Thursday, 26 December 2013

Merry Christmas



This last Friday, there was a Christmas Party in Daejeon for all the missionaries in the mission. I enjoyed that very much. It took like 2-3 hours on KTX each ride but was worth it. We did this thing called "The white elephant" which is like Secret Santa. I got lollies, felt pens and clay! Yay~ Thank you Santa. Then we had yummy Korean lunch. Then we watched "Home Alone." Haha yes, that's right. I didn't think the President would allow us to watch a non-church movie but it was Christmas so. It was so weird watching a movie though. I couldn't get myself to enjoy it. 

Then we had this Christmas Devotional with Musical numbers and stories read. The elders in our District did a singing item so I played the piano for it. I didn't have time to practice the song so I was nervous that I'd make lots of mistakes. I prayed a lot that He would help me. When I prayed, I got the impression not to worry and that He would help me. When I played the it during the performance I played it really well without mistakes. That devotional was so special. I felt the Spirit. I felt how much Jesus Christ loves me and how happy His birth is. 

We are teaching this part-member family right now. The Dad is a less active. That family is so special. They have met the missionaries for a long time before but there hearts are so ready now. The Mum wants to live the Gospel and the kids love our discussions. It's rare that kids are like that but when we asked them to come to the Christmas Party at church the mum was like to the little girl "do you want to go?" and she was like "Yes mummy, I wanna go." Apparently the little girl prays by herself before having food when no one told her to. When we were teaching them about the Plan of Salvation, the girl was telling us the Kingdoms of glory because she remembered from discussions she had before when she was like 6. :0 She is literally an angel. 

We have another investigator called Sister Choi. She was a former investigator we found the week before. Before we met again last week, we heart-attacked her door with cookies. When we met her again she told us how she was having a really bad day because of an argument with her husband then that night she saw the cookies and the hearts on the door and she was so touched. It really made her feel better. I love doing that! It was such a little act of service but it helped her. I'm grateful that our Heavenly Father guided us on which day to heart attack her.

We have this other investigator, Sister Park. She is in her 80's. I found her on a bus ride. I just talked to her when I was a Greenie (new missionary). She has been sick for a long time and she told us last time that her daughter, whom she is living with at the moment, doesn't like us coming over. We haven't visited her for a long time but we decided to visit her without notice. Aww, that was such a special time. When we came, she was like "you keep coming when I tell you not to..." laughing. Although she said that she missed us and was happy to see us. She fed us lunch. After lunch we had a lesson on Jesus Christ's ministry. Sister Choi and I both didn't know what to teach her about when we got there but as we talked with her during lunch I felt a prompting to teach her about Christ's life. I whispered to Sister Choi "Christ's life" and she said that she felt the same prompting to teach her about that. I really love her so much. I feel like she's my grandmother. She expressed that she feels inadequate to be baptised but we know that her Father in Heaven can help her to be ready for baptism. 

There is a lady next to me who is asking me questions about the Book of Mormon now so I gotta go haha.



Snow in Korea 
Our district
Missionaries at Christmas party 

Reaching Milestones



This week we have had a lot of miracles. On Thursday, we had a punk so we were thinking what we should do. On a whiteboard we have the names of our investigators, potential investigators and less actives. This name of a potential investigator kept pressing down upon my mind. We went and visited her. She said that every time she needs help with her faith us the sisters come to her. I cried and told her that I felt prompted to come here after a punk. She comforted me and gave me tissues. She thought that I was crying because of the punk but I was crying because Heavenly Father loves her so much that He wanted us to go to at that exact time. She became a new investigator. 

This week we had a goal to teach for 14 hours. We achieved our goal!! Yay~

We have been able to have a lot of good lessons on the street lately. He gave us miraculous opportunities to help us achieve our goal.

As a zone we have this Book of Mormon project. We are all reading the whole of Book of Mormon in 6 weeks (one transfer). We have to read while exercising, eating and when there isn't people to talk to on the bus. I found that as I am reading the Book of Mormon more, I feel happier. When I am testifying to people about the truthfulness of the sacred book, I am able to testify more sincerely and Spiritually. Before when I read the Book of Mormon I think I focused on what the people were like but this time I am reading the Book of Mormon and trying to think more about who Christ is and it's wonderful. 

