Week 5 – MTC – Sister Jessica Pope

Hello everyone!

Thanks for the package, mom AND dad. I loved the snap peas! I ate them all that night, and I’m kind of sad they are gone. We now have a feast in our room, it feels like. We will not starve here, so don’t be worried about that. 🙂

I know mom and dad did, but did anyone else see me in the broadcast? I was only on there for about six seconds, and if you start the video at minute 2:34 you’ll be able to see me. I am in the section by the elders about a thrid of the way up from the bottom and on the left side. There is a sister in a yellow sweater on the end of my row. Hopefully you’ll be able to find me now. You can see my companion several times though. It’s pretty cool!

I’m so excited for what is going to happen with the member missionary work! The whole time I was there I was thinking about the reasons why I decided to serve a mission, particularly about how I always wanted to be in a position so that when the Lord said, “Whom shall I send?” I could say “Here am I, send me.” I was remembering all of that, and I got really excited for you all because the Lord is now re-extending that question to all the members! I want to remind you that missionaries cannot do this work alone. The Lord is helping us, but how much more can we do with the members help? I absolutely loved every minute of the broadcast. The Lord is truely furthering his work, and I hope you all are ready to “catch the wave” and be a part of this marvelous gathering. Do you realize how cool this is!? This is a miracle for our day!! The missionaries and the members each have a specific purpose for this work, and I know that with the Lord’s help we can make an even bigger miracle. I hope you take the messages shared to heart. This is truely amazing, and I’m so excited for you all!

This week was the Mission President Seminar, so our main building was closed for most of the week. Even though we were not allowed to go in there, it was awesome because of all the Mission Presidents and General Authorities that came! We were told that we could not approach any, but the prophet and the apostles were on campus with us! Ah!! You could feel their spirit all over. It was amazing! Our service assignment is to clean the building were the seminar was, so we were thinking about how cool it was that we were cleaning the building for the prophet specifically. 😀 We never saw the general authorities except for the broadcast, but that did not take away from our joy. Missionary work is awesome, and I’m so excited for how awesome it will be in Korea!

Korean is still a struggle, but in our last lesson we didn’t use a script, so that is an improvement. It’s hard because I cannot express myself as well in Korean, but I feel like I’m learning the true meaning of faith here. Slowly, very slowly, it is coming. I am very grateful for your prayers in my behalf. I know that they are helping me so much. I know this church is true, and I know that with Heavenly Father all things are possible. Look to him in every thought.

사랑하요!

Here are some pictures more pictures that I thought you’d appreciate, like the army of missionaries! Make sure you share the one of me and Heidi! ❤

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Love,

Pope 가매

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Week 4 – MTC – Sister Jessica Pope

Hello my family and friends!

Another week has gone by, and it’s hard to think that we are now the older missionaries in our district. The eight-weekers have left for Korea, and the four-weekers are now the eight-weekers, and we are now the four-weekers. We got a new addition to our branch that are all going to the Seoul South mission. They asked us the best way to study, and the only answer we had for them was “when it’s time to study, study.” There is so much study time in the MTC, and you need every bit of it. You thought you knew how to study when you were in school, but when you are in MTC your eyes are opened to what “study” really means. It’s really hard because it seems like all my study gets no results, and its very discouraging at times. All of our district is there, and we have all cried our eyes out at one point here, even the Elders. Devotionals are what save me because after that out pour of “you can do this! The lord loves you!” I feel like I can do anything. I’m trying to take everything one day at a time, but some days are better than others. I’m so glad the Lord is on our side because this could not be possible without Him. WriteMe

So June 23rd is going to be amazing! I’m so excited to hear what amazing changes will happen for missionary work. The Lord has his hand in everything and I know that he is furthering his work so that all his children will be able to come back to him! I’m so excited to sing for the First Presidency and the twelve Apostles as well. We have been working hard to memorize our songs for Sunday because this will be an incredible event. This video will be watched for generations, so this is for posterity! I hope my children will be touched by the truth of the message and think it is cool that I’m a part of the choir. Make sure you look for me and Heidi, and I think Emily Landon is there too. My friend Josh is also in the Choir before he ships out to France next Monday. This is going to be amazing! I’ll be in a blue blouse with my black name tag, so hopefully it will be easier to spot me.

I’m pretty sure I said in a previous email that I got the strawberries and that I wanted the Aunts and Uncles addresses so that I could tell Aunt Shannon they were delicious and to thank her. Maybe you just didn’t notice it.

There is an intestinal virus sickness going around the MTC, so they have implemented a “no handshake” policy and they want us to use hand sanitizer more. I’m glad Korean custom is to bow, so that won’t be too much of a problem.

“I never said it would be easy; I only said it would be worth it.”

I love you all! Thanks for everything you do! Please don’t forget to write me because your letters lift me so much! Please tell me what is going on in your life!

All my love,

Jess

Week 3 – MTC

Hi everyone!
*ahem*
Hello mother. Hello Father.
reading and seeing
is not a bother.
Thanks for the package.
That’s why I’m writing.
My brand new glasses really help with the sighting. 🙂

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Anyway, I got your package just this morning. Thanks so much! I really appreciate the blanket. It got a little cold last night. 🙂

I said it last week, and I’ll say it again. Korean is hard! We’re working so hard, and it’s coming very slowly. I’ve been trying several ways to memorize the vocabulary, but I haven’t quite found the one that works the best for me. If anyone has any advice on that, I’d really appreciate it. We’ve taught several more lessons, and we gained two new “investigators”, and a new teacher. Our new teacher looks exactly like our first investigator! It’s so crazy! Unfortunately, our first investigator died unexpectedly, and we were sad because he didn’t have a chance to be baptized, but we gained a new investigator that also our new teacher’s doppelganger. Our second investigator looks exactly like our first teacher too! It’s crazy!

