Sunday, 23 November 2014

I love my companion Sister Morton!

I feel like the 1 year and a half of my mission experience is like a training to be a member missionary forever. I really want to be a member missionary forever. If I ever get slack after returning, you have to kick my butt. ok??

Last night, when I was talking with my Heavenly Father before going to bed. I thanked him for blessing my family. In your and mum and dad's letters I can see the Lord's hands drawing you all closer to Him. I can see His hands pouring out blessings upon you. Sometimes the work seems hopeless but last night as I was praying I was filled with His love that He know each effort that I put into His work and that He is blessing me in the very way I want; by blessing my family.

Thursday was transfer day. I met my Greenie, Sister Morton!! She is amazing! haha.
She reminds me a little bit of Miley Cyrus when she was young haha she hated that comment but apparently she got that comment before from her friends haha. She is very humorous and has a passion for missionary work. I'm so blessed to be her trainer. She loves Korean food. We had 순대 for lunch on Friday and she loved it haha. The first American I know who likes 순대. 

I love my companion Sister Morton. I can tell you honestly that Heavenly Father helps me to repent through each of my companion. I learnt new weaknesses of mine from each of my companion and they have all helped me to strengthen it. The key to a successful companionship is being open with each other. I'm learning that more and more. I am not very good at that so I'm learning.
Sister Morton is very adventurous. She wants to try 보신탕... goodness. I'll just be watching her...haha

We have had a lot of miracles this week. Sister Lorena and Sister 황향숙 set a baptismal date for December 6th. I'm grateful for the Spirit that led the lessons we have had with them the past week. 

I love you all
 Farewell 안규진 자매님 at the branch president's house.
District Photo.
We went flower viewing with our investigator lorena and our member.
안규진자매님 and I.
월남쌈 at our investigator's house.
분식 with Sister Morton. All for US$ 7.50...

Monday, 27 October 2014

A test of Faith

Lately, we are not able to meet some of our investigators because it is the harvest season of the year. Sister Nam works harvesting ginger so she is too busy to meet till middle of November. We call her occasionally and she is doing well reading the Book of Mormon and praying everyday. Gosh, I feel for her. She works so much that she only sleeps like 4hours a day but she still takes time out to pray and read every morning. From what I've observed, I think a lot of investigators who end up getting baptised has this kind of period when God tests their faith before baptism...

Gosh... we have been getting a lot of punks this week.. haha.

On Tuesday, we were on our way to go to our investigator, Sister Hwang's house. We wanted to suddenly visit her and give her the Restoration Video. We were walking past the bus stop where we met her spontaneously last time. I thought "It'd be so funny if we see her again here" then there she is casually walking towards us with her bag full of 목욕탕(public bath) neccessaties. She was on her way to the public bath again. We were so ecstactic to see her. She said that usually she goes to the bathhouse earlier during the day but her grandson locked himself in a room with her celphone so she had to go later. Sister An and I were both thinking "what should we do?? We really need to talk with her...This is a rare chance!" then Sister An was like "can we go to the bathhouse with you??" haha yes we ended up going to the bathhouse with our investigator... We followed up about the Book of Mormon reading and everything and taught her a lesson while she was on the water massage machine in the bathhouse.  We took out our meal times for the time we spent at the bathhouse. 

Sister Hwang is doing really well. She is praying about our church, reading the Book of Mormon and attending church so we are expecting miracles for her. Recently Sister Hwang's ancestors have to appearing in her dreams and we felt that her ancestors want her to do the family history work and take their names to the temple. We've taught about the temple and she was really interested in it. Yesterday at church she told us of another special dream she has had recently. The reason why Sister Hwang refuses to be baptised is becaused she has already been baptised with her mum at a different church and doesn't understand the importance of the priesthood authority. In her dream, her mum appeared in her dream and she was handwashing a white dress then her mum handed her the dress. Sister Hwang noticed that the dress was still dirty and when she tried washing it again a lot of dirt kept coming out of it. When Sister Hwang told this dream to her daughter (Sister Kim who is a member), Sister Kim was shocked and realised the meaning of the dream that Sister Kim's grandmother wanted to tell her mum that the baptisms wasn't valid. This dream is making Sister Hwang, think more deeply about everything.

