Monday, December 30, 2013

Week 11

Helloooooo from the other side of the world!!!!!!!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! And happy new year! I'll be
turning 21 in korean age this week haha! Koreans count the year you were
born as your age. Weird right? So if you were born on december 31, you
would be 2 years old on your second day of life! Not super logical but hey!
Koreans do what they want. No arguments haha.

Oh man... it was such a loooooonnng crazy week.. My companion has been sick
and with christmas and everything we didn't have to many lessons because
everyone was too busy! But slowly each day I am adjusting to living in this
crazy place.. This week I think I finally became okay with and accepting of
the fact that I just can't understand anyone.. and that's okay! People talk
to me and I just nod my head. "Smile and wave boys, smile and wave" is
seriously my motto haha. Its all good. My trainer said one of the first
steps in learning Korean is to acknowledge that you don't understand
anyone, and to accept it! So I've accepted it! Soo.. gift of tongues can
hit me any second now..

Exciting news!! We have a baptism on Sunday!! Our investigator 김덩희 (Kim
Dong Hee) is getting baptized! She is the greatest. She's in her late
thirties. She has 2 kids. She's currently separated from her kids and
husband because she wanted to join the church and they don't. Kind of
sad actually. But she's awesome. Yesterday we had a lesson with her
and committed her to live all of the commandments! Even though I
couldn't contribute much to the lesson.. I bore my testimony about how
keeping the commandments brings happiness and blessings.. (I can't
wait til I can actually teach a lesson dangit!) She's set for baptism.
I am so SO excited. Also for some reason I got volunteered to sing at
the baptism! So yeah, I'll be singing "When I am baptized"... In
Korean.. pray for me.

This week I overcame my fear of 잔도 (pronounced jundo-
prosiliting/street contacting)! We talked to 150 people this week. I
had no idea that I would be doing so much of this in my mission.. but
it is really a good chunck of what Korean missionaries do! I actually
really love it! Although I can't say much, and over half the time the
people are rude and don't want to talk to you.. but its worth it,
because yesterday a miracle happened! I had been praying that we would
be able to find a new investigator on the street yesterday. I talked
to a girl for literally 1 minute, gave her our card with our number on
it, and she had to run to catch the bus! Later that night we got a
text from some number saying "Are these the missionaries I met today?
Where can I meet with you again? I want to learn about this whole
mormon thing!" That never happens.. no one actually calls us! Sis.
Lawrence and I did a victory dance for a few minutes haha. It was such
an awesome feeling.. So worth being in the cold and getting rejected
by tons of people. I know God answers prayers.

I need to remember moments like this when I am having hard times..
which unfortunately come a lot right now.. Like I've said a million
times before.. The mission for me is just such a roller coaster! I'll
be doing great one day (or even hour) and then the next second I feel
so crappy and homesick, wondering what in the world I'm doing on the
other side of the world in a strange country that smells bad and
speaks the craziest language that I feel I can never learn. But these
negative feelings are coming less and less as I remember the good. The
fact that I finally got an investigator from street contact. The fact
that we have a baptism on saturday. The fact that I serve in such a
wonderful ward.. the fact that I have a Father in Heaven who loves me
and is aware of me. I have so many things to be grateful for!

This morning I read "Look Ahead and Believe" given by Elder Edward
Dube of the seventy at this last general conference. It was exactly
what I needed to hear. He says that God doesn't look at us by what
we've done or where we've been but more by where we're willing to go.
Its easy to get down on myself and feel discouraged when I think about
things I shoud've and shouldn't have done in the past.. But I know
that I have a savior who died for me. And because of this I can push
foward with faith, knowing that "by small and simple things are great
things brought to pass!" D&C 64:33

I love being a missionary! Even though its the hardest thing ever! I
love Korea! Even if it smells like dead animals! I love Koreans! Even
though I don't understand them!
And I LOVE THIS GOSPEL. Even though nothing. I just love it.
I love you all so much and thank the Lord every day for the emense
love and support I feel from home. Happy New years everyone! Have a
wonderful week!

Holmes 자매

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas in Seoul!

It's pretty common for missionaries to get homesick for the first few weeks after arriving in the field. It's also pretty common for them to get homesick around Christmastime. Hannah (that lucky duck) got to experience them both at the same time...

However, this unfortunate timing is still a blessing in the life of our dear Sister Holmes. Christmas is about Christ, our loving Savior who died so that we might live. He atoned for our sins and weaknesses. He knows each of us individually, and longs for us to put our faith in Him so that He can be our advocate with the Father. This year Hannah is spending Christmas spreading this message. It's truly a blessing that she is able to jump into the field during a time when the love of Christ is so present.

