Monday, December 30, 2013

Merry Christmas

Man!!!  It sounds like everyone had an AWESOME Christmas!!  Not surprised at all though.  Christmas is always great, eh??  As you know (since we talked of course) Christmas was great here as well!  Since we didn't talk lots of details, here's a little bit more of how my week went:)

Tuesday, we had our branch Christmas party.  We planned it all and it actually turned out really awesome!  We had dinner consisting of kimbop, pizza, kimchi, rice cakes, bread (we made banana bread and brownies) and a few other random things.  (It was a pot luck haha)  We then had a program.  The relief society president read some poetry she had written, our potential investigator/semi-active non-member read a poem and then sang "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" with actions and all.  The four of us missionaries sang the song we did with our whole mission (did you see it on YouTube?  I'll forward you the link) and then we did a skit with the youth and sang a medly of "Jesus Once of Humble Birth/Silent Night" (I sang the piano.)  The members loved it.  We had a good amount of investigators and less actives there too which was awesome of course!  When we were together that night, it finally started feeling like Christmas here!!  Then we went home and got our stockings ready and put all the presents under the tree, read Luke 2 and went to sleep (while dreams of sugarplums danced in our heads).

Wednesday morning, we woke up and opened presents (which was AWESOME!  LOVE YOU!!!  THANK YOU!!) and then made breakfast (blueberry muffins from a mix you sent, bacon from our package from the branch, milk chocolate milk) and got ready to go to the church to Skype! Then I Skyped y'all (!!!!) and then we went to lunch at an Italian place with one of the members and his friend, who is the elder's investigators, whose computer we used to skype.  Then we went to the Stake Christmas music meeting.  After that, we did exchanges.  We had a few minutes for dinner though and were with the elders and a few of the young men.  One of them  had NEVER been to McDonalds so we defs took a trip there so he could get his first BigMac on Christmas hahaha.  He thought it was pretty good, of course!

Thursday, we had exchanges.  We took a card to a less active, jundoed a bit, and then made the hour and a half trip back to switch back.  Then came back home and the day was over!

Friday, we cleaned up the church and planned for a bit.  Friday night, we taught our two investigators who are sisters.  A few weeks ago, they didn't know ANYTHING about Jesus Christ.  So we did English for a bit, and then we gave them copies of the Book of Mormon that we had written them a letter and our testimonies in.  They were really excited about it, and started flipping through immediately.  We explained a bit more about it, and then asked them to read Moroni 10 for next time.  We smoothly (blessing) transitioned into how it talks about Christ and how all of this is part of Heavenly Father's plan for us, so that we can teach Plan of Salvation next week!!  The older one prayed at the end, and the spirit was SO strong.  It was AWESOME!

Saturday, we jundoed, got a plan together to visit less actives, made some new years cards to mail (since lots live too far away to realisticly visit) and contacted old contacts and investigators.  Oh! When we jundoed, we weren't having much luck, so after we had been out for a while, it was time for dinner.  So, we followed my stomach (to Korean food of course. My companion laughs at me because I like it more than she does) and met a Chinese lady (either there's a ton here, or we just attract them all) who started talking to us about English!!  We are hoping to meet with her this week!

Sunday, we had church.  During Sunday School, all of the members bore their testimonies and thanked someone else in the branch for something over the past year.  It was really great!  I really love this branch.  They are wonderful!!   We also taught one of our investigators

So overall, it has obviously been an awesome week!!  It went by super quick, probably because of the excitement of Christmas!!

Haha funny story.  We were deciding what to make for lunch the other day and I said "Ah I just want a turkey sandwich."  But you can't get turkey here.  So Sister Sung's response was "Who needs turkey when you've got dog?!"  Hahahaha I am teaching her sarcasm very well!!  (Koreans don't usually know how to use it)

This week, I have thought a lot about being more Christlike.  I feel like this transfer, I have been kind of selfish and studied for myself a lot.  I have learned a lot, but really want to re-focus on other people.  I had the impression come to me that we need to make more of our lives a part of the lives of our investigators, members, and less actives.  When Jesus Christ was on the earth, his learning, ministry, and service was not seperate from the people but instead it was a part of them.  He was on the streets, where people lived their daily lives, teaching and serving them.  He was feeding the five thousand, raising people form the dead, healing the blind and curing the lepers.  All things that immensely effected people in their daily lives.  I am trying to recommit to follow this pattern.  I want to visit more of our people.  Call them and see how their day went, or text them a scripture we liked.  This is the way I know that people will come closer to Christ and we will see miracles!


Ah!  I love being a missionary! So many great things are happening here and we are seeing so many blessings!

LOVE YOU ALL!!

Em
.  She is having a really hard time understanding the Book of Mormon, so we read it with her and tried to explain it.  We told her we would text/call her throughout the week to try to explain more, and emphasized how when we pray when we read, we receive the Lord's help to understand.  Then after church, we jundoed for a bit, using a survey for English class and got like 9 contacts, and then walked home from shinae (downtown) which took like an hour and a half.  I was realy grumpy until we got home and I got some food in my stomach haha.  Pretty funny.

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Good Week

Hello!!!!

I am glad, as always to hear that you are all doing well!!  


So funny story for this week...I thought that Thanksgiving was on Thursday because it's usually about that time right?  (The Elders and I couldn't remember if it was the 3rd or the 4th Thursday but decided on the 3rd) Haha so in the morning before study I started making some delicious apple crisp...then after I had peeled all the apples and started mixing the crust, yeah...looked at my calendar and realized that it was this week.  Haha I had a good laugh, and my companion doesn't understand why I love holidays so much, so I think she laughed at me more than anything hahaha.  So we enjoyed the apple crisp and I'll probs make some more on Thursday and maybe even take it to District Meeting to share with the Elders.  P.S.  Cooking sucks here.  We have literally 0 counter space so imagine me sitting on the floor in my harmony pants, a cat shirt jamming to EFY music and mixing up some pie crust in two separate bowls since there's not one at our house that's big enough.  #koreaproblems.

Here's my other #sistermissionary problem for the week.  I have vetoed shaving my legs for the last week and a half, since I wear tights every day anyways and sleep in pants.  Yeah but realized yesterday I could feel the hair through my tights.  Hope you got a good laugh out of that one, and weren't just disgusted haha.

Quick update of the last week...
-Monday we had family night and did a scavenger hunt with the kids of papers hid all over the church.  One of the Korean elders was super clever and put number values on them and then like plus or minus signs so whoever's added up to the most points at the end won.  It was fun!
-Tuesday, to celebrate HALF WAY through our missions we treated ourselves to Karbi aka Korean BBQ with Dad's card (THANK YOU!:)) It was super delicious, of course, and we had lots of fun.  Then we met with the girl who gets baptized THIS SUNDAY and taught her a few more of the commandments.  Then that night, we met with the girl (she's like 30) who we are doing Family English aka 30/30 with (30 min english, 30 min gospel).  She opened up a little more about religion this week, which we were so stoked about.  We'll meet with her again this Tuesday and are planning to teach her about the atonement and how through Christ we can forgive and be forgiven.
-Wednesday, we had interviews with President.  While he went through and interviewd everyone in our district, Sister Gilbert taught.  We talked about lots of things but what stuck out to me most was about spiritual gifts.  We were all given spiritual gifts before we came here.  They were first developed in heaven, and now we have to continue to develop them and grow while we are here on earth, so we can be the person we were designed to be when we return to heaven.  We can develop these spiritual gifts into power to do what we are asked by our Heavenly Father through the spirit.  Pretty awesome.  We also talked about how we need to teach how the spirit teaches us.  Chokum sheek, chokum sheek (little by little) and exactly how we need to hear it personally.  Pretty awesome!
-Thursday, we worked on making new flyers for our English class, visited a few less actives houses, and then taught English.  Pretty routine.
-Friday, we visited a Guejeong member for lunch and ate SOOO MUCH FOOD!!! Seriously I had a hard time moving after. Curry and rice, and chop-chay (the clear noodles), and dokboki, (2 bowls of each of those) and fruit.  Then we were laughing really hard with the Elders afterwards and my stomach hurt so bad.  It was pretty funny. I guess there are worse problems, eh?
-Saturday, we taught Ye-jin again and finished up all the lessons!!  I taught "obey and honor the law" and committed her to be a hulionghan (basically transfers to awesome or fantastic, can't really do direct translation though) citizen.  Have to make it fun right?  Then we made banana bread to eat after church on Sunday because 

-Sunday, we got a NEW BRANCH PRESIDENT!  Yes, it is exciting. We now have a little more direction, instead of 4 20something year olds running the branch haha.  He and his wife just got back from serving a mission in Seoul and I think they will be awesome.  We are going to have dinner/meet with them again on Friday to get more of a plan so it will be GREAT!

