Monday, May 25, 2015

Weekly email...

For all those who were wondering... THIS WEEK WAS A LOT BETTER THAN LAST WEEK. and only 1 appointment fell through! so this is what happened:

TUESDAY:
We had 2 appointments. One with Sister Kang and one with Sister Pang. I absolutely love teaching these investigators so much because they have so much desire to learn and are always really engaged in our discussions. But nontheless we are still working to help them strengthen their faith in God! We are teaching them both again today and I'm really excited to see how it goes. Between these two apointments Sister Broyles and I grabbed a bite to eat and I started asking her all sorts of questions to find out "Who the real sister Broyles is". and it was actually quite fun. I learned how really different we are! She grew up reading books, and listening to classical music, she loves art and writing, and she doesn't really stress about anything. And I grew up playing volleyball, listening to music with more of a beat, I love Math, and I pretty much stress about everything... so there are a few differences haha. But we talked about how our differences have really helped us to learn a lot more in the transfers we have had together than we would learn if we were really similar. I really have learned so much serving with her! This week is transfer calls and we are both kinda feeling like she is leaving....but we are hoping to stay one more! I'll let you know what happens next week!

WEDNESDAY:
woke up bright and early at 5AM to the sound of the firealarm going of and lights flashing through our apartment so we decided it would be a good idea to leave our apartment incase there was actually a fire. Well we go outside and we realize that our apartment is the ONLY ONE with the alarm going off and the lights flashing so we got a little concerned that even the landlord wouldn't know what was going on and he would stop it but sure enough we saw him coming running down the stair and into his office and a few minutes later the alarm stopped. There was no fire...(sorry for lack of a more exciting story) but we just ended up going back upstairs and to bed... and we still don't really know what happened. yup.

But also on wednesday we were able to meet a less-active that I had never been able to meet so that was pretty cool. She invited us over for dinner and we quickly realized how hard her life is! He husband works all day and doesn't come home until about 9 and she has a new-born baby and another son who is about 2 so she is always so busy and tired. We are hoping to be able to continue to visit her and help her out a little bit with her duties as a mother!

THURSDAY:
nothing super exciting... we got a new phone so we had to transfer all our contacts over. It's a samsung flip phone (that all the grandpas and grandmas have here) and it always give the Koreans a shocker look on their face when they see it (because literally like 99% of the people here have smart phones) haha so it makes for a fun conversation. Most people just really don't understand why we don't have a smart phone even when we try to explain we really don't need one. :) but so yeah! we also did a little proselyting with our new surveys and we were able to talk to a lot of people about religion which which was great:)

FRIDAY:
Woke up and... WENT RUNNING! It's been a little while since i've been out of the house for exercise time so it felt great:) On friday we were also able to meet sister Park who sadly mentioned that " She likes US more than she like RELIGION"... I think she though that would make us feel good... but my heart was a little crushed. She has good feelings about the Book of Mormon but we need to get her to see why it is important! We also were able to meet a less-active on friday who we have been meeting once a week for a while now. When we invited her to church she responded by saying "yeah if I have time" but she said it in a way that was like "ahh crap I need to hurry and find something to do so I don't have time" and Sister Broyles and I both sensed it so I decided to ask her what was holding her back from coming. There was the chance that she could have responded by getting defensive but I felt the spirit when I asked the question so I knew it would all be okay. She then began to open up super hard core to us telling us her concerns. She has SO much gospel knowledge! (she has been less-active for about 10 years now but the missionaries have met her on and off for about the past 2 years) She began to tell us that she knows a lot about the Book of Mormon and our church and what she needs to be doing but it has been so hard for her to be able to get it in her heart. In order to come to church every week she wants to be able to really believe in her heart. We know that this can only happen through the spirit. She said she desires to feel it in her heart which we know is the first step. We will continue to meet her and help her feel the gospel is true in her heart. Teaching her has really taught me the importance of having a testimony in our hearts. We can learn about the gospel our whole lives and have lots of knowledge about what we need to do and why but until we really know in our heart that it is true, we can't do much. We much always strive to have our testimonies rooted deep into our hearts! We must create an environment that makes it easy for us to feel the spirit.

SATURDAY:
While we were preparing for english class, one of the elders in our branch was telling us that a man texted them saying that he has seen our church website and is interested in learning about our church and that he also wanted to come to our english class. He was expressing his excitement to us as His companion received a call from the same man who the elder was talking about. Well it turns out that the "he" actually turned out to be a "she" and she had a friend with her who was also interested in learning about the church... so now we have 2 new investigators! yippee:) Later that night we received a call from the APs telling us that they had a referral for us. someone who has gospel interest (not english! #miracle) so we are excited to be working with these new people!

