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

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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

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”

Week 6 – MTC – Sister Jessica Pope

Hello everyone!

4th-july-flag-fireworksI hope everyone had a fantastic 4th of July. I know we did. It was so awesome! Nearly all the missionaries here were in red, white, and blue and we had a special Independence Day Celebration. We got to watch “17 Miracles”, which was amazing because that was the one movie I was most sad that I did not get to see before my mission. It was so great, and missionaries of all sizes were crying.  Then, as a special treat, we got special permission to stay up later than our bedtime and watch the Stadium of Fire fireworks! That was especially fun as we ate our ice cream and sang some patriotic songs together. I love our country so much! 🙂

 

As I was watching “17 Miracles”, I was struck by the faith and courage of the Saints that came to Zion. There truly were miracles along the trail, and it reminded me how much I need to have that faith because the Lord can and will bless his children, even to help them learn a new language. I’m not perfect, but I am doing my best to exercise my faith and believe that the Lord will bless me. I know that if we believe and trust that the Lord will catch us when we have to step out into the darkness, that he will be there and that he will hold us up. Sometimes this is easy to forget, but I know this is true because I have seen it already in my short time here in the MTC. It may not come all at once, but it does come. I am so grateful for the Lord’s blessings!

 

So this week I’m going to claim my first baptism while I’m a missionary. My youngest sister is getting baptized on Saturday, and I have spent most of this week thinking about it and helping our “investigators” come to understand it’s importance. We were teaching our investigators about the Plan of Salvation and how Heavenly Father loves us so much that he gave us a plan to come back to live with him someday. Baptism is the gate to enter in order to begin our journey, and this week my sister is entering that gate. I was reading 2 Nephi 31 where that scripture is found and it just gave me exceedingly great joy that she has decided to take that next step in becoming more like her Father in Heaven! One of the most important blessings of baptism is that we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, who is there as a comforter and guide for our journey through life. This is possible because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, who took upon him all the pains of the world so that we would be able to return to him if we accept his sacrifice and keep our covenants, including the covenant of baptism. We have the opportunity to apply the Atonement in many ways, both for repentance of what we have done wrong, and to receive the comfort and help that we need in times of trial. I love Alma 7: 11-12 in the Book of Mormon because it talks about how Jesus Christ suffered “that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities”. This means he has felt the pains and heartache of every single person on this earth, and that puts him in the unique position to know exactly what we need and how to help us. At times we may feel like he does not hear, but that is when we need to exercise a particle of faith to know that he will bless us if we are faithful. I love Alma 36:21 where Alma is talking about how Jesus Christ succored him. “Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy!” (emphasis added) That is what this gospel is all about! Finding that joy in Christ, and exercising our faith so that we can return to live with him again. I am so excited for my sister to enter that gate of baptism so that she may experience that joy and complete happiness that the gospel brings, and I challenge you to study the chapters I have mentioned in the Book of Mormon so that you can learn more about the blessings of baptism. I am serving a mission for the Lord so that others may taste of this joy that I have felt. The church is true, and this joy is real! I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

 

I want you to know how much I love you, and I am grateful for your prayers. I can feel them working as I continue to press onward. Thank you so much for your love. I know the Lord will bless each and every one of you!

 

All my love,

 

Jess