Monday, September 29, 2014

It's raining!

It's raining, do you know what that means? Summer is finally over! Goodbye hideous tan lines, sweaty nastiness, dehydration, and huge spiders! Ah, this weather could not have comes sooner.

This week has been really interesting, I went on an exchange with 연수 sisters and it was quite the learning experience. Sister 곽남희 is from our mission area and she has been out for little over a year! Turns out that we will be ending our missions at the same time! Party! Anyways, when we were together, we talked a lot about finding new investigators and exercising more faith. Sometimes, we often pray that we have more faith to do things, but after a conversation with President I have learned that if we want more faith...we have to do something. So that is what Sister 곽남희 and I did. We started our street contacting with a prayer and continued to pray and ask for guidance we navigated the city. I am not really sure what came of our street contacting, but it was more enjoyable as we recognized promptings of the spirit. I love being an STL because it gives me a chance to learn from all the sister missionaries in the area! 

Another miracle that has happened this week is that we had a good English class in Mansu. Now, I know that shouldn't be a miracle...but it is. When I got here, English class was terrible. I mean, I would have dodged it if I was a Korean trying to learn English. So, Sis. Gapinski and I talked with the elders and revamped our approach. It was a success!!! People had lots of fun, spiritually uplifted, and wanting to come to the next class.

Other than that, Sis. Gapinski and I are trying our best to find new investigators. The ones that we are currently teaching are not progressing, which is hard because we know how much the gospel will bless their families. That being said, we are optimistic that the power of the Book of Mormon will help them see the truth of this message. I have also learned that street contacting is super hard when you are not white. Bright side...people think I am Korean. HAHA

-Sis. Chao

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

안녕하세요!! Asian Games and Bus Rides



I cannot believe that Sis. Gapinski and I have been serving together for little over a month now. It seems like only yesterday that we were assigned together and met in a church parking lot. This week, we have been working really hard to help our investigators progress. Unfortunately, I have learned that no matter how hard I want something for an investigator, their desire and action is essential for them to progress forward.

Lately, we have been meeting with the sweetest couple of all time. They have such a strong desire to follow Christ. That being said, they also love having us around and try their hardest to postpone lessons so that we can play Badminton with them. It is a super sweet gesture because who doesn't like to know that they are likable, but at the same time it is frustrating because we want to have real lessons with them. It is okay, I guess the lesson is learning what things are most effective with our time.

Actually, I remember getting this talk a lot in college and I never really thought to apply it. Who would have thought that it would be used so much on my mission? Life Lessons. Life Lessons.  Another random fact is that there have been random times where I have had to recall things I learned in college. Haha...seriously, should have paid more attention in school. Ah, my English is really bad nowadays...sometimes I cannot even read in English!

Other than that, Sis. Gapinski and I have been doing a lot of finding and working with members. The ward in this area is amazing and I have loved getting to know the members. They are all super willing to help us, especially learning the language and becoming better teachers. The other day, I realized that instead of saying chopstick, I was commanding everyone to die. Lesson learned, double check words and pay attention to people when you speak. Often times, the eyes and uplifted eyebrows could merely be a cue that whatever you are saying is weird or they are feeling the spirit. Either way...learning experience. 

Well, I am going on an exchange tonight and I am super excited. It will be a good week!!

Love you,

Sis. Chao

Monday, September 15, 2014

Year Mark!


I cannot believe that it is already Mid-September and that I have been a missionary for over a year. It is unreal. Sometimes when I am out street contacting, I am still surprised that I am in Korea. This past week has been incredible and made me more grateful that I came out to serve a mission.

First, on Tuesday all of the missionaries in the Seoul South Mission came together for a joint 추석 conference. Sis. Gapinski and I were determined to arrive there on time because our district is notorious for being late to these events. Well we left super early and arrived 45 minutes early. As usual, when I arrived I was looking for some of my old companions. I said hello to Sis. Kelly and her companion and we just chatted. When it was almost time to sit down, I was a little bummed because I wasn't able to see my Korean sister. So I just sat down and waited for the conference to start. Then I hear this annoying bag sound in the back, so I turn around and there is my sister trying to get my attention! It was so great to see her! Essentially it was like a movie where old family is reunited. We ran up to each other hugged, jumped around, and then got laughed at for being weird. I have missed serving with  김윤하자매님, but we both know that we are where we need to be.  

