Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year!

December 30, 2013
Dear everyone!
This week's email is short! I'm almost out of time!
Brother Choi and Jiwon are getting baptized this Saturday!!!! They are keeping the Word of Wisdom, and what a miracle that is. It's such a precious opportunity to teach them and prepare them for baptism.
A highlight from this week was our exchange with our sister training leaders. The American sister from their companionship came with me and Sister Park went to the other area with the other Korean sister. The American sister and I were supposed to teach Brother Choi and Jiwon together. Two Americans. Teaching in Korean. About Tithing, Sabbath Day Holy, and ... Law of Chastity. I thought I was going to die. But I didn't. Surprise!!! We taught the lesson, Brother Choi and Jiwon didn't drop us, and we were able to explain everything well. They're still getting baptized!
From that one experience, I realized how much Heavenly Father has blessed me with Korean. The sister I taught with had been in Korea twice as long as me, but we matched each other as we taught. Heavenly Father has blessed me SO much with the language. I've only served with Korean companions and I think that sometimes because I can rely on them and their wonderful Korean fluency, I doubt my ability to do what Heavenly Father has called me here to do. I'm so grateful for this opportunity to see Heavenly Father work miracles on behalf of His children in Gumi. I know He is because I've seen them!
I love you all so much!
Sister Bonney

Merry Christmas from the Korea Busan Mission 2013

메리메리 크리스머스!!!

December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas! It's hard to believe that tomorrow is Christmas Eve and then Wednesday is the big day! I honestly am kind of surprised and very grateful that I actually survived to this point. ;) There were a few times during my first couple months in Korea I didn't think I would. haha

Alright! Brother Choi! And Jiwon, his adorable daughter. They are keeping the Word of Wisdom! And Brother Choi likes tobacco and alcohol and black tea AND green tea. Jiwon only likes green tea. (Thank goodness.) But we taught them this week and asked how they felt about the gospel. Brother Choi told us he knows it is true and he's so happy and grateful for the opportunity to repent and have the chance to make a new start through baptism. The word he used actually translates into "rejoicing". We taught him about the priesthood and how through the priesthood, he would have the power to bless and serve his family. We asked him what he understood about the priesthood, and he said, "I don't understand very much, but I know that it's the power of God, so you should have a clean heart to use it." Wow. We talked to him about the Word of Wisdom, and asked him if he would keep it in order to be baptized and later recieve the priesthood so he could bless his family. He said yes. Jiwon was a little harder, but we promised her if she didn't drink green tea, we'd buy her hot chocolate.^-^ Yesterday when they came to church, I asked her if she was keeping the Word of Wisdom and she said, "Yes. I don't drink green tea. It's hard because my mom drinks green tea, but I don't." Oh my goodness. She's so pure-hearted, and I'm so SO grateful to have the opportunity to prepare her and her father for baptism. Heavenly Father loves them so very much and He has truly been preparing them to receive the blessings of the gospel. 

With Christmas and my 7th month mark coming this week, I've really been starting to realize how much my mission has, is, and will bless my life. If I wasn't on my mission, I would be home with my family, taking a break before going back to another semester at school, but I also would not have the testimony I have now. I would not have the deeper understanding of the Atonement that Heavenly Father has taught me in only the last few weeks. I would not be able to witness the Spirit work in such precious children of God as Brother Choi and Jiwon. I also would not have the precious opportunity to testify everyday of Jesus Christ. I'm so grateful for that I have this time to serve Heavenly Father and consecrate myself to Him as a missionary. I'm so grateful. I know Heavenly Father lives, and I know that He loves each and every one of us more than we can ever imagine.

I love you all!

Sister Bonney

With wondering awe the sisters saw... a miracle!

December 16, 2013
Dear everyone!!!

I hope you're doing well and getting SUPER excited for Christmas!!! We've had snow in Gumi, and it makes the cold weather so much more worth it. :)

Also, we have two investigators with baptismal dates!!!! It's such a miracle. A little bit about Brother Choi and his daughter:

Brother Choi came to church three weeks ago because he wanted to learn about the church. Well, he came to the right place. :) We called him later that week to see if he wanted to meet for a lesson, and he said, "Yes! Can we meet tonight?" Uh, sure! He accepted the lesson well, took a Book of Mormon, and started reading it. His 10 year old daughter came to our children's English class and the lesson, and she's the adorable little girl who asked us how to be baptized. This past week, we taught them about the Plan of Salvation, and invited them to be baptized on January 4th. They both accepted and they're progressing! Even Jiwon (his daughter) is reading the Book of Mormon, and when we asked her if it was hard, she said, "No, it's fun! Like a story!" She fits right into primary, and she answers questions like she's known the gospel her whole life. In our gospel principles class on Sunday, Brother Choi expressed how the Plan of Salvation makes sense and that he's looking forward to his baptism.

