Imun Week 7 – Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Oh My!

Dear Family,

This week doesn’t feel like a change happened, except that I have a new companion and suddenly we have more investigators. The cool part is that one of them is a Chinese man who will be baptised next week! We are so excited for him, and though I haven’t taught him much, I’m grateful I can be a part of his conversion in a little way. He seems so prepared! We usually teach the Chinese investigators with another elder in our district because he can speak fairly good Chinese, and his companion, who is a new missionary, can also speak a little Chinese. I am so out of the loop here. I can barely speak Korean.^^ Even so, I have still found ways to help with the lesson. Most of the Chinese investigators speak either enough English or Korean that I can at least share some things with them, and today Sister Dunn and I had a really good discussion about understanding the Plan of Salvation today, so hopefully I’ve begun to find out the role I will play in this companionship.

Another really cool thing that I get to help out with is that yesterday at Church we had the very first Chinese Gospel Principles class! Not many people were there (only one this time) but next week we will likely have more, and with all the recently baptised Chinese people and the people we are teaching now, we are on our way to achieving our goal of having a Chinese branch in 이문!^^ How cool is that!? I am so glad that Sister Dunn is serving here with us, and that I get to be her companion and help this get started! Heavenly Father has a work for us to do, to be sure. I’m excited and hopeful for this next transfer.^^

Last Sunday I learned that I actually know enough Korean to communicate (kind of) with people. Since I’ve always had a Korean with me, I never really needed to say much. But now I need to say a lot, so I think this will be good for me. We will have a fun time trying to figure out what is going on with our investigators and helping them to draw closer to Christ.^^ Last Sunday at Church we had Chinese gospel principles class, some talks in Sacrament meeting were in Japanese because of visiting members, the missionaries spoke in English and Korean. O.o That was FOUR languages at church. Ahhh…. My head hurt so much afterward, but it was fun.^^ The Lord is hastening his work! I’m so excited!

I love you all, and I hope that you have a wonderful week. May God bless you and keep you always!

All my love,

Sister Jessica Pope

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Imun Week 6 – I Don’t Speak Chinese!

Hello everyone!

So transfer calls were this last week! Guess what? My companion isn’t Korean! ^^ She’s from Taiwan! ^^ You weren’t expecting that one, huh? Me neither. It was soooo surprising this time. So I live in a 6 sister apartment, but this last transfer there were only 4 sisters in it: Me and Sis. Kang and Sis. Goodwin and Sis. Dunn. It’s so nice to have more sisters in an apartment! It really helps with the stress. Anyway, Sis. Goodwin and Sis. Dunn are in 동대문 area, and we are in 이문. So it was really surprising when the AP’s called and told me that my new companion is Sis. Dunn! O.o She’s moving across the hall to be with me (but I want their room, so I’ll move over.^^). She’s from Taiwan, so she speaks Mandarin Chinese. She’s learning Korean AND English, so we will have fun this transfer. The cool thing is that there are TONS of Chinese people in our area, so we will likely have lots of Chinese investigators. Another elder in my district also speaks Chinese a little bit, and I speak NO Chinese, except for “Hello” and “Thank you”, so we will have tons of fun this transfer. I’m going to have to have her teach me how to say “I’m a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Here is our card!” in Chinese. 재미서요! O.o

In other news, we had Mission Conference this last week because of the Lunar New Year. We’re all a year older! Woot! ^^ Our focus this month was on using the Book of Mormon, and we had a lot of testimonies on sharing the Book of Mormon, especially when we talk to people on the Street. I shared my testimony as well because I’ve seen such an improvement in my own 전도 through using the Book of Mormon. I love the Book of Mormon so much! I know that it is true, and I love that I have the opportunity to share this book with the people in Korea. The Book of Mormon truly testifies of Jesus Christ, and when we read it we can know the truth of it for ourselves. President Packer warned us about the perilous times ahead last General Conference, and he said that we need to make scripture reading a priority. I encourage you to read or reread the Book of Mormon and ask Heavenly Father if it is true. I promise that Heavenly Father is mindful of us and he will answer your prayer. I know this is true, and I know that this book will bless your lives.

Next transfer is going to be so interesting! ^^ I hope you have a wonderful week! May God bless you and keep you always!

All my love,
Sister Jessica Pope

Imun Week 5 – The Happiest Place On Earth

Dearest Family and Friends,

안녕하세요! This week was busy! We were able to go to the temple this week, and can I just tell you how much of a blessing it is that we get to go to the temple? Not just as missionaries, but we have a house of the Lord here on earth that we can visit and feel his love! How amazing is that!? I feel like I really needed the temple this week. It always helps me focus more on the Spirit and how Heavenly Father would have me direct his work in my area. Not to mention the comfort and peace I feel, knowing that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. I am so grateful for the temple and I am so glad that I can continue to go to the temple long after my mission. Truly, the temple is THE happiest place on earth!

