Monday, July 29, 2013

......give it all to God and let him make me strong

Oh my goodenss....OH MY GOODNESS!!! So I'm a little bit freaking out and I had a good cry.... today we had transfer calls.... I thougth for sure I would be staying in Jeonju.... but I am transfering and not just that... I am going to be training again and opening a new area for sisters... it is called Mokopo.  It is the most peautiful part of our mission and the members are great and the work is good but Im just a little nervous. I am thankful I can leave Jeonju in hands that I trust. aka, my companion but I am just going to miss it so much. I have FALLEN IN LOVE with my members and investigators and I dont want to leave, but God be willing. I've done what I could here and now I am getting transferes. AGH. I cant believe it. So nervous. Please pray for me.
Mom, the pictures from lake powell looked so great. Cooper e-mailed me and only said a little..."So our families together in Powell.... Jealous....". ha ha. So funny. Of course I am jealous but I can go to poewll with everyone later, right now I have a great work to do and I LOVE IT!!!!!!
 This week was a sad one when our loved, golden investiagtor, sister Song droped us becasue she said we were giving her to much pressure.... we asked her to come to church in a text.... not sure how to be less pushey.... ha ha. But I was broken hearted. She was so prepared and so ready to hear this message and to get baptized....... God bless her. She will be ready and will accept one day.
This week my companion was REALLY sick so we had to stay inside a lot. Our stats were HORRIBLE..... as soon as I gave our stats to our DL he hurried and said "Sister Ensign don't beat your self up..". hah a. He knows me so well.... haha. But I prayed hard and the time that we were outside, we worked hard. I was thankful for that peace. I really hope my companion can figure out what is wrong.... God bless her. Yes I will miss my companion so much but I am excited to not have to go home so much and to be able to get out and WORK! That will be great.
This week at church was a tender mercy. A Member's family was visiting from America and they asked me to translate at first when they asked I thought... umm I can barley understand one sentence at church.......... but when I translated I realized I understand a lot more than I thought. God is helping his missionary:)
This week was really good when we met our investigator Sister Kim. She is a Grandma (the one who picked up that huge bug and made it her pet) and her daughter died and left Sister Kim with her grandson.... we dont know where the dad is.... But the Grandma told us at the end of the lesson (I hope this is the truth because I wont live forever and I need my grandson to find a church family to help him in this life. Her Grandson also has disibilities. She was so worrried for him. We felt peace and told her that all she needs to do is ask God if this is the church, if this is the truth. Just ask and he will tell. I am so thankful for the knowledge I have that I have a family, a church family and a heavenly family. nothing to worry about:) I am surrounded by love!!!!!
So mom, you asked why I have been signing my name as Sister Cole Ensign. Well,  I do actually have a reason.. But I read this talk "The 4th missionary" that Dee sent me and I am trying to make my life one. Give ALL my life to Christ. I am Sister Nicolle Ann Ensign.  I am a better person because of the name tag and calling I have and I am just trying to change all aspects of my life. I am a servent of Christ and I'm still the goof ball who can't speak a clear sentence and trips over... um... well everything. I don't want to be the same person when I go home. I want to be better. Even if I am still tripping and falling over everything, other parts of me God is chaning for the better. That is why I sign my name, Sister Cole Ensign. I don't know if that makes sense.   Cause I'm still your Collie but I'm a better version:) so to speak. ha ha. At least I hope I am better than I was. I think I am. God has worked too hard to change me for the better to go back to who I was before my mission. I want to be the same person I am here on the mission as when I get home. I will never go back:) I don't want to:) I love being a missioanry. I love the change I am becoming. I also love the change I get to see in others. I am scared for this challange but I dont think any of the other missionaries in the Book of Mormon were without fear. I think we have these weaknesses we are afarid will get in the way and that is why we are nervous, but I'm going to do exactly what Alma, Ammon, Helaman, Nephi, Samuel and all the other missionaries did, give it all to God and let him make me strong.
While my comp was sick, I watched the "District"Dvd's and I learned something ipmportant. One of the missionaries said "There will come a time when you have nothing, no one but God". Though I have not fully been alone I have had moments on my mission when I knew no one but god could help me. And he was there for me. He always has been,  and he always will be.
 I love you mom. Tell the family I say hi and that I love them too!!!!!!!!!! Love you to the moon and back!!!!!!
Sister Cole Ensign

