Monday, August 31, 2015

Not much time!‏

Hey fam!

That picture I sent was of 박정순 Bak (Park when you romanize it) Jeongsun. She's a member we meet with often in Wonju. She has the craziest conversion story ever!! I can't wait to tell you about it later :)

So like I said, there isn't much time! I'll tell you about our new investigator. Her name is XXX. We met her on the street and she had English interest! (This was on Tuesday) So we told her about how that night we had English class so we went with her right then to the church which was about a 20 or 25 minute walk away to show her where it was. She just wanted to stay until it started so we were able to teach her right then. She told us religious stuff would be hard because she has one so she's not sure if she wants to change, which is totally understandable. Ok, so, here's the thing. She's great! But you could just tell something was off. She was just a bit of an odd one. But that's ok! Odd people make this world interesting. She came to English class Saturday too and really liked it. She's told us she's a Jehovah's Witness and has been since high school. Her mom and older sister are, too. She said she isn't happy with her church though and wants to change (but, she did say that the main reason was that the members are click-ish and aren't very nice to her). Lo and behold she came to church on Sunday! Haha, 2 hours early (church starts at 10 and she showed up at 8 because she wanted to wait). Yes! Love her enthusiasm! 
The members were great and were so nice and inviting to her! But then... a member approached us and told us that XXX used to attend the mental institution she worked at and has very severe schizophrenia. That was sad. She told us not to teach her but just be nice to her.

We're figuring out what to do. She loved church and said she wants to attend forever! So it's just a tiny bit complicated. But we were happy to find her :) 

We were able to finally meet Song Seongsuk this week!! It had been almost 2 weeks. I love meeting with her. She opens up and tells us everything. She's been having the hardest time at work ever and I don't know how she's alive with all the stress she has but she says that now that she's starting to pray every night she feels overcome with gratitude for how blessed she is. When we met she cried for most of it because of how blessed she feels. She says she still doesn't know if God is there, but she's starting to believe it. She had a wedding this week so she didn't get to come to church but hopefully we'll be able to meet her again before next sunday. 

Today actually isn't our pday! On Thursday we have a Mission Tour because President Whiting is here!!! So exciting!!! So, here's the plan. Tonight I will go to Sokcho for exchanges with Sis. Peni (YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) I'll be there tomorrow and then Wednesday all of the missionaries in the country will go to Seoul, have a pday, spend the night at the temple, and then the next morning have the mission tour. 

Alright! Time's up! Love you! Stay safe, happy, and close to the Lord! 
Sis. Gentry Evans

Monday, August 24, 2015

Miracles in Wonju!!!‏

Hi family!!!

Wow I'm just so excited right now because it was such an amazing week!!! 

Starting with last Monday, I went and had my foreigner card renewed. Isn't that crazy?? It's already almost been a year!! The process started on Monday and then finished on Thursday. I'm glad it's over and nothing went wrong with it.

Monday night we switched with the Donghae sisters and Sister Bell came to Wonju with me and Sis. Yeom went to Donghae. It was such a good exchange. Right now... things are pretty tough for them in Donghae. New companions and the other sister is Korean. They really like each other but they're really feeling the struggle with the lack of communication. Sis. Bell is in her 4th transfer and Sis. Ee Soyeon is in her 3rd. I feel for them! It's hard at first but they're working so hard to understand each other. 

Tuesday was a full day of proselyting with Sis. Bell! But we were able to talk with a bunch of people and have such a good day :) That night was English class.

Wednesday morning we exchanged back and met an investigator. Unfortunately she has no actual interest but just wanted to learn English... So that didn't really work out. A nice lady! She wants us to come and teach us how to do things with flowers and then we teach her English. Haha.. no.. Then we met a member named 함명희 Ham Meonghei, who is just amazing. 

Thursday... Well, quite a day. Finished my foreigner card stuff and then proselyted. Visited a grandma's house we met on the street a little bit ago. So humbling... It was just one tiny room and everything was old and rotten. There were thousands of flies just everywhere. Just dirt floor with cardboard on top. :( We talked for only about 10 minutes but then she kicked us out. So sad.

Afterwards we met 이경희 Ee Geonghei who is a member we've been wanting to meet with forever! And finally she could! So we met her and then went to a restaurant. Right after the food was ready and started to eat... I got an interesting phone call. So, don't freak out, but it was an emergency call for us to get home and get our bags ready. You could said I was slightly surprised... but honestly, not too worried. We just felt so bad for the member!! She paid for this good food and we just had to go! And it turned out to be nothing. We just went home and got our emergency backpack ready and then just missionary work at our house (calls and such). Remember Joseph? That American soldier we met on the street a few weeks back? Well he was nervous about something happening so he's the one that alerted our mission president. Didn't even have to worry, though :) Nothing happened. You've been hearing about North Korea but no one here is worried at all. 

