Monday, September 28, 2015

Chuseok! 추석!

안녕하세요 여러분 ~~

This week was actually really eventful! Because . . . it was Chuseok! This time last year I was serving with Sister Wright and we performed the infamous "Jerusalem will Fall" act.

This year I was pressured into sharing a talent~ Here it is, in all its glory . . .

So for this special holiday our mission had a 2 day conference. We had a lot of wonderful training and some fun activities! Some fun quotes I like from our very own President Morrise: "If you wait for the motivation to do it, it will never happen." "Just because you start slow doesn't mean you won't get far."

(There were more but I forgot to bring my notebook)

It was so wonderful to be gathered with all the missionaries in the Korea Seoul South Mission! If you have never been in a group of 150 full-time missionaries you are truly missing out on the biggest spiritual boost ever.

The highlights of the conference were the talent show, the proselyting activity at Olympic Park in Seoul, and the testimony meeting at the end.

The let 150 missionaries loose in Olympic Park with a Book of Mormon in our hands, a smile on our face, and a traditional Korean board game. It was probably the most creative way to proselyte ever. We asked a cute family if they knew how to play this game (윷놀이) and they were more than happy to help us play! We played a few rounds with the family and we introduced a little about who we were and what we were doing.

Here we are with the two little kids, so cute!

We also sang the Korean national anthem at the main gate

So if someone sees a video of a bunch of foreigners singing the Korean national anthem in Olympic Park I'm probably there too :)

Walking all around Seoul was fun but exhausting.

It was nice to sit back down and have a testimony meeting to wrap things up. President Morrise gets up and starts calling on people to give their testimony. "Oh, I shared a talent yesterday, he probably won't call on . . .” – "and then we will hear from Sister Holdaway." 아이고 ~~

I got up and I don't even remember what I said. I know I said something about how being desperate makes us closer to God. I just spoke whatever came into my heart, mostly because this wasn't planned ahead of time. Later, people came up to me and thanked me for sharing my testimony. I'm grateful for the promise "Open your mouth and it shall be filled."

It was a little heartbreaking leaving the conference that night. Everyone was saying "goodbye" and I'm not very good with goodbyes.

But it's not a goodbye yet! I'm still going hard, still going strong. I don't want a single moment of this amazing opportunity to go to waste!

I love what I'm doing, I love where I'm going!

And . . . I love you all!
Until next week,

Sister Holdaway

More pictures:

The bishop's wife gave me a traditional Korean dress called a Hanbok

My beautiful daughters! A family reunion! 
The MTC DISTRICT is back together for the last time!

My beautiful Seongnam! <3 <3

Monday, September 21, 2015

I Like Spicy Food!


This week we actually had a bit of free time (which never happens) and we used to help Sister Tolley get used to the area, since we know for sure that I will leave and she'll have to take over the area. So we have walked and walked and walked all around our area mostly because 1) public transportation is expensive and 2) we can talk with people on our way to places. Not to mention the exercise benefits.

We were walking on our way to an appointment and I saw a cute puppy and of course I'm going to go up and pet that cute puppy. We also got to talk with the man who owned the puppy. We invited him to church; he came, and will be meeting with the Elders!

#Puppy전도 (Proselyting)

Because Choosuk is coming up (a big Korean Holiday) we weren't able to meet with a lot of investigators BUT we did meet 4 times with one of our most progressing investigators who is also my best friend! She is 19, speaks English fluently, and loves the Book of Mormon! I love meeting with her and she came to church for the first time last week! I don't think I've ever been so happy <3<3

With Choosuk coming up we are going to have 4 more sisters in our TINY 2-person house. 6 people over all. It will only be for 1 night but we are cleaning and today we will get breakfast foods for them! It will be so fun!

Speaking of cleaning - I have been comparing cleaning our house to repentance. As a missionary I can literally compare everything to the's a talent:

Elder Holland said "People love receiving a remission of sins but aren't concerned enough about retaining it!"