Here's ANOTHER miracle: It's still about Brother Choi. (He's kind of my favorite person right now.^-^) So Brother Choi has a tobacco and a drinking problem. He knows about the Word of Wisdom, and he also knows that in order to keep the Word of Wisdom, he needs to stop drinking and smoking. We planned to sit down with him this week to make a plan to quit both. In the meantime, he came to church on Sunday, and there was just something different about him. His skin was lighter, his eyes were brighter, and there was just a new kind of radiance to his countenance. Turns out, he's already starting to cut back on his own. President Packer said, "A study of the gospel will change behavior faster than a study of behavior will change behavior." And I know that's true. The gospel is so powerful because it is true.

Being able to teach Brother Choi and Jiwon has been such a testimony builder to me. Missionaries didn't find them. They found the Church. They sought out the gospel. Heavenly Father knew them and guided them before we even knew who they were. As missionaries, we do a lot of what we call "finding". We talk to others and proselyte and work with members in an effort to find those who are willing to listen to the special message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It's a HUGE part of missionary work, but even though we need to find those who are willing to accept this message, they are not lost. Heavenly Father knows EXACTLY where they are. Every single man, woman, and child on this earth is a child of God. He knows each of them, each of US so perfectly, and He loves us so perfectly. There is nothing we can do to change that love. It is simply there. He loves us and He knows us, and if we seek to follow Him, He will bless us more than we could ever imagine.

I'm so grateful for a Heavenly Father who knows each of us and loves each of us infinitely and individually. We can come to know and love Him too, in our own imperfect way. We can do that through prayer. As missionaries, we pray a lot. Several times a day. With others and alone. But the true relationship with Heavenly Father through prayer comes when we seek Him sincerely, with full purpose of heart. I know that when we do pray with faith and with love for our Heavenly Father, we can feel more of His love in our lives and see more the numberless blessings He's already placed in our lives.

I love you all so much! But Heavenly Father loves you most.

Sister Bonney

"How can I get baptized?"

December 9, 2013
Dear everyone!
So I'm now serving in Gumi! (goo-mee) Sister Park and I get along so well, and it's awesome. She's hilarious and so kind hearted. We talk a lot and easily in a mixture of Korean and English. She's only learned English on her mission, but she speaks it really well. She sounds like an American! She uses "like" all the time and everything. It's pretty cool. My Korean continues to improve, but I am very grateful to have another native speaker for a companion.
Also, Sister Park LOVES food. She has a very slim figure, and eats about three times as much as I do. (I really want to know how she manages that..) We eat lots of "delicious things", and I'm honestly afraid of gaining some serious weight this transfer with her. We eat a LOT of "delicious things"..fried chicken, cake (2 for her birthday this week), street vendor pastries, donuts... But hey! As long as they're delicious, I'm not going to complain too much. ^^
Gumi is great. It's defintely NOT Busan. My last area was in northern Busan, and Gumi is kind of a super country outlying part of Daegu, one of the top three largest cities in Korea. The people here move SUPER fast, but once you can catch up to one of them and get them to slow down, they're really open and kind. We've already seen a LOT of miracles in this area. We started off the week with no investigators, and I was afraid that it was going to be a repeat of my last transfer where we had 4-5 weeks straight with no investigators. But this week, we found three. Two of them are the most golden investigators I've ever heard of in my life. It's a father and his 10-year-old daughter. The daughter asked us the other day how she can be baptized. Yes. Miracles still happen. We plan to invite them to be baptized during our lesson this week. Exciting!!!
Okay. Some random things you probably didn't know!
- I can count the number of times I've used a fork in the last 4 months on one hand. Chopsticks!!!
- I've slept in a bed ONCE in the past 4 months. Mats are where it's at.
- Yes, Koreans do bow. All the time. It's just part of how you greet people. I might have a problem breaking that habit when I get off my mission. NOT kidding.
- Koreans eat a TON of rice. And so do I. They also eat a ton of ramen.
- If you wear your shoes in the house, you WILL lose serious points with Koreans. DISRESPECT. Haven't worn my shoes in a house in...the past four months.
Also, Christmas is NOT a big deal in Korea. They play the Christmas music and stuff, but it's just in the stores. In Korea, Christmas is a couples day. Kind of irrelevant for missionaries.... But that's okay! It snows in Gumi. It doesn't snow in Busan, so I'm SUPER happy to be getting snow around here soon. I've heard we get blizzards, and I'm not going to lie. I'm SUPER excited.
Well, the Work of Salvation is going forward, and I'm so grateful to be a part of it!
I love you all so much!!!
Sister Bonney
PS Even though I got transfered, my address is the same! Korea Busan Mission, Dongnae Post Office Box 73, Busan, South Korea 607-600


