Friday, May 29, 2015

Members are Amazing!

This week was amazing! We didn't have P-day on Monday because we were going to the temple on Thursday. So on Monday we had a meeting to discuss the English class and how to make it more organized since we now have 10 missionaries in our district instead of 4. The English class is every Friday night and we have four classes; kids, beginning, intermediate, and advanced. It is nice to have 10 missionaries now to make the class run more smooth. 

On Tuesday we had service, interviews with President Morrise (the mission president), and we did a practice lesson at a member's house. This week I learned to love the members. We visited with 5 members of the ward and did practice lessons. The members are so loving and care so much about missionaries and missionary work.
Bike riding along the river
Thursday was Temple P-day! Those are the best ones. I love being in the temple and the spirit I'm able to feel there. We had Taco Bell for lunch and rode bikes along the river. It was so cool, but it felt weird riding a bike again. We had dinner with Sister 홍영주 and her family and rushed over to our missionary meeting. I went straight to bed because I started feeling sick. 

Friday was weekly planning and English class. I felt sick most of the day and wasn't very hungry so we had a bingsu (ice cream) for dinner.  Best dinner ever! 

On Saturday we met with two members, Sister 이지선 and Sister 이애경. We had lunch with Sister 이지선. She just got married and does fashion for a living. She is so kind and helped us find our way to her house.  I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to get to know her. Then we headed over to Sister 이애경's house. Sister 이애경 is amazing! She prayed to know how she could help us with Korean. She helped me write my introduction talk by having me write it in English and then she translated it in to Korean. I'm so blessed to be serving in such an incredible ward with members who are so loving. This week we have even more practice lessons. 

This week was amazing and showed me how much God cares about me and what I'm doing. On Sunday we had another meal and practice lesson which was great! Then for companionship study we read a talk about being a consecrated missionary. I learned I need to open my mouth. I have been really bad at opening my mouth because I'm afraid. I'm afraid of not understanding people. I'm afraid of offending someone because I can't say it in Korean. This talk we read helped me realize I need to open my mouth and try, and through God I can do all things. That is my goal this week. I'm going to open my mouth and try the best I can to talk to everyone I see. I'm so grateful Sister Kelly suggested we read this talk about being a consecrated missionary. After Sister Kelly helped me write things I could say to people as I try to open my mouth. I'll let you know how that turns out. 

I know this gospel is true. Have a wonderful week and remember God loves you!

Mustain 자매

Monday, May 18, 2015

Trust in the Spirit

This week flew by and now May is halfway through. Everyone tells me that my greenie (training) time will go by the slowest. And if that's true, then I'm going to be going home before I know it. That's crazy! 

This week I learned to love the people around me and have confidence in myself. Before I started my mission I couldn't really comprehend what it would be like learning a language and teaching the gospel in a foreign country.  It was just something I knew I would be doing for the next 18 months. But from day one everything has happened faster than I can comprehend. One difficulty for me has been balancing learning Korean with learning the language of the spirit. I've been so focused on learning the language that I haven't focused as much on the spirit. I haven't focused on the feelings in the lessons that helped me to understand what people are saying. So this week I did just that. I worked on focusing on the spirit. 

So normally when I talk to Koreans I give them a look that says, "I have no clue what you just said." This is not a good thing to do as a missionary because we are trying to speak their language not have them learn ours. In one of our practice lessons, Sister Kelly told me I needed to stop doing this. Instead of listening with my ears, I started listening with my thoughts and feelings or in other words with the spirit. I tried to act like I knew what they were saying. As I began to realize this, I realized that I do know what people are saying or at least the basics of what they are saying. The next time we did a practice lesson I felt more confident in what I was saying and began to feel the spirit guide me to what I needed to say. This has also helped me feel more love for the people. I felt that I actually cared about what they were saying. 

