Sunday, December 7, 2014

Eleven

I just wanted to inform you all that Eleven is no longer my favorite number... I will never be able to erase Jundoing (proselyting) for 2 hours and then looking at the thermometer and seeing -11 degree weather. Well Fam... one day.. when I actually figure out how to structure these emails......... (sorry they're always so scattered, apparently I don't work well under the pressure of a ticking clock..) 

I wish I could just record a single day of my life and ship it off to you.. but even that would be an inaccurate depiction of missionary life. Every single day alters from the last.. and although I have diligently written in my journal every single day.. time simply doesn't allow me the capability of capturing a days work in my journal.. It's quite the bummer.. knowing that I'll never be able to relieve one of these days while on earth.. But the courage and inspiration this knowledge gives me, knowing I can never get one of these precious days back is absolutely incredible!! Now since I can't record a day in the life... or have you here with me.. I'd like to share with you a few special experiences from this week.. 

The first came as we were walking home from jondoing in the -11 degree weather.. I couldn't feel my feet, hands, you know....I'm not quite sure I could feel any part of my body. But a bus pulled up besides us as we waited to cross the crosswalk.. and to my surprise, it was fully equipped with mirrors on all sides.. and in the instant it pulled up.. I couldn't help but notice two things.. the first, my name tag.. and second.. a huge smile across my face. Family.. you know me, you know where I was raised.. Sure, I've lived in Utah for 3 winters.. but in case you didn't know.. I can't remember a time I ever just 'hung out' outside in the snow for a couple of hours. Sure, I've gone skiing, but fully decked with gear to stay warm in such climates..  I have never been so cold in my entire life.. this negative weather with 60% humidity/wind is quite the new experience to me.. So as I stared back at my reflection I was confused why such a huge smile was on my face.. and it hit me all at once. I AM SO INCREDIBLY HAPPY FAMILY. I would have never in a million years expected to open up my mission call and see the words Korea typed up all nice. I thought for sure I was going state side.. (nothing wrong with the states.. I love USA) and at many points in my life, I didn't know if I would even go on a mission.. But here I am.. in multiple layers of tights, socks, and shirts.. jackets, scarves, mittens and still shivering to death.. and I can't help but smile.. even if it makes my lips chapped! I love the fact that Korea hasn't yet become surreal to me.. This was one of those moments where I couldn't help but that Heavenly Father for this sacred opportunity.. 

The next came as we were sprinting from Zone Training to meet with our investigator and her daughter (We're especially impartial to these two... especially the daughter.. she's prayed and read the Book of Mormon ever since we first met them) and all at once, a thought hit my mind that we needed to find out about the employment services offered through the church in Korea... right now.. My companion had absolutely no idea what I was talking about.. and it took a few attempts to explain it so that she could understand my broken Korean/English.. but the prompting was unmistakable.. so we patiently figured it out and called our ward mission leader before meeting our investigators... Now Fam, for those of you have learned a new language.. it's a million times easier to understand what people are seeing than actually speak what they're saying.. so for the first half of our appointment.. which wasn't going according to our original plan.. our investigator frantically told us about things going on in her life.. I thought I understand around a 5th of what was going on.. but as she got up to use the restroom.. my companion very "frazzledly" looked at me and asked me how I knew that.. I told her what i thought was going on.. and was completely dumbfounded and rebuked all at the same time (apparently completely wrong in my understanding of what was going on.. I thought she was talking about her boy friend and daughter...) ... I must have looked really confused cause all she did was look at me and say I'll explain later... the rest of the appointment went well.. we taught the lesson, felt the spirit and left with commitments and a follow up appointment for the next day. ... and within seconds of walking outside.. my companion looked at me and asked me how I knew about the employment services that our Ward mission Leader had explained to us before the lesson... our investigator's work shut down unexpectedly and she needed to find a new job by the end of the week... It's hard expressing into words.. the feeling of knowing for certain that the Holy Ghost is working through you.. I make a million mistakes each day.. and as I hold myself accountable for all that happens each day... I can't help but wonder if our 'work' had any sort of impact.. if I'm doing what I need to be doing, when I'm supposed to be doing it.. and it was in this instant, when my companion looked at me like I was a complete psychic... that I felt more peace on my mission than any date prior. I encourage you all to counsel with the Lord in all your doings.. always turn to Him for guidance.. Always live worthy to receive His guidance.. and however inconvenient it may come.. to ALWAYS follow that guidance. 

