Monday, October 27, 2014

1 Week Left as a Trainee

What! These last 3 months have flown by and it's hard to believe in 1 week I will be considered a real missionary... well with a follow up trainer... haha. But I am so excited to see what the future holds! I will find out who my new companion is and whether I am staying in Bangeojin or not this Thursday! So crazy!

Not gonna lie, this last week was rough. But it was only rough because a lot of the time we weren't doing actual missionary work (and by this I mean we didn't have a lot of time to teach people)! ahh I love missionary work so not doing it... well it's when times are rough haha. This last week we had zone conference which took up almost an entire day! It was really really good. I was reminded how important and vital the spirit is to have when we teach as missionaries. Without the spirit, we truly cannot teach. I know this is true with all my heart. The spirit NEEDS to be present in order for our investigators to truly be converted. Also, This last week us missionaries here in the Bangeojin branch had to do all the preparation for the Halloween party! We were put in charge of building a haunted house. yeah what? haha I had no Idea missionaries did things like that.... only in Korea I guess. Also we were in charge of figuring out all the games to play and making them so we made a bean bag toss game out of card board and a jeopardy game for our Halloween English class that we had. We had to plan and work on all this for about 2 1/2 days! I just had to keep reminding myself that it was all going to be worth it because we were inviting everyone to the Halloween party! Well... Saturday came... and Miracles happened at the Halloween party! One of the Sister Kims we are teaching... the one with the English club who we sorta had to drop... because we couldn't teach lessons.. I'm pretty sure I wrote about that... ANYWAYS... She came to the party! with her husband and her two kids! and they all speak English really well so I was able to help them all night while Sister Bonney helped with the other games. I taught them how to carve a pumpkin haha it was really fun actually. And then while their kids were running around in the church going through the haunted house (which was in the basement of the church...) and playing all the games, I was able to bring up the gospel with Sister Kim and her husband! supposedly Her husband met the missionaries 20 years ago and they gave him a Book of Mormon and he read the whole thing in one day because he loves history! soooo crazy! He actually remembered quite a lot about our church. and he had so many questions. This led into Me grabbing Sister Bonney and the four of us going into a room and having a lesson! During the crazyness of the Halloween party we snuck away and taught a lesson. It was incredible. We were able to give Sister kim a book of Mormon and her husband really wants her to read it. We plan to meet them again this week! All the Halloween prep became worth it because of that moment right there. 

This last week I also gave a talk in church. The Branch president said I could speak on anything so I decided to speak on charity... something I believe to be one of the most important things in life. I read Moroni 7: 48 and talked about how we can't develop charity alone.. we MUST pray for charity. I believe this is true with all my heart because I have tried it. We must pray for charity every day! 

Anyway! I love you all so much! Oh we had another Mandatory mission pday today where we ran another 5k. My mission president and his wife are super fit and they love working out! It's always fun to get together and see the other missionaries!

Love you all! 
Sister Hurley

Awkward moments:

That awkward moment when I think I am speaking second in church because that is how they announced it and that is what the program says but supposedly the first speaker forgot he was speaking so while I was praying that I could speak with the spirit everyone is staring at me and my companion nudges me and all of a sudden I went up and spoke... haha. hopefully people didn't think I was sleeping!

We made these for the Halloween party!
Mom, we used the banner you sent!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Things that really matter..

This last week is one I hope to remember for the rest of my life. I was reminded of the things that matter most. There is no way I can put into words all that I have been coming to understand but I will do my best.

Monday: for PDAY we went Bowling and played Ping Pong! Yes those are two of my favorite things and I got to do them both in one day! This may be the real reason I got called to Korea. hehe:) only joking. 

Tuesday: The District leader called us and gave us our assignments for District meeting and told me and I would be giving a talk on hope. While studying, an added light came into my life. I came to understand that hope is truly the source of all happiness. Hope is having confidence that thing will work together for your Good even when times are tough. It is trusting God. Trusting him so much and never losing faith in his perfect plan for you. Trusting that all trials in this life are here to strengthen and help us in the long run. The deep talks began. Sister Bonney and I began to talk about the things that really matter in life. We came to understand that everything in life...every fear, discouragement, and weakness can be healed if we focus on the things that matter. I was reminded why I am here.

