Monday, November 17, 2014

One more report~

Thanks for questions, it really helps email :)
Sister T___ is great :) She's from New Zealand.
Next ten days....good question. We're trying to do a Family Home Evening with President and Sister P___ and their family and the H___ family and probably saying good bye to a lot of people - it's a really fantastic branch and I feel really blessed to have gotten to know so many great people and examples here.
About the general transition, I'm feeling excited and 억찌로 (if you think of taking Nellie for a walk, and she wants to sniff and you pull, she takes very "억찌로" steps. That kind of meaning.), and slightly nervous, and entirely non-chalant (it's just another week, with it's own challenges and excitements, maybe just a different flavor) all of the above. I'll cherish the people I've met, a deeper understanding of the gospel, especially the Restoration, and being involved with everything. I'll miss kimchi, and the grandmas, who all say the same thing when they see you, and being able to testify and learn so often.
I'm excited to be home, where I feel like I know what's going on and how to do a good job. I'm looking forward to school, and terrified of dating (you'd be surprised how often people bring that up when you're hitting your missionary tag expiration date).
The hike was fun! Not as many people came as we were hoping, but it was pretty good - though note to you all, if you would like a nice, relaxing hike, don't put a bunch of soldiers in charge of leading you through a mountain (also, the "switchback" method has not been applied in the Korean mountains. Just saying :)) but it was really quite fun, we hit a couple peaks, and it was beautiful :)
See you relatively soon! 
Today was a thinking day during the first hour of stud;, there were a lot of great things to mull over from church and such yesterday. But just a couple of thoughts I felt like sharing -
A brother talked about overcoming an addiction, mentioning that the 12 step program helped him to know that  it is only through Christ that he could overcome it, that it benefits anyone as well, that we all have attachments to Babylon, and it also helps us to understand each other, to have compassion for when someone is going through the process of repentance, as opposed to a culture of perfection - I just was thinking today about how Christ, our Savior, was perfect, but also a man of sorrows, well aquainted with grief, so that He may know how to succor us according to our infirmities (Isaiah53; Alma7:11-12) And as we strive to become more like him, we must learn that compassion - it makes us people who are willing to follow His example. I'm not sure if that idea completely came across, but think on it :)
All that and just that I'm very grateful, grateful for these opportunities to testify alongside the Spirit, to know that Heavenly Father knows me, and you and our brothers and sisters, and he knows what we need and he sends that person to give you the words you need to hear, or whatever else it may be. I'm grateful for my Savior, for the Father's plan, for repentance, and that all will be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I'm grateful to be able to continue serving and being a missionary in a different capacity at home.
See you all soon, and love you lots~~~
Sister Thomas the elder

Monday, November 10, 2014


It's been a good week full of craziness and lots of good work~ 

We'll be hiking with a lot of the single soldiers today! It'll be really fun and a good way to get to know each other too :)
I'm both very excited and kind of in denial about coming home. It's going to be the best to see you all again (minus Sister Thomas the younger, of course) but I can send you a package for a lot cheaper - :P ) but there will be a lot to miss here! A lot of wonderful people that I wish you could all meet, and the opportunity to testify of Christ, and the Restoration, and see the light of the gospel grow in the lives of others as they come to feel that God has a plan for them.
Sister Thomas

Monday, November 3, 2014

Letters and Such!

We had an absolutely beautiful trip to the temple on Saturday with the branch and especially J___. She shared her testimony on Sunday and said that it was easily the most spiritual experience of her life. The members there were wonderful, we didn't know a lot of them from the other branches, but they just picked her up and helped show her around - there were two other girls, B___ and A___, who were doing baptisms for the first time, too. It's a privilege to serve in the temple. 
We've seen the L___'s twice this week, and they came to the little Halloween gatherings, as well - they're doing well -- really love the Joseph Smith story, especially visions, and Brother L--- said that as he's been learning the last week and a half, it's everything he ever thought about God, and the way that he has always understood His workings, and is very happy to find someone teaching these things. There seems to be a hesitancy about baptism, however - maybe because it's still new, maybe something else, but when we ask, something seems to get lost in translation to French. We'll keep trying, but are very grateful for the influence and power of pure truths.
We've also seen K___ twice this week - she is willing to be baptized, and likes what she's finding, but she still hasn't come to church or met anyone from the ward at activities yet...
We didn't get to meet the J___ family formally, but saw them a few times on the street, and have an appointment for Wednesday, and we'll bring them to an activity at the Branch, a good-bye for the H___'s and a meet-the-J___ -girls all in one. The branch sounds quite excited to have a large family to work with :)

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Monday, October 27, 2014


It's been another good week in D___ - two new families came to church yesterday! 