Now.. only because she deserves it.. and it wouldn't feel right not.. I want to talk about my companion.. Sister Choi. I am not sure to which of you I mentioned this.. but her grandfather is the one that sealed Dad and Oma in the Korea Seoul temple... and He still remembers them both.. being one of the first ones he performed.. President Christensen didn't know this.. I didn't know this... my companion didn't know this.. and finding the picture with her grandfather and Dad and Oma at one of our teaching appointments with hadobogee ( my grandpa).. was one of a thousand confirmations that she was meant to be my companion.. There's an unparalleled confidence that comes with having a companion.. someone you trust completely.. that you will run through icy streets with, jundo for hours in the frigid air with.. spend every single second of every single day with.. and never tire of.. Want to share everything.. correct any problem with... completely rely on the atonement with.. Since most of you are married... sorry littles.. I want you all to take a step back and recognize this blessing in your life.. think about your life prior to your companion.. or life right now without them... WHAT A BLESSING! No kidding Heavenly Father designed such a plan that allows us to be with that one person and our families for all eternity. I wasn't nervous for a lot of aspects of missionary work.. but of the few I had prior to coming out.. was the idea of having a companion.. And although I have only had one.. I've lived with multiple others.. and can tell you that any, ANY companionship can work if you are both willing to put in the effort.. Luckily for me, I finally have this amazing companion who is willing to do it all with me.. despite the cold, rejection, pushes and shouts.. and let me tell you... I love her to death. I could not being doing this without her.

Family.. this week was incredible.. You really shouldn't expect me to say anything less. We saw countless miracles.. froze our toes off.. miraculously- didn't get sick.. This is the "sacrifice" that just keeps on giving. I love you all.. and am sad to report to you.. that we will not be skyping for Christmas.. butttt, I will be able to call you! Sorry.. but I'll save a lot of tears because of this! SORRY SORRY. Keep working hard. Remember "The Gift" (watch the mormon message.. it's amazing! and they even made it in Korean :)) 

All my love, 
Sister Willcox

ps... Hadobogee is going to be attending church this week!! YAYAYAYYAYAYYAYA
 
Don't worry...SUMSION & WILLCOX WORKING TOGETHER

my companions year mark!! and zone training

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING FAMILY!!!

Missionary work has opened up my eyes to a lot of new things.. food.. ( you all asked me what the worst thing I've eaten is..) Besides the random side dishes that don't even small half as bad as they taste.. I think the worst thing I've eaten is pig intestines.. and would you like to know the worst part?? My companion ordered it for us when I passed off for our Korean certified teacher recognition, AS A TREAT. Imagine chewing spicy rubber that has an off intestinal smell.. with weird chewy balls that I don't know how to describe and mayonnaise (which I hate). Besides that.. Korean food is heavenly. Really.. I'm having a hard time deciding if my favorite's Korean or Mexican..! Missionary work has opened my eyes and given me an expanded knowledge of the Gospel, the Atonement, Love.. but for this week in particular, has opened my eyes to all the blessings in my life. HAPPY THANKSGIVING FAMILY! 

I'm torn between writing that this was the very best Thanksgiving of my life... and hurting your feelings! Just know I love our Thanksgiving feasts, being with family, going to see a movie with the family, playing football and other dangerous sports, turkey trot, etc., etc.. but...... I will always remember this Thanksgiving. Even though I would have been content having a Korean meal.. we were invited to go to the army base, Camp Casey, for the feast.. and ahh- ward members, investigators and all the missionaries from our zone.. Just imagine all the fun, gratitude and love in one church building! and that's not even addressing the amount of food.. holy an entire army could have been fed. 

Well, I could take the time and send you an extensive list of all the blessings in my life, but why waste the time when I can very easily say that every blessing in my life has come as a direct result from this Gospel? Every hardship in my life has been overcome with the help and strength of this Gospel.. Everything in my life has and is in direct correlation to my membership in this Church.. How in the world does one express gratitude to the thing that not only made my life anything.. but everything?? Family.. I am so grateful for you.. for your support and sacrifice.. I am grateful for this sacred opportunity to be a Missionary.. For this chance I have to draw closer to my Savior and understand Him more.. For everything I am learning about my relationship with Heavenly Father.. For the chance I have to share this joyous news with the most humble and loving people in the world.. To be able to learn Korean... despite how hard it is... To serve with my amazing trainer/companion... and here I am doing what I said I wouldn't... oops. 