My companion, Sister An is not well lately. Her health is getting really bad. I'm worried about her. I hope she doesn't have anything serious...The church members are worried about her health because she doesn't look healthy. The branch President's family gave 보약 to us yesterday and this Recent Convert gave her a 1 hour 1:1 lecture on natural healing... haha. She had a headache by the end of it. haha We have such a loving branch...
I'm having so much fun serving with Sister An. She has such a deep understanding about the Gospel. I learn so much during companionship study time. Lately, during personal study, I have been trying to ask good questions to myself while studying the plan of salvation. It's so fascinating. I'm learning the importance of asking questions while studying, the best personal studies have been the times when I asked questions to myself and found answers to them in the scriptures.

Personal goals

Our mission has 140 missionaries and we have not been having baptisms for 3 weeks in a row so we are having a special fast.

I'm am constantly reminded of how important it is as a member to be fed spiritually everyday with scripture reading and prayer. We have been working with and visiting some members. When they are having their trials when their faith is tested, I am saddened about their trials but I am even more saddened when I find out that they don't do their daily prayers and scripture reading. When we seek to help our members, we are always prompted to bear testimony of the importance of daily prayer and scripture reading.

Lately, I have been slacking at talking with everyone. I made excuses like 'we haven't seen much fruit from proselyting' 'we need to focus on thinking and praying about the investigators we already have' etc... This week, I noticed myself that I am starting to fear men more than God. I noticed that I am slowing down a little and being more nervous. I told this to the Lord. I asked Him to lift me up. By experiences and feelings, He reminded me how important it is to open my mouth at all times. I have made a personal goal for talking with more people and this has made a big difference to my spirituality.

We went to the countryside to help our member's mother pick chilli. Sister An had so much fun with that dog. That dog has some kind of a mental problem so it barks at his own foot... The member's mother became our investigator and we are excited to go again next week.
Our investigator and her friend took us to a 팥죽 place. It was yummy but we had to drop her after that meeting... She is not willing to keep commitments... :(

Yesterday this lady we met on the street showed us how to get to a bus stop. We went past her garden with a pumpkin patch. Sister An told her about the Halloween party we are having and how we need a pumpkin for pumpkin carving. She said that to invite her to the party but the lady actually ended up giving us a pumpkin hahah. We carried that around with us on the way to the member's house haha.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Making a difference in our lives

Sister Nam is progressing well. She first had english interest but as she learned more about our message. She realised that it's time she has a belief in her life. We didn't ask her to pray everyday but she has been praying everyday before she goes to work. She says that it's making a difference in her life. The other day, she only had time to sleep for two hours then she went to work. In the past she has been grumpy and impatient with the people around her whenever she was sleep-deprived but she said that prayer helped her to get through that day without feeling too tired and grumpy. 

We had a touching member lesson with her this week. It was with our member sister강. In the lesson, we were sharing about how the power of the atonement can be applied by reading the Book of Mormon. Sister 강 shared how she used to suffer from insomnia. It was so bad that she couldn't sleep for 4 days once. One day, a church sister suggested her to go for a walk outside and read the Book of Mormon everyday. At first Sister 강 hesitated and doubted about how reading a book can heal her disease but as she did that her insomnia got so much better gradually. Something that Sister강 said really made think. She said that she realised during the lesson that her healing came from the power of the atonement of Jesus Christ. It is just like what I am learning on my mission. Before my mission I received soo many blessings from the Gospel and my nature changed gradually by feeling God's love for me but I didn't realise all of that was from the atonement, from Christ's sacrifice. I was like a child enjoying the food and everything parents buy for her while being oblivious to the sweat and tears parents put into earning that money. I'm learning and feeling little bit by bit about Christ's sacrifice for me but I will never be able to understand fully his sacrifice in my mortal mind but I can keep being grateful till the day I see Him.
On Thursday, we went to a zone conference in 청주 (Cheon-Ju). It was such a long time travelling :/ ... but it was a good meeting.

