Monday, June 30, 2014

hello beloved family! it has been yet another week. i can't believe how fast time is flying by it's ridiculous. can you believe that it's july already?? another half of a year has passed away. i feel like yesterday it was new years eve! this week was good. had a couple rough days and a couple more miracles!
first one that comes to mind:
so this week we set up an appointment to visit one of the less-active members of our ward. so we went and after i choked down this nasty drink thing that she gave me (i pride myself on my ability to eat things i do not want to) now that i think about it i really don't know how we got to talking about what we were talking about but i think we mentioned to her something about having district meeting that afternoon and we were talking about prayer and how to teach our investigators to pray and she just started talking about prayer and how before she got married (she is a return missionary) she prayed a lot and then after she got married she stopped praying and now that we were talking about it she realized that prayer has really helped her life and she knows that prayer is really important. i don't even remember what we really talked about but she expressed her gratitude that our language ability was good enough for us to talk to her and understand her feelings and that she had never talked about that to other foreign missionaries. so she wanted us to help her family with english so we told her we could come back that weekend and spend time with her family (they are all members) and the second visit was even better than the first! the wife and the youngest son have been coming to sacrament meeting for the past two weeks but they didn't come this week. so we thought maybe we would share something about why we go to church. we didn't even have to bring that up! we were practicing english with the kids and the dad was kind of helping us. he's super nice, went to byu didn't serve a mission though but is a great guy and really good at english i think. i'm not sure since he didn't speak more than two words but he understood everything that i was saying and was helping the kids speak back to me. anyway so all of the sudden he was like ask the missionaries why we need to go to church. he said that the other day his daughter asked him that and he was like the problem is i didn't know how to answer her. he said we used to go to church a lot but now they don't and he also doesn't know why we need to go to church. so i asked him when you used to go to church with your family every week, why did you go? and he thought for a second and said because I knew that Heavenly Father lived. and i said how did you come to know that? and he said i read the scriptures a lot. and he talked about how the missionaries impacted him and had a special spirit about them and he said i usually don't talk about this to people but because you can understand i'm telling you. you sisters have a special spirit about you. really you do. because i usually don't talk about this but your korean is good enough to understand and talk about it and i really like you. you two are special and have a really special spirit about you. i just at that moment had so much love for this brother and this family. not because he told me that our korean is great but because he could trust us enough to understand that he told us how he felt and about his experience. i wanted to help him so badly and help him understand and get the answer to his question so that he could lead his family in the gospel. we opened up to mosiah 18 and read where Christ instituted the sacrament and reminded them of the covenants they made. and we said that's why we go to church. because we make promises with the Savior at baptism and every week we renew our promises and remember our Savior and his sacrifice for us. I talked about how I didn't want to go on a mission ever in my life until I heard one sister missionary speak about how her investigator felt so clean after her baptism because of the atonement and I knew that the power of the Atonement is real. and I wanted people to experience that clean feeling. I wanted everyone to know about the miracle of the gospel. and that's why I am serving. And he said okay I understand. I know why we need to go to church. We talked about the importance of doing the small things--studying the scriptures, praying, and going to church. the more i think about it the more i realize that most often people don't go less-active because of some huge distrastrous event that happened. sometimes that is the case, but most often it's because people stop doing the little things. they think i'm too busy i can't read my scriptures. it's not that important anyway i go to church on sunday and study the scriptures then. then they think i don't have time to pray or i don't want to pray and they start to doubt that Heavenly Father even hears their prayers. and then they make the decision to skip sacrament meeting for whatever reason. and just like as you keep going to church it gets easier, as your keep not going to church it gets easier to not go. that's how the adversary gets us really easily. he starts with simple things and slowly breaks us down. he makes us view the church and the gospel as a burden instead of a blessing. if any of you ever feel that way. please read elder bednar's talk "bear up their burdens with ease" the Lord strengthens us to do the things we need even when it seems like a burden. I love this family so much and I pray that as we keep meeting and encouraging them to live according to the gospel they can feel my love for them and feel Heavenly Father's love for them.
serving here a not only a testimony builder but a testimony confirmer. for example. people here are not really big fans of our church. aka they think we are a cult. i don't know how that rumor got spread around but somehow it got started and so our church isn't that well liked. but it's okay because missionary work still goes on! anyway we met some missionaries from another church that were passing out some stuff on the street the other day and as soon as they saw what church we were from they got all serious and told us that they were sorry we were members of our church. they said that their heart felt sick and it was a shame that we went to this church and she hoped that she would see us in heaven and that she would pray for us. i just bit my tongue and said thank you and walked away because i was not having nice feelings at the moment. i just took a deep breath and then my companion started singing hymns to me because she could tell i was really mad. BUT reflecting on the situation: it just makes my testimony stronger. why? because i know that what I believe is true. and if i had to stand before God at any moment I would not be ashamed to be a missionary of this church. because it is His true church. it is His gospel. and I know that for sure. one hundred percent. and no one can tell me differently. i hope you all know it too!
I love you all so much. wish i could share more but time is lacking. sorry!!
Love you too much!
Sister Blickenstaff

