Monday, February 24, 2014

Well, Another Skirt Bit the Dust this Week

Jordyn's weekly e-mail 
February 24, 2014 
Serving in Federal Way, Washington
Korean Branch 
Companion: Sister Choi 

So when I get home and can't remember anyone's name or what city I'm from, let's just all agree now to blame it on my mission. Because I have completely lost my brain out here, no lie. I'm seriously to the point where when my district leader calls on Sunday night for numbers and asks how our week went my response is usually something along the lines of ". . . I have no idea . . . wait! lemme look at my planner. . . actually nevermind--Sister Choi what did we do this week?" So I'm super afraid that in six months I'm gonna be saying things like "Uh, I think my name is Sister VerHoef. Let me double check my tag. My companion's name? She's lucky I can remember the 'Sister'."

Which is kind of how I'm feeling right now. I honestly cannot remember a single thing we did this week and have been dreading writing this email because of it. But, I do remember one thing. This week was a little bit tough, most of our appointments canceled because everyone got sick and one of our investigators dropped us. Alas. BUT, not to dwell, we did have one pretty cool miracle this week.

On Wednesday we decided to call one of our investigators and see if he wanted to start learning English again, and randomly, he said yes! So we got a quick fellowship and met up with him at the church. Our branch presidency was there having a bishopric meeting (branch presidency meeting? I don't know what they're called) and they came and introduced themselves to Gang (our investigator). We had only done English for about 10 minutes at that point, but after he really opened up to us. Uh, , , so I hear. Sister Choi told me that he talked about all he's going through right now and isn't interested in learning English--he wants something that will help him and his family.

Four words: Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

It changes people.

So Sister Choi taught him the Restoration, and I sat and smiled :)
She taught him about the Book of Mormon, and said that if he reads it everyday and prays that he will get help with everything that he's going through. Which by the way, is a promise for everyone. not just Gang, not just nonmembers, every. single. person.

So that was exciting. He wasn't able to make it to church because he got sick (along with everyone else in Washington) but we're meeting with him on Wednesday again and will hopefully get him progressing more.

. . . and that's all I can remember. Sorry! I'll go and have the most exciting week of my life so I can have something to write about next week.

Wait! One more thing. This week when we got lost in downtown Seattle (it's turning into a weekly thing) we drove by Safeco field: Home of the Seattle Mariners! I feel like it would have been more exciting if I liked baseball, but it was still cool to see the field :)

Hope you all have a daebaek week! (look how much my Korean has improved!)

VerHoef Jamenim

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I think I may go into a panic attack knowing that my mission is half over!!

Jordyn's weekly e-mail 
February 18, 2014 
Serving in Federal Way, Washington
Korean Branch
Companion: Sister Choi 

This will probably come as a surprise to no one, but just to clear the elephant in the room, I'm staying in Mt. Rainier! Woo! So Sister Choi's gonna finish her mission in just six short weeks, and then I'll be off to new adventures (or back in ridgecrest). 

Wednesday we went down to Puyallup and said bye to Jun. He left back to Korea on Friday, which we were super bummed out about. Even though I didn't know him for a long time, that little 11 year-old sure cracked me up when we saw him. He also loved to shoot me with a lego things during dinners, so it'll be interesting when we go back to the Cho's and I'm not being shot at. 
Jun's Baptism January 2014 

I got fed the nastiest thing this week! It looked like chocolate cake at first, but found out that it wasn't quite chocolate cake. It was Sundae (soon-day). aka blood sausage. also aka, the nastiest thing i've ever eaten in my life. So that inspired me to make a list of all the weird foods I've gotten in the Korean branch this transfer. In no particular order, I give you,

-Sundae (blood sausage)
-Neng myun: a cold noodle soup with gray water and hard boiled eggs in it
-kim chi
-korean sushi
-curry (not korean, but it was still nasty)
-collard greens on an english muffin (again, not korean but still nasty)
-kim chi soup
-seaweed crackers
-rice cake
-rice cake soup
-kim chi rice and seaweed

