Monday, October 11, 2010

Finally A New Blog

You can continue following my blog at . Happy Tracks!


Saturday, September 4, 2010

There's no place like home!

Well, I've been here two weeks and life just flies by so fast. I'm already neck-deep in homework.

Coming home was a strange experience. I never realized that I grew up in the country-side...Colorado Springs feels so small-townish after being in Korea. It was nice to see my family again.

Karina wins the surprise award for having been in the LA airport when I was on my way home. Chalene on the other hand wins points for a good effort gone bad...she accidentally included me in a mass-email that announced to her friends and family that she was coming home to surprise me.

I was really glad to have everyone come out. I kinda had an inkling that maybe Mom and Malea were the only ones who would bother coming to the airport. I had settled the idea in my mind--but this was much better.

Well, that's it...a year and a half passed by fast than I could blink. Life is shorter than you think.

For your information, my blog stopped working for a couple weeks because I tried to log in from Korea to find some people's names about whom I knew I'd written home about. I guess blogspot didn't like that much. I think all of the emails are loaded up now. Much thanks to Chalene who 관리ed it all this time (some words still don't come very naturally in English).

I think I'll continue blogging, but I might change my address...I'll be sure to post here first if I change.

Say your prayers. Read your scriptures. Go to Church.


To all good things there comes an end...

I can't believe this is my last day. I can't believe the rest of the week is just random little business and then....I'll be there. That's it!

Lee Jung Min came to the bus station this morning to send me off. I almost started crying when I saw her. She has just transformed overnight. Then she gave me a letter which I will have to translate into English ASAP before I forget how to read Korean talking about her own feelings in her conversion process over the last year. I DID cry when I read that. There's my reason for coming to Korea right there.

I didn't end up spending the night at that member's house. THe Spirit just told me I could spend my time doing better things. Turned out to be right beacuse my split with Sis Chon was very edifying for both of us and led to us inviting her investigator to commit to a baptismal date. Good stuff.

I had the opportunity to go to the "After Meeting" (actually what they called it....apparently English is cooler than Korean even if you can't pronounce your f's--apto meeting) of the big EFY-like youth conference last night. The conference was called SMYC but after asking several people what it meant I decided to treat it as just another meaningless acronym in the Church. I suppose I'll never find out. Anyway, the meeting was incredible. All of the youth got up to bear their testimonies and Park Sung Hee (my old companion who went home about 3 months ago) came because she was a counselor for it and to top it off most of my recent converts came to it. It was an excellent way to end my last (normal) day of missionary work. The best part was when everyone sang that little EFY medley with As Sisters in Zion and Helaman's Army rolled into one all together in Korean. I cried---but that doesn't seem to be very uncommon lately (or ever?). It was so overpowering to hear the words to that song in Korean and to UNDERSTAND IT. To REALLY understand it--especially coming from all of those young men (potential missionaries!) in the room. The Spirit was so thick you could cut it with a knife. And then it hit me. THIS IS WHY I CAME HERE. I can't take any credit for all of those people being there---but I can take some credit for some of them being there--but all of it was God anyway---I never did a thing on my was all at His direction. I came here to build the Kingdom of God in this part of the world and sitting there I could see that Kingdom flourish and see other young souls growing strong and confident in that Kingdom. It was such a miracle. I LOVE THIS WORK!!!

Beyond that, there's not much I can think of to say that can't be said in person in a few days. I look forward to seeing you all. Pray for me to have the courage to leave this land well. I'm quite torn to have to leave. I'm excited for more Reese's cups and of course to see you all, though.

Prayers for science and math to just flow more or less painlessly back into my head as I needed would be greatly appreciated. I'm really nervous about jumping right back into this. One step at a time.

Say your prayers. Read your scriptures. Go to Church.

Much Love,


Sunday, August 1, 2010

A Marvelous Work

I'm excited about the way things are going right about now. I feel
so much more successful at missionary work since the Simplified
Curriculum came out. Just to prove my point, President Jennings
announced that since we rolled out the new program 3 weeks ago the
average number of baptismal dates in the mission has more than
TRIPLED!!! That's a miracle!!

