Friday, August 30, 2013

Week 1

sister abbott, me, sister scott, sister lyon, sister marsden (sisters in my district)Hi everyone!

One week down. In 8 weeks I'll be in Korea!!

scott, me, lyon, abbott, marsdenI've come to realize that korean is REALLY HARD, but it's coming along slowly but surely. I've learned a lot though! I can now read and write in korean, sings hymns, pray, bear my testimony, use past tense, future tense, questions...all that good stuff. I'm still SO slow at speaking and have a hard time memorizing phrases, but the Lord is helping me! The hard part is learning the dono (vocab). Every word takes me so long to memorize! korean words are so long!! ha!

We just taught our 5th lesson with ee dong sohh (I still don't know how to type in korean). We have to plan each lesson in english then translate it into korean. It was really hard to understand him when he asked questions, but with our limited vocabulary we were actually able to slowly answer questions. One thing I can do is bear witness that God loves His children. When I taught ee dong son that important truth, I could feel God's love. I know that he loves each and every one of His children. We had our last lesson with him yesterday and I think we're getting a new investigator later this week. Our investigators in the MTC are usually already members of the church (white, returned missionaries), but we teach them like they are actual investigators and the spirit is always there. There is no better feeling than testifying of the Lord and His goodness and love. 

 I didn't have to give a talk on Sunday (thankfully! It would have taken me 10 minutes to read the 5 sentences I wrote)! I might have to give one later on though! Sunday was super awesome! We had a great devotional and then we got to watch a devotional by Elder Bednar. It was called, "The Character of Christ" and it changed my life! It talked about how Christ turns out when it would be so natural to turn inward. Losing ourselves in serving others IS the Character of Christ. This is what brings true happiness. 

temple!!Elder Andersen came for a devotional on Tuesday night in the Marriott Center and it was incredible! I got to sing in the choir and it was such a cool experience. We sang "Lead Kindly Light." That song sums up my feelings so well. At one point in the meeting all the missionaries in the MTC sang "Called to Serve" and it was SO COOL! Elder Andersen said "we sacrifice for the things we love and we love the things we sacrifice for." I was so lucky to have gotten to hear from an apostle of the Lord. 

I've gotten pretty close to the other girls in my district. They are great. We laugh a lot. There are some really great sisters going to Korea. There are some Tongan sisters in my zone and they are so funny. The other night one of them came up to me, put her fingers around my wrist and said, "need more food." HA! I laughed really hard. Good thing I have an unlimited buffet every meal. Sister Scott runs with me during gym time. I'm so glad to have a workout buddy! She's so awesome!

me, sister abbott, sister lyon
Happy Birthday Megan, Bailey, Bracken, Jessica, I missing anyone? 

Thank you for the letters. They make my day. Keep writing :)

Love you all, 

Sister Naatjes (Naatjes Chahm-ae-neem) 

Friday, August 23, 2013

I made it!

Hey Friends and Family!

I am loving the MTC. I have been so busy that I have hardly had time to think about myself. It's awesome. I have two companions: Sister Lyon and Sister Abbott. They are both great girls and it has been really fun getting to know them. There are only 5 people in my district, but 10 new Korean missionaries (missionaries going to Korea). there are 5 elders and 5 sisters. 4 of these boys just graduated high school, so they're so little!

The first day our teacher, Brother Decker (Decker hyoung jae neem) only spoke to us in Korean. It was pretty overwhelming! I'm struggling with the language, but so is everyone else. It's expected. I was so confused and disoriented the first day that couldn't even say my name right. A Korean elder introduced himself to me and I called myself Nicole, then Elder Naatjes, then finally got it right. I'm still not used to being called Sister Naatjes. 

We are already teaching an investigator tonight. I don't know how to type Korean characters on here, but his name sounds like "ee dohng sohn." Here's the catch though...we can only speak in Korean. Whaaaat?? So we're pretty much just going to ask him questions about himself then tell him "our message is simple, God loves us." Our goal is to invite the Spirit. As long as the Spirit is with us, it can be an effective lesson. I can read Korean now (very slowly, but it's coming).

I'm supposed to prepare a talk (in Korean) about the Holy Ghost for this Sunday. Every week the branch president calls up two people at random to speak, so we are all expected to have prepared a talk. I can hardly even introduce myself...ha! 

Today there was a service project at 6:05 am at a chapel. My companions and I went off the MTC campus to a chapel by the temple because we didn't know there was one right by the MTC. It was the wrong one obviously. We tried every door of the wrong chapel and passed by a guy who was crouched down by one of the doors outside. We think he was trying to break in. He quickly stood up and started walking. We're pretty convinced that we saved to church :) It was pretty funny.

There is a lot of sitting and a lot to take in, so the days can get kind of hard, but I love being a missionary. I got the chance to share my testimony for my branch presidency (there's a Korean branch with about 70 missionaries) and for the other new missionaries. I have shared my testimony so many times, but this felt different. I felt so much power! My heart was filled with love for the Korean people and for the Lord. At that moment I realized why I am here. That moment honestly made everything worth it. I'm so excited to keep growing and becoming a better servant of the Lord.

I know that Heavenly Father loves each and every one of His children, including me. I know that he loves me enough to let me have this experience teaching my brothers and sisters in Korea. I know that this "sacrifice" I'm making really isn't a sacrifice at all. Heavenly Father is helping me grow every day. I am so lucky to be able to be a servant of the Lord. 

Thanks for all the letters and support! Love you all!

Sister Naatjes