Saturday, August 16, 2014


August 11, 2014

Dear everyone!

Alright. I'm a horrible person and I forgot my old planner today, so I promise we did things this week, but I don't remember very specifically,..... Forgive me!

One of the highlights was going to my MTC teacher's wedding reception. Random, right? In Korea, wedding receptions are like a romantic comedy movie. Cross my heart and hope to die. There was my serious, spiritual MTC teacher Brother Kim rapping to his new wife while she danced to K-pop songs with her friends for the entire audience... I mean, the guests. It was basically half an hour of K-pop, except for the Families Can Be Together Forever arrangement that we sang with several other missionaries (that's the reason we were there...). Then, all they do is eat. For several hours on end. At a buffet that I honestly still can't believe exists. I have pictures. It's beyond words. SO big. SO fancy. And we got in for free. :) **weird food moment** But I did try raw beef salad, my companion accidentally ate coffee, and another sister missionary accidentally ate alcoholic jelly. It was a pretty interesting night for the missionaries. 

I also accidentally knocked over the bride's mom, but that's not worth remembering or anything..... 

We got to meet our recent convert Sister Kim this week. ( I swear not EVERYBODY in Korea is named Kim. That's just how our luck seems to go. ) She is progressing so well, and she has so much desire to learn about the gospel. It's been wonderful to see how she went from not being about to pray with confidence to being able to understand the scriptures when she studies with us. It's only been 7 weeks with her, but she's progressing so much. The Spirit's been helping her a lot.

Also, I broke our toilet this week. Slipped in the bathroom. Cause I'm stud.

Despite that, I got a call from President Barrow this week and ......... I'm going to be training!!!!!! So excited. It's going to be awesome! :D Both me and the other elder in Bangeojin will be training. Fun fun! More on that next week. Our members are planning a fake fight or something in church to freak them out. hahaha I love our members so much. :)

Back to the spiritual side, being companions with Sister Bae has been such a blessing. She goes home tomorrow and right now I'm with a temporary companion (Sister Oh, my second comp in Geumjeong) until the trainees come. At the end of your mission, you're exhausted. It's the last few meters of the marathon, and it was such an incredible experience to be able to help her and see how much she gave to the Lord on her mission. It was a really special experience to be able to help her finish strong.

I love you all! More next week! Stay in tune for the trainee!!!!

Sister Bonney

It's typhoon season in Bangeojin!!!! Me and Sister Bae

Do miracles still happen? Heck yeah.

August 3, 2014

Dear family!

Oh my goodness... We saw SO many miracles in Bangeojin this week! It's crazy!

1. We had a branch proselyting activity after church last week, and all our members went out and talked to people with us. And on Wednesday, one of the people who a member talked to called us! She came to our children's English class and she has so much interest! It's amazing. She came to us. That almost never happens. The hand of the Lord in Bangeojin. I testify of that.

2. This week, we got a referral from some elders in our district. It was a high school student with English interest. We got to meet her a few days ago and she brought her friend. And oh my goodness. It was one of the most incredible lessons I've ever experienced on my mission. We went from talking about our dreams for the future to talking together about whether or not we can know if God is there. (You can, by the way.) They were blown away by the idea that you can have a personal relationship with God and they are SO excited to pray and read the Book of Mormon. I can't explain how amazing it was to be able to be a part of that.

Not much time left this week, but the Lord lives! He's working SO many miracles and He has so many miracles that He's just waiting to work. He's only waiting for us to be ready for them. Ah! I love missionary work!!!

I love you!

Sister Bonney


July 28, 2014

Dear family and friends!

Let's start with the rat death count. Well, we found one more this week. And it was INSIDE the church. That was a first. Sister Bae found it. I didn't know a person could scream that loudly! I thought she was dying, but then I saw the rat. Yup. Bangeojin Branch 7 Rats 0

