Monday, August 31, 2015

Boldness At It's Best!!!


The weather this week has been that awkward in-between phase where I wake up pretty chilly in the morning so I put on a cardigan for the day but it always gets too hot during the day so I end up just sweating like crazy. 

The struggle. 

But a lot of awesome things happened this week. 

I've been working a lot on being more bold with love. Sometimes I find myself softening commitments in order to not "freak them out" but I have made a new resolve to not fear people more than God. 

As a result of this we have had more people drop us, and we have been dropping more people because they don't have true interest in our message but instead just want the free english we provide.

So, although we have lost some of our investigators our boldness has brought some amazing miracles! 

Last week, after exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders, we had to drop someone who basically told us she didn't believe anything we had been teaching her. It was pretty hard to take so we had to tell her we couldn't meet with her anymore but that she is welcome to come to our English Conversation Class. I was feeling especially down about it because I thought she had a lot of potential. However, I knew that we made the right choice and God would lead us to prepared people. 

As I was thinking about this, a lady came up to us excitedly and asked who we are and what we were doing. I proudly said that we were missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and that we teach about Christ's restored church. She smiled, gave us HER number and said that she has just moved here and wanted to join a church. We said we would contact her and be happy to explain about our church. 

That very next day, we were street-boarding with our Elders and another lady came up to me and asked to know more about our church. She was a pastor from another church but had seen the missionaries and have thought about what big sacrifices we are making. I explained why we were here and the message we were teaching. I gave her a Book of Mormon and promised that if she read this book she would know the truth of our message. 

Blessings and miracles are coming to SeongNam! As I'm working to be bolder in sharing my testimony to others I am seeing the effects. 

I feel like I could do missionary work for at least another year! (Although my body tells me otherwise). 

In other news ~ I'm really tired all the time so please don't look to closely at me in the upcoming pictures of myself. 

But first! KimBap 김밥 that reminds me of SpongeBob's pet Gary: 

Exchanges with Sister Northridge ~~ Always a 파티!~

I love you all! 

- Sister Holdaway 

Monday, August 24, 2015

I'm in the Choir Again!


We have found more new investigators this week!

One of them is a Buddhist and this is the first time I've taught someone without a Christian background. It's the first time I've ever introduced the concept of a Savior, Jesus Christ, to someone for the first time. She asked, "Jesus? Who is Jesus?" And we were able to explain who Jesus Christ was, what he came to earth to do, and his influence on our lives today.

Recently, our Zone has been, instead of counting how many people we talk to, counting how many invitations we give to people on the street. This new way of thinking has been really helpful and pushed us to have meaningful conversations with people.

If you know me well, you'd know that my favorite part of this week was that I had the opportunity to since in the choir at Stake Conference this last Sunday.

Korean Choirs are the best!

We sang two songs, and the last song was "More Holiness Give Me." As I sang the song I thanked God for the opportunity I had to serve here in Korea. I'm not getting 'trunky' but I'm aware that I'm not going to be here forever. I teared up as I felt God's love for everyone in that congregation. Music transcends culture and language and reaches the hearts of everyone.

It's also been a long time since I've been in any sort of choir and I missed it so much! I had such a fun time preparing for it :)

Sorry, not a whole lot of information this week. And not a lot of pictures but . . .

This is 엄마 - Omma or our Korean Mom. <3 <3 <3
She took us to a buffet this week which was possibly the best food I've ever eaten.

I love you all and hope you have a good week!

- Sister Holdaway

Monday, August 17, 2015

I don't know what to title this . . .


Sorry, I don't have a ton of time this week but there's a lot to cover!

This week was a bit bitter-sweet. We had some of our progressing investigators who were close to baptismal dates drop, or stop meeting, with us. Which is always heartbreaking for a missionary. 

But, we also were able to meet with a few new investigators!

One of them, I affectionately call 엄마, or mom, mostly because she hasn't told us her name but insists on her being our "Korean mom." We met her on the street and fell in love with us and took us to her home and fed us lots and lots and lots of food. Eating Korean food well shows your love for the Korean people. I pride myself in eating Korean food well – eating a lot and eating fast. It might seem weird, but it really helps you build a relationship with the Korean people.

She has invited us over many times and loves having us. She always gives us plenty of kimchi to take home. She really has treated us like her own children. One night, when we were over we started sharing a message with her about our church. As we were discussing religion she mentioned that the reason why she loves us so much is that her only daughter died when [her daughter] was in here 20's. So when she saw us it reminded her of her daughter and that meeting with us

has filled a hole in her heart. We are excited to share the plan of salvation with her in the near future.

We also met, through of serious of miracles, met a Chinese lady who was living alone and was in desperate need for some American friends that she could communicate with. She was excited when she met with us because she had someone she could talk to. 

It goes to show that there are so many people in this world who are lost or alone and as we reach out in love and share this gospel with them we can show them that with the gospel we never have to feel that way. We will always have the gospel. And that foundation can carry us through any trial, or loneliness.

Thursday was Zone Training. It was the first Zone Training in 7 months where I did not have to get up and train in front of everyone! It was the BEST.

Sister Tolley and I have been practicing some Children songs on the Ukulele that we sing on the street. It's been pretty successful so far - and it involves something we both love, music!
This Saturday was Korean Independence Day!  So all the flags were out!

