Monday, July 28, 2014

5 Months!

안 산 (Ansan) is beautiful! When transfers day came I was a little sad and even a little nervous. But now that just seems super silly to me. I was sad because I was leaving Sister Chao and would have to go to a new place. I was nervous because I was going to have a KOREAN companion!! So scary! But transfers was actually really cool. All the missionaries gather meet in Sindorim inside the subway station. I was able to see a lot of familiar faces :) Sister Gooch is now in my zone so I am so excited to see her more often. Yay for MTC districts! Elder Ely, Elder Bryner, and Elder Lynn all look so thin and in shape it's crazy. Seriously they all looked so fit and seemed so happy. It was so great being able to visit with them again. However, eventually it was time to leave and we had to part ways and I was left alone to go with my new companion Sister Jeong (pronounced Jung). It took us about an hour to get to Ansan from Sindorrim on an express bus. I had made it a goal of mine to break the ice with Sister Jeong right from the start so things wouldn't be all awkward. And thankfully that was way easy! The whole bus ride home we were talking. She, of coarse, was doing a really fantastic job at only speaking in Korean to me. I learned that she is from Daejon Mission area and she has a big family like me. She is really hilarious and also super sweet. She's been really great at helping me with Korean. I've started to notice that I am learning Korean a lot faster than before which makes me really happy. She isn't leaving me clueless though, thankfully. Whenever I don't understand her I just try to guess what she is saying and if I'm right she'll kind of do this cute grunt noise meaning yes. It's kind of like an uh-huh i guess. But if I can't figure it out she will try her best to tell me in English. However, there has been times she has no clue how to say it in English so then we learn together what it means by using the dictionary on our phone. She's crazy at talking to people on the street. Koreans just get straight to the point I guess haha. So I'll usually say hello and just start a little conversation but she just jumps right in and says that we are missionaries and so on and so on. She has gotten people to give them their numbers too even. I am amazed every single time I see her do that. I'm sure she and I will have lots of success as companions together. She and her last companion already had I think two or three baptisms. So hopefully, we can continue to help people. She knows a little how to cook Korean meals so we've eaten a few. I know for sure the Lord is blessing me because I have been able to eat everything no problem! Like for example, on Thursday we had our weekly service activity where we went to the community welfare center. We went and spent some time with some 어 르신(elderly). I loved it so much! However, I couldn't understand anything they would say to me. I would just nod my head and say lots of yes and aww's haha. Afterwards, we ate lunch there where I ate some traditional Korean food in the cafeteria. After serving the food to them, I got my own tray and the lady who served it put something in mine that I never ever in my life would choose to eat. I was really nervous but I had faith that the Lord would once again help me be able to eat the food as long as I at least tried it. It couldn't be that bad. Optimism is good right? What I ate is called 오 징어무국 translating to squid radish soup. Yup that's right! I ate squid!! Can you believe it?! And it actually wasn't that bad. It didn't really taste much like anything actually haha. So I know my prayers are being answered and the Lord is helping me for sure. And not only with the food, when we had a practice lesson with a ward member, I was able to speak Korean and say what I wanted to say in the lesson. Normally I always had to look down at my notes, but this time I maybe looked once after trying terribly to remember what the word was. I know the Lord is strengthening my ability to learn quickly and he's blessed me with such a great companion.

Anyways, I've now been on my mission 5 whole months and tomorrow will be 3 months in Korea. Is time going by this fast for you? It's like when I look back on the past weeks or months it's just flown on by, but the days still go by a little slowly. Yesterday we had the opportunity to go to a setting apart of a new missionary going to Daejon mission. Being in that room as everyone shared their testimonies with him was a little overpowering. I felt the spirit so strong. It reminded me a lot of when I was set apart and when I got home I went and reread the blessing that Michelle recorded for me.