In Bangeojin, we have a kids English class. Primary age children can come with their parents, and that's been a great way to find people. We have a few mothers who come regularly and we have members who come to help us out occasionally. One of those mothers is Sister Kim Hyun-Sook. (Although all our investigators are Sister Kim, they ARE different people.) She has two young sons, both primary age, and she's slowly gained interest in the gospel. She came to church for the first time last week, and on Saturday for our spiritual message in kids English class, we taught the Plan of Salvation. Sister Kim had a lot of great questions, and we invited her to come to our branch activity that evening. And she came! Partway through the activity, she asked to talk to us in another room. She was dropping us. She said she was so confused and that she wasn't really sure what to do because she's attending another church. Sister Bae and I... had no idea what to do. Sister Bae and I asked her questions to find out more about her concerns and testified. It was pretty intense. The Spirit was so strong, and we tried our best to follow it with our questions and testimony. Slowly, Sister Kim began to change. A new light came into her eyes, and over 20 minutes, our conversation went from her dropping us to her asking about church attendance to us settling her concerns about baptism. The next day, Sunday, she came to church with her sons and had a wonderful experience. She asked us to visit her this week to help her study the Book of Mormon, and that is a miracle.

While Sister Bae and I were talking about Sister Kim, we started talking about what it means to be a TRULY progressing investigator. You can have investigators who keep all their commitments, and you can feel it changing their life, but you can also have investigators who go through all the motions, but something's still keeping them from TRULY progressing.

Aren't we ALL investigators to Heavenly Father? He wants us to progress and reach our full potential as His children. What is progression? In investigator/missionary terms, progression is when the investigator is actively keeping their commitments and thereby repenting as they change their life to live in accordance with the gospel; progression is repentance. Sometimes we think, "I'm doing okay.  I don't have anything to repent of." That is when we stop progressing. Repentance is actively and consistently choosing to change our lives and improve ourselves; we set aside our sins, our mistakes, and our will and we cultivate faith and Christ-like attributes in order to live according to the gospel more fully. Are we progressing investigators? Am I a progressing investigator? I hope so! I'm so grateful for a Heavenly Father loves us enough to ask us to repent.

I love you all so much! Have a great week!

Sister Bonney

Sister Kim Yoon-Ja's baptism

me and Sister Bae on P-day couple weeks ago. :)

Modern missionary work?

July 21, 2014

Dear family!

Happy Pioneer Day!!! Hope you're enjoying your summer! It's finally gotten hot in Bangeojin, but we have a lovely breeze off the ocean almost all the time, so I'm not complaining. Sister Bae and I now use sunscreen regularly, and we've gotten really good at finding appointments during the hottest time of the day so we don't have to go outside... Unfortunately, we did not eat dog this week. The members decided to make that a elders quorum activity because apparently the relief society sisters prefer traditional Korean chicken soup, which is also a "summer food". Pronounced sam-gay-tang, Korean chicken soup is a young chicken stuffed with rice, ginseng roots, and Chinese dates and then boiled for an hour. It's super good. Everyone usually eat one full chicken. You NEVER worry about being hungry after eating one of those. Heck. It's a whole chicken. So we will be eating that this week at a relief society activity. Actually, that WILL be the activity. Koreans love food. If there's no food, it's not an activity.

We found two new investigators this week!!! They're both friends and 20 years old - Sister Shin Yoo-mi and Sister Oh Soo-min. Sister Bae and I met then on the street a few weeks, and we got Sister Shin's number but only because she wanted us to test a soap she was making for a school project. But we called them and invited them to our English class. They came, had a great time, and afterwards, were very open to learning about what we had to share. They have no background about religion at all. Their families are Buddhist, but that just means that their grandparents are Buddhist and so the family is "Buddhist". We all got to know each other, and after asking a few light questions, we figured that they didn't even know who God was. Basic. We were able to teach them who God is and how Jesus Christ and God are different. They were actually really open and really interested! They said they felt like there must be a god and that they were glad to learn because they both honestly have interest in Christianity, "But when we've gone to Christian churches before, they talk about doctrine really deeply and we couldn't understand." We're meeting them again this week, and all four of us are really happy we met eachother.

Recently in our mission, some new missionary work ... methods? have been being tested. It came to light that a HUGE problem with missionary work in Asia, specifically Korea and Japan, is that there are tons of people (60-80% depending on the area) who are Buddhist or just unreligious, and they don't even know who God is. When these people meet us - the missionaries, we start teaching about the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation and commandments, and these people are so confused. The Restoration of what? If they don't even know (or care) who Jesus Christ is, how they can understand why His gospel applies to them? And so to help us help our investigators, we have a new set of lesson that we can now teach in addition to the lessons in Preach My Gospel AND we recently received two new pamphlets for proselyting and lessons. They're still in testing, but meeting Sister Shin and Sister Oh was an incredible experience because Sister Bae and I both were able to recognize again how much God cares for His children and how this truly is His work.

