Sunday, June 28, 2015

Another New Investigator!!

Things are really happening here. I love seeing progress in our work. We've gotten a new investigator every week since we started our zone fast.
The new investigator we picked up this week is 배혜민. She was at first taught by other sisters in our zone that used to being over that area. After the ward boundaries changed we were made in charge over that area. However, they continued to teach her. But now that all us sisters are moving to apartments actually in our areas, they are finally referring her over to us. We met her on Saturday and she's awesome! Sadly, the other previous sisters taught way too fast pressuring her to be baptized so we went back to square one and focused on the Book of Mormon and restoration. She had forgotten everything! So sad, but she really seems to like us :) Why wouldn't she now that Sister Holt is around right?

Just within the first 3 days of being companions with Sister Holt we've had a blast together. I don't think I've laughed so much. One time we were on our way to an appointment with a ward member and while on our way to the bus stop, I saw that the bus that we wanted was at the stoplight right next to us. So I jokingly asked Sister Holt if the bus driver would let us on even though it's not at the bus stop. She didn't think so, so I just walked up to the bus door and knocked on it, motioning to him that I would like to get on. Turns out that they actually will let you on. Who'd a thunk? Funny part though was that as soon as we got on we went to scan our bus cards but I didn't have money. So Sister Holt told the bus driver she'd pay for us two. But she also didn't have any money on her bus card. We were laughing of embarrassment and just how awkward it was because everyone on the bus was watching these two white girls act dumb haha. It was so hard to not laugh but we managed to find some change to pay for us both. The bus driver was like counting off the change as we found it telling us like 600 cents 500 cents ...only 100 more. It was hilarious and I'm so glad Sister Holt is my companion. She and I are already making good memories together. I look forward to what fun adventures come next :)

We have a greenie in our zone named Sister Sutton. She is from Wyoming! She seems to be learning a lot and enjoying being a new missionary. She's really cool :) We will go on exchanges with all the sisters after all the moving madness ends with all of us.
We are excited to move. Living in our area will help so much! We'll actually live REALLY close to our progressing investigator 한재희. She has been reading the Book of Mormon and really really likes it. She said people really misunderstand the Book of Mormon and said it's perfectly different from the Bible. It supports it. Not replaces it. GOLDEN! I really truly believe she will be baptized soon.My testimony of the power of the Book of Mormon has grown so much because she's opening up more and more to our message. The real change in investigators is outside of meeting with the missionaries. When they study,prayer, and act on the message all by themselves, they gain their own testimony and are converted. We hope to really touch her heart through talking about eternal families and the Plan of Salvation tonight when we teach her. I'll let you know next week how it goes!

Happy early 4th of July!!! 
Lots of love,
켈리 자매


Sunday, June 21, 2015

New Investigator!

Things are starting to pick up here thanks to the zone fast. The Elders in my district have been receiving referrals out of no where and we are meeting so many kind people who are interested. Yesterday as we were leaving the stake center after stake conference, a man walked up to us and starting asking us if we were Mormons but using the old church's name. So, I explained to him that the name was changed but it's indeed the same church. He asked if the members were American or Korean and so I also explained we live in Korea, so there was definitely Korean members haha. He immediately asked if he could go inside and be introduced to one. So, we took him and did exactly that. I have no clue what happened after we passed him on to a Korean missionary serving there, but he seemed REALLY interested and so I give all credit to the zone fast. Things are just happening. It's a miracle!
Remember last week when I mentioned about us getting a phone call about a potential investigator? Well, she's our investigator now and she's GOLDEN! During our first discussion, instead of studying English together she asked us to tell her all about Mormons and what we believe...but in English. And we happily shared with her the unique message of the restoration. She is a devote Christian and has such a strong testimony of the Savior. It was so easy to feel the spirit as we talked. As we shared the account of the First Vision she was impressed and immediately related it back to how Moses and other prophets had similar experiences seeing God. She was so open and accepting of everything we shared with her, including the Book of Mormon. When we introduced it to her and helped her understand where it came from, she said it made sense. Just this morning she texted telling us that she read some more of the Book of Mormon yesterday, and she likes how it is so so similar to what's in the Bible. She really seems to understand the how the Bible and the Book of Mormon compliment each other and together we have the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Now we just have to wait till the spirit bears witness to her that the Book of Mormon and the restoration are true. I know that anyone who truly seeks to know and asks God with real intent if it's true, they will come to know the truth for themselves.
I should probably knock on some wood for being so excited about her. I probably already jinxed it, but I'll continue praying for her. She's seriously so amazing! I know the message of the restoration will only add to the truths she already treasures.

