially about what we think when people say we are a cult, and how we overcome that, so we were able to testify about that.  We taught her the first lesson, and she was really touched by Joseph Smith and his story.  We gave her a Korean Book of Mormon so that she could study along with her husband and she was so excited.  We told her she can pray to know for herself as well, and not just follow  her husband again, and taught her how to pray in the name of Christ.  She said that is the way she has always prayed anyway.  We also gave her the pamphlets, and he turned to the back and said "Look!  There's homework you can do too.  Read these scriptures and write the answers!"  Haha it was perfect. We usually have a hard enough time getting people to even read the pamphlets, let alone look at the questions in the back.  I am so excited for her to learn about the church and really know for herself.  So there's our big miracle of the week.  This morning, the mission started a new thing that we will be doing every week-a mission wide conference call to share all our miracles.  We were the first ones to share, and we were so excited about it.  It was so fun!!! 

Haha our other funny story of the week.  We were teaching the two little girls we are doing Family English with.  We were talking about baptism and showed them a picture of Christ getting baptized.  *** randomly asked us if we have a boyfriend.  No we both said.  Then she thinks for a minute and says, 남자 친구 사귈때, 예수 그리스도와 같은 사람 만날거에요? "When you get a boyriend, will he be a Christlike person?" Hahahahahahahahahaha we were laughing SO hard.  Good investigator.  Good investigator. 

I also LOVED LOVED LOVED conference.  Of course!!!  I especially LOVED the focus on LOVE!!!  I have studied a lot about it, and have really tried to work on having more Christlike love for others, and HOW I can have true charity for people.  So I was so excited to hear HOW exactly from the mouth of the prophets.  I made a list of questions and every single one was answered.  I also loved the focus on always being worthy and prepared to feel the spirit, and help others feel the same.  I haven't had a chance to look over many of my notes yet, but I will share some highlights with you in the future I'm sure!   I also liked Elder Ballard's suggestion to talk about Preach My Gospel in our letters.  I didn't prepared today, but get excited for my PMG insight of the week from now on!!!  We watched it with the branch at the church.  They all watched it in Korean, but Elder *** and I had headphones listening to the sound in English.  So I had once ear listening to English, and one to Korean. Later for more language study, I really want to listen to it all in Korean.  I feel like I will learn lots of different things!!! 

I think that is all my really exciting news of the week so we will just leave it at that!