Monday, June 29, 2015

Miracle at the Baptism



This week was full of walking and teaching and knocking on doors and I sweat a lot ^^ But I think the climax of this entire week happened yesterday at church.

Yesterday, the elders had a baptism. It was the first baptism I have seen in the year or so that I've been here in Korea. I am so proud of our elders and of the brother that made the important and life-changing decision to be baptized!! It was amazing!~

I don't have a lot of time so I'll paste what I wrote to president this week:

"Yesterday was 윤동구's Baptism. We called all of our investigators, less actives and friends to invite them to this baptism. Unfortunately, none of them could come. Then we remembered that we forgot someone. We teach a lady English and she has made it clear that she only likes us for our English. She is a strong Christian but isn't very interested in attending another church. However, she felt bad that we were teaching her all this free English so she decided to make us happy and come to our church "one time." Once is better than never! So she came to church at 11 a.m. –  went to Gospel Principles and when the teacher asked her to introduce herself she said, again, that she attends another church and the only reason she is here is because she feels bad for us teaching her free English all the time.
Afterwards, she went to sacrament meeting. We were praying for her the entire time. Hoping she would enjoy it. Afterwards, we had the baptism that she said she would attend if we could help her with English afterwards. We agreed and she came and sat in the back. When it came time to perform the ordinance, the baptismal font was uncovered and our investigator made her way the front looking curious. After the baptism she looked at me with wide eyes and said "I have NEVER seen that before." She went back to her seat, smiling and enthusiastically joined with us in singing hymns.

After church she talked with the members and ate some refreshments. Afterwards, as we met with her we asked her how she felt at church. She paused, smiled largely and said "감동적인 느낌"(or a deep impression) and that it felt just like family.

She then resolved to come every week, as often as she can.

What a difference 2 hours can make.
There have been several experiences on my mission to remind me why I'm here and what I'm here to do. Yesterday was one of those experiences.

In other random news ~

The mother of the American family in our ward bore here testimony in church...all in Korean! I was so proud of her! Meanwhile, I translated for the rest of her family and it’s still....pretty difficult. I understand it all in my head but the minute I try to say it in English it doesn't work. I realized at one point that I was saying Korean words to the family but only because I literally forgot what those words were in English . . . oops.

I have been filling in for the primary pianist in primary and it's been really fun. I'm thankful that the children songs are simple!

We are getting a lot of bugs in our house so if anyone knows how to get rid of them . . . something other than spraying Windex on them 'til they die would be great.

I love you all!~!~!

Have a wonderful week!
 - Sister Holdaway

P.S. Shout out to Saren and Don who got MARRIED last week!!!  WOOT!!


​Also - Rainy Season.  And plenty more pictures here.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Choco Pies and the Matchmaker


We got transfer calls on Saturday~~~ I'm staying here in Seongnam and will finish training Sister Sweetnam here! This will be my 5th transfer here which is easily twice as long as I've been anywhere. I love it here so I'm happy! Elder Downing is leaving our district ㅠㅠ so we'll see who the new elder is!

Fun things that happened this week:

During planning one night we hear a knock on the door. It was a bit scary because the only people who knock on our door are sales-people or other missionaries from another church. So -- we open it up to find our upstairs neighbor with a plate of delicious cucumber kimchi (my favorite!!) and she said that she heard voices from in here and wanted to introduce herself by giving us food. She said that about 2 years ago 'boy missionaries' lived here and would always give her kids Choco Pies so she was always so grateful. We thanked her profusely and sat down to finish planning and eat our kimchi.

Not long after we hear another knock on the door and she's there with 닭갈비(a chicken dish . . . my other favorite) and her two kids are along with her. We thank her again so, so much and we say hello to her children - we sing a few songs with them, say goodbye, then thank Heavenly Father for the family living 2 stories above us. And of course, eat the delicious food.

Next  . . . A really nice lady came up to us on the subway and wanted our number! Never happens. Later find out that she's a matchmaker for Christian singles . . .ㅋㅋ So we'll see where this goes . . . I will keep you updated. She's really sweet though!

We went on exchanges with some awesome sisters this week!!

We have a Teacher Improvement program to help us with our language and teaching skills and I finished it literally on my year mark! I am a certified teacher now^^

I have acquired a guitar from another Sister who didn't want it . . . but the last string broke. So if anyone knows how to restring a guitar let me know. And yay for sharing the gospel through music!

We had stake conference this week ~ it was a broadcast from Utah. Elder Ringwood spoke (he spoke at last general conference, about serving in Korea) and he gave a talk completely in Korean! Everyone else was translated.

Our mission came out with an intense 7 minute, full body work out that we are expected to do every morning. Our district wants to make a workout video for it so we will film it today. I have been chosen to be the token girl so . . . wish me luck. Maybe I'll send the video next week^^

Cute story of the week:
Our youngest investigator is 8 and we have been teaching her through primary songs. So far, we have taught here "Follow the Prophet" "Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam!" and "Book of Mormon Stories" She has the songs completely memorized and has started making up choreography to go along with them. I love teaching children! 

Anyway, it's getting hot here so we're trying to stay cool!

Until next time!

- Sister Holdaway

Monday, June 15, 2015

Seongnam Ward Birthday Party

This week was majorly fun! I'll just list some highlights.

