Monday, August 25, 2014

Begin With The End In Mind

Hey everyone! Sorry my emails are always so long!
Zone Conference was this week. And the main topic was "Begin with the end in mind." That means a few different things, but the main thing is that when we are trying to find people to teach, our goal isn't to just baptize them. Our goal is to one day get them to go to the temple to make sacred covenants with our Heavenly Father. I also got out of conference that it also can mean something personal. To help myself grow spiritually, I can begin my day with a prayer that is linked to my pray at the end of the day. I've always known this but it never really hit me until zone conference. Our prayers in the morning are the start of us telling God how we will improve and ask for his help. Then throughout the day we have little prayers that lead up to our final prayer at the end of the day where we report to Heavenly Father everything that happened that day. We tell Him about things that we didn't do and need to work on. We thank Him for the miracles and the tender mercies He blessed us with and then we tell Him how and what we will do to be better the next day. And by so doing we will grow and be able to actually recognize the change we are making.
I've noticed that as I've started to do that, it's easier to also recognize spiritual promptings and I can truly see how I am progressing. Sometimes it's difficult to say prayers every morning and night. I know I struggled with that back home, but on a mission it's still hard sometimes. I am more exhausted than I've ever been every single day. So I really just want to keep my prayers short and get straight to bed, but I have noticed that when I pray with real intent and not just going through the motions and saying repetitive things, that I am actually having a conversation with my Heavenly Father and I'm not just "getting on the phone" and saying something real quick and hanging up.  When I tell Him the details of my daily life, I know He is listening.

Anyways, another important thing that I got out of zone conference was the importance of family history work. We learned how we can better use to find people to talk to. My companion and I have used the pass-along card and pamphlets and it really is something that the koreans are interested in. Family history is very important to the people here. Just this past Tuesday I had an investigator asking me all about my ancestors, where they came from, how they joined the church, etc. I tried my best to tell her, but I felt embarrassed because I honestly didn't know very much. But after that lesson and after zone conference I've really grown a desire to want to learn and do my family history. My companion are hoping that this investigator will find interest in doing her own family history work, because right now she has no interest in the gospel. Same with our other new investigator. In both lessons with them, I learned the importance of sharing my testimony. Our lesson with a woman named Ann (her English name) was the most difficult. She is only an English interest so it was rough lesson. We began teaching lesson 1 about the restoration of the gospel, but soon after we taught her the 2nd principle the gospel blesses families, I had a prompting to just stop teaching. My companion was probably way confused when I just stopped all of a sudden. I just sat there thinking.  I realized that Ann has no belief in God and us teaching her was like we were just talking to a brick wall. I asked some inspired questions which I know can't remember, but from those questions the spirit guided me to share her my personal experience with prayer. (Don't you just love how this has to do with what I learned at zone conference. Totally not planned. INSPIRED! haha )
And as I shared that experience I could tell from her body posture and facial expressions that she was actually listening to what I was saying. I told her that she has the gift of agency. She can choose to listen to our message it's up to her, but I bore the most sincere testimony I think I've ever given of this church and that I know it's true. I don't know how she felt or what she got from what I said, but I know I felt the spirit and my companion said she felt the spirit so that's what's important. I know that the spirit testifies of truth and that no know can take away my personal testimony. It's the one thing no one can bible bash about. It's your testimony and no one can tell you your spiritual experiences didn't happen. I left that lesson with the confidence that my testimony impacted her somehow. Many she doesn't have the interest right now to believe in God, but we never know.. somewhere down the line she might meet missionaries again and come to believe?? Only God knows :)

We also had a lesson with our recent convert where we learned she is struggling with some of the commandments. We made goals with her to help her one day go to the temple to do baptisms for the dead. She will have trials along her way, but I know the temple is the place to be. I want her to be there with me :) So I am excited to help her along her journey.

Anyways, that's about it for this week. We had a 5 week transfer so that means we had transfer calls! Yay! My whole district is staying put in Ansan. Strange I know, but we're happy about it. Just means there's still work we all have to do in this area. Also, my old companion Sister Chao is going to be a sister training leader! So awesome. But in another zone so I won't see her as much anymore :( but she'll be great!

