Wednesday, November 28, 2012


FAMILY!! Hello!!
How are all y’all doing this fabulous day!?! It was a fun week here in Ulsan Korea. 

We had a training meeting in Busan and it was, of course, a blast to get together with all the missionaries. My poor companion is having a hard time thinking that she is in her last week as a Trainee.  I remember my last week with Sister 이예정 and how scared and nervous I was to leave her and have to go somewhere else with someone new.  Sister Yoon has forbidden me to make any reference of transfer calls on Thursday, haha!

It's been amazing to see her change and grow over the last 12 weeks. They definitely aren't lying when they say that training is the hardest part of missionary work!! But President Gilbert's advice that he told me 12 weeks ago is very true; "Without hard things, we can't progress", and I have felt that I've progressed a TON these past weeks.  It's been hard, but I'll always be grateful for the refining moments I had with Sister 윤은지.

Transfer calls will be interesting this Thursday.  Currently I am the missionary who has been in our zone the longest, but because my companion is a new missionary, there is a possibility that she will be leaving.  So I might be here for another transfer, or I might go, or we will both go!  haha Really we have NO idea! I'll let y’all know next week though. Mom, you said that I should get an English companion but that might be weird!  haha I've only been with Koreans my whole mission; I'm not quite sure how to work with or live with another American!! ^__^

After the training meeting, the next fun thing was THANKSGIVING DINNER!!!!!! It. Was. So. Delicious! The Priedman family from our branch invited all of us over, and then they had an American family from the neighboring branch, {the Wood Family (they have 2 little girls who are adorable)} and then our friend Valeria joined the group.  There was homemade stuffing and mashed potatoes with gravy, homemade rolls (they were good, but I really missed Grammy's rolls), there was cranberry jello, fruit salad, and CHICKEN haha They couldn't find a Turkey.  Apparently Costco got about 200 Turkeys, and needless to say, those went fast. For dessert there was apple, chocolate and pumpkin pies. The pumpkin was so good!! Sister Priedman made everything from scratch, including the filling! So good! ((on the subject of pumpkin, I should tell y’all of the amazing change that has taken place with my tastebuds. I now, actually, GREATLY enjoy pumpkin, squash and the real shocker... Sweet Potatoes! (the yellow ones)... well, at least the Korean version of these things lol)

Overall it was just a nice relaxing night full of family time. I have to admit that it did make me miss y’all and our Thanksgiving traditions. I missed helping mom cook, and the chips and dip while we watched football. I missed the movie break, and of course, the week of leftovers and cold turkey sandwiches. But it was fun and I'm grateful I could still have a Thanksgiving. 

In y’alls emails you talked about Black Friday and all the crazy shoppers. There is nothing like that here!! And the stores actually waited till after Thanksgiving before they started putting up decorations! haha Weird huh!?!

Ok, so I've been talking about food... so I'll just continue (I promise I'm not hungry right now lol) Since I've been in Korea I have had a wide variety of meats! haha Well, since last night, we can officially add EEL to the list!! And was really good!! It was fun to watch the member prepare it as she cut it up and cleaned it out. Then she began frying it up and she coated it in this AMAZING sauce!! She mixed the spicy red pepper paste with a sweet grape juice sauce thing (Sorry, it was all in Korean. I don't know what it is exactly) and a couple other spices.  It was spicy and sweet and super good!  We ate it with rice in lettuce leaves.  We also had 3 different kinds of Kimchi (all at different ages).  The "best" kimchi was the 3 year old kimchi that we ate with some kind of pork (again...Korean name, not sure what it is exactly in English).  The meat and kimchi are cooked together and then you wrap the kimchi around the pork.. sooo goood!!! The member told us it was a "kimchi party" lol

On the subject of fresher food... Koreans are really really good about eating fruits and vegetables in their season. Really, if it's not in season, you either can't find it or it costs a TON of money.  But because they do this soo well, you end up eating the same fruits for m.o.n.t.h.s!!  Here in Korea was the first time I've ever had Persimmons and I have to say that I'm ready for them to be out of season!! There are 2 kinds.. the hard ones and the soft ones.. and the soft ones just freak me out! lol

The work this week was kind of tough.  Every appointment that me made, including the back up ones, all got canceled.  But it's ok; this next week will be good. 

Kinda sad, one of the Elders in our branch had to go home for a couple of weeks because of medical reasons. Because of this, my companion and I are now on our own in Shin Jeong. This also means that we get to teach all their recent converts, which was fun. 