We do 20 minute member visits and we have been focusing the visits on the Book of Mormon lately. President Gordon B Hinckley gave us three promised blessings that comes from reading the Book of Mormon. 1. Greater Spirit in our lives 2.Stronger desire to keep the commandments 3.Greater testimony of  Jesus Christ. I know that is true. When we visit members we can really tell those members who have read the Book of Mormon and those who haven't, as harsh as it sounds. Each member has special reason why they come to this church. It can be member friends, the missionaries, fun activities. However, the ones who have read the Book of Mormon come to church for the perfect reason. Because of their love for Christ and their strong testimony that this is His restored church. 

On Saturday, we visited an elderly couple in their late 80's. They were converted in their senior years (like 70's?) but we were so impressed by how strong they were in the Gospel. They had a firm testimony of the Gospel and they showed that in their actions. I noticed that their scripture was fully marked and well-used. My companion and I both thought "that's how." I love them so much. They have so much love for us. They fed us so much pumpkin soup though haha. I had trouble walking with such a full stomach that night...  

I know my family is a family that has been strengthened through reading the Book of Mormon. I so glad that I read the Book of Mormon before my mission because that was how I gained a testimony of the Restored Gosepel.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Photos!

Making cookies during a member visit. The kids started putting cookie dough on our faces soon after that photo haha!

 Playing a game during 서광주 Sisters' Conference


 Pepero Day Sisters' Conference


Having Sister Boone's favorite Korean food "동지죽."  Sweet bean soup with glutinous rice balls.


At 큰언니 모임= older sisters' meeting where the older relief society sisters get together for a meal and spend time together. We went to this fancy restaurant where they gave us three course meals. It was the best meal I've ever had since I got here. Everything was so pretty and delicious. Sister Boone didn't know that there was a 3rd course which was the main course so she filled herself up with the first two course... not good... haha


One photo is of the primary kids singing 'head shoulders knees and toes' yesterday. We taught them at church yesterday. They are sooo cute. One of them was really fiery but still cute haha. 


It was SOOO windy!! We even felt it was dangerous to be outside so we went and did doorknocking. My umbrella got dissected in seconds haha. It was so funny. My companion and I were 'lolling' for so long. Glasses and rain doesn't go well together haha.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

A Special Experience

Dear friends,

This we had some good days! We have this investigator Sister Oh. She is a referral from our Stake President's wife. She has been friends with her for a long time and they work together. She has observed the good that comes from our church for a long time, especially on families. She really is so prepared. I couldn't believe how prepared she is and I even was a little suspicious... She asked us when she can get baptised! haha that never happens. She is such an angel. She wants the Gospel in her family and she has sincere desires to come closer to Jesus Christ. We met her three times and each of those discussions were so Spiritual. Last Friday, we had a discussion on the Restoration. It was a special experience.

It's getting really cold here in Korea. The temperature dropped so low suddenly.

Today is P-day (Preparation-day) and we have a Sisters' Conference in Naju which is an hour bus ride away. The sister missionaries in our zone and getting together and celebrating Pepero Day together for fun.
It'll be fun. I'll send photos next week.

Talk to you again next week.

Sister Sangji Lee.

Monday, 4 November 2013

"Little by little"

Dear blog...

Honestly, it's been a bit hard lately... Quite a lot of investigators dropping us or we have to drop them. It's heart-breaking but my companion and I decided we will be more grateful for all the blessings we do have in this time.


My companion is in her last transfer of her mission. She will be finishing in December. She says she has never worked so hard and seen so little progress. However, we know that as we are exactly obedient and as we are working hard to improve ourselves we will see more miracles. 

I think I'm just starting to learn how to do missionary work. Little by little. (2 Nephi 28:30, Book of Mormon) I'm just starting to recognising the Spiritual Promptings to talk to certain people. I'm just starting to recongnise when I'm teaching with the Spirit and when I'm not. I'm just starting to get more and more out of personal and companionship study time. I'm just starting to recognise more of those things that drive the Spirit away from me. I'm just starting to recognise my weaknesses that I was oblivious to before. It's slow but it's exciting.

