Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Happy Easter! :)

This week was literally the best week ever! Okay, so it had its pros and cons, but we will focus mostly on the pros because... well.. why focus on the negative right? I guess you could say this week was the funnest missionary week ever. Sister Zippro and I make fun goals every week during weekly planning to keep the work moving along full of smiles and laughs as well as the spirit. Our fun goal this week was somewhat of a kickback to the 90s. If you are a 90s kid, you know what this is. Our goal was to make the biggest balloon possible during lunch break.

Okay so I don't actually remember the name of this.. but we found it in a store last week. You put the goo on the end of the straw and blow it into a balloon. I just remember never being able to actually get it into a balloon as a kid. It must have been so frustrating to not get it to work. But I can do it now (even though I am like 20 years old now... haha no need to grow up right?) Yes, even missionaries need a silly moment here and there. I don't know why I look so serious in this picture. haha. Focusing.

Anyway Sister Zippro won. She made a huge one. But it was fun. :)

So Saturday we had a super fun activity. A few weeks ago, Sister Zippro and I were talking about how we could help the young women actually enjoy church activities. We were trying to brain storm ideas right when the elders called us, asking us what we thought about a combined activity with the young men and young women. Well, I think I can say that it was the spirit talking to both companionships, the elders and us. The next district meeting we brainstormed activities, and we called up the young women and young men leaders. We set up a game of ultimate frisbee at a local park. We had to teach the Koreans how to play, but I think they found a favorite game. They loved it, and so did we. We reserved two hours that day, and I have never seen the Korean  youth more full of excitement, energy, and smiles. (Koreans don't really smile in pictures,  but they were full  of smiles during the game).

When you take into account that only 5 of the people in the picture besides the missionaries are members, you can see the success of this missionary activity. When working with the youth, you have  to  do the things that they like to do.  We  got a total of 4 phone numbers from this activity, and the elders got 1. And one of the young women who generally hates young women activities told her mom, "That was the first fun church activity I have been to. When can we do it again?" Her mom thanked us at church. We  are already planning next  Saturday's activity. This will become a weekly thing. We just got a zone  training on working with the youth, and we feel like this activity was truly revelation from  God. :) Who would have known that ultimate Frisbee would become such an amazing opportunity to unite the youth with the missionaries, and provide a missionary activity for us to meet nonmembers?

Okay, and then there was today. We farmed! We went out into the middle of no where, out into the country country part of Korea.  and farmed with a member in our branch. We pulled up old plants and gardening poles, raked, battled some HUGE spiders (Sister Zippro and I only screamed once), pet some cows, and pulled weeds all while the smell of cow poop floated in the air. I felt like I was back in good old Wellsville, Utah. 

Can you believe this picture was taken in Korea? Though it may look like it, I am not home yet. Don't let the picture deceive you.

Anyway, we had a lot of miracles this week to go along with the fun times. Yes missionary work is super fun, but we also have our serious moments too. This last week we met with a potential investigator, and it went really well. :) We met her  with a member. Her husband was baptized a few weeks ago, and she has 2 children. She is only 1 year older than me. And no, she is  not Korean. She is Vietnamese, but she married a Korean. She agreed to take the lessons, and study Korean with us and a member each week.  Since her husband was just baptized, she has a lot of potential to be baptized as well. We have been praying to be able to meet with her, and we finally did! :) We will be meeting with her again tomorrow. :)