Sunday, July 28, 2013

So for the first time on my mission I had to defend my message and my purpose, and in all, defend Christs name of whom I wear on my chest........

So my thoughts this week are about my Savior Jesus Christ. I had two touching experiences thinking about my savior. First experience; So little do you know, but I kind of beat my self up when my progress regarding stats is low because of others agency. I get frustrated and I think of how I can do better to help them. I sometimes think that if I  worked harder ,  my investigators would progress/ feel the spirit more. Well I was sweetly reminded by my Disrict leader that  I can only do so much. My district leader and zone leader know how mcuh I beat myself up and so this week at district meeting we talked about the atonment and how we can use the atonment to help us feel peace regarding our stats. So when our stats are low, we rely on the saviors atonment to help us either do better or to help us have peace in knowing we did our best.... aka the district trainging was just for me.  ha ha. Well the reason I liked this is because the District leader shared something from the book "Jesus the Christ" and it struck me. So when my companion has been sick, I read that book..... umm okay.... change my life!!!!!!!!! Reading the Bible and then reading JTC changed my heart for the better. I studied Christs Atonment. The whole atonement and.... I cant even begin to tell you how much I love my savior. I love him. I still can't fathom what he did for me and I am eternall greatful. I really studied his trial and I really studied Pilate. I wanted to try to understand what he was feeling. In JTC it reads "Think of the awful fact- Pilate, a heathen, a pagan, who knew not God, pleading with the Priests and people of Israel for the life of their Lord and King! Pilate pronounced the fatal sentence ' take ye him and crucity him' but he then added with bitter emphasis 'I find no fault in him'. " I love JTC. As I read this I was overwhelmed at how un fair christs trial was. All of it was ilegal. All of it. Pilate knew not God, yet he senced something in the man he sentenced to death. Christ touches the hearts of ALL who are willing. WILLING. We must be willing. I am noticing as a missionary that those who are prepared are those who are willing to do what the savior would have them do. Even if they don't know the Savior yet. If their hearts are soft, they are ready. There are too many hard hearts in this world today. In some ways, I used to be one of them. Sin drags us down but it's a hard heart that keeps us down. Sin can be forgiven, but it's the changing of the heart that is the real change. The heart has to want it. And to want it means it is soft. I love softening hearts on mymission and I love teaching soft hearts. Before my mission I said I wanted to come out here and "break some hearts". Thats exactly what I am still doing. I am teaching about my savior and I am helping others have a broken heart,  and I couldn't be happier. I love this work! Really love it.
The second experience was with our investigators.... they said to me plainly "we hate it when you teach bible lessons and we only want you to teach english" My companion told me later that becasue our investigator is an "Elderly, " that my companion, because of culture, would not have been able to refuse her request. Well good thing I'm not Korean.;) So after she told me her request,  I thought of Elder Holland.... BLUNT and firm. I said "I am so thank ful I can help you learn english but I'm here to tell you english is not important (I'm telling this to a woman whose job and LIFE is learning English.... ) I said I am not here to teach english. She stopped me and said "well english is important to me". I said "I am glad you love to learn english. You are a very smart woman but I have a question. Do you think when you meet God he will only speak to you in English or he will care how much english you know?. I'm here to tell you that  when you meet God, English is going to be the last thing you think about." I told her I loved her and wanted to help her so that when she meets God, she will be happy. She then told me how I am too strict. ha ha. I then said..."Well actually sister Ensign is not strict. Iam very relaxed. But I am not Sister Ensign right now. I am Jesus Christs  disciple and Sister, Christ does not care that I teach you english. He cares that I am loyal to him and I teach his message and I teach about him." So then my investigator, realizing that I would not budge turned to my compainon and said, "who gets to make the decision/ who is Senior?". My compaion pointed to me proudly.  After the lesson my comp said "I have never been more proud to call you my companion".  So for the first time on my mission I had to defend my message and my purpose, and in all, defend Christs name of whom I wear on my chest. I was proud to stick up for it and to not waver. I was thankful I could proudly pronounce that my message is the most important of any thing anyone could ever want. And it is. I know it is. My investigator now realizes my purpose . God bless her.
I love being a missionary. I love the man whose name I wear. I love him and I am so thankful to serve him faithfully and firmly these next 9 months. I love my mission. I love the people I teach. I love breaking hearts.
Well mom, I love you to the moon and back. Thank youfor the love, prayers and the constant e-mails. Love youto the moon and back.
Sister Cole Ensign

