Sunday, August 31, 2014

I can't speak English or Korean!

Hello everyone!

What a week!! I learned and grew so much.

Lots of miracles!

On Monday night last week we visited one of the recent converts in our ward from the Phillipines, Beth. It's kind of fun to be able to teach in English! My English is pretty rusty! I always forget words and phrase things really weird--I can't speak English or Korean! haha...My companion doesn't speak English, so I speak very little English usually. Anyway, we had a really spiritual talk with her. She feels lonely in a foreign country--she is married to a Korean and living with her parents-in-law, but doesn't speak Korean, so it can be hard for her, but we got to testify to her that God loves her so much and she has so much worth to Him. She can always rely on Him.

On the bus ride home I sat next to a student and talked to her about the Book of Mormon when in the middle of our conversation I felt a tap on my shoulder--a college-aged girl told me she wants to meet soon to practice English and hear our message--I was so pumped! That never happens! Her name is 기백송 (kim baek seong) She became our investigator and is so great! She is starting to read the Book of Mormon and listens so well! It was a miracle!

One of our investigators is having a really hard time because of her son lately, but we were been able to start meeting him and teach him little by little! That was also a miracle!

On Friday nights we have free english class. Sister Lee and I were running late, but as we were walking we saw a grandpa walking on the street and greeted him--he started talking to me in broken english. We asked if he would come with us to english and he said yes! That was another funny little miracle!

This weekend we had about 3 appointments scheduled each day and all but one cancelled!! haha...But we were still able to meet amazing people and God provided other things for us to do! He always does!

I'm so grateful for this gospel. I'm especially grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ who knows exactly how I feel always and gives me strength everyday. I know that He lives. The power of His Atonement is real. We are inadequate and always will be, but through Him, we can overcome and be the servants God needs us to be. I'm so blessed to be His missionary and to share His gospel to His beloved children in this beautiful country.

Love you all! Have an amazing week!

Sister Naatjes :)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

I can't believe it's already been 1 year!

Hi Everyone!

We had quite the week this week! It definitely wasn't easy, but we had some special experiences and I grew a lot!

I can't believe it's already been 1 year! This has been an amazing ride that I wouldn't give up for the world. I've had such sacred experiences, met incredible people, seen countless miracles, and come to know my Savior better.

One spiritual experience that I was so grateful to be a part of happened on Friday. We were at our investigator, 조은정 (jo-un-jeung)'s house and met with her and her son. They had a little argument, but before we left we asked if we could say a prayer together. We invited 조은정 to pray and she said she didn't feel like praying because she was flustered, but did it anyway. As she prayed she thanked God for all her blessings, especially her son and cried. The spirit was strong and I was again reminded of the power and importance of prayer. It strengthens families and hearts.

I'm coming to find that "harvesting" an area can be difficult! This week my old companion, Sister An, gave a training and gave us a talk called, "Those whom I love I Rebuke and Chasten" by Elder D. Todd Christofferson. It really hit me. I think I have already emailed home about this analogy, but I really love it, so I'll do it again!

God uses another form of chastening or correction to guide us to a future we do not or cannot now envision but which He knows is the better way for us. President Hugh B. Brown, formerly a member of the Twelve and a counselor in the First Presidency, provided a personal experience. He told of purchasing a rundown farm in Canada many years ago. As he went about cleaning up and repairing his property, he came across a currant bush that had grown over six feet (1.8 m) high and was yielding no berries, so he pruned it back drastically, leaving only small stumps. Then he saw a drop like a tear on the top of each of these little stumps, as if the currant bush were crying, and thought he heard it say:
“How could you do this to me? I was making such wonderful growth. … And now you have cut me down. Every plant in the garden will look down on me. … How could you do this to me? I thought you were the gardener here.”
President Brown replied, “Look, little currant bush, I am the gardener here, and I know what I want you to be. I didn’t intend 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 fruit, you are going to say, ‘Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for loving me enough to cut me down.’”
Years later, President Brown was a field officer in the Canadian Army serving in England. When a superior officer became a battle casualty, President Brown was in line to be promoted to general, and he was summoned to London. But even though he was fully qualified for the promotion, it was denied him because he was a Mormon. The commanding general said in essence, “You deserve the appointment, but I cannot give it to you.” What President Brown had spent 10 years hoping, praying, and preparing for slipped through his fingers in that moment because of blatant discrimination. Continuing his story, President Brown remembered:
“I got on the train and started back … with a broken heart, with bitterness in my soul. … When I got to my tent, … I threw my cap on the cot. I clenched my fists, and I shook them at heaven. I said, ‘How could you do this to me, God? I have done everything I could do to measure up. There is nothing that I could have done—that I should have done—that I haven’t done. How could you do this to me?’ I was as bitter as gall.
“And then I heard a voice, and I recognized the tone of this voice. It was my own voice, and the voice said, ‘I am the gardener here. I know what I want you to do.’ The bitterness went out of my soul, and I fell on my knees by the cot to ask forgiveness for my ungratefulness. …
“… And now, almost 50 years later, I look up to [God] and say, ‘Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for cutting me down, for loving me enough to hurt me.’”
God knew what Hugh B. Brown was to become and what was needed for that to happen, and He redirected his course to prepare him for the holy apostleship.