Our neighborhood Shijang 시장


I hope you all have a wonderful week! This last week it was raining like CRAZY but today it was a pretty nice day!

I love you all~!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

At Least I Still Have the Gospel -- And Almond Milk!

This week started off kind of sad . . .

I lost my purse on a bus somewhere in Seoul. But I didn't have a lot of time to think about it because we were so busy. 

On Monday night we held a "funeral" for Elder Preisler because he is going home, back to America.
We had an "obituary" reading and we got Krispy Kreme donuts and went around saying things we learned from Elder Preisler. It was really fun and touching ~

On Tuesday we rode the subway two hours to Incheon International Airport to pick up the new missionaries – 10 Sisters! I was going to train one of them, so it was fun to get to know all them.

We then rode two hours BACK with them and helped them talk to more people on the subway. This was my third time picking up missionaries and every time it reminds me of when I was new, when I knew no Korean and when I was terrified to talk with people.

It was also a big moment for Sister Sweetnam because she still felt new and she still felt like she didn't know anything. But, I have never been so proud of anyone in my life that I was watching my "daughter" help all the new missionaries talk to people and feel comfortable. Afterwards, she turned to me and said "I did it! I have learned a lot on my mission already!" She grew up so fast! I will miss her a lot.

The next day, I helped Sister Sweetnam pack and then we went to exchange companions. I don't know if any of you remember Sister Moyer but we used to be companions and we got to be companions again for a day! She's training too :)

We got to the mission office, went through some training (all of which I've heard before) and picked up are new companions! I was the only one who had trained before and everyone asked me what to do and I literally didn't know anything besides "love them." But I guess that's the most important part.

My new companion is Sister Tolley from Cottonwood Heights, Utah! She loves Asian culture and likes to cook Asian food so I'm super excited! She went to the University of Utah studying physics but she also loves music! We have geeky music theory conversations all the time. ^^

On Sunday I gave a talk in church about Lehi's vision of the tree of life. How, when we get by the tree of life and taste the fruit, God's love, we need to stay there. We need to endure to the end. I used the talk "Stay By the Tree" from this last conference by Elder Pearson. I also added missionary work as a way to keep our testimony growing. I know that as we share are testimony and our love for the gospel with everyone our faith becomes strong and we know what we are saying is true.

My testimony grows every day. My love for this gospel grows continually. Because when we lose ourselves in this work - we find ourselves.

Also - I did that all in Korean. *bam*

And then I remembered I lost my purse. I've been a little bummed out about it all week. But then I realized that everything is in the Lord's plan and that I still have this amazing gospel! As long as I still have this gospel and my testimony I don't need anything else. So whatever happens – happens. And until then – maybe fewer pictures (but I'll mooch off of my companion's camera).

All is well!
I hope you all have a wonderful week!
- Sister Holdaway

P.S. I still have a problem with talking in my sleep . . . like every night. Apparently, I taught Sister Tolley the Plan of Salvation the other night. 

Woot! The new comps together!
And I found Almond milk -- I was in love!

Monday, August 3, 2015



The biggest news this week was that we got transfer calls yesterday! *Duh duh Duuhhh!*

So this will be my last week with Sister Sweetnam, my daughter. On Wednesday she will be transferring to Incheon! (Like mother, like daughter). I am no longer serving as Sister Training Leader. Even though I am very relieved I am really grateful for the opportunity I had to serve in that position. I have served as Sister Training Leader for exactly half of my mission^^ 

Lastly, I'm getting another daughter! That's right, I'm training again. And I'm ending my mission in my beloved Seongnam. I will have been here for 10 months by the time I leave in October.
Stay tuned to see who my new companion will be!

In other news, this week we went on exchanges with Icheon (not to be confused with Incheon) sisters which was an adventure! It's an hour bus ride there and back so half of our exchange was literally a bus ride – it gives us lots of good time to talk though!

Because it was Sister Sweetnam's last Sunday we invited our investigators to come! And they did! It was so nice to have them come^^

We have 2 elders leaving - and no elders coming. We literally have only sisters coming to this mission. If more elders don't start coming the sisters will soon outnumber the elders! Crazy!

So our district will now be just 2 elders and 2 sisters.

Here's our old district:
From left to right: Elder Cook, Sister Sweetnam, Me!, Elder Tidwell, Elder Preisler, and our District Leader in front, Elder Hansen.
The weather is getting so hot that my hair won’t dry unless I blow dry it. I don't think I've ever sweat so much in my life and it doesn't help that we only have one fan between the two of us :(

We have a new family in our ward - they are from Peru and they speak Spanish. They speak a little English but I was excited to use my Spanish! I studied it for 3 years in high school and was excited to brush up on my skills. But the minute I opened my mouth only Korean came out. I have forgotten everything! I was so upset when we got home. Sister Sweetnam tried to help me practice my Spanish some more but I was confused about the grammar. "It's just like English grammar! Just think in English!" I tried really hard but I ended up curling up in a ball and complaining about how I don't know why the verb isn't at the end of the sentence. It took us about half an hour for me to say one thing in Spanish.
So, I gave up - I'll just stick to Korean for now :)

We're just making preparations for changes this next week. I'm coming up on my last two transfers - I'm determined to make these the best transfers yet! I hope my new companion is ready to hit the ground running!

I love you all! My dad said I don't have enough pictures so I'll try to get more ^^ sorry!

Have a good week!

- Sister Holdaway