Monday, June 23, 2014

anyeooong! this week was awesome. every week is awesome. missionary work is awesome. korea is awesome. you are all awesome. the gospel is awesome. life is awesome! besides the fact that i love you all too much and i miss you but other than that. awesome!!
there are way too many stories to tell you. where to start. i don't even know.
oh i know! this week i got told i looked like jessica alba. oohhh yeaaah!! win.
okay sorry more better stories. yes i know that was bad english.
i don't have a lot of time. sorry mom!! but i will tell you about some precious moments of the week.
i love our investigator sister chway. with all my heart. she  is like my 40 year old best friend that i love. so she goes to pray at the end of the lesson and she always forgets how to start the prayer so she was like dear....and i just whispered God and she says dear God, I'm not smart, but I'm enough. I about died! how true is that people? we are not smart, but we are enough. why? because we are trying. because we are doing the best that we can. and isn't it great that Heavenly Father only wants that? He only wants us to do and try our best and we will be enough for Him.
The other day to start companion study we started singing I Know That My Redeemer Lives. I don't what came over me but I just thought back to Courtney's funeral and how that song was sung and I just started bawling. My poor companion just kept singing while I was sitting there listening to the music and thinking of the words. Before I had been thinking about the Plan of Salvation and how blessed we are to have that knowledge that gives us purpose and meaning in life. and I thought of Courtney and how people could say that that was unfair, why would God take the life of such a precious child? But I thought of how much she has blessed our life, probably more than if she was here today. She has made the Plan of Salvation real for us. She has made the promise in Moroni 8 real for us. She has made temple marriage real for us. She has strengthened our testimonies, our hopes, our family relationships. I love her with all my heart and even though she was so young, she accomplished such an amazing purpose. I know that we all come to this earth with a definite purpose. I also know that my redeemer lives and that he loves us. This gospel is the best. Never forget it!!
Wish I could tell you more but I have horrible time management skills. sorry!!
Love Sister Blick ^^

