Monday, February 24, 2014

Week 19


I think as missionaries we have to experience really hard weeks on our missions sometimes for no other reason than to help us be grateful for all of the good. Well this week was definitely one of those weeks for me.. and I can't really even explain why. Sometimes things are just really hard, and everything catches up to you. But there is nothing else to do except keep moving forward! It can only get better right? :) I hope. I'm going with that.

Well even though this week was a doozy for me.. I would be lying if I said there wasn't anything good.. In fact, I had one of the most wonderful experiences on my mission this week! On saturday, we were able to take Jong Da Yong to the temple to do baptisms for the dead :) Such a happy day.. She loved it. She has a new enthusiasm and desire to do family history now and it makes me so happy. Right before we went in the temple she told me about how excited she was to baptize her grandparents who suffered a hard life during the Korean war. It was such an eye opener to me about how important family history work is.. Temples are the most amazing blessing... We actually have God's power here on the earth to have eternal families. Wow. This gospel never ceases to amaze me.. and that is why I love being a missionary so much. As we teach others about the gospel, my knowledge and appreciation for it grows more than I can describe. So I just gotta remember this when I feel like giving up or when I feel like I'm not making a difference in anyone's life.. I am changing my own if no one elses! I am where the Lord needs me to be!

Yesterday after church during our lesson, Shin Song Hee asked me what was wrong.. She could tell that I had been having a hard day. I just told her that I had been feeling down on myself, and sometimes missionary work is really hard.. She said to me "I know. But you are amazing. You came here to Korea to help people. You have helped me more than you know. You are helping me be happy. I love you so much." It was one of the most tender mercies. Sometimes, especially this past week, I feel sad because I feel like I'm not making an influence or helping anybody.. I think this was the Lord's way of telling me that everything is gonna be okay. I am helping someone. I am needed here. I can do it. :)

Anways, this was kind of a short email.. I don't have much else to say except that I am so glad I am where I am right now, even when the weeks are hard. I love my companion, my area, my district. I am such a blessed missionary, really. I have every reason to be grateful. I am glad the Lord helped me see that this week :) I'm stayin' alive. (ah ah ah ah stayin alive, staying alive! I miss music dang it)

Much love,

Sister Holmes
홈스 자매

Monday, February 17, 2014

Week 18

Dearest loved ones,

I didn't know if this would happen, I have survived 2 months in Korea! I'm not even dead! I've come close a few times haha, but I am alive and well! WOOHOO! Sometimes I forget that I ever lived in America. I've gotten so used to the way life is here.. And sometimes when I'm walking down the street with buses and cars zooming past, people in a hurry from place to place, I think to myself how crazy it would be if you could all experience my life right now! It couldn't be any more different than life at home. I think I might go through a bigger culture shock when I get home to the states than when I came here! (someday in 20 years when I come home)

Speaking of culture.. Oh man. Having a Korean companion has flipped my world upside down haha.. It is definitely a different experience to live with a native. I have gotten so used to life here with another foreigner.. it is a completely different experience to be with a Korean. This week was a little bit hard.. It felt a little bit like my first week all over again. I had gotten to the point with Sister Lawrence where I could understand a good portion of what she was saying to people. That has totally changed with Sister Lee! Koreans speak very differently with eachother.. 20 times faster. And using words I have never even heard before haha.. I'm lucky if I can understand 5 words in the lesson. I have been feeling a lot of stress about the language this week. But last night Sister Lee gave me a good reminder. I am still a greeny haha! I am not expected to know everything, I just need to take it day by day. I think sometimes I just think that I have more responsibility because I'm the one who knows Shinchon, the one who has connections with the members and our investigators and recent converts. But I realized that everything is okay. I can choose to be happy no matter what! The language will come with time. I have already done things I never thought I would be able to do or say, which is a miracle. If you told me on my first day in Korea that I would ever be able to talk to someone on the street about the Book of Mormon, I would've told you that you that you were a crackhead and that there was no way. Now I do it every day of my life, several times a day. It is so important to always be moving forward. But I think it is also important to look back sometimes so see how far you've come, and to see the Lord's hand in your life. There have been days where I don't know how I survived. I literally thought I would die, but somehow the Lord got me through it! He always does. :)

Anyways, things are really good. I love my companion haha. She says the funniest things every day. Her english is close to perfect but sometimes she's just too smart and things come out wrong. Here are a few of the highlights this week:
(talking about past investigators who don't want to meet with us) "We don't want to meet with you for our own personal thing.. It is about your salvation! So.. be salivated!"
(trying to send an encouraging text to our recent converts) "We are always in the back of you"
"You are not that fat" (do I need to explain this one)
Hahaha I love her so much.. every day is an adventure. On valentines day we decided to go "heart attack" Kim Tae Hee and Kim Dong Hee's apartment. We got lost and wandered around for a good hour and a half but it was so much fun. She is such a hoot. We get along so well, I am so grateful to have her as a companion. She has brought me so much happiness!

