Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Back to My Stompin' Grounds! (August 21, 2016)

안녕하세요!

This week was awesome and crazy and busy. First off, we met the BEST new investigator this week. Her name is 최 (CYH). The elders referred her to us. They had given their seats to her and her daughter on the bus, and she was really impressed with them, so they started talking and the elders asked her for her phone number. She told us, "When they asked for my number, I just felt that I HAD to give it to them." (THANK YOU LIGHT OF CHRIST AND HOLY GHOST!) So...the rest is history. We met her, we LOVE HER, she is so kind, she glows with goodness, and although she attends another church, she considers herself a student, and she is eager to learn about what we believe. She told us that we have a glow about us and we are so happy, and she can't wait to meet us again. (WE CAN'T WAIT EITHER!) Teamwork with the elders! Woohoo! The elder's gentlemen-ness  is paying off. ㅋㅋㅋ
Sister M (MTC Companion) and I are in the same zone now!! I haven't seen her in 6 months. I LOVE her!!!
ALSO! This week we had Zone Conference. It was SO GOOOOOD. I love the Madsens! It was such a new, fun, crazy experience. They gave us snacks and stuff during the meetings. It was crazy! And they were laughing and talking and so fun. It was great. Here are two of my favorite parts of Zone Conference:

1. I loved studying the scriptures with Sister Madsen! She taught about the parables found in Luke 15. She taught it in ways I had never thought of before. These three parables are the Parable of the Lost Sheep, the Parable of the Lost Piece of Silver, and the Parable of the Prodigal Son. She focused on HOW each item in those parables was lost. The lamb was lost from no mistakes from itself or the shepherd, it was just innocently lost, maybe wandered off. The lost piece of silver was lost from personal mistake and error. The prodigal son was lost from open rebellion. (Each of us fits in one of these three categories!) BUT...each of these lost things were so important, and when each was found, no matter how it was lost, there was rejoicing and celebration.  In each parable, there was just ONE thing lost, but each one thing was so valuable, that it was worth searching for. Then Sister Madsen taught about the value of each person. If the value of something is the amount it costs, then we each have INFINITE value and worth , because Christ's sacrifice for each of us was INFINITE (Alma 34:8-10). He went after "the one," each one of us! He prayed the infinite price for each of us, because we are each of infinite worth. So as a missionary, I am also definitely searching for "the one". Even though missionary work can be exhausting physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, it is worth it! Because each and every one of these people have infinite worth. 
2. President Madsen taught us how to measure success. I think that (unfortunately) I have been wrapped up in the craziness of stats, and because of that, even though I have done my best as a missionary, I have felt like a failure. BUT, because of that training, I learned that I should measure my success through my commitment as a missionary. I think that as I now stop focusing on stats, and instead just caring about my investigators, that I will be able to see a lot more miracles. I also enjoyed when President taught about learning from our mistakes, and that trying our best INCLUDES making mistakes. It is a relief to know that we aren't expected to be perfect, we just need to try our best. Christ and Heavenly Father are so kind, loving, and understanding to let us make mistakes. They want us to improve and progress, and They know that a lot of that comes from learning from mistakes.
This sister knew Nate at the MTC!
We also were able to go on splits with the Cheomdan sisters after Zone Conference. I went on a split with Sister G. She is awesome! One thing I learned from her was that we should always try to leave our area better than we found it. I am grateful for the opportunity I had to learn from their examples on the split. The split was an awesome experience because it was in my greenie area. It was SUCH a happy and sweet reunion to meet up with old investigators and members. I was also able to introduce my old investigators to Sister G, so hopefully she will be able to start teaching them again sometime. (They have so much potential!) It was also fun because now I can actually communicate a little more with them! Because that was my greenie area, and my Korean was really poor then, I always thought that I had never made a difference in Cheomdan. But through visiting there again, I felt so much love and blessings from Heavenly Father, and I was able to realize that God did work a few little miracles through me in that area. I felt like this split was a time that God used to reassure me that I have helped Him do His work, in some little way. I will write about it all in detail in my journal, and maybe one day you can read it! But this is already a long email, so I better cut it off here. :)
Back in 첨단! I can't tell you how much I love this place!

