The Missionary

By Sister Jessica Pope
Korea Seoul Mission
May 2013 – November 2014
For posterity

[1 Week]

The Lord called out “Whom shall I send?”
when we all met together here
and thousands shouted “Here am I,
send me and I will not fear.”

My voice was one among the crowd
and I answered the call that day,
but never did I think the Lord
would send me here and in this way.

The days are long and I am weak
and I pray for the strength to do
the work my God would ask of me
and with exact obedience too.

[2 months]

Now is the time and here the place
to test our faith and trust the Lord.
We have prepared, now out we go
to share His love and teach His word.

we have the light of God’s pure love
and are striving to keep it bright,
but there are children who know none
so we are called to shine the light.

I do not know what I will say
or what to do or where to go;
The Spirit prompts, and so I speak
the only words I can: “I know.”

[6 Months]

I testify that God does know
exactly where we need to be
to grow in grace and mind and heart
to share this joy with all we see.

For when we speak we trust that God
will fill us with the words we need.
His gifts are real; His trust is sure.
We go and find His lambs to feed.

And though at times I, stumbling, fall
His angels lift my trembling heart,
for love is found where ‘ere you go
in every language, worlds apart.

[1  year]

With each new person that I meet
I learn more of the love of God,
of how to teach the way Christ taught
and help them find the path He trod.

I love so deeply as I go
it hurts when others turn and run;
though I may wish a different way,
my heart exclaims “Thy will be done.”

When it is hard, we still will go,
still searching for the one prepared.
The witness after trail of faith,
we speak until the truth is shared.

 

[18 Months]

The Lord called out “Whom shall I send?”
and we answered the call to serve,
to give our all, to do the right
and hold nothing back in reserve.

I tried to do all that I could
and there is nothing left to give.
I pray He will accept my gift
for He said “loose thy life, and live.”

I cannot bear to leave this place,
but my joy is filled to the brim
for when I love the people here,
I am really just loving Him.

Jungnang Week 6 – I Don’t Wanna Go!

Dear Family and Friends,
Well, that’s that. I got my very last transfer call, and there is no companion for me on Transfer Day. ㅠㅠ But what’s crazy is that Sister Kwon is also transfering, so there are going to be two new missionaries in our area! O.o Thankfully one is someone who is already in this ward so it won’t be as weird, but it’s still pretty crazy that they’re taking both of us out at the same time! That’s really hard for the missionaries coming in.

This week all the calling I’ve been doing for the past few weeks has paid off and we met FOUR new investigators! And, of course, now I have to leave. I was thinking about it, and all of the people we met this week were met by sisters from earlier this year and I called them to meet for a lesson, and now Sister Kwon and I are leaving, and now the incoming missionaries can work on harvesting these people. We were just two missionaries weeding and preparing for the harvest. It’s just a reminder to me that I am only an instrument in the hand of the Lord. Heavenly Father is in charge, and I just hope I fulfilled everything I needed to do for Him while I was here. Something tells me that I have though.^^

I bore my testimony about this three times already about it yesterday, but I just want to tell you how grateful I am that I was able to serve a mission for the Lord. Before my mission I secretly did not want to go to Asia because I knew that would be hard, especially with the language. And I was right! It was super hard and there were times I wanted to quit and give up, but every time that happened I felt the strength of the Lord helping me realize why I was here and that He was beside me the whole way.

I am so grateful that my testimony of our Savior has deepened and I have come to know Him better as I have given everything that I could to Him. I am so imperfect, and I still don’t know Him as well as I would like, but I know that He is there and He is listening to me. So many times I’ve cried out for help or just cried because I needed too, and ever time He was there for me. No, I didn’t have what the world would call “success” on my mission, but I know that my mission is irreplaceable. There were things I wish had not happened, but I wouldn’t trade what I learned.

I am excited to tell my family and my future family all about “When I was a missionary…” or “When I was in Korea…” This is why I am here. This is what I was doing. Everything I do and did was for my family and for my Father in Heaven. I have come to understand my place in Heavenly Father’s plan so much better, and I am excited (and a little nervous) to fill that role when I come home. I am so grateful for my mission!

I am not the same person that I was, but I am so excited to see you all again! I hate the idea of leaving! (I don’t wanna go!) But I am excited to see you all. Always remember 3 John 1: 13-14.

I love you all so much! May God bless you and keep you always!

Love,
Sister Jessica Pope

Jungnang Week 1 – New Area and New Challenges

 

사랑하는 가족와 친구들,

This week went by way to fast! I feel like I just get up and suddenly it’s time to plan the next day already! ㅠㅠ

The new transfer started and It’s been interesting trying to get used to a new area again. I really like the ward! Our district grew this transfer, so now there is twelve missionaries in Jungnang, and five of them are new to the area. In sacrament meeting five missionaries spoke! I was the only sister, so they had me speak last. They told me they enjoyed my talk and that my pronounciation was good, so I guess it went okay!