Monday, July 15, 2013

And I love the baby steps.......

Another great week of course because I 'm a missionary and every week we cry and God picks us back up. I cant remember who said it but one of the something authorities said "a mission is a mini life". So true. We experience every emotion and trial and love and happiness and sadness and heartbreak and greatest joy as a missionary!!!!!! I couldn't love it more!!!!!!! This is real life. I am LOVING reading the bible. Oh my goodness!!!!!!! I  love it.  I am finding SO many truths in the bible that I have always loved when I found int he Book of Mormon. The best part is when I get to share it with my investigators. I love seeing the light in their eyes awaken when I teach them the TRUTH!!!!
So let me tell you a great story:) so lets just say on Friday I was..... BROKEN.... wow did my heart hurt. I was SO sick of being an "english teacher" and I was ready to get out and find those prepared souls and I just wanted to baptize all of my amazing investigators!!! So after me and my comp (who has the same desires) had a good cry during planning... A GOOD CRY.  We decided to get out and work! so that is what we did. And miracles happened. The next day our english investigator we were going to meet that day decided she only wanted to study the gospel. happiness!!!! And wow that lesson was amazing. She LOVES the truth. She has studied religions looking for the right one and she loves our message. She has met missionaries before but felt like they only wanted her to get baptized and she felt too much pressure! So she dropped them. She was thankful that even though we asked her to be baptized that we told her it was her choice. I told her "baptism is really important, but first you need faith. You first need a testimony that this gospel is true. You need to want to know it is true." I told her that after she has a testimony, she will want to be baptized!" I told her it was her decision, but that our purpose as missionaries is to help her follow the perfect example of Jesus Christ. And by being baptized, we are following that example. She is amazing. She loves our message, but wants to study it more. She loves how we teach truth from both the bible and the book of mormon! She finds it amazing that the truth is in both of our books. I loved what she said when she said "agh, it just makes sense"....  YA of course it makes sense, because it is the truth. The truth will never confuse! That is something I have loved as a missionary. I have loved knowing when I am following the spirit and when I am teaching truth, that I am never confused. I have this love and peace and hope and confidence! It's all true! I know it.
Speaking of following the spirit. So I have prayed relentlessly for our investigator (Sister Kwon from china). Oh do I love her,  but she is just SO SLOW! Hurry up and BELIEVE ALREADY!!!!! ha ha ha. I'm kidding, it doesn't work like that. But yesterday I felt SO impressed to have a member come to her house for the lesson, ... which in Korea is not really polite. Actually.... really not polite to invite strangers to some one's house........ but I did. I called Sister Kwon and she said, "sure". Mercy. ... umm okay, best lesson every with her!!!!!!! First off, she has been reading the book of mormon and loves it. She read in Alma 37 and loved it. "By small things are great things come to pass". And THEN she prayed. Like,  with out us begging her to pray. Let me tell you what I think it was. When  I got the  impression to have a member come I was surprised at who I felt impressed to ask.  