Monday, May 26, 2014

Week 32

Hello everyone!!!

This week was good! Not too much to report! Humidity has HIT. It is so hot and there are bugs everywhere.. and our house has no air conditioner.. but luckly we got some fans delivered to us this week so we haven't been cooked yet! 

Kim Teh Hyong, our little 12 year old investigator commited to baptism this week!! We are planning on June 1st, but he didn't stay for church this week, he only showed up for about 20 minutes. So we may have to postpone it. We're not sure yet. We're meeting with him today and we'll figure out what is best. I've never met such a smart kid in my life! He really has a desire to learn the gospel! He is so prepared. We had a ward BBQ this week, and a lot of our investigators came, Shin Song Hee, Choi Un Kyo, and Kim Teh Hyong. It was such a success. Teh Hyongy even brought 5 of his friends. Talk about being a fellowshipper! Why can't our members do that?? After the bbq we got to watch 17 Miracles!! It was so great. 

Yesterday before sacrament meeting we had a lesson with Shin Song Hee. We read 2 Nephi 33 with her, and talked about how if we believe in Christ, we will believe in the Book of Mormon. I shared my favorite scripture with her, 2 Ne. 33:6 "I glory in plainness, I glory in truth, I glory in my Jesus, for He hath redeemed my soul from hell." I bore my testimony about the book of mormon. She said that she believes that its true... but then she goes on and asks a bunch of unrelated questions.. everything she says contradicts itself. I think she is just trying to make excuses for herself right now.. In fact I know she is. She is just grabbing onto whatever she can to justify the fact that she doesn't want to progress. She knows its good, she knows that it is true. But something is holding her back. She knows that if she moves forward she has to give some things up.. she has to change her life, and she doesn't want to. But she continues to read the book of mormon, she continues to pray, she continues to come to church. So how do we help her take that next step in conversion?? We are holding the fresh bread right in front of her, but now it is her choice to eat it. We can't force feed her, as much as I want to sometimes. This morning I read Elder Scott's talk from this last conference, "I Have Given You an Example". He says, "How can each of us become such a significant influence? We must be sure to sincerely love those we want to help in righteousness so they can begin to develop confidence in God's love... Giving them confidence in your love can help them develop faith in God's love." So I guess the answer is just to keep praying for her, encouraging her and loving her with the hope that soon she will realize who God really is, and who she is to Him.
It all comes down to love! All you need is love!

Well, that's my life this week. Sorry this was kind of a lame email. My day usually looks something like this. Wake up, exercise, study, eat, jundo, find less actives (which is an adventure), maybe have a lesson, eat, jundo more, and SLEEP. :) I love it. So much.

This week will be great! On the 31st we have a combined mission conference with the Seoul South Mission!! Elder Quinton L. Cook will be here!! IN KOREA!! I can't wait. 
Everyone have a wonderful last week of school/first week of summer! HAPPY BIRTHDAY ON THURSDAY CLAIRE BEAR!! 

Sister Holmes
홈스 자매
"me" selfie.

Korean selfie.

Finally! A dog that I love in Korea!! We loved it so much we had to get a picture with it. Nicest and softest dog I've ever met...I'm gonna bring him home to replace Bert (sniff sniff)

Best thing to happen to me this week. Matching $3 grandma pants. I'm not kidding. All the grandmas wear these in the summer.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Week 31

안녕하세요!! ^^

This past week was awesome! Temple day, lots of good food, really good lessons... and oh man the weather.. it was nice for a few days, but now its not so nice.. its getting so hot.. and this isn't even ANYTHING yet. I'm gonna die.

We met with our new little investigator 김태형 this last week. Because he is a minor we always have to have a member at the lesson, and last minute our member canceled so we were calling everybody in the ward to see if someone could come to our lesson. It was getting closer and closer to the time we were gonna meet and we couldn't find anyone to help! So we decided to go up to the temple to see if any of the temple missionaries were home and could help us. Luckily one of the temple sisters had their window open and we walked past at the right time! She came out immediately, so happy to help us. We taught 김태형 about the restoration, we read the story from the 몰몬경 이야기 with him. He was so attentive and asked lots of questions. I was so surprised. We then taught him about how to pray and he even got out his notebook to take notes. I was so impressed.. He seems so prepared! Even though he is so young. He even took a book of mormon before we offered it, and said that he wanted to read it. We have been worrying that maybe things won't work out because we haven't met his parents. But this week some of the Elders met his dad on the street and talked with him for a while. He has really good feelings towards our church, so that is why he is allowing his son to meet with us. He really likes missionaries! I don't know what will happen, we really want to try to start meeting with the whole family. :) Ahhh that would make me beyond happy. I wanna teach a family. The main reason is so I can kidnap the children. I love Korean children. So much.