SUNDAY:
We had branch conference! also in the evening we went proselyting and we met the sweetest lady and her daughter who we were able to teach about the Book of Mormon to. and as we handed her a copy she seemed so surprised that we would give her such a special book. Moments like these of testifying of the Book of Mormon are really such highlights of missionary work. I love it so much!

MONDAY:
a man we met the night before on the street called us and said that he wants to meet! He said he needs help and want to hear God's words so we were able to set up an apppointment with him and with the elders for this week! Also we had SPORTS DAY. which consisted of playing lots of sports with lots of members and other missionaries. Made for a really fun and exausting day and not I'm really sore!

Basically This week was a good one! I've been reflecting on how much my mission experience has meant to me and how I really don't want to leave being a missionary. This is really the most important thing I could be doing in my life right now! It is so hard, but so worth it! I love you all so much! Have a great week!
Love,
Sister Courtney Hurley
"Believe in Christ!!"
the BYU concert from a few weeks ago. and robert holly!
(a famous mormon who lives in korea and is married to a Korean and has a show)


yesterday was buddhas birthday so these lanterns have been up for the past weeks to celebrate!

last PDAY we went to this Buddhist temple. not to worship... but to see.



super pretty



Monday, May 18, 2015

When all the appointments fall through... what do you do?

This week was a little rough considering literally EVERY SINGLE planned appointment fell through...so we had to try and be a little more creative with how we chose to use our time. On Tuesday we had the opportunity of going to Busan with one of our investigators Sister Kang in order to see the BYU wind symphony concert! It was a little strange seeing other Mormons who weren't missionaries who attended the same univiersity as me. It turned out being really fun and our investigator seemed to really enjoy it. After the concert, however, Sister Broyles and I rode with our mission President and His wife to their house to spend the night because it was nearly 10:30pm and the next day we had Zone Conference in Busan so there was no point in driving back to our area. We had to leave our investigator to ride home on a bus with about 50 other church members from surrounding areas. I'm not quite sure how she made it home without a baptismal date.. haha. We made sure to have her text us when she got home so we knew she arrived safely (i'm such a good parent already hehe) So on Wednesday... We had Zone Conference and because the subject of the meeting was the sacrament for the morning session of the conference we hiked a mountain! makes sense right? we made several stops on the way up where we were able to listen to uplifting testimonies and talks about the sacrament. When we arrived at the top of the mountain, our Mission President asked us why he thought he would have us hike a mountain for a zone conference on the Sacrament and I really loved the answer my cute companion had. She said that life is like climbing a mountain and sometimes we need to take breaks to renew ourselves and that is like the sacrament. The sacrament each week is a time to recommit to change the things in our life that our holding us back from being like Christ. It is a cleansing and renewing time to focus on the Savior. Sister Nielson in her message shared this poem about the sacrament that I really liked that I wanted to share!

"There were envy in the glances that a lovely woman cast
at the hairdo of her neighbor while the sacrament was passed
and a teenage girl I noticed, though a timd, lass and shy
watched a youthful priest intently through the corner of her eye
as he sat behind the table where the water trays were spread
she was not remembering Jesus nor the prayer the priest had said
there was nothing reveriental in the things the cub scout drew
on the pages of the hymnbook 'till the sacrament was through
not a thought of Jesus passion entered careless elders minds
As they whispered to eachother and the girls they sat behind
and the High priests brow was furrowed as he stole a secret glance
at his checkbook's dismal story of his failures in finance
there were hundred in the chapel but the worshipors were few
and I couldn't help but wonder what the Lord himself would say
had he walked into a meeting where His saints behave that way
would his loving eyes be saddened, would His countenance be grim?
While he there observed and listened to a meeting Meant for Him?"

Sadly I have been guilty sometimes of just going through the motions when it has come to taking the sacrament but I am coming to learn on my mission how important this time is each week and how it can be a really special time for us. If we prepare spiritually before the meeting and repent we can really allow Christ's atonement to change us. I'm so grateful for zone conference and for the opportunity I had to learn more about the sacrament and gain a greater testimony and appreciation for all that our Savior Jesus Christ has done for us.

