Friday, July 25, 2014

Happy Pioneer Day!

This past week, the oldest district left to Korea so my group is now the oldest! We also had new missionaries come in yesterday that are going to BUSAN! So this was super exciting!  There were 3 new girls that I am excited to get to know better. Before the older group left, one of the younger elders asked them if they felt ready to be going to Korea. One wise elder responded, "If you relate the readiness to the amount of Korean you know, you will never be ready." This statement is SO TRUE. I dunno if you know this but Korean is tough. haha. So many words sound so similar and the sentence structure is completely backwards!

I would be lying if I said this past week wasn't challenging. Every week seems to bring some unexpected challenges. Tuesday, however, everything seemed to turn around for the better. I received a couple dear elders that day that said exactly what I needed to hear. The day got even better when I went to Tuesday night devotional. (I dunno how I'm going to survive without these in the field, they are the best part of the week!) Stanley D. Ellis came and spoke to us. The strange thing was that himself personally only spoke to us for about 10 minutes. He had 8 of  9 of his kids there (the 9th one is currently serving a mission in Korea! whoot whoot!) ALL of his Children have served missions and he had each of them bear their testimony on missionary work and share some advice. It was such an incredible devotional! He read a letter from his daughter in Korea who has been their 9 months and has had no baptisms but talked about how there is no where else she would rather be. Several of his kids talked about the jealousy they felt that we get to the privilege of serving the Lord at this time. This is the only time I can full-heartedly devote my life to the Savior! This is the greatest thing I could be doing right now. One of his children talked about expectations. Oh how my expectations of missionary work are so very wrong! He said, "Do we value what comes, or do we look for another?". "Blessed is he or she that is offended but is immersed in the work anyway". I love this. Missionary work is hard but all we can do is take what we have got and make the best out of it! ATTITUDE truly is EVERYTHING. Another Big topic of the night was Obedience. EXACT OBEDIENCE. I have been trying really hard while I have been here to be exactly obedient but one thing I had struggled with was the 10:30 bedtime. We would have lights out but often times I would be stressed out about the next day so I would study Korean for a little longer or worry about our lesson plans. After Tuesday Night devotional I recommitted myself to being exactly obedient which included being IN BED trying to fall asleep at 10:30. Tuesday night I DID IT and Wednesday... I saw a MIRACLE. EXACT OBEDIENCE BRING MIRACLES. People say it all the time but I didn't really understand it or believe it until it happened to me. Yesterday was incredible! I got to host for my 3rd and last time which was just as fun as always! I hosted one really sweet girl from Guatemala who barely spoke ANY English so it was challenging trying to communicate with her but she was so happy to be here and to be a missionary! It was a tender mercy to be able to host this sweet sister who would soon be learning English so that she can serve her mission in California. Anyways... the MIRACLE of the day happened after hosting. Sister Dayley and I had 10 minutes to prepare a lesson for our teacher Lee Ja Mae Nim. We were stuck when we were preparing and didn't really know what direction to go and before we knew it, our time was up. We said a prayer before going in that we would have the spirit with us to help us. Being completely honest... Our Korean was a struggle. We struggled forming even basic sentences. We weren't sure where to go next with our lesson when the spirit suddenly prompted us to ask her about her mission and what she taught her investigators about the Doctrine of Christ. She responded slowly. There was a lot of silence but it wasn't awkward silence. It was the kind of silence that felt good. We knew the spirit was there. I felt prompted to ask her if she would share an experience with us. (Sister Lee grew up in Korea but served her mission in California, spanish speaking and now she is going to school at BYU and is an incredible Korean teacher here at the MTC. One of the only sister teachers and we love her so much!) She shared the sweetest experience with us and there wasn't a dry eye in the room. Although we couldn't understand her story completely, we could feel of her sweet spirit. We bore our testimonies to her. THE SPIRIT WAS SO STRONG. We finished with a prayer and then she was supposed to give us feedback. She started to tear up again and asked us why we asked her the questions that we did. We explained that we felt prompted to. She told us that she knew we were inspired to ask those questions. She told us to never worry about our Korean but to ALWAYS focus on the spirit like we did in that lesson. If we do this, our investigators will KNOW WITHOUT A DOUBT that our message is true. She said if we were to teach every lesson like we taught that one that we will change so many lives. It was a real confidence booster for me and sister Dayley and an experience I will never forget. It was a true Miracle. Moments like these make every challenge of missionary work worth it. The experiences I am having here in the MTC are REAL. Everyone, even our teachers, are struggling with things that we as missionaries can help. I have never been so excited to be a missionary.
I love you all SO much. 

Sister Hurley

Awkward Moments

  • That awkward moment when you show up to gym wearing the EXACT same thing as an elder in your district. Shorts form the bookstore, and the Korea Mission Shirt... haha
  • That awkward moment when a native Korean comes in and talks to us in Korean and we realize how little Korean we actually know because our teachers are white and speak really slowly and clearly to us.
  • That awkward moment when you talk about bath houses for 45 minutes of class and realize you will sometimes have to teach the gospel nude to a bunch of Korean women. So that will be an adventure to say the least...
  • That awkward moment when you break a glass in the lunchroom. and then people stare. a couple missionaries even clapped for me.  

This is the district that just left to Korea!

Working hard in class... or hardly working?

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