Monday, June 30, 2014

Week 37

Dear friends and fam :) 

I feel like I've been our here in Taebaek forever! But its only been a few weeks haha. This past week we had a mission conference in Seoul that we found out about the night before! We traveled to Seoul on Wednesday, went to the conference on Thursday and traveled back Thursday night. A man named PJ Rogers came and spoke to us. He is pretty much famous here in Korea. I'm not exactly sure what his line of work is but he was a missionary here in korea many years ago and since then has come back and been a very successful business man here.. and because he's a member of the church, he is quite famous in mormon culture here haha. He is probably the best Korean speaker that I've ever heard (foreign korean speaker, of course) and he is super knowledgeable when it comes to Koreans, and their culture. I learned SO much. Sometimes I find myself asking why koreans do things the way they do and why they act the way they do. Brother Rogers really helped me understand more about why Koreans are the way they are. I have a greater love and appreciation for these people. They truly are wonderful. I love Korea :)

So yup the mission conference was so great.. but it was super weird to be back in Sinchon. I know I'm adjusting to Taebaek because I seriously had culture shock again when I got to Sinchon haha! Not going to lie, I got a little bit emotional when I walked out of the subway station and was in my 'hometown' again. It was so weird being there without Sister Lee.. I was like man.. "I feel so... meloncholy"! But even though it was a little bit sad, there really is know where else that I would rather be right now. I am learning so much about myself and others serving here with Sister Lykins. When we got to the temple a couple of my beloved Sinchon buddies, Kim Yoo Jong and Ka Jin Young (recent convert who I love so so much) surprised me at the temple (where we stayed the night) with baskin robbins ice cream. It was so happy. I love them.. and I love icecream. Life in Taebaek just got a little happier too because baskin robbins just opened here!! WOOHOO! (ps baskin robbins here in korea is probably the best icecream you can get, I am blessed)

We didn't meet with like any of our investigators this week.. they all canceled and we were gone for a couple days.. but we had some cool miracles knocking doors this week! I never did much of it in Sinchon, but we do a lot here. I have never had an experience where someone actually let us in! But it happened for us TWICE this week! The first time was a nice older man who works close to our church and apparently has really good feelings towards the missionaries and the church. We taught him about the Book of Mormon and how reading it with the Bible can strengthen our faith and knowledge of the Savior Jesus Christ. He told us to go visit him at his work. We will be referring him to the Elders. It was a great experience. The second time was with a young family, a mom and her two daughters. They excitedly let us in and wanted to hear our message. We also taught them about the book of mormon. They seemed to have a lot of interest, and we are planning to visit and teach them again next sunday!! Hooray for miracles! :) 

Also.. Saturday night we had spent quite some hours knocking doors and apparently my companion had lost it, because we knocked a door and they said "Who is it?" and my companion says in here perky jundo voice, "Its Jesus!" I feel so bad because I started laughing so hard so it was hard for her to correct what she said.. so someone here in Taebaek thinks that Jesus knocked on their door last weekend.. and they still didn't open the door..

Taebaek district had a baptism last friday! Elder Garff and Elder Jarrett's investigator, Choi Song Kyoo was baptized. It was such a great service! It is such an amazing thing to see the countenance of someone change after having been baptized, and to see the happiness that it brings them.. it just brings me SO much happiness!! I had the opportunity to give a talk on baptism. I am always grateful for the opportunity to speak, even when it is scary.. It is such good practice to teach and testify in Korean. These past few weeks, I've really been able to see my progression in the Korean language. Being out here with someone who is american, and only one transfer ahead of me has forced me to listen a lot more carefully and speak a lot more. I am SO grateful for it!!

At the mission conference, Brother Rogers commited us to write down a list of a few significant things that we want to accomplish by the end of our missions. Along with some language goals, something I put down was to better understand the atonement of Jesus Christ. I don't know if I will ever really be able to fully understand it.. But I want to be able to know how to apply it in my own life, every single day for the rest of my life. I want to be able to recognize my sins and weaknesses, and recognize when I am forgiven. Being a missionary has helped me on this path of better understanding already, and I hope that by the end of my mission, as I continue to repent and try to be better each day, I hope that I can have a better understanding of my Savior and his atoning sacrifice for me.

I love my Savior! I love Taebaek and Koreans and Korean food and the people and everything. I just love it. Love you all and talk to you next week!!


Sister Holmes
홈스 자매
Elder Garff and Elder Jarrett haha

John and Claire, you might have gone to Disneyland but I flew to Hogwarts this week so beat that

Train ride to Seoul and everyone's a snoozin

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