Oh, and the Ansan ward is super great! The bishop is really wanting us to learn Korean fast and to adapt to Korean food. He even told us to not eat fast food! I almost cried! haha but it's really ok. It'll say us money for sure haha. And Sister Jeong isn't opposed to American food. Just last night she tried Mac n' Cheese for the first time and really liked it! So thanks mom for those! :D

My new apartment is sooooo nice! Small but way cute! yes it's somewhat cooler here. LOTS and LOTS of pretty trees. but it's still monsoon season so lots of rain sometimes and lots of humidity still. Also, I got bit by some mosquitoes :( I don't even know when! haha We only have about 2 investigators right now but they aren't progressing...

I love you all and hope you all have a great week!

켈리 자매
Sister Kelly

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Transfer calls are an exciting time but also a sad time. This week went by so slow. Probably because Sister Chao and I knew transfer calls were coming on Saturday. We had a really good week together though. We tried to make it worth while because we knew it might be our last together as companions. We had a really great lesson with 손 순 옥 (Mary). Ever since I first met her I had always wanted to teach her the plan of salvation. That lesson is the most important to me and I felt like it would really help her as well. And it was. She asked a lot of very good questions. Questions Sister Chao and I anticipated she might ask, and so I was so relieved to be able to help her find her answers because I knew where the scriptures were and had role played with my companion. It was such a great spiritual lesson. It was mostly in English but we tried our best in Korean but she speaks English well so it wasn't so bad. I felt like she actually understood what we were teaching her. When I told her about what the Celestial Kingdom and what eternal life really means, I felt the spirit so strong. She told us she did too and I just know that the plan of salvation is just what she needed to help her increase her faith. I'm really sad that'll I'm leaving Anyang though. I will miss her. I hope she will one day accept the fullness of the gospel into her life and be baptized. Her family would be so blessed I just know it!
So yup you read right, I'm transferring. On Saturday night while I dyed Sister Chao's hair to pass the time, the phone rang and we found out the news that had been on our minds and the topic of all our conversations all week long. Sister Chao and I had talked about our desires to leave. I'm pretty sure she wanted to leave just as much as I did, but she never really told me the truth until after she found out she was really staying. She's been here forever so I kinda wanted her to go too so she would be happy, but at the same time the investigators in Anyang are tough and you know me, I like change. haha and I was praying that I'd get sent to areas where they have the army base, or english wards. I would love that! But nope! The Lord has a sense of humor and once again he is humbling me.
 Beginning this Wednesday I will be serving in 안 산시 (Ansan). My companion is 정 혜 민 자 매 님. Yup I will have my very first Korean companion. I will still be serving in the same zone though. I met her at Zone conference she was super shy and sweet. Sister Chao told me it's her first time being senior companion so I will have to be very good for her and help her open up. She was way nice though. However, if you know me at all you know this may not have been my first thought when I received my transfer call. I had a sign of relief when I found out I was leaving, but when I learned that where I was going was in the same zone bugged me and a Korean!!! How scary is that! She doesn't speak much English and I don't know enough Korean. I hope we won't just be quiet around each other. How boring is that? haha. And she will make me have to eat Korean food! However, yesterday when I gave my "goodbye" talk in Sacrament meeting I felt the spirit as I bore my testimony. Have you seen the New testament movie? Sister Chao and I watch it a lot.
At the end of the movie when Christ is visiting with the Nephites in America, the main characters are talking (father to son). The son feels terrible that his father can't see Christ because he became blind because he was saving him. But the father, Helam, says to his son that it's fine and he's just happy that he (his son) can see Christ. Just as he says that, Christ touches the shoulder of the son and says, "Helam!" and then he realizes it's Christ's voice and the music sings Hallelujah in the background as Christ heals his eyes and he can now see Him. Well, I tell you this because just as I was baring my testimony that I know this church is true, I heard, "Helam!" and knew it was for me. I was immediately overcome by the spirit and I tried my best to bare the rest of my testimony in tears. We all know I don't look so pretty when I cry haha. But my fears about having a Korean companion were swept away. It'll still be hard but I know I'm suppose to be her companion and the Lord is going to help me in every way I need Him to. It's sad to admit that the first thing that I worry about is if there's American food there. But I know the Lord knows me better than I know myself and I know he'll help me be able to start eating more Korean food and to be able to pick up on learning Korean more quickly. I'll definitely need it. I think my first couple days with my new companion will be pretty quiet though. haha Maybe we will just watch the New Testaments movie in Korean together :) I'll let you know how it goes next week!

