Sunday, December 29, 2013

she brought us out food...uh oh

This week was wonderful! I hope you all had a very merry Christmas! 

Early on in the week we went to a grandma's house to visit and give her a Christmas card. In turn, she brought us out food...uh oh...haha. There was a soup that looked and smelled like cement. Sure enough, it tasted like it too. With a few prayers I got it down without gagging (in front of her haha).

Presents! Yum! :)Christmas was great and full of miracles! We had a ward christmas party on Christmas Eve and it was so great! We had some inactive members show up and some investigators! 

When I walked in to the Christmas party there was a dirty, old man with very worn clothes sitting alone at a table. As I approached him, I saw that he was looking at the pictures in the front of the Book of Mormon. I had the amazing opportunity to sit with him and teach him very simply about Jesus and what the Book of Mormon is about. As I was teaching him I felt an overwhelming feeling of happiness. Something amazing happened: I loved this man who I had never met before and couldn't even understand. God let me feel His love for this man, His son. I'm so grateful to have gotten that opportunity. 

On Christmas day we had no appointments, but saw so many miracles! We walked down a street to go knock on doors in an apartment complex and I felt like we should turn around to talk to a lady we had passed. We walked back and ended up running into a man who got baptized 35 years ago and doesn't come to church anymore. That definitely wasn't a coincidence! On the bus I sat by two sweet girls who talked to me about God and I got to give them Book of Mormons and bear my testimony. It was a very sweet experience. It was amazing that we were able to communicate through my broken Korean and her little bit of English.

Sister King and I on ChristmasWe had dinner with a member and they made delicious food! We had chicken pot pie made by their English future daughter-in-law.

This week we went to visit 박양순 and found her talking with two ladies. Turns out one of them was a preacher. She immediately started speaking against the Book of Mormon and getting pretty upset. It was a little bit intimidating. But Sister King and I just simply said what we could. We know that it's a good book and that it's true. And 박영순 totally stood up for us--it was awesome! She said that she knows that the gospel makes us happy and that we're good people. It was really cool.

I love the gospel! I know that God is real. I love my Savior and I'm so grateful for Him. Love you all!!

Sister Naatjes :)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

"life child. I talk comfortably and it is the."

매리 그리스마스!!

This was a great week!! We saw a lot of miracles :)

Lets see...something funny that happened...

On Saturday we traveled to teach one of our investigators in a city that's pretty far away. We later had a zone activity doing a survey downtown. I was talking to a bunch of people and a man came up to me and told me he had seen me earlier on the bus that day. We talked about the Book of Mormon and I gave him one. I was really exited! 
...but he called the next day and told sister king he thought I had pretty hair. He texted us later and wanted to have coffee. Sister King told him we don't drink coffee and asked him why he wanted to meet. He said, "life child. I talk comfortably and it is the." We laughed really hard when we got the message. No idea what that means! haha

This week we met with 박양순 three times and she's doing great! She has been reading the Book of Mormon and studying a lot. She calls herself our Korean Momma. She's awesome! 

신문정 prayed again at the end of our lesson and we are so excited! She's nervous about coming to church, but she's praying!! Big deal! She is such an awesome lady! 

We met with 김현숙 for the first time on Saturday and she tearfully told us about her relationship with God. She told us she thinks we were sent from God. She has such a kind and soft heart. We're excited to keep teaching her! 

This week we had our mission-wide Christmas party and it was fun to see everyone! We watched "Home Alone" and had a big Korean Christmas feast. At the end we had a bunch of musical numbers and read the story of Christ's birth. It was incredible. 

We set up the x-mas tree you sent! :)It hardly feels like Christmas here because Koreans don't celebrate it much, but I think that this is the closest I've come to understand the real meaning of Christmas. I am closer to my Savior than ever. We are celebrating Christ's birth! Our Savior and Redeemer! He was born in a lowly stable, was spit upon, was mocked, atoned for our sins, died for us...And now we can return to our Heavenly Father! He suffered so that we could be saved! He suffered so that we could have hope! He suffered so that he could understand us in our times of trial. 

I have been so blessed through my Savior. He understands me. He knows how it feels to learn Korean. He knows how it feels to be rejected. He is my best friend. Glory to God! 

Have an incredible Christmas! I love you all! 

Sister Naatjes :) 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

"What should we do?"... "Pray!"

This week was incredible! God let me see so many miracles!