Last Friday, we had another Halloween party just for our ward. Our members brought so many of their non-member friends along. It was great! We are trying to see ways we can meet with them again.

Talk to you again next week~

Sister Sangji Lee. 이상지 자매.

* * *


Dear Sangji's Blog readers and friends,
Here is the latest update from her companion! SO funny quirks about Sister Lee: She really is dramatic, but in a good way, her sad times are really sad, but her happy times are really happy. She is a bit sensitive which makes her a really good friend to have if you are feeling bad and you need sympathy. She also oddly enough attracts 할모니s (Korean grandmothers) and they LOVE her and always tell her how beautiful she is and pat her on the bottom. What a cutie!

FUNNY EXPERIENCES: Sister Lee has kind of a hard time learning names and faces sometimes too.  She came into Home plus and I said hi to some of the workers there (two Young adults in our ward) and she got so excited that these two supposedly strangers were so nice to missionaries. She soon found out that they were members she had met yesterday and we all had a nice laugh. Poor thing so much new all at once.All in all I am very blessed to be serving with Sister Lee and know that she has a great big heart. She loves this work and is a good example of hard work!

Have a wonderful week!

Monday, 28 October 2013

Exciting Week


A missionary co-ordination meeting we had last week. Our Ward mission leader took us to a restaurant that specialises in saucy raw crab dish '게장'. T'was delicious. Sister Boone doesn't like seafood especially when it's raw so the elders and I got to eat extra.



We had a semi-stake Halloween Party. I dressed up as a chef and wore my 'Cook-Of-Mormon' apron. (show it to Eleni please) and Sister Boone dressed up as an elf. I drew elf ears and stuck them on her but people kept asking what she is and why she has Budda ears... so she got another person to redo elf ears haha. It was a fun night. Sister Boone and I were in charge of the candy throw activity, where people throw gummy bears into people's mouths.


Just a normal day on the streets of Korea~

Monday, 14 October 2013

My companion, Sister Boone

Introducing Sister Boone

HELLO! 
My name is Sister Laura Boone I am 167cm tall, 23 years old, and I am a Mormon ...missionary! I am from the USA in Arizona, but despite no ocean in AZ among my greatest dreams is to learn how to surf. My favorite Korean food is Kimchi jiggae and Korean Soymilk/Bean noodles its not really like soymilk but its really delicious and sadly only available in summer. 

One of my favorite parts of missionary work is when someone says their first verbal prayer to our heavenly father. There is no experience that compares to how much you can feel Gods love for them and you simultaneously! The hardest parts are being constantly faced with your weaknesses, and having to face them, because running away from them just makes you have to face them again later, and they are always worse by then. But the pros outweigh the cons 100 to 1 in missionary work. It is incredibly difficult-tailor made and heaven sent experience. 

I really enjoyed my time with Sangji and for those of you who have never seen her in action I'll have you know that she is a natural born missionary and she already had done and will continue to do great things. 

My favorite scripture lately is found in the Book of Mormon 1Nephi 3:7 "...I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." There is no commandment too difficult or insurmountable but that God will give us a way to do it. He who knows all, sees the way when we cannot see it. Trust Him, ask Him and He will lead you. I bear witness of that truth!

Keep the faith,
Sister Laura Boone

p.s. tune in next time with funny quirks of Sangji you may or may not have known about :)



[PHOTOS]

Kimchi~ A quick photo at a bus stop.


Our district out hiking 
Me after doing personal study at the top of the mountain 

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Happiness

Dear Blog,

I don't have much time to email today so it's a short one. We went hiking to Moodng Mt today as it is our P-day. We went as a District and we had such a great time. We got up to the peak and ate Kimbab and Tteock for lunch then had our personal study time. It was the perfect environment to be in. 

I just wanna say this work makes me so happy. When I see my investigators grow and their thirst for the Gospel increases, it makes me so happy. It's a peaceful happiness that stays in my heart. Two of our investigators are really starting to open their heart to the Gospel now that makes me so happy.

