Monday, August 31, 2015

Farming. 시골

It's been a beautiful week here in Andong and we have been able to see miracles! I have absolutely loved serving with Sister KimKyuri. She is 23 years old (in Korea) 22 in America and she is from Seoul! This is her very last transfer of her mission and I feel so blessed that I am able to serve with her before she goes home. I secretly have always thought it would be really fun to be her companion. She is such an amazing missionary! She works super hard and knows how to make everyday a good day as a missionary. We literally laugh so much every single day. and I have already been able to learn so much from her. <3

ANDONG IS SO COUNTRYSIDE. there is no mcdonalds and that is when you know that we are in the middle of nowhere. haha.. yeah I just laughed at my own joke... This last thursday we woke up at 5:30 and headed out to a member in our branches farm and picked peppers for nearly 10 hours! The farming begins. This family really needs a lot of help so a couple other members came to help also. I never want to see a red pepper again. haha. SO MANY PEPPERS were picked. It was actually really fun!!!.... for the first 2 hours... but then it got hard... haha. I was thinking of the Holt family a lot as I was farming because Grandpa Holt had the big corn festival this past week! I hope it went well! Hopefully I can make it next year. I think I'm getting better at farming so that's good right?

Now for a couple miracle we saw this week!
On Saturday we were able to see miracles as we knocked some doors of apartment buildings. We planned to go visit a less-active but they weren't there so Sister Kim said," Let's kahkahho! (I have no idea how to spell that) So we knocked on every single door of the 15 floor apartment complex... and well most people either didn't answer or they slammed the door in our face but the miracle is that we were able to meet meet a man who let us teach him the restoration on the entrance of his doorway (cuz we couldn't enter) but He also said that we could come back later to teach him more! and He has a family that lives with him too so hopefully we can teach all of them. yayy #miracle

Then On Friday night we planned to have a meeting with our branch mission leader but he called and said he had to cancel so we came up with a back up plan to knock on all the doors of OUR apartment complex. sounds fun right? The elders were with us because we planned for them to start at the top and we start at the bottom and meet in the middle but we had to run home real quick and get some more supplies. After getting supplies we felt to just start with the door right next to ours. I felt a little awkward because we were still with the elders and how intimidating is it to open the door to 4 missionaries? So I just kinda was standing in the back... But we never would have guessed what was behind the door. A foreigner black man from Alabama named Derek! We introduced who we were and what we were doing and before we knew it we were in his home. All four of us sitting on his bed teaching him the restoration. I really feel like we were supposed to be with the elders because we wouldn't have been able to go in his home without them and one of the Elders is american (Elder Wright) so we could teach Derek together in English. He accepted what we taught pretty well but had a few questions about why we need to Book of Mormon when we already have the Bible. His faith in God is SO STRONG. He believes that God has helped him through a lot of hard times in his life. We ended the lesson with a prayer and He said we could come back anytime to teach him more!(Which it's pretty easy to visit considering he lives right next door...) So That was probably the biggest miracle of the week! yay new investigators!

Did I mention that we have bikes in our area? yeah. well we do! It's my first area with bikes so it's kinda fun:) Oh and on sunday we attend primary so sister Kim can play the piano for them. The primary consists of 2 boys ages 9 and 12 who are brothers and they are half american but there father (american) is not a member. It was so fun to be in primary and sing children's songs in korean and games.

Basically I feel so at home here in Andong and I am so happy:) I'm hoping this is my last area because I could stay here forever. I hope you all have a great week! make it the best one ever<3 Remember God loves you! and I do too!

Love, Sister Hurley

made this proselyting box for this happy elder. I was pretty proud of it so had to take a picture...
then the other side!
Sister Thornley and a porcupine.
me in a cool looking hat...
my old district when I served in Shinjung!
Sister Kimhyunsuk!<3 Recent covert from first area. I was so blessed to be able
to see her a couple times when I served in Shinjung too! Now I'm so far away:(
While Sister Thornley and I were serving kimchee to the elderly,
another woman we were working with put our hair up in buns with a chopstick haha:)
I love Korea.
Sister Parkjihyun and I.
Some of our english class members on my last day of class.
Sister Goyumin!<3 She had her baptismal interview on Saturday!
Also I received permission from president  today to be able to go visit her baptismal service!:)
My Cute new companion Sister Kimkyuri! We are so good are picking peppers!
PEPPERS!!!! so many peppers. 

Sister Kim and I are super cheezy so we may have wore almost the exactly
same dress to district meeting this past week...haha.

today for pday we played CATAN!!! I thought that Christopher would be so proud:)
they have it in Korea!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Where's Andong?