Sister Kelly

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

기적들은 생길수있어요 (Miracles can happen)

기적들은 생길수있어요 (Miracles can happen)

I am so grateful for this week. So many amazing things happened. My companion and I witnessed at least one miracle each day this week. It was great! Our progressing investigator opened up to us a little more. We learned how we can better help her needs now so that's good. I definitely know that asking inspired questions is important because without having the spirit tell me what question to ask and how to ask it, our investigator wouldn't have opened up in that way. Last week I said I don't like weekly planning. Well, I still don't, but this week was different. On Friday during weekly planning we received referrals from other missionaries. I think all of them are English interests but I have hope that at least one of them will have been prepared by the Lord to receive the fulness of the gospel. The young single adult activity was once again a fail this week. But there's progression. Sister Chao and I were able to hang out with one of the girls. She is so cool. She offered to do our nails. Sadly, I will have to wait till next week for her to do mine haha. I already had nail polish on so only Sister Chao got her nails done. Afterwards, she took us to a restaurant to eat. Where I ate a really really hot jalapeno pepper. Seriously, my mouth was on fire! I figured since I have been good with all the other spicy foods here I could eat that no problem. Boy! I was wrong haha. The YSA and my companion sure laughed about it. She then bought us some ice cream to help with my burning mouth haha. That ice cream was so good! It was called shooting star from Baskin Robbins. Yum! But it was so humid outside that as sister chao and I walked home it melted all over our hands. I don't think I've ever seen ice cream melt so fast before. It was delicious though  :D

Yesterday was the best miracle of all. My companion and I were waiting for an investigator and their family to show up to church yesterday. We waited and waited and waited some more. They said they were coming the day before so we figured they were just running late (we were just trying to stay optimistic) lol while we waited we each prayed silently. Eventually relief society was starting we decided we needed to go to class. Relief Society and Sunday school went by- still hadn't showed up. It wasn't until the middle of Sacrament meeting that another family showed up. This was a former investigator named Grace and her daughter-in-law and cute little grandson. It's the same investigator that we went on a hike with that I sent pictures of when I first came to Korea.

 We were so surprised but so happy to see them! I had only met this family once before but I already felt like I loved them. The ward members already knew the investigator so they were super happy to see her as well. It was like one grand reunion. My companion later told me that she hadn't just prayed for that certain investigator that we were waiting for to show up she just simply prayed for a family to show up. And her prayers were answered! After thinking about it my prayers were answered to. During weekly planning I had always prayed for this investigator Grace to have a spiritual experience that would open her heart more to the gospel. I'm sure when we meet with her this Saturday that we will learn that something sparked her desire to come to church yesterday.

Another miracle was when we were coming home to end our hard days work. We stopped to chat with our favorite security guard of our apartment complex. While we talked, a old man about 89 or so walked up to us and just started talking to us. He asked about why we are here, where we are from, what church we are missionaries for. You know the usual lol. He told us lots of things about him. He told us he served in the army and that he just started going to church again and a bunch of other things. Eventually he said his goodbyes and walked away. He seemed like a really nice man, but I was revealed to have him finally walk away. He smelt a little like he had been drinking.
We continued our interrupted conversation with our security guard, then said goodbye. As Sister Chao and I walked to our apartment building entrance, the old man called out to us and we knew he was drunk so we hesitated but went over to talk to him. He thanked us for talking to him and wanted to see us again. He gave us his phone number and then asked for our. But then mentioned how we are beautiful women asked us personal questions like what floor we live on and stuff. We eventually got him to say goodbye and we quickly went to our apartment. After daily planning and getting ready for bed, he called us 4 times. The first time Sister Chao answered and he just thanked us for talking to him. So that helped me realize we were blessed and how thankful I am to have such a loving caring security guard who thinks of us like his own daughters. The whole time we had talked to the man he was there with us or watching us from afar. We may not have priesthood holders in our apartment but it was comforting to me to know that the Lord has blessed us with another protective figure, our security guard.
So that's just a few of the miracles that happened this week. Most of the others were just simple little things that we knew weren't our doing. Definitely the Lord's. I love you all so much and I invite all of you to look for miracles that you see happening in your day to day activities. I'm positive the Lord is blessing each one of your lives in some way or another.
Sister Kelly

