Thursday, January 28, 2010


Sorry this will be short but we just got a call to move our appointment up a half-hour. I still haven't read the emails for the week, so sorry if I don't respond to something important. It will get taken care of...eventually.

This week has been fabulous...and fabulously exhasuting. My new companion is amazing, and she's just what this area (and I) needs to get the ball really rolling (liek a stone cut out of the mountain without hands).

Unfortunately I caughta cold so I've been just wiped the last couple of days...I slept on the buses as much as I could, and naturally, today when sleeping is an option I feel much better :). Go figure.

I'm excited to meet with one of our former investigators tonight. She's a member referral and got taught EVERYTHING and even had a baptismal date but there's no record of why she didn't get baptized. We're meeting her with the member friend, so I think it'll be really good.

The weather was really nice today...I just sat one our deck writing letters and sleeping all day. Wondeful. Sunshine is amazingly therapeutic.

I really gotta go...Love you lots! Have a wonderful day!


Friday, January 22, 2010

I like life . . . Life likes me . . .

To All:
Well, my new companion is Park Sung Hee. She's from the Seoul area. I'm really excited to work with her....she's way fired up for missionary work, and after my last companion did everything in her power to smother my fire I could use a little rekindling. I think things will go well.

I had the special opportunity to spend the last 4 days up in Ulsan with my trainer, Park Min Jung. It was SO fun. Shinjung, my old area, got whitewashed when Sis. Montgomery left, so I was put in charge of catching everyone up on the area. It was such a blast. I love that place. We had so many appointments and I got to go visti all of my investigators who have since been baptized. I also just got to spend some precious time iwht my trainer realizing just how good of a missionary/teacher/person she really is. I think I was kinda hard on her in my head, but now i see that she really is a little miracle worker. I'm jealous of Sis. Hadden who gets to be her last companion in my favorite area :).

The best part of this "split" was a visit with an investigator that went amazingly well. This woman is SO prepared. She's an engineer--which is cool....I've not met ANY female engineers in Korea besides's less common than in the U.S. Anyway, she needed to be taught the Plan of Salvation and I can see EXACTLY why I was sent there for those short few days---I think exactly like her and I was able to explain it from an "engineer's" point of view. The Spirit was so strong and my companion and I taught in complete unity---it was amazing. At the end of the lesson she just sat back and looked at the board where we'd drawn it all out and said "I already knew this....I already knew it." And she did. Because she'd learned it and studied it in the pre-mortal life. I love missionary work.

There are finally younger American sisters than me here. I met one today--she's really nice but she was quite jet-lagged and smothered with attention. SHe's the first new one ine a while, and we were all quite excited.

I'm glad Chalene emailed me about Haiti so fast, I'd have had a devil of a time figuring out what everyone was talking about, considering they pronounce "haiti" "I.T". I would have wondered how Information Technology could have gotten so brutal as to kill so many people. Setting all jokes aside, my heart really goes out to them. Sometimes I think my life is hard, but when it gets right down to it, I don't have any room to complain. Ever. My prayers are with them. If there's one thing I've learned on my mission (and I assure you there's more than one) it's that God is completely mindful of each and EVERY one of His children. He will support them as they trust him.

Everyone stay safe and happy. Much love to you!


P.S. I finally replaced all of the contents of my lost wallet. Including a Temple Recommend...IN KOREAN :). I think answering those questions is one of the greatest privilegdes of life...acknowledging before an authorized representative of God that you are worthy to enter His house. Wow. That's special.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Time is out today (I really struggle with having Christlike attitudes for people who just play games at public computers for HOURS). I'll try to get permission to email Monday when my companion has to go to the Mission Office to "die". If not, I'll chat to you all on THursday. Love you!


P.S. I got packages from Scott, Karina and Robisons this week---and a Christmas letter with a check from the Andersons. Is there anything else I should be on the lookout for?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

‏‏‏The New Sun Rises (tomorrow)

First off...yes Chalene, you DID win with Star Trek IV. Not only did you win, you were also the only one thoughtful enough to send ANYTHING before Thursday when I checked my email (Preparation day is now Thursday. I was rather hoping for some emails to respond to, because I'm afraid not much has happened in the last two days since I last emailed everyone, and I'm fresh out of ideas for random chatter after our phone call last week. :)

Things are going well here. Tuesday was a day filled with tracking down less-actives who weren't home (typical...). I'm not sure what these people do. They're definitely not at the Church, they aren't home when we visit, and usually if we know their work address they aren't there, either. Where do they hide? My next thought is to check the Karaoke bars, but I think Pres. Jennings might have some strong objections to that :).

Yesterday was a sort of slow day as far as missionary work is concerned. In the morning we had an excellent District Meeting in which we learned quite a bit about the ways we can "lifts the hands that hang down and strengthen the feeble knees." It was really inspiring. I'm so grateful for the leaders in my district and zone right now. All of the missionaries in my zone right now are just wicked smart and have hearts of gold. I'm learning a lot from them. After our District Meeting President Jennings came and we had President's Interviews (for those who don't know---those happen once a transfer---every 6 weeks--and it's a great chance to talk to an older, more experienced person about any of the struggles you're having in the work. It's wonderful). It takes a lot of time to interview 12 people individually. Perhaps just as important as your 15-30 minutes with President Jennings is your time with Sis. Jennings in the waiting area. She tells amazing stories and she's really smart. Not to mention she uses English vocabulary which I haven't heard in a year or more. It's really good for strengthening my English again :). Anyway, my interview was excellent, and I received a lot of really good pointers from Pres. Jennings that I'll be implementing right away.

