Sunday, April 22, 2018

April 23, 2018

Hello everybody!

Well I officially survived the first week of another transfer! It was super great! My new companion is Sister Choi and she's awesome. She actually is the Korean sister I was with in the MTC and then came to Korea with. Best part, she loves scary movies and has watched every episode of Criminal Minds multiple times! When she told me that I was like, ah yes this is going to be a great transfer. Hahaha. She seriously is hilarious too, I can't even describe it. For example, she had told me she likes to hide, but I had no idea what she actually meant, until one night I walk out of the bathroom and all the lights are off. I walk over to my desk and there is a sticky note that says, "Find me." ......... considering all the scary stories that had been told the last couple nights, it was horrifying! So I grabbed our roll of tissue paper and start walking around the house until I feel something reach out of the closet and grab my ankle! I squeeled, she laughed, I hit her with the tissue papers, good memories all around! 

It feels like not a ton happened this week, but some random highlights. We had our service activity, like we do every Wednesday. I swear peeling over 40 onions does something to you! Elder Kim and I sat and peeled onions in the corner of this big kitchen, crying and talking about life, vampires and who we would be if we were in Twilight for an hour. We help there with a bunch of cute ladies and one came up behind me and put a candy in my mouth. Of course, a coffee candy and there was nothing I could do about it. I don't know if I've had a stranger experience like that on my mission, sitting on the kitchen floor, wearing a huge apron, boots, big gloves, cutting so many onions I like can't see through my tears, and eating a coffee candy. It was a pretty strange day, but definitely one to remember!

Friday we had STLTM, which was the best because I got to see tons of my favorite people! After we had to head straight to the hospital to take our dear Grandma to her appointment at another hospital with the Elders. I never thought that could be such a difficult task. It's not getting her to her appointments that is hard, it's getting her to go in willingly! Or the best is her telling you to got to the end of this hall (Haha you do what Grandma says.) and then you sit there because there is no door, but she swears this is where the X-rays will be taken.... sitting...waiting.... But she got her cast off and I don't think I've ever seen her happier! She was smiling and rubbing the doctors head as he cut it off. Then she turns to us and says, if you would've brought me my scissors, we could've done this earlier! Hahaha so many weird things every week here! 

You couldn't think the week could've gotten better, but it did. Highlight of the week, our investigator asked us on Saturday if she could come to church with us, see the baptismal font and while she was saying the closing prayer she said thank you for helping me find the true gospel and letting us learn about it today. She literally is so cool, and so prepared. I feel like I've waited my whole mission to find someone this prepared and willing to listen! 

This week I came across a scripture 
that has really stuck with me I wanted to share with all of you! It is Alma 47:6 and says,

"6 And they had appointed a man to be a king and a leader over them, being fixed in their minds with a determined resolution that they would not be subjected to go against the Nephites."

I love how it talks about how they were "fixed in their minds with a determined resolution." If we decide we want to do something, with the Lord's help, we can accomplish anything. I think Satan likes to make this hard for us to see sometimes. There are hard things along the path that may just make us feel insignificant, like we're failing. There was a quote I remember hearing in Young Women's that said, "The difference between stepping stones and stumbling blocks is how you use them." Along our path, because none of us are perfect, we all fall, stumble and have moments when we feel like we're failures. BUT that's not true! Through every "fail", we grow, we learn and we become more capable than we were before. Through each of our learning experiences, we are becoming more of who the Lord wants us to become, who He needs us to be. We have to keep our minds focused on the big picture and where we want to go, what we want to do. Truly as we keep our minds "fixed with a determined resolution," there can be no other outcome than things benefiting us for our good. The Lord knows best and is sending us exactly what we need.

Sending lots of love!

Sister Stout

April 16, 2018

Hello again!

I don't know how I always run out of time for this..oops sorry. But this week transfer calls came again! Sister Ju got transferred and my new companion Sister Choi came. She actually is the Korean Sister I came to Korea with, so it'll definitely be fun. 

This week was really great, probably the best of the transfer! It feels like things are all starting to work out and all our hard work is starting to be seen. Thank goodness! It's getting me excited to see what this transfer has in store. 

With this transfer coming to an end, I feel like I have a lot of different thoughts I want to share, but due to the lack of time I just want to leave you all with how much I know the Lord knows each of us individually and really is listening to your prayers. I feel like I've learned that a lot over and over again this transfer, as well as doubted it too. I've learned so much about the plan He has for each of us, and if it was all easy we wouldn't be able to learn. Trials and times He takes to humble us, is what shapes us to become who we need to become. I know as we go to Him and take our troubles to Him, He won't take them away, but He'll make them possible. Through Him, we really have the power to do anything. 

Have a good week,

Sister Stout

Monday, April 9, 2018

April 9, 2018

(Sorry I dont have access to most of the pictures....maybe next week?)

Well hello again,

Weeks keeps flying by faster and faster and I feel like I blink and am back sitting here emailing. It's insane! Somehow I blinked and this week was the week, one year ago, I came to Korea. Landing here a year ago, I could never have imagined what I was in for, but I sure am so thankful for the past year I've had to serve here in Korea. What a year!

One thing I learned this week, was any week started with a P-day spent at the beach, is automatically a better week! I definitely advise it. 

Lots of crazy stuff this week, got to love it. 

Tuesday we were able to meet with this super cute investigator that I feel like I learn so much from every time I talk to her. She just has this deep love and appreciation for God. It is really cool to see the way Heavenly Father lined up her life to meet the missionaries. Her heart isn't quite ready to accept the gospel, but she is so drawn to our church and spending time with the missionaries. Our church has such a different feeling, that I feel like we all just get used to. It isn't until you see someone who has never felt that before, feel it for the first time, that you realize, woah. Everytime we meet with her, it makes me rethink all the things I take advantage of. We have blessings that some people can't even imagine right before us.