Then Friday!!!! So Friday we had weekly planning and then the absolute coolest thing ever. We were out proselyting and had about 10 minutes to be at the church for our district meeting and we were about an 8 minute walk from the church... We were about to turn left but a ways ahead of us was this older couple walking and holding hands. So we thought, how perfect?? They're totally ready, loving people! So we sprinted up to them and then casually walked the last couple steps up next to them and said hello. We started talking and introducing who were are and they said they've heard about our church and have questions! The man said, "Look, over there are some benches, let's go sit down and talk together." Ok.... what??? When does that happen?? So we went over and over the next hour taught the whole Restoration and most of the Plan of Salvation. It was such a good discussion! So many good questions. They are very religious people and have been attending church their whole lives. Found out they actually live in Seoul and were on their way to the bus terminal! Perfect timing! So we were able to get their number and send it to missionaries in their area. COOLEST THING EVER. But... there's more.

That night we had a late dinner so it ended at 8:45. We had originally planned do calls until 9 but I just knew we had to go outside. I can't even describe it. We went outside and I knew exactly where to go. I felt like... I don't know there was like this spiritual map in front of my and I was so literally being guided in exactly where to go. We were running here and there until I saw her! There were a group of students and then one lone one. We were able to catch up to her and ended up talking for a while. We taught the Restoration and long story short we're meeting her tonight!!! It was so amazing.

So one commitment we gave at zone training was that every night after planning we would write the miracle we would see the next day. It's happened everyday! Friday's goal was to find people with sincere interest and questions about our church... and we found them! 

Ok, next cool story. Real quick.... So Song Seongsuk came to church yesterday and then after received a priesthood blessing after from Bro. Bak Sugen because of her work and stuff. It was amazing! And then last night we wrote that today we would receive a referral for our miracle today. This morning during studies a number we didn't know called us and it was a man. He said that his mom had met us on the street and that we'd given her a Book of Mormon. He's been wondering about God and why there are so many churches and basically every question of the soul. (You can imagine how stunned we were during the conversation.) So he was talking to her and she referred us to him. WE HADN'T EVEN HIT LUNCH YET AND WE ALREADY SAW THE MIRACLE. Things are happening, people.

It's been so amazing!! I can't describe it but I feel almost spiritually drained! It's like been spiritually exhausting! But so fun. The past couple months have definitely been my favorite on my mission and they just keep getting better.

I hope everything has been going well at home! Love you so much!

Sis. Gentry Evans

Sunday, August 16, 2015

And the rain comes down^^

Dear family,

Happy Anniversary!! I hope the world's best parents had a fun weekend^^

So last Monday I spent the night at President's house with Sis. Lautaha and the zone leaders from Gangneung (Elder Dixon and Jones) and then Tuesday we had MLC for most of the day. Super good! Really they're like these spiritual powerhouses where I just feel like I need to improve so much!!! But learn so much at the same time^^

Wednesday I... don't remember what I did.... But then Thursday we had a zone conference in Wonju! So all of 강원도 Gangwondo (the countryside) came to Wonju for the meeting. President and Sis. Sonksen and the AP's came too. The rest of the mission (in Seoul) met together in one big group, combing all the zones, but we just met out here :) Haha, we're just too far from everything so we do everything separate. 

Spent most of the morning planning with zone leaders and then meeting with the district leaders and then we had our conference! President and Sis. Sonksen gave trainings as well as the AP's and then the zone leaders and then Sis. Lautaha and I did. It went alright. I mean.... It was good but we can always improve! Or focus for this month is "having the faith to baptize- finding." 

Right after the training I started an exchange with Sis. Kim Hansorl. It's her last transfer and the exchange was really good! We were able to talk with a lot of people and have some really good conversations :)

Saturday we met Song Seongsuke and ate together. Oh ya! I feel like I've eaten pretty much all of the really strange foods so they're not strange anymore..... but I had a new one! I didn't know what it was (but then again, I don't know most of the foods that I eat), but I ate a large chopstick full of this stringy stuff. Holy cow! I thought my eyes were going to pop out of my head! My senses were on fire! Not because it was hot but the taste was so.... intense? Like, wow, never had anything like that. Think of wasabi, but a thousand times stronger.  Found out that it was jellyfish tentacles! So that was new :)

After we went to Ahn Ensun's house to help her carry stuff to the church (she's this wonderful and slightly odd less active that we love!)

Then English class and FHE! After, we cleaned the church because some people would be coming to speak at church the next day and then street contacted^^

Sunday was great! Sister Song went to visit her husband so she didn't come to church but Kim Dogeong came who is this woman who was baptized in school about 30 years ago but totally forgot! She saw our English sign and came to English class and said, "I think I'm a member of this church? But I'm not sure" She's so wonderful!! So kind and funny. That happened about a month and a half ago and she's come to church almost every week since.

