Monday, November 25, 2013

A Good Week


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!!!


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 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 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!!!!!!!!


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!!!