Monday, July 28, 2014

 Yes, I still match with people
  My district, I love them!
Pretty field 
 Elder Bryan transferred this week. Our bishop's daughter bought us ice cream
 Those are my apartments from a distance
HELLO PEOPLE!!! seriously this was a week of miracles my friends. like i wish i had all day to write about this stuff because i just can't fully explain it in a little email that takes me forever to write. but i will try my best.
first funny cool thing. the other day it was raining, well that's besides the point, but anyway we were walking to our members house and we walked up to a crosswalk and i look down and there was a cheon won bill (basically a dollar bill) on the ground and I was like awesome! so i picked it up and was beholding my prize when the bus driver stopped at the light honked his horn and gave me a big thumbs up. me and sister hoffman almost died laughing it was the best thing ever.
okay first really cool thing. so we go to teach sister choi and sister hoffman says the opening prayer and i say amen and sister choi doesn't say anything so i look at her and she lights up and says fantastic news! i started laughing and we were like yes? and she said My daughter wants to come to church! WHAT THE. we were shocked. She said I've been praying every day and so so so many times for this and suddenly the other day my daughter asked mom didn't you go to church today (she had to go to seoul to do a service activity she had signed up to do so she couldn't come to church last week) and she said I already had signed up to do this service activity so I told the sister missionaries I couldn't come this week, but I will go next week. and her daughter said do you want to go together? and sister choi said YES YES!!! oh my gosh it was SUCH  a miracle!! coolest way to start a lesson.
I think one of the times I have smiled the biggest in my whole life is when I saw her and her daughter walk in the chapel doors yesterday morning. Sister Choi also was beyond happy that her daughter was there and you could tell. It was a great sacrament meeting and I was grateful for all the speakers, one of them being my fabulous companion.
there are other miracles that i want to tell you about but I was preoccupied with something else....sorry...!
but i am so so so so happy right now it's ridiculous. not real. i'm tired beyond belief and i'm not happy jolly every minute but when i take a step back i am so happy. i'm so grateful for how this experience is changing my life and i don't think that sister missionary that spoke that week in sacrament will ever fully understand the effect she had on me.
Love you all more than everything in the world.
Sister Blickenstaff

Monday, July 21, 2014

 oh also those are my favorite korean elders in the mission. 
 this rock is super cool basically it says this place gives you life's wisdom and happiness. it's in front of a library.

 me and one of elder brissette's recent converts (he was my first zone leader he's going home in a couple weeks. so weird)
massive bugbite
hello hello hello family! good news. i'm not leaving. also good news. my companion is not leaving. i was kind of freaking out but we are so happy that we get to stay together in our ward!
also I forgot to tell you last week. remember Lee? yeah she got baptized!!! I didn't get to go to her baptism but Sister Gapinski did and she showed me pictures and it was sooo awesome. Lee looked so so happy and I was just so happy for her I couldn't express how I felt. She was so prepared!
this week we got to go to the temple and it was awesome just as usual. i just love the feeling i get in the celestial room. it makes me never want to leave. i always tell myself i'm not going to spend a lot of time in there and then i get there and i never want to leave. so peaceful. just a feeling that you can't get anywhere else i think.
this week we also sang in sacrament meeting and not going to lie me and sister hoffman sound great together. really i'm just mediocre (all the time hehe) and her gorgeous voice makes mine sound not so bad so we're a good pair. but one of our members came up to us after and was telling her how beautiful it was and how much she felt the spirit and we knew that it affected her a lot because she has a daughter serving a mission too right now. she started crying and i asked her if she thought about her daughter and she said yes. mom do you ever think about me when you see the sister missionaries working??^^ we sang I need thee every hour and it was really awesome. brought the spirit really strongly to sacrament meeting.
oh my gosh miracle! taught us how important saying hi to everyone is. so whenever we go to the temple we don't have p-day that week until the thursday we go to the temple. so after the temple we went shopping and took sticker pictures (yes that is a real thing and yes they are awesome i've done it twice) also we got house shirts they are all matching and have a large whale on them they are so cute but that's a different story. so we just went back home didn't have big plans for the night so we just went outside to proselyte. as we were walking out of our apartment complex we pass this lady and her daughter and we kind of say under our breath she is cute and we pass her and the lady says wait do you speak Korean and we're like yeah kind of...( never know how to answer that question) anyway she's like oh my gosh I want to learn English but I'm so busy and i have my daughter and I go to a class but it's not personal, so can you come to my house and teach me English. and we were like uhm YES. she was like a while ago you said hi to me and my daughter one day while you were walking out and I thought the next time I see them I need to ask them if they can help me! So we set up an appointment and we're meeting her tonight! it was so random and a little miracle that Heavenly Father blessed us with :)
so  our investigator moved to Seoul so another set of missionaries is teaching her. sad that she had to leave but we are happy because the work is getting done nonetheless! the sisters that are teaching her now told us that their ward really really needs her and they know she will help the ward out a lot so we are happy that she was sent somewhere where she is needed more. the sisters told us about how she moved to her new house. apparently she contacted the leasers and they didn't get back to her for forever and the night before she was going to contract with some other place they randomly texted her so she went and checked it out and it was exactly what she wanted and she made a contract with her! what if she had moved somewhere like out of our mission boundaries or to another area?? the Lord really watches over his children seriously!! it's amazing.
had an interesting experience teaching our buddhist investigator. we talked about the atonement this week and how because of Christ we can be free from our sins and she says she doesn't like that because then people just sin and pretend to repent because they can be free from their sins later. and we were like no that's now how it works! we need to be sincere and really the Lord judges us on our hearts not what we say. we can't just pretend to repent because God knows everything, He knows our hearts and our desires. it's really interesting listening to her compare the gospel to her Buddhist beliefs. we have great teaching opportunities here that's for sure.
The Book of Mormon is the greatest! reading in Mosiah right now. Mosiah and Alma are so the best. seriously though. they are my favorite books in the Book of Mormon I think. but then again Nephi is pretty solid too. but Abinadi is such a boss. like he gets cast out and goes back IN DISGUISE! what kind of disguise that's what i'm wondering. me and Sister Hoffman thought about doing that to visit some less-actives...ㅋㅋ
Missionary work is the best!! Love you all more than life itself :)
Love Sister Blick

