Sunday, December 28, 2014

When you pray to have your eyes opened..

First of all, can I tell you how happy I was to be able to skype you all this past week? ahh it was the best and fastest 1:30 minutes of my life! Sadly Jett seemed so scared of me but hopefully that will change real quick once I come home. I hope you all had a really great Christmas! I know that I did! It was definitely one I will remember forever.

This week Sister Lee and I prayed to have our eyes opened and Heavenly Father answered our prayers. We had the most incredible experiences and saw so many MIRACLES!

I wish I had time to explain everything in great detail... but well... I don't.. ha so I will do my best

Monday: After emailing all of you I was sitting waiting for the other missionaries to finish when a lady came up to me and started talking to me in Korean. (this is pretty rare because most people don't assume I speak Korean.. I always have to start the conversation) But this lady was interested in why I was in Korea so I was able to bear a simple testimony to her of Jesus Christ and give her a card that had the "He is the Gift" QR code on it.

Tuesday: The Mission Christmas Party! sooo fun! I was feeling grateful that I have such great friends that have become my family here in the mission.

Wednesday: We met a lady on the street and was able to give her a Book of Mormon and teach her a lesson. Also on the bus ride home our bus drived happened to be a less-active member (not "happened"... it was a miracle) He let us go on for free because he loves the missionaries. we were able to get to know him a little better and share a little message with him.

Thursday: The miracle of the day was that I was able to talk to my incredible family and that I didn't cry. This was a miracle itself. :) I love you family<3 Oh and at our Christmas party a member brought her friend who wants to start meeting the missionaries each week! #newinvestiagtorrrr yay.

Friday: As I served food to the elderly people I couldn't help but feel completely grateful for my life. So many of these people look homeless. Some appear starving the way they sneak food into their bags and always come back begging for more. I can't even imagine a life like that. It is such a priveledge and a blessing to be able to serve these people here in Korea. More of a priveledge than a sacrifice.

On Friday as we were going out to proselyte, Sister Lee and I prayed that we could find a new investigator.... This night was full of miracles as we met several people who want to meet us this coming week. we found many potential investigators! I know this was because we prayed with Faith. The elders called us this day and told us that a new girl will be coming to english class on Saturday because she saw our free english class poster.

Saturday: Another day full of miracles. As we were buying a couple things at a gas station the owner of the store was staring at my name badge so I told him that we were missionaries for the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He told us that he sees the elders at the gas station all the time. He continued to check out our items and give them to us but as we were leaving I felt a strong impression that I needed to go back and talk to him again. I immediately went back to the counter and told him that we were sharing a special message about Jesus Christ. My companion stepped in and pulled out a Book of Mormon asking him if he has seen one before. 30 minutes later we finished a lesson and committed him to read the Book of Mormon. He told us to come over whenever to talk more about our message. It was awesome. I'm so happy that I followed the prompting that I received from the spirit. We were also able to watch "He is the gift" video with him<3

The second miracle of the day was when we went to English class and met the girl that the elders had told us of the day before. We asked her if we could share a short message with her after class and she agreed. By the end of our lesson she was praying for us<3 I love missionary work!

Sunday: we met with 한미숙 (Sister hanmisuk) and her two 9 year old daughters who we are doing the family english program with. Right now they are our only progressing investigators. Momma I brought those stockings that you sent me that say "God loved us so he sent his son" we stuffed them with snacks and candy and gave them to the girls and the loved it so much. The Miracle was when we started the spiritual message and the husband came in really quick and said,"hey, before you leave, can you give me a Book of Mormon?" I think every missionary would love to hear those words come out of anyone's mouth. We tried to contain our excitement and invited him to join us for the lesson. As we taught we were able to answer several of His questions about the Book of Mormon and how it is different than the Bible. I shared Moroni's promise with him and testified that I know this promise is real.

As you can see God truly helped us to see Miracles this last week. I know that if we pray to have our eyes opened, He will help us open them. I know that this is God's work and not our work and that we must align our will with his in order to be successful.

