Monday, February 22, 2010


Dearest family,

Haha, so, you all know how I just really like 'things' right? How I'm a big pack rat? :) Well, haha, first of all my companions and I joke around about how much I love things, but they think it's cute. But! Even though I love having lots of little trinkets, I've done so much better the past weeks. I haven't gotten any new things because I have to save 'weight' for all my books :) I have a whole bunch of really fabulous books ( I now have 3 Preach My Gospels! :) English, characters, and pinyin). Also, I've given away a few of my shirts or sweaters that didn't look as nice, so I have less clothes--but the most exciting news is that I had a "packing practice" last week where I just loosly put everything I owned into my suitcases and weighed them. Perfect! I'm good so far! So hopefully I will still be ok when it comes to my departure date. However, our teachers keep telling us that they will come out with a new language program before we leave and we'll get some better books, but we're not sure because they also told us that the first week we were here :)

Oh! One thing I would really appreciate whenever anyone writes is for people to share some missionary experiences or spiritual experiences. Especially mom and dad. I really don't know that many stories and would love to hear more. Dad, would you tell me more about your conversion in Hawaii?

I just want to tell you all about some things I've loved this week. One of my favorite's is from St. John 16:33 that says in the world there is much tribulation, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world. So true and so wonderful! We do have hard times, we will have tribulations, but even though that is the case, we can always draw inspiration from the fact that the Savior overcame everything. Overcame it all. He went lower and suffered everything so that He would know how to help us up and how to lift us higher. The Atonement is so powerful and has so many different aspects to it that I never realized. But, what I will always understand is that it is amazing. It's power and ability to bless our lives is more than I could ever deserve, but yet, Jesus Christ was willing to complete the Atonement for every one of us. Wow, so wonderful.

Also, during part of personal study I was reading in Mosiah and read about Abinadi's mission. This week we talked about having a 'successful' mission and how that doesn't neccessarily mean baptizing everyone, but doing YOUR best. And, that's really what life is all about; it doesn't matter statistically how well you do (of course, the more people we can bring to baptism and to learn of the gospel, the better) but it's about doing YOUR BEST and knowing that the Lord is pleased with your service. Abinadi didn't see any baptisms at all, but his mission was extreamly successful :) Alma went on to preach and bring so many people to the gospel. But, also what I really love about Abinadi's example is in Mosiah 17:9-10, he is so strong in his convictions of the gospel and his testimony. I love it.

I love you all! Good luck! Jiayou!

-Sister Ko

Friday, February 19, 2010

Monday, February 15, 2010

2/15/10 Letter from the MTC

So, you asked about our exercise time. We always have 50 each day except for p-day or sunday, but it's all in the gym and you don't have to do the same thing as your companion. I like to run on the small track upstairs but it's so small that I think it takes 10 laps to go a mile, so honestly I never know how far I run. I use my exercise time and jogging time to study and catch up on language exercises :) I don't let myself stop running until I've counted to 100, said our purpose, and the first vision, and whatever scriptures we're memorizing that week. Twice. :) It has helped me so much and I can count a whole lot better now :)

I got to be a host sister this week! That means that when the new sisters come in we get to show them around and help them find their room and classroom. It was fantastic! I got to help two sisters who were heading to Argentina...and then....there was a sister from Taiwan!!! I was so lucky and had just finished helping the other sisters when she came in. Her name is Sister Wang and she is going to California on her mission, but I got to host her and got to practice my zhongwen! :) It was so fun and I loved hearing her speak and practicing. She was so sweet and so nice, and is so excited to be on a mission.
We had a Chinese new year party yesterday. OH yeah, Xin nian kuai le! Happy New Year! We all wore red and black yesterday and then went to the temple before dinner, where our zone and district were able to take pictures.
This week one of the speakers talked about setting goals and how you should always set goals with the Lord. And then, our goals will be accomplished according to our faith and desires (D&C 11: 8, 17).
Also, we were teaching some principles from the second lesson this past week and then our district had our weekly sunday school lesson on the spirit world. I really love the Plan that our Heavenly Father has created for us. It really is perfect. It really is another beautiful expression of His love for us. I was reading Alma 40-42 and how it lays out what happens to us after we die. It is such an inspiration to live righteously and to live worthy so we can be worthy to receive all the blessings we want in the world to come. I am so thankful for it, and the ability we have to live together for eternity.
Mom, your YW new beginnings sounds fantastic! And I love the them you printed out for me, it reminds me of the scripture in Romans 8 which has been one of my favorite theme scriptures this past month. It mentions that if we are with the Lord who can be against us? Love it!
Oh! Family, one last thing I want you to know-- President Monson once said, "Love is the catalyst for change." It can be, and it is. Remember that, I love you all so much and hope you will have a fabulous time in Hong Kong, Provo, and State Wrestling :)
Sister Ko

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Feb. 8 Letter

Oh! It's so wonderful! We have new missionaries! They are so awesome, pretty much all of them have had many years of previous experience with chinese :) So, uh, they all can speak better than me...haha, it's so great though, I really love it because then I can speak with them and get lots of help with grammer. That is where I really need help right now, because there are some words in english that they don't have in chinese that makes translating some things very difficult. But wow, they are all so enthusiastic and so wonderful, I love having them!

