Friday, July 19, 2013

HANGUK PRIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dear Mom, Dad, Elder Bonney, Elizabeth, Benjamin, Andrew, Eve, James, Miriam, Anna, Joseph, Rebekah, Abigail, Esther, Peter, and everybody else!!!
WE HAVE OUR TRAVEL PLANS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! All of us going to Busan are going together which is WONDERFUL because that means most of our district is staying together! AND I'M TRAVEL LEADER FOR OUR WHOLE GROUP!!! Honestly, I think it makes sense cause they'd have a hard time finding someone in our group who has flown more. SO SO SO SO STOKED FOR KOREA/HANGUK!!!! (Hanguk is the Korean pronunciation of Korea... Don't ask cause I don't know either.) Also, I get to call home from the airport!!! That will probably be around noon MD time (which means anytime after 10am???). PLEASE BE THERE CAUSE I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anyways, other than travel plans, the days are pretty much the same now. Something exciting did happen yesterday though! I'm pretty sure I broke my finger! Yeah. It happened during volleyball. I play on the wildside. I've attached a picture and it's HUGE. And a lovely shade of purple but somehow my camera just couldn't capture the gore.
Sister Harris and I are a teaching powerhouse. Both our teachers are so impressed with how well we teach together, and our Korean is improving everyday. I'm so grateful for her as a companion! She's such an example to me. Everyday we grow stronger and closer, and it's kind of depressing to think that we only have maybe two weeks left together unless we work together in the field.
As far as Korean goes, my ability with the language fluctuates. Learning Korean has definitely been a challenging and humbling experience, but it's taught me that I can do hard things through the Lord and that I can't and shouldn't rely on myself when the Lord is so willing to help me and has asked me to rely on Him.
I've developed such a love for the New Testament this week! I studied 2 Timothy for several hours and that thing is like 4 pages. But it has so much! As members of the Church, I know that we are taught to spend a lot of time reading and studying the Book of Mormon and so I had never really studied the Bible, but this week I've gained so much. It contains words of the prophets, and it testifies of Christ. There is so much we can learn! If you haven't before, I invite you to take some time to study the New Testament.
HILARIOUS mistake of the week: Sister Johnson and Sister Wadsworth were going to share D&C 9:7-8 in their lesson, but they accidently shared Moroni 9:7-8. You can look that one up yourselves. NO ONE could have made a funnier mistake on purpose.
Some awesome quotes from our district:
Elder Hansen: Looks like Laman and Lemuel are arguing again. Better go dwell in my tent.
Elder Wilson: I'll go home to my family, but I'll never leave the mission field.
Elder Clark: I don't think anyone's read the whole Old Testament.
Elder Wilson: I'm pretty sure Pres. Monson just finished it for the first time last week.
Me: MTC food drives you to do things you never thought you'd do.
Elder Clark: Yeah. Like eat it.
And Elder Hansen tried to tell our investigator that "All people will die..." Instead, he said, "All people will kill..." Whoop! There it is!
As missionaries, we are called to spend all our time and efforts and thoughts on the gospel and serving others during our full-time missions. This week, I was struggling focusing on the work, but I learned something I felt was very powerful. It starts with a story: Two men meet on the street. One says to the other, "Good and evil are like two wolves fighting inside of me. Which one wins?" The other replies, "The one you feed."
No matter what our struggles or temptations are in life, we can overcome them through our faith in and love for Jesus Christ. Personally, I decided one wolf represented my love for Jesus Christ and this gospel and the other represented anything that could distract me from what I have promised the Lord I will do during this time. This applies to any struggle we have in this life. If your love for the Lord is greater than your love for anything else or your desire for anything else, you will never have to ask yourself twice if you are willing to be obedient. And obedience is the pathway to true and lasting happiness.
So many people, after hearing about the standards LDS members are asked to uphold, respond with expressions of disbelief and "Wow. You can't do ANYTHING," but commandments are only given for our benefit. They are expressions of His love for us because they provide for us. The Lord wants us to have lasting happiness and all the blessings He can give us, but we must give to Him first. He is completely unable to bless us unless we have done that which He has commanded us. Commandments aren't rules; they're conduits for His love and mercy. Mosiah 2:41 And as we keep them, He has promised us peace, comfort, joy, and more than we will ever have the capacity to hold in this life.
I know this is His gospel. I know that this is the Lord's work. I know that He lives. I know that He loves us. I know that if we trust the Lord, He will lift us. And if we truly trust the Lord, it really doesn't matter what we don't understand. I'm so grateful to be a missionary of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, and I CANNOT WAIT TO GET TO KOREA! 10 DAYS!
I love you all so so so so so much!
Sister Sarah Bonney
PS James, Elder Wilson got your letter and HE LOVED IT! I'm sending pictures of everyone in our district so you can actually know who I'm talking about. :)