I love recieving emails from all of you about your own missionary work. It makes me happy to know that so many people are anxiously engaged in the Lord’s work. It warms my heart so much, and it gives me more motivation to continue to do my part in this side of the world! This is a universal call to invite others to come unto Christ, male and female, young and old, those who have some light and those who are wandering in darkness. The gospel is for EVERYONE! It’s always so exciting to be able to give someone a Book of Mormon and tell them how special it is. There is power in that book, and we can draw from that strength as we continually invite others to come unto Christ. When we do it out of love, we need never be afraid to share what we know. We build our testimony by sharing it, so share it! If people say no, love them anyway. You have extended the invitation, and maybe later they will be ready to recieve it. You succeed when you invite!

So in my area there are tons of Chinese people. My companion knows a little Chinese, One of the sisters here is from Taiwan, and another elder knows Chinese very well. I don’t know Chinese at all, and I’m still struggling to just learn Korean. O.o I know I’ll be able to find the people who Heavenly Father needs me to find though. Hopefully we can communicate, but if we can’t, we will just have to use the language of the Spirit.^^ This transfer is almost over, and I’ve learned so much from this branch and the people here. I pray that next transfer will be just as amazing!

I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week, and may God bless you always.

Love you lots!

Sister Jessica Pope
“To bring the world His Truth”

Imun Week 4 – Perfect Love Casteth Out All Fear

Dear Family and Friends,

First of all, Happy Birthday, Grandma and Grandpa! Love you lots! And Happy Birthday to Elder Mudrow!^^

I’ve met so many interesting people in Korea from all over the world. I’ve met people from France, Uzbekistan, Russia, Poland, Columbia, Mongolia… Most of these people I can’t talk to very well, but that’s what is so great about the language of the Spirit. The Spirit always seems to say what we cannot. The Lord’s hand is truly in this work!^^

So this week we were able to see a Musical put on by our Stake. We invited one of our investigators, so it was a good opportunity to help her feel welcome! The play was kinda weird though. It was about a pastor and his two sons during the Korean War. For a church production, it was pretty violent. At first, I was a little shocked, but as I thought about it, I realized that the Korean War really wasn’t that long ago. America hasn’t seen a war on American soil since maybe the Civil War, and I really don’t think that Americans could have performed this production as seriously as this Korean stake. The Korean War is still having a HUGE impact on the lives of the people here. As I thought about this, I thought about how comforting it is to have a knowledge of the gospel and of the love of our Father in Heaven. The scriptures say “perfect love casteth out all fear”. God loves us, and if we are faithful and keep the commandments we have no reason to fear. Though the world may be full of reasons to fear, we do not need to because we know that this life is not the end. We know that after this life, everything that is unfair about this life will be made up through the Atonement of Christ. We are on this earth to learn and grow, and trials are one of the biggest ways we are tested and given opportunities to grow. I know that with our Savior Jesus Christ we do not need to fear the future, “for all things shall give thee experience and shall be for thy good.” I know I have grown so much through my trials, and though they may seem hard to bare, I know that with God I can overcome them and come out conqueror.

I hope you all are have a wonderful week. May God bless you and keep you always! He loves you very much, and I do too!^^

All my love,
Sister Jessica Pope

Imun Week 3 – Pure Testimony

Dear Family and Friends,

Another week of work, work work! ^^ We went out and talked to lots of people about the Book of Mormon, we met with some members to strengthen them, we taught English and bore our testimonies of Joseph Smith and the First Vision, we even taught the Young Women’s lesson in church! (The blessings of being in a branch.^^) We did a lot, but I hope that next week we will be even busier!

We had an awesome experience this week when we were 전도ing. We met a woman from the Netherlands who was an atheist, but she was really curious about the gospel. She asked all the right questions, like “Who is Jesus Christ?” and “Why don’t we have apostles and prophets today?” (we do.^^) We ended up giving a lesson on the side of the street and it was amazing because we had an answer for every question she asked! Unfortunately, she was going back to the Netherlands at the end of the week, but we got her contact information so she can get answers to ALL of her questions.

