Well, another year has come and gone.. This one.. without pound cake and strawberries or the office "it is your birthday".. let's hope I survive! If we have another week like the last.. not sure If I will.. but here's to hoping! Saying goodbye to my trainer, Sister Choi.. Was one of the hardest things to do.. we really have been through everything together.. and I trusted her like a true eternal companion. I know that might sound absurd.. but it's incredible what coming to a foreign country, inadequate in the language, inadequate in Gospel knowledge, inadequate in everything.. can do to a greenie missionary and her trainer. I received my new companion this week.. she's korean, but has lived in Canada for the last couple of years. She has an older brother and sister.. and she's 24. I don't have a picture of her yet, sorry!
We had the opportunity of going to the Temple again .. absolutely needed.. and without it this week.. I don't think I would have survived. I absolutely love the temple.. Family.. please go.. please be strengthened from it's power from on high.. learn.. and be changed! I really can never express my gratitude for the fact that there's a temple in our mission... how fortunate I am to be able to go every 6 weeks.. We need the temple just as much as those waiting for their work to be done.. and I know that when we sacrifice to make it a priority in our lives, we will leave even more blessed and happy. it's impossible to leave the Holy House of the Lord and not feel the peace of eternal life. After going to the Temple, we went and got our teeth cleaned at Sister Choi's grandfather's dentist office ( huge blessing.. kmichi is rotting my teeth!!!!) and then went with the elders to the famous Seoul outdoor Ice rink!!! It was the worst ice rink I have ever skated on in my entire life.. (it only costed a dollar) which makes that understandable.. but it was so much fun nonetheless! There were even famous Netherlander ice skaters there.. and I can do 4 new ice tricks! It was both a last pday/birthday celebration.. and I am so glad.. for the end of an incredible transfer.. and then new energy and excitement it gave me to start a new transfer.
We transferred early the next morning.. making it another orning alarm clock for me 2 days in a row. (the 4th time in a weeks time.. I'm a little sleep deprived since our bedtime is always ) and it was bitter sweet kneeling together for our last prayer as companions.. but I am excited to see why my new companion and I were called to serve together.. i know that Heavenly Father is acutely watching over all of His children.. but with especial care for His missionaries.. and that there is purpose in all things! Now just to learn patience and figure out why! I've been trying to quickly (not to sound rude) forget about Sister Choi.. I feel as if I am cheating on my new companion every time I bring her up.. but what can I say.. our break up came too soon! But regardless.. the work moved on this week! It was terrifying being the experienced sister of our area.. having to have to describe all of our investigators, less actives, members, and recent converts.. It has been such a blessing being able to rely completely upon the atonement.. because i definitely would not have been able to do it without it. I finally learned how (even if it was by force) maneuver our way around this area.. to read the insanely difficult Korean map.. and find apartments and meeting places.. to do our calling and set up a schedule full of miracles.. but He's helping us along.. and I can't express my gratitude for the relationship we've been able to gain. I absolutely love my Savior and this chance to strengthen that relationship..
I don't really know how I make it through each day, but it all comes with His strength.. with His love.. with His infinite sacrifice.. How much we need both the cleansing and enabling aspect of the atonement is not measurable.. just as it's powers. I was not at all ready to serve here as the experienced sister.. but by some miracle, we made it through this week... with miracles left and right. I know that it's because of hard work, faith, obedience, and total reliance on the atonement. I know that Heavenly Father is waiting to bless us if we humble ourselves enough to receive them. I have gone through my fair share of feeling inadequate on my mission.. but this week takes the cake.. It showed me how completely reliant I was on Him.. and although it was hard to realize at first.. to know how little man is.. and woman... I'd much rather rely on Him.. the blessings truly have been countless... one of my favorites of this week being.. with an investigator sitting to my left.. turning around and watching one of my favorite Less actives hustling down the hall towards the chapel.. she made it just in time for the sacrament.. and sitting next to her.. after visiting her almost every week since getting to Korea.. for the first time.. as by far the HAPPIEST moment of my entire missionary service so far.. I love this Area.. I am so glad that I have at least another transfer to serve here.. to serve these people that I have grown to love and continue to watch them come unto Christ. They are changing my life more than I am helping them...
Family.. I love you all.. thank you for all the birthday wishes.. I think for the first time in my life, I can honestly say I'm getting older.. not necessarily in looks.. apparently I still look like I'm 19.. but with my testimony.. with my desires.. with all of things that all sum up to being the best birthday gift of my entire life. I'm always praying for you all.
I love this Gospel. I love my Savior and I love Heavenly Father. I love this opportunity to bear a piece of the cross... to finally start to realize how incredibly heavy it was. He loves us.. I can bear firm and solid testimony of that. He loves us with more than I can even imagine..
All my love,
ps.. shout out to Tina for sending me It is your birthday.