Tuesday, January 14, 2014

There are NO gummy bears in Gumi. But there is rice!

January 13, 2014
Dear everyone!

I'm officially in my fifth transfer!!! By the end of the month I will have been in Korea for 6 months. That's crazy. I feel like I just finished training a week ago, but ever onward!

Sister Park and I are still together in Gumi, and things are going well! Brother Choi and Jiwon are still active, and Brother Choi will receive the priesthood on Saturday. We're so excited for him, and he's still valiantly keeping the Word of Wisdom. It's still a struggle for him, but he's doing so well. We're so proud and grateful for the changes he's made in his life to be worthy to receive the blessings of the gospel.

In my first transfer, another sister missionary told me, "Every transfer is for something new. If you only learn one new thing that whole transfer, you can know you did well." Each transfer, I have learned something new: how to love a companion when I don't like them, how to express love when you can't use words, that investigators and this work are in the Lord's hands and His timing, there is power in the scriptures for you and your investigators, obedience opens the windows of heaven, gratitude is the most powerful balm for the soul, and so much more. This past transfer however, I learned more about the enabling power of the Atonement than I ever imagined I could.

Sometimes, I think we misunderstand the power of the Atonement. We know it is SO HUGE and it covers everything, but that doesn't just mean the most horrible sins. It means everything. Every weakness, every shortcoming, every flaw, EVERYTHING. If changing it means you become more like Christ, the Atonement can help you. We don't have to change and repent or improve through our own grit and willpower. We can pray and ask Heavenly Father to help us partake of the enabling power of the Atonement, and we will receive. We can do things beyond our own power, we can have courage that is not ours, discipline beyond what we were born with, and the ability to accomplish things with a grace that is not ours.

I want to share just one way the Atonement has helped me personally this past transfer: I loved my last area so much. I learned how to proselyte there, and I learned how to do missionary work there. The people is Busan are so kind and friendly, and so it was easy to talk to them, and although they usually weren't interested in the gospel, they would talk with you and encourage you. When I came to Gumi, I struggled so much talking to people. It just terrified me. Although the people in Gumi are so kind, they are not as warm or friendly as in Busan. But in my personal study time, I began to study more about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I didn't even think these two things related, because not being able to talk to people isn't exactly sinful. But as I learned more about the Atonement, I began to pray more to be able to use the power from it. And almost overnight, I was able to talk to people without fear. It was the most incredible personal transformation I've experienced yet on my mission.

The Atonement is real. The Atonement covers everything. I know that Jesus Christ performed it for each and every one of us. Each of us can partake of it, and overcome anything because of this priceless expression of love from our Heavenly Father. If it helps you become more like Christ, through the Atonement, you can do it. I know that Jesus Christ lives. He is my best friend. He has been with me every step of my mission, and I'm so inexpressibly grateful. I know that He is with us every step of this mortal journey, and He will always lift us if we only ask. I know that Heavenly Father is my Father in Heaven. I know I am His daughter, and I know that He loves me as a parent loves their child. I know He loves me and I know that He knows me so perfectly. We can talk to Him through prayer, and He always ALWAYS answers. I know He lives. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

I love you all so much!

Sister Bonney