Gyomun Week 2 – Musical FHE Fun!

Dear Family and Friends,

What!? Another week went by already? How’d that happen??^^

This week was a little rough. We were given an assignment by the bishop to put together a Musical Family Home Evening for the Ward in a week, so you can imagine how much time that took up. I was the only one who could play the piano well enough, so I needed to learn and practice four songs, and because we also had exchanges with the Sister Training leader this week I really had only two days to do it in. O.o It was kind of frustrating because we had no time talk to people at all because of practicing, but we figured it was service, so we practiced. It was also pretty crazy because the day we came to practice we were surprised to find that people were in the process of knocking down a wall in the Cultural Hall where we were supposed to practice. O.o I don’t know about you, but it’s kinda hard to practice or teach a lesson when someone is jackhammering the wall next to you. Instead we practiced in the primary room, and anxiously waited for them to finish knocking down the wall and put dividers in, which they did a mere 30 minutes before everyone was supposed to arrive for Family Home Evening. Truly, it was miracle. O.o

To be honest, for the time we had it was a pretty good show. We sang “A Child’s Prayer” from the Children’s songbook in Korean (the easiest song^^), Sister Schillemat did a duet with a member and sang “Even When Your Broken”, an EFY song that I had never heard before, I played the piano for a piano/flute duet with Elder Kim of “I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go/I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus”, and to finish up we sang “Come Unto Christ”, the 2014 Youth theme song that all the missionaries out here have come to love.^^ I was most concerned about the Piano/Flute duet, but it all turned out pretty well, even if it was a little rough. Elder Carpenter is a Youtube famous Par Kour star (Look up “Jeremy Carpenter” on Youtube), so he did some pretty cool flips and stuff for FHE too. They made a joke that I was continually playing everything and gave me some applause. I’m really just glad I could serve the ward and that it could turn out so well.

I’m really grateful for the opportunity to serve here. I love that I get to testify about our Savior Jesus Christ and how much he loves us every day. I kow that he is aware of us and our needs, and I know that he is just waiting for us to turn to him so that he can help us, even if you only have a week to put together a Spiritually-uplifting musical Family Home Evening.^^ I know that through Him all things are possible, and I’m so grateful to be one of his missionaries and share his love every day. I hope you have a wonderful Easter, and I hope you enjoy General Conference! May God bless you and keep you always! The Chruch is so true!

Love,

Sister Jessica Pope

Gyomun Week 1 – In The Time We Were Given

Dearest Everyone,
I am now living in Gyomun! Apparently it’s the 2nd biggest area in the mission. Some of our members live an hour away, so it will be great!^^ I was really sad to leave Imun, but I know that Heavenly Father has plans for me here, so I will trust that his will is better than mine. My new companion is Sister Schillemat! She is from New Hampshire, has red hair, and is super super sweet. I’m really excited to serve with her! I’m sure we will have many adventures, especially since I still don’t really know what I’m doing.^^ We’re just trying to work hard and trust that the Lord will help us do what we need to do!
We saw a huge miracle yesterday! Because of transfers, the 교문 sisters didn’t have many contacts, and in a crazy turn of events we had only 21 contacts on Sunday morning. Since our standard of excelence for the mission is 140 contacts, we were pretty worried. We knew we needed a miracle, so we prayed that Heavenly Father would help us contact as many people as we could, and then we went out to 전도 all day (pretty much). We put our faith into action and we seriously 전도ed with all our might and strength. It felt different because we seriously were trying to talk to as many people as we could in the time we were given, and the miracles just started happening. At the end of the day we had contacted eighty-eight people, placed four copies of the Book of Mormon, reiceved nine phone numbers, and got three return appointments. O.o Oh man, it was tough! When we got back we were just dead tired and a little sore, but we knew without a doubt that we had given it our all, and Heavenly Father had blessed us for it. Miracles do happen!
I’m excited to serve here, and I look forward to inviting more people to come unto Christ. This work is soooo hard, but it’s sooooo worth it! We go out looking for the one who is prepared to recieve the gospel, and in the meantime we’re planting seeds. 화이팅!^^
I love you all so much! May God bless you and keep you always!
Love,
Sister Jessica Pope
“To bring the world His Truth”

Imun Week 12 – Miracles are happing all around us…

Dear Family and Friends,
What a week! I want to share a miracle story with you:This week had a lot of miracles. Sister Teng got really sick this week, so we didn’t get to go out as much as normal. I became really frustrated because it seems like our Investigators, Recent Converts, and Less Actives are dropping off the face of the earth or going to China. I don’t know what happened but our numbers have suddenly dropped and we are struggling to get new investigators. It’s been hard not to think it was my fault because I can’t speak Korean well or that I’m a bad teacher, and when Sister Teng got sick it meant our chance of picking up new investigators went really down. I called people for hours, but not much came of it. It was really frustrating and I wanted to cry. I took a break from calling and made message cards for people, and Sister Kim saw me struggling and made me a message card. It said “Cheer up! God will give you to a prepared investigator!” It was really sweet and made me feel better. I was trying to just keep the faith that it would all work out.
Later that week we were able to meet with one of our investigators that we had not seen in a long time. She sat down and pulled out her Book of Mormon and Bible and she started talking about how she loved the Book of Mormon. She said it’s so clear and really helps her understand the Bible better! She loves it, and she also likes D&C and wants a copy of that later! We taught her the Plan of Salvation and she only had one concern about her family accepting the gospel. I told her that she can help her family by first accepting the gospel herself. She said “Baptism? Yeah!” And I gave the Baptismal Commitment right then and there, and she accepted! I’ve never been able to give the baptismal commitment before, and she has a strong desire to be baptised! We went from not meeting with hardly anyone to a Baptismal date over the course of a week, and it just reminds me that Heavenly Father is looking our for us. He really did “give [me] to a prepared investigator” after the trial of faith. I know that miracles can happen, and there was more to come.
Transfer calls were this week, so I will move to 교문. Just like in 신촌, as soon as someone has a baptismal date I am meant to leave it seems like. I was kind of sad about that, but I knew it was okay because she was going to get baptised and that was enough. We would still be in the same stake, so if it was Heavenly Father’s will maybe I could come back for the baptism. On Sunday I spoke in the branch, and after church one of the members came up to me. Our investigator had recently moved, and he had helped her. He told me that she now lived in 교문 area! That means I can still be a part of her progression, and maybe it will be easier for her to go to 교문 ward! My Heavenly Father has been so good to me!
So I will be going to 교문 with an American companion! I hesitate to spell her name for fear of horribly misspelling it, so I’ll tell you next week.^^ It will be interesting having an American companion after having been so long with Asians, but I’m sure we will work hard and find the people we’re supposed to. I learned a lot in 이문, but I know I still have so much more to learn!
I love you all so much! May God bless you and keep you always!
Lots of love,