Wednesday: DISTRICT MEETING! Everyone gave a talk about one of the Christlike attributes. We talked about who we are as missionaries is just as important as what we do. We talked about letting go of how we expected or wanted our missions to go and allow God to shape our missions because this is HIS work and we are simply tools to bring it to pass. This past week as Sister Bonney and I have been able to work together to truly focus on what really matters we have been able to be more unified and more in tune with the spirit. I have felt so close to My Heavenly Father  as I have been working to align my will with his will. 

Thursday: Miracle after Miracle occurred this day. We had 2 investigators call US and make appointments with us, we were able to find someone and teach a lesson on the street, we received a contact, had an investigator show up to our church while we were there and we were able to teach her the plan of salvation. we were also able to visit our recent convert Sister Kim and teach her a lesson with her kids<3

So What matters most in the life you may ask? What really matters? Well... I came to the conclusion that there are 2 main things that matter most. 1. Trusting in God 2. Charity 
If we truly love God, then we will love his children. In order to live with God again, we must develop Charity. When we truly come to understand and TRUST that God has a plan for all of his children then we will be able to see others as God sees them. 

Funny moments:
Sometimes we make children cry just by saying annyeoung (hello) because we are american and they aren't used to people that look different from them... woops. 

I love you all so much! I hope this week we will all be able to focus on the things that really matter!<3


Sister Courtney Hurley
Bowling for pday! thee best. also played ping pong that day.
The real reason I got called to Korea.hehe. i'm kidding..sorta.
.김정자 자매님 One of the sweetest members of my branch. Half the time I can't understand her..
but I love her so much! In this picture we are trying to make a heart. haha.
Korea in a box. EVERYONE lives in an apartment.
Apartments are considered nicer than most houses here.
One out of four dogs of the man who wants to buy us shoes and gives us
free snacks every week.
sooo pretty

I LOVE KOREA! Have i mentioned that recently?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

4 Months..Say What???

Another week in Korea as a missionary is a another week well spent! It is crazy to believe I have been on my mission for 4 months now. I feel as though I was born in Korea and have lived here my whole life yet at the same time, I feel time is flying. I'm am continuing to have experiences that will impact my life forever. As one of my MTC friends put it, "This is the Hardest thing I have ever loved". How true is this statement! Missionary work is tough. Korean is tough. But Each day bring miracles that are indescribable. Well I'm going to attempt to explain a little why this week was so good!

Monday: I'm not sure if I have mentioned this before but my area is on a peninsula which means we are surrounded by the ocean<3 (I know...I'm spoiled) There is a certain beach called 대왕암 (daywangam) where we usually go at least once a week to street contact because there are usually a lot of people around there! But, Last Monday for P-day, we went on thee prettiest hike around there! You don't have to believe my words...I sent pictures! We met up with the other missionaries in our district and had a district P-day! super fun! Later that night we had a lesson with the Elders. Every Monday night (for the last 3 weeks) at 6:00, we teach a lesson to 3 employees at a nearby hospital. They are interested in English so we do something called the family English Program where we teach them English for 30 minutes and then teach the gospel for 30 minutes. Last Monday we were able to teach them the Restoration and it went really well. It has been fun to see that as my ability to communicate increases, I have been able to feel the spirit testify through me stronger.

Tuesday: We had interviews with our Mission President! He always knows what to say. He told me exactly what I needed to hear. Also, quick story time: About a month ago, Sister Bonney and I met a lady on the street who asked us if we would like to join her English club. She told us it is once a week and that we would be able to talk about our church so of course we jumped to this opportunity! However, after meeting with her for a couple weeks we found that no one in her club was interested in hearing our message. They all come from different religious backgrounds. We told them in order to continue meeting we needed to share a message about our church. The head lady of the club said "I don't think this is going to work" We were devastated! BUT!! then a miracle happened. A few hours after our appointment with the English club, The Head English lady texted us and thanked us for meeting her and that she would love to meet separately sometime to talk more about religion.<3

Wednesday: No appointments so we made invitations for general conferenct and passed them out to ward members, less actives, and investigators. While we were out and about we ran into our recent convert sister kim<3 She invited us over for lunch. Sister Kim has been doing so incredible since her baptism. She has an added light to her and she seems so much happier!

