Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Miracle Week!

HELLO!!!!!!!!! 

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! 


Monday, March 24, 2014

Baptism

HELLO!!

It has been a crazy week!!!  Fun, stressful, exciting, etc. and lots of prayer has gone into it.  To give you the first news...

OUR 81 YEAR OLD INVESTIGATOR GOT BAPTIZED YESTERDAY!!!!!!!!!  Hahaha I still can't believe that it actually happened.  But it did.  We have been teaching her since January or so, and she didn't really understand a lot of what we taught her but believed what she did understand.  In order for the branch to be able to help her more, and of course so she could feel the spirit and be happier in her life, the branch president really wanted her to get baptized.  We weren't really sure if she could or not because she can't understand everything, but after talking to President Gilbert about it, he said that if she believed what she did understand and would continue to attend church, she could get baptized.  So we invited her to baptism last week (I think I mentioned that it my email last week) and she got baptized yesterday at Stake Conference in Daegu.  So we spent a few days this week going to visit her (I will send a picture of her little house in the middle of nowhere) which was always fun.  She tells everyone that I eat very well (only because Sister *** has to talk and teach because Sister *** can't understand my Korean pronunciation very well so I eat faster than she does haha)  Friday, we went with the elders (our district leader, they were on exchanges) so that they could interview her for baptism.  We took some rice cakes and strawberries with us so that she didn't make us food again haha.  Then Sunday was the baptism!!  Satan was working really hard on us.  Like REALLY hard.   First of all, we got to the church and the elders said that Brother ***, who would be giving Sister *** a ride, called saying that she didn't want to get in the car (which we were worried about because she told us like 20 times that riding in the car is very hard for her) but we called her house and she didn't answer so we kept praying and took that as a good sign.  All during stake conference, we kept looking back to see if she was there because oh yeah- we found out that she was in the car along with Sister ***, the member who refered her to us, but the tire of Brother ***'s truck burst on the highway, so they had to figure out how to fix it.  Still not sure what really happened, but they made it before the intermediate stand up hymn at stake conference, because we saw them during the hymn and ran back and gave her a big hug.  I could feel the big smile on my face and knew it was an answer to prayers.  The after Stake Conference,  we started helping her get in her baptism clothes and all that good stuff, and she kept saying, "No, not today.  Next time.  Next time I'll be baptized."  So we had to explain over and over that she already made it to  Daegu in the uncomfortable car and she knows why she is getting baptized--because she loves Jesus Christ.  It was seriously like convincing a 5 year old who had already  made up their mind about something.  So we were pretty convinced the baptism was not going to happen.  One of the Elder's investigators was getting baptized too, so we told her that she could watch him get baptized and then  decide.  I honestly can't remember a crazier more stressful moment in my life.  We were trying to just love her and explain it to her calmly but loudly since she can't hear well (even  though Sister *** was very firm with her) but I couldn't understand everything that she said.  (Apparently she swore pretty loudly while the Branch President started the service......hahaha) It is a good thing that Sister *** is an angel and did a fabulous job.  So she saw the other person (the branch president's daughter's boyfriend-that's a good story for later) get baptized and decided that she was ok with it.  I didn't even see the baptism because I was outside the door to the font praying haha.  But, she wanted to be baptized and did it, and was SO happy afterwards.  She still has lots to learn, but we are SO happy for her!!!!!!

I guess that's the most exciting part of my week!  Stake Conference was great.   On Saturday it was all about missionary work, and Sunday was focused a lot on the Book of Mormon, which are our two focuses right now, so we were excited for the whole stake to hear it.  There was translation, but I listened to it all in Korean.  My notes are all in Korean actually because I couldn't think fast enough to listen in Korean, translate in my head and write in English, so I will have to sit down and translate them all later.  I was pretty excited about it though.

We met with a few other investigators and did a few other things of course, but that is basically my week.  It was so neat to see this woman, who has had so many trials and hard things in her life, soften her heart and enter the waters of baptism.  As we have met with her over the last few months, I have seen a physical change in her countenance.  She smiles (especially when the elders come with us) and shows so much love to us, even if it is in kind of a different way haha.  I love this gospel and the change it brings to people's lives.  That is the purpose of the gospel--the guidelines, the HOW to become like Christ so that we can progress daily  through our small acts.  I love being a missionary and getting to share this love and joy with others!!!  I am grateful for our family and that the gospel is such a big part of each of our lives!  