Monday, July 14, 2014

안녕 안녕 안녕 안녕 반갑습니다 wow that took me waaaay too long to write. this week. what to tell what to tell. it was another good week! let's be honest every week is a good week in 가정 ward in the beloved city of 인천 with my beloved companion Sister Hoffman. sorry you can't read any of that korean but i just can't stand romanization so sorry!^^
but seriously. missionary work is the best. and korea is the best.
this week when we were teaching sister chway (turns out the romanization of her name is choi) it was the greatest! she is literally one of my favorite human beings on the planet but beside that i'll tell you about our lesson. so she doesn't have great relationships with her family it's actually really sad and we're doing all we can to encourage her to love her children and her husband and be patient and wait for the blessings from the Lord to come to her family. But she asked to learn about endurance and patience. so Sister Hoffman suggested Alma 38 and we sent that to her to read. when we met with her she said she really liked the chapter. had tons of things circled and underlined. but she said that verse 11 hit her especially. "See that ye are not lifted up unto pride; yea, see that ye do not boast in your own wisdom, nor of your much strength" she said this verse really hit me and i prayed about it. i want to live this way. i really do. i just smiled at her because i had no words to tell her how happy i was. we also went over the baptismal questions with her and when she looked at the first one (about God being our Eternal Father and Christ being our Savior) she said yes that one is good i believe that. OH MY GOSH DO YOU EVEN KNOW HOW LONG WE HAVE BEEN TRYING TO HELP HER ADMIT THAT TO HERSELF! it was a miracle i almost died from joy. the Lord works miracles people!!
Also on a funny note she is hilarious. she always asks "is there a man in the world like you? really i'm wondering." i said yes but he's getting married in december and you're already married!! she's my favorite.
next thing that happened that was awesome. MONSOON SEASON. wednesday morning i was sweating bullets it was so hot outside on the way to distrct meeting. then while i was praying to end district meeting i suddenly heard rain pelting outside and sure enough it was pouring. like pouring. to the extent that everything but my face was soaked. i was just walking through puddles because five seconds after being outside my shoes were totally done for. we went into a department store to get some food and when i was walking water was squishing out of my shoes between my toes. i was a little embarrassed. nonetheless it was awesome.
oh also i don't know if i already said this but the church in our area is receiving a lot of heat because we want to build a new building and the citizens are fighting really hard against the church. it's a trial for our ward but last week we suggested to the ward that we all fast together as a ward for the building to progress, that we can get the necessary permission and start building. our ward i think was really strengthened by it and it helped them think about how serious the situation is, how much a building would bless our ward and how much we really need to exercise our faith so that things can happen. the tuesday after we fasted the bishop said that the city scheduled a meeting to discuss the building plans and if we could get permission. it was so awesome to hear that!
also i wish i had time to tell you all about our PERFECT investigator that sadly is moving so we have to refer her to the sisters in that area, but we gave her a baptismal date yesterday before we said our goodbyes. she is a testimony to me that the Lord does send prepared people our way. because we didn't even find her, she found us. we'll be able to go to her baptism though and be reunited then! her name is sister park so pray for her!!
kay i love you all so much. and i'm coming home in 4 months so woohoo!!! but missionary work is the best so actually if you could all move to korea that would be great. or actually if we could just relocate korea to be in the middle of the US that would be ideal. i'll work on it.
Love you!!
Sister Brick.
HAHAHAH okay one of my investigators called me Brick a couple times and I died laughing. Also sister chway calls me blanckenshtien. so thank you dad for having the hardest last name ever.