Some funny things that happened:

We met with our new investigator, 윤인자, this week. We taught her a little lesson and gave her a Book of Mormon. She loves it. ...we were about to leave when she told us to hold on for a second--always a bad sign. She brought out some unidentified, grayish meat wrapped in plastic wrap. Sister King asked what it was. She said "고기" and pointed at her foot--pig feet! Yikes! She sat there and watched us eat it. It was really gross! Haha. And it was cold. She left the room for a second and I asked Sister King, "what should we do?" She said, "Pray!" then took a bite haha. We survived, but felt a little sick afterward. :)

Yesterday we ate at a member's house and had 떡볶이...There was a mysterious purple/gray meat in the dish...I found out later it was pig intestines! I ate pig feet and pig intestines this week! I was also served seaweed soup and mushed-up red beans. And I ate it all. It was quite a feat. I'm getting better at just eating whatever is put in front of me. haha.
we made christmas cards for people in our apartment complex :) for the MIRACLES!

We met with 신문정 for the first time in a month this week! She loves English and really likes the Book of Mormon, but doesn't know if she completely believes in God. We have had a really hard time getting her to pray at the end of our lessons, but she prayed! I told her at the beginning that we were going to ask her to pray at the end of the lesson and she got super nervous. We talked about how it's very simple and how we just tell God how we're feeling. Sister King demonstrated how to pray and she took notes. :) When the end of the lesson came, after a lot of encouraging, she said the most simple, but the sweetest prayer I have ever heard. Afterwards she said, "I did it!" It was an absolute miracle. I was so happy. 

One night we were planning on visiting a member, but when we got to her door, Sister King and I both felt like we shouldn't knock for some reason. We prayed about it, then decided not to visit. Instead, we took a bus to visit a lady we met in a convenient store a couple days earlier. She was working and we got an appointment for Saturday! Awesome! We taught her Saturday and she wants to meet three times a week--almost unheard of in Korea! This is truly the Lord's work.

Ana, our American investigator has tons of questions and is reading the Book of Mormon! She even said she'll get baptized when she comes to know this church is true! :) She's awesome!

we made christmas cards for people in our apartment complex :)I'm learning more and more everyday that I need to totally rely on the Lord. As we do our best to do so, the God lets us find people to teach. Whenever I feel discouraged, He is there. I love being able to devote all my time to the Lord. I love the gospel and just want to share it with everyone! I know the Book of Mormon is true. If you don't, read it and pray about it. Ask God. He is real. He will answer you.

Love all of you! Keep reading the scriptures and praying. 

Sister Naatjes :)


This week was a miracle week! 

First, a few funny things:

A man named "Richard" (his american name) came to English class this week and he was hilarious! He loves speaking his broken enlish really loudly and with a lot of energy! We played Christmas catch-phrase and he stood up for his turn. He said, "A big sheep...with BIG horns!" ...Someone then yelled, "ELF!" ...they were right--HA! All of us missionaries laughed for a long time. 

We ran into the same grandpa two nights in a row this week (which never happens because we're in such a huge city). He loves practicing his english. He came up to me and said, "You are very beautiful. I especially like your hairstyle!" It was super funny. He gave us his address and wants us to come by. We're excited because he's hilarious! 
We had a dinner at an old grandma's house last night and it was soooo hard! There was a soup with big fish cakes in it and I have a hard time with them, so I tried to eat them first to get them over with--big mistake! ...she insisted on giving me more haha. I'm still learning. 

Now for the miracles! 

pics from combined district meeting. :)
We had no appointments and the former investigators we tried weren't home, so we 가가호호-ed an apartment complex and the manager stopped us! We taught him about the Book of Mormon and was reading it super intently when we left. He told us to stop by anytime! We also found another interested girl from 가가호호-ing! (tracting) People usually don't open the door when we knock, so it was a miracle! We set up an appointment for this week! 
pics from combined district meeting. :)Sister King had to re-charge her bus card this week, so we went into a little store and the worker was super interested and talked to us for like 30 minutes! It was so great!

We're are now teaching 3 new people! We got to meet with Ana, the American girl we met on the street this week and it was so awesome! She had tons of questions we were able to answer and is really interested! She's reading the Book of Mormon! It was such a cool experience to be able to answer questions she has had for a long time. 

이지영 came to church this week! Yay! She seemed to really like it, so we're excited! 

I love this gospel! I love being a missionary, even though it's hard a lot of the time. I feel so blessed to be able to share what means the most to me with others. I am blessed each and every day from my knowledge of the gospel. I know my purpose. I know my God. I know that He loves me and that I can pray to Him anytime. It's amazing. I am blessed by the Book of Mormon daily. I just want to share it with the world! ...I guess I get to start with Korea :) 

The Lord is strengthening me everyday. As I pray for strength, the Lord makes up for my MANY inadequacies. My Korean, my teaching skills, my faith...and so many other things are lacking, but through the Savior I become good enough. 

Keep praying and reading the scriptures. Pray to God. He is listening and will draw closer to you as you do so. 


Sister Naatjes :)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

A miracle happened! A blonde-haired girl walked by

This week was awesome!! 

