Thursday, May 29, 2014

Week 7: The Light at the End of the Tunnel

This week it finally hit me how close I am to leaving the wonderful MTC! We received our official Korean name-tags yesterday and they are awesome! 

"Hol da weh ee cha meh" 

I'm also feeling like I'm really picking up the language with special thanks going to the wonderful teachers here! Brother Memmott and Sister Baek are really the best teachers in the entire world. I think I'm going to miss having one-on-one attention on the language when I get out into the field. 

As I'm learning more Korean, my english has definitely gone down the drain so I really apologize for any terrible grammar mistakes in my emails! 

This week we said "안녕하세요!" to a few more native Koreans who are going to fly out with us on our way to Korea! 

Oh! I almost forgot to mention that we had ELDER NELSON come visit us on Tuesday night! We are definitely being spoiled! We have the opportunity to see 1-3 more apostles before we leave and I'm holding out for President Eyring :) 

So far we are teaching two investigators (which are really our teachers role-playing for us) and it's been such a learning experience. One investigator, Brother Kwak (곽), has been accepting everything we've been teaching him. We have a baptism date and everything set and we are working on all the commandments. He has definitely been a 'golden' investigator so we're waiting to see if there are any issues we'll run into as we get closer to leaving. But so far, so good! 

Our other investigator, Sister Chon (전), has been a littler more difficult. Teaching her has been such a humbling experience. We have invited her to be baptized about 4 times and she has declined every one of them. After one unfortunate lesson, she even almost dropped us. However, as my companion and I are learning to become more united and as we teach more by the spirit we are slowly but surely helping her build her own testimony. We finally had a break through lesson where we pulled out 3 Nephi 11 where Christ invites everyone to come unto Him. We told Sister Chon that, Christ is asking her to come unto Him and that through earnestly studying the scriptures and sincere prayer, she, like the nephites, can truly follow the Savior. It was so good and so inspired! 

I am so grateful to be a missionary. There is absolutely nothing I would rather be doing. If I can feel so much love for a fake investigator I can only imagine how I will feel with the real ones in Korea! Even though I love the MTC, I'm counting down the days until I place my first Book of Mormon in the Korean airport! 

I love you all! Thanks for all your love and support! 

- 헐다웨이 자매

Sister Holdaway 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Week 6: A Surprise Guest!


We'll start off this email with a little bit of Story Time with Sister Holdaway: 

It was Sunday evening. My district was preparing for the devotional that night and we were all taking guesses on who it would be. Some people guessed a member of the Seventy but we usually don't get any 'big names' on Sundays. We didn't go to the auditorium until a little bit later because we assumed we didn't need to get good seats if we didn't know who the speaker was. 

We get some seats up in the bleachers and we are all settled in. We still aren't sure who the speaker is. Usually they say who it is on the projector but they didn't yet. President Nally, the MTC President, informed us that we would be watching "The Character of Christ" by Elder Bednar for our devotional. We all assumed that the speaker was a no-show. "The Character of Christ" is a wonderful talk! I've seen it before and I was looking forward to hearing it again. However, about half-way through I started dozing and I found it hard to stay focused. My district was writing in memory books or doing some kind of homework. 

When the talk ended it was around 8:30 so we all expected it to be over and we were about to leave. THEN, all of a sudden, everyone started standing up (which you only do when there is an apostle entering the room)! We were so far back it was hard for us to see but someone shouted "Bednar!" and everyone was SHOCKED! We were pranked by the MTC! 

Sure enough, Elder Bednar walked right up to the microphone and said we were going to be doing a question and answer session. 

How many people get to do a question and answer session with an apostle? Especially in such a small group of people?! 

It was so amazing. I learned so much. It was such a shock and I still can't believe it happened :) 

More exciting stuff this week -- 
  • We received around 15 new missionaries! We have 4 sisters and 11 elders. I am the same distance apart from them as my older missionaries were from me. If that makes any sense. It's been fun getting to know them and it's really making me feel like my time here is dwindling! 
  • On P-Day we had a picnic outside of the MTC on the big lawn they have in front of the temple. We got to play some sports and enjoy the beautiful spring day! 
  • We have been really progressing with our investigators this week, Our lessons and teaching skills are improving dramatically! Tonight, we are going to be able to Skype an actual family in Korea and teach them a lesson! I'm so excited and a little nervous. Technology is truly amazing! 

Thanks for all of your support! I love you all! 
Holdaway 자매

Thursday, May 15, 2014

MTC Week 5: An Apple a Day Keeps the Elder Full


This week has been such a great week! The apostle that came this week was Elder L. Tom Perry! There is also word that there are more general authorities still lined up! People are lucky if they see 1 Apostle during their MTC or even entire mission but I have gotten to see 6! I still can't even fathom it! 

We were having a pretty stressful week this week with lessons going wrong (because I don't know the difference between 'to return' and 'to die' which is pretty important) and about 13 more verb forms on top of a really bad flu/cold going around. We were all pretty drained by Sunday

Luckily, Sunday was the most relaxing, fun day I've had in a while! It was so fun to be able to talk with my family and since my parents both learned Korean in the MTC they were able to give some much-needed advice. If you have never been in a room full of full-time missionaries who are talking to their mothers on mother's day you are definitely missing out. The spirit in the MTC was lifted and we were all re-energized and we all had smiles on our faces. That's what talking to your mom can do to you :) 

We also got to bundle up and walk to the temple (it was freezing). We took a lot of pictures and it was nice to get some fresh, cold air. The Korean sisters didn't have any warm coats or scarves so my companion and I lent ours out to them :) 

When we got back we had dinner before the devotional and I challenged a few Elders to an apple eating contest. I don't think I've ever laughed that much since I've been here and now I realize that it's OK to lighten up and relax and just have fun sometimes. "Men are that they might have joy." We have an Elder here that can eat an apple in 4-7 bites so let's just say, I lost. I'll try to get a video some time :) 

I also got to print off some sheet music and was able to practice the piano which, if you know me, always de-stresses me and calms me down. 

