Gyomun Week 3 – A New Plan!

안녕하세요?!

This week was a little rough, but we made it out alive!^^ Heavenly Father has blessed us very much, and we are continually striving to serve with all our heart, might, mind, and strength.

So last week during exchanges I had an idea, and this week we began to implement it. Our member book is not very good and the records haven’t been updated in a long time, so our plan is to update the member book by visiting the less active members and finding out what happened to them, if their addresses are correct, etc. At the same time we will be talking to everyone that God puts in our path. I think this will be very effective because we’re updating the book, visiting less actives, and talking to everyone at the same time. Most of the missionaries here use only one 전도 spot, but our area is huge! I feel like we need to go out into the other areas of our area in order to ” find them that will receive us”.  It will be lots harder because 1) the areas are far away from the church, some almost an hour away! and 2) Both Sister Schillemat and I don’t really know the area that well and have a hard time navigating. I’m just praying that because we have a plan to visit people and talk to everyone that the Lord will bless us as we show our faith by going out to work. I’m ready to work because I know that if we work hard that the Lord will bless us with people to teach. I also pray that Sister Schillemat won’t hate me after this transfer because I’ll have dragged her all over the area and probably will have been lost a lot.^^ She’s really awesome though and seems to be willing to work hard too. I’m really grateful to have her as a companion.

As we’ve tried this plan we have seen quite a few miracles, like meeting people who seem interested in our church that we would never had met if we had only stayed close to the church. I’m looking forward to seeing the hand of the Lord as we invoke the powers of heaven in our missionary work. Next week we have a few appointments, so hopefully by the end of the week we will have some people to teach. It’s really scary because I just know we’ll get majorly lost, but thankfully Heavenly Father has put tons of 부동산s all over Korea. These are real estate places with big maps and the people there generally know the area really well. It’s great because we just go in and ask where this place is and they generally can tell us the area, and we can take a picture with our cameras and find the less active house! Yay! We walk a lot, but when we come home exhausted and account to the Lord for our day it feels good. I hope he is pleased with our efforts.

I’m glad you all enjoyed conference! I am so excited to hear the words of the prophets this next Sunday and have my questions answered. I love the work of the Lord, and I love being a missionary!^^

May God bless you and keep you always! 사랑해요!

 

사랑으로,

Sister Jessica Pope

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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 14 – Love, Love, Love!

Dear Family and Friends,

Our last week of the transfer! Wow, that went by fast! We were blessed to be able to go to the temple again this week, so I’m really grateful because I needed it! This is a lot of work! ^^ I felt the Spirit so strongly in the temple. I was reminded of how important it is to invite people to come unto Christ. There is so much joy in the gospel, and we want to share that joy with everyone! It helped give me more motivation to go out and work harder because that it what the Lord needs me to do! ^^

We’ve been trying to find all the members of the ward for the past couple of weeks. Our ward has a whopping 700 members in it, but the majority of them don’t come to church! We’ve been trying to find the missing members, and it hasn’t been easy, but we know how important the work is. I’m reminded of the story of the shepard who left the 99 sheep to look for the one. Well, we’re trying to find the ones and help them know they’re loved! We’ve been heart attacking the members like crazy! ^^

I have learned a lot about missionary work and loving people this transfer. I often think about how much Jesus Christ loves us, and how much he wants us to be happy. There are many people that say they don’t love Jesus Christ, but he loves them anyway. There is true power in Charity- the pure love of Christ. I’m doing my best to love the people of Korea the best I can, and I hope they see the happiness that comes from living the gospel. This transfer has taught me a lot about love and how important it is. Always remember how much Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love you, and how much I love you too! May the Lord always bless you in all that you do!

All my love,

Sis. Jessica Pope

Week 13 – Birthday Fun!

Dearest family and friends,

The end of another long week! I’m now 20/21? and my birthday was pretty good. We had interviews with President Christensen that day. I was really grateful because I felt like he really understood me. I had a thought about it: He said that he knew about my situation before the transfers started and he’s been watching ever since. If I needed help, he was waiting for me to ask. To me, that sounds very similar to how Christ works. He knows us and knows exactly what we’re going through. He knows exactly how to help us and he’s just waiting for us to ask and turn to him for help. I’m grateful to see these Christlike attributes in our mission president. It helps me know this work is truly inspired. ^^

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The Assistants to the President were very sweet. I saw them at the Young Missionary Companionship Forum (Which I will talk about in a minute) and so they knew my birthday was the next day. They made a “birthday box” filled with random things they had found at the church, like a 몰몬경, a missionary planner, some Youth CD’s, a first aid kit, and some chocolate (which I really hope they bought), They are silly, but it was very nice of them. ^^ Sis. Jeong gave me a present, and the elders in our ward sang “Happy Birthday” in Korean and brought muffins. Nothing big, but It was a good day. ^^

The Young Missionary Companionship Forum was great. It was for those companionships where both companions are young missionaries (i.e. one 3rd transfer, one 2nd transfer). Sis. Jeong and I qualified for it because she’s on her 4th transfer, and we were grateful to go because we learned a lot. They had this so that those companionships would feel more confident in their work and know that God trusts them. It’s interesting to know that 90% of our missionaries are less then a year out. We are a young mission. O.o One message that stuck out to me from it is that they said being clueless is a good thing. If you are clueless you are dependent on heaven and God can direct you. The minute you start saying “I know what I’m doing” that is absence of humility and the Spirit can’t work as well through you. I felt much more confident in my abilities after the meeting, and I know it will help me throughout my mission.