On the same day as our convert JuHee, two brothers SehMeen and SehJeen were baptized.  This week we taught SehJeen and it went really well.  But my favorite lesson was on Sunday and we reviewed with both the brothers about the Priesthood.  Then, they were about the be ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood.  After church I went up to the older brother and asked him how it went.  He replied with 성스럽다 which means like holy, sacred, solemn. It was a neat moment.

Sunday, the Elders also had one of their investigators get baptized!!! Actually, when I was with Sister Yeon, we were the first ones to begin to teach him and then the Elders came, so we handed them over.  His name is 김경수 (Gyong Su) and he is TOTALLY the "cool kid" personality and all. So teaching him was always a bit hard, haha! To see the changes that he has made and to see his heart softening has been really special. Then on Sunday, to see him shed some tears (while trying to hide it to keep up the "cool guy" persona) was awesome.  I know that his heart will continue to soften and he will be able to bless and lead so many people to this Gospel.  When I look at him I can always picture him at the MTC.

For Gyong Su's baptism I made him a scripture case for his Book of Mormon.  On it, I put pictures of Captain Moroni, the 2000 warriors and another picture of the warriors right after battle as they are helping those who are wounded.  On the top of the case I put the scripture Alma 53:20-21.  Thinking of President Eyring’s talk from Priesthood Session, I was able to pray about Gyong Su and really think about who he could become. 

Well the work here is moving forward. I LOVE being able to serve in this mission. I know that Heavenly Father is really aware of the people of Busan Korea, especially as we keep our sights and our hearts on a Temple. 

I love you all!! Thank you for everything!! I'm excited to share a bit of Christmas with y’all through packages, and I'm even more excited to talk to you within a month!!!!!!

Oh, and a follow-up from last weeks letter, when I talked about my gratitude from being a Wells-Longshore, I turned to Helamen 5:6 and thought that scripture applied really well.

You are in my prayers! Love y’all!

kiss love hugs 

Monday, November 19, 2012


Chalene sent home her memory cards for her camera, so I thought I would share some pictures with all y'all! {However....I am not going to share all 1200 pictures and videos....sorry!}
Her name tag, CTR ring, and scriptures

Familiar Places!

Getting caught in the rain makes your Husband cuter!

Working on their cute husbands!

Theme Park

Making brownies!!

3D Art Museum

3D Art Museum

3D Art Museum

3D Art Museum

3D Art Museum

GROSS! Squids!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Nerd Moment

OK, real for P-DAY we are going to do ARCHERY!!! 
Needless to say, my nerdness is going off the scale!!! hahaha
I'm soooo excited!! And I may or may not have worn my boots and my hair in a braid so I can feel like Katniss!!
Don't judge, you know you love me! lol
pictures later!! 

Grateful to be a Longshore

My Darling Family,

First to answer a question: Aunt DeAnn (thanks for the email!!!) ---at the baptism I sang one verse in English for fun, mostly I sang in Korean. Really, I only sing in Korean now; it's actually a little strange singing in English or reading from the English hymns. Lol I'm excited to come home and sing in Korean for y’all!! I love it!!

This week has been a week of faith!! I think I mentioned in my last email that after the baptisms on Sunday we didn't really have anyone to teach...Which ends up making missionary work a little difficult, but we were determined to show Heavenly Father our faith and our love, knowing that doing so blessings were sure to follow... and they DID!!

To start off the week we got a mysterious phone call from a less active member in Gyeong Ju (same zone, different district).  He said that his girlfriend had questions about the church and he wanted us to meet with her! Later that week, they both just showed up at the church. An initial meeting turned into the first lesson. It went really well. The boyfriend’s personality is a little strong. We were able to have this less active member not only remember his own conversion, but also share it with us. During the lesson he was willing to help explain parts more fully and it was really good. Now we just need to get him back to church so he can be the best example for his girlfriend. She took the lesson well, though she is on the shy side. We are excited to meet with her again!! (new investigator #1)

Next, Thursday night we went and visited a Less-Active member at her part time job. It's become a weekly thing and she loves seeing us!!  As we were talking a few days ago, she mention that her daughter, who has not been baptized, wanted to go to church with her son!  We were excited at the prospect and mentioned that it would be fun to meet the daughter. Well, this week we show up and the daughter and the son are both there!!!  We ended up having a fun talk and getting to know the two a little better. The daughter is 11 years old (American 9) and she is adorable! We had fun talking and she agreed to come to church and meet with us every week (new investigator #2).

