Friday, June 28, 2013

Me and my compies
My district
Me and the other Asian girl in my district matching like pros
My sweet district leader and his middle part that he does to be funny. The guys in my district are awesome they are hilarious but they all hate me. They came up with the phrase "you just Blickenstaffed me" because one time I corrected them and they freaked out hahahaa typical
Me and the girls from my district doing what our teacher does when we say "sa rang ham need da" which means "I love you". He's awesome. He's white but sometimes he acts Asian and it's the greatest thing in the world
So basically Korean is the most difficult thing I've ever done in my whole entire life and it's really hard and oh did I mention that's really hard? I'm learning so much and trying to do the best that I can. The other day when we were studying a teacher stopped by and asked where we were going to be serving. He told us that Korea really needed good missionaries because one day the North would open up and be free and it would need good members in South Korea to go to the North and establish the Church. Then I read D&C 133:26-24 which I think mentions like the north ends of the world hearing the gospel or something I can't remember because I don't have my scriptures right now and that was promised to the tribe of Ephraim and that's my tribe! So I thought that was cool. I love my patriarchal blessing and I read it all the time for comfort and when I need to be uplifted.
The first Sunday here was special as you all know so we had a massive relief society meeting with all the sisters at the MTC. The Spirit was so so strong and it was amazing to be in a room full of worthy daughters of God that are willing to serve Him. At the end of the meeting we all sang Sisters of Zion which is basically As Sisters in Zion but the missionary version and I was trying sooooo hard to hold back tears. Side note: I am now the worst cry baby in the entire world. Whenever the Spirit is there my eyes go bazooka it's realy embarrassing. I straight up cried for like an entire two hours in my class the other day and everyone felt super bad for me. But I'll tell you about that later. Anyway we sang a verse that said "the angels of heaven are walking beside us" and I lost it. I know that Courtney will be walking alongside me as I serve throughout my mission. Her Spirit will help me and she'll be my little angel that helps me survive in Korea.

Okay so basically my teacher is the best thing that ever happened to me. He is aaaaamaaaazing. He was called as branch president after 9 months of being in Korea. Branch President. White boy. 9 months. Korea. Soak that up. I try to convince myself that if he can do that than I can at least learn the language. But it's so hard.
So back to the crying for a whole two hours. So before mom and dad left they told me that they knew that I'd be a great missionary and I'd bless the people of Korea. That was hard for me to hear because it's so difficult to imagine that I could be a good missionary when I can't speak or understand the language yet and I won't be able to really communicate with them for a while. But this experience that is completely foreign to me has really brought me to my knees. I have to rely on the Lord with my whole soul. Okay I'm getting choked up writing this what is wrong with me. Anyway I know that it is ONLY through Christ that I will be able to do this. There is no other way. I know that God loves me and I know He hears my prayers and I that He will give according as He sees fit. But it's sooo hard to be patient. I was asked what I learned my first week and I would have to say that I learned how to pray. Which seems weird because we learn at such a young age how to pray. But I learned how to really pray. I pour my heart out to Heavenly Father every night and pray for strength and comfort. It's so hard to see myself in the same way that the Lord does. I feel inadequate as myself, but I know that with the Lord's help I can do His will. The Book of Mormon is amazing. I live for personal study time. Read the scriptures you will learn so much and they will help you in whatever you need.
Last thought of the day I read the scripture Alma 37:45 and loved the scripture. Also Mosiah 2:41.
The first one talks about how following the words of Christ will take us from our vale of sorrows to far better land. I love that. Just follow Christ and we will be blessed. Mosiah talks about the never-ending happiness that comes from keeping the commandments. I cannot wait to have never-ending happiness that sounds so awesome to me considering my emotions right now are a rollercoaster ride.
I love you all thank you so much for your letters. Honestly they make my day. My whole district hates me for getting like 37482983 letters a day so keep them coming. You guys bring me so much happiness and I don't know what on earth I would do without you. Never ever fall away from the church because I will kill you if you do and that's breaking a commandment sooo don't make me do that. I can't wait until we are all reunited and can go to the temple and I can cry my eyes out again because I'm so happy that we are a family FOREVER!!
Love you to death. Pray for me please I am in desperate need of all the help I can get. I love you I love I love you. Until next week!
Blick cha meh neem 

Monday, June 24, 2013

The perks!

