Monday, January 25, 2016

Welcome to Russia

So this last week, Korea has been colder than Russia. Or so that is what the Koreans say. It has been dipping below zero for the past few days, and the whipping wind  has been bitter. If I wasn't sure that I was a summer person before, I definitely know that I am a summer person now. I have been wearing two pairs of fur lined leggings, 3 pairs of socks, one shirt and two sweaters plus my coat, a scarf, hat, and two pairs of gloves. Plus my boots, and I carry heat packs with me as well. Sometimes I put them in my gloves, sometimes I put them inside my coat. :) And we still mutter the Korean word for cold under our breath as our fingertips and toes freeze.  BUT... I wouldn't feel like a missionary if I didn't still try to talk to people in the freezing cold. Though they may be less inclined to talk to us when it is so cold, at least God is seeing our faith filled actions. :)

So I made it to Icheon! It is definitely the countryside, that is for sure. There are mountains and long roads of nothingness. It feels like a mixture of Utah and Idaho! There are a lot of mountains that you have to drive through. I feel like I am in a racing video game when we drive through them because they are literally lighted tunnels that go right through the mountains. It is pretty legit.

Anyway this area is an adventure. We are over three cities which are an hour apart by bus. And the bus you take to get to each city isn't just a normal bus that comes every ten minutes. It only comes every hour or every two hours. So basically, if we miss the bus that comes at 7:30... well considering we are supposed to be home by 9:00.... lets just say it is a pretty risky game. Quite an adventure. :) I am sure that this area will be beautiful when the cherry blossoms come out though, considering it is so country! :)

Sister Zippro, my new companion, is from Farmington, Utah. She is super cute and so ready to learn every thing she can. I don't know if I will be able to teach her much, but hopefully I can teach her some good things. I am still learning to be a missionary even in my 10th transfer. But I don't think any one really ever masters how to do missionary work. It is different every where you go, and it just means more learning every day. :)

So yesterday was my first day in my new branch. There's only about 30 adult active members, plus their families. Names will be fairly easy to get down, which is a blessing. :) When I gave my "Hello" talk yesterday, I told them where I had served. When I told them that my greenie area was Ansan, a few of them gasped. Apparently like half of this branch lived in Ansan at one point, and some of them were familiar faces. Coincidence? I think not. Actually, I had heard rumors when I lived in Ansan that when one of the bishops of Ansan moved away, he took a lot of the ward with him. Seems as though he moved to Icheon. I found the lost Ansan members! The connection is so interesting.

The members here are so nice, and I am excited to get to know them. I have been praying and praying to know what to do here, and I am not entirely sure yet why I have been sent here. But I have faith that we can see miracles here in Icheon. I haven't seen a baptism yet on my mission, and I really would love to find someone here and whip out that portable baptismal font. With lots of fasting and prayer, along with daily acts of faith, I know that we will see miracles.

Love and miss you all!

Love, Sister Maughan
Incheon ward member and me! Last day in Incheon.

Our Incheon ward mission leaders wife and daughter! :)

My fav investigator from Incheon and her cute dog.

Incheon church last pic of it before I left.

Monday, January 18, 2016

I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go

I figured I would start with a picture because pictures are fun! :) Members in Incheon :)

Inline image 2

Transfer calls came! I didn't think I would be going, but I will be spending the rest of my mission in another area! :) I will be going from Incheon to Icheon. I know that is super confusing. There is not anything out there, not even an "n" where I am going. Haha. (Just laugh, I know that wasn't that funny). Anyway, I am literally going from one end of the mission to the other. And Icheon is as country as you can get in our mission. Missionaries joke that when you get called to Icheon, you are being banished. And they say there is nothing out there. (I will be at least an hour away from any other missionary, whereas right now, I live within 15 minutes of 8 other missionaries). But I beg to differ. I haven't been to Icheon yet, but I think God has heard my heart's silent confusion from serving in the city for so long. I mean the city is great and all, but when I tell people that the town I live in only has one stop light and one gas station... well it is pretty clear that Wellsville is country. And I am excited to go back to something kind of like home. Something familiar. :)