Missionary work is always changing to meet the needs of others. The message stays the same, but how we share it is constanting progressing. As I thought about this, I learned something. That is the foundation of charity - the pure love of Christ. When Christ came to earth and performed miracles, taught the gospel, and performed the Atonement, He didn't do it according to what was most comfortable to Him; He did everything according to the needs of those around Him. If we truly love someone, we will be willing to change ourselves and do what is in our power to show our love for them and serve them in every way we can. That's completely opposite to the world's way. We change ourselves in order to love and serve others. Changing ourselves is the core of discipleship. To truly be disciples of Jesus Christ, we must constantly be seeking to improve and change ourselves so that we can become more like Him. That IS repentance. That is also one of the foundational purposes of the Atonement  - enabling power to become like Him. And becoming like Him includes loving like Him. Love is the core of the gospel. Love is the motivation for everything the Father does. And I know that one day, we can be like Him, that we too will be able to love so perfectly. And when that day comes, we will be so unbelievably happy. I can hardly wait. I know God lives. I know He loves us. That is the gospel, and the gospel is true.

I love you all so much!

Sister Bonney

Dog Days of Summer?

July 13, 2014

Dear family,

I hope you all are enjoying your summer! What do Koreans do in the summer time? They eat dog. And so this coming week, we are planning to eat dog. YUM. Actually, in Korea, it's traditional. The elders ate it last week with the elders quorum and apparently, it's good. I have no idea, but to be honest, going to Korea and going back home without eating dog soup is like going to the beach and never getting in the water. (Although missionaries DO do that...)

One of the important things to know about a new companion is their favorite food. In Korea, that's DOUBLY important because food is a HUGE deal in Korea. So I asked Sis Bae what her favorite food was a little while ago and she said 회. Pronounced hway. I asked what that was, cause like heck did I know. Turns out it's raw fish. Now I've had raw fish on my mission, and it wasn't bad at all. Actually, it was kind of boring... I wanted a cool "Oh my gosh I ate this THING" story. It was not. BUT on Saturday, a member decided to take us out to lunch after our English class. She's asking us what we want to eat, and she lists off a few things as we drive. She listed hway. Trying to be a good companion, I said, "Sister Bae loves hway! That's her favorite food!"  That may not have been the smartest response, because the next thing the member says is, "That's nice, but will YOU be able to eat it?" Trust your members. They know what they're talking about. I said yes, cause I've been able to eat just about everything on my mission and I figured this couldn't be any more bizarre than pig feet. And I do like fish.

Well, we got to the restaurant, and the waitress sends us back outside and downstairs. I didn't know what we were doing (not an uncommon feeling...) so I just followed. We went down to this big underground room with TONS of tanks of different kinds of fish, octopuses, sea snails, and plenty of stuff I still don't know the name for... WE WERE GOING TO PICK OUR FISH. Well, we picked our fish (and they threw in some sea snails as a free service), and then they sent us back upstairs. Now the fish wasn't bad. It was actually pretty good. REALLY DIFFERENT, but not bad. I could eat it again. But they served us three different kinds of sea snails, and all I have to say is, SEA SNAILS WERE NOT MEANT TO BE EATEN. Yeah. But I could eat them. And I did. Hands down to Sister Bonney.

Well, despite the general concesus, missionaries do do more than eat. And on that note, we've seen a lot of miracles in Bangeojin this week. We have two investigators who come to our children's English class with their kids, and we had the opportunity to do a member-present lesson with them. Our members were amazing. Since Sister Bae and I are still young and NOT mothers with children, we can't exactly relate to them that way, but our members could. It made all the difference in the world. They're coming to church next week.