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I hope everything is going well for all of you! A special “Happy Birthday” to my favorite Mom! Love you so much! ^^ Thank you for all your prayers. I love you all, and I hope the Lord blesses you more than you think you deserve! Happy Halloween, because it’s not a big holiday out here. Eat a lot of candy for me!! ^^

Love you all!!

Sister Jessica Pope

Week 11 – General Conference is like Christmas in October! ^^

Dear Family and friends,

Oh, how I love General Conference! It truly is like Christmas time for missionaries. ^^ This was the strangest situation to watch conference I’ve ever been in though. Normally what would happen is that all the missionaries get together to watch conference and they have a Korean session and an English session, but because of the new emphasis on members working with missionaries they had us watch with our wards. This meant that Sis. Jeong and I would have to go on splits to watch conference, but none of the English speaking families came (they probably watched it last week on their own) so my companions for conference were three elders! O.o Don’t worry! Everything was fine. We had permission, and we left the door open so that people could see us. If I had brothers, I think they would be just like them. ^^ I learned a lot from watching conference with them, and we all were spiritually edified from the messages from the Lord. I really needed conference too. A lot of my own prayers and concerns were answered and I feel spiritually strengthened. On top of that, one of our investigators came to watch one of the sessions with us! She said that a lot of her questions were answered that other churches couldn’t answer. ^^ She’s is so awesome! I love her so much!

I was especially grateful for Conference because this week was a bit hard for me. During one particular night I was feeling somewhat emotionally drained and feeling down, and I wasn’t excited about going out to 전도. I felt like I wanted to just hide for the night, but I knew that wasn’t what I needed to do. I wanted to overcome these feelings, so I prayed and told Heavenly Father “Okay. I’m going to talk to everyone I can tonight, but I need your help. Please help me overcome!” Almost instantly I saw a girl wearing a shirt that said “Stand Firm in your style.” I don’t know if she understood what her shirt meant, but those words were exactly what I needed to help me have the courage to open my mouth. I did my best to “stand firm” and I started talking to people, and then my companion started talking to people, and we 전도ed a lot! I felt those feelings go away and were replaced with happiness and triumph. I felt triumphant because Heavenly Father helped be thwart the adversary’s plan to stop me from talking to people. I have a testimony of service and the power that it gives to us. Not only does it bless other people, but we can also overcome our own feelings when we are in need.

I hope you all have a wonderful week and that you turn to the Lord for everything! The Lord loves you so much! You are his beloved child!

I love you all!

Love,

Sis 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 – An Unexpected Opportunit​y

Dear Family and friends,

I was talking to one of our American elders, and he said to me “You’ve been here almost a whole normal transfer. How do you feel?”
I said, “I feel like I still know nothing.”
He nodded, and said,”That feeling never goes away”.
True story.
If there is one thing that being in Korea has taught me, it is that I absolutely cannot do this on my own. There is no way I could learn Korean if it weren’t for the promise of the Lord and the gift of tongues. I have an absolute testimony that the gift of tongues is real because I have felt it and have seen it many many times. It give me confidence that the Lord is with me and will help me. I reread from my early entries from the MTC in my journal this past week, and I thought about how far I have come in such a short time. Even though I am far from being fluent, it is an absolute miracle that I can speak as well as I can. It’s not perfection, but that is truly a gift from the Lord.
This week I also went on my first exchange, which is really cool because it was only recently that sisters have been able to go on exchanges like this. I went with Sister Kwon to her area and the sister training leader and her other companion went with my companion. I learned lots from Sister Kwon. She is so awesome, and I sincerely hope we get to be companions at some point during our missions. She went to BYUI for three years, so she has a lot of understand about Americans and she speaks English so well. It was a really good experience!
Sister Jeong and I were kind of sad that we wouldn’t be able to meet with one our investigators again because she was moving to a new area. This week we found out that she is in the hospital for surgery, and so we’ve taken this unexpected opportunity to meet with her and tell her we love her and share the message of the gospel with her! It is sad that she will be in the hospital for a few weeks, but we hope that this is Heavenly Father preparing her to receive the message that we have to share. She is so cute, and I pray that she will be receptive to the Lord’s message!
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I’m really excited because tomorrow is our zone’s temple day! It’s going to be so awesome! ^^ So today is only email day. Our real P-Day will be tomorrow, so right after this we’re going right back out to work and talk to some people and invite them to come unto Christ. I’m thankful for all of your prayers and love. I know that the Lord will bless you if you only turn to him. I’ve learned that Faith is a choice, and so is happiness. Choose the better part always. Choose to partake of the fruit of life.
Love you lots!
Sister Jessica Pope