I did a musical item and sung "Come Thou Fountain." I got an elder to accompany me on the piano. Being a missionary he didn't have much time to practice so when we performed, he messed up quite a lot. I just kept on singing to keep the flow. The people still loved it and the Spirit was there but I saw that the elder seemed really embarrassed about it. I expressed my thanks to him. Later on he told me that he has learned a lesson from this experience. Because of his perfectionist personality, before his mission if he did that in a performance, he would walk out of the room and never come back but he felt ok about it this time and it didn't bother him as much. Hearing that made me happier than any other complements I got for the performance. I could see God's hand in helping him to learn and grow.
I did a split with Sister Livingston after the zone conference. She is a beauty. The photo is of us having dinner together when unsplitting.

안규진 자매님 and I
After the split
Yesterday... with our member and investigator next to a "Nike Missile." haha

My testimony

Our mission is making a collection of the missionaries' testimonies and making a book for Christmas. This is my testimony...
"When I came on my mission, I hoped that this year and a half of service will increase my understanding about the Atonement. On my mission, I have had to rely on Christ's Atonement every single day.

There were times when I did not have the physical strength to go on anymore. As I cried out for strength, He gave me strength I did not have.

There were times when my heart hurt from other people's actions. By being open and honest with Him through prayer, He let me know that He understands perfectly then gave me strength to forgive and forget.

There were times when I was stressed about the progress of investigators and felt hopeless, He reminded me through the words in the Book of Mormon that HE is the healer, not me.

There were times when my heart was weighed down with guilt and sorrow for my mistakes. By humbly seeking Him through prayer, He let me know that my sins are forgiven and that I need not look back.

There were times when I was worried about my family and missed them. Through my family's emails, He let me know that He is blessing my family everyday.

I know that my Redeemer lives because I would not be where I am without His power of the Atonement. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."

I want to share a miracle we had this week.

We have an investigator called Sister 지. She has been meeting with us for about a month now and she is a great listener and she reads whatever we ask her to read but she always refused to pray... We have asked her to pray several times already so before we walked into her lesson, we decided not to ask her to pray.

As we were finishing up the lesson, 안규진자매님 shared her powerful testimony. As I was watching Sister 지, I felt Heavenly Father's sorrow and how much He wants her to pray to Him. 안규진 자매님 was about to say the closing prayer but I felt prompted to let her know about what I felt. I asked her "Is there a reason why you won't pray Sister 지?" She said "no, it's just I don't know a lot yet and I don't have much belief."
I said to her "I'm sorry if we gave you 부담 (uncomfortable pressure) by teaching you about prayer and asking you to pray several times but I have felt during the times we have met you that Heavenly Father really wants to hear from you."
I felt the Spirit strongly as I said that. She then agreed to pray and said the closing prayer. I was reminded of the importance of following the promptings of the Spirit.

"Why did Jesus teach to forgive everyone when He came?"

Dear family and friends...            
I have a new companion. Her name is 안규진 자매님. Before we met each other, we both have felt that we need each other for this transfer while we prayed. I am understanding little bit by bit why. I'm learning so much from her especially on being bold with love. I read in acts when one of the disciples say 'I will obey God than obeying men.' That describes her. She has a strong love for the Gospel and is fully aware that we as missionaries have a serious calling to work for people's salvation. She is 29 years old so she has experienced a lot of things in her life. Because of this she is able to understand more about the investigators. I love her.

SIster An and I are having a lot of fun doing missionary work together. She is the first companion who I speak Korean all the time with. All other companions we did english inside and Korean outside. She is teaching me a lot of words I have forgotten and I'm learning more deeply about the Korean culture from her. Usually in Korean culture the age difference really plays a role in a relationship but although she is 8 years older than me we are just like friends.

Last time we skyped, mum and dad you told me that I need to understand more about the Korean people and their hardships. That made me a sulky at the time but I have been thinking about that over and over again. I have come to understand that actually I will never be able to understand these people's hardships perfectly because I simply haven't experienced it. Just like I cannot understand perfectly the sacrifice of Christ's atonement at this time. However, we have the testimonies of other members of the church around the world who have experience things our investigators have. They can get a lot of strength from that so sister 안규진 and I are utilising a lot of resources from right now.