Icheon is going to be a new adventure. :) Icheon is not a ward, it is a branch. Their church house is on top of a PC Bang (which is just a place full of computers where kids play games). They have a portable baptismal font because they don't have one built into the building. I hope to be breaking that thing out sometime within the next 18 weeks. :) Currently, the sisters there only have one investigator, but I am determined to change that. For whatever reason, I am supposed to be ending my mission in Icheon. I am excited for the new adventure. :)

I am sad to leave Incheon though. I have absolutely LOVED serving here. I had to speak in sacrament meeting yesterday to give a goodbye talk. I spoke about joy and finding joy in the gospel. I tried to put every ounce of energy into smiling and showing the Koreans that you really can find joy in the gospel. I did, and so can you. After sacrament meeting, a ton of the ladies in the ward came up to me and hugged me saying things in Korean like "Don't go!" and "Why do you have to leave?" It was so sweet and made me feel like I really had made at least some difference in some of their lives. As a missionary, that is one of the best feelings you can have. I served in Incheon for a long time... 5 transfers. I have been here since June of last year. I am so thankful for the opportunity that I had to serve here. I have never grown so much in 8 months before.

I am also sad to say goodbye to Sister Capener. We had the dream companionship! We talked to everyone we could and taught as many lessons as possible. When I came to Incheon, we were only teaching around 5 lessons each week. This week, we ended the week by teaching 11 lessons. This is the most I have had my entire mission. We have worked to reactivate 4 less actives, all of which are in the progress of coming back to church. Two have almost reached reactivity. :) We didn't want to seperate, but we know that God knows what is best for us, and we must follow His plan.

But... I am excited to start a new adventure in Icheon with Sister Zippro. I don't know Sister Zippro very well at all yet, but I have heard that she is a sweetheart. She will be my next companion. She is from Utah as well. :) It should be way fun!

I'll go where you want me to go, dear Lord. I'll be what you want me to be.

With love always,
Sister Maughan

I was one of their favorite missionaries....he is in the Bishopric in my ward. :)

It snowed! :)

Monday, January 11, 2016

크게 기뻐하십시오!

크게 기뻐하십시오! Rejoice greatly! For you have found the true gospel and thus, you have found eternal happiness. :)

This is the message we have been asked to share with our members.

Life isn't easy here in Korea. As if normal school wasn't enough to give you a headache each day, you are also expected to attend academy after academy each day until 10:00 at night. Then you do homework, go to bed, and get up the next day, bright and early, to start the process over again. If you are an adult, you work. You work what the American would call "overtime" every day. And that is just normal. If you are a member of The Church, your co workers will still expect you to stay out late drinking with them every night. If you don't, you could potentially lose your job.

If you are a Korean living in Korea, it is easy to forget the joy of the gospel. It can get lost in the business of daily life.

But that is what we are for! :) Missionaries are messengers of joy!

We have asked 5 members the last week when they felt the most joy in their life. 3 out of the 5 of them said, "There hasn't been joy in my life." You can imagine how we felt when we heard this. So we prepared a message about joy to share with all of our members. The message began with the question, "When have you felt joy in your life?" Then we share Alma 26:16.

16 Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel.

This is Alma talking, rejoicing in the Savior. Because of the Savior, we can do all things!  We can be happy and feel of His love. He gave up everything for us. We must rejoice!  After we share this message, we challenge the members to remember all the blessings that they have received. We give them a commitment to write down a blessing every night on a pretty piece of paper we give them. (This idea came from my aunt Mandy... I don't know if she remembers but she gave a similar commitment to me my senior year of high school). It easy to forget the joy of the gospel in daily life. But we have literally found the TRUTH. What else do we need? We have the truth, and we can rejoice in the gospel.

To make our message even more memorable, we have been giving the members pictures of Sister Capener and I holding up a yellow sign that says "JOY!" in Korean.  We tape this photo on a yellow sun because what else screams joy more than a couple of sister missionaries in a picture taped to a yellow sun, holding up the word joy? In fact, I think I will send the picture as part of this email. :) Because pictures speak louder than words.

This is the Korean word for Joy!

