Thursday, 29 March 2012

Arriving in Daejeon, South Korea !!!!

March 27th, 2012

I am FINALLY in KOREA!!! :D MY goodness! IT IS AMAZING!!! and I am sooo excited to be here to do the Lord's work! My mission president is AMAZING!!! They are sooo joyful and just really warm to be around! We got into luncheon around 5:30 pm or something like that, and then didn't get into the mission home until 10 pm. So far, it is very very nice in Korea!!! :D
The trip here was an adventure! hahaha~ When we were in Salt Lake airport, one of the native Koreans lost her itinerary and her ticket to board onto the plane, but thank goodness the airline crews were able to print another plane ticket for her. Also when going through the check point, everyone was through, but I got sent back down to the ticket office because they didn't print out my first airplane ticket! 
Then, when we landed in San Francisco Airport. At San Francisco Airport, one of our Native Korean Sisters got stuck at the check point area, and all the sisters had already gone through the check point area. So two of our elders were with her for half an hour because the office messed up on her boarding ticket as well. Then after they got through, one of our elders found out that he lost his passport! It was really scary. We all said a little prayer for him to find his passport. After like an hour or so, we found out that they gave the elder's passport to the wrong person, so we got it back! That was really a relief! 
On the plane, one of our elders got REALLY sick and he started puking :( so he was given a blessing. All of us got through the airport just fine! BUT then one of the sisters who is going to Seoul mission, took one of my bags with her (accidentally), but thank goodness it wasn't my bag that had all of my personal stuff. It was mostly my clothes, but it has some of my Korean books and some documents :(. So I am Korean-less for the next few days :(. I really hope I can get it back asap. 
My first impression of Korea...LOVE IT!!!! At night it's like not's ALL light!!! it's like a never sleeping city-feel to it! :) I guess  kind of like how Hong Kong is like! Well I am sooo happy to be here to share the gospel to Heavenly Father's children!!! :D
Tonight, we will be proselyting in Korean!! FOR MY FIRST TIME!!! I AM SOOOOO NERVOUS!!! I DON"T KNOW WHAT TO SAY AND I FEEL LIKE I DON"T KNOW ANY KOREAN!!!!!AHHHHHHHH!!!!! but I know that the Lord will help me! I am sooo excited!! and Can't wait to start His work! ;)
I hope all of you are doing well!! IT was really really nice to talk to you all yesterday :) I love you very very much! (sorry today's a short email...I don't really have much to write head is still spinning. Trying to soak it all in! haahha~ and I think I will be able to adjust to the time here better...I didn't wake up at all last night so it is good). (Korea is about 14 hrs ahead of you guys.) Well, I will keep you updated next week!! and tell you how my first week in Korea is like!! hahaha~ I am sooo excited to meet my trainer, I don't get to meet them until tomorrow. I am kind of hoping to get the native Korean sister trainer, but whatever happens, I will be happy to meet her! 
I love you all very much and can't wait to hear from you all! (it takes about 10days to get mail). Love you all! bye for now!!
Sister Kwok

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Down to 6 days before I leave for Daejeon, South Korea !!