Week 2 – Shin Chone Area

Hello from across the ocean! 今今

So I’m a new missionary, so I’m allowed to make mistakes. The temple is in our area, but the mission home is not. Sorry about that! Moving on…

This week had its challenges, but I’m pretty sure that is every week. The biggest challenge for me at this point is just trying to learn Korean. As I’ve said, I normally have no idea what’s going on and it is frustrating when I want so badly to understand and not just be a pretty face. The good news is that I think the jet lag is beginning to wear off and I am getting a little better at listening! One of our zone leaders shared a story in our zone meeting about when I attempted to teach during English class. He said that I didn’t use fancy Korean (because I can’t use fancy Korean) but I spoke from the heart and invited the Spirit into the room. It made me feel better that he said that and it gave me a little more confidence to keep trying. I am really hoping things will start getting a little easier now.

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Other good news is that we got two new investigators this week! We are so excited to teach them and invite them to come unto Christ. Sometimes its hard when we are out doing 瞪紫 (Jun-doh), which is street contacting, and they completely ignore us. One time a woman actually ran away from us when we tried to talk to her! Are we really that scary? 今今 One rule that is specific to the missions in Korea is that only sisters 瞪紫 to women and only elders 瞪紫 to men. This is mostly cultural, I think, but we follow the rules that have been set down. Hopefully we can touch some hearts while we are here.

As for the food, IT. IS. SO. GOOD!!!!! Yeah, it’s a bit spicy, but it is delicious! I think my favorite dish so far is 鎗殼 (Jim dalk -soft k) It kind of reminds me of a spicy stew. It has a lot of vegetables like potatoes, onions, and carrots and it has chicken in it. I think my favorite part is the clear noodles. Mmmm!! One interesting characteristic of Korean meals is that instead of everyone having their own plate, they make a ginormous dish with several side dishes with it and everyone eats from the same plate. I have been complemented on my chopstick ability, so I tell everyone that I learned from my aunt who served in Japan. 今今 Ah! Just writing about it makes me hungry.

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Funny story: this week we went to a Primary activity and there was a firefighter who was teaching CPR. Of course, I couldn’t really understand what he was saying but I followed along as best I could. He had a dummy to practice on, and who do you think they asked to demonstrate CPR? That’s right! The foreigner who can’t speak! 今今 I’m grateful for our other zone leader who helped me out. *sigh* Barely more than a week here and I’m already kissing a dummy. I hope I don’t have to talk to the mission president about this. 😉

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I am so grateful for the Lord’s hand in this work. It is not easy, but I know that the Lord will help me learn Korean and the culture. I have felt the Spirit testify of truth pretty much every day that I’ve been here, and I am grateful for the opportunity that I have to study the word of God every single day. Thank you for your love and support. I can feel your prayers for me. Thanks so much! I love you all! Remember, the church is true!

All my love,

濠衙 (Sister Pope)

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Week 7 – MTC – Sister Jessica Pope

Hello Family and Friends!

 DSCF0439We are now the oldest group of Koreans in our branch now, so they’ve put a lot of pressure on us to be good examples and be perfectly obedient. We are doing our best to be the best missionaries we can be so that we will always have the Spirit to be with us. I’ve noticed that we have grown as we come to rely upon the Spirit more, and we are excited to share the gospel with the people of Korea. I am still nervous because I feel like I can barely say my own name, but I know that Heavenly Father loves us and will be with us every step of the way. This week Sis. Jackson and I learned a powerful lesson about listening to the Spirit, and I know that we were able to teach exactly what we needed to. Our “investigators” are now preparing for batism, and we are excited to help them draw closer to Christ. I pray that we will become more confident in our speaking so that we will be able to teach the people of Korea with the confidence of the Lord. I know that with his help we can do all things, of this I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

This week Sis. Jackson and I were able to tryout to sing at the MTC for something, and we got a yes!! It’s so exciting that we are able to share our talents with the rest of the MTC and invite the Spirit to the meetings. We don’t know when or where we are singing, but it will probably fairly soon because we leave soon. We will get a letter in the mail telling us when and where, and we’ll move forward from there. I love the MTC, and I am both happy and sad to be leaving. We’ve got a few more weeks to pull everything together for Korea, and then we are gone. The work moves very fast here!

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I adore hearing from everyone, and I know that you all are doing great things. Remember “Every member a missionary”. If you get the chance you should check out www.mormon.org. It’s so awesome, and it is really helpful for those who want to learn about the church. I know that the Lord is blessing you, and I hope you turn to him in all things. The blessings come after a trial of your faith, so don’t lose the faith! Keep believing and serving the Lord. He loves each and every one of you, and I know that he wants to help you in all things.

I love you all so much!

Love,

Sis. Jessica Pope