 One of the perks of being a missionary at the same time as your parents--you may get to see them in the MTC!!!  Here they are at the Church Missionary Broadcast on June 23, 2013

A note from my mom's email that night:

"I looked all through the crowd for Caitlin but for those of you that saw the sea of sisters in the stand, it was impossible to spot her. I gave up and thought if I stood there long enough she'd come down to see me. When I gave up on that, I started to return to my seat when a young man who was an MP Seminar assistant approached me and asked if I'd like to see my daughter! Caitlin later told me the man saw her (probably her name tag) and asked if she was our daughter, and then if she wanted him to find us. She was like, "Ummm…." but he said it was okay, so he came looking for me. It was another amazing example of how well they know who we are, call us by name, and do their best to be of service to us and make this a memorable experience that we will never forget."
Sister Blickenstaff's first letter was only the first treat of that day, the second was that we got to see her one last time!!! (Well, us siblings anyway!  My parents would be in the MTC with her for the following 5 days until they depart for Taiwan).  She and her two companions, Sisters Goodnough and Debuse, were able to meet us at the Church Headquarters for our parent's setting apart by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland.  What a treat for all of us!!!
So fun to see her waiting for us right outside of the elevator!
And then...she really was off!!!
As always, with a smile!!!
From: Caitlin Blickenstaff <>
Date: June 21, 2013, 10:27:12 AM MDT
Subject: first p-day yay
I'm not sure what everyone's email is so I didn't send it to them but forward this to them and tell them all to email me so I have their emails and can send them an email next week. This is kind of weird since I'll see you in a couple hours but I don't think I'll have enough time to tell you everything.
hello ka-joke!! that means family by the way. My p-day is on Friday so I get a break after the first two days here which is good because my brain is seriously on overload and might explode any moment with a million Korean words spilling out all over the place. The first couple days have been awesome. Waking up at 6:30 is the most horrible part of the day but after that I forget that I'm tired except after three hours of Korean and I just want to lay on the floor and take a nap. The first day I felt like a baby idiot because I had the dork dot on and everyone kept yelling Korean things at me and I just smiled awkwardly and tried not to make eye contact. We had class where my teacher spoke straight up Korean for two hours and everyone in my district was super confused and just staring and laughing at each other the whole time. Our teacher is super awesome and nice and it helps that he's a cutie too...ah where are emoticons when you need them. Anyway after dinner we had a teaching experience which was pretty cool and I had an awesome experience I'll share with you. Ps these keyboards are brutal. Anyway so basically about sixty missionaries gather in one room and we have an "investigator" (which is really an MTC employee) who comes and we learn about how to teach them. They're sitting up in the front on like a couch setting and it's like sixty of us are crowded in his house it's kind of hard to explain but it was weird. So then some missionaries knocked on the door and he let them in and we just watched them interact for like five minutes and then we paused the situation so we could talk about and at the end the guy that was over it was like okay now it's your turn to teach...uh excuse me? My heart was going like fifty million twenty thousand eight hundred million million million (that's for Cutterman) miles an hour. So basically anyone could talk to the guy that felt impressed to and first it was kind of awkward and no one really got anywhere and people would bear random testimonies and I was like okay yeah remind me why in the heck I thought I could ever do this? But we taught a lady for the next scenario and it came up that she hadn't gone to church for like thirty years because she wasn't raised to go to church but she read the Bible and loved God. So this in the making missionary (I have to refrain from saying idiot) was like church is a commandment and if you don't go two weeks in a row you're inactive. What does that even mean and why would you ever tell your investigator that? Whatever. So she was saying that she was ashamed because she's read the Bible but she didn't know going to church was a commandment and she hadn't gone all those years and it was really sad. And NO ONE was saying anything about it! So finally I stood up after awkwardly starting at the same time as someone and being overridden--story of my awkward life--and I was like Hely (that's her name) you never ever have to be ashamed because we all make mistakes. I make mistakes all the time and I don't have the Bible memorized, but that's why we