March 20, 2012
MY GOODNESS I HAVE ONE MORE WEEK LEFT IN THE MTC!!! I AM SOOOOO READY TO BE OUT OF HERE!!! BUT I am sooooo nervous. This week is going to be LOTS of review, “craming”, and planning and “preping” for the field!
I am doing well even though I am VERY STRESSED!! This past week has been a little tough but an AWESOME ONE!!! :D I, again :(, got an infection in my throat and nose! (Can I just say, I CAN'T WAIT until I am out in the field and have some space between people, and fresh air...because in the MTC it's circulated air, and you're with people all the time so it's SOO easy to get sick). Anyways, So I am just getting over the cold, but I am doing well! :) So don't worry about me! :) 
I did get a blessing! So last week, I told you about my problem, it's gotten a little better, but not the same as it was. But I asked for a blessing because it was really bothering me SO much that it was hard for me to focus on the work. And in the blessing it said this:
-"You are a light to those around you. Continue to be that light throughout your mission"
-"In times of trials, you ALWAYS have some one to turn to"
-"Use your time wisely in the MTC! there isn't much time left before you go out into the field"
-You were saved for these latter days
-Heavenly Father wants you to know that He Loves you
-You are surrounded by great and wonderful Elders and Sisters in your mission
-A blessing of Comfort that you will be comforted in the MTC and in the Mission field.
After the blessing, I read my Patriarchal blessing, and I didn't understand a certain word in my blessing so I searched the scriptures to find out what it meant. So, I read in D&C 121:41-44 and 1 Peter 5:3. From these scriptures I learned that in order to have Virtue of the Priesthood, we must do the following that was listed in D&C 121:41-44. And While we do those things, we must remember that when we Feed His Sheep, we do it out of Love, and because we WANT to not because we HAVE to. And that when we teach them, we remember that we are not any better than them. We are all equals, We all learn from one another. So just learn to LOVE your brothers and sisters and serve them with all your heart, might, mind and strength!!!
Also this Sunday in Relief Society Meeting, Sister Barbara Bradshaw talked to us. A few things I learnt from her amazing talk was:
-Bondage: ANYTHING that is holding you back and keeping you from progressing forward.
-In order to combat Bondage, we must 
1) Turn to the Lord with FULL PURPOSE OF HEART 
2) Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart 
3) Serve Him with ALL diligence! 
IF we do all these, we will be in-tuned with the Spirit, and will be aligned with the Spirit and its thoughts. It is then we can serve him with EVERYTHING we have and be able to seek out His lost sheep.
One important thing I learnt from Sacrament last Sunday from one of our branch presidents is that we as missionaries must LEARN and KNOW Christ if we want our investigators to Know and learn of Him. And once we know Him we ALSO need to learn to Love HIM like He loves us, because once we do that we take upon ourselves the attributes of Christ, and learn to be like Him, and we will then TRULY serve and feed His sheep. With an eye-single to the Glory of God, He can work through us and create Miracles in lives of others. 
And then, in the Sunday Fireside, I learned to "Keep my fishing line ALWAYS in the water". Meaning, Always seeking opportunities to do missionary work. And take the effort to actually talk to people, because it is when we talk that people will want to learn more about the gospel. If we don't share the gospel and talk, they will only see us walking by and think "we look different" but not think anything of it. So we must take the initiative to go and talk to people, and share the gospel. 
Three Key things for a missionary to have in order to be successful is: A.D.E
And then Saturday, we got to see Mary again! And guess what?! EXCITING NEWS!!!! SHE WANTS TO GET BAPTIZED!!! BUT...she is afraid to ask her parents to get permission to get baptized. We really hope that everything will go well though. We are also going to give her to our new district, because we are all leaving next Monday March 26th. So we are hoping that she will be able to get permission and be baptized soon. This week has just been an awesome Spiritually uplifting week! 
I am So excited to go to Korea!!! I am very very happy with my progression here learning the language, and I know that I will feel like I don't know anything in Korea, but I am determined to still be able to try my hardest and move forward, and learn this language! Because in these past 12 weeks, I have learnt SO much already with the help of the Lord, and I know that the Lord WILL continue to help me especially while I am out in the field! 
Yesterday, my teacher went through the Language Study Plan with us, and it TOTALLY stressed me out, but was a good stress, because now I know how to plan my Language Study, and I know what I will be doing during my Language Study time out in the field. 
I also learnt that even though we don't have much time, there is always time to utilize it to the best of your ability. ie. learning dano while doing exercise, and during meals, and while you aren't talking to anyone around you. So it was REALLY good to know this, otherwise, I might have not known what I should do when I got out into the field! hahaha~ :P Well I am doing very well, and I am SO excited to go to Korea~ I LOVE YOU ALL VERY MUCH! and want to thank you for ALL the support you have shown to me and given to me! LOVE YOU ALL!!! And take care!!!
Sister Kwok

13 more days in MTC before I leave for Daejeon, South Korea ...