Talking on the phone with Hannah on Christmas Day was amazing for everyone in our family. You could just hear it in her voice that she knew that Christ's message to each of us is true. She knows that there is nothing more important in this world than spreading that message. She bore her testimony to us, and although it was in Korean and we didn't understand her, we all felt the power behind it. 

This Christmas Hannah is sacrificing her time, energy, comfort, and everything else to bless the lives of others. And that, my dear friends, is the true spirit of Christmas.


p.s. Want to see Hannah singing Christmas Carols in Korean? (who wouldn't) A sweet American family living in Korea filmed all of the missionaries singing and posted it on their blog:
The mom also sent us these pictures!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Week 10

I honestly don't even know where to start.

I guess I'll start by saying, this has been thee single most crazy, emotional, hard, exciting, CRAZY week of my life haha! I am in Korea. I still don't believe it. Its crazy here. Literally crazy. I don't know how else to describe it except crazy. Everyone is asian.. obviously.. so that's been weird, being the one that looks totally different than everyone else.. Everyone is so busy and is moving a million miles an hour so its hard to talk to people.. and everyone speaks this weird language that I've never heard before... Its great! Its nothing like I thought it would be. at all. I couldn't tell you what I thought it would be like.. but its just crazy. CRAZY. 

I'll start from the beginning. After the longest flight of my life, we finally landed in Korea last monday around 5 pm. We met Pres. and Sister Christensen at the airport. They are AWESOME, I love them so much! Then immediately after they got our luggage all packed up, gave us all book of mormons and put us on the subway and said go talk to people! .. Monday night is such a blur, I honestly don't remember it very much. Being on the subway was like a bad nightmare.. wandering around trying to talk to people. Every single person, I kid you not, was on their smart phone. If you tried to talk to them they would ignore you. It was horrible. Not to mention I don't know how to speak korean.. and it didn't help that I was jet lagged to the max and dead tired haha but I was like 'nope. can't do this. i'm going home.' .. Well luckily they didn't make us do too much after that.. we had dinner and did a few other things. We stayed the first few nights in these dorms they have at the temple. The second my head hit the pillow I was out. I woke up the next day feeling much better, with a new resolve to embrace Korea!! I've tried to have this mindset ever since.. and it has helped me be happy here, as crazy as it is haha. I'm still in culture shock a bit, but I'm trying to embrace it all.

My trainer is Sister Lawrence! She is from St. George Utah. She's 26 years old.. she is going to law school at byu, and this is her last transfer. She goes home in February.. so when she leaves I'll get a new trainer. She is awesome.. she speaks the language, she knows how to get everywhere, she knows everything. She's basically my mom its great. I hope she doesn't kick my butt too hard haha.. Anyways, she is great. We live in an apartment (that is SUPER nice, I'm so lucky) with 2 other sisters, Sister White and Sister Thomas. They are also so great.

My first area... SHINCHON! 신천 (<- yeah that's right.)
I live 5 minutes away from the temple! its in our area! Our church is right next to the temple.. so pretty much I have the ideal area. I love it so much. Our ward is amazing. Everyone is so nice and they love the missionaries so much. They love practicing English on us :) This is what I get a lot "Oh! Sister Hormes! Sherlock Hormes! Great name!" haha also they're always telling me how good my Korean is. Even though I hardly say anything.. pretty much yes and no and thank you and nice to meet you haha. So if I ever need a confidence boost I just talk to a Korean and they tell me I'm amazing. I love it. I love Koreans. (even the mean ones who won't talk to me dangit.)
Yesterday at church I had to get up and introduce myself.. I got up and said (in korean) something like "Hello everyone! Im sister Holmes, I'm from utah. Nice to meet you! I don't speak Korean very well, but I know the gospel is true! I know christ is my savior and I know that through joseph smith God restored the true church. I love this ward! Amen!" Haha even with that simple statement everyone was so impressed haha. People are so so nice. 
Saturday was the ward christmas party and that was so much fun. Koreans are hilarious haha. They are just so bold and so crazy. I can't even explain it

I'm running out of time ahhhhh.. I still have so much to say. But just know that I am doing great here! As hard as it is to adjust and everything.. I'm taking it one day at a time! 