Monday, June 16, 2014

HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!! so i can't believe our baby brother is getting married finally!! hehehe. wow though i am so excited. except i came to the awful realization the other day that i have to lose weight and look good for the wedding and i have like no time to do that so i have to start on my mission. dang. oh well. I LOVE WEDDINGS!!! i hate that i have so much to look forward to when i get home!! grr you people.
anyway this week was like the best week of my mission seriously. we saw like a million miracles. so i got a new companion her name is sister hoffman, she's from colorado and is such a good missionary. like it's awesome. i don't even know where to begin.
oh i know! so it was right before we were supposed to meet with sister chway and we had some time so i knew there was an old grandma in our ward who lived in the same area so i thought maybe we could go visit her and introduce my new companion. so we went to visit her and it was SO amazing. while we were talking to her she started crying and talking about how her family is going through a really hard time and she feels like she can't help them because she has no money and things are just really hard. she is such a faithful member of the church and she knows that Heavenly Father blesses her all the time. she took the book of mormon out and just opened it and was like i try to read this book and i don't know what it means. she's like it's korean and i read it but i don't know the meaning of it. this old lady has been going to church for years, she doesn't even remember when she got baptized, and she told us she doesn't understand the book of mormon. so we opened to the first page and read verse by verse and explained it to her. we told her we would come by every week and study with her page my page, verse by verse, and tell her what it meant so that she could apply it to her life. she was just saying thank you over and over again she was so grateful that we came by to visit it. we were so full of love for this old grandma and so grateful that we were able to find that out. we know that the spirit led us there so that we could find and help her.
sister chway is doing good. i love her so much and each time we meet with her my love for her grows. it's hard for her to change, but she is a miracle. she's understanding piece and piece and it's so great to see her knowledge grow.
we were also able to meet this amazing 19 year old girl this week that is SO prepared. seriously. she is the cutest. we are doing the 30/30 program but she is interested in learning about the church. her name is minji. she's the cutest!!
we are working so hard and we are butt tired every day but so happy. i love you so much and i miss you so much. but i will see you soon! 4 transfers are going to fly by i know it. love you all!!
Sister Blick

Monday, June 9, 2014

Hello beautiful people!! I am emailing a little bit early this week because our member invited us over for lunch so we had to get things done a bit quicker than usual. can i just tell you KOREAN FOOD IS THE BEST IN THE WORLD not even joking. we made food at a members house this week and it was the most delicious thing ever. you all are missing out. This week was interesting. A lot of veeeeery interesting things happened. Transfers are this week and my little child is leaving me and I'll get a new companion! I'm so excited! Her name is Sister Hoffman and she has red hair. also I permed my hair last week and it turned out beautifully. So yes Kelly I do trust Koreans with scary chemicals.
Some cool things happened with our investigator this week.
She went to a Busan (a different part of Korea) with her family this week because it was her daughter's birthday so she couldn't come to church unfortunately but we had some lessons with her earlier in the week. The first time we studied Alma 42 with her. oh my gosh alma is the best people. I love alma. Just for studying for her lessons I learned so much about justice and mercy and the plan of salvation that just made everything so much clearer and simpler to me. but she said that it was hard to understand so we went over it with her and she doesn't like the idea of being punished so we talked to her about justice and mercy. but the best part i wasn't even there for so it's not really my experience but i'll share it anyway. so because it was my companions birthday this week, we scheduled two appts in a row because she was leaving the next day so we taught her tuesday and then wednesday. but i went on exchanges so i wasnt there. anyway sister lee went to her house with our stl and she said that the whole time her and her daughter were fighting and yelling and it was kind of awkward but they kept on with the lesson. and at the end sister lee said our stl sister sloan said she felt like they should sing where can i turn for peace so they sang that song and they said she started crying and said how much she wanted peace in her life and as we've been meeting she talks about how she wants a new life, she wants something new, so she plans to go to america because she needs something new. so sister sloan talked about how she doesn't need to go to america to start a new life, she can do that through baptism and God promises that we can start a new life and be happier and find that peace. I was amazed and humbled because i was nervous about not being there to teach, but everything was perfect. Her heart has been softened so much and the other day she texted us and said I think it's a gift that I was able to meet you thank you for never giving up on me. I love her with all my heart.
Next thing I wanted to share was about my companions birthday. So this week was her "senior week" and the week before transfers. I always get antsy before transfers so I was nervous about that and I was nervous about her taking the role of senior companion. I have not a ton of patience with people so I knew it would be hard. And it was. So I was a little anxious and annoyed but I knew those weren't good feelings to have and I definitely wasn't exercising charity. So I prayed for help and studied a lot about charity this week. Yeah it's a massive weakness for me. I'm working on it okay! Anyway I wanted to make Sister Lee feel special on her birthday and i was thinking about what I should do for her or get for her and I thought about how she is obsessed with everything Spiderman and when we went into Baskin Robbins she took pictures of the ice cream cakes in there to my utter embarrassment but that is another story. anyway I knew I had to get her a Spiderman cake. Plus her birthday was in zone training meeting day and I knew she would flip if everyone in the zone celebrated her birthday with a Spiderman baskin robbins cake. it would be like a dream come true for her. so that's what I planned. What I didn't plan was her reaction. so after ZTM ended I had some other sisters distract her and got the cake and lighted it and brought it in and started to sing happy birthday. and what does my sweet companion do? She starts bawling. She freaks out (in a good way) and is just crying her eyes out and she says this is the first time I have ever been surprised for my birthday. She was so happy she was crying. I knew that it meant a lot to her to have people remember her and care about her and I was glad that she could feel love through the simplest thing. How are we making sure that other people feel love through our simple actions?
Also while I was on exchanges someone committed suicide at our apartment complex (the one i was staying at not in my area) off our floor. It was a really for lack of a better word saddening experience. We weren't there when it happened but we were afterwards and the whole thing was kind of numbing. I was just grateful for the plan of salvation and the hope that the gospel gives me. I was grateful for the hand of the Lord in our day that day (can't explain for lack of time) and the comforting nature of the Spirit.
Always remember the happiness of the gospel and the joy we can find from living the gospel. Heavenly Father has provided such an amazing plan for all of us and we know it!!
Love you all so much. Have a happy birthday Karl!!! Love you tons
Sister Blick