I could write an entire encyclopedia set with everything I'm learning and experiencing as a missionary.. it's great.. tiring.. frustrating.. rewarding.. and I'll cherish it for the rest of my life. One lesson I learned in particular this week - the difference between being happy in a given moment and happy for a lifetime. I couldn't count how many times I chased after a happy 'moment' in my life.. only to realize that what I needed to be chasing after couldn't be captured in a moments time.. Family.. I would encourage you to take a step back in your life... figure out what it is you're chasing after and decide whether it will make you happy for a moment of time.. or happy not only for this life, but throughout all eternity. 100 times out of 100... the latter will truly make you happy. Alma 32:4... plan your harvest and reap the rewards! 

As per usual, we saw miracle after miracle this week.. the biggest miracle being in myself. I really.. am embarrassed by all the things that needed correction in my life.. all the weakness I carried.. but.. It was quite the week of refining.. and we're coming out strong because of it. fam.. I love you all. I am constantly praying for you and working hard for you ;)

Don't forget to count your blessings! 

All my love, 
Sister Willcox

ps.. a little slice of mesa was with me for Thanksgiving!!! (he went to MVT with me)
 
 

Krispy Kreme opening!!
Thanksgiving!
the first pie I've ever made!!
 

Need I even say it...

This was the best week. I mentioned this in my email to Angie.. maybe dad.. can't remember.. sorry for repeating... although I absolutely love the Mesa Temple.. Will forever call it "my" Temple.. have spent countless hours in the Provo Temple.. and in all honesty, love every single Holy House of the Lord.. The Korea Seoul Temple changed my life on November 18th and I will always always always remember that day. family.. Only because you have templeSSS in very close distance to wherever you could possibly be in the USA. I want to remind you something - the Temples are easily one of the biggest blessings here on earth! Go, and go frequently! It wasn't until I wasn't able to go these past 6 weeks in Korea that I realized how important it is and how huge of a blessing it is! For the first time in my life, I'm beginning to understand why we must sacrifice everything we can to go. Even a Pday.. even emailing time ;) 

Well... I can't believe I'm about to say this.. It's gotten easier to bear my testimony in Korean than it has in English.. I blame it on the fact that there are less Korean words floating around my brain than english... haha. We had 12 week follow up this week, aka.. the most English I've spoken since getting here, had to bear testimony in English and I had no idea how to even speak haha.. but BOY was it a treat to see my MTC District! I couldn't possibly describe to you my love for my MTC family.. The amount of love you gain for people spending quite possible 1000 hours together in the same small room... growing spiritually and more mature.. I just love them! It was so fun to see where we all are.. To see how much they've all grown.. spiritually, language wise, emotionally.. If seeing you compares to Thursday.. What an enormously large treat i'm in store for! 

There were so so many miracles this week! It could easily be called miracle work instead of missionary work (cheesy's acceptable on a mission)! I really.. can't express the gratitude I have for this opportunity to stand as a representative of our Savior. I really have no clue what I'm doing... still have no idea how He trusted me with this sacred opportunity.. But I'm running with it and soaking up every single second.. even in the freezing cold air!! I caught the cold this week.. waking up at 4 am to travel to the temple.. and then to do it again 2 days later to travel to 12 week... although it made missionary work even harder than it is initially.. I made a new covenant with heavenly Father this week and refused to let it wear me down.. we worked through it all and I'm speechless at the blessings He literally down poured for our diligence in working through trials! I've decided there's nothing, literally nothing that can stop me from sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Which leads to one of the biggest miracles we saw this week!!