Everyone pray that I'm only here for one more transfer. I don't know if my taste buds can handle any more kim chi and seaweed. I also get fed lots of spaghetti too though, some members have a little bit of pity for the poor American in the branch :)

Saturday we drove down to Bonney Lake for a baptism. His name is Chris and Sister Choi taught him for a while. After the baptism we drove up to see someone in Seattle and got stuck in Seattle traffic for like an hour. So I had a nice little view of the Space Needle :) our ward had a party on Mercer Island after that and the Seattle mission president, President Choi came! It was crazy to meet another mission president, but he and his wife are super sweet. 
Rainy day to see the Space Needle 

Let's see, what else. It rained a lot this week . . . ha ha, that's probably a shock to no one. I like it though, I've become a pretty good puddle dodger in my time out here. 
Sister VerHoef got a Smoothie & a Box of Chocolate's 

Sister Choi & Sister VerHoef with their box of Chocolate's 

To finish off, and in honor of Valentine's day,  I saw a quote on some Methodist church that we drove by in Federal Way somewhere. "The first duty of love is to listen." Isn't that great? Hope you all have an awesome week! 

Sister VerHoef

The following pictures are with Sister VerHoef's district.  

There is a story behind this, but it won't be funny over email.
so I will be sure to tell it when I get home. 
fr. lf to rt Sis Choi, Sister VerHoef, Elder Eliason, Elder Holmes {DL}
Elder Ball, & Elder Dold. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Well, there goes my 100% church attendance for 2014

Jordyn's weekly e-mail 
February 10, 2014
Serving in Federal Way, Washington
Korean Branch
Companion; Sister Choi 

This week was a pretty good one! Sister Choi and I went on an exchange Monday night/Tuesday and I left, so you know what that means?? I got to teach! It was awesome to be able to actually talk to people and have them understand what I'm saying instead of just sitting in lessons praying silently for the person that Sister Choi is teaching combined with thinking about random things that don't really matter. I've definitely come to appreciate how easy it is to both understand the gospel and teach it when you understand the language.

On Wednesday we had zone conference which was wonderful as usual. The whole thing was on the role of the Holy Ghost in conversion and teaching by the Spirit. I've said it before, I'll say it again. I could listen to President talk all day. We talked about how essential it is that the Holy Ghost is in the conversion process, and by helping people to understand that and gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon makes my job as a missionary easier because I don't have to fight every intellectual battle and answer every question anyone has. I love this story that Elder Cook told in the April 2012 conference about the role of the Holy Ghost:
"The Book of Mormon is of seminal importance. There will, of course, always be those who underestimate the significance of or even disparage this sacred book. Some have used humor. Before I served a mission, a university professor quoted Mark Twain’s statement that if you took “And it came to pass” out of the Book of Mormon, it “would have been only a pamphlet.”

A few months later, while I was serving a mission in London, England, a distinguished Oxford-educated teacher at London University, an Egyptian expert in Semitic languages, read the Book of Mormon, corresponded with President David O. McKay, and met with missionaries. He informed them he was convinced the Book of Mormon was indeed a translation of “the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians” for the periods described in the Book of Mormon. One example among many he used was the conjunctive phrase “And it came to pass,” which he said mirrored how he would translate phraseology used in ancient Semitic writings. The professor was informed that while his intellectual approach based on his profession had helped him, it was still essential to have a spiritual testimony. Through study and prayer he gained a spiritual witness and was baptized. So what one famous humorist saw as an object of ridicule, a scholar recognized as profound evidence of the truth of the Book of Mormon, which was confirmed to him by the Spirit."

Love it. There is no other way to find out the truthfulness of this gospel--or to remind yourself of it--than by asking Heavenly Father, and then listening for the quiet whispering s of the Holy Ghost who will "teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance."

We saw the sun again this week! Actually a couple of times. I've really grown to appreciate it since coming to Washington. I love the rain and the clouds (and the snow!), but I've learned to appreciate the sun more when it comes out. And because I'm that lame missionary now, I think "and that's why we have trials." We appreciate the metaphorical sun in our lives more, and remember that this too shall pass. Find the good in where you are and know that "the sun will come out tomorrow." And that the Son is always waiting with His hand held out to comfort you.