I just find it so funny when people mispronounce my name in this ward. It was never this bad in my other areas, but here it’s a real struggle. When the Bishop said my name in the program on Sunday we had no idea what he said but it was kind of close to my name, I guess. There’s also a word in Korean that sounds like my name, so lately I’ve been Sister Fork, and they ask where Sister Knife is. I just show them my nametag so it’s fine, but I have to laugh about the ‘Sister Fork’ thing.

Jungnang ward has a choir and the missionaries help out with it. It is so nice to be able to sing in a choir again! I feel like it’s been so long, but it’s so fun. I love the special spirit that comes from singing the hymns! They are my favorite!

We also started planning for a Stake Musical Program that will be happening soon. We have been asked to prepare a song as missionaries and try to include our investigators or recent converts or with the youth or something, and I think it’s going to be really fun. We picked a fun song and our district is excited for it! It’s going to be awesome!

We’re still doing a lot of less active work and Sister Kwon and I have been talking about how we can best help the sisters in our zone. This next week we will conduct exchanges, so I am so grateful to learn how to be a better missionary from our wonderful

I love you all very much! I hope you all have a wonderful week! Don’t forget to pray and read your scriptures because that is where you can find strength! I love the Book of Mormon so much!^^

Love you all!
Sister Jessica Pope

 

Gyomun Week 30 – Same Story with a Twist!

Dear Family and friends,
This week we did a lot of good work, I think. We were able to meet with a less active family that we’ve been trying to meet for a while. It’s really funny because we’ve found three less active families that have similar stories but have a slight twist. One family the parents are baptized, and the father likes us but the mother is a little hesitant. Their two children aren’t baptised, but they are willing to let us teach them. Then the family we met on Saturday the parents are members, and the mother likes us but the father is a little hesitant. The children aren’t baptised, but they are willing to let us teach them. And then our Bishop gave us a family to call and the mother is a member and she has two children who she would like to start meeting the missionaries and get baptised! It’s kind of amazing to me that we’ve found three families that have similar stories like that. It’s a reminder that Heavenly Father is in charge of this work and we just need to be ready to do it. We will keep following up with them and trying to help them! We are so excited for them!

The ward picnic was this week and the missionaries were invited to come. It was so fun and we got to talk with a lot of the members. It was interesting because one of the activities was a ward sing-a-long where everyone sang together, and then they had impromptu solos. The sister missionaries even sang, so we sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” for them. They really liked it, I think.^^ Korean ward activities are so fun!

Tae hee, our recent convert, came to the picnic and she had a good time! She is doing so well in the ward now, and yesterday she got a calling! I have been so blessed to have been here to teach her and see her baptised as well as see her progress after baptism. She is so good and she’s getting to the point where she doesn’t need us anymore. Oh, the gospel is true!^^

I love the gospel so much, and I’m so grateful I get to serve here in this wonderful country and serve these wonderful people. I feel so blessed! Korea is one of my sacred places.

I hope you all have a wonderful week! I’m always praying for you! Keep smiling and keep the faith!

Love,
Sister Jessica Pope

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Gyomun Week 23 – How Can We Make English Class Better?

Dearest Everyone,

This week just flew by. I can’t believe it! It started with us trying to finish the Streetboard I talked about last week. Our goal was to have it finished by District Meeting and surprise everyone because only the other sisters knew we had made it.^^ Our plan was to wait until we talked about how to get more investigators and the streetboard idea and then say “Well, we have some ideas” and then bring out the finished board.^^ We did just that, and the elders were so surprised!^^ Now we just need to put it in action! Woot!
We also picked up a new investigator this week. Her name is Kacie, and she is an American! We don’t have much experience teaching in English, so it was a little odd for us, but it went okay! We actually met her twice this last week! We are trying to help her have a belief in God. I think that she has been so prepared by coming to Korea. It’s here that she’s opened herself up to the idea of God, and now we’re trying to help her understand that He really does care and He loves her so much! Now that I can understand everything that is going on in the conversation I can better see how the gospel really can help us in every aspect of our lives! I know this is true!
I also helped out with the children’s section of English Class when I went on exchange. One of the elders was struggling so hard to keep them entertained, so I made up a story and drew pictures to help them stay focused. I also made up a new game when they started getting bored. It was tough, but I think it worked. One of the student’s in that section is an older special needs girl, and when they asked “How can we make English class better?” she called out “Sister Pope!”^^ She was so cute!
In other news, tomorrow is my companion’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Sister Tolley!^^ We’ll celebrate by sharing the gospel with others. What a great birthday!^^
Thank you for all your prayers and love. I’m so grateful for your faith! It’s so needed!
I love you all!
love,
Sister Jessica Pope

PS

This is our board and the book that I made. The title of the board is “How are the Book of Mormon and the Bible similar?” and then you can open the Book of Mormon and learn about the Restoration, and open the Bible and learn about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.^^ It took forever! I made the Bible one, by the way.^^
신앙- faith
회개- repentance
침례- baptism
성신의 은사- gift of the Holy Ghost
끗까지 경딤- endure to the end
예수 그리스도- Jesus Christ
속죄- Atonement
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Gyonum Week 12 – Elder Cook in Seoul!

