The Missionary

By Sister Jessica Pope
Korea Seoul Mission
May 2013 – November 2014
For posterity

[1 Week]

The Lord called out “Whom shall I send?”
when we all met together here
and thousands shouted “Here am I,
send me and I will not fear.”

My voice was one among the crowd
and I answered the call that day,
but never did I think the Lord
would send me here and in this way.

The days are long and I am weak
and I pray for the strength to do
the work my God would ask of me
and with exact obedience too.

[2 months]

Now is the time and here the place
to test our faith and trust the Lord.
We have prepared, now out we go
to share His love and teach His word.

we have the light of God’s pure love
and are striving to keep it bright,
but there are children who know none
so we are called to shine the light.

I do not know what I will say
or what to do or where to go;
The Spirit prompts, and so I speak
the only words I can: “I know.”

[6 Months]

I testify that God does know
exactly where we need to be
to grow in grace and mind and heart
to share this joy with all we see.

For when we speak we trust that God
will fill us with the words we need.
His gifts are real; His trust is sure.
We go and find His lambs to feed.

And though at times I, stumbling, fall
His angels lift my trembling heart,
for love is found where ‘ere you go
in every language, worlds apart.

[1  year]

With each new person that I meet
I learn more of the love of God,
of how to teach the way Christ taught
and help them find the path He trod.

I love so deeply as I go
it hurts when others turn and run;
though I may wish a different way,
my heart exclaims “Thy will be done.”

When it is hard, we still will go,
still searching for the one prepared.
The witness after trail of faith,
we speak until the truth is shared.

 

[18 Months]

The Lord called out “Whom shall I send?”
and we answered the call to serve,
to give our all, to do the right
and hold nothing back in reserve.

I tried to do all that I could
and there is nothing left to give.
I pray He will accept my gift
for He said “loose thy life, and live.”

I cannot bear to leave this place,
but my joy is filled to the brim
for when I love the people here,
I am really just loving Him.

Jungnang Week 6 – I Don’t Wanna Go!

Dear Family and Friends,
Well, that’s that. I got my very last transfer call, and there is no companion for me on Transfer Day. ㅠㅠ But what’s crazy is that Sister Kwon is also transfering, so there are going to be two new missionaries in our area! O.o Thankfully one is someone who is already in this ward so it won’t be as weird, but it’s still pretty crazy that they’re taking both of us out at the same time! That’s really hard for the missionaries coming in.

This week all the calling I’ve been doing for the past few weeks has paid off and we met FOUR new investigators! And, of course, now I have to leave. I was thinking about it, and all of the people we met this week were met by sisters from earlier this year and I called them to meet for a lesson, and now Sister Kwon and I are leaving, and now the incoming missionaries can work on harvesting these people. We were just two missionaries weeding and preparing for the harvest. It’s just a reminder to me that I am only an instrument in the hand of the Lord. Heavenly Father is in charge, and I just hope I fulfilled everything I needed to do for Him while I was here. Something tells me that I have though.^^

I bore my testimony about this three times already about it yesterday, but I just want to tell you how grateful I am that I was able to serve a mission for the Lord. Before my mission I secretly did not want to go to Asia because I knew that would be hard, especially with the language. And I was right! It was super hard and there were times I wanted to quit and give up, but every time that happened I felt the strength of the Lord helping me realize why I was here and that He was beside me the whole way.

I am so grateful that my testimony of our Savior has deepened and I have come to know Him better as I have given everything that I could to Him. I am so imperfect, and I still don’t know Him as well as I would like, but I know that He is there and He is listening to me. So many times I’ve cried out for help or just cried because I needed too, and ever time He was there for me. No, I didn’t have what the world would call “success” on my mission, but I know that my mission is irreplaceable. There were things I wish had not happened, but I wouldn’t trade what I learned.

I am excited to tell my family and my future family all about “When I was a missionary…” or “When I was in Korea…” This is why I am here. This is what I was doing. Everything I do and did was for my family and for my Father in Heaven. I have come to understand my place in Heavenly Father’s plan so much better, and I am excited (and a little nervous) to fill that role when I come home. I am so grateful for my mission!

