Thursday, August 1, 2013

WELCOME HOME!

We welcomed home Chalene last night! After 24 hours since leaving Korea, we shared hugs and tears and stories!

Here are some pictures of how the night went!
Enjoy!












Monday, July 22, 2013

18 Months of Miracles


Darling Family!

Everyone seems well, thanks for all the emails this past week. I love you all dearly! It's fun to say that I'm writing y’all from my beloved ShinJeong.  For my last p-day I get to go visit an old area. Oh I love it here and its fun to see some of the people that are truly like my family!

This past week was full of some really neat miracles. My favorite day by far had to be this past Sunday! We started off the Sabbath day by teaching the last lesson to our 12 year old investigator who will be getting baptized next Sunday - my last Sunday in Korea. What a wonderful moment that will be. What I love even more is her father will be the one baptizing her!! This family, who has been Less-Active for several years, is once again united in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

After that we headed over to our other ward. For the last couple of weeks we lost contact with a progressing investigator. She was doing great, she was living the commandments and had made plans for her baptismal date, but then all of a sudden... nothing... no answer to calls or messages or anything. It was heart wrenching. But we would still send messages and let her know of our love. In preparation for my last week, we sent her a message telling her that we wanted to see her one more time. A miracle happened= SHE REPLIED!! Not only that, she said she would be at church. Seeing her   at church was amazing. It was a tender moment too when she decided to give us a little fashion show. In our last lesson with her, we talked about modesty and it's importance.  Usually when she would come to church, her skirt was a little short and her shirt cut a little low. But this Sunday, with a grin, she explains all the alterations that she made to make sure that dress was to her knees and everything else was covered. She remembered. She may not be ready yet to get baptized, but her heart is changing and she is remembering. It was awesome to see that!!

This next week is already jammed packed full of visits with investigators, LA and members. I'm excited for the hard work that is ahead.

For this last part of my email, I want to share with y’all some of the things I had to write for my "exit papers".  Not all the words in the world can express the things that I have learned and have felt and experienced since I have been on a mission, but here is a small taste.

Q. What have you learned from your mission so far that has most affected your life? Stairs. The ascending stairs of knowledge, understanding and intelligence are foundational guides for gospel learning and application. As we ascend the stairs, we experience the miracle of the gospel. With Christ as our center, He is also the catalyst that raises us to each new level. He allows us to repent, change and lighten our load as we continue to move forward acting in doctrines understood, the things that will bring us home.

Q. What was your most memorable experience? 
My most memorable experiences happened on several occasions with several different people. For me, the knowledge that I am a beloved daughter of God and I am granted opportunities to commune with Him is most precious. So to see and hear someone else, maybe even for the first time, calling upon their Father in prayer is sacred. To see someone recognize that God IS there and he WANTS to speak with them and then see them offer up their first prayer is truly a memorable and life-changing experience.

Q. What did you gain most from your mission?
I gained understanding. I now more fully understand who I am and I can more clearly see who Christ is and needs to be in my life. I understand a little more of the Kingdom of God and the privileged role I get to play in its development. I understand that love truly is everything. I understand that I want to have my life constantly governed by intelligent actions.

And now, a small part from my testimony that I wrote...

After receiving my call letter in the mail, yet before opening it up, I knelt in prayer to ask for comfort and again the confirmation to know if I really was meant to go on a mission at that time. Upon closing my prayer, the words of a scripture trickled into my mind. "Lovest thou me?" inquired the Savior of Peter in John 21:17. Peter's reply "Yea Lord, thou knowest that I love thee." Then come to me the same admonition that Christ gave to Peter, "Feed My Sheep".

For the past 16 months, I have sought to fulfill the command that come to feed the sheep of the Korea Busan Mission. It has been a labor of love and devotion. I have struggled and wept and I have experienced joy and successes. But most of all, I have sought to maintain the integrity of my love for the Savior in the divinely appointed calls to go forth and Feed His Sheep.

The Savior Lives. He Loves Us.

Thank you to everyone and anyone who has every prayed for or supported the missionaries. We cannot do this work without y’all. Thank you for your love and support.

I love y’all!!!
See you soon!!!

(side notes: Monday - last day in Busan with a birthday party.
Tuesday - 8 am from Gupo, we take a KTX to Seoul and get to go to the temple and play! 
Wednesday at 1:30, I get on my plane to Tokyo on.... but I'll give all those details to y’all when I see you.)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Bring on the Heat!


FAMILY!! 안녕하세요!!

Well, it certainly feels like summer here!!!! There have been some HOT days! It has always been rewarding (and slightly disgusting) as you come home at the end of the day quite literally drenched in sweat.. Wait girls don't sweat... umm.. how about glistening like a bedazzled vampire! Yeah, that... Haha

This week has been a wonderful week in the beautiful Land of the Morning Calm.  Last Sunday was packed (actually it's like a normal Sunday for us now) as we went between both of our wards. The Sabbath begins with a lesson before church begins. We are teaching the sweetest 12 year old girl. Her parents had been Less-Active for a couple of years, and so their daughter didn't have the opportunity to be baptized, but now that they are coming back to church, we have the blessing of teaching her. With her mom with us in the lessons, I think that the things that we teach are really needed for both of them. The mom's testimony is still weak from inactivity, so to see mother and daughter growing together in the Gospel is awesome.

After the lesson, we head up to Sacrament Meeting, and as soon as that is done it's down to the subway to head over to Haeundae ward. By the time we get there, it's the start of the 3rd hour.  We enjoy RS with those wonderful sisters and then we teach our investigator right after church ends. She is so amazing.  We've been talking a lot about showing our faith and following God's plan. She is heading to BYU the same time that I'm coming home, and so we are already making plans to been up there.  I know she will one day make those special covenants with her Father in Heaven and I look forward to being the member present/ translator at all her lessons in the states. The work surely goes on.

This week we did some fun proscelyting on the Haeundae beach.  We watched a mormon message about what things you are grateful for, and so we decided to do our own little version!  On the beach we like to take boards and stickers. The boards ask the question: "in this world, what is most precious to you?" and we have categories of family, health, friends, education, money and English. We have people put their stickers under what one they would choose and from there we can ask them why they chose that, and then offer them something more. We offer them some eternal truths that could make those things most precious to them even more so. I love being able to offer the things that are most precious to me as well.