This was a real testimony builder to me and a reminder that this church is true! Isn’t it amazing that Heavenly Father created a plan that makes sense and was created out of a deep love for us! We can know that it is true if we take the time to search the scriptures and pray to know if it is true. We can know through the Holy Ghost, which testifies of truth and will never lead us astray. The Holy Ghost testifies to our hearts and minds in a still small voice, and if we listen to it we can know the truth of all things. I know this is true because I have done this, and the Holy Ghost has testified to me that it is true. The Seoul Mission has a vision: Hard work, Obedience, and Testifying. Pure testimony cannot be denied because of the conviction of the barer. People may not believe, but it is hard to combat pure testimony. I know with all my heart that this church is true, and I love that I can bare my testimony multiple times a day and mean every word of it! I am by no means perfect, nor do I mean to boast, but I say this because I could not do any of this if I didn’t have a testimony of the gospel. I have labored and struggled so much here and it would seem so easy to give up if I didn’t have the conviction I have in the truthfulness of this gospel. I know that this is Heavenly Father’s work, and not mine. I cannot do this without Him.

I hope you have a wonderful week! I love you all so very much!

All my love,
Sister Jessica Pope

Imun Week 2 – With the Hand of the Lord

Dearest Family and Friends,

Happy New Year! I was wrong about when everyone gets a year older. It’s actually on January 1st, so now I’m 22! O.o That’s weird to think about…

So Korea has a different tradition for the New Year. Instead of partying the night before (though I’m sure that happens) they get up really early and go on a hike and watch the sun rise on a new year! We were invited by members in our branch to go hiking, but our group decided to go at 10 am instead. It was really fun! I love hiking! ^^ It was pretty, and pretty cold too. I’m glad I get to see so many different traditions in this culture! It’s really interesting to see that even though our cultures are different, in a lot of ways we are all very much the same. It makes sense too because we are all Heavenly Father’s children. We are brothers and sisters learning and growing together! I have met many people from all different countries, but we all part of the same family. One days when I struggle to speak and understand Korean, I remember that in Heaven we all spoke the same language; the language of the Spirit. It helps me to remember that even though I may not be able to speak and understand now, after this life I will be able to understand and speak to everyone that I have met here and that we can rejoice together in the language of the Spirit. Until that day, I will continue to struggle to learn this language and trust that the Spirit will teach those I speak to what they need to hear. Only with the Spirit is this possible. I physically cannot do it any other way.

Our district leader gave us a challenge to place a Book of Mormon every day for a week. I decided to take this challenge to heart, and I have seen the hand of the Lord helping me. On days when I am so physically exhausted that I am falling alseep as I climb the stairs, or when I only have one pass-along card left after a full day of 전도, or when I only have five minutes to talk to people, Heavenly Father can place someone in my path that will accept the gift of a Book of Mormon. Heavenly Father is aware of us in all that we do! If we have enough faith, He can perform miracles through us. I know this is true with all my heart!

This week I found out that one of the investigators I helped teach in 신촌 was getting baptized on Sunday. I was really sad that I was not able to go, but I know that it is not about me, it is about Sis. Kim. I am so happy that she made that decision to draw closer to our Heavenly Father and begin her journey back to him. In 이문 the elders also were able to see one of their investigators baptized as well! Truly, Heavenly Father has been so good to me. This work can be so hard, but it is also so worth it. I’m so grateful that I have been able to see the hand of the Lord this week in many ways. I know without a doubt this church is true! The gifts of the Spirit are real! The Lord really does love us and want to help us! This is the “happy message” that we share every day. There is great power in the Lord’s work, and I am so blessed to be a part of it in Korea.

I love you all so much! I hope you have a wonderful week, and a very happy New Year!

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

Dearest Family and Friends,

Wow! What a week! Christmas was absolutely wonderful! I don’t know if I can convey all that I felt, but I want to share an experience with you.

So on Christmas day we had a mission conference, and had a wonderful time with all of the Missionaries here. Afterward we went right back out to work. We decided that as a zone we would carol in the streets, and while the rest of us sang, some missionaries would talk to the people passing by. Lots of people stopped for a second to listen to us sing, and many left smiling. As we were singing “Silent Night” I was struck by the Spirit testifying of the love of Jesus Christ. I felt his love for each of the people passing us on the street, and I knew that he wanted them to hear his message of peace. No mission is all that easy, and Korea is no exception. It can be so discouraging sometimes when you come back after a long day of rejection, but in that moment I could feel God’s love for the people of Korea. even the one’s who don’t want anything to do with him, and I’ve met those people many many times. This Christmas was very different from others because this Christmas had absolutely nothing to do with me at all. This was a Christmas only about Christ and the people he loves so much! I was only a messenger, like the Heavenly Host that testified of the Savior’s birth, singing “Peace on Earth, Good Will To Men” and testifying of his love. We saw many smiles as we sang, and we ended up giving away a whole box and more copies of the Book of Mormon as Christmas presents in a few hours! The Spirit was so strong as we sang praises to him on the freezing streets of Korea, and I pray that it fell upon the ears of those that would receive him. This has really strengthened my testimony and increased my understanding of the true meaning of Christmas. Christmas is for Christ and the people he loves!