As for other area news, we ate dinner with Crystal and it was fun. She unfortunately won't be able to be baptized any time soon, but we gave her a general conference issue of the Liahona for her to read. I plan on seeing her at least one more time before I go home. 
We also got transfer calls. Can you believe it? I'm going home in 6 weeks! Insane! I have so much to do before I go home, I'm afraid there isn't enough time to do it all. Sister Mustain will be leaving the area and I will have one last companion. Her name is Sister Holt! She's way cute and awesome :) I know she's going to help me enjoy my last transfer to its fullest. 
I love you all so much! Thanks for all your prayers in my behalf. Your support means so much to me.<3
켈리 자매

We ate JokBal (Pig's foot or leg) with Crystal and it was actually really good :D

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Fasting To See Miracles

This week was pretty great. Thanks for all the birthday wishes everyone. Birthdays on the mission are seriously like every other day, but the elders in my district helped make it a special day for me. We all went to an In-N-Out wannabe which was fun, but it's nothing compared to the real stuff. All it did was make me want to eat In-N-Out even more.
I witnessed a bunch of tender mercies that I am so grateful for every day. Last Tuesday we had a full day going from appointment to appointment. Each appointment was a meal with a sister in the ward and then we did a practice lesson afterwards. We were so full by the end of the night, I thought I was going to puke!
Each one of them gave us some really good advice for how we should teach non Christians and helped us figure out the right way to say things in Korean. I always love receiving help from members. On top of that though, one of them said that she would love to have a dinner with the less active Ritchell we have been working with. It was such a good offer and I was super excited about it. Then we also had an offer from two other families to do family home evening with Ritchell and her non-member husband. Awesome right? Well, here is the bad news. On Thursday Ritchell texted us telling us that she is going to visit her family in the Philippines for 2 months and doesn't return until August 8th. She said it was just for vacation but I'm positive it has to do with MERS. -_- Also, when I realized that the day she comes home was the day I will be going home I was so sad; but I know the ward loves them and is so willing to fellowship her when she returns.

Other news is that we went on exchanges with Sister Nebeker and Sister E'e. I went with Sister Nebeker to their area and Sister E'e went with Sister Mustain in our area. Their apartment is so nice! I felt like I was staying over night in a hotel. While on exchanges, Sister Nebeker and I taught one of their investigator about service which seemed to go better than their lessons usually have in the past. She asked us some really good questions and we were able to share our testimony about how the gospel helps us keep an eternal perspective during hard times. After the lesson we went and visited their other investigator except she wasn't home so we just left a gift and note at the door. Sister Nebeker was pretty worried about her, because she hadn't been answering her calls for 2 days and wasn't home. She had an addiction to coffee and was trying to hard not to drink it, but with it being the week of her baptism all our worst fears came to surface. She wasn't even my investigator but I too felt worried that she wouldn't be getting baptized that weekend.All is well though! She was baptized on Saturday and everything was ok. :D

On Friday, we sorta received a new investigator. She's at least new to us. Elder Ely and Elder Picard in my district were teaching a girl in her 30's named  강문선(English name Rachel I think) With it being difficult to have a man be present during the lesson, they referred her over to us. I just gotta say I LOVE HER! She's so funny! We made friends so easily! I'm really looking forward to teaching her from here on out.

On Sunday was our day to fast for the zone fast, so right after church we went and visited a former investigator and 2 less-actives. We really wanted to work diligently trying witness a miracle. Most of the newer apartments have security doors, but surprisingly we were able to get into some. The others we had to call through the intercom. One moved, the others weren't home, so we went home and called some other former investigators. We feel good about that system and found it to be effective so we plan to visit more less actives and former investigators and then do calls or tract some doors in the same apartment complex( that's IF we can even get passed the security door haha) I'm sure the Lord will help us find someone who is ready to join the fold or even someone who is ready to return. We ended our fast having not seen any miracles... but just before it was time for bed we got a call from Sister Nebeker who had gotten a call from a woman who wants to do the family english program and she lives in our area. YAY! Maybe we'll have a new investigator after all! We meet her on Tuesday so I hope things all go well.

Lastly, we have an update on Crystal. She is working really late nights, sometimes till about 11:30pm. That makes me worried about her, so we've been keeping in touch as much as she can. I mentioned to her on Sunday that we had a present for her (hoping she would give us her address and drop it off there) but she replied saying that she most likely can meet on Wednesday and we can have dinner together. MIRACLE!! Well, at least it will be when we actually meet with her again. I'll keep you posted!

