Sunday, October 26, 2014

Miracles, Miracles, and More Miracles!

I just want to start off by saying that I LOVE exchanges with the sister training leader. Every single time I go on exchanges, miracles happen. Zone conference was great.We learned more about feeling the Holy Ghost, making goals and finding by the Spirit. It was great. After zone conference I began exchanges with Sister Hoffman, who is also a red head. YAY for ginger power! haha. Anyways, this time I got to leave AnSan and went to GimCheon (I think that's how it's spelled in English). We did some street boarding with the elders and it was really cool. The board had different life questions like "where do we go after this life", "how can I find happiness", "why do we have trials", and "which church is true?". We then just ask people on the street as they walk by if they would like to put a sticker under a question. Of coarse not everyone stops, but whenever people did. They would put the sticker under the question they want the answer to. Then we would hand them one of our pamphlets that would help them find their answer. It was actually really fun. But so difficult because I kept forgetting how to say to put a sticker in Korean haha. That night we got a call from Sister Hammerl and my companion saying that we had received a referral from the Seoul Mission. It's a woman and her husband and they love members of our church and they want to be taught about baptism and they are interested in baptism. Amazing!!
The next morning Sister Hoffman and I were walking on our way to a park near the apartment and we met a woman who recognized us as missionaries and she is an English teacher and she has been to our church before when she lived in America. So that was awesome! So Sister Hoffman is keeping me updated about that.
After that we went to the park, only to be met by another church who then tries to preach to us about their beliefs. We just kindly listen and then they kindly listened to us as we shared our beliefs, and then we left. So, that was like that other bible bash. It was very sophisticated and polite. That's how it should be, but yeah we talked to lots of people and then exchanged back. 
By the time I got back to Ansan I was so relieved. It felt good to be back in my own "home". On Friday we met with a new investigator who was a referral from another zone. She lives about an hour away from us, so we actually got home at 10pm because our appointment with her went a little over. By a little I mean a whole 30 minutes over. But she's so nice and also an English teacher haha. Pretty much all my investigators are English teachers it seems.
This week all our appointments seemed to either not go well or they were canceled. The 21 year old girl didn't even come to church or our lesson. Wonder what's going on with her?? But we had a random woman come to the church after church who was curious about our beliefs and so we gave her a little lesson and gave her a Plan of Salvation pamphlet. Hopefully she calls us. Other than that we are in the process of contacting that referral we received.
Sorry this email kind of jumps around.. I love you all!! take care!
Sister Kelly

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

6 Months!

Hey there everyone! On Tuesday we all went to the Bishop's house for dinner. It was their sons birthday party and the  Bishop's wife had been wanting to feed us since they couldn't for Cheosok. It was super fun and the food was amazing! I took pictures so make sure to look at those. Then on Wednesday we met our new elders. The greenie Elder Evans is super smart and already knows a whole lot of Korean. It's insane. And the other one is Elder Steel. He's being greenie broken by Elder Munk. Both of them seem like they will fit in just fine in our district. We went and did english class advertising together as a district and seeing Elder Evans try to talk to every single person possible brought back memories of my greenie days. I wish I could help him more, because I know exactly what it's like being new and not knowing anything. And that's when it hit me that by the end of this month I will have been in South Korea for 6 whole months!! Ridiculous! I always say time flies, but really... it's go soooooo fast! I've been here 6 months! By Thanksgiving I'll be at my half way mark already. So crazy! But enough of that.. If I talk more about it I'll get trunky haha.