P.S. My companion is constantly laughing at how ridiculous I am. If one of us is transferred I know she will miss me haha. One of the things I like to point out while we are traveling around our area is the many random statues we see. Here's a pic of one where this random statue is just squatting and looking out of the bushes haha. We just had to take a picture with it. So random.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Life's a Climb, but the View is Great.

"Life's a climb, but the view is great." This week was rough. Definitely when it got to Friday I was exhausted physically and mentally. For P-day we went and played soccer with a bunch of other missionaries. It was blazing hot, but I actually had fun playing. I like to think of myself as athletic but I suck at playing soccer. Maybe it was the fact that I wasn't allowed to be touching the Elders as I played. That made it more difficult haha. But it was way nice whenever I got the ball because none of them wanted to touch us sister missionaries haha.
The next few days were pretty good. Our investigator 손 선 옥 is now officially a progressing investigator. I was so happy to see her finally keeping her commitments. Because without her acting and keeping her commitments we can't help prepare her to make sacred covenants and promises with God. So that was great. Then we met with our favorite ward member 윤 우 열. I think I will always look forward to the times we get to meet with her. We always laugh a ton together. Like this week I was offering the prayer before leaving and because she is learning English we say the prayer in English and then in Korean. And because prayer is easy for me in Korean, It ended up being a really funny experience. I ended up asking God how today is going? Like Hi God, how are you doing? As soon as we all realized we started busting up laughing. It was just impossible to recover from there. I think it took me about 4 tries till I finally got through the prayer without laughing. It might sound a little disrespectful but I know God was probably laughing at my mistake as well. He must have haha
Because this week has been so crazy it's all a little bit of a blurr now. But I had a few times where Sister Chao and I kind of were a little tense. Usually those were around dinner time when we were needing some food. As soon as we ate we were back to our fun loving unified companionship haha.
So on Tuesday we received our mission money and so we went shopping. So I never ended up using personal money that I had taken out on Monday. Grocery shopping has never been a favorite thing to do for me, but it's a fun time as a missionary. Because we don't have cars, we walk everywhere. So just imagine two weak sister missionaries caring a box of groceries down a few blocks... possibly several blocks haha. We saw that they were selling watermelon for super cheap so we bought one and ended up getting a second one for free. So Sister Chao and I carried all that laughing our heads off because it was all heavy. Taking rest breaks here and there. I don't know why we seem to always think we can make it all the way home. I guess we are just too cheap to spend money taking the bus lol. It's ok though, at least my arms got a work out haha.
You all sound like you had such a great 4th of July! Sister Chao and I celebrated by eating American food. No surprise there ;) haha We ate at KFC for a change and boy do we regret it. It was so terrible! Nothing like the ones in America haha. And it's also more expensive too, so it wasn't worth it. I don't think we'll be going there ever again haha. Then we ended the weekend by going on a hike with our newest investigator. It made me miss hiking so much. It was probably the prettiest hikes I've been on. So fun!
The weekend was the worst though because we had to do weekly planning. I hate weekly planning only because it reminds me of how hard we are working but there's no success. When I first came the work was so great. So many investigators were progressing and now we are just down to 1. It's just hard, but that's when Sister Chao and I break out my ipod and we listen to inspiring music. I've noticed Sister Chao has really become fond of the Miley Cryus song the climb. She puts it on repeat a lot. And I understand why.I was reading in Alma 29 (or maybe it was Alma 26) about Alma glorying in the successful missionary work that's been happening. I felt like it applied to me so much. We are in a rut right now, but when we start to see those miracles and God blesses us with success we will be able to look back and see the joy in all the hard work we put in.
Anyways, sorry this is so long. I know I tend to run on and on about different things haha. Just know that even though this week was rough I am excited to make this coming week much better. I love you all! Have a great week!
켈 리 자 매