Lately, I've been learning how important it is to forgive people. I remember mum once asked me 'why did Jesus teach to forgive everyone when He came?' By observing the people around me I see that Christ wants us to forgive everyone because that little bit of hatred left behind in our hearts makes it hard to live the Gospel and Satan utilises that so well to drag us down the wrong way. The happy part is that through Christ's atonement we can get rid of any kind of unforgiveness in our hearts 100%.

Our investigator 남금송s is doing so well now. She said that last time when we met she felt that she needs to stop being unbelieving but and needs to try harder to know about God. Since then she felt the desire to pray and she has been praying every morning before she leaves to work. She says that it makes her feel peace and a lighter feeling in her heart.

Funny moment...
We visited this grandma who has trouble hearing. 안규진자매님 asked her what do you ask for when you pray to God. She then said 'cleaning, washing the dishes, scrubbing the floor." We were both looking at each other with "??" We found out she was talking about the helpers that come around regularly. haha

Thursday, 25 September 2014

"Greatest blessing"

I just got my transfer call. I'm staying in 서산 but my companion is changing. I'm sad and also excited. I looove sister Deus and we've become so close so we are both feeling sad about only being together for one transfer. I have learned so much from her. She is a very natural teacher. She gets down to the investigator's level and really helps them to feel comfortable as we teach. My new companion is Sister 안규진!!! :) Gosh, i'm so blessed. I know her because we went on a split together in 여수. It's weird because she is transferring into a new area for her last transfer. I feel strongly that God is sending her here because I need to learn from her. 

Goodness me. I am being sooo spoilt on my mission with companions. Not kidding. All of my companions have been superb, obedient and loving missionaries. If someone asks me what was your greatest blessing on your mission, I would have to say 'my companions.' God has taught me so many lessons and moulded me into a better missionary through all these angels. I feel His love through them.

This week was a big miracle week. We had quite high stats. I don't think I've ever had 4 investigators at church before on my mission... We have in total 15 investigators and a lot of them are progressing well by keeping commitments. Our schedule is packed with appointments that we didn't have time for weekly planning... We had to do it during companionship study. Gosh, I feel so blessed right now.

One of the people that came to church yesterday is called Brother Moon. We found him at our Lake Park next to the church. When we met him the last couple of times, I really didn't think that he had potential. He interrupted every time we tried to share our message and kept talking about Germany... (He thinks that Sister Deus came from Germany, even though we told him many times that her grandparents are from Germany haha)  Well... haha he just showed up to church yesterday and dragged a friend with him. He got along super well with the members and he said he wants to come next week as well... haha I don't know what happened...

We went to a place called 해미읍성 the other day. It's a place where a lot of the Catholics were executed by the local leaders in the past (like 1820's?) They executed anyone who refused to deny Christ. I was amazed at their faith. This was probably before the Restoration happened but these people were enlightened by the Holy Ghost about the living reality of Jesus Christ. They gave up their lives not to deny what they came to know through the Holy Ghost. We went there with a less-active and a member. She is that less active I was talking about last week.

Sister Kim (the less-active) is a strange one. Whenever she is with us, she admits that she knows that our church is true and that the Book of Mormon is true. She admits that she knows that God wants her to come to our church from the Catholic church but she is too scared to make changes because she 'loves the praise of men rather than the praise of God'. While we were going around the Catholic memorials with her. She was bowing to the Mary statues and Pope Francis statues...etc. I just sighed and felt frustration towards her. She told us that she was reading the Book of Mormon every night and because of that her family relationships are getting better but still I felt disappointment because she wasn't meeting up to the expectation that I had set which was to change churches immediately. I prayed to God for help to understand and feel comforted. Later in the day I read a Liahona story about how God is proud of the little steps we make in like. I came to realise that I was blind to how God is proud of the steps she has made to improve her family relationships even though she isn't willing to change her religion quite yet. I learnt the importance of appreciating the little steps...

haha at 해미읍성 we went out for lunch together. We had cow-head soup. I was fine about it but I was worried Sister Deus won't be but to my surprise she gulped it down and chewed all the head-meat down so happily. After the meal I told her that I was surprised she likes cow-head meat which a lot of Americans are afraid of. She was like "what?!!! that was cow-head meat?!" She started feeling sick after I said that haha.