Ah. This was one of the craziest weeks of my mission yet! So much has happened I don't even know where to start... okay I do. I'm going to skip to lat Saturday when Sister GoYumin commited to get baptized on September 13! :) We had a really amazing lesson with her on Friday where she came to truly understand the Baptism is the GATE. It is the first step. After going through the interview questions with her she came to understand that she really is read and completely worthy. Sister Thornley and I have been working with Sister Goyumin for the past 12 weeks that we have been together. I feel so strongly that she is ready and that she will be such a strong member. She will have her baptismal interview this coming Saturday. As we were going over her baptismal questions with her and seeing if she had any concerns we asked her how keeping the word of wisdom is going. Her response made me laugh so hard! She said, "Well...honestly I think that I need to exercise a little bit more." ahh it was so cute. Then she went on to say," you know I have never been a strong coffee drinker so that was easy to stop, and I still don't really understand why you don't drink green tea, but I decided that I don't really need to know. There is so many other things I can choose, like fruit juice. I really like fruit juice" aww:) we are just really happy and excited for her. It has been so fun watching her progress so much. When we first met her, She didn't really know much about God or Christ. She felt so awkward praying. But because of her strong desire to come to know the truth, she now knows that there is so much more to life than she thought and now she has come to built a relationship with God. She also has been really interested in the Temple because during relief society a few weeks ago, a lot of the sisters in the ward shared experiences where they felt so much joy and peace in the temple. I truly know that she was lead to find our church by God's hand because she wanted to know truth. It was nothing that us missionaries did. We were simply a tool to help her come to know the truth for her self. I just feel so much gratitude for the opportunity I have had to watch her along her journey of conversion. It has been such a blessing and testimony builder for me. I hope more than anything that I can come back to shinjung for her baptism in a couple weeks!

now for the rest of the week...

On tuesday...I held a porcupine! apparently some people have them as pets in korea:) So much fun! We were able to meet a less-active that we haven't been able to for a while and do family english program with her. Her younger brother who is a strong active member was able to be there so it was really awesome. We had a really good lesson with them together about how they decided to get baptized.

Wednesday was really great! We had district meeting in bangeojin and then I got permission to meet Sister Kimhyunsuk(recent convert from first area). I learned that she is the relief society secretary. She just had so much light to her and seems so happy. It was good to catch up with her.

Thursday we were able to meet the russian family that we started teaching! Janniy and Darina. Sister Thornley and I just always feel something so special everytime we meet them. They were open to our message about prayer and we were able to pray with them. Afterward we were able to meet sister Kimyuneh. I have been working with her for the past 6 months as I have been serving here in shinjung. I felt that that same night I would receive a transfer call so I had to say bye to her. It was such a hard goodbye. I just felt strongly that I needed to express to her how much I love her, but especially how much God loves her because I feel His love for her when we meet. The spirit was so strong ans she started tearing up. Thursday night we received a transfer call as expected. I learned that I would be leaving shinjung and going to the biggest area in our whole mission called andong (it is in daegu) and my new companion is Sister Kimgyuri! I went on an exchange with her in my 4 transfer and this will be her last transfer before she goes home! I am SOOOO sad to be leaving shinjung. I have loved this area so much and especially the people I have been able to meet here. But I am also so excited for the new experience I will have in Andong. My new area covers 1/3 of our entire mission! we get 600$ a month instead of 350$ because we have to travel so much! haha There are about 20-25 members that come each week and there are 4 families that work on a FARM and need a lot of help from the missionaries. I'M SO EXCITED! I get to farm! (My grandpa Holt would be so proud:)) September and October are when most the fruit and vegetables need to be picked so we will be really busy. lets just say when you receive a mission call you need to expect the unexpected... haha. I never would have thought that farming would be a part of missionary work. I'm so excited though. Our area is really country side... which is exact opposite from shinjung where there were people EVERYWHERE. so i'm a little nervous about that. we only have 1 investigator that we are meeting weekly right now so we are in the finding mode! please pray for us!:)

Friday was spent sending my luggage and meeting more people that I have to say goodbye to. Goodbyes are the worst. Saying bye to Sister parkjihyun was so hard. She gave me a hug that I was certain she was never going to let go. I love her so much and feel so blessed to be able to meet her in this area.

On saturday 3 new students came that sister Thornley and I had met on the street a couple weeks earlier! yayy miracles!

