Jungnang Week 3 – A Halloween Miracle!

 

Dear Family and Friends,

I can’t believe it’s November. That CAN’T be real! ㅠㅠ

So this week was a little rough. Our investigator spent two and a half hours telling us why our church is not true. That was kind of a rough day because our teaching pool is not very big anyway. We have been praying so hard that we will find prepared people to teach, and our prayers were answered, but not the way we were expecting. You see, we met several prepared people on the street… but they were all men! O.o We cannot teach men, so we got their numbers and gave them to our very grateful elders. We realized that we need to pray a little more specifically to find prepared women!^^

For Halloween we came up with an idea to do reverse trick-or-treating as we contact people. We bought a ton of suckers and taped them to our Mormon.org cards and told everyone “Happy Halloween!” (Fun fact, Halloween is not celebrated in Korea, so we often had to explain what Halloween was.) I thought it was fun, and we were blessed to get two phone numbers from it! A Halloween miracle!^^

We also had a huge miracle on Sunday. A woman randomly walked into church because she wanted to learn English from the missionaries! And she stayed for all of Gospel Doctrine and Sacrament meeting, AND we have a return appointment this week!^^ I would say that was a direct answer to prayers. Heavenly Father is amazing!^^

This week we were also blessed to have interviews with President Christensen. I love getting to talk to him and I always fill the Spirit with him and Sister Christensen. They are the best!

Anyway, I hope you have a wonderful week! Shout out to Mom last week for her birthday! Love you lots!^^

Lots of love,
Sister Jessica Pope

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Gyomun Week 31 – The Enabling Power of the Atonement

 

Dear Everyone and their dog,

What an amazing conference it was! I know I’m a week late, but that’s what happens when you live far away from Utah.^^ I loved all of it! As always, the questions that I had prayerfully asked about were answered during the talks. I felt like conference really was for me! Oh, how grateful I am for the words of the prophets!

I loved seeing Ashley and Lizzie during the Women’s Meeting! I practically jumped out of my seat with excitement to point them out to all of the sister missionaries that were with us.^^ They were beautiful, and Sister Christensen, our Mission President’s wife, wanted me to make sure to tell them that they did such a good job. Great job, Ash and Liz!^^

One of the things that I heard from almost every speaker was about the enabling power of the Atonement. The Atonement is there so that we could repent and feel the peace that comes from forsaking sin, but this conference focused so much on how the Atonement is also there so that we could overcome our weaknesses and become better than we were before. This was an answer to a prayer for me because I wanted to know how I could improve and become a more consecrated missionary with the time I had left. The answer is through relying on the Lord and applying the enabling power of the Atonement to overcome my weaknesses and do the work the way Heavenly Father would have me do it! The Atonement is more than just for sin, it is to help us reach our potential!

And speaking of doing the work the way Heavenly Father would have me do it, after the Saturday session of conference we had Transfer calls! Would you believe that for my very last transfer that I am going to a different area?? Well you better, because that’s what is happening!^^ I am going to Jungnang with Sister Kwon, a Korean sister! O.o It’s really funny because, if you recall, I was in Imun and then I came to Gymun, which is in the same stake. Well, Jungnang is right smack dab in the middle, touching both of my previous areas. All of my areas are in a line, except for Sinchon, which is where the temple is. I guess this makes it easier to find my areas when I come back to visit Korea later.^^

And I’m really going to need the enabling power of the Atonement this time because I have also been called to be a Sister Training Leader for our zone. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s pretty much the sister equivalent of a Zone Leader. I will, with my Sister Training Leader Companion Sister Kwon, be helping the sisters in our zone and conducting exchanges with them every once in a while for training purposes. It is humbling to receive this calling to serve these sisters and speak the words that Heavenly Father would have me speak because I know that this is His work and not mine. I hope and pray that I will be able to serve them as much as I can and that I can become a more consecrated missionary as I go. I am so excited for this opportunity!

