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

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Billie Jean in Busan?

August 19, 2013
Hello everybody!!!!
Wow! Time flies here! I can't believe it's already P-Day again!
First of all, I forgot something from last week. Last week, I said that Koreans are obsessed with Samsung and that we have a Samsung washer and a Samsung air conditioning unit. That's not completely true. We also have a Samsung refrigerator and there are Samsung cars. Wow.
Okay! Living in Korea as a missionary, but more specifically me, has a couple interesting catches. ;)
- Everytime you talk to a Korean, you say where you're from and you ask where they're from. Well, Koreans only know three places in America: New York, California, and Las Vegas. The odd one knows Florida. Anyway, everytime I say I'm from Maryland, they just look at me really weird, and I DON'T know how to say, "It's close to New York," so I've just started saying I'm from New York. There's loyalty for you. We get more contacts when I say I'm from New York anyway. They think it's super cool.^.^
- Koreans think my last name sounds like 'bunny'. Yeah. They think it's absolutely hilarious. A couple of the older men in the ward have actually started calling me "rabbit girl". You just gotta love em. At least this will give me something to tell my children: "Mom, she called me stupid!" "Oh yeah? Well, I was called 'rabbit girl' for 18 months. Live and let live."
Oh my goodness. Yesterday, we had the MOST hilarious lesson. Sister Yoon is a new investigator. She met our elders on the bus and actually poked one of them with her umbrella. In the face. Oh purpose.^.^ She asked him if he was an English teacher, and he told her about how we do teach English privately, but after 30 min of English, you are asked to learn about our gospel for 30 min. She was really excited. So yesterday, we met with the elders and her to see who she'd prefer to teach her after meeting with both of us. And she is honestly one of the funniest people I've ever met. And I can't even understand ANYTHING she says. Except when she asked me if I liked Michael Jackson. I said sure! And she asked if I liked Billie Jean. Sure! And then she got up right in the middle of our lesson and did the Billie Jean dance right there for us. And she's like 60. And it was incredibly good. I thought I was going to die. I was laughing and in shock, and it was awesome! After we got her to sit back down, we did have an amazing lesson, and I really hope she takes the gospel to heart. She has a strong testimony of prayer, and I know that if we can help her build on that, she will find so much joy in the gospel.
Finding joy is the whole point of the gospel! Heavenly Father has given us the gospel because He loves us so much that He wants our absolute happiness! If we just choose to trust Him enough to be obedient, we will be blessed beyond anything we could imagine for ourselves, and our joy will be so full! I know the gospel is true! And I know the Lord loves us.
I love you all so much!
Sister Bonney
PS The picture is after we walked around Yangsan for 2 hours looking for inactives. We didn't find any of them, but we did find this gigantic shoe! And I thought it was pretty sweet. And I was feeling a little Asian so I took a picture.^.^

PPS Our area is actually spelled Geumjeong. Yeah. Figured that one out this week if you feel like checking it out. :)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Heat Stroke and Miracles

August 11, 2013
Dear everyone!!!!
Alright. I don't have heat stroke. Yet. But today is apparently the hottest day in Korea, and they celebrate it. By eating chicken soup and dog meat. Yum. But it really is so hot here. I can't even express how hot it is here. Take 95+ degrees plus almost unbearable humidity and you have the lovely Keumjeong area. Sister Lee got sick from the heat yesterday, and I've just been praying not to A LOT. And it's seemed to work so far! ^.^ But I do love it here. And our ward is AMAZING. The Korean people are so loving, and the Lord is truly beginning to work miracles in our area.
Alright, but before the miracles, some random things about Korea:
Couches are totally decorations. You don't sit on them. Ever.
The buses are freaking terrifying.
My first meal with ward members, they took pity on me and gave me a fork. Whoops. My white girl is showing.
I've eaten raw fish. As in killed 5 min ago, barely scaled and gutted. And it was actually kind of good! I was so surprised.
There are at least 2 karaoke places on every street. Wonder if that's where Psy got his start....
And speaking of Psy, the Korean question of the ages seems to be, How the heck did Gangnam Style become popular in the United States?
Our area has no foreigners. I see MAYBE another non-Korean a day. I finally know how those three black guys in Utah feel...
The Samsung obsession is real. We have a Samsung washer and a Samsung air conditioning unit. Solid.
Hawking loogies is totally acceptable. Wear shoes.
All our inactive members live on the top floors of apartment buildings. It's statistically impossible, and yet it's true.
Koreans don't have church basketball. They have church ping pong. How endearingly Asian. ^.^
But we are doing the Lord's work. Even though there are days when we walk for hours in the heat and all our appointments fall through, the Lord is using us. A short time before, our area was "dead". We couldn't get contacts and the members had a hard time working with us, but the Lord is working miracles. This week we had SO many. One of our miracles this week was Jane. On Friday, she texted us totally out of the blue. We didn't even know who she was, but she said she had moved to Korean from the Philippines about a year ago, she was a member, and she had been inactive but wanted to come back to church. We called her and asked if we could visit her, and she said yes. She lived in Yangsan. Yangsan is 1 hour away by bus. And we had to walk half the way. In 100 degree heat. I thought I was going to die, and I seriously prayed NOT to pass out on the side of the road. But we found her house. And her husband, Brother Kim. And he is amazing. He has such a firm testimony of God and that He loves us. And he was really interested in the gospel. He had a long discussion with Sister Lee that I really didn't understand, but the Spirit was so strong! Jane kept smiling, and Brother Kim accepted a Book of Mormon. Turns out, he doesn't believe that God only sent Jesus to Israel. If God loves all His children, He would have sent Christ to other places as well. Amazing. Finding him was such a miracle. And we already have our next appointment set up! I feel so honored and blessed that the Lord is using us to bless Jane and Brother Kim's lives.
The work is real! We are doing it! Even if only by small and simple things. The Lord loves His children so much, and He manifests it in so many ways. I love Heavenly Father, and I know He lives.
Sister Bonney

"You are so beautiful and so smart, but you need to lose some weight..."

