Monday, December 24, 2012

Mission Christmas Card

Her mission put together a video in honor of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, as well as to remind us all what Christmas is all about.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas


I'm so so so excited!

Sounds like y’all have been having a fun week! i'm excited to tell you about MINE! WITH MY OWN VOICE!!! Hehe

First, Grandpa, CONGRATULATIONS!! BJ is soo stinkin cute!!
Second, I’M SO JEALOUS y’all got to see Bomi!  I miss her soo much!  She's amazing isn't she?? I’m glad y’all got her help with cooking Korean and I also laughed when y’all added salt to the curry...I actually hadn't thought about that.  I'm glad you were there for her. I hope you gave her a big hug from me!
Third, thanks to everyone who sent me the "Merry Christmas" messages.  Especially Sister Hatfield!! I LOVED your message. It just made me laugh and laugh and laugh.  Good times and fun stories.

So like everyone else, I will save most of my stories for tomorrow (EEK!!)  But there is one highlight that I want to share.

Yesterday, our investigator Yoon Ji  was baptized!!!  It was her dream to get baptized before Christmas, and after a busy week we were able to make it happen. Since I'm the new missionary in the area I didn't know very much about Yoon Ji; so, during our last meeting before her interview I asked her why she wanted to get baptized. Her answer really surprised me. I was expecting what most other 14 year old girls might say: they like the people, because of friends, church is fun... or the other more serious answers of: she enjoys what she feels at church, she feels it's right, etc. 

But Yoon Ji's answer was completely unique. She said told me with a twinkle in her eye that she want to go to the Temple. And she knew she needed to first be baptized. What a special moment to realize that this young girl already had a grand eternal perspective. Then at the baptism, after the ordinance, she got changed into her dry clothes. I had a minute to take her aside and ask her how she felt. She had no words, but again the twinkle in her eyes returned and a smile filled her face. We again talked about the Temple and what awaited her there when she goes at the beginning of the New Year with all the youth. I'm so excited for her! And I'm excited to continue to see her learn and grow.

My other stories I’ll save for our Missionary Christmas Party, watching KungFu Panda 2 and then spiritually analyzing it (which is awesome) and all those fun things!!



Thursday, December 20, 2012

Becoming Korean

FAMILY!!!! Hello!!!

It was SOO FUN to open up my email today and see all the lovin from family and friends! I miss all y’all so very much! Thanks for all the birthday wishes =]!! It was a good one! We had President Interviews 2 days before and, because President's bday is on the 9th, the District surprised us with a delicious cake and candles at the meeting. Then me and my house of sisters went out to eat and had Baskin Robbins. I admit that the food was really really gross, so on my actual birthday we ordered in DELICIOUS Korean chicken and I was satisfied ^__^ 

The morning of my b-day, the sisters all sang to me and gave me small little, hand-made gifts, and then I opened up the box from Dad and found the beautiful new scarves and gloves and opened up the skirt and shirt!!! Thank you thank you!! OH and the new orthotics!?!! I. Have. Happy. Feet! Thank you!

That night after dinner we all sat around laughing and talking and doing more of the crafts Mom and Dad sent. It was a fun day. That night it really hit me that I was 22 years old and that was a little strange (especially because now I have to say I'm 24 in Korean!! lol)  But it ended up being a good day!

OH YEAH!! hahah That night, when our District Leader called, I decided to give him a hard time lol  That day I had gotten calls from President, the ZL's, and my old district leader... yet I didn't receive a call from my DL!  So Elder Han (he's Korean, but he's from New Zealand...yes his accent is awesome) called to apologize to me from not calling earlier. He got out his guitar and their 4 missionary house all sang Happy Birthday to me! haha best way to end the day!

The rest of the week went really well. We are trying to find the balance of things here in Sangin. Ever since I was a new missionary, this has been my first area that I came to a new area with my companion already having been's be a strange adjustment. I'm used to knowing the area, the people, everything that's going on, and because I feel so far behind this week has been a little hard. I'm ready to know these people!!! They are so wonderful!  Well, the previous missionaries in this area did a good job with meeting with the people who were in need, but the schedule they made has been the schedule of things ever the point that we have NO time to visit ANYONE else. 

My companion expressed her equal desire to visit other members, and really start contacting the LA. So this week has been a week of a lot of thinking and re-evaluating. After Christmas we'll be making some changes, and I hope that it will allows to give our attention to more people who are in need of support and love from the missionaries. Luckily the members are always willing to help so I think it will be good.

Dad's email title was "White Christmas". Well it looks like we will be having a white Christmas here in Daegu as well!!!! Of course the weather is cold, and there will most likely be snow, but our White Christmas will be the White of Baptismal clothes!!!  We get to have an investigator baptism! =] I am so excited. Though I have only taught this cute girl once, the other missionaries have taught her well and her desire to be baptized is HUGE. She is a young woman and she loves coming to church. Her family has given their permission, but they don't really make things easy for her. But, she has been coming out on her own and participates in everything that she can. Her baptism will either be at the ward christmas party on Saturday the 22nd or Sunday morning the 23rd.  Either way, her dream of getting baptized before Christmas will come true. I'm excited for her to have another special reason to really remember Christ, this and every Christmas.