It's easy to get our house clean once for interviews but the challenge is to keep it up.  Just like we have to pick up our clothes and do the dishes EVERY day we have to also remember to have "real-time" repentance and not wait till Pday (or Sunday) to clean it all up.
Just something I've been thinking about.

^^An excerpt from my letter to President.

I'm sorry my thoughts are so jumbled today.

On Saturday we went on a hike to Namhansanseong! We went with our ward and had a picnic at the top. If you notice, our ward is very ethnic. 2 Peruvians, a Samoan, a Tongan and us 4 American missionaries. I'm pretty sure half our ward is foreign! (that's a bit of an exaggeration)

This is what my companion drew of me. It's her "favorite picture ever" :)

Sugar ~~

A beautiful smoggy picture of Seoul! That tall building? That's the tallest building in North-East Asia, the Lotte Tower.

- Sister Holdaway 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Interviews with President!


This week President came to our house for interviews which meant a lot of cleaning! I was determined to make our house fit for royalty.

So after scrubbing and scrubbing our house looks beautiful! It wasn't super messy before but now we have everything scrubbed and shiny. It's amazing how much clean houses invite the spirit! (I can hear my mom saying I told you so)

Interviews, as always, were really good. President asked us to make goals that we could discuss at interviews. I was a little stressed about my goals because I felt like they were out of my control. But after talking with President he helped me how to make more realistic goals that are in my control. It made me feel ready to take on this next transfer with all that I have!

And now, for lack of time and lack of awesome things to share, I'll share some pictures!

We went to the temple this Thursday! These are the assistants to the president ~~

Face masks are really popular in Korea and this one is a special panda one :) Scary or cute?

Sister Tolley makes me lots of fun snacks!

Ward Barbeque Party ~~~

This is the first Monday of my last transfer and I love every moment I get to spend here!
Have a wonderful week!


- Sister 홍다연

Monday, September 7, 2015

The Return of the Investigator

안녕하세요 여러분 ~~

This next Friday we have our mission president and his wife coming to our house to inspect it and interview us. So . . . we have had a LOT of cleaning to do. Not because we keep it messy but because, let’s just say, it used to be an Elder's house and so there has been years of deep cleaning left undone. Sister Tolley is really awesome and tackling the laundry room which I was way too sketched out to try to clean. So in our free time this week we have been working on cleaning it spick and span.

Maybe we'll take before and after pics. ^^

We also saw a lot of miracles! Because of our recent drop in investigators we were able to have time to visit some members that needed some attention and we were able to help and strengthen them. Part of President Morrise's interviews he has been asking everyone to make goals to work towards the end of their mission. One of mine was to learn how to cook good Korean food. SO, I've been asking around and have gotten good ideas from our members. This week I learned how to cook "Korean potato pancakes" and 갈국수 a soup with noodles in it (I don't know how to describe it better than that.

HOWEVER, we never gave up on our former investigators. We kept contacting them and showing our love. So, this Saturday, we met with 2 investigators that we haven't met with in a long time.One of them said that while she wasn't meeting with us many people came up to her and told her lies and rumors about our church. She said that she "knew better" and was happy when we ran into her on the street and invited her to meet with us again.

Our other investigator said that while she wasn't meeting with us she ran across a lot of anti-Mormon things online and because she was curious asked to meet us again so we could answer her questions. We answered all her questions and bore our testimonies again of the Book of Mormon and the power that it has to witness of truth. I asked her if she felt a difference between watching those videos on YouTube and reading the Book of Mormon. She nodded quickly and she felt much better and peaceful when she read it, like she knew it was the word of God.

I know that the adversary has a powerful influence but I know that God is greater. I'm grateful for the endless days and nights my district and I prayed especially for these investigators and that they would recognize truth and come back.
And they did!

We also had Zone Training this week and once again I thoroughly enjoyed sitting in the audience and not having to train anyone. 


There's a part of our area that is just farms and's the best.

My companion makes cute snacks for me <3 <3

Until next time!

 - Sister Holdaway