So the miracles from last week seemed to kind of lessen this week. Our investigators aren't progressing AT ALL. The 21 year old girl 차해라 didn't even show up to church or our lesson like she said she would, and we received a Book of Mormon back from that the Harmony that we had given service to. She said she can't read anymore, but was still very grateful for our service. We tried our best to get her to keep it. Saying it's a free gift and she can just  give it to someone else who might want it. But she insisted we take it. So that was a little disappointing to have the what I thought was a miracle really not be. However, even though I had some disappointments this week, I still had some miracles. On Thursday, after our service activity I was still hungry so I asked my companion if I could go get a churro or donut on our way back home. But then I had a thought about this waffle cafe close to our house and decided I wanted that instead. Well, turns out the Holy Ghost was guiding my stomach and taste buds. Because if we hadn't had gone to that Cafe then we never would have met with two former investigators. It was a husband and wife who are super dooper smart. He has his masters and she was a nurse for 50 years. We ended up sitting with them talking for about 30 minutes until we had to go. So hopefully we can start getting in contact with them again.
Then on Friday we got a referral from another sister missionary whose area was closed down because of the lack of sister missionaries coming to our mission. So she was referring her investigator to us and we now have an appointment with her this coming Friday. Super excited about that because she is really good at English and also has some gospel interest. Hopefully all goes well :)
Yesterday, we also visited a less activity family who we've never met or seen before. When we got there the mother was super nice and just welcomed us in. She is a professor at two different schools I think... with the lack of Korean I couldn't really understand all. And so while there she had students come over to practice for a debate. We just sat talking to the 25 year old daughter. She seems super cool. She is in her last year of college and has gone to America before for school and just traveling. She said that when she went to Utah she stayed with a family that are members and they reminded her that she needs to go to church again but never did when she came back to Korea. But now she said she will :) And we made an appointment to visit her next Sunday :) So it's a start at least. The whole family is members but all less active so maybe with the help of the elders we can get them all coming to church again.
That's about it for this week.
Silly quotes of the week: During companionship inventory of weekly planning, I said to my companion in a sarcastic way, "Do we have any challenges that are keeping us from... " and then Sister Jeong cut me off and said, "EATING!" haha yeah I guess we eat too much.
If you saw me and my companion together you would see how well we get along so that's why we don't take companionship inventory too seriously haha. We don't really need it.
On another day my companion was whining like a baby trying to annoy me because I told her she can't haha, so while she was doing this I tried to say you're a baby in Korean but accidentally called her a demon instead of a baby. We had a good laugh.
Anyways, stay tuned in for next week where you'll get to hear about Zone Conference  and exchanges with the Sister Training Leader!!
Love ya and miss all of ya!
Sister Kelly

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I Do Believe in Miracles... I Do! I Do!