Her name is sister Kim and she is Diondras age and if you looked at her you would not think she is a member. She is an amazing member but has too many ear piercings, crazy hair, and shows too much skin etc..... but, I LOVE HER.   I asked her to help. She said yes.    MERCY. Amazing. So I think the miracle was that sister Kwon saw someone "different" and saw that though some things in the gospel are hard for her to follow now, she still has a testimony that it is true. We taught the plan of salvation and the spirit was on fire. I think that lesson was a blessing for every one in that room. Especially for me and our investigator. It was a mercy to see some completely imperfect people (me) teaching a perfect message and having it touch the life of someone we love. Mercy. I was so thankful for that lesson and that we had a member there and that it was the right member and that our investigator loves the book of mormon. MERCY!  My comp and I were filled with JOY!
The other miracle of this week was our less active, sister Wong. Her husband does not let her come to church and on her record it says "DON'T VISIT!!!! They said to never visit or call ever again.".... but guess who knows better... God. So of course God told us to go visit. Well, us being the scaredy cats that we are decided that we would first heart attack her door and then the next week we would visit. Well last week we heart attacked ( that's where we cover their door with paper hearts and a spiritual message and sometimes candies). And miracles happened. This week, SHE CALLED US!!!!!! She said "I miss the missionaries. I am a convert and love the church and missionaries. Can I take you out to lunch?".... after me and my companion woke up from what we thought was a dream, we said, "YES". The lunch was amazing. Later that night when we sent a thank you text she replied "I know I am less active but I love the missionaries and I really want to help you. If you ever need anything let me know and please come by and visit again"..... prayers are answered and it is Gods work. I love it!!  I am so thankful to be a missionary. Yes my prayer for a baptism did not happen. But YET, it will happen. I know it will! The miracles we saw this week are only necessary steps to get someone in the waters of baptism. AND I LOVE THE BABY STEPS. What About Bob says it best "baby steps" :). But each one of those baby steps is a step towards our heavenly Father. God rejoices when those baby steps are made, and as a missionary when we see those baby steps we rejoice because we can also feel of Gods happiness! It's true. I know it. I feel the spirit burn in me every time I say "I know it". Because it's true. The truth burns of happiness and fallacies make us confused. Simple as that.
Well mom, I love you.  And thanks a billion for the support and prayers. Oh I love this work and I love serving here in Korea. Though I sometimes very much don't like their culture, I really do love the people and desire their salvation. I need my wonderful Korean people to be with me in heaven again. I need it and that is why I'm working my butt off to make sure it happens. I love y9ou to the moon and back!!!!!
Love Collie Ensign
p.s. I am so excited for the wedding. Take lots of pictures! Tell them congrats... again and I LOVED the picture.  God does answer all prayers.... ,. Love you