March 13, 2012
    How are you all doing? How has your week been? How is work/school going? Anything new in life? Any missionary experiences happening to you? Do we have missionaries in the ward now? or are we still with out?
    Well, this week has been a great one, from what I can remember. Our three-some companionship is working out great! We say prayers together every night, in Korean! :) We try to speak to each other in as much Korean as possible. Sometimes, actually most of the time, we speak Kanglish (Korean mixed with English). But this past week, I've committed myself to speak as much Korean as possible. I set aside a few time slots to only speak in Korean (my language study time, companionship study, and everywhere we walk outside of class). I am now carrying a little notebook so I can write words down that I don't know how to say in Korean, or write words down that I hear but don't understand. So it has helped me a bit. :) I am also really cracking down on my Korean, and trying to learn and review as much Korean as possible, so I will feel comfortable when I go to Korea. I am so excited to go to Korea and to teach them, and try their food! :) mmmm yummy! hahahaha~ 3 months of MTC food is a little tooo much for me.
But yea~ I started to read the Book of Mormon in Korean! Yesterday I read one whole chapter...I caught a few words that I did not understand! so that is good! :) I plan to continue to read the Book of Mormon in Korean everyday! :)
   Also, I am starting to freak out, because all the Koreans that have come to the MTC have thought I was Korean...and that when I speak I sound like a Korean speaker...GAH! I am SO nervous because when I get to Korea the people will think I am Korean and will speak to me very fast!! So I am trying even harder to study the language so I won't freak out as much! hahahah~
    This week, Johnson 切古還 (Cha-mae-nim) and I have been teaching our 'investigators'. And it makes me very happy, because we have been able to teach by the Spirit and with unity. I am also VERY happy that we have companions to teach with because, sometimes I find myself not knowing what to say to the investigators, and my 切古還 (Cha-maenim) had things to say. We also got to see Mary Kim again on Saturday. She is progressing very well, and we are hoping to give an invitation to her to be baptized soon/sometime. So please continue to pray for her to strengthen her faith and knowledge of the gospel. 
    I unfortunately don't remember what spiritual messages were shared with us this past week, because I don't have my journal with me...sorry. But I did receive a tender mercy of the Lord yesterday evening from two of the elders in our Zone! They gave me these scriptures to read:

Psalm 27: 1-3
 1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
 2 When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.
 3 Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.
 Doctrine and Covenants 122:7-9
 7 And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.
 8 The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?
 9 Therefore, hold on thy way, and the priesthood shall remain with thee; for their bounds are set, they cannot pass. Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever.
These scriptures brought comfort to me, and into my heart because yesterday I was really bothered with one of the elders in my district that was upset with me. And it really bothered me because I don't really know what I might have done to have upset him. 
And one of the two elders in my zone were walking back to their dorms, and saw me, and asked how I was doing, but I decided not to say anything but say I was fine. They handed me those scriptures and said they would follow up on me if I did read them. 
    Last night I read them, and felt comforted. It also gave me peace. It was a testament to me that the Lord DOES watch over ALL His children. He also does love ALL of us, and knows each and everyone of us personally. He works through the people around us to let us know that He cares and loves us. I was SO glad to have received that tender mercy of the Lord, because it was exactly what I needed. 
    Another thing I find/found very comforting to me was saying a prayer. When I said my prayer, I felt comfort and peace, and I felt that things would be okay, and that Heavenly Father would be there for me every step of the way. He would support me through everything, and will give me strength to get past anything that is thrown to me, like trials.
       I am once again, VERY happy that I have decided to serve the Lord. This gospel has brought SO much joy into my life, and I want to share it with anyone and everyone! I want them to find joy in life as well, and know that there is ALWAYS some one who is looking out for you and is ALWAYS there for you when you need someone to talk to. That is Heavenly Father. He will NEVER turn away from us. He is ALWAYS there for us. We just need to turn towards Him and take hold of His out-stretched hands. Well, I am very VERY grateful for this opportunity to learn and grow! I love you all very very much, and can't wait to hear from you! :) I love you and hope you take care!! Until next time, Have a GREAT week!! And 13 MORE DAYS UNTIL I LEAVE FOR KOREA!!!! (hopefully...if I got my visa). And I get to host tomorrow and welcome the new missionaries coming in this week!!! :D Wish me luck hahaha~ LOVE YOU ALL VERY VERY MUCH!!! :D
飲切古 (Kwok Cha-Mae)

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

9th week in MTC - 3 more weeks to leave for South Korea !!!