I know that God is helping me become the instrument He needs me to be. I love the Lord and want to serve Him with all of my heart! I'm so grateful to be able to be cut down to become refined into what God would have me be.

I feel God's strength everyday and know that He is real.

Have a wonderful week! Love you all!

Sister Naatjes :)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

live a happy life


A recent convert whose back was sore haha.Hi everyone!

What a crazy week! Transer weeks always seem to be really crazy!

Today and this week I have just felt really blessed.

My new ward, 농성, is great! This Sunday I got to see my investigator from my first area and she had just received the Holy Ghost! She's officially a member of the church! she came to church with her twin sister! :) It's fun to be back in Gwangju! Our Elders also had a baptism this week!

My new companion's name is 이예지 (lee yea jee). She's Korean, obviously :) and really fun! I think we're going to see a lot of miracles together.

I'm glad to be here, but it was really hard to leave my old area. I had some really special experiences in Daejeon my last couple days. I didn't tell many people I was leaving, but I visited my favorite 할머니 (pronunciation--harmony) (means grandma). She lives right in front of the church building in a tiny little shed. It used to be a mart that she owned, but now it is just packed full of boxes and things she picks up on the street. When I first came to Daejeon and was companions with Sister Simonsen we started greeting her and singing her hymns...massaging her aching knee...etc. and when Sister Park she started opening her heart up to us a little bit. Her husband passed away a long time ago and her children don't visit her, so she's often sad and lonely.

Saying goodbye to her was really hard. I told her I was leaving, hugged her tight, and just cried. She told me to be healthy and safe, get married, have children, live a happy life...then gave me a kiss on the cheek.

kang so youngI love her and will never forget her. I know that Heavenly Father loves her so much. He let me feel a taste of His love for her. In the world's eyes, she may have little worth, but in His eyes, she is a precious, beloved daughter.

The night before I left we had a miracle--a man in our ward referred one of the less-active member in our ward's daughter to us and she said she would meet! I'm excited for Sister Park and her new companion to teach her! :)

myeongi and subin :)
I saw Sister Shin while I was transferring and she asked where I was going--I told her and she said "oh, you're going to harvest there." Meaning there's a lot of work to do! I'm excited to get started and to work with my companion to find and teach new investigators!

I'm so grateful for this gospel. I know it's true with all of my heart. I love my Savior and feels His strength everyday. I know that Heavenly Father loves all of His children and want them to come unto Him. I'm grateful to be able to help Him, even though I'm weak. I love being a missionary!

Have an amazing week!

낫제스 자매 ^^

Sunday, August 10, 2014

"Jesus needs to cut His hair"

Hello everybody!!

We got transfer calls today and I’m moving to my third area on Thursday! I will be going back to Gwangju and serving in 농성 ward. It’s really close to my old area--in fact, there was a new church building built and I think my new ward shares it with my first ward--It will be fun to see my old members again! :)

This week was one full of amazing experiences! This is truly God’s work!

