It was so fun talking to all of you! Mother’s day is definitely one of the funnest days of the year as a missionary!
This week we did a couple of things–ate 보신탕(bo-shin-tang), I’ll just let you look up what that is. It was expensive, but it was so delicious!
We also had transfer calls! My companion Sister N is going to her greenie area in 인천 and I’m staying in 영등포 and going to train! Yah! I’ll figure out Wednesday this week who my new companion will be so I’ll let you know next week! I’m really excited!
One of the miracles we saw this week happened from attending a soccer game! Our ward and another ward usually meet Saturday mornings and play a game or two at a junior high field. Last week the sisters from the other ward had met a potential investigator there so they invited us to come this week to meet her. She’s so great! She’s a Korean, but lived in Africa for 3 years so she’s really good at English. She teaches English at the junior high and is really big into service and adventure. She thought that what we were voluntarily doing as missionaries here in Korea was amazing. We talked a little with her and then she invited us to share with her class for 10 minutes what we were doing here and why. What!?
It was a crazy cool opportunity and the students were genuinely interested. Lots of the students had seen missionaries on the street before but felt intimidated or shy so had never talked to them. It was fun explaining what we were doing here and why. The teacher texted us later that day and said that she and her class were really inspired by what we had said and by what we are doing! It was such a neat opportunity! Especially since, we had been praying and fasting for a new person to teach for a long time and this was an answer to our prayers! God is the best!
Graffiti– I swear it says CTR~ SO you bet I support it
Near the temple (lanterns are for Budha’s birthday)
Some of my favorites in the ward
Lanterns for Budha’s birthday
I’m excited to see what miracles this next week brings!
It’s funny how sometimes things turn out differently than you expect.
This week we had planned to drop by on a member’s house, but both me and my companion felt like we should change that to go and see our favorite grandma in our ward. We started heading over there and had a prompting to bring something to her. We went into a shop to buy some fruit, but instead felt like we should buy a delicious drink (aloe water-yum!).
I gave her a call when we were approaching and she answered “오지마!” “”O-ji-ma!” Dont come! – because she had been feeling pretty sick and didn’t have any food to give us (like is custom when you visit a Korean’s house). I persisted a little and told here that we had already eaten, and just wanted to give her a present. She told us not to. I told her we had already bought it, so she asked if it was 먹는 것 (something to eat), and I told her it was 마시는 것 (stuff to drink) and she told us s to 빨리와 (Come quick).
It was probably one of the funnest times I have had visiting a member on my mission, but it didn’t initially start off that way. She seemed a little down and lonely when we first got there- so we mostly listened as she explained how she’s been hurting lately and how she misses her husband that passed away a couple years ago. We listened, then she turned on her old-times Korean music. I started doing a little dance to it (just being my dorky self), and she thought it was so funny so she started doing it too- then next thing we know we’re just silly dancing for the next 10 minutes. Sister Lee (our Korean grandma) just had a huge smile on her face and even got up and danced as much as she was able to. The whole time she just insisted that we must have had professional lessons in America (even though our dancing was honestly terrible) haha.
I just looked at Sister N as we were doing our little jig and smiled. Would I have ever thought my mission would lead me here– dancing to old Korean music to make a grandma smile? Not really. But I could see that even though we felt ridiculous, we were brightening her day helping her get her mind off other things. She thanked us afterwards for cheering her up and for sharing a small scripture message.
It’s not really what we had expected, and I don’t think it would be appropriate for a lot of other situations, but we all felt happier and lighter afterwards. I feel like Heavenly Father works through us, and our unique and quirky personalities- whoever we may be, to help others when we are trying to do what’s right. Missionaries don’t have to be robots that visit, share a routine and outworn message, ask for a referral, and go. We can be ourselves, and rely on the Lord to work through us as we are and as we may become, to help and uplift others.
I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! I’m always excited for what the next day will bring and I’m excited for what the next week will bring!