Life is good here I think. Sister Mustain might be feeling a little scared about what changes are coming her way for transfer calls, but I'm trying to reassure her whatever happens is what the Lord has planned for her. I am noticing the difference as I continuing to strive to make a good example and talk to more and more people. I'm still not perfect at it, but I am progressing and that brings me joy :)\
Love ya!
Sister Kelly

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Power of Prayer

Sorry this email is going to be REALLY long. Take pics if you are a missionary ;) and read it later haha.
Because of my new responsibility as Sister Training leader we had a lot go on this week which were mostly meetings. We also have some cool stories to share haha. Last week we had tons of adventures of being late to appointments because we went to the wrong address. One of those times I found out later that while I was too busy stressing out on how we were to get to the appointment within the next 20 minutes searching for a bus or even a taxi, my sweet humble companion was praying for a taxi to show up that we'd be able to take. And turns out it came right when she finished her prayer. After she shared that with me, she and I have been saying more and more prayers and finding out that the Lord is answering them almost immediately after we say them. This one experience is probably my favorite:

So you remember me ever mentioning how grocery shopping works here in Korea when you don't have a car? Well, in case you forgot, I'll explain again. At the store they have different size boxes that you can take and use to pack up all your groceries in. Sister Mustain is the Tetris expert so she organized the groceries into the box. Ideally, you would think we would be able to carry the box easily together to the bus stop.  However, we had more groceries than could fit in the box(mainly eggs that we didn't want to get smashed) So, Sister Mustain carried the eggs and both our bags while I carried the super heavy box of our groceries to the nearest bus stop which was maybe a 4 minute walk away from E-Mart. Not bad, but my arms were already dying from the heaviness of the box. I was relieved to be able to set it down on the bus seat.

 That wasn't all though. In order to make it home we had to transfer to another bus. That's where the fun began. We got off the bus and headed on our way to the next bus stop which meant we had to walk down a street for a good mile or 2. The whole way down the street I think I stopped for a break maybe every 5 minutes because my arms started to shake haha. Every time I took a break my arms felt better, but the box started to crumble inwards from me pushing it against a tree or pole. I couldn't not carry that thing any longer though, however, I knew I had to carry it, because if it was hard for me. I was positive Sister Mustain couldn't carry it.So, I endured. When I got about half way down the street, the box started to open on the bottom and I just couldn't carry it any longer. I just took a squat and let the box down. By that point I was exhausted and I was really wishing we had just taken a taxi. All these other people we staring and watching us, some even commenting on it, as I was just squatting in the middle of the road holding the box on my legs. Just as I began to realize we were helpless, I remembered to say a prayer.
So, I said a quick prayer to myself, later learning Sister Mustain did the same thing and I got up slowly and kept on going. We walked about another good 5 minutes maybe and I had to take a break again, so I set it down leaning it against a pole. That's when we got the answer to our prayers. I really do believe and know that the Lord knows us and what we need. He will always answer our prayers, but not always in the way that we think He will.
Completely out of nowhere, this maybe 80 or 90 year old harmoni comes up and offers to help. Yep! The Lord sent us an old grandma to help us. What she actually said was to give her the box and there was no way I was ever going to let her take it or even let her help me carry it. But she wasn't taking no for an answer. She came up with the idea of carrying the eggs so that Sister Mustain could help me. Which was just what we needed. When we arrived at the bus stop, we told her thank you a bunch of times, and bowed to her to show her respect and then she went on her way. While waiting for the bus I watched her as she walked away and was humbled to see that she was sorting through the garbage looking for things to recycle. I was so thankful the Lord answered our prayers, but I was humbled by the fact that He sent us someone else who was in need. I guess it's true to say that those in need and are truly humble are the ones willing to answer the call to be Christlike. That harmoni really taught me something that day.

Some other news is that I did my first exchanges with some of the sisters in the zone on Wednesday. Then on Thursday we had Zone training where we all decided that we would exercise our faith and fast as a zone so that we each companionship could find one new investigator a week. That's a big goal to shoot for here in this mission, but we know anything is possible with the Lord's help. Like Elder Maynes said, "if we want extra-ordinary results, we must have extra-ordinary prayers." I know that to be true from the experiences that I've had with prayer. So,  I know that if we continue to work hard to find, fast, and prayer extra-ordinarily then the Lord will bless us.
Sister Kelly

