Monday, November 18, 2013

....... God is telling me to work hard. Work even harder.....

First off shmee... if you read this... I was just crying over your letter about you making fun of me for my protein cravings and for the experience you had with LOVE!!!!!!! Shmee,  you are the one who inspires me to have love. I have never had more love for anyone than my family. And now that love has been intensified but so has the love for others. I love you Shmee. I love you mom. I love you Dad. I love you Bubba. I love you Baby girl.   And Shmee,  I know what you are talking about when you say you don't feel great but that God thinks your pretty great. Its the greatest feeling. I love not feeling important, because I am nothing "great" in the worlds eyes.. in fact... the world thinks I'm CRAZY.   But we know better. God knows better. 

Looks like everyone in the family is doing good which I am glad to hear. So... good stuff:) Our mission is doing a 40 day fast. During this fast we are working on repenting and becoming purified as individuals and as a mission. (Shmee if you remember that talk about the missionary who did the "40day fast"  from spirit killing things... that talk by Johnny... sorry if you cant remember). Anyways, our mission is doing it. so we each of a day to fast and we focus on repenting/ purifying our selves so we can be better missionaries. It's amazing. Well our day to fast was on Wednesday... umm okay miracles!!!!!!!!!
Miracles list:
1; our lesson with Sister Pack was with a member and we talked about the Book of Mormon. We talked about how it will bless her life. she will get guidance about how to help her family through this, etc. I bought a tri set for her and wrote my testimony in it and some BOM quotes. She LOVED it!!!!!!!!!!! During that lesson she said in humility and with all sincerity " I want to be baptized... silence.... I want my whole family baptized." She had the biggest grin on her face!!!!!!!!! No we only have to pray for her husband's heart to be softened so that he will allow her to go to church. If she doesn't go to church she cant be baptized. but she really is DYING to be baptized. It is amazing to see the change this gospel has brought to this woman. Amazing.
2: we decided to go out and give banana pancakes to our potential investigator.... we did... she wasnt home... but she called and was SO thankful... we have been trying to set a time to met her and she always says she's too busy but she called and set up an appointment all on her own:).

3: Right when I got to Mokpo I was told to call a Sister Young. We called... we called... and she told us not to call again because she cant meet.... well she randomly called us on Wed, while on the bus, and she said she wanted to meet and to introduce us to a friend... umm okay... like YES OF COURSE WE WILL MEET YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ha ha ha ha ha.

4: Just all day we were filled with this light and joy. We couldn't be brought down. It was amazing. The spirit was just so strong.

Also we just had a miracle week!!!!!!! This week we had stake conference. Usually missionaries don't go to the sat session but our mission president and stake president asked us Gwanju missionaries to come. Well... waiting in the bus terminal in Mokpo this guy, Kwon, came up to us and in great English started asking us all these questions. He asked if we could help him learn English. If we could teach him about Christ. etc.... we said....UMM YA WE CAN HELP !!!!. Well right then and there he asked why we were going to Gwanju. We told him we were going to a meeting about Christ. HE asked US if HE could come... umm okay... since when does that happen..... So he came. The entire time he was reading on his phone about our church. He was asking us questions. And during the meeting (which was by far the most spiritual meeting I have EVER been too.. Not one dry eye. The choir sang the song "I believe in Christ" and the spirit touched us all). And during the meeting he felt something. Funny, when he walked into the church and saw all the other foreigner missionaries he laughed and said in English "I have never been to Church in my life, this is my first time..."... ha ha ha. We all just stood there with jaws dropped and eyes the size of golf balls. ha hah a. MIRACLE!!!!!!  He said after the meeting "Every one here just loves each other". I said "yes, we are a big family,  we are all Gods children. I am Sister and you are Brother". He said "I like that... I want to belong to this church".... umm okay..... amazing. The reason he was in Gwanju is because he was taking a big test there. He lives here in Mokpo for school and is from Seoul. I called him last night (you know... just contacting investigators daily... even though I think that is... stalkerish.... but it's what PMG says to do... and it's been... good. actually really good). Well I called him he was like... "I want to come to your Church. maybe come Saturday or Sunday?". (it's nice because he talks to me in English , I Love it. Miracles happen. 

This week was just so amazing. Yesterday after stake conference we had a meeting with President Shin and our stake President, President O. ... talk about spiritual. Our leaders just love and support us so much. President understands that missionaries help the MEMBERS do missionary work. Not members helping missionaries... He asked us "I know we usually pray for the missionaries... but will you pray for our members. They DO have people they can refer to you. Please, elders, sisters. pray.". Those words asking us to "pray" were right from heaven. I have never felt words that clearly from heaven. It was amazing. God is asking us to Pray. I realized today  during personal study that God is telling me to- work hard. Work even harder. Pray. Pray even harder. Be obedient. Be 100% obedient. Love. Love deeper. Give it to me. Give it ALL to me. Have faith, hope and charity. Love me. Be loyal. And leave it up to me to accomplish what I WILL accomplish." God has a plan for me. Though I thought and wanted that plan to baptize half of Korea. God also wants that, but he has a plan for me to accomplish, and I will accomplish it. Well I love you all. please pray for me. PLEASE. I love you all to the moon and back.

Sister Cole Ensign

Monday, November 11, 2013

I just get the most amazing feeling knowing the we are doing exactly what the lord expects of us .....................