The other night, we were talking to some people at the Bus stop and we were leaving but as we were leaving I spotted this woman who was looking at us so intently. We went up to her to introduce ourselves and talk to her. She kept saying we looked so happy. She saw us getting rejected by the people who we talked to at the bus stop but she noticed that those rejections didn't alter our happiness.

I know that the whole purpose of the Gospel is for us to have happiness.
"And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall." ( Helaman 5:12, Book of Mormon.)

I know that sometimes in life we feel that way. Sometimes we feel like there is a 'whirlwind', 'hail' and 'storms in life but if our lives our built on the foundation of Jesus Christ then we can still find peace and happiness midst that. We have someone to rely on during the disaster times.

P.S Next week, I'm gonna get my companion to write to you.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

A Learning Week

It been like a week and a half since I got here in Gwanju, Poonghyang. It's been a learning week. I shared with my family a sacred experience I had last week. This work is surreal. Miracles are real.

I'll just share with you all a learning experience I had last night.
We were walking to visit a less-active. We were walking past this lady who was exercising at a park. Sister Boone, my companion was prompted to talk to her. She was asking us what the Book of Mormon is and we were really excited to teach her about our message. However, it ended up that she wanted to teach us. When she tried to teach us about the Bible and all that she knows in the Bible, I was like not listening. I just kind of sighed and prayed that she would listen to OUR message. We shared with her scriptures from the Book of Mormon, what the Book of Mormon is, who Joseph Smith is and bore our testimonies. However, I felt that she wasn't really listening to anything we were teaching her. At the end of it she accepted the Book of Mormon which is fantastic but admitted she is not interested. Although I did feel the Spirit as I testified to her but I didn't feel the Spirit too strongly during our 30 min discussion with her.

Afterwards when we were walking home, I asked Sister Boone how I could have done better (she is my trainer). She said when the person is not listening, we need to look back on ourselves. Are we listening to her? As I thought about that I realised I wasn't listening to her. I just selfishly focused on what I want to teach her. I realised I didn't teach her this special message in the way the Saviour would do. If He was teaching her He would listen to her whatever she talks about. He would teach this message in the most loving way possible. I learnt this important lesson last night. I would feel so bad if this was the only chance for her to accept this message because I wasn't being a very good missionary but I know it won't be, Christ is so merciful and will give her more chances.

The message we share is simple. I know now that as a missionary it is most important to let others FEEL the Spirit. Teaching them the most amount of doctrines and proving them wrong is not our purpose. Our purpose is to help others remember the things they knew in the pre-mortal life (the life we lived with God before we were born on this Earth).
"For my soul delighteth in plainess; for after this manner doth the Lord God work among the children of men. For the Lord God giveth light unto the understanding; for he speaketh unto men according to their language, unto their understanding."
-2 Nephi 31:3, Book of Mormon-

I love being a missionary. Every returned missionary talked about how mission is so great but so hard at the same time. To be honest, I haven't found it too hard yet. I have a fantastic trainer. I'm slowly learning to see people the way Christ would see them. I'm slowly learning how to be more and more like Him.

My companion and are working towards being 100% obedient to the mission rules. Even with small things we are trying to be obedient. We wanna see more miracles and we are having faith that us being 100% obedient will help us to be part of more miracles. Sister Boone and I have such a matching personality and we find it so easy to get along with each other so we are trying to make the most out of this for the two transfers (6 weeks) we have together.

I love you all and write to me people I wanna know how you are all doing! xx
Sister Sangji Lee

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

First week in Korea

Dear Blog,

I have been in Korea since Wednesday. We had a lot of meetings to get us (the new missionaries) ready.Haha the morning after the Elders went to the bathhouse. The sisters went to the bathhouse too. They loved it. I love it too. It's so relaxing and I feel so clean afterwards.

