Hello dearest family! I hope this finds everyone well. This week has been SUPER exciting... so I can hardly wait to tell all y’all about it.
First, (and most importantly) I GET TO CALL HOME NEXT WEEK!!!! AHHHHHH!!!! (Can you feel my excitement yet!?!?! ahhhhh!!!) So daddy, you were exactly correct in your predictions. I will be calling Monday morning my time, so that's Sunday night, Mother's Day, for y’all. I will call about 9am, so for TN that makes it 7pm I believe. =] I’ll be getting a calling card and I'll call either from the Church or the Boo (mission office). But either way I get to hear all y’alls voices!!!!!!! I can hardly wait. Gwen, I hope I get to hear yours and Emily's voice this time too. And of COURSE Matt and Kaylani! (I realized that after next Monday, the next time I call y’all at Christmas I'll only have 6 1/2 months left! weird....)
So Monday to Tuesday was a pretty special day! I went of my first Exchange!! So for 24 hours I got a new companion! Not gonna lie, I was super nervous before hand. I don't know many of the sisters, and I am still a new missionary! Not to mention that she was going to be coming to my area which means I had to be able to take us to all the appointments without getting hopelessly lost. Needless to say, during Sunday night planning I had my companion go over all the maps and we chose to visit people in the places that I actually knew where to go. It was a pretty funny planning session. lol But Monday came and the exchange happened!! I was with 이가희 자매님. (Ee GaHee) She is from Seoul and she is a convert of 4 years. IT WAS SERISOULY SOOO MUCH FUN!!! I loved all of it. She was definitely different from my companion, but we are still missionaries with the same purpose and desires. So though the personalities were different, the work is still the same.
I know that the exchanges happened at that time with that person for a specific reason, it was all inspiration for sure. On Tuesday we met with 김수진s (Kim Su Cheen). We have been teaching her for a couple weeks now and she is amazing. I swear I learn more from her then I actually teach. Well, it just so happened that on the day of exchanges, during the lesson we had planned with a member, we prepared to extend the invitation to be baptized. After an amazing lesson, I asked her if she would follow Christ's example to be baptized. At first she was hesitant, as I’m sure most people would be when they make a life changing choice. But this is where 이가희 자매님 was heaven sent. She was able to share her conversion story, and her hesitation to get baptized so quickly after starting the lessons. But she explained the need to exercise our faith, and all the blessings that have come to her because of it. The spirit that filled that little apartment was wonderful. And with confidence 김수진s accepted!!!!!! We will be having her baptism on MAY 19th!!!!!!!!! I am sooo excited!!
Other exciting things this week were SISTER'S TRAINING!! After weeks of planning with Sister Gilbert we finally got together with all the sisters for this fun meeting. It was awesome to be able to meet all the other sisters in the mission!! There are some really really amazing Sisters serving here!! I love them all already! A fun meeting was between me and a fellow Tennessean!!! A MEMPHIAN even!! Sister Foy is from the Collierville ward!! Small world for sure huh!?! We started talking and I asked her where she was from... needless to say I was a little surprise when her response was "Memphis, TN" lol. We were friends instantly. As usual it was a blast seeing and catching up with Sister Kersey, and Sister Baker is doing great, the Korean people are softening her heart little by little.
As it so happens, Sister Gilbert discovered my love of singing and it didn't take her too long to enlist me!! So at Sister's Training I sang a song called "Virtue". It is seriously an amazing, powerful song. The chorus reads, "I didn't come to earth to compromise. I came here to hold up my light. No matter what the world may do, I'm a Daughter of God, and I'm holding on to Virtue." I had Elder Innis from my district play! OH man is he amazing on the piano!!! After our first practice I said that it was a little hard singing so low, so he said! "OK! Let's transpose it! What Key would you like?" Who does that!?! (Elder Innis). He also loves putting his own twist on songs, so we jazzed it up a little bit. It was so much fun to sing. I even got President to Cry!
After the talks from President and Sister Gilbert we were able to watch the YW General Broadcast. What an amazing meeting. I hope all the Young Woman took lots of notes! I know I did!!! I loved the part when they quoted a Prophet of the Lord, saying that the Young Woman are like Sleeping Giants, waited to be awakened to their full potential. I agree with that, and I hope that I, and the rest of the woman of the world, arise! Arise and Shine Forth as the theme states. I think of the Lakeland Ward girls and how wonderful each of you are. I hope that when you look at yourself you see the miracles that you can perform. Even the small things that you do can bring light into someone’s day: a smile, a kind word, and a compliment. I hope that we all can awaken the sleeping Giant within ourselves and astonish the world with all the goodness we have within us. I look forward to getting the Conference Ensign issue and rereading all those talks... aww so amazing.