I want to end with my simple testimony of my Savior Jesus Christ. I know that through His atoning sacrifice, His teachings, Hope, Peace, and Example, He can help us change our lives, face our trials and move forward with faith as we journey back to Him and our Father. I have seen how my life has completely change as I allow Him into my life. As I allow him to change me into a better person each and everyday. I'm grateful everyday that I can rely on Him to strengthen me and I'm grateful that I can teach others about him so that they can experience the same joy that I felt when I allowed him into my life.

Love you love you love you!

Sister Hurley


The recent convert we have been teaching! and our elders in Sacheon!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Skype Sesh

We finally got to talk to Courtney on Christmas! Well it was Christmas Eve for us but Christmas for her.  She is doing so good! It was so great to Skype her and see her beautiful face! Isn't she pretty?!!  The whole family got to be there and I could tell Courtney was excited to see that we haven't changed too much!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Merry Christmas!

In honor of Christmas, your scripture for the week is Helaman 14:2-8

This Christmas Season I can't help but be grateful. Grateful I have the greatest family and friends in the world and grateful that I can be a missionary at this time especially here in Korea serving these incredible people that I love so much!

I'm so excited to see all your beautiful faces in a couple days! You on the other hand, are probably mostly excited to see how awkward and weird I have gotten:) Lucky you!

This upcoming week is full of PARTIES for me! tomorrow we have a mission party for all the missionaries which should be really fun! on Wednesday we have our jinju ward Christmas party and on Thursday we have our Sacheon branch Christmas party so this should be a fun week!

This last week has been a really great week for My new companion Sister Lee and me! Sister Lee is so incredible at missionary work and although it is her last transfer with me she is determined to work hard until the end so I am super happy:) She has already taught me so much about not only how to do missionary work well but how to do missionary work smart. I can see that she has worked really hard on her mission!

To be honest, Christmas in Korea is a lot different than it is in the states. The Korean missionaries don't skype their families like the Americans do on Christmas because there are other holidays that are bigger.

This year the missionaries in my area created a board that said "Why do you celebrate Christmas?" on the board we wrote things like family, friends, love, decorations, presents, and Christ's Birth. we had people put a sticker on the picture of the reason why they celebrate Christmas. We used this board as a way to start conversations with people and to share our message of Christ. Sadly only a few people put Christ's birth as the reason they celebrate Christmas but we were able to share our message of Christ with many of them!

Although it's challenging each day to find people interest in our message, I will continue to do my best because I know without a doubt in my mind that Christ is our Savior and I know that the only way to find true peace and happiness in this life and in eternal life to come is by following His Gospel! I'm Grateful to be a missionary here where it is the most challenging thing I have yet to do in my life yet it is the most important work in the world. I love you all so much and hope you have an incredible Christmas!!<3

Love Sister Courtney Hurley

Korean fun fact:

In Korea, I am actually 20 years old right now and at the new year I will be 21! When Koreans are born they are 1 years old and on new years they become 1 year older! So sometimes I forget that I am actually 19 because everyday I have to tell people I am 20! and soon to be 21!

Monday, December 15, 2014

6 Months!

This last week I hit my 6th month mark and I can't believe it. Time is going way too fast! I can hardly believe it is almost Christmas! This last transfer absolutely flew by. We received the transfer call last thursday and learned that I would be staying in Jinju but Sister Kang would be leaving to go to Bangeojin (my first area that I love so much)! Honestly this was a really sad transfer call to receive. Sister Kang and I have become really close so it was a really sad goodbye! Despite the language barrier, we always found ways to serve each other and we became really good friends! My new companion is Sister 이명희 (Sister Lee to make it easy for those who don't read Korean... haha) So yes my new companion is another Korean!:)  Sister Lee went to BYU idaho for a couple years before her mission so she can speak english really well! She will spend her last transfer with me before she goes home. She is from Seoul and is the oldest of 5 kids. When she received the transfer call to come to Jinju it was really hard for her because she was in the middle of training someone, it was her last transfer, and she really loved her area so it came as a complete shock to her. She was 100% certain that she would stay because they almost never make trainers stop training in the middle so it was strange. I have a goal to make this the best last transfer for her because I know that would be a really tough situation!

