Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Biggest Miracle

Dear friends, 

I could never have imagined the great plans the Lord had for me when this journey started. 
This time in the Daejeon mission has been, and continues to go by faster and faster. There are so many things I have learned and experienced that I cannot, and may not ever be able to, put into words. 

I had the special opportunity to speak to my mom this past week over skype, with my mission president and my companion. This conversation lead to what is now being refered to as "the biggest miracle the Daejeon Mission has ever seen" : my moms baptism here in Korea on June 16th

I know that it is because of the countless prayers, fasts, and testimonies of so many missionaries, missionary moms, members in all places of America and Korea, that the Lord has made this possible for her. 

If there is anymore that I could say, it is simply that the Lord lives. He knows and loves us. We have one more week here to do His work and it will be done. I love my mom. I love my family. I love everyone who has ever helped me get here. 

Be well, and remember the Lord is always with you.

Your friend,
Sister Weston

Go Home Empty Handed


So excited to hear form y'all today! It sounds like everyone is doing awesome things and get prepared for even more awesome things! Can't wait to really hear about it all soon!! 

This week, y'all it was just incredible. We had Zone Conference, out last one, and I must say the best one I've been to. 

Sister Shin talked to us about going home empty handed. We leave out house everyday with Book of Mormon and things to share with people, and I'll be honest there are days that you come home with them still in hand. But we promised the Lord that would no longer be the case. Sister Uhl and I were on a split yesterday and were able to give out 6 copies throughout the day- definitely a result of focusing our faith on a specific goal. Plus, it was really fun. 

I gave my final training on the atonement. Specifically focusing on how when we follow the saviors example of prayer, obedience, along with selfless service and sacrifice we can bring people unto Him as He brings people unto the father. The best way for me to describe the way it all happened is by telling you to imagine a firecracker in a tin garbage can. It all started calm, then we read Matthew 26:36-44. We spoke of the saviors example and how we can do what He did in a missionary capacity. Then we pondered the question "during your time as a missionary, when have you felt closest to the Savior?" as we read John 19:1-3, 16-19. One by one, a missionary would start to cry as they read a verse, and then another, and soon you could feel the explosion of the spirit in the room. I could hardly spit out my final testimony. Sharing Acts 5:41, I told them how extremely thankful I am to be a missionary. Even on the days I thought I might not survive it, I was blessed with companions to testify to me of the road the savior walked. This is a road each missionary must chose to walk each day. As we do this, we come to know Him. We gain the love He feels for us. And we are willing to die for Him, and the people we serve, just as He was willing. 

My Zone leaders had to tell us to take a break when we finished the lesson, and we all took a moment to write down what we were feeling. There was one thing that a Zone leader said, Elder Foster, that I thought was wonderful. When we feel the spirit, it the closest the we have to God reaching out and touching us. He wants to, but He can't- and so he sends His best. And That's what the spirit is. It is my prayer that anyone who has ever felt this never forgets what it's like, including myself, and each of you.

This Sunday, all the less actives and recent converts we were working with, including two of our favorite moms Sister ChunMi Lee and Sister EunJeong Park, with came to church. It was absolutely incredible- and the love that filled sacrament meeting was unlike anything I've ever felt during my mission. I attribute this absolutely to the renewing of the spirit these wonderful moms have felt praying and reading the scriptures.   

That sotry I need to share with you about Sister SunYoung is this, whe's a wonderful companion. And she has learned on her mission, even though she hasn;t been out long, to walk the road Christ ahs walked. Ever since that discussion I told you about a couple weeks ago, "not fearing men more than God." We've had to go on a few splits. On one of those said splits she was in a situation where 6 missionaries were all on the same bus, and none of them were talking to anyone. She told me that she heard the words I told her come back to her, and that Sister Weston with all the other apostles throughout history and God would not be okay that situation. So she, all on her own, started sharing the gospel! I just think she is so amazing! And so brave! I really love her so much and I'm so happy she is my final companion :)

Thank you for staying with me through these past 17 months. We don't have a lot of time left but we're going to make the best of it! Please keep praying for Sister JuNam Park. We are always praying for you! love you!

