Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Easter Sunday

Darling Family!
Hello all!! Sorry for the confusion yesterday! Yesterday was the annual Cherry Blossom Festival, and like last year, the entire mission got permission to go and see the BEAUTIFUL flowers! It reminded me of fairs in the South with all the food stands, fair food, and pigs roasting over the fire.  The weather was perfect and it was fun to meet up with the other missionaries.  It was a bit surreal thinking that I was there last year as a new missionary.  I have a feeling I'll be having LOTS of those thoughts these next couple of months. It was fun, though, to have MY new companion with me and show her around!!

So that brings me to the fun news!! MY NEW COMPANION!!  I knew that I would be training again, and I had the feeling that I would once again be training a Korean sister. Especially seeing as, out of the 7 new sisters that came, there was one New Zealander, one American, and 5 Koreans! Training Day was fun!! The beginning of all the fun was lunch with Sister Kersey, Sister Cutler, and Sister Kent!  We were all in the MTC together, and now were all training at the same time (Sister Baker is training too!  But she is in the middle of training, so she couldn't come to lunch with us)! To celebrate our official one year mark together, we all got to eat out together.  What a fun time it was to laugh and giggle, speak in Korean and share all of our fun stories! I love those Sisters with all of my heart!

After a Day of Proselyting and eating out together, we all gathered together again on Thursday with the 20 trainers and 20 new missionaries and awaited President Gilbert announcing who was with whom.  Of course I was at the VERY END!  Me and Sister McKay, we are both training in the 4 man house together, were the last to be called and President had the new missionaries close their eyes, we stood behind our new companion as President directed, and then he had them turn around.  hehe It was a fun, squealing hug! 

My adorable new companion is 최한나 Choi (pronounced chweh) Hanna!  She is 25 Korean, 24 American age. She is from Seoul, and she studied at BYU for a couple of years so her English is fantastic. When she smiles, her eyes go the perfect crescent moons, and she is really good friends with MY trainer Sister Lee! I love her already!  Yes, it once again is an adjustment being back with a Korean, but it's nice to switch in between Korean and English and not have to worry about any misunderstandings.  Our conversations are actually pretty entertaining since we both just switch in between both languages without really thinking. 

Actually, I have to admit that I felt that she was going to be my companion long before I met her last Thursday.  Here in Korea, when we get the Liahona, it has an insert about what is going on in the church in Korea, and it announces and has pictures for all the missionaries who are going to serve missions. When I saw the insert, I was drawn to her smiling picture and I prayed that my companion would be the one with the beautiful, shining smile.  I know that God answers prayers, even the silent ones of our hearts.

This past week in my personal study has been really neat. I tried to focus a lot on the Savior and His Atonement, Death and Resurrection. It was wonderful to have studied His life before, and save Friday, Saturday and Sunday for those days of Sacrifice and Miracles. Church on Sunday was a little disappointing since the talks weren't really focused on "Easter". However, the Sacrament, that special time as we remember the Savior's body, blood, love and promises, was tender.  How grateful I am for those little moments.  In the Liahona, under the talk "He is Risen", it says that the Sacrament is our personal interview time with the Savior. I am excited to continue to make the effort to really have the Savior at the focus of my study and thoughts. It's a goal that I made to strengthen my testimony and relationship of the Savior and all that He has done for me and mankind.

Also during study time and talks with fellow missionaries, I realized again the importance of questions.  Questions help us learn, they allow us to stretch our knowledge, dive deeper into the scriptures and really allow for the Spirit to teach us.  But this past week I realized, with the help of Sister Gilbert, that one thing that is just as important as asking the questions is be willing to search for, find, and accept the answers. When we ask for a question, we have to want to find the answer. If we just ask the questions and not allow our heart to be open to be taught, then we will find ourselves confused and doubting.  While we ask questions and journey to find answers, we also need to make sure that we do not forget.  Don't forget everything that you have been given, all the other answers and blessings you have received, and we cannot forget to be grateful!  If we ask questions with the faith to find, remembering to be grateful for what we do have, then our questions will be a great source of learning. Asking questions is part of the Savior's way of teaching. Trust in the Savior and learn from Him.

I love missionary work!! I love being here and seeing all these new missionaries come to the field. As we welcomed in this new group, the Spirit testified to me, with great power, that Heavenly Father could not wait any longer for these young men and women to come to the Vineyard as we labor with the Lord.  Truly Jacob 5 is being fulfilled.

Love y’all! Hope everyone has a good week!!
Love ya, mean it!

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