(Sorry there’s no pictures! Forgot my camera cord- next week I’ll hopefully remember)
This week in 영등포 we worked really hard to find a service opportunity in the community besides teaching our free English class. It took a lot of trekking and talking to a lot of community centers and information places, but in the end we found a place that looks like it might have some really good opportunities! Yah!
As we were looking for a community service activity, I was amazed at all the unplanned, spontaneous opportunities to serve that came into our path. One day we ran into an elderly couple in our ward and learned that they were planning on spring cleaning for the day! Well, we quickly jumped on the opportunity and went to work in our missionary attire, scrubbing off mold, grease, and dirt, killing spiders, and washing blankets and clothes so they wouldn’t have to. When we left, the house was shining and the spirit was very strong. I think the more we served and scrubbed the more our own weariness and stress was washed away. We left feeling like we had gained more from the service than we gave.
In addition to that, multiple of our investigators called and asked us for help with this or that (packing for a trip, help getting groceries at Costco…and so on). On the streets, we were able to also meet lots of people that we could serve (whether it was giving them directions to a place, or help carrying a heavy bag). As we kept our eyes open for those in need, Heavenly Father just put tons of opportunities to serve in our path! It’s true that the one that serves always seems to get more than the recipient. Serving just brings so much happiness and joy!
President Thomas S. Monson said, “We are surrounded by those in need of our attention, our encouragement, our support, our comfort, our kindness…we are the Lord’s hands here upon the earth, with a mandate to serve and to lift His Children.”
Thats so true! Service is the best!
Flowers and buds
Artsy view from our apartment
pasty Me (it has been a LONG time since my legs have seen the sun, don’t judge).
from an exercise contest with our President at a Zone Conference. Don’t be deceived, he beat almost everyone (elders and sisters) in the contest! Crazy
Artsy view of our apt
View out our apartment
Our russian investigator (she’s moving to America soon so we had a party for her and brought her cheesecake wrote her cute letters)
CHERRY BLOSSOMS! The most heavenly, gorgeous, astounding season in Korea has arrived–cherry blossom season! Oh! I love it with all my heart! Everyone does. They just turn all the streets white and pink and everything looks so beautiful and almost sacred. It’s super fun being outside and talking to others.
Cherry Blossom Season
Cherry Blossoms in Yeoido? (여의도)
By Han River
Cherry Blossoms in Yeoido? (여의도)
So along with the coming of spring, has come a lot of miracles that happened because of the power of the Holy Ghost.
I realized a while back that I don’t always point out the spirit to my investigators when I feel it. Our Sister Training Leader told us if we can feel the spirit, so can our investigators. The problem is that they may not always be able to recognize it. If we let them know they are feeling the spirit, whether or not they decide to act on it, we will be more successful teachers.
That sunk into my heart as we began teaching one of our investigators this week. She attends the Presbyterian church actively and told us she doesn’t want to change that. We felt like we should teach about the Holy Ghost and how we can recognize it. As we were teaching I felt prompted to share an experience about when I first got my mission call to Korea. I told her it was absolutely terrifying. It was! I was so worried because I knew nothing about Korea, and absolutely no Korean. So that night I prayed more longer and more sincerely than I had in a long time, and as I prayed I felt the Spirit comfort me, and give me the confidence and courage to do the things that He wanted me to.
I don’t know why I needed to share it, but I felt the spirit fill the room as I did, and at the end she began crying (which I’ve never seen her do before). We waited a little bit, then I asked her, “Do you feel that good, warm, peaceful feeling?” She nodded her head and I witnessed to her that she was feeling the Holy Ghost. We then bore our testimonies that the things which have been taught her are true and we know they are true because we felt that same power of the Holy Ghost confirming it to us. It was a powerful lesson, and we felt that regardless of her decision to join this church or not, we have done what Heavenly Father wanted us to.
Since I don’t want to make a cohesive letter today, I’m just going to make a bullet list with some of the main things I did! Heehee sorry, but here it is!!! Cue the drumroll…
Met with our amazing investigator from Russia and had a girl’s night after a hard day of work for her where we could have fun, relax, eat junk food, and watch Legacy. She thought the acting was hilarious, but seemed really interested in the actual history of the movie. She’s been investigating the church for a long time, but didn’t know much about the pioneers, so it was cool watching her eat the history up.