Wow, where do I even begin to start? This past week was just so great. I'll apologize now for this email being a long one. Trust me though, it's a good one.
Not much happened from Monday to Wednesday. Just did the usual. Taught Anna 박미연 on Tuesday. We taught her about Jesus Christ's Atonement and how it's not just about Him dying for our sins, but Christ also suffered all of our pains, sicknesses, and heartbreaks in the garden of Gethsemane. We watched Stephanie Neilson's Mormon message together and Anna really seemed to be touch by Sister Neilson's strong faith in Jesus Christ. I will forever strive to have such strong faith like Sister Neilson. She's amazing! Anna still is not progressing, but we had a great visit with her. We're trying something new with her now. We printed out a talk by one of the apostles David A. Bednar called Bear Up Their Burdens With Ease in English and in Korean. We commit her to study it in English, and for our next appointment we will talk about the grammar he uses and big words she doesn't know. For the gospel message we will have a discussion about our thoughts on Elder Bednar's talk. Hopefully this works. We'll see. Sister Morrise shared a quote from one of the apostles where it said that if we want to see new results we have to do things we've never done before. And with Anna she's been taught all of the gospel discussions and still no faith. So, we are trying a different approach. I'll let you know how it goes next week.
On Wednesday our other investigator 소정연 had to cancel last minute and so we didn't get to meet with her this week. We are doing the same thing with the same talk by Elder Bednar with her like we are with Anna though. We did have English class though and really nothing special there to talk about. But now here's where the week gets so good. I witnessed two miracles on Thursday and Friday. So amazing!
So, on Thursday we had zone training. We learned how to better invite their spirit into our lives so that we can be better prepared to follow the promptings of the spirit in lessons. It was a good training. Afterwards though I brought home a stray to Ansan  haha. We had companion exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders so Sister Hammerl came home with me instead of Sister Jeong. Exchanges went amazing! From the very beginning I could already see how great this exchange was going to be. Sister Hammerl is from Australia so, yes, she has an accent. I know I can talk a lot, but she can talk quite a bit herself too. When we first got to Ansan, Sister Hammerl mentioned she wanted McDonald's. So we ate McDonald's haha. I was totally okay with her choice. While there we just talked so much. I already felt like we were close friends. And really when you think about it we already are; we are both sisters in the gospel and I loved having a friendly chat with her. She's hilarious! I definitely needed that.
Anyways, after dinner I took her with me to visit a less-active member named 길은희 (pronounced like gear-un-he).  I'm proud to announce that I didn't get us lost this time around. I've been to her apartment many times before so that helped. So, with this sister we never make appointments because she always says she is busy and that we can't come. So, instead we just randomly show up. Usually it's like playing roulette. Her husband sometimes is home and he is a big reason of why she is in active, so when he is home we can't visit. So, after explaining that to Sister Hammerl we went and gave this sister a visit. We called her apartment number through the security door and yay! we were able to come in! I was so relieved because I had no other plans for us to do that night haha.
This was also my first time visiting Sister 길은희 without my companion Sister Jeong, so I was still nervous for how things would go. Whenever we visited her before I maybe said the prayer and that's about it. So, this was a big test for me. I didn't know if I was going to be able to even speak to her let alone that she'd even remember who I was. But she did! And her daughter and son remembered me too. Also, when we normally visited her we never taught a lesson. I'm not sure why we never did, but my companion would just chat with her and then we would leave. So, this time I planned on changing that. I knew we needed to share at least some sort of message with her if we are visiting her.
At first, Sister Hammerl and I just chatted with each other which was weird but finally Sister 길은희 came and sat down with us after she prepared some pears for us to eat (Korean tradition is to feed your guests). Sister Hammerl introduced herself to her and her children and we just talked while we ate, but as I found the right chance I asked her if we could share a message with her. Thankfully, she was totally okay with it. Then I just asked her what she remembers about The Great Apostasy and she didn't remember anything about it so I just started teaching her about God's pattern of calling prophets and how He gave them all His priesthood power. Then I taught her about how Heavenly Father even sent His only begotten son, Jesus Christ, to the earth. This is when I realized I was teaching all of this by myself. Wow! All in korean too! Then we talked about Jesus Christ's life and what He did. I emphasized about how He called twelve apostles and He conferred the priesthood on them so that they can help lead and guide His church that He had established on the Earth. She really seemed to understand the importance of the priesthood. Which made me happy. Priesthood is still difficult for me to teach in Korean.
Occasionally Sister Hammerl would say a thought if she had one, but pretty much I was the one leading the lesson. I continued on teaching and reminded her about God's pattern of calling prophets. Even though people would fall into apostasy throughout history, God always calls a new prophet because He loves all of us. That then lead into talking about the Great Apostasy and how after the apostles and Jesus Christ died, the priesthood was no longer on the church. Many people continued to disobey the commandments and persecute followers of Jesus Christ. Over the course of many many years, the original church Jesus Christ established had been changed. Without the priesthood power, good people weren't able to interpret the scriptures correctly and they didn't have the authority to lead and guide the church. Man had to rely on their own understanding and feelings. Some things were added, some taken out, and some very sacred ordinances were changed. Which is the cause for their being so many churches existing today. I reminded her about God's pattern and that meant that would continue His pattern and call again another prophet. And He did. Through Joseph Smith, Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father restored the true and complete gospel on the Earth again. Sister 길은희 has already been baptized so I knew she was familiar with the restoration so I instead of continuing on about Joseph Smith I asked her why she thinks prophets are important for us and she really seemed to understand the importance of the priesthood and how prophets help us know God's will for us in the this ever changing world. I testified to her that that was exactly true and then showed her a mormon message called We Need Living Prophets.
After the video, she said she wanted to gain a testimony like the people in the video and she wanted her children to have an example. But her husband and her family are all Buddhists so it's very difficult on their marriage and that's why she can't come to church. In closely, with help from Sister Hammerl we told her about General Conference and commit her to watch it online at home.
Now as good as that lesson was this is when it got even better. Right before leaving we wanted to close with a prayer. Sister Hammerl invited Sister 길은희 to offer it but immediately she declined saying she can't pray well. Hinting to us that she probably hasn't prayed in a long while. Sister Hammerl then bore a powerful testimony of prayer and how if she prays right then her children will see and hear her and she can also pray for her husband's heart to be soften so that she can come to church again. She then proceeded to tell us she doesn't have the courage but we did our best to reassure her that she can pray.
After inviting her to pray once more, Sister hammerl and I just silently kneeled, bowed our heads, closed our eyes, and waited. And waited.. and then! She prayed! And it was actually a super long prayer too. Sister Hammerl and I later laughed about how our legs fell asleep haha, but it was sooo worth it! She gave such a powerful, and beautiful prayer. She prayed for her husband's heart to soften, she prayed thanking Heavenly Father for us always visiting, and she prayed for her testimony to be strengthened. It was so great! I felt the spirit so strong with my chest that I just couldn't help but jump up and tell her how amazing she prayed. So awesome! Totally a miracle that she prayed too :)