We have a new grandma investigator (in her 80s) who likes us to help her learn math and English. It’s a little bit hard to teach her about the gospel, but she has actually really started to open her mind to us a little bit. We met her on Wednesday and she said so many funny things! She remembered that in my family there are 5 girls and no boys and she kept talking about how sorry she feels for my dad. She really felt for you, Dad haha! we tried to start our lesson and I pulled out a picture of Jesus. All she could think about is His hairstyle--“He needs to cut His hair--it’s summer! Way too hot! So frustrating!” and then she hit me (again)! 
But later she opened up about how her daughter died at a young age and her husband passed-away. We were able to testify to her that families can be forever and that she can see them again. She began to listen intently and it was a special experience. 

We have been visiting an inactive member really frequently who owns a cafe really close to our house--and he has started to really progress! He referred his friend to us and also introduced us to another less-active member so that we could help her. 

really cute grandma who lives near our church and decided to join us for lunch after district meeting--haha! it was hilarious!Two of our new investigators came to church yesterday (a mom and her daughter)! Unfortunately they had to leave before sacrament meeting, but we were so happy they came!! 

Every Monday morning we have a mission-wide conference call where missionaries can share about experiences and especially about baptisms--One of Sister King and my old investigators got baptized! So happy! We found her and her twin sister on the street and they wanted to start meeting to learn English--and one of them got baptized! Woo! I’m so excited for her!

I had a lot of experiences this week that were really spiritual and sacred to me. One of them happened yesterday. Sister Park and I went to visit a grandma who was sick and in the hospital because she was lonely and wanted us to come. After church we walked there, went up the elevator, and to our suprise were met by a really angry daughter-in-law who told us to go away and never come back. But the grandma persisted and wanted us to come into her hospital room. The daughter kept yelling “이단...” (“heretic”) She let us go into her mother-in-law’s room, but the whole time scolded her mom for letting us come see her and telling her we were dangerous.

Finally we were able to talk a little bit about what we do as missionaries and I tried to bear my testimony to her that God loves her and she quickly told me to stop. Her face looked so angry. It was shocking and sad, but at that moment I once again felt the truth of the gospel and how much it means to me. Before we left I was able to tell her with tears in my eyes that I know that our gospel is true and I felt God’s loves so strongly for the grandma, her daughter-in-law and for me. I was so grateful for that experience. I know that this gospel is true and I will never deny it. It blesses every aspect of my life and is the most important thing to me. It hurts when people persecute me and what means most to me, but each time I just feel more stongly that it’s true! 

I know that God lives and loves all of His children. I know that He is a God of miracles and that He never changes. I know that this church is true. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know that families can be together forever. I love being a missionary and sharing my beliefs with the world!

Have a wonderful week!! :)

Sister Naatjes :)

Monday, August 4, 2014

"don't let her run away!"

I thought this was funny! :) Sister Park got an alien perm today!What a week! So much happened! I don't have much time to write today because my companion got a perm today and it took a long time :) But I'll write what I can!

A few funnies:

Recently grandmas keep asking my companion if I'm her mom...haha...I guess I look like I'm in my 40s! "Your mother is very pretty!" "You must have a Korean father." --It happened 3 times!!

When Sister Park and I went out to exercise one morning a couple grandmas came up to me and grabbed my hands, rubbed my arms, patted my bum...the usual and then turned to my companion and said, "don't let her run away!" Ha!

My shoes! :)I still make Korean mistakes all the time! We delivered cookies to one of our investigator families and their 2 daughters were home and watching a drama together. When we left, I meant to say to enjoy watching their drama, but I told them to please send me the drama. They looked really confused!

This week God blessed us with 7 new investigators, so that's exciting and extremely unusual! We're super excited to start teaching them and seeing the gospel bless their lives! 

My shoes! :)A special experience we had this week was with one of our less-active members. She got up in church on Sunday (Fast and Testimony meeting) and bore her testimony about coming back to church. We've been meeting with her for about 2 months and she has progressed so much! She wants to go on a mission and get married in the temple! We're so happy for her!

Also we're starting to teach a lady in our ward's husband and we're really excited!

This is truly God's work! I'm grateful for the chance to love so many people everyday and to grow so much through this work. I know the gospel is true. Life is so good!

Love you all!

Sister Naatjes