We were finally able to meet with 신성희 자매님 this last saturday. We went to dinner with her and Heather Willoughby, the woman from the english branch that has been helping us with her. Heather is literally an answer to our prayers. She helps 신성희 see things in a new light. It helps so much to have a member with us who has felt and had the same questions that she is having.. We have been saying over and over again how important it is to exercise our faith, and it doesn't sink in, but when Heather said it, it finally did for her. I am so grateful for members. They are what will keep our converts strong, and help our investigators along the path to baptism. We still aren't sure how close she is to baptism. She still has so many objections and questions.. so we're trying to have a fresh mindset with her, and just try to bring her to Christ. We are focusing more on using the book of mormon to help her answer her questions. Hopefully she gets her answers. All we can do is keep doing right? Keep trying! Keep praying! She just needs time. And a little kick in the pants from Heavenly Father.

Yesterday was such a great Sunday. Not a single investigator came to church... But I had such a wonderful day. A japanese couple spoke in our ward, the Yoshimas. They are currently serving as temple missionaries, this is their 7th mission. They have truly devoted their lives to God I could feel the spirit so strongly when the spoke. They don't speak Korean at all (they had translators) Sister Yoshima hardly speaks english, but in such broken english, she told her conversion story. The whole time she repeated over and over, "I know that Heavenly Father loves me." She knows this because she has given everything she has to God. My heart was on fire as she was speaking. In his talk, Elder Yoshima said "If you want to be happy for an hour, go buy yourself and expensive meal. If you want to be happy for a day, go fishing if you are a man, or go shopping with your friends if you are a woman. If you want to be happy for a year, go buy yourself a new car. If you want to be happy for a lifetime, give service. Give service." If you want to be happy, serve others. How many times have I heard this in my life? Probably every week at church growing up. But as a missionary, its like every time I hear it I come to this new realization of how true it is. Its so easy to get caught up in things that don't matter. What really matters is serving our Heavenly Father. We serve Him when we serve His children. That is what really matters in life. That's the real deal. :) As a missionary, I am such an unprofitable servant. Right now I am giving my life to God, but I am gaining so much more than I am giving. 

Sooo apparently I sleep talk now... in Korean. I have no recollection of this at all, but a couple nights ago in the middle of the night I suddenly clapped my hands super loud and started speaking in Korean.. and then I said "wait.. I don't even know what I'm saying" hahaha Sister White is the only one that woke up and she says she doesn't remember what I said but she remembers that it actually made sense haha! Soo yeah. There's that. Why can't I make sense while I'm actually awake dang it?

Love you all and have a wonderful week! Remember, the key to a life time of happiness: SERVICE! :)

Sister Holmes
홈스 자매

Monday, May 12, 2014

Week 30

아녕하세요 사랑하는 가족 :)

I don't even know what to write in this email because I just talked to you all today! But actually I didn't even say that much did I? I just cried because of how happy I was to hear all of your voices! :) This week was such a good one! I started out the week with a mindset to keep a positive and happy attitude, no matter what the circumstances, and it made all the difference. I feel like I say that in my emails every week haha. What can I say, I have to remind myself every week. I always fall short. But this week there was definitely improvement. Even though we lost a few more investigators this week, we gained some wonderful new ones! There was so much happy goodness.

 Our first new investigator is named Beh Shi Yon, but we call her by her english name, Julia! I met her for the first time a few weeks ago on the street. She was the nicest person I have ever jundoed to! So sweet and so sincere! She is in her early 20s and she's a student at a univesrity here in Seoul. She lives kind of far away which is a bummer, but she comes here every day for school! She is fluent in English because growing up she went to international schools in Japan and New Zealand, so in fact she's more comfortable with english. Our first meeting was super great. She says right now she's not a 'beleiver' in God, but she is so open minded. She seems like she has potential to be GOLDEN. We will see. I'm so excited, we are meeting with her again this week! We'll see what happens! :) Our other new investigator is a 13 year old boy named Kim Teh Hyong. I told you about him on the phone, we're besties. He is the nicest Korean kid I've met. He was a referral from an old lady in our ward, who met him on her way to church. This lady, Choi Soon Jey, is famous for giving missionaries the craziest referrals haha. Once she took us to this old Chinese medicine hospital where she gets acupuncture done, and told us that one of the nurses there was interested. Well we showed up and the nurse was like umm no, she never said anything about you to me. Well this is awkward. Once she took the other sisters to her Arabian dance class and the same thing happened haha. So lets just say when she told us on Sunday that she met a little kid and told him to come to church and meet with us, we had little faith that it would actually happen.. but it DID! We met with him this week a few times! He is golden! I will never doubt this woman again haha! She is truly a missionary. She shares the gospel with everyone in her path. She reminds me of Gramma :)

