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 investigators...it 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 :).

Monday, July 5, 2010

New comp and other news

So..my last transfer starts this week. Sis Cramer has been transferred to Su Jung and I'm having a hard time letting my "daughter" go. It's like sending her to kindergarten or something. I just hate the idea of sending my little Wyoming "farmgirl" in to the big city. It just doesn't seem right...but it is, and her nex companion is just going to be great for her. I'm just sad she's leaving. My little piece of the American countryside is disappearing :(.

My new companion is Sister Swenson. She's from Nevada, I guess. I went with her on a split once. I'll be honest...I'm such a tired, worn out missionary that just the thought of being with this energetic, excitable and TALKATIVE girl for six weeks just EXHAUSTS me...but I think she's God's gift ot me to make it so I have the strength to drag to the end with every ounce of energy left. Here goes nothing.

I've been cut out of Pungho...so I'm only in the Chinhae Ward. I have mixed feelings about the whole situation. I am really relieved at the thought of only having to worry about making one ward happy, but I really loved a lot of people in Pungho...it's like transferring, but not.

I've been asked to be the Sisters' Representative for my last transfer. Usually that just means I'm in charge of doing the splits, but the Church is opening a brand new missionary program here for which they won't even strart the training in the MTC until May. President told me that I'd be a huge pioneer in trying to apply the program to have it ready for the 15 new missionaries coming in when I leave. I'm really nervous to be able to know what I'm doing with a program I've never worked with before, but I'm also really excited. I'm so grateful that hte work of the Lord---or at least our method of doing it--is always chinganing and improving with time and experience. the things I've heard about the program are really inspired already. President Jennings will train us leaders on it this weekend and then we will trickle it into the rest of the mission. i'm grateful for Personal Revelation, because I think there'd be no way I could ever teach people about something I've never done before without it. The Spirit will teach me and then I'll be qualified to teach others. The Lord does not leave us without a way to accomplish the good we are called to do.

Amazing News!! The other night I was really struggling to know what to do the next day....ALL of my appointments had fallen through. I finally justh ad the spiritual prompting to just trust that htere would be a miracle and that it would help me know what to do. A few minutes later Sister Peterson, my MTC companion called me from Seoul. I mentioned a while back that she had found her biological family. Turns out she only found her Dad that time around...and that she has only recently figured out where her mom is. HER MOM IS IN CHINHAE!!! She didn't know I was the Sister in Chinhae., but I am. She gave me her mom's name and birthday and asked me to try to find her. miraculously I had a wide open day the next day...so I went to the police station to try to find her and...they found her! But they wouldn't give me her address (though I saw part of it on his paper...she lives right by the Pungho Church...sneaky me...reading Korean better than they think). I didn't catvh enough to find her, just the neighborhood. They took me to a more centralized office (the THIRD ride in a cop car on my mission....nice little theme....the police have become my personal taxi service). They offered to let me call them ,but I really wanted Sis. Peterson to call instead of me ( "Hi, I'm your child that you put up for adoption's MTC companion...what, you've never heard of the MTC??") Then it occurred to me that our Bishop is like the head Cop of this area...so I called him...he's working on it now. He's in touch with Sis. Peterson now. I think she's got the address and such now. She's got permission to come down and visit at the end of the month and she'll be staying with me :) I'm way excited!

There's a lot of change going on now...pray for me to have the strength to know how to make the best of it and just keep going strong to the end. Trunkiness is a real disease--but there's a cure...you just gotta love the work

Much love to all!


Sunday, July 4, 2010


Rachel has finally sent us some pictures... enjoy!
(I'm not going to post the captions, partly because lots of them are in Korean!)

Many Pictures!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Frogs, Choirs, and Recent Converts‏ (Jun 28 post)

I gave a talk in Sacrament meeting yesterday. Unlike Scott's recent comment...I was nervous. But mine was in Korean...that's my excuse. The talk was on "Things As They Really Are" A talk by Elder Bednar that I really love about making sure you use your body properly by being careful with how much time you spend watching tv/playing on the computer, etc...This may be the only time in my life I've actually stayed under the time limit in a Sacrament Meeting talk, though :).

Last week we had a big stake Choir Conference and every ward brought a few numbers to show off and they gave away silly awards (the Ammon Award was given to the director who waved her arms around most viciously). It was really fun. My kind of activity. As we were practicing for it the sister next to me turned to me and said "You have a beautiful voice--very clear!" In traditional Korean style I refused the compliment profusely. Then she added "Like a frog." .....She must know something about frogs that I don't know :).

Speaking of frogs---this past week we had a mission tour and Elder Ringwood of the Seventy came to speak to us; his favorite song is "How Gentle God's Commands". I decided to be kind nad not teach him the REAL lyrics and ruin it for him for eternity.

We had a choir put together for Elder Ringwood. Initially I wasn't going ot sing in it. When my district leader asked if I wanted to, my first response was "Who's directing it" (we've had a few not-so-pleasant directors in the past). He said he didn't know and I just decided to join anyway. When we got to rehearsal...they hadn't PICKED a director. The choas was driving me bonkers so I quieted everyone down and got them seated and then I asked "Who's in charge here?" Blank stares. I landed myself the position. I'm not a very good director. There are some of you back home who can attest to this and have had to suffer through my limited experience. It was really scary, but I said lots of prayers and...it was marvelous. Things went so well. The choir just listened to everything I said and my arms just did what they were supposed to. It was even a song with lots of time changes and I didn't goof everyone up! President and Sister Jennings both told me on separate occasions that it was the best musical number they'd heard in the mission thus far. Prayer goes a long way...and begging for the Spirit to carry the message and angels to add their voices goes a long way. It was really gratifying to me to know that I COULD direct if I wanted to, with the Spirit's help. Prayer might have led me to engineering, but I'm still a musician at heart. I was really grateful for the whole experience. I can't even tell you how I felt the hand of God supporting me through it.

Elder Ringwood's words were well said (is that how you say that in English?). I can't even tell you how everything he said was an answer ot my prayers and study. I definitely believe in modern prophets and revelation. He said exactly what I needed to hear to help me get the last big push I need in my mission. I'm so grateful for the way he taught out of the scriptures with power and authority.

Last week I got to see Lee Jung Min, my recent convert in Masan (the one I first met as a greenie in Gimhae). She looks amazing. I can't even tell you how the Gospel has helped her open up. She's just blossomed overnight. Christ does amazing things for people---if they but turn to Him and seek His help. It's good to know I did at least SOME good here---even if she's the only one I really touched (but I'm confident there are more).

Elder Rockwood has been very patient waiting for a computer, I better take off. I love you all. Have a Happy Independence Day!

Don't do anything I wouldn't do!