Sister Weston

It's Not About You

Hey Everybody,

As you all know, my time out here is coming to and end rather quickly. And although I could never possibly express to you all the things that I have learned, there is one thing that has stuck out in my mind specifically this week that I wanted to share with you- 

I have been blessed throughout my mission with companions that are gracious and loving to express to me what they have learned from our time together, I have been blessed to learn from them and build upon my weaknesses, I've been blessed to see miracles, to be part of successful teams, to speak Korean and eat the best food in the world-- but wow-- it's not about me. 

What it is about, is woman who was baptized and stood to bear testimony in her first sacrament talk less than a month later,  the man who received the priesthood and was able to pass the sacrament to ward in need of hope, and all the people who come unto Christ during our time, and after our time if we simply remember not to get in the Lord's way. 

"There is one responsibility which no man can evade; that responsibility is his personal influence...the silent, subtle radiation of personality--the effect of his words and his actions on others. This radiation is tremendous.

Every moment of life man is changing, to a degree, the life of the whole world....He cannot escape for one moment from this radiation of his character, this constant weakening or strengthening of others...[but] man can select the qualities that he would permit to be radiated. He can cultivate sweetness, calmness, trust, generosity, truth, justice, loyalty, nobility, and make them vitally active in his character. And by these qualities he will constantly affect the world." -David O McKay

When I realized this, much later than I wish I would have, everything because so much more... simple, faithful, love driven, and amazing. At the end of our journey our character is changed, our influence hopefully becomes that of the words President McKay described, and that it all because it's not really us, it's the Lord being unrestricted by our pride or personal desires and it's the reflection of those we love. It is only through this that our small efforts change the course of someones eternity. 

Everything we do makes a difference, but it's not about us. And that's a pretty great thing. 

If you could please continue to pray for Sister Kang, Sister Par, and Leslie whenever the thought crosses your mind, that would meant he world to us out here. They need a miracle! :) 

This week will be our last Zone Conference and all I can think about is bearing testimony of the Savior for the last time in that setting, please pray that I may be able to make it through the words hahaha. We'll tell you how it goes next week and also about that story from Sister SunYoung! 

love you all so much, praying for you always! 

P.S. The picture is of our Philippine investigator Leslie and a little girl in our ward :) 

Don't just have a mission, Have a blast....

