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!!!


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!


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Trials make us great!


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!!