Thursday Sister Broyles and I had two appointment that fell through so we decided to come up with a new way to approach people on the street for the night of proselyting. We found an idea in a missionary book that momma sent me that included making a religious survey for people to take. we translated the questions into Korean and then typed them up. They included questions like "Do you believe in God" "How do you overcome hard times" and "Have you ever though about the questions of "Where did I come from", "Why am I here", and where do I go after I die?" There was a total of about 10 questions all together. One of my favorite questions was "If there was another book about Christ that ancient prophets wrote, would you read it?" If people said yes..then we were able to easily introduce the Book of Mormon and invite them to read it. It was a really fun way to talk to people about religion on the street and we were able to pass out a lot of pamphlets, and some Book of Mormons! Sadly, more than half the people were either buddhist or didn't believe in God... so it made it a little more challenging to introduce the Book of Mormon... But overall I really liked the new survey approach! I think I will continue to use it throughout the rest of my mission.

Also I started reading "The Power of Everyday Missionaries" this past week and it is SOO GOOD. I invite everyone, member missionary or full-time missionary to read it! It is so good and it has some really good ideas of How to do missionary work! Read it!

Anyway...I hope you are all happy and healthy! Love you<3


Sister Courtney Hurley

Monday, May 11, 2015

11 months...

It was so great to see my beautiful families faces on skype today! crazy to think that that was the last time I will skype before I come home. I was informed this past week I will be coming home on December 21, so before Christmas! But I don't really want to talk about coming home at all... cuz well it kinda makes me sad so on to other things...haha

This week I wanted to talk a little about the incredible people I am teaching right now! Sister Broyles and I are feeling super blessed with the investigators we have here in shinjung. I love this area so much and I feel completely at home. So here I go:

Sister Pang: received a call from a less-active who gave us Sister Pang's number as a referral. originally she was an english contact but this last week as we taught her about prayer and the holy ghost she told us how she has always wanted to pray (especially when life is hard) but she doesn't know how! So we taught her all about prayer and I know she felt the spirit. She is progressing slowly but surely and it makes me so happy:)

Sister Park: randomly showed up to english class. At first was scared that she would show up and the missionaries would force her to come to church or join our church but when she first met us she realized that that is not what we are about. That we are truly so happy because of the gospel of Jesus Christ that has been revealed to us through the Book of Mormon and that really really just want to invite and share it with others. She invited us to her house and we have been teaching her for a little while now. At first she was still a little hesitant because her husband believes that the presbytarian church must be the most right because it is the biggest in Korea but as she has been reading the Book of Mormon she is coming to know for herself that it is God's word. How exciting it has been to teach her and watch her progress!

Sister Kang: Such a fun investigator! She actually lives about an hour away from us in a different area but there aren't sister missionaries in that area so we are teaching her! She absolutely loves studying the Book of Mormon with us but she feels she needs more time to be baptized. Tomorrow we are going to go to a BYU wind symphony orchestra concert with her in Busan (BYU is coming to KOREA TOMORROW!soo it's pretty cool we can go!).

Sister Kim: 17 years old and the daughter of a really strong member in our branch. She is so smart and thinks really scientific and has so many questions about the existence of God and our purpose on earth so we are teaching her how to get answers to her questions.

Sister Tae: talked a little about her last week and how my MTC companion sister Dayley found her on a subway! originally english interest only but she is really open-minded about what we teach. She lived in china for 5 years! We introduced the Book of Mormon to her this last week and she was trying to decided while we were teaching her if she was going to read it or not because she knew that if she started, she wouldn't stop until she finished. She is the kind of person who doesn't take what we teach lightly and knows how important it is.

Basically I am feeling so blessed to be here with Sister Broyles in Shinjung. I have never been able to teach so many people with so much potential to progress toward baptism. I have seen how much the gospel has blessed my life and my families life and I know that it will bless all of the people I am teachings lives also. I know that God lives and that this is His work. not the work of man. He is in charge. We are simply a tool in his hands and He deserves all glory. we are indebted to him for all He has given us and He will always bless us more that we can give to Him. I know that following the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only way to find true happiness in this life and after this life. I know God loves us so much and that every trial or or hardship given to us in this life is for one purpose only: to respond by applying Christ's teachings so we can be changed to be more like him. He want us to learn and grow and progress.

I love you all so much and hope you have a great week! Remember to Look up! and be grateful for those around you.

Sister Hurley









we saw this place with cool lantern thingys.