Overall this week was fun. I've been praying hard to be able to recognize why I am in this area and with my companion. I want to be able to accomplish the work that is needed of me. And little by little the vision is opening up to me. It's always so neat to have the opportunity to do the Lord's errand.

Something really fun this past week!!! haha On Sunday I made another step towards becoming a Korean! Are you ready... I MADE KIMCHI!!!  It was fun!!! Though I smelled like Kimchi for the rest of the day lol

They call it "Kimchi Jang"  and it's a big get together. We have all the cabbage and the spicy pepper paste and we go at it coating everything. While people took turns making the Kimchi, there was games and food and just chatting. It was a really fun get together!! 

I love you all dearly! and I'm SO SO SOOO excited to talk to y’all next week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
kiss love hugs!!

Sunday, December 9, 2012!

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU ALL!!  Thanks y’all soo much for all the birthday wishes!  It was fun to see all the messages from family and friends!  Thank you!!  It's strange to think that this will be my first birthday without any family members.  But it's all good because I’m serving with a very BIG family!! They just happen to be Asian. =]  No really, thanks y’all.  I miss each of you and love you even more!

Family! Hi!  So Daegu...
Oh my heavens!! It is sooo stinkin cold here it's not even funny!!!  Yesterday the blistering high was a balmy 32 degrees, but don't worry the weather cooled off to a nice 18 degrees that night -___-  yeah...But, where the cold makes things not so fun, the area COMPLETELY makes up for it!

Family, I AM SO HAPPY!! All the time!! I love this area, I love the members, I LOVE my companion, I love my house, I love my district, I love my zone, I love the other two sisters that are with us...I JUST LOVE IT ALL!! hehe  Seriously!  SO happy!!

Right now is really fun. I am at Elder and Sister Helms house! They are the missionary couple working with the military branch. They are from South Carolina and they bring the South to Korea. I get to talk southern with them, lol! It's great. They have a "Transfer Breakfast" tradition. The first Monday after transfers they have everyone over to their house for breakfast. Today we had biscuits and gravy with sausage!! I was in HEAVEN! I made sure and brought all the fantastic crafts Mom and Dad sent me and we were able to do them together with the zone. They were adorable and everyone loved the crafts. The Helms also have us all coming over for Christmas Day and we will just have a fun day of games and snacking and goodness. 

Speaking of CHRISTMAS!! I'm glad that y’all got one of my boxes! That one y’all can open up  when everyone gets together. It would be fun to use it a couple of times before Christmas so you can tell me what you think. Y’all decide how you want to do it. There is another one coming, with more individual presents; so pray hard that it comes when y’all are all together. 

So this week I got the packages from Mom and Dad!! Thanks!! Question: the "wait for it..." package... are the things wrapped inside so I can open the box or do I need to wait?  And mom: you said that some were for my birthday right? Just curious...

Gwendel, THANK YOU!  For the music and memory cards and candy!  We have been listening to the music as much as possible!  lol Gwen, you're such a goob! My personal favorites as I have listen to the music have been Barry Manilow (made me think of Mom!) The Jets {Gwen has no idea what she is talking about here, LOL!}, Hansen and of course Aretha Franklin hahahah 

Oh! Also! Remember me talking about Bomi? She will be in America on the 15th and she wants to meet y’all!! Her English is good, but make sure you talk simply and a little slow! haha But really she wants to meet my family! I believe she found the girls on Facebook, so you can communicate with her through that =]

And now for the BEST part about Christmas!! PHONE CALLS!! SO daddy, you were right! We will be calling y’all on Christmas Day for us, Eve for y’all.  So, President and Sister Gilbert were worried about the fees and such for missionaries, and so they gave us permission to have YOU call US on our cell phones. I don't know if you want to do that or just have me call the Conference call phone because either way that doesn't cost me money (which is the point) 

This week has been fun!  Sangin is a VERY BUSY area!! We are constantly going from one place to another with meetings and lessons!  It is crazy and absolutely amazing!  I love it. It has been fun to begin meeting all the members. It's a bit strange to not know anyone... but I'm slowly learning all the names. The ward LOVES missionaries and they are always willing to help us. Our ward mission leader is amazing. He used to be the Stake President and he is so organized and on the ball. At our Missionary Council Meeting he was there as well as the ward missionaries. When we talked about the people we were meeting, they were actually interested and gave help when we needed!! They he gave us a list the ward wanted to focus on and told us all about them.  It was amazing!! I have NEVER been in a meeting like that before.

Sunday was a fun day, but my favorite part was when the Youth Curriculum was introduced.  I am so excited for this new program!!!  As I was watching the videos I realized that not only will the teaching and learning be done as the Savior did, but it's just as us missionaries are striving to do things. It was a tender moment.  The Lord is preparing His people even more to take this everlasting gospel to the WORLD!!  I am so grateful to be apart of this glorious work.