I am not the same person that I was, but I am so excited to see you all again! I hate the idea of leaving! (I don’t wanna go!) But I am excited to see you all. Always remember 3 John 1: 13-14.

I love you all so much! May God bless you and keep you always!

Love,
Sister Jessica Pope

Jungnang Week 5 – A Disciple of Chris

Dear Family and Friends,

Didn’t I just email you all yesterday? Where did my week go?? ㅠㅠ

This week was kind of crazy. Right after emailing last week our investigator called us saying she was confused by the passages we asked her to read in the Book of Mormon and she wanted to meet so that we could help her understand. This was great, so that night we met her at the church and a member was there practicing the piano, so we snagged the member and had a very 갑자기(sudden) lesson! We re-taught her the Plan of Salvation, especially the Spirit World, because that is where her husband is right now, and we also invited her to be baptized. She said yes! Hopefully we’ll be able to help her continue to progress this week. We met her yesterday and have another appointment for this week, so I’m excited for her!

Also our plan to go on exchanges took a very sudden change because the other sister’s less active they had been visiting passed away the morning of the exchange. We decided to change it so that they could help plan for the funeral that would be held the next day. Now we have two exchanges planned back-to-back for this upcoming week! It’s going to to be crazy!

I’m really grateful that I get to serve in Jungnang. I feel like the reason I came here is especially for those missionaries and I love the sisters in our zone very much. I can see their desire to serve the Lord and their faith that they can see miracles, and it helps my faith to see it. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to serve a mission and share my testimony with these wonderful missionaries and the wonderful people of Korea. It’s so hard- some days it’s all we can do to get out the door- but then we start sharing the joyful message of our Savior, Jesus Christ and suddenly we can go on. I’m grateful for the hard times because now I can see when I was carried and what I learned from that experience. I can see that this mission was meant for me because of those lessons I learned from trying to be a disciple of Christ. “I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the son of God. I have been called to declare his work among his people that they might have everlasting life.” 3 Nephi 5:13 This is what we are doing, and this is what we will continue to do until we can’t do it anymore, and then Heavenly Father will take it over from there. I know this to be true.

I love you all so much! I pray for you always, and I am excited to see the miracles that come next week! May the Lord bless you and keep you always!

Love,
Sister Jessica Pope

Jungnang Week 4 – The Role of the Spirit in Conversion

안녕하세요 가족과 친구들!

This week was super busy! I’m glad the focus for this month is on the Spirit because I really needed the help this week! On Tuesday we went to the temple and I needed to prepare what I was going to say for my final testimony. Thankfully it was already pretty much written, so it didn’t take that much time. I was then able to focus on what I needed to say in Zone Training for the rest of the time. 

On Wednesday we had Zone training, and the Spirit really was guiding us because we didn’t know what we were going to say because we had the temple the day before! That morning I prayed so hard that I would know what to say for the training, and Heavenly Father really did answer my prayer. I was blessed to quickly know what I needed to say and the Spirit even helped me come up with a drawing to help make the point I was trying to make. I was saying that sometimes when we ask our investigators to keep commitments it is like asking them to jump from one cliff to another. The side they are on is called “belief” and the side we want them to be on is “action”. Separating the two is a deep canyon with spikes on the bottom to represent “fear”. I talked about the fears investigators had and how the Spirit can help them overcome that fear and keep commitments. The Spirit is the bridge from “belief” to “action.” We, as missionaries, need to do everything we can to help investigators feel the Spirit, and especially when we testify of the truthfulness of the gospel we can invite the Spirit who can then testify to their hearts and give them the desire and courage to keep commitments. The Spirit was the one guiding this discussion and I am so grateful for it. Lots of missionaries told me that they learned a lot from this, so I’m grateful for that too.

We also went on exchanges on Thursday so I went with Sister Evans, who is only in her 2nd transfer, but she was on fire! We saw so many miracles and ended up giving away seven copies f the Book of Mormon! Another crazy thing is that I did Language Progression Program with her. Remember way back when I was doing Pass off for Korean? Well, they changed the program again and it’s WAY better than before and Sister Training Leaders can pass other sisters off now. I just think it’s kinda funny because I passed off with eight elders to finish and here I am now being passed off to.^^ She passed of course because she is just so good! Woot!