Love you all!!! 화이팅!

Our District 

With our member Sister Kim. She fed us ginseng with honey. 

Travelling back in time

We did archery at 해미읍성. It was so fun.

추석 (Chuseok)

Stories for this week...

1. We have North Korean escapees as our investigators... I know you probably won't believe it but it's true. We found Sister 허 while we were putting up free english advertisement. She and her daughter were wanting to learn English and they were so stoked about our programme. Last Friday we met and they told us of their escape stories or starving, walking in snow, breaking into empty houses to find shelter, living on pumpkin seeds covered in rat poison.  It was just like in those books I read back at home. Who knew I would ever have North Korean investigators haha

2. We went to visit a potential investigator. She told us to come to her work. We went and all of her workmates were there. She wanted us to join the network marketing for 'Univera' haha we told her we can't because of regulations. Her workmates they were asking a lot of quesitons about what we do and about our church. It was a good apportunity. They wanted us to have lunch with them so we all ate 된장찌게and Kimchi together. They also gave us so many make-up and moisturiser samples... haha Sister Deus and I have been using them and they are quite good. I'll send you some haha.

3. We were walking on the street and we saw a really old grandma carrying a bag. We offered to help then she suddenly gets out these caps from the plastic bag and she looks at us with those eyes from puss'n boots cat in Shrek. She wanted us to buy her caps... They were old and kind of dirty caps. We were gonna just say 'we don't have any money' and go but those eyes were so piercing... haha Sister Deus and I ended up buying a hat each for W3000. These people in the store we were next to were watching the whole thing and they were laughing haha. The caps are gonna be our souvenirs for our companionship.   

4. We have an investigator called Sister 박. She reallly likes the standards in the church and she wants her kids to grow up in living the church standards. We were teaching her last time on the Faith in Jesus Christ and commandments. We shared D&C 82:10; how the Lord is bound to bless us when we keep His commandments but if we don't then He had no promise. She said "that's like a deal. I don't think a parent's heart is like that. I think a parent loves the child regardless of what he/she does and would want to bless them the same." Sister Deus and I looked at each other and we were like "..." We didn't know what to say. We could tell that she was asking with a sincere heart so we wanted to answer the question well. We had a little silent thinking moment and I prayed in my heart and asked Heavenly Father to loosen our tongues. As we answered her question I felt God really loosening my tongue. I didn't know beforehand what to say but we answered we felt the Spirit confirming our words. I was grateful to be His instrument at that time.

This week for personal study, I am focusing on the Atonement. I asked Sister Deus what kind of studying helped her to understand about the atonement. She said that reading her patriarchal blessing and thinking about how the atonement is blessing her life helped her a lot. I tried and it helped me. You should try it too.
I am amazed how naturally the atonement is applied in our lives. I was studying repentance one morning and I thought to myself "have I repented of my sins?" I prayed to know if I have. My memories were pulled back to the night before when I prayed with sorrow for something I struggle with and asked God to help me overcome it. I didn't even know that I was repenting then. I just did it because I had a sick feeling in my heart from it and wanted to get rid of it. It's also the same as member missionary work. When we say 'oh i gotta to member missionary work' then a lot of the times they get stressed but member missionary work actually should come naturally as one tastes the joy of the Gospel.

I'm loving missionary work. I'm learning a lot from my companion. She is an angel. I sometimes wonder why she's not flying haha.

Love you and happy 추석!!!

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

"We matter"

When we meet people we often introduce ourselves and ask if they have any service opportunities we can help with. Most people say no... but the other day this grandma we met said "my hip hurts so much and I live all alone. Come to my house and visit me." She gave us her address so we went and visited her. She was so happy! She told us of her some kind of a skin disease called 두두르기. That was making her so miserable. She said that she can't reach her back to put the ointment on herself. We offered to do it. She took off her top (we went to the public bath that morning so we didn't get a too much of a shock with nakedness haha) and we started applying the ointment on her back. We felt so happy that we could be God's instrument at that time. 