I also was blessed to be able to talk with my family this week. They are so amazing, and I am so grateful that I was able to hear their voices and receive strength from them! Heavenly Father gives us our families so that we can find strength and happiness now and in the eternities. I am so grateful for my family and all that they have done to support me while I am serving the Lord. I know that other missionaries do not have the support that I have, and my heart goes out to them and I know that they will be blessed for their sacrifices. I know that I have been so blessed to have the family that I have been given and I rely on their strength and the strength of my Father in Heaven while I am away from them. After I talked with them on the phone, I felt such vigor and power and I talked to so many people that day! Our total was 50+ at the end of the day, and I know it was because of the strength of my family and my Father in Heaven.

Thank you for all the strength you all have given me while I’ve been doing my Father’s work. I feel it every day, and it is these prayers that sustain me and all other missionaries in the world. This work is not about us. We are only the messengers as we spread the happy message of peace and happiness. I am so happy that I have the opportunity to share my happiness with others every day. I have just about a year left before I return, and my New Year’s Resolution is to lose myself in the service every day because this is not about me; it’s about the people that God loves so much, and I am one of them! ^^

I know without a shadow of a doubt that Jesus Christ is our Savior, Lord, and Redeemer. I know that he lives, and he loves us deeply. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He can see who we are, but more importantly he can see who we can become. If we trust in him, we can become like him and receive that promise of eternal life and remain with him throughout the eternities. What we sacrifice now is tiny compared to the blessings we will receive! We are and will forever be God’s children, and he will love us whether we feel like we deserve it or not. I urge you will all the energy that I can muster to trust his love! He loves you so very much. Never forget that he loves you! I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

I love you all so very much! Stay strong, and trust his love!

Love,
Sister Jessica Pope

Imun Week 1 – For Unto Us A Child is Born

Merry Christmas, everyone!

I can’t tell you how excited for Christmas I am. It really doesn’t feel like Christmas at all because there is not much snow here, even though it’s freezing cold. Christmas isn’t very big here, so anytime I see or hear something Christmas-ey I just light up inside.^^ We went to the Imun Christmas party and it was really fun! All of the Imun Elders and us were asked to do a skit, so we did the Nativity. Since Sis. Kang was the only Korean, she read the story and the rest of us acted it out. You can guess who I was. That’s right! I was Joseph. ^^ Just kidding! I was Mary because I was the only other sister missionary. ^^ It went well, though it was sometimes hard to keep a straight face with the other Elders. I didn’t have a baby doll, so I just wrapped my scarf in a blanket, and it looked okay. Missionaries have to get resourceful sometimes. ^^

I hope that we brought the Spirit with that because we had two investigators with us. I’ve met a lot of interesting people from all over the world here in Korea, and one of our investigators is Polish. We had a good talk about how much God loves us and how he knows everything that we are going through. He knows exactly how to help us, and he wants us to be happy! It was really good, and she mentioned how she always feels really good when she meets with the sisters. I hope she continues to meet with us!

Our other investigator there was a grandmother who I had taught the alphabet to earlier that day. She was so cute, and we taught her how to say “I love you, teacher”. She said that to me all day, and I sang a little for her and she started to tear up.^^ I felt really good that day.

I really love Imun already. I love our branch! They are so kind, and it’s full of young families. Yesterday the 동데문 sisters (we’re in a four person house) had a baptism that we were able to attend. It was so awesome, and the Spirit was there. It was a Chinese man, so Elder South (who knows a little Chinese) learned the baptismal ordinance in Chinese. It was really awesome to see someone draw closer to our Heavenly Father and enter the gate to Eternal life! That is a wonderful gift that the Savior has given us, and I am so grateful that I get to talk about it every day!

I hope that this Christmas you take the time to remember those gifts that Heavenly Father has given you. I know that he has blessed my life so much, and I know that he loves us so very much! He wants us to be happy, and if we turn to him he will bless us more than we think we deserve. Christmas is truly CHRIST-mus, and I love sharing the message of his gift with the people of Korea. I love you all so much! May God bless you and keep you always!

“For unto us a child is born, for unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” 2 Nephi 19:6

“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!” I love you!!!

Love,
Sis. Jessica Pope