According to our "numbers," it may not look like we had a good week this week, but it was a wonderful week full of going out and talking with people and searching out the 'lost sheep'.  I love just being on the streets of Korea!

This week it was again my privilege to go on exchanges. This time was fun as we put Sister Scott with Sister Yokam...they came to Korea at the same time! But Sister Gilbert and I had absolutely NO worries! (and they did great).  But then I got to go with Sister Beh, who is my first trainees, trainee...This exchange was going good, nothing too exciting or anything, just missionary work...but I felt that there was something that needed to be learned, as there always is. The night we were together I was praying and  one word just came to mind 잠재력 which means potential. 

The next morning after a normal personal and companion study, we were about to start language study when I felt again that we needed to take some more time to just learn from each other, and see if we could remember our true potential. The Spirit was so sweet as it prompted us to share with each other what our greatest wish or desire was as we continue on in our missions. Sister Beh's was to be an successful missionary, and mine was to finish off with no regrets. It was a really neat moment as we turn to each other and asked for help. We took the next hour of study time studying for each other.  Finding places in PMG or in the scriptures that would lead us to know how we can fulfill our greatest desire.  As we turned away from the thing WE wanted most and turned to helping someone else, the Spirit that was in the room was very special.  We were in tender tears by the end of the experience as we shared with each other exactly what the other person needed to hear. Originally we had both been trying to find the answer for ourselves, but it wasn't until we put someone else before us that we found, at least the beginning of, what we were searching for.

The gospel is just great!! Everything seems to come down to Turning Out, emulating the Character of Christ, turning beyond ourselves and just loving.  The First 2 Great Commandments are indeed LOVE! I love this work and I love being able to learn from so many different sources!  I love being able to feel the love from Heavenly Father, from my Family, from the Koreans, but even more then feeling it, I love trying to give it all away (which is pretty much impossible, but it's fun to try!)

I know this Gospel is true and it contains all the answers, comfort, love and guidance what we will ever need in our lives.  And beyond my personal hopes and desires, I want everyone to be able to accept this Gospel more fully with their hearts!

Thanks to everyone for all the love and support.  For the prayers and the sacrifices. For you wonderful examples as Christians who have Christ at the center of your heart.

I love y’all! mean it!
kiss love hugs!

PS next week will be the last email I send as a full time missionary, it will also be the last time I check my email (I believe..)

LOVE Y’ALL!

Happy Independence Day!


Darling family!
Hello!! It was wonderful to get all y’alls emails this week. Sounds like everyone is doing well.  Hope you are surviving the heat of summer...I think I am...if you call sweating 24/7 then I think we are surviving.  At least the AC in our house makes it feel a little less like girls camp this year, so that is good.

This week was a fun week for sure! Independence Day in Korea was wonderful!  We certainly did NOT let anything rain on our parade... quite literally actually. In honor of Liberty's Land, my companion and I spent our dinner in the best way we could imagine. First we headed to the near by Costco and got ourselves the most American pizza you can find in Korea!  With our pizza box in hand, we head over to the beach near our house. This is when the rain began to fall.  Luckily, there were little tiki umbrellas set out on the beach!

It was so much fun sitting on an empty beach in the rain under a tiki-looking umbrella eating a Costco pizza and singing patriotic songs at the top of our lungs!!! haha Definitely going in my top 5 most memorable July 4ths! We were bummed there wasn't any fireworks, but Heavenly Father made up for that with a little bit of lightning. Truthfully it was pretty relaxing sitting on the beach thinking about where we were last year (me in Korea, Sister Scott in Cali) and where we will most likely be next year (Sister Scott in Korea, and according to her, me married!) haha

This week it was also my privilege to go on another round of exchanges! I was able to head back to my FIRST area and spend 24 hours there. We were able to see a couple of the members, and it was fun to still be known as the tall sporty one that saved the day last year! haha The members are wonderful, and the missionaries there, including the beautiful Sister Taylor, are doing so well. I'm grateful for all their work.

At the end of the exchange I asked the sisters a question: If there were in my position, what advice would they give to the other sisters? I loved Sister Taylor's reply. She said "it all comes down to Christ.  You need to build that relationship with Him, and when you do that, that is when missionary work becomes fun, that's when you understand your purpose. Everyday you need to look in the mirror and ask 'Do I love Christ?  Do I love Him enough to do what He asks of me?'  There is nothing to loose, only love to give"

As my time is winding down, President and Sister Gilbert have emphasized the dire need to have Christ at the center of our hearts. To have Christ's love fill every chamber.  If Christ is not at our center, then we have done our mission in vain.  If He is not at our center, then when we go home we will not be able to sufficiently defend ourselves against the world that we have not had to battle for 18 months.

Someone dear to me advised that it's not only proper but necessary to ask in prayer and fasting of what Heavenly Father has thought of my efforts as a missionary.  To gain the confirmation that I have done all that I could have done, and I did serve with all of my heart, might, mind, and strength, and that Christ is willing to sanctify the work I have done and put His name to it as well. The prayers I have been able to offer have been sincere, and I'm excited to continue to show the Lord my efforts for these next couple of weeks, and for the rest of my life. Oh how I love missionary work!! I love doing the grand work, and I love being able to do it in the name of Jesus Christ.

Thanks for all of you love and support!
Have a wonderful week and remember that I love you!
kiss love hugs!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Hastening the Work


FAMILY!!! 안녕하세요!  잘지내고있죠??
You know it is going to be a good day when you walk into the world's largest department store as it is opening and having all the workers bow to you, welcoming you in. Yep, it was fantastic!

Anyhow, How is everyone doing? Me, great! Sounds like weather is getting pretty toasty for y’all, and I guess it is for us too.  We had a day that was about 91*  but other than that it hasn't felt too bad...

This week we were able to mix some things up a little bit with exchanges!  Sister Scott had to finally break her 7 week record of being with the same person 24/7!  Never before has that happened. (and it probably never will.)

