Monday, September 29, 2014

Week 16: Shuffle the Pages Before You Sing

Wow, September is almost coming to a close! The weather is starting to get really nice and cool.  It has been raining all morning (which ruined our soccer activity) but it's perfect for sweaters and scarves.

"Bupyeoung is all miracles" said another Sister who used to be in this area. And she is right. Looking back on it, everyone we are teaching, every good thing that happens is all miracles. This week is no exception. 

It started on Monday at around 7:30 pm. Sister Wright and I were exhausted and tired but we decided that we needed to get out and at least talk to a few more people that day. After we started walking around a man came up to us "Hi Sisters!" Apparently he is a member and he invited us to dinner with some of his co-workers. At the dinner he was able to talk about missionary work and what we do. He also invited all of them to come to our English class!

Then, on Thursday we met with some potential investigators and it was a really good meeting! We offer a family english program which is 30 min English and 30 min gospel. They are excited to continue to meet with us.

AND, on Sunday one of them came to church!  

Yesterday, President Morrise and Sister Morrise came to our small ward here in 부평! Everyone was so excited. Sister Wright and I had been working diligently to prepare a special musical number: a beautiful arrangement of Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd. We have been working on this song for about a month and we felt pretty confident about it. However, 10 minutes before sacrament meeting we couldn't find our pianist! We tried to get a hold of her and finally she answered and said she'd be here in 5 min. Talk about stress! In the nick of time she got to the church right when we were called to go up. We were all pretty frazzled.

As we started singing it was going good....until we turned the page and we realized that ALL of our pages were not in order. Needless to say we completely biffed the song. Everyone came up to us afterwards, some said we did well and others said we can try again next week :) Gotta love the Korean honesty. 

Haha, it wouldn't have been so bad if we weren't singing in front of the mission president! oh well :) everyone makes mistakes. Maybe we will redeem ourselves next week. Now we just laugh about it. 

Everything is going great here in the beautiful land of 한국 (Hanguk)! If any of you watched the women's conference there were little Korean children singing "I Love to see the Temple." That was filmed in my mission! The Church here is growing :) Last month in the Liahona there was an article all about the history of the Church in Korea!

Here is the video:


video


Now for some pictures (and don't forget that there are more on my Photos page)!

Last week I went to China Town

The view was incredible!


My district is going to start a band called "Suits and Skirts" This will be the cover

Fun things I see in the subway! 


Until next time! 
-Sister Holdaway ^^

BTW, my awesome companion, Sister Wright, has her own blog at riceysmission.blogspot.com.  Go check it out!!!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Week 15: Day at the Market

So this is probably going to be a shorter one today, sorry!
This week, on Thursday was TEMPLE DAY! My favorite day of the transfer. It was so nice to be able to go to the House of the Lord and just enjoy the peaceful quietude. I also got a package from my parents with the Korean missionary staples: mac n cheese and peanut butter :) (Thanks!)
These past few weeks our mission has been focusing a lot on stepping up our language skills. I think our mission has the most foreigners or something (as far as Korean missions go) so we really need to work on our language. Sister Wright and I try to always speak in Korean but it's sometimes difficult :/ We try though! I feel like I'm understanding more and more.
We have also been focused on Family History work. It's something a lot of people haven't done but we trying to show them how fun it can be! So if any of you haven't done your genealogy yet look up familysearch.org. It's seriously a wonderful opportunity to become closer with your family and learn about where you came from :)
And now for some pictures:

Here is the Shijang by our house....there are some CRAZY smells in this place.





Don't forget to look a the photos on my Photos Page!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Week 14: It's a Chuseok Party!

인녕!
The highlight of this week was definitely Chuseok! We had a huge meeting with the entire mission and it was wonderful. We ate really good food and at the end we had a 2 hour talent show! (We have a lot of talent in our mission). 

Here is a video of the skit we did (based on the story of Lehi in the Book of Mormon) :)  My district was a really big hit! Everyone loved our outrageous costumes and dance moves!  [Editor's Note: The original music was dubbed in since you can't hear the music on the video that Sister Holdaway sent.]

video

I also got to catch up with my MTC district!


