Friday, April 30, 2010

I like life . . . Life likes me‏

Well, it sounds like things are very busy back home. I will send a letter myself, but please tell Kendra and Doug congratulations for me! I'm way excited for them. It's really fun when friends get married :).

My week has been wonderful. Still no investogators in this area, but the Less Active work and Member work is going really well. To top it all off "구조하라" or "To the Rescue" has been launched in full force in the Masan Stake. It's the missionary program that Pres. Monson has been prepping us for for a LONG time. It's all about having the work directed by ward leaders who know the history of the area better than the missionaries. We've had some real success with it so far. Jinhae Ward leaders have latched onto it quite fast and set-up a big kick-off meeting as part of their Ward Conference. The Pungho ward will be a little slower, but I've got a lot of really good members right behind me and I think the leaders will come around. I'm so excited about this's obviously put forth by a prophet of God who not only knows the work and how to do it, but recieves inspiration according to his calling. They're starting it at kinda random intervals around the world, so I don't know if it's at home right now or not...but when it comes out...try to be as helpful as you can with brings forth miracles.

Someone needs to tell me to give in and get new shoes..I'm beginning to feel the concrete under the ball of my foot...and my shoes not only leak water but they also leak small pebbles now (both pairs). BUT I LOVE MY SHOES!! Every pair I put on trying to buy new ones just feels so stiff and impractical for a Sister Missionary lifestyle. I'm considering taking them to the cobbler and just getting a new insole put it...yes...they still have cobblers in Korea....they're called "구두 병원" or "Shoe Hospital". I love that it makes them sound so desparate. Then again my shoes pretty much are on their last life-line.

Sis. Cramer is just amazing. I can't even tell you how great it is to serve with her. She's always cheerful and just loves to laugh at everything. We have so much fun together and we get a lot of good work done. I just love it. She keeps me smiling even though it's kinda hard starting a new area with no history to work from.

I'm continuously praying for all of you. I just love this work and I love this Gospel. Through the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ and adherance to its principles we truly can find the greatest happiness. I see it everyday!

Much love to all!


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Beautiful 진해‏‏ , April 21, 2010

Well, I've been training for a week and...I'm exhausted :). Things have been going really well, though. The two wards in Jinhae have been DYING for sister missionariees. The members have been so helpful and have given me so much support. They all seem to think I'm much better at Korean than I am, too--'cause they speak at me full speed with regualr (not missionary) vocabulary and I can barely keep up. It's really satisfying to see the big wide grin on a Sister's face when I knock on the door and they open it to see the Sister missionaries---whom they can actually let in (as opposed to the Elders who can't visit because there isn't a man in the house). We're already getting some really great relationships with the ward built and that's a really great foundation for the work ahead. I'm excited.

Lee Jung Min got baptized on Saturday. She said the EXACT same thing I said when someone asked me how I felt after getting baptized---only she said it in Korean "I'm Cold". I was tickled by the similarity. Now to help her develop stronger study habits and such. I've seen too many Less Actives on my mission to be interested in creating a new one. She'll be fine though. She could probably use your prayers, though.

The Fireside the other day was excellent. There were 20 something non-members there which is AMAZING. We had our fun little talent show and then members gave a tour of the Church and talked about the various programs including the Sacrament, family history, Primary, Relief Society and the Youth Programs. I think the members all prepared really well for the speicifc audience that came, which is quite a miracle because we really just had no idea how many of what kind of people would come. It worked out really well.

Funny Story: On Sunday night I went to a dinner at the Jinhae Church and I overheard the woman behind me as she elbowed her daughter and said "Go tell the Sister Missionaries they are pretty so they'll want to stay!" It tickled my heart for sure. They're just excited to have us that's for sure....though, I suppose I shouldn't take any comliments I receive in the next little while to my head...they're just trying ot butter me up! :)

I'm jealous Scott has an area book to clean out. There's a grand total of three former investigators in my TWO area books. All that's in the books is the dividers. It just adds a new challenge to the game I call missionary work, that's all. It's kinda fun to figure out the ward history and family trees from scratch. It's like being a private eye only people tell you more than you want to know :).