We went into 강남(you know . . . Gangnam . . . style) and we went to a real operating Buddhist temple with our investigator. There they give everyone a cheap meal and since Buddhists don't eat meat it was full of vegetarian kimchi and it was delicious!

She then showed us around. Meanwhile - I was praying in my heart for the opportunity to teach her a message but I didn't know how to go about it . . . seeing as we were in a Buddhist temple. But as we were walking behind the temple on a little foot path in the woods she turned to us and asked,
"Can you finish telling me about your Restoration?"

Prayer = answered.

We went on to explain about The Apostasy and how a young boy with lots of questions prayed in a grove of trees a lot like the place we were in. She seemed so fascinated with everything. We were able to bear our testimony that we know that truth has been restored on the earth and that Joseph Smith was truly called to be a prophet.  She was really impressed. At the end she said that she we were different - not like all the other youth our age. Here was a 50 year old woman talking with two 20 year olds about the purpose of life. It was such a wonderful experience and definitely an answer to our prayers.

On Sunday it was our ward’s "Birthday Party"!!  A lot of people showed up and I don't think I've ever seen the church that full. It was amazing!  I was the ward choir director and we all sang "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" in Sacrament Meeting. I really, really, really miss choir. In between conducting the choir I was translating for the American family in our ward. I'm getting better at it every week!
We had a big 식사 meal afterwards and the American family in our ward made cupcakes and it's been a good forever since I've had an American dessert. 

We were dropped by our most progressing investigator last week due to the stress of having to prepare for a test. We are both pretty bummed about it . . . but we won't let that stop us! We have a lot of new or potential investigators ready to learn and grow together.

In other news, I love Korea!!!!!
You all already know this though.

Until next week! <3 화이팅

- Sister Holdaway

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Meetings, Meetings and the MERS Virus


It's been a great week and really busy. This week was Mission Leadership Council and Zone Training and these weeks can get a tad stressful. Since I'm the only Sister Training Leader in the zone I just trained along with the Zone Leaders and it turned out really good!

There was a part where the Sisters and Elders split up and I took the Sisters in another room and we had a heart-to-heart about faith and finding prepared people. We also snacked on chocolate which is always fun.

Besides those meetings we had . . . more meetings! Our primary president in our ward has employed our help to teach the American girl from Texas. It's really fun! Sister Sweetnam and I teach her after sharing time and I have discovered that I have lost all my English-speaking abilities. Sister Sweetnam is not shy to point out when I make a grammar mistake here and there or say something awkward that "normally American's wouldn't say." Ha ha. I just tell her that she'll get to be my age someday and deal with the same problems. ㅋㅋ

I really love being with a new missionary. There's a special "fire" that I have missed!  Every time she bears here testimony- no matter how simple- it's always super powerful.

An Elder that is leaving next week said something that really hit me, he said "I know Korean well enough now that I can talk for a while about a subject. But nothing I say will be more important that 'I know God loves you' or 'I know this church is true'." I really like this reminder that I can talk a lot about things now but a simple testimony can be more powerful than any words.

In other news:

MERS Virus is getting to be a pretty big deal here now, I guess. But it's ok! We're keeping safe!

President said that if we workout in the morning we will be safe ^^

Lastly - on Monday my 동기 MTC district met up at the zoo!

​Elder Barton missed the memo . . .

Until next time!

 - Sister Holdaway

Note: This week marks a year since I got to Korea!! 0_0

Monday, June 1, 2015

Extraordinary Results Need Extraordinary Effort


This week has included 2 great things: Interviews and the Combined Mission Conference!

On Wednesday we had interviews with President Morrise. We only get 15 miutesn to spend with him so I always try to make those an awesome 15 minutes. I spend all week preparing for what I want to say and what I want to share. I think I said this about last interviews but it really makes me appreciate the fact to that we can talk to a loving Heavenly Father at any time, at any place, and about anything.
It was really good - though! We talked about Christ-like attributes and which ones I was working on right now . . . which is like . . . all of them? I will forever be on the endless journey of developing Christ-like attributes^^ 

On Thursday was the Mission Conference!

We saw Elder Maynes from the Quorum of the 70. We also heard Elder Ringwood speak - if you recall from last conference he talked about serving a mission in Korea.

It was so great and we have a lot of work to do! One thing Elder Maynes said that I really like was - if you want extraordinary results you need extraordinary faith, if you want extraordinary results you need extraordinary prayers, if you want extraordinary results you need extraordinary effort!

So Sister Sweetnam and I have been praying to find more prepared people who are ready to accept our message! We are trying to have extraordinary prayers!

In other news: I ran into THIS Elder:

On Sunday, the stake Primary presidency came to our small ward here and the only primary student was an American girl. So I got to translate for her the whole time and I realized- translating for Primary talks are a LOT easier than translating for sacrament talks! I also realized that I have lost basically all my English. Sister Sweetnam points out to me all the time how I say weird things in English now or I forget all my English words.

Just the other day I was talking about pork and beef but I forgot the words for them in English so I just said pig meat and cow meat over and over again. Welp! It's a good think I don't need to know English as much as I need to know Korean!

​And also, I love all of you!

I hope you all have a wonderful week and enjoy this summer weather!

<3 <3

- Sister Holdaway