I'm still getting over a slight cold and I have a sister in my district who caught a really nasty cold so I kept her company yesterday and today and we're working on getting better!  

All in all, this week has been a tough week but I've learned that I'm not here to get stressed, discouraged or frustrated. I'm here to learn and to grow and bring happiness and light no matter the situation. 

I love you all! 
- Sister Holdaway 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

MTC Week 4!!! Hangin' with Elder Holland


So this week's apostle speaker was.....*drumroll*.....Jeffrey R. Holland!! 

I have been waiting for this day my entire life! I was literally one seat away from being able to meet him and shake his hand :'(  Oh time! 

We got new Native Korean Sisters this week so I was sitting next to them during the devotional. As Elder Holland walked in we all stood up and as I looked over I saw that the Korean sister was crying! It really hit me right then that this is truly a global faith and people around the world know the prophets. It was sad, however, because no one showed up to translate for the Korean speakers so they didn't understand a word he said. I was touched to see the sisters trying to write down as many english words that they could recognize. They made a valiant effort because they knew and could feel the importance even if they didn't understand it. 

Speaking of Korean Sisters - Last week I got a letter from the last Korean sisters that were here and it was so cute!! Here's a little excerpt as Sister Kim gives a great attempt at English :) 
"Hi, Sister Holdaway and My MTC Mommy! I really thank you for your kindness! You always help me when I hagve trouble. So I feel you love me. Will you marry me? Sorry....Just Joke! hahahaha....Don't be angry.
And then some more Korean that I haven't figured out yet. I love the Native Koreans!!!! 

Today, for our P-Day, we were able to actually leave campus and go to the BYU Museum of Art. This is the most freedom, I'm sure, that any mtc missionary has ever had the privilege of receiving. We got to go to the Sacred Gifts Exhibit which was such a wonderful experience to see artwork from Carl Bloch, Heinrich Hofmann(spelling?), and Frans Schwartz. I feel like after that exhibit I understand the Atonement so much more. It was such a blessing that they let us go. 

We also got to stop by the BYU Creamery on the way back! It was nice getting a break from the MTC food and we were able to go shopping and bring stuff back with us! Some of the Elders got Kimchi...I'll have to see if they could smuggle me some :)

The Sisters from Left to Right: Sister Broyles, Sister ME, Sister Amituanai, Sister Ness, Sister Zundel (her cousin is in my ward at home), Sister Stratton, Sister Hill (my fellow Sister Training Leader), and my companion, Sister Parcells. 

​It is such a wonderful time to be at the MTC. I have been able to see 5 apostles (Anderson, Uchtdorf, Oaks, Christofferson, Holland)  in a period of 4 weeks. We have been able to leave the grounds to go to the BYU campus and we have been notified that we can call our Mothers on Mother's Day! Which never happens at the MTC! 

I love being here, I love learning Korean, I love and adore and respect my District and I am just taking everything in because it will be over before I know it. 

Saranghamnida!!! (I love you!!) 

- Holdaway Chame  

Thursday, May 1, 2014

MTC Week 3 -- More Top Notch General Authorities!

What a week this has been, definitely packed full. Whew!

Of course, one of the main highlights was the fact that ANOTHER General Authority came to speak with us! That's right, Elder Christofferson graced us with his presence on Tuesday night. I can't believe I've only been here for 3 weeks and I have seen 4 top notch General Authorities, including someone from the First Presidency.  

We said goodbye 22 missionaries as they set out for Korea. But we said hello to 3 new sisters which was exciting for everyone :) Since more than half of our branch left, I have been a single Sister Training Leader but since I'm only over 7 sisters I think I can handle it. 

On Wednesday I was able to be a new missionary Host which means that I was picked the new missionaries up and escorted them to their residence and their classrooms. I was so excited to see all the new missionaries but my arms were killing me afterwards seeing as I had to carry ALL of their bags which I'm sure weighed more than 50lbs each! It was my workout for the rest of the week! 

This week, our schedule has been flipped upside down and it's taking some getting-used to. We now have Gym at the beautiful, sun-rise hour of 6:40am. After Gym, we have about 3 hours of study time and planning time. Then we have class till 9:30pm with breaks for meals. It's different but I think it's a good schedule that is similar to what I'll be living out in the field. 

We are teaching two investigators currently which means that we're teaching a lesson every day. One of our investigators (I honestly don't even know her name...oops) was introducing herself and I could have sworn she said she was married. So, the next time we met I asked her if her husband was around. She gave me the most concerned look and let me know that she does not have a husband! I was definitely embarrassed! But these things just need to be laughed off :) 

This week I read a story about a fisherman who leaves the house at 10am to go fishing. He comes back home at 10pmand has not acquired any fish! He wonders how he could have been gone for 12 hours and not have any success. However, he only spent about 2 hours with his fishing line in the water. He spent a while getting prepped, he took a break for lunch, and he left a little earlier than planned because he was tired. 
This applies to my missionary work because I could be out for a full days of work but if I don't "put my line in" was I really working? Our district is really trying to keep our "line in the water." To stay focused and understand what's really important now. We all like to remind each other of this and it's really been a strength. 

My dad updated my blog with the correct address along with my Unit number and release date :) 

[Dad here . . . You can send her mail and packages by snail mail, or even letters through using this address:

Sister Kaelin Holdaway
Unit 2
Missionary Training Center
2005 North 900 East
Provo, UT 84602

Make sure to send her something!]

I love you all! 

- Holdaway 자매