After seeing some of our mission leaders and being told to take a rest a recuperate.. we were both prompted to push through and chose not to take a nap during a certain hour.. We ended up meeting a woman in that hour.. She promptly invited us in. Before you drop your jaws.. she invited us to do the 30/30 program (we teach them english for free for 30 minutes and then the gospel for 30 minutes).. we sat in a room smaller than our bathroom.. I couldn't even sit crisscross applesauce!! And there was the nastiest dog wandering around.. that wasn't potty trained.. and he peed on my companion and pooped under my leg.. (it ended up being a blessing i couldn't sit all the way down!!) and half way through the lesson.. (english) her 12 year old daughter came home! She joined us for the second half.. and literally broke my heart in an instant. This cute little girl, deprived of almost all worldy goods.. had never even heard of God.. ever in her life! just take a second to think about that. I felt so sick.. the mixture of illness and dogness was not good for me.. but we taught her the first few principles of the first lesson.. and she sat so quietly and reverently and asked the most heartbreaking questions.. and we taught her about prayer, she had never heard of prayer before.. and had to teach her every single aspect of how to pray... and family.. I can only imagine how Heavenly Father felt in that moment.. when His beloved lost daughter prayed to Him for the first time.. We've gone to their house every single day following as per the little girls request! Every single hardship of a mission is made up.. this making up any hardship that ever happens in my life. 

Family.. I really can't express my love and gratitude for you! For my gained knowledge of eternal families and who we are! What you've all come to mean to me as I've understood a little more of that! You are all Children of God and I know He loves all of us dearly! Pray to Him!! He is just as thrilled when you pray to Him!! 

You're always in my prayers! I love you!!
All my love, 
Sister Willcox

ps this picture is another reason why this week was the best! It was freezing and a freak windstorm... my companion looked at me and told me I looked like Mary and asked if she looked the same. I told her to freeze and I took a picture.. this is the result. 


just me at the SEOUL TEMPLE
The time I spilt an ENTIRE bag of rice that a member gave us all down our apartment stairs.. all three floors.

A church visitor!! Also, a member bought this jacket for me.. she said she saw it and said that's "soooo sister willcox!" hahahah.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Too many miracles to write

First things first, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE PACKAGES! I was not the only one to say I was the luckiest missionary and had the best family! :) As I mentioned in the other email, you are going beyond and above what any missionary even deserves!!! Thank you thank you thank you!

Ironically, we had stake conference as well!! ours was over an hour away... but It's fun to know we're still doing the same things! Thanks for sharing all your insights, I wrote a lot of them down and will cherish how perfect they were for me right now. 

Even though it took me 2 weeks to finallllly remember how to say miracle in Korean.. I couldn't even begin to tell you how many miracles we've seen since getting to Korea. The first .. my ability to even speak Korean at all. Holy cow, no kidding I never learned it until now. Korean is HARD. The more I learn the more complex it gets.. the more vocabulary I learn, the more times I mistake a word for something completely else! Twice now... I've told an investigator a prayer is a competition with God instead of saying conversation... aka, Korean is hard. BUT! it's coming, and I can't thank Heavenly Father enough for the gift of tongues.. to feel as if I can more so fulfill my purpose as a missionary now. 

My companion and I decided to start a purification process this last week.. To rid ourselves of the natural man and become the missionaries Heavenly Father needs us to be.. I urge you to figure out who your natural man is... and then to kill it. there's a famous quote by C.S. Lewis that I don't have time to type (haha sorry.. stop emailing when i'm trying to write this!!!! ;)) That perfectly describes the process of killing the natural man and becoming made new by Christ. It's one of my favorites and I read every other day or so. As hard as it was to figure out what my natural man was... it's been even harder changing my nature to overcome it. However, as we've taken a step closer to Christ everyday.. the miracles we've received have been without number.

-Last Wednesday, as we set out for the day... in order to locate ALL of the less-actives in our ward (with no map, and without an exact location) the task seemed pretty impossible to complete.. and I hit myself several times wishing for my iphone... hahha. Mind you, I had only been here for 2 weeks.. i still have no clue how the address system works over here.. and my companion, as she's stated 34895602356 times, "I have zero sense of direction." By 7 pm that night, after having found all but 2 houses... having skipped lunch and dinner, we were pretty worn down... we were jacket-less (by the way, it's FREEZING here.. We went to Seoul the last two days for Stake conference and I started sweating the instant we got off the subway since we need to be so bundled up here.. But.. I was called to serve here, and I'm doing it with a fat smile.. regardless of how perfect it is in Seoul ;)) Anyways, you will NEVER guess what happened. As we were waiting to cross a sidewalk, a man walked across from the opposite direction.. Although sisters aren't allowed to approach men and elders-women, I always smile at the people we walk by. Wellllllll, the man stopped and smiled back and asked what my name tag stood for. (we can talk to them if they approach us first) Well.... we then began to share our message and halfway through.. his eyes lit up and said, "This is my wife's church, she's been looking for it." DING DONG DANG - one of our less-actives!!!!!! Holy cow, i started crying once we heard her name. Heavenly Father loves all of His people! I know it!! We ended the night by not only making it to the last house, but meeting with the family... Although she told us she is no longer interested in the church, we were able to accomplish what we set out to do... I know that the Lord will always help us complete our righteous endeavors! 