Fun story of the week, we met this super crazy man on the subway. In Korea, we aren't allowed to talk to men, unless they talk to us first, it's a culture thing, but anyways he came up and started talking to me. I was super frustrated because I had no idea what he was saying. Gee, great. I love not understanding anything after being here for a year. My companion was listening and I invited him to English class anyways, not really thinking about it. Well, after my companion just starts laughing and pulls up google translate to explain to me what he just said. Well, I invited a crazy man to English class. He had been telling me how he just got out of a mental hospital, and flew here from the O zone layer in the Earth with his head on fire....well obviously I've been studying the wrong words! Oops. Then he called us the next night to follow up, got to love when people you meet are better at missionarying than you! The Elders are pumped about their referral of course!

Saturday we had our weekly soccer/basketball appointment. We have this investigator that every week, she just brings 4 or 5 of her friends to come play with us and then after we teach a lesson with the Elders. One thing it has opened my eyes to so much, is how easy it really is to share the gospel. You don't have to just give a Book of Mormon to your friend, or invite them to church to be doing missionary work! I think I always was maybe a little intimidated by the missionaries before my mission...they're just "the missionaries." The longer I'm out the more I realized how wrong that was! It's so easy to introduce your friends to the missionaries, you're not throwing them into Baptism or anything crazy. It's all one step at a time and such a cool thing to be part of.

We were also able to watch Conference this weekend, a little bit later than everyone else, but hey better late than never!! I love Conference weekend. We were able to watch it in a room across the hallway from everyone else in English. (The party room of course.) It never stops amazing me how Conference seems to get more and more powerful. I absolutely loved President Nelson's talk about revelation and it got me so excited to see all the work that is going to be done while he is serving as our Prophet. I'm so thankful we have prophets on earth here to lead and guide us. It is such a unique thing and a blessing to everyone who takes time to listen and apply it. Conference shouldn't just be a weekend full of good feelings, it should be something we take and act on the next 6 months! That is when the real miracles and blessings come. I invite you all to act on the prompting you recieved and keep studying the talks through the next 6 months. The blessings and opportunity to change is just sitting before you, go get it and let this Conference change your life. 

Sending lots of love.

Sister Stout

Thursday, April 5, 2018

April 2, 2018 Happy Easter!

                                Being back with Sister Oh♡

Sister Ohs attempt at cute pictures with the Cherry Blossoms

Our flight to Jeju Island to do exchanges with the Jeju Sisters.

That back of the car was how we rode to lunch! Hahaha it was like living a Criminal minds episode

The plane to Jeju

Sister Monson at the choir performance

Hello everybody!

Happy Easter and General Conference weekend! We dont get to watch it until next weekend, but Ive heard its been amazing, as always♡

This week was exciting, a lot of random fun events. Tuesday we got to help deep clean the 괴정 church. I havent weeded for sooo long. I never thought I would say this, but it was so much fun. Just weeding, no stress. The man in charge of doing this at all the churches was impressed I could weed so well. Haha thanks mom and dad for making us help weed the garden, it paid off.;) After he took us to lunch, but in order to get there, he had us sit in the back of his creeper van on folding chairs from the church. The windows are all covered in bars, and it felt like I was living a Criminal Minds movie!! Living the dream.

Wednesday we had our service activity thats at a soup kitchen. We peeled so many onions, the tears were just streaming. Its fun being the only foreigner because people who come in always try to speak random English that doesnt even make sense. Old people are fun!

Wednesday night we took a flight to Jeju island for exchanges with Sister Oh and Sister Raju. Seeing Sister Oh again was the best. It was like in all the movies, where you get off the plane and then people go running to each other and its all cutsy, it was definitely that cute. We were able to spend all of Thursday with them and then fly back to Busan Friday morning. Two nights of no sleep, and no regreta! The whole exchange was just the best. Jeju is beautiful this time of year. All of the flowers were blooming and the cherry blossoms were beautiful. Then there was the miracle of being companions with Sister Oh again for a day!♡

After coming home, Saturday morning we went and played soccer with the missionaries in the district, investigators, members, less actives. Its pretty much just anyone we can get to come. Well our potential investigator showed up and it was seriously the answer to so many prayers! She's 16 years old, and may or may not have a crush on the Elders, but for now I dont even mind! We're just going to look past that! We were able to share an Easter message with her on the soccer field after. Weird place, but I think it was the best lesson we've had since I got here. Much needed♡ 

And Easter. Easter here...well I had a boiled egg after church. So no, its not really a thing here. As a zone we had a zone Easter procelyting activity at Haeondae beach. It was such a beautiful place to do it and share this amazing message with other people, oh what better day than Easter?

This past week has been beautiful with all of the flowers blooming, Easter, and I've officially been in Korea a year. On our flight home from Jeju, we flew into the same airport that I flew into almost exactly a year ago. It got me reflecting a lot on the past year and all thats happened. The good days, bad days, laughs and tears. But through it all how much my gratitude and love for my Savior and this gospel has grown. None of it could've been possible without Him and His sacrafice for all of us. Because of Him, even in our darkest times, we are never alone. He's there and sends angels into our lives to help us. Im so thankful for this past year I've had to learn, grow, and share Christ's love in Korea. Thank you for all your prayers and support♡ 

Hope you all had a Happy Easter.

Sister Stout