Well, our main gal these days is Shin Song Hee.. Oh man I love this girl I just don't know what to do with her.. This past week we were able to meet with her a couple times, which was such a miracle, she is always soooo busy. She came to dinner with us at a member's house on monday, an american family in our ward, the Evans. She has such a wonderful time.. She has already developed so many awesome relationships in the ward, sometimes I feel like she's already been baptized In fact, on the way home from dinner we were on the bus, and this girl sitting behind us started talking to us, she grew up in the States so she spoke english. She started asking questions about the church, and before I could even say anything, Shin Song Hee said "You should come! I am a recent convert! I love this church so much!" hahaha me and Sister Lee looked at eachother like, bingo. She honestly thinks she is already a member! This week we really tried to teach her the importance of baptism. We've been reading Alma 32 with her, trying to teach her about what faith really is, and how to recognized how much faith she already has.. she comes to church every week, she loves to study the book of mormon with us, she prays... she does so many wonderful things. She just doesn't want to commit yet. She says she doesn't want to regret anything. She said she is going to pray about it every day. She asked me after the lesson "Sister Holmes, will you pray about when I need to be baptized?" I was like yes, in fact I know already. Next week. Just kidding.. I said it in my mind.. if she coulda read my mind.. she would've been like.. what? (name that movie) Sorry that was dumb haha. Anyways, I love her so much. she really is progressing a lot.. and I think with a little bit more time and understanding, she will soon be ready for baptism. I hope and pray eeevery day! 

Everyone else is doing great! All our recent converts are strong and amazing. Our ward is so wonderful and gives us so much help.. I really have nothing to complain about! Except for maybe the fact that I can't understand what is being said a good amount of my life. Yeah maybe that. Oh well. I got this haha. Slowly but surely.. I will speak this language dang it. Mark my words.

I think I've already talked about this before, but I'll say it again. One of my very favorite things to do is give away copies of the Book of Mormon. I realized that the reason that I love it so much is because... I love the Book of Mormon. So much. As I read it every day, my love and desire to share it grows so much. I have taken this book for granted my whole life.. I have never studied it and loved the stories and related it to my life like I do now. Every day I find something that I need to here. I am reading in Mosiah right now and I love it. Personal study is the best part of the day. Its what gets me out of bed in the morning (which is still the hardest thing about missionary life for me haha. That and going to bed because I know I have to wake up in like 1 minute. Oh and also carrying groceries back to our apartment..kill me now. ok i'm done complaining)

Well yeah. I love this gospel, I love this work. I am so grateful to be servant in the Lord's vineyard at this time. Have a wonderful week!! Until next time! xoxoxoxo. Much love from Koreaaaa!

홈스 자매
Sister Holmes

Last P-Day adventures at Seoul Tower!

More P-Day funnnnn

So happy together

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Week 17


This past week. Dang. Turning point for me. I have never been so stressed yet so happy in my life! Craziest roller coaster haha! But this new transfer has been so great so far.. I will just start by saying that I LOVE my new trainer, Sister 이혜원 (Lee Heywon). We have been comps for less than a week and we're already so close.. I love it. She is one of the sweetest most humble people I've ever met. I have already learned so much from her, including Korean! Booyah. My Korean has improved since being with her.. its crazy. Haha its is so much fun. Throughout the day, she teaches me funny things to say in Korean and I teach her funny things to say in english haha.. we just love eachother and its great. I was a so stressed at first, but now I can't even understand why! She just has very different personality from Sister Lawrence so I think that may have been why it was a hard adjustment. But man I love her.. we have so much fun together.. We seriously laugh til we cry. Last night after our comp prayer, she said to me that in one of the trainings she went to when she first came to Korea, President talked about how missionaries are chosen to be trainers at specific times for specific people, and how we were friends before this life. She said "because I'm you're companion.. I know this is true! I know we were friends before we came to earth and we are so happy now that we are companions" When she said that a nasty little dust mote got in my eye and I shed a tear or two. Can you say sweetest person in the world? Ahhh I'm so blessed. I really think that I knew her before this life :) we really are "seoul sisters". 