-As we were walking home from an appointment.. my companion starts booking it.. all 82 pounds of her.. faster than I have ever seen anyone run.. and we run.. block after block.. all while she ignores my questions as to why in the WORLD WE WERE SPRINTING... until finally.. we get to a house.. and she tells me.. the person that had rid her bike by us... was an Investigator who they lost all contact information for.. well.. we now have her address and number and an appointment :) 

-although this isn't directly relevant to missionary work... it's a miracle nonetheless! I've been working with MASSIVE headaches the last week and we finally went to the doctor today.. my vision has improved +.50 since I got to Korea and my contact prescription has been too strong.!! I am now at -1.50!!! huge improvement from my once legally declared blind eyes!! EHEH??? 


I've said this in previous letters home.. but I need to work on so many things. Sometimes I think it can't be done.. That I can't change my nature.. that it's simply just part of me... That sometimes.. when my companion wakes up in the middle of the night because she can hear a mosquito (I have no idea how she even hears it...also, I've been bitten a million and 7 times) and by the time we've finally killed it (an hour and a half later) and I say to myself... there's no way i'll be able to wake up tomorrow... I realize.. This is how I should feel every day. The energy we exerted today to bring others unto Christ.. is exactly how much energy my brothers and sisters deserve.  And then I push a little further.. I trust a little more... I trust that the atonement will carry my weaknesses.. I recognize His hand in every detail.. I give thanks for the moments when I don't think I could get any closer to my companion.. I love my Savior a little more.. I break habit after habit.. and then miracles come.. the weaknesses are made strengths.. the atonement cleanses me.. and then with strengthened faith.. I continue to move forward.

Family, it can be done. Regardless of who I've been in the past.. the "strengths" I proudly carried.. and the weakness I shyly hid..  They can all be made new in Christ. We are enabled through the atonement of Jesus Christ.. and I know that we can become like Him. (mor 10:32) I know that as we become what our Savior needs us to be, we will be able to do what he needs us to do. Regardless of whether it's serving a mission, providing for a family, taking care of children, working, going to school... We can do it all... WITH the help of our Savior. He has literally carried me.. and I know that if you looked back and realized throughout about it.. He's carried you as well. Trust in Him!

Family... there have been so many times where I felt so lost.. being in a completely new city.. COUNTRY.. not being fluent in the language.. having a native companion who didn't know English before starting her mission... The feelings of loneliness often creep in.. But I have gained a firm testimony in the power of bearing my testimony. Whenever I feel lost.. whenever I don't know how to teach sometime.. whenever I feel sad.. All I need to do is bear my testimony and instantly, I know who I am and why I'm here. Whenever you feel that way.. I encourage you to do the same. It's made all the difference! 

I love you all!!! Thank you so  much for your prayers and emails, letters and packages!!

I continually pray for you.. work your hardest this week! I promise you won't have any regrets!!

All my love, 
Sister Willcox
 
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The wanted me to try the selfie stick- imagine a go pro stick for anything - phones, cameras.. Koreans do it all. I love this family so much! and our two girl investigators :) They're so good and ahh, I love their desire to learn more.
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Halloween :)
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My last pic with the temple... see ya Provo!
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the three-in-one. if it wasn't slightly disturbing, I'd want to take this home with me.
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kim ear young... the investigator i literally felt prompted ( with a strong force) to talk to.. she ignored me the first 3 times.. i persisted.. we've met 8 times in two weeks. pray for her. also, my first time at baskin robbins. it's great, but they glorify it! hahaha
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When I passed off lesson 1 to my companion.. she always writes notes and it stresses me out... resorting to a half wall. once again, this is what I stare at for the first half of every day. I love her.