I was able to go over to the nearby SuJeong and serve with Sister Redford. That area is beautiful.  Over there is what I initially expected all of Korea to look like. Everything built up on the mountains and just a maze of color houses all squished together with no rhyme or reason. It was fun being able to walk those streets as we went out finding Less-Actives.

The neat thing about exchanges is to see that no matter who you are with, you are united under one purpose and the work continues to move forward.

As the Sister Trainer Leader, I was able to see how they were doing and help them set goals. They are whitewashing into an area and figuring out where to even begin is always a killer!  But at the end of the exchange, I felt like I learned more, and I am grateful that I get to be with the amazing Sister Scott for these last 2 transfers! If anything I feel like she is not just my friend, but my co-senior companion.

Next mix up of the week is we gathered again with the Zone Leaders and STL in the mission for a training meeting.  President and Sister Gilbert already having seen the broadcast on missionary work, it was amazing to see their excitements in the hastening of the work, especially where new convert baptisms are concerned and working with the members.

Sunday gave us the opportunity to watch the broadcast for ourselves!! ((and thankfully in English!)) It was amazing! Afterwards my companion and I talked about it a lot and these were some of our thoughts:

We love how they emphasized that the call for member missionary work has never changed or dissipated.  It just needs to be remembered. I feel that Heavenly Father is calling us all to remembrance of the covenants we made at baptism to stand as a witness of God at ALL times and in ALL things and in ALL places.  I know that I have not kept that covenant as well as I could have in the past, but now the servants of the Lord are asking for a recommitment to that covenant and ordinance of Salvation. We are a covenant people and our Master expects us to fulfill it to the highest. There will be overflowing blessings comparative to the diligence and love we put into this work. We loved that the Church is embracing technology for our benefit and they want all of us to do the same.  It can and should be used for so much good. All the things they talked about weren't high lofty goals, they are as easy to achieve as we have the love to serve. Fear is a child of pride.  That is what is bringing so many people down. But when conquered through love, lives are changed.

I'm excited for the internet usage, especially because EVERYONE is plugged in on the subway. And I can't tell you how many people have said they have been to our church, but no one is ever there!! The church tours will be an amazing blessings!

Another part that I thought was interesting is when they mentioned that something that might be holding the members back is a lack of understanding. That reminded me of a quote by Elder Bednar.  He said. “Miracles= The natural result of the correct application of true principles" So what doctrines and principles do we need to understand and then apply to see the miracle of baptism, and growth in activity in the church?? The broadcast included many!!

Oh, I love missionary work!! As a missionary with a tag, and as a member with one printed upon my heart. The work is going forward, and the Lord is leading us on in boldness! I LOVE IT!

**So funny moment of the week, and especially fitting with Will Hatfield coming home from Russia. There is a lady in our ward that goes to Russian often for her job. So she speaks Russian well.  She brought back a song from there for us to sing as a choir.  At first glance, with the Korean written under the Russian, it looked like she had just translated the song...NOPE!! The Korean written is the pronunciation of the Russian. haha I am currently learning a Russian song through Korean pronunciation. So Will, if you want to sing together that would be awesome, though I may do it with a Korean accent!!! Hahahah

I love y’all! mean it!
kiss love hugs!!

YOLO

Darling Family,
HI!! All is well by the news that trickled in!
This week was one of those weeks that shows me that missionary work is not only the greatest work ever...But it's also FUN TOO! Seriously, Sister Scott and I had way too many chances to giggle this past week. It was a blast.

Sister Scott has taken it upon herself to fill me in, occasionally, on some key phrases that I should know when I go home.  This past week was "YOLO". (For those of you who don’t know...YOLO means “You Only Live Once”. It’s kinda like Carpe Diem) She said it...I looked at her like she was strange... She said it again... still strange look... and she just shook her head while mumbling "wow, you are old".  Haha

Some other fun adventures with Sister Scott this past week, took place yesterday.  With our busy schedules, we tend to forget to schedule in meal times... and the meal times that we do have are with members and they feed you so much food that it makes you not want to have any other meal for the day! When we go shopping every p-day, we tend to get nothing more than what is needed to survive at breakfast time, and for the past 7 weeks that has been perfect!! Well...Sunday night found us without an appointment... and without any food in the house... Well, no...that's not true. There was food. This is what we had to work with: 2 slices of bread.  Eggs. 1 lemon. and a little bit of baking goods. What did we have for dinner, you ask??? We had french toast, pancake like "biscuits" ((we didn't have enough of.. well everything.. so we just kinda winged it!)), and lemonade! It was a dinner for champions! Now we REALLY don't have ANY food in our house! haha Luckily we are going to Costco today! whoot.

Fun moment #3.  I am convinced we have the worlds coolest Ward Missionary Leader. EVER. He works for the Department of Defense in the US gov.  He is the one that signs off on any operations that go on in the military.  In his words "things that you never will know about and never should. And things that you will never know about and probably should".   That night we were supposed to have MCM, but it turned into a question and answer session! haha Though some of the answers were cut short with "that's classified" or "I can't officially say".  Needless to say it was the coolest entertainment we missionaries have had since reading Alma 52 this morning! Other highlights of the night were going to the meeting at his home on the 53 floor of the tallest and nice apartments in the area and seeing Haeundae at night! Yeah, I could wake up to those 180 views every morning.  This man in his 30's has a pretty interesting life!

On the other facets of missionary work, this week was really neat.  We were able to meet with our progressing investigator and had some pretty key lessons on the commandments this past week. The spirit was there as we sat by the beach talking and teaching of the Word of Wisdom and The Law of Chastity.  To contrast the eternal laws we were teaching, to the world around us at the time, was powerful.  She knew that she too wanted to change and luckily there isn't anything standing in her way for living them from that point on. We might have to push back her date because school and work makes meeting during the week hard, but every time we meet, I am amazed at her pure and humble heart.