Friday night had to have been my most favorite night of all!!!! OK, it was about 7:30 at night and my companion and I were finishing up some weekly planning when we got a phone call from the Boo. The Elders had a referral for us! They explained the rather confusing situation...a member from the DeJeon mission was in Ulsan with her friend that wanted to learn more about the Gospel. So this member called the Dejeon Boo, who call the Busan Boo, who called us!! The elders gave us the information and told us to call as soon as we could.

When I hung up, I handed the phone to my companion and with a slight shrug said, "Well, we have time now". What a phone call that was!! As soon as the member answered she went off a mile a minute. Pretty soon our quiet evening turning a little crazy as we realized that we needed to go meet the referral that night because the member friend was leaving the next day.  So we run to the huge map and start searching for the apartment...apartment found! We literally RUN outside to catch a taxi...By this point it is almost 8pm and so we give our DL a heads-up that me might be home a little later then 9pm....A short taxi ride later and we arrive at the apartment.  The member meets us downstairs and takes us up.The meeting that followed was amazing!

This grandmother, the non member, Yoon Bang Ja, has a daughter that lived in America and had traveled back and forth many times. On one of those travels, she went to SLC Temple Square. She remembers how she felt when she was there and how kind everyone was. She has a really really good image of the church! 

While we were talking with her, her granddaughter comes out of her room.  We introduce ourselves and I strike up a conversation with the granddaughter as my companion continues to talk to Bang ja. The granddaughter brings out some English books and begins reading them.  Holy cow! Her pronunciation was awesome!!!! Come to find out, this little girl, 8, was born and raised in America and only recently moved back to Korea. hahah Well, needless to say, after that Angie and I just spoke in English to each other. You could tell that she was excited to use her native language.  And what an amazing girl she is!!

Angie has had a hard life.  Her mother has passed away and now her grandmom takes care of her. We talked about the churches she went to and she said that her favorite thing was singing songs!! So I taught her "I Am A Child of God" and wrote the words down for her.  She loved that!! After singing for a little bit, I asked her what other things she knew about God. She taught me some very sweet things; things only a little child can put so perfectly. On the same paper as the song, she wrote God+God=Love, Love+Love=God, Me+Me=Family, Life+Life=Happy Life, and then Jesus+God= love and happy.

After meeting with this sweet little family, not only did the grandma want to come to church with Angie, they wanted to find a building in L.A. they could go to when they traveled that way.  It was an amazing miracle!! (New investigators #3 & #4) The funny part is, the member who introduced us was baptized just a couple of weeks ago. I love missionary work!! And I love the knowledge that I have that Heavenly Father is aware of us and is literally waiting to bless us completely!!  

Sidenotes: As I read the emails this week I couldn't keep back the tears. How grateful I am to be a part of such a grand family. The Wells-Longshore name is something very dear to my heart. Thanks to everyone for making this name an honorable one!

My heart and prayers go out to Nick and Caroline. I love you both dearly. How grateful we all are for a Heavenly Father who loves us most, and a Savior who knows how to literally run to those in need. I can see Him drawing near to you at this time. And I know the whole family is doing the same. 

In Gwen's email she said that we have the greatest family in the world, and I whole-heartedly agree!! Thank you for teaching me how to love, how to serve, how to have fun and most importantly how to have faith.  I love you all!!!!!

I am grateful to bear not only the Savior's name, but my family name as I continue to serve here in Korea. 

kiss love hugs, and extra prayers

Monday, November 12, 2012

Oh HAPPY DAY!!! 항복해요!

Family Family Family!!! HI!!!

How is everyone doing this week??  I think everyone had a pretty busy one from the emptiness of my inbox, but that's all good...less time to read things and more time to write; for this week that works out perfectly!!

I'll have to go in order of the events of the week...So this past week we had a combined Zone Conference.  I have mentioned before, and will continue to say so, that I LOVE getting together with other missionaries.  Though this round was a little strange because there was a lot of missionaries that I didn't recognize!  It's fun to have new missionaries in the field, and I love how nearly all of my group that I came out with is training, fun times.

This conference was great and we were able to talk about Elder Bednar and Elder Holland's conference addresses. This time is always my favorite. This discussion is led by Sister Gilbert and we all get to learn from each other and from the Spirit as we share the things we studied.