 
 

Friday, October 31, 2014

I'm Germanphobic

I figured I'd start with the classic: BEST WEEK EVER! Except really this time... really really really I mean it. Also, sorry for the short and lacking-picture emails last Monday.. We only took a little time out of our day to email and had our Preparation dayon Friday to go to the DMZ. In case you were wondering.. I went to a new country on Friday.. you might have heard of it before.. North Korea.. Whaaaaa? 

In the wise and oh-so-limited English vocabulary my companion, Sister Choi knows... The DMZ was "this is "I'm so buckets!"" The Elder who taught her that is already home.. but I need to find him someday and thank Him. She's learned quite the "guharly" vocabulary from him. Seriously though, North Korea!!!! Our senior couple has actively participated in the army since maybe infancy and got our entire zone a private tour of the DMZ, including the JSA (Joint Security Area)!!! halfway though our tour the guide stopped us and told us we were standing in North Korea! Even though I've heard so much about North Korea, The DMZ, etc., It never struck me so much until Friday.. Each day I spend in Korea strengthens my love for this incredible country.. but nothing has come close to motivating me to bring them all the Gospel like going to the DMZ. The world without the Gospel of Jesus Christ is war, broken families, cruelty, hatred... (fill in all other depressing words).. There have been so many hardships brought to these wonderful people.. to their families.. and I know that the blessings of the Gospel can bring them joy for this life and the next. It's always scary to approach others, especially with my limited vocabulary, but I know that God loves all of His children... that they NEED the Gospel.. It's scary, but how selfish would it be for us to hold back the happiness we have received so freely??? 

Missionary work seems hard.. but in reality.. all we need but do is open our mouths.. The spirit will testify of the truthfulness of the Gospel.. but we need to be the mouth pieces for that message.. Family, I invite you to share the Gospel with someone that comes to mind.. And if someone doesn't initially come to mind, then pray about it.. I promise there is a child of God in need of the atonement of Jesus Christ.. and He will lead you to that person! We don't need to be set apart missionaries to be worthy of the spirit! And we especially don't need to be in a foreign country to share this message.. Everyone needs the Gospel. Everyone is a child of a loving Heavenly Father. 

I don't know if I already told you this.. but it truly feels like this is where I belong.. And I don't just mean on a mission.. I really... am so in love with this place.. I could easily live here for the rest of my life. The Church is so small here.. and there is so much work to be done.. and even though I wish I could bring it to them all in 18 months.. I know it can't be done.. But it's motivating me to talk to EVERYONE i see.. To not waste a single second.. To not let a single person pass me by on the street. It's amazing to see how many more people we've contacted in the last two weeks compared to any prior.. I wish everyone could understand how much impact they could have if they opened their mouth.. I am so glad and grateful Heavenly Father sent me to a place that He knew I would love like it were really a part of me.. because it truly is.. and I want all of these humble, generous, loving people to know what we know.. to know that  this life and it's hardships aren't for naught.. man, I wish everyone could just hear the message of the Gospel.. Help me OUT!

it's really hard when people reject us. or when we have to give up an investigator.. or when we get stood up for appointments.. I really haven't cried so much in my life, and we know I am already such a big cry baby.. but It's okay.. I wouldn't give up being this close to the spirit for anything. the tears are worth it. the struggle for me to learn Korean is worth it because only then will I be able to fully complete the task heavenly Father has called me to. I am so lucky my companion is who she is.. Heavenly Father really knows me and sent me to the perfect companionship. IT'S Disgustingly hard to understand each other, she has a lot to learn about English.. as with me and Korean.. but we make it work and the atonement makes up the rest. 

I just finished reading 3 Nephi yesterday... Oh how much Jesus loves us... How willing and desirous He is to spend time with each of us one on one.. It's easy to get caught up in wanting to talk with everyone.. But that's not how Jesus did it, He cared after each person one by one... That's how much He loves all of us.. I love how much I am learning about the gospel.. How much my testimony continues to grow.. gaining spiritual strength is infinitely more important than things of material matter.. I hope you always remember that.. That you continue to strengthen your testimony.. I promise it will be the true rock to your foundation.. that it will carry you through all that comes in your path. 

I love you all.. Sorry this is so scattered... i blame all the individual emails I sent you all.. ;) 

I'm always praying for you... Pray to Heavenly Father... take the time to converse with Him. It's always worth it. I promise! 

ps.. I tried telling my companion I was a germaphobe and she thought I said germanphobic and thinks i hate germans now. so............ 