Thursday: I don't really remember so probably nothing too exciting...haha

Friday: SISTER BONNEY's BIRTHDAY!<3 Ended up going to dinner with our Elders and the sisters in our district because that night we also had exchanges! We went to a place called Burger Mugger which is like America in a box. The best burgers in Korea! surprisingly I have eaten a lot of Burgers in Korea because apparently Koreans think all americans eat is hamburgers so they always feed us them! I think I have eaten more burgers here than in America haha. Sister Bonnie was able to go on vacation and leave the area for exchanges on her birthday. We call it vacation because all you have to do is what the leader of the area tells you to do. I was able to stay in our area and be on an exchange with Sister Koo! There are always so many things we can learn from exchanges. Sister Koo is a convert and the only member in her family. I am truly surrounded by such incredible missionaries! We talked a lot about what makes a missionary successful.


I got to be consumed with the spirit as I watched GENERAL CONFERENCE! anddd I got to watch it in ENGLISH (which is a blessing in itself...Sister Bonney had to watch april conference all in Korean! I can't even imagine how hard that would be...) We had one investigator come to conference which brings us to the story of Stacy. Stacy is AUSTRALIAN. We met stacy about a month ago. She approached us on the street because she was curious as to why we were in Korea. She told us that she has taught english here for 3 years! We explained why we were here, gave her our number, but she never called... However...a week and a half ago we saw her on the street again!! We invited her to attend church with us the next day and SHE CAME! As a foreigner in Korea it is a little more difficult to join the church because all the members are Korean but Sister Bonney was able to translate sacrament meeting for her! Then... Thurday we invited her to General Conference and she came! Miracle! Picture 6 foreigner missionaries watching conference downstairs in English with one investigator. haha. Anyway we have our first real lesson with her this week where we will teach the restoration... IN ENGLISH. what? yeah weird haha. I'm so excited!

I recently learned the word for Cat in Korean which is (go-yang-ee) and the word for hometown is (go-hyang-ee) with the subject marker so I may or may not have though someone was asking me where my cat was rather than where my hometown was...

While we were street contacting this week we ran into a man from idaho who is a member of the church! He went and bought us all snickers which was theeee best:)

ANYWAY I love you all so much and I am sooo grateful that I get to spend eternity with you<3 That is why I am here. I have been blessed beyond measure because of the message of the restoration. How blessed I am to be able to share that with the people of Korea. Always remember that we are here to be proved and tested because God loves us so much! He wants us to enjoy all of his blessings!

<3 Sister Courtney Hurley


Sister Bonney and I!

Sister Kim's son

Sister Kim and her sons!
It was a really windy day!
Sister Hill and Sister Koo! We went on exchanges with them! They are so cute!

Soo pretty!

Broken umbrella anyone?

Super windy day today. My umbrella broke!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Miracles on Miracles

Well Everyone, things just keep looking up here in the beautiful area of Bangeojin! Life as a missionary in Korea is an adventure to say the least. This week I had the lovely opportunity of eating Octopus, pig intestine, and pig liver! The octopus wasn't that bad... just a weird texture... but the pig intestine was probably the worst thing I have tried in Korea yet. It didn't help that while I was eating it, the son of the members house we were at was explaining to me that it has the deep red color because it is made of blood. I was sure to thank him for that extra information haha. But other than eating strange food this week... THIS WEEK WAS INCREDIBLE.

I have been truly impressed by how much the Korean people are teaching ME while I have been here. The Korean people are truly so service oriented and full of so much love. I have noticed how naturally and willing they are to serve those around them. One example I saw this last week was while I was sitting on the bus. I observed while 3 Korean women ran onto the bus and swiped their cards. When the last lady swiped her card it beeped and informed her that she was out of funds. I watched while she dug through her purse looking for change while another women ran up to her and swiped her card for her. Just a small example but I was so impressed.
Another cool experience I had this last week was while Sister Bonney and I stopped at the mart to buy a couple snacks. a man came up to us insisting that he buy our snacks for us. We were so confused. As I was trying to give him money to pay him back he said "use it for someone else" He said "I am a bad person, and I appreciate the good work that you do" I think he was a little drunk.. but like I said before Even the drunk people in Korea are nice!
The man on the street with the many dogs who wants to buy us shoes gave us 2 huge boxes of cornflakes this week. The biggest box of cornflakes I have ever seen possibly.