Also, in Korea, part member families are really common. Since there aren't a lot of members in Korea, members often marry nonmembers. Sometimes the spouses get baptized, and sometimes it takes time. In our branch, there are a few part member families who we've had the privilege to work with, and Heavenly Father is blessing them so much. The husband of the sister who took us to get hway is a nonmember. He came with us to lunch, and then he came to church on Sunday just "because he wanted to". He's had the lessons, and we weren't sure what it would take to help him, but when he came and sat down in sacrament meeting, Sister Bae and I just about died of joy. This is first and foremost Heavenly Father's work, and He is doing it. He loves His children so much and His children are us, our members, missionaries, nonmembers, EVERYONE. He's doing everything in His power to provide for our eternal happiness. And that's manifest in every little miracle. I'm so grateful to be a part of His work. It's truly a labor of love.

I love you all!

Sister Bonney

Miracles in Bangeojin~

July 7, 2014

Dear family!

I hope you all had a great week! We had a great week in Bangeojin.

In Ursan, (Bangeojin is a part of the city of Ursan) we had the whale festival!!! It was a great opportunity to talk to people and especially families. In Korea, students and working parents spend so much time out of the home at work and school (usually 6/7am-11pm/12am) that it's really difficult to find families together. At the whale festival, families came together and we were able to talk to so many people about our family programs. We spent two days at the festival proselyting and it was so much fun; it felt so good just to be able to talk to people and share our message as freely as we could.

Also, yesterday we had a baptism for a woman named Sister Kim Yoon-ja. She's in her 60s and her son is a member in the Daejeon mission. He introduced her to the missionaries in Bangeojin, and she met with the sister missionaries for four transfers before getting baptized yesterday. It was such a sweet experience to see how happy she was and how sincerely she desired to be baptized. Her son visited to baptize her and we were privileged to hear his testimony. He shared how he met the missionaries and was baptized in 2012 and since then had been praying and striving to help his mother accept the gospel. He spoke of how he thought maybe if she lived with him that he could help her more (She's a widow and he's unmarried.), but he felt that he should not move to Bangeojin and Sister Kim didn't want to move to his area. So he prayed, tried to follow the Spirit, and waited. Over time, he had time to visit Bangeojin and introduced the missionaries to his mom. She also became friends with some of the Bangeojin members, and although he had to return to Daejeon, with the help of the members and the missionaries, she was able to learn and accept the gospel. It was such a tender experience to see him and Sister Kim together on such a special day for their family.

Being able to be part of the baptism yesterday reminded me of something. Brother Shin, Sister Kim's son, cared so much for his mom, and he wanted more than anything for her to have the joy that he had found in the gospel. And she did find and accept the gospel. But it was not through very much of anything that he could have done. It was the Lord. The Lord helped her to know that this gospel is true. The Lord helped her and guided her. Although we are friends and family, everyone is first and foremost a child of Heavenly Father. Our parents, children, brothers, and sisters - everybody- is our brother and sister because we are all children of God. We are all equal in His eyes and because He loves us so much more than we could ever imagine, we don't have to worry. Because Heavenly Father loves Sister Kim, He is taking care of her. He does the same for everyone because we are His children. It's a wonderful truth, and I'm so grateful for this precious chance to share it with everybody I can.

I love you all so much!

Sister Bonney

PS We found two more rats this week. YES! Bangeojin branch 2 Rats 0 ^_^

Ratatouille in Bangeonjin?

June 30, 2014
Dear family!!!

Alright! I'm in Bangeojin! What is Bangeojin? It's okay.  Most Koreans don't know either. The only things that are famous in our area are Hyundai and the whale festival. EVERYONE in Bangeonjin works at the Hyundai factories. If they don't, they work at a school teaching the kids of the people working at the Hyundai factories. I'm not kidding. Also, Bangeojin is on the coast! The weather here is the best in the mission for summer. Grateful? Heck yes. And the whale festival in this month. I'll let you know how that goes. ;)

The Bangeojin branch building has a unique problem. As you may have guessed from the title of the email, it is a rat problem. Pretty exciting! My first time going to the church with Sister Bae, we found a dead rat. Right in front of the front door. After screaming, we took a picture. Cause that's just what you do. I'll send it next week. We then called the elders. One of them goes, "Hey, do you remember where the branch president buried the other one?" THE OTHER ONE?????? Well, yes. There have been three found since I've gotten here. It's pretty exciting! At least one person screams, then we bury it, sometimes we say a prayer at the grave, and then the branch members set out more traps. 