Meeting with PJ, my old investigator. I lover her! It was so rewarding and straight up JOY to meet her again.
 Love,
벡켓 자매 선교사

Happppppy P-day! (August 14, 2016)

HAPPY ONE YEAR! Thanks for the package!
Well...Satan worked hard this week! Sometimes it seems like he is winning battles...BUT in the end he is the biggest loser ever! So it is okay. We weren't able to set a baptismal date this week, but we are hoping to this coming week. It was a bummer because at our lesson with KJ, her kids were PSYCHO, and then when we were about to start our lesson, a fix-it man came and fixed their door for the rest of the night, so we couldn't share our message. But on the bright side, the investigator is still golden and so SO GOOD!  We just love her.

This week Andrew sent me a talk about becoming a missionary who works with their heart instead of just going through the actions. (It is a 24 page talk...so it goes a LOT more in depth than that, but for times sake...that was the main point!) Anyway. I have really been trying to apply that principle, and as I have worked on serving with my heart instead of just being obedient to be obedient, or proselyting just to proselyte, I have been choosing to do it all out of love, and it has made the biggest difference! My perspective is slowly changing, and I am so grateful for that. 
Kimbap...beautiful AND Delicious!
Also, this morning in personal study I studied an article by Matthew S. Holland (Maybe a son of the legend?) about Joseph Smith. I LOVED it, and I want to share a bit of it with you. "In spite of failure, mishap, and bitter opposition, -- and in many cases because of those things -- Joseph Smith got exactly where he needed to be to fulfill his mission. Thus, just like our beloved Joseph, you must never give up, give in, or give out when life in general, or missionary work in particular, gets utterly painful, confusing or dull. Rather, as Paul teaches, you must see that, "all things work together for good to them that love God to them who are called according to his purpose." (Rom. 8:28) Just as He did with young Joseph Smith, God is shaping and directing you every single day to ends more glorious than you can know!"  I have learned that over and over on my mission. It is from the hard times, the lonely times, the "why is this happening to me?" times, that we grow. Those are the times where God is putting us in a position to receive more blessings than we can imagine. So if you are in one of those times, HOLD ON!

I am so thankful to be serving in the Mokpo ward. The members are fantastic, especially our ward mission leader. He is SO INVOLVED and excited about missionary work. He calls us multiple time a week. He checks up on us, and also gives us ideas for missionary work. It is so helpful when members want to help with missionary stuff! Because really, we ALL are missionaries. I don't know why it took me becoming a full-time, name-badge-wearing missionary to realize that I should have always been a missionary my whole life! Just let your light shine in little ways, and God will help you be a member-missionary.
So far each of my Korean companions have gone and bought new glasses while we served together. These are Sister J's new glasses!  Time for me to get some!
Well, gotta run, have a great week!

Love
Allie

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Yo Babay I am Here! (August 8, 2016)

Sister J and I eating a fancy dinner at my ward mission leader's house. He and his wife are amazing!
Here is my journal entry from this week:

Wow! Before my mission, a year and a half seemed so looong, but now I realize how incredibly short it is! I can't believe it's been a year since I have started this journey! One year ago I ate at Kneaders with my family (which I couldn't taste because I was so nervous!) and then through a ton of tears I was dropped off at the MTC. There was so much excitement and wonder and terror, haha. I had no idea what to expect!! And now I have been out for a year. I AM NOT TRUNKY, but just the thought of going home and not being a missionary seems so...awkward? Foreign? Scary?

Reflecting on my time as a missionary has brought so many thoughts to my mind. The culture shock coming here is something I will NEVER forget! But now I am used to almost all of it. It doesn't seem weird anymore to always sit on the floor, bow to everyone, sleep on a mat, wake up at 6:30, get my bum patted by random old ladies (haha), walk up and talk to strangers, ride crazy buses, always take my shoes off in homes, always wait for the older person on the phone to hang up first...haha. I think going back to the USA is gonna be culture shock all over again!! 
But even above the culture's influence on my life is the people's influence on my life. My life will NEVER be the same because of the incredible people I have met throughout this experience...companions, ward members, LAs, Investigators, mission leaders, MTC teachers and speakers, random nice people on the street, random really NOT nice people on the street...they've all influenced me. They've all helped me grow and reflect on who I am and who I want to become.