And now... well I'm in my new area Andong and I already love it so much. I can tell that this is going to be a really fun transfer with Sister Kimgyuri! I realized this the moment we walked in the apartment and she threw a fake spider on the ground and screamed. then I screamed. haha. don't worry... I'm planning how I'm going to get her back. I already love her so much. She knows how to work hard but have fun at the same time. I'm so happy here in andong. It feels like home.

So many other things happened too that I can't express because I don't have time... But remember that Sister Hurley loves you so much! I know that this is God's work that I am doing right now and I couldn't be happier!

Love Sister Hurley<3

Monday, August 17, 2015


Well the scorching heat wave of summer is finally coming to end and I can breathe a little better outside now! so that's good right? Although the 3 flights of stairs I walk up everyday to get home are still killer. I thought they would get easier... ha but no. Last Monday Family Home Evening was a total success! 3 different families were able to come and we watched the 20 minute restoration video together and then played a fun game where everyone has a spoon and there are two goals on each side of the room. We have to use our spoons to try and get a pingpongball through the goal. It's kinda like soccer but 10x more itense. haha soo much fun. It's a pretty common game in Korea. During the restoration film I sat by this cute 8 year old boy who was asking me tons of questions about the video. It was seriously so cute. He was so interested. "Did Joseph Smith really see God and Jesus Christ?" He asked. Grateful I could say with confidence, "yes. yes He really did"

Tuesday we were able to meet two progressing investigators! We were able to teach sister 이나현 about God and prayer. Sister Thornley had a great idea to try and teach similar to how Ammon taught King Lamoni about God. We asked Sister Lee if she believed in God and she said she didn't know..we then asked her if she believed in something greater, like a spirit, or something that created the earth and she said yes. We were able to explain to her that that was God. She listened so well. especially as we taught about prayer. We used a metaphor about How when we leave our parents and go to college, our parents still want to hear from us right? They would be sad if we left and didn't call them ever or let them know what was going on in our lives. When we are away at college, we may not be able to see our parents, but we can still call them and let them know how we are doing. It's the same with God. We can't see him here on earth but we can communicate with Him through prayer. He wants to hear from us so badly. Before we finished she said, "can I try it?" we were so excited. She said a beautiful prayer and of course thanked our Heavenly Father for being able to meet with the pretty sister missionaries:) so sweet. Her faith has grown so much from when we first met her. She felt so awkward the first time she came to english class and we started with a prayer. She had never prayed before that in her life. But now her desire to learn is growing. She is so cute! We also were able to meet Sister Goyumin on tuesday with our sweet member Sister Kimsewon. It went really well
and I was so grateful for the member present. We tried to set a baptismal date for August 30 but she said she feels too inadequate. She looked straight at me and asked "Do you think I'm ready?" I know
she is. She is worthy and her desire is strong. She has felt the spirit before and she has recognized it. I know that when she is baptized she will be such a strong member. I have felt so grateful that we have been able to teach her.

On wednesday we were able to meet someone new... who is RUSSIAN! We are starting family English program with her. Her husband told her not to meet us because we are a church but she did anyway... haha. yay. We are teaching the mother and her 10 year old daughter.

Wednesday night we were able to meet a member who has been struggling with depression. We were able to bring and share a message of peace. And how we can find peace in this imperfect world.

I Just really felt so happy this past week. I love Korea. I love it so much. I love the people and I don't want to go. I miss my family so much (well because they are the best in the world) but I know once I
leave, I will miss Korea so much. I have come to love the people here so much. I have learned so much from them and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. I LOVE MY MISSION<3 I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father.

The elders had a cool experience this week where they met a Philippino lady on the street is is a member of our church. She has been less-active for a little while because she has been living in Korea but her sister has been telling her that she needs to come to church. She was having a hard time finding our church so she started praying that she could find it and then she met our elders on the street. They said she was speechless. She knew it was an answer to her prayer. She also has a friend that is a nonmember who she wants to bring with her to church! yay:)

Friday we were able to have a Sister Conference in Busan and it was really awesome! President Barrow's talk really stood out to me. He talked about Repentance and how it is probably the most mentioned commandment in the Book of Mormon and Bible. How us missionaries should be experts at repentance. I have been studying repentace recently and it has been really cool. Sometimes I forget that no only is Christ's atonement and repentace for my investigators, but it's for me. I can be forgiven of every sin and we can feel completely worthy and clean everyday through repentance. If you haven't studies repentance before, do it! It has really helped me a lot:)

On Sunday our investigator Sister Baekminsuk came to church for the first time. She slept through most of sacrament but during the second hour we were able to teach her the plan of salvation with our elders and a couple members. She got a long so well with the relief society sisters! yipyipeee.