Thank you for all the love and support.  For the birthday wishes! I'll talk to y’all in 15 days!! EEKK!!!!

love ya - mean it!
Kiss Love Hugs! 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

New Transfer and Extra COLD!

Darling Family!!

Hello!!! How is everyone this week!?! From the letters sounds like all y’all are doing great which makes me happy!! Oh how I miss and love each of you!

Well, y’all got the news a little early from Sister Kim!! I GOT TRANSFERRED!!!!! I had the feeling the call was coming. Actually I got the feeling of where I was going and who I was going to be with a couple of weeks ago. It was fun to see that I was right!! So...I have been transferred to 대구 상인  Daegu, Sangin Ward!! Daegu is known as the hottest place in the summers and the coldest place in the winters in Korea. So mom and dad, an extra big thanks in advance for buying me a wonderful coat and set of boots!! They will be put to good use!!

As for my new companion, I am really really excited to serve with her!! She is absolutely adorable and has the heart of an angel!  Her name is 윤진아  Sister Yoon Jin Ah!! Yep!! I have the privilege of serving with another Korean!!!! Some extra fun news is that in Daegu I will be in the 4 sister house!!! So there is Me and my companion, another Korean 추윤아 (nickname is Sister Charity) and Sister Chase!!! I AM SO EXCITED!!  This transfer is going to be so much fun. I have already heard such wonderful things about the ward I will be serving in.  The members are involved and they love missionary work.  There are some programs already in the making for Christmas, so I'm excited to see the miracles that come from those. 

I have to say that is was really strange to leave Shin Jeong; my home for the past 6 months of my mission!! It was hard saying goodbye to the members that I have served for so long and with all my heart. I loved them all dearly. It was definitely a teary goodbye.  I think the hardest goodbye was Sister Kim!! I love her so very much, like my own sister!  She was my friend, and mentor these past couple months. I knew her in my first area as well, so it will be strange serving without her being close by!  Before Missionaries leave for home they get to visit past areas their last two p-days. Shin Jeong has definitely made that list! 

My companion and trainee Sister Yoon had a really hard time this past week.  First, it was just the knowledge that transfers were coming up, and then it was the fact that the call officially came.  Last, was the days leading up to transfer days as I packed my bags, said goodbyes and prepared to leave. We had some long hours and night of tears.  I remember what it was like leaving my trainer and my heart went out to her. Her new companion is from my group of missionaries, Sister Cutler, and I know that they will learn a lot from each other. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to see Sister Yoon grow and that I was able to be an instrument in the Lord's hands in helping her learn and most importantly love. She gave me the a very sweet present as we departed. She has graduated college and her trade is making jewelry. She works with precious medals and makes her own stones with silver casted flowers. She brought some of her pieces that she has made to the mission and presented me with a BEAUTIFUL ring!! I'll send a picture later. She also had me choose another stone that she made and will be making me a necklace when she returns home that she'll send later. Her heart is so large and so sensitive, and most of her life she has spent building up her defenses; but it was my honor to see those walls begin to come down. As they did so, her heart was able to touch other peoples. I hope and pray that she will continue to do so. 

Some fun news from Shin Jeong! Sweet Grandma Kim, our convert, finished the Book of Mormon this past week and she is excited to begin the Doctrine and Covenants!! She always said that she didn't understand much, but she also felt so happy when she was reading. It was amazing how quickly she read and how day after day you could see the light of her faith and testimony grow!

This past Saturday at the Youth english and PMG class, we began a project that the mission has wanted to implement.  It's called the “Letter Project” and when the missionaries go visit with the members we bring with us the name of a LA or a member who is having a hard time and we all sit down and write a letter to them. Then the missionaries go and deliver the letters. This past Saturday with the youth, we all knelt down together and prayed to know who, amongst the youth, were in need of a special letter. From the names we chose we all wrote letters sharing our testimony, or favorite scriptures, and most importantly our love. It was neat to see all the youth thinking of those they hadn't seen in a while and having their hearts reach out in hopes that those people would come back to church again. 

Transfer meeting today was such a BLAST!! I seriously LOVE getting together with the missionaries!! It was neat; I heard the testimonies of the Elder's going home.  These missionaries are the ones that have really become my dear friends and I'm sad to see them go. It was wonderful as they shared their experiences and the things that really stood out to them.  After the testimonies, Sister Gilbert said something that I really liked!  She said: "The greatest testimony you'll ever leave is the testimony of how you lived your mission."  How grateful I am to be living my mission and living my testimony everyday and I'm excited to now share the love that I have with the people of Daegu!!

Thanks for you love!! I sent off the final Christmas package today!! ONLY MOM can look at it and wrap all the presents =]

I miss you all and I love you!! So far I haven't gotten any of the packages, but I’m assuming that they are coming soon! Love you! mean it!

Kiss Love Hugs!!