At the conference we heard from President Morrise's president. He talked about the importance of keeping positive and respectful traditions alive. He told us that now is the time where we have to determine what things we want to carry on. After other small talks, all the missionaries went a huge park and did some street contacting. Overall it was incredibly fun and I am sad that we only have one! I will have to bring home a bunch of Korean Holidays for us to celebrate. My favorite holiday so far is the only dedicated to chocolate pretzel sticks.  :)

This week, we also met with a less active member who recently moved back from Utah. Everyone in the ward was really concerned because no one really knew what happened. When we visited with her, she talked to us about how she had researched our church online and came across things that really shook her testimony. As I listened to her share her story, I wondered what I would do if I was in that situation. It made me realize that although I may not understand everything, I have to "doubt my doubts before I doubt my faith." We have to remember the things that we know are true! 

In other great news, the Asian games have officially started and the stadium is right outside our apartment. Let us just say that it is going to be hard focusing at night. Also...a mosquito bit me right on my eyelid so now it looks like I am Quasimodo. Thanks Nature J.  It is so bad...everyone thought I was dying. So I took some allergy relief pills and the swelling went down. Apparently though I am a light weight with these drugs because I was loopy and super sleepy. Another highlight of living in this area is that there are also bees that fly into our house. The bees are huge and so there is a lot of screaming, misting, and running. There are also so so so many spiders and they are huge!!!! Literally, we could be walking down a path and we run into giant cobwebs. We would jump up because there should be a spider somewhere! It is definitely a new adventure everyday!

-Sis. Chao

Monday, September 8, 2014

가장 바쁜 주!!


It still has not hit me yet that I am serving in 만수....I definitely still do not know how to navigate very well, but at least I know where the apartment is. I mean, you cannot really miss it because it is across the street from where the 14th Asian Games are being held. It's going to be great because we essentially can see the soccer field from the outside our apartment. Not that we are going to watch it or anything, but it is pretty fun to think that we can.

This week, Sis. Gapinski and I have been running from meeting to meeting. On Monday,  our investigator  심하정wanted to eat at an expensive steak house, but we were like we have no money. So we brought pizza to her house. We went to buy grocery afterwards and wanted to come with us. When we were done, it was raining. We had no umbrella so we decided to wait it out and went into Dunkin’ Donuts, but it never stopped. So we decided to run (with our grocery) for it. Worst idea! We got soaked. It was pretty funny though. We later went to심하정house to have dinner with her husband. We then went to Songpa for MLC.

On Tuesday, we went up to 송파 to attend Missionary Leadership Council. I never realized how much missionaries in leadership positions have to do! I am so grateful for the ZL and AP who I have served with. They are incredible and they truly do care about each individual missionary in their zones. Right now, President Morrise is really pushing us to speak Korean. In our entire mission we have 25 Korean Missionaries. By the end of the year around 7 will be leaving! Crazy!  We also talked about being more consecrated and trying our best to strengthen the wards. 

On Wednesday, we had a missionary conference with Elder Aoyagi of the 70. It was really good and we talked a lot about how pride can often mask itself as humility. It was really interesting because I never actually thought of pride in that way. Then we proceeded to sing my favorite song .... Put your Shoulder to the wheel with dance moves. I don't even know how that was possible. Sigh, sometimes I want to hide that song from the hymn book. 

On Thursday, all our scheduled appointments were cancelled so we did a lot of proselyting. We later went to이지웅house and talked a lot about God’s commandments. Unfortunately, none of her family members was home. She is so awesome and trying her best to keep the commandments. She just needs to read the Book of Mormon.

On Friday, we had zone training meeting and it went great. Sis. Gapinski and I gave training on “Learning by the Spirit” from Preach my Gospel chapter 2. We later went home did our weekly planning and spent the rest of the night proselyting.

On Saturday, we had lesson with 심하정 and her husband. Our investigators 심하정 and 이지웅 are the kindest people and find truth in almost everything. The problem is that they don't understand how the Book of Mormon can bless their lives. We have tried to help them see and understand its relevance, but at the end of the day they have to read it. Unfortunately, God doesn't give us knowledge if we don't try our best to obtain it first. Every day we pray for them and hope that their hearts can be changed. Anything is possible!!

On Sunday, we did a lot of visiting with less active members and also trying to find new investigators, both with no success but I know the Lord will help and bless us if we have tried our best.


-Sis. Chao

P.S. I never realized this....but there are so many spiders in non-metropolitan areas! I have walked through 50 something spider webs and all of the inhabitants collected on them. They are dangling from trees and lamps everywhere!! It is so gross. Haha..I swear I am going to comb my hair one day and a spider will pop out. 

P.P.S This week is Korean Thanksgiving! (Chinese Mid-Autumn festival!)  :) Merry 추석!!