On Thursday, we met our trainer/companion. My companion's name is Sister Boone. She is from Arizona USA and she has studied nursing at BYU for four years. She is amazing! We get along like cheese and crackers. She is like 5 years older than me but I always tell her that she is cute because she IS cute! I've only spent like 4 days with her but I feel like I've known her my whole life. She is never critical and she teaches me how to be a good missionary through her example. I love her so much.

It's sooo hot here. I thought summer is gone but it's so much hotter than the summer in New Zealand at the moment. When I say I'm hot everyone's like "what? It's not hot. You should've been here in July when it was actually HOT." I also got like 10 massive mosquito bites on my legs. Some of them are 3/4 cm in diameter. They drive me a little crazy sometimes.


The first time I street contacted people to talk to them, I was really nervous. I was freaking out. "What do I say? How do I start?!" but a sister told me that I won't be seeing them ever again and we are just giving them the chance to accept this message, this gift. If they don't want to accept it then it doesn't matter because we value free agency. 전도/proselyting isn't a very effective way of finding investigators here in Korea though. It's because here in Korea there are soo many 전도사/preachers from other Christian faiths and unfortunately they are very pushy, aggressive, loud and scary. When we tell them that we are missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints a lot of them ignore us because of the bad-image of missionaries in general even though they don't know anything about our church. My way of 전도/proselyting is to talk to people about things other than religion to start with and I get to know them and then I ask questions like 'Have you met missionaries before?" and  "Have you ever heard of the Book of Mormon before?" then I try to teach people about our message.


On Saturday, we did a service project in the countryside. Some members from church live in the countryside farming melons. They needed help so they called us. I was soo happy to be at the countryside. Mountains, rice fields, old Korean houses, butterflies, chili fields, farm trucks and the smell of Korean farms brought me back to my grandparents place. We helped put white protective covers around the melons and box them to be sold. We covered like 500 melons I'm pretty sure. Afterwards they took us to a Chinese restaurant and we had 짜장면, 탕수윢 and 짱뽕. It was so yummy. They also gave us a big bag of melons to eat. We've been like living on melons the last couple of days. They are so sweet. On the way back home in the members car, I just thought about this experience we had. I was just overwhelmed with the feeling of gratitude for my Heavenly Father for giving me this opportunity to serve Him in my home country. In Korean there is a word "정" and there isn't an exact translation for this word in English because it's something that only exists between Koreans. It's this family-like love and deep care. The members here are treating us like family and are so caring of us. I can feel the 정  from them.


I just realised I haven't told you where I'm serving in Korea. I'm serving in Gwangju in the Poonghyang ward. On Sunday, I attended my first sacrament meeting in the Poonhyang ward. I gave my greeting-talk during sacrament meeting. Our ward is really emphasizing member missionary work right now. The member have given us like 4 referrals which is amazing. The members have also been giving us food like grapes, pears, seaweed...
This week is Korean thanksgiving/추석. Missionary work doesn't go too well during 추석 so for the next 2 days we are having mission district conference and we are going to be practising teaching. I was also given the opportunity to ring home for 1 hour but I said that I'll just save the phone call for Christmas and Mothers day.


We do two service activities a month. Today we just got back from another service activity. There is this event where they serve free lunch to elderly people. We helped set it up and clean up. I have to say it was HECTIC! There were like 600 elderly people lining up to get lunch. So many elderly were getting angry and impatient waiting for food so they tried to push in the lines. It was kind of funny but so hectic.


I'm kind of learning to laugh at things. For example, if I tried to talk to the lady sitting next to me on the bus and she just stares at me and walks away to find another seat I just laugh inside. I think I'm gonna experience so many more crazy things on my mission so I'm just gonna laugh about it, brush it off and not let it hurt my feelings.


I love being a missionary so much. I love walking on the streets smiling with this name tag on, carrying a Book of Mormon. I love that I'm officially representing this Gospel which I treasure and love. I love this lifestyle as a missionary, waking up at 6:30, praying, exercising, studying the scriptures, praying, proselyting, teaching lessons, singing hymns.

I'm sorry this letter is a bit all over the place with topics. I don't have too much time to write so I think my blog letters are gonna be like this...

Love you all and I'll write to you again next week.
Sister Sangji Lee.