Em

Monday, March 17, 2014

Jundoing...47 Contacts in 1.5 hours

It has been a great week.  I think every week goes faster and faster.  This week definitely flew by.  It was SUPER fun though!!!  And stressful, but like I have said before, we all know I work better under a little stress.

Monday, was P-Day.  Had lunch with the elders and then wandered around Shinae (aka downtown part of the city) and shopped a little bit.  Sister *** loves shopping even more than I do so we had a little bit of fun haha.  I counted yesterday and I have acquired 13 striped shirts in Korea...............

Tuesday, the infamous Andong Farming season began!!!  A few of our members and less actives are farmers, so the missionaries get to help them  every so often.  So one of our members has a field where they grow corn.  But in the spring, before they plant the corn, there is black plastic covering on the ground that it grows up between.  So we got to spend 4.5 hours ripping the black plastic stuff from last year out of the ground.  It was tough work.  We were all talking and laughing the first hour or two, but were all silent the last little bit haha.  It was fun though.  Then we went and had dinner with the member.  I was super hungry so ate it all, even though it kind of had a funny taste.  Yeah.  Found out later that it was loach soup....  Sounds dericious!  Then we went with the member to visit our harmony investigator.  The branch president and members have really been pushing for her to get baptized so that the church can help her out some more because she doesn't have anybody to take care of her, but she can't understand everything we teach because she can't hear well and has dimentia.  But I talked to President about it and he said if she believes what she does understand and will continue coming to church, she can get baptized.  SO...she will be getting baptized (fingers crossed) this Sunday at Stake Conference!!!  We are very excited about it, but a little nervous as well just making sure everything goes through ok.  And the whole stake will be there.  One of the elder's investigators is getting baptized too so that will be great!

Wednesday, we had district meeting.  One of my favorite fun-parts of district meeting is the short Korean lesson.  This week, one of the other sisters, Sister *** taught it and she taught us some hilarious Korean phrases.  I have been practicing them all week  with Sister *** and so that I can use them at just the right time:)  Sister *** also gave the talk and I was so proud.  Haha it is like watching your child give a primary talk or something.  It was on how to be a more diligent missionary, and so we talked all about it the days leading up and I got to share with her everything I have learned about how obedience and diligence work hand in hand.  She did a great job, and testified of everything I had taught her.  It was fun.  Then we came back and worked on a new jundo board we are making to talk with people about their "questions of the soul".  We also had American dinner and made some of the Mac and Cheese you sent me and had some sprite haha.  Pic to come

Thursday, we went and visited our harmony again.  She called us the night before and told us not to come, but we have learned that is just her way of saying that she really wants us to.  We got to her house and she was totally waiting for us.  We taught her all about the plan of salvation, very simply, and I think some of it soaked in which is good.

Friday, we weekly planned and then had dinner with one of the sisters.  We talked to her more about baptism, and she said that she is worried because she really wants 믿음 (can't remember the English word........oh belief) and that she feelds like she doesn't really have any.  We talked about her desire to learn is where it has to start.  We will try to meet with her again this week.  Friday was also White Day.  So in Korea, on Valentines day, the girl gives chocolate to  the boy, and on white day, the boy gives candy to the girl.  Super complicated.  Haha so Sister *** and I treated ourselves:)

Saturday, we had english class which was fun as always.  Then we went to Youngju and had dinner with  one of our members.  We have not been able to see her for a couple weeks because we have both been really busy.  We talked about the Liahona and how in order for the liahona to work, Lehi and his family needed both faith and diligence.  Then we said how the gospel is the same.  We need faith, or the desire to learn, but also have to  act upon our desire and be diligent and following through.  Then we talked about the end of the verse which talks about small things leading to big things.  Somehow we got on  the subject of blessings and the little blessings in our lives leading to big blessings.  I asked her what little blessings she sees in her daily life and she said that none of her blessings are little, but they are all big!  Then we challenged her to pray with her family and will follow up on that this week!

Sunday, we had church which was good as always.  Nothing too exciting.  Then we went and jundoed with the Elders for English Class and Sister *** and I got (drumroll.........) 47 contacts in about an hour and a half!!!!  That is DEFINITELY a record of some sort.   The elders got some too, so between us we are praying that some of the people will come to English and then  we will be able to begin teaching them!!!

