Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Happy New Year!

So you may want to know what we do here in Korea to celebrate Christmas. Well, for Koreans Christmas is a date holiday. It is like Valentines Day. If you don't have a date, you don't celebrate. Haha. Some Koreans do celebrate it with their family, but especially those among the younger generation treat is as a date holiday. So on Christmas, there were a LOT of couples out. And Korean couples are so cheesy. It is super funny.

For Christmas as missionaries, our zone met together and caroled in front of one of the big department stores in our area. We sang all sorts of Christmas songs in Korean and English. So many people took people selfies with us. I mean a group of  American missionaries singing Christmas carols in the busy and freezing streets of Korea looks very... well the Koreans would use the word 신기하다. It means interesting. But yeah... It was way fun! :) We gave out a lot of "A Savior is Born" proselyting cards and ended up in a lot of pictures. It was freezing... but it was fun. :)

On Christmas Eve, we had a lot of fun adventures. We made cookies with one of our investigators! :) A week before she had handed me her phone and had told me to look up an American cookie recipe. I didn't know where to look, so I made her download Pinterest. That's where we found an easy snowball cookie recipe. We got most of the ingredients (some were lacking as we are in Korea) and used her small toaster oven to make them (Koreans don't have ovens most of the time).  They ended up being super delicious though! We enjoyed eating cookies together and shared the two church Christmas videos: He is the Gift, and A Savior is Born. She really enjoyed them. It was SO fun and made Christmas Eve feel like Christmas Eve, and not just a normal missionary day. :) Then the night of Christmas Eve, our ward combined with another ward and had a Christmas party. And it was CRAZY. Right before the party began, one of the members ran up to me and asked if I could accompany basically the whole program. The pianist that was planning on coming fell through. So up until the performance part of the night, I was running around rehearsing numbers with different groups and doing my best to help every one that I could. I felt a little bit like I was being yanked around, but I was happy to serve and I love playing the piano, so I had no complaints. :)  I am just thankful that I can understand enough Korean to accompany people now. :)

On Saturday we had quite the lesson with a less active, recent convert, and investigator. Somehow we ended up teaching all of them together, all at the same time. They all came to English class, became friends, and met with us afterwards for more English help and to hear the gospel. So cool! And the even crazier thing was, the recent convert is Chinese, the investigator is Japanese, and the less active is Korean. And we are of course American. Only one of us was speaking our native language (Korean), the rest of use were speaking in Korean, which was our second language. It was super cool! :) Unfortunately we found out that the investigator lives in the Daejon Mission, so we will have to refer her. But it was a super good lesson, and she accepted a soft baptismal commitment and prayed for the first time. :)

Well I can't believe Christmas is over, but I guess it is time to welcome in the new year. I have to admit that I hate January, but I will make the best of it. I don't like the cold but hey, when filled with a testimony it can become a warm fire right? Or so we hope. Haha.

Anyway my New Years resolution is to read the Book of Mormon all the way through again before I finish my mission. I have five months so I have plenty of time. :)

It was SO good skyping with everyone on Christmas Eve. Love and miss you all!

Love, Sister Maughan

The cookies we made! :)

Cookie selfie cuz why not? :) (they were supposed to be snowballs but the lack of powdered sugar made them look not like snowballs and just like brownie balls haha.)

cookies selfie. :)

Christmas morning before the presents were unwrapped. Charlie brown Christmas tree. :)

this was my Christmas lunch. (Kimbab).


Sister Missionaries! :)

Monday, December 21, 2015


I hope that all of you have an amazing Christmas this week! I wish that Christmas were as big of a thing in Korea as it is in America. But it is still gonna be fun. :) We are going to do a zone proselyting activity on Christmas. We will probably wrap up Book of Mormons and give them away as gifts, carol, street contact etc. It should be fun! :)

This week we had zone Christmas Conference and it was SO GOOD. President and Sister Morrise are so amazing. After some training, we went up to the mission home with our zone. Since our zone only has 18 missionaries, it was pretty easy to fit us all up in the Morrise's house. We sung Christmas songs together as we read the Christmas story, and ended by sharing testimonies in the low lights of the Christmas tree.