Sister Kelly

Random funny fact about Korean:
Koreans love America and so they sell a lot of clothing with random english words or phrases. Here's one that we say recently: "Don't worry, Be Yonce"

Sunday, August 17, 2014


This week started off so great! We witnessed a miracle! Who doesn't like miracles right? A women (that the elders gave a English flyer to) called us and said she wanted to do the 30/30 program. We were super excited when we met with her the next day because she wanted to meet with us like 3 times a week.! Crazy right!? 3 times! Sister Jeong and I had planned to start off with how to begin teaching in Preach My Gospel and just get to know her better, but she saw the Book of Mormon and asked about it. Sister Jeong began to just introduce it and it seemed to go so well. I know I felt the spirit. The whole time that Sister Jeong was talking I wasn't really sure exactly what I should do. I wanted to be apart of the conversation but I just didn't know what to say, let alone did I understand anything. So I said a prayer to myself, and I received revelation! AMAZING! I felt this strong urge to give her the restoration pamphlet. We already had started to tell her everything in it, so I hesitated. But I knew it was a prompting so I gave it to her. And in the best Korean I could say, I asked her to read it and we would be talking about it next time we meet. And she said she would! Great right?  Immediately after the lesson, Sister Jeong and I began to picture this woman's conversion and we realized, if she was truly golden, she could be baptized by the end of the month! Amazing! I asked my companion if we could say a prayer to thank Heavenly Father for this miracle. It felt cheesy to ask that- realizing how much of a sister missionary I am truly becoming haha.
English class was once again a success on Wednesday night. We played charades which was a little hard for them but I had fun haha. On Thursday we had exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders. I stayed in Ansan with Sister Lyman and Sister Jeong left. Boy was that a fun adventure! It just reconfirmed to me that all of you are right. I am terrible with directions. JUST TERRIBLE! We didn't have any lessons planned so we just had free time to talk to people on the street. We had planned to go with the elders but because it was raining they didn't want to anymore. Sister Lyman and I then decided we would visit a member in the ward. I had been there once before with Sister Jeong so I knew the buses to take. That was the start to our fun adventure of being lost haha. I ended up telling us to get off two stops too early. I thought we missed our stopped and so we walked until I would recognize the area. Well, I never recognized anything haha. We only walked straight down one street a long ways so we just turned around only to realize somehow we went in a circle? I still don't understand how? It's one straight street! haha But yeah, we walked all the way back to the bus stop we got off at and took that. Only to realize we took it going the wrong way. The bus went to it's last stop at a gas station where a bunch of buses were. We had a good laugh because of how random that was. I ended up calling the Elders for help and that got us going the right direction where I got us lost again by getting off the bus too soon. But we found our way home safely. Getting home at around 10pm. Yeah I had to call the Zone leaders and tell them. The elders all had a good laugh at my stupidity haha.  The next morning after exchanging back, we received a text from that one woman and she said she has completely no interest and her husband doesn't approve either. So that was a little bit of a downer. But we're doing ok. I understand it may just not be the right time for her to receive the gospel into her life.
I also finished reading the Book of Mormon yesterday. I was so happy! It only took me 3 1/2 months to read it. Fastest I've ever read it.  Reading it again only strengthened my testimony of it's truthfulness and I learned so many new things I never noticed before. I thought I had a good understanding of the stories, but now (probably because I am a missionary) they all made complete sense and I learned so much about how the missionaries like Alma, Sons of Mosiah, and Amulek were and how I want to be like them.  I can't wait to begin reading it all over again :)

Oh and I made dinner on Tuesday! With A-1 steak sauce ! So good. I miss eating delicious American food, and as soon as I admit that, the members take us to eat pizza hut. Hahah Yup on Friday we went to Pizza Hut Restaurant. It's super big and fancy here. Like it was a sit in diner. So good too. Sadly, so expensive. I ate a ton so it was worth the money. haha Anyways, that's about it this week. I loved hearing from all of you! Have a great week!
Sister Kelly