I went on the absolute funnest exchange of my life this past week with my cute girl Sister Nielson!
I have seriously not laughed so hard in a really long time. We talked to EVERYBODY,
passed out a BOM on the street, taught a couple lessons, and had the time of our lives.
Serious am so grateful to be serving with this cute sister of mine.
We first met in the MTC and will go home the same time.

more of Sister Nielson and me<3

People we are working with...I dunno if you care... but these people are soo important to me!<3

our goals for the week. we always joke about how hard it is to serve together.
so that explains the "don't fight with sister Broyles" goal... haha. I really love Sister Broyles!

Monday, May 4, 2015

taekwondo (태권도)

What a week! ahh. yeah. what a week. I don't have much time to tell about it so here is the 3 minute version:

-Did taekwondo with our investigators husband (who earlier that day told our investigator that the presbytarian church was probably the best one) so that was fun:) broke some barriers with him. I started a white belt and ended a black!! just kidding... i'm still a white

-we found 3 new investigators this week! wait no. let me rephrase this... 3 new investigators found us this week! Let me just say recently God is bringing those prepared to hear the gospel to US. we don't really do much. seriously we are simply a tool in his hand to bring about this work. one came from a less active to gave us a referal! another came from headquarters and I found out later that my girl SISTER DAYLEY found her! (mtc companion!) and I really feel she is so prepared to hear the gospel! The first time we met she said she has a few mormon friends who said she should join our church so she can study in America for cheap.. haha

But yeah... really no time this week... I gotta go catch a train back to my area so I can get there on time! Know that it really was a good week and sister broyles are getting worried that our schedule is getting too full for new people haha so I take that as a good thing. we are busier than ever here and happy too:) a working missionary is a happy one.

Know that I love you all! I will skype in a week and can tell you more!

Sister Hurley

A pic of my old district (except the zone leaders cuz they had a different meeting)
me and sister Kang (my companion from 3rd transfer! we got to spend another transfer together
being in the same district and it was really fun:)) and I can speak to her a lot better than
I could when I was follow up training too so yay. haha

a couple pics of a place called tae-hwa-roo in our area. a member took us with her non-member
friend! super fun!





A pic of our investigators dog who always makes a really scary face...especially when I'm about
to leave because he loves me (okay...he does it when everyone leaves... not just me)

Some members! I'm feeling super grateful for the branch I am able to serve in right now!

This is one of the members, kim-sae-hyeon! She served a mission in seoul a few years ago and it has
been so fun working with her! she has helped us so much with the work!


Making a free english poster! (cuz sadly most investigators in Korea come from
wanting to learn english!)

FOOD (I dunno what I'm gonna do when I get home... no kimchee:( )

a beautiful view from the top of city hall where have held a lot of appointments recently!

cool scenery from the top of city hall

Celebrating Sister Broyles "1 year being on a mission" mark!

My new district after district meeting eating chinese

The cute planner i'm using right now that my last companion sister Park made! In our mission,
making planners look cool is kinda a really big deal! Some missionaries go all out!


and then there is a picture of us crashing a 1 year olds birthday party..


I made a scripture case for the lil scriptures mom sent me! I love how light the
smaller scriptures are and I can bring them places so easily!



Our cute investigator took us to the beach this past week. I gotta say that teaching lessons
on the beach is pretty fun.




more of the beach! and my companion being a model...
seaweed... yes. they take this stuff out of the ocean and dry it out... and then we eat it.
and it tast delcious. don't ask me why. it's in a lot of foods.


One of my favorite desserts in korea.

That yellow stuff on the ground is one reason Koreans don't like china very much cuz the rain
we get here comes from china and apparently it's really polluted there so Koreans think that when
it rains, if you don't have an umbrella you will go bald because the rain is super dirty.
at first I though that was funny...but now I believe it haha.
but the yellow stuff comes after everytime it rains!

a pic of the man we found a couple weeks ago on the street who wanted to meet us.
he is giving Elder Kim a massage...as you can see.

and then some koreans having an arm wrestle

the kid won......

we did tae-kwon-doe this week.. I have no idea how to spell it in english.
sadly I didn't get past the white belt...

Our investigator is the one in the middle with the black belt... she's so cool! Her name is Sister Park.
She is the one who showed up the english class and said she was curious as to what we
believe so we do family english program in her home twice a week now!

our investigators daughter too. soo cute<3

and some food. a lot of korean food has bones on it when they serve it.
something I have had to get used to! I like it now!

My cute companion and Me waiting at a bus stop.... no one around....

A chinese family that we met last night... lets just say communicating was a little challenging!
I didn't know I needed to learn chinese too! haha I'll talk more about it in my big letter.