This is an article Sister Deus wrote during her personal study. I really liked it so I wanted to share with you. 

"We matter" 
-By Sister Deus, Korea Daejeon Mission-

You might ask what a farm boy who lived in the 1800s has got to do with me or you. How would you react if I told you he changed your life?

Our Savior Jesus Christ had come and gone, saving us all from a future of eternal misery.
His beloved apostles had all passed on as well, completing the Bible. Prophets were no longer to be called. God had closed the doors of Heaven.

Or so they thought.

People decided that God no longer cared about us or talked with His children. By doing that they themselves closed the doors of Heaven, cutting themselves off from the Loving Father of all.

But God waited for us to be ready.

When Jesus Christ ascended to His Father there was one God, one church and one baptism (Ephesians 4:5)

There continued to be only one God, so why was there no longer one church?

This was the question of 14 year old Joseph Smith Jr. as he went into a grove of treets just behind his house to pray. He sought knowledge that he knew only God could give. This boy had limited education. He worked on his family's farm. He was one boy in a large family. He wasn't known by any of the "important" people in this world. He wasn't someone particularly special at all.

And yet, in that sacred grove of trees, God and His Son Jesus Christ appeared to him and answered his question.


Because that young boy was a son of God capable of inheriting the kingdom of God. And so are you.

This young boy's prayer opened the doors of Heaven again. He recovered lost doctrine. Through him the priesthood was restored. Ordinances of salvation were again made available to us. The knowledge and blessings we received from this experience are endless. But here is one very important thing to remember.

We matter.

God the Father and Jesus Christ our Saviour appeared to a young boy in the middle of a forest and called him by name. He knows our name. We are His children. He knows us. 

He has told us that His work is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man (Moses 1:39). Every man, every woman, every child. He will not rest until that work is complete. He will guide us  to eternal life. No matter where we are, what age we are, or how important we ourselves think we are, we can receive answers from God as Joseph Smith did. We matter to God, which in this life is truly all that matters.

* * *

This girl is called 기빈 KeeBeen. She is a recent convert and she is the only member in her family. She is so funny... she follows us around touching my arm hair and recording our voices... haha
On Saturday, our investigator, Sister Lee took us to a beach called 몽산포 with her son. We had kimbab and apples. 
Love this photo! 
Jumping shot at the beach. Sister Deus took these so well but when I tried to take the photos of her jumping I failed so miserably haha. She jumped like 30 times then I got a photo of her in the air. Poor Sister Deus...
(Jooho) 주호's turn at a jumping shot
I made a planner with the photo collage you sent me!

Monday, 25 August 2014

One Year Mark!

WOOHOO one year mark!! Congratulations Sister Lee :D
Thank you Stacey, Beth, Sariah and Dunedin Young Women for sending in these photos<3

Awww I almost cried when I saw all of them congratulating me. Gosh, if I can be there I would give all of them the tightest hugs. Tell them that for me. 

I am loving it here in Seosan! The members are so great. They are a spiritual powerhouse. 

On Wednesday there was a combined District meeting. I really liked the training given by our Sister Training Leader, Sister Livingston.This is what I wrote in my journal afterwards. 

I really enjoyed Sister Livingston's training. She taught us on the correlation of Christ's atonement and baptism. I was touched by a quote she shared from a conference talk. 
"The miracle of the atonement is not that we can go home but that we can feel home here." Christ atoned for us. Because of His sacrifice we can walk this journey with Him; with Him giving us strength, love and fresh starts on our way. As we are baptised we take upon His 'yolk.' We can push together. That's why we invite our investigators to be baptised. It's like saying "we've taught you how to communicate with Him. We've taught you how to read His words (BOM) and now it's time you walk with Him."

During the combined District meeting, we all got to have interview with the President. I love President Shin. It was a little hard at times to feel his love because he is very strict and serious but while serving around the office area for 6 months I've come to know that he does really care about us and love us, that everything he is doing is for us to grow and be happy. 

This week, I was memorising the Articles of Faith in Korean. In the fifth article it said that people are called by God to preach the Gospel and administer the ordinances. As I was memorising that I asked myself "was I called to be a missionary? or did I call myself?" A lot of the sister missionaries I know has had strong spiritual experiences when they knew for sure that God wanted them to serve a mission. I haven't had that before my mission. I just had that 'desire'  to share the Gospel and everything worked out fine that I can go.

