Week 13 – Birthday Fun!

Dearest family and friends,

The end of another long week! I’m now 20/21? and my birthday was pretty good. We had interviews with President Christensen that day. I was really grateful because I felt like he really understood me. I had a thought about it: He said that he knew about my situation before the transfers started and he’s been watching ever since. If I needed help, he was waiting for me to ask. To me, that sounds very similar to how Christ works. He knows us and knows exactly what we’re going through. He knows exactly how to help us and he’s just waiting for us to ask and turn to him for help. I’m grateful to see these Christlike attributes in our mission president. It helps me know this work is truly inspired. ^^

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The Assistants to the President were very sweet. I saw them at the Young Missionary Companionship Forum (Which I will talk about in a minute) and so they knew my birthday was the next day. They made a “birthday box” filled with random things they had found at the church, like a 몰몬경, a missionary planner, some Youth CD’s, a first aid kit, and some chocolate (which I really hope they bought), They are silly, but it was very nice of them. ^^ Sis. Jeong gave me a present, and the elders in our ward sang “Happy Birthday” in Korean and brought muffins. Nothing big, but It was a good day. ^^

The Young Missionary Companionship Forum was great. It was for those companionships where both companions are young missionaries (i.e. one 3rd transfer, one 2nd transfer). Sis. Jeong and I qualified for it because she’s on her 4th transfer, and we were grateful to go because we learned a lot. They had this so that those companionships would feel more confident in their work and know that God trusts them. It’s interesting to know that 90% of our missionaries are less then a year out. We are a young mission. O.o One message that stuck out to me from it is that they said being clueless is a good thing. If you are clueless you are dependent on heaven and God can direct you. The minute you start saying “I know what I’m doing” that is absence of humility and the Spirit can’t work as well through you. I felt much more confident in my abilities after the meeting, and I know it will help me throughout my mission.

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I hope everything is going well for all of you! A special “Happy Birthday” to my favorite Mom! Love you so much! ^^ Thank you for all your prayers. I love you all, and I hope the Lord blesses you more than you think you deserve! Happy Halloween, because it’s not a big holiday out here. Eat a lot of candy for me!! ^^

Love you all!!

Sister Jessica Pope

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Week 12 – How Old Am I Really?

안녕하세요, 제 가적과 진구!

As some of you may recall, this week is my last as a teenager. This means I’m supposed to do grown up things, like buy my own toilet paper or go to work everyday. Well, I’ve actually been doing that for a while, so we have enough toilet paper and my work is the Lord’s work right now, so we’re good on that. ^^ I’m just confused about my age.

You see, Korean age is a little different than American age. In Korea, when you are born you are already 1, and then at the Lunar New Year everyone gets a year older together on the same day. This means that when I left the United States I was 19, and when I got her I was 21! In a strange paradox I won’t be 20 ever because on my birthday I’ll still be telling people I’m 21! AND when I come back I’ll have turned 21 in American age! I’m going to be 21 for a really long time! O.o

This last week went much better than last week. We still worked hard, and there were still disappointments, but we are doing the work of the Lord! I went on exchange this week with our sister training leader, and I just have to say that she is adorable! She is so awesome, and she really helped me understand a few things about how to do better missionary work. I’m grateful for her example to me!

I’m so grateful for everyone’s prayers! Thank you for the birthday wishes too! I love you all, and I hope you have a wonderful week! May the Lord bless you and keep you!!!!!

All my love,

Sister Jessica Pope

Week 11 – General Conference is like Christmas in October! ^^

Dear Family and friends,

Oh, how I love General Conference! It truly is like Christmas time for missionaries. ^^ This was the strangest situation to watch conference I’ve ever been in though. Normally what would happen is that all the missionaries get together to watch conference and they have a Korean session and an English session, but because of the new emphasis on members working with missionaries they had us watch with our wards. This meant that Sis. Jeong and I would have to go on splits to watch conference, but none of the English speaking families came (they probably watched it last week on their own) so my companions for conference were three elders! O.o Don’t worry! Everything was fine. We had permission, and we left the door open so that people could see us. If I had brothers, I think they would be just like them. ^^ I learned a lot from watching conference with them, and we all were spiritually edified from the messages from the Lord. I really needed conference too. A lot of my own prayers and concerns were answered and I feel spiritually strengthened. On top of that, one of our investigators came to watch one of the sessions with us! She said that a lot of her questions were answered that other churches couldn’t answer. ^^ She’s is so awesome! I love her so much!