Pictures on this email: Your pictures!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Elizabeth's pirate man for me. And our roommates: Sisters Bussio, Segovia, Pope, Jackson, Harris, and ME!


Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Gadianton Rappers and the Blue Sock

Dear Mom, Dad, Elder Bonney, Elizabeth, Benjamin, Andrew, Eve, James, Miriam, Anna, Joseph, Rebekah, Abigail, Esther, and Peter, and everybody else!
This week has been so AMAZING! 힌국밀 (Korean) is going so well!!! 우리의 구도자들 (our investigators) are progressing so well, and my testimony has been growing so much! (Okay. I finally got a Korean keyboard, but typing it is really hard, but just know that I could have said just about all of that in Korean.) At the end of my day now, I can't seem to be able to express in sufficient words how grateful I am for how much Heavenly Father has blessed me. Life as a 손겨사 (missionary) is always hard in its own way, but there is so much joy in the Lord's work.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE WONDERFUL PACKAGE!!!! The chocolate, fruit snacks, and the beautiful pictures absolutely made my day!!! There are several sisters in our residence hallway who have come over and told me how great they think your pirate pictures are.
Our district is absolutely the best. Sister Johnson and Sister Wadsworth are always so upbeat, but our elders are my favorite. ^_^ They call themselves the Gadianton Rappers, and I'm so excited every morning to spend another day with them! I'm going to be so sad to leave the MTC because our district's going to have to split up since not all of us are going to Korea Busan. They are such great examples of faith and dilligence to me, and it is so wonderful so be around such worthy priesthood holders all the time!
Korean is going SO well. Heavenly Father is blessing our district so much. We've gotten through our first grammar book, and we can all read about 5 times as fast as we could the second week. Also, we've memorized both the missionary purpose and the baptismal invitation in Korean. This next week, Elder Wilson, Elder Hansen, and I are going to help them memorize the First Vision. Our teachers, Brother Kim and Sister Sagers, are wonderful. They really care about us, and they are so patient with us. We've learned so much! I can hardly believe that a month and a half ago, I didn't even know how to say "Book of Mormon". The Gift of Tongues is real! I witness it everyday in class, when we teach, and when I hear the others in our district speak Korean. It's so amazing. I wish you all could hear us!
This week, my testimony of tender mercies has been strengthened so much. Tender mercies are any blessing that Heavenly Father gives to us in any form just because He loves us. Last Saturday, I had a rough day. Like it was really bad. I don't know why, but I honestly couldn't understand more than two words in Korean during our lessons. I screwed up in one of our lessons because I thought our investigator said one thing when he really said another. I was really tired, and I was having a really frustrating time being positive. And it was the day after P-Day. Which is kind of like Monday for missionaries. At the end of our last class, when we got back to our residence hall, all our roommates were upset because they had had horrible days too. (Day after P-Day. Case and point.) But for me, that was a tender mercy. We all just sat on the floor and had a pity circle. But eventually we all started to make an effort to recognize how much we had been blessed, and then everything started to get a little better.  First, I got the package from my family. With a package like that, I couldn't help but be sooo happy. ^^ Also, I found my blue sock. Okay. I don't expect you to understand, so don't try if you don't. I have three pairs of colored socks that I wear with my favorite tennis shoes. I feel really fly in them. I love them. A lot. I have an orange pair, a blue pair, and a green pair. I'm wearing my blue pair right now, and I'm feeling very attractive in them, let me tell you. Anyway, a week before (2 weeks ago), I lost my orange pair and one of my blue ones. I was so sad. You have no idea. But I decided not to let my socks control my attitude (cause that's even more ridiculous than being emotionally attatched to them), and I just kind of forgot about it. But I did pray I would find them.... Yeah. I did that..... Anyways, I found my orange pair a couple days after I lost them, but since then, it had been about a week and a half, so I didn't think I would find my blue sock. But I was over it. So over it I didn't even know what I was over. But that fateful Saturday night, I picked up a pair of pajama pants off my bed, and my blue sock fell on the floor. HAAAAAAAAAAALLELUJAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Missionaries are very easy to please and entertain, but this was also just a Sister Bonney moment. And it absolutely made my night. I had looked EVERYWHERE! I had looked under my bed, in my suitcases, I had emptied my drawers, checked a couple Lost and Founds, and I had not found it. But God knew I was going to have a bad day, and so He sent me back my blue sock. You probably think it's stupid, but don't hate. Appreciate. For me, it was a big deal.
Beyond the blue sock, my testimony has grown so much. The Lord hears and will answer your prayers if you only have the faith that He will! He know you so perfectly, and He loves you so unconditionally! Pray to recognize how to He has blessed you, and I know you will be able to see so many blessings in your life. The scriptures are the word of God, and through them He will comfort you, strengthen you, teach you, and uplift you while filling you with His Spirit. Jesus Christ lives, and because of his Atonement, we can be forgiven, resurrected, sealed as eternal families, and return to live with our Heavenly Father in a perfect state of happiness. This Church is TRUE! It was restored through Joseph Smith, and it is the true and full Church of Jesus Christ on the earth today! I am so grateful to be a member of this Church and for all the blessings that I have recieved from knowing its truthfulness and being able to partake of its blessings throughout my life. Mosiah 18:8-9 The gospel is true!!!! Jesus Christ is our Savior, Redeemer, Master, and Messiah. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
I love you all so so so so so much!!!!!!
Sister Bonney