One day during companionship study time, Sister Deus shared her Spiritual experience when she knew that she had to go on a mission. As she shared that I got the answer to the question that I asked myself the day before. I felt strongly that I was called by God to be His missionary. Not because He needs me but because I need Him. I need this time for Him to mould me into the person He wants me to become. I need this time to be trained on how to teach the Gospel with the Spirit for my future children. I need this time to learn for myself the importance of obedience. I need this time to learn to rely on the Atonement always. I felt so grateful that God called me to be a missionary. I haven't had a strong manifestation that I had to come out here but ever since I was young God prepared me for this. That 'desire' I had to share the Gospel was from God.


Sister Moon 문정애 (our recent convert). goodbye hug!!! 
We have a park close to our church. It's one of the art works there. I thought it was so funny so took a photo of it.
We talked to this lady and she invited us to this so we went haha. A karaoke party for grandmas. Sister Deus and I had a blast clapping and singing with those grandmas.
The park by our church. 호수공원.
Yesterday there was a baptismal service of the elder's investigator. This is our whole branch with his family.
Our branch is the only one with a portable baptismal font in the mission. 

New Area

So here I am in 서산!. People consider this city as a countryside (시골) but it's not really. It's the size of Dunedin. Our branch is tiny! We have like 25 people attending. I introduced myself at sacrament meeting yesterday.

My new companion's name is Sister Deus and she is from West Jordan, Utah. She is amazing... Unfortunately some people told me bad things about her before I met her so I was kind of worried but when I got to know her I was amazed at how great she is! She is a really Christlike missionary. I miss Sister Jensen but I'm so blessed to be her companion.   

I feel like every time I change companions, I get to repent. First step of repentance is recognising what I'm doing is wrong. Well, everytime I change companions, I get to recognise things that hindered me from being a better missionary. Sister Deus' example is helping me to repent. 

I have you tell you about the funniest and the weirdest thing that happened yesterday. We had a Ward Mission meeting with our Branch President. Our Branch President is famous. Everyone talked about him before I came here. I was wondering why... He gave us a talk for 30 minutes on how we need to give chocolate to our investigators when giving a baptismal commitment because Korean people have a give and take relationship... :/ I thought he was joking so I was laughing but he wasn't... lol. He also committed us to talk with 1000 people this week and baptise 10 of them. The meeting went for 1 hour and it was not productive. Sister Deus said it's like that every week and we were confused what to do because we don't want to waste the Lord's time but we also want to respect our church leader and work with the members so I wrote to the President about it in my email today. 

On Saturday, we met with an investigator called 이은정 자매님. She is such a sweetheart. Her husband passed away so she was struggling coping with his death. She kept having this feeling to contact us so she's been meeting with us and learning about the plan of salvation. While we were teaching about the Spirit World and talking about how her husband is there right now, she started crying. She said she just wants to know how he's doing. Sister Deus started crying too. That was so touching. It was so touching because Sister Deus cried with her without any pretension or exaggeration but because she sincerely loved her and wanted to bear that burden together. I felt like I was watching an angel from Heaven. She did what Christ would have done if He was there. 

I have to go now but I will send you photos next week.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Transfer to Seosan (서산)

So I will be transferring to 서산. President is whitewashing (taking out both of us) the area and replacing sister missionaries with elders because our mission doesn't have many sister missionaries now. I will be serving with someone called Sister Deus. I've heard of so many things about her... its' kind of confusing. Anyway I'm excited to find out what the Lord wants me to learn from my new companion! :) Sister Jensen is transferring to 둔산 which is close to our area.

My year mark is coming up!!! August 28th. It's a weird feeling. It definitely doesn't feel like it's been a year. I do feel like I'm just getting the gist of what missionary work is. Something I have heard a lot is that missionaries tend to slow down after the year mark. Gosh I do not want to do that!! I'm gonna work my bum off! I can kind of understand why missionaries do that though.. Missing family etc...

