Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Cake, coke, and ...fried shrimp? Welcome to the Korean Branch!!

Jordyn’s weekly email 
January 28, 2014 
Serving in Federal Way, Washington 
Korean Branch 
Companion: Sister Choi 

First of all, thanks for all of the birthday wishes/packages! As much as I didn't want to turn 20, the day ended up being a really good one. It was funny, I had actually forgotten that it was my birthday until I got a call from President and Sister Eaton and they started singing to me. Haha, they're the best. We had district meeting and then after went to a recent convert's house where we had cheesecake, I got sang to again (in english), we drank coke, and then ate fried shrimp and sweet potatoes. It's probably the most random meal I've eaten in a while, but I've learned to just accept what I get here. Unless it smells questionable.

Saturday Jun got baptized! It's a funny story--He is down in Puyallup South, and my district leader was teaching him forever. He's Korean, so they turned him over to the Korean elders, then we came in, got permission from his parents in Korea for him to be baptized, he got baptized down in South Hill on Saturday, and we got to go! It was awesome--the spirit was so strong and Sister Choi and Elder Kim taught the restoration in Korean. The only words I caught were Joseph Smith, Jesus Christ, and God, but you could definitely feel the spirit. I've really learned how to listen to the spirit better here since I can't actually listen to the conversation that's going on.

Sunday I played the piano in sacrament meeting. I think it went alright, to be honest I don't completely remember. But I am definitely grateful that I took lessons . . . and that my parents wouldn't let me quit when I probably wanted to a few months in. :)

Monday morning we had interviews with President. He's probably one of my favorite people to talk to; the very first thing he asked me when I went in was how I was doing in the branch (with a super concerned look on his face). We talked about what was going on, he told me how long I'm gonna be here, and then we talked about how I ended up here. It was really interesting. He told me that he was planning on picking 5 or so sisters and then looking up their missionary files to see how interested they would be in learning a language. But then he said my name came up, and he said "that's the one!" Which is interesting, because (I think I said this earlier) as soon as Elder Giles told me I was going to the Korean Branch, I had the feeling that was exactly where I needed to be. Like, when you open your mission call and read where you're going you have the feeling of "oh my gosh! I can't imagine going anywhere else than there." It's definitely been and will continue to be tough, but I know I'm exactly where the Lord wants me to be.

And then when I was talking to Sister Eaton, President came in with Sister Choi and our ZLs and gave me the charge to figure out how to teach an ESL class.

. . .  think I'm gonna call it "faking your way through teaching english classes."

So if anyone has any ideas or suggestions let me know because i have absolutely no idea what I'm doing. Which is exactly why we're just gonna make it seem like I do :)

That's about all the exciting stuff--except for we went to the temple this morning!! (hence the late email) It was absolutely wonderful. I love to see the temple, I love to go inside, I love to feel the peace.

Love you all! Have an awesome week

Sister VerHoef

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Saw The Sun Twice This Week!!

January 21,2014 
Jordyn's weekly e-mail 
Serving in Federal Way, WA
Companion: Sister Choi

Sister VerHoef meet Sister Choi
This is Sister VerHoef's new companion, Sister Choi
She is a native of South Korea and has been serving 
for 16 months.. I better hurry and learn the language!!
 Two months isn't that long to learn a new language.

Tender mercies everyone, tender mercies.

But anyway, pretty good week! It's slowly getting easier now that I'm up to 6 words and 4 sentences in Korean. I still have no idea what most of the people are saying, but Sister Choi is teaching me how to bear my testimony in Korean--I'll hopefully get that down within the next month or two.

Our English classes are going well. Getting an English-speaking call I never thought I would use that as a finding tool, but it's actually how we have most of our investigators. On the flip side, I never realized how bad my Utah accent was until I had to teach others how to pronounce words in English. There's gonna be a LOT of Koreans in Washington with Utah accents :)

The highlight of my week was definitely Sunday. I was sitting in sacrament meeting trying to figure out why I was called to serve in this branch, I had a little pity party and thought to myself, "I don't know why I'm supposed to be here. My companion's a native, I can't understand a word anyone says, Sister Dudek and I just figured out how to teach, and now I can't use anything we learned." I said a little prayer and told Heavenly Father how lonely I was feeling and just wanted someone who could understand. And a hug from my mom. (shoutout)

And then, in His always loving and gentle way, Heavenly Father retaught me one of the most valuable things I've learned during my mission. The thought came to my mind, "Jordyn, you're not alone. The Savior knows exactly how you're feeling right now. Turn to Him." I immediately felt a peace come over me. Right then I realized that while I may not speak the language, I'm here for a reason. Every change and trial in my life has made me stronger and appreciate my Savior more, and this is just one more chance to grow.