This last week was lots of fun, but it wasn't without some tears. This past week we had a zone meeting... it was my last zone meeting as a missionary. There are still zone conferences (2 zones combined) but in this smaller setting the Zone Leader, Elder Gomez, and I gave our 'good bye' testimonies... It gave me a neat time to begin to reflect a little bit about what has happened and what has been learned over the past year and a half.  So many things really, it's hard to put into words.  But as I was thinking about it, I kept thinking about Stairs. In our mission, with the teachings of Sister Gilbert, we have talked a lot about Stairs. There are the steps of life, the steps of progression, of moving forward and going heavenward.  Each step takes our efforts in the pursuit of knowledge, understanding and intelligence, but we can never rise to the next step without the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Then, at the landing of the next step is the refiner’s fire. Think of it as a bucket, sitting there waiting for you to empty out whatever would be there keeping you from going through the same progress and rising again to the next level.

These steps are in each of our lives, yet we cannot and we are not meant to take them by ourselves. We need our companions, our leaders, our family, and our Savior. These steps have taken me closer to my purpose, closer to my call, closer to my Savior, and closer to who I am. People may ask me how I feel like I have changed while I have been on my mission, and my answer will simply be "I have become more ME". I am different then I was before, but I just feel more like me.  The Me that Heavenly Father created me to be.

I still have more steps to climb these last couple weeks and MANY more to climb after this time is over, but I know that with every step we take, we draw closer to Heaven and closer to Home!

I love you family!! Thank you for all that you have done!
Be safe, Be good, and Behave!!
kiss love hugs!!!

12th Transfer, Day 1


Family!! HELLO!!
How is everyone doing this week??  (Don't worry I'm making sure my email is saving so i don't lose it like I did last week...again, sorry about that one...)

FIRST HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!  Daddy, I love you!! Thanks for being the best daddy in the whole world!

This week was so amazing!  I LOVE MISSIONARY WORK!

We had a fun P-day with all the missionaries last week at the Haeundae Sandcastle Festival.  It was fun to go again this year. I love getting to see all the other missionaries.

So, last week I didn't get to tell y’all much, but we have been continuing to work with our investigator who has a baptismal date for next month on the 7th. She is so amazing!!  This past week as we taught about prophets and Christ’s ministry, we talked about the 10 commandments.  After going over them and discussing them a little bit, we asked her what commandment would be difficult to keep. Her answer "thou shalt not murder"... slight awkward silence... and then we asked her to explain. She said that even killing a bug, a creature of God, could be considered as bad. And then thinking ill of someone, or wishing bad upon someone, could be considered breaking the commandment as well. The discussion that followed that, about keeping the commandments in our actions and hearts was really neat. I'm grateful for the bubbly, humble, and faithful heart of this investigator.  It's neat to see her progression. ((She even sent us some scriptures the other night of where she was reading in the Book of Mormon))

I think the really learning points this past week was the exchanges I got to go on Friday.  The missions have added a new calling for sisters. Called Sister Trainer Leaders.  And I have the privilege of helping 6 companionships in my zone and the one neighboring it.  As a part of the call, I get to go out on exchanges with the sisters. This past weekend Sister Scott and I went to Daeshin and GuPo. 

I have to say that we have the best sister missionaries EVER in our mission!  The sisters are so amazing. I learned some pretty neat things with them.  At the end of both exchanges, I asked the sisters to share with me some words of advice they would share with other sisters if they were in my position.

Here are some of their replies: 
One companionship, who are both newer missionaries, was worried about whether or not they were doing the work "right". At the end of the exchange one sister said that she was most grateful to see that even though we are all different people with slightly different styles, that each of us are doing the work through our purpose and the Spirit.  There may be doubts of "am I doing it right?" And "Is there another, better way?" but to see that everyone else was figuring it out too, that there was no one set way, but each was going forth relying on the Lord, was a relief to see.

Another sister talked about sharing God's Love. We constantly strive to tell investigators and members and people we see on the street that God loves them, but we also need to constantly be telling our companion those things as well.

In the other set of exchanges with the sisters, a discussion we had led to some really neat insights. We discussed that what people need most to understand is the importance of personal revelation and relying on the Spirit. We cannot do this work by ourselves, that is why we have a companion. The relationship between you and the Spirit, and then you and your companion is very similar. Just like you rely on the Spirit for guidance, support, comfort and peace, you need to rely on your companion for the same things. If you companionship is weak, then your relationship with the Spirit cannot have the strength that it needs. Unity in the companionship begins with your efforts to be united with the Spirit. ((I'm sure these things are easily applied to other things outside of missionary work))

Again, thoughIi went on those exchanges to help, I felt like I left with much more.

I have had a special feeling in my heart these past couple of weeks. I feel Heavenly Father's love filling my heart. It's comforting and wonderful, and if I focus too much on it, it makes me want to cry. I love it here. I love Korea. I love being a missionary. And I vow to have nothing left in my heart but love, obedience, and satisfaction at the end of these 6 weeks.

I love missionary work!!!!!
kiss love hugs! 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Fail.


Well, I typed a really great email... and then the computer ate it.
ㅠㅠ
Time is up and I have to go, so I'll fill y’all in next week.
highlights
*Singing American pop songs with Korean ladies in the car
*Being told I have Jesus hair
*Spending the day on a farm
***and now having an investigator with a baptismal date!!

I love y’all!
sorry...

JUNE!!


FAMILY!! HI!! Everyone sounds like they are doing fantastic so that makes me happy! Lots of fun little surprises this week huh??

Honestly, I'm a little weirded out that it is already June!! Where is the time flying to!?!

Regardless of time, it has been another fantastic week here in the Korea Busan Mission (have I mentioned that it is the best mission in the world??) Sister Scott and I are still going strong and Heavenly Father is paving the way.  Oh, the miracles have had our hearts brimming with gratitude!

My favorite moments all accumulated into this past weekend. Leading up to Saturday we had been trying to set up an appointment with the parents we met up on the mountain during morning exercises. As we were figuring out meeting places and schedules, we reminded the dad that we needed his wife there if we were going to be able to meet. Thats with the text came.... Dundundunn

He said that he was feeling a lot of 부담 (pressure) and sent us a message to have a good day. OH NO!! That had us in near tears.  Usually if a message comes like that, they never want to meet. But when that message came, our prayers began. We prayed for their hearts to be softened and we prayed to have the chance to meet them, even at least once. Saturday rolls around and we get a message from the father again. He says that he will see us at the subway station at 3:30 and then take us to meet his wife. That message came and again our prayers began, prayers of gratitude!