Yesterday in church I was struggling to sing the hymns in Korean because I'm tone deaf and didn't even know the songs in English. So I just listened and followed along. It was so beautiful to listen to. I felt peace to know that I can learn Korean. I'm so grateful to my Heavenly Father who loves me enough to try my faith. There is a Mormon Message called The Currant Bush. This message has been going through my mind this week as I've struggled with stress and discouragement. In the message it says,

"I was living up in Canada. I had purchased a farm. It was run-down. I went out one morning and saw a currant bush. It had grown up over six feet high. It was going all to wood. There were no blossoms and no currants. I was raised on a fruit farm in Salt Lake before we went to Canada, and I knew what ought to happen to that currant bush. So I got some pruning shears and went after it, and I cut it down, and pruned it, and clipped it back until there was nothing left but a little clump of stumps. It was just coming daylight, and I thought I saw on top of each of these little stumps what appeared to be a tear, and I thought the currant bush was crying. I was kind of simple minded (and I haven’t entirely gotten over it), and I looked at it, and smiled, and said, “What are you crying about?” You know, I thought I heard that currant bush talk. And I thought I heard it say this: “How could you do this to me? I was making such wonderful growth. I was almost as big as the shade tree and the fruit tree that are inside the fence, and now you have cut me down. Every plant in the garden will look down on me, because I didn’t make what I should have made. How could you do this to me? I thought you were the gardener here.” That’s what I thought I heard the currant bush say, and I thought it so much that I answered. I said, “Look, little currant bush, I am the gardener here, and I know what I want you to be. I didn’t intend you to be a fruit tree or a shade tree. I want you to be a currant bush, and some day, little currant bush, when you are laden with fruit, you are going to say, ‘Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for loving me enough to cut me down, for caring enough about me to hurt me. Thank you, Mr. Gardener."

This has been a source of strength to me because when I feel discouraged or lacking, I remember like the Gardener, the Lord loves me enough to cut me down so I can become the person he wants me to be. 

Right now our only investigator is Crystal. We have a lot of practice lessons and opportunities to prepare to receive a new investigator although I don't know what each day will bring. I know as I pray, God will help me overcome whatever comes my way. I'm so grateful to have this opportunity right now to be serving the Lord. Have an incredible week. I hope you continue to remember to pray because it is through God's help we can do all things.


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Recognize the Miracles

Well... This week was amazing because we had transfer calls, we were able to meet with Crystal, and I was able to Skype my family! 

So there are a lot of changes happening in our zone. Our district now has 10 missionaries, 5 sets, and 4 missionaries are being transferred. Districts in Korean are the amount of missionaries they have in one ward. That means there are 10 missionaries in our ward. That's a lot of missionaries!

On Wednesday I had my first meal with members. We ate at a buffet style restaurant and I had to eat more food than my stomach could handle, but it was great because we are low on cash and we can use all the free meals we can get. This was just one of many miracles this week. 

On Thursday we had zone training. We met with Ritchell a less active, and Crystal our investigator. It was so good to meet with them and see the difference we are making in their lives. Ritchell's husband is an investigator for the Elders. The Elders told us that he really appreciates us visiting his wife which is opening him up to the gospel. On Thursday Ritchell had made us dinner which was a miracle because we didn't know what we were going to do about dinner. I know as we serve others and rely on God he will bless us. We met with Crystal, which was a miracle since we haven't been able to meet with her. 

This week was filled with miracles. One more was today as we were walking to email, we met a lady and started talking with her in Korean. This was a miracle to me because I was able to practice listening and a little bit of talking in Korean. I'm so grateful for this week, because I learned the Lord's hand is really in this work and if I'm diligent in doing what he has asked of me then he will help me along the way. This week I learned as I look for the miracles and blessings, I am able to move forward with hope and faith. No matter how bad things get everything will be alright.

I'm so grateful to be here in Korea as a missionary. Being a missionary helps me learn far more about myself and my relationship with God and my Savior more than I ever could at home. So my challenge this week is to look for the miracles in your life and take the time to thank God for the blessing in your life.

Have a wonderful week and remember the miracles!

Seoul is similar to New York City

Friday, May 8, 2015

Diligence and Fasting

This week was crazy! We had service on Tuesday, temple on Thursday, and a 12 Week Follow Up on Friday with weekly planning on Saturday. It is hard to believe it is already P day again!

The Seoul Temple is amazing! It is in the middle of a large city, but when you are there it doesn't even feel like you are in the city. The inside is very small, but beautiful all the same. I'm so blessed with the opportunity to go once a transfer in my mission.

On Friday we had 12 Week Follow Up, which is training for new missionaries. I was able to see all the sisters from the MTC. It was great to see them and learn from them and their trainers.

On Saturday for weekly planning we when to a cafe and I tried a Bingsu. It has beans, ice, cream, and cookies. It was so good! 

