Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Metal Chopsticks are Hard

I've never really had a talent for writing so I apologize while I try to organize my thoughts... Well, I made it through a full week in the beautiful country of Korea! It has been a very busy and a very challenging week but we saw so many Miracles in each day.  We teach 4 English classes in my area each week. Tuesday night we have a Bible class, Thursday night we have an adult English class, Saturday we have a Kids English class in the Morning(my absolute favorite..Korean Kids are the cutest) and an Adult English class at night where we read conference talks together and discuss them. It's kind of refreshing to have English class and be able to speak the language that I understand! Speaking of Understanding, I am noticing that I understand a little bit better each day. A little progress is always better than no progress! I am still usually pretty lost in conversations. I can sometimes trace the main ideas but usually I'm just that awkward girl who sits there and everyone knows I can' understand but I seem to still laugh when everyone else does so I fit in and act like I understand. One thing that has been challenging here in my area is that the missionaries don't have any time for language study. Everyday we always have something of greater importance to fill the time so I usually drill my poor companion with questions throughout the day. Although I struggle with communicating vocally with the people of Korea because of the language barrier, This week I learned how I can show love and share the spirit without using many words. Actions go a long way.

If you didn't know, there are a lot of Buddhist here in Korea. Almost everyone I talk to seems to be Buddhist. They are really great people and are all SO NICE it just makes it a little more challenging to share our message because most people aren't interested in learning about Christ. But we will just keep trying and working as hard as we can! Right now we currently have 1 progressing investigator. We are teaching the mother of 2 of the kids that come to our English class. Being able to teach her and watch her progress has showed me the complete JOY that comes from watching people come unto Christ. It's a joy that completely fills the soul. That I had never felt before being a missionary.
Anyway...This week I learned a lot about charity. I have been praying for charity everyday since I have been here and I know that God is helping me so much. There is no other explanation as to the reason I love these people so much. Even the tons of people that reject me daily. I just feel so much love for them. Which brings me to my other point that I am learning. This week I really learned a lot about how God knows everyone personally. I talked about this a little bit while I was in the MTC how I came to understand how God truly knows me personally, I guess this week I came to understand that God knows EVERYONE personally. I was able to see people how God sees them. I was able to see that God Loves everyone perfectly. God is really working on me right now. He is teaching me things that I never knew I had to learn. He is shaping me into a better person each week which I am incredibly grateful for.
P.S Elder Scott D. Whiting came and spoke at our district conference! It was really neat! Also our investigator was able to make it which made it that much better!
Because I don't have many investigators right now, a lot of the work I do is with less actives, recent converts, and members. There is an incredible 16 year old girl in our branch who is the only active member of her family (the members here are seriously SO strong. There are so many part member families) Anyway she really wants to serve a mission but she doesn't know the gospel very well and it is hard for her to understand the scriptures so we have been able to teach her which has been so fun! She wants to learn English too so I have been helping her with that.
Anyway. This week was really good! Thank you for all your love and support! Sorry this letter is all over the place and that my English is terrible. Always remember that this work is SO TRUE.

Love Sister Hurley

Awkward Moments

  • When the owner of the restaurant brings me a fork because I am struggling so bad with my metal chopsticks. It was actually a super funny moment. My poor companion is probably so embarrassed sometimes by my lack of chopstick using abilities. (The noodles are the hardest to eat with metal chopsticks)
  • That awkward moment when I give the cashier 25$ instead of 6$ because I'm still trying to figure out how Korean money looks. I'm not doing a very good job at not looking like a foreigner apparently...I'll work on that.

Fun Facts About Korea

  • Names are extremely challenging for me to remember!
  • In most restaurants we eat sitting on the ground!
  • Buses are so crazy here! When they stop you pretty much have to run to them because they leave so quickly and then once you step in you have to grab on to something quick or else you will fall over. (not that I'm speaking from experience... but I am)

Monday, August 18, 2014

1st Week in Korea!