Well, Kim Teh Hee's baptism was on Saturday :) One of the happiest days yet! Oh how I love this girl.. she and her sister Kim Dong Hee have literally changed my life. Kim Dong Hee gave a talk about baptism. It was so sweet and so simple (even I could understand it haha!) but yet so powerful. She and her sister were both crying, the spirit was so strong. After the baptism Kim Teh Hee shared her testimony, and it was amazing. She talked about why she decided to become a member of the church. She said that before she started meeting with us, her life was a struggle. She said that every day was so hard, feeling stressed, depressed and lacking self confidence. But she looked at her sister's life and saw how happy she was since starting to meet with the missionaries. Kim Dong Hee's life isn't easy either! She is currently separated from her husband and kids and doesn't really know how things will work out with that. But because she found the gospel she found how to have strength and be happy, despite her hard circumstances! So Kim Teh Hee wanted that as well! The first time we met with her, before even starting teaching the lessons, we felt the need to talk about how she can gain self confidence through the gospel. So we read her the book 'You are Special'. :) She said it changed her life, and knew that she needed to be a part of this church. She has such a wonderful love and understanding for the gospel already. I am blown away. I feel so blessed to have met her and Kim Dong Hee.. they are choice daughters of our Father in Heaven!

As far as my other investigators go.. hmm what investigators haha? Sister Lee and I are currently on the search! Shin Song Hee is our main girl right now. She is doing so well.. comes to church every week! We are going to a member's house for dinner with her tonight, so that will be fun! Afterwards we are going to talk about the atonement and faith in Christ, we're reading alma 32 with her. I think it is exactly what she needs to start putting all the puzzle pieces together! She has such a desire to learn about this gospel and to read the book of mormon, she just doesn't quite understand how it all comes together yet! I pray that as she learns how to have faith and how to exercise it, she will have a desire to be baptized!! We are going to try and commit her to a date this week!! Yay!! Hopefully everything works out! Also we met a new potential investigator last night, Choi Gee Hey. She is the sweetest girl, she's in her late 20's and lived in Chicago for about 5 years, studying art. She is awesome. She grew up catholic, but has never really had her own faith. She doesn't really know how to have faith or what to have faith in.. so actually we had her read alma 32 as well! That is just the power chapter this week I guess. Best chapter ever. Anways, she has a lot of interest.. but we found out she lives in the Seoul South mission :( so we might not be able to teach her.. she does work here though, so it is a possibility! I hope I hope!!!

So yeah. I love life right now. Every night when I kneel to pray, I don't really know what to say to my Heavenly Father except THANK YOU.. I feel so dang blessed to be where I am right now.. Yesterday after church we had a big ward lunch (which by the way was tofu soup. ummm thank goodness I have a korean comp. now who will eat what I don't want hahaha). Anways haha, I was just talking with our recent converts and just feeling so blessed to have met all these wonderful people. My heart breaks when I think about having to leave them someday, just like Kinesh said in her letter home this week.. I am so grateful and so happy to be where I am right now! Every day I learn new things about myself, this country, my Savior.. ah man, life couldn't be any better.

Well, better jet! Going hiking for p-day, should be a blast!!! Love you all, thank you sooo much for your love. BYYEEE til next week!

Holmes 자매

Goodbye lunch for Sister Lawrence


Old mom, new mom :)

Kim Teh Hee's baptism! :)

Valentine package fun

Monday, February 3, 2014

Week 16

안양하세요 ^^ (I'm korean now)

Holy moly. This transfer is already over? I came to Korea 7 weeks ago? I can't believe it! And yet it feels like it was ions ago in some ways haha.. because so much has happened. I would just like to quote myself and once again state that I will never understand time here on the mish. It's bizarre. It goes so fast, but yet, it doesn't. It can't be described. I've already said this before so I'll shut up. Sorry.

So I'm killing Sister Lawrence on Thursday! Haha! That's what missionaries say when someone is going home. When someone is home they are dead, and their last companion killed them. People keep saying "Oh you're killing sister lawrence?" and I'm always like "What??! No!" haha I guess I haven't embraced this missionary lingo yet.. Anways, yeah! She's going home and I'm getting a new trainer.. and here's the big news... She is Korean! Sister Lee Hey Wan (이혜원, pronounce "ee" instead of lee). I am not going to lie, I freaked out when president told me. I was so nervous. But it turns out she speaks english really well, so I've got nothing to worry about haha. That was something that was stressing me out so much.. I have been feeling so much pressure with Sister Lawrence leaving. I thought for sure my new trainer would be a super young american who didn't know much more than I did so I was having stomach ulcers.. but I got a Korean! Who speaks great english and more importantly who speaks Korean haha! She can communicate with everyone. I pray that my language abilities boom while I'm with her! I'm so excited. WOOHOO!!!