My mission has pushed me out of my comfort zone EVERY SINGLE DAY, in so many ways! I have learned that I can do things that are scary, that it is okay to mess up. I always thought that missionaries were perfect and always had the strongest testimonies...I have learned that missionaries struggle, too! We all always  need strengthening. I have also learned that God knows us, He hears our prayers, He is the Master Plan Maker. God is so good! SO merciful, kind, and thoughtful. He is a part of everyone's lives, whether or not we realize it. We are all part of His perfect plan. And He NEVER forgets His children. He is the one in charge! So trust Him!

I have also learned more about Jesus Christ, our perfect Older Brother. I have been rejected, yelled at, felt so alone, felt so nervous, I have wondered how I am gonna make it -- and none of that even compares to what the Savior went through. BUT...because those trials seem significant to me, Christ chose to suffer right along side of me so that He could understand-- so that He could be my comforting friend in my time of need. And He's done that for every single person. That is a a lot of love!! He's a hero-- He is THE hero! He is valiant, loving, forgiving, strong, brave, calm, powerful, humble. He never gives up and He never gives in . He is the ultimate Champion. He has over come all. Because of Him, we can overcome anything, too. We already know who the winner, the victor of the battle is. We know the end results. So we just have to follow Him! He is the happy life, the loving life, the hopeful life.

I hope these last six months don't go by too fast. I love being a missionary. I am not ready to take off my name badge any time soon I hope to make these last 6 months the best yet. My goal is to follow the Adjusting to Missionary Life's advice and, "Consciously offer (my) mission as a gift of thanks to the Savior" Here is to finishing strongest!
I will be cashing in on this in 6 months, Seth! I just got this this week, even though you sent it in June!
Love,
Allie

Friday, August 5, 2016

목포! (Mokpo!) (July 31, 2016)

Welllllll....I transferred! I am now living in Mokpo, which is close to the ocean in one part! Everything is SO HOT and HUMID!~ Apparently this is the hottest summer ever in Korea...so that is super fun! Hahah. Actually a little miserable at sometimes, but it is okay! When we ride the buses we get AC, and that is awesome. My companion is named Sister J, and she is from Canada, but lived in Korea when she was young. She is a greenie, I am half-training her. She is really great! She has a really calm, chill, personality. It was crazy and exciting transferring. Usually we get transfer calls Monday morning, but this week we got them Tuesday night, which didn't leave a lot of time for packing. 


I will DEFINITELY miss ChongJu. I really love that area, and the members, and our investigators, and especially my cute little "daughter" Sister J. She was so fun and cute all of the time. I feel special because already one member and one investigator from ChongJu have emailed me and told me they miss me. One thing that really helped me feel special was when one member, K, told me, "One reason you got called to the Korea, Daejeon Mission, ChongJu City, HungDeok Ward at this specific time was so you could meet and help me." and then she started crying. I really love her! I told you about her a few times...she moved her from Australia and was less active, but we helped reactivate her. She is somebody I hope to stay in contact with my whole life! 

I have been a cleaning maniac since I got to Mokpo...sometimes it is a little (lot) frustrating when other missionaries leave a HUGE mess for you to clean up. I have seriously thrown away SO MUCH stuff here...including bright blue corn on the cob that was sitting on the floor for who knows how long! Hahah...anyway...I learn a lot from being a missionary. :) Also, going to the Mokpo ward yesterday was great. Such a fun, energetic atmosphere. Also, lots of cute little kids. My other wards only had a couple of kids. This ward has a lot! SO CUTE! Yesterday at church I got to give my introduction talk...that is always fun!



Well, this week I will hit my year mark. I really CAN'T believe it. Missions go by toooooo fast. I really love being a missionary. From being a missionary I have gotten SO out of my comfort zone. You just keep getting thrown into new situations, and there is never a normal. I have LOVED the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people, to experience a new culture, and ESPECIALLY the opportunity to feel God's love for His children. There have been so many times on my mission where my heart starts this crazy feeling where it feels like it is going to explode and I just feel love for random people! God loves everyone so much! He really does!



Also...I am so sorry to re-ask, but can one of you email me the recipe for German pancakes again? Also a recipe for cake? Hahah. SOrry . Thanks!​

Sorry I have to go. Love you all!

Allie