Hello everyone!
It sounds like everyone is having a really great week and a great mothers day! It was so so good to be able to talk with you and now see pictures of all the summer happenings that are going on! Y'all are awesome!
This week was really eventful, it starts with the road to district meeting, then Childrens day, goes through our last MLC, and into Mothers day :)
So we will start with Tuesday, the road to district meeting. In order for us to get there we have to take a bus and a subway which takes about an hour. We were on our way, and while riding the bus I could feel and see that everyone was having trouble opening their mouths and talking to people. And when you've got 4 people called of God on the same bus that's just not right, so I suggested to Sister SunYoung that I go talk to a woman to my right and she talk to the woman on her left and we get things started. She said "no" --- and I responded by saying "Don't fear man more than God, 극복하세요" that last part in Korean means, overcome, but it also kind of has the tone of "get over it" hahaha needless to say that didn't really help in the moment, so I encouraged Sister Uhl to start the conversation and she did and her and Sister SunYoung were able to teach that woman the entire restoration! It was amazing :) I'll finish the second part of this story next week, it ends pretty cool!
Fast forward to later that day when Sister SunYoung and I were prayng about where to go, and we felt we needed to go to a less actives store to invite her to the Chidlren day activity. We went, she was there, we got to talking and she said she would come! So the next day we all met up in DaeJeon and she brought one of her friends who's in high school. They are both superrrr good at sports and caught the attention of everyone in the stake during the kickball tournament.  a member of the stake presidency asked for the high schoolers member record to see if he could get her on his team next time, funny thing is she's not a member! haha :) They both have sports tournaments the next two weeks but they said they would come to church after that and we are so excited!
Now it's friday, and we all met up for what was the last MLC for many of us (me and 14 other missonaries). Every time I step in that room, I get the same feeling of never wanting to leave. The same feeling of never wanting to stop being a missionary. There were two things that I especially took away from this last meeting, and I hope to apply them to the rest of my life.
The first is, how extrememly precious and irreplacable a testimony is. The Senior couple, Elder and Sister Bringhurst who have been working in the office the past year and a half, head home this week. So we took time on friday to hear their testimonies. It was at this time that I realized that our individual testimony, our toughts and feelings, are an irreplacable part of who we are, who we become, and there is perhaps nothing that could be more rpecious to us personally.
I will always remember Elder Bringhursts words walking about how when we feel insufficient it is the Lord preparing us to recognize that "this battle when it's won, it will not be your victory it will be mine" That has been witnessed to me countless times these past 17 months.
And Sister Bringhurst, sharing her testimony of the Savior saying "There was a day when
(fill in the blank with your own time of desperation that you turned to rely on the Lord) and from that day until today that burden has not been mine"  I know that this is true for each of us when we turn our minds again to that day, and to where we see ourselves now.
While recognizing this, I began to think of the purpose I hold as a missionary and what that is in the eyes of God. This is the second things I learned. The Lords pupose is stated in Moses 1:39: to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. My purpose as a missonary is to help people to come unto Christ, to eternal life. My purpose and Gods are inseparable. And do I take this lightly? Do we as a misson, missonaries, people, families, friends realize who we are and what we are doing in the eyes of God? Do we realize how great this work is?
Each of us have said at one point, "THIS is why I came on my mission" talking with my family yesterday, God was merciful to help me remember my THIS. My person THIS is my family. I love you. I have no greater hope than for each of you to be happy, to be hopeful, to see the good and feel your burden be light. I know there is no greater thing than this. I pray for each of you each and every day. And although I haven't seen you everyday these past 17 months, I know that everday God has heard my prayers.
While praying about this yesterday, and asking the Lord what I could do more to bless each of you at home, I was blessed by words of a dear friend Sister MacKay through Helaman 10:4-5. I know the Lord is blessing you and watching over you, because this is my greatest hope. I love each of you dearly. Don't forget to pray. And please continue to pray for us over here, we need it now more than ever!
Sister Weston
p.s. this is not a good picture but the good pictures are one Sister Byuns camera and I'll send them next week :)

Monday, May 2, 2016

If You Choose Christ

Hey everybody!

There is so much going on this week, so much good stuff going on this week, I'm afraid I don;t have a lot of time to write!

But I do have to tell you about what was probably the happiest day of my entire mission, April 30th. 

HyunJi, our best elementary school age friend was baptized. She envited her whole family (her mom who is also and investigator and her dad whom we have never met). 

They all had anaamzing time and it was incredible to see her whole family there. Her aunt and cousin who were baptized last month sat behind her, and their friends from Seoul who orginionally introduced them to the missionaries came to give a special musical number. 

The spirit was so strong, and the best part was that her father looked at her with such proud eyes. After talking with the members and spending some more of the day with them even after the service he seems to think about the gospel very highly and we are hopeful that we will see them one day in the temple being sealed to become an eternal family. 

When we asked her how HyunJi felt afterwards she said "It was awesome" and I think that was the perfect way to explain it :)

Although I wasn't able to see Sabrina be baptized this weekend, the Lord blessed me to feel close to her in heart. Whenever I think about any of the people we love going to the temple with us, or standing by our side as our friend when we meet Christ - I get speechless. The Lord knows us, He loves us. Not because of anything that we've ever done, but because of who he is and through what eyes he sees us. He's our best friend, and while we are going through life I'm thankful he's given me so many friends to remind me who he is. 

I love you all so much! I'm sorry time is short but I am just so happy I can;t even tell you! Praying for you always!

love, Sister Weston

Teaching Miracles

Hey Everybody!

This week has been absolutely amazing and full of miracles! 

If there's anything I learned, it's that the Lord knows how to love and care for people far better than we ever could. 