And on Saturday we performed “Hakuna Matata” in the Stake Music Night. We worked really hard to make it good, and we found out that it was a competition when we got there. It was kinda funny because Gymun ward and Jungnang ward were the final two to find out the winner. Well, Jungnang won and now we have the proudest bishop.^^ He brought us cake on Sunday because he was so happy.^^

Anyway, Crazy busy week, but it was so fun and so full of the Spirit! The Lord really does guide this work, and I am so grateful for the chances I’ve had to work with so many wonderful missionaries. Missionary work is the best!

Love you all!
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Jungnang Week 3 – A Halloween Miracle!

 

Dear Family and Friends,

I can’t believe it’s November. That CAN’T be real! ㅠㅠ

So this week was a little rough. Our investigator spent two and a half hours telling us why our church is not true. That was kind of a rough day because our teaching pool is not very big anyway. We have been praying so hard that we will find prepared people to teach, and our prayers were answered, but not the way we were expecting. You see, we met several prepared people on the street… but they were all men! O.o We cannot teach men, so we got their numbers and gave them to our very grateful elders. We realized that we need to pray a little more specifically to find prepared women!^^

For Halloween we came up with an idea to do reverse trick-or-treating as we contact people. We bought a ton of suckers and taped them to our Mormon.org cards and told everyone “Happy Halloween!” (Fun fact, Halloween is not celebrated in Korea, so we often had to explain what Halloween was.) I thought it was fun, and we were blessed to get two phone numbers from it! A Halloween miracle!^^

We also had a huge miracle on Sunday. A woman randomly walked into church because she wanted to learn English from the missionaries! And she stayed for all of Gospel Doctrine and Sacrament meeting, AND we have a return appointment this week!^^ I would say that was a direct answer to prayers. Heavenly Father is amazing!^^

This week we were also blessed to have interviews with President Christensen. I love getting to talk to him and I always fill the Spirit with him and Sister Christensen. They are the best!

Anyway, I hope you have a wonderful week! Shout out to Mom last week for her birthday! Love you lots!^^

Lots of love,
Sister Jessica Pope

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Jungnang Week 2 – Guess Who’s Finally Old Enough To Go on a Mission??

Hello everybody!

Can you believe that if President Monson hadn’t changed the age for women to go on missions that I would only just now be able to leave for Korea? O.o Instead here I am on my very last transfer. Isn’t that crazy?!

My birthday was super fun! It started with my very first exchange as Sister Training Leader on Friday. I went out to Chunchon with Sister McClosky. I was praying so hard that I would be able to know what to say, and I know that Heavenly Father answered that prayer. And on top of that we had two street lessons! It was such a miracle! It was kinda fun because they have a bed out there so I got to sleep on a bed for the first time in a long time. Happy Birthday to me!^^

On Saturday Sister McClosky made me french toast for breakfast. She’s so nice! And then when we exchanged back The Jungnang sisters had made me a pan of brownies! (I really only wanted a pan of brownies for my birthday. Happy day!^^) And another member brought me a tiny cheesecake because she found out we shared the same birthday. So sweet! And then while we were practicing for a musical number that I’ll talk about in a minute the elders pulled out a cake they had bought from Costco! O.o So. Much. Cake! It was a Sweet Potato cake too. If you’ve never had a Sweet Potato cake it tastes like fluffy sweet potatoes with frosting. It’s actually not that bad.^^

We also went out to dinner. We all went to a Meat Buffet. I don’t remember if I’ve already talked about those or not, but it’s a buffet where you grab as much meat as you want and cook it in front of you and eat until your ready to bust. I’m kinda glad that they don’t exist in America, actually.^^ It was delicious though!

All in all it was a wonderful birthday! Thank you all for your birthday wishes! I love you all so much!

As for the musical number we’re doing, our Stake is doing a Music Night thing and the missionaries in each ward have to prepare a musical number. They said it doesn’t have to be churchy, so we got permission to do Hakuna Matata from the Lion King. We got the music (thanks, Dad!) and we’re excited for it. I feel like I’m in Show Choir again a little bit.^^

We are doing our best to talk to everybody we can about this wonderful gospel and we’ve seen miracles from opening our mouths. I have a testimony that Heavenly Father always gives us the words we need when we have the faith to open our mouths and share our testimonies. This is God’s work and I am so blessed to have been able to serve a mission in this wonderful country! Missionary work is the best!^^

I love you all so much! You are amazing! Have a wonderful week!