read the scriptures every day so that we can come closer to Christ. And I know that when we mistakes that we can repent and because God loves us, he's made it possible for our guilt and our sins and all our mistakes to be washed away forever. And she said that reminded her of going to the priest and confessing and I was like exactly! If we go to God and confess and forsake our sins aka promise never to do them again then we can be forgiven! Doesn't that sound awesome to be forgiven of every guilt and sorrow we've ever felt? And she was like oh I don't know about sorrow that hangs on to you for a long time and I was like yeah it seems like sorrow will never be able to go away but I know that if we turn to God and ask him for help and try our best to keep his commandments and be like Him that He will help us because he loves us and He will take our sorrows away and we can be happy. And she was like wow that gives me a lot of hope thank you. HOLY COW I seriously had to hold back tears and it was interesting because I wasn't like overwhelmingly happy that I had been able to instill hope in her, but the Spirit was so so strong and bore witness of what I said. I knew that what I said was true and the Spirit was there so strongly that I almost started crying. It's so true that when we bear our testimony it reaffirms to us that what we know is true. The Atonement is real and not just for sins. It's real for when we need to be comforted which is me like every second of the day when I freak out about speaking Korean. My companions (I have two) are so sweet and I'm learning to love them. We have five girls in our district and one of them is Australian which is awesome and the other is half-Korean and she is soooo pretty (Jake???). I'm the youngest in my trio but I feel like I take the lead and I'm not sure if they hate me or not...I try not to but they don't say anything so I'm forced to make the decisions! One of my companions took Korean for two semesters so I was like great this is just great. But I'm actually so so grateful for it because I can ask her for help on pronunciation or whatever and her being at a higher level makes me want to work harder to be better (thanks mom and dad for that competitive nature). Korean is haaaard but I'll get it. Hopefully...
We met our branch presidency last night and learned that our branch is the celestial branch because apparently the best missionaries are sent to Korea. OOOOH YEAAAAH!! (hip thrusting) From what I can tell they are going to be awesome. All four members of the presidency have been mission presidents at some point in their life so they mean business, but they are so nice and welcoming.
Mm there's not really much else to tell you since it's been like two days, but just know that I am so happy here. I feel the Spirit all the time and it's amazing to walk around and see missionaries eeeveeerrryywhere. This work is so so important and I couldn't be more privileged to take part in it. After we taught the "investigators" that night was the first time I felt so much love for the people of Korea and I haven't even met them! It's crazy how much you love the people you teach. You just want them to know truth soooo badly and they are so sincere you just love them! I love that I get to be doing the same work as momma and pops and I encourage everyone else to really seek out a missionary opportunity to take part in with us. I know it might be hard to Kaar and Kris since they live in Mormonland but the joy you have from sharing your testimony is unreal and if we all did that together as a family that would just confirm to be that we are the greatest family in the whole wide world. After we're baptized we have a duty to share the gospel so get to it people!
At the MTC Orientation Sister Nally the MTC First Lady read from D&C 31 where it says the hour of your mission is here go forth and serve basically and she was like the world is counting on you to share the gospel. Uh no pressure or anything thanks!!!! But it's true. There are so many people out there who aren't as happy as they could be because they don't have the gospel in their lives. Think about if you didn't have it in your life and knew someone who wasn't sharing it with you! I don't know if that makes sense but you get the idea. The hour of my mission is here so Korea here I come. In nine weeks...
sa rang hahm nee da! aka I love you. See you soon! haha won't ever say that again for eighteen months.
Sister Blick

Called to serve!

The day finally came when Sister Blickenstaff was ready to leave behind all the comforts of home and life as she knew it, to devote her life full time to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the service of the Lord!
Newly set apart by her Stake President, she was blessed and ready to embark on the journey of a lifetime!  Soon she will be in South Seoul, Korea!
After a lot of hugs, kisses, and happy smiles,
She was off!
Well, to Provo anyway :)
One last round of sisters,
And she was checked in and ready to go!
We love you, Sister Blickenstaff!