So that's my week!

Oh!  I have been continually studying last October's general conference and was reading Elder Christofferson's talk about the role of women and wanted to  share this quote with you that I read...
"Sisters, of all your associations, it is your relationship with God, your Heavenly Father, who is the source of your mortal power, that you must always put first in your life.  Remember that Jesus's power came through His single minded devotion to the will of the Father.  He never varied from that which please his Father.  Strive to be that kind of disciple of the Father  and the Son,, and your influence will never fade."
I loved it!!!  As I hae really tried to focus on what the Lord's will is for me, it has been amazing how everything I have studied has related back to it.  I also loved pondering about how Jesus's POWER came though his SINGLE-MINDED devotion to the Father's WILL!!  I know that as a missionary, I can receive even more POWER to be able to share the gospel of Christ as I try to become more like him, and this is just another way to help me do so!!  I feel so blessed that I am learning all of this.  Thank you for your great example of it too!!!  I love reading your letters and emails and hearing your sweet testimony and love for the Savior!!!


Em
 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A New Companion

Hello!!!!

Sounds like it has been a fun week and that everyone is doing great.   That always is good to hear!

This week was good!!!

Tuesday i was in Shinjeong (my training area) with Sister *** because we were both training.  Normally you spend time in both areas getting them ready but, Andong is too far away so we just stayed in Shinjeong.  We spent the morning getting the house and area books all ready, which was nice and fun for me to go through and pick out old investigators for her to contact again.  Then we went and visited a less active that I used to visit when I was there.  She still hasn't come to church, but I can see progress in her desire to learn!!  Then we went to English class, which was fun.  Some of the same people were there.  Remember me telling you about Eric, the man who loves the sister missionaries?  This is what he said to me the other night.  "Burgoyne.  You are a lot more beautiful than when you were here with [Sister] ***."  ...........................................................Thanks Eric.

Wednesday morning,  Sister *** and I started off the day by ordering McDonalds breakfast and getting it delivered to our house.  It has been a dream of mine for a while, but there is no McDonalds in Andong so can't do it here.  I have a video that you can watch in a few months.  It was pretty funny and delicious of course.  I got a sausage egg McMuffin.  Then, we went back to Busan and jundoed all together with the new trainees.  There were 3 Korean sisters, 1 American sister, 5 Korean elders and 1 American elder.  We went to a big shopping area and switched off every 20 minutes or so who we were with, for 4 rounds.  Then we went and had a delicious dinner at a restaurant nearby and then  KrispeeKream (probably spelled wrong but you know what I mean) donuts and we went and slept at the Sujeong sisters house.

Thursday morning we went back to the mission home and had Costco muffins for breakfast and then President announced who our trainees are.  Mine is 최유진s  and she is SO cute!!!  She is the youngest sister in our  mission and just turned 19 in December!  We have already had so much fun together.  She really wants to work hard and learn a lot, so that helps me a lot too!  She doesn't speak very much English and I think is a little afraid to try, so it is all Korean all the time! It is pushing me to learn more, but I have been surprised by how well we can communicate!!  I know that is all the spirit helping me speak Korean though!!!  We spent Thursday morning doing more training and then made it back to Andong at dinner time, visited a member, then the day was over!

Friday, we had district meeting which was good as always.  Nothing too special.  Then we taught the two sisters with a baptism date.  We had a little setback with school starting again, they can't meet every Friday night like we have for the last few transfers, but they still want to learn so our plan is to continue meeting with them on the weekends.  They have such a desire to learn and know that it is true, now it is just them seeing how important it is to make time for the gospel, even with their busy schedules.  I know that through our faith, everything will work out!

Saturday, we had English class and then a youth activity.  Then we went to the branch president's house for dinner so he could meet the new missionaries.  Yes, Elder *** also left so there is a new elder.  He is really nice and works really hard, so I know that it will be another good transfer!

Sunday was good.  Church was good as always.  We only had one investigator there this week, the grandma we are teaching.  She is funny.  Then we went and slept in Daegu last night because we had zone P-Day this morning and had breakfast and played a bunch of games which was really fun.  I had a bunch of pictures, but I left my camera on the bus.  Don't worry though.  They have it and we will go and get it after email.  I will see if Sister *** has any pictures I can send!