The meeting on Saturday was the GREATEST first meeting I have EVER had with someone!  We met the entire family, except the daughter who is finishing things up in her Utah high school.  The spirit of this family is absolutely amazing. They have such a great love for each other. Really, it felt like we were meeting with a member family. As we talked, we set up everything for the twin boys to come out the the English classes and church activities. We also set up a time to come again when the daughter arrives next week. The family just kept making mention about how much they really like our church and how the daughter will probably want to come to church when she comes home...etc..

During that meeting we were able to give them a For Strength of Youth pamphlet and explain a little bit about what their daughter was learning from Mutual. When we meet the daughter, we are going to challenge her to do Personal Progress with her mom. WE HAVE A FAMILY to teach and it is the best feeling ever!

Sunday only made it better as we had 2 investigators at church in one ward, and in our other ward that night we put on a Fireside and probably had a total of about 6 investigators there.  I got to sing "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" that night and that was lots of fun. President and Sister Gilbert came and it was amazing to see the love the people have for them, and they in return. They are truly amazing people.

There are some amazing things happened!! And I am SO excited to be apart of it and do it with my wonderful companion.

(Ok, funny moment of the week, it's not mine, but Sister Scott said I could share it... Last week in Sister Scott's email, she made mention of a "sickness" that she's caught since being on her mission in Asia.  Like any worried mother might do, her mom immediately inquired of Pres.Gilbert and wondered how serious this 'sickness' was.  A small reply later, and a little more explanation from Sister Scott's sisters, the mom was comforted to know that her daughters "YELLOW FEVER" was not life threatening. Hahahahahaha *the best part was, President Gilbert reminding her to be careful what she writes home in her letters hahah)

I love y’all!! Thanks for all the love and support!
Help me keep going till the "day that shall not be named" haha
kiss love hugs!

Wonderful Things are Happening!


Darling Family!
HELLO!!! Glad to hear everyone is doing so well. Though I'm really sad to hear that the cutest of our family had to go today. ㅠㅠ I'll miss Rosie.

Besides that sad bit of news, this week has been absolutely, fantastically amazing in EVERY WAY!! Oh my heavens, I love missionary work!! Even more, I love seeing Heavenly Father taking such an active role is His work.  He has given us so many miracles this past week I don't even know where to begin!!

The week started off with a day of spiritual enrichment. Tuesday was President Interviews and discussions with Sister Gilbert. I love the Gilbert's SO MUCH!  The topic for this round of interviews was charity, but it was amazing to see where the Spirit took us as we all learned from each other.  We talked about 3 levels of obedience (1. you just don't want to get in trouble 2. you want a reward or recognition 3. Love for the Savior and the desire to obey) and empathy (Us feeling God's love for others).  A lot of our discussion was around the Mormon Message "The Coat" and how Christ-like that little boy really was.  It was neat. We'll have to do an FHE about it or something! =] That day was just a spring board for the miracles that were heading our way!!

A couple of weeks ago, as the Elders were out doing some proselyting, a woman came up to them and told them that she was a member of our church, but she thought the church was only in Seoul and had been living in Korea again for 4 years, and had nearly given up hope of finding the church. From there, the Elders got her info and we were able to meet her in her home this past week. It was a tender experience; one where we were really able to feel Heavenly Father's love for this sister. We talked about how she first came into the church (met the missionaries first in GA, moved to OH and was baptized, lost track of the church on her move to IL, the Sister Missionaries found her the week she was leaving for Korea and searched for the church by the English name, not realizing that the church was in her native tongue!!) and then we talked about the things that she still remembered. Since being in Korea, she has been going to another church but just kept saying how confusing it was to go there and how she would often think of the "mormon" church. She realized that when she was coming to our church, she was truly happy with her family.

Then, my favorite part, is when we could teach her and share with her the message of the Restoration in her native tongue. I wish you could have seen the way she lit up when we handed her a Book of Mormon in Korean!  All the lessons she took, every time she went to church, it was all in English.  At the end of the lesson, she expressed her great gratitude and said that it actually made sense.  I know that she had a testimony before; but now, as her understanding of it is now met, her testimony will be able to grow into a strong conversion!

Next miracle came as my companion and I were working out the next morning. We were taking our run up the mountain, but that day found us really tired and we didn't have the energy to go up the next switchback like we normal did.  As we were standing there and stretching before making our way back down, a man comes up to us and asks us if we were Mormon. With enthusiasm we answered yes! And he goes on the explain that his daughter is in Utah right now going to high school to learn English. He explained that our church had opened their arms and hearts and had taken care of and included their daughter. They were so grateful for everything the members of our church had done for her as she had been away in another country.  He explained that he had found our church here, but when he called (the church phone) no one had answered.

There on the mountain we were able to talk with these wonderful parents and get their information to meet again.  We don't know if the daughter is a member, but because of the Christian examples of some families in Utah, Heavenly Father has given us the chance to teach a family. We are excited to share with the family the things the daughter has been experiencing in America.

Next miracle came over 2 days. One day, we met a lady on the subway and started talking like we were old friends!  She was so adorable. She explained that she was Christian, but that she wasn't going to any church at the moment. Then, suddenly she was like "I want to come to your church!".  We gave her the details, and got her information to meet up again and go together. The next day we were in the subway station. We just got of the train and as we were headed out I look into the train and see her again! Though it wasn't her stop, she jumps out and starts talking to us again!  She was so excited to see us. She explained to us that her mom needed her up in Seoul this weekend, but the next week she really wanted to come to church.  Again, we are excited to see where this will go!

