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