Hey. Bangeojin's a pretty lively place. And the missionary work here is amazing. There are so many people here
who are open to the gospel. Our members are incredible and they work so hard to share the gospel with their friends. Almost all of them served missions, and so they know how to do missionary work, and, oh boy, do they do it. We have a baptism this Sunday, and our members have already introduced three of their friends to us since getting here. Bangeojin is the promised land. I'm so grateful to be here.Heavenly Father is working so many miracles here. We've seen so many already this week, and I'm so excited to get back out and work. The work is hastening, and we're privileged to be a part of it.

I love you all so much!

The gospel's true, so stay true to the gospel!

Sister Bonney

Transferred. Again.

June 23, 2014

Dear everyone!

I've realized recently that my emails have not been very informative or lengthy recently, so I apologize. But I'll have to turn that around NEXT week because this week we have no time! Again. One day I'll be able to sit down at a computer and do this at a relaxed pace but today is not that day! Soooo this week in a nutshell:

1. I went to my first funeral!
2. I met a guy from Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He's Korean too. Pretty cool cause I lived there! What are the chances of that, right?
3. I got transferred. Already. I'm now in Bangeojin, right by the ocean.
4. I'm with Sister Bae now! She's Korean and HILARIOUS. We've been friends for a while and this is her last transfer, so we're ready to get some work DONE.
5. Sister Bae and I are sister training leaders again. :)
6. President and Sister Gilbert are leaving.. :(

Anyways, next week, I promise a long lengthy email. Promise. :D I love you all! The work is true! 

Sister Bonney

Learning on the go...

June 16, 2014

Dear everyone!
First of all, sorry about last week's email. Or lack thereof. An emergency(?) kind of thing came up and we had to leave really fast. Jeez. This week, we have nothing like that going on...I think..
Anyways, wow. The last two weeks have been so busy. Since Sister Yoon and I are the sister training leaders, we've been going on exchanges and had extra things to do because...President and Sister Gilbert are leaving next week!!! It's so hard to believe that they are actually leaving. It's like the mom and dad of the mission leaving. It's pretty crazy. And Yeonsan is a great area. We have AMAZING members who have helped us so much by inviting their friends to learn about the gospel and all of our investigators right now are referrals from members. It's such a blessing to be able to serve with them.
We also had zone conference this last week. Two things came from that: 1. Sister Yoon and I and two other STLs gave a talk (of sorts) with a teaching activity for the two zones in the city of Busan. Part of that required me to speak in front of 80 or so missionaries in Korean for about 10 minutes about the subject of our activity. We had had no time to prepare, but when I spoke, it wasn't hard. It was so easy, and everything I wanted to say, I just...said it. It was easier than speaking English in that moment, and I realized how much Heavenly Father loves His missionaries, because He's not only helped me; He's given so many missionaries the gift of tongues. He will ALWAYS help us to do the work He has accomplished. 2. hahahaha Funny bit. You know you're serving a mission in Korea when the office elders take 20 minutes to give a presentation on what to do if North Korea attacks. hahaha Actually, it's not funny. I guess. It shouldn't be. But, jeez, it feels like Red Dawn. But if North Korea DOES choose to attack anytime soon, I hope they d it in the next six months! I want to be here for it! I didn't come to KOREA of all places to miss an invasion! And heck. What a mission story. ;)
The last two weeks have been full of learning experience for Sister Yoon and I and for the work we're doing as missionaries, companions, and ultimately as disciples of Christ. And something I think we often forget is that EVERYONE is learning. No matter how old a missionary is, they're still learning. And that applies to our life on earth too, because NOW is the time to learn. No matter how old or experienced we get, we can never stop learning. And if we do, we need to change because time is a gift. Time was given to us to measure our progress as we learn and prepare to return to our Father in Heaven. This time is our time to change and grow and learn and we will never NOT need to progress, change, grow, learn or anything until we have returned to our Father in Heaven. Time is a gift. Let's make the most of it.
I love you all so much! Our Father in Heaven lives. This is His work, and He does it with us. I know this gospel is true with all my heart.
Sister Bonney

Just a day in the life

June 9, 2014

Dear everyone!