March 6, 2012
안냥하세요!(Hey everyone!) 
How are you all doing? How's you're week been? What's new going on? 
Well this week has been great! :) I am so happy, and I am loving the language! I love my teachers too! we got our new teacher yesterday, and he's really great! He was the master at mastering dano, so I am very excited to learn from him. 
Also last week Tuesday, we got visited by Elder Jeffery R. Holland! :) I LOVED his talk! It made me want to change, and be a better missionary! He made it clear to us that we are missionaries who are grabbing hold of the torch of missionary work that has been passed down from generation to generation of 200 years. So we have the responsibility to uphold the reputation our fathers have built up and continue it and make it stronger for the next generation of missionaries to grab hold of the missionary torch and do as we are doing now. It was amazing! 
He also said that in order for our investigators to truly be converted to the gospel and not fall away, we must be converted first. He also mentioned that if we find ourselves wanting our investigator to be doing better in keeping their commitments, we must also do the same and work harder at it as well, because we are also God's investigators, and we are also leading our investigators by example. I thought that was neat :).
Another thing I learned from Jeffrey R. Holland's talk was that our mission is does not end after 2 years of 18 months. Our mission is the beginning to our life's mission. After our mission, we should NOT become the person that we were before our mission. We should continue to better ourselves, and move forward. 
Also in order for us to have the Spirit with us at ALL times we must strive to teach AFTER the manner of the Spirit. What does that mean to you? 
Jeffery R. Holland said there are two things that Spirit does if we are in tune with the Spirit, and if we are teaching after the manner of the Spirit.
  1. It is Provocative. Trust that feeling. (ie. In testimony meeting, you plan not to go up, but the Spirit prompts you and you Have to get up and bear your testimony...that is the Spirit being provocative...FOLLOW that feeling).
  2. ALWAYS and forevermore CLEAN
In order for us to be messengers we must be worthy of the Spirit so we can teach BY the Spirit. And when we teach BY the Spirit, the Spirt can work miracles in other people's lives. 
There are the majority of what I have learnt from his talk. I really LOVED his talk, and was very privileged to be able to be there to hear it! :)
Saturday was another AWESOME day for me and my district! I told you about our new and real investigator, and guess what?! WE got to meet her for the first time on Saturday!!! :) SOOO happy!! She truly is an amazing girl, and I am so happy that she is so dedicated in learning the gospel! :) We also found out that there are many other Korean students that are going to Church, but because of the language barrier, it's hard for them. So we are excited to meet them and teach with them in TRC! It makes me soo happy to see people so excited to hear about the gospel! :) 
And it's amazing that I'll be going to Korea in 3 WEEKS!!! CRAZY!! 
Our new district of Koreans came in yesterday, and we get to meet them soon!!! I am sooo excited. I am so scared and excited at the same time. I feel like I don't know anything in the language, and that I don't know enough dano to be able to teach people. But I know that if I put my full effort into preparing myself now, the Lord will bless me and help me to remember the things I have studied to prepare myself. Also seeing the new missionaries come in last or last last week, helped me to see how far we have all come together as a Zone. I can't wait for our new district to feel like they are progressing. 
I also had my meeting with my teacher yesterday, and she helped me to feel more calm, and a little more confident that I am learning this language. And the best thing to do, if I feel discouraged, rely and pray to Heavenly Father. I have seen this work in my life, especially while I was at the MTC. Through the lessons that my dung-pan-ja and I prepare and teach each day, I have found the hand of The Lord and the Spirit work with us. 
I am so excited to go to Korea!!! to find the people who are ready to hear the gospel, and to change their life and turn it towards Christ. These three weeks will go by quickly, and that is really scary and exciting at the same time! :) 
I have seen the progression from Week 1 to Week 9. It's amazing how much I have been able to learn about the language in such a short period of time. For sure, with out a doubt, I know that the Lord has helped and blessed me in learning this language. Because He has helped me, I am willingly taking the responsibility to continue to learn the language, and never forget it. Because when I am out in the field, I don't have a teacher helping me learn the language, and need to continuously learn more to be able to communicate with the Korean people! :)
I am SO glad I chose to serve a mission. This is one of THE best decisions I have made in my life. It has blessed me in my life, and it will bless the lives of the Korean people! :) I know this is where I need to be and where the Lord wants me. 
Today at the temple, a sweet little lady encouraged me and my dung-pan-ja-dur (companions) to always remember that the Lord is pleased with us, and she thanked us for going to serve. She also reminded us to always remember to pray for the angels to go with us, because they will indeed help and guide us when we go on our mission. Her encouragement to us was an answer to a prayer to me. It made me feel more calm, and it helped me know that I am not doing this work alone. Heavenly Father, the Spirit, and Angels are helping us. :)
Anyways, I am so so happy today, and I feel SO great! The Lord loves each and every one of us! He knows us all by name, and knows each and every one of us! I have a testimony of that! I know that this gospel IS true, and that it will FOREVER stand true. If you want to have a better understand of the gospel's truth, I encourage you to TRULY study the Book of Mormon! NOT just read it, but REALLY study it, and dissect it, and apply it into your life. Because through doing that, we will be able to understand the truthfulness of the gospel, and know for ourselves that this gospel is true, because the Spirit will testify it to you. :) I am currently doing this, and it has already blessed my life, and my testimony of this gospel is growing. 
I really love this gospel with all my heart, and I am so glad I can serve the Lord for these next 13months in Korea! :) 
I LOVE YOU ALL VERY MUCH! and hope you all have a wonderful day! :) Till next week,Take care! Hope to hear from you soon!! LOVE Love! :)

8th Week in MTC ....