For my sermon of the week, I was reading in Helaman 10 the other day and LOVED verse 4-5.  "Blessed art thou, Nephi, for those things which thou hast done, for I have beheld how thou hast with UNWEARYINGNESS declared the word which I have given unto thee, unto this people.  And thou hast not feared them, and has not sought thine own life, but hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments...Behold, I will bless the forever, and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in words."  Nephi is seriously the perfect example.  He, with unwearyingness, preached the gospel.  I imagine that he did this by words, as well as by example.  He was completely selfless and turned himself over to the Lord, and was receptive to all the guidance and commandments he was given.  As he did this, and consecreated himself to the Lord, the Lord promised to bless him FOREVER and promised to make him mighty in all things.  That is pretty amazing!!  I love looking for all of these examples in the scriptures, and our lives today, of what we can do better to become more like the Savior and give ourselves to him.  I love this time I have to focus on what I can do to grow and give myself more and more to the Lord, even though I have a long way to go.  I know this is setting a great foundation for what I will be able to do throughout my life.

Our plans for this week are mostly preparing for the baptism.  Most of the week is already planned out, which is such a blessing of course!  Lessons, as said above, are going well.  We have had a few setbacks with some other people we wanted to teach, and jundo has not been very successful lately, but we will keep working hard and being obedient, and as we do so, we will see miracles.  The mission has 22 baptism dates this week and next week , which is more than any other two weeks together since President and Sister Gilbert have been here!  Lots of great things are happening here!

I really want to stay here and not get transfered, which is kind of what we're thinking, but who knows!  I had a dream the other night that I got called to whitewash an area that was super sheegore (like forest) where there was no branch and we had to start it.  I woke up and was glad it was just a dream... hahaha

I play the piano every week in Sacrament, and every week at district meeting, and at zone meetings, so I have had lots of opportunities. I brought some and have copied some music from other missionaries here, and haven't had much chance to play actual like performance pieces--mostly just hymns.

I guess that's about it for now!!!!!  I'm glad you're all doing so well and I love you all so much!!!

Em

Monday, November 18, 2013

Time is Zipping By

Happy November to you!  I seriously can't believe how fast the month has already gone either. Crazy!!  Time seriously is zipping by!  Christmas is not NEARLY as big as it is in the US.  I guess lots of people celebrate it as a couples holiday...but a lot of the stores do have decorations that are kind of fun.  Yes there are transfers on the 12/2 so I don't know if I will stay here or not!  It's totally up in the air for now!  For my week...
Monday we had FHE.  We played jeopardy--the elders wrote all the questions.  I understood the ones about the gospel but was pretty lost the rest of the time.  It was funny.  It was also pepero day (those sticks dipped in chocolate) because it was 11.11 and the sticks look like the date (clever marketing scheme eh?) and so a bunch of the YM brought us pepero which was fun and we were happy about it of course!
Tuesday we once again tried to find less actives houses, started to plan our Christmas party and then taught our new investigator who we are doing 30/30 program with (aka 30 min English 30 min gospel.)  I
Wednesday, we went to the hospital with my best friend Harmony for her every-other week check-up!  She literally talked from 8:00 when we got there until 12:30 after we had gotten back and eaten lunch with her.  I zoned out for most of it.  She is funny.  It's all about all the service she has given, and stories about former mission presidents, and then every so often about how she is old and her legs are sore.  Then as we're about to leave she whips off her shirt (no she is not wearing anything underneath) so that we can put some cream on her sore shoulder.  I was dying. Oh Korea.   We also had English class that night, which is always one of the highlights of the week. I love teaching and asking stories, and thinking of funny stories to tell.
Thursday, we had district meeting.  We talked about how we can help get our investigators excited about reading the Book of Mormon.  My comp and I talked about finding scriptures that are specific to them and they can personally apply. We are excited to try this out as we teach this week!  Then we weekly planned, and taught English that night.  Friday, we went to our service project, did some oragami with old people, and then did exchanges. We jundoed and got a bunch of contacts--they have a really good area with lots of people to jundo in. 

don't think she has a ton of gospel interest right now, and her mind is pretty closed but we'll see what happens over the next few weeks. She is super nice and fun to talk to, and I could totally see her as like a YW leader or something one day! Guess we have to see people how the Lord sees them and what they can become, right?!
When we were on exchanges, my comp taught one of our new investigators and I guess that went really well.  They also taught the girl who is getting baptized on 12.1 so we're working on planning that baptism too!  (Of course we have to do exchanges on the exciting day right?!)
Saturday night was the adult session of stake conference.  It was all about..you guessed it!  Missionary Work!  It was actually really cool how they did it.  They had a girl who just got back from Seoul speak, then a man who just got back from serving with his wife, and then a recent convert, one of the APs, a current senior missionary serving here, the stake mission leader and then the stake president.  So basically got a bunch of missionary roles covered!  They said there were 35 converts in Busan stake this year, 49 missionaries currently serving in the stake, and 140 in the mission, which is up from 80 at this time last year!  They showed some of the video clips that are on LDS.org so it was neat to see those too!
Sunday was the general session and it was a broadcast from SLC just for Korea!  Bishop Davies, Sister Burton (whose husband was the mission president in Seoul West mission a few years back), Elder Cook and Elder Hales spoke.  A lot of the focus was on first, building faith, and second, the family.  So those are obviously the things that they are concerned about here in Korea, which my comp and I have now talked about being grateful for some more direction now we can focus on!  One of them (sorry don't remember who) said that we need to take ACTION to be an example.  I love this!  There is not time for us to just sit still and wait for the things going on around us.  We need to have courage to stand up and take action for what we know is right and what we know is our responsibility as members of Christ's church.  I loved how our stake mission leader talked about how we live like this, sharing the gospel should be a natural thing in our lives.  Just the way we live should invite others to come Christ!

Oh other random story for you.  I guess they sterilize the air here...?  There are trucks that go around spraying stuff in the air and I guess its supposed to clean it or something.  And the elders were saying in their building they got a knock on the door to leave because they were sterilizing the air in the building.  What the heck?!  Yeah there's quite a bit of pollution but I think its hilarious.  Only in Korea!

Well I am glad to hear you are all doing well.  I love you all SO MUCH!!!!!!!!

Em

Monday, November 4, 2013

It was a good week!  I feel like we don't stop moving, but then I look back at the week and think "what did we even do?"  Here's a brief overview for you (I hope you like that I do this.  I figure its the best way to get info over)

Monday we had to go to Changwon, a city about an hour bus ride away because my comps back has been really sore and we had to go to a dr there who is a member.  So I got to see a new city which was fun.  On the bus ride back we laughed and laughed and laughed.  

