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

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Another one bites the dust

The clock ticks and my brain tires of information from learning yet another Korean grammar form... it's only been 5 minutes, 6 more hours of classroom instruction left. I've waited what has felt like an eternity for October to arrive... and now there are only 11 days until DEPARTURE. As I look back in retrospect, all I keep asking myself is where has the time gone?????? It was just yesterday I entered my classroom and stared at a red head repeating jiberish to me, knowing without a doubt I walked into the wrong classroom. Each day has felt like a half life, and yet... a fraction of a blink of an eye. Time is so very precious to us on earth.... Not only is it our time, our only time to prepare to meet God, but this precious time, with every action and day throughout this life will have great eternal impact on the rest of forever. This places a lot of pressure on a 21 year old sister... girl... 

As I thought about this heavy burden placed upon my shoulders, to make every last second count, to face all mountains placed before me.. the truth of fore-ordination continually enters my mind. We are told that we were predestined to come to earth at this specific time.. the time designated as the dispensation of time. When the Gospel has been restored to the earth, and for the last time. Well.... what about Moses? Nephi, Moroni or Joseph? I have come to have a firm testimony of each of their lives. Of their specific times, callings and foreordained work. God has sent us to Earth with our own calling as well... and as unqualified as I feel about serving a mission.. I can't even fathom how Nephi felt as a preteen being called to slay a king. Or how Moses felt as the Lord commanded Him to part the red sea. But regardless of how they felt, God knew who they were and who they were going to become and He called them... and for what purpose? To bring about the Eternal Life and Immortality of man. From the very beginning of earth, God's purpose has been the same. Why would that change now with mine own calling?? I am a noble a great, one of His noble and great and with that comes my purpose, the same as those called in the past, to bring about the salvation of the Children of God. 

I could be wrong, but I don't think it's a stretch to say that none of the biblical, ancient or even modern men called of God were prepared or even qualified for the task ahead of them. Nor was I ready to be called as a full time representative of my Savior. But I know that I have been called by the same God and that He will magnify us in our callings. I may not have been called to lead the Nephite armies out of captivity or to be tarred and feathered... But I have decided that whatever come my way, whatever stands to face me or tear me down, "I endure all things for the elects sake, that they may also obtain the Salvation which is in Christ Jesus with Eternal Glory" (2 Time 2:10) I will "endure hardness, as a good SEOULDIER of Jesus Christ." (2 Time 2:3) LOL. 

A great task lies a head of me.. days without end.. tears without cease... yet... joy without comprehension, love without end. I know the happiness these servants of the Lord felt.. and I would be willing to endure endless MTC food for it. I love my Savior... almost as much as I know He loves us. He is more than just my rock.. He is my Savior, friend, Redeemer, comforter, confidant, support, teacher and exemplar. He is the one I would be willing to give my life for.. This may sound premature... but I never want my mission to end. I have dreamt in anxious anticipation for this opportunity and it hasn't been a penny what I thought it would be. My creative imagination failed to create the greatest experience of my life. and....... I'm still here.. in good ole Provo, UT. 

I think I was right in warning you that every email could begin with best week ever.. But in all honesty, I don't think a week could top this last one. Let me just rewind to my very first week in the MTC.. to the time I prayed in Korean for the very first time.. My eyes watered and my heart felt so full I knew it would burst. Fast forward 3 weeks later.. to the time I bore my testimony for the first time in Korean and then trying to find the words to express my gratitude for the words I received in my time of need... And then there was fast sunday. Time was limited and there were 24 people in front of me... It took all of my concentration to truly listen to what my fellow missionaries were saying and my spot in line took me by surprise. I walked up to the podium... and every gospel centered conversation I'd ever had, girls camp testimony meeting I'd ever been to ;), every scriptural Jerusalem site I'd ever visited and every heartfelt prayer I had ever offered flooded my memory and I was completely overwhelmed with the spirit. 

I don't care if I have a single baptism for my entire mission, baptism is not what converts us. What converts us is reading the scriptures and feasting on the words found therein. It's praying to a loving Heavenly Father because you know He there. It's serving others and constantly standing as a witness of Christ. the pathway down conversion is not easy. None of the moments I've written home about have come free of charge.. But I know what the charge gets us. I knows what will come if we continually exercise faith. I have been scared out of my mind day in and day out.. but my conversion has carried me.. It's going to carry me straight to Korea in 11 days. I may have choked up at the end of my testimony... But to have the sweetest confirmation and affirmation of not only what I believe, but know was worth the price of a few sniffles. 