Well like I said this week was long, but it was great! Happy Solar everyone!! :) This past week was Solar, which is a Korean holiday that is a really big deal here, it is like christmas for Koreans. It's their new years! They all wear traditional korean clothing called hanbok, and they get together with their families and the parent give money to their children, and they eat lots of food.. Especially this special soup called ducgook. "duc" is something that koreans eat all the time.. its this ball of rice that has no taste and its basically rubber... and it turns my insides to cement. so ducgook is basically broth with duc in it.. lots of duc. And because its solar and sister lawrence is leaving we've been invited to lots of dinners and meals this week! which was great! And you know what we ate at EVERY meal. Yup. I am so full of duc I don't know if I can ever eat another bowl again! But I will.. probably soon. In fact I forgot, a member in our ward just gave us ingredients to make our own! Yippeeeee. Maybe I'll send some home for you all so you can experience the wonderful rock you feel in your stomach the next morning. :) Haha sorry. Who's complaining? Not me. Anways, because it was Solar we had another mission conference, which was awesome. I love Pres. and Sister Christensen! They always know exactly what we as their missionaries need to here, they are so loving and concerned about each on of us. I am so grateful to them! Even though I am so far away from home they have helped me to find a new home here in Korea.

Welp, our investigators are all doing great! All 2 of them.. we're running low because everyone is getting baptized (I'm not complaining) haha. Shin song hee is probably our big main investigator right now. She is progressing a lot! We were able to meet with her during the week a couple times, which is a miracle! She is so funny, she never answers our calls and doesn't text us back but then she shows up to church on sunday! Its great that she comes to church, and she loves it! But she never meets with us so she hardly knows anything about the church! So we are so happy, she has grown a lot in her knowledge the past week, and is accepting it all. I don't think she quite understand how to tie it all together yet, but we still have so much to teach her. I think when she understands it all, and how to exercise her faith, she will be golden. I know this girl is gonna get baptized. Hopefully sooner than later :) She is so amazing, and I've gotten really close to her this past week, which I'm so grateful for! I was worried she wouldn't want to meet much after sis. lawrence left because she loves her so much.. but turns out she loves me too :) It makes me so happy. I love her so much. She deserves all the happiness this life has to offer.

Kim Tae Hee's baptism is Saturday!! So excited. She is such a wonderful soul who is so ready for baptism! This week we had a lesson with her and kinda just talked with her about the book of mormon. She told us that although it is confusing and hard to understand sometimes, she knows that it is true. That makes me so happy! I could relate to that feeling! Sometimes the scriptures are hard to really understand and to focus on.. but it just comes with time. The more you read the more you will understand! And she totally understand that! Which is so awesome, because that is something that like everyone struggles with here.. even members. They don't really understand the importance of the book of mormon, and how vital it is in our church! It is really and truly the keystone of our religion. that is why the focus in our mission has been the Book of Mormon for the past few transfers, and why we are trying to give away so many! This past month, Sis. Lawrence and I gave away 115 copies of the book of mormon as a companionship! I can't believe we did, but somehow we did it!! It is a little miracle every time you give one to someone. I don't know how many of those 115 people will even open the book. I pray that they do! Because I truly love the book of mormon with all of my heart. I love it more each day I study it. I know it is true and I know that it brings the most happiness this life has to offer! 

Well if you can't tell from my emails.. I love my investigators so much. They are really like your babies as missionaries haha. You get to help 'raise them' and nourish them in their knowledge of the gospel. It is such an amazing thing to be apart of. It makes all the hard days worth it. Because this is definitely not a walk in the park. There are days when I feel like I would rather break my own leg than get out of bed haha. But it always gets better, only if I move forward. If I focus on the fact that its 6:30 in the morning, I feel sick, I'm on the other side of the world, and I just want to sleep on a BED, I get no where haha. I just gotta keep moving forward... I have survived my first transfer! God has gotten me this far, He won't let me down now. :)

I hope you all have such a great week! Love you all, as always! Until next week! 사랑해요!!

홈스 자매
"Homsu Chamae!" :)

Solar conf. with ma homies

photo shoot at the temple

(pulling a Korean pose)

Sis. Thomas and I! Love her

P-day shopping! Can you say 12 year olds at claire's?
(me, Sis. Thomas, and Sis. White)

we went to this cool traditional village place :)

Newer Posts Older Posts Home