Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Only One Month Left

Hello family!

Well, I've officially passed my "less than one month" mark!!!  So that means exactly 4 weeks from today I will be on a plane headed towards KOREA!!! eeek!

This past week was lots of fun.  After long anticipation, the new missionaries finally arrived!  It was so much fun being able to talk with them and welcome them to the MTC.  I think the strangest part about it was seeing the look of terror on their faces and realizing that I looked the EXACT SAME WAY! haha But don't worry, we are super nice to them.  My companions and I have made it a goal, that whenever we get a free chance we go into their room and see if there is anything we can help with.  Needless to say, the younger district is learning everything we wish we learned those first couple of weeks at the MTC. 

Ready for a cool story about one of the new missionaries??  I believe I mentioned last week that one of the new missionaries coming in was a Cambodian; his name is Elder Hem.  Elder Hem is the first known native Cambodian serving in Korea.  His English is ok, so they've had a Cambodian teacher translate some Cambodian to English and then the Korean teachers match that with the English to Korean translation, just so he can have some sense of the harder things that he will be learning.  The greatest thing that happened occurred this morning.  Being from Cambodia, Elder Hem has never had the opportunity to SEE a Temple in person, let alone go inside.  So this morning, as a Branch, we all went with Elder Hem to the Temple for his first time.  It was a wonderful opportunity to see him draw closer to the Lord in His House. The icing on the cake was the fact that it was snowing like crazy outside, and Elder Hem had never seen snow before either!!  (I was praying that it would do that just to make his special day even that much more special!!)

Classes went well this past week!  I FINALLY finished memorizing the First Vision and I've actually already used it in a lesson.  There is a very special spirit present when you used the exact words of Joseph Smith, no matter what language it is in.  Now, the next class goal in Doctrine and Covenants 4! I'm a bit nervous for this one!  haha I think my favorite part about learning a new language would have to be all mistakes you make, sometimes without even realizing you made them until your investigator starts laughing!... A few of those this week included one Elder, instead of saying "when Christ and His Apostles died" he said "When Christ Killed His Apostles".... yeah oops... Another one I did when I tried to say "Through God's instruction Christ created the Earth" instead I said "Through God's instruction Christ cleaned the Earth".  Another one was from a sister in another district, instead of saying "we this..." or "in order to, we..." she kept saying "duck this..." or "in order to duck...".  Hahaha oh the joys of Korean! lol 

Another Missionary "Funny" happened while we were studying from Preach My Gospel.  On page 133, at the top of the page is gives a scenario and activity to prove how difficult it can be not only learning a language but also learning a new culture.  The opening line states "imagine yourself serving a mission in Asia!" haha Well; we don't have to imagine too far I guess!  I love the challenge, and I love this mission.

So this week in the TRC we had a really special experience!  The Teaching Resource Center is a place we go to teach members a lesson.  This week was our first time going from doing 2, 20 min lessons, to one 40 min lesson.  My companions and I were super excited and we prepared a great lesson about the Doctrine of Christ.  We go down to the TRC prepped and ready to go, when 2 min before we go and meet whom we are going to teach, our teacher informs us that there is a real investigator there that day... and we get to teach her! (At this moment is when both excitement and nervousness hit my instantly!!)  He explained that she was an exchange student here living with an LDS host family and she wanted to learn a little bit more about the Church.  Our teacher has us kneel in prayer before we go teach and I can honestly say I don't remember anything that was said.  I just remember squeezing my companions hand and pleading with the Lord to help me be guided by His Spirit so that I may know what to say.  My companions and I left and before we went into the room we prayed again for the Lord's strength and comfort. 

As soon as we walked into the room and saw who we had the privilege to teach, each of us felt at peace.  There was no fear, there was no nervousness, and there was anxiety. We could simply get to know this young lady and share the message we had prepared for her.  The entire lesson went over perfectly!  We had to change some things that we had originally planned to teach to a member, so Mary (the investigator's English name) wouldn't be lost or confused.  But again, with the Lord's help and blessing our Korean has never been spoken with more ease.  Though we weren't able to understand all of Mary's words, through the Spirit we were able to understand her needs and her questions.  What should have been a 40-minute lesson in Korean turned into almost an hour of us teaching, talking and listening in Korean.  When we asked Mary to pray to ask Heavenly Father to help her with something in her life she readily accepted. 

Though we weren't prepared to teach an investigator that day, my companions and I still had made preparations to teach.  And as you prepare, even if the unexpected happens, the Lord will always be there to make up the difference.

I was scared to go to Korea.  It is a foreign land, with a foreign language and a foreign culture, but now I am not afraid.  I am nervous and excited, but I'm no longer afraid because I know that as I continue to prepare with diligence everyday, the Lord will make up for everything I lack. 

This week was wonderful and I'm so grateful to everyone who sent me a letter and note.  My dad always said that I would have a cheering section while I was on my mission, I just didn't realize it would be so loud! =] Thanks again to all!
Till next week!!!
Kiss, Love, Hugs Family!!

PS To clarify, last week I said they changed the missionary tags because the meaning meant apocalypse... wrong! My bad, it meant Armageddon
PPS A HUGE THANKS TO THE YOUTH OF THE LAKELAND WARD!! Y’ALL ARE THE ABSOLUTE GREATEST!! The missionaries LOVED their letters!  A thank you note is coming soon, but I couldn't wait to tell y’all thank you!!!!!  I miss all y’all!

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