Sorry. I feel like this email is kind of scatterbrained!!!  I feel a little scatterbrained lately too haha.  Training is a little stressful, but really fun.  But don't worry I'm still happy happy happy!!!  I LOVE MISSIONARY WORK!!!

Em

Transfers

Well I am emailing late today because today was transfers!!!  Sister Sung is leaving Andong and is going to Daegu, which is a big city in the middle of the new mission, and I will be training a new missionary!!!!  I am sad that Sister Sung is leaving, because we had a great two transfers together.  We worked really hard and had so much fun in the process.  Of course, I am so excited to get to train a new missionary though!!!  I will find out on Thursday morning who I will be training.  There are 3 Koreans and 1 American coming so we will see!!!  I will update you on that one next week!!!

This week was not that exciting.  Haha Sister *** was sick the first few days (don't worry. I took more Vitamin C than I knew was possible (it helps that it is peach flavored) so my immune system is nice and strong.) and so we took the first couple days of the week to make a new member book, make some things for less actives, and over all make sure everything in our area was nice and up to date.  (Which is a real blessing now because it is all ready for me to take over and train.)


On Wednesday, we had a great district meeting, which was in Andong this week.  Afterwards, we ate Andong Chimdark (a famous dish in Andong that has chicken, potatoes, cabbage, clear noodles, and sauce.  It's pretty good!)  and then went and jundoed all together!  It was really fun because Sister *** and I got there a few minutes after everyone else, and as we walked into the place where they were jundoing, we saw a bunch of people walking around carrying around copies of the Book of Mormon!!  That's not something you see every day!!!  Between the 10 of us, in about 45 minutes, we gave away 30 copies of the Book of Mormon and got 25 contacts!!! I am excited to get to follow up more with them and pray that we see some miracles from it!

Thursday, we tried to go visit the nearly-deaf harmony again, but because of miscommunication between us and the old member that was going to pick us up, it ended up as a big adventure and the harmony was not very happy.  We prayed with her, and made an extra effort to invite the spirit as we talked with her.  She came to church on Sunday though and was happy again, so we are grateful that everything is back to normal.  Now the only trick is figuring out how to teach her so that she can understand.  She wants to get baptized, because she likes coming to church, but first needs to understand that God is our Heavenly Father and who Jesus Christ is.  It will be an adventure, and there will be lots of prayers in her behalf!  Then that night was transfer calls!!!!

Friday, we had to pack all of my comp's stuff and ship it to Daegu.  We jundoed a bit and then taught the two sisters who have a baptismal date.  It was an AWESOME lesson!!!  We talked about enduring to the end, and how we can do so through obedience, prayer, scripture study, etc.  We talked about the iron rod and how it is always there leading to the tree of life.  Things around it may change, but the path is always there.  We always know what we need to do to make our way back to Heavenly Father.  Sister *** and I both shared personal experiences about it, and they had some really good questions for us.  I think it was hard for them to say goodbye to my comp, but the work goes on!!
Saturday, we had English Class and then went to Youngju to visit *** and her family.  We had dinner with them, and then played a few games.  I taught her daughter how to make a cootie catcher which was pretty funny.  Our trick with them now is that they see the gospel is good, and will listen to our message, but can't really see how it applies in their life, because they are really happy.  It may take time, but as we move forward with faith and keep teaching what the Lord teaches us to, we will be able to really help them progress.

Sunday, we had church of course!  We had four investigators there--the harmony, *** and *** , and one of the less active young women's friends.  One of the members taught Young Womens and did an awesome job.  She explained the whole outline of the church--how the different classes and quorms work, why we need three hours of church on Sunday, etc-- and also shared how she met the missionaries originally through English class too, and how she later found out the church was true.  She got baptized almost 15 years ago now, and her daughter just submitted her papers to go on a mission!!!  Then we had to go to Daegu where we slept over so we could get to Busan this morning for transfer meeting!
The last picture of the "Dream Team" in Andong.

Transfer meeting was great this morning.  President and Sister Gilbert both talked about how we can really APPLY the Book of Mormon more in the lives of our investigators.  How there is always a doctrine and a principle, which we find in any story in the Book of Mormon, which are unchanging, and those lead to the application, which is the thing that changes.  Again this transfer, we are really focusing on the Book of Mormon really getting our investigators reading it and applying it to their lives!!!  I am really excited about it!!