I hope you all have had a wonderful week. I pray for you always! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!^^

Love you all,
Sister Jessica Pope

 

Gyomun Week 29 – Travel Time

Dear Family and Friends,

This week we traveled around so much! Our area is huge- one of the biggest in the mission- and we have been on buses going all over the place. One thing we did was try to visit a potential investigator that I met on the bus. I met her a couple weeks ago and she told me that she worked at Baskin Robbins, so on a leap of faith (and I texted her we were coming before hand) we went on an hour long bus ride just so we could get some ice cream.^^ Okay, we actually went to see her and she was there! We talked for a couple minutes and when I texted her later she said she wanted to meet! Miracles!!!!! We have an appointment for this next week, so I’m excited!^^

We also had a wonderful Sister’s Conference! Last year they had an all Sister’s Conference with all the sister missionaries in the mission, and our Sister Training Leaders were sad that we weren’t going to have one again (too many missionaries^^) so they got permission to have one with our zone! It was so good! It was pretty much like Zone Training, but only sisters were there. It was so nice! Most of the trainings in the mission field are geared towards elders, as it should be, but it was really nice to have a meeting for the sisters and how we can contribute more to this wonderful work. I’m so grateful for our Sister Training Leaders for planning this wonderful activity! We also ordered shirts for it. I’ll put some pictures in so you can see them.^^

We also planned a fun Family Home Evening that went well. We wish we could have had more people show up, but those who came kept telling me how good of an idea it was. We had some golf clubs at our house, so we decided to do a mini-golf course at the church. We used tape for the course, and the children loved it! I got to sit down with the other sisters in the ward and talk with them about missionary work and it was so good! This ward is so great, and I’m so grateful I get to serve in Gyomun!

I’m so excited for conference too! Shout out to Ashley and Lizzie for being in the choir for Woman’s Conference! I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m looking forward to seeing it the week after Conference in America!^^ I love you both so much!

I hope you have a wonderful week! Miracles do happen, but sometimes we have to look for them a little harder. I know this is true!

Love you lots!
Sister Jessica Pope

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Gyomun Week 28 – Temple Day!

Dearest Family and Friends,

This week we saw so many miracles! The biggest one was that we were able to go with Tae Hee, our Recent Convert, to the temple to do Baptisms for the Dead with her! She had done a lot of Family History work for it, and the members helped her and went with her and we were there to cheer her on! She did eight family names! She is so amazing and so prepared! I’m so grateful that I was blessed to be able to see her progress like this. She’s getting to the point where she doesn’t need us to help her along anymore because she knows enough and the ward is doing the rest. I feel so blessed to be able to know her!

Sister Tolley and I were so excited that we got to do baptisms for the dead too. We each ended up doing THIRTY names each! It was hard because the font is small and the brother doing the baptisms was short and I’m not, so I did my best to help him. I’ve never done so many names at one time because in Utah you do about five or ten, but out here it’s normal to do about thirty. It was so awesome!

AND because it was ward temple day the members asked us to stay and do a session with them. We called and got permission, so we had the chance to go to a temple session in Korean! It was a little hard, but it was a wonderful experience! I learn so much from the temple every time I get to go! The church is so true!!!

And yesterday we went with a member to visit some less-active members after church. We planned to visit one man and his family that no one knew and the address didn’t show up on our map or the member’s GPS, but we decided to try anyway. We drove an hour away, just praying that we would find this family, and we found the apartment AND they let us in! This less-active family was so nice and they still like the church. The two daugthers have not been baptised, and they told us that we could teach them the gospel before we could even ask! I think the father still knows it’s true. He just needs to be reminded about it. His parents are temple workers, and we met them in the temple when we went with our Recent Convert.

In other news, we were trying to visit a potential investigator and we were traveling by bus. I got up and told Sister Tolley we were getting off, but she didn’t make it off the bus! The bus started to drive away, and we just looked at each other as the doors closed. I started laughing so hard! I wasn’t too worried because I knew the next bus stop was only down the street and I saw the bus the entire time, but it was so funny! She kinda hung her head when we met up again and said it was so weird to be alone like that. I told her she better have enjoyed it because it’s not going to happen again until she goes home.^^ But she’s right. It was super weird to be alone like that, even for two minutes.

I feel so blessed! I’m so grateful to be a missionary and that we were able to go to the temple this week! Heavenly Father has blessed us with so much! This is the Lord’s work, and I am so grateful to be a part of it. I love you all so much! I pray for you always!