Afterwards we met an investigator but It was sad..... we were doing the English program with her (30 min English, 30 min gospel), but she doesn't want to hear anything about our church, just English. She said she knows everything and that we're not to share a message. So... can't meet her anymore :/ my companion (Sis. Yeom) was pretty upset. But it does happen! More than we would like it to.

I forgot to mention the weather later! Maybe for the past few months.... so basically about a month and a half ago it was super hot. Comparable to a sauna with the humidity^^ but then ok..... and then last week kind of super hot... I felt so bad because it was Sis. Yeom's first week and we spent most of the time outside! But, she did a great job :) Then it rained almost all night one night and then it got coolish! Yesterday was just a DOWNPOUR!! We were walking home from our lesson when all of a sudden it was raining cats and dogs. Swimming isn't allowed on my mission but basically that's what we were doing! I'm not exaggerating when I say if I had jumped in a pool I wouldn't have been more wet. Haha, it was so so fun!!!! I love rain!

I hope you have a good week! I'm so so grateful to be out here serving my mission, I can't express how much I'm learning and how much I love this work! I know this gospel's true!

Sis. Evans

Sunday, August 9, 2015



Dear family,

How's the best looking family in the world doing today? :)

So I'll start with last Tuesday! We ate lunch with 송성숙 Seong Songsuke and she said goodbye to Sis. Seo. She was so sad! But said, "When I get baptized you have to come back and visit, ok?" Yes I love her!! Then we went to Seoul and I got to visit a member from my first area Jungnang that I haven't seen in forever! It was 최승임 Chway Seng eem. She was baptized just over a year ago and she's going through the temple this week! So exciting! Then we slept at the temple.

Wednesday morning was our first "transfer meeting" we've ever had that our new mission president wants to start. The new missionaries (there were like 7 or 8?) sat on the stand and then we all sat in the rows. So sad, we were divided in half by the missionaries staying and the missionaries going home. 26 missionaries went home this past transfer!! Isn't that crazy?? So many. Anyway, then they went through one-by-one announcing new companions and leadership positions. I guess transfers are supposed to be more fun this way? Anyway, they announce our names and then we go up and hug and sit down together. Except if you're training, then they just say you're training and later you'll find out your companion.

Surprise! I'm training. So I just sat there awkwardly by myself because my trainee was on the stand..... haha.

So after, us that were training all went to Gwhanghwamun by the President's house for the trainers' training and to hear our new companion! Also, there were only sisters! No new elders came into our mission this transfer, which is another crazy thing. Our mission is getting smaller and smaller.

So after a meeting our new companions were announced! There were 8 new sisters, 7 Americans and 1 Korean........ My companion is the Korean!!!!!! Hahaha what are the chances??? Literally I can't believe it. So many people only have 1 Korean their whole mission!!! Her name is 염은진 Yeom enjin. She's actually from the south part of Seoul so her house is really close! She's been so great and is adapting to missionary work so well!! She's amazing. Only she and her older sister were baptized when she was 12 and her older sister served a mission, too. She's so sweet!

So it's been a little hard for her, just adjusting to everything, but she's trying so hard. We're street contacting a lot because we don't have a lot of investigators right now. Our beloved Song Seongsuke is doing so well! She came to church Sunday and enjoyed it. She's very very stressed because of her work so she's going to get a Priesthood blessing this week. We ate at a member's house for dinner with her yesterday, too! (이귀임 Ee quee im's house.... that doesn't sound right but I don't know how to write it.) 

Right now my companion and I are actually in Seoul because I have MLC tomorrow so she has to go on exchanges with other missionaries while I'm there. It's confusing.... So now there's not two zones where I'm at in the countryside, they made it all one big zone ("Gangneung zone"). So there's one zone leader in Taebaek, one in Gangneung, an STL in Wonju and one STL in Gangneung. Sis. Lautaha is the new STL. She's great! But super stressed about it..... We have a meeting tomorrow at President's and then training this week!

Everything's going so well! It's weird how long I've been on my mission but how much I still need to learn. I lack so much! 

I hope you have a good week and good luck with the start of school!!!

Real quick funny thing I noticed yesterday. During sacrament Elder Ashby (a member of my district) said the opening prayer, blessed the sacrament, and gave a talk! haha. (He's also the Branch president's second counselor).  And! There were almost 40 people at church yesterday!!!

Ok, wrote a ton.

Love you!
SIs. Evans

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Oops times up....‏

Hey Fam!

Sorry I didn't exactly plan my email time well so I must go now.....

But a few quick things! My companion and I go to Seoul tomorrow, spend the night at the temple, and then Wednesday I get my new companion! The thing is... I have no idea who it is! The new president wants to do things differently so we were all only told if we were getting a new companion but not who it'll be. I'll find out Wednesday and let you know!

Our investigator Song Seong Suke is doing so well! She brought her husband to church yesterday for Sis. Seo's last Sunday!!!

Love you so much! Remember to drink plenty of water in the hot weather ^^

Sis. Evans

P.s. Good luck with the new school year!!!!