I love you all so much and am so grateful for you and your great example to me!!!   I love you!!!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Andong is the Promised Land

Happy Sabbath Evening to you all!!!!

It has been a great week!!!!  After we compiled our Key Indicators (stats) last night, I realized that this week was I think the highest for my whole mission, lesson wise!!!  We had 3 member present lessons and 5 other lessons.  5 progressing investigators and 2 with a baptism date!!!  (more on that in a bit)  I know those probably seem low compared to some other areas in the world, but we thought that it was an absolute miracle!!!  Like I have said before, Andong really is the Promised Land!!!

Monday, we went to a Confucius village (pictures to come) for P-Day which was fun, neat, interesting, etc.  We also went to the Burger King that just opened here, but it was not very delicious.  I told Sister *** that I will save my burgers for when I go back to America.  Then we had English Class which was fun as always!

Tuesday, we went and visited one of our old harmonys (grandmothers).  We try to teach her about the gospel, but she usually just ends up telling us stories about her life, which are SUPER interesting!  (I can't understand everything she says, but Sister *** catches me up on the rest)  Then we went and taught *** and ***.  We gave them stickers to put in their Book of Mormon stories book every time they pray and they each prayed 11 times last week!   So cute.  We asked them again how it was, and they said  that they get a warm feeling each time they pray!  They wanted to come to church this week, but our member couldn't bring them so we will pray and have faith for next week!  They have been texting us (yes they both have smart phones....what is this world?)  "we miss you"  "we want to see you!"  "we love you!"  Haha so cute!!

Wednesday, we went and visited the partially deaf harmony that one of our members referred us to, and I have sent stories about.  This week, she had just gotten back from the 떡집 (rice cake shop) and had PLENTY that she was so excited to share with us.  She also had a WHOLE stock of bananas for us, but fortunately we were sneaky and had a black grocery bag in my bag that we would take a bite of something and then when she wasn't looking, throw it in the grocery bag.  Then we just got rid of it later.  Hahaha we thought we were pretty clever!  Then she decided to feed us ramen, but we couldn't get out of that one, so we ate it.  No wonder I am getting fat here!!!  All those crazy harmonys!  Anyway.  We tried to teach her about the plan of salvation and she kind of listened, well as much as she could.  The whole time she was worried that we were going to miss the bus back, which was an hour and a half later, so finally we just went and waited at the bus stop with her.  Always a great adventure!  That night, we went and got bread from a famous place here in Andong with one of the Young Women, Unsue, and ***. We had fun and taught them about prayer, which was good.  We are hoping that we can start the lessons with *** soon!  

Thursday, we had district meeting.  I taught about the new flip-chart type things we got this week.  It has pictures about each section of the lesson on on side, and then a part for us to write things on the other.  (Daejeon mission made them).  Funny story--I had practiced one part that I wanted to say about helping our investigators to visualize what we are teaching about more for a couple days before. The words and grammar forms were really tricky.  So I said it, and I was pretty excited about it.  But then Sister *** and Elder *** started laughing at me!  I just kept going, but then I asked Sister *** why later and she said because after I said it, I got a big smile on my face like I was really proud of myself, nodded and went on.  (Yeah that was totally subconscious because I did not think I did that!)  I told her about how you used to tell me that when I was little, after I did something good , I would make a face, and wait for everyone to recognize it haha.  I told her it was probably the same look.  Obviously my companion knows me very well!!!

Friday, we walked to the downtown part of Andong and back (it only took like 40 minutes-we found a more direct route)  and jundoed as we walked.  Then we had a lesson with our investigators *** and *** .  (The sisters that are 20 and 18.)  We finished the third lesson with them and talked about Baptism, the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End.  Then we challenged them to baptism on April 13 and they accepted!!!  (Andong does not have a baptismal font, and in the summer, they baptize people in the river but its too cold for that still, so April 13 is the day of general conference in Daegu).  We explained how they do not need to understand everything yet, but that they still have time to learn, as long as they will keep praying and reading the Book of Mormon, their testimony will continue to grow!   We are SUPER excited!!!

Saturday, we had English Class.  Then, that night, our investigator  invited us to her house for dinner to meet her family!!!!!!!!!  We rode the train to Young-ju where they live, and they picked us up at the train station.  She and her husband are both super nice, and they have two kids, a boy who is 11, and a girl, who is 8.  It was fun to get to know them!!  As we talked, we explained some of how our religion is different from other religions.  We decided that they are not actively searching for religion right now, but are open and want to learn about it.  It may take some time, but we DEFINITELY know that they have so much potential!!!  She texted us afterwards and told us how much her family loved having us over and that we will have to do it again soon!

