[This is a handwritten letter from Anna to her parents, written on July 3, which she said we could share on her blog. We have transcribed it here]
There is definitely one story I want to share with you. On Friday evening we taught our investigator for the first time…all of which has been in Korean! I knew the whole alphabet within my first hour here, crazy! And there is an alphabet, just for the record. Anyway after teaching we went back into our district (classroom) and we sang some hymns in Korean, then we decided to read the Articles of Faith in Korean out loud. Totally inspired whoever suggested that. The next day we’re teaching our investigator about Christ, the apostasy, restoration and prophets and I told him that God calls prophets. He asked how and luckily I had highlighted the story of Samuel in the Korean bible, but that still didn’t quite answer his question. I was suddenly struck with the idea to use Article of Faith #5, but neither of us brought in our Korean Book of Mormon, so I ran out of the room and into our district and one of the Elders tossed me a book. It was a flourish and not really great on my part because then my companion had to run after me as well. But, it did help him understand how God calls prophets. Also, my companion knows loads of Korean because two years ago her mom decided: Hey let’s learn Korean. Apparently it was a source of contention in her family, but when Sister Brooksby opened her call, everyone understood. Last night she told us that she gets frustrated easily, so the Lord knew she needed to be blessed with a leg up. My vocab is weak, but she’s really good at that, but my understanding of the grammar is awesome, but my companion is always skipping over stuff. I’m totally blessed with my companionship. This is how a sentence in Korean would look like in Korean:
I marker Heavenly Father marker us marker loves marker conjugation know.
I know Heavenly Father loves us.
Two last stories. Our first night here, we taught investigators. At this point, I’m not sure anymore if any of them were actual investigators, or just members. It was in a big room, maybe 100 new missionaries sitting in front of a living room set. The biggest thing I learned is that bible thumping is great, but no one can deny a testimony accompanied by the Spirit. Our last investigator that night was Paul. He talked a lot and had lots to say about anything any missionary said to him. I knew what need to be said. I raised my hand, but I knew we were almost out of time. The conducting brother said we were done, but I knew I still needed to speak, and so did he. He stopped after saying we were out of time and said, “Sister, if you can wrap it up in 30 seconds.” I testified that reading the Book of Mormon just a few minutes a day would relieve the stress he felt and that he would know and understand the simple and beautiful truths…or something like that. And then he accepted the challenge to read the Book of Mormon already on his shelf!! It was amazing.
My first Korean goal was therefore to be able to bare my testimony. On Sunday in our branch they said we could speak in Korean or English, but I had no plans to speak. Suddenly I realized that no new missionaries had spoken, only the older districts with 6 weeks of language. I thought: I am blessed with courage. So I went and sat on the stand. After introducing myself, my state, and my mission, my testimony was only one sentence, but it all came easily to me. It was an overwhelming and challenging experience, but worth it.
That’s all for now! I love you and love the Lord. I’m striving to do better.