Monday, August 25, 2014

hello hello helllooooo. sorry jacks i probs should've added you to this chain a long time ago because i know you love me already and want to know everything about my life for the time being.
well saddest news of my life came yesterday when President told me I would be transferring from my ward to another area. well to be honest i already knew that i would leave but i was still really sad. i went to the temple last week and me and sister hoffman were fasting and she wanted to pray together in the celestial room so we sat in one of the sealing rooms and as i was praying i knew that i would leave. i didn't know why but i knew that for some reason the Lord wanted me to leave. and of course I was heartbroken but there was nothing really I could do about it. I started bawling my eyes out during sacrament meeting and then i had to get up and give my farewell to the ward and that was a challenge let me tell you. i talked about i didn't want to go but that i would because it's what the Lord has asked. and will always do what the Lord asks because I already made a promise with Him that I would. So now I never have to think about whether or not I'm going to do what He asks because I already promised Him that I would. I told them that my time with them made me think of 2 Nephi 5:27: "And it came to pass, we lived after the manner of happiness." As I have served in this ward  I have come to love them will all my heart and I learned here what happiness meant to me and I was truly happy. I'm sad to leave but I will do what the Lord has asked me.
but one of the greatest news of my life! Sister Choi is getting baptized next week! Sad that it's after the transfer but we're trying to figure out a way for me to still attend. She broke down during sacrament because I was leaving and spent half of the sacrament meeting out in the hall crying with one of our members. but after church she had her baptismal interview that took 2 hours! we were a little worried but she passed! she still doesn't know everything but she is willing to try and she wants the gospel to bless her family so much that she knows she needs to be the example if she ever wants her children to believe and follow God. i love her so much she is like family. i will never forget her.
we had a lot of other miracles this week and i know i will continue to see many miracles in the future. i'm so beyond grateful for this mission experience that has taught me so much about myself. the gospel is the only way to real happiness i'm 100% sure of it. i love you all so much and i will see you too soon so don't miss me!
this email is kind of short but many pictures are coming!!
Sister Blickenstaff