Feb 28, 2012
Hey Everyone!!!
How are you all doing? How is life? How has your week been? What's the weather up in Canada like? What things did you learn this week? :) 

Well this week has been quite interesting. It's has its ups and downs. So in my last week's email I think I mentioned that one of our teachers had left. We got our new teacher the following Monday, and he is a great person and teacher. It is tough because he only talks Korean to us in class unless he's explaining the activity that we will be doing. It is a blessing, and really hard for me. It's a blessing because it will train my ear to be able to hear Korean a little better, but also hard because after being talked to in Korean for an hour my brain kind of just shuts off. It's bad because our class is for 3hrs straight. So Monday was a really unpleasant experience for me. 

We were reviewing Korean adjectives, and I thought I had known how to structure the sentence. Turns out that I was SO wrong! I was not understanding how to put the sentences together, and I got frustrated at myself for not being able to learn it. So it was a downward spiral. My dear companion was doing her best to help me, and I am very thankful to her for her help. :) 

I am still trying to diligently learn adjective grammar structure, and hope that by the end of this week I'll be able to form adjective grammar structures. :)

Also this week, we had a new companion join our companionship!! The new sister in our new district arrived this week along with our new district! She is Sister Chase, from Lehi! :) She is a darling sister, and I am so happy she is in our companionship! It's amazing to see her and think that I was in her shoes 7 weeks ago! But I hope that we are an encouragement to her, that she will be able to learn this language. :) 

Also this week on Saturday, we had TRC, and for the first time, my companion was able to teach a 40min lesson without our notes. And we were able to teach with unity, and with the Spirit! :) It was a big uplifter to me because this week, I was struggling a little with learning the language and memorizing all the dano (vocab). So it was such a blessing to me that my companion and I were able to teach a lesson without anything. :) 

And also our district will be teaching a real investigator! Kim Seo Eun, she is from Korea, and is here on an exchange school program. She has been meeting the 'outside' missionaries who actually proselytizes in Utah. She has been attending TRC, and two of our missionaries met her on Saturday. Sis. Judd, our teacher, got in contact with our investigator's guardian, and our teacher will continue to bring her to TRC for us to teach her! :) We also sent her little notes to encourage her, and let her know that we love her! :) I am soo happy! I find SO much joy in this gospel that I want to share it to everyone I can! :) So next week in TRC, I am looking forward to meeting her! :) 

Also today, we went through the temple with our new district. One of our new elders was going through the temple for the first time! He received his Endowments today!! :) SOOO exciting! I was soo happy for him. He's from Cambodia and will be going to Korea! :)

I don't remember if I told you, but I memorized our purpose in Korean :). I was also able to analyze it and understand how it is translated into Korean! :) It's amazing!!! I want to share our purpose with you in Korean and English :) 
(Korean)우리의 묵적:
다른 사람들이 여수 그리스도와 그분의 속죄에 대한 신앙, 회개, 침례, 성신의 은사, 및 씉가지 견딤을 통해 회복된 복음을 받아들이도록 도움으로써 그리스도에게 나아오도록 권유한다.
(Korean English)
Our's Purpose:
Other people's Jesus Christ His atonement about faith repent, baptism, spirit's gift and endure to the end through restored gospel to accept in order to help through Christ to come out in order to invite.
(English)Our Purpose:
Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.
My small but simple testimony:
저는 이복음을 참되다는 것을 알고있습니다. 그리고 저는 하나님게서 우리을 사랑하는것을 알고있습니다. 저는 조겝 스미스가 하나님 과 에수 그리스도를 봤는 것을 알고있습니다. 저는 몰몬경을 참되다는 것을 알고있습니다. 에수 그리스도 이름으로 말드립니다. 아멘.
English Korean:
I this gospel truth ((는 것을)gerund is connector to two verbs in the sentence) know. And I Heavenly Father we love (gerund) know. I Joseph Smith Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ saw (gerund) know. I Book of Mormon truth (gerund) know. Jesus Christ name in speak(honourfied). Amen.
I know this gospel is true. And I know Heavenly Father loves us. I know Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ. I know the Book of Mormon is true. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen

I know that this is His gospel, and that God loves each and everyone of us! I know it to be true. And I hope all of you have a wonderful day today! :) I am so happy to have this opportunity to be here to serve this mission! I love you all very very much. Thanks for writing me! I really appreciate it all, and I appreciate the messages that you share with me, they are uplifting and I love it! Take care and until next week, take care! :)

Sister Kwok