Another thing that was really cool in the last few days is that I did a little exercise for me. I sat down and prayerfully made a list of "Things I Could Do Better." I found that most of the things on the list were things that at some earlier point in my life I already HAD done better---I just let them slip. THe list was quite long, however, I made ANOTHER list called "Things I CAN DO to Be Better". I found that making only 3 or 4 goals covered most of the things in the other column. It was really good to take a step back and refocus---get my target in the crosshairs, so to say. Then, I gained great appreciation for Ether 12 :27. God gives us weakness so we can learn to be humble---learn to trust Him and ask how to do things HIS way. If we do that HE WILL make weak things become STRONG. That's the whole point of the Atonement. So, as you all look into making New Years' Resolutions, keep in mind to make goals that will help you in more than one area, and then turn to God to help you accomplish those goals. He truly will give you guidance and strength. It's the promise He gave when He sent His Son into the world. We will always be able to find a way to overcome all things through Christ. What a beautful promise!

On a slightly different note, I just finished the Book of Mormon (remember Pres. Jennings' challenge a few months ago---highlighting in 5 colors?) It's quite satisfying ot have that marked copy of the Book of Mormon. I read the book again and I prayed about it and...It's still true. I'm so grateful that God answers our prayers so we can know truth and serve Him in the way He would have us do. I love the Book of Mormon.

Also---I finished my Virtue Value Experiences and Value Project(the project was reading hte Book of Mormon---significant that it's the only Valeu that only offers ONE project, and that is to read the Book of Mormon--The Book really does have power to help you understand virtue and hte need for it). Yes, I'm talking about Personal Progress. I figure that if they add a new value that in order to qualify to wear my medallion I had better do the new value, too. The project was reading hte Book of Mormon---significant that it's the only Value that only offers ONE project, and that is to read the Book of Mormon--The Book really does have power to help you understand virtue and the need for it--and also how ot turn to the Savior to receive Virtue. It was a really good experience to do those things. I recommend everyone get a copy of the value pamphlet from your local YW President and work on it. I'm proudly wearing my medallion again today. :)

Okay, I've gotten to the point of boring you with my Personal Study Ahh---haa moments, so I guess I've run out of news. I hope everything is going well with you all. I love you lots. Be safe and have a Wonderful and Happy New Year!


Mail Flubbs--Electronic or Otherwise‏

The email I wrote you last week got sent back for some reason. It just said your email was "unreachable" whatever that means. Maybe your mailbox is full. I will resend it after I type this one. Meanwhile, I am also sending this to Chalene as a back-up plan.

So, as for snail mail. I don't know why Sis. Hall's package was sent back, but it's posasible that was during that little flub of the secretaries in the mission office where they sent all of the mail to the wrong (non-existent) mailbox when I was in Ulsan---that was back in October, I think. It probably sat in a Post office a few blocks from my house for a month or so before being sent back to America. The Elders in the office aren't exactly compotent all of the time.

As for the other packages, I got the package you sent me this past week. I also got one from Mary and another from Grandma and Grandpa Robison. I have yet to get the one from Doug and Cristy or the Andersons or Scott. I will let you know when they come. I'm confident they will come. It's possible that if they sent them to that "Packages" address that they are sitting in the mission home waiting for the next time I make it to Busan(that address can't be forwarded to me). You can send packages to the normal mail address--just make sure you use the US Postal Service (rather than UPS or FedEx or something). Thank you to all of you who have sent me things. It really helps ease that homesickness of Christmas. I hate to complain that my mail is slow getting here to the secretaries because lately the Elders have taken to making fun of me because I get more mail than everyone else combined (I think they are exaggerating a little). They're just jealous! I'm just convinced that it's because I have TWO families writing me, rather than one. This is NOT a request to stop sending mail. :) I'll take whiny Elders over not having mail anyday :). In any case...have some faith in the postal system. It is MUCH better in Korea than in the US---it's just the missionaries that are the weak link. So, send it with faith---and then pray that the secretaries will keep their heads on straight. (And that Elder Haarken will eventually actually get my passport to me so I can get a new foreigner card....sigh...we really need Sisters as secretaries...).

On other notes...I had some quite delicious Chicken last night (for some STRANGE reason Fried Chicken is called "Mek-shee-kahn Chee-Keen" here--just smile and nod). I will fondly nickname this chicken gingerbread chicken. It was liek a dessert. It was breaded with stuff that tasted just like fresh gingerbread...and the sauce was none other than a more liquidish verson of molasses. It was rally good---and I felt guilty eating it as my main meal.

The other day I was talking to these teenage girls on the bus and I taught htem about Heavenly Father and prayer. I gave them my phone number and told them to pray and then they could call me to talk about it. One of them said as she got off the bus "Yeah...I'll do that---when I'm bored." Sad that people only make time for God when they are bored. He could help them all so much--and they just won't let Him. Sigh.

Rondom: This area was Sis. Montgomery's "greenie" area. She was here a year and a half ago (which is a long time for someone to remember missionaries!) and a lot of people have told me that 1) I look like her----and ask if I'm her younger sister, and 2) that I speak Korean just like she does. The funny thing is that they claim that we both have "Italian" accents. Maybe it's because we're both classivally trained musicians? I don't know. I'm not suprised I speak liek her, though...I learned Korean from her, mostly. Weird.

Anyway, I don't really have much news to announce at the time. Just that things are going relatively well. Sis. Lee So Youngand i have our ups and downs, but I wouldn't trade this time with her for anything. She really helped me ralize my own faults and weaknessees and as a result I'm becoming a better person. I am really excited for our split with the Sisters' representative on Monday, though :). I get to go to my Greenie house and proselyte in Busan (going to Busan and riding the Subway into Oncheon-dong has a feeling akin to driving through Monument after being away from home for a long time--like going home). I like it.

Everyone have a fabulous New Year. Count your blessings and make good resolutions---good goals help you progress.

Much love to all!~~