Monday, December 21, 2015

12212015 Christmas Week


This week was good! We had zone conference which was good. One thing that was said in the training is that the Sabbath was made for us the appreciate the miracle of creation. I had never thought of that before but I thought it was cool! That night we had a family home evening at the Mission President’s home. It was cool. Sang hymns, some testimonies were shared, and it was a very homely feel. Also this week we went caroling. We did it at a crosswalk right by a subway station and two major streets, so there were lots of people, but I didn't love it. It was so busy and loud it didn't seem to fit the spirit of Christmas. It is like hiking up Pikes peak next to the road. At least that is what it felt like to me. But we are going caroling as a zone of Christmas eve, and I think indoors which I am super excited for. But as I was thinking why I didn't love that Christmas caroling, I guess I just feel like we often imagine Christmas as a quiet, sacred night, so as I sing carols I like a little more personal settings. I guess it just points to the fact that Christmas really is a sacred season.

                                                    Elder Grossgebauer and Daniel

Daniel's zone during zone conference

On Sunday, a missionary who is Korean American was on her way home but was staying with her family for a little before going home. She invited us over to have dinner with her Catholic Aunt and Uncle. They were very nice and I felt like I understood most of what was said! Yay! But man the who reversed grammar thing is rough. Anyway, just barely there were these guys in the PC store here who were cussing in English (who knows if they knew what they were saying) but Elder Kim stood up and said that we are foreigners and asked them to stop. I don't know I that that was very nice of him and but it was impressive to ask. He is a good kid.
Anyway on Sunday there was also a Christmas Orchestra/choir concert. It is a Mormon Orchestra called the Liahona orchestra. It was good! I love good Christmas music. Most mornings we play Christmas music in our apartment. It is awesome! :)
On Saturday night we had our ward Christmas Party. They watched two Christmas devotional and had a delicious dinner. Elder Godfrey was Santa and was perfect for the role. It was cute. I liked that they watched the Christmas devotional for the party.
During one lesson in English with Handy Choice I talked about 1 Corinthians 13 and the end about seeing through a glass darkly. To make it easier to understand I talked about tinted windows on a car. We can't see who is inside, we can only see a shape or just shadows. But the promise of the gospel is that God will come out of the car. We will see him even as he sees us from within: face to face. I thought it was a cool way of thinking about it. At least it increased my own personal understanding of the scripture. Handy loves faith. He always goes back to saying that that is the most important thing, so he didn't love when Paul says that the greatest of the three is Charity. He said that on an island we can't really show charity but we can show faith. Just assuming that is true, I thought to myself, "but that isn't heaven." Faith may be the starting point but without other people, good relationships, etc. there is no point. Heaven is Zion, not an island.
I also read Behold Thy Mother this morning. Elder Holland is amazing. I love him and that talk. I was thinking that I wish I had been/am currently better at thinking of my mother or Christ, the two who bore me, when I was tempted or struggling or whatever it is. So thank you mom for everything you have done for me. I know you have born a lot because of me and being a mother. I love you and my whole family.   So yeah those are my main thoughts this week. Hopefully we will get some more investigators soon. We are eating with several potentials this week, so pray for us and them. 
Merry Christmas! 