We've been teaching our Kayagum teacher about the gospel for the last couple of weeks, and through small acts of kindness from all the sisters she has been amazed at what faith can do to bless and change lives. She acts us so many questions about what she can do to get faith, and receive answers to prayers. 

Each time we teach her we share with her our personal experiences. And this past monday I was able to tell her a little bit about Sabrina, and when she saw me crying she started crying too. It's amazing how the Lord allows us to feel just a little bit of the love that He has for his children. Each time I feel that it amazes me even more how much I cant understand the fullness of it.

Keep praying for HyunJi and her mother as they prepare to be baptized :) HyunJi sang in the choir at stake conference this week, and it was amazing. She is only a 5th grader, and I can;t imagine the courage it takes to follow the Lord and be an example to your family at such a young age, she's my hero! 

I love you all so much! And I never forget you in my prayers! 

love you so much,

Sister Weston

Good Times

Hey Everybody!

I hope you've been having a wonderful week :) Sister SunYoung and I have had a week full of good times and surprises :) I realizes that I haven't really told you much what we do on the reg, and so that's what I wanted to do this week :)

Mondays: Preparation day. Clean. Have leadership conference call. Learn Kayagum (a Korean instrument) from 1-3 and then go adventuring in our area. Today we will go to a place of 1,000 Buddhas. 

Tuesday: District meeting. Eat lunch with the sisters (we are the only district in the mission with more sisters than elders 6:4) 

Wednesday/ Thursday: Meet with HyunJi the little girl we teach who is preparing to be baptized on April 30th :)

Friday: English class where we hear people say "pairy" instead of "fairy" and "yarning" instead of "yawning"

Saturday: teach teach teach!

Sunday: Church until noon, eat with the members, teach, then eat again and pray about where the Lord would have us go and then go there from 5-9! This last week we were able to meet an awesome new family and another potential investigator during that time.

Y'all. I love this time. I love the things the Lord puts in our path, especially the friends we make. I'm so thankful for all you friend at home. I'm thankful for your examples. I'm thankful for your open hearts to the gospel. I'm thankful for your prayers. I've seen more miracles being away from home than I think I ever did when I was there and I know it's because the Lord is with you. 

Y'all I just love you. so so so much.

Sister Weston

General Conference

Hey Everybody!
I know y'all got to watch General Conference last weekend, but we just got to watch it the past two day here after it was translated into Korean. It's always fun to sit down for a while and be taught instead of the one teaching all the time.
There were a couple of things that stood out to me greatly this time around.
The first came as soon as Elder Eyring stood to give the first talk. He answered the question, like those converts, that I've been praying about for a few weeks now. And the only silent prayer I said before conference started, but I neglected to write it down or talk about it or study or do anything about it before conference started. It was something only I knew, and had prayed about. So when he stood and spoke, I honestly was a little shocked. But it was something that made Heavenly Father feel very close, understanding, and all-knowing.
The second thing that stood out most to me was the talk of hope. And what I learned from what was said is that, we are all people-people who are not perfect and are not expected to be- and we have great reason to hope for the future.
That's all for now! This next week should be a busy one and we are excited! I love you all!
Sister Weston