One of the biggest miracles this week is that 3 of our investigators came to church!! 3 whole investigators. Shin Song Hee, Choi Un Kyo, and Kim Teh Hyong (who also brought a few of his little friends, and they were so reverent!) And so did all of our recent converts! Such a blessed day. Sister Lee gave a talk in church, so that might have helped with the numbers.. hopefully we'll see those same results next week!! Maybe I should ask to speak in church or something.... I'm completely joking. I think I would have stomach ulcers. 

This past week I've been studying in the book of Ether. Can I just say wow the brother of Jared is amazing? Being a missionary and studying the scriptures is so great, because you can literally apply everything to your situation. From the brother of Jared, we can learn how to better improve our personal prayers. Because of his diligence in inquiring of the Lord in all things, he developed the most powerful faith ever. He truly trusted the Lord with all of his heart, and new that through Him, all things were possible. He went to the Lord specifically with each problem he faced, and presented a solution, asking in faith for the Lord to help him. He never ceased to pray. And because he didn't, the Lord not only answered his prayers, but showed himself unto him. "..thus I will do unto thee because of the long time ye have cried unto me." The Lord will always answer our prayers if we are diligent and specific, asking in faith. I am so grateful for the opportunity to do this every day. I have truly grown closer to my Heavenly Father through the wonderful gift of prayer!

Well I think this about wraps it up for today. I love you all, and again HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY MOM! :) Have a wonderful week everyone! Okay bye now.

Sister Holmes
홈스 자매

"icecream" with Kim Teh Hee :) this is the bean stuff I was talking about. It looks yummy before right? But then you mix it all together and you get that lovely sight haha...Don't you go putting beans in my icecream. Not good. haha but it was a good time. We didn't know that we ordered the biggest bowl ever. It was huge!

Can you see the hearts? :) So Korean

Last P-Day we went to a sticker booth!! It's like a photo booth except way more cutesy and the photos are stickers...so cute right?

Okay one more...does anybody understand this billboard? Me neither. Enjoy.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Week 29

Dearest loved ones...

Oh what a week! First week of my 4th transfer, I can't believe it. Well to be honest it was a bit of a slow start.. so many of our appointments fell through and the weather was rainy and drab, but hey it passed, as always :) Anyways.. Happy Children's day! It is a national holiday today here in Korea.. children's day! We are celebrating kids! Yay!! there is no school and kids get presents. Its a great holiday if you ask me. Why don't we have it in America.. I mean come one we have mother's and father's day! speaking of mother's day ONE WEEK!!! I get to call home again in a week?? I swear it was just Christmas time! But at the same time, that feels like it was in another life haha! Anyways, sorry if this email is a little lame and short today, I am short on time!

Not too much to report about our investies this week.. we weren't able to meet with many of them.. we dropped one of our investigators, Yoon So Yon who tried to convert us to her church. She brought a lady from her church who attacked us hard for about an hour. That was an experience I'll never forget. I have never felt to persecuted in my life.. But my faith grew that day in a way that it never would've having not experienced it. All I was able to do in that situation was to bear my simple testimony of the Book of Mormon. In that moment I knew what I was saying was true more than ever. It was such an amazing experience.

I also had a really cool experience yesterday that helped me recognize my progress in learning Korean. We went with one of the bishopric members in our ward, Brother An Kyonchan (I don't know if I have talked about this man but he is literally an angel here on this earth, the most wonderful man I've ever met) and we visited an american family in our ward. He wanted me and Sister Lee to translate for him. I thought for sure I wouldn't be doing any of it, but I actually was able to translate what he was saying to them.. I AM learning! Sometimes I feel like I have hardly learned anything but this experience helped me see that I have come so far. I never thought I would! As Sister Lee would day "Good job me." (haha she says it all the time, I love it.)

Even though this week was slow with appointments, it was such a spiritual week. I got so much out of my personal study sessions every day. I am so grateful for personal devotional time every day. It has changed my life. Ah man I have no time. This email is so lame I'm so sorry. Just know that I am well, I am happy here in Sinchon, I love my companion, my ward, everything.

HAVE A 행복 주!! A happy week. :) Love you all!! TALK TO YOU ON MOTHER'S DAY FAMILY!!!!

홈스 자매
Sister Holmes

an Asian baby I wanted to kidnap. One of the many I see every day. LOOK AT THAT FACE.