Some funny things from this week:
Me on my street!
One morning I was doing my sprints in the morning up the hill by my apartment. At the bottom of the hill I said hi to a couple girls walking by in pajama pants...I sprinted up the hill and looked back. One of the girls was sprinting up behind me and giggling. It was cute. I walked back down the hill with her giggling. So funny.

The other night we got let into a ladies' house (woo! doesn't happen much!) but I started talking and she quickly turned to Sister King and said, "She doesn't speak well." I told her she was right! She was very blunt and funny.

We got fed twice this week. I am getting better at eating the, you would be impressed. The other day I ate mussels and shrimp and various sea food in a soup...Last night was so hard! We had 떡복기 (rice cakes, fish cakes, egg, and unidentified meat) and they served me a lot. Toward the end I thought I was going to explode, but it's rude to leave food so I got it down. I wasn't a big fan of the fish cakes, but I did it!!

This week we got a new investigator!! Yay! Her name is 이지영 (ee-jee-young). She is in her 40s and super cute! She had seen missionaries before and always said no, but this time something made her say yes. She's really curious. I'm excited to keep teaching her. This week I was really nervous for a lesson because I taught a part I don't have experience teaching. But after lots of praying I did it! Really slowly, but I did it! And she understood me haha. 

Our makeshift Thanksgiving meal hahaI sat next to an older man on the bus last Monday and started talking to him. He was eyeing my Book of Mormon, so I started talking to him about it. He said he knew about it and is an Elder for another church. He said he hates the book. I asked him if he had read it and he said no. I bore my testimony that it is a good book that has blessed my life. It was a cool experience. He was smiling as he got off the bus (probably because my Korean is bad, but I'll take it haha)!

Her first Thanksgiving! She's eating Turkey with chopsticks--HA!We did a district survey this week (we go into the middle of the big downtown shopping center and advertise free English and get people's numbers on surveys) and it was so fun! You just have to be super bold and walk with people as they pass by. A miracle happened! A blonde-haired girl walked by and I stopped her. Turns out she's from Nebraska, has a good friend who is a member of the church and wants to learn more about the church! I'm so excited! 

I keep getting frustrated at my inability to speak Korean, but I learned a lot about patience and I'm learning everyday.

I really like Romans 5:3-5--read it! 
As we go through hard things, we develop in patience and become better people. 
I wonder sometimes why I got sent to Korea where I can't speak! Why wouldn't I go somewhere English speaking? But I read a cool talk this week: "As Many as I Love I Rebuke and Chasten"--D. Todd Christofferson May 2011.

He tells the story of a currant bush that was cut down by a gardener because it wasn't growing fruit... 

"Look, little currant bush, I am the gardener here, and I know what I want you to be. I didn't intend for you to be a fruit tree or a shade tree. I want you to be a currant bush, and someday, little currant bush, when you are laden with much fruit, you are going to say, "Thank you Mr. Gardener, for loving me enough to cut me down.'"

It snowed this week!! :) Pretty, huh?"Thank  you, Mr. Gardener, for cutting me down, for loving me enough to hurt me."

I know that I'm in Korea for a reason. The Lord knows who He needs me to be. I know that as I'm struggling to learn Korean, I'm becoming a better person. I'm becoming who He needs me to be. 
I know that the God has a plan for each of us. He loves us all. I know it! 

Love you all! Have a wonderful week!!

Sister Naatjes :)

Monday, November 25, 2013


This week was a great one! It went by really fast!

Mom--to answer your questions...we eat a lot of ramen, rice, kimchi, eggs, and fruit. When we visit members we usually get fed 고고마 (sweet potatoes), 감 (persimmons), apples, or clementines. Weird foods...yes. I'm getting better at just eating what's in front of me without asking questions! We've only been fed by members a couple times, so mostly we just fend for ourselves other than the fruit and tea the members give us when we visit.

Funny mishaps--always! It seems like every time I have a conversation with someone they laugh because I say words totally wrong! 
Last week I was walking up the stairs from the subway saying hi to everyone as usual...I said hello to a teenage boy who stopped in his tracks and stared at me. He said, "에수?" (Jesus?) I said, yes! I'm a missionary! He then said, "you believe." I responded "yes," of course! He then quickly went in for a hug--haha! Luckily Sister King stopped him before he got too close! It was pretty funny. 
Yesterday it was stormy and wet. I totally fell down the stairs to the subway! It was hilarious! Also, the wind was so strong that my umbrella broke in like 5 places. 

On Wednesday we had a meeting in Daejeon for all the greenies and our trainers. It was fun to see all the people who came to Korea with me. They seem to be just as confused as I am which was comforting!

My Korean is still pretty awful, but I'm trying to stay positive and just say what I can. Sister King told me that she heard me loudly proclaim in my sleep, "할수있에요" (I can do it!) haha. 