As part of the conference they set all 200 missionaries loose on a big park nearby and we all went out and talked to people and everyone was actually pretty friendly. My tactic is to find every foreigner in the park and talk to them because they probably know English :)

Other than that, we have a few teaching apointments a week and then the rest is talking to people and trying to find people who want to listen to our message. It can be hard sometimes when your days aren't full. I love the days when we have a full schedule.

Sorry this is kind of scattered, I'm running low on time today!

Last week at church a member came up to me and said "You look just like.....like that one actress....oh yea! Sandra Bullock!" Yes. Even in Korea people think I look like her but I just....can't see it. Another one I've gotten a lot, if I wear bangs, is Zoe Deschanel. Even in Korea!

The language is coming along. I'm working on the Teacher Improvement Program which improves my teaching abilites and my korean language abilities (my district leader also promised me Subway if I finished it) so I have a lot of motivation :)

Sister Wright and I are really working on being exactly obedient as missionaries. We know that as we do everything we can and do our best we can just trust God with all the rest. And we need to have a lot of trust sometimes because that's all we have. And you know what? Everything has always worked out. Always.
"Trust the Lord with all thy heart and lean not on your own understanding." 

I love it here in Bupyeong! I love these people and I love this work :) Sorry this isn't very long :(

Thanks for all your support!
- Sister Holdaway

Monday, September 8, 2014

Week 13: Happy Chuseok!!!

안녕하세요!
What a week!


This week, everyone has been preparing for 추석 (Chuseok). You wouldn't even know there was a huge holiday coming up unless you know what to look for. Usually what gives it a way is when you see people walking down the street with a gift box full of Spam and you wonder "why would anyone need that much Spam?" It's Chuseok. There are all sorts of gift boxes. There are gift boxes with olive oil, gift boxes with nuts, gift boxes with shaving cream etc. But my favorite are the fruit gift boxes because they have really valuable, really expensive fruit like apples and peaches. A peach box can go up to 30 or 40 dollars for about 7 peaches? Wow.


Unfortunately, Sister Wright and I have yet to be invited to a real Chuseok celebration . . . and it's today. But, we do have the mission conference tomorrow to look forward to so that will be fun :)


This Wednesday was really great too because we had a General Authority come and talk to all of us. It was really interesting because Elder Aoyagi speaks Japanese and a little English. However, he and his wife gave their talks to us in English. It wasn't perfect English but I still learned a lot and I knew exactly what they were saying. Then, we had translators who translated their English into Korean for all the Korean missionaries. It really taught me a lot; there were 3 languages going on in that room but everyone was learning the same thing.


Other than that, Sister Wright and I spend our time walking and walking and walking and walking. In my old area we rode the bus everywhere but here I think I've only ridden the bus twice. It's an hour away by foot? We'll walk there!

It really has helped me get to know the area and where everything is and where everyone lives. I'm so grateful for comfortable shoes!


I think the highlight of this week was last night. We had a lesson with 2 high school girls who we have only taught a couple times before. This time, we were teaching about the Restoration and talking about Joseph Smith. I have only taught this lesson once before and I think I said two sentences and stumbled my way through my testimony. This time was so different. This time, I was in charge of sharing the First Vision. I have practiced the First Vision in Korean for months and have never before used it in a lesson. I was really nervous because I'm quoting something and I knew I had to quote it perfectly. So, I took a deep breath, smiled and "나는 네 모리 바로 의애.." As I was saying it I knew that what I was saying was true. When I finished there was silence but the silence was full...if that makes any sense.


The minute Sister Wright and I left the house we just hugged each other and we both agreed that that was the best lesson we have ever had on our missions.

Sometimes it's hard to teach with another person. It can be difficult to find a balance or that unity, but for me and Sister Wright it has been very easy and natural. I'm grateful for our companionship!



I love this work! I love the message of the Restoration that we're sharing, and I love the happiness it has brought me :)


Until next time!

화이팅!!

-Sister Holdaway

P.S. Right after this email I will be having my first experience in a Korean bath house. Wish me luck :)

Pictures! :
1. I got some 할아머니 (Harmony/Grandma) pants! woot!
2. Bupyeoung at dusk!