Where do I even start? SO MUCH has happened since last week. Life if so crazy here in Korea but everyday is such an adventure and I love it so much! My trainers name is Sister Sarah Bonney. She is the oldest of 13 KIDS. 13!! I know right? her dad works in the military so she has pretty much lived everywhere in the world. She lived in Africa for part of her life and her family adopted 2 kids from there. She has helped me sooo much already. I'm am full of so many questions but she has been so patient with me:) She works really hard and is super obedient which I love so much. My MTC companion sister Dayley got sent to Jehju which is the island that is a part of our mission which is so sweet! I heard they speak a whole different dialect over there though so I can't even imagine how challenging that would be! All the new missionaries went out and proselyted the 2ND DAY HERE. yeah. haha. I CANT UNDERSTAND ANYTHING ANYONE SAYS. DID THEY EVEN TEACH US KOREAN IN THE MTC?? In the MTC they only taught us how to speak in high form but everyone here speaks to us in middle form so it has been challenging trying to understand. So far I haven't taught any lessons yet, just proselyted.  On Saturday we taught two different english classes. We have a children's class and an adult class. After the children's class we share a spiritual message with all the mothers of the children. This week we had two mothers show up (one of which is our investigator right now).  My area is called bangeojin ( 방어진). It is right by the beach. There is one branch in our area and 2 elders that serve in the branch with us. (Elder Jackson and Elder Jang). Our branch consists of about  45-50 active members. My branch is SO INCREDIBLE. I am convinced that I have the best area. I love Korean people so much. The members here are so strong. A lot of the sisters in our branch have served missions. On Sunday I gave a talk in church in order to introduce myself tot he branch. before you act too impressed I will tell you word for word what I said:
I am sister Hurley
I am from Utah
On Wednesday I came to Korea
I don't speak Korean very well
I am grateful to be serving in 방어진
Because I have received many blessing through this gospel, I chose to serve a mission
And then I bore testimony.

The members were all so sweet complimenting my Korean. I just want to be able to communicate with them SO BADLY because they are all so incredible but I know that that will come with time.

Whitney asked some questions in her letter to me so I will answer:
WEATHER: Right now it is rainy season. But in Korea when it rains, it POURS. like if you even take one step outside without an umbrella, it's like a shower. not even exaggerating. It is so fun though:) Today a car drove past and hit a big puddle so me and sister Bonney felt like we were in one of those movies where the people on the side of the road get soaked by the cars driving by. It was awesome. haha and I'm not even kidding. I just started laughing so hard. 
MY HAIR?: I've kinda gave up on it and don't really do it anymore. It didn't change much coming to Korea. The only thing that changed was that the outlets are different and are hard to use with my curling iron so I usually just brush through my hair and call it good for the day.
FOOD: SOOO DIFFERENT. I didn't think I was a picky eater until I came here... haha They have some really good things but they also have a lot of really different things. They eat most their meat with a lot of the fat still on which I'm not much of a fan of... and a lot of their food is super spicy! not for the average Korean but for me... haha.  I'm still trying to make myself like kimchee but it hasn't worked yet. I'm sure one day I will.
Sleep: we sleep on these mats that are pretty much just like sleeping on the floor but I can pretty much sleep wherever so it hasn't been a problem. plus missionary work is so exhausting so we usually just crash at the end of the night.

Basically... I love Korea. I just need to learn Korean. It's a work in progress but I know I get a little bit better each day. I already want you all to come here and pick me up at the end of my mission so you can experience this beautiful country too!

This letter is super scattered.. I will send some pictures a little bit later. just know that I love you!

Love 헐리 자매

Awkward Moments 

That awkward moment when you give a talk in sacrament meeting and then the members of your branch all come up and talk to you after but you don't understand a word they are saying so you just smile and pray that your companion will come over soon.

Adventures in Houston TEXAS. Hotel Time.
This is where I sleep :)  Those mats roll out!
This is our bathroom and shower.  The shower head is in the corner.
This is my cute companion and I at a SUSHI BUFFET! I was in heaven..it was soooo good!

Squatter Toilet! My reaction when I saw it was priceless. HAHA oh my.

My companion plays the piano and sings! She has a solo in our upcoming Choir!
My new name tag. All in Korean!

1st shopping adventure. POWERADE and Melona Bars! I was so happy!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Safe Arrival Letter

We got this Safe Arrival letter from Courtney's Mission President and some pictures of when she first arrived in Korea.  It was so good to know that she made it safely.  We really appreciated the kind words and information from her Mission President.

With Mission President, Brother Barrow and his wife.