I talked to a lady on the subway this week who happily accepted the Book of Mormon and thanked me--yay! I gave her my number. Hopefully she calls!

On Friday and Saturday I went on a split. I was with 이다슬 자매님. We're both greenies so we were a little bit nervous, but we actually had a lot of success! We taught for over two hours that day--yay! She did pretty much all the talking because she knows Korean haha...but I understood some of it and put in a few words here and there haha. It was really fun!

On Saturday we went to an activity for all the young women in the area. It was "Project Runway." It was really cute. At the end, all the girls sang a song that made me cry. I love these people! 

Yesterday all the missionaries sang "Angels We Have Heard On High" in Sacrament Meeting to kick off the non-existent Christmas spirit in the ward. It was fun--especially because a new, Chinese investigator sang with us. Our Elders met him the night before and invited him to practice with us . He came and sang in Korea--ha! Awesome!

This week I learned a lot. Something I have thought about a lot is the power of prayer--it is so real! In Mosiah 27 the Lord answers the faithful prayers of a worried father, Alma by sending an angel to his son. I love verse 14. The Lords answers faithful prayers. 
So keep praying! God is listening. He will answer our prayers. I know it. He has answered mine. 

I love you all! I love the Lord. I love Korea. I love being a missionary.

Sister Naatjes :)

Monday, November 18, 2013

We had a miracle happen this week!

We had a "sister's conference" with all the girls in my zone. Sister Scott is in my zone--yay!This week has been great! Korea is so awesome :) I see and experience new things everyday! 

We had a miracle happen this week! We were a little bit down because everyone seemed to be rejecting us and we haven't been getting any new people to teach. So we were knocking on a former investigator's door and she wasn't interested...and then a lady ran up to us excitedly and said, "I'm a member!!" We didn't recognize her because she hasn't come to church in a long time. She ran to the store and bought us a warm drink. We were surprised by how excited she was! We got her number then went back to knocking on doors.
A couple days later we were fasting as part of a mission-wide fast. This same lady showed up at our weekly English class. She talked to us afterward and said that she had only come so that she could talk to us missionaries. She had been going through a hard time and felt like God had forgotten about her. She had been praying and just couldn't believe He still loved her. Just that morning she had said her last prayer and had given God His last chance. And then that night she saw us! She had been wanting to see missionaries for a long time and we were an answer to her prayers. We got to tell her that God loves her so much and that He hears her prayers. We all knelt in prayer with tears in our eyes following that experience.

Sister Scott and her trainer, Sister Ensign stayed the night with us for Stake conference :)I know that no matter what we have done in the past or how hard our lives are, God's love is ALWAYS there. always. 

God is using Sister King and I. He put us in someone's path who really needed Him. I feel so blessed to have been a part of that experience. 

We had Stake Conference this week and I didn't understand much, but it was amazing. I was sitting by a sweet, old couple and surrounded by faithful people who love God. They are incredible. I was feeling a little bit flustered because I couldn't understand what was going on, but then the choir sang and it was the most beautiful thing I have ever heard. They sang, "I believe in Christ." My heart was full. I love these people!  These are such special people! I'm so grateful I get to serve here. How did I get so lucky?

In Korea, the men all wear really sparkly, crazy ties. It's hilarious. I love coming to church every week and seeing the pink and purple, glittery ties :)

Sister King and Sister EnsignI love being a missionary. I love the Lord. I love the gospel. I am grateful for the chance I have to testify of God's love for people. Every once in a while, God lets me have a little taste of His love for people. I know with all of my heart that He is real. He hears our cries. His arms are always outstretched. I know it. Keep reading scriptures every day and pray all the time!

Love you all! 

Sister Naatjes :)

Monday, November 11, 2013

You can happy time in Chicken

our investigator, 조아영, me, sister king, and all the other missionaries in our ward at the ward picnic. We went hiking on a really pretty mountain!Great week!
our ward mission leader really wanted us to take a pic by this tree haha. He's a goof. after we took this pic he made me take a pic of him by himself posing by the tree.
I had some interesting experiences this week. First of all, we went to a bath house. I didn't want to go, but I knew my companion really did, so I surrendered haha. It was very different...I'm glad I had the experience, but I can't say I would do it again haha. It was pretty embarrassing. The most embarrassing part was that some of the old ladies in the bath house RECOGNIZED ME. haha. They knew me as the crazy girl who does sprints up the big hill every morning. I was super embarrassed at the extra attention being drawn to me because I didn't want anyone to look at me, but it was really funny. I guess is could get me in some doors later possibly--who says you can't do missionary work in a bath house haha.