Love,
Sister Jessica Pope

PS:

I don’t have a picture with our Recent Convert, but this is us at the temple. So fun!

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This is Henry. We see him every day as we go to the church, and we always say hi. The only problem is that after having watched him for several weeks, we’re thinking maybe Henry is a girl. O.o

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Gyomun Week 27 – Our Loving Father in Heaven

Dear Family and Friends,

The first part of this week was pretty slow because of Chusok, but it was good! We ended up having a meal appointment every day for the holiday, and one of them was a family that had less-active members. We talked about the temple, and they said they wanted to go to the temple soon! It was awesome!

We also planned with a member to invite our recent convert and a potential investigator to a Family Home Evening and we had an activity and taught a short lesson. The elders who came with us gave the potential investigator a copy of the Book of Mormon. The elders will probably meet this investigator next Sunday. Then our Recent Convert talked with the member about the family history work she was doing, and they’ll meet together to work on Family History!! It was so awesome! It was a little hard to do, but we taught a less-active, a recent convert, and a potential investigator all in the same Family Home Evening. I think I would call that a success!

We had three lessons in one day this last week! One was a woman I talked to on the train and I gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon. The next was our investigator that we met at her house. Then we were streetboarding and taught a lesson in front of the Subway station. It was a huge miracle! The sad part is that the woman I talked to on the train left the Book of Mormon on a Mountain trail later, and someone found the book and called to return it. These people gave us their address, so we plan to reffer them to the missionaries in Seoul and hopefully they’ll end up being new investigators! That would be an awesome conversion story, don’t you think?^^

A formor investigator called us this week asking me why some people were born and died happy, and some were born and died unhappy. I told her how much God loved her and wants her to be happy. Through Christ we can become happy, no matter the situation. We made a return appointment with her next week, and I’m praying to have the spirit with us so that we can say what Heavenly Father wants her to hear! I’m grateful that we have the opportunity to meet her and help her realize that God really does love and care about her!

This week was busy and we saw so many miracles! I just have to keep up with them all! I’m so grateful for our loving Father in Heaven who loves us so much and wants to help us become the best we can be. When we know that God loves us it can give us so much strength to push through the hard times! I know this church is true, and I know that when we rely on God he will help us. I know by experience this works. This is a happy church!^^

I love you so much! I hope you all have a wonderful week! Thank you for your prayers!

Love,
Sister Jessica Pope

Gyomun Week 26 – Happy Chusok!

Happy Chusok, Everyone!

Today is one of the biggest holiday’s in Korea: Chusok. It’s kind of like Thanksgiving, and everyone is with their families and hardly anyone is on the streets. We’re not allowed to call people or knock on people’s doors during this three day holiday.But we’ll stay busy though! Today is cleaning day, so as soon as we finish email we’re going straight home and clean our entire apartment top to bottom and then we were blessed to have a dinner appointment tonight. 재미겠어요! That will be fun!^^ And then tomorrow we will have P-Day so we can buy food and do the things we need to! No one is on the streets during Chusok, and on Monday most places aren’t even open so we can’t buy food today. But don’t worry, we’ll have food tomorrow.^^

On Saturday we had Chusok Conference. It was the very last mission conference they’ll ever have because it costs too much to get all the missionaries together. Just bringing the countryside missionaries in costs about 1,000$! So it was the last one. It was also my very last conference as a missionary. ㅠㅠ Time is going by so fast!

Chusok conference is special because you can wear traditional Korean clothing to it! So many missionaries wore hanbok, the traditional clothes! I was able to buy some and I wore them at the conference. I’ll send some pictures!

The conference talked all about Revelation through Prayer, and how special it is that we have the opportunity to speak directly with our Father in Heaven. Heavenly Father loves us so much, and just like our own father wants to hear from us, our loving Father in Heaven wants to hear from us and cares about us. Prayer opens the door for Him to let you know how much He loves you, and if we pray in faith He always always always will answer our prayers! Some of the most spiritual moments I’ve had as a missionary happened during or after I knelt in prayer on behalf of His children. He really does love each and every one of us, and I’m so grateful that we can know that when we pray to Him!