Holmes 자매

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Week 9


In less than 2 days I will be on an airplane... flying to Korea. I can't believe it. I am so scared! I am so nervous! I am feeling every single emotion all the time and my heart is beating so fast all the time! But I am so excited. As scared, worried, and freaking out as I am... I am so excited. Even if all I can say to the Koreans is "Hello! I'm a missionary from the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.. and God is our Father! The book of mormon is true!" haha. Hopefully I can pick it up fast!! My teacher Sister Allen told us that sisters pick up the language waaay faster than elders.. so that gave me a small glimmer of hope haha..
This week has been crazy though... I think I actually realized how much I love the mtc! This last sunday I was heartbroken that it was my last sunday at the mtc. (if I haven't already said this a ton of times I LOVE SUNDAYS AT THE MTC). I don't know if I even talked about this in any of my emails before (i'm literally losing my mind haha) but every sunday in sacrament meeting, its like the hunger games. You don't know if you're going to get called on to speak until you are there. So everyone has to prepare a talk. In Korean. I escaped the mtc without being called on, it was a miracle haha. But I'm still so sad.. And tuesday night devotionals were my favorite thing ever. This last week Elder Quinton L. Cook came (general authorities every week for the rest of the year.. awesome right). He gave such an amazing talk about the importance of being a happy and positive missionary. I truly hope that when I get to Korea I can stay positive and happy despite my lack of Korean speaking skills and despite the fact that I'm on the other side of the world and despite the fact that I'll probably smell like Kimchi for the next 16 months haha. I know this will be the most amazing experience of my life :) Now could I just get there and stop feeling all this anxiety anticipating it?? Sheeeesh 
Yesterday was infield training... ALL DAY. It was the longest day ever.. but so cool! I got to meet one of the missionaries from the district, Elder Christensen! He works here at the mtc. So pretty much he's like super famous here haha.
It has been a hard week. Realizing that I'm actually leaving this place, I'm actually going to Korea.. I'm actually going to teach real investigators.. I'm so scared. But I am going to do this. God will help me. God will carry me through my trials, and because of my trials, the joy I feel will be so incomprehensible, just as the sons of Mosiah experienced on their missions. This week Sis. Baek shared a quote with me from President Kimball (I don't remember the exact wording): "If you are doing the Lord's work you cannot fail." This is HIS work. As I strive to be the best missionary I can me, I cannot fail. Knowing this brings me so much comfort.
"...Be not afraid, only believe" Mark 5:36. This scripture has been my go-to this week! And will be for my whole mission haha :)
Well I better go now.. I gotta go pack some more! I don't know how I'm gonna fit everything ahhh and I REFUSE TO PAY A $200 FEE FOR MY BAGS... So ridiculous. ANYWAYS, I love this gospel. I am SO grateful for the opportunity I have to be on a mission, going to Seoul Korea. I am so grateful for the amazing experience I've had here at the mtc. I have met the most amazing people ever, and felt the most amazing spirit ever. I feel so close to my Heavenly Father and Savior. 
SALANGHAMNIDA!!! I love you all so much, truly. Thank you EVERYONE for your prayers, love and support. 

Holmes Chamae

ps. next time I email you.. it will be from KOREA AAAHHHHHH!!!!

 Okay so this is the cutest little Korean family we met at the temple last sunday :) I bore my testimony to them and they said I was so good at Korean! It made my whole week. I love Koreans!!!! YAY

MTC Christmas lights!!

oops its blurry. Sorry. I just love these girls! 

Okay. So this sweater vest is the best thing to happen to me at the MTC. We found it in a free stuff bin and stole it... Last week all the sisters going to Seoul wore it one day. This is the look I sported ;) best day ever haha 

TATUM!!!!!! Best day of my life

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Week 8



I am so sorry, I have NO time to email right now. Pday ends at 6 and I have to go to dinner right now so this will be a really short email! I'm so sorry.
This week was good, but really hard. I studied hard.  It has hit all of us missonaries really hard that we're actually leaving to Korea in 9 days. Wait! I can't speak Korean yet haha! Seriously that's how I feel. I'm so scared. But my teacher sister baek gave us a little pep talk. She told us that if we have grown closer to Christ while being here, we have fulfilled our purpose at the mtc. If we have become more meek, submisive, willing.. we are doing the right thing, and God will qualify us for the work. I can't even explain how close I've grown to Christ in the past 8 weeks. I love my Savior. I can't wait to tell the people of Korea that Christ has atoned for their sins and through Him can receive the most happiness this life has to offer.

I really have to go now. I'm so sorry. Just know I'm so excited. So excited. Freaking our right now. My hands are shaking as I'm typing. I love you all so much! SO MUCH.

Holmes Chamae

P.S. quote of the week.. Sis. Telford: "So the missionary reference library.. that's a place right? Where is it?" HAHAHA my companion is a riot
P.S.S. Sister Frampton is here!!! :) I am so happy. Sorry I couldn't sent pics this week, i'll send lots next week!!!