Sister Bonney: Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints


Me with Teased Hair
 Elder Clark's attempt to translate some inappropriate Korean.

The Infamous Blue Sock

Pictures with the Sisters!

Looks like Laman and Lemuel are arguing again. Better go dwell in my tent.

July 5, 2013

Dear Mom, Dad, Elder Bonney, Elizabeth, Benjamin, Andrew, Eve, James, Miriam, Anna, Joseph, Rebekah, Abigail, Esther, Peter, and everybody else!
If I had to be in the MTC for a holiday, it definitely would be the 4th of July. Which is awesome. Cause I really didn't have a choice on that one. Anyway, our district had a great 4th of July yesterday. All the elders kept randomly shouting "I love America" and "God bless America" in Korean, and we sisters dressed up in our most patriotic clothes. Last Sunday, we were told we would have a "special program" that night, and when you have those kinds of announcements, you're not really sure whether it's special because it's actually special or special because we're missionaries and we're INCREDIBLY easily entertained. (When you spend 10-12 hours a day in classroom, it doesn't take much...) But it was really great! They had a great musical number and a speaker, and then ...............wait for it................... WE GOT TO WATCH A MOVIE! I know. Oh my gosh. Next thing you know, missionaries are going to be using facebook and sky diving on their P-Days.
We got to watch 17 Miracles, and it was so humbling to hear the stories of these handcart pioneers. I got out of there and thought, If they could give up everything for the gospel, even their lives and their families, I can give up 18 months. My favorite line from the movie was, "It will all be worth it if my posterity keeps the faith." Although I do have handcart pioneers in my family history, we are all the posterity of the pioneers because through their sacrifices, the Church was able to thrive and grow to fill the earth. Without their sacrifices, there would not be 70,000+ missionaries or 140+ temples (even Elder Holland can't remember so... yeah) or the Book of Mormon translated into languages I'd bet good money you didn't even know existed. I'm so grateful for the sacrifices those who have gone before us have made. Not even just the pioneers, but converts who have been disowned and members of the Church who have sacrificed so much in order to recieve temple blessings not available in their own country and so many others. We can continue this legacy of faith! But we must be willing to live our lives for the Lord. And in the end, it will all be worth it.
I love my district so much. Even our branch leaders and our teachers have told us they think our district is one of the strongest they've ever seen. The other day, Brother Perriton, a counselor in our branch presidency, told the elders in our district, "How blessed are you elders to have such wonderful sisters!" But I thought and later told the elders, that we were the ones who were blessed to have such valiant elders. I couldn't have imagined a better district. And our elders are absolutely wonderful! Elder Clark has the most unique sense of humor. He loves to Korean-ize American words and tell us gangsta version stories from the Book of Mormon.  (Go back to get the plates? Nephi's all about that obedience life.) Elder Wilson is the nicest elder ever! He helped me learn the First Vision in Korean, and he's always so sweet to everyone. Elder Hansen is just hilarious. He just sits in class making comments the whole time, and I'm pretty sure his constant commentary keeps everybody sane and happy. The other day an couple of elders were having a difficult time deciding how to say something and he just says, "Looks like Laman and Lemuel are arguing again. Better go dwell in my tent." HA! Elder Jackson is seriously THE nicest guy EVER. He's our district leader right now, but this Sunday a new one is getting called and yesterday he kept joking that I was going to be next. Elder Jackson struggles with the language, but he works so hard, and he's always lifting others. He's definitely one of the greatest examples in our district.
Aaaaaaaaaaaand as I said before, I MEMORIZED THE KOREAN FIRST VISION!!!!!!!!! Like. A. Boss. Elder Hansen and Elder Wilson did it, but I'm the first sister, and I'm ridiculously proud of myself. I've been working on it since Monday, and I finally finished it this morning. Since it's in scripture language (King form - the SUPER respectful one) hardly any of the words translated directly, which meant it was basically memorizing random sounds. But I did it! I could not have done it without the Lord's help though.
At our Tuesday devotional this week, we had Elder Richardson of the Sunday School Presidency speak to us. He spoke about becoming a missionary instead of just serving a missionary, and it really inspired me to truly realize how I am changing because of my mission. Even in the five short weeks I've been serving, my mission has changed me so much. When I first got here, I had such a hard time truly loving others and expressing it. I fought to be positive and see the joy in each moment, but as I have prayed and pleaded with the Lord to help me, I can feel Him changing my weaknesses (SO many more than those two) into strengths. I had a few experiences this week where I could truly feel the Lord working through me to touch others and these were other missionaries, not our investigators. It was so powerful, and I realized that more than anything else, I want to be a conduit of His love. I want others to be able to come to me and feel the love the Lord has for them. I know as I do this, I will be able to live up to my call to be a representative of Jesus Christ. A sister in my district, Sister Wadsworth, said something this week that really touched me: "We need to be the examples that others need to see." Who is a better example than Jesus Christ? I want to live my life worthy to be an instrument in the Lord's hands so that when others look at me, they will see a part of Christ. I'm so humbled and grateful that the Lord uses us. What a privilege for each of us to have the opportunity be used by the Lord! We're all a bunch of flawed misfits, but the Lord works with us patiently and lovingly. I know we are Heavenly Father's children. I know that He loves us. I know that He knows each one of us personally, and I know that if we turn to Him with all we have, He will reward us with so much joy and happiness. I'm so grateful for this gospel, and I know that it is true with all my heart. The Savior lives!
I love you all so so so so much!!!
Sister Bonney