Love,
Jessica Pope
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Jungnang Week 1 – New Area and New Challenges

 

사랑하는 가족와 친구들,

This week went by way to fast! I feel like I just get up and suddenly it’s time to plan the next day already! ㅠㅠ

The new transfer started and It’s been interesting trying to get used to a new area again. I really like the ward! Our district grew this transfer, so now there is twelve missionaries in Jungnang, and five of them are new to the area. In sacrament meeting five missionaries spoke! I was the only sister, so they had me speak last. They told me they enjoyed my talk and that my pronounciation was good, so I guess it went okay!

I just find it so funny when people mispronounce my name in this ward. It was never this bad in my other areas, but here it’s a real struggle. When the Bishop said my name in the program on Sunday we had no idea what he said but it was kind of close to my name, I guess. There’s also a word in Korean that sounds like my name, so lately I’ve been Sister Fork, and they ask where Sister Knife is. I just show them my nametag so it’s fine, but I have to laugh about the ‘Sister Fork’ thing.

Jungnang ward has a choir and the missionaries help out with it. It is so nice to be able to sing in a choir again! I feel like it’s been so long, but it’s so fun. I love the special spirit that comes from singing the hymns! They are my favorite!

We also started planning for a Stake Musical Program that will be happening soon. We have been asked to prepare a song as missionaries and try to include our investigators or recent converts or with the youth or something, and I think it’s going to be really fun. We picked a fun song and our district is excited for it! It’s going to be awesome!

We’re still doing a lot of less active work and Sister Kwon and I have been talking about how we can best help the sisters in our zone. This next week we will conduct exchanges, so I am so grateful to learn how to be a better missionary from our wonderful

I love you all very much! I hope you all have a wonderful week! Don’t forget to pray and read your scriptures because that is where you can find strength! I love the Book of Mormon so much!^^

Love you all!
Sister Jessica Pope

 

Gyomun Week 31 – The Enabling Power of the Atonement

 

Dear Everyone and their dog,

What an amazing conference it was! I know I’m a week late, but that’s what happens when you live far away from Utah.^^ I loved all of it! As always, the questions that I had prayerfully asked about were answered during the talks. I felt like conference really was for me! Oh, how grateful I am for the words of the prophets!

I loved seeing Ashley and Lizzie during the Women’s Meeting! I practically jumped out of my seat with excitement to point them out to all of the sister missionaries that were with us.^^ They were beautiful, and Sister Christensen, our Mission President’s wife, wanted me to make sure to tell them that they did such a good job. Great job, Ash and Liz!^^

One of the things that I heard from almost every speaker was about the enabling power of the Atonement. The Atonement is there so that we could repent and feel the peace that comes from forsaking sin, but this conference focused so much on how the Atonement is also there so that we could overcome our weaknesses and become better than we were before. This was an answer to a prayer for me because I wanted to know how I could improve and become a more consecrated missionary with the time I had left. The answer is through relying on the Lord and applying the enabling power of the Atonement to overcome my weaknesses and do the work the way Heavenly Father would have me do it! The Atonement is more than just for sin, it is to help us reach our potential!

And speaking of doing the work the way Heavenly Father would have me do it, after the Saturday session of conference we had Transfer calls! Would you believe that for my very last transfer that I am going to a different area?? Well you better, because that’s what is happening!^^ I am going to Jungnang with Sister Kwon, a Korean sister! O.o It’s really funny because, if you recall, I was in Imun and then I came to Gymun, which is in the same stake. Well, Jungnang is right smack dab in the middle, touching both of my previous areas. All of my areas are in a line, except for Sinchon, which is where the temple is. I guess this makes it easier to find my areas when I come back to visit Korea later.^^

And I’m really going to need the enabling power of the Atonement this time because I have also been called to be a Sister Training Leader for our zone. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s pretty much the sister equivalent of a Zone Leader. I will, with my Sister Training Leader Companion Sister Kwon, be helping the sisters in our zone and conducting exchanges with them every once in a while for training purposes. It is humbling to receive this calling to serve these sisters and speak the words that Heavenly Father would have me speak because I know that this is His work and not mine. I hope and pray that I will be able to serve them as much as I can and that I can become a more consecrated missionary as I go. I am so excited for this opportunity!