Korea is the better half of me

I have never said "저는 피곤해요" so much in my life... for all you English speakers... that's "I'm tired". Cross your finger's it's only jet lag and not just the missionary life... Well, I'M HERE!!!

After 2 gruesome months in the MTC... I've finally earned my spot in 한국 ... in the .... 의정부 Area.. also known as Eric's greenie area!! I brought some family pictures to my bishop's house and showed them off... They freaked out when they saw Eric in the Sumsion wedding pictures and said that Eric served here!! So exciting to carry on the family legacy in the same area!! I am so absolutely in love with life right now.. Korea is indescribable.

I never went to sleep the day we flew out.. (I was way too nervous) and since I had my first missionary opportunity on our flight to Seattle, I didn't sleep a wink.. PS.. talking to you was THE BEST THING EVER. and then I ended up talking to my dear dear district members the entire flight over here... (I probably only slept 2 hours the whole 14 hour flight... I honestly tried.. I think nerves just overtook me) This lack of sleep, although great for the memories... was super rough when I got here.. aka the state of my first picture with the President! hahaha. Anyways... It was super strange to think about the Christensen's prior to meeting them.. To know that I loved them and trusted them so much already.. to know that they held my future in their hands... that there were going to be so so very important to me.. in a lot of ways.. Meeting them after such a long flight was heavenly.. I just wanted to hug them both... and then spending the next day with them was unbelievable. President Christensen is a man called of god and I am so excited to work with Him. 

After sleep better than I have in my entire life.. we had study time and then training and before I knew it they called Sister Choi and Sister Willcox! Words can't describe how excited I was as I ran up to hug my NATIVE trainer ( I was the only one to get a native!!!) Awhh, she has already taught me so much it's unreal. Language, Gospel and cooking.. everything. Although the language barrier between is slightly difficult, I cannot express my gratitude for my opportunity to serve with her. I once thought that I would serve a mission and offer up my 'agency' for a year and a half and give back what the Gospel has given me.. but now I see that will never be possible with how much He continually has blessed me while on a mission!

funnily enough, while we were in the MTC an elder in my district asked how to say picnic in Korean.. well... I think it was premonition for the future because my first Saturday here was spent at a ward picnic!! hahaha IT WAS AWESOME AND we were in Seoul at probably the coolest place I have ever been to in my life. It was incredible to be with the ward families all day.. and such a blessing to get to know them before church! I wish that all members were like the Korean members.. they are so loving and friends and caring and giving of all that they have! It was such a miracle to start here and already gain so much love for the people that I would be serving!!

Guess what?? the Holy Ghost truly speaks to us.. We gained our first investigator yesterday (2nd meeting) and it came from a prompting I felt as we walked away from a "stood up" appointment.. Initially I was super disappointed.. but She is an angel and I just know that the Lord led us to each other..!! anyways.. we actually have less time to email today because I am going to the DMZ on Friday!! PRAY FOR MY SAFETY. sorry this is so random and scattered.. I'll repent next week 

I love you so much!! Thank you so much for your prayers.. I need them :) I am always praying for you! Always remember that you are children of God and that God sent you here for a reason! 

All my love, 
Sister Willcox
 

 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Scattered.. no time.. too busy being a missionary

Guess who is arriving in Seoul, Korea on the 14th of October?! This sister! Receiving our flight plans was better than any Christmas present I've ever received.. no offense. So here are the details:

Delta Airlines 1857 Arriving in Seattle, WA at 9:36 am 13 OCT 2013
Delta Airlines 199 Arriving in Seoul, Korea at 3:50 pm 14 OCT 2014 

We are allowed to call home anytime between 9:36 when we land and 12:15 when we take off, so have your phones at the ready! Also, please dear elder me the phone numbers you would like me to call on please!!! Either tonight, tomorrow or early early Saturday... I won't receive any other mail after that! Ahh, I cannot wait to hear your voices! 

Okay back to reality.... Everyone deserves a sister like Tina Sumsion... Who taught me, through our endless hours of "beautifying time", to listen to General Conference talks. The tradition started by our little angel stayed with me when I went off to college and has planted a love for general conference and my own personal testimony on modern day prophets and revelation. Each year I anxiously await April and October... and this year was even better than ever before. Everyone always talked about the power of watching General Conference as a missionary.. but they've never done it justice. Everything about God's purpose, His work and glory, pertains to bringing to pass the eternal life and immortality of man... in the past, present and future. Utilize your time not being on a mission ;) and continue to study those talks... They were absolutely inspired and directed for our modern day. 