Tuesday, was one of the busiest days which is a blessing of course!  We had lunch with a less active.  She is like 17, but her parents are divorced and live in Seoul so she and her brother live with their grandma but they have no money so she had to drop out of high school to work.  Its really sad, but she is cute and we had fun with her.  I don't think she totally understands the gospel, but we are going to keep trying to meet with her every few weeks and buy her lunch and hopefully get a good pokum (gospel) message across!  Then we visited one of our non-progressing investigators who was basically just best friends with my old comp (they're close to the same age.)  It was kind of weird, and she wasn't too excited to see us.  I think she just likes the social aspect of meeting with the missionaries.  So I don't know what we'll do about that.  Then we taught another lesson that night to a NEW INVESTIGATOR in Goejeong.  We met her on the bus and introduced our English program to her.  If they can't come to regular English class, we can teach them for 6 weeks 30 min gospel and 30 min English.  She lived in Sydney for a few years studying, and then taught English here so her English is really good.  She asked about the Book of Mormon, so I got to introduce that which I love (it was like half in English and half in Korean.  She wanted to hear it in English, but didn't know all the gospel words in English so that's where the Korean came in).  I guess when she lived in Sydney, she went to church EVERY MORNING because she loved the peace she felt when that preacher spoke.  She hasn't been attending here very frequently, however, so hopefully we can get her to come to church and feel the real peace and happiness that comes from the TRUE gospel!!  We meet with her again Tuesday
Wednesday, We had zone meeting.  They challenged us to share the miracles we see as we work with the members to help get them excited about the work we are doing, and further help them get excited to do missionary work themselves!  I thought it was brilliant.  Then that night, we taught our investigator that is set to get baptized on Dec 1!  We talked about the importance of reading the book of mormon, and how when we do so we are following the words of the prophet.  She is only like 15 but, is seriously so mature!  I love her!
Thursday, we had our service project and then taught English class in Goejeong.  And it was Halloween, so yes we wore Orange and Black (my comp does not like how they look together but I made her do it anyway haha) and ordered chicken that night haha #fatmissionaryprobs
Friday, we set up for our halloween party/fall festival at the church.  Then we did weekly planning.  If you don't know, this is like a 3 hour process that goes by SO FAST!  We are really trying to make planning a revelatory experience, and to really PLAN not just schedule our day.  We are excited about this week and have some good finding ideas!
Saturday, we tried to find less actives houses.  This is seriously a process here.  They changed the address system a few years ago, so there are two different systems and the old one makes absolutely no sense, but we can usually find them on the map.  The problem is none of the old addresses are on the houses so we have to take pictures of the map and pray that we go the right place.  We found houses, but most of the addresses are really old and people don't live there any more.  We'll keep working on it...  Then we had our halloween party!!  We got all the missionaries in our district to help and had games like bean bag toss, the donuts from a string (except donuts are super expensive so we just used cookies with a whole in the middle haha), pumpkin craft, fishing, bowling, bobbing for apples, and then just games like uno.  It turned out really fun!!  Then after, we had one of the elders play the violin and another play the guitar.  Then we did a skit of the mormon message "the coat" for our spiritual message and the Elders sang "Love is Spoken Here" while I played the piano.  It turned out really well and I think everyone had fun!  I'll send a pic of the group. 
Sunday, We had meetings of course.  I bore my testimony in sacrament meeting about sharing Christ's light.  We went to branch council in Goejeong which was really neat.  The branch is small, but it was so neat to see them all working together and really setting goals and plans to help the branch grow.  Then we had linner (3pm) with a member which was nice!  Like I said earlier, ate SO MUCH!  (Ok maybe it wasn't that much but my stomach was just nice and small from fasting) and then MCM. 
So overall, a great week!

So this morning, I started by studying the Book of Mormon and then somehow found my way to Romans 12.  I loved verse 21 "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."  I thought about how we can't let the evil things of the world affect us or weaken us.  Instead, we must live so that we are able to beat Satan, however clever he is.  As we get ride of unchristlike attributes, like pride, disobedience, pessimism, "slothfullness", etc, we will be able first to overcome that darn natural man inside of us.  Once we learn how to fight the evil, aka things that pull us away from Christ, we will have a better idea of what we need to do to envelop the evil with good.  Can't you just imagine when Christ comes and there is a big cloud that wraps all the bad, evil things of the world inside of it and sucks them in to a big black whole??  Christ has the power to do this, because Satan cannot have power over him.  As we become more like Christ, we will be able to start overcoming the evil things in the world by replacing them with good things.  Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said "The future of this world has long been declared; the final outcome between good and evil is already known.  There is absolutely no question as to who wins because the victory has already been posted on the scoreboard.  The only really strange thing in all of this is that we are still down here on the field trying to decide which team's jersey we want to wear!"  We just need to focus on how we can individually give ourselves more to the Savior and what we can do-however small it is each day- to become more like him and replace those evil habits, thoughts, actions, doubts, or whatever it is holding us back, with the things of God.  We are only able to do this as we trust in the Lord and rely on His atonement to bring us through whatever the current battle is.  It's like Peter walking on the water.  We we feel like we're sinking, we just need to cry out "Lord, save me" and IMMEDIATELY the lord will reach out to us, as say to us, I imagine with a smile on his face, "O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" and the winds will cease and we will be carried through by the light and love of our Savior Jesus Christ.  (Cue Hymn "The Lord is My Light")  Ah this is why I love the gospel.  It is so happy and makes so much sense!!! 


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

HELLOOOOO!!!!

HELLLOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

I am glad to hear that you had a great week. 

Quick update on my week:
Monday, we went bowling for FHE with a bunch of the young men in the ward.  It was pretty fun.  Only in Korea is the bowling alley on the fourth story of a big building...

Tuesday, we taught one of our investigators and committed her to a baptism date for December 1 which we are so excited about of course!  We still have lots to teach her, but we will be working towards that date:):)

Wednesday, we went to service, worked on some projects at the church, and taught English.

Thursday, we had MISSION TOUR!  Elder Scott D. Whiting came and spoke to us.  I only got to talk to him briefly.  He talked a lot about how as missionaries, we all have authority.  We were all set apart and given the same authority.  But, in order to be successful missionaries, we need POWER!  We need power as we teach, testify, serve, and share the light of Christ.  What this power is is the Holy Ghost!!!  When we teach, testify, serve, and share Christ's light, we HAVE to do it with the spirit!  The way that we are able to have the spirit more fully to develop this power is, you guessed it, be more obedient!!!  And when we are being disobedient, we are just being prideful, so we have to get all of that ugly pride out of the way, humble ourselves and be submissive to the will of the Lord!  He also said we need to testify with Boldness.  Sweet Boldness!  I loved thinking about Sweet Boldness.  In order to be bold, we don't need to go up to someone and sing some "Glory Glory Haleluiahs" and command them to repent (even though that may work for some people...not really my style).  What I take this as meaning is being able to share the love of Christ and be bold through our actions and make it so that everybody around us can feel the Savior's love.  It's pretty amazing.

Thursday night, we went to an orchestra concert.  The girl is in her 3rd year of Jr. High.  The Jr. High orchestra concert here was pretty legit.   They did a couple songs from the Sound of Music which I quite enjoyed...:)

Saturday, we worked on more of our projects at the church (making new boards with church info and stuff like that) and then because my comp was getting transfered, I treated us to dinner using Dad's card (thank you:)).  We went and got Vietnamese Pho which was pretty delicious.  Had to try something new!

Sunday, I spoke in Church about the Holy Ghost.  I had a scripture and a quote in there, and think it went pretty well!  It was only like 10 min, but still good:)

Then, this morning, we had transfer meeting!  I have a new companion.  I love her already!!  She speaks pretty good English, but I told her that she has to speak Korean to me so I can keep learning, and to fix my grammar too.   She is so positive and funny too.  It is going to be a fun transfer:)

So this week, I was reading in Mosiah 18:9 about standing as a witness of God at all times and in all things and in all places.  Yes we all know the scripture well, especially thanks to the Young Women's theme.  But I started thinking about this, and how we also need to stand in Holy Places.  Whoa--Connection!  As we stand as a witness of God, we are able to make where we stand that holy place, that has been talked about so much lately.  When we, as Mosiah 18 says, bear one another's burdens, are WILLING to mourn with those who mourn, comfort those who stand in need of comfort, etc, we will have the strength to do what the Savior would do and use that power of the spirit to make wherever we are a holy place.  Right now, I have Christ's name constantly pinned on my shirt, but as Elder Andersen said last conference, we can all paint that missionary name badge with Christ's name on our hearts:)

Oh cool fun fact.  President told us this morning that recently the church gave North Korea 310,000 apple trees that the planted there!!  Whoa!  Maybe we will be in there sooner than we think!

