Sunday, May 25, 2014

I got a new companion 박정은

Korean style hamburgers :)So I didn’t transfer! I got a new companion. She’s Korean and her name is 박정은 (park-jeoung-un). She was in the MTC with me, so it has been really fun! She also lived in the same house as me in my old area, so it’s fun to serve together again! 

my old district :)Since Sister Simonsen left this week, a lot of people wanted us to visit them before we left and all of them wanted to feed us a lot of food. I still feel full haha. I’m starting to really like food I never would have liked before. I firmly believe God has blessed my tastebuds haha. At our recent convert’s house we got fed lots of 떡 (rice cakes) and a literal 떡 cake. these rice cakes are gooey and kind of the consistency of a soft gummy bear. It’s a specialty in Korea, so I get fed it a lot. The lady who gave it to us handed it to me and said, “american cake.” It was rice cake with peas, carrots, raisons, nuts... the best part is I actually really like it now! 
I got fed fish again (with scales, eyes, bones...the whole deal!) and I was actually excited to eat it haha. I love Korean food!

All the missionaries in the mission are really excited because Elder Christofferson is coming to our mission this Saturday! Wooooooooo!! I get to sing in a choir for him!

This week I tried so hard to get so many people to church and 4 said they would come, so I was super excited, but the night before they all said they couldn’t/didn’t answer my calls. I was really disappointed and prayed that somebody would come to church and God heard m
y prayers. Our new investigator texted me early the next morning and said she could come! She stayed all three hours!!
This week our Ethiopian investigators came to church again along with our new investigator, 이선미. It was very exciting! Her first time ever attending any church. 

We had some very spiritual experiences with one of our investigators, 최희선 (chae-hee-sun) this week. For one lesson we read Enos together and talked about prayers and receiving answers when we pray. We then re-read Moroni 10:3-5 with her. After she finished reading the verses, she looked at us and said that she felt different this time. She believed that the promise was true. She has come so far! When we had first met she had never said a prayer aloud before. We asked her to kneel with us and ask if the Book of Mormon and our church was true. She did and her prayer was beautiful. After she finished there was such a strong, amazing spirit in the room. We sat silent for a few moments afterward. God is real and He answers prayers.

Sister Simonsen and I :)In our other lesson with her we read 3 Nephi 17 and talked about Jesus Christ. Her faith is growing so much and I always feel the spirit so strong when I teach her :)

One of my new favorite grandmas :)I know that the Book of Mormon is true. There is so much power in it. When we read it we truly get closer to Christ. 

This week I felt so inadequate again as I tried to lead my new companion around and kept getting lost haha. I am still learning a lot about this area! Each time I feel inadequate though, I am reminded of Jesus Christ and am assured that I can do all things through Him. 

I love being a missionary! I love Korea! I love this gospel! I know it’s true! 

Have an incredible week! :)

Sister Naatjes

Sunday, May 18, 2014

"I'm happy."

Today we already get transfer calls again! I haven't gotten mine yet, but I'm assuming I'll stay here. I can't believe I've already been in 둔산 6 weeks! 

This week I had some big disappointments, but also some really special experiences.

Crazy thing that happened this week:
As Sister Simonsen and I were doing our morning run, some men walking on the trail yelled to us and wanted to talk. We thought it would be a good opportunity to share the gospel, so of course, we went. One of the men spoke good English and immediately started yelling loudly at us about the Bible and about Jesus Christ. He spoke angrily about the boat accident in Korea and spoke loudly about salvation and I can't remember what else, spit flying as he talked. I was so shocked. I don't think I have ever seen someone so angry. 
As he yelled, his friend kept wiping Sister Simonsen's face with a tissue because she was was very strange. I didn't know what to think about that experience...haha

I'm grateful for the knowledge I have of the Plan of Salvation-God's plan. It gives me peace everyday, especially when hard things happen. I have peace in a world of commotion and confusion. I want to share it with everyone!

This week several of our investigators started dropping us including two students that we love so much! It was hard. But every time we felt discouraged, God blessed us with miracles.

For example, we had an appointment with a less-active member, went to their house, then they said they were busy... we were discouraged, and started heading toward the direction of our next appointment when I had the thought to visit a lady who works at a cafe near one of our member's houses. We went and had a great discussion. She has a Buddhist background, but doesn't have a religion right now. We talked about her life and she said something about how getting old is scary. We asked why and she said she's afraid that she isn't using her time right. She believes that this life is it, so she's afraid of getting old. We testified to her that there is a purpose to her life and that there is a life after death. Also that everyone makes mistakes and has inadequacies, but we don't have to be afraid because Jesus Christ makes up for our weaknesses. We then invited her to take the missionary discussions with us and she said she would! It's amazing how God works. He knew that the cafe lady needed us that night. Our disappointment quickly turned into huge joy! We were SO happy!

We have an investigator named 강소영 (kang-so-young) who is in her forties and we usually teach her twice a week, but one day she couldn't meet, so she had us teach her daughter, 나연 (na-hyun) instead. It ended up being an incredible lesson and we felt the spirit so strong as we testified to her that she's a daughter of God, that she can pray to Him and that He really will answer her prayers. She said a simple and very sweet prayer at the end with a few giggles. It was very special. 

