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

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Week 8 추석 Fun!

Dearest Family and Friends,

First of all, Congratulations to Uncle John E and Vanessa on their wedding! Woot woot! I am so excited for you!

Also, Congratulations to Aunt Kristie and Adrian on their engagement! I look forward to the pictures. ^^

This week was the three day holiday of 추석 (Chew-sok) ! Like I said last week, it’s the Korean Thanksgiving. Our mission president decided that it we should do a special mission fast with all the missionaries. We did a full 24 hour fast to remove the “fog” that has been over the mission, to rededicate ourselves to the work. and to overcome temptation. Now, some might be wondering why a bunch of young adults would willingly choose not eat for 24 hours like that. I want you to know that when we all heard about this fast we became super excited because we knew that our mission president was inspired by God. We all knew that there would be miracles that would come from this, and so we prepared ourselves and sacrificed a little pleasure for much more valuable spiritual treasures. We had a testimony meeting before we broke our fast together and it was one of the most spiritually powerful testimony meetings I’ve ever been a part of. There was so much faith in that room! We all could feel the spirit, and when President Christensen had us all kneel and then offered the prayer to break our fast, he promised the Lord that we would act on the impressions He gave us. I pretty much cried through the whole prayer because I knew that every word he said was true! We are willing to act on the Lord’s impressions, and I am looking forward to this next week to see the hand of the Lord. ^^

After we broke our fast, it was time for our 추석 feast. Mmmm…. everything was delicious.^^ We all probably ate way to much of the special 추석 food, and then we played games as a mission. The next day was another P-day because change day was on Saturday. We went to a park as a zone and we rode bikes and played games in the sunshine! It was the first time I’ve ridden a bike all my mission, and probably one of the few times I will. It was a lot of fun, and we all came back a little red from the sun. ^^

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The next day was change day, like I said. This means we clean our apartments super super well because transfers are coming up soon (but not for me). Our apartment used to be an elder’s apartment, and it was SOOO GROSSS!!! I think the only reason the elders survived was because their moms were praying that they would come back safely. I only cleaned the kitchen for FIVE hours just scrubbing and scrubbing years and years of dirt away. Now the apartment is livable, but my wrist just ached that night because I scrubbed so hard. I saved our lives that day. Your welcome, future missionaries!

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Anyway, it was a great week and I look forward to seeing the miracles that come in the weeks to come. Thank you for your love and prayers. I feel them every day! I love you all!!

All my love,
Sister Jessica Pope