Week 9 – 2nd Transfer already?!

Dearest Family and friends,

Well we’re officially at the end of my first transfer. I think that means I’m gonna make it. ^^ No surprise, Sis. Jeong and I are staying in 신촌 (Shin-chone) for another transfer because I’m not quite done with training. It’s hard to believe I’ve been here for nine weeks now. O.o After we got our call, the zone leaders called us and I answered the phone. They mistook me for my companion and said I sounded really Korean!!!!! ^^ Yay! I can tell my Korean is getting better, though I’m still far from being proficient. I realized that I have been having conversations with people in Korean. O.o How crazy is that? And Sis. Jeong was really surprised that when I was calling potential investigators these past few days I got a return appointment each day. I was too, actually. Heavenly Father has blessed us so much, and I’m so grateful for his help because it’s only because of him that I can speak at all.

In other news, this transfer means that a new zone will be created, and the missionaries in our ward (namely, us, the zone leaders, and another set of elders) will become our own district. One of our zone leaders is leaving ㅠㅠ  and another one will come in, and combined they will train a new missionary. One of our other elders will be district leader. There will be five elders in that house now. I’m glad I’m not allowed in there. 😉

So next week is Confrence! I’m a little sad because of the time difference that Conference will end on Monday Evening for us. That means that we will watch it a week later. *sigh* At least we get to see it! I’m super excited! ^^

As for my birthday wishes, it’s starting to get colder out her e so I would really like some warmer clothes, especially sweaters. I can buy them here, but Koreans are really small and I haven’t found my size yet. Also, Deodorant 없어요 (doesn’t exist), the same with American toothpaste. And most of all I miss American food. ㅠㅠ Physical pictures from home would be nice, and anything else you think a foreign missionary might need. ^^

Always remember that Heavenly Father loves you! You are his child, and his way is the best way. I was reading D&C 122:17, and it is so true. we should cheerfully do everything that lies in our power, and then we can see the Lord’s blessings. Happiness is a choice. You can choose to be happy, or you can choose to be depressed and give up. I am learning that more and more while I’m here, and I hope you remember that too.

I love you all! Thank you for your prayers and messages of love! I couldn’t do this without them.

All my love,

Sister Jessica Pope

May 2013
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Week 8 추석 Fun!

Dearest Family and Friends,

First of all, Congratulations to Uncle John E and Vanessa on their wedding! Woot woot! I am so excited for you!

Also, Congratulations to Aunt Kristie and Adrian on their engagement! I look forward to the pictures. ^^

This week was the three day holiday of 추석 (Chew-sok) ! Like I said last week, it’s the Korean Thanksgiving. Our mission president decided that it we should do a special mission fast with all the missionaries. We did a full 24 hour fast to remove the “fog” that has been over the mission, to rededicate ourselves to the work. and to overcome temptation. Now, some might be wondering why a bunch of young adults would willingly choose not eat for 24 hours like that. I want you to know that when we all heard about this fast we became super excited because we knew that our mission president was inspired by God. We all knew that there would be miracles that would come from this, and so we prepared ourselves and sacrificed a little pleasure for much more valuable spiritual treasures. We had a testimony meeting before we broke our fast together and it was one of the most spiritually powerful testimony meetings I’ve ever been a part of. There was so much faith in that room! We all could feel the spirit, and when President Christensen had us all kneel and then offered the prayer to break our fast, he promised the Lord that we would act on the impressions He gave us. I pretty much cried through the whole prayer because I knew that every word he said was true! We are willing to act on the Lord’s impressions, and I am looking forward to this next week to see the hand of the Lord. ^^

After we broke our fast, it was time for our 추석 feast. Mmmm…. everything was delicious.^^ We all probably ate way to much of the special 추석 food, and then we played games as a mission. The next day was another P-day because change day was on Saturday. We went to a park as a zone and we rode bikes and played games in the sunshine! It was the first time I’ve ridden a bike all my mission, and probably one of the few times I will. It was a lot of fun, and we all came back a little red from the sun. ^^

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The next day was change day, like I said. This means we clean our apartments super super well because transfers are coming up soon (but not for me). Our apartment used to be an elder’s apartment, and it was SOOO GROSSS!!! I think the only reason the elders survived was because their moms were praying that they would come back safely. I only cleaned the kitchen for FIVE hours just scrubbing and scrubbing years and years of dirt away. Now the apartment is livable, but my wrist just ached that night because I scrubbed so hard. I saved our lives that day. Your welcome, future missionaries!

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Anyway, it was a great week and I look forward to seeing the miracles that come in the weeks to come. Thank you for your love and prayers. I feel them every day! I love you all!!