Of Course, time is going by WAY too quickly Transfers happened this last week!!! I am now on my 2nd transfer in Korea. (For those who may not know, in a mission you work in 6-week increments called transfers. After 6 weeks you can change areas and companions) Anyhow, Transfer calls were on Thursday. Apparently it is a Mission tradition that you eat chicken on transfer call days! Yumm. Like everything else the chicken is delicious, they do a great job with the fried crispy chicken and all of the spices. So on Thursday we bought the chicken and ate it while discussing who might be going where, and who might be training and so on. We didn't expect a phone call because typically trainers and trainees stay together for 2 transfers. At 9:30p the transfer calls would begin. After planning we were finishing up our chicken when our phone rang.... dun dun dunnn.... When we first saw who it was we thought nothing of it because the AP's are apart of our district, but then we looked at the phone again... looked at the clock... back to the phone...and then to each other.... My companion answered with a "무슨??" (what??) Out of both surprise and nearly contempt that they would be calling us!!
This was NOT supposed to be happening!! Next I hear my name being said and my companion hands me the phone. Before I even say hello all I can say is "why are you calling me?!" You are NOT supposed to be calling me!!!"... Next I hear that I'm moving... WITH MY COMPANION!! haha We are still in the same ward, we just got a new house!!! Yeah! =] They are adding Elders to our ward (the AP's were in our ward but they got switched) and the new Elders get our old house and we got a SUPER cute apartment!! It’s so new and clean and wonderful and TINY! I love it! Seriously though before he told me that I was staying with my companion I almost started to cry. I didn't want a new one yet! I still need to learn so much more from 이예정 자매님!! So thank goodness that we are staying together. The only down side to the move is it takes 30-40 min of subway or bus travel time now rather than a 5 minute walk to get to church, but that also means we get a LOT more time to talk to people during travel! I'm excited.
Saturday brought an adventure in and of itself. So my companion hadn't been feeling too well over the past couple of days. And then coupled with the stress and business of moving and cleaning, her body just didn't have the stamina to keep going. After several dizzy spells and absolutely NO energy, we decided to head to the doctor. Well, Saturday was a holiday so everything was closed besides the ER. SO I got to see inside a Korean hospital!!! It was interesting.... haha I prefer American ones FOR SURE!! Everything in the ER seemed so outdated. When we got taken back to our bed for the doctor to come take a look and it was just in a big room with about 20 other beds. Anyhow, after they took some blood for test and hooked her up to an IV (which, PS they were NOT nice AT ALL with needle!! They were wiggling it around and I don't think they even put it in right because nothing form the IV bag actually went into her systems...and the bruise on her arm is huge!! THANK YOU American nurses!! I'll never complain again!) Well, while waiting for the doctor with my companion knocked out, I needed to find something to do... Luckily entertainment was just on the next bed over!! =D A man came in with a broken arm and it was to my delight (seriously though!!) that I got to watch the doctors set it!! awww sooo coooool!! It was like tug-of-war with body parts, and the doctors were putting their entire weight into it! I was completely enthralled! haha Terrible? Maybe... but it was soo cool!!
Sunday was a fun day. I love hearing the testimonies of our members. We were invited over for a dinner appointment where we had homemade pizza! So, in Korea they don't have ovens, so this pizza was completely made in a pan! It was delicious. I think my favorite moment was when we arrived. The member gave us BIG hugs, and told us that for the night she was our mom cooking us dinner at home. When we left we got another round of big hugs. Really made me miss you Mom. I miss your hugs. But don't worry; I'm being taken care of!
President and Sister Gilbert have been talking to us a lot about Knowledge, Understanding and Intelligence, especially with excerpts from Elder Bednar's book. (from the sounds of it mom and dad, y'all would LOVE IT! I'm planning on reading it when I get home). Anyhow, a part of Knowledge, Understanding and Intelligence is the place that each of those things works within us. Knowledge in the mind, Understanding in the heart, and intelligence in the application and the doing. I realized this week as we were reciting D&C 4 that we are called to serve with all our "heart (Understanding), might (intelligence), mind (knowledge) and strength (intelligence)". I love that it takes twice as much action to get things accomplished! But the basis of the K. U. I. is that understanding is the keystone built on the foundations of knowledge that leads to intelligence. So cool. SO much to still study and learn about it though.
I love you all!! And I can't wait to call y’all next week!!!!!!!!!!!! YEAH!!!
PS Matty, thank you thank you thank you for the email! and the picture was AWESOME!!!
Emily: It took me a minute to remember the song but then I just laughed!!
Gwen, it takes about 10 days for a letter to arrive so I’ll count down with anticipation!!
M&D I’m super stoked for the package!! Our new house is in need of some goodies!!
Thanks again for all the letters!! I wish I could reply to all of them individual but there is just no time! Sad day. But don't forget that I love you all!!!