December 2, 2013
Dear everyone!
So I'm now serving in Gumi! Literally translated, it means "turtle's tail". How cute is that?! And it's in the far FAR north area of our mission. We will be getting blizzards. SO excited. My new companion is Sister Park! Another Korean companion and I'm so excited. :) Her English is pretty good, and my Korean is good enough now that it's not too much of a trick to communicate with people here. haha
Thanksgiving this week was great! We got to eat dinner with some missionaries in our district and with the mission president and his wife since they actually live in my old district. It was SO much fun and the food was SO good. And we used FORKS!!!! Before last Thursday, I can't remember the last time I'd used a fork... Chopsticks!!! :)
Well, I only have a VERY short time to email today (15min...) cause we missed our train back to Gumi... Long story. :)
Sister Bonney

안녕하세요 사랑하는여러분!

November 11, 2013
Dear everyone!!!
This week has been pretty exciting and FULL of miracles!
So the last few weeks, Sister Oh and I have had no investigators. Which kind of stinks because basically your job as a missionary is to teach, and if you have nobody to teach... well...You can look and look and look, but unless you find, there's very little you can do. But we started off this week with some goals as a companionship. We decided we were going to teach two lessons to investigators this week. This was a HUGE step of faith because we had no investigators.
Well, this week, we taught THREE lessons, and we have a progressing investigator (someone we've taught twice and they're keeping their commitments - in this case, reading the Book of Mormon). Last night, when we reviewed our week, it was powerful to see how the Lord has been doing mighty works through small miracles.
A work about our progressing investigator: This woman's name is Sister Oh. (Yes, she has the same name as my companion.) She came to church last week totally out of the blue, and said she wanted to see if she liked our religion and if her children could have a good experience here. (She has two young sons.) We taught her about the Restoration of the gospel and the Book of Mormon. When we taught her about the Book of Mormon, she had this look on her face that pretty much broadcasted, "You people are crazy, and I don't like you." We asked her to read the introduction to the Book of Mormon when she went home last night.
All week, she wouldn't answer our calls or return our texts. We thought she had dropped us, and that she had no interest. We were disappointed, but after almost 3 weeks of no investigators, it wasn't anything too unfamiliar.
Yesterday, we, along with the four elders in our ward, were greeting the people coming to church, and guess who walked up. Sister Oh and her two adorable little boys. She was so happy! She had come back! Her boys were excited to be there too! During the second hour, we taught her with a member friend she had made the previous week. We asked her if she'd read the introduction to the Book of Mormon,and not only had she read it, she'd read the witness accounts and Moroni's introduction as well! Her countenance was entirely different than it had been the previous week. We read the first chapter of the Book of Mormon together and invited her to read the next two this coming week. She happily accepted, and said she couldn't wait to come back.
The whole experience was such a powerful reminder that this is the Lord's work. It is HIS gospel, HIS church, HIS work, and He will do it in HIS timing and in HIS way. We are merely the instruments He chooses to work through. It's such a blessing to be able to witness the Lord's hand working among His children. I couldn't be more grateful to be on a mission serving the living God. I know He lives, and I know He still works miracles today.
Sister Sarah Bonney

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

"This is the word of God, and it will bless your life forever!"

November 4, 2013
Dear everyone!

Oh my goodness. A year from today I will be going home. So crazy. It's impossible to believe that I've already been on a mission this long. There have been so many days I almost couldn't remember a time before my mission, and time was just flying by.

Well, this week has been full of ups and downs and LOTS of miracles. Because we have no investigators, we've been proselyting a LOT. We proselyte on the streets, subways, buses, trains, everywhere. Spending most of our time proselyting has been a really refining experience for me. After two weeks of proselyting almost all the time and still with no investigators, sometimes you have to check yourself to make sure you don't sound desperate. "The message we're sharing is SO special! It will bless your life FOREVER! PLEASE!" 

One night, we were really struggling. Nobody was even accepting our free English class fliers! So we found a quiet spot and sat down and prayed. After we prayed, I just walked up to the first woman I saw and held out a Book of Mormon and said, "We are sharing such a special message! This book has the word of God. I know this book is true!..." She ran away. Literally. Yeah. Missionaries are crazy. We go up to random strangers and talk about religion.