I talked to a lady at the subway station and tried to talk about the gospel. She said something quietly kind of under her breath. I asked her what she had said again and heard, 사랑합니다 (I love you). I thought I might have heard it wrong again, but she quietly repeated it a third time haha. I don't think I have ever been told that in the first couple minutes of meeting someone before. 

sis king and I
Sometimes I don't feel so loved though. We tried to talk to a lady on the street and she said, "missionaries" and quickly hid her children behind her. A lady was walking up the street and when she was about 5 feet in front of us, she realized we were missionaries and quickly turned around and made a break for it. haha...

All of our appointments cancelled this week, but we have a couple more people interested in English lessons, so that's exciting! 

So many people!
Most of the time I feel really lost when people talk to me (especially at church). I get really frustrated because I love these people and want to be able to understand and talk to them, but I can't! I often feel so inadequate, but I am reminded each and every day that the Lord loves me and is helping me. 

I don't even know these people, but they really wanted to get a picture with sis king and I and try to speak to us in English. It was hilarious.When things get hard, I have learned to turn completely to the Lord. I trust him. I know that he is there--for me and for everyone. This is why I'm here! I'm here to bring people to the Lord so that they can feel the same love and comfort I feel every day. When things get hard, turn to him. He will help you. 

Engrish--hilarious!Even though we are imperfect, when we turn to Him, he makes us whole. He makes me good enough even when I feel so inadequate.

Two nights ago, a miracle happened. While we were waiting for a bus, I decided to talk to a teenage girl. I had a full conversation (in very broken Korean) with her. I bore my testimony of the Book of Mormon and she accepted it! yay! I really hope she reads it and it brings her as much peace and joy as it brings me. :)

Love you all! 

낫제스 자매 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

내, 마시새요!

This week was crazy and awesome. 

To answer your questions:

I am able to work out in the mornings. Our apartment is on a big hill, so my companion stretches outside while I run hills. I love it. 

We got new yohs (floor mats) this week, so now I have my own and it's wonderful! haha.

My companion, sister king
My companion is super nice and I really like her. The other missionaries in my apartment are awesome too--Sister Rouche and Sister Lee. Sister Lee is from Korea and is hilarious! We have fun. 

I have so many language slip-ups every day. hmm...last night we had family home evening and dinner with a family. Someone asked me if I needed a fork (because I was very obviously struggling with my chopsticks) and I replied, "내, 마시새요!" or "yes, it's delicious." The whole table laughed at me. I refused the fork though and ate fried chicken with chopsticks (not an easy feat!)

Life in Korea is busy, busy, busy! People walk quickly. The kids go to school all day and at night and almost all the adults work--a lot. I'm in a big city, so there are always people everywhere. Pretty much everyone lives in apartments--not much space for houses. People eat a lot of Kimchi haha... We use public transportation a lot and walk a lot. It's pretty fun. 

My talk went surprisingly well! I was super nervous and kept messing up when I was practicing, but I said a prayer before I went up and I hardly messed up! The Lord is helping me! People told me I did a good job. 
...however, later that day they asked me to read a scripture aloud and I was soooo slow! snail speed. The kids giggled a little bit, but I got through it. Korean is hard. 

This week was full of miracles. We are teaching a girl named 조아영 (joh-ah-young). She is a high-school senior and is super cute! We love her. This week she came to church! Yay! She likes to practice her English with me. I'm excited for the day that I know more Korean than she does English haha. 

One day I was feeling especially discouraged because my language skills are so poor, but I prayed for help. I made a goal to give away a Book of Mormon that day and I gave away 3!! God answers prayers!
The view from my apartment--sweet, huh??

We were having a hard time finding people to teach and we got 3 referrals for our gospel-english program from a ward member--yay! In the gospel-english program we first teach 30 minutes of english then 30 minutes of the gospel. We have our first lesson tonight and I'm really excited. We made and put up flyers (I'll have to send a pic sometime. They have a picture of my companion and I, so my face is on a bunch of light poles) for free English lessons all over the streets and a girl contacted us last night. woo! 

Some funny things that happened this week:
I make an effort to talk to anyone I can even though I can't say much. I was sitting next to a student girl on the bus and started talking about the Book of Mormon and Jesus Christ. I guess I was talking really loud because when I looked around everyone was looking at me (even more than usual). I thought we were at our stop, so I quickly gave her the Book of Mormon and rushed out of my seat. Turns out, we were stopped at a red light...I forgot both my bus card and an extra copy of the Book of Mormon in my seat, so the girl brought them to me. The whole back of the bus was laughing at me. one of the ladies quietly said, "재미새요" ("funny")...I'm such a foreigner. At least they all heard about the Book of Mormon!
This is how we navigate. Houses are SO hard to find here. There isn't really an address system haha.

I get laughed at a lot, but I think it's really funny. I have blonde hair, so I get away with doing weird things.

We visited a member and they brought out a whole fried chicken for my companion and I to eat. When Korean people give you food, you have to eat it or it's really rude, so we ate a whole fried chicken. When I thought I would die, they brought out more chicken and rice cakes haha.

