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!