Said goodbye to the chinese family sunday night because I think I'm getting transfered this week:( Ahh it's gonna be hard saying bye to everyone!

I reflected on my mission quite a lot this past week. How different my life would be if I decided not to go to Byu or on a mission. To be honest, growing up, I was always afraid of failure. I didn't want to put myself in a situation that I could possibly fail.  I didn't want to go to BYU because I felt it would be too hard but God told me I needed to go there. At byu, a series of events happened in my life that have led me to doing missionary work now. When I got called to Korea, I felt it was too big of a task for my ability. and it is. There is no possibly way I could do this without my Father in Heaven. He has guided me through this journey and I am so grateful for the strength he has given me.

I haven't sent awkward moments for a really long time so I though I would throw some in this week! Especially because Whitney had her baby and I know this is probably her favorite part of my letters:)

That awkward moment when the Elders investigator goes to give me a hug and I stick out my hand and say "uhh sorry we can only shake hands.." and then he says "oh. right... later". I dunno why he said later....but yeah. awkward.

That awkward moment when a member wheres a shirt that says "naughty" on in to church. poor lady probably had no idea what it means...

That awkward moment when the branch president called to tell me that he left some peaches at the church for us but I though he told us that the copy maching was broken. yes. korean is still hard.

That awkward moment when we are about to pray before companionship study and Sister Thornley looks at me and says "Did you say Amen this morning when I prayed?" I actually didn't... I had fallen back asleep and then woke up and her prayer was over... I didn't know how long it
had been since she had stopped praying and then she was saying her personal prayer...haha aww. so sad. but kinda really funny at the same time.

That awkward moment when an elder in our area got a letter from his friend in Guatemala who said they usually have around 50-60 baptisms every transfer in their zone but that their mission president feels they could and need to be doing a lot better....Well This last transfer our zone as a whole was able to have 2 baptisms! and that was pretty good!

I love you all so much! This next week will be crazy busy for us but I'm so excited. Hope you all have a great week! Shoutout to my cute Sister Whitney who just had her baby!

Love Sister Hurley

We had a sisters conference this week! So funnn!

Monday, August 10, 2015

가족, 친구, 여러분! 안녕하세요!

How are you? I never know how to start these things...I'm still awkward...I guess some things never change. haha But... this week was really great because we were able to find 3 new investigators! We set a goal to find 3 new people to teach and we prayed that we would be able to accomplish this goal! there were 2 potential investigators that we had that we thought for sure could become new investigators, but they both fell through. But with God's help we were able to see miracle! One lady we met last P-day on the street and were able to teach her a lesson and give her a Book of Mormon. She wanted to meet again! so we were able to teach her the restoration this last week. It went really well and the spirit was so strong. Her husband has passed away just a month earlier so she has been really said. In Korean it literally tranlates to "her heart hurts". She was filled with so much hope as we taught her about eternal families. She insisted that we meet her son and teach him a lesson because he has been going through a hard time with the passing of his father. We were able to meet Him on sunday and teach him with the Elders! We also received a text from a random number this week saying that a month earlier she had received a book of mormon with our number on it and so we asked her if we could meet and she said yes! We were also able to teach her the restoration. Being completely honest, This ladies Korean was so difficult for me to understand! She talked so fast and had a strong accent and asked some really hard questions about the bible. I just prayed so hard in my
heart that, although maybe Sister Thornley and I couldn't understand her very well, and although maybe she couldn't understand our Korean very well, that she would be able to feel our love for her and be able to feel the spirit testify to her that what we were teaching was true. I felt the spirit so strong As we taught about Joseph Smith seeing God the Father and Jesus Christ that I couldn't hold back tears. I know that she felt the spirit too. At the end of the lesson she said that she said that she wanted to meet again and hear more. She said that she has a friend that speaks english really well that she wants to invite to come with her next time! I know that although I am so inadequate and have so many weaknesses, God will strengthen us as we turn to Him and rely on Him. The spirit is the key to conversion. I have learned this more than ever on my mission. I remember the topic of my farewell talk was the spirit and I talked about how it is the spirit that converts, not us. I have come to understand that so much better on my mission. I know that this is God's work, and that it must be done in His way.

We invited a 22 year old girl who has been coming to our english class for the last month or so to start doing family english program with us so we could share spiritual messages with her personally and she said yes! We were able to explain to her this last week why we chose to come on missions and also teach her about God and prayer. She doesn't have any believe in God now, but we hope as we continue to teach her, her heart will be opened. It's a real blessing to be able to teach people that have absolutely no belief in God! It's so hard for me to imagine what life would be like if I thought that way.