Well I guess that's about all for now!  I love you all so so so so much!!  The gospel is true and I'm so glad to get to share it!

Em

Monday, October 14, 2013

TYPHOON!

Hello!!  Glad to hear from you!  I love the weekly updates and hearing what is going on at home. 

I am sitting here in the Branch President's office at the church drinking a nice kind of cold coke-zero.  The only thing that would make it better if it was 1) real diet coke and 2) from the fountain but you do what you can right?!  Haha

The word for Tuesday was νƒœν’ aka tay-phoong.  Can you guess what that is?  TYPHOON!!!!!!!!  Remember when you asked me about it last week and I said that we hadn't really seen anything yet?  Well I spoke about 12 hours too soon.  It started raining Monday night and I don't think it stopped until Wednesday morning.  And when I say rain I mean RAIN!  I don't think I had experienced anything like it!  We jundo-ed in the subway for a lot of the day where it was dry, but had to go out for dinner and then to meet with one of our investigators, and I think I used my umbrella to block the wind more than the rain because I was soaked anyways.  Then our investigator canceled because it was too wet and she didn't want us to have to go all the way to her house, so we went home and called less actives instead.  My shoes didn't dry until Friday!!  Good thing I have a few pairs...  It was pretty fun though looking back on it! 

Wednesday, we had zone meeting.  The zone leaders taught about how we need to have faith in Jesus Christ, not just faith.  One of them said how when we went to the MTC, his dad said to him was "Don't look to the sides.  Look up!"  I have thought about this a lot this week.  It reminds me of the talk you sent me by Elder Carl Cook about how it is better to look up!  I have thought about how we need to look to the Lord for help first and trust in his guidance.  Also, how we can't compare ourselves to those around us, but to always just keep climbing at the pace Heavenly Father has set for us.  Also how we obviously we live in the world, but we can live on that higher plane and not be of the world.  I made a great analogy in my journal about it and climbing the ladder in the SL temple to the Angel Moroni, but that is really long to type so maybe I will just copy it and mail it to you:)

Thursday, we met one of our investigators for lunch at Pizza Hut.  (Pizza Hut is actually a nice restaurant here, and pretty different from the US.  Still tasty though!)  She has been an investigator for a few years, and has progressed on and off, but she is super sweet.  I have met her a few times now.  She is going to graduate school for English interpretation, and so speaks English pretty well, and uses really funny colloquial phrases like "getting all dolled up" or "PDA".  It was pretty funny.  She has a big test on the 26th, so we can't meet again until after that, but I hope we can get her progressing then! 

Friday, we ate lunch with another investigator (who is sadly not progressing either but really likes us) which was fun, and then jundoed a bit and weekly planned.  Kind of an uneventful day!  (Except I did get letters from all of you which was very fun)

Saturday and Sunday, we watched conference!!!  I had downloaded it earlier in the week so had already listened to it, but it was fun to watch/listen again.  I listened through headphones and watched (except the timing was off by like 3 seconds in my ears from their mouths moving) while the Koreans listened to the translated version.  I loved it!!!  I especially loved President Eyring's talk!!  I loved how he combined talking about families, and obedience, and forgiveness, and happiness all in one talk.  It seriously answered a few of the questions I went into conference with which was awesome! I especially loved a few things he said.  One, about how the Lord will give us assurance of forgiveness in His time and in His way.  It makes repentance and the opportunity to grow such a personal experience.  It really makes me think about how much my Savior loves me individually, as well you, as the people I teaching here.  I also like how we said the Lord know what difficulties we will go through, and that is why he sent His son.  This makes me want to deepen my relationship with the Savior even more!  As I constantly reach out to him, I will be able to become what he needs me to be.  I also loved Elder Christofferson's talk on the value of women!  I am so excited to go back and watch/listen/read them all again.  I love that we have conference every 6 months and can learn so much new stuff!!!   I am also glad we have 6 months between to study and apply all that was taught in the previous conference. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Stake Music Festival "Korean Fan Dance"

It has been a fun week! We are always busy, but then I think about it and I say, "what in the world have we even done this week?!"  Here's a brief summary for you all. 

Monday was P-Day of course.  We went and got lunch, I wrote letters while my companion slept, then we had family night at the church and did a puzzle of the Salt Lake temple someone sent one of the other missionaries.  Also made Ramen in the ginormous rice cooker for all the kids.  Like 10 packs.  Pretty funny. 

Tuesday, we taught our investigator that is like 16.  I helped her with her English homework again. Remember how I told you that the English books are messed up here?  Here is a sentence that was in one for the word "actually" that I thought was hilarious.  "Love is actually all around us.  It means you can find a soul mate near you."  What the heck right?!

Wednesday, we went to our weekly service project at what is basically day care for old people with Alzheimers.  The old ladies just like to tell me over and over how beautiful I am (which I don't really mind of course, but I think its just because I'm not Korean).  Its fun though.  We had English class and had 3 new people come which I was super excited about! 

Thursday, we had district meeting.  Part of district meeting is a short 10 min lesson, that in the past has just been to help learn Korean, but now President is pushing how our companions need to learn English too, so it is just a language lesson.  I taught it this week and used the scripture Moses 1:39.  I wrote each individual word in Korean and in English on different colored papers, then they had to match them and put the scripture in order.  I thought it was pretty clever. 

Friday, we went and ate at one of the Elder's investigator's parents restaurant.  We ate korean bbq, which was delicious of course, and then the elders ordered crab.  I ate one of the crab legs.  It was cold which was kind of weird, and super salty, but not bad.  I guess the shell part, they like to mix rice in with the meat and eat it.  I have pictures I will send. 

Saturday, there was a stake music festival.  Yes.  I did get to do a traditional Korean Fan Dance all dressed up in a Korean dress and everything!!!!!  Seriously it was so much fun.  We only practice a few times, so it wasn't perfect, but pretty fun.  I have a video, but I think it is too big to send, so you will just have to wait a while for that one and enjoy the pictures for now:)  They made us wear lots of make up, and the Korean girl that did it with us told me that one day, I will have to show my future husband these pictures.  She said I looked so beautiful that he would fall in love with me all over again.  Haha precious. 

Yesterday, church, MCM, visiting and old member, one of our investigators (who is not progressing but loves us) and that's about it! 

So there's my week.  The fan dance was definitely the highlight (in addition to teaching the gospel of course).   

To answer your questions:
The fall weather is awesome!  We really haven't had too much rain.  I think that the weather in Busan is kind of like Southern California.  Pretty nice most of the year, since its so close to the ocean. 
My companion is good.  She is funny.  We have learned how to work well together.  I've realized she doesn't like to talk lots, so I am becoming very comfortable with my own thoughts haha
We aren't getting huge amounts of missionaries.  We are at our max capacity, so the amounts coming in will be pretty slow from now on (at least that's what I've heard)


Read 2 Nephi 31:20.  I love how it focuses on that perfect brightness of hope.  As we use the light of Christ in our lives, we are better able to hope for all the things we are promised through the gospel, most importantly eternal life with our families in the presence of Heavenly Father.  As we do this, while studying the scriptures and enduring to the end, we have no need to fear. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A few photos




A busy week!