I was especially grateful for Conference because this week was a bit hard for me. During one particular night I was feeling somewhat emotionally drained and feeling down, and I wasn’t excited about going out to 전도. I felt like I wanted to just hide for the night, but I knew that wasn’t what I needed to do. I wanted to overcome these feelings, so I prayed and told Heavenly Father “Okay. I’m going to talk to everyone I can tonight, but I need your help. Please help me overcome!” Almost instantly I saw a girl wearing a shirt that said “Stand Firm in your style.” I don’t know if she understood what her shirt meant, but those words were exactly what I needed to help me have the courage to open my mouth. I did my best to “stand firm” and I started talking to people, and then my companion started talking to people, and we 전도ed a lot! I felt those feelings go away and were replaced with happiness and triumph. I felt triumphant because Heavenly Father helped be thwart the adversary’s plan to stop me from talking to people. I have a testimony of service and the power that it gives to us. Not only does it bless other people, but we can also overcome our own feelings when we are in need.

I hope you all have a wonderful week and that you turn to the Lord for everything! The Lord loves you so much! You are his beloved child!

I love you all!

Love,

Sis Jessica Pope

Week 10 – The Secret to Happiness

Hello Family and Friends!

I hope you all enjoyed confrence. We’ll see it next weekend because of the time difference and translation to Korean, but I’m super excited to hear the words of the prophet! We were able to have dinner with an AMAZING American family in our ward (American Food!!!!!!!! ^^) and I was able to give a spiritual thought and invite them to prayerfully think of a question and have faith to look for the answer during conference. I’ve taken the challenge myself, and so I look forward to answers to prayers as well. I hope your prayers were answered!!

We’ve been running around all over the place visiting members and 전도ing trying to invite others to come unto Christ. I realized how blessed we are to have investigators who we continue to meet because some areas hardly have any. I’ve been doing better at recognizing what is going on in the lessons and recognizing when I should testify. Hopefully my Korean will start improving more quickly now.

The sad news is that this week I lost my voice pretty much completely, which is really bad for missionary work, but Heavenly Father helped me when I needed to speak and it was a miracle in my eyes. It was a miracle because had a voice during the following story:

I have been focusing some of my study on answering questions of the soul through the Book of Mormon. We were meeting with a recent convert and she asked me one of the questions that I had been studying! “How can I find happiness?” I immediately felt the Spirit and knew exactly where to turn to! We read in 1 Nephi 8, the story of the Tree of Life. We read about how the fruit “was desirable to make one happy” and then I turned to 1 Nephi 11 to explain how the fruit of the tree was a representation of the love of God, and that the rod of iron was the word of God and when we continually press forward in keeping the commandments and doing everything the Lord expects us to we can find happiness, not only at the end, but throughout the journey. I love how in Preach my Gospel in the section under Lesson 2, The Earth Life how it says that “our purpose in life is to have joy AND prepare to meet God.” (PMG, empahsis added) We can have joy NOW!!! “Adam fell that man might be, and men are, that they might have JOY!” (2 Nephi 2:25, emphasis added) This is a JOYFUL work, and we can be happy now when we keep the commandments. They aren’t given to bind us down by rules, but to free us from the guilt and sorrow that breaking the rules brings! I explained to the recent convert how there were different groups that tried to get to the tree, but only the group that continually pressed forward to partake of the tree and didn’t give heed to the people who were mocking found TRUE happiness. Happiness and joy are possible to obtain, and we can have it NOW!!! Doesn’t that just fill you up with hope? I love this message! ^^ I LOVE the Book of Mormon too! It’s so awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The gospel is so true! I hope you all know that. I am still struggling to know how best to do missionary work, but I know that with the Lord I can do anything he needs me to. Never forget how blessed we are to know how to have happiness in this life! I love you all!

All my love,
Sister Jessica Pope
“To bring the world His Truth”