This week I learned the importance of diligence and fasting. One day during companion study, Sister Kelly and I decided to study a Christ like attribute. We chose diligence. It was an amazing study. We were able to build off of each other’s comments and learn what diligence truly is. I learned diligence is continually working on “over working yourself” and taking a step back to turn to the Lord for help. According to D&C 123:13, it is "wasting" and "wearing" out our lives. It means to give your all to God. In D&C 10:4 it says "Do not run faster or labor more than you have strength and means provided to enable you."  The key word is provided. God will provided us with the ability to do all he asks of us. Diligence is working continually until we "waste and wear out our lives."  I know God works through us and as we are diligent, he will bless our lives so we can become more effective instruments in his hands. 

Diligence is also important in gaining a testimony. Before my mission I never really had a testimony of fasting. I would do it, but I never really understood the purpose of it until my mission. This week we fasted for our investigator Crystal. Then we fasted on fast Sunday. I'm not going to lie fasting was hard. I felt so weak and hungry. We do a lot of walking, but I knew I needed to push past that in order to really see the effects. I needed to be diligent.  As a result, Crystal said she could meet with us this week. I don't have a strong testimony of fasting yet, but it is growing. I know fasting like pray blesses our lives. President Uchtdorf said, 

"Let us acknowledge that most often gaining a testimony is not a task of a minute, an hour, or a day. It is not once and done. The process of gathering spiritual light is the quest of a lifetime.
Your testimony of the living Son of God and His restored Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints may not come as quickly as you desire, but I promise you this: If you do your part it will come. And it will be glorious."

I know as we are diligent God will bless us in ways we can't imagine. I know this gospel is true.  I know God loves each and every one of us. I'm so grateful for this past week and look forward to the week to come.
Have an amazing week!

Sister Mustain 
Eating Bingsu

Seoul Temple


Friday, May 1, 2015

News Flash! Missionary Work is Hard!

Well... this week went by faster than I could blink. We had zone conference on Tuesday, and the opening of a new stake center. 

In an effort to create larger wards in Korea, they built a new stake center (which is larger and nicer than most building in the US). As a result we had to do proselyting for that.  There was a cultural night (where we had to perform), an open house, and stake conference. So you could say we were busy this week. 

Tuesday was Zone Conference and it was a lot of fun. We learned about how to become better teachers and how if we are inviting others to come unto Christ we need to either be there or working to get there. It was spiritually uplifting and we were able to visit a few historical sights. 

This week I learned how hard it is emotionally to be a missionary. Being a missionary isn't easy. It requires patience, love, compassion, humility, faith, and energy. By the end of the day I'm ready to hit that pillow. However, it is bringing me closer to Christ and his atonement. In my mission there are times when we don't have a lot of lessons because people are busy or won't respond, but that doesn't mean we aren't doing anything. I've be struggling with this and I was talking with Sister Kelly about it the other day. I finally realized  I was focusing a little too much on numbers as a measure of our success. Success is not based on numbers, it is based on the moments that bring someone closer to Christ. 

There is a less active in our ward from the Philippians and she married a Korean. Her husband is currently an investigator for the Elders. They visit his family on Sundays so it is hard for them to get to church, but yesterday she came to stake conference. I consider that a result of success. She is coming unto Christ, although she isn't an investigator her progression is great in the eyes of the Lord. I know even though I may not have a lot of baptisms it doesn't mean I'm a failure as a missionary. Sister Kelly showed me a talk given at the Provo MTC by Elder Holland that related to this.  He said;

"Anyone who does any kind of missionary work will have occasion to ask, why is this so hard? Why can’t our success be more rapid? Why aren’t there more people joining the Church? Why isn’t the only risk in missionary work that of pneumonia from being soaking wet all day and all night in the baptismal font?

I have thought about this a great deal. I offer this as my personal feeling. I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him?"

This helped me to understand missionary work is hard, but life is hard as well. Christ understands what I'm going through. These past few weeks have flown by and everyone keeps telling me it will go even fast. I know I needed to be on this mission to draw closer to my Savior. I know as you pray and study about the Atonement, you too can draw closer to him. I love you all and am so blessed to be on a mission. I know through prayer we will receive blessings. This week I prayed it wouldn't rain for zone conference and it didn't. He hears and answers our prays.

I have been reading in Mosiah about King Limhi and his people. I read that even though they were trying to be righteous and repent, God didn't immediately free them from bondage. He knew they needed to learn something from it before they could draw closer to him. I'm so grateful for my weakness because through it, I can be made strong. 

Have a wonderful week and don't forget to trust in God and Our Savior, Jesus Christ! 

Sister Mustain