Thursday, June 25, 2015

 Dear fam and friends, 

     Well first and foremost HAPPY FATHER'S DAY dad!!!!!!  I love you so much that I can not even express it in words.  I tell my companion how much I love you every day.  I don't know what I would do without you dad.  We talked about this the other day of how the last man we hugged was our daddy's.  I have to say that I did tear up a bit.

     This week it rained A LOT!!!!  The monsoon season is coming, but it really helps with the heat. We were having District Meeting the other day and suddenly we heard this LOUD roar. We looked out the window and there was the craziest storm I have ever seen!  We moved our chairs by the door and just had district meeting next to the rain.  It was so fun!!  I LOVE my district, but this week there will be changes because of transfers.  Our dear friend, Elder Cowles, is leaving and a Korean is coming. That means speaking KOREAN!!  haha!

      This last week we went on exchanges.  I got to go with a different sister missionary from my district.  We were walking for awhile trying to find some less actives, and we walked up this hill, and suddenly saw this old grandma sitting on the curb flattening cardboard boxes.  All of a sudden this other woman came out of nowhere and was carrying two HUGE bags of food, and she told this old woman that she wanted to give it to her.  We watched this grandma act so shocked, as she took it with so much gratitude.  We just looked at each other with tears in our eyes, and honestly I had chills.  We just walked on so grateful ourselves that we were witnesses of such a kind act.  I was really touched by this one woman's act of kindness.  Then my companion asked if we could go buy the grandma some water, so we stopped by a local mart.  Suddenly we saw the (………..old grandma lady) walking up this big hill with her bags and her food to go to her little home.  We went to her and said, "We want to give you this water!"  She had this surprised and yet grateful look on her face, as she took the two waters and thanked us with all of her heart.  There were a couple of things I learned from this experience.  One, that by little acts of service we can change the world, one act at a time.  Two, we need to ACCEPT service when someone asks to give to us.  The old grandma could have denied it,  but she didn't.  The job of the person on the receiving end is very important. If we reject service, we are depriving that person from blessings, and feeling the happiness they could experience.  Here in Korea there are a lot of opportunities to help people, but mostly they say NO, because they don't want to burden people.

     My companion's exact name is Amber Maria Russell, and the other two sister missionaries that live with us are Bradie Johnson, and Brooke Parcells.   In my ward there are about 150 members and that is the biggest ward I have seen here.  I have given a talk once in the ward by the way, but we are very excited to have a music night for the ward in a couple of weeks.  For p day today we are doing something with the elders.  Transfers are on Wednesday, so we are going to go take sticker pictures with the elders in our district.  One of the elders is leaving so he wanted to do something together for our last p day.  My companion is not being transferred, and we heard we are staying together.

     My stress level between one and ten is maybe a 5?  Same as before, doing great! I am really trying to learn patience, and so even though my companion has a lot of differences, I have learned to get along with everyone.  I can talk to my companion about mundane things, but if I really want to talk deep I go to my friend Sister Johnson who lives in the house with us.  She used to be in my MTC district.:)

     I love the Korean culture, and Koreans are the nicest and sweetest people I have ever met.  I just wanted to tell you how much I love this country.  The Korean people treat the older folks with so much respect.  The families take care of their older parents in the home and no one sends their parents or grandparents to nursing homes.  The children all go to school in the summer here, and the parents REALLY focus on education. They are practically drill sergeants here with children and their schooling, but the Korean's are very smart!  They raise their children very differently than Americans do in that they seem to be much more watchful and more involved with them.  I have to say though, it is VERY hard to bring people to baptism here.  Success is not measured on how many baptisms you have, and all I know is that I am to keep pressing on, working my hardest, and do my very best.  The Lord will take care of the rest.  I really don't care if I come home with just the one baptism that I have had, because it's not about the baptisms to me. 

     We visit members a lot here but truly not as much as I would like to.  We have quite a few investigators right now which is not a bad thing.  haha!  We have 6 investigators that we meet with about 3 times a week, and we are very very busy!  I want to say to anyone who is preparing to go on a mission, that if I could change anything about myself before I left on this mission, it would be to have studied the Preach My Gospel handbook really well before I left.  Learning the Korean language was hard enough, but having a working knowledge of the PMG handbook would have eased things up a bit.:) 

     So I was asked the question, "Other than sleep, what would be your favorite thing to do on P day if you could choose?"  ummmmmmmmm......………..write songs and sing………….I miss just playing the guitar and writing songs, because I don't get to do that much.  haha!!  Well, the time is up!  I have to go, but I am so excited  to hear about your family trip to Sundance, Utah in July.   I love you all so much and I really would love to hear from ALL of you out there, and I wouldn't mind having a few more letters? :)

                                                    Love and kisses,  


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