Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Dear fam and friends,

     This week was scary for me but exciting!!  I was transferred to a new area, like I said last week,  to Gangseo-gu and I have a new companion named Sister Amber Russel.  She is originally from California but was raised in Arizona.  She's 22 years old and I'm not sure about her talents and hobbies, but she is a nice girl.  She goes home after me next May.  I live in a legit Korean home with 3 other sister missionaries, and it's huge!!

     I have NEVER been so scared!  I LOVED my last area so much, and I cried so hard when I left.  I loved the people there, and the investigators, and my companion.  I get tears in my eyes right now when I think about the streets I walked up every day, but I will just have to move forward and press on….but I did leave the BEST area in the whole mission. :)  I am trying to love this new place.  The city is richer in wealth, and a much nicer, upscale area than my last one.  I have gone from 30 people in my old ward to now 150 people in this new ward here.  It's HUGE!!!  I have to say I am under a lot of stress, and no one has ever seen me like this.  I am a lot more serious just because I'm in charge of everything.  I'm senior companion and sister training leader, and I have to talk to everyone on the phone, and lead everything.  It's also scary for me because I don't feel like my Korean language is that good.  Honestly, I have NEVER worked so hard in my life.  These past few days have been go go go, every second and every minute, walking outside and constantly talking to people and helping others.  I WANT TO RAISE THE BAR and do the very best that I am called to do here!  All the years in high school when I would get up at 5:30 for cheer practice, and have gymnastics, hours of dance after school, music lessons, and performances, is nothing compared to the work and the stress I feel at this time.  But this is all good for me!  My companion told me right before I left some profound words that really had an affect on me.  "If you are in your comfort zone then you are not really progressing!"  In my last area I was in my comfort zone, and now I am definitely out of it."  I know though that I will have a lot of success and fun times here as I strive to be exact in obedience.  

     Today for p day we are cleaning the house, because this house is a MESS and I do not like messy houses.:) haha! Then we are going shopping, and of course have fun.  Even though this week has been very scary and stressful, the Lord has blessed us sooooooo much!!  I have never seen so many miracles in my life, and it's one day after another.  We received a referral from our Elders, and we scheduled an appointment, and went over to her house.  This Korean woman told us how much she respects the missionaries and how she feels such a good feeling around them.  We started talking to her and I just asked her straight up if she has interest in our church, and NOT just English interest, and she said YES.  This part will blow your mind………….She said she wants to meet with us 6 times a week!  This is the kind of person our mission is praying for and I am so excited to be able to help her become closer to Jesus Christ.:)

     I think I was sent to Korea because God knows me, and he loves me, and he knows how much I love these sweet people!  I love them so much it's ridiculous, but it was the perfect plan for me to be here. :) I do have a good friend in my district, named Elder Yang.  He is Korean, and was in my MTC district.  We are super good friends and he is probably one of my best friends here.  He is so funny and such a hard worker, and everyone just loves him.

     I miss my 15 year old friend who was an investigator in my last area named Ami Ryu.  She speaks English fluently, and she is so much fun!!  She emailed me today, and apparently she's my Facebook friend now "liking" tons of my posts. haha  Everyday we walk through the big market place here, and it's right on our way to the church.  I'll send you a pic next week.  It's amazing to see all the interesting foods sold there, and all the people bustling about.

     I love the Ninja blender I got. It's a billion times better than a normal blender.  I love the shoes you sent me too, and I actually threw all my old shoes away!  Thanks so much for these.  Next Sunday I am singing at a baptism that the Elders are doing.  I'm excited about that.  I always love to sing!

     I am so grateful for the challenges I am having to push me to a higher level.  It teaches me patience, and makes me appreciate my family, and I have really grown so much closer to Heavenly Father.  My testimony is strengthened each day as I rely more on Him and the peaceful comfort of the scriptures.  I love all of you so much, and continue to pray for you.

               Love, Michelle

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