Sunday, September 7, 2014

Week 47

Dear loved ones

Wow, what a great week! It was filled with so much happiness. I feel more grateful than ever to be a missionary right now. With the Chuseok holiday, I really have been feeling a special spirit of thanksgiving. This week I have felt such an abundance of God's love in my life. That is probably the best thing about being a missionary. By forgetting about yourself and serving others, you actually gain more than you give. I can't understand it. But I am so grateful for it. Man I'm lucky!

Welp there will be next to no one here in Taebaek for the next few days.. everyone is gone for the holiday.. So guess what we get to do today? Clean our house!! Woohoo! I don't feel to jipped though, we got a delicious Chuseok feast last night at one of our member's house. Man I love our members here in Taebaek.. have I said that before? Honestly they are the reason for my happiness here. They keep us all sane haha. We are a little family and it makes me so happy. 

This week has been a spiritual feast. For a number of reasons.  Having the opportunity to go to the temple friday night was such a blessing. I never recognize how much strength I receive when I go to the temple until I have to wait a long time, then I go and realize the extra spiritual strength I receive there. I love it so very much. Our Chuseok mission conference on Saturday in Seoul was wonderful. We traveled there on friday morning, and has a super fun p-day in Seoul (even though I was melting.. Taebaek has spoiled me rotten). We went to the Gyeongbokgung palace, it is in the center of Seoul. It was weird being there.. because everyone there was a foreigner.. so I heard a lot of people speaking english.. it was the weirdest feeling.. I think I might have a nervous break down when I come home.. and I can actually understand everything I hear haha. So weird. Anyways, the conference on saturday. Wonderful. The music, the talks, the people.. it was all so spiritually edifying. The focus this month, revelation through prayer, is something that I really needed. It was honestly an answer to my prayer. Prayer is something that has been a focus of mine my whole mission.. It is something that has brought me so much strength, and it is also something that I've needed to focus on, because I get lazy sometimes with my prayers. This conference helped me recognize the importance of sincere, focused and specific prayers. I have already seen the difference it is making as I've applied what I learned these past couple days. 

Probably the best thing ever..  Seeing 이혜원 for the first time in 3 months! I couldn't hold back the tears when I saw her. I missed her dearly. It turns out our area in Sinchon was closed this transfer :( because less and less sisters are coming they are starting to have to close some sister areas. Now there's only 1 set of sisters serving in Sinchon instead of 2. I was broken hearted when I heard about it.. and Sister Lee was even more than I was. But just because it was closed doesn't mean that we weren't seeing progress there.. its just what needs to be done sometimes, sadly. But its okay. The other sisters will take good care of our people there. Shin Song Hee is still coming to church every week. My recent converts Kim Dong Hee and Kim Tae Hee just got called as ward missionaries :) they are doing so well. So I am happy. But yeah, seeing everyone on Saturday was so wonderful. The relationships I've made on my mission feel different than relationships I've had in my life before. With other missionaries, my investigators, our members... They feel so real and so strong. I can't imagine not having come on my mission and met these people who are so important to me and such a huge part of my life. I am so grateful. For this reason alone, I know how much my Father in Heaven loves me. He placed so many wonderful people in my life to help me and make me happy.

Well this week we actually had some super great lessons. We taught Jeong Sung Kyong about the word of wisdom this week, and we committed her to keeping it. She has been trying all week, but she keeps falling back into it, saying it is too hard. This last week we met with her a lot, trying to keep her uplifted and give her that strength to overcome that she needs. Its gonna be a slow process. But she is slowly making progress. She recognizes that smoking and alcohol is bad, and she honestly has a sincere desire to stop. But she doesn't want to quit coffee yet. So she believes the book of mormon is true, she believes what we say and ask her to do, but she doesn't have a testimony of the restoration for herself yet. She is holding onto her church, and doesn't want to face the fact that in order to be baptized, she needs to become a member of our church, which includes attending our church, not hers. It is a really hard situation. But we had a really good discussion with her about it this week, trying to help her see that the things we are offering, the things we are asking her to do can only bring her more happiness. We don't want to take away her happiness. We are just asking her to come to our church once and see for herself. I think she finally recognized that. She promised us she would come to church (that was wednesday) but didn't come because of last minute plans for the holiday with family. But she promised us on the phone last night that she would come to church this week.  That's where things are at with her. We keep praying and trying to find ways to help her feel God's love, and have faith to overcome.

We met with Mr. Yoon (Kevin) this week, the man that stopped us on the street a few weeks ago because he had met with missionaries 20 years ago and attended english class for a very long time. He has very fond memories with the missionaries. He thinks very highly of our church and wants us to teach his 8 year old daughter about God. The purpose in meeting with us was so that we could meet him with his wife and daughter, but they were both unavailable to meet with us that day, so we brought 김계숙 자매님 with us. It was a bit of an awkward first meeting.. He honestly just wanted to speak to us in english about politics and stuff.. but we were able to take control of the situation and share with him our purpose, and establish expectations. We are going to meet with his daughter and wife hopefully this week or next week and start family english with them. He says they are roman catholic, but they aren't 'strong'. So I can see some good things happening there! Hopefully good things happen there! :)

I love Korea. Have a great week everyone. 사랑해요!

Sister Holmes
홈스 자매

Heart attacking Jeong Sung Kyong's house!

King SeJeoung! Gyeongbokgung in Seoul

Cool Korean traditional instrument

Cool Korean traditional soldiers. They're real. They don't flinch haha

The palace was SOOO COOL!

This is a Korean pear. Happy Chuseok. :)

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