He saves us from everything and with Him all things are possible. I am a missionary, I am His missionary and He will magnify me in my calling. "Let heaven and hell combine against me." I will continually work harder, be exactly obedient and sacrifice all to the Lord. I know that he has the power to keep all His promises and that there isn't a point in time when we need to give up on that promise. Family... I love you so much. There isn't a prayer I say that doesn't express my gratitude for you or my desires for your blessings. Thank you for helping me become the person I am today.. I still have so much to work on, but I don't blame you in the slightest... only except to blame you for making me want to be better. Thank you for your love and support... for your prayers and for answering my prayers. I can't say thank you enough, but I hope that through my actions, you will feel of that love. 


All my love,  
Willcox Jaymeh 

ps. "When we put god first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives. Our love of the Lord will govern the claims for our affection, the demands on our time, the interests we pursue, and the order of our priorities."  (President Ezra Taft Benson)
pss... we received new natives this week.. In case you were wondering.. I look like a Korean KPOP star and they all freaked out when they met me.. so.. feel free to ask for my autograph.
psss... the Native Elders always forget their keycards and end up locking themselves out of their rooms.. their reenactment of "do you want to build a snowman" whenever one of them has locked himself out has never been louder, sounded or looked funnier.
pssss... zone leaders and sister training leaders got cell phones this week... hit me up on my flip phone!!!
psssss.... I CRIED WHEN THE KOREAN CHILDREN SANG IN THE WOMEN'S BROADCAST.. I CANT WAIT TO BE IN KOREA AND LOVE THEM AND JUST LOOK AT HOW ADORABLE THEY ARE. oh also, they decided to only let elders sing at general conference for the priesthood session.. sad day and I don't want to talk about it. 

Sister Simonsen (my teacher, amazing and such a positive influence to me) and sister smith!! our ZR trainer! She's the sweetest!

My companion, Sister Bryan and I.

The meek shall inherit the Kindgom of God

Throughout my life, I have had to constantly remind myself, "Jamie, beware of pride!" Hardly ever thinking about the opposite..  We are children of God, exponentially blessed from a loving Heavenly Father who can command both the seas and the earth. I know for a fact that He loves to bless us because I have been blessed beyond measure. However, pride shortly follows blessings if we are not careful... with examples displayed throughout the entire Book of Mormon. Well.. what is the opposite of pride? Meekness.

I have been called as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints..  Called to be the hands, heart and voice of my Savior. One of my favorite sacrament hymns has always been, which I will attribute to To Satisfy The Law... "Jesus, Once of Humble Birth". God is God.. He is all powerful, all Omnipotent, He commands both the seas and the earth.. I believe if He had wanted Christ to be born in a palace it would have been done. However I have traveled to the place of our Savior's birth.. I know that He came to earth to a  meek, virtuous and loving mother named Mary.. was born to a humble carpenter named Joseph and that He was born in a manger. From the very moment He came to earth.. Christ exemplified meekness. Throughout His life.. He walked wherever He needed to go.. He prayed.. he submitted Himself to the Father.. Even to the atoning and Crucifixion for all mankind.  I used to think I had already done my part.. submitted myself to the Lord and turned in my mission papers. Considered my decision sufficiently meek...

Prior to leaving on a mission I complied a list of all of my favorite quotes, one of them comes from Lectures on Faith 6:7, "We are not just urged to be devoted to God's cause, but also to be prepared to sacrifice all things, giving, if necessary, the last full measure of our devotion." Yes it is true, I have devoted the next year and a half to the Lord.. but is that enough? Dedicating my time here on earth to something that will bless me more than will cost me? Did our Savior simply give up 34 years of his time to dwell on earth? No. He came to earth and performed miracle after miracle, healed person after person... even performed the greatest sacrifice this world will ever know. Did He just give His time? 

I am not going to end my mission, nor you complete your time here on earth.. turn to God and say, "Here you go, take it or leave it!" Christ did not endure pain, ridicule and the atonement.. turn to God and say "Alright, I'm done" .. He turned to his Father.. OUR Father and said, "Thy will be done." He devoted everything, EVERYTHING He had to God.. and gave it to Him faithfully up to the very last second of his life. Joseph Smith did not check out the second someone turned on him... Or when He received the gold plates. He endured all.. he meekly submitted himself to the will of the Father until the very last second of His life... This applies to every prophet we have ever had or will have. This applies to me. 

I am not even a fraction of the missionary I am without the Lord. If it had been up to me... I would have gone stateside.. English speaking. But the Lord had other plans for me, He has other plans for you. And even though it's hard to submit myself in all things... I am learning that only the meek know how to fully draw upon the Lord for assistance. And I need all the assistance I can get. I know that the same God that called Moses to lead the Israelites out of captivity has called me.. Sister Willcox to lead His beloved Koreans out of captivity. (Alma 29:11-13) Although I may not need the same miracles to make it happen... I know He will help me in my endeavors as I meekly submit to His will. Even Christ said, "I can of mine own self do nothing." (John 5:30) If the Son of Man calls upon God for assistance how much more in need are we??? 