But I've also never been happier during my mission. When you proselyte, you testify. You are constantly sharing with others what you know is true. And nothing gives you greater joy and strength. During the past couple weeks, Sister Oh and I have truly been able to feel the love the Lord has for His children and for us as we've striven to give our all to share His gospel. I know this gospel is true. 

And we ARE sharing a VERY special message! We are sharing the message that the church Jesus Christ established when He was on the earth has again been restored fully and perfectly to the earth! We are sharing the message that through the gospel of Jesus Christ we can be with our families forever! We are sharing the message that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, ALL people can overcome death and sin and live again with Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son. I KNOW our message is true. If you're reading this and you wants to know if it's true, test it. John 7:17 Alma 32:27 Live the gospel. Experience the fruits of the gospel, the blessings that come to those who live it. I promise with all my heart that you will come to know that it is true. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

I love you all so much!

But never forget Heavenly Father loves you most.

Sister Bonney

"Why don't Jesus and Pilate run away together?" "They are not lovers!"

October 28, 2013
Dear everyone!

Okay. The subject line is from during our English Bible class. I love Bible class. :)

So we actually are not over three areas anymore. They decided to wait a transfer to add Oncheon to our plate, which I'm actually grateful for at this point because we have been really busy in our ward this week!

First off, serving with Sister Oh is something else! She's a fantastic missionary. We've only had a week together and I've already learned so much from her. She is so kind and dedicated to missionary work! And she's SO efficient. We've been able to accomplish SO much this week.

And we have no investigators. 구도자들이 없습니다. The literal translation is "The investigators do not exist." Because we have no one to teach, we've been proselyting and visiting less actives a lot, which is okay because those are two very important parts of missionary work.

Not too many exciting things happened this week actually, but it was such a good week! I've never been happier to be on a mission, and I've never felt more at peace with my decision to be here. I'm finally starting to love my mission the way so many return missionaries told me I would. Although there have definitely been times where it feels I can't remember a time before my mission, it's hard to believe that I only have a little over a year left.

I've truly grown to love the people here and serving them brings me so much joy. And our area is truly progressing! On Sunday (yesterday), the elders had 3 investigators at church! It was so exciting! And the members made such an effort to meet them and include them during meetings. It was a miracle in my eyes.

I know this is the Lord's work. I know that this is His gospel. I know that this church is God's Kingdom on the earth today. And I know without a doubt that God loves us, His children.

I love you all!

Sister Bonney

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


October 21, 2013
Dear everyone,

The last few days have been FULL of changes! First, on Thursday night, transfer calls came. And Sister Lee has already left for Kyongju. I'm staying in Geumjeong another transfer! My new companion is Sister Oh. Sister Oh is WONDERFUL! She is just about the calmest person I've ever met, and honestly, I think it might be exactly what I need. She takes everything a little bit slower. Sister Oh also speaks PERFECT fluent English. She studied at BYU-Hawaii for two years, and that has been a huge blessing for me. I loved Sister Lee with all my heart, but being able to communicate is something irreplaceable.

The last several transfers, the Geumjeong sisters (us) have been over two areas because our ward boundaries cover two areas: Geumjeong and Yangsan. Yangsan is super country and about an hour away from Geumjeong. Today, after our transfer meeting, an elder from my district came up to me and asked, "You excited to start working in Oncheon?" Oncheon is the area next to ours. The office elders and APs work in that area. We are also now over Oncheon. We have THREE areas. My mind is still blown. We are over two wards, three areas, a total of 4 English classes, and wow. I'm still reeling a little bit. Sister Oh and I will be praying a lot, but seriously, I'm so excited. It's going to be so much fun! Two wards?! Wow. So excited.

The past week, my desire and love for missionary work has grown so much. As I prepared for the new transfer and my new companion's arrival, I started looking at our investigators and members with new eyes. Since I've finished my first two transfers, I'm not "training" anymore. I'm a full-blown missionary. As that realization really sank in, I started to understand how missionaries really are God's care-takers in the areas they've been called to serve in. The people of Geumjeong, Yangsan, and now Oncheon are our responsibility, and we need to do everything in our power to understand their spiritual needs and meet them to the best of our ability. It's kind of an overwhelming thing, but I know that the Lord qualifies who He calls. If He didn't, He couldn't call us. He calls the weak and the simple because He knows they will trust Him. I know this gospel is true with all my heart. I love my Heavenly Father more than I can express. And I'm SO excited for this transfer! 

I love you all so much!

Sister Bonney

Buddhist monk? Miracle?