So Sunday we had a miracle! A recent convert/less active came to church! She was baptized about 2 years ago, but hasn't been to church since she was baptized. Sister Capener and I called her one night and set up an appointment to meet. She doesn't really have a testimony, but we were able to build a relationship with her and start teaching her again. Sunday, she texted us halfway through the first hour asking us where she should go. My mouth dropped and we booked it out of Young Women's to meet her at the door.

Anyway, this less active met our other recent convert. This recent convert is Chinese and is the most solid recent convert I have ever met. But lets just say, they became friends. Really fast. They exchanged numbers and started texting back and forth during church. (I don't support texting during church... but I do support making friends ;) ) Anyway, it turns out that our less active sister wants to learn Chinese, and our recent convert is Chinese, so they are going to study together. It was such a miracle. It is so much easier to come to church if you have a friend, and I have faith that we will reactive this less active while strengthening our recent convert. And really, they are both recent converts. So they can strengthen each other together. :)

So since it is Christmas this week, I want to leave you with my testimony of Christ. I have been reading in Luke about Christ's life, and I am amazed at the grace and power of our Savior. He literally helped every one that He could. He blessed everyone that He could. He spread the gospel to everyone that He could. Jesus Christ did everything for everyone. He did everything for me, and He did everything for you. He was born, lived, and returned to His father. He suffered pain and temptations just like us. But He endured perfectly to the end, so that when we slip up, we can start over again, and we too, can return to our Father in Heaven. Because of Jesus Christ, we can overcome all things, and we can live with God again. I know that He loves us, and I love Him more now than I ever have before.

예수 그리스도는 살아계십니다. 그분은 우리 구주 이십니다. 그분은 우리를 사랑하십니다.

Well I can't wait to Skype the family this week! Love and miss you all so much!

메리 크리스마스! Merry Christmas! :)

Love, Sister Maughan
We found some Angel wings. :)

The district.

Star wars is big in Korea too. :)

Monday, December 14, 2015

Filled with Love

So this last week Sister Capener and I managed to run into like every bible basher or 전도사 (jeondo-sa) that we possibly could. 전도사 means "gospel preaching person" and there are a lot of them on the streets. We share the street with a ton of other churches, and for some reason they really like to pick on the Mormons. The funny thing is, I don't know why they like picking on us. As soon as they start trying to fight with us, my Korean flies out the door. Mostly because well, I don't wanna fight. And I can pull the "I am a foreigner and can't speak Korean" card if I have to. Anyway, they like to talk to us and try to fight with us, even though it is pretty clear we are not Korean and can't understand half of what they say. But the first time we were attacked this week, I was just super kind to them. I answered all their questions that included things like "Where are you from? Where do you live now? How long have you been in Korea?" They tried to get me to come into their church house but I kindly told them we had to go. I apologized for having to leave quickly but told them thank you for talking to us and to have a good day. The funny thing is, while we were trapped by 전도사s there were a lot of people watching us, and I think they were impressed at how we handled it. Rather than fighting, we chose to be kind. I mean Jesus wouldn't choose to fight, so why should we?

The second encounter we had with a 전도사 was with our investigator. This 전도사 was a Jehovah's Witness who literally popped out of now where. We were outside playing with our investigator's dog at a playground when this lady just came up to us. She asked us where we were from and handed us an English pamphlet. I read the name of the church and sighed a bit. There are Jehovah's Witnesses every where in Korea I swear. I thought to myself, "no.. not in front of our investigator." For some reason though, I had an idea. Why not just try and relate to this lady? So I asked her how it was talking to people on the streets, if it was hard or not. I told her it is hard for us too and that we get rejected a lot. I told her that all we are trying to do was share Christ's love. She went with it really well for a while, and the spirit was strong. I then brought up Christmas and the lady decided that that was the turning point. She freaked out and said that Christmas wasn't Christ's actual birthday and that we shouldn't celebrate it. I told her that it was just a special time to remember Christ. This is when the miracle happened. Our investigator came up to us and looked at the lady. She said "I am not Mormon. But I believe in the same Christ that these two girls do. And we all know that Christ wasn't actually born on December 25th. But that is an unimportant detail, and Christmas is just a special time to remember Him." She then went on to testify about her beliefs and defend our own. She was INCREDIBLE. I was so proud of her! The Jehovah's Witness lady walked away after that. And I said a prayer for her in my heart. I knew that she was just trying to share her beliefs as we are, but it is hard to go up against the truth of the gospel.