So Easter isn't really a big thing here, but we still did our best to remember it. In Korean, Easter is 부활절 (bu-hwar-jeor) which directly translates to "Resurrection Day." In Korea, Easter seems to be a bit more of a sacred holiday than a holiday symbolized by a giant bunny that brings candy and eggs to everyone (which I never understood because bunnies don't lay eggs but anyway...). In fact I don't even think Koreans know what Easter eggs or the Easter Bunny is. But, what they do know, is that Easter is the day we remember Christ's resurrection. And so that is what we tried to do yesterday. I never understood why the resurrection was such an important thing. But after being a missionary and teaching about it, I understand. It is so important that we will all get the chance to receive our bodies again. Here on earth, we have pictures of our loved ones, we remember what they look like, what they smell like, the glow in their eyes. We remember the way they laugh, smile, breathe. Can you imagine what it would be like to never get to see them the same way again? Jesus Christ was resurrected so that we can all be perfected in Him, and get our bodies back in perfect condition again. After this life, I will look like me, and you will look like you. Isn't  it beautiful that God loved us so much that He provided a way for this to be possible? We all get to see each other again later, and we will be able to recognize each other! :) I never understood how important that was until now. I think of what it what be like to see my family at the airport in a few months, but not recognize them. It would be horrible! But I will recognize them, and so after we all pass away I will recognize them in heaven too. God's plan truly is beautiful, and the Lord truly sacrificed for us so that we could be happy.

Well Happy Easter everyone! I love and miss you all! :) Have a great week! :)

Love always,
만  자매 (Maughan ja-meh)

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Heart Attack Fail

So last Monday we went to heart attack a potential investigator's door. But it turned into quite the adventure. Everything was going as normal. We were about to stick the last heart on the door, when we heard voices right next to the door about ready to come out. We were about to be caught. So we stuck the last heart on right as the door handle turned, and booked it to the stair well of the apartment building. The problem was, I was wearing my companion's shoes which were a little too big for me. So it was just "CLOMP CLOMP CLOMP!" all the way down the stairs. It was not graceful, sneaky, or quiet. We only got about 3 flights down when we heard our potential investigator call "Hold on! Wait a minute!" in Korean from above. We ran back up the stairs and said hi to her, kind of awkwardly. She laughed and pointed at the door. All the hearts had fallen in our attempt to get away. She said that she had to go over to a neighbor's house really fast but would come right back. So while she was gone, we stuck the hearts on the door again, trying to catch our breath, laughing at how pathetic we were. It felt a lot like the time I tried to answer a boy to a Homecoming and tripped down his front steps when I was running away from the door, which resulted in my friends laughing their heads off and me being caught by his little sister. I guess some things even a mission can't change. And clumsiness is one of them. ;) Anyway, the potential investigator came back and we got to talk to her for a minute which was really good. She laughed with us about our heart attack fail.

This is us on our way to heart attack. Sometimes when you live in the country, you are the only ones on the bus. So you take a selfie..

So this week was another week full of miracles. We met with one of the member referrals that we received last Sunday. We ate 떡복기 (tteokbokki) together with her member friend and taught a simple lesson on prayer. She mentioned to us that she hasn't been baptized yet. (She met with missionaries a few years back). That is always a good thing to hear as a missionary. It was basically like her saying, "I haven''t been baptized yet. But my friends have and I know what it is." Anyway, we told her she still could be baptized. She said she wasn't sure about it, but that she would think about it. We will keep meeting with her and see what happens. Hoping for the best as always! :)

On Saturday we were in charge of the young women activity. Oh my gosh, I love young womens. I miss it. And going to one of their activities made me so happy. Not to mention they invited us to play Dance Dance Revolution with them some time! We have to check up on the rules about that, because we don't know if we can play it or not. But the fact that they invited us means that we are becoming friends with them! And they need us. :) Anyway, Sister Zippro and I taught them how to make caramel popcorn. We didn't have a popcorn machine, so we had to pop it all over the stove which was an adventure. Luckily we didn't fail too much. We only messed up the first batch. (Can you say that? Batch of popcorn? Haha English....) Anyway it was SO FUN. The young women enjoyed it too.

Then we taught young women's on Sunday. We taught them about faith. We made a little boat and oars and labeled the oars "belief" and "action" and the boat "faith." You need all three to move on the ocean to eternal life. They really enjoyed it, and I think it clicked with them. One of the young women who seems to be struggling with a testimony actually willingly answered a question and gave a good answer. Usually she just says, "I don't know."  But this time she answered! It is a small miracle, but we were thankful for it.

Anyway I have to go, but I love and miss you always! Have a great week!

Love, Sister Maughan

Monday, March 14, 2016

Happy White Day!