Monday, June 1, 2015

Staying Busy

There is no better feeling than seeking the Lord's approval. When you're doing everything He asks, you can feel that He is proud and I wouldn't trade that for anything! The Lord will never stop raining down blessings. He loves us and wants to bless us. I've come to realize fully how true that really is. If the miracles have stopped then that means our faith has stopped or is at least lacking. Not the Lord.
This week strengthened my faith for sure. Some time this week we found out our dinner appointment with a ward member had canceled just as we were on our way to that area. Sister Mustain and I were both not familiar with Gajeong area so we saw this an opportunity to explore. We walked around the neighborhood, talking to people as we went. Turns out there really aren't that many people out in that area. However, we ended up walking by a park where we saw like 10 kids all playing and some old harmonis sitting and talking. As we walked by I thought nothing of it, but then a woman-a mother- sitting on a park bench caught my eye. We hadn't really had any real conversations with the previous people we said hello too, so I knew we should go talk to her. Turns out Sister Mustain was thinking the same thing and me indicating to her that we should was a sign to her that it was the spirit guiding us. 
 I encouraged Sister Mustain to go up and talk to her. She hesitated but did as I asked her. What an obedient cute junior companion she is huh? :) haha Well, after Sister Mustain broke the ice, I took over and asked the mother if my newly come to Korea companion can practice her Korean. She laughed and said we could. Then all of a sudden this old harmoni comes holding about like 20 little packs of something (tissues or wetnaps I assumed) and I knew instantly she was from another church. She came up, interrupted me as I was in the middle of talking and started asking me something in Korean that I couldn't understand. I told her I didn't understand she ended up just saying Do you believe in Jesus (in Korean still) and so I confirmed to her we do and she got mad and told me we didn't and we are liars and started going off on us. I knew then that this meant we really were meant to talk to this mother in the park that day. The mother told the harmoni how we all believe in Jesus. It doesn't matter and to just go away. I was impressed that she kind of stood up for us as this harmoni was trying to pick a fight with us. She left but came back 5 minutes later and asked if we were mormon and I corrected her and told her the churches real name: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints but she just got all disgusted by it and saying Oh dear! Oh dear! as she walked away. Anyways, we ended up talking to the mother for about a 25 minutes or so until she had to leave. It was awesome! She introduced her son and daughter to us, we told her who we are and what we do as missionaries. I was able to talk about the importance of families with her as we watched her kids play and tell her what we believe. And She actually seemed interested! :D She had a lot of interest in her kids learning English as well so I was happy we actually talked to her. She left in such a hurry, we unfortunately never got her number which I regret; but she had ours and said she would come to English class on Friday.
Well, Friday came around and she never showed up :( BUT! We can always go to that park again and see if they are there. I felt the spirit as we talked with her so I know it wasn't just by chance. So, I'm praying we can meet her again.
As for other news, we had more practice lessons with members this week. A total of 7 lessons this week actually. Which is 2 more than we had last week! Yay! We are progressing as missionaries! haha Seriously, it feels good seeing results and knowing that we are improving. However, with that joy has come a lot of stress. Two different times these week we were late to an appointment because we went to the wrong address. Both being because of the records not being updated. How irritating is that huh? I'm starting to learn what happens to me when I'm under a lot of stress. I still keep my cool, but my sense of directions goes out the door. I was really thankful that Sister Mustain could help me out with that. A taxi ride and a couple headaches later we made it to our appointments just fine. And when we got home we made sure to update those records! One of those lessons we had with a member was at a little small restaurant and it was amazing seeing how amazing the members are. Since we were the only ones there, Sister Kim (김미선) invited the owner to sit in as we taught, but the woman declined saying she had to clean the dishes. However, we taught the Restoration with some pretty loud voices. I'm almost positive she had to have overheard. So, Sister Mustain and I will have to pay a visit sometime to that restaurant and say hello to her again. I am just so impressed by how Sister Kim just straight up invited her without hesitating.
Directly after that we went straight to the stake center to meet with the Sister Reed and her companion 죄은영 자매 to do some of our mission teacher improvement program. 죄은영 자매 evaluated with me (her STL) and I was so impressed with how well she teaches in English. Awesome!
We also had a combined Seoul and Seoul South mission conference where President Ringwood, and Elder Maynes of the First Quorum of the Seventy of the church came and spoke to all of us. It was really, really good and I left with an even greater desire to work hard. Elder Maynes talked about the importance of saying extraordinary prayers and how that changes the outlook we have on different missionary opportunities. He also talked about the importance of teaching the nature of God, the eternal Father, and His Son Jesus Christ to non-Christians. I learned quite a bit that I didn't know before so that's always good.

So this is just a glimpse of our really busy week. This coming week we have lots of appointments as well so hopefully your week is less stressful than ours haha.
Love you all!
켈리 자매

P.s. My birthday is in 7 days!! Woohoo! :D