Tuesday, we went and helped one of our investigators. She in her 3rd year of middle school, and has an English test this weekend so I helped her with her English homework.  I understand why Koreans think English is so hard, and sounds funny sometimes.  The grammar books here that they teach them out of are SO confusing.  I thought I knew English.  Not the way they teach it here! 
That afternoon, we also helped an old lady carry her grocery bags home to her house (yes they did have live crabs in them--they sell live crabs on the street just chillin in sawdust.  NBD)  and she was telling us all about how having babies is so expensive in America.  Random?  Yes.   She did say she had met with the missionaries probably like 30 years ago, and we were excited to go back and visit, but we saw her and her son on the street a few days later and she is going to live in Seoul with him so she can take care of him (she is like 94 or something like that).  I'm glad we could serve her though!!
Wednesday,  we hadn't really eaten much that day except for some lunch really early in the day, and some Kimbop, so after English class right before planning, we ordered pizza.  Some good comfort food:) (Except it had sweet potatoes on it.  The pizza here is crazy.  I have an extra menu I'll send you)
Thursday, we went to English class in Guejong.  These two old ladies come every week, and this week they came early because they wanted to bring us some rice cakes and other treats haha.  The rice cakes were good, but one of them brought onion juice.  Yes onion juice.  I brushed my teeth and used mouth wash like 5 times that night.  Good thing I don't get very close to people here.  Then during English, we were talking about Chuseok (the big holiday honoring their ancestors) and one of the ladies was talking about how she doesn't like bowing to their ancestors, and she likes what we teach about how after we leave our physical bodies, our spirits are still living.  She told her son not to bow to her after she dies, and to think of her as living instead! How sweet is that!  So I got to share about how my family members had just died and even though I am sad, I get to think of how happy they are right now!  Then for the closing song, I chose Families Can Be Together Forever.  I hope we have more chances to teach her about the Plan of Salvation!! 
Friday was Zone Conference.  We talked about obedience, and being a consecrated missionary.  President Gilbert talked about the Atonement and gave us a bunch of scriptures to study, which I haven't had time to do yet, but am really excited about.  We talked about something I had never thought of before.  Satan knows our potential too.  He saw how we fought in the War in Heaven.  He knows what we can be and knows that he can never get there.  This makes him want to work even harder on us.  I really want to work on not letting him get to me and think less of myself.  I thought about the Young Womens theme when we were talking about this and all of the potential we have as Daughters (and sons) of a loving Heavenly Father!  What a great promise! 
Then I did an exchange with a  great missionary and a great example!  We talked a lot about missionary work, and how sometimes we don't see the results of our efforts.  There's a scripture in 1 Corinthians 1 (don't remember what verse) where Paul says he came to Preach the Gospel, not to baptize.  We decided that we always need to remember this!  We also went to McDonals, ate Popbingsu (my favorite treat with ice cream and shaved ice) and some other treats because Sister Taylor, her companion, doesn't like treats haha
Sunday, we went to church and then found a less actives house to visit after.  I really don't know how we found it.  Addresses are crazy confusing here! 
This morning, I was studying in Preach My Gospel about the Plan of Salvation and there is a sentence under The Creation sentence that I really loved.  "We must walk by faith rather than by sight."  I don't know why this really hit me this morning.  We got to live with Heavenly Father before this life, and now on earth, we have to learn how to live with the Spirit as our comforter,and do all we can to return to live with Him again.  I was thinking about when I first left on my mission. I had a hard time because all my usual forms of comfort--calling Mom, taking a nap, drinking a few diet cokes, etc.--were all gone and I had to learn to rely purely on the spirit.  Then when I return home to all of you, I will know how to listen to the spirit, and live my normal life as I am constantly striving to be more like Jesus Christ.  I hope that makes sense.  
You asked about the language.  It is improving.  I don't know if you can tell by my writing, but my English grammar is getting seriously messed up.  I usually speak in as much Korean as I can with my companion, and will fill in English words as needed, but she doesn't usually know them, so when we talk we are constantly using the dictionary in our phone to communicate.  Its kind of hilairous.   I still have lots to learn, but my understanding really has jumped up so much since being in Daeshin.  When we're talking about gospel things, I can usually understand most of it, and other things, not as much, but that's ok.  I have to keep reminding myself there's even things in English I don't know the words for, so I'm bound to not understand everything!!! 
You also asked about weather.  There has been tons of rain this morning and yesterday, but it really hasn't been bad.  It has cooled down which is nice!  I will probably have to wear sweaters all the time in the next few weeks.  You can check temp online I guess haha.
I think that's about it for now.  I am glad I got to communicate with you all a little more this week, even if its not under circumstances we would have chosen.  I love you all SO SO much!!!  I hope you all have great weeks!
Em

Hello Hello


Hello Hello!!!!
 Well in news for my week...
This week was 좔석 aka Chuesok which is basically the equivalent of Christmas in Korea, except it is their version of thanksgiving giving thanks to their ancestors (I don't understand it all.  Google it if you want real information).  We couldn't visit anyone without appointments, and there weren't many people out on the streets so we spent time cleaning the church, planning, organizing and other good stuff like that.  Tuesday at our service project with old people (basically day care for old people) we made the traditional rice cakes.  Wednesday-Friday basically the whole country shuts down.  Wednesday we had district meeting, and then made Korean food at the church while we planned and cleaned with the Elders. I made the Kimchi Chigae (Kimchi soup) for all the Koreans.  #Imbecomingkorean..nbd  Thursday, we went to the former Branch President's house and ate SO MUCH FOOD!!!  They have traditional food for this day like special soup, deep fried shrimp and veggies, special side dishes, etc.  Then we ate tons of rice cakes and fruit.  It just kept coming!!  It was all delicious of course, but I couldn't eat anything the rest of the day.  Haha  Friday, we had dinner with another one of the members which was fun.  Then Saturday, we went to the Daeshin Harmony's house again.  More of her famous bulgogi as well as egg+onions, Sunadi (I think its cow intestines and blood or something like that in sausage form) and fruit decorated with shrimp (pictures to come).  Don't worry.... My stomach has obviously become super strong here and I made it through once again haha. 
Lets see what else.  Monday for FHE we finger-painted an AWESOME picture of Jesus.  My comp is an awesome artist so she drew it out first and then we finger-painted it which was super fun. We still haven't decided where to hang it up at the church yet, but know doubt it will be a great addition.
As for investigators, sadly, we couldn't meet with them this week because of the holiday.  We are over two areas--guejeong and daeshin.  We have decided to reset everything and start fresh.  If that means reteaching them the lessons, we'll do that.  We have been jundo-ing (prosyliting and talking to people) a lot and are trying to build up our English class more and get some investigators from that!  (Pressures on for that one since I'm the only foreigner)  It will be really hard, and is, but we are trusting in the Lord and are letting him guide us through this!  Its the only way we can get through things!
The other night when we were walking home, I was singing the song Be Still My Soul quietly to myself.  I love all the verses so much, but the last verse especially stuck out to me.
"Be still, my soul the hour is hastning on 
When we shall live forever with the Lord!
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored
Be still, my soul when change and tears are past
All safe and blessed when we shall meet at last!" 
The part about how the time is coming when we will life FOREVER with the Lord really hit me, all disappointment, sorrow and fear are gone and love's pure joy is there.  We too can feel the true love of the Lord as we draw near to him through our actions and obedience to the commandments.  He promises that his spirit will be with us always. 
I am SOOO excited of course about the big win for the Utes.  Don't worry...I wore my Utah shirt (when we were at home...not quite missionary appropriate) as well as my Utah earrings all day long.  Woot woot! 

Know that my prayers are with you.  Carry on and be Happy, Happy, Happy (aka Dad's new fave phrase haha)
Em

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Loving Missionary Work

Hello!!!!  Sounds like you had a fun week.  

Lets see to answer your questions...
-I'm doing well!  I get to be a missionary so it can't get much better than that!
-My week was good.  We'll get to that later!
-The city where I am is fun.  In South Busan.  I don't really know what to compare it to...not big city, but not like neighborhood either.  Parts of it are kind of old and ghetto but thats ok!  Ulsan (my first city) was fairly recently developed and pretty nice so it has been different. 
-The branch is crazy!  I don't know how to describe it.  Yesterday, our branch president, who doesn't live in the ward boundaries but was here for his calling, got released because he is going to stay with his daughter in the US for a while,  I thought the missionaries were running the branch before, but literally now we are.  There were 25 people at church yesterday which seemed like a lot compared to the other weeks haha
-We are about a 45 minute metro ride from the mission home, but we saw President and Sister Gilbert Saturday at a stake primary activity, and then they came to our sacrament meeting because of the change yesterday which was fun!

