Monday, April 21, 2014

A Great Week!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I love you!!!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Miracle Week!


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

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

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

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

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