October 13, 2013
Dear everyone!
First off, last week my email title made no sense and I didn't realize that until I was trying to fall asleep that night. Solid. Anyway, explanation! "Policemen don't need to be stylish" or whatever. So although Sister Lee and I have finally figured out how to communicate with each other, we still have those moments when we totally miss each other. For example, I was talking to Sister Lee (in Korean) about how I think Korean glasses are so much better than American glasses. They're stronger, cheaper, and more stylish. She was not agreeing at all, and I didn't understand why. Finally, she says in broken English, "Policemen don't need to be stylish!" Yup. Solid.
So this past week was my birthday!!! Which was fun, but at the same time, just an ordinary day. We spent most of the morning and afternoon in our apartment actually studying (which we do every morning) and then weekly planning (which takes about 3 hours). Then we had English class. We bought a cake, and we partied with the elders which was actually really fun! Our ward has the best elders. :) They brought me two huge bags of my favorite Korean candy, which was super sweet of them! I was actually really impressed they even knew and remembered what it was! 10 gentlemen points, right there!
This week has been full of little miracles, but I'm only going to mention a few of them. Yesterday, we were supposed to meet an investigator at a subway station, but they never showed up. (That wasn't the miracle, in case you were wondering...) Anyway, there were a couple women from another church passing out fliers. A man approached us and asked if we were from their church. We explained we weren't and told him a little about our gospel. He was SO interested. As sister missionaries in our specific mission, we're not allowed to approach men, but he approached us! That was the miracle. We got his contact information, and he agreed to meet with us and the elders to learn more!
Another miracle: Yesterday, we walked into the hallway after church and there was a nonmember man and a Buddhist monk standing in the middle of the foyer. What. The. Heck. He had the shaved head and monk clothes and everything. Apparently, he wanted to learn English! The nonmember man had attended our English classes in the past and told the monk we would teach him because we are kind, service-loving people. And the monk is interested in our gospel. HOW THE HECK DOES THAT EVEN HAPPEN!?!?!?! I have no idea. But Heavenly Father does. I can't wait to see what happens!
There have been SO many other miracles this week, I can't even list them! Like meeting an investigator who lives an hour away about 50ft outside our apartment door the morning after she prayed to know if God wanted her to meet with us?! How does that even HAPPEN?!?!?!? It's such a blessing to be able to see how God is working in our area.
One of the most exciting things about this week was General Conference. We were able to watch it in English, thank goodness. :) And every speaker was so inspired and guided through the Spirit. Just hearing the speakers, my testimony grew SO much that God speaks today! He loved His children back in the days of the scriptures, and He loves us just as much now! Why would He ever stop communicating with us?! He wants to speak to us, to guide us, to comfort us, and He does. We just have to be willing to listen with faith and with an open heart. God speaks NOW! I KNOW IT! I love this gospel with my whole heart, and I KNOW it is true. God lives, and I love Him more than I can express. And that's why I'm on a mission.
I love you all!
Sister Bonney

Thursday, October 10, 2013

"But policemen don't need to be stylish..."

October 6, 2013
Dear everyone!
          I hope you are all doing well and getting excited for Halloween! Halloween does not exist in Korea, but all the foreign missionaries are having fun planning "Harvest Parties" for our area's members. I'm actually really going to miss Halloween... But that's irrelevant! And I can't spell anymore. Bear with me.
          Anyways, our area is actually slowly starting to pick up the pace! We have a special investigator named Katie (that's her English name). She and her daughter Annie lived in San Diego, CA for 2 years where Katie studied TEOFL. They speak PERFECT English. She never speaks Korean with me. Ever. They started coming to our English classes about 2 weeks ago, and that also includes our Bible class where we discuss Bible stories in English. She came with so many questions about the gospel. She had been found and taught by missionaries in CA, but had never accepted the gospel. She's struggling to believe in God, but her desire to believe is so fervent and so strong. She approaches US to talk about the gospel. She wants faith so badly, and I know it will come as she seeks earnestly. We're doing our best to follow the Spirit as we help her!
            Having a Korean companion has been fun and interesting. Korean and American culture is SO different, and so sometimes having a Korean companion is ... interesting. It's just as frustrating to my companion to have a foreigner as her companion too, but it's really helped me to understand the Korean people and Korean culture which I know will be a great blessing as I serve these people. Also, Korean is amazing. The Lord has blessed me so much. I can speak and understand incredibly well for a second transfer missionary, and I know it's all Heavenly Father cause I am NOT this gifted. (Especially with Korean. Cause Korean's just totally backwards.) Sometimes I'm afraid that because I am doing so well with the language I'm going to get called to train or be senior companion soon, but for now, I'm just going to speak Korean. And I love it.
            This work is real! The more I serve here, the more I love the people and am able to see how much Heavenly Father manifests His love for us in so many ways. This gospel is true!
Sister Bonney

Monday, September 30, 2013

"I think nuclear..."