Sunday, was church, which was good as always but nothing super special!  Then we went and had dinner at one of our members houses with *** and *** so they could get to know each other better, which was great!

So obviously, overall, it was a really great week, as every week is. 

I borrowed a few of the old conference session DVDs from the church and have been listening/watching them as I exercised in the morning and gotten ready for bed at night. It has been so much fun!!  I love hearing the deep testimonies each of our church leaders have of the Savior and their dedication to follow Him.  They are such a wonderful example to each of us of following the will of the Lord.  Each day I serve, I hope that I can do a little more and reach a little higher to do more for others and overall, just act and love more like the Savior!  It has been so neat to see the little miracles that have happened as I have focused on that, and know that they will keep coming!!

As for your questions, the branch is great!!!  Nothing too exciting to report, but just good overall!  Yes, the elders are having just as much success as us and are working very hard as well.  The members say Burgoyne more like Pore-go-ing, or just Bur, and it works!
Yes transfers are this week and we are hoping and praying that we can stay together another transfer!!!!!!!!!!!!!  


Well I love you all and hope that you all have a wonderful week!!!

Love you!

Em

Monday, January 27, 2014

This week is Solnar

Hello hello!!!!!  Wow!!!  Sounds like it was a great week for everyone.  It has been a good week here!!  It went by SUPER fast!!!! 

Monday, we were in Daegu like I told you for breakfast, then we went and enjoyed some McDonald's for lunch.  I think the highlight was the strawberry-Oreo McFlurry!  Then we came back just in time to do some grocery shopping and print pictures.  You know how I told you that you can paydar (get delivered) anything here??  Well, we found out we can paydar our groceries!!!!!!!!!!!!!  You just go to the store and buy them (since we don't have internet access... if we did, we wouldn't need to even go to the store!)  and then they deliver them to your house like 20 minutes later!  How convenient!!!  Then we had English class and somehow we got on the subject of Stupid Human trick-type things, so I tried to teach them how to do the thing that Josh does where you wrap your arms and then pull them over your head.  None of them could do it, but the attempts were pretty hilarious! 

Tuesday, we took some message cards to less actives.  It seems like we do that a lot, but we are trying to see the bigger picture, hope that through our love, they can feel the Savior's love, and then remember the faith they exercised when they were baptized and come back to church!!!  Then we went to Jinbo (a tiny town like 50 minutes away) where we taught the two little girls I told you about.  We are teaching them English for 30 minutes, and then the lessons for 30 minutes.  We invited their parents to join us for the spiritual part this week, and they said a pretty flat out no, which we were pretty bummed about, but the kids seem to really like it.  They got a little restless at the end after sitting for an hour, but we taught them how to pray and they listened really well.  *** prayed and the spirit was SO strong, even as my comp was whispering to her what to say.  It is easy to see the power that little children have in bringing the spirit!!!! 

Wednesday, we went to Daegu for zone meeting.  A senior couple in our zone gave a great lesson about how our thoughts impact our words, and how much impact our words have in our lives.  The power of words and what we say really has such power in our lives.  It made me really think about how important it is to always say kind, uplifting things!!  One of the zone leaders then taught about doing our best, and what is our best compared to the Lord's best, and how we should strive to make our best the Lord's best.  I loved thinking of it in this way, and it makes me want to set my standards even higher, and not use "oh, I'm doing my best" as an excuse to do less than the Lord expects of me!  Then we did exchanges and I stayed there.  We went to find a less active, but the address we had was wrong, so we talked to some other ladies there, but they didn't have much interest.  Then we went to a 부동산 aka budongsan aka real estate office to use one of their maps to figure out where to go next.  The guy there was super nice, and we took the opportunity to talk to him a bit about religion.  We introduced ourselves as missionaries and asked him about his background.  He said that he went to a Presbyterian high school, but didn't have much to do with religion after that.  He has been really interested in science lately, and wants to learn more about that.  So we took this opportunity to teach him the entire first lesson!!!!  I told him how I studied chemistry in college, and as I learned more about it, it made me realize how much control that Heavenly Father must really have over our world because he can control the elements perfectly.  He thought that was interesting. Then we gave him a Book of Mormon and told him that he had to read to find out.  It is just like studying anything else.  You have to put forth the effort in order to really learn.  He said that he would read, and then we got his contact info and was going to refer him to the Suseong elders. 

