Monday, April 28, 2014

Hello! Crazy things are happening in 안양

Sis Teng and I found each other after the special conference for the Seoul and Seoul South Missionaries.

Hello Family,

Where do I begin? I guess I should tell you about the results of transfer calls. This past Friday, we received transfer calls and crazy things are happening in Seoul South. First, Sis. Kim and I are no longer companions. ㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠ She will be leaving for Suwon area, opening a new area, and training! She is incredibly excited but everyone keeps telling her that she should be prepared to work. I am sad to be separated, but I know that she will do amazingly well. 

As for is also a crazy part. I am staying in 안양 but I am training....Yes, you heard me right....I am training a greenie. Haha I don't know what is going to happen because I don't really speak Korean and the investigators we have are not easy. ADVENTURE! So any prayers you can send my way would be greatly appreciated.  My only hope is that whoever is my next companion doesn't mind getting lost and laughing at awkward conversations I do not fully understand. Bright side, this will make me learn Korean a lot faster because I will be doing the saying. Oh my gosh. I am terrified!!!  Absolutely terrifying. I have no idea what is happening half the time. It is okay though, I will meet my new companion at 2:00 on Wednesday. Another crazy result of transfers is that two members of my MTC district are being put together. Sis. Wright and Sis. Rose will be companions...haha I am really excited for them.

This past weekend, Sis. Kim and I had the opportunity of going to a fireside hosted by Elder Ringwood, Sis. Burton, and Sis. Oscarson. It was really good and they talked a lot about recognizing the spirit as we do missionary work. They also touched on the importance of families and preparing ourselves to have hopes focused on the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was really good and definitely will be applying some of the principles that I learned there. Another bright side of the fireside is that Sis. Kim and I were able to meet with all the missionaries from Seoul. It was so great to see everyone and check how things are going.

Other than that, things have been relatively normal. The ward is fantastic and are more than willing to help me and my new companion. Member missionary work is super important in spreading the gospel. So, if me training is the way to strengthen 안양 ward then I am willing to do it. Ah, I would be lying if I didn't say that I was nervous. 

I'm not really sure what is happening with Mother's Day phone calls. They haven't said anything that I know of. I will let you know once I find out. Love you!

Sis. Chao  

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Last Week in 안양?

I cannot believe that this is the last week of my fourth transfer in Korea. Every time Sis. Kim and I look at our planners, we are always so surprised at how fast the time has gone. We have seen so many miracles while serving together. Part of us hopes that we will have one more transfer together, but we also are excited to be asked to serve elsewhere with other people. At the end of the day, we know that we will be friends for much longer than this one transfer. We have already promised to go to each others weddings and other important events in life. I truly have found a friend for life! We will find out about transfers this coming Saturday. Whoo!
Sis. Kim came out at the same time as my previous companion. She just passed her halfway mark, but she will not be done with her mission until next January. So, she will bless a lot of lives!
This past week, Korea experienced one of the greatest tragedies. You have probably heard about it, but it particularly hit at home for us because a lot of the students came from our zone. We have been praying almost every minute for the people who are affected by this tragedy. Sis. Kim was telling me that it is pretty regular for high school students to go on trips together as a school. All of Korea is mourning the loss of the people on the ship and have cancelled/postponed a lot of the activities and festivals planned for the next coming weeks. Everyone just wants to do what they can to help those affected by the tragedy. This tragedy reminds me a lot of Elder Wirthlin's talk "Sunday will come." Essentially in the talk, Elder Wirthlin talks about Christ's last weekend alive. How on Friday he was crucified and on Sunday he rose again. Elder Wirthlin stated that we will have our Fridays, where it seems like the world is falling apart, but he emphasized that Sunday will come. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel. 
This past week, Sis. Kim and I have seen a lot of miracles in regards to investigators. Every week, we meet with Grace 자매님 and have small discussions about the gospel. She is one of the most difficult investigators because she has been coming to church for several years, but she has no real desire to be baptized. So, we were really surprised when she asked to meet with me and Sis. Kim. This past week, Grace 자매님 asked us if we wanted to go on a picnic with her and her daughter in law. We happily accepted her invitation and was able to see the most beautiful flowers! It was like an ocean of purple flowers. As we walked through the flowers, Grace and I were able to have a wonderful discussion about religion and what she believes. It turns out, that she feels something different about us and wants to know why. Another miracle from this week is that 하영 and 건희 were able to attend a baptism yesterday! The bishop's son had a baptismal service and so we invited our two young investigators. 하영 was actually really interested and asked a lot of questions. The YW have also started trying to befriend her and so 하영 really enjoyed church yesterday. We are still working on friends for her younger brother, but a miracle is a miracle! We are so excited because we can see their progression and desire to learn more..even if it is really small. A progression is a progression. 

-Sis. Chao

Monday, April 14, 2014

Hello black noodle day!

I cannot believe that it is already the middle of April. Where did all the time go? Sis. Kim and I have been working incredibly hard and have been doing everything we can to help our investigators progress and come closer to Christ. This past weekend, Sis. Kim and I were finally able to watch General Conference! Wow, there were so many important things that were said. I never realized how informative and uplifting hearing a bunch of talks can be. Now, don't get too crazy...I still have not been able to stay awake for all 6 sessions, but it will happen eventually. I promise. :D My favorite talks were definitely ones that were centered on treating others kindly and being aware of what we say to other people. It really struck home that some of the most hurtful things we hear can come from the ones we love the most. I also loved Elder Uchtdorf's talk on gratitude. That is why Sis. Kim and I have made it a companionship goal to have an attitude of gratitude. I suppose we have already started doing that, but we are starting to list more miracles down in our planners every single day.

Other miracles that we saw this week, well....Sis. Kim and I have been conversing with everyone and pretty much everything. The other day, we walked for a really long time and passed this park. We thought it would be a great idea to talk to people there, but lo and behold someone else's church was already there...and they had popcorn. Haha, seriously, other churches are cunning geniuses when it comes to inviting people to join there church! So we decided to leave and go to our appointment first and the possibly stop by on the way home. On the way home, we went back to the park and saw a cute grandmother sitting on a bench. After talking with her for a bit, a bunch of other grandmothers walked over, which is great because when elderly grandmothers get together it is a party. After a few minutes, Sis. Kim and I realized that we had met several of the grandmothers a few weeks ago. We all laughed and one of the grandmothers wanted to exchange numbers with us. She hands Sis. Kim the phone and I hear this gem of a conversation

"Grandmother, you have 89 missed phone calls and 45 messages."
"I have no idea how to use that thing. I only know that 1 is my son, 2 is my daughter in law, 3 is...."

Seriously the cutest thing ever. Sadly, a lot of the missionaries no longer know how to use technology. Yesterday, we could not figure out how to plug in speakers to a laptop computer. Ah, who needs technology anyways...completely overrated. 

Anyways, other than that...nothing super eventful has been happening here. Sis. Kim and I still eat like crazy people, but with less rice. We still talk to each other all the time and cannot believe how fast time has gone. We really love serving together, but are excited to see what is in store for the future!

I am going to try and upload pictures to Dropbox today!

Love you,

Sis. Melanie Chao

p.s. Essentially, if you are single you have to eat black noodles today. They have a love centered holiday every 14 of the month. HAHA