I have been so blind.. so completely wrapped up in the "material" things of the world.. With moments of happiness scattered throughout the day instead of simply realizing what truly makes us happy. I have been chasing day dream after whimsical fantasy... drawing up the perfect fiction novel.. and what do I have to show for it? I have been given so much in this life, especially concerning gifts. The Lord hath blessed me so abundantly and I've taken it all for granted,, always searching for the end of the rainbow. I have lived a great life so far.. but great in who's eyes? This general conference opened my eyes to new sights.. places I have been too terrified to look for. Well.. It's time to hold myself accountable.. If not for the fact that I am leaving for Korea in 4 days or have a strong testimony of this Gospel.. then for my God! Who's time I am now on. The last 2 months have not been a walk in the park.. as I've mentioned in previous emails and letters home.. but it has already been the BEST chapter of my entire life. Life is full of ups and downs.. We will never lead a perfect life.. or even day. There are too many outside factors, too many opposing attackers.. and far too many personal agencies on the table. Regardless of who we are or where we stand with God, we will always face the adversary (Alma 48:21)... And although I am not ready to face Him alone, as I remember who is on my team, I can face him.. every single time.. and come out conqueror. 

Family, I encourage you to take accountability. Not only for today.. but for the past and most definitely for the future. As my time at the MTC comes to a close and I've reflected on the last two months.. On the lessons I've learned, the testimony I've gained and the trials I've faced... I am proud to offer up my very best months to the Lord. Let's to that every day for the rest of our lives! Sorry for the scattered-ness of this email.. and for the shortness.. today was stressful as my last pday and I only have 20 minutes total to email... But I'll put your letters in the mail later today!!

There is literally 5 minutes until the end of my last pday in the United States... I just barely got out of the Temple and cannot stop smiling.. First of all... we went with the Korean Natives today.. so we organized ourselves at a separate time than usual, a few hours than normal.. sister Stancliffe forgot her recommend and we had to sprint back and ended up having to wait for the next session.. and you'll never guess who I see sitting in the row in front of me. Little Miss Merry Mak!!! (Makaelee) I about died. Second of all, easily the best Temple trip of my life.. I went to the Temple with specific questions in my heart.. and every single one of them was answered or confirmed. I know that the church is true. That God has provided us with a Plan of Salvation. That our Savior's atonement redeems and enables us in order to follow that plan. That we have a modern day prophet today.. that his name is President Thomas S. Monson and that he is called of God. That his counsels to us today are revelation from God.. We are so privileged to have General Conference twice a year... If I could say they're my favorite holidays I would. I encourage you all to pray to God with any questions you have... He will answer you. 

The next time you hear from me I'll be 15 hours ahead of you.. so many miles away I can't even remember the number... but before that time comes.. It's time to say, "BEST WEEK EVER!!" Easily the most spiritually and inspiring general conference.. We were asked to stand and sing Called to Serve at the Devotional and I cried. My elders did SO WELL AT CONFERENCE, Ye Elders of Israel was out of this world. Sister Stancliffe and I were recommended and picked to represent one companionship of four chosen throughout the whole MTC for people and my purpose.. I had to pray in front of everyone and needed to pause for 30 seconds due to my lack of remembering how to open a prayer in English.. and caught myself speaking Korean and then closing the prayer in Korean.. It was more of a happy moment then embarrassing. Second, I LOVE MY DISTRICT and refuse to say goodbye to them. Third... one of my new friend missionaries going to Japan asked me if I was half Korean and half Black.. when I asked her why all she responded with was I've seen you dance and jerk... I've never felt so happy hahaha. Okay okay.. sorry, gotta go... I LOVE YOU ALL. 

Make this next week the best. Use your agency and align it with God's will for you.. I promise He'll bless you beyond comprehension! I CANT WAIT TO TALK TO YOU!!!! EEP!!

All my love,
Sister Willcox
 
MY LOVELY DISTRICT. 

My companion made me make a wish..
 
when a random elder asked me to hold his coat.
I love my district!!
My desk..