Monday, December 14, 2015

12142015 New companion, Faith and Trust with out clear answers--just Fruit

This week was rough. Joking!! My companion is super fun, I enjoy being with him. Again we don't have many investigators. So we will have to do a fair amount of finding. But our mission president wants us to give out all of the church Christmas cards so we will probably do a fair amount of that and caroling and stuff, which is exciting.
With my last few days with Elder Grossgebauer we said goodbye to people and did just a little bit of street contacting. With his investigator from his previous area, we went to a sushi bar, which I think was my first real sushi ever. It was good but we had two other people feed us that day as well so we didn't eat a whole bunch. I think I like it more that cooked fish.
Elder Swanson is from Milford Utah, a tiny town in Utah. He like sports, especially basketball. I don't know what all to say about him. He is a cool kid.
The English Branch had their Christmas party so we had some delicious homemade casseroles. A taste of America. Our Saturdays are always a little crazy since there is English class and ward activities. I also started the new language program. We do each lesson in English and memorize scripture references and scriptures. Then we translate each principle into Korean, and teach my companion each principle in the lesson in Korean. Once I do all the principles in a lesson, I do the lesson to the Zone leaders. I like the idea of this program. Trying to teach to your English ability and style, where you can really make the lesson your own. So I am excited.
This week I have been thinking about faith and trusting God, and expecting thing from God. They are certainly connected. So God often says if we ask and believe (trust?) then he will answer. But when I pray to, say, know the church is true, I don't expect an answer (at least in the way we often imagine it.) I expect it to require faith. And kind of like I said last week, I expect my testimony to be mainly based on the fruits. But is it a lack of faith that I don't expect an answer? Is that why I haven't received a clear answer? But then I think of Alma teaching the poor who are humbled because they are poor. He goes on to say that more blessed are those that have no cause to believe and believe. Or something like that. Anyway so is it better to not expect an answer and remain committed? I don't know. Those are just some of my thoughts that hopefully are sensical. (Google corrected that spelling to nonsensical. Is sensical a word?) Right now and for a while I have been praying to be able to trust God, with or without a clear answer. So more blessed am I than Alma the Younger right? hahaha. JK. I also love how his testimony was based on his fasting a praying and applying the gospel, not on the angel. Anyway random thoughts from Daniel. I may have already shared a lot of those with you, I don't remember.
Wow, Dad got called as stake president. Crazy! I love Brother Blaylock. He is such a genuine man. And Brother Marble, I know less well but have been impressed with him. Good picks dad. :) That is cool that you felt like you were being prepared. I would love to hear more about that. Also you will get to release me so that is cool. I didn't even know the stake presidency was changing. What is Nathan Blaylock's email? And I would still like some more pictures of both babies.
I got my Christmas package! The birthday one must have gotten lost. But thanks! I love stockings and flibbers. I love the Christmas season. I love this gospel. I am happy here!
Hurrah for Israel!

Elder Sabey

Monday, December 7, 2015

120715 Na Da Bean and What Makes a Testimony

So we had transfer calls on Saturday. It was a little bit of a crazy transfer. My companion will be Elder Swanson, one of the Zone Leaders in our appointment, who will become district leader and Elder Kim will get a new companion who only has two transfers left. So that will be a bit short for a Zone Leader I guess. Anyway I am excited, I really like Elder Swanson. 
Since this is Elder Grossgebauer's last week, we have been saying goodbye to some people he wanted to say goodbye to. Plus Shawn, the kid who is going to BYU, left this week too so that is sad. But it was cool, there is this choir of a bunch of different people living in Korea that is really good, like professional. Anyway they performed Handel's Messiah which was amazing. They had professional soloist and a real counter tenor. We were supposed to help set up and get them lunch and stuff. We helped get the 30 some-odd pizza's from Costco. So that was fun going through Costco with a cart with like 12 pizzas stacked up. Elder Kim and I did that while the other elders taught English class. We put a TV with the Church's Christmas message at the entrance of our church on repeat in both Korean and English.  The choir felt like the missionaries did everything, when we just helped put the food on the table. We really had nothing to do with the concert, but they kept thanking us, so we just said your welcome. Then we had to set up chairs and everything. During this prep time also No Da Bean got his baptismal interview. But the Zone leaders decided they wanted to meet with him one more time because they wanted to ask him more directly if the reason he is getting baptized is really his girlfriend and he said he hadn't directly prayed about Joseph Smith. So on Sunday morning they finished the interview for the baptism that was schedule for that day after Church... and he passed! But anyway, back to Saturday, we had another person who was coming to the concert and was a little lost and late so he kept calling. Anyway it a little stressful couple of days, I think especially for Elder Grossgebauer. But No Da Bean got baptized so it was all worth it!