Helped poor Sister L after she strained a muscle in her back during exercise that she couldn’t move from her bed all day. It was a good opportunity to serve her and it made us all thankful that we are in a tri-panionship so we could split with a member and teach some people we had made appointments with as well as watch out for Sister L. Tri-panionships are the bomb!
Played basketball and made a goal during the game!!! Woop woop! Have to be careful not to get prideful now that my basketball skills are improving. My companions and I are actually making a lot of friends with the people who come, and in turn they’re starting to bring their friends! It’s a really good way for people to be in our church and get to interact with missionaries and members casually and friendly. Our mission President even came this week to play and showed off how good he was at basketball–haha. It was really fun and a great opportunity to meet lots of new people.
Had 수화반! Korean Sign Language Class. I know a enough of the basics to have simple conversations with our deaf members now, but I (and they) have to use our acting skills for the rest:)
Got Transfer calls! Sister L is leaving and Sister N and I are staying in Yeongdeungpo!
Had a linger longer with our English Branch after church and ate more American food than I have my entire mission. It was delicious, but we were all sick afterwards. We need our Gimbab and rice and fruit!
That was just some of the things that I did this week! We always see a lot of miracles and feel the influence of the Spirit guiding us in all the things we do. It really is a great privileged to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I love it!
As I was studying, I read in Daniel chapter2…and Wow! was it interesting. In it, King Nebuchadnezzar has a dream and forgets almost all of it. It troubles him a lot so he gathers all the wise men and demands that they figure out what he dreamed about and the interpretation thereof. Hard, right?!
All the wise men tell the king, “There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the King’s matter.” Like seriously, how can anyone figure out what someone’s dream is and the interpretation without even a hint! I feel for them! Well King Nebuca-what’s-his-name gets all the wise men in the land and tells them he’s going to execute them if no one can figure it out. A little harsh, but it happens in the Old Testament.
Daniel hears about this and goes to the king and asks for some time to figure out the dream. With his companions (he has 3- Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego), he takes some time (probably studying, praying and fasting), as they call upon the mercies of God to reveal unto them the secret.
One night, Daniel is dreaming when BOOM! He receives the same dream that King N did and the interpretation!! He praises God then comes into the presence of the king and says:
“The secret which the kind hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers shew unto the king;
But there is a God in Heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to King Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed are these…”
And then he tells him exactly what he dreamed about and the interpretation thereof!!! Ahhh! So cool!
Anyway, there is a reason for telling you all this! As a missionary we teach lots of people, who have lots of different concerns and questions which aren’t always voiced (just like King Neb-ster and his troubling dream). These people want an answer (just like King Neb), but they don’t always have the courage or even want to ask what’s really in their soul. (I understand, because it’s hard to truly open up to people sometimes).
But because we want to help people and really teach them according to what they need, we strive to follow Daniel’s example, and “desire the mercies of God of heaven concerning the secret” or their unvoiced questions and needs. Now this doesn’t mean that God reveals to us everyone’s deep dark spooky secrets or anything like that–we’re not mind readers. That’d be a little weird. But God does give us what we need to accomplish His work.
Sometimes we feel prompted to talk about the Atonement of Jesus Christ with one person who is struggling to forgive themself for something done in the past that we had no idea about. Sometimes we feel prompted to just share a message from the Book of Mormon on hope and we don’t know why, but we know that it’s exactly what the person needed.
One time we were teaching and we could tell our investigator was troubled about some things. We felt like we should share a scripture and we didn’t know why. Our investigator read it and told us, “It’s like you find the exact answer to my question, and I didn’t even tell you it.”
I know that God does speak to men still, and he inspires and gives us revelation when we live worthy to receive it. He truly knows what people need, and what they worry about, and because He loves them, He wants to help them. I’m so thankful that we have a loving, living Heavenly Father!