The next morning we had another appointment. This appointment was actually with a new investigator and it was our first time meeting her. She was originally an English interest but now I'm thinking she has lots of gospel interest too. We originally planned to meet with her only for 30 minutes because we had to meet the other sisters and exchange back, but the lesson ended up being and hour and thirty minutes instead! Crazy! I don't know exactly how but after we told her about our purpose and explained the 30/30 English program she started asking questions about what we believe and wanted to know why so many churches believe similar things but aren't one church. When she said that, I remember Sister Hammerl and I just looking at each other and telling each other with our eyes "teach the restoration". And we did :) We even learned she was given a copy of the Book of Mormon a year ago so crazy! I'm really hoping she becomes a gospel interest because she really seems open to listening and really wants to find the truth. I'll keep you updated. We meet with her on Friday mornings so on Thursday nights, pray for her okay? I'd appreciate it.
We also have another new investigator the 21 year old I told you about last week. We didn't get to meet with her this week, but she told us she is praying every day and trying to stop smoking so if you can pray about her too that'd be awesome! Thanks!

I ended the week with being able to watch General Conference finally. Saturday we went to Anyang and watched it there. It was nice being able to see the members there again. Some remembered who I was. I loved all the talks! Especially loved the primary girls from korea singing. It really made me realize that Korea is where I'm suppose to be right now. I love the people so much and those little girls growing up in the gospel are the reason I am here. Also, side note the cute family walking at the beginning of the video is the bishops family here in Ansan. Awesome!! haha And that building the children sang at is in Yeong dun po I don't know if I smelled that right but I've been there :) and to that temple hehe

Seriously, you have no idea how grateful I am for this past week. We have lessons with investigators, recent converts, and less actives every single day of the week, some days even two lessons. These experiences truly helped me see that I can do this. If my Korean companion was to transfer I would be able to survive. It showed me how much Korean I have learned and how if I truly exercise my faith then miracles really will happen.
However, after receiving transfer calls we learned that we are going to be serving another transfer together here in Ansan. We have two elders in our district leaving though, so still have some change. The new elders will be a greenie and a elder being greenie broken. Fun! Haha
And Sister Gooch is now a sister training leader with.... MY TRAINER Sister Chao! Awesome! they'll have so much fun together.

I hope you all have a fantastic week. I love you all so very much and I pray for you always and I can feel the help from all of you praying for me. Miss you!!
Sister Kelly

Monday, October 6, 2014

I Think I Can... I Think I Can...

So this week started off with me feeling homesick and just feeling stressed. Almost like I was a train or car going up a steep hill but I just couldn't go up. However, by Friday I was reminded that I can do this and I just need to be patient and continue trying and eventually I'll get over the hill and make to where all the miracles and great things happen for missionaries.
So let me tell you how I went from feeling like going home to a "I think I can" missionary.

On Tuesday we met with our investigator 박미연. For English, we talked about history and science. We talked a lot about the creation of the universe and through the guidance of the spirit I started teaching her the Great Apostasy and about why a restoration was needed which then led to us having prophets on the Earth today. I can't recall how exactly that all flowed together but it was perfect and through the guidance of the Holy Ghost I just knew what to teach her. My companion and I actually planned on dropping her and talking to her about that, but instead I taught her a lesson all by myself. Sister Jeong would have helped but I was on a role with the lesson so I guess she decided to be quiet? I don't know, but that was a good lesson.
박미연 still doesn't really want to pray at all so we still have to help her with seeing why it's important and to have a desire. However, on Wednesday, with our other investigator we finished teaching the Plan of Salvation and she ended up telling us that she knows believing in God,and praying is important, and she said she wants to but it's hard for her because her mind tells her that it's not real. So basically she has no faith. I felt so happy after our lesson because we finally got her to open up to us. We went from a lesson where she was practically closed off to hearing my testimony to now she knows she should believe and kind of sorta has a desire to believe. So, that really started getting me to feel like my hard work is paying off. I'm finally seeing some results.

Our recent convert 유인순 and her daughter are reading the Book of Mormon!! And she fasted yesterday and paid her tithing for the first time. Super super happy for her. We also had a meal with the relief society presidency and 유인순 so it was so great. Having support from the ward members truly helps us and helps 유인순. She needs as much support as she can get. I am so eager for when she continues to meet her goals so that we can get her to the temple :D

