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