Hiya Everyone!

What a week! It was sooo good!!!! We had a combined Mission Conference with the Seoul South mission, and that only happens when someone exciting comes. Elder Quentin L. Cook from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles came and spoke to us on Saturday! How amazing is that??^^ We decided to come early because 1) Sister Schillemat was singing in the Musical Number and needed to practice, and 2) we wanted to get good seats for the meeting. Because she was singing, I got to sit pretty close to the front.^^ I was on the inside of the 2nd row, right in front of the podium! We were all super excited. He came in, and we all stood up and the Spirit was so strong! He wanted to shake all 400+ of the missionaries hands. Sister Schillemat was so excited because she got to be the first one to shake his hand. I was a little later, but it was so special! When I took his hand and he looked into my eyes (our spiritual interview, he said) my heart seriously leaped up and I knew he was a true apostle of God. The Spirit testified that he was one of Heavenly Father’s servants on the earth today, and what he was going to say was true. He brought so much love with him! That moment was very short, but oh my goodness it was powerful. The Church is so true!

He taught a lot of what our mission needed to hear, I think. I love what he said about how he feels when he is assigning missions to future missionaries. He says he gets a feeling that a particular missionary needs to learn from a specific mission president, or the missionary needs to go to a specific people to help them, or every once in a while they go to a land and language that will give them experience to build the kingdom of God both during and after their mission. He said that probably most of them are to go to a specific mission president, wherever they are. But whatever the reason, he impressed upon us that there is no mistake in our call. We are called where we need to be for a reason. I know this is true with all my heart, especially since I’m now a year old in the mission field. My mission has been so hard, but I know without a doubt that this is where I need to be. I love my mission so much!

I love Sister Cook too. She is probably my most favorite Apostle’s wife that I’ve ever met.^^ She is so cute and teaches with such a deep love for the gospel. Someday I want to be like that too.

I want to wish a Happy Graduation to my sister Brittany! You’re so old! O.o Way to go, sis! You’ll be awesome!

I hope you all have a wonderful week! The Church is true! Just read the Book of Mormon if you have any doubt. The answers you are looking for are in there if you look for them! I love you all so much!

Lots of Love,

Sister Jessica Pope
“To bring the world His Truth”

Gyomun Week 8 – The Atonement is for Everyone!

Dear Everyone,

First of all, Happy Birthday, Dad! “One year older and wiser too, Happy Birthday to you!”^^

This week was a pretty good week! We have some new goals and plans for the new transfer, and so far they’ve been going fairly well. I’m so excited to still be with Sister Schillemat! She is such a good missionary, and I think we work well as a team.

We got to go to the temple this week! In case you didn’t know, they got a new video in the temple! It actually came to Korea when I was with Sister Teng, but I got to see it for the first time this week! Super fun! I love the temple so much! I felt the Spirit so strongly this week, and I am so grateful that we have a temple in our mission and can go as often as we do. The temple is truly a blessing in our lives, and it’s so important to take every advantage of it!

We were able on P-Day to go to the War Museum in Korea. It is so cool! It’s so big, and because we didn’t have a lot of time we didn’t get to see all of it, but I learned so much about the history of Korea. They have some really cool exhibits and simulations. It was super fun!

One of our investigators suddenly invited us over to her house one morning because her friend was there. Both of them are not married, though her friend is familiar with the Church. She said that our church is for families, and because she’s alone she can’t join the church. I felt impressed to pull out the Plan of Salvation pamphlet and turn to the section on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We talked about how Jesus Christ loves us so much, and he took upon himself all of our pains and sins. The Atonement is for EVERYONE! Whether we are unmarried or have a family or going to school or without work or whatever situation there is, the Atonement is for that situation. It’s not just for sin, it’s for whenever we need help! I testified with all the love and sincerity I could muster to tell her that this gospel is for her, especially because she is alone. I felt so much love for these two women, and I know it was just a reflection of the love that Jesus Christ has for them! I hope and pray that they will understand how much Jesus Christ loves them and wants to help them. The Atonement is so real!

I am so grateful for the love that Jesus Christ has for each of us. I hope and pray for each one of you as well! I love you all so much! Thank you for all you do!

Love,

Sister Jessica Pope

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