The MOST exciting part about the Conference, though, was the announcement by President Gilbert. Currently in our mission we have a complement (the amount of missionaries we are allotted from headquarters) of about 85 missionaries with about 20 of those being sisters. Currently we have a full complement. But with the new and amazing announcement from General Conference, we have received news of changes that will be coming to Busan, South Korea.

Our Sister's complement will go from 20 to 38, and our TOTAL missionary complement will rise to about 140!!!!!!!! This means that every branch and every ward in our mission will have 2 sets of missionaries!! When President and Sister Gilbert came to Korea there were only 72 the time their service is finished they will have doubled in number!!!!!!!! When I heard this news I just started to cry, and even now I can hardly hold back the tears of gratitude!!! We are about to get a force of missionaries that is needed and will be essential in helping our mission rise to where it needs to be.  Our hope is to have a Temple here is Busan, and now I can see it even clearer on the horizon!

The BEST part is, I may still be here for the first wave of new missionaries. I AM SO EXCITED!! But... there are some other changes that accompany this one...because of the new year and all the new missionaries coming, the transfer schedule will be changing.  Currently I'm scheduled (FAR TOO SOON) to come home July 2nd, right? Well, now I'll most likely be coming home July 29th.  (President had originally said June 19th and that literally sent me balling my eyes out...but then he realized he miscalculated!) So... yeah...I don't know if that will affect anything, and I'll keep you posted on what the official outcome will be, but for now it looks like I'll be home more around the end of July. (Sorry mom...)

On Sunday, November 11th, (11/11) Koreans celebrated 빼빼로 (peh peh ro) Day (they give each other chocolate covered prezel sticks because they look like an 11.. it's one of their 4 valentine-ish day's lol) But, on that day, Shin Jeong Branch had a different celebration. This Sunday, 이주희 (JuHee), 오세진(seh jeen) 오세민 (seh meen) ((brothers)), were baptized and confirmed members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!!!  It was AMAZING!! We had 3 baptisms in one day, and then in 2 weeks the Elders will be having another one. It was really fun because me and Sister Yeon (my last companion) where the ones who first starting meeting with and talking with the brothers SehJeen And SehMeen. 

That day JuHee looked so beautiful in her white dress.  They were all smiles.  I was given the opportunity to sing a solo at the service and I sang "I Feel My Savior's Love." Then, the youth sang "I believe in Christ".  This was especially special for JuHee, because that was the first song she sang, the first Sunday she came to church a couple of weeks ago.  She remembered that song and asked if it could be sung at the baptism.

The Saturday before, we had our last lesson with JuHee before she was baptized. Her excitement was contagious.  At the end of the lesson she asked us if she could tell US everything that she learned.  Her testimony is so strong and so sweet.  She already has a love for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  And then to see her with the other youth later that day, it was as if she had been there all along. That was definitely a comforting moment when I realized that she would be taken care of.  She is going to bless so many lives with the light that she shines forth.

After such an amazing week, we definitely have our work cut out for us. This is always a hard moment.  You go from having people you are teaching, who are progressing really well, to starting again and finding more people.  But that means that this week I really get to show Heavenly Father my love and gratitude and my faith in Him.  And when you look at it that way, this week is going to be good!!

Things are winding down as being a trainer and my poor companion is having a hard time.  She is realizing that she is about to be put with another companion. I remember when that thought struck me as a's always hard leaving that zone of comfort you've worked so hard to make. But I know that she will be able to learn so many other things from the other sisters in the mission!! I'm excited for her to experience more.

Hmm.. what else...
OH!! It was the GREATEST thing the other night!! We were walking back home from a members house at night and we passed the Hyundai Department Stores and the little kid inside of me just got giddy!! THEY HAD CHRISTMAS LIGHTS UP!!!!  It looks SOOO beautiful!  Instantly Christmas songs popped in my head and I couldn’t keep the giggle from rising to the smile on my face! I LOVE CHRISTMAS!! ^___^  (Speaking of Christmas, I've been shopping for y’all!! I'm excited to send everything soon!!)

This week I have been studying the Beatitudes and the Lord's Intercessory prayer! The Beatitudes are neat.  I take them as the beginning and the end results, and then have Alma 5 be the self-evaluation in-between.  It's also neat to see the progression of the Beatitudes from the physical to the spiritual until we are prepared to meet God again.

As for the Intercessory prayer, I have been studying John 17 for a week now and have yet to finish the chapter! It's SO AMAZING!! I really like verse 17, follow the footnotes, especially to 2 Samuel and then follow the footnotes from there.  It's really neat to see what "truth" really is!