Last miracle (well not really, but the last one I will share) came on Sunday as we taught our investigator at church.  She got accepted into BYU and so we will be going back to school together this fall.  We were able to have a really sweet lesson with her and a member that is about to serve a mission.  We taught about the Savior and all that He has done for us.  At the end of the lesson she was so grateful that we had taught simply, because she felt like she really understood.  Then as we extended the commitment to read and pray about Christ, I have never seen an investigator take a commitment with such excitement!! Her testimony is growing and it's wonderful to see!

Oh I wish I could tell y’all all that has happened this week! So many wonderful things are happening! Heavenly Father has some really neat plans for these areas! 

Thank you for all the love and prayers and support. 
I miss you all, I love you more!
kiss love hugs!

Monday, May 20, 2013

PICTURES





Sister Alexandria Scott, from SoCal.






Sunshine and Shorelines!


FAMILY!! HI!!
I'm assuming with no emails from mom and dad that things are going awesome in Hawai’i! They can enjoy their sunshine and shorelines there because I am getting more than enough here! Being right next to the beach is absolutely fantastic!  I love it, and I know my darling SoCal Companion is more than thankful for it as well. 

Well, this past week was BUSY! And I LOVED IT! Every night we come home absolutely exhausted! Seriously, my body just wants to shut down some nights, but there is still so much and too much to do.  Every morning we wake up with our feet still a little sore, but we look forward to another day of hard work.

It's been fun, for our morning exercise we go take a run... up a mountain!  Right near our apartment, there is a mountain with hills, trails and stairs leading up.  It's nice to get some fresh air while our calfs and quads scream in protest.  I think out of all our areas, this one will give me the nicest legs! haha ((it also helps that we make sure that we are home at 9 o’clock every night.  With our packed schedule it makes things a little tight some nights, but Sister Scott isn't afraid to scale some subway stairs and a couple hills in order to be exactly obedient!))

This past week we were able to have some pretty neat lessons with a couple of members and less-actives.  The Lord took what we had prepared and really allowed the Spirit to teach to their hearts. One lesson we talked on faith and shared from Mark 5 about the woman who reached out to simply touch the Savior's robe, having faith that that would be enough.  We talked about how it is not the quantity but the quality of our faith that counts. We talked about scripture reading and prayer and how they strengthen our faith. In the lesson, it didn't feel like we focused on one method in particular, but at the end of the lesson we were impressed to have her offer the prayer.  At first she seemed to nearly refuse, but they she offered up the sweetest prayer of her heart asking the Lord to help her pray more often in faith.  The Spirit really taught to a need that we weren't even aware of.

Another moment came as we were talking with a member.  She had been having a hard time and had taken a lot of offense from what she feels, are inconsiderate members in the ward.  First I said that we would be there to help her out as much as she needed.  She retorted with the fact that I leave in a short time ((70days..)) and that once we are gone she would still have to be in the ward.  That is when the Spirit took over.  I prayed to know what to say that would be able to help her, and the Spirit was able to direct my words.  Heavenly Father then invited her to go heavenwards for her help.  People are imperfect and the world's help and comfort is fleeting and unsatisfying.  But the Lord's help, help sent from heaven, is eternal and healing and loving. That is the help that we all need and that is where we can help people go to. That, I feel, is our purpose.  Going Heavenwards to God and Home.

This weekend we were able celebrate Buddha's Birthday again!! Unlike last year, we weren't able to go anywhere and see the lights, but it was fun to see these beach areas being flooded with foreigners!! It's actually really weird to see other foreigners haha I think my favorite moment was while we were doing some proscylting (I'll never get that spelling down.. the Korean word is so much easier!) anyhow.. while we were down there a girl came up to us with the greeting of "Hi Sisters!!" I can't describe how wonderful it was to hear those words, filled with so much kindness!  What followed was a wonderful conversation with Ellie Atkinson from Idaho!  She's in Seoul teaching school and came down for the celebrations.  Although we couldn't accept her money for ice cream, I was able to get a hug from her and that was wonderful!  I love the Church and the bonds it forms worlds away and with complete strangers.

So many miracles are happening! It's wonderful to see! my companion and I share 3 things every night: 1 miracle, 1 funny moment, and 1 Christ-like attribute we saw in each other that day. It's the perfect way to end every day!  I love missionary work!! I love my companion! and I love being here serving until I literally drop every night! Haha

love y’all! mean it!
kiss love hugs!

Faith, Hope, Charity, and Hard Work

FAMILY!!
Oh! It was so much fun talking to y’all last week! I think the greatest part about those phone calls is how familiar y’alls voices still sound, even though I haven't heard them in months.  I loved it!  Glad this round worked A LOT better than Christmas. I think my favorite part was just all the giggles and laughing. I love that about our family. Yes, we are excited to hear and talk to each other; yes, we want to share all the good experiences; but at the same time we can have fun and laugh and be ourselves!!  I'm excited for the day-that-shall-not-be-named that we can do all of that around the kitchen table.  I miss y’all, but I am not so sad because I'll be seeing y’all in due time.

WELL!! I'm sure y’all are ready to hear about my fabulous new companion right?!? Ok, So, she is from San Diego (Temecula), California.  She is 20 years old and "awesome" haha ccording to her introduction! Her name is Sister Alexandria Scott. She is the middle sister of the 5 girls in her family.  She loves obedience, she loves hard work and she is not afraid to just go, go, go!  (Which, being over 2 areas, comes in REALLY handy!) She is a little shy to begin with, but her dry and slightly sarcastic humor keeps us going strong! With so many new sisters that just came (14) we didn't actually talk to each other or really interact during the training activities, but Heavenly Father knew that we needed each other and it was a fun surprise on Thursday morning. (Fun side note, I worked with Sister Ellingson for a little bit and fell absolutely in love with her!  She's in Daeshin and will do fantastic!  She'll be an amazing missionary!)

Since the end of Thursday training activities we have been going like crazy! Every night we can barely make it through planning for the next day because we are so blissfully tired. Going between both areas has been an adventure for sure. Thankfully the Elders haven't been too bothered with our constant cascade of questions. Really, they are just excited that there are finally sisters here, and for that I am extra grateful.