Monday, August 18, 2014

family family family!!!! hi i love you all so much!! this week was good! i was super sick at the beginning of the week i thought my head was going to explode and i was coughing my lungs out like crazy and i was just a mess. but i'm better now so it's all good! we had a fun p-day last week, we went to a big park and rode tandom bikes around for a little while. yeah i'm super out of shape....reminded me of when i went biking with mom and dad down to Malibu or somewhere like that and my butt was sore for like the next two weeks. but this time wasn't that bad. anyway then we had zone conference on tuesday which was super awesome. our mission is the best and i love our zone. we have the best missionaries in incheon for real. then i got to go on exchanges with only my best friend Sister Gapinski!!! yeah she's my sister training leader now so i went to her area and we got to serve together again for another day! it was super fun. the night we exchanged back we taught Sister Choi and then went to go visit the most recent convert in our ward is seriously the coolest!!! she is getting ready to go to the temple to take out her endowment and we are SO excited for her. her husband isn't a member but her sister-in-law is so they help each other out and she just loves the gospel so much we can tell everytime we talk to her. we talked to her about studying the scriptures and she said it was hard sometimes so we pulled out PMG (I had it with me from my exchange) and showed it to her and she was like this is awesome where can I get one? yeah she's the greatest. we talked to her about the temple and she wants her family to grow in the gospel but her husband has little interest still so she's holding out. the next day we also went to visit Sister Choi to talk about her baptismal interview which was supposed to be this week. we have to push her baptismal date back because she still doesn't have a testimony of Joseph Smith so we are focusing on learning more about him. She just says she doesn't know the kind of person he is so she can't believe him still...we're planning on watching the joseph smith movie with her tonight so pray for us!
okay i have like no time BUT i have to tell you about yesterday because it was literally the greatest day of my mission. --President and Sister Morrise came and spoke at our ward, and they gave such beautiful talks. First, we did a musical number with Bishop on the violin, and another sister on the flute, and Bishop's family and another family and I sang while Sister Hoffman played the piano. We did I am a Child of God and the ward LOVED it! And Sis. Morrise talked about scripture study and quoted an apostle saying that if we read the Book of Mormon every day, our homes will be filled with peace. And then Pres. Morrise spoke about how his father joined the church while stationed here in Korea (SO cool, right??) and then back home, was home teacher to a family and kept visiting and visiting them until they let him in and he read scriptures with them and helped them rekindle their testimonies. And then at the end of his talk, Pres. Morrise talked about the love of God and how He forgives us when we make mistakes, and it made our investigator, Sister Choi cry!! She said she was thinking about her daughter.
Also, we had made cookies for a less active family, for family home evening--we had had an appointment with them, but they had called and cancelled it the night before, saying they didn't have time. But we already made the cookies, so we gave them to them at church (they came yesterday we were so happy), and they told us to come over for dinner and family home evening! It was a miracle!
And THEN, we went to Seoul for SIster Park's baptism, and when we walked in, she saw us down the hall and we ran to her and hugged! It's been almost a month since we've seen her. She introduced us to her bishop and the ward members and her friends from the English branch...she's so needed by all of them in that ward. She's just wonderful. And Elder Bryan, one of the elders serving in Kajeong last transfer, transferred to Yeongdeungpo at the same time she moved there! So he performed the baptism!! As soon as Sis. Hoffman and I realized that we both died of happiness. We took pictures with them, and then during the service we sang A Child's Prayer with all the missionaries for her during the service, and she cried! And then they went into the font, and it was Elder Bryan's first time ever baptizing!  And then afterwards, she bore her testimony and talked of how she found the church. And she said that when she heard about the resistance in Geomam against building the church, she expected us all to do what she's always seen pastors and members of other churches do--be angry and call the other people Satan and things like that. But on the first day she came to church, it was the day when we decided to invite everyone to fast for the building in Geomam, and Bishop got up and bore his testimony. In it, he said that we need to love the people who persecute us, and continue to be kind and serve others and perservere. She said, when she heard that she knew she needed to get baptized. And we had NO idea!! It's amazing. OH and one of the other elders serving there was like you're sister blick right? you served in anyang? and i was like yeah...and he's like everything there remembers you. they know who you are and always ask about you-members, investigators, everyone. how long did you serve there? i was like uh 3 months and it was my greenie area. and he was like well they all remember who you are. i was so amazed! i remember leaving that area and kind of being sad because i felt like they would all forget who i was after a couple weeks. and now, a year later, they remember me!!! I felt so honored.
And then in the evening, we had dinner with our less active family, and had family home evening with them. We sang opening and closing songs, and we got the kids to act out a scripture story for the parents, and then we talked about what we could learn from the story, and then we played Spoons!! They had never played before and it was SUPER fun!!!
basically the best day ever in the whole world.
kay love you. more than words can express. til next week!!
Sister Blick

