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."

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 :)


- Sister Holdaway

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