Miracle of the week.
Well... you know how I told you that I was on a bus that had an accident. Well at that time, the bus driver was in a panic. Sister Jensen and I tried to help out with whatever but there wasn't much we could do. Afterwards, we thought 'why were we there at the accident??" We had a feeling that the Lord placed us there for a reason.
The other day we got on a bus. There were empty seats at the back but I had a feeling to stay around the entrance of the bus. I tried to talk to people there to find out who the Lord wanted me to talk with. I turned around the looked at the bus driver. He looked really familiar. I kept looking at him and it came to me. It was the bus driver had the accident. I told my companion and we both went up to him to talk while he was driving. He remembered us and he started asking a lot of questions about our message. We gave him a Book of Mormon and got his phone number. Everything was so led by the Lord.

Bye!!! Love you!

At the members' chicken farm party
Sister Jensen eating chicken liver 
Country side
During District Meeting. They were doing a role-play for bus 전도. haha
 I just laughed after seeing this. Something Koreans always say. "먹고합시다.""Let's eat first!"
A little town we went to called 금산. This is famous for ginseng. It takes a hour on the bus to get there so we went there to proselyte the whole day. We found for good new investigators from talking on the street.
최은지. She is a little girl we are teaching before her baptism.  
조진숙 자매님. I had to send you a photo of her because she is the hardest working member missionary ever!! She loves doing missionary work with us so we have spent a lot of time together.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

"God is testing our patience and our optimism"

Ok. I'll tell you about my week.
I have had a great birthday. I was so spoilt haha. Sister Jensen knows how to spoil on birthdays. She sang me the birthday song like 5 times throughout the day. She secretly texted all the members that it was my birthday. After an activity on Friday, the members surprised me with 2 birthday cakes and the birthday song. I got in total 4 birthday cakes... 

To be honest... we are struggling right now with finding people to teach...
We were just not seeing any fruits to our work. This morning, I wrote in my journal "My heart feels so heavy and down lately. I find myself having lack of desire to talk to people and work hard. I find myself having no hope or vision of what we are doing at the moment. How do I get out of this Heavenly Father? How can I recover?" then I read the Book of Mormon. Wow, I can't live without this book. I read in I read from Alma 21 to 24. From reading these chapters, I just felt a lot of peace in my heart. I felt an affirmation that we are all children of God and we are here on Earth to help each other to find joy through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. When we all chose Jesus Christ's plan in the pre-mortal life, we were all determined that we will help each other to follow Jesus Christ and come back to our Heavenly Father. That's why we are doing this work and that's why they are doing this work in the Spirit World right now. In the Spirit world, they are not like " I have the Gospel so I'll just rest in the Spirit paradise" they are working their butt off to bring others to the Spirit Paradise. 

In Alma 24, the Anti-Nephi-Lehis give up their lives to not use their weapons again to kill in the war. They would have to so scared but their motive behind giving up their lives was their love for God and their love for the Lamanites who were killing them. This act of love brought so many of their Lamanite brothers into the Gospel.

I'm so grateful for the Book of Mormon. I need the power of the Atonement in my life everyday and I can get it from a book that I can hold in my hand. 

No matter how hard-hearted people can be, all I can do is to bear my testimony. I have made a personal goal to bear my testimony to twenty people a day. It's going well so far. I make sure I look them straight in the eye and bear my testimony clearly so that God knows that I did my best in giving them chances. We have a lot of periods like this on our missions so from experience I have learnt that this is a time when God is testing our patience and our optimism. God wants us to wake up with a smile on our face and look forward to finding people. God wants us to not complain but ponder on the miracles He gives us everyday; even if it's not an investigator with a baptismal date. He gives us miracles everyday. 

My last day of being a teenager. Sister Jensen and I went out for 팥빙수. It was so yummy.
Family Home Evening Game time 
Being spoilt with birthday cakes during Samsung Ward Family Home Evening
A 99 year old lady. We helped carry her groceries. Haha she told us to print this photo and come back to her so we''ll do that today.
I put up your photos you sent me around my desk. Love it!!!
With our Buddhist monk investigator
팥빙수 with Sister Stradling on a split
On a windy day