Monday, August 11, 2014


jjjjkkkkk stop freaking out people. anyway i love you! and this week was awesome per usual. life as a missionary is da best.
so the best part about last week was yesterday! sunday's are great. so sacrament meeting started and Sister Choi still hadn't arrived at church. she sometimes comes a little late so i wasn't worried but then we started singing the sacrament hymn and she hadn't come yet. started getting nervous. took the sacrament and she still hadn't come! so after i texted her and asked where she was she texted back sorry i'm late well at least i knew she was coming. she showed up maybe halfway through the meeting and i think she enjoyed the talk that was being given. after the meeting was over she said that morning her husband wanted her to make breakfast for the family but she doesn't like cooking. she said he was playing the piano and she likes it but he kept playing and wouldn't help her and just told her to make breakfast so she was upset and got frustrated. she said it was 11 oclock and i knew i needed to go to church but my husband insisted on us eating breakfast together as a family but i was mad so i just ate by myself and my daughter wanted to come to church today but she took too long to get ready so i just left by myself and that's why i was late. oh bless her heart. she asked me what do you do in that situation? i hate cooking! and my husband always wants me to cook and i hate it! what do i do? and i was like...uhhh...she she's like what is something that you don't like doing? and i was like oh! I hate cleaning. especially vacuuming and my mom told me i had to vacuum the house every week and clean my room! and she says okay so what did you do? and i thought for a second and i said well i usually think about the worst possible outcome. will i die? no. will mom be happy? yes. will i be a little frustrated? probably but i'll get over it. can i do whatever i want after i'm done? yes. so maybe there are some negative outcomes but the postivie outcomes outweight the negative outcomes, so i would just get it done and then i wouldn't have to worry about it anymore! and sometimes it was hard because i didn't want to do it but it's okay i still did it. and she said okay i'll try that. SO that night our bishop had invited her over for dinner which was super awesome becaaause whenever we talk to her about baptism she also says she's worried that if we leave she thinks it would be hard for her to go to church because she has no friends and she is shy and i was like yeah that's why you make friends because we are going to leave no matter what and when you have friends in the ward you can strengthen each other and help each other live the gospel. so that is what we are trying to help her do--make friends. but she's really shy so it's kind of hard. sooo we went to our bishops and she brought her daughter!! when she first came in she was like i don't like this mood i'm awkward i don't know what to say or what to do. and i was like okay calm down you are fine just be normal for goodness sakes! anyway we started eating dinner and they hit it off great! just talked and talked and then the conversation got geared towards church and she brought up all her concerns that she has brought up to us like a million and one times and it was so nice to have her hear basically the same answer we give but from a member, someone who's "more like her" and who she can really relate to. she said she's nervous about baptism because she doesn't know a lot of things, but she likes the gospel and she said she likes the influence we have on her. she's like for example this morning i got in a fight with my husband and i asked her what to do and she gave me the answer so i went home and cooked for my husband and it was okay! or bishops wife said that before she got baptized she kept giving the msisionaries excuses like i'm busy i can't get baptized this week or i'm studying for this test, after my test i'll think about it. she said that she told herself she wanted to be more sure, and when she felt absolutely sure about everything about the gospel, then she would get baptized. but she said the missionaries were insistant on her getting baptized and kept bugging her and finally she just got baptized. and she said now when i think about it, i think that if i didn't get baptized when i did, i don't know if i ever would have gotten baptized, i would've come up with more reasons and excuses and just never made the decision. and when i look back on my life at all the blessings that i'm gotten from the gospel i really am grateful that they pushed me to get baptized. our bishop talked to her about receiving the gift of the holy ghost and how that will help her so much and give her strength to keep the commandments and the covenants she makes with God. it was great. and then we played a fun game that everyone loved and it was definitely a successful night. she is planning to get baptized on the 24th! we know it will bless her life soo so so much. pray for her please!
also we get to see sister park get baptized this sunday so we are excited for that!
anyways that's pretty much it for last week. there was probably other stuff but i can't remember. sorryyyy. love you tons! hey guess what next week i hit my year in country mark! ew.
kay love you lots!!
Sister blickenstaff

Monday, August 4, 2014

Hello beloved people that I love! this week there were so many exciting things that happened! 

number 1. we found the most awesomest bookcase that led to us finding a piano and the coolest couch ever to bring to our apartment. we lugged all three back to our apartment and we physically fatigued for the rest of the week. but it was so worth it. now we have a piano in our apartment!! and the coolest couch ever. 

number 2. Sister Choi is the best!! She went to Japan this weekend to take her nurse examination but we taught her a couple times before she left. I have just been thinking about the experience of teaching her and I am really in awe. Looking at her now, she is a completely different person than i was teaching in march when i came here. (side note i came here in march what the what??? it's august!! can you believe it's august?? yeah neither can i. i'm convinced that i'm staying here for the rest of my mission. every transfer call time freaks me out. but i don't have to worry about that for a couple of weeks) she still has little things that she struggles with but she has humbled herself in so many ways it has been amazing to see the whole journey and to experience really what the gospel does for people's lives. we got on the subject of baptism and went over the spiritual qualifications (in D&C 20:37) and talked about how she felt about it. she said serve Him until the end? until the end is a long time! and we said yes yes it is. but it is so worth it!! she said I can't promise 100% but I really want to try. and isn't that how we all feel. we can't promise the Lord 100% because we aren't perfect that's just a fact. but we can promise to try 100% of the time. we can promise to try and we can make mistakes and we can learn and then we can repromise to try again! we can come to know the tender mercies of the Lord. We talked to her about her baptismal date and we moved it up to August 24!! it's the last Sunday of the transfer. Please please pray for her!! 