I love you all so much, but I really am out of time this week! Sorry not to write, but things are going great! I love you all!

Sister Bonney

Summer's coming... Parisol anyone?

June 2, 2014

Dear everyone!!!

Summer is on it's way, and it's getting hot! Fortunately, Busan has wind, and to combat the sun, we have...wait for it... parisols. I'm not kidding. You know, the pretty lacy umbrellas that women used to use a hundred years ago to keep themselves from getting sunburned? Yeah, well, Koreans parisols like nobody's business. If it's sunny, every single woman on the street's got a parisol. My American part was too strong to get one, but this week when we were visiting a member in our ward (in the picture with me and Sister Yoon), she asked me, "Your companion has one! Why don't you? You're going to get dark skin and freckles!" So she gave me a parisol. So now I have a parisol. And I use it too.... So much for my American pride. haha

This week has FLOWN by. I know things happened and I don't we worked, but this week is a blur. Geez. Sister Yoon and I are working hard, and we've been really busy with appointments almost everyday. It's great! As a missionary, there's nothing better than being busy. We've had appointments with less actives, investigators, and members, and we've been able to experience a lot of miracles this week that Heavenly Father did and IS DOING for the people here. It's amazing and really humbling to know that Heavenly Father didn't just give us this area and say, "Work!" He came with us. Actually, He was always here, blessing His children and doing everything to bless them.

Something I learned this week that I wanted to share: There's a hymn that says something along the lines of 'place my burden at His feet and carry a song away.' It's talking about how Christ can take our burdens, not just our sin, but our sadness, our anger, our frustration, our discouragement, temptation, and despair, and leave us free in the love of Christ. I thought I understood that until this week. This week, I heard (from a missionary? mission president? don't remember....)  that we truly can shift our burdens onto the Savior and be free through the Atonement of Christ. A few days ago, I had an opportunity to apply that. To test it and see if it was true. And it's so incredibly freeing. We can! Because Christ suffered the Atonement for us, He can take our burdens and because He already carried them, they can be no more. That's the part of the Atonement that I don't think we will ever understand in this life, but it's real. I testify that it is. I know that if we trust Him and place our burden at His feet, we can carry a song away. I love my Savior so much. I know He lives, and I know that He is my best friend. And I'm so grateful.

I love you all so much!

Sister Bonney

Sister Yoon in Yeonsan. :)

May 25, 2014

Dear everyone! 

I hope you had a fantastic week!!! Sister Yoon and I had an AMAZING week and I'm so grateful we get to serve together in Yeonsan. We are having a blast and seeing so many miracles! We've had so many experiences where people have come up to US and talked first to US about the church. It's amazing. We have appointments with new investigators and we've been able to meet so many new people in the area. And our members are so loving and are working so diligently and lovingly to invite their friends to learn of the gospel. I'm so grateful to be serving in Yeonsan.

Sister Yoon and I are having so much fun together. She's a dream companion, and we just get along incredibly well. I didn't know having a companion could be this fun! I'm so grateful we're serving together and I hope we get two transfers together. We're both already praying for that one. ;)

This Thursday is my year mark!!!! Crazy. In one way it feels like I've only been out for a few weeks, but in other it feels like I've always been here. Time is so weird as a missionary. It goes so fast, but it swallows up everything. There is only your mission. You and your comp and your area and the language and the members and your investigators and the Lord.... There is only you and your mission. But time speeds by swallowing up everything else as it goes. And it's good because being distracted makes missionary work harder. It's hard to explain, but it's so much easier to just focus on the work and the area and the Lord because when that's where your mind and heart are, Heavenly Father can help you so much more because when our efforts are for His work, He can increase our ability because doing so blesses His children and hastens His work. It's a powerful thing to experience, and I know it's real. I'm so humbly grateful to be a missionary and to be able to take part in Heavenly Father's work. This gospel is true and I know that He lives! I know that Christ lives and that we can do anything the Lord would have us do as we move forward with faith in Him. I love Heavenly Father, and I know He loves me. His work is truly a labor of love, and I'm so deeply grateful to be a part of it. I LOVE MISSIONARY WORK!

I love you all so much!!! Have a great week!

Sister Bonney