So there's that haha.  It has been a good week!  We are always super busy, and then sometimes I think, "What have we even done this week?!"  which is kind of funny. 

On Friday, we called some less actives in the morning, just to check in, and two of them were like, "sure we can meet today" which was kind of crazy!  Miracle!  I think this is one of those things where you don't always see direct results from everything you do, but if we look for blessings in general, they are always there and Heavenly Father is constantly blessing us for our work. 
I feel like this is one of those classic missionary stories so i have to share...So after we had lunch with a member in Guejeon, which is the other branch we cover because there are no sisters there, we hiked up the hill to their house.  From what I understand when North Korea attacked like 60 or however many years ago, everyone from Seoul and Daejeon fled to Busan, but there wasn't room for them all, and they wanted to be up high, so they built homes on the mountain.  (Not like Utah mountain, more like really big hill.) So we climbed up to the house (I was very grateful for the exercise after a big lunch, as well as the cool breeze on a hot day) and thankfully found it.  The lady lived there with her younger sister, and they were both like 60 something and missing most of their teeth.  The house was old and dirty, with a few cats, but we sat down and started talking.  She had pictures from the missionary pamphlets hung up as well as other pictures of Christ.  I think she said she was baptized when she was 25 or so, but has been going to a different church for a really long time.  We talked about our church, asked her if she remembered her baptism (just that it was a long time ago) and asked her if she would come Sunday.  She said no--she is going to the other church--so we said ok, but that we want to visit her every so often and call her about scriptures and stuff and she said that was fine.  Then we prayed with her and I asked her if she had a Book of Mormon, which she did, and we left.  So nothing amazing happened while we were there, but while we were sitting there talking, I had one of those, "I am a missionary sitting in some toothless lady's house in Korea teaching her about Christ.  What?!"  I still have moments frequently where i think "I am in Korea?!" or "I am not old enough to be a missionary" but obviously I am and I am learning and am growing just like Heavenly Father wants me to!

Funny things this week
-We were trying to explain the crinkle cut fries to one of the Korean elders and he said, "oh!  Stairwell fries?" 
-Sister Yun described the lovey-dovey couples we see sometimes walking down the street as "Chicken-Skin couples" aka they give her goosebumps and she doesn't like to talk about it haha

This week I have thought a lot about the importance of keeping Christ at the center of our hearts.  We can't let stress, worry or other problems push Him out.  This is what Satan wants!  When Christ is the center, everything around Him will work out because of our trust in Him.  It is like what Mosiah 5:15 talks about--"steadfast and immovable always abounding in good works".  This is what helps us become like Christ.  We are able to lose the desire for sin, which is where Satan loses his power.  Things will still be hard, and I don't expect an immediate fix to all hard problems, but this is how we grow and become like the Savior!  My appreciation for this grows every single day!

Thank you thank you!!!  I love you lots and am so grateful for your letters and pictures and everything!!!!!

I hope you all have a great week!
Love you!!!

Em

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

My Korean is Improving

Wow it has been an eventful week for all of you!!!  I guess it has been here too but I am in Korea after all, and there is always something new:)

This week has been better.  Still super hard communicating, but my Korean is improving day by day and we have gotten more used to working together.  I have had to just take a giant step back and just let her be incharge and follow.  It is teaching me to be patient, and that's not a bad thing.   It is super fun to get to share stories with the people I have served with! 


The new ward (branch) is good.  Hard but good.  There were like 19 people at church yesterday nbd.  We obviously have lots of work to do, but i am optimistic and have faith that Heavenly Father will help us out!

We met with a few of our investigators this week too.  One who's husband got baptized in the Spring.  I met him yesterday for the first time, and he is kind of a difficult character.  He doesn't speak much Korean, but his kids don't speak a lot of English, and his son was being irreverant in Sacrament so he started yelling at him in English, but the poor kid didn't understand and just got more mad.  Its a weird situation.  Anyway she is Catholic, but really likes the missionaires and comes to all our activities, but says she is not ready for baptism yet.  She has a hard time, sadly, with eternal families, because she does not want to be with her husband forever.  We talked to President about her this morning, and will continue to pray to know how we can help her.  She is very nice and I really hope we can help her and her children!

Another one, who is in the branch next to ours called Guae-jeong (but we also cover because there's no sisters), we met with after church.  She is 17 or so and is super cute.  She has also had all the lessons, but now we just have to get her ready for baptism too.  There are lots of investigators here, for the Elders too, that have been investigating for a long time, and read their scriptures, and come to church, but for some reason don't want to get baptized.  Its weird.

Lets see....  I made Kimchi Cheegay (Kimchi Soup) last night that was super delicious and I was really proud of myself.  Hopefully I can learn to make more Korean food so I can make some for y'all when I get home!

The other day, I was reading in my scriptures in 1 Timothy 4:12, which talks about being an example of the believers (aka being a witness of Christ) in word, conversation, charity, spirit, faith and purity.  I have always loved this scripture, but really loved thinking this time, about how sharing the light of christ.  The YW song about "have you received His imagine in your countenance...will He know you when He comes again because you shall be like Him" popped into my head and I loved thinking about the Second Coming and if we have done what we are supposed to, and followed Christ's example, we will be excited to run up and greet him, instead of thinking of the things we haven't done.  Sorry that is kind of jumbled, but I hope it kind of makes sense.  I am grateful for the chance I have to focus on that now and look for opportunities every day to be more like Christ and ways I can continually improve.  I don't want to just get into the routine of doing good things, but look always for the best thing I can do!!

I love you all and miss you lots, but am grateful I can be serving here now!!!

Love you!

Em

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Trials make us great!



Helllooooooo!  

This week has been an adventure.  It has been kind of trying, and I have learned a lot.  So my new companion is 28 years old (She was born before Dad graduated from high school haha) and is from Seoul.  She does not speak very much English, but is fairly fluent in Japanese...?  Haha she graduated from college (her major was jewelry), worked for a few years, then decided to go on a mission.  My Korean has shot up a ton and my attitude is improving every day!!  

She does love making Korean food though which has been super fun!  I can't wait to make some of it for you at home!!  Every night after planning, she makes herself super spicy ramen, which I choose not to eat haha:)

As I have been thinking about this, I have studied a lot about patience.  I loved the talk you sent by Elder Carl Cook about looking up!!  Also, I read about the Sons of Mosiah on their mission.  They experienced "all manner of afflictions" (Alma 26:30.  Their hearts were "depressed and they were about to turn back" (Alma 26:27) but they cast their burdens on the Lord and trusted in the promise that they would be blessed and continued on in their service.  They were comforted by the power of the spirit!  The lord told them to go forth and serve the Lamanties (Koreans) and establish his word.  He also counseled them to be patient and long suffering in their afflictions (Alma 17:10-11).  Through their patience, they were able to be good examples and instruments in the hands of the Lord!   Even great missionaries like Ammon had great trials.  But the trials were what made them great.  The trials were what made them trust in the Lord so they could be joyful and glory in Him and His gospel.  We are promised countless times through the scriptures that we will be blessed as we are faithful, hopeful, and patiently endure what trials Heavenly Father gives us because he knows exactly what we need to learn from them.  I am going through one of those times of testing now, but I can't wait to see what I learn from it and how I improve because of it!!  

Maybe that's more of a pep talk to myself, but I know that its true!  