Thank you so much for your prayers and love. I pray for you too.^^ I hope you all have a wonderful Chusok!

And a Happy Birthday to Grandma Pope! I love you so much!

You are all amazing! 화이팅!

Love,
Sister Jessica Pope

 

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Gyomun Week 22 – 신앙!

Dear Family and Friends,

This week we decided to kick it into gear and increase our goal for contacts. We then went out and talked to people, and we made it! It was really a small victory, but now we’re thinking that maybe this next week we’ll increase it again. 신앙! (Faith!)

The sad news is that we lost an investigator to another church… My heart is broken again. She said she didn’t feel anything when we met (which I’m not sure I believe) and she hadn’t been reading the Book of Mormon. I sincerely believe that if she had read the Book of Mormon she would have felt something. It was all I could do to just testify of the Book of Mormon and ask her to keep reading it. I hope and pray that someday she will open the book and feel the Spirit she desires to feel, because it’s there. It’s so there, but you have to look for it! I know this is true!

We’re also working on making streetboards. This is a board that kind of draws people’s attention to us and introduces the gospel in a simple way. The idea that we have is kinda cool, so when we’re finished I’ll send a picture. Hopefully these boards will last for a while and we can find new investigators through them. 신앙!

Our new thing that we’ve been doing is going to the store and buying random candy to see what it tastes like. Some of them are kind of weird, like candy in the kind of packages that pills come in, or dried squid. But we’re trying a bunch and trying to figure out the one’s we like the best. So far I like the ones that are like knock-off sour skittles and star candy that comes in tiny glass bottles.^^ So much fun!

Anyway, I hope you’re having a wonderful week! Thank you for your prayers and faith. Somedays that’s what keeps me going, knowing that people are out there praying for me. I love you all! Stay strong! Read the Book of Mormon cuz’ it’s true!

love you!

Sister Jessica Pope
“To bring the world His Truth”

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Study Desk

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Zone

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Scary Spiders

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Making Lunch

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A subway car

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PS:

Okay, this one’s funny. Had to share!^^

A new bishop was visiting the homes in the ward. At one house it seemed obvious that someone was at home, but no answer came to his repeated knocks.
Therefore, he took out a business card and wrote “Revelation 3:20” on the back and stuck it in the door.
The following Sunday he found that his card had been returned under his office door. Added to it was this cryptic message, “Genesis 3:10”.
Reaching for his Bible to check out the verse, he broke into laughter. Check it out.

Gyomun Week 21 – Missionari​es Sang As They Walked, and Walked, and Walked, and Walked…

 

Dearest family and friends,

Happy one-year-in-country mark! I had to renew my foreigner card last week… I’m so old!ㅠㅠ

This week was exhausting because I feel like we walked all over our area. We’re on a secret mission (that really isn’t much of a secret) to find a new spot to contact people, so we’re doing travel contacting as we look for places with a lot of people. We always come home tired, but it makes me feel good when we talk to people. This is what being a missionary is all about!^^

We met with an American woman this week, and it was really different. Both Sister Tolley and I have realized that we are super awkward. We need to do some more role play I guess so that we can be more natural and not have to try and translate what we normally say in Korean into English… Fun times!^^

I finally fixed our AC and it’s been wonderful! It’s been so great to come home and turn it on when it’s sooooo hot and humid outside. I used to just sleep with the fan directly on my face but now we have the AC AND the fan, so it’s pretty awesome.^^ Gotta love that humidity!^^

So this week was a lot of walking and heat, but we have seen many miracles. I am so grateful that I get to serve in Korea and the people! Some days are really hard and I feel so inadequate, but I know that everything is counted for in Heaven and as long as I keep trying I don’t have anything to fear. The Spirit is with us so we cannot fail. All we have to do is try!

I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week! Thank you for your loving prayers. They are felt and needed.^^

 

Love,
Sister Jessica Pope

Gyomun Week 19 – The Miracle of Cookies

안녕하세요 Everyone!

This week was sooo busy because everyone knew Sister Jung was leaving. I don’t know if you know this, but Koreans love to feed people, so we literally have had a meal appointment for lunch AND dinner every day for the past couple days. In case you were worried, we did not starve this week, Mom.^^ So this week we focused a lot on the members and how we could help them as well as meeting with our investigators and recent converts!