Yesterday some other investigators of our cancelled and we were disappointed again, but then on the way to another appointment we randomly ran into a former investigator who some other sister missionaries taught before. We set up an appointment, met, and had a great lesson. While we were meeting, she randomly said in English, "I'm happy." I couldn't understand at first because I was expecting Korean. We explained that she was feeling the spirit. We talked about baptism with her and she said she wants to be baptized! 

I'm always amazed how God puts people in our paths. This truly is God's work. I'm so blessed to be His missionary and see miracles everyday. I love my Heavenly Father, I love this gospel, I know that it's true, I know that God is a God of miracles. I love you all! Have an amazing week!

Sister Naatjes :)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day!

It was another great week!

It was hard to meet with our normal investigators this week because of the holiday (parents' day and childrens' day), but we saw many miracles, as usual.

We had a cool experience with one of our investigators, 강소영 (kong-soh-young). Before general conference (where our prophets and apostles and church leaders speak to us) we encouraged her to write down questions she wants God to answer for her. We took a few minutes to write questions... She wanted to know how to get rid of stress as a wife, a mother, a daughter, and at work. She feels a lot of stress and responsibility. We promised her that she would get an answer in general conference.

....and she did! There was a talk by Linda S. Reeves that talked about doing the simple things that matter most--family prayer, family scripture study, and family home evening. She said that these are hard to get in in our busy, everyday lives, but that they are the very things that relieve stress, give us perspective (we can remember what matters most), and strengthen our families. So after conference, Sister Simonsen and I committed her to do family prayer every night. We sent her daily reminders, but she didn't do it for weeks! Finally this week, before we left her house after an appointment, Sister Simonsen asked if we could get the whole family together to pray. She called all of her kids into the room and we asked her to pray. There was such a special, sacred spirit in the room as 강소영 prayed for her children. I felt so happy. I am so grateful to be a missionary and be able to witness and be a part of such sacred experiences.

Nicole's mother's day call
We got a new investigator last week and we heard her first prayer ever. It was so simple and sweet and I felt so much joy! i know God did too!

This week I have thought a lot about prayer. So many people I talk to everyday say they have never prayed and that they don't care to. I am so blessed everyday through prayer. Prayer is truly a time that we can converse with God. Nobody else can understand and love us perfectly. As we pray to God, He will give us exactly what we need--comfort, strength, joy, peace--in the very way we need it.

In Matthew 7:7-8 it says, "Ask and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you:
"For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened."

What a cool promise! I love teaching people that not only can they talk to their Heavenly Father, He can talk to them too. And He does. I'm so grateful for prayer and for the peace and strength it brings in my life. Through prayer we really can receive answers and we really can come to know truth. I know that this gospel is true, I know that The Book of Mormon is the word of God, I know that Christ is my Savior, I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet, I know that God still speaks to us today because I have prayed, I have felt, and I cannot deny these things.

I love you all!

Have a wonderful week!! :) 

Sister Naatjes

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Cinco de Mayo

Sister Simonsen and I workout every morning on a trail by a river near our house and we have had some pretty funny things happen! I say hello to everyone as we pass by and now people are starting to say hello to us before we can--it's fun because people usually don't do that in Korea :)

Yesterday we ran passed a grandma and said hello. She motioned for me to come back and put our her hand...I clasped it thinking she wanted me to shake it, but then she motioned for me to high-five her--haha! It was cute! We saw her again this morning and she had us do the same thing. 

We ran passed a man riding on a bike and when we passed him he said, "fighting!" then serenaded us with a classic Korean song as we were running. He stayed pretty close behind us for a while and just kept singing. I could hardly run I was laughing so hard! I love Korea! :)

This week we saw miracles as usual! When I first got to this area Sister Simonsen and I were trying to come up with ways to get the members here involved in missionary work and we came up with a Cinco de Mayo party--haha. So we planned and everything seemed to be falling through at first--conflicting schedules...complaints...but everything actually ended up going great! A lady in our ward made tacos and our American members brought a bunch of Mexican food. I made a pinata and it was a hit! We played games, had a photo booth...16 non-members came and a good group of less actives! It was a miracle!

This week our Ethiopian investigators came to church again and so did our college student investigator! It was exciting!

We taught one of our new investigators this week about receiving answers to prayer and then about how this church has blessed our lives. I shared Grandma and Grandpa Naatjes's conversion story and how grateful I am that they accepted the gospel so that I have all the blessings I have today including the ability to be sealed to my family forever in the temple. In her closing prayer she thanked God that my grandma converted so that I could be here in Korea and I was very touched. I'm so grateful for this gospel.

I told grandma's conversion story to another one of our investigators too this week and it really helped her! Thanks grandma :) 

I know that this gospel is true. I'm so grateful for the my Savior and that I get to testify of Him everyday. I love being His missionary :)

Love you all!

Sister Naatjes :)