Monday, August 25, 2014

BLITZ! Lots of exciting things :) Though I could not write but a hundredth part...

Well! All sorts of adventures and miracles this week :) 
We'll start with:
이___(L___)- Guess what! We're getting a new companion. No, it's not transfers yet. Another fun fact -- we already know her :) She attends the Korean ward we serve in, and is going to serve as a missionary in England ,but she's going to be serving with us in our little bit of America/Africa/Philippines/Peru for a bit. (And Pakistan). We met a P___ family who we're going to teach again on Tuesday! I've never been so thankful that English is my mother tongue :)) I'm super excited! She's a lot of fun, and it going to be interesting to see if we can fit five people in our tiny house (we're already studying in the living room!) And another special thing - her mother was baptized yesterday!! Sister L___became a member when she was young with her sister, and the other sisters have been teaching her mother for a little while now; it was a very special service! 
J___ & J___ - We met with J___on Thursday, talked about prophets and such, and she said she had read the introduction to the Book of Mormon, and talked about it with her boyfriend, now fiance, a little. She gave us his number to contact the missionaries in his area. We had a missionary meeting, and gave the number to Sister P___ to also contact the military relations missionaries over there, and she says, "J___ (no last name for privacy purposes^^). I've been looking for you!" Apparently she had gotten word that the missionaries had taught him in a previous army base, and that he was coming to Camp Casey (he's at another base). And lo and behold, J___,who we met on the train, is engaged to J___, who already has had contact with the church. And not only that, but we found out on Sunday - he was already baptized! And they want to be married in the temple! How's that for 일사천리?! (il-sa-jol-li), the word that means everything just falls into place, aka MIRACLE! Has the day of miracles ceased? I submit that it has NOT! :D) And she's planning to be baptized in October!!
K___and J___ - We were walking down our normal street in B___, where everyone knows us and we wave to them through the windows. A man and his family stops us; we had seen his family before! (on one of those days that I had no idea why we were where we were, though I do remember distincly that I felt like I should try to remember the twins' names). As their twins played in one of the shops, he introduced us to his Korean friend (we know his wife, and taught her a little once~) and we shared a little about what we do as missionaries, and he started telling us a little bit about her army life, and you could tell it's really dragging him down...But we're going to try and meet on a weekend again :)
J___, J___, A___- Some students we met for the first time we never thought we'd see! They are awesome :) They're from the Philippines and we just had a good, simple talk about God as our Loving Heavenly Father, and how he gives us letters and maps through the Book of Mormon. We're excited to see them again! :D
박___ - A former preacher, interested in English and the gospel, who's met with missionaries quite a lot, wondering about how to get to the Celestial Kingdom. We read the "Book of Mormon Stories" version of the tree of life, and she understood the iron rod so well! (When we sent a text to follow up on her reading the Word of God, she said, "I will catch the rod of iron and be going to go straight and narrow path. Thanks a lot." and she's shared some of the things she's learned~ awesome!) We drew her a map (I might want to send you this, Sister Thomas, the younger, I love this map :)), including the straight and narrow path, commandments, repentance, and covenants, all in scripture chase form. 
신___-She had stopped us on the street one day a while ago, asking if we are the missionaries who teach English, and if we can meet even if she doesn have any religious interest. I was hesitant, because we don't have that much extra time to take away from those who do want to learn about the gospel, but we called her back (granted, this is quite a while later) - she was busy with some work) and she answered the phone, and wanted us over the next day. But we get there, and she says, "No English today," and starts firing off questions about what we believe and what the Book of Mormon is (and this is in a interestrf way, not a Bible-bash-y way, thank goodness). It was awesome; it was like she was teaching us the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through questions :) "This make sense; it's the same pattern as in the Bible"...Anyway. we're excited :) 
Sister S___- Good news! And fun things: She brought some of her Korean friends to the baptismal service on Sunday! (I just get really excited about member missionary work :)) AND they happened to already know another famly who attends the Korean ward :) I think they had a good time; we're going to try and meet this week :) AND Sister S___'s dad wants to be baptized! He's coming with his wife from China to Korea so that Brother S___can baptize him! We're quite excited :) 
S___- Hard times. She's getting married to a Nigerian member of  our ward (YAY!! :D Awesome couple!) but some of the Nigerians and Liberians don't think they're such an awesome couple. E___, her fiance, got beat up this week, and there's a lot of oppostition from their community, toward both of them and the )hurch (there was a meeting I guess with a lot of Africans who have a Liberian group that's led by a preacher, and they're saying that we're demonic...Because you know me and Sister F___, we're about as scary as you get :P But anyway. It's a problem.) 
Thought/visual of the week: An object always has a shadow, because of the light. If the light source is brighter, the line of the shadow and the shadow itself becomes darker. All this to say, as Elder Corbridge said in the last general conference, the truth will always be opposed, and as Lehi says, there is opposition in all things. Surrounded in darkness, the light of the gospel and light of Christ shines brighter.
Love you ALL! STAY Strong, Stay HAPPY :D The gospel has a lot of happiness in it, and it all centers in Jesus Christ, the light and life of the world. We truly are seekers of light! 
Sister Thomas the Elder