This last week we had to drop an investigator. It was the first time I have had to do that and it wasn't easy but I know that it felt right and that it needed to happen. She has met the missionary for years now and is still not progressing. Her heart is so closed to religion and I truly think she is just using us to help her learn English... so it needed to happen. BUT.... on a happy note, the same day we dropped her, Sister Kang and I found the most miracle family ever! A family of four with 2 daughters. We are doing the family english program with them, but the parents are really curious about our religion! Our first meeting they were asking all sorts of really good questions. We will be meeting them 2 times a week now so that will be really great!
I don't have a lot of time to write today because it was transfer day and we had to travel to headquarters to have a big meeting but I hope you are all having a really great Christmast Season! If you haven't watched the video "He is the gift" on yet, go watch it! We have been passing out Christmas cards to everyone with that QR code on it. Because Christ is the greatest gift this Christmas season, I encourage everyone to think of something they can give to him too! My family does this every year and I have truly come to love it. Whether it is finding someone to serve everyday or working on being more patient. There is always more we can do, more people we can love to show Christ that we love him. I love you all so much!
Sister Hurley

Awkward Moment (Hey it's Whitney, I wanted to add this awkward moment that Courtney sent me that I thought was hilarious. She prob didn't want it on her blog but oh well :))

that awkward moment when the elders investigator says "In korea, your face makes everyone else's look ugly" hahahaha I died laughing. ahhh I love being in Korea Whit.

Monday, December 8, 2014


This morning while I was in the bedroom I heard a scream from the kitchen. I was a little concerned until I hear the words (noon wahyo!) 눈와요! Which in Korean means It's snowing! I was surprised and embarrassed at how excited i got. You would have thought I was 5 years old and seeing snow for the first time. But you know they say the happiest people find joy in the little things right? Is that what they say? not sure. haha but today will be a great day because there is snow! Something that is not very common in Jinju! I decided yesterday that I wanted to take more time to write a good letter for you all since I always seem to run out of time so we will see how this goes:) I will go through the highlights of last week!

We had Family Home Evening and we went bowling! I had the spiritual message and I decided to talk about President Monson's talk love is the essence of the gospel. I talked about how we can't truly love God if we don't love our fellow travelers as well! The Miracle of the evening was walking home from the bowling alley talking to a member in our ward and feeling like I could actually held a conversation with someone in Korean rather than being that awkward person who sits listening and
not being able to respond. It's the little progress I notice each day that gives me some hope:)

We had 3 lessons! I'm not sure what other missions are like but this is a lot for one day in Korea so we were beyond excited:) I will tell you a little about the people we are teaching! 윤성민: sister yunsoengmin. An investigator we have in jjinju. She has met the missionaries on and off for about 3 years or so by now because she loves the family English program that we do. Right now she is not
progressing and she hasn't been for a while so we really feel that she needs to be dropped:( because we think she is using the missionaries to learn English for free. So this week when we meet on Thursday I plan to give her my final testimony and poor my heart out to her before we drop her. I never thought about having to drop an investigator... normally they drop us. haha I know that she feels the spirit in our lessons. especially when we watched the restoration film with her but she doesn't seem to care to find out for herself whether our message is true. She first needs the desire to know truth... like it says in alma 32. Without that initial desire... we can't progress and our faith can't grow!

장윤정: sister jangyunjeoung our super awesome recent convert in sacheoen! She was baptized back in July but we continue to meet weekly with her. We just finished teaching her all the lessons again and we are preparing her to be able to go to the temple! I feel so comfortable around her and I can really see Christ light shining through her.