This last Tuesday Sister Thornley and I decided to only speak Korean to each other! I have never heard Sister Thornley so quiet! haha. I've always been so impressed though by how much Korean she can understand. Why better than when I was a trainee:) We did really well in trying to only speak Korean. This week we have a more intense goal. We can only speak english during companionship study, 12 week program, and english class! Pray for us! We know that as we strive to speak out
mission language as much as we can, that we will be able to see miracle!

A couple things I learned/thought about this week that I want to share real quick!
-Alma 29:14 "But I do not joy in my own success alone, but my joy is more full because of the success of my brethren, who have been up to the land of Nephi." I am so blessed to have so many righteous friends that have chose to serve missions. I have loved being able to here of their experiences and their successes! So shoutout to all of you!<3 Thank you for your incredible examples to me! Success is sometimes hard to see here in Korea, but I trust that God has place me here for a reason and I am so grateful for that.
-3 Nephi 13:34 "take therefore no though for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. sufficient is the day unto the evil therof" I love this scripture so much! Live in the
moment!<3 -and there are a million other things I learned too but I don't have time so...

Hope you all have a great week! I'm so grateful for this time I can dedicate my life to the service of God.

I love you!

Sister Courtney Hurley<3

Ulsan Zone Conference

Monday, August 3, 2015

Happy 31st anniversary to the best parent in the world!!!

A really great hard-working week! As I continue with our mission Book of Mormon challenge, I am feeling the spirit in more abundance than I ever have in my entire life. I have developed a deeper love for the Book of Mormon and have felt more power and desire to share it with everyone. I have also felt incredibly humbled and more aware of my weakneses. I am grateful everyday for my Savior Jesus Christ who allows me to overcome these weeknesses.

so what happened this week?

-We were able to teach the american family (The Priedmans) in our branch that was so refreshing and so much fun! They have two daughters that live in Korea with them right now, one who is 13, and the other is 15. They are so funny! I always laugh so hard when I am with them. I love their family so much and it has helped me so much having an american family in our Korean branch. they feel like my family away from family. I'm so grateful for the love that they show to us.
-While proselyting, we ran into my branch president from my first area who insisted on buying us ice cream! Koreans are so nice! It was SO hot and humid outside so it felt so good. He seems to be doing really well. It was so fun to see him!
-met with Sister Goyumin and helped her make a hard case for her Book of Mormon. She has been so concerned that it is getting damaged because it doesn't have a case:) haha so cute! We had a fun time making her a case!
-taught a less active name sister Kim who has been inactive for over 10 years now and says she has never had a belief in God. We were able to watch "the hope of God's light" with her and at the end of the lesson, she prayed!
-On the way home from Sister Kim's house, we went to a bread shop to get a little dinner. The owner of the shop saw our name tags and asked a few questions about our church. we were able to teach her a lesson about the Book of Mormon and commit her to read it! She said she wants us to come back every week to check up on her. haha she pretty much made the follow up appointment for us.
-everytime we do the 12 week program for trainers and trainees, we receive personal revelation for the people we are working with. it feels so good.
-I taught everyone in our english class to say "I'm fantastic" when they are asked how they are and it is so cute! Every Korean is taught in school to say "fine, thank you. and you?" so we spiced things up a bit.
-no investigators at church this week:( but we were able to attend sunday school in English! Brother Priedman taught an incredible lesson about teaching our children the gospel. He talked about the importance of teaching more than "the steps" fo all the principles. for example, rather than teaching our kids the steps of how to pray, go to church, read the book of mormon. He talked about the importance of teaching out kids the importance of all these things and why we do them and helping them have spiritual experiences by doing them. I could relate a lot of what he said to our investigators (cuz well... I don' have children..) How important it is to really teach our investigators more than the steps of the gospel. but to teach them how to feel the blessings of the gospel.

Basically it was a really great week with a lot of learning! I'm loving being companions with Sister Thornley! I'm so grateful for her kindness and patience and positive attitude! I learn so much from her.

I love you all and hope you have a great week!

<3Sister Courtney Hurley

we got money this past week so we don't have to starve anymore!

I look terrible in this picture... but this last week I held a SLOTH!!!!! haha so fun.

we helped out investigator make a case for her Book of Mormon this week:) isn't she so cute?
Her name is Sister Goyumin. She wanted to protect her Book of Mormon.
She has been studying it like crazy!

we finally made the cheescake that mom sent in my birthday package. so good!

Sister Leejeoungim. member