Stake Relief Society Culture night, every ward did something different. This ward tried to represent all the countries and cultures: That’s chinese the lady is speaking at the beginning and Korean at the end. I think it’s cool because it’s so different sounding from Korean!
IT’S A SMALL WORLD!!!! In Korea! GOT TO LOVE IT!
(PS…our wards’ talent was hand bells! They made the sister missionaries join them haha! Was so fun!)
Sorry this was long! Love you! And hope you have a good week!
This week we had the opportunity again to work directly with our members throughout missionary work!!
It started after we had a lesson with one of our recent converts. We were already planning on spending the day with a young woman to show her what missionary work is like, when our recent convert asked if she could join us too. Of course, we said yes and decided to go together (all 5 of us) to serve as missionaries.
On the subway, Sister L. noticed that a lady standing next to her was reading the bible on her phone in Mark. We started talking to her about our love for the Bible and the Book of Mormon and she was very kind and seemed genuinely interested in our message! Our recent convert bore testimony of her conversion and got her number, and our Young woman invited her to English class! It was awesome! We just took a step back and let our wonderful members work their magic! They were so amazing! I just love them.
As if that wasn’t miraculous enough, we saw a little while later a couple of people talking to each other in Korean Sign Language. Since we have a sign language class at church (and lots of amazing deaf members to talk to), we were somehow able to sign to them that we’re missionaries learning KSL and we have a good message about Christ to share! They were a little surprised that we were learning Sign language, but seemed touched that we had attempted to talk with them.
We were able to visit some needy members in our ward, do service, talk to a lot of people, teach our recent convert that 6-inch heeled stilettos are not practical missionary shoes, and just overall spread Christ’s love and help our members feel a deeper fire to share this wonderful gospel!
I went to Gangnam this past Saturday to the BEST RESTAURANT OF MY LIFE… called Spoon the Street, or Spoon on the Street. Oh so good! It was like this yummy shabu-shabu stuff (샤브샤브) and a huge buffet! LOOK IT UP! SO YUMMY!
The weather is warming us here (sort of- it’s bipolar so it changes all the time). My favorite smell comes in Spring when the flowers start blooming (especially the cherry blossoms), my all time hate smell is food trash…yuck! All nasty and separated because Koreans separate EVERYTHING!
Things that make me laugh–grandmas…they’re just funny. They just say (a-ee-go!) all the time (just a sound like Oh my or something), aren’t afraid to push people or touch people haha. I love them
My companions and I at the temple
My comps and I at the temple
Picture of a cute brazilian in our English ward. She’s going back home this week so we got a picture with her:)
Soccer with the ward
It was a wonderful week! Can’t wait to see what this next week brings!
This week was 설날 (seolnar)–Lunars year’s! So it was pretty fun! Most people went back to their hometowns to spend it with their families, so this week was pretty dead. Because no one has time to meet the missionaries, we had a big conference together where we went hiking and watched Meet the Mormons! So fun! On our hike, every district was given a Book of Mormon story to reenact through pictures only. Can you guess what story it is and what part me and my companion played (HINT…baah! Ahh! Arms off)
Being in a tri-panionship is super fun! Sister N. is from Salt Lake and is just an absolute sweetheart. She’s always finding ways to serve and help out at home and cares for everyone in Yeongdeungpo already so much (even though she hasn’t had the opportunity to get to know them very well). I love her and Sister L. We’re able to get a lot of work done with each other and work with each other really nice so that’s a blessing. We also are able to do this while getting little less sleep too because we love talking to each other at night time too! haha
This week Sister Jo got baptized! The missionaries have been teaching her for a long time, and she’s been attending church for a long time, but she’s been scared of committing to baptism. God helped her realize, however, that she needs to put her faith before fear and take those small steps that will lead her to something even greater! It was a really good baptism! The sister missionary that originally was in the ward she first attended before she moved was there. She had a big support group and it was great!
Missionary work is the best! Isn’t it!
