Sunday, October 5, 2014

Week 51

Dear fam and friends..

Well, Taebaek is trying to kill me! It is already basically winter here. Freezing cold. Time to get out the boots and thermals! It came quite suddenly! Fall was only like 2 weeks dang it. 
This week was an emotional roller coaster. Most weeks have lots of ups and down, of course, but I feel like this one was extra crazy. So many good things. I was just a lot more sensitive to things this week. Next week I'm hitting my year mark.. and that is just SO UNREAL TO ME. I can't believe about a year ago I went into the mtc... and I didn't know a lick of Koren. Wow. That was fast. I feel like I just blinked and now I'm here.. ending my 7th transfer! WHAT THE?

Well, we had such a crazy week. Some of the highlights.. a killer zone meeting on wednesday. Seriously, probably the best I've had on my mission so far. I felt the spirit in such abundance, I can't even describe it! Seriously one of the best things about being a missionary is having the opportunity to learn from other missionary's testimonies and experiences. Man it was a spiritual boost. It was a great reminder to me that I am making a difference, despite outward 'results'. No effort is wasted. As missionaries when we talk to people, whether or not they accept our message, our service and love blesses t hem and plants seeds that may prepare them for accepting the gospel later on in the future. It was exactly what I've been needing to hear. We also talked about Matt. 5:48.. "Be ye therefore perfect.." God doesn't expect immediate perfection of us. He does expect progression though. Satan will try and make us think we need to be perfect. But that is not true. We just need to keep trying. Keep showing God that we are willing to change and to become the person he wants us to be. :) ANYWAYS, we also had sports day on friday in Gangneung! It was such a blast. The best part was playing the korean version of dodgeball.. you play with one ball. Tedious? Maybe. Oh man, I'll teach you all when I get home.. hahaha. Also we had a HUGE lunch.. every branch brought their own food.. but that didn't stop members from dragging me from my table to theirs.. to eat all of their food. I thought I was going to explode, literally. and then I played sports.

Sadly, Jeong Sung Kyung isn't progressing anymore.. we met with her a few times this week and had some good lessons, but she didn't come to church. She decided to get with an old friend and gave into some temptations and did some things she has commited us (and the Lord) to stop doing. We are discouraged, but we haven't lost hope. This morning I started reading Mormon. In chapter 2, Mormon talks about the people starting to cry repentance.. but not for the right reasons. They weren't mourning and sorrowing because they had sinned, they wanted to change, and were applying Christ's atonement, they were mourning because God wouldn't allow them to live in sin and be happy. When I read this I thought of her. Right now she hasn't made the decision to change because it is what will bring her the most happiness. She knows she needs to change, but hasn't yet made that decision. Right now she's still in the 'complaining because it's too hard, because God requires too much of her' stage.. And as long as she stays there, she won't have the desire to overcome temptation. When we meet with her this week, we are going to emphasize the importance of accountability and making the decision to change with her. Hopefully we see some good things happen. I love her so much. I know that God wanted us to meet her. She has improved since we've met with her. Now its just keeping her on that path of improvement, not moving backwards.

We received 4 referrals from the Elders in one day this last Saturday! And 5 new investigators! That's more than this whole transfer combined! Its crazy how sometimes miracles just hit like that all at once. The first one is a mom Jo Su Kyung and her daughter So Bin. We'll be doing family english program with them. She is such a nice lady, and there is some great potential there. They don't have any religious beliefs.. She has kind of a hard life, her younger daughter is very sick so she is in and out of the hospital all of the time.. being a mom isn't easy. We're gonna focus on how this message blesses families and makes them stronger with them. We're excited to start teaching them. The second one is another mom and her son, Karen and Daniel. Elder Garff and Elder Jarrett came in contact with them through an English flyer! What a miracle! We'll also be doing family english with them. They are christian, and have a firm belief in God. We hope through meeting with them we can strengthen and add to that faith they already have! We're excited. Our last new investigator is a lady named Kim Jeong Sun, her english name is Rose. She has been coming to English class for the past couple of weeks. She is basically a native speaker. She lived in america for a few years and was an english teacher for a long time. She's in her mid 40's and right now she's living with her parent. She's really lacking direction and happiness in her life. She just wants to hang out and talk to the missionaries all the time. She came to church yesterday and stayed there to talk after we left, we had other things going on. We got a call from the elders almost 3 hours later saying that she was still at the church. We went and had a really good lesson with her. We know that she can find the strength and happiness she needs though the gospel, through gaining a stronger relationship with God. She's a really nice lady, really sassy attitude. She and Sister Lykins get along quite well... ;) a little too well..

Well one thing that added to making this week so emotional and crazy  was something that happend with our branch president's wife, Lee Hyon Ah. Out of all of the members in our small little branch here in Taebaek, she is the hardest one to understand.. She is the one that we have struggled forming a good relationship. She hasn't consistently attended church every week since I've been here (and before that) because of work and other various reasons. Lately all of us have been really focusing on trying to reach out to her and make her feel loved. She opened up to us at church a few weeks ago and was open in telling us that she has been struggling in her faith for a while. So we've been trying to visit their family more, send her loving texts, reach out to her and talk with her more at church and other activities she is present at. Anyways, we thought everything was good and fine, we had dinner over at their house on Thursday. She came to sports day, was super nice, involved and friendly. Well friday night, we received a text message from her saying to stop calling and texting her because she was leaving the church. We were so surprised.. and weren't quite sure what to do! So confused! Well we talked to the Elders about it and waited for Sunday to roll around. Well yesterday rolls around, and she came to church. We were all shocked, pleasantly of course, and everything went on as if nothing had ever happened! She was nice and talkative to us.. we're not sure what to do. We think that confronting her directly about it probably wouldn't be the best thing to do right now, so we are just going to go forward trying to help, strengthen and love her as much as we can, but also be aware that she did in fact send that text, so to be sure and keep an eye on it. This was such a manifestations to me on how much Satan is attacking the family right now. Family prayer and scripture study is so important! It is what keeps the family strong! Keep this family in your prayers!

I hope you all enjoyed general conference and feel inspired to be a little better than you were before... and I will enjoy it this weekend!!!! I can't explain how excited I am. Be prepared for an explosion of insights and thoughts in my next email. Sorry, what do you expect from a missionary? 

Quick funny story from this week. Yesterday, I'm pretty sure I met a real cave man while knocking doors yesterday. I knocked the first time, waited a while and no one answered, knocked again, heard some shuffling coming from inside the house.. but then nothing. knocked one more time.. and I hear this weird growling sound.. I thought maybe it was a big dog.. but then the growling turned into this weird growling/korean.. the door opens a slit.. I look in and see a man who I think has been alive since prehistoric times! I was so shocked and scared I didn't really know what to do! I tried my best to introduce our message, gave him a name card and he slammed the door. And that was that.  Jundoed to a caveman! Cross that off my bucket list. (it wasn't there before, but I'll put it on so I can cross it off. who am I kidding I don't even have a bucket list)


Sister Holmes
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