The catch comes in that I was just barely starting to find some new
investigators last week when something got thrown in the spokes. In my
interview with Pres. Jennings we spoke about the unique situation of
the Chinhae and Pungho wards and how they really shouldn't be split
anyway and dividing the missionary work in them is really not all that according to my wishes, President told me that we're now
back in both wards and the Elders are also---as a special exception to
the one team/one ward program he rolled out. This is perfect because
the area really needs to be covered by someone in both wards, but,
seeing as all of the investigators I found in the last week have been means that the Elders just picked up all of my investigators
and I'm practically down to zilch again. No complaints...the Elders
will be better for each of these people just means I have a
lot of work to do and it's gotten to the point where I don't have enough
time left to be able to see my efferts go into full effect. It's
okay...this isn't about self-gratification anyway. The good news is
that one of my investigators that I had to give to the Elders because
she's in the Pungho ward is gaining lots of faith--and I get to go back
to teach her (she's been threatening Elder Heaton that she might move
into Chinhae ward in order to have me teach her--hehe). Right now her
fear is that if she goes to Church everyone will judge her for not
having her whole family there. It's hard because I can't actually
promise her that they won't---all I can promise is that it doesn't
matter if they doesn't make the Church any less true. Her name
is Kim Hyon Ju---prayers for her to gain the courage to go to Church
would be fabulous.

Prayers for me to find new investigators and keep my head on
straight would be fabulous, too. My planner is such a mess...I keep
accidentally writing things on the wrong days and losing important
information. It's a good thing my companion is in charge of the keys
and the phone or I don't think we'd ever manage to find them. My brain
is getting quite fried from this whole missionary work thing. I hope
this goes away when I get home...the left-brained part of me is going

Let it be known that I was effectively squashing any and all
trunkiness until Pres. Jennings had the nerve to bring up marriage in my
intervew. Isn't there a rule against talking about that stuff or

I've kinda had a blast with this whole Sister's Representative
stuff. It's a lot of responsiblity that I don't really have time or
energy for, but It's really quite fulfilling. Serving the sisters in
this mission is such a wonderful priveledge. I split with Sis.
Patterson this past week. It was so delightful to bring her to the
beautiful land of Chinhae and let her artistic mind for free on it.
It's been a long time since I've spent much time with someone who was
really so delved into the arts that it was a part of their thought and
behavior. Even the way she speaks is very beautiful and poetic. It's
funny how much of a difference it makes to go from normal people who
just speak because something needs to be to go to people who say things
that need to be said, but in a beautiful and thought out way. Kinda
weird that I noticed, I guess. There just wasn't any stumbling
awkwardness about her words. Two Splits to go. I love

It's getting hotter and stickier now. I'm not quite sure that I've
dried out yet after my shower from last night---even with a fan right
on me all night. My eyes usually sting from the salt of my sweat...not
that you needed to know that...showering twice a day never sounded so
appealing since the dawn of time. Ick.

Things are going really well. Life is great and missionary work is
fun. I just know that God hears us and He guides us....simply because
He loves us. That's all you really need to know.

Be Happy!


July 26, 2010 post

I feel like I emailed you all yesterday. I also am having a really hard tiem keeping my short term memory intact because time is going so fast. I know I did stuff this week, but I just can't grasp it in my head.

I decided that this transfer is just gonna fly by way too fast. Weeks where you split just disappear wicked fast anyway. Now that I'm Sister's Representative I split every week. There's so much left to do to get my area ready to hand off to someone else (organizing records, writing a bus guide, coordinatigna ward mission plan, finding more (or any)investigators, recreating an effective English class---ahh!) that I just don't have time to do it. I was really panicky and, really, the opposite of trunky, thinking about it the other day--just freaked out that I didn't have enough time. I'm really grateful for prayer. In the adrenaline push at the end here I was able to receive I really powerful confirmation that I WILL be able to accomplish everything that the Lord has called me to do here---that I'll neither have too much time nor not enough. It will work out perfect. I knew with such certainty that the Lord was pleased with all of my efforts and would magnify them in His own way. I'm grateful that God answers our prayers through such wonderful, personal revelation.

I had the opportunity to go to Jinju with Sis. Crowther from Sanford, Colorado (She says it's not on all's not far from the New Mexico border). It was really fun to have the Colorado connection with someone again. She's a champ. I'm really impressed with how well these young missionaries are just steping up to the plate. When I was 5th transfer like her I didn't have nearly the amount of confidence in hte work as she does...but then again she was put senior a lot earlier, too...the rest of the Sisters are SO young that anyone younger than me is having to "grow up" really fast. I'm proud of her.