After this encounter, we sat down on a bench with our investigator. We had been teaching her about the Holy Ghost these past few weeks, and she had a moment of revelation. I asked her if what the lady had said did anything to change what she believed. She said "No, words can't change what I believe. I believe what I believe because of what I feel." Then she realized that that feeling was the Holy Ghost, and that only God, through the Holy Ghost, can change what she believes. We had a super deep talk about the Holy Ghost and about Christ and His love for everyone.

Which leads me to why I named this email, "Filled with Love." Both times we encountered people fighting against us, I felt a huge amount of love for these people. Because of that love, I didn't fight with them, but was rather kind to them. I didn't want them to walk away feeling like they had won, or that we had won, but rather wanted them to walk away and say, "Wow, those Mormons were so nice." I never thought I would love someone who wanted to fight against me. But I have felt it. And that is why and how Heavenly Father loves all His children. I imagine this is how He feels towards those who rebel against Him. Heavenly Father loves even those who rebel.

That being said, we still shouldn't rebel against Him. Haha. Anyway, love you all and miss you always! I am excited to skype with you next week! :)

Love, Sister Maughan

Monday, December 7, 2015

Christmas Hope

Christmas is coming SO FAST. I can't believe I am going on round two of the holidays on my mission. But I am so honored to be a missionary during the holidays. It is so special to celebrate Christ's birth while representing Him here in Korea. The stores here have started playing Christmas music... in ENGLISH. I mean a few are in Korean but since Christmas isn't really a big Korean holiday, most of the Christmas music is in English. A few places have put up Christmas trees and Christmas lights. It is definitely nothing compared to Christmas in America, but the little hints of the season that we see and hear here and there and well appreciated. :)

If you haven't seen the new Christmas initiative the church is putting out this year... go look it up. It is super good, and it has helped us in our proselyting. We have cute little cards that we can give to people with the website on it, in Korean. :) The website, in English, is: https://www.mormon.org/christmas
I super suggest watching the video. :)

So this week I had to give a zone training, and it was an adventure as always. I am always nervous before zone trainings. During personal study on Wednesday, I sat there and looked at my notes from Mission Leadership Council meeting and looked at the page full of the missionaries' pictures in our zone. I was trying to get inspiration for what exactly needed to be shared. I thought about each missionary and how I could help them. I was legitimately at a loss for what to share.

Thursday rolled around (the very day of zone training) and I started planning for it that morning. Finally I knew what I was going to share. I can testify that if we open our mouth, it will be filled, and that God will give us what we need to say, in the hour that we will say it. I ended up sharing about hope and about being positive. I kind of ran out of time because my training was at the end of zone training, but I ended by talking about Christ being the ultimate example of hope, and then I shared the Christmas video (the one with the url above). Most of the missionaries hadn't seen it yet. After the video, I got up and basically told the zone that I was going to sit down for the rest of my training, and that it would be a testimony meeting for 20 minutes. I bore my testimony on hope and Christ and sat down. After I sat down, so many good things happened.

So many missionaries got up and said that zone training... everything from what the Zone Leaders trained on to what I trained on... was exactly what they needed.

And the funny thing was... my training was exactly what I needed as well. I had been a little bit down because two weeks ago, we had seven investigators. This week, we have three. Four of our investigators either got too busy to meet, or just weren't progressing so we had to drop them. Two of them had accepted baptismal invitations but just got too busy to meet us, and dropped us. I needed the hope talk too. And from the testimonies of other missionaries, I learned that I had not been the only one feeling a little down. Almost every missionary that stood up had been feeling the same way, and needed that zone training just as much as I did.

I know that the Lord is allowing us to lose investigators to make space for new ones. And I also know that Satan was trying to get all of us missionaries down because we have been trying so hard to have faith. Like I have said, the more faith we have, the harder Satan works on us. But we just have to turn to our faith and remember to hope for good things to happen. If our faith and hope is in the Lord we will not fail. Sometimes we do have to lift each other up, and I am so thankful that I got to be a part of that zone training on Thursday. But when we rely on the Lord, we will not fail.

I love you and miss you all! You should go watch that video now if you haven't seen it yet. ;)

Love, Sister Maughan

This is Korea from the 30th floor.

Christmas tree at the Church house.

Our district with our Ward Mission leader and a recent convert.

us with a little girl in our ward. :)

it's us again!