I will share a quick miracle!
A few weeks ago the Elders were contacting when Elder Jackson got the impression to stay on the street. They were about to go to dinner but for some reason he really felt he needed to stay. A few moments later, a lady came up to him asking him if he still teaches english. Apparently 10 YEARS ago she went to our english class. Well Long story short, Sister Bonney and I are now teaching her. <3 She had the opportinuty of going to Sister Kims baptisms and while she was there she had the most incredible time and felt the spirit so strongly. She asked us if it was possible that she could be baptized also (probably the greatest thing any missionary wants to hear) We told her that we needed to meet with her a few times first and teach her more about our church and she sounded excited. We have now met with her twice and she is slowly progressing! She has been such a miracle!
There have been so many more miracles that I have seen while I have been here and I wish I could share more but I am out of time!
Quote of the week from my incredible trainer: "As long as we don't do anything stupid, God's will will turn out just fine"
P.S If you haven't watched the General Womens Conference... DO IT. It was incredible. plus there are cute little korean girls in hanboks (korean traditional dresses) singing I love to see the temple in front of the seoul temple so if that doesn't make you want to watch it... then I don't know what will<3 I love Koreans.
I love you all so much! Have the best week ever! Serve someone in need (so everyone)<3
Love Sister Hurley

Funny Moment 

Yesterday while we were updating our blog for our english class (yes we have a blog by the way... maybe I told you already) but we went on becasue we were going to put the restoration video in korean on the blog when the Sister training leaders in our district called us to see how we were doing. They asked us about the Elders in our Branch and if we had any concerns about working with them. At that exact moment Sister Bonney said, " AHH It's just the biggest temptation!!" hahaha I was soo confused until I realized she saw the General conference link on and she wanted to watch it so bad! (we have to watch general conference a week later because they need extra time in order to translate it into Korean) Anyway... just thought I would share! I thought she was saying that  working with the elders was just the biggest temptation but really she was just excited to watch general conference:)

Sister Kim (who was baptized last week), and her two adorable little boys, Joowon and Joobin

Friday, October 3, 2014

Sister Kim

The title of this email is a little ironic considering the fact that we are teaching 4 different sister Kim's right now. But the one I'm talking about is now the newest member in the bangeojin branch. Yes the baptism did still happen and it was one of the most incredible experiences of my mission! Although the week leading up to the baptismal service was so crazy and I know Satan was working harder than ever, the baptismal service turned out incredible. I wanted to take a minute to tell you a little more about this Sister Kim that I love so much<3

Sister Kim has come a really long way since she met the missionaries on the street back in April. Originally she was found because she was interested in our English program (most investigators in Korea usually come from member referrals or our english program) The missionaries at the time started the Kids English class because of her. Before I had even met her, she had been taught all 4 of the lessons but she didn't seem too interested. Over time, through several kids class spiritual messages, her heart was softened. She began to be very engaged in our lessons and almost always asked and answered questions. When we taught her more about the Book of Mormon in Kids class, she wanted to know if it was true but it was too difficult for her to understand (this is a very common concern with those we teach!) This is when we started reading and explaining passages with her. We explained to her that she didn't need to understand the Book of Mormon perfectly but just as long as she knew that it contained God't word. If you have read my last letters you would know that the first time we extended the baptismal commitment she said she needed more time but 11 DAYS letter we received a text from her that said she desired to be baptized this month. She has been such a miracle for me while I have been here. The spirit at her baptism was so strong. Another miracle was that 4 investigators came to her baptism! This past week was so special!

This last week we also gained a new investigator! A huge miracle from the Elders in our branch! I will tell you more about it next week because I am out of time! Always remember that this work is true! I love you all so much!

That awkward moment when you run into a bunch of Croatians on the street who were all super nice! unfortunately one asked how many wives he could have if he joined our church and when we said one, he told us he was disappointed. Apparently he was going to think about changing religions if it meant he could have more than one wife! He should have been born 200 years ago! haha  Oh the people we meet, such an adventure. 

Sister Hurley

Can you find Sister Hurley?