Sister hong and jeoung: 2 investigators we have that are students at our branch presidents academy. In Korea, the students always go to school and then go to academy after school! They are usually there
until 8 sometime 9 at night! super crazy! But anyway... our branch president is super awesome and he said "all my students are your potential investigators" haha so each week we go to his academy and
build relationships of trust with his students and sister hong and sister jeoung we teach them a lesson each week! It's always fun teaching students because we can relate to them really well! right now only sister hong is progressing because sister jeoungs family is not religious at all so we are still working to help her believe in God.

I was feeling grateful so I started a gratitude journal. something I never thought I would actually do because it always sounded a little cheezy but I have been surprised at how much my attitude about so many things has changed. I truly am trying to make each day of my mission the best day it can be. Wednesday was also great because I got a Christmas package from my incredible family <3 ahh I was so happy when I saw the blow up Christmas tree haha. we blew it up and put presents under it. seriously so fun. Thank you! also I got even more happy when I saw the ensign! love it so much and I never leave home without it. THANK YOU!<3 Wednesday we were also able to have lunch with a less active who said he wants to attend church!

Another day I was feeling especially grateful to my Heavenly Father and my Savior Jesus Christ. Grateful that I can be a missionary at this time. To be able to shout praises to my Savior every single day. I Know He lives. How special it is to be a missionary around the time we celebrate his birth. The miracle of the day on Thursday was as we were leaving our apartment we saw a member in our ward (about age 18) She saw us and ran up to us hugging us and crying. All sorts of things were happening in her life and she was having a really rough time. I know that God put her in our path so that we could help and comfort her.

Another day with 3 appointments! Sister 황수정: hwangsujeoung is a less active we have been working with each week. We were able to meet her sons this last week and talk to them about the Book of Mormon.

Sister jeoungahrim: a 19 year old student and our investigator! Her mother is less active but we have been meeting their whole family together each week and doing the family English program with them.

Saturday: The absolute best day of the week the the biggest miracle! WE HAVE A NEW INVESTIGATOR and she is incredible. She was originally found in Busan but she lives in our area so we are able to teach her! During our lesson with her on Saturday she explained to us that she loves reading the Bible. She also asked US if she could come to church with us on Sunday. When I shared the scripture Alma 32:21 with her she absolutely loved it! She really loves the scriptures. She is so happy and loves talking to us so I'm excited to see where this goes! We will be meeting her weekly now. Also on Saturday the missionaries threw together a winter party for the branch in sacheon. we played games and ate delicious food (spaghetti and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches..
what did you expect? we are poor missionaries...haha) but it turned out really well and 3 investigators were able to come!

Fast Sunday. I have noticed it is 5x harder to speak and understand Korean when I don't have food in me so fast Sundays are always a little struggle. But this only means I will never complain about fasting after the mission. If you can get through fast Sunday as a can probably do anything. also, Sunday night, after planning, I gave my companion a haircut! yeah what? haha I guess I'm following in your footsteps momma and Whit. :) It turned out pretty good...i think. It was fun nonetheless and she liked it:)

Sadly this week on Thursday we will receive the transfer call telling us if we have a new companion or if we are leaving the area. Sister Kang wants to stay companions but normally they don't keep the follow up trainer with the follow up trainee together for more than one transfer so we wall have to wait and see. This transfer has flown by! I have really loved being companions with Sister Kang. The language barrier has been a little rough but I know I have learned so much korean because of it<3 I have learned so many other things from her as well that are a little hard to put into words.

I'm going to leave with some funny/awkward/embarrassing moments.. well because that is my life.