Heavenly Father is awesome. Seriously. He is determined to hasten the work despite my inadequacies (and let me tell you, I have a LOT that He has to deal with). One of the hardest things for me to do on a mission is starting a conversation with someone. Once we're talking I'm good, but me starting that initial conversation is super duper stressful for and I have unfortunately let opportunities pass me by due to me being a chicken. On with the story though. We were sitting in a salon this past week waiting to talk to one of our investigators. Sister Choi and I were talking, and there was this guy sitting near us. Totally by himself, would talk to us in a heartbeat. I started thinking to myself "we should talk to this guy. We should talk to him. I can't start a conversation. This is pathetic. I've been out 9 months. I should be able to start a conversation without stressing out by now." As I was internally debating and chastising myself, the guy goes "excuse me, what's that tag that you're wearing?"

See why Heavenly Father is so great? He's wants His children to know about the gospel so bad that He'll even use me to declare it! We ended up having a really good lesson with him and referred him to the elders that cover where he lives.

And needless to say I've been praying for more courage this past week. My goodness.

It snowed Saturday! A lot! and by a lot I mean like 3 or 4 inches. So Saturday morning we went to a relief society activity that was a cruise/paradise theme, and then that night we had to walk to a recent convert's house because our car was grounded because of snow. And then get this. church was canceled on Sunday. Because of a little snow. Did you know they could cancel church for something other than general or stake conference?? I had no idea! It was the weirdest thing to not go to church . . . especially as a missionary. But definitely a day I'll remember. All the cars were grounded so we got to walk around all day and help people out.
Everyone thought we were crazy to be outside!! Ha, they don't know I'm from Utah!! 

That's about all I have for this week though. I love you all, hope you have an amazing week, and find someone to share to gospel with. You'll love the feeling you get.


Sister VerHoef

Monday, February 3, 2014

So I hear the Seahawks won some big game yesterday??

Jordyn’s weekly email 
February 3, 2014 
Serving in Federal Way, Washington 
Korean Branch 
Companion: Sister Choi 

Yesterday we were going to visit someone around 4:45 but they weren't home. Right as we were walking back to our car the whole neighborhood started roaring and screaming and "woo"ing (coughsisterdudek) all at the same time. It was hilarious! I've never seen Washington so united in a cause. I could see people through the windows in their house (no, missionaries are not creepy-everyone here just has big windows with no curtains) high-fiving and jumping up and down, and we knew the moment the game was over, because we were at a members house (we weren't watching, promise!) and from their back porch we could see blue and green fireworks going off over the Sound. It was super pretty! I was glad they won just so I could see the fireworks :) 
I know I've become a lame missionary though, because my first thought when the people were cheering was "man! if only people were that excited about the gospel!" Wouldn't that be awesome?? What if everyone cheered because they got to go to church every sunday, and when a baptism happened or someone went to the temple we all set off fireworks because we were so excited? 

This world would be awesome.

Other than that this week was about the same as all the others here. I'm not gonna lie, it's pretty tough coming up with entertaining emails while serving here because we basically do the same thing day in and day out. Study, drive, have a lesson in Korean so I can't tell what happened, drive, eat, drive, have another lesson/eat, drive, teach/eat, stop by a member/have them feed us, I think you get the picture. People never stop feeding us here. 

But it's been fun. I've learned a lot about Korea, myself, and Heavenly Father. 

I actually do have one cool story though. So we have a recent convert named Monica who we're teaching english to along with one of her friends. She was just recently called as a primary pianist and is super worried about it, so while Sister Choi teaches her friend at the kitchen table, I help Monica with the primary songs that she needs to work on. On Wednesday we were sitting at the piano, and ended up singing primary songs together. It was such a sweet moment and testimony builder for me. The truths in those songs are exactly what I teach everyday. That I am a child of God. Families can be together forever. The priesthood is restored. Faith is like a little seed. I love the gospel. There really is something for everyone. 

I love you all! Hope you have an amazing week!

Sister VerHoef