Monday, September 1, 2014

Week 12: No Longer a Trainee!

Well folks. I'm officially done with my missionary training time. I'm the real deal now:) I finished my 12 weeks training which was wonderful and basically consisted of watching a lot of "The District" videos. It was really good and I know it helped me become a better teacher and a better learner. It will be nice to have only 3 hours of study instead of 4 though :) Sometimes I'm just itching to get outside and work!

I'm also in my new area! This area is called 부평 (Bupyeong) and even though it's a city still it's a lot different from my last area. Suji was more of a newer city with lots of apartments but Bupyeong is a lot older. There are a lot of villas and old Korean homes. It's really cool! We also live in our area which is super nice because we don't have to take public transportation everywhere.

We live right next to the church building too which is the nicest thing ever. We also live right next to a huge 시장 (Shijang) which is basically an outdoor market full of the freshest produce, fish and spices. It's so great! When I got here there was no food so we went shopping there and bought lots of fresh veggies and some really good tofu. My companion really loves eating fresh, healthy foods and I LOVE it! We put veggies in everything and we like trying to cook different things. This week we had 고구마 (Goguma?) which is basically sweet potato and it tasted really good! We want to try new vegetables every week :)

Speaking of how amazing my new companion is (I attached a picture with her):



Just try to imagine me but with more spunk, a little less awkward, and half Chinese and that's Sister Wright.

Sister Wright is from Mission Viejo, California and she has been on her mission for almost a year now. She's only been in this area for 1 short transfer but she's gotten the hang of it really well and we're also learning things together. She went to BYU Idaho and she majored in Art.

She's awesome!

We are seriously so grateful that we are each other’s companions. It really has worked well between us. We taught our first lesson together on Saturday and it was one of the best lessons either of us have ever taught. We were both so unified even though we just met each other but we both were balanced and we could feel the spirit.

We actually taught two young girls who were referred to us from a member that same morning. We had been praying to find people to teach and that same morning a member called us and told us about this family who wanted to meet that same day. We were both a little nervous because we had never taught with each other before but it worked out perfectly. These girls are wonderful and we're teaching them English and the gospel and they're actually interested in both! (Usually people are only interested in the English part).

Also, 추석 (Chuseouk) is coming up which is a huge holiday here in Korea. It is basically Korea's version of Thanksgiving. There is going to be a huge mission-wide conference next week for it and there is also going to be a TALENT SHOW!

So, naturally, Sister Wright and I really wanted to do it so we somehow roped the other Elders in our district to put on a Musical Theater number. We are going to rehearse it more today but if you're familiar with the Book of Mormon it's basically a musical number based on the first book of Nephi. It's probably awesome but also mostly embarrassing. More details and maybe a video to come! 

Anyway, I'm really progressing in my Korean. Some days I feel like I know nothing and other days I feel like I'm doing pretty well. On Friday we had an English class at the church and they wanted me to say a prayer in English. Sounds pretty easy right? Well, it was the first prayer I have said in English in a good 4 months. I didn't know it would be so hard. I stumbled over all my words and everything was in the wrong grammar order because I was used to praying only in Korean grammar. I was saying things like "In order to learn English well please bless us." The other missionaries laughed afterwards because they totally understood why I was struggling. BUT it does make me feel good because once you start losing your English abilities you know you're Korean is really progressing :)

I'm just grateful that Heavenly Father can understand prayers no matter what language they are in. Spoken and unspoken. I'm grateful He understands what I'm trying to say even if I'm messing up. As a missionary, I'm always inviting people to pray and sometimes they are not sure if they can or if they know how. I always love being able to say without a doubt that God hears the simple and sincere prayer no matter who you are. I was teaching an Atheist one time and we taught her how to pray and the importance of prayer. She said "I don't think God will want to hear my prayer since I'm not Mormon." My companion and I smiled and said "God hears everyone's prayers and he will hear your prayers. We know that He will."

Ahh....
I love this church and this gospel and being a missionary and for the knowledge I have treasured.
I have seen more blessings than I know how to say :)

Thanks for all your support! I forgot my camera again so there will be more pictures of my house, the Shijang, this city and my beautiful companion next week :)

화이팅!

- Sister Holdaway