Also, on Friday we had interviews with President Morrise. I was not really looking forward to it, just because it's awkward, but meeting with him helped me so much. It was only a 20 minute meeting, but it was a much needed 20 minutes. He reminded me of how well I really am doing and that I truly can do this. Yeah, I'll probably have other hard times with investigators but I just have to keep pushing myself through those hard times and I'll make it to the top of the steep hill.
And I'm happy to say that after changing my attitude, things really are starting to look up. We received 2 referrals. One is from Daejon mission for a 20 year old girl named 차해라 and the other is a family! Both my dream investigators is coming true!! We met with 차해라 on Saturday and she has truly been prepared by the Lord. She has been to church with the famous member Brother Holley two times and she also has friends who are members of the church. When we met with her we learned so much about her and she has a desire to want to come to church with us every sunday and she might even watch general conference this coming sunday. And she wants to continue learning about the gospel. AMAZING!!! Although, she did have a box of cigarettes fall out of her pocket, it doesn't matter. We can teach her about the Word of Wisdom and all will go well. I seriously love her and I'm so happy that she's my age. I really want to become like her friend and not so much like I'm just some strange foreign missionary. As for the family, we haven't met with them yet. They are busy this week so we will contact them again later.

So, as you can see, I'm trying... and as soon as I remembered to keep a positive attitude, things started to look up. I got a new investigator and a referral for a family. AMAZING!! Total blessing!! My prayers are being answered!! <3
I hope you all enjoyed watching General Conference. I would wake up Sunday and this morning and laugh that I slept through conference. I can't wait to watch it this weekend. It'll be like the superbowl! Oh and I will also get transfer calls. I highly doubt I'm leaving AnSan but my companion might. Guess we will see won't we?? LOVE YOU ALL!! God bless<3
Sister Kelly

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Transfers Almost Over Slope

So this has been the longest transfer. 7 weeks! Too long! But just like all other normal 6 week transfers, we have hit the dumps. My companion and I are feeling a little stressed. Our investigators aren't progressing, just when we thought they were... they really weren't. So that's discouraging. I also had my same cold symptoms come back so this week I rested a lot. Today, I still have a cough, but I'm feeling better. The temple was really nice, as always, but I was sick so it wasn't as enjoyable as I wish it could have been. I think my medicine makes me sleepy because I was falling alseep during the session.
So, with all the rest that equals less time out talking to people. We did a little bit each day. I wasn't going to be a complete bum all week long. I still want to be a diligent missionary. However, when we would go outside trying to talk to people, there was hardly anyone around. I've come to realize Ansan isn't really a good place to just talk to people on the street. We have tried going to places where people are but that's the shopping mall, where everyone is with their friends, boyfriends, and their shopping. No one wants to talk to you when their shopping haha. So, yeah that place doesn't work. So when we walk around it's literally just walking around trying to find at least one person who will stop and talk to us. I don't even want to think about what it's like when it's snowing. That'll be torture! I'm sure we'll be knocking on doors then. So that'll be a first for me.. totally not excited..
Besides all that though, we had a really really good lesson with 유인수 who is our recent convert.
A little background on here is that she was originally an English interest. She began the 30/30 program and ended up wanting to know more about the gospel. To be honest, she doesn't really seem to care to learn English at all. She just can read that's it. She doesn't know what it means or care to study.. haha but I love her she's hilarious. She is a sales consultant for Amway so she always tries selling products to us. Just soooo expensive so I just politely listen. She, initially, wanted to learn more about the church and join it because it's just like what she does for her work. Not quite sure how but she can go on forever talking about it. So, sadly I don't feel like she was really prepared for her baptism as well as she should have been. We meet with her twice a week and there's stuff she doesn't know or was never taught. So it's good we have to reteach everything anyways, because she needs it. Anyways, back to the great lesson...
I have had constantly on my mind since probably the second lesson I taught her that she doesn't have a testimony of this church. She wants to believe it because she likes it, but she's never read the Book of Mormon. She is really good at praying daily, but she struggles with different things still. So these past couple weeks we have been reading scriptures together trying to show her how to study the scriptures. So, she can do it on her own daily. So, this past lesson with her and her daughter, we really emphasized the importance of daily scripture reading. Majority of the things I said I didn't plan.  It was completely by the spirit and the korean just flowed, or more like skidded, out of my mouth. So I was able to ask her inspired questions that really helped my companion and I know her needs. We commitment her to read the Book of Mormon and to pray about it and bore our testimonies to her. It was a really spiritual lesson. I can't wait till she gains that testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and that it witnesses that Jesus is indeed the Christ.  She has such a good heart, and I love her so much. I can already picture her in a white dress going to the temple. Now I just have to help her see that for herself.

Sorry if this email doesn't make much sense. Still sick and my mind is jumping from different thoughts. I love you all though and hope you all enjoy watching General conference. Don't spoil it for me hehe
Love, Sister Kelly