Golden Springtime

Hey Everybody!
I imagine it's getting pretty warm there as it is here :) All the cherry blossoms are in full bloom now and it's the best thing ever.
After Zone Conference Sister SunYoung and I had a really fun week full of walking haha. Since we split into two teams here we've been trying to figure out investigators, who will teach who, who will do what, and on top of that we've stopped teaching a lot of people. So..... Sister SunYoung and I hit the streets! It was so fun but I know she's probably really tired! Not everyone is used to walking 20 kilometers a day I guess...
The best part of walking, is all the miracles!  We met three people that we had seen previously and this time when we saw them they came up to us and wanted to talk more. That was really wonderful and we should be meeting them again this week.
The small but great thing I wanted to share with you this week from all our walking is a story about a pad of sticky notes that I had lost. I bought them in Daejeon (about an hour or so away from where we live) and they are perfect for giving to people to help them remember what to read and pray about. I used them for everything and they made me so happy (I know lame, but it's the little things). Well one day with sister McDonald, I had written a little note to a member on the way to her house, super excited, then we got to the members house and I didn't have the sticky notes.
We stayed cool, calm, and collected until we left, but I really almost started crying when we got out. I made Sister McDonald rtrace our steps and even had to say a little prayer so I could get over it. I know, youre like "no big deal" but these are the worlds greatest misisonary sticky notes.
Well it's been about a week and a half since then. I'm over it, or so I thought. Then Sister SunYoung and I were walking towards home after trying to visit someone, and I asked if we could go road thats a little farther away to put up more english flyers. She said okay, and when we reached the raod we saw a bus driver stopped, door open, yelling at us. I went over there and understood he was yelling "memo! memo!" which is stickynote in korean vocabulary. HE HAD KEPT MY STICKYNOTES AND RECOGNIZED US ON THE ROAD AND STOPPED TO GIVE THEM BACK!!! I was so amazed!  Sister SunYoung was so confused because she didn't even know these things existed, and I'm just so happy. There are good people in all places, happy moments to be found at all times.
Sister McDonald and I were able to make Deajeon Mission History by being the fist sisters to speak on conference call about concecration for the mission (usually it's zone leaders but now they want sisters to do it too) and we spoke about joy. Words that hit be hard this week were those of F. Enzio Busche "Serving the Lord without joyfullness is an abomination in the sight of God and will bear no fruit." When we fulfill our callings with a happy heart there is nothing more pleasing in the eyes of the Lord. I'm so thankful that Sister SunYoung is my companion and that no matter where we are we can work hard and have fun together.
Sister Parks daughter was baptized this week and it was a lovely service. The Branch felt like a family and everyone had so much fun. It reminded me of what I felt at my own baptism and that was a really great experience for me. Also we found out that Borther Soe (purple shirt) blessed the sacrament this past week at church. Everything this week was joyful :)
I love you all so much and hope and pray everyday that you are happy where you are and what you're doing. Know that the Lord knows you by name and loves ou endlessly. I love you too!
Sister Weston

Happy New Start

Hey Everybody!

Hope you've been having a great week and a great Easter! Koreans don't celebrate Easter like we do but all the missionaries got a tons of decorated hard boiled eggs yesterday from the kids in the branch, it was really cute :) This week a lot has changed, and I'm super tired. But Looking back on my mission all of my tiredest times are my favorite times because that's when the most is going on haha :) I'm sure this will be no different. 

Sister Uhl and Sister Kim are in the house!!! We went to pick them up on thursday in DaeJeon and it was so much fun. Sister Uhl and I ran to hug eachother and it feels like no time has past. Sister Kim (her full name is SunYoung Kim) is from vancouver!!! And she is amazing! She lived in Korean until middle school and then moved to Canada so she is perfect in both languages, she also has a lot of spunk! 

As we walk on the streets together, Sister Kim finds a miracle story in every person we talk to and that brings me a ton of new hope! I remember doing the same thing as a greeny, and God answered my prayers by sending that spirit to me again. I have been asking him for the past month or so to help me finish my mission the absolute strongest and this is very possibly His way of helping me do so :) I love Sister Kim so much! 

Sister Iem's surgery went really well!! Thank you for praying!! She called us right after and it was so cute :) Hopefully we can see her out at church when she is recovered :)

Other than that, we had a seventy come to church yesterday and talk to us about 가정 which means home&family :) He stressed the importance of praying and reading the scriptures, promising us that if we did all the hopes we had for our families could much more simply become reality. I still remember praying with my brothers and parents when I was young, and how much I loved that time. As we see two less active mothers coming back to church, along with moms getting baptized, and one of our investigators Sister Park hopefully preparing to be baptized with her daughter next month, my faith that the gospel was made for and blesses families grows everyday. 

This is all possible because of our greatest example, friend and savior- Christ. I hope we can recognize our many blessings today and see again how they all root back to him. I leave you with this quote Scott shared with me today, "Today we celebrate the gift of victory over every fall we have ever experienced, every sorrow we have ever known."