Monday, August 18, 2014

Hey, Hey

This is just a shout out to you all.
Go forward, and not backward. On, on to Victory!
Have a lovely week, Love you ALL!!
Sister Thomas the Elder
Picture of red peppers drying on the road, they're all over the place this time of year. Let's make some spicy food! 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Everything and nothing this week:

I don't quite know where to start~

Um, Monday we went bowling with our district, I ate a 1 pound hamburger, then had an absolutely fantastic family home evening.  There elders shared a powerful message about Christ, and M___, a sister from English class came.  We're going to start meeting and teaching her (we met Sunday and had a good talk about the Book of Mormon and how you can know for yourself if it's true; she's a somewhat skeptical personality :))

Tuesday, all of our lessons fell through. And then we ate dinner with the P___ family!

Wednesday we met with a Korean Sister, B___, who apparently used to be a priest at another church, but now believes that all churches are in apostasy, but the most right one is the newest one, so she attends a church called "N___". She's met with missionaries before, but is really interested in studying about the celestial kingdom and how to get there.

Thursday most of our appointments fell thru. But we did meet with J___! She's wonderful :)

Sunday there were going to be a lot of people at church, so we prepared a lot for that, and it was a good experience for those who came~

Monday, August 4, 2014

A week of finding miracle people, temple, and a little bit of sickness :)

It was both and amazing week and a slow week - As above mentioned, I got a cold, which wasn't fun; and a lot of appointments either weren't made or fell through, but that left time for other miracles :)
We met all kinds of people this week - a 19 year old sister,J___ , working for the army, who said she decided to turn her life over to God about two weeks ago, and then all these great things are happening, including meeting us, getting a position, meeting a boyfriend...she's just a great, bright, happy person! 
And a Philipino sister, N___, who we ran into because someone we wanted to visit wasn't home.  She's been working crazy all-day hours but we sat down in her restaraunt with her, her nine-year-old son, J___, and a sister, J___, who's here visiting her fiance who was baptized last week and came to spend the day helping the missionaries, and shared a bit about the Restoration - she said she grew up Catholic, but it started to become more political than centered on Christ, and so she's been looking for "something" ever since but hasn't quite found it. It was beautiful to be able to promise her it was here if you honestly seek and ask God if this is it or not. And right at the end, her husband, Frank, a soldier who's a little skeptical of religion, but willing to listen, he came and we got to meet him as well! We're quite excited to see them again. 
And the P___! Sister F___ran into K___ all over the place, so she gave us her number, and we met once a week or two ago. And then on Sunday, Sister P___, on her way out the door, says something about us and their family and K___ and her family eating dinner together on Sunday...What? The K___ we're thinking of? It turns out that their kids play together a lot, so they know each other pretty well! So we all had dinner together yesterday while the kids played, and then shared a message about Christ. Hopefully we'll see them tonight at family home evening/dinner at the P___'s house!
As for other adventures, we met a 15-year-old sister, C___ , who was baptized in December, and then kind of fell off the face of the earth... She's so funny, and loves the missionaries :) We had dinner together to get to know each other, find out where she is, and such - She loves the church, but is a busy student (it's hard to understand how busy they are here - when people say "Asians are smart!", it's because they work hard and study hard. It's the summer break right now, but everyone is still going to school for summer study, and it only lasts three weeks. Lots of students don't get home until at least eight at night. Anyway. Give them some credit :)) and hasn't figured out how to make school and church a priority. It'll be good to start meeting with her again :)
And we went to the temple to do proxy baptisms for the first time with S___! She is a beautiful person, with a beautiful soul :) She had to go pretty quick to work afterward, but it was a nice experience that she understood well and deeply the sacredness of it. 
And speaking of sacredness (my thoughts don't usually transition as smoothly as this!), one of my thoughts this week is about sacredness. It's an attitude that we don't see much these days. Sister F___ and I disscussed this after attending the temple, and came to the conclusion that things become more sacred as you treat them sacredly. The house of the Lord, the temple, is sacred and holy when it is kept clean, and nothing defiles it. Our bodies are similar, as are our homes. As we view these things with more respect, they can fulfill the "measure of their creation", so to say. 
That, as well as Galatians 5:16, and Mosiah 3:19 - Putting off the natural man, and humbly walking in the spirit is one of the greatest things to strive to learn, which I still don't feel that I've fully mastered. It's an invitation from Christ to each one of us, to put myself aside, and let Him make more of me than I ever could myself. 
I'm grateful and happy to be here!
LOVE! Sister Thomas