So here in Korea there is another holiday outside of Valentines Day. And it is called White Day. On Valentines Day, the girl gets the boy something. On White Day, the boy gets the girl something that costs twice as much as what she gave him for Valentines Day. Or at least, that is what I heard. No guarantees that that is accurate. But nonetheless, White Day is another cheesy couple holiday, and to commemorate White Day, we took pictures with roses.

No, we didn't receive the roses from anyone special. Haha. On Saturday we did this activity with the Relief Society where we danced and lip synced with them, in front  of the whole stake. And because my companion and I supposedly did so well, we got roses. :)

So Saturday was my compy's birthday. And I felt so bad, because I didn't get her anything special. I am with her 24/7, so how am I supposed to get her a gift? haha. I thought about making the elders do it for me, but then the Sister Training Leader called and said that we would be going on exchanges. So I figured I could do it then, but then the STL called again and cancelled. And it didn't give me enough time to buy a gift. :( But I knew I had to make it up somehow. So I figured my biggest force for getting something special done would probably be the sisters in the branch. So while Sister Zippro was showering, I texted all the Relief Society
 sisters, "Hello Sisters! This is Sister Maughan. Today is Sister Zippro's birthday. When you see her, please say happy birthday to her! Keep this message a secret. She doesn't know that I sent it. Please don't reply. Thanks and love you all!" I prayed that my Korean skills would at least get the point across. Then I deleted the text message. That night when we went to the Relief Society activity with the stake, there was a cake already prepared for Sister Zippro, and we sung to her in front of everyone. :) I wish I could have done more for Sister Zippro, but I worked with my resources and made it as special as possible. And the elders helped out too. They also made her a cake. We be eatin' cake for days!

Okay so we are literally watching miracles pour in, and I couldn't be more thankful. I don't believe that I am the missionary who deserves to be here to watch this area change, but I am full of thanks that I am. My heart is literally full to the edge. I don't know how I will ever repay Heavenly Father, but the one way that I can is by giving it all I have for the next 10 weeks. I only count down because it makes me work harder. I have prayed and fasted to see one person baptized in the next 10 weeks. That is not a lot of time, but God has heard me prayers. Yesterday we received two member referrals (referrals in Korea tend to be rare and of VERY high value). And we will be meeting with both of them in the next few weeks. One of them is an 11 year old girl who is friends with all the primary girls her age in our branch, and the other is a young woman aged girl who is friends with all the young women in our branch. Both have high potential, and we are praying our hearts out that they will listen to the lessons, take them in well, and accept the gospel. And our Uzbekistan investigator will be meeting with us this week. She cancelled last week. But we have done practice lessons with the sisters in our ward, role playing to teach her. And after doing role plays with the members, they have all offered to do member present lessons with her, and even offered to watch her daughter while she works. The sisters in the branch are AMAZING. Everyone here is working so hard to turn the branch into a ward. I watch their efforts and I am in awe at the excitement in the air to do missionary work. I can't imagine a better place to be serving right now. No, this area has not been easy. I came into the area with only one investigator to work with. But miracles just keep coming, and the area is doing a 360 turn. The Lord is truly moving the work along here in Icheon.

 I love Korean children! Isn't she just the cutest. HAHA a bit up close and personal but its the best I got. :)

I can't believe how fast time is flying, but I am so happy that I have the opportunity to serve as a missionary. It is literally the best experience of my entire life, and it has changed me. I thought that I was converted before my mission. I wrote in my journal and read scriptures every night from the time that I was 14 years old. I prayed every night from the time I was little. I thought I knew what faith was, and I thought that I had seen miracles. But that was only the beginning of my own conversion. My mission has changed me and changed me and changed me again. But that is what the gospel is. It is change. The gospel is meant to continually change us. We can't be the beautiful vase that the Lord wants us to be if we aren't continuously spinning on the wheel allowing ourselves to be sculpted by His masterful hands.

I love and miss you all always! 사랑해요!

