How is everyone!?! Sounded like a busy week for everyone. Glad all y’all had fun. Ella Holt, congratulations on your baptism!! You looked so beautiful, and it wasn't just because of your white dress, you could see you spirit shining brightly, and that is the best kind of beauty. Katelyn Elizabeth Jones, yes I got your letter... hehe. Sister Holt thank you for the wonderful package!!!!! A thank you note is headed your way. Grandpa, thanks for your package too! I told Gwen, but I forgot to say thanks to you... and a thank you note is also headed your way! Mom, I’m excited for your package this week!! I hope everyone back at home knows how special I feel every week as I think about all the love and support each one of you shows me. I feel your prayers, I feel your love. Thank you!!!
Mom, it's funny how you commented on the missionaries working hard. As PMG says, we need to have something productive planned for every hour of the day. We go from one thing to the next and it's wonderful. But don't think that we wouldn't LOVE a huge nap haha. This week was one of those weeks for sure, where there was sooo much to do and 8 hours of sleep does NOT seem like enough. Needless to say, I was barely functioning by Sunday. But the things that happened this week are truly special.
This week we were able to begin lessons again for 양선옥, Sister Yang, in preparation for her baptism. It has been a transfer since my companion and I have taught the lessons exactly so we were both a little nervous. It went wonderfully though. We know that she has been taught a lot so we decided to try and make things really simple; in a sense, going back to the basics. The lesson was wonderful. We have come to the conclusion that over the past two years she has gained so much Knowledge, and now she is trying to gain Understanding. Understanding comes from taking the things we know into our hearts and letting it change us from the inside- out. She has questions and she looking for answers, but she also know that this church is true. I love to see her looking deeper within herself and within the scriptures to find understanding with her heart.
Also, this Sunday she came to church!!!!! Church was something hard for her. As a mom she didn't want to leave her family at home, and going to a place where she doesn't know very many people is also frightening, but the day was perfect!! Because she has been investigating for so long, many of the members knew who she was. Instantly she was surrounded by loving Relief Society members who remembered her for the years past and welcomed her again to church. (*insert sigh of relief from the missionaries!) Next, it was fast Sunday, so the branch members began sharing their testimonies. From the opening hymn of the meeting, the spirit was so tender and strong. Sister Yang really felt it as well. She kept telling us how full her heart felt. When the testimonies began she asked if she too could stand up and share her testimony. Of course!! You could tell she was nervous, but we explained what to do. After one sister finished her testimony you could tell that Sister Yang was feeling the spirit so strong that she just couldn't keep it to herself. She stood with determination, mumbled a slight "me too" and walked to the front.
I love her example there. Her testimony was so dear to her, and the spirit was so sweet that she couldn't keep herself from saying "me too". I too want to share my testimony that God loves us and Jesus lives. Me Too! I want to share with you the things that I hold dear to me heart. It's a moment that I’ll never forget. And I hope that whenever an opportunity arises that I too will be able to rise and proclaim "Me Too!"
A couple other miracles happened this week. The first, we went to go visit a LA, who ended up not being at home. My poor companion had to go to the bathroom really really bad!! hahah So we knock on the other apartment door, plead our case and luckily a mom and her daughter graciously let us in. The family was sooo kind! We were then able to sit and talk with them for about 30 min about who we were and our purpose and we then we able to share a small part of our message about the Restoration. It was wonderful!! They gospel interest is small at the moment, but the mother invited us to return whenever we would like. I'm excited to visit them again.
Another miracle came when we followed the promptings of the spirit. We had planned to go knock doors, but both my companion and I felt that we needed to go visit a member. We didn't know why, it definitely wasn't planned, but we listened and we followed. Upon arrival at the member’s house, she lit up! She grabbed her shoes, and English Camp (youth program the branch is putting on, like youth conference almost, but it's to learn English!) flier and told us to follow her. She then took us to dinner with two neighborhood boys she grabbed from their house. (Let me mention that said member 이무정 Lee Moo Jeong is like the grandmother of the world! hehe really though, if you ever need a grandmother, she is the woman to go to!) So we end up in a restaurant with Sister Lee, and these two boys talking about church and the English program. Both are interested and both want to come!! I think that if we didn't follow the promptings, we would not have had the opportunity to meet these two wonderful young men.
Like I said, it was a wonderful week!! Mom, I’m glad you got the picture from Sister Kim. She is my FAVORITE!! I knew her and her family is my first area, and then they moved here. She is a RM from Temple Square and a truly amazing woman. Bless her; she is a new mom, in a new house, in a new area. So that picture was from our day of service at her house. We did the cabinets and I painted a wall in the bedroom. Daddy, you would have been SOOO proud!! I got no paint on the floor, and my hands only had little speckles on them! I didn't even do any goobers! =] It was a fun day for sure. When she sent you that picture I told her you would be sooo excited. So I’m glad that you liked it!
Ok, funny story time. I meant to write this in my last email but there was no time. So while I have been in Korea I have had some very, KOREAN experiences. I have had Korean companions, I have sat on the floor till I couldn't feel my feet, I have eaten dog, I have eaten a lot of things actually... but there was always something missing... Well, remember how I told you that I felt like I was at girls’ camp when I would sleep at night? Well, the comparison now goes further. You see, for the last weeks of July and the entire month of August our apartment complex has NO HOT WATER!! Nope. None. We take freeeezing cold showers. (which, after a long hot day is fine for about 2 minutes). When our frost bitten bottoms couldn't take it anymore we talked to President and he gave us some special permission.... WE GET TO GO TO THE PUBLIC BATHHOUSE!! (here is another link to another guys bath house experience!) hahaha My Korean companion is ecstatic…I was slightly skeptical... You see, on the streets, when I am fully clothed, I get lots of stares...I can only imagine what it was going to be like in the PUBLIC bathhouse. Luckily there is one right next to our house and before we buy our month long membership we wanted to go check it out. The ladies there where very nice. When I walked in, immediately all eyes were on me (this is still with clothes on). The Korean women were a little toooo excited to see an Americans in the room. One Korean lady was so kind that she left her shower to give us a tour of the facilities!! My poor little American eyes weren't quite expecting such a warm welcome as she threw open the door and welcomed us into the bath house (yes, she was naked...). Tour over with, and we see that everything looks sanitary enough; mental preparations begin for the next day when we will go and join the grandmothers of Korea. hahahah When my companion and I got there the next day, we sheepishly undressed, and quickly wrapped our towels around us. Unfortunately, upon entering the bathing room we see that there is NO dry space to put our towels. ugh... So, back to the dressing room...big, deep breath of courage... off with the towels and back out to the shower. On our return to the showers without our towels, one woman piped in with the encouraging words of "just let it show!". hahaha I think I can now say that I have experienced nearly everything that Korea has to offer.
I love Korea. Every day is such an adventure!! I hope that I can share some of Korea with all y’all one day!!
Thanks for the love and support and all the prayers. They are needed!!
Kiss Love Hugs!!
|Picture from Sister Kim|