We got to hear from Brother Randal Ridd that is in the YM General Presidency and Elder Aoiagi, who is in the 70 and area presidency over Asia North, on Thursday which was awesome!  Brother Ridd talked about having "Real Intent" like talked about in Moroni 7, in everything we do.  It was really good!  Sorry I don't have much time for more details:)

So our branch had like 20 people at church yesterday.  The church is really pretty and big--it was the first chapel built in Korea way back when.  The missionaries are basically in charge of all of the callings.  The Elders are the counselors in the branch presidency, we do YM/YW activities, clean the church, teach sunday school, and whatever else you can think of.  I taught Gospel Principles yesterday.  But I didn't find out i was teaching until after class had started...and the manual was all in Korean!!!  Haha fortunately it was on the Scriptures, so I picked out a few things of the manual that I could, had them look up scriptures, and then just talked about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon because I've got that down pretty well by now!  

Other funny things that happened this week:
-We were teaching English the other day and one of the missionaries who was saying the closing prayer said Amen, and his companion who is Korean said "B-Men"  Hahaha he thought he was hilarious.  I thought it was pretty funny too.  
-I have seen more fish in the last week than I think I have my whole life.  I have tried a little of it and it isn't bad.  Lots less fishy than the US because its so fresh.  they don't gut it or cut it though.  The whole fish-bones, eyeballs, and all- are on the plate and you just eat around it haha.  
-There is a Chinatown.  Don't know why I thought it was so funny, but I did.  
-So people in the hospitals can just leave and go walk around as they wish.  It's not uncommon to see someone in their hospital gown, hooked up to an IV, just taking a casual stroll down the street!

Ooh!  I read a talk that you would like.  Look up in the February Ensign the one by Pres Utchdorf that is titled "A Word for the Hesitant Missionary".  It goes along with what we have talked a little about! 
I guess that is about it for now!  Sorry there aren't too many specific details about what we did!  Lots off learning and prayers!  

Love you all so much!!



Em

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

McDelivery or Costco anyone?


So I am sitting in the mission office emailing because I am being emergency transfered to South Busan--an area called Daeshin.  One of the sisters has to go home because she is sick or something and so I am taking her place.  When President called the other night, he started by saying, "since nothing has been normal in your mission so far, we are going to have an emergency transfer and you are going to Daeshin."  My new companion is Korean sister.  I don't know too much about her except that she is like 26 or 27.  So one of the youngest missionaries with one of the oldest!  Crazy!   So this will be an adventure!   I am so sad to leave Shinjong--all the members, less actives, investigators, etc. that I have gained good relationships with, and of course my companions, but I know that the Lord wants me in Daeshin right now!  It will be good to have a new start--no one knows how good my Korean is, or what mistakes I made in Shinjong--I know I will learn so so much!  Funny that I am getting transfered exactly 2 transfers worth of time (12 weeks) after i got here! 

We had a good week in addition to that too!  Costco was super fun last Monday.  It looks a lot like Costco at home--with a lot of the same stuff too!  We bought muffins, cheese, cereal, a little candy, etc. that all looks very familiar.  I took a box of Lucky Charms and a thing of peanut butter with me so I will still have that! 

We met with lots of less actives last week.  One of my favorite things is meeting with less actives because I love helping remind them of the faith they once had.  Sometimes it is hard, and you have to dig really deep,but it is all part of the challenge!  I just bear my little heart out and tell them that I have faith in them.  I have felt the love of Jesus Christ in my life and know that he loves them too.  Even when they don't see their faith, the fact that they will meet with us is a step in the right direction.  I am sure there will be more less actives in my new area too!   Sadly, such is the church. 

Thursday, we went and helped one of the members clean her house.  She is probably about 26 or so.  She served a mission at Temple Square, and now is married has a little girl.  She just had a miscarriage, and was really sick before then.  It was fun to talk to her about Salt Lake and Temple square.  It was also so neat to see her faith, and trusting in Heavenly Father.  She said the first thing she did was pray to Heavenly Father saying, "help me to believe what I know I believe."  I thought that was so sweet.  People have the same trials here in Korea as in America.  And the gospel can help everywhere.  Such a testimony builder! 

Sunday, we went to church (of course).  I bore my testimony and thanked the ward for being such great examples to me.  I told them how I can see the love they have for one another, and for the missionaries and that I am so grateful for their example.  I love them, and will miss them!  All the missionaries also sang "Oh How Lovely Was the Morning" while my companion played the violin.  It was awesome! 

Sunday afternoon, we went to a wedding for the Relief Society president's daughter who is less active.  Imagine Korean traditional wedding, with all the bowing and a bunch of other stuff I couldn't understand, and then the announcer guy (they don't have a priest, just some guy that talks about what they are doing...I don't get it.) broke in to song.  Yes he was wearing white pants and a orange blazer with sparkly buttons and a big flower.  I had to work really hard on not laughing.  Then a girl sang the "Beauty and the Beast" song, but all the words kind of ran together because she was singing in English that she didn't know how to speak. It was fairly entertaining too! 

Last night we went to the area next to ours because they don't have sisters there and they have a few female investigators.  The branch president was super nice, and gave us like 3 people that they want us (well my comps and their new companion--a girl who is going to Seattle but doesn't have her visa yet.  She is from within the mission boundaries) to teach!  What a miracle! 

Well I guess that is about it for now.  I am excited to tell you everything that will happen next week!  Apparently we are having a general authority speak to us on Thursday too!  So fun!!! 

I love you all!!!!!!!


Em

Monday, August 19, 2013

Photos




Adventures of the Waygookings

The week has been pretty good! It has actually not rained very much at all! It is just stuffy and hot. All the time. I actually have heat rash on my arms and neck which kind of sucks. 

The adventures of the Waygooking (Forigner) threesome continue! I got us lost on Wednesday. That was a struggle. We were going to visit a less active. I had never been there before, but was really proud that I found her house on a map. So I thought I knew exactly how to get there. And I thought we could get on any bus going to the University and it would pass it. Of course I lead us on the one that went the roundabout way there though. So as soon as I figured out we were going the wrong way, we tried to ask people where to get off, and our Korean skills failed us a bit, so we got off at the wrong place. So I tried to figure out where we were (I relatively knew) and figured we could just take a Taxi there. Yeah of course none passed us though. So we just started walking back the other way until I saw familiar things. Then we made it to another bus stop where a bus that actually did pass her house went, and got on it. It is really hard navigating bus maps and reading the sides telling where they go in Korean super quick and have to make a decision immediately on which one to get on. I am doing okay though, and definitely feel lots of help. We got there like 35 minutes late, and shared a message. Unfortunately, her husband's family is totally against the church and she said she wanted to meet with us this once, but couldn't again. So we will pray that their hearts will soften and she will want to meet sometime. We left her with all the pamphlets, and want to text her some scriptures to read to at least keep her mind semi thinking about the gospel.

On Thursday, it was Korean independence day so we got to go to the Branch party in the mountains. It was right by a river, and all the members were sure that we could get in, even though it was against the rules. It didn't help that a few of the elders got in a bit, but anyway...We just stayed on the side and talked to some of the moms which was good. It was hilarious. There is no such thing as camping food here. When it was time for lunch, they opened their tupperwares of Rice, Kimchi, Meat, etc. and we ate that! Then for dinner, they made this soup called Suejaybee which is broth with noodles and potatoes. I love it, but it was pretty funny that they just whipped out their camping stove and made it all from scratch right there! I will send pics of the activity.

We got to meet with our investigator again this week. She asked us if we had ever heard God's voice, and we tried to explain how we have felt a warm feeling, which is the spirit, and that is how we receive answers a lot of the time. We asked her if she had ever prayed when she was scared or needed help, and she said yes and that she felt good. We told her that was the spirit! It is so fun helping people realize that they have already had those experiences in their lives! We talked a little more about baptism and showed her the font because she is scared of the water (lots of Koreans are and don't know how to swim). She still wants to think about it, and we haven't set an actual date, but hopefully we can meet again this week! Keep praying!

Because there are 2 American families in our ward with kids in primary, we have gotten to go help in there the last couple weeks. I am basically the new primary pianist, which is pretty fun! Then we help translate for the little kids. It is testing my Korean skills but I really do love it.