All my love,
Sister Jessica Pope

Korean Thanksgiving – Week 7

Dearest family and friends,

Happy 주석 week! ^^ That is Korean Thanksgiving, and it’s will be on the 19th. The Korean missionaries get to call home that day, but the foreign missionaries will have to wait for Christmas. It’s okay though. It will be fun to celebrate anyway. ^^ We will have mission conference on that day, so it’s going to be an exciting week!

So this week we were able to visit our investigator who has been in the hospital nearly every day. She is in the hospital that is right next to the other ward in our district, so she was able to witness a baptism on Saturday!!! ^^ I was praying so hard that she would feel something, and she told me that she “felt her heart spark” that day. Ah!! The Spirit is so awesome!! She also was able to receive a blessing of the sick yesterday. The Lord has been preparing her for the gospel! She won’t be in the hospital much longer, and that means that we won’t be able to teach her soon. *sigh* We know that the new missionaries will love her just as much as we do, and we know that the gospel will bless her life more than she can even imagine. Missionaries plant seeds all the time and sometimes they don’t get to see the fruit of that seed. I pray for her and I hope that she will know that the seed is good.

We also were able to get a new investigator who doesn’t speak Korean that well. We teach her in English, and that means that I am to lead the conversation. It’s different being so involved in the lesson because most of the time I have no idea what is going on and am just praying to recognize when I should bear testimony. When we teach this sister I can speak about everything, and It’s a good reminder that I AM able to teach the gospel. I can do it in Korean, but most of the time it’s all I can do to get out three or so sentences and I get frustrated because I still can’t understand. Teaching in English reminded me of what can happen when I am able to speak the language and it gave me more hope. I have faith that I can learn this language, and I know that the Lord will help me if I continue to try. On Tuesday we went to the temple and I was reminded of a very important lesson: I am not perfect, but Jesus Christ is. He who created the heaven and the earth created this language, and he knows how much I am trying to learn it and where I’m at. Mistakes are part of the plan, but so are miracles. I am looking for the miracles each day, and I have seen them.

I was asked to teach English class twice this week because the elders in our ward were elsewhere doing missionary things. Those who come think I’m hilarious when I teach. That, or I’m crazy. I can’t tell anymore. ^^ At least they enjoy themselves, and I enjoy teaching English. We teach mostly conversational English, so if anyone has any ideas for topics, like “Pet Peeves”, “Holidays”, “Jokes”, etc. please let me know because I’d like to use them. Thanks!

Thank you for your prayers and faith. Truly they are a blessing to me. I love you all so much! 사랑해요!!!

All my love,

Sister Jessica Pope

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P.S. Please send me your best and worst jokes, especially Knock Knock jokes. They are all new to the Koreans. 😛

 

“To bring the world His Truth”

Week 6 – An Unexpected Opportunit​y

Dear Family and friends,

I was talking to one of our American elders, and he said to me “You’ve been here almost a whole normal transfer. How do you feel?”
I said, “I feel like I still know nothing.”
He nodded, and said,”That feeling never goes away”.
True story.
If there is one thing that being in Korea has taught me, it is that I absolutely cannot do this on my own. There is no way I could learn Korean if it weren’t for the promise of the Lord and the gift of tongues. I have an absolute testimony that the gift of tongues is real because I have felt it and have seen it many many times. It give me confidence that the Lord is with me and will help me. I reread from my early entries from the MTC in my journal this past week, and I thought about how far I have come in such a short time. Even though I am far from being fluent, it is an absolute miracle that I can speak as well as I can. It’s not perfection, but that is truly a gift from the Lord.
This week I also went on my first exchange, which is really cool because it was only recently that sisters have been able to go on exchanges like this. I went with Sister Kwon to her area and the sister training leader and her other companion went with my companion. I learned lots from Sister Kwon. She is so awesome, and I sincerely hope we get to be companions at some point during our missions. She went to BYUI for three years, so she has a lot of understand about Americans and she speaks English so well. It was a really good experience!
Sister Jeong and I were kind of sad that we wouldn’t be able to meet with one our investigators again because she was moving to a new area. This week we found out that she is in the hospital for surgery, and so we’ve taken this unexpected opportunity to meet with her and tell her we love her and share the message of the gospel with her! It is sad that she will be in the hospital for a few weeks, but we hope that this is Heavenly Father preparing her to receive the message that we have to share. She is so cute, and I pray that she will be receptive to the Lord’s message!
May 2013

May 2013

I’m really excited because tomorrow is our zone’s temple day! It’s going to be so awesome! ^^ So today is only email day. Our real P-Day will be tomorrow, so right after this we’re going right back out to work and talk to some people and invite them to come unto Christ. I’m thankful for all of your prayers and love. I know that the Lord will bless you if you only turn to him. I’ve learned that Faith is a choice, and so is happiness. Choose the better part always. Choose to partake of the fruit of life.
Love you lots!
Sister Jessica Pope