This is just a faster growth process than past ones . .  :)

And because Heavenly Father is so great, I had the biggest tender mercy of my life on Sunday night at the Recent Convert fireside we went to with a recent convert and her non-member husband.
We walked in while everyone was singing the opening song, and I looked up at the person leading the music, and it was none other than Brother Bryan! I got the biggest grin from him while he was leading.
Then I looked up at the front row to see Sister Wayne, Marcia Castro, Sister Bryan, Sister Dudek and Will Reine!! After President introduced the night and bore his testimony, my payday happened. Will got up and bore his testimony.

Oh man. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me smile, it made me feel the spirit. There is nothing more rewarding than to see the change that has happened in that man over the course of the 8 months that I've known him. He's happier, his kids are happier, their relationship is better, and they can't wait to go to the temple and be sealed together.

Love it. 

And since I couldn't have a hug from my mom, Heavenly Father said, "we'll just have her mission-mom give her a hug." So Sister Bryan came up and gave me a big hug, we talked, and she told me to keep having adventures, and that everything was going just fine in Ridgecrest.

I'm so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who knows us personally, and knows exactly what will help us the most. I know He's there, I know He loves us, and I know that because He loves us, He provided a Savior who would go through everything we do and be someone who we can turn to and will say, "I know what you're going through. Let me help you." Love you all!

Any nyunghi gea sea yo!

Sister VerHoef

Line of the week:
*Brother Reine, bearing his testimony/talking about his conversion*
Will: I knew September 21st would be a special date to be baptized on. And as a matter of fact, it's the date the angel Moroni appeared to the prophet Joseph Smith in 1833 *Turns to President Eaton* Is that right? 1833? or 1820?
President: 1823--but that's alright
Will: Oh! Right! Well, what can I say; I've only been a Mormon for 4 months!
I cannot wait for the day when that man becomes a bishop.

Monday, January 13, 2014

All I want is a fork and a knife, and I keep getting judged on my inability to eat with chopsticks.!!

Jordyn's weekly e-mail 
January 13, 2014
Transfer day to Federal Way, Washington 
Companion: Soon to meet

H man, I don't even know how to begin to describe my week!

So, the new comp's name is Sister Choi. Fortunately for me, we get along great, she is from South Korea, and has been out for 16 months (2nd to last transfer!), so she knows the ropes pretty well. We were white-washed into the branch, so we're still trying to figure everything out. We were also white-washed into an Elders area of like 4 years, so the apartment was disgusting and the area book was even worse.

Thanks elders.

But, some cool facts:
-Since Sister Choi was called english-speaking, we get an hour of language study everyday for me to learn some Korean and her to keep working on her English
-Our area boundaries are the Federal Way and Seattle missions (just a tiny bit bigger than Ridgecrest)
-After one week in the branch I can now say: hello, thank you, my name is Sister VerHoef, and can write the letters B, D, G, H, J, K, M, N, O, P, S, and T in Korean.
-No one in the branch can say the letter 'v' or 'r' or 'f' so I'm officially known as Sister Bohoes (pronounced Bo-haws)
-I have inherited my mother's distaste for Asian food. And Koreans love to feed people.

And now on to my week!

We've visited a lot of investigators this week as well as members. It's weird though--I can't pronounce anyone's name! Or participate in any of the conversations! I usually get asked where I'm from, and then everyone talks for a while while I sit and ponder the meaning of life (mostly kidding). But we did teach a girl named Jisu on Sunday. She only speaks Korean so Sister Choi did most of the teaching, but she turned to me and asked me why we should believe in God. To be honest, that question totally threw me off guard, because I can't imagine what it  would be like to not believe in God. So I testified to her why I believe in God, and then Sister Choi translated. I've never been more grateful for the spirit in my life though! I'm so amazed at how it transcends languages and can testify to me even though I have no idea what Sister Choi is actually teaching the people we're talking to.

And Jisu said that if she finds out that there is a God, that she will get baptized on the 25th :) :)

So we went and met the branch president on Wednesday night and when I introduced myself, I got a funny look. About 15 minutes later he turns to me and goes, "I know where I know your name from!" He went on to say that the ward has some sort of Facebook page for a chess club thing or something and then went to it and showed me some people that had liked it.

JoLynn VerHoef
Julie VerHoef
And I don't remember who else. I'm assuming it was mom and dad though.
thanks guys  :)

To top that off, Saturday morning when we went to their chess club, one of the members turned to me and went, "Hey! I know your parents! Well, from Facebook."

And then I was like "oh man" and he was like "don't worry they said you're a good missionary"

So it's nice to know that your parents can still talk you up, even when you're 900 miles away from home :)

We also had a zone meeting on Friday. It was weird not being in the South Hill stake center! But this one was fantastic. We talked about how we can study and plan better, and have it more focused on our investigators.

One of the ways the missionaries find in this branch is through English classes. Everyone tells me that it's super nice that I'm here because everyone wants to learn English from a native speaker. Haha, the thing these people don't know is that I have no idea how to teach English. But what happens is we do 30 minutes of teaching English, and then do 30 minutes of teaching about the gospel. And it's super nice! We actually have quite a few investigators from it.