Thursday, we met back up with our companions.  The others had to run to an appointment, so my comp and I grabbed some lunch quick.  The lady thought it was so funny that I was ordering Korean food!  I told her that I eat it very well. haha.  Then we had an area meeting with the elders, and had to weekly plan.  So exciting!  Haha

Friday, we went to an ice festival with the youth!!! The festival ended last week, but the branch president said that everything was still going on. So we went, but sadly, it was kind of lame.  Skates were like $10 to rent, so we just walked across the frozen river, and then wandered up on the mountain where there was a Confucius village.  Pretty cool.  Pics to follow.  Then we came back and got 떡볶이, rice cakes with spicy red sauce, and 순대, which looks like sausages but is actually just intestines.  It is one of the Korean foods I still avoid.  My companion likes it, but she said that her favorite part is the lung and liver on the sides.  GROSSSSSSSSSSS!  Then that night, the adults in our ward were going to a 노래방 aka Karaoke room. (They are literally EVERYWHERE here.  The Koreans love them!!!)  But we cannot go, so we just joined them for dinner before.  We ate more Bulgogi than I thought I would ever see in my life.  The relief society sisters just kept ordering more and more and more for us!  We, well especially the elders, enjoyed it of course,  but were SO full afterwards.  I think between the four of us, we ate 9 peoples portions worth.  Haha.  I do love going to things like that and seeing how much our branch loves each other. 

Saturday, one of the members called us and invited us to come visit her, but she wanted us to go right then.  Luckily our plans were flexible!  She works with her husband making Korean traditional paper.  She and her son come to church, but her husband is not a member.  She has had a really hard life, but it is so neat for me to see how much faith she has, and how she loves everyone around her so much.  Then we came back and taught the sisters we are teaching who are 19 and 17.  They tried to come up with a Korean name for me, but are still thinking about it.  They, too, have such a desire to learn.  We read the story of King Lamoni's father in Alma 22 and how he really wanted to know if there was a God. They still don't understand everything yet, but I think they can tell it is good.  They promised they would read and pray, even if they said they weren't sure why they had to. 

Sunday, was church, which is good as always!!  Then we visited a couple less actives and former investigators, and jundoed that night with the elders! 

So as you can see, it has been a fun, exciting, quick week!!!  This week is Solnar, aka Chinese New Year on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, so this week will go by quick too!  One of our investigators invited us over for one day, but not sure what we will do the others yet!  One of them we get to spent 6 hours cleaning our house!!!!!  I am strangely SUPER excited haha.  Not that it is too dirty, but, you know...  Haha

As you can tell, we are really trying to focus on the Book of Mormon!!  PMG chapter 5 is all about the Book of Mormon, and we are especially focusing on the "Questions of the Soul" it says the Book of Mormon can answer.  Confession.  I have kind of avoided that page my whole mission because I think it sounds so cheesy, and have never really wanted to spend much time on them.  BUT now that we are being asked to, I am doing it and learning a lot!  Last week, I printed out a talk that President Benson gave in October 1988 conference about the Book of Mormon. It is short and to the point. In it he said, "The time is long overdue for a massive flooding of the earth with the Book of Mormon for many reasons which the Lord has given.  In this age of electronic media and the mass distribution of the printed word, God will hold us accountable if we do not now move the Book of Mormon in a monumental way.  We have the Book of Mormon, we have the members, we have the missionaries, we have the resources, and the world has the need.  The time is now!"  Well if the time was NOW in 1988, that means it is even more time now in 2014!!!!  He goes on to say, "I challenge all of us to prayerfully consider steps that we can personally take to bring this new witness for Christ more fully into our own lives and into a world that so desperately needs it."  I am really trying hard to do this now.  I have a testimony of the Book of Mormon, but like anything else, I want it to grow. I am spending more time studying the Book of Mormon, and I love hearing about you doing the same.  I challenge you, and everyone you forward this too, to take on President Benson's challenge!!  ALL of us can grow because of the Book of Mormon and the testimony of Christ it so powerfully teaches.