September 30, 2013
Dear everyone!
Alright! So street contacting basically does nothing in Korea. Just in case you were wondering, but you weren't, but now you know. But we teach free English classes, and nearly all the investigators missionaries find in our mission come from English classes. Everyone who attends the English classes is asked to have a 30 min lesson with the missionaries. Before now, we were teaching 2 a week. A regular class and a Bible story class. We had a small but steady turn out. Same people every week. But now, we have three classes and soon we will have FOUR classes, and SO MANY MORE PEOPLE ARE COMING!!! And the classes have gotten so much more fun! Last class, a couple younger (23/24) men who come started a whole English discussion about how they don't need girlfriends because they're going to invent weapons to get rich. Oh my goodness, I love the people who come. They're hilarious.
This is a HUGE miracle for our area because it means more people are coming to US. It's amazing and we're really hoping that through our English classes, the Lord will be able to help us find those people who are prepared. And it actually is super exciting! And honestly, teaching English classes is one of my favorite things to do here. Honestly. Plus, it's one of the few times during the week I get to speak English. Just treasuring the small moments.
Well, the work is moving forward! Not too much else to say for this week.
I love you all so much!

Sister Bonney

Monday, September 23, 2013

Where Do All the People Go?

September 23, 2013
Dear everyone!!!!
Okay. I cannot remember a time before last week started. Yeah. The time does NOT always fly on a mission. But I think that's because we didn't do a lot of REAL missionary work this week.
This week was Chooseok. That is Korean Thanksgiving equal in importance to American Christmas. We were not allowed to visit members for three days and finding was pretty much impossible because the streets and buses were DESERTED. Apparently Koreans just stay inside and eat and sleep. Sounds awesome. But it's hard when you require the existence of people in order to do missionary work. Since street contacting and visiting members couldn't happen, we basically did a lot of planning for changing things up in Geumjeong. So that's super interesting.
ANYWAYS, not really too much to say this week. Oh! We did get basically dropped by our two most solid investigators. That's fun too. But trucking onward. Everyone has their free agency. As missionaries, all we can do is offer the choice and our fervent testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel. So that's what we're doing. Onward and upward.
As missionaries, we do our best to invite others to test the gospel. The Lord has promised multiple times throughout every book of scripture, ESPECIALLY the Book of Mormon that if we test the gospel with a sincere heart, He WILL answer us. John 7:17 and Alma 32:27 both offer this promise. When teaching investigators, we share these scriptures fairly often, and I always kind of thought, "Well, I'm already a member of the Church. I have a testimony. These aren't really for me because I already know." But that is TOTALLY not true. This week, through several experiences, I learned that this promise is for EVERYONE. We can ALWAYS test the gospel no matter what we believe or how strong we think we are. God will ALWAYS answer. If we have a doubt, we can ALWAYS test the principle and pray for to be able to recognize the answer or blessing that Heavenly Father will give us. As we do this, our testimonies will be strengthened and our ability to recognize the Lord's hand in all things will be magnified, and, above all else, we will be able to feel the Lord's blessings in our lives.
This gospel is true! And God wants us ALL to be able to know it! And so He has provided a way! Test it. He will answer.
Sister Bonney

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Temple in Busan???

September 16, 2013
Dear everyone!

Alright. First off, our mission has been growing so much. Right now, over 50% of the missionaries in the Busan mission have been in Korea for less than 6 months! That's crazy! And definitely lets you know that if anything happens here, it is definitely the Lord and NOT us. The amazing thing is though that things are happening here. In the last few months, our mission has had at least 20 baptisms each month! TONS of less actives are coming back and so many miracles have been happening that I won't even attempt to list them.

Probably the most prominent characteristic of the Busan mission is how strictly obedient we are. There are certain rules that every mission is expected to follow and the Busan mission even has added on rules to that list in order to help us be exactly obedient. The reason for this is because we need a temple in Busan. There is a temple in Seoul, but the church is growing quickly in Korea and there are many families who are not able to go to the temple because of how far away it is from their homes. This has been a focus of the Busan mission for several years, and now with General Conference coming up next month, the anxiousness and desire for a temple in Busan is stronger than ever. Fresh rumors are circulating but all we can do is wait...