Monday, July 7, 2014

 Visiting a member

 The sisters in our zone
Our whole zone
hi family! this week was great! mom you talked about comp unity in your email and can i just tell you me and my comp are on fire. she's the greatest basically and we work soooo well together. i hope we get to stay together another transfer. actually i'm convinced that i am dying in my area and never leaving and she can't leave either so we'll just spend the next three transfers together too before i leave. hopefully Heavenly Father has the same plan in mind...?
yeah anyhways. we saw like a million miracles last week all of which i am so unworthy to receive! i just want to hang my head in shame because i am NOT worthy! hehe. miss all of you and our weird language that we all spoke to each other. anyway let me tell you about my week!
this week we went to go visit our member who lives waaaay out in the country. she doesn't even live in our ward boundaries but to be honest there are a lot of members here who don't actually go to the ward they are supposed to. kind of a culture thing. anyway so she never gets missionary visits and we had time so we decided to go visit her. turned out to be the best ever! she took us out to lunch and we were talking about her conversion story and how she feels bad because she lives so far away in the country where there are like no people so she doesn't do missionary work and she knows she shouls serve better but she feels like she can't. well Heavenly Father heard her because he blessed us with a missionary opportunity. we were the only people eating at the restaurant by the time we got done eating and during that time whenever they would bring stuff out we would say thank you and talk to the waitress people and they were like freaking out that we could speak korean so we told them we were missionaries and learning korean and they were SO nice. and our member was like I have never seen them act this way before towards people-you should give them a Book of Mormon! so we were standing by the cash register and our member was talking about the church and the missionaries and explaining a little bit about who we were and then we told them about our english program and introduced the Book of Mormon and gave it to them and we got their number to contact them later! We ran out of the restaurant and danced in the parking lot with our member. It was so awesome that we could experience that with her and help her have that missionary opportunity.
our investigator sister chway is my favorite person in the whole world. i had an interesting experience teaching her this week. we try and meet her three times a week. so we met her on tuesday and i was super frustrated by the lesson. she basically said that when she comes to church she can tell that we're different and she likes the influence that we have on her. she knows that our lifestyle is different and she respects it, thinks it's kind of weird at times, but is always amazed at the way that we live because of our faith. but when it came down to it she said it's not like i'm trying to follow Christ, I want to follow you I want to follow your example. Now in any other situation I would take the latter as a compliment, but it was seriously a dagger to my heart! All I want for her is to be converted unto the gospel, unto the Lord, not me and not my example. I was at a loss. I felt like I did something wrong and I didn't know how to fix it except get transferred and encourage her to meet with other missionaries. so I asked our mission president for help and he said he didn't want to rob me of getting revelation for our investigator -__- not really the answer i was looking for but i knew he was right. he directed me towards helping her understand the Atonement so we planned for that. She has had a hard time accepting prophets because she feels like they are like an almighty leader that we worship like a God. and turns out she thought it went from father to son which is a mun jae (that means problem). so we talked about prophets and the organization of the church and how really Jesus Christ is the head of our church. we talked about the role of prophets and how they are special witnesses of Christ. if you read the April Liahona or Ensign whatever the equivalent is, it has a special witnesses of Christ section from the first presidency and twelve apostles so we gave her that to read. we talked about how the only people we follow are God and Christ. I told her I don't want you to follow me I want you to follow Christ. and that truly was my desire. And I think she understand she looked at me and nodded her head and said okay. That day at zone training meeting we had talked about real intent and that had been on my mind. Help investigators develop real intent. When she prayed to close our lesson she asked for God to really answer her prayer. and after I said if you get your answer what will you do? and she looked at me and said absolute believe. and i almost started crying. Christ changes people. He changes hearts. He's the only one. it's not the missionaries. it's the gospel and a belief in Christ. Without Him we can't do anything.
another amazing visit with our less active this Sunday. we didn't prepare a message for them to hear but instead planned to ask them what they wanted to learn about. the mom got out her scriptures and said I read Alma 46:5-6; 40-41 the other day and I was wondering about it. and we read it and i will be totally honest i had no idea what she was asking or what she was looking for. and her husband was like that's not even a question what are you saying? and the thought came to mind to talk about Courtney and share how she has impacted our life. i said what i learn from these verses is that we have to trust God's plan. I told them about how she passed away and how the questions that come to mind were why did that happen? she was three. what was her purpose? but i said looking back on it now, she had a really big purpose for our family. because of her, our testimony of the plan of salvation was solidified, our testimony that the Book of Mormon answers questions of the soul (moroni 8) was solidified and now we have hope for when we can see her again and live with her forever. her purpose was greater than we could have imagined. and we learned to trust in the Lord's plan. the husband was really surprised by that answer because he didn't even think there was a question. he said when i first saw you i thought you were just another average missionary. but there is something different about you two. you two have a special ability. and we both said it is 100% not us, it is the Lord. we thought of Alma 26:12. this is the Lord's work and He is helping His imperfect and weak servants. I definitely have a testimony of that. The Lord loves us individually and through us He can answer others' questions.
This work is the best. It's the hardest. But it's the best.
I love being a missionary in Korea. and most of all I love you.
Please help me be strong until the end. I will be home soon enough but for now I am the Lord's missionary doing His work His way. And it's the best. 
Sister Blickenstaff