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Just Keep Swimming

This past week I was feeling a lot better. It had a lot to do with going to the temple on Thursday. I love temple p-days because not only do I get to attend the temple and be inside the Lord's house, but I only have to wait 3 whole days and then it's p-day again. Awesome right? Going to the temple was just what I needed. When we got there I had to wait a whole hour for the English session. That's the downside of having a Korean companion. But it was fine I was able to sit in the waiting room with President Morrise's wife. After my session was over, I felt so rejuvenated and recharged. I realized I didn't need to worry so much about my worries. Sounds weird,but yeah. I felt like I could just refocus my attention to serving the Lord will all of my heart again. It's still really hard and I have so much to do and learn still, but I just realized it wasn't important to focus on my doubts or worries. All that was important was helping people come unto Christ. I read an old ensign magazine on morning and there was a talk about "Enduring Well" I wrote about it in a letter to Alejandra. So, I apologize to her now for repeating it haha. I really wanted to share it with everyone because I really liked what it says.

Remember the movie Finding Nemo? One of my favorite characters is Dory. Somewhat because she's just the funny one in the movie, but also because of what she teaches Nemo's father, and us. Dory and Marlin go through obstacle after obstacle together, but Dory, being the ignorant yet optimistic fish that she is, would sing a song I know you all can quote, "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim."
Dory and Marlin never would have made it through the huge swarm of jellyfish if they didn't keep swimming. They never would have met crush and squirt and got directions if they didn't keep swimming. And last of all, they never would have found Nemo again if they didn't keep swimming.

No matter what trials we each go through we must keep swimming in order to see the blessing waiting for us. I know that as I kept reminding myself to "just keep swimming" I was more confident in getting through the day. I found more confidence in talking to random people. I still had lots of hard times and I know I will have plenty more, but as long as I just keep swimming, everything will turn out ok. Which I can definitely say it's working. Sister Jeong and I picked up a former investigator again. She is interested in learning English, but we still have the chance to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with her. And we also will probably pick up a new investigator this week... hopefully.
I also witnessed 2 baptisms.. sadly it was just the bishop's daughter and another ward member's daughter. But hey! I was still so happy for them and it gave me hope and made me really exited to one day be able to help one of my investigators take that step and become baptized. Just gotta keep swimming is all haha ;)

Other than that, my week was good. I was able to convince my companion to go to taco bell (it really wasn't that hard haha) and we hung out with Elder Monk, and Elder Kim from my district and also Sister Chao and Sister Nebeker. It was way fun. I also visited the bishop's wife. I learned that she makes the best food ever. She made us probably the most delicious steak I've ever had. So good! She also makes some mean burritos! Oh! and last Wednesday for the first time ever, we had a really good turn out at English class. Probably about 20 came? Maybe... just 2 was nice. The weeks before we had no one show up haha. So hopefully we'll continue to be blessed with success :) Last thing is that I  helped my companion teach the young women's class on Sunday. We talked about dating haha. Since Sister Jeong has never dated she wanted me to share my dating knowledge.. ummm yeahhh it didn't go so well. My Korean sucks still that's all I have to say haha. I did a lot of cerades and pictionary haha

I hope you all are doing good. It was good to be able to hear from you all :)
Remember to just keep swimming this week ok?
Sister Kelly

Friday, August 8, 2014

One Year More

Exactly a year from today (Aug. 3) I will be coming home. Seems super dooper far away huh? I definitely think so. Counting up rather than counting down is much better. I feel like I have been in Korea forever. But for how much Korean I know and understand, 3 months makes a whole lot more sense.

This past week had it's ups and downs, but I made it to Monday. Too bad today isn't technically P-Day. We go to the temple this Thursday though so yay! I just have to make it till Thursday. We had lessons this past week with pretty much just members and our recent converts. Whenever we taught I didn't really talk much. I wish I could say I had a really good experience where I was able to understand, but nope. I still have no clue what's said in lessons. Having a Korean companion makes that difficult. Everyone just talks so fast. Most cases, I can understand everything except one word or grammar form. But that one word or grammar form makes it so I can't understand at all what they are saying. So just picture me just sitting there quietly as Sister Jeong teaches the lesson. I really am trying though. I know I'm trying really hard because I leave each lesson with a headache. Thinking in English and then having to translate to Korean is exhausting.  Always leaves my brain on overload.
The weather seems to be having it's ups and downs too. One day it's actually a nice day, then it's super humid, and even raining the next. I CAN'T WAIT FOR MONSOON SEASON TO END!!
Last Wednesday was super humid. Just walking around outside with the blazing hot sun made me feel like I was bacon sizzling on a stove. I was sure I would probably get sunburned, thankfully I didn't! Not even a little burn :D