It sounds like Hawaii was super boring. I am not jealous at all. But I am glad you were able to celebrate your anniversary. That is super sad about Vi. Tell Terry I love him, feel for him, and am praying for him. They are both so nice to me and are kind and genuine people.
So my thoughts recently have been about testimony. No Da Bean, hadn't prayed specifically about Joseph Smith (which I think is a problem) but I doubt I had when I got baptized either. So I was thinking a little bit about what my testimony is, or what the difference between mine and his is. I don't feel like I have ever had those moments when a voice or overwhelming feeling convinced me of the truthfulness of this church. But I have had many small moments and a few bigger which I am convinced was indeed God's hand in my life. I have lived the principles of this gospel well, and not well, and know there is a difference. I have seen many people's lives and choices in and out of the church and can see a difference. So anyway I felt like that was the same testimony No Da Bean has, perhaps with less evidence yet, perhaps with more. He has seen the difference the Gospel makes in his girlfriend's life, he is changing and noticing a difference. He is tasting the fruits and wants that more and is willing to commit to it. Anyway I am glad they passed him. Handy Choice got the Priesthood on Sunday as well. We got to be in the circle giving it to him. He seemed super happy. So I was thinking about his testimony and I think it is the same. Anyway I think that is the same for all people. That is what testimony is. It is trying it out and tasting the fruits. And as David's essay says it is about commitment. The more we are committed to the gospel the larger and more delicious the fruits become. Anyway I am thankful for God's hand in my life. For the opportunity to serve here. And see people come unto Christ.
Hurrah for Israel!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

112615 Thanksgiving, NaDaBean and Sports

Time flies. I still feel really new as a missionary. Which I am but it is crazy to think it is winter and I went into the MTC in the summer... Anyway this week was fun. The highlights are as follows.
Thanksgiving was cold and is started to snow! None stuck to the ground but still it was cool. We went to the temple in the morning, which is always great. President Morrise's brother is in the English branch. So him with help of some of the branch members made our zone Thanksgiving dinner.

 Then after we went and had a turkey bowl with the guys in our zone. That was also super fun. So we kept the tradition. Then we had our basketball night as we always do on Thursdays. Thad, a really cool kid doing a study abroad comes every week, even without his Mormon friend. He has a Korean girlfriend. We have been joking with him to have her come, so he finally asked her to come and she is coming in 2 weeks. Haha. But that is right before he goes home too, so if nothing else he now likes and respects Mormons now. I really like him. 
Friday we had interviews with the mission president, and my companion had to pass off the teacher prominent program with the AP's. The interviews went well. I passed. We mainly just discussed faith which is what our mission has been focusing a lot on. I really appreciate President and Sister Morrise. They are real and faithful. 

Then on Saturday we had Kim Jang. It is making kimchi. So a bunch of people from the ward bring all the cabbage and ground peppers and stuff and me made kimchi. It takes a fair amount of work, but now our apartment has 12 heads of cabbage made into kimchi. After we had lunch and a mini Olympics. It was a little funny. The ward rescheduled it for us to when the thought it would be best. It turns out that the youth were doing baptisms, the bishop had sugary and so we only got like 12 people there. We wanted like 30. But the bishop wants to do it again. No matter what it was still fun. The kids loved all the games. Plus there were 3 investigators so that really wasn't too bad. No Da Bean has been sick so we had to cancel several meetings with him.

                                                                                  Na Da Bean

 We still are going to try moving forward with the baptism at the end of the week. That really is our only real investigator. Meeting with Jung Soon Eh is hard because she is a female and doesn't like doing lessons in public. So yeah those were the highlights. Pretty fun. I wish we could be teaching more people. This is Elder Grossgebauer's last full week, so we are going to try to say goodbye to some people and as a nice side note maybe get fed a fair amount. I will probably stay in this area since he is leaving.
So yeah that is exciting. I feel like there had to be better ways of finding people. Any ideas? What was most effective on your missions?
I really do have so much to be grateful for. That we have the means for me to be on a mission, that I can be a member of this church, be the favorite child in a wonderful family, a new niece that nobody has sent pictures of... I found out about it from Matt... so yeah thanks Matt! Because most importantly the Atonement. I loved Brian's essays he sent me and Matt's talk. One of my missionary friends in America apparently was struggling a little bit ago. Seeing abused women and drug addicts wears on the soul. Anyway I responded by using both Brian's essays and Matt's talk. I love how Christ is our "mother" and no matter the mistakes, the persecution, or abuse he endured (more than anybody ever) he never stopped loving or extending a helping hand. Anyway I love this gospel. As inadequate as I am to be here I am glad that I am. I want to help people in the most meaningful way possible. And there is nothing more meaningful than this gospel and the grace and love of Christ. So I love you all. Zion or Bust! Hurrah for Israel!
Elder Sabey