The Ogden Utah Temple re-dedication was this past week and we were fortunate enough to participate. Everything about the Temple teaches of, testifies of and points to Christ. I fully believe that our Bodies are temples.. places where God can be with us. I want everything about (my) temple to teach, testify and point to the Lord. I invite you to make this temple re-dedication with me. To dedicate yourself to the service of the Lord pertaining to the Salvation of man. To be a clean, strengthening beacon to all. To never let spiritual darkness tempt your spiritual light. Just as I know Temples bring peace to our hearts and peace to our lives... I know that we can bring that same peace to others around us. 18 months is proving to be even shorter than I ever imagined.. If I don't dedicate myself now.. when will I?

Elder Ballard came and spoke to us on Tuesday which prompted me to ask myself.. Why am I serving a mission.. To be tired everyday? To spend countless hours on my knees and wipe tears from my eyes every night? To learn Korean? To spend literally days staring at a brink wall consisting of 247 orange bricks? I know why I am serving.. I am serving because I love my Savior. Because nothing in the world could ever replace what the Gospel means for me..what the gospel does for me. I know that my Savior lives. That we are children of our Heavenly Father. What good is a testimony if we never share it. (this next week is fast sunday...;)) 

I am so grateful for everything my mission has already taught me.. starting with how important eternal families are. I love you all so very much.. I really couldn't be doing without you.. nor would I want to. 

Humble seeker of happiness, (Alma 27:17-18)
Sister Willcox

ps... one of the natives gave a talk on sunday.. I literally fell off my seat.. stretched my jaw from opening it so wide and starting crying from hysterically laughing at the fact that I DID NOT UNDERSTAND save but 10 words she said. President Yost perfectly portrayed my thoughts by standing up to speak after her and saying, "Oh chamaynem (sister), I can't even speak in English that fast." What am I in store for? 

pss. Directly following a district testimony meeting with our teachings.. (Swoon, amazing) the ZL's and my new STL companion and I welcomed new missionaries again! This time however.. I am happy to report.. I wasn't even thinking about the testimony part but when it came to be my turn... I found myself holding back tears as I testified of my Savior.. of this amazing gospel we have. ahhh the perks of being in the MTC for 7 weeks. 

psss. I love my companion.

pssss.... I get my flight plans and visa next friday.

psssss.... for some reason I say ahh, crayooh (the equivalent of "really" in English) more than anything else, and with different pronunciation to get my point across.. well.. my district caught the ahh crayooh fever and now mocks me for that. LOL. annmahshesoyo. 

pssssss.... Sorry last one.. during one of our investigator lessons this week to an investigator who struggles with every aspect of the word of wisdom... He asked why God gave us this commandment.. and due to my limited vocabulary all I could say, very animatedly and with more volume following each statement.. God doesn't want us to need beer.. to need to smoke.. God wants us to wake up and say I need the Book of Mormon.. I need prayer.. I need God!! it took us 5 minutes to compose ourselves afterward.. Brother Scoville included. ahhh, I have so much to learn. (sorry.. this will be a lot funny in Korean.. dad, mom, eric.. translate)

Elder Grovers bday party... just me posting up after sand volleyball

I am literally a creature of my daily planner... I don't go anywhere with out it.. today.. i had to say goodbye to my first planner. sad day.

Just Feastin'

ahhh, just back on that pday email scramble grind... Yes I am fine. Yes, the Lord's taking good care of me, yes the Korean is hard.. awhh, there really isn't much to complain about living in a bubble. Other than the fact that I miss you all! I ....ran... into my two very best friends last week on my way into the temple.. OH MY GOODNESS. Tender mercy galore. I am so very grateful for both my family and friends.. for all of your incredible examples to me.. I have so much to look forward to in life.. so much to work hard for. Thank you!

If I wasn't gaining so much faith and hope each day I might say I don't think I will ever have as good of a week as this last.. Not only did Elder Richard G. Scott come to talk to us, but as did 3 other members of the General Presidencies. I am saying Hongumar sentences like jackie chan, I got the best chips and salsa.. Kudos to Tina. We get to sing at GENERAL CONFERENCE and I can honestly say I am not only a step, but steps closer to being the missionary Heavenly Father needs me to be. This might sound absurd, but I never want to leave. The MTC is this glorious dedicated earthly heaven.. and I refuse to leave. I hate talking about this.. but It's already been over a month.. and I'm sitting here crying thinking about the fact that I only have 17 more of these. I once thought I never wanted to leave Jerusalem.. ya, that was pathetic compared to this. 