Jinju is a beautiful city. I went there on one of those musical firesides a while ago but I only saw it through the taxi window. It was really fun to really be out in the "dirty south" and see the mountainous countryside. They have these really neat floats that they put out in the river in a parade, but not moving and it stays there for a week. They weren't in the river yet, but we could see a lot of them. It was really cool. the work really does sweep every climb and country.

In my area thins are going well. My members are getting good and fired up for the work. They're being so good at offering help for anyting we need. Sometimes it pays to be a Sister....I doubt they gave the Elders this much help when they were here alone. I love this ward so much. It's my homeward in Korea. Chinhae is just full of miracles. I'll be sad to leave.

Korea is beautiful and adventurous. Missions are wonderful. I highly recommend them to everyone.

Be safe and cool. Keep the commandments and love your neighbor!


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Like the MTC again

The fever turned out to be a result of a minor infection in my eye. Once I got an antibacterial eyewash at the local drugstore my overall health began improving rapidly. It's now drained to my sinuses, but I'm much less concerned about my sinuses than my eye. The fever's gone, so all is well.

This week was a doozy. Frankly I haven't really been in my area for 2 weeks now. I had a three day leadership training in Busan. They are makinga new simplified curriculum for the MTC which will start in May next year, but they want it to already be in full swing in all the missions around the world before then. So I basically had the MTC on speed this last week. IT WAS AMAZING! If every mission in the world takes this new program and really embraces it and applies it there will be miracles around the world. I learned the doctrine better, became a better teacher and got better at Korean and the rate of progression was astonishing. I'm really excited to teach this stuff to the other sisters on splits this transfer. Missionary work is still directed by Preach My Gospel (which is designed to get you in the scriptures) but they have taken out 8 core principles to focus on in the MTC. The first 5 have to do with the things you want the investigators to do in order to receive their own spiritual witness of the truth and the last three basically focus on teaching skills that have always been a little elusive to missionaries. The program is definitely inspired. Before seeing the new program there's no way I would have thought that a three-day training meeting was at all a good idea, but it was definitely worth it. I'm really glad I get to work with this new program, even if it's only for 5 weeks. I wish it'd come out 6 months ago. I'll do the best with the time I have, though.

Another really exciting thing that happened this week is that Sis. Peterson came down to meet her family. It was really weird for me to go back to the "MTC" and then when I got home my MTC companion's stuff was in my house! It was great. I met her mom and dad and her older sister and her twin brother. It was unlike any other experience of my life, helping a friend as she encounters the emotional rollar coaster that is meting your biological family. They are really wonderful and nice people. I think everyone didn't exactly know how to react. How could they? It wasn't really awkward at all. Just different. I really feel like God has a great plan that just needed Sis. Peterson to have two families to influence and love. I think she completes this other family in a way that they didn't even know they needed completing.

On another perspective of things---it was so GREAT to have Sis. Peterson around. Funny that she's probably one of the companions I got closest to and she was my MTC companion. I can't believe how much Ive learned from her. She and I think on such a similar plane--it's relieving. She's such a wonderful example to me. It was funny, because once she was back I felt like she'd been with me all along---that we'd been together our whole missions. There wasn't anything outstanding about it, it was just comforting. I'm excited that she'll be in Provo when we return.

As far as the work...I'm a little frustrated. I feel like I want amazing miracles so desparately this last transfer, but things keep falling through the cracks. All of my investigators have sorta stopped progressing. Time is a little insufficient. I keep praying to find new people---and for the faith to help my investigators overcome their concerns. The miracle's gotta be just around the corner, because I feel like missionary work has suddenly gotten really hard. I've noticed that it's only hard RIGHT before the big flood of blessings (because it's your testing period). Continued prayers for me, my investigators and those people I'm called to teach that I haven't yet found would be much appreciated.

Just as always I'm lovign the work. Korea is wonderful. It's funny how it really is just a part of me now. It'll be weird as this all comes to a close. I'm afraid it'll all just feel like a dream.

Say your prayers. Read your scriptures. Go to Church.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Too Busy for Missionary Work!!