Monday, June 2, 2014

helloo!!!! this week was awesome. so many awesome experiences. i wish i could just send a clip of me talking about everything because let me tell you that would be so much easier for the both of us.
three awesome things that happened.
Elder Quentin L. Cook visited our mission! and yes I shook his hand! we received some awesome training.
Got to go to the temple and that's an awesome experience every time.
Got to attend a baptism with our investigator and the Spirit was so strong.
Okay mom wants to hear about one hard contact, one nice contact, and one lesson this week.
I'll go with the lesson first and that's probably all I will finish in this time. Sorry momma! hahaha
okay so basically i love my investigator more than anyone in the whole world. she is a miracle. she's still stubborn but she has come sooooo far. she comes to church every week and our lessons are so special. she's received all the PMG lessons sort of and she doesn't take just straight up lessons very well so in order to adapt to her needs, we started teaching more from the book of mormon. turns out she loves that and our lessons go great now instead of tackling a principle and arguing, we use the scriptures to teach a principle. she likes the Book of Mormon, knows that the words it contains are really good. So we've been assigning her different chapters to read according to what we think she needs to learn. we taught about the plan of salvation the other day because i could tell that she didn't understand or believe it. she studied alma 41 before we met and then talked about mostly the second half of the plan of salvation with her. at the end she said wow this is a really good plan. and I said YES IT IS! i told her this is the plan that gives me hope. this is what gives me purpose because one day i know i will see my little baby sister again. i know i will see my lost loved ones again and i know that one day if i try my hardest and do the best and the most good i can, i will get rewarded good in the end. she said she's fine with aiming for the terrestrial kingdom because she's a middle line kind of person. i told her that's fine...for now...!!!
ah there are so many other experiences i wish i could share with you!! lack of time. gosh dang it!
one hard contact: we were walking on the street and there was a lady walking next to me so i said hello and started talking her she asked me why i was here and i told her i came here to serve, she said where and i said church and she said what church and i said our church name and she just laughed to herself and i asked her how she knew our church and she just again laughed to herself and i said yeah a lot of people in Korea think our church is a cult, but that's exactly why i'm serving to tell people what we believe! and she just again laughed to herself. i could tell she wasn't going to listen to anything i said so i just asked her for directions thanked her for her help and said goodbye. most of the people here act that way towards us because they have a distorted view of our church and are too hard to try and listen to what we have to say they immediately shut us out when they hear our church name. it's sad but more sad for them because they just rejected only the greatest thing in the world!
okay i have to go! love you! til next week!!
by the way it's june already what???