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Just please let me teach your children........

Miracles!!!!!!!!!! So remember a few weeks ago when I was all sad and down because we had just one investigator..... ha ha. Well,  I prayed my heart out, have been so obedient, and worked my butt off!!!!!!!!! In just 3 weeks we have found 8 new investigators and an investigating family on the way!!!!! :)) God answers prayers. I prayed for him to let me teach!!!!! I said "God even if I have to teach stupid English I will do it. Just please let me teach your children this gospel". And he answered my prayers. Of our 11 investigators 8 are English interest..... but don't worry, through our message, they will be baptized!!! I know it.  God answers prayers. We are so busy teaching and finding and being with members, it is such a blessing. And our amazing ward has decided to focus on Less actives.... my favorite!!!!!! I love less actives.!!!!! Our ward has gotten all of the names of the less actives and we are all going to try to find them and invite them back to the fold of God!!!!!!! Our ward is so excited about it. Especially our Bishop.!!!!! I love that man. Our bishop and ward mission leader, are tow of the most amazing men I know!!!!!!! They love missionary work and they love us missionaries and they are constantly helping us, and finding. Amazing men. Good examples to me.
Our new Mission President Shin is AMAZING. Former CEO of Samsung, my branch president from the MTC.  I Love him. He is the cutest and has such a strong desire to do missionary work!!!!! We will see amazing miracles with him!!!!!!!
So Korea.... is BURNING HOT. ha ha. I am melting!!!!!!!!!!! I drink, 2 liters of water, or more, a day and I am melting. The worst part is the humidity.  But it is still so fun. I think I shower 2 times a day. ha ha. My other roommate showers 4 times a day.... ha ha. So funny.  No AC and life is great.   the worst is that we have 4 sisters who want to wash clothes and washing is fine.... but no one in Korea owns a dryer... so we hang our clothes..... well we are finding that we have no where to hang clothes because they take about 3 days to dry.... ah ha. So fun.... I have been wearing a lot of wet clothes lately.... ah ha.
Still loving the Korean food. A normal meal for me at home is kimchi (cucumber kimchi is my favorite), seaweed, rice and tuna...... That's what I eat. And when we go eat with members (about once every other week or three weeks) we eat those same things but usually with fish and meat and salads. I'm eating healthy, that's for sure.
Mom, I read those scriptures you sent last week... LOVED THEM!!!!!! I have a few scriptures I want to share with you:)
1: St. John 9:38 "And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshiped him". I am reading the bible right now with the book or Mormon and I am LOVING it. I love seeing the truths of the gospel not only in the book of Mormon, but also in the bible....LOVE IT!!!!!
2: St John 17:26 the lords prayer "And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them". Love this prayer. God is with us. And Christ's love is in us. Our father and savior love us so much!!!!!!
3St john 15:18 "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you". Sometimes when we talk to people on the street we feel like they hate us. really hate us..... I'm not surprised it I get spit on one of these times. But I know it's only in the name of Christ. Christ was truly hated of men and was hated all alone. But because he was alone, will never have to be hated alone.
I want to talk about my investigators.
Sister Kwan: from china... SHE READ THE BOOK OF MORMON. she read a whole chapter!!!!!!! I am so excited. She still doesn't want to come to church, but she is reading the book of Mormon. When I teach her I really feel the spirit. she is so poor that she is so humble and knows and feels of God loves!!!!!!!!
Sister Song: We meet her this week but she is the golden investigator who couldn't meet because she is a teacher of all the crazy mom's kids... so she was too busy to meet. but we have been calling her and she said she is excited to meet and read the word of god:) So amazing!!!!! Love her.
Wow.... out of time. sorry. I really do love my investigators... I didn't' know I was almost out of time.... but I want to share one last thing...... this week when we met with sister Lee our recent convert, we talked about missionary work and why each of us chose to be missionaries. This is what I said....... I got it from President Eyrings gen con talk "For some it was that and more. Like the sons of Mosiah, they had felt the effects of sin in their own lives and the marvelous healing of the Atonement within the church of God. Out of love and gratitude for the savior's gift to them, they wanted to help everyone they could to escape the sadness of sin, feel the joy of forgiveness and gather with them to safety in the Kingdom of god". That is what I shared. That is exactly why I chose to serve a mission. I love this work. I love teaching of Christ and his amazing, powerful, loving, perfect atonement. It's real. WE can be healed. Really. I love you all to the moon and back.
Sister Colle Ensign

They have made themselves TOO busy....