With only a few days under our belts in this area, we are doing pretty good.  The Area Books are nearly organized, we finally got a map book so we know (slightly) where we are going, and our we have been able to meet some amazing people throughout the days that seem to have a lot of potential to have their hearts opened to the gospel. One person I'm really excited about, came on our first day together in the areas.  We were with the Haeundae elders headed over to visit a LA lady.  On the bus ride over, Elder Gomez started talking to this mother.  After a bus ride conversation she gave us her contact information and we have set up a time to meet with her in her home this next Thursday!!  I'm so excited.  We actually have a couple more of those stories so we'll let y’all know how they turn out.

We had one round of our 3 English classes ((all in different areas.. we have to help out the SuJeong Elders too...)) on Saturday and my companion was excited for that one. Being a new missionary is rough.  Sometimes I nearly forget.  One of the things that I am most grateful for about Sister Scott is her love for the Korean people already.  She, kind of like when I first came, just wants to talk with them!  She loves them already, now she just wants to be able to express that and share the gospel that she loves so much. But English class was a good de-stresser for her.  There we are able to talk in both English and Korean AND be able to fulfill our purpose.

My favorite day of the week was SUNDAY!! Oh my heavens...I am in LOVE with this ward!!!! We went to Haeundae ward for the first Sunday because one of our investigators was present.  It was so much fun to great everyone, ask their names (we made a list of all the sisters there and wrote a small description of each one's outfits or qualities, so we could start memorizing and using names!) and then introduce ourselves as the Sister Missionaries now in that area. I think the most humbling part was their overwhelming excitement to FINALLY have sister missionaries back in this area!  They were all SO SO excited to see us and great us. It gave us the motivation to want to work even harder.  Not that we weren't going to, but now we want to live up to, not only the Lord's expectations and Trust, but also theirs.  Though we are working hard, the Lord seems to have spoiled us with the best ward in the mission.  I have never felt so instantly welcomed. It was amazing!!

After Church we were able to set up some appointments for that week and now we have an entire week with only about 5 hours of time left unplanned at the moment. Whew! 

Sunday afternoon and night we headed over to our other area and met with those sets of Elders and began planning a fireside that we want to have in a couple weeks.  We are talking about Faith, Hope and Charity, and it’s a fireside that is going to be focused on doing missionary work, especially through Family Home Evening.  When thinking about the member's needs we realized that they want to do missionary work, they just don't know quite how; and two, if there is any program that is not living up to its potential it's FHE.  This fireside is going to be really focused on teaching the members how to do missionary work within the walls of their own homes and inviting others through their hope, their faith and their charity to learn more about and partake of the gospel.  I'm excited for how it will turn out!

The night ended with a wonderful dinner at the couple missionary's house in our 2nd area Gwangan.  They are amazing and so full of fire. It was amazing to see the work they have been doing with LA's and others in the area.  I'm excited to work closely with them and use them to our advantage!  Their house is a place of the spirit.

Wow! So much has happened and so much more is about to happen! It's amazing to be here and I am loving every minute of it!! Thank you all for your love and support. Thank you for the prayers and for sharing with me your missionary experiences.  The next step in your sharing is the invitation to act.  As Elder Nelson said, if you ever need ideas or help "Ask the Missionaries!!"

I love you all!! thanks for everything! you are in my prayers!!
kiss love hugs!

Already Busy!


FAMILY!!!
WE GET TO TALK TOMORROW WE GET TO TALK TOMORROW WE GET TO TALK TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I don't know if y’all realized, but we get to actually hear each other's voices tomorrow!!! EEEP!!! I AM SO EXCITED!! Like, for reals. I don't have to imagine your voices as I read the emails, because I get to hear them tomorrow!! YEAH!! So this past week in Daegu was a busy one, and one full of surprises.

So not to get confused, last week I talked about transfers right? Well that was a special case, emergency transfer, and not the regular, end of the 6 weeks, transfer. THOSE transfer calls came this Thursday!!

Y’all ready??!?! SO After 5 months and 4 transfers in Daegu, experiencing both the winter and the beginning of summer, I finally got a transfer call this past Thursday! Now it looks like I'll be spending the rest of my mission back down in the Busan area at the Beautiful Hae.un.dae!!! (I don't know how you spell it in konglish!) But it is the richest city in Korea, next to Seoul. There are beautiful beaches and right now the work is booming!! 

Well, that's not all!! Not only will I be over Haeundae, but I'll also be in charge of the neighboring Gwangan! 

That's not the end...I'm opening up both areas to sisters. Yep, I'm the first and only sister there. OHH!! 

And then I should probably mention that will be doing all of this with a brand new missionary!!!!!

YEP! WHITEWASH/ OPENING TRAINING!!

I.AM. SO. EXCITED!!!!

Fun thing, as missionaries, in our last district meeting of the transfer we always do transfer predictions on who is going where. Yep, I TOTALLY guessed it! I had been feeling for awhile that I would be headed back down south and I'm really excited that it came true. The 8 elders (2 sets in each area) I get to work with are absolutely amazing! From the Haeundae side of things, I am inheriting 3 investigators and from the Gwangan side of things, I have 2 really good potentials. ((One, thanks to Sister Kersey who met a lady, became really close and they have been in contact with each other for months!! She referred me over and I'm excited to meet her!!))  I also already have a couple of referrals to contact that I received from missionary family members and an English class member from Daegu!  She already called her friend and told them I was coming. It's amazing to see how ready Heavenly Father is to have the work go forward there and I'm excited for the challenge!! I prayed really hard to be busy my last 2 transfers and now I have no doubt that I will be. Now i'm just praying to get a companion that will be able to keep up!!

As for my 3rd 'daughter' Sister Choi Hanna, she got her own surprise on Thursday when, after only 6 weeks, she too will be training!!!!! Crazy huh!?!  There are so many Sisters coming that Heavenly Father is needing all of us at this time.  It'll be fun for her to have the growing experiences of training, and I know that things will go well (at least I am praying that they will =] )

Sunday, of course, was a sad day as I said good bye to the people that I have grown to love. They were all so sweet and kind to me. I'll forever remember the missionary hearts of the people of Sangin ward. They loved missionary work, and though it was hard to do sometimes, they truly found joy in sharing the things that they loved.