God is real. He is listening. I know that he answers prayers--he answers mine everyday. Pray to Him. He loves you! 

Well, I love you all!

Kendall--awesome! Second in State is incredible!! [Kendall's soccer team got 2nd place in the state tournament]
Bells--Sorry you had to spend Halloween doing IRP [Independent Reading Pages] haha 
Mixter--Way to go! First in the all-around?? You're amazing! [Mikki won her gymnastics meet]

I have the best family ever!

Sister Naatjes :)

Monday, October 28, 2013

First Week in KOREA!

Wahhhh!! I'm in Korea! I can still hardly believe it. It is soooo different, but I love it. I'm serving in Gwang-ju in the choong-jang ward.

To answer your questions:

My companion's name is Sister King. She is from L.A. and has been in Korea for 7 months. She is really nice and good at teaching. I'll send a pic of her in a bit.

Korea does smell like kimchi in some places, but it's not bad. I actually don't mind kimchi.

We are opening a new area along with a couple other sisters, so we just moved into a new apartment. We sleep on yohs (floor mats like the ones at Shelley and Keith's). We only had two between the 4 of us this week, so we were a little bit squished, but it wasn't bad. We're getting new ones tomorrow. We have a little kitchen (and finally went grocery shopping today, so we will actually eat this week haha).

We haven't gone to a bath house (yet!) My companion wants to go sometime--yikes! It will be quite an experience!

I have eaten some weird stuff...I ate crab meat right off the crab, lots of kimchi, and octupus ball things...don't know what they're called. I'm definitely geting less picky--I'll eat any food I can get haha. We haven't gotten fed by members, but I hear sometimes you get fed strange food.

I have seen a couple blondes, but they were foreigners. It's so strange to be a foreigner. I've never been a minority before. ha.

Church was good! ...I didn't understand anything...but the primary program was this week--Korean kids are the cutest ever! The members are really nice. I talked to a bunch of them (meaning I introduced myself, then nodded, smiled and pretended to understand what they were saying back to me). Elder Strohl is serving in the same ward as I am. There are 4 elders and 4 sisters serving in the choung jang ward (don't know how to spell). There was already a baptism this week--woo! I'm giving a talk next week--scary!!

Send letters to the mission home and they forward the letters to me. I have heard it takes about a week for letters to get here.

We do a lot of walking and use public transportation. I love talking to people on the bus and the subway. They mostly just get entertained by the the fact that a blonde, American girl is trying to speak Korean, but it's fun! I can only really talk about gospel topics, so I just jump right into showing them the Book of Mormon and talk about Jesus. It's great. Usually people are really nice, but sometimes they just turn away and refuse to talk to me. It's pretty funny.

I love the Korean people! There are so many differences and I am still getting used to everything.Things are very colorful and people are very busy. The grandmas and students are my favorites. I sometimes get stopped by grandmas who tell my I'm "yepp-a-yoh" (pretty). One lady stroked my face...a little strange, but hilarious. The boy students speak broken english to me and the girls giggle when I talk to them. It's fun.

I frequently get frustrated because of the language barrier, but I'm trying to be patient. This is hard! But each and every time I feel lonely or discouraged, the Lord helps me. I know that he is always with me. He loves me. I'm His daughter. He also loves His children in Korea, so I need to open my mouth and speak the limited Korean I know. I want these wonderful people to know that they have a Savior and Heavenly Father who love them so much! I wish they knew that the silly blonde, American girl has a message that will change their lives forever and bring so much joy.

I love you all! This week read the Book of Mormon every day and think of which friends you could refer to the missionaries! Referrals help sooo much! The gospel is true!

Sister Naatjes

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Almost to Korea! (Week 8)

This week was great! I can't believe I am leaving to Korea on MONDAY! whaaat?? We got our flight plans last Friday. I leave the MTC at 3:30 AM on Monday morning, have a lay-over in Detroit, then fly straight to Seoul. I won't get there until 6:30 Tuesday evening. Crazy!

On Friday night we skyped with a lady living in Daejeon! She spoke simply for us so that we could understand most of what she said. It actually went really well!

For sacrament meeting this week, our two speakers were Sister Sung and Elder Kim. Sister Sung is from Cambodia and is learning Korean through English and she knows very little English. She gave her talk in Korean and it was awesome! Elder Kim is a Korean Elder who gave His talk in English and it was so cool. I am surrounded by so many incredible people. I am the luckiest girl ever.  

We had some amazing devotionals this week! On Tuesday night Dallin H. Oaks came--wooo! He talked about three different challenges of missionary work: the challenge to change, the challenge to achieve, and the challenge to become. When we truly become, we have a change of heart, we love the Lord and the people we are teaching with all of our hearts. 