*That awkward moment when you accidentally ask your companion how much her boyfriend is when trying to ask her how many boyfriends she has...hmm at least we both got a good laugh out of that.:)

*That awkward moment when I tell our recent convert I want to major in math education and then she gives me some math problems that she is doing for her homework that I can't solve...I have forgotten how to do certain kinds of math! maybe I should reconsider my major... haha

*That embarrassing moment when at the winter party, a member (age 18) brings her best friend and I ask her her name but I can't seem to pronounce it right so I say I will try and write it (because we were right next to a white board) but I failed to notice I was using red marker which is a big no no in Korea. If you right someones name in red it means you wish death on that person... ahhh. I completely forgot. luckily my companion stopped me in the middle and they all just laughed. Also,  because I'm foreigner, they didn't think much of it... phewwww.

I hope you all have a really great week! Try to find someone to serve every single day!

Love you all so much! I'm blessed beyond measure to have the greatest family and friends in the world!

Love Sister Hurley

I always try and take picture with my companion because she is so pretty but she won't let me!


made a goal to get 150 and got 163. This is why making goals is important. haha:)

YAY we got a picture together.

Playing the pop everyone else's balloon game at the Winter party!

The hair I cut!



I think our primary president is going to use them for the upcoming Christmas party!
She was so excited when she saw them!

Our Christmas tree<3 soo fun!
If Sister Kang leaves me next transfer she will only be here
for the first 4 gifts so we only put the 4 out.
We had so much fun blowing up the tree together. haha.

What Koreans do at parties. ping pong. my kind of sport. Another reason I love Korea.

I finally bought a new bag. I'm kinda in love with in.
It has AUSTRALIA on it! and KOREA<3

Hey this is the com (perssiman) that I was talking about that we prune for our service activity!
The orange stuff! honestly I'm not the biggest fan of it.. but I eat it anyway to be nice.

The dog of the lady we do the service activity for! He reminds me of Max!

Guess what this picture is? This is our church! yep.
The second floor of this building! If you look really closely on the
right side of the building there is a sign that goes from top to bottom saying
"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" well in Korean of course...
so you might not find it. This is our church in Sacheon where we only have about 15 members!

Korean money!

My area!

The Korean People. ahh I love the Korean people.

My area too. sooo blessed. sooo pretty!

Monday, December 1, 2014

December is here

Well Family,
I'm excited to inform you that now I've almost converted all of South Korea so they may be opening up a mission in North Korea sooner than expected! YAY<3 okay im kidding. in fact we may only have one progressing investigator at the moment but we are working our little hearts out to find more people to teach. Some Exciting activities this week included: picking red bean pods off of trees for our service activity. I know I didn't grow up on a farm, but secretly I maybe could have, haha I love
it:) I love being out in the nature trying to communicate with old Korean women who I can't understand but I continue to smile and try to communicate.

This week I had the opportunity of teaching an Islamic man Korean during our English class which was also exciting!

This week we picked up a few more potential investigators who we will be able to meet this week so I am excited!

Fun fact about the Korea Busan Mission:

Our mission has a special text with a special code that all the missionaries receive if North Korea invades.

This week I met a woman on the bus whose religion believes the Korea is the center of the Earth and is the most dominate country. so that was exciting.

Love Sister Hurley

Next week I will tell you a little more about the people we are teaching!

Thought I(Whitney) would add Sister Hurley's response when her mama asked her what she eats :)

We eat ramen a lot because it is cheap. today for breakfast I had dried squid though so that was tasty. I actually do really like it. Maybe I will send you guys some haha. for lunch and dinner we usually have kimchee and rice. They eat rice sooooooooo much here. like a lot a lot. We actually kinda eat out a lot because with our area being so big we usally aren't home for dinner time. There is something called kimbob which is kinda like sushi that is super cheap here and they sell it everywhere so I eat that a lot and it is super good! mostly I eat a lot of really weird things that I never ate before coming to Korea but that are actually pretty good now:) I'm starting to really like korean food a lot. But every time I say that I'm forced to eat something new that I don't really like sooo we'll see :)

We eat with the members probably about 3-4 times a week so pretty
often! The members really take care of the missionaries here and are
always making sure we are stalked with rice and kimchee haha.