In front of the Salt Lake Temple
New missionaries!


Sister Missionaries at the MTC

Me first companion Sister Boone in Korea

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Start of my Journey!

Dear Family,


Mum thank you so much for that email. I love you so much...  It made me tear up a little but I don't want to cry in front of the Westover family so I'm trying to hold back my tears. Also, Jisu thank you for the letter you wrote me. I was reading it on the plane to Auckland and I cracked up laughing SO loud haha. Some people were looking at me weirdly but oh well it was funny.

I'm here at the Westover's safe. They are such a cute family. The kids are sooo gorgeous. They all have blue eyes and blond hair. I was talking to a 6 year old named Amber. I asked her "Do you wanna be a missionary when you are older?" then she said "Nah... I'd rather stay home and have a boyfriend." haha so cute. I had all sorts of American Cereal like frosty flakes, fruit loops... for breakfast. It was so American I had to take a photo. I told them our experience with the newborn lamb the night before I came here and they were so amazed. I showed them photos of the lamb.

I was eating the Kimbab you made me at the Auckland airport. It was delicious and I'm gonna miss your food. Thank you so much for getting up early in the morning to make breakfast and lunch for us everyday before seminary. It always showed me your love and care for us. I met up with Stacey and her mum and the Auckland airport. It was good to see them. They bought me an aeroplane pillow! The plane ride from Auckland to LA was LONG. I tried to sleep on the plane but not too successful. In Auckland I met Elder David who is also flying to the Provo MTC so I wasn't too alone.


It's just so weird hearing American accent everywhere! lol. I love it hah. It's perfect weather here. Very warm but not too hot. The mountains here in Utah are so AMAZING. Beautiful place!


At the Salt Lake City airport, I met up with Brother Westover (a missionary taught my family the Gospel back in Korea). We were waiting like 30 for my big suitcase because it didn't come out. We asked for help and they tried to look for it for another 30 min. I was worried that the suitcase was lost then they said that the suitcase did arrive at the airport but they didn't know where it is. It made me more worried. Did someone take my suitcase??!  but after an hour of waiting, it just popped up in the luggage carousel. I felt so blessed. From the car ride to the airport to here I felt like my Heavenly Father is looking down on me and I feel... 'protected.'  


I gotta go now. Eleni is picking me up to take me around BYU campus before dropping me off at the MTC.


Love you always,Sister Sangji Lee.

P.S. I'll send you photos in the next email.

Monday, 19 August 2013

7 Days to go...

Ok. I just sat on my couch with the laptop writing and erasing and writing and erasing, struggling to decide how to start this blog... haha. I'm kinda nervous about what I write on this because I read somewhere that what I write on my blog will stay on the internet permanently... :o I'd probably read back in the future at some of the stuff I've written and think "Oh... Golly Gosh. Why was I so crazy/ weird/ immature???" That's what I think when I read my past journal.

I am starting a blog for my 18 month journey as a Mormon Missionary in Korea (yeah the ones you've probably seen before on bikes or knocking on your door). I can't promise you that I'll be posting regularly but I'll try.

I got my mission call in May and found out I'll be serving in the Korea Daejeon Mission. I've heard from a couple of people that Daejeon Mission is known for having a lot of sister missionaries. A friend of mine calls it the "DearJohn Mission" lol. (lots of missionaries write DearJohn/DearJane letters on their mission) 

I'm so happy to go to back to Korea. I miss Korea. I miss being surrounded by the Korean food, the culture, the people and the language 24/7. It's exactly where I wanted to go. 

I don't know whether I should write about myself or not. I don't know who will read this blog. If you are friend of mine then you won't need to read this but if you are a random who found this blog then here is a brief description of who I am.

My name is Sangji Lee (이상지 in Korean). Born and raised in Korea till the age of 11. When I was 11 my family moved to New Zealand in a place called Dunedin. I play the piano and I'm a part-time piano teacher at a high school. I also enjoy singing. I was a bit of a choir-geek in high school. I have a younger sister who is a year younger than me and inspiring parents whom I honour.

Write to you again soon...