New Trainer/Companion Sister Sarah Bonney from La Plata, MD
Dear Brother and Sister Hurley,

Sister Hurley arrived in the Korea Busan Mission on 13 August 2014. Sister Barrow and I had the choice opportunity of greeting your daughter at the airport and welcoming her to Busan. Even after a lengthy flight, she is in good health and spirits and we look forward to serving with her. She is a fine young missionary and will be an asset to the mission. We have been anticipating her arrival and it was wonderful to finally meet her. We will care for her as we would for one of our own as she labors in the mission field. We understand the concerns, hopes and prayers of priesthood leaders and loved ones. We want each of the missionaries in the Korea Busan Mission to have a rich, growing and successful experience. Be assured that should a time of special concern arise, I will notify you immediately.

Enclosed are three photographs: (1) a group picture taken at the airport upon arrival; (2) a photograph of your daughter with Sister Barrow and me that was taken the day after she arrived; and (3) a photograph of your daughter with her first companion, Sister Sarah Faith Bonney, from La Plata, MD. Your daughter has a good attitude and a desire to serve the Lord. We spent two days together and had an opportunity to visit privately together in the Mission Home. We are grateful for her worthiness and for her willingness to serve, and we pray that the Lord will bless and strengthen your family through her service.

Missionary work in the Busan Mission is new and exciting, and our missionaries find great rewards in serving the Lord here. Sister Hurley will learn much about himself, our Savior Jesus Christ and His gospel as she serves with all her heart, might, mind and strength in the Lord's work. She will come to understand her role as a disciple of Christ. (3Ne. 5:13)

We thank you for your support and ask you to write regular encouraging letters and send faith promoting experiences to her. We know that as Sister Hurley works with all her heart, might, mind and strength she will have a most amazing missionary experience. We know you will experience the miracle that is missionary work through your daughter’s fine diligent efforts.

Packages from home are always welcome and most products will arrive safely and not incur any customs fees. We have also found that sending packages by international mail is generally preferable to using international courier services such as FedEx or DHL. Courier packages come to the street address of the mission home and there are times when no oneis available to sign for them.  Courier packages are also much more likely to be subjected to greater customs scrutiny, delay, storage fees, etc.  US International Priority Mail is fast and provides several fixed-price boxes that do not have specific weight restrictions.  We check with our post office every day, so if you use the post office box address below, your package will be picked up immediately and delivered quickly and safely:

Elder (First Name and Last Name)
Korea Busan Mission
Dongnae PO Box 73
South Korea


Kenneth S. Barrow
Korea Busan Mission President

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I made it to Korea!!

Hey family!

After a LONG couple of days of having our flight to Tokyo get canceled, spending a night in Texas, a 5 hour layover in Tokyo, I finally made it to Korea and I already love it so much!! My mission president just gave me a few minutes to email to let you all know that I am alive and doing well! We spent the night at the mission home last night (It is 10:25am) here and tonight we will stay there again just to get adjusted and everything. I should meet my trainer tomorrow which I am excited about! My mission president and his wife are SO SOO sweet and are taking really good care of us. I hope everyone is doing well. I love you all so much!

Love sister Hurley

p.s I am soooo happy I got to talk to you all when I called from the airport! It was thee greatest. <3

Friday, August 8, 2014

My District in the MTC

I thought it would be fun to send some pictures home of each companionship in my district in the MTC so I can always remember them!

Elder Hoyne and Elder Wright. They are both going to Busan!

Add Elder Lees and Elder Kunde!  They are going to Busan with us also!

These two pictured below have truly become Sister Dayley and My best friends while we have been here. They are both going to the Daejon mission! It will be a sad goodbye! They always keep us laughing

Elder Woods and Elder Murdoch

Elder Nybo and Elder Godfrey! Going to Daejeon!

Elder Tucker and Elder Christiansen! They are also going to the Daejeon mission!

Elder Godfrey and Elder Hoyne being funny

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Last Week in the MTC!

Woah. I can't believe the time has finally come for me to go to KOREA! I feel like I have lived here forever but at the same time I feel like I just got here. This past week was possibly the best week I have had here at the MTC.

Some highlights included:
*We had our first skype TRC. We were able to skype a Korean member who is living in Korea right now! It was really fun! We had a discussion about how we can better recognize God's answers to our prayers. Prayer is always one of my favorite things to talk about because I have such a strong testimony of it. Being here at the MTC I have never prayed so much in my life. When we are happy or when we are sad. I know God always wants to hear from us and that he is mindful of us and what we need. He is ALWAYS there to strengthen us. I have felt his love so greatly being here.