In my goodbye testimony, I shared 2 Nephi 5:27, and told them that because of their desire to do work and to love those around them even more, I could tell that they were truly living after the manner of happiness.  True happiness comes when we are in the service of others and in the service of our God.

Sunday afternoon I was blessed to have a wonderful conversation with one of our potential investigators.  Currently she is looking for a religion.  Not just a religion, she is looking for God.  With all of her heart she wants to find what is true.  She admitted that while on her search, she is wanting to learn as much as possible from a variety of denominations so when she goes to Heavenly Father in prayer to know what is right, she will have, what she feels, is needed to understand what truly is true and what is not. 

As we were talking the tears could not be held back as she confessed that she felt like the one lost sheep that no one was willing to come after.  She wanted to find truth and God, and she was willing to go out searching for it.  But, any such endeavor can seem daunting. As she wept, I wept with her.  In that moment I felt and saw a piece of what Joseph Smith must have felt as he searched for the same thing. I cried to know the peace and truth and comfort that she was seeking was right in front of her, yet she could not yet recognize.  As we began to offer the comfort that we had, the comfort that she needed, she stopped us there, and the things she told us next were very significant.

With trust and hope in her eyes she explained that she wanted to save the "Mormon" church for last.  She wanted to go to these different churches and hear what they had to say, but she wanted to save the "Mormon" church for last "so the truth won't be mixed in and confused with the other things I may hear." In her own words she testified what I believe her heart already knows. She knows where the truth is and I know that when she goes to Heavenly Father in prayer, her heart will testify to her mind what she already knows to be true. It was a tender lesson, and I am grateful that it was my last lesson given in the Daegu area.  As if it was a final gift, before the lesson closed, Heavenly Father allowed me to see something in my minds eye. I say this precious Daughter of God standing in white in the Temple. She had a smile on her face and I knew in that moment that when she was ready she would accept this gospel with all of her heart.

Oh, I wish I could use words to tell you all how much I love this gospel! I love everything about it!! I love the joy it brings and the little confirmations of God's love. I love you all dearly and I am excited to talk to y’all tomorrow!!! I'm excited for this chance to go to Haeundae and Gwangan.  It a blessing and a responsibility to go there, but I'm ready to put my faith to the test and try the Lord... and then we'll wait and see the miracles that are in store!

Love y’all! Mean it!!!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Surprises


FAMILY!!!
HI! How's it going??  Good. Me too! 
This week was full of surprises and unexpected moments.  But they were moments to be grateful for, for sure.

This past week started with a call from President saying that there would be a change in my companionship! YEAH! SURPRISE!!  It wasn't because of us, just some changes needed to happen...well my companion started packing and then the call came again about an hour later saying that we weren't going to be changing after all! (yeah...We don't really understand either...) Though that call was peculiar, I am VERY grateful that it came. When that phone call came and I heard what was going to happen my heart sank and I couldn't hold back the tears.

I wasn't ready to say good-bye to my companion.  I realized that I DID love her and I wanted and needed more time to learn from her and with her. That call had a similar effect on her as well. It was a moment of self-evaluation = if we were to split and one of us go to a different area would we be satisfied with our relationship? WIth our area?  With our efforts? If those questions could be answered in the affirmative, what was the strength of that reply? That phone call have us the chance to move into the next week with greater love, appreciation and determination.

The week that followed was one of wonderful missionary service!!  We had so many miracles! We were able to meet with a less-active that hasn't opened her doors to missionaries and members for nearly a year! We made cookies and talked and shared a message!... and she wants us to come again!

Another less-active, who left the church and is now attending another, gave us her new address and allowed us to visit her at her home! Besides her children, we are the ONLY people she has given her new address to! The conversation and lesson that followed was wonderful.

We had lessons with investigators and we were able to help members with their missionary work!  We had lessons with some new investigators and every day seemed to be packed with things to do.

My experiences with knocking doors in Korea as always been... eh ok. haha Nothing too huge, but it's still fun to be able to go door-to-door in apartments. On Sunday night my companion and I planned to visit a less-active, deliver cookies and a message card and then knock the doors of the complex.

Top floor (we work our way from top to bottom), First Door.. And a man answers!!  At first he is about to close the door on us but we strike up a conversation.  We get him talking about his family and a little about his life.  Though he claims to be buddhist all of his children are Christian. We asked them if his Christian children seemed happy...that made him think.  There we asked him if we could come back and share with him a message that would make him happier. He invited us in right them, but without another girl that was a no go. But he said that we could come back later. 

Next floor... Another woman answers and this time it is a family.  We talk about our message for families and that we teach free English. The conversation that we had with her and she was impressed with all that we were doing. We got her number and we are going to set up a time to go back and teach within her home.

Next floor.. a grandmother opens up. Poor lady can't hear very well, but she explains that she lives all alone. After some sweet talking from my companion, we were able to get her number and tell her will come back to keep her some company every now and then. She seemed excited about that. I'm just glad that we will be able to help her a little bit.

Next floor was the LA’s floor. She wasn't home but we were able to meet her mom, which was the first time for me. And things went great!! We had the mom smiling and the conversation with her was wonderful. I'm excited to see how that goes.  Hopefully by bringing the daughter back, we can bring her family with her.

Missionary work is an interesting thing. When we feel like we aren't doing good enough, or things just aren't working out... sometimes it just takes the effort of giving more love, showing a little more faith and relying on the Lord a little more completely.  We aren't perfect and there will always be hard times, but you can be much happier as you forget yourself and turn out to others.  Turn out in love, out in sharing this Gospel, out in sharing the friendship and blessings that the Savior has given you. I love missionary work and I'm grateful for all our your love and prayers!!!

I miss y’all!!
The next Tuesday, 10am time works PERFECTLY for me!!  EEEKKKKK!!! I get to hear your voices!! YEAH!!!! 

Get ready to tell me able some missionary experiences y’all have been having, some moments when you turned out, and some moments that you have felt God's love because I'll be asking!! Hehe

LOVE YOU!! MEAN IT!!!