Also, we are trying to think of ideas for activities with the young women. They really need our help. Our young woman's president has a large load on her shoulders, and while we are not her counselors, we are taking on some of the same responsibilities. If you have any super fun or super spiritual young women activities, please PLEASE email me. We have 5 young women. And remember, we are in a small branch. We don't have all the resources that a large Utah ward would have. Thank you so much!

With love,
Sister Maughan

Monday, March 7, 2016

Let it go! Let it go! :)

So yesterday before church, we stood at the doorway of our one hallway church house and greeted members walking in like always. While we were waiting there, our branch president's adorable daughters ran over to us and started playing with us and the elders. They are both 4 years old (they were adopted). They wanted us to spin with them in circles (like ring-around-the-rosies). Anyway the elders took one of the girls, and we took the other and made two circles. Literally the cutest thing ever! :) Then, after we finished spinning in circles, the girls ran to me and said "Stand over there!" So I stood where they wanted me to. Then they said "sit down!" So I squatted down to their height. They then proceeded to play with my hair. One of the girls told the other, "we are making her Elsa!" So they brushed all my hair to one side, and then one of the girls started singing, in English, with the CUTEST accent ever (she clearly was only mimicking the noises to make it sound as close to English as possible) "Let it go! Let it go!" I died of cuteness. Literally I couldn't stop smiling. Sister Zippro and the elders were all laughing. Seriously, the cutest thing ever!

Okay, so this week, I became a true sister missionary. My boots... my boots are destroyed. My remaining pairs of wearable shoes are slim, but I think they will last me 3 months. Or so I hope. Anyway, my boots are dead. So here are pictures.

Yeah... its a good thing spring is one its way. The soles of my shoes couldn't take the Seoul life. Haha. Okay that was a bad pun. I don't even live in Seoul. Moving on now.

So this last week was AMAZING. We got 4 new investigators! :) When I got here, we only had 1 investigator. The unfortunate thing is that that 1 investigator dropped us last week. But we got 4 to replace her! :) And 2 of them, are really high potential. It is a mother and a daughter.  We met them sticker boarding. They started out with English interest, but when we met with them we found out that they truly need the gospel. I mean every one needs the gospel, but they are in desperate need of it. The mother is not Korean. She is from Uzbekistan. She fled from Uzbekistan in search of a better life, and came to Korea when she was 27. She married a Korean and they had one daughter, , who is now 7 years old. But her husband left her. And now she has to work to fend for her and her daughter. She works at a restaurant, long hours to support her and her daughter and make enough money to live in a house and buy food. She comes from an Islamic background, which complicates things a little bit because we have to get permission to teach her, and if by chance she chooses to be baptized, we have to get permission from WAY high up to baptize her. But we have to start with baby steps, and teach her first of course. Anyway,  she told us that the Islamic religion scares her, so she doesn't want to believe in it. She is open to learning about the gospel.  At the end of our first meeting, I had this super strong impression to pray with her, though we had not taught a lesson yet. We had only talked about who we were and what we were doing in Korea, and introduced the gospel a little bit. I asked her if there was anything special that we could pray for her, and she looked at us with sad eyes and said, "Please pray that my daughter and I will find a happier life." Her and her daughter are literally best friends. So we prayed for that and she prayed with us. She thanked us afterwards, and asked us to come back often. We will meet her again next Thursday, and hopefully after this meeting we will be able to bring a member with us. :)

Also, the elders' investigator got baptized this week! And we will eventually get to teach his wife. But she just had a baby so it will be a while. Their investigator was so prepared though! He was glowing by the time he stepped into the portable baptismal font. Before the baptism, the missionaries all sang "Families Can Be Together Forever" in Korean. The spirit was so strong. Their investigator made the decision to be baptized because he knew that it would bless his family. So the song fit well. :) He was beaming even brighter when he stepped out of the font. :)

Here is a picture of the portable baptismal font.

Well, I think that is about it for today. But more to come next week I am sure! :) Love and miss you all so much! I hope spring is coming your way. It seems to be on its way here! :) Cherry blossoms are on their way. :)

Love, Sister Maughan