Even though every moment of our hectically mapped out days is beneficial... I have been able to gain more out of a sole hour of personal study here than I have in all of my life's study sessions prior. The difference between reading and feasting is HUGE. Especially when it comes to the Book of Mormon. Every year towards the end of November we gather up our families for this holiday we call Thanksgiving. We spend all day working up a sweat.. whether it be through cooking, running turkey trots, playing sports until someone breaks a nose hahah... and then.. we feast. We eat until our hearts content, until we can't eat another kernel of corn. And then what do we do? Bounce right out of it and play more sports?? NO. We sit and we converse, being completely overwhelmed with our feasts that often times, it hurts. We are so grateful and then we help one another in cleaning.. and we leave each feast better people and with more love. What's the difference between this feast and the one the Lord asks us to do every day? 

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is for people, it's about their progress and their ability to move forward. Hopefully, moving upward. Moving upward is slight differently from moving on a continued flat surface.. First of all, it takes about a fraction of the energy.. and second, it doesn't push us. Although there are moments in my life that I wish someone could just push me up a hill.. (I once tried this with Mak hahhaha).. I can assure you that it doesn't work. We need to put in the energy. We need to feast. How are you feasting on the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

I will admit, whenever I am feeling the least bit discouraged... I am the first to resign, clam up and take the back seat. I absolutely hate letting people see me puffy eyed and tear stained.. It's incredible what measures I find myself taking to avoid letting anyone see me cry. (blinks blinks blinks) And why go through such large and extreme measures? Because I know that I have been blessed with a happy disposition on life... I am not allowed to be sad... what type of missionary would I be without a smile on my face??? Ya ya, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU SISTER WILLCOX??? A mission is HARD. Well, a friend once told me of a pivotal moment of their mission.. the moment they realized how much people pay attention to our emotions.. A very similar experience happened to me at the start of this week and I remembered that story when an elder gave my companion a high five and told me I didn't deserve one since I wasn't always smiling. I don't know exactly how it feels to receive a bullet through the heart.. But I would assume it's pretty similar. 

No, I wasn't expecting this to be easy. Nor did I assume my pillow wouldn't catch a few tears at night.. But how could I? A mission isn't anything like what I had imagined.. I would have never imagined the fatigue, frustration, temptation... the happiness, joy and love I have received.. It isn't something one could ever explain. I half wanted to punch, half wanted to hug the Elder that refused to give me a high five. This is hard.. living the Gospel is hard. learning a new language is hard. putting in 100% effort each day does not come without a toll. But what is it that I am doing? For what purpose am I learning Korean? Why am I putting in every ounce of energy I've got??? Because I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true. Because I have a testimony of my Savior and His atonement for all mankind. Because I know that God sent us to Earth to be tried, tested and proven worthy to return to His presence. I know exactly how to achieve eternal life, not only for myself.. but for my family and loved ones. This life, however hard it may be, is not the end. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU SISTER WILLCOX??? why AREN'T you always smiling?? Although this lesson was hard to accept... my mouth now hurts in the corners and I will probably need surgery to remove the smile off my face when I return. Rejoice family! We have the Plan of Happiness.. not the plan of rules, trials or lessons.. .But the Plan of Happiness. 

I need to learn to stop limiting the Lord. With Him ALL things are possible. (Luke 1:37) And guess what? That promise isn't only for missionaries. I know that if God doesn't fix something, then He will carry us through it. He has promised to be on our left and on our right.. continuously bearing us up through the atonement of Jesus Christ. Do you understand what that means??? Our choir director shared a very intricate universe, stars, galaxies message to us.. And since I refuse to butcher it.. I'll just share one specific quote I know I got word for word... "The Lord is as personal as He is grand." He knows your life, even more than I do.. He knows your strengths, potential.. just as well as your weaknesses and trials.. He has and continually prepares you for these experiences.. Rejoice, the End is Eternal Life and the Lord is here to direct and lead you to it! I may not be superstitious, but I am a little stitious.. and sometimes, I trust in myself only... But each day I learn more and more how much He LOVES us and wants us to return to Him and receive Eternal Happiness. I know that with every step we take in drawing closer to God and becoming more like our Savior, is an equal step closer to happiness. I want people to recognize me as the happiest person they know.. I know that goal is a looooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnnnng way down the road.. But I know who's helping me down the path. I know who we can trust.

We are not on the Lord's side, the Lord is on ours. As He died to make men Holy, I will live to make men free.
All my love,
Sister Willcox

I am constantly being teasing for my small feet... And for flipping my hair behind my left shoulder. (hello, my name tag needs to be showing) Also, the native Koreans came into the laundry room today with sheets covering their faces and pushed each other through the laundry room. I think Korea is going to be a treat. I'm always praying for you.