Last night, we went and kapjoggie (suddenly) visited some of the members. My companion has a violin so she played while the other two of us sang. They loved it and the spirit was so strong! Hopefully we can do it again next week:)

The language is coming. No--I don't understand most of it. Still. One day. Probably in like 9 months I will... I am picking up more and more every day though. I am trying to work on both learning new words and grammar forms, and just spitting it out even though it is really hard, and I usually say things wrong. I have gotten really good at praying in Korean though because I do that a lot. Being just the 3 Americans, it has forced me to have to understand and say more though, because we have to rely on each other a lot. Heavenly Father definitely helps us a lot, even if we translate things wrong sometimes:) I don't know if it is harder or easier than I thought it would be. I just can't compare myself to those spanish speaking missionaries who are already fluent after a month. Korean takes lots longer…

We are in a really nice part of the city and spend lots of time outside! Its kind of hard to explain the "neighborhood." We jundo at bus stops a lot becuase that's where a consintrated amount of people are I will try to take more pictures to send to explain.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

So Many Blessings


Sounds like you all had a great week, as did I!!!!!!!  Thank you thank you thank you for the birthday packages, notes, letters, etc.  

This summer has gone by super fast!!!  So crazy!  I'll be there the end of next summer which is super crazy!  It has almost been 5 months since you dropped me off at the MTC.
 
We have seen so many blessings here this week!  Obviously, Heavenly Father is hearing all of our prayers here, as well as all of yours at home!  Amazing things are happening!
1. I haven't gotten us lost yet.  i'm pretty proud of myself.  Even on the buses!  Remember how scared I was to ride the bus to the U the first time?  Well now I can navigate the buses in Korea (more or less...wouldn't be suprised if we got lost this week haha) so that's exciting!  And i got us to Busan the other day.  Thank you Heavenly Father!!!
2. We have a super solid new investigator.   On Tuesday, she came to English class. She started asking us questions about English and missionaries, which led to a gospel discussion and she asked why we were so happy all the time!  Perfect way to introduce the church eh??  So she shared a little about the plan of salvation and then called me over to help.  She said, "if it isn't too much of a problem, could you possibly meet every day this week and we could talk about English and your church?"  WHAT?!?1?!?!?!?! Nobody says that!!!  We already had  few other appointments, but we met with her on wednesday and Friday.  We got permission to do the 30/30 (30 min gospel and 30 min english) program with her.  She is trying to learn English (She said she doesn't know what sparked her recent interest in English, but we do.  Obviously Heavenly Father wanted her to find us!)  so when she got there on Wednesday, the first thing she wanted to do was read the intro to the Book of Mormon in English since we had already read it with her in Korean!  Then we told about our families a little bit, and taught the first part of the restoration.  We try to teach as much in korean as we can, but she likes us to speak English, so we are trying to find a balance to the point that she can still understand.  THEN on Friday, she brought her 2 daughters to meet with us as well!!!  One is 15 and the other is 11.  SO CUTE!!! They didn't come to church yesterday, but we are hoping we can stress the importance of church this week and get her there next!  Ahh!!  We are so excited!
3. We met with the less active we meet with every week, and had a really awesome lesson with her and got her to consider coming to church next week which is a huge step for her!  I have already seen her faith grow so much in the last 9 weeks i have been here!
4. We met with another less active who was baptized last year.  (Really sad that she's already less active and got baptized less than a year ago.)  Anyway she reads her Book of Mormon every day and it is super marked up, but she has had lots of trials in her life, and had to move a few times.  it's kind of a long story, but it was neat to hear her talk about how she can see even though she has the trials, she prays that she can receive help from Heavenly Father to forgive people.  She wants to go to church in the neighboring branch and not ours, so we're not sure if she went yesterday or not, but we are definitely going to keep an eye on her and get her to church so she can learn from the spirit there too!
5.  The girl who got baptized 2 weeks ago answered so many questions in Gospel Principles yesterday.  I was so excited to see how she has taken what we taught her and let it into her life:)
6. I got to celebrate my 20th birthay in Korea!!!  We got up early and took the bus to Busan!  So i got to eat tacos there for lunch at the mission president's house, which was delicious haha and we got treats there and the way back.  Basically I used it as an excuse to try all the treats I have wanted to here!  Then for dinner, we went to a Korean BBQ place (I will send pictures) and bought a cake at Paris Baguette--the bakery that is literally everywhere here. 


So I was reading Alma 5 this morning and loved verse 13 where it talks about the people having a mighty change wrought in their hearts.  I got the institute study guide for the Book of Mormon at the mission office the other day, so have been studying it along with the Book of Mormon which has been awesome!  I read this quote in it about being converted and thought i would share!  (It is super long so I paraphrased...)  "When you choose to follow christ, you choose to be changed.  The Lord works from the inside out.  The world works from the outside in.  The world would take the people out of the slums.  Christ takes the slums out of the people and they take themselves out of the slums.  The would would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature.  To paraphrase Harold B. Lee, they set fire in others because they are on fire.  Not only would they die for the Lord, but most importnatly they would live for him."  -President Ezra Taft Benson

I love this!  First I love thinking about it as I teach others and want to help them draw closer to the savior.  I can help them see the light of Christ in their lives, and then help their lives improve because of it.  Then I love applying it to my own life.  I have to continue to convert myself to the Lord more and more each day, and as I do, my nature can change because of the atonement!  I know that you can do the same as you let the power of the atonement work inside of you.  it is amazing what we can do when we do it with the Savior!

Love you!!!

Em


 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Time is Flying

Time really is flying by!  I have been here two months in just a couple more days crazy!!

First news of the day.  Today was transfers and I got two new companions!  We're all pretty new here!  I am super excited to work with them!  We will have to study the language a lot, and will have lots of adventures trying to communicate with people.  I am very scared to be the one that has to get us places and know all the members, and investigators, and all that good stuff but I know there's something Heavenly Father wants me to learn from this!  I can't wait to see what it is!!

A brief overview of my week for you:
Monday, we went to gyoungju world--an amusement park an hour or so away from is!  It was super fun--about the size of lagoon.  We went on this one ride where you all sit in a circle and the thing you are sitting in raises up and bounces around. You're not belted in or anything.  My comp couldn't hold herself down and her legs flew in my face a few times.  I have a nasty bruise from where I hit my arm a few times trying to hold on.  So that was kind of awful but the roller coasters were fun.  Definitely took a Tylenol PM before going to bed though because I was so dizzy!!

Tuesday, we visited a referral from one of the members.  We taught her once before, and she now is thinking she wants to be Buddhist.  We are going to keep visiting her though.  We then had dinner with a bunch of the moms who bring their kids to our english class which was fun.  They are all super nice! 

Wednesday, we went to this old lady's house for dinner.  She is a less active member.  We ate rice and food I think had been sitting out for a few days, then she fed us this juice that was tomato and melon, but I'm pretty sure it was super super old and fermented because it was basically carbonated.  Discusting.   I thought I was going to die.  Good thing my stomach has learned to be nice and strong!

Thursday, we had dinner with a new American family that moved into our ward.  The dad is working here for one of the oil companies as an engineer.  They have 5 little kids who are crazy, but so fun.  She wants to have us over for dinner every week so that will be super fun!

Friday, we went to lunch with some members, and then my comp packed and explained the area to me.  Nothing too exciting.

Sunday, we had church (of course).  Our crazy ward mission leader was watching the Dodgers baseball game while teaching gospel principles.  Don't worry. 

Today, we went to Busan for transfers and I got my new companions!!!

So another fun week!!!!  I am a little frustrated because we don't have any solid investigators right now, but we are going to work really hard and try to contact lots of people this week!!!

This week, I have been trying to focus on putting off the natural man and become more like the Savior.  I love studying in the Book of Mormon about all the prophets examples, especially Nephi.  He had so many chances to give up and be like his brothers, but he stayed strong and did what the Lord asked of him!!!!  It really is so amazing!!!