Our area specifically has grown a lot these past few weeks. Geumjeong got two more elders this past week, and we couldn't be more grateful. We are especially grateful for Elder Quist. He's one of the new elders here, and he's been in the field for a little over a year. That's more than twice any of us have been here. (My trainer hits her 6 month mark next week.) He's been to more areas and has a lot more experience than any of us. We're all hoping with his guidance that we can help our area grow in the ways Heavenly Father needs it to.

As missionaries, and even more specifically as inexperienced missionaries, there is little we can do without the Lord's help. We give our best, and trust the Lord is using us. Every so often, we are incredibly blessed to be able to see HOW the Lord is using us. But that's basically the bottom line of a mission: trusting the Lord. You leave everything behind, and you entrust everything, your life, your family, your EVERYTHING to the Lord. You leave it all and give yourself to Him. And although sometimes trusting the Lord is difficult and sometimes we do experience trials, we have to hold on to our faith and always believe that the Lord loves us and that everything we experience in this life is for our benefit, because Heavenly Father will never allow us to experience a trial that does not help us develop into the daughter or son of God that He knows you can be.

I know God lives, and I know this is His gospel. This is His work, and we are privileged to be a part of it.

I love you all so much!

Sister Bonney

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Important Things

September 9, 2013
Dear family!
Gah! My pictures won't work this week. Sorry. :P And I don't know if I'll be able to write letters again today, BUT I'LL TRY!!!
First off, FIRST TRANSFER OVER!!!! And I'm in the same area with the same Sister Lee. (There are multiple Sister Lee's just to clarify. This IS Korea.)
Okay. I made a list of things I wanted to say:
First off, things are getting a little more exciting in our area! We met this girl named Carrie (her English name). She was excited to meet us, and we had an AWESOME lesson last Monday at a member's house with a recently returned sister missionary, Sister Ho. But she doesn't want to meet again. She doesn't believe us. She told us the Book of Mormon is not true and that Joseph Smith wrote it. Solid. Eventful. Whatever. LIVE without the gospel. You don't know what you're missing.
BUT we also met Sister Wong again this week! She's a student and SO busy. She's not just saying she is. But she wanted to meet us but couldn't because she got too busy. And then, she got on the bus we were on the way to church. And I knew so strongly that we needed to try to teach her, even if she doesn't get baptized or accept the gospel, she needs us to work with her for some reason.
So many other small things happened this week that are turning into big things! The work is slowly progressing, but it is going faster in our mission than ever before! Alma 37:6-7 Our mission is having more baptisms now than we've ever had in the history of the mission.
Also, Sister Lee and I have been getting SO strong as a companionship. There are a lot of small things that we need to change in order for our area to be exactly obedient, but we're slowly changing. One thing that has really strengthened our companionship though is me having the opportunity to teach Sister Lee. Turns out there's a LOT about the gospel she doesn't know/understand. During our companionship study and training study time she's started asking me a lot of gospel questions, and then I teach her. (Yesterday, it was the spirit world and D&C 138 <- the last few verses about missionary work in the spirit world...) And it's helping us both so much. I'm learning how to teach the gospel, incorporate scriptures to teach clearly, how to explain difficult scriptures, and how to testify as a teach, AND mostly in Korean. We don't have very many opportunities to teach investigator lessons, but the Lord has still blessed me with opportunities to learn how to teach so that when those lessons come, I will be prepared. SO grateful. And everytime I teach her, my testimony is strengthened and the Spirit testifies to us both that this is His gospel, that the Book of Mormon is true, and that this is His work. God lives!
I love you all!

Sister Bonney

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Faith + Diligence + Obedience = Miracles

September 2, 2013
Dear everyone!

It's hard to believe that after this week, I'll be in my second transfer! Although most days its feel like I can't remember a time before I got to Korea, the time is going so fast. This week especially just flew by.

Also, it's worth mentioning that this week, I discovered bubble tea. Yeah. It's the best thing ever. It's like this fruit smoothie/slushy thing with sweet round rice cakes at the bottom, and it's amazing. And I attached a picture of this unforgettable moment in my life.

For a while, our area's progress has been pretty slow. Getting contacts is difficult, and most people only want to talk to us because I'm an American and that's apparently pretty awesome in Korea. But this week, we got 18 contacts. We worked really hard, and it helped that I can 전도/street contact in Korean by myself now. And some of those contacts are really eager to meet with us. In the past few weeks, we've had maybe 2 lessons total, but this coming week, we have at least three. That's a miracle.