It's hard to believe that in just a few days I'll be in the streets of Korea preaching...IN KOREAN. I am so excited and so nervous. This week I have been scared out of my mind to go to Korea. This is crazy! I'm going to a completely foreign place to talk to people I have never met and will hardly understand. BUT I know why I'm doing this. I'm going to Korea because I love my God. I love my Savior. I know God lives and I will go tell it to the world, wherever the Lord needs me. He loves His children, He speaks to us today, there is a prophet on the earth today, Joseph Smith was a prophet, the Book of Mormon is true.
My district with my teacher, Brother Decker

I know that I cannot do this alone. But through Him, I can do all things. I am His servant. I have His strength. He is helping me every day. The Lord knows I can speak Korean--he called me to Korea! 

New missionaries going to Korea came this week and there weren't enough Korean teachers, so we lost ours this week. It's been pretty crazy.

Read the Book of Mormon! It has blessed me so much. God speaks through the scriptures. This week it has given me comfort, strength, and guidance. I feel peace when I read it. I promise if you read it, you can feel the same peace I do. I want everyone to be able to have the blessings I have from reading the Book of Mormon. If you've never read it, try it! I promise your life will be better and you will come closer to God. :)

Thanks for all the letters! I am so grateful for the love and support! Kris--thanks for the cookies! :) 


Sister Naatjes

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Hello!! (Week 7)

Yesterday we got our real Korean name tags and today we get our travel plans--crazy! I will be in Korea in a week and a half. I am extremely nervous, but really excited! Naatjes doesn't quite work in Korean, so on my name tag it says, "nah-chae-suh chah-mae" (except in Korean characters) :) 

Some funny stories from the week:
There are a lot of words in Korean that sound similar and I get mixed up a lot...I said some interesting things. The words for candy and Satan are very similar. Candy=sah-tahng. Satan=Sah-tahn. I almost told my companion not to eat Satan. Ha! 
In a lesson with chwae-song-geen we talked about prophets and apostles. On the wall there was and old picture of the prophets and apostles when President Hinckley was still alive. I tried to tell chwae-song-geen that president Hinckley died, but I instead told him that I killed President Hinckley--Yikes! He said, "Naatjes Chah-mae-nim??" and kind of started freaking out haha.

General Conference was AMAZING. I learned from each and every talk. I received answers and guidance from Heavenly Father. I know that we have a prophet on the earth today and I know that God still speaks to His children. He speaks to His prophet, Thomas S. Monson. He speaks to us personally. How amazing! 

A couple things that stood out to me:

Wherever we are and in whatever we are doing, lift others. Make others happy. In every moment, even in the hard ones we can strengthen others around us.

So many great talks!!

On Wednesday, my companions and I got selected to demonstrate "How to begin teaching" in front of a big group of brand new missionaries. We taught two investigators while the new missionaries all watched. I was super nervous, but it ended up being a really cool experience. The investigators are people who use their real stories and volunteer to come have missionaries teach them each Wednesday. We taught a man named George who is in amputee. He was very rough and stern, so I was super nervous, but I learned so much through listening to him. I tried to bear a short testimony with him and he quickly cut me off and said, "Aren't you here to help me? Aren't you going to ask me.....?" I am being humbled each day as I learn more and more that it is not me doing the real teaching--it is Heavenly Father teaching His children through the spirit. If I want to truly help the people I teach I need to listen and let the spirit speak through me.
We got our Korean name tags!!! Woooo!

I love the gospel. I know that God loves me. I know that he is strengthening me. It is a miracle that I am able to teach in Korean. In lessons, I convey what I need to say to the people I teach--in Korean! Without God, I could not do this. I know where I came from. I know my purpose. I know where I'm going. I know that we have a loving Heavenly Father who wants us to be happy. We have a Savior with His arms outstretched waiting for us to turn to him. I'm going to go share this with the world! I'm so lucky!

I am growing to love the Book of Mormon more and more. Through it I receive answers, peace, and guidance. Read the Book of Mormon everyday and your life will be so blessed. If you've never read it, start! It will bring you closer to Christ! 

Love you all,

Sister Naatjes

Friday, October 4, 2013

Hey!! (Week 6)

This week was a great one! It flew by so quickly. I can't believe I'm already writing another email home. I'm going to be in Korea in 2 1/2 weeks! Whaaaatt? Exciting, but really scary!

On Saturday I got to sing at the General Relief Society Broadcast--it was incredible. I'm so lucky to have gotten to have that once-in-a-lifetime experience. I was so close to the prophet!

girls from my zone singing at the broadcastWe took eight buses up to Salt Lake on Saturday morning, practiced in the conference center, the General Relief Society Presidency spoke to us, we ate a meal, then we got to perform and watch the broadcast. It was so awesome! I got to sing my testimony to the world! [we saw her on TV]

Before we went up to Salt Lake we had hair and makeup checks. It was really funny. Everyone came out with TONS of blush on. I looked a little bit ridiculous, but it was funny. A lady came up to me before the makeup check and said, "wow, you're pale. They're going to put a lot on you!" Haha. It was funny.

