Tuesday, January 14, 2014

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

January 13, 2014
Dear everyone!

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

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

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

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

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

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

I love you all so much!

Sister Bonney

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Baptisms for the New Year!

January 6, 2014
Dear everyone!
Brother Choi and Jiwon got baptized this past Saturday and confirmed yesterday in sacrament meeting. They're already such amazing members. The baptismal service had a spirit words can't describe, and Brother Choi and Jiwon were just as excited for their baptisms as we were. Actually, Brother Choi was so excited for his baptism that he woke up at 4am that morning. :) After they were baptized, we asked them how they felt when they were baptized, and Brother Choi said he couldn't express it in words, it was so wonderful.
It has been such an indescribable blessing to be able to teach them, prepare them for baptism, and then witness their baptism and confirmation. I know Heavenly Father loves them so very much, and He prepared them so perfectly to find and accept the gospel of Jesus Christ. Missionaries didn't find Brother Choi and Jiwon. They found us. They just came to church because they wanted to learn more. They tested the gospel as Alma asks us to do (Alma 32:27) and they learned of its truthfulness. Because they chose to accept it, it will only continue to bless their lives.
Faith building experience from just yesterday: On Sunday afternoon, we had planned to visit two families, but we felt something was missing. Sister Park felt we needed to visit someone, but we didn't know who. We took a look at our less active list and found a name. Sister Hyosun Lee. Sister Park knew her and I had met her sons, but we didn't know her very well. Even still, we felt we needed to visit her. We gave her a call Sunday morning, and asked if we could visit briefly that night. She said sure. Part way through our second appointment, we got a text from her saying she couldn't meet us. We asked her why, and she texted back that she was at the hospital with her youngest son who had just broken his arm. We called and asked if we could visit, and if she would like her son to receive a priesthood blessing. We called the elders and as we were meeting, we ran into two brothers from the ward. We went to the hospital together and the elders and the two brothers from the ward (Brother Moon and Brother Jung) offered a priesthood blessing for her son. When we got home that night, we got a text from Sister Lee's oldest son: "Thank you so much for taking care of us..."
We didn't take care of them. Heavenly Father did. He knew where they were, He knew that they would need help before they needed it, and He knew to put Brother Moon and Brother Jung in a place where they would be needed. It was so incredible to be able to witness how perfectly Heavenly Father knows and cares for His children.
Til next week! I love you all so much!
Sister Bonney