When I was doing my personal scripture study this week, I came across something I had written in the margin of my old scriptures years ago: Missionary equation: Faith + dilligence + obedience=miracles. And I testify that it's true. Honestly, we're pretty much as powerless as can be. This is the Lord's work. These are His children. Without Him and His Spirit, we can't accomplish anything. But what we can do is exercise our faith, give Him every effort we can possibly give, and doing everything we can to obey His commandments so that we can be prepared and worthy to receive the blessings He will give us and recognize the miracles that He sends.

Everyday on my mission I've gained a stronger testimony of obedience. Heavenly Father wants nothing more than our happiness and eternal joy! "This is my work and my glory, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" Moses 1:39 "Men are that they might have joy." 2 Nephi 2:25 and D&C 78:18 (which I don't know right now but you should read because it's powerful) and D&C 6:20 (?) "Be diligent and obedient in keeping my commandments and I will encircle thee in the arms of my love." Throughout the scriptures, there are numberless promises that we will be happy if we are obedient because WHEN we are obedient, we are worthy to receive His blessings and we will be blessed beyond anything we could imagine or provide for ourselves.

I know this gospel is true and I know that God lives. I know He loves us and I know He knows us better than we could ever imagine; He knows what we need, and He will always provide for us if we are obedient. I testify of these things. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

I love you all so much!

Sister Bonney

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Living it up with Sister Lee.

August 26, 2013
Dear everybody!

Alright. First off, I can finally cross the street by myself here.
SUPER proud of that. And that is actually a big deal because Korean
drivers are absolutely insane. And that's not an exagerration. They
NEVER stop at cross walks. Ever. And they come out of nowhere. I
cannot count the number of times Sister Lee has had to grab me and
pull me back because some phantom car showed up out of nowhere going
100 mph and I almost died. Anyway, I can now cross the street by
myself. Just saying.

Also, Samsung update! There are Samsung copy machines, Samsung
construction equipment, and Samsung toilets. I am NOT kidding. North
Korea has a dictator; South Korea has Samsung.

Sister Yoon, Korea's biggest Michael Jackson fan, is hilarious as
ever, and she has the strongest saturi (Busan dialect) I've ever
heard. Which means I can't understand anything she says. But we're
teaching her! She has so much faith! Our last lesson, we only taught
about Heavenly Father, that we are His children, and His love for us.
It was simple, but she said she felt so much in her heart. I really
hope we can help her come to recognize that those feelings are from
the Spirit!

My companion, Sister Lee, is a riot. Honestly, the first couple weeks
were kind of rough on both of us because of the language barrier, but
as we've both really worked hard to learn each other's languages and
to serve eachother, we've been so blessed! And seriously, she's pretty
hilarious. Since I'm not exactly fluent in Korean AT ALL, she can talk
really fast and she knows I can't understand anything. Well, when our
district leader called to ask me to say the closing prayer at an
upcoming district meeting, she took the phone from me and talked
really fast. I asked her what she said, and she said she asked him if
I could sing a solo at district meeting. She was laughing and so I
thought she was totally joking. She wasn't. A few days later at
district meeting (which is all in Korean btw), right in the middle of
it, Elder Jeong turns to me and says (in Korean), "And now we'll have
a special musical number from Bonney 자매님." Yup. Totally serious. Wow.
And she made me do it. Thought I was gonna die.

One more precious Sister Lee moment: First, you need to know that we
live in a upper level apt. Anyway, yesterday, Sister Lee was in the
kitchen area, cooking, and I was at my desk. All of a sudden, she
starts screaming. What the heck. I thought she was on fire or
something. She ran back into our main room, and I asked her what the
heck had happened! Turns out, there was a naked man hanging out on his
roof. Oh my gosh. But he heard Sister Lee screaming, saw her through
the window, and ran inside. What. The. Heck. Wow. Keeping it lively in

Honestly, the work is pretty slow in our area right now. Finding is
difficult, and our few solid potential investigators don't have time
to meet for months or have other things keeping them from meeting with
us. But the more difficult it is to do this work, the more my
testimony grows of how this is the Lord's work and it is not ours. All
we can do is be obedient and have faith. We have to trust that our
best is enough. The Lord has promised to serve with us if we trust Him
and if we give our all, and I know that somehow He is doing something
in our area, even if it is just planting seeds in the hearts of the
people. The Lord uses those who are worthy, and so we are doing our
utmost to be worthy of His work. I know this is His work, and I know
that this is His gospel.

I love you all!!!!!!!

Sister Bonney

PS The pictures - Last week, we had to hike up this insane hill in the
pouring rain to get to an inactive's house. When we got to the top,
the rain cleared and the usual smog over Busan was gone, and it was