Hey there mom! Loved your e-mail and loved the pictures!!!!!!! Powell looks hot... I kind of know how you feel. Ya there's no ac in our apt.... ha ha. Fans are saving my life. ha ha. but it's still not as hot as my bedroom in the summers......;) ha ha. Just kidding.
Good to hear Bubba is  working with dad, that makes me happy. I remember working with dad:) Mom thanks for finally sending me a picture of you!!!!!!! You never do.  Good to see your still my momma:) ha ha. Love you!!!!!!!! And shmee is just doing amazing. I am so proud of her!!!!!! Love her to death and I couldnt be more proud of her.I am so thankful she is having success and not having to go through the heartach of being turned down day after day. Miracles are what keep a missionary going. If they stop going it's because they don't RECOGNIZE the miracles SURROUNDING Them!!!!! My miracles are not quite as big as Diondras but they are just as powerful. That is something important I have learned in Korea. Miracles happen to different people in different ways, but they are still miracles.
Kenna and Trevor!!!!!!!! I am so excited for them!!!!!!!!! SEND  ME PICTURES OF THE DRESS!!!!! I am glad the  Fanklins got my letter. I cried the entire time I wrote it. ha ha. Love them!!!!!!!
MIRACLES HAPPEN because guess what, I'm a missionary!!!!!  This week we met 2 different women from the Philippians. Irish and Irine. Irish is our new investigator who is straight up catholic and is just amazing. Love her. The lesson was in half English half Korean half tagolic. ha ha. This is gods work!~!!!!!!! she had a LOT of questions about our church and they started off with her thinking we worshiped Joseph Smith. ha ha. Ya she's heard a lot of lies about our church so we spent a good portion of the lesson clearing things up. Then she spent the other part of the lesson talking to me about how she really does not like Korea. And I found out through her and my companion that almost everyone in Korea does not like one part of their culture and that is the extreme education. Education here is INSANE!!!!!!!!!! Starting in kindergarten, kids go to school and study in personal tutoring places until midnight. 7am until midnight. all day, every day. Sundays included in that. They never have a break. The reason it is so insane is because the mothers..... mothers in Korea are obsessed about their children's education. My companion said she was blessed to grow up an a home where her mom was the unusual one, and didn't drill extra education into their brains. The highest rate of suicide is in the high school student. Their lives are just encompassed in education. Irish was telling us how Korean students just don't know how to have fun. My comp agreed. The reason I am telling you this is because I want you to understand how hard it is to;    A; find people to teach who actually have time and ;    B.; find people to teach who are interested in the gospel and not just my free English....... Mothers want me to teach their children English and then when I give them a simple commitment to pray or to read one verse they say they have no time. And actually, they really don't have time.... Right now our investigator and her son are part of this problem...... it is heart breaking to see how satan has taken something special and important as education and taken it to the next level where it is now hardening peoples hearts and making them too busy. So sad. But miracles still happen. The greatest blessing I see is when the investigators poor soul, who has been buried by "busy" starts to wake it's self up, and peak through the busy life. It's amazing. So right now we have 7 investigators and they are all busy. ha ha. seriously. its insane. At first when people said they were too busy to pray or read the book of Mormon I thought "ya right". But witnessing the life of my investigators, I see that they have made them selves TOO busy. It is heart breaking. But we still see the miracles of them coming to Christ.
Last week I was so excited about my Chinese investigator that she would pray about our message... she didn't do it.... she said she prayed and got an answer for her garden to receive water but not about the gospel. THE LIVING WATER!!!!!! We will keep working on her.
Our other golden investigators will meet with us this next week because they have tests this week.... we have heart attacked their doors and left them good things to read. Our members are still amazing. We have gotten so much closer to them over the last few weeks. Truly a blessing. Now that we are friends, we feel comfortable asking them for help and they are willing. Amazing. I love this work. It breaks my heart every day, but I love it. I get to experience a bit of what Christ felt as he himself bore witness that he is the Christ and yet others still did not believe.
As a companionship we have really been working on our less actives and investigators. We have been praying for Gods children to come back into the fold. We are seeing miracles. I can not doubt what I have seen here in Korea. It is nothing Short but the had of God. It is his work. I know it and it is a work I am so thankful to be a part of.
Mom, I love you. Thank you for the e-mails and pictures and of course for the support. It is always a great reminder that someone other than God has faith in me and is rooting for me. I love you to the moon and back!!!!!!
Love Sister Collie Ann