E___ (who only speaks French) and R___ (who we asked the U___to visit in the hospital, and he works with a member in the ward) came to the service at J___, and we met with them that night, and they were so impressed by the warm welcome from the members, and felt the Spirit in the simpleness of the service, as well as when they got our text inviting them to church - R___ said he felt that "it was time" - they still don't know a lot, but are so willing to learn and in tune with the Spirit~

J___ and J___ and their four children came to the service on post this week, as well as the chili dinner after, and got to meet a lot of members -- there were a surprising number of families there yesterday, which was quite a blessing for a service geared to the single soldiers. All kinds of miracles! They said they really liked sacrament meeting, and felt good. 

We met with the O___ on Monday, and A___ and A___ used their CPR journals we gave them, and A___ sure searched the scriptures! 

Other miracles - after the post service, I saw W___ , a recent convert from ___! Also, in the office, they found 60000 won that I wasn't paid in ___ ...which is great. And then, in addition to the blessing last week, Sister Pihl had a dream that also really helped me to know that Heavenly Father really does know where I am and has faith in my future. We met a sister again on the train that we had met months ago, and this time we could get her connected up with the sisters in ___; we had no way to get dinner on Sunday night, but E___ and R___ gave us some ramen to take with us without us even asking. I got to go back to Korea for a day with Sister B___ , and see just how much is different. We met some great people on the street as well~

Overall, things are going well! It's always beautiful to see the hand of the Lord in the details.
Sister Thomas

So this week was really strange, though, too - schedule-wise, anyway. In an awesome way :)
Monday wasn't P-day, but because of that we got to meet up with the O___ , which is always hard to do - they're so busy! We went with the Elders to give A___ a blessing - poor girl has walking pnuemonia. But even though she "hacked all through the night" she still read the scriptures we gave her. She's the best, I wish you all could meet her! 
Tuesday, we went down to Seoul to get my passport to take care of the ID I lost - though while we were there, we stopped by one of my former investigators from S___ - shes doing good, but the sisters haven't called her, so hopefully they can all get connected up again :) She's really great!
Wednesday, we went with M___, an 18 year old sister, to help teach a little English at the orphanage. She LOVES volunteering, and it's a great way to get her involved and such! Super fun!
Thursday I went on an exchange back to real Korea (our area is America/Africa/Philippines/Korea) - Guess what! I haven't lost all my Korean! Hooray! :P We met some great people on the street, though!
Friday was P-day.
We left our mission boundaries. We went to North Korea this week!
Yep, the long-awaited DMZ trip. We went in a tunnel that North Korea dug, saw "propaganda city" from a distance -- buildings without floors, houses with painted on windows, all so you could see how prosperous North Koroea was from our vantage point. We also got to go the the Joint Security area - the small area that is heavily guarded and occupied by both countries, where they meet to discuss issues and such - and when you walk in that building where they discuss, you can cross over the officiall line, and go about ten feet into North Korea. It's a very tense area~ But so interesting to see and learn about it all.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Short and sweet~

I've been asked to keep it "short and sweet" this week because our zone is switching our P-day this week - we're going to the DMZ! 
Mom, to answer your question, yep! I'm in the same area, strangely fantastic bubble of America in the middle of Korea, serving with Sister T___ for one more transfer~ 
I'm very grateful for the priesthood power and blessings. We had a chance a couple of hours ago to give A___, an 11-year-old investigator with pneumonia, poor thing, a blessing with the Elders (fun fact: Elder W___ just got transferred to our area; we served together for only one transfer when we all got to Korea~), and she said after, "I just feel really cool, really good. It's really cool to have someone pray over you." And I also got a blessing from Elder Pihl on Saturday, and it was quite a testament of blessings, that the words are really not the words of the person giving the blessing - there were elements of blessings that dad has given me, of my patriarchal blessing, and a blessing I've received in the MTC ~ Heavenly Father truly does know us quite deeply~ 
Anyway, love you all lots! Have a great week :)
Sister Thomas

Monday, October 13, 2014

Hello hello!