On Thursday when we went back to Anyang for zone training I was all sticky and sweaty by the time we arrived. Thankfully the subway trains and buses have air conditioning. Otherwise, I would have been drenched in sweat with big sweat tacos coming out of my armpits! haha
Zone training was really good though. I think I say that every time about zone training though. Why wouldn't it be good though? I was able to see beautiful Sister Gooch and my lovely ex-companion Sister companion. (hahah ex) I even received a letter! What missionary doesn't love receiving mail? Mail always makes me happy! Which I definitely needed it, because I've found myself feeling a little down lately. It's nothing really, just a few things are on my mind and adding the struggles of being a missionary to that just leaves me to start having doubts. I've come to realize I have a hard time staying depressed though. Which is really good though I guess. As soon as I start feeling down, the Lord reminds to be happy by giving me opportunities to laugh and enjoy myself. Some examples are of after zone training my district and I all went out together to advertise about our free English class. We went to this bridge where people walk or ride their bikes by the river. Elder Monk brought his ukulele and we enjoyed singing a little bit and playing it. However, it wasn't much of a success. Not that many people came by, and when they would they would be super quick hellos and we'd try getting them to take our flyer; ending in failure haha. With the lack of people and humidity it was pretty difficult, but at the same time it was fun. It was really good bonding experience as a district. The elders are hilarious! And so is Sister Jeong. Or maybe I just laugh at everything? Either way I'm so blessed to have such a fun district. Being together as a district has really helped me. Especially on Saturday.  That day was probably my lowest of the week. It started off really hot. Sister Jeong and I went and visited with this super cool fun couple who just had a baby. Who is way cute by the way! We walked part of the way there so that meant sweat. Lots and lots of sweat. But they had air conditioning in their house so it was all fine when we got there. However, I wasn't too happy, because I had to eat seafood. I'm really missing In-N-out that's all I've got to say. I ate some seafood and I'd prefer not to again.
So that left me unhappy along with not understanding pretty much a majority of the conversation. I only understood when they would help me by speaking in English to me. How great that made me feel -__- I wish I was better at Korean already. They also asked me questions to get to know me which reminded of the things I was depressed about. So I left their apartment feeling sad, trying to fake a smile. When we left we realized we were late to our children's English class and it was also starting to rain. We took a bus, got off bought some ice cream to make it up to the elders for being late and then ran to the church in the rain. And I love the rain so once again the Lord reminded me that I can be happy. Sister Jeong and I were laughing as we ran-awkwardly I might add- to the church building. And once we got to the church building we all played ping pong together. It was just what I needed to get my mind off of those depressing things.

Sister Jeong and I also ordered pizza  for dinner that a ward member had given us a gift certificate for. GREATEST PIZZA EVER! American food was another blessing that helped me feel better. However, that didn't last long until I realized I had lost my missionary support money card. So yeah I ended the night feel a little stressed. But the next day was Sunday where I felt the spirit and knew everything would be ok. I still have no idea why it's not in my wallet. I always made sure to put it back after I took out money.The office finance clerk, Elder Groesbeck, is ordering me a new one which will cost me about $15 sadly. Sorry mom and dad :(
So in the meantime I have no card. Sister Jeong and I are really good at not eating out too much and saying within our allowance. I didn't have money at the time though so that's why I took more out of my personal debit card. Elder Groesbeck told me it will take about 2-3 weeks till I get the new card so I will have to get my money through Sister Jeong. But, as annoying as that is, she is super sweet and willing to do that.

So that was my week.. there's still some rainy weather going on. Last night after our missionary weekly meeting with the ward mission leader we all walked home in the rain. Which I have no idea why, but it was relaxing even though I was soaked from the pouring rain with my small umbrella haha. I love you all and no need to worry about me.. just remember that whenever you are feeling down like I have been that the Lord will comfort you and remind you that there is always something to be thankful for. In fact, maybe even read President Dieter F. Uchtdorf's conference talk about being grateful in any circumstances:

 That talk has probably been the reason I've been able to always get my mood back up.

Sister Kelly