Yummy snack of steamed silkworms. It didn’t have a bad taste, but when I bit down all the steamed silkworm juices gushed out and I spit it out–in front of the lady who sold them! Oh my goodness! I felt so bad. That’s probably so disrespectful….but she laughed so I think it’s okay. Haha!
Pictures of our fancy, cute little apartment. We have a washer/dryer combo under our stove, so we’re pretty envied by all the mission.
We got transfer calls last night and Yeongdeungpo is getting a Tri-panionship! Sister L., me, and Sister N. (a cute sister who came in the group after me in the MTC)! We are so pumped!
I think Heavenly Father was preparing us for a tri-panionship because this week we had an interesting request from one of our youth. She’s considering serving a mission when she’s older and asked us if she could spend a couple days serving with us while she’s on a break! Of course! It was so fun! We woke up and did our regular studies in the morning at the church, taught lessons, proselyted, and lived as missionaries the whole day. It was the best!
She was so cute! Even though she has taught with us before in lessons, she felt a different duty this time and studied and marked the lesson pamphlets with notes and scriptures and was almost trembling before one lesson with anticipation and excitement. She attended district meeting with us and was marking every scripture that was mentioned! So great!
She’s a convert and the only member in her family, so as we taught others, we were also able to teach her and help her with things she’s wondering about. It was a really good opportunity to serve with one of our young women and help her along the way! It was a fun week!
This week is 솔날 (solnar) by the way!–Chinese New Year’s! So we’re going to party like it’s Christmas in America! Woop! Woop! Actually, everyone is going to their hometowns to be with their families for the occasion so we might spend a lot of the week finding service projects! (Which is equally as fun, to be honest!).
One of our favorite families~ They’re in our English branch! All the kids are half Korean and they speak Korean and English fluently (with no accent both ways) CRAZY! SO fun! We had FHE with them this week!
Valentines Day part with our English Class! (Seriously the funnest group of people ever!)
Sunrise from our apartment
Sis. L–seriously the funniest person I have met in my entire life
Tongue twisters and Hangman (English class classics)
Tongue twisters and Hangman (English class classics)
Snowy day in Gangnam
Valentines Day part with our English Class! (Seriously the funnest group of people ever!)
Also…one of our investigators (Sis. Jo Ha-nee) is preparing to get baptized next Sunday. Please pray for her! She’s been investigating and attending church for a really long time and she’s finally decided to receive baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost. We’re hoping that she’ll be able to stick to her commitment. We’re praying for her really hard!
Yeah, we had a surprise baptism this week. Missionaries have been teaching a cute young woman for a little over a year now and she’s been wanting to be baptized for a long time now. She’s too young and needs permission from her parents (which they haven’t given her), so she’s been waiting and attending church ever since.
She was going through a hard time and her parents could tell, so they asked what they could do to make her happy. She told them to give her permission to be baptized! They consented and she called us out of the blue one morning and told us to bring baptism papers over so her mom could give written permission.
After doing that and passing the baptismal interviews, Kang-jin was ready to be baptized! On Sunday, we had her baptism! It was after church so the whole ward attended to support her. The Young Women’s president, who has been working with her and helping her from the start, gave a beautiful testimony on God’s will and pressing forward in faith and hope.
Before this though, Kang-jin was changing into her baptismal clothes and she asked us when she was done if she could come in.
Okay, this is probably my fault, but I thought she meant come into the room where all the ward was gathered (Korean is hard). So I told her yes, and waited.
But then I heard a splash and realized my mistake.
We ran into the font and there Kang-jin was just sitting on the stairs waist-up in water, with a face like “Baptize me!”
We laughed and ran frantically to get a dry pair of baptismal clothes so we could have the service in the right order haha. It was pretty easy to get her dried off and ready to have the little baptismal service, so that was a blessing!
Besides that, this week I was called on last minute to give a talk in Korean Sacrament Meeting. It was on Joseph Smith’s First Vision, so I had it in the bag and was able to talk for the needed time.