On the way home each girl on our bus had the opportunity to bear her testimony. It was incredible. I love my Heavenly Father. I love my Savior. I love the gospel. I know that God loves all of His children. I know that Christ atoned for each of our sins. I know that through the Atonement, Christ knows what each and every one of us are experiencing. He understands us personally and perfectly. I feel humbled and completely unqualified to be His missionary, but I want to share my simple testimony with everyone I know. God is real. The Book of Mormon is true--it brings us closer to God each time we read it. I know that God speaks to us today. We have a prophet. We can receive personal revelation. I know that through Him, I can do all things. (Even learn Korean!)

conference center!!General RS broadcast :) Sister Lyon, Sister Scott, and I.

During testimony meeting on Sunday, I stood up in front of my whole ward and said my testimony in Korean. I said very simple things, but I did it! Korean is SO hard, but it's coming. There are so many different grammar forms and different ways to structure sentences. For example, for the sentence, "I know that when we pray, God hears us," in Korean it would be arranged as, "I we pray when, God us hears I know." (plus random subject and object markers and other things). It's hard, but Heavenly Father is helping me! I find words to say during our lessons!

my district at the temple
I tried to ask one of the native Korean sisters if she would play piano in sacrament meeting. She ended up saying "speak English sister." Dang. Hopefully when I get to Korea I'll be good enough at speaking that they won't ask me to speak English haha. 

This week both of our investigators (who our teachers role-play) committed to be baptized! Woooo! Our teachers role play actual investigators they taught on their missions in Korea, so it's pretty cool! 

companions and I :)We got to host for the new missionaries this week and it was so much fun! I ran into Sister (Danielle) Miller! It's always fun to see Minnesota people here :)

That's fun that Landon was in MN! 
Landon and MaLese--you should totally move to MN! It's the best state ever! :)

Megan--loved your letter. Hilarious!
Kendall--Ouch! Sorry about your ankle! Hope it heals quickly! [warning: link is a picture of the injured ankle]
Bells--Way to go! I hear your doing awesome in soccer and scoring lots of goals!
General RS broadcast :) Sister Lyon and I :)Doodle-doo--Heard you gave a great talk! Awesome job! 

Thanks for the Dear Elders and letters this week! I have the best family and friends ever!

Love you all,

Sister Naatjes 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Hey!! (Week 5)

My zone (all the Korean-speaking missionaries) and our branch presidency
I had a great week! I love being a missionary! I'm getting better at Korean and I'm constructing sentences in my head much faster (granted, I'm still super slow)! My companions and I taught our investigator, "kim-hahn-been" this week and had an incredible experience. I got to testify to him that Jesus Christ atoned for his sins and that Christ loves him personally. It was amazing. I felt so happy after our lesson that I jumped for joy. I felt like Rachel and Preslee when they get excited haha.
My district

We got to teach a native Korean speaker named Mikayla (her American name). She is a recent convert of 5 months. We taught her about receiving personal revelation through reading the Book of Mormon. She was so awesome! She filled out an evaluation. On the bottom of the paper she wrote that her experience with us made her want to be a missionary someday. It melted my heart. I'm so excited to go to Korea and meet more people like her!

Ellen Johnson is in the choir too! I lead the music in church on Sunday and it made me super nervous because we sing in Korean, but I only messed up a few times :)

I spoke Korean in my sleep last week and my companions tease me about it a lot. I kept saying "kahm-sahm-ni-da Sister!" ["thank you Sister!"] for like an hour straight! Haha.

In a lesson with "jwae-sohng-geen" this week I asked him what he had read in the Book of Mormon since our last visit. I began talking about the "nanu" (tree) because I thought he was talking about the tree of life...instead he had said that Lehi had just died, so he was really confused when I started to bear testimony about a tree haha. We had a good laugh afterward. 
An Elder in my class is convinced that I have a Russian accent when I speak Korean. I have no idea what that means, but it's pretty funny! 

Oh, tomorrow I will be wearing a bright-pink shirt for the Relief Society Broadcast so I shouldn't be too hard to spot! It has been a really cool experience to sing in the choir! I'm so lucky to be a part of it! It's going to be so fun! I get to go to Salt Lake tomorrow! Maybe I'll get to meet the prophet! :)

I love the Lord so much. I'm so blessed to be His missionary. I know that I can do all things through him :) I know that as we turn to the Lord, he will change us and will strengthen us. 

Have a great week! 

Sister Naatjes