Well I love y’all!! Thank you for everything!! For the love and prayers and just greatness!!

kiss love hugs!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Bring on the Cold!

Hello darling family!!!

I had the thought the other day of "wow! I got cold really fast!" and then I realized that it was November... crazy!  Time flies!  This week’s weather got quite a bit chilly!! On Thursday, I think, the temperature got down to 3 degrees!! (C*) A little ridiculous if you ask me... but all is well and my beautiful coat is keeping me warm.

This week was a busy one and this next week looks to be even more so!

It has been fun meeting with JuHee this last week as she draws closer and closer to her baptism.  She is SO EXCITED!! It's amazing to see the light growing within her.  One lesson that we had, we spent the first while just marking scriptures with her.  She explained (with great distress) that she was reading the other night and couldn't find the scripture references that we used during the previous lesson!! She looked and looked and looked!  hehe It was fun then being able to sit down, review some, and see her mark up her scriptures with great care.  Her thirst for knowledge and understanding is profound. 

A week from today is her birthday and by that time she will be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I'm excited for her!!

Out of the week Saturday had to have been my favorite day!!

We got up like normal, did our morning routine, but had to leave early to head over to our youth program; 1 hour PMG study, 1 hour English class.  There we talked about using the scriptures.  Everyone picked out their favorite scripture, and then, like a missionary would in a lesson, they had to explain briefly what the scripture was about, share the scripture, and then apply it to us and explain why it was so important.  It was awesome.  I love the youth of this branch! They are wonderful! 

Like in America, everyone is pretty excited about the age change {for missionaries!}, but it really only affects the girls.  Korea has been one of the countries where the boys were allowed to leave at 18 because of army service.  Actually, President Gilbert apparently has been sending in reports to Headquarters reporting on how the younger missionaries were doing. Pretty cool.

Now that I look back on everything, it all makes sense! haha Like, the changes in the MTC language teaching. They have shortened down ALL of the languages by weeks so they missionaries can leave sooner (all except Korean... it's too hard!) and other things like that.  It amazing too see how perfectly everything comes together, huh??  I'm SO excited that more and more people will be coming out on missions! We need them for sure!!

After youth program we had a lesson with JuHee, and we had Bomi teach about Enduring to the End.  She did a wonderful job, and again, she will be an amazing missionary!  After the lesson we had to do the new missionary study program (one hour every day of extra study) and then we rushed (literally,we were running.. my companion wasn't too happy lol I loved it!!) over to a nearby park where we met and taught our now newest investigator!!  She has been coming to English class and is ready to learn more about our church.  During our conversation we talked about how she loves to exercise, and just like how she enjoys the strength that comes from working her body, as missionaries, we can help her have a "spiritual exercise" with even greater and lasting effects. It was neat, and now we will be meeting her every week.

After that lesson we (literally) ran back to the church and prepared for our saturday night English class.  After English class we had treats and did a church tour.  Many of the people who come to class don’t really know what else goes on in the building.  It was fun taking them around to every room, and explaining the programs of the church, the leadership, the sacrament, etc.  There weren't as many people there as we wanted... but it was good, and they left with For the Strength of Youth pamphlets and other things.  It was really good.  By the time clean up had ended it was time to head home for the day. IT WAS BUSY! But it was tons of fun too. I like being busy...(though I don't like waking up the next morning still tired hahah)

The week ended perfectly with a Fast Sunday.  I love Fast Sundays. I love the spirit of the fast and the Spirit that is always there on the Sabbath day.

Thank you for all the emails and updates.  My prayers have been centered on home.  I hope you know that I love each of you and I am grateful for your support.  I love the Lakeland ward and all it's faithful members.  Thank you for your constant examples of love and kindness. 

Ready for some funnies!?!

So while we teach the youth English, we can't help but have a little bit of FUN!! hahah I love it when Koreans speak English, they sound so cute! Because there are some sounds in English that they don't use (and vise versa) we have discovered that words like Rural, Squirrel, and Plural are really really really really hard!!! As a bonus to class, we always work on these words at the end...I'm proud to say that they have progressed!!

Matt, this one is for you!  The other day we were riding on the bus to an appointment when a song came on the radio.. it was so unexpected I literally busted out laughing!! I couldn't help but think of our childhood adventures as I heard "Who Let the Dog's Out" on a bus in Ulsan Korea haha

I love you all.  Thank you for everything!! Have a good week!
kiss love hugs