Sundays are my very favorite days here at the MTC. There is so much time to really study and there is not as much rushing around. I love my district and zone! Last Sunday our district leader asked us to teach in district meeting, and Sis. Jackson and I put together a lesson on Baptism. We taught in English, thankfully, and one of the counselors in our branch presidency and his wife were there. He told us that we said exactly what Heavenly Father wanted us to say in the lesson, and it helped me gain some confidence in my teaching. He gave us some inspired counsel, and it was a wonderful Sunday. Fast Sunday’s are not that bad here, so don’t worry about that. They show a movie every Sunday evening, and our first Sunday we watched “Legacy”. It was very enjoyable because of the romance in the story. We didn’t think we’d see romance like that for 18 months to 2 years! 🙂 Last Sunday they had a special language movie, so we got to see “Legacy” in Korean again! It was even more enjoyable in Korean, if that’s possible. It reminded me that I still have much to learn.DSCF0397

I guess you heard on the news about our trip to the Marriott center? It was sooo cool! We seriously looked like an army of God, with thousands of missionaries pouring out the MTC towards the Marriott center. It was the very first time that an MTC devotional has been held in the Marriot Center, and we had all the missionaries from the MTC and the West Campus (Wyview) there. There were sooo many missionaries! People took pictures of us as we walked by. It was cool to be on BYU campus again, and Mervyn B. Arnold and his wife gave an AMAZING devotional. Seriously, it was like it was meant for me. It was perfect! Later, we discussed the devotional as a district and Bro. Perriton from the Branch presidency was with us. He’s the type of priesthood leader who stares into your soul and speaks directly to your heart. As you can imagine, the discussion we had was intense. I love devotionals at the MTC!

As a general reminder, I only know as much as you tell me about what’s going on with you and the world. Don’t think that you can remember what you want to tell me at the end of my mission. The best way is to write your thoughts down the moment you think of what you want to tell me and send it off right away so you don’t forget. I echo the thought of many when I say that missionaries love to get letters, so don’t waste any time and write it when you think about it and send it as soon as possible. I love to hear from you, and I want to hear about the great things you are doing. Don’t forget to tell me because I will not find out from anyone else!

I love you all! The church is true, Korean is hard! Mark 9:23

All my love,

Jess

Week 2 – MTC – Sister Pope

Jessica’s latest update from the MTC
Hello my lovely friends and family!
I made it through my first week, and when I look back on my journal entries I have to laugh because most of them say the same thing– “I’m exhausted!” Seriously, those first few days were so rough! It’s crazy because it’s only been a few days and it feels like we’ve been here for years. I was told that people go crazy in the MTC, and I can attest to that. Our teacher was telling us that Koreans don’t understand sarcasm, so if they asked me if I was American and I said, “No. I’m Chinese.” they would be like, “Oh really? What part of China?” But he then gave an example of a Korean joke, which went “What did the bus driver say to the egg? Geedon”. You might have to say that out loud to get it, but you’ll realize that that isn’t that funny. However, our entire district just laughed and laughed and laughed until some of us cried, and our teacher looked at us like we were crazy. We lost it a little bit this week, but it was great.
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I can now add my testimony to that of countless missionaries before me that the first few days are tough, but I can also add my testimony that it does get better and that wonderful things happen in the MTC. We have taught five times so far, all in Korean. We asked our “investigator” if he would prepare to be baptized, and he said “Neh!” (yes) We were so excited! It was a really happy day, and then he asked us a question. I knew he was asking about baptism, so I started to answer how baptism worked. It wasn’t until after we had left that I fully understood his question and I realized I had misunderstood. He didn’t ask “How does baptism work?” He asked “How do I prepare to be baptized?” Aneeyo!! (No!!) We just started laughing and we quickly made a lesson plan for the next time to explain, and we taught it the next day. I can see the gift of tounges working more and more. We don’t understand a lot of Korean, but from one word we seem to understand the whole sentence and can answer the question. It is truly a miracle, and I am grateful that the Lord is helping us as we struggle to learn this difficult language.
I love the MTC, even though it is hard. Again, I add my testimony to that of countless others that this is the hardest thing I have ever done, but I also testify that it is worth it. I have grown so much from my first week, and I know that the Lord is blessing me and all of the missionaries here. I am so grateful to be a part of this great work!
We received a new district this week of native Koreans. They are so cute! They are also intimidating because we don’t know Korean and we’re almost afraid to talk to them. They’ll be here for two weeks before going back to Korea. We now have 11 districts in our branch, and all of our branch speaks Korean. Most of them are going to Korea as well. Last week we broke the record for number of missionaries coming in with 700, but this week broke that record with 940 missionaries!!! There are so many here. It’s awesome and crowded a bit, but we love it. From what I understand, Wyview is mainly for English speaking missionaries.
Okay, so here’s why you need to save the date. We went to choir practice on Sunday and they told us that we were going to be a part of something awesome. On June 23rd there is going to be a worldwide broadcast by the church, and we have the opportunity to be a part of the choir for it! We will be able to sing at the Marriot Center for the first presidency and the twelve apostles!!! We are so excited that we get to be here for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! Make sure you watch it because you might see me and my district, because most of us are going to be a part of this wonderful event. It’s going to be so awesome!!!!! I’ll be the one in the nametag!
All my love and prayers,
Pope Jama