I also had to sing three songs in church! One with the choir for English branch, one with the choir for Korean ward, and one for Kang-jin’s baptism. I sing so much as a missionary that I’m starting to thing I actually enjoy it! (Oh no! What am I becoming!!)
God is good! And I know he really is looking out for us and caring for us! Hope you have a good week!
I did not miss the super bowl. You know me and sports, and how we don’t understand each other very well. It’s funny, because out of all the sisters in our mission that love and miss their sports, I’m in the ward where we play sports the most for missionary work. I have to play basketball every week and I realized I don’t know how to do it! I just thought that if you throw it in the hoop, you’d be good. Well, nope. So I’m learning how to play sports good so people will want to talk and have me on their team and so I can find people to teach. Haha. It’s the life!
I had to go this dark to fix a mistake. Aghh!
Cool things from a place in our area called 여의도
Yeah, my hair is dark now…it was an accident.
Cool things from a place in our area called 여의도
Cool things from a place in our area called 여의도
Basketball–before my hair was dark
Dying your hair in Korea is not a good idea.
How basketball night usually turns out. I have no idea what I’m doing.
This week we had the opportunity to meet with a lot of people who were all going through different stages and hard times in their life. Although their circumstances were all different, they all seemed to have the same question:
Why do we have to suffer in this life?
One of our investigators (a girl from Russia who’s a champ at Korean) has been really struggling with this question and her relationship with God. She has been going through some hard times lately and has been wondering if there really is a loving Heavenly Father or not.
As we were meeting with a young women from our ward this week, we felt prompted to ask for her input on this question. She immediately said in her cute Korean accent, “NO PAIN, NO GAME.” We laughed and agreed, but as I thought about it, I realized the truth behind what she said.
In 2 Nephi 2, Lehi tells his son Jacob,
Thou art my firstborn in the days of my tribulation in the wilderness, and behold, in thy childhood thou hast suffered afflictions and much sorrow…Nevertheless…thou knowest the greatness of God; And He shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain.
The Lord allows us pain for our gain!
No matter who we are or where we are, we are bound to face trials, afflictions, and sorrows. But if we continue to trust in our amazing, loving Heavenly Father, he will bless us, and He will consecrate our afflictions for our gain!!!
I really believe that God doesn’t want us to suffer, but he wants us to have joy, and learn, and grow to become more like Him. Without hard times, however, we could never progress in the way that our Heavenly Father wants us to!
I’m so thankful that we do have a loving Heavenly Father that cares for us and understands us perfectly. God is good!
First off, I’ve had sort of a bad hair week so I don’t know if I’ll get any pictures to you (at least ones that have me in it)…but hey, I’ll have a funny story for you in the future…ㅎㅎhopefully…right now it only looks funny..ㅎㅎ
Anyway! Yeong-deung-po is NUTS! Sundays as missionaries are usually always a bit busy, but I’ve never been in a place that’s like this. We are literally running from one story to another, from person to person and class to class. Since the English Branch and Korean Ward overlap (and we have investigators in both) we have to go on member splits to try to do everything we need to do. It’s crazy, but so fun! There are about 300 people in the church at one time so we’re also trying to talk to everyone and learn who everyone is as we run errands for people, make sure our investigators are doing okay, and learn and participate in classes. Thankfully, our ward members are very friendly and naturally love to get to know those who are new or visiting.
Since we’re attending church for a solid 5 hours straight, I’ve gotten pretty good at switching from Korean to English to the little Korean sign language I know. I feel pretty tired after church, but it’s the happy sort of tired. 🙂
Although, church is really busy, and there are a million things to do as a missionary…I still feel like it’s my peaceful time of the week to learn and feel the spirit with my ward and friends. During Korean sacrament meeting, a deaf member gave an amazing talk about service! He had written down the things he planned on talking about, then signed his talk up at the podium as a sign language missionary translated for the ward below. Although not everything made perfect sense translated to spoken Korean, everyone felt the spirit and Christ’s love. It was a really neat experience!
I love you! And hope you enjoy every Sunday because they’re just so special!