The choir number was in Korean...sightreading music and Korean lyrics at the same time as making sure your arms are changing time signatures properly is tough!! We sang Sally DeFord's "I Stand All Amazed"...I didn't pick the number, but it really helped that it was Sally DeFord, cause I just know her style pretty well. We had to forego translating the last, extra verse she wrote and just settled for re-singing the First verse as it comes in the Korean hymnal. It's hard to translate Korean and make it poetical so we took the easy route out. THe number worked out quite nicely. I really enjoyed the opportunity, and it the way it turned out was truly an answer to my prayers.

Sis. Peterson is doing well. Her Dad went up to Seoul a few months back to meet her. She still has not met her Mom, she comes down at the end of July to do that. I'm excited to have her stay with me for that time.

The week has been pretty good. It was really hard to send Sis. Cramer away :(. My greenie is all grown up (and will be senior really fast, too...lucky them--coming right as all us old missionaries are fresh dead). I really like Sis. Swenson. She talks a lot! Sometimes my little engineering self just wants to retreat to the corner and do calculus in order to find respite. For the most part she's really interesting, though. I'll have to start forcing her ot speak more Korean :).

I was in Busan for two whole days this last week, so I didn't get a whole lot done in my area. On top of that I'll be in Busna for 3 days straight for the leadership training on this new program (call "Simplified Curriculum" because it described the MTC curricuum for it that will come out next May). I feel like I won't have any time to do anything my last transfer with this leadership calling. Hopefully Heavenly Father will help me find a way to serve the Korean people and my investigators at the same time as serving my fellow missionaries. I'm really excited about the simplified curriculum, though. I really feel that it will help a lot of people become better missionaries faster. I like having a living Prophet to organize the work :).

Along with the new program there came out...DUN DUN DUN...THe District 2! Some of you who have served missions recently or who followed my blog since the MTC may remember the reality "tv show" about the District in the San Antonio Mission that camera crews followed around for forever and they show it to you in the MTC. Well, they made a new one and these missionaries are serving in San Diego...and had to learn Spanish...SPANISH....I COULD LEARN SPANISH ON THE PLANE RIDE HOME!!! This is not a comment on the difficulty level of Spanish but on the length of my flight home :) Anyway, we've watched some of it for the leadership meetings already and this stuff is top notch. It's amazing that missionary work's the same all over the world. Sure, we have challenges unique to the mssion, but it's all the same. I've learned a lot from these videos and I'm excited to apply it for this last big stretch.

I came down with a NASTY bug the other day. I was just fine, but suddenly I was FREEZING and shaking and had body aches and physically couldn't stand. I barely made it to the bus stop. and when we got home I just CRASHED. I later took my temperature and I had I fever of nearly 103. I ate medicine (do you "eat" medicine in English?) and just slept. I didn't have any other syptoms until this morning when suddenly I had a stuffy nose and slightly plugged ears. It was just weird that the first sign was jsut a paralyzing fever. Luckily the fever is goen, but I still feel a little weak. Weird.

Sis. Hadden and company have left. I feel like the walking dead---and not because of my flu-cold thing either. I'm the oldest SIster missionary by far now (people argue that Jung Min Hee is older but I remember the day she got to the MTC for crying out loud...she mighta beat me to Korea, but I'm an older missionary, dang it). It's just weird. I'm still one of the youngest sisters in the mission...a lot of "older" sisters are called to this mission for some reason. Weird. Time is fast and doesn't have any right to just whiz by like this. I'm already lying six feet under.

I wish I could help with Apricots (the eating and the canning of them). I love doing that sort of stuff with the family. Next time, I suppose. I f the weird green plums are in abundance when I get home I can make this really delicious homemade drink that Koreans make with that kind of plum called "Maysheer". You'll just have to wait to try it. I wouldn't dare describe it over the internet. You'll have to wait about 3 months after I get home to have it, though :).

This past week I couldn't get a hold of ANY of my was really frustrating. If everyone could pray for my investigators to meet me and that I'll find more people prepared to receive the Gospel, that would be great. I really want this last transfer to go out with a bang--or at least some serious splashing in the baptismal font. I know that miracles are possible with a the prayer of faith!

Love to all. Stay cool and dry!


P.S. Good luck to Chalene and Company as you take off to new places. I'm praying for you...but I'll have to think about this praying that you house sells soon....I kinda like you having an excuse to have to move back :).