I love each of you so very much, and am praying for you always. Have a great week and do something good for April fools :)

Sister Weston

행운 : good fortune, a stroke of good luck

Hey Everybody,
Looks and sounds like its really becoming spring back home and that just makes everything better! There's not much time left in school and that's pretty crazy too. Sister McDonald and I are doing everything we can to enjoy the time and beautiful weather that's here! Today was transfer calls, and it's a little confusing but I'll try to explain! Sister McDonald and I will both be staying here!YAY!!! WE will also be serving as sister training leaders together which is literally going to be the best thing ever! And because work has been going so well here in SeJong, we will be serving as two teams. Sister McDonald will open with my favorite daughter Sister Uhl! And I'll be training a new favorite daughter! I don't know what else to say other than we are really excited!
This week so many great things happened, the cherry blossoms started to bloom and three people were baptized! Two were people Sister Byun and I taught in GwangJu, our Phillipino friends Neya and Ronald! I remember the first time they came to church we asked them what they thought, and Ronald said the only think he could think about was marrying Neya in there! We were like "YEAH RONALD YOU CAN DO THAT!" They are the sweetest people, can' wait to see them again with Cherry again in June! Then our friend YoonHee Park was baptized here in Sejong! I forgot my camera so I don't have pictures yet but wow it was beautiful! And The branch here is just becoming so strong because all these amazing moms are being baptized! I can' begin to express how much we see, and how much I've learned, how the gospel blesses families in all the big ways and in the little everyday ways too. Our mom JeongSuk came to the service and she was so proud of YoonHee for being baptized as a mother as well, it was adorable!
Crazy thing that happened this week that I meant to really write you about started on Wednesday morning. We were walking to the church, kind of in a hurry when we saw two older women. We passed them because we were in a hurry, but then we looked at each other with that look that said, no we have to go back. We did, we talked to them, and they seemed not too interested so we gave them our phone number and told them to have a happy day.
About 3 or 4 minutes later, we hear a voice behind us, one of the women had run about 300 meters to catch up with us. It was clear she had a slight mental handicap, and told us she would be having brain surgery next week, but she really wanted us to come visit her so we made an appointment with her for Thursday night at 6:30.
To be honest, on our way to the appointment, we were really excited and questioned if we should really go. Most people we meet on the street similar to her don't really have interest and sometimes going to their homes can be not the wisest thing to do.  But we knew we had made an appointment and so we prayed and went.
When she answered the door, she told us she was nervous we wouldn't show up but was so happy we did. Her house, I cant even describe it- it was artistic, welcoming, sophisticated, and nothing at all what we had expected.
When we started talking to her, I wanted to starting crying at the thought that I had ever thought we shouldn't have come. We asked if we could share with her a plan of happiness, and when we wrote  down on a piece of paper "Iem IenSook's happy plan" She wrote underneath "to not feel pain. To be a person that can help everyone"
She then proceeded to explain to us that she has Parkinson's disease. And that is why she will be having surgery. Then she showed us a sign on her door, similar to other signs hanging about her house and the entire apartment complex that says "행운" which means good fortune or a stroke of good luck. Despite her current health and discomfort she believes with all her heart that she continually receives this- because she has so many people around her who love her.
We received a call from her everyday since then to come over and eat at her house, each time we go there is a different friend that she has also invited and wants us to teach. She will be in Seoul and then Busan for her surgery, but want to be baptized upon her return.
To me honest, I'm not sure how it will all work out. But in the short time that I've know Sister Iem (pronounced like eeeem), She's changed my heart, my perspective on life, and Christ like love.
I know this was long but thanks for letting me share :) I'll keep you updated on how everyone is doing and who our new missionary friend will be :) I love you so much! and I know The Savior loves and understand all of us perfectly. Don' forget he's there, and how much he appreciates the love you show Him as well.
Have the best week ever!
Sister Weston
(second picture is Sister McDonald with one of Sister Iems friends and an apple she had carved)