One cool miracle happened when we were doing some call time. We called a name on our phone, and it turned out to be a man (Ah! A man! O.o I’m getting better at recognizing male and female names though. That’s a plus.^^) and we told him we were new missionaries and asked when was the last time he met the missionaries (assuming he was a potential investigator). He basically said, “Yeah, I can meet any time on Tuesday. What time is good?”. We were so surprised and set up an appointment and called the other elders about it! He called the next day and told us that the last time he met the missionaries he was going through a hard time and the missionaries read the Book of Mormon with him. Now he’s having another hard time and then we called! We were going through our member book later and we realized that this was a less-active member, but it was still a miracle and we’ll meet him tomorrow! Although I’m a little nervous because I don’t talk to men much…

Anyway, another miracle this week was that a member had a great idea for us to teach her daughter’s non-member friends how to make cookies in the hopes that they’ll become more comfortable with us and the gospel of Jesus Christ. I think it was a huge success, and the youth had fun and we made yummy Snickerdoodles (my signature cookie^^) and then we shared a spiritual message at the end! I think they like us, and they asked when we’d be able to do it again. We’re praying that they’ll have good experiences with us and that we’ll be able to introduce them to gospel and why it’s important! In the meantime, if anyone has some fun and easy recipes, I’d love your help! Please send your favorites! Thanks!

We had transfer calls this week! My new companion is an American! Her name is Sister Tolley, and I’m excited to work with her! She’s super cute!^^ I know that we’ll be able to work hard and do what the Lord wants us to this transfer. I love you all! Thank you for your prayers and love! It is greatly needed and felt! Have a wonderful week!

Love,
Sister Jessica Pope

Gyomun Week 17 – All Can Be Made Right

Dear Family and Friends,

Another week is already gone?! I feel like I say that every week. They go so fast and now they seem to be picking up speed!

Taehe was confirmed this week in sacrament meeting! It was so amazing! She is so good!^^ In Sunday School she gave a great answer about how to keep the Sabbath day holy, and Sister Jung and I smiled because that was something we had be teaching her about recently! It was so exciting!

Another crazy thing is that we suddenly got a call on Saturday from a district leader in a different zone requesting Sister Jung to play the violin at the baptism that would be held the next day. She didn’t have a violin here, so the bishop of the ward drove all the way out to us to bring her a violin. When he got here he explained why they were going through all this trouble for us to play at their baptismal service. You see, the woman who was getting baptised is very very sick and is in the hospital. The sister missionaries had been teaching her and she really wanted to be baptised! She had such a strong desire to follow the Savior, but the actual ordinance of baptism might actually kill her because she is so sick. When the sisters told the bishop this, he said “If she wants to get baptised, we ought to let her!” and so they put together the best baptismal service they could, and that meant calling in other missionaries to play the violin at the service. Knowing that, Sister Jung and I (I ended up playing the piano, by the way) practiced as best we could in the short amount of time that we had.

The next day I looked at the woman getting baptized. She looked so small and frail in her white jumpsuit. They were hurrying around trying to make it the most safe baptism for her. There was so much love put into this baptismal service, and you could feel the Spirit radiating from everyone! She was baptised and confirmed, and then they asked us to play. We played “Consider the Lilies”, and at the end I looked at this faithful woman again, and she was sobbing. Actually, everyone was crying and the love in the room was just overpowering. This woman probably will not live much longer, but she decided that following the Savior was more important than her own life. I know that she will be blessed for her sacrifice and later she will have a perfect body with no sickness or ailment. She will live again, and she will feel the joy that comes from following the Savior and making and keeping covenants! Through the power of the Atonement everything that is unfair about this life will be made right, and the Atonement has played a huge role in this faithful woman’s life.

This week was so busy, but I am so grateful that I get to share this wonderful message of love and peace with the people of Korea. Heavenly Father loves each one of us and he wants us to be happy, and he has provided a way for us to feel that happiness even when the world tells us that we should be sad. Trials can be overcome, and pain does not last. Through the Atonement all can be made right.

I know this is true, and I love all of you very much! Have a wonderful week!

love,
Sister Jessica Pope