number 3. Sister Park is getting baptized on the 17th! and we got permission to attend it. WE ARE SO STOKED.

number 4. we went to visit one of our less actives randomly to drop off some bread that we made. this less active is very special. she is a return missionary and has had a goal to get back to church for years but just hasn't made it back yet. really nice to the missionaries but doesn't want us to visit or call too often and never lets us set appointments with her. it's just kind of a get lucky and we can meet sort of deal. well let me tell you Heavenly Father helped us be really lucky this week. we made some bread and planned to visit a different less active (sister yang) and if she wasn't there we would go visit sister moon. well sister yang didn't answer her door so we decided to go visit sister moon. we got there and her door was cracked open so we knew she was home! awesome. we knocked on the door and she came out and we were there for the next 2 hours standing outside her door talking to her. nevermind that i wanted to rip my spinal cord out of my back and chop my feet off they hurt so bad but it was worth it. she brought up that her mom had passed away the week before she that really impacted her. she said she had thought about us THAT morning and thought oh if the sisters come visit me should i go back to church?? she talked about how she regretted not spending more time with her mom and setting different things at a higher priority level than her relationship with her mother. her mom wasn't a member but she faithful attended another church and she talked about basically her faithful legacy that she left behind. she admired her mother's faith even if it was in another church. she talked about her conversion experience and said that when she got baptized her parents basically disowned her, they kicked her out of the house and cut money for tuition and everything else. eventually that was resolved though and she went on a mission. she talked to us about her mission experiences and she had a lot of hard times while she was serving. she has just struggled a lot with people in the church and receiving criticism and even though she knows that it's true it's hard for her to come back to church because she doesn't want it to happen again. it was so good for her to talk to us and tell us what she was feeling and we just listened. that was all she wanted. we just wanted her to know that we loved her and yes of course we want her to come back church, but even more than that we love her and the Lord loves her and knows her struggles. She was grateful that we took the time to listen to her and it was a miracle that we got the inspiration to visit her in the first place and than sister yang didn't answer the door.

on my mission i have been able to meet the most amazing people and i love them so much. i was talking to sister hoffman the other day and kind of got upset because i think that way that i show love for people is spending time with them. when i really love someone i just want to spend time with them. i thought of all the times i've gone over to kells house and we don't do anything important maybe make food or dessert but i just loved being with her. i think of the times that i was upset at school and all i did was call kaari and she would come pick me up or i would take a bus and spend the weekend at Krissy's house. i think of when i would take little grocery store trips with dad and just be in the car with him. all the times that me and jake have been consigned to our own hotel room and we just sit on the bed til late at night maybe doing different things but just being together. and when i would call mom on the way to school just to talk to her. we weren't together but i just felt like saying hi and that was the closest i could get to being with her. i spend time with the people that i love because i just like being with them. and as a missionary we can't do that. we can't just go spend hours with our members or our investigators and go and hang out with them. and i think it's really hard for other people to know that i love them because i'm not that great at emotionally expressing myself i think. i got a little discouraged feeling like i couldn't adequately express my love for all the people that i really do love so much. but i try to do the best that i can and hope that they can feel my love. but now i know and now i understand a little bit more about myself that maybe i wouldn't have realized before. i love you all and it kills me that i haven't been able to spend time with you over this past year and a half, but i know that i will have a whole future ahead of me to do that so it's okay. love you love you so so much!!
have a good week!

Sister Blickenstaff