*Another highlight of Friday is that we got our FLIGHT PLANS!!!!!! I am flying to TEXAS, and then to JAPAN, and then to KOREA :) I'M GOING TO JAPAN. I have never been out of the country and now I am going to 2 in one day!:) I got quite lucky actually because there are 4 flights leaving the same day as me going to Korea with members of my zone it it and ours is the only one going to Japan. Matt I will be sure to say hi to your home away from home:) and Alisa, I will wave to you while I am in your country!:)

Sounds like you did some fun things on your anniversary!

*On Sunday we get some time to go on the computers and watch Mormon messages. There is a new one about God's light. GO WATCH IT. NOW. SERIOUSLY. It's incredible. 
*On Sundays temple walk I met Brother and Sister Gillbert who recently returned from being mission presidents in the Korea Busan Mission! (They are the one's with the picture in my call packet) They got me SO EXCITED FOR KOREA. They work at the MTC now which is super neat! They gave us the advice of just going and LOVING and SERVING the people and to not worry about the Language and they will love us and they will feel God's love for them. This was super comforting:)
*Sunday night devotional I saw my roommate Alex Spruill! Sooo fun to catch up:) She is going to Argentina!
*After Sunday night devotional we have the opportunity of watching different films. My companion and I chose to go to a Bednar talk titled Character of Christ. It was so incredible. We actually had gone to it our first Sunday here but I had forgotten a lot of things in it. It was the perfect talk to watch before heading to Korea. 
*On Tuesday we had another Devotional. It was about the blessings of the Temple. After the devotional we have a district review where we discuss what we learned and share experience. This was one of the most powerful and spiritual district reviews that we have had. My district has become my family away from family. There was not a dry eye in the room. Everyone shared experiences of how the Temple has blessed their lives. It made me reflect on how the Temple has incredibly blessed my life. I have such a strong Testimony that Temples are of God. I remember My first semester at BYU when Emily helped me get in the habit of attending the temple EVERY WEEK. It didn't matter if it was finals week or if we were super busy, we always found time. I also remember that that was a time in my life that I felt closer to Heavenly Father than ever before (besides now:)) The temple is where I was at when I knew without a doubt that I was to serve a mission. Even now when I attend the temple each week I receive guidance and answers to my prayers. I was also reminded of the incredible opportunity I had to go through the temple with my best friend and Sister Whitney:) What a great day that was for our family! Just saying. I got the best family award by a long shot.

WEDNESDAY: One of the rougher days here but there were so many tender mercies!
*I SAW KATIE!!!!! One of my best friends that I met at BYU second semester! She is going to Italy on her mission and she has truly changed my life for the better!

*My companion and I got invited to be the main missionaries for the new missionaries "People and your purpose" activity. For some reason we were both so nervous for this. There were about 40 missionaries (brand new to the mtc) who would watch us (hopefully) be a good example of how you are supposed to begin teaching an investigator. We were to knock on a door, introduce ourselves as missionaries and ask if they would like to hear a message or say that one of their friends referred them to us. And then were were to walk in (where the missionaries are all watching us) and get to know the investigator, somehow transition into religion.(Ya know, normal missionary stuff haha) But I think we were so nervous because we would be teaching in english and we were so used to only teaching in korean. While being here at the MTC, we try to speak Korean as much as possible and as much as we know so there are certain words programmed in my brain that it unnatural to go back to English. ANYWAYYY It actually turned out being really fun and I think we did alright. We had to practice saying yes and no to eachother over and over before going in so we wouldn't end up saying nay(yes) and aniyo(no). It was challenging haha but we did it.

I almost forgot to mention we have two native Korean Sisters here right now who are so incredible. I seriously love them oh so much! There names are Sister Lee and Sister Choi. Sadly they are both going to different missions than me but I have a feeling we will catch up after the mission because they are both going to be attending schools in the states! Saying goodbye to them will be tough because we have grown so close! I will be sure to take some pictures to send home:)

Anyway, next time I email I will be in KOREA. I am so excited to start this new adventure of my mission! I love you all so much and can feel your prayers strengthening me every day. 


Sister Hurley (Hurley Ja Mae)

Meeting Brother and Sister Gilbert!!
Being a Missionary can be Tiring!