And last but not least, the tender mercy of the week. I got to church on Sunday and was expecting to just hang out during sacrament meeting, when one of the American husbands went and grabbed me a headset, so I was able to hear it in English! And they started an English Sunday school class too!

Love you all!

Sister VerHoef

I {this is Lori writing} don't know what happen to Jordyn's weekly email dated January 13, 2014.  I will have to find it and post later..Sorry folks. 

Having to Say Goodbye...Companion's no more :( 

Last Sonic Run for this to great companions 

Transfer Day...Elders wanting to pose as Thug's 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Sister VerHoef....The Tribe Has Spoken!!!

Jordyn's weekly e-mail 
January 7, 2014
Companion: ??
Serving in: Mt. Rainier South Korean Branch
Federal Way Stake 

After being out on her mission for seven and half months..  Jordyn has had her first transfer.....I am pretty sure she didn't see this one coming...She just may spend the rest of her mission here, we will see what the Lord has in store for her. 

Exactly how I felt when I got my transfer call Sunday night. (aka, my heart was ripped out). The phone call came from Elder Maxwell, "Sister VerHoef, you're leaving your birthplace! Out of zone! We don't know anything else!"

Thank you Elder Maxwell, for ripping my heart out and stomping it on the ground. 

And then Monday morning I got a call from AP Giles telling me where I'm gonna go. Thank goodness I'm not training, but you are all gonna die when you hear where I'm gonna serve. You ready for this? I almost dropped the phone when he told me.

Mt. Rainier South Korean Branch, Federal Way Stake.

Guess I better brush up on my Korean skillz!

Or learn Korean. . .

And I'm super excited! I have a feeling this will be one of the hardest transfers yet, but I'm super pumped to learn Korean! It was interesting. Giles told me when I was talking to him that when President was doing transfers he had Sister Eaton look up my mission application, saw that I put that I was willing to learn a language, and then said that I was the one that needed to go there. So I know that this is the place that the Lord needs me. And as sad as I am to leave Ridgecrest, I'm super pumped for the adventures waiting for me in the Mt. Rainier Branch. 

More details to come though, I'm heading off there later today, so I'll let you know what's up next Monday. 

Sister Dudek is gonna hold the fort down in Ridgecrest for me until I come back. The plan is for me to explore the mission for the next five transfers, then come back in August for my last three. Sister Dudek is gonna stay here for a transfer, go to the Marshalleese Branch for a while, come back for her last transfer in August, and then extend for a couple of weeks so that we can go see the Reine's get sealed. So we're not technically breaking up, we're just taking a break for right now. 

But we're getting back together :)

As for my week, the rest of this is gonna be pretty short. 

Robert got baptized on Tuesday which was amazing to see! He has had missionaries pushed on him for the past 20 years, and finally had his heart softened to be baptized and receive the blessings of the fullness of the gospel. 

Robert's Baptism Tues December 3, 2013
This was Sister VerHoef's last baptism
in Puyallup, Wasington

Wednesday we stopped by an elderly sister's house to see how she was doing, and then we ended up staying there for a while before she offered to take us out to lunch! Haha, so we went to Applebee's with her. 

Then the Critchfield's signed up for us to have dinner with them, and ended up taking us out so we went to some Mexican restaurant across from our apartment! It was super nice to not have to "cook" all day :)

Thursday morning we went to a funeral for Sister Bryan's dad who passed away a couple of days for Christmas. It was a nice service, and really helped me to remember how grateful I am for my knowledge of the plan of salvation. 

Saturday we went to the child of record baptism. One of the members that was getting baptized asked if we would speak while everyone was changing. It didn't end up happening, but we got to see some more members. After that we went to a funeral for someone in Manorhood that passed away. I only went to that one because I was asked to play the piano (like always). We had dinner with the Frink's that night and . . . they took us out! So we got taken out to dinner for the third time this week. I think the restaurant's name was Ram.

Sunday was one of the saddest and happiest days of my life! I had to say bye to the Reine's just in case :( Our church time got pushed back to 1:30 due to the new year, so when we got out at 4:30 it was almost pitch black. Robert got confirmed during sacrament meeting (miracles!), we had dinner with the Crandall's (whom I love!), and then found one more investigator before the night ended. 

And then transfer call came.

So Monday I packed and said bye to members and investigators! Every time I walked out of a house my heart was ripped apart again, but all of the members want to know what's gonna happen while I'm in the Korean Branch, and Sister Dudek and I told them about our plan that we have to come back up here for New Year's (and had like 6 people offer up their home as a place to crash--I love this ward!), so it was mostly a "see you later" goodbye. 

Hope you all have an awesome week! I'll let you know what Federal Way is like on Monday!

Jamaeui VerHoef,
(formerly known as Sister VerHoef)

P.S. Alexis tell your family thanks for the package! I loved it all, and I'm gonna write you back this week hopefully!!