Sister Jessica Pope

Imun Week 11 – Miracles Come by Fath

Dearest Family and Friends,

Things have started to slow down out here, but we seem to be moving as fast as ever, if that makes sense. We’re still teaching lots of Chinese investigators and I still don’t speak any Chinese, but what else is new?^^ I’m really grateful for Sister Teng because she’s always working so hard to help our investigators. It helps me to stay positive even when they cancel on us.^^ Because of that we’ve been talking to lots of people on the street. Sometimes it’s really hard because in Korea there are people called jundosas that go around yelling and people telling them if they don’t believe in Jesus Christ they will go to Hell. They are really kinda scary. One time we were on the subway going to the temple and a jundosa walked down the car yelling and holding up pamphlets about her church. Then she started yelling at a man. O.o It was freaky. This makes it hard for us because most people automatically assume that we’re Jundosas and want to yell at them. As you know, this is not what we do when we talk to people. Our message is that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us and through the Book of Mormon we can know them better and know how we can improve our lives and help our families. Our message is a happy message that can bring peace and joy. This is why we go out and talk to people, but when people think you’re a jundosa it’s hard for them to let you get close enough for the Spirit to testify to their heart. It still happens, but we’ve also met a lot of not very nice people. It’s their choice to accept or reject this message, but all we are doing is inviting them to make that choice.

This week was stake conference, and it was really good! I felt the Spirit so strongly, and I was praying so hard that the less active member we brought with us felt the Spirit as well. I think she did.^^ We also had a really cool opportunity to go to the Seoul South mission for a fireside with Elder Nash of the Seventy. We could go only if we brought an investigator, and we were able to bring two Chinese men and a Korean woman. I think it was a really good experience for them, especially the Korean sister. We had a good talk on the way home about why we read the scriptures on the way home, and hopefully she’ll have the desire to start meeting with the missionaries regularly now.^^ One thing that was really awesome is that Elder Nash said that God had a wonderful work that the saints of Korea would be a part of. I believe that with all my heart, and I know that if they have faith miracles can be wrought here in Korea.

I’ve been making a lot of American food lately, and Sister Kim tells me I should open a restaurant in Korea.^^ I’ve really enjoyed sharing all of these recipes with my roommates and companion, so I would love some more easy recipes that I can make for my Korean and Taiwanese and Australian friends!^^ Thanks so much!

I love being a missionary! Even though it’s really hard sometimes, I can see and feel the blessings that come from serving. I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for giving me this opportunity to serve him full-time! Thank you for all your prayers and faith. I can feel it every day! I love you all so much!

love,
Sister Jessica Pope

Imun Week 10 – The Joy of Serving

Dear Family and friends,

This week was so eventful! O.o We went to Costco for the first time (Yes, Costco does exist in Korea^^) and I decided it was time to become a Costco member. I got a card, and it makes me happy because you can see my nametag in the photo they took.^^ Mom has always told me that it’s stressful when you go to Costco, and I learned for myself that it is so true. It was super stressful because there is so much and so little time and Korea has the added bonus of being a multiple level Costco, so it was even more stressful. I got a lot of good stuff though, like a big ol’ bag of chicken that will last for a long time and some American cereal!!!!! ^^ I was happy with my purcheses, but my companion and roommates were not as thrilled. I think my favorite part of the evening was Sister Kim holding onto Sister Teng on the floor going “I. Hate. Costco!” ^^ I laughed sooo hard! We have the most fun house in the mission it seems.^^ Sister Kim is so funny! She lit the spaghetti on fire too, and once we put it out (no one was harmed, by the way) we just laughed and laughed and laughed! I’m going to be so sad when they move to a new house!

Don’t worry, just because our house is fun, we’ve been doing TONS of missionary work. We’ve been trying to go visit more members and help them strengthen their faith. I think our members are finally realizing that I can speak enough Korean to have a conversation with them now. Yesterday we went to a member’s house for a meal and I impressed them all with my Korean apple peeling skills.^^ I feel so incapable as a senior companion sometimes, but I can feel the strength of the Lord every day as I continually try my best to do what He would have me do. I still have tons of weaknesses, but somehow everything seems to be working out. I know that if I trust in God he will help me to do everything that He has planned for me.

I absolutely love being a missionary! I am so grateful for this experience, and even though it is hard, I know that I am growing in the direction that Heavenly Father wants me to be. I once heard that on a mission is the only time besides marriage in the temple that you’re absolutely sure that you’re doing what Heavenly Father wants you to be doing. It is so true! This is an experience that is priceless. I am so grateful that I can serve the Lord!

I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week, and remember that God made you special and he loves you very much!^^

All my love,
Sister Jessica Pope