I hope you all have had a wonderful week. I pray for you always! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!^^

Love you all,
Sister Jessica Pope

 

Gyomun Week 30 – Same Story with a Twist!

Dear Family and friends,
This week we did a lot of good work, I think. We were able to meet with a less active family that we’ve been trying to meet for a while. It’s really funny because we’ve found three less active families that have similar stories but have a slight twist. One family the parents are baptized, and the father likes us but the mother is a little hesitant. Their two children aren’t baptised, but they are willing to let us teach them. Then the family we met on Saturday the parents are members, and the mother likes us but the father is a little hesitant. The children aren’t baptised, but they are willing to let us teach them. And then our Bishop gave us a family to call and the mother is a member and she has two children who she would like to start meeting the missionaries and get baptised! It’s kind of amazing to me that we’ve found three families that have similar stories like that. It’s a reminder that Heavenly Father is in charge of this work and we just need to be ready to do it. We will keep following up with them and trying to help them! We are so excited for them!

The ward picnic was this week and the missionaries were invited to come. It was so fun and we got to talk with a lot of the members. It was interesting because one of the activities was a ward sing-a-long where everyone sang together, and then they had impromptu solos. The sister missionaries even sang, so we sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” for them. They really liked it, I think.^^ Korean ward activities are so fun!

Tae hee, our recent convert, came to the picnic and she had a good time! She is doing so well in the ward now, and yesterday she got a calling! I have been so blessed to have been here to teach her and see her baptised as well as see her progress after baptism. She is so good and she’s getting to the point where she doesn’t need us anymore. Oh, the gospel is true!^^

I love the gospel so much, and I’m so grateful I get to serve here in this wonderful country and serve these wonderful people. I feel so blessed! Korea is one of my sacred places.

I hope you all have a wonderful week! I’m always praying for you! Keep smiling and keep the faith!

Love,
Sister Jessica Pope

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Gyomun Week 29 – Travel Time

Dear Family and Friends,

This week we traveled around so much! Our area is huge- one of the biggest in the mission- and we have been on buses going all over the place. One thing we did was try to visit a potential investigator that I met on the bus. I met her a couple weeks ago and she told me that she worked at Baskin Robbins, so on a leap of faith (and I texted her we were coming before hand) we went on an hour long bus ride just so we could get some ice cream.^^ Okay, we actually went to see her and she was there! We talked for a couple minutes and when I texted her later she said she wanted to meet! Miracles!!!!! We have an appointment for this next week, so I’m excited!^^

We also had a wonderful Sister’s Conference! Last year they had an all Sister’s Conference with all the sister missionaries in the mission, and our Sister Training Leaders were sad that we weren’t going to have one again (too many missionaries^^) so they got permission to have one with our zone! It was so good! It was pretty much like Zone Training, but only sisters were there. It was so nice! Most of the trainings in the mission field are geared towards elders, as it should be, but it was really nice to have a meeting for the sisters and how we can contribute more to this wonderful work. I’m so grateful for our Sister Training Leaders for planning this wonderful activity! We also ordered shirts for it. I’ll put some pictures in so you can see them.^^

We also planned a fun Family Home Evening that went well. We wish we could have had more people show up, but those who came kept telling me how good of an idea it was. We had some golf clubs at our house, so we decided to do a mini-golf course at the church. We used tape for the course, and the children loved it! I got to sit down with the other sisters in the ward and talk with them about missionary work and it was so good! This ward is so great, and I’m so grateful I get to serve in Gyomun!

I’m so excited for conference too! Shout out to Ashley and Lizzie for being in the choir for Woman’s Conference! I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m looking forward to seeing it the week after Conference in America!^^ I love you both so much!

I hope you have a wonderful week! Miracles do happen, but sometimes we have to look for them a little harder. I know this is true!

Love you lots!
Sister Jessica Pope

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