Sis. Cramer is AWESOME!!! I was expecting to get the same kinda prideful and know-it-all missionary I was when I came in--kinda as pay-back. She's so humble and so willing to do anything to help. Besides that, I can't believe how much better she's gotten at Korean in just a week. It's really awesome to see the miracle of the Gift of Tongues from an outside perspective. I feel like she'll be better than I am by the end of the transfer. Then again, I still feel like I still haven't learned anything since the MTC...I'll always feel insufficient, but the Lord always gives you the amount you need for the task ahead. It reminds me of something Pres. Monson said in a General Relief Society Meeting in Oct 2007 (I'm paraphrasing) "Pray not that your tasks will meet your abilities but that your abilities will meet your tasks. Then it will be YOU and not the task that is the miracle." It's true....our tasks are designed to shape us. It'd be a shame if we gave up that chance for growth and begged for an easy way out.

On that note, I leave you to enjoy the wonderful, mystical land that is Korea. The fresh spring leaves are out and the mountainsides look like a different country (maybe some sort of jungle in Asia or something :) ). It's beautiful...even if it IS raining :).

Much love to all!!


Thursday, April 15, 2010

It's a Girl!!!

Though I suppose you already knew that :). Sis. Codi Cramer was born into the Busan Mission on April 14, 2010 :). I'm her very proud "mom". Being a trainer is really weird---it's so funny what you just assume people know. I've been doing this so long I don't even remember having to learn the little stuff. It's been a real eye-opener. She's just a champ, though. Her Korean is really good and she has a lot of faith and hope. I suppose the most amazing thing is that rather than being scared to death of the challenge ahead (which by all rights I should be) I just feel calm and just have this constant reassurance that God gave me all of the specific training and experiences I need for the work ahead.

On top of training...I've been moved to a new area. I still live in my "castle" in Changwon, but I commute by bus everyday to the city of Jinhae where there are two wards--Jinhae and Pungho. I'm "opening" the area (scary!). THere are already Elders here, but opening just means there weren't sisters there before, so there aren't investogators and we're basically starting everything from scratch. I'd love for you all to pray for my language skills and my planning skills to match the challenge ahead of me. I'm really excited about it. I feel like training and opening a new area and training are both big signs of trust from Pres. Jennings and the Lord. I think we will see great miracles!

I held a shark yesterday. It was kinda vicious...until it started suffocating for air (water?) then it settled down...and I threw it back in the water.

Lee Jung Min is all set for baptism on Saturday and since it's still my Zone and clost omy house I'll be allowed to go to it :). I'm happy about that. She's just great. Pray for her ot be prepared to keep the sacred covenants she's making. :)

I feel old. My body is falling apart and I feel like I've aged 10 years on my mission. Pres. Jennings always says that serving a mission gives you 10 extra years on in 10 extra years of life experience all jam-packed into a short experience, but I'm starting to think that you get the aging thing with it. My bones are always TIRED. It feels good to go to bed tired after a long day of missionary work, though. It's just about the happiest feeling in the world.

I love that my sisters send me nerd-mail including ISS information :).

We're having a little fireside activity with all the missionaries in our Zone on Saturday. It's a missionary Talent Show and we have all kinds of fun things. Some of the elders are doing a dance and I'm in "Grover Band". We use little kid instruments (been looking for handbells wiht no luck) and play the Primary songs. As our last number we're going to do Do-Re-Mi and I will be Julie Andrews....since everyone here tells me I look like her I have the feeling everyone will love it. Our goal is to get 60 non-members out for it and we'll be introducing the Church a little bit and then just have the fun talent show. I'm excited about it.

Anyway, I better go practice for Grover Band. Time is up. Sorry so short. One day I won't be so busy....but I don't think that day is very soon.

I love you all!


Time is Insufficient‏ (Apr 7 post - sorry!)

Hello Everyone!

Sorry this is gonna be WAY short, but we're going ot the Cherry Blossom Festival in Jinhae today and I'm already late for meeting hte Elders. They can wait :).

Things are going so well with the work. I can't believe how many wonderful people Heavenly Father has plopped right in our laps. Everyone is progressing wonderfully....must be a sign I'll jhave to leave the area next week....

Big neews is that Lee Jung Min is getting baptized April 16th. She's the one I met as a Greenie in Kimhae and then came here to teach :). I've seen the Gospel really change her. She's kinda socially awkward, but I've seen the Gospel and Church functions help her open up and have confidence. I think getting the Holy Ghost so she can feel God's love more strongly will be the best step for her right now. I'm so excited for her.