August 4, 2013
Dear everyone!
Oh my goodness. Alright. Where do I start. Well, first of all, my English is going down the drain. So if I sound like a 2 year old in this email at some point, that's why. And wow do we work here. Haven't even been here a week and I've already spoken in church, sang at a baptism, played the piano at the same baptism, and taught an English class. By myself. And a Korean guy screamed at me. And I handled it. Yup. That happened.
Alright. In Korea, we 전도/street contact. And we contact everywhere. My first time with my companion, we were in the subway, and we started talking to this older woman. (We're only allowed to talk to women.) Then this man started talking to us in English. He asked me how long I'd studying Korean and about where I was from. Then he said, "You are so beautiful and so smart but you need lose weight..." Yup. I tell myself the same thing every morning.^^ Koreans tell it like it is.
My first companion's name is 이자경/Sister Lee. Koreans actually go by their whole names because about half the population is a Lee or a Kim. Not even kidding. It's a problem. She is so sweet! And my Korean is really improving since we don't exactly speak the same language. She is honestly one of the kindest people I've ever met, and I love her so much already. She's been in the field for about 6 months, and she is so encouraging. She is always telling me, "Sister! You so perfect! You so special!" in broken English. I don't think I could have asked for a more Christlike trainer.
My first area is 금정 /kuemjeong. I guess you could say the work for the sisters is hard here because we don't have any progressing investigators right now and haven't for a while. We work a lot with inactives. The one lesson we've taught since I got here was to an inactive woman named Kim Soojin. She speaks perfect fluent English (thank goodness) and our lesson was actually amazing. We prepared a message based on a conference talk and some scriptures in Mosiah, but most of the lesson was in incredibly fast Korean. Yup. Didn't understand anything. I just nodded my head and smiled. Until I looked over at Sister Lee and she looked horrified. Turns out Sister Kim had been telling about a horrible experience she had had that week. Whoops. Got to practice looking like I know what's going on... Anyway, after about 1hr-1/2 of Korean, Sister Kim (late 20s btw) turned to me and told me some of what she had told Sister Lee. In English. And then the Spirit guided our lesson so wonderfully. I knew what to say (in Konglish) and I knew what scriptures to share (in Korean) and I knew to ask her if she wanted a priesthood blessing and if she would come to church on Sunday (in Korean) and I knew that all of it was not me, but the Spirit. It was amazing. Sister Kim DID come to church on Sunday. The whole experience was incredible, and it showed me how the Lord uses us and that He WILL use us.
For the first couple days, I wasn't sure if we were doing missionary work the way we were supposed to. It's not what I imagined at all. I imagined us walking down the streets of Busan sharing the gospel handing out Books of Mormon to everyone we see with lessons every night, busy busy busy. But it's not like that. We're busy, but we do a lot of little things. For a while, it really frustrated me. I thought we were supposed to be doing big things! How are we supposed to do all the things the Lord has asked if we can only do little things. And then in my study the other morning, I read Alma 37:6-7. The Lord doesn't need heroes. He needs regular people doing their best to be obedient and follow the Spirit. As long as we are worthy to be used, He WILL use us. I know this gospel is true. And I know the Lord lives.
Sister Bonney
바니 자매

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Welcome to the Korea Busan Mission!

This picture was sent from the Mission President in Busan after meeting Sarah and the other missionaries at the airport.

Basically just having the time of my life... ^.^

July 30, 2013

I'M IN KOREA AND IT'S AMAZING AND I LOVE IT AND I'M TOTALLY NOT BEING SARCASTIC AT ALL!!!!!!!!!! Our travel group flew in last night and we've all arrived safely. There were several miracles that helped us get through safely, and I know the Lord was watching over us.
President Gilbert and Sister Gilbert are the BEST. Sister Gilbert has already made my list of favorite people in the entire world, and we've only met a couple times. ^.^ I'm so excited to be able to get to know them better and to serve with them!
I'm honestly doing INCREDIBLY well. I'm not tired, I'm not drowning in sweat (yet), and I'm not scared out of my mind. I forgot how much I love coming to new countries, and I know it's helping me. Just that our family has done this before has made the transition so easy for me. I kind of feel bad for some of the others because many of them hadn't been out of the country before, and they're exhuasted, literally getting sick from the humidity, and VERY overwhelmed with the whole experience. I hope I can be a strength to them.
This afternoon we're going to street contact in Busan!!!!!!!!!! So excited. Definitely going to feel stupid for about 100% of it, but that's okay! ^.^ We're also going to the biggest fish market in Korea and we're going to try some really awesome (and possibly very fresh as in just killed but still moving octopus which is actually a delicacy...) seafood. SO STOKED.
I don't know my new companion or my new area yet, but I am so ready to get to work. And I really just want to speak Korean. We haven't gotten any opportunity to speak to Koreans yet, but I'm dying to talk to them! I know it will be hard, but this is what I've come to do.
 I love the Korean people so much, and I can't wait to serve them. They are so kind and SO CUTE! And there are so many of them! You thought you saw the Asian Invasion when you went to the Grand Canyon that one time; come to their side of the world. ^.^
I love you all so much!!!! The Church is true and the work is going forth!!!!!
Sister Bonney