Anyway, we have to remember that this gospel really is something to rejoice in! There are so many churches out there, and the world will always try and trick us to believe in other things. But we are so lucky, because we have found the truth, and we have found the keys to TRUE happiness. The world says happiness comes from other things; alcohol, parties, breaking the law of chastity, staying up late and rejecting your family. But that's not the TRUTH. We know the TRUTH. If there is one thing that other people see when they see Mormons, it should be HAPPINESS. We must rejoice in our Savior, rejoice in the truth, and show the world what it is to be truly happy. :) REJOICE! 크게 기뻐하십시오!

Also, no worries my friends, the bomb that North Korea threw over the border was just a wimpy little thing. The South Koreans didn't even seem to flinch. And we didn't even really know about it until an American member told us on Sunday. Oh North Korea.... ;)

Love and miss you all!

Love, Sister Maughan

Sister Maughan!


This is Korea! city life.

We got a piano!!!!!! sometimes one man's trash is another man's treasure. :)

Monday, January 4, 2016

Earring in My Ramen

So in an effort to save time last week, Sister Capener and I brought Ramen to the church to cook for lunch. Well, we couldn't find a pot to boil the water in. So we tried to make it in the microwave. First of all, Ramen takes a lot longer to make in the microwave. Don't do it. We tried to boil the water in the microwave and then put the noodles in... yeah complete fail. ;) It took about 10 minutes of microwave use to warm up and cook one packet of noodles. We learned our lesson. Anyway, after making the Ramen, we sat down to eat it. Except we didn't sit down because there was no chairs. So we squatted next to the table. As I was eatting my Ramen, I picked up some noodles right as my earring plopped down into the cloudy pepper red soup. I am sure there was an easier way, but I grabbed my chopsticks and started chasing the earring around in my Ramen, unable to pick it up. After about 5 minutes of laughing with Sister Capener and trying to grab an earring with chopsticks, I finally gained enough dexterity to pick up the earring. You know you are in Korea when you find yourself eating Ramen, and using chopsticks to get your earring out of your Ramen. I don't really know why I told you that story haha. Hope you laughed. :)

Okay, now on to the spiritual stuff. We have seen so many miracles lately, I can't even tell you all of them in one email. But I will do my best to point out the main ones.

So within the last 2 months, we have fasted multiple times to find new investigators. We are striving to get new investigators. Two weeks ago, some sisters from another area called us with a referral from a member. We contacted that person, and we are meeting her next week! She wants to learn English, but also has gospel interest.

Yesterday, we stepped out of our house and at one of the intersections, there was only one lady standing there. So of course, we talked to her. She ended up telling us that she had a lot of interest in learning English, but would be willing to learn the gospel. As we were talking to her, another man came up to the intersection. He looked at me and asked "Do you speak English?" in English. So I told him I did, and we started talking. Sister Capener talked to the lady, and I talked to the man. And then the lady started talking to the man in Korean, telling him about the program that we had just told her about. Our street contact helped us find another street contact! Anyway, we ended up getting both of their numbers. So cool!

And then this morning, some random lady called us. She said, in Korean, "Are you a foreigner?" So I responded yes, and she told me that she wanted to meet with us. I was thinking she was English interest, because why else would she ask if I was a foreigner? But then she said "I want to learn about your church." Miracle. Rarely do people start out with gospel interest. It is usually English interest that turns into gospel interest. We have an appointment with this lady on Friday. :)

And then on my way to emailing today, we got another call from a random number. I answered and talked to the man. He was a member from Daejon. At first I was thinking, Oh man, we are nowhere near Daejon, he has the wrong missionaries. But then he went on to say that a recent convert from his ward was moving up to our ward, and that we needed to meet with her for the recent convert lessons. He sent her number to us. Another miracle! She may not be an investigator but she is just as precious and important.

There are so many more miracles I could tell you about, all ranging from less actives coming back to church, to miracle conversations on the street. Being a missionary is the best, and I absolutely love it. I can't believe that as of tomorrow, I will have been in Korea for an entire year. But I love this country, and I love the culture, and I love the people. I can't imagine serving anywhere else. I know this gospel is true, and I can feel Heavenly Father's love for the Korean people.

Love and miss you all!

Love, Sister Maughan