I may or may not be pregnant (aka--in the mix for training next transfer). Heaven help whatever poor innocent soul that has to deal with me being their trainer. To think...she's gonna think I know what I'm doing...HAHAHA! I'll find out for sure tomorrow. I'll let you know next week.

I apologize to the large numbers of people to whom I owe a letter. My list is getting ridiculously long. I promise I'm still picking at it. You'll get a reply eventually, I promise!

Thank you to the Robisons for the Easter package. My companion is fascinated with the plastic eggs. Those are a novelty in Korea....she can have them all. I'm certainly not gonna lug them around the country.

I just love you lots!

I look forward to Conference this weekend. You've all said wonderful things about it. To answer Mom's question: I may have to watch it in Korean this time around. I have lots of investogators coming and no female english speakers to split with. Hopefully I can find SOMEONE to split with for at least one session.

Have a wonderful spring morning!



Thursday, April 1, 2010


The work of God is amazing. I just have to say that my
investigators are all coming along right on schedule....that is that
they are all gonna be ready for baptism right AFTER I likely transfer.
Seems to be the story of my mission. It's really exciting to see
people who grew up in a place and time where believing in God is not
the norm develop faith from the smallest seeds and see it grow and
bring joy into their they didn't even know they were
missing. It's indescribable.

We had a surprise in Masan Ward in the last few weeks. There's
this guy named "YoungMan" (that's not what it means in Korean...) and
about 2 months ago he started coming to our English class. Two and a
half weeks ago he just came to Stake Conference (dressed in full
suit....he looked like a member) after I invited everyone to come for
English practice (Elder Stevenson of the 70 spoke in English and it was
translated into Korean). Then, after Stake Conference he asked the
Elders if he could meet them. They have been teaching him. He's come
to Church twice since then. Well, after Church on Sunday he flat out
asked if he could be baptized. OF COURSE!!! So, His baptism is on
Saturday and he wants to have his wife and 4 daughters come out, too.
He was just so ready. He's such a kind and respectful man. He kinda
reminds me of Dad--quiet, smart and just blooming with kindness. I
guess having 4 daughters will do that to a person :) He's got a PhD in
some sort of Food Packaging and Business something. I'm just so proud
of him. We didn't even do anything....he practically is baptizing
himself. I know stories like this happen...but I haven't EVER heard of
a 3 week baptism in our mission. There are prepared people in Korea,

Our new Ward Mission Leader in Changwon is...overly far-reaching
in his goals. He wants the missionaries to have 26 PROGRESSING
investigators for each team in Changwon alone by April 15. I think
people are doing really well to have 3, so I might have been excited
about a goal of 5---or even 7...but 26 is a bit of a stretch.
Unfortunately I seem to be the only one who thinks so. Guess I'm just
a little short on faith. Forgive me if the thought of getting 52
investigators out to Church in a single ward seems a little outrageous
to me. There's a nice little section on setting reasonable and
"ACHIEVABLE" goals in PMG I will likely bring up in our next
meeting....and probably suffer the wrath of Korean vertical society for
it. When I asked him if we could have a lower goal because we cover
two wards and the Elders only cover one he said "No--and you should get
26 out to Masan by then, too" As much as I'd like to have 52
progressing investigators to call my very own...I suppose I just have
to set my own reasonable goal and be satisfied with that. I just wish
that all the other, more experienced missionaries hadn't completely
signed on like that. I'm quite goal-oriented, but when I set
impossible goals I just give up sooner than when I would have with an
achievable goal. I've taken it out on you all and I can be
calm and collected to discuss it with him. Maybe I really do just need
more faith. Perhaps before I transfer I can create a whole new ward
single-handedly....Enough Sarcasm. Sorry.

Anyway....this weekend is Conference in America....I'm SO
JEALOUS!!!! I have to wait til next week. But it's Easter...which
means I get to celebrate Easter twice...that's cool :). I'm so
grateful that we can celebrate not only the death of our Savior, but
His Resurrection also. I honor Christ for dying for me, but I worship
Christ because He rose for me! Through Him we can overcome both
Spiritual and Physical death. That's a blessing which brings happiness
beyond decription. It's the only thing which brings eternal happiness!

I really do love this work. I love this country and I love this
people. They have a big part of my heart for the rest of my life for
sure. Happy Easter Everyone. Read your scriptures, say your prayers,
and watch all four sessions of Conference (you can watch them in your
pajamas for crying out loud...I have to wear nylons!!). That will make
you happier than anything else you can do this weekend!

Love you all!