My departure date got moved up, because we came in a week early, so my departure date is March 9. Sister Collyer is going to Taipei so we will leave at the same time, but my other companion Sister Malmrose will leave a week earlier and head to Vancouver Canada! I will miss them so much! My companions are so wonderful! I really am being blessed by having them. Sister Collyer is very dilligent and keeps us on time for all our activities. I am learning so much from her and her example. Sister Malmrose is one of those people who I wish I had an older brother for her to marry. Wow, I can't put into words how many times her friendship has helped me and how sweet she is. She is so patient and so willing to listen and help me with chinese. We also can laugh at each other and it's been so wonderful. I really love my companions so much.

Oh! This sat at the TA we had a zhende mudaoyou! A REAL investigator. Or, well, a real person who volunteered that wasn't a member. It was so wonderful, but I was so super nervous I can't even discribe it. It was great because I could feel the spirit so strongly and know that he was feeling it to because he told us so! When we asked him how he was feeling he told us specifically that being there in the MTC around all the members and being here he definitely could feel the spirit. (yes!) That was so wonderful and was such a great experience and I am so excited to be out in the field and teach people every day. Wow, I can't wait....but, yes I can. I very much can because wo de zhongwen hai bu hao, my chinese is still not good. :) It's coming and those cute new missionaries say that my chinese is a lot better than they would expect for 7 weeks ( :) ) but I know I have so much, so far to go until I can teach the way I would like. But I'll tell you, I know the lanuage of the spirit is so much stronger than any skill I could acquire. It it so much more important.

I am so excited to go out to Taiwan! We watched "Finding Happiness" this week in class, in chinese. And, even though I didn't understand everything I knew what they were saying was true about God and about his love for us and the beauty and potential for families. And, it's for the Asian countries so there are all asian people in it. It was beautiful. And, as I watched it I knew that I would be there someday soon, that I would be going there to teach those beautiful chinese people. I know that this is a part of my plan, to bring the gospel to these people. I already love them. I have never been there but I want to be there so badly and I am so excited to share this gospel!

Dearest family and friends, I just want to share this before I leave: I was reading this morning about King Benjamin--I'm sure you already have this scripture memorized mom, because I remember it's one of your favorites :) , but, in Mosiah 2, especially verses 20-25, it talks about how we really are nothing compared to the majesty of God, and yet, He still loves us so much and wants us to become better, and wants to bless us. All He asks is to follow his commandments and then he will bless us--we can never catch up and serve Him to the slightest extent that he blesses us. Such love

Ok, I love you all and hope you have fabulous weeks! I will also write a letter home to each of you--I love you so much!

-Sister Ko

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

2/1/10 Letter from the MTC

Dearest jiating!

I love you all so much and love hearing about all you do.

Ok, so now some fun stuff... Oh! Something really funny that you'll all get a kick out of is that my companion, Ma jiemei, and I were called as Co-music coordinators of our zone. Haha, it's so great, all the older missionaries left last week and took all the musical talent with them. My district did the musical number yesterday and there was me playing the piano, the other 6 members of our district singing,....and about 7 other people in the "congregation" listening :) hehe, there is no one here this week until we get our new missionaries on Wednesday. Haha, yes, I played the piano. I have found that if all the real musical talent leaves you have to work with what you have left :) I have had to take some MDT time this week to go practice the piano, but it's been good, I can play some things with practice. Also, the most hilarious part is this: you know how I sound when I sing, right? :) Well, Ma jiemei loves singing and Ke jiemei really really doesn't like going to choir, so when Ke jiemei went to a Coordinating Sister meeting I went with Ma jiemei to choir. Then we preformed at the Tuesday devotional :) Haha, yes, I sang in the choir. It was actually really fun! I loved it! I loved being part of something that sounded so beautiful--I have really appreciated the spirit that music brings, this week. (Oh yeah, and evidently, we had some really great camera time. I guess the camera took a minute to zoom in on our faces during the song so we had a couple people talk to us after and congratulate us for singing :) ). I love hymns and the spirit they can bring.

Ok, something that stuck out to me this week while we were looking through the first lesson is the blessing about families. go to PMG and read about how the gospel blesses families. Then read Moses 6:59. The blessing of the gospel allows us to live with our families forever, but it also blesses us in this life as well. We can learn to be a stronger family and love each other more, have a peaceful home, become better parents and children...when we follow the teachings of the gospel. So amazing. Also, I've really enjoyed finding scriptures on why bad things can happen to good people. It is such a sad reality that things happen but we can find reassurance in the Book of Mormon. 1Nephi 11:17, I love so much, we don't know everything, but we do know that God does and that He loves His children. And, Alma 14: 9-13, wow, such powerful missionaries with such a great companionship. But, I love the fact that we may not understand, but we know in whom we have trusted. Trust that He knows what is best for us and what we need.

Ok, so this language is tough. Really tough. But, it is so beautiful in it's own way as well. I love bearing my testimony and I love telling people what I know is true. A couple weeks ago we played this game called bendiren, did I tell you about that already? A bendiren is a "native" so you have to pretend you are a native the whole day and you can't speak anything other than chinese. Or you have to at least speak the chinese first before you can speak english. I had some great times with that. It helped a lot, but it also frustrated some people. It was funny because I was getting a salad at one of the meals and one sister was really friendly and came up and starting talking with me. Then she stopped and said, "oh, can you not speak english" Of course I had to talk in chinese first so I told her i could speak english but was playing a game and had to speak chinese first. She had the best expression on her face, but that expresssion got even better when I spoke in english after chinese. Haha, it was funny, but, uh, she didn't ask me any more questions after that :) haha, I guess I look ethnic, right? :) dearest family, i love you so much, but alas, I have 20 seconds!love you!-sister ko