For the sake of time, I'll just share and experience from my email home this week - We had a lesson with the P___ family this week, where we planned to talk about the Plan of Salvation, but then K___told us all about her sister, who's getting into about every form of's hard for K___ because she's always been the one to help, especially when no one else will, but they're all the way over here in Korea. She has great faith, but it was just at the "helpless" point. We invited her to fast, and just shared testimony of how fasting has helped us in the past, and how when I don't know what to do anymore, fasting reminds me that it's all in Heavenly Father's hands, but that I can ask for help. We told her we'd fast with her, and asked their member friends to join as well, and we all fasted this weekend. (and they came to conference! You can always count on conference :) We need to call and see how it went!) Anyway, it was just an experience that increased my testimony of fasting -- I don't even know the outcome yet, but am grateful for the opportunity to pray and fast and fast and pray. 

Also, miracle of the week - a sister, E___, who speaks only French, recognized we were missionaries and motioned us into her house, exchanged numbers, etc. -- though of course, it's hard to communicate. This week she told us that her husband was in the hospital, and she was quite stressed and depressed - we called ___ to come over to her house, and an person who spoke English answered the was J___ - a sister we've talked to outside that door at her workplace quite a lot.  We're really good friends, but she has no time to meet with us (her personality and strength reminds me of S___ a little bit) and she invited us over to her house to see E___. On the way walking over, we ran into Sister Pihl in the car, and A___- who speaks beautiful French! We all went over to J___'s house and talked to E___, and are currently getting in contact with her husband in Seoul through the U___, and arranging a blessing in French with a less-active soldier and President Huezo up here in D___. It's amazing how our paths are prepared to aid in the rescue effort together. 
We met M___ a while back in English class (she's Korean, and actually started coming before I got to this area), and over the course of English class spiritual messages, and nice missionaries (she's explained what I like to term the "happiness fairy" effect that people seems to notice in missionaries -- I'm not sure how elders would feel about that term), and a music night at the ward, where she saw a lot of happy families, she decided she "wanted to learn Mormon". 
And so we've been meeting with her for a while! You know the "teaching people without a Christian background" section of Preach my Gospel, Sister Thomas the Younger? That's M___. Her only background is mission school, where they taught her the Bible, but she never really got it. She wants to know, but (as is typical among Koreans - teaching is very head-knowledge based and emotion is a little shunned) has a hard time feeling/recognizing what we explain as the Spirit. But she's leaning and growing quite slowly but wonderfully~And she came to general conference this weekend! YAY! And not just came, but she was watching VERY intently. She comes to Family Home Evenings an hour away with us every Monday night, and is becoming really good friends with A___, a recent convert (whose personality/learning-wise, is very similar to M___), and L___, another investigator who is a guard at Camp Casey.
Always waaaaaaaaaay too much to say. But! Generally, conference was absolutely beautiful! Lots of direction for lots of people I know, including me. I especially felt like "six steps" was written especially to me. Love it. 
Got to go. Love you all lots!
Sister Thomas the Elderrrrrrrr

Monday, October 6, 2014


Hello, hello! I'll probably just tell you one story this week, because it was the big happening -
J___ was already to go, we'd taught her everything, she loves it all. We had the baptism planned at 4 o'clock, Sunday, though we heard that the army was planning an alert, so we moved it up to 2 o'clock, enough time to travel to the U___ church (it has a font) and prepare. All the ward was notified. Hooray!
But as we got to church, we kept hearing rumors that the alert was going to take place earlier and earlier (from very credible sources, mind you - it's amazing how many people in our branch are high ranking military officers) and so we had to change it really quickly to 1 o'clock.
The alert is a Korea-wide army exercise, where they put all the soldiers sort of "on-call", where they need to be ready to be on the base at any moment. We joked that J___ is so awesome, that Satan tried to get the whole army against her for her baptism :P 
Then we jumped in the car before church was done, sped there, had a quick baptismal service (most of the people we planned for talks/prayers/music/programs couldn't be there because of the time change, but it worked out well) -- just a wonderful, wonderful time for her. She said "Thank you, guys" before she went into the font, and after, just said that everything was behind her now, and she was ready to move on. It was simple and beautiful. Not all according to plan, but all that it needed to be -- her and the Lord <3 
And the sergent called right after the baptism as we were in the car, ordering the alert. She got back on time, and it all worked out. 
miracles, miracles :)
We've got to split, but love you lots and talk to you next week! 
Sister Thomas