Hey mom:) Thanks for getting my Christmas package sent off. Your so nice!!!! I'm so excited:)

Well winter is definitely coming and its not even as cold as it will be. My poor comp has yet to find boots.... but we will hopefully find them before the snow comes:) Our sweet relief society pres has given us scarfs and been making sure we are warm and that our apt is ready for winter and that so are we:) But who are we kidding.... we will never be ready:) Bring it on:)
This week we picked up 2 new investigators and got a referral from our investigator and her sister seems really interested. The work is definitely moving along in Korea. I am so thankful to be a part of it. This week we met with 박경희s aka Sister Park. She is the one who I wrote about that I feel like I was sent to Mokpo for her. Oh my goodness I love this woman and Sister Scott has fallen in love too!!!!! We met her this week and the spirit was ON FIRE!!!!!!! oh my goodness. We both decided it was one of, if not, the best lesson we have ever had. We spent the lesson loving her and teaching her about Christ. She looked at the pic of Christ we gave her and she asked me "Does he really live". I was answered with everything I have or could have had in one worded answer.... "yes". And she smiled and I knew that she knew. She told me she really desires to come to church and to be baptized but she is just nervous her husband wont come with her. She loves that we focus on families and she wants to do this as a family. The only problem is that her husband works 7 days a week and comes home every night around 9pm... we asked her if if would be okay to send some members over to meet her and her family and she said yes, but every time we set up an appointment she backs out at the last minute. FRUSTRATING!!!!! This woman can do it. I know it. She told me in that lesson that she believes in God and she wants to follow him. the spirit was so strong as we taught about Christ and how it is at church, through the sacrament, that we can remember him!!!!! I cant explain that spirit. The best part about it was that last week we talked about repentance... and today when we came I didn't even need to ask if she had repented... I walked into that house and the spirit was there. There was a light in her eyes and she looked TOTALLY DIFFERENT!!!!!. she didn't' complain once about how hard her life was that week. She was just so happy. I knew what it was... Repentance/ Atonement. I know it was. Pray for her. She is amazing. Its just getting her to come to church.

We also got a referral from our stake president of a girl who lives 2 hours away but lives right by our ward mission leader:)!!!!!!!!! SO needless to say our ward mission leader has that taken care of. Miracles of the week (yes there were many but this one was huge).... We had our Halloween party this week and it was HUGE!!!!!!! So many members came and our ward mission leader brought the referral, sister Honey. (Cool thing about her name is that just this Saturday, in my first area in my mission, one of my old investigators was baptized and her name sounded a little like "Honey" too... miracles happen. Even when you don't eye witness them. The cool thing is that my greenie area is in my zone and so the sister who baptized her asked me to write my testimony in a little BOM that she would give to her on her baptism:) So of course I did. Amazing things. I am so glad she got baptized!!!!) Anyways. So Our new investigator, Honey, is the cutest 31year old. Love her. She is so humble and she wants to learn English... but maybe a little more:) I'm excited. 

Also this week we felt prompted to go visit a member family in our ward who we have not visited yet and who I didn't know much about. Well..... lets just say it was the best visit of my life!!!!!!!! That family has the spirit!!!!! We shared the message of the restoration. My sweet companion said the first vision and the spirit was thick enough to cut!!!!!! The members were so thankful. they are an amazing family and we were so thankful to go visit them. We actually took another member who is 20years old, cutie, and she is the only member in her family. We take her.... everywhere..... we see her at least 4-5 times a week for her to come and just do missionary work with us. I love her. Her name is Minju. Love her. Well she came with us to that house and she herself had questions about member missionary work and the members took time to tell her what it was and the importance of it. because of that experience, the members testimonies of missionary work grew!!!!!! Amazing!!!!!! Great visit.

Ha ha ha ha mom, sometimes it is funny for me to read the difference between mine and Dees mission. But it is still so amazing to me that though the areas are totally different and we see different miracles, we both are doing the same work and I feel like we are both doing exactly what the lord sent us here to do. Sometimes me and like... our whole zone... when we read Dees e-mails we wonder what she's doing that we need. And we know its that missionary drive combined with obedience and the spirit. Yes,  the product that we produce is "different" when you see it on paper. but I just get the most amazing feeling knowing the we are doing exactly what the lord expects of us and what is happening is exactly what the lord expects. Miracles just happen in missionary work. I am so thankful to be a part of it. And it so SO comforting to know I have a sister. Blood related, out there doing it too. AND hearing sweet Porters experiences touches my hearts. No matter where we are in the world,  the Atonement is in the work. It is the work!!!!!

The Lord is hastening the work. I love it. I feel it. I know it is his work. Of course I learned something amazing for my sweet scriptures and studies with sister Scott and from District meeting; OBEDIENCE IS THE PRICE. FAITH IS THE POWER. LOVE IS THE MOTIVE. SPIRIT IS THE KEY. JOY IS THE REWARD. AND CHRIST IS THE REASON. Christ is my reason for all my joy. All my success. and all my love. He lives mom. I know it. He love is us. I know it. If only we knew that a little better. Mom, Dad, Shmee, Bubba, Sam.... He loves you. You have NO idea how much he loves you. I wish I could give you a fraction of that love. but I can tell you where you will find it. Scriptures, church, service, humility, repentance, prayer, and THE TEMPLE. Sam, I am so proud of you baby girl for going to the temple. Keep it up. Mom, dad, Bubba. Follower her example, go as much as you can. Take it from someone who is pretty JEALOUS you can go to the temple... me.... I cant wait to go back. And I will NEVER do anything that will unrightously keep me from those doors.  I love you all to the moon and back. Go to the temple. There you will feel that love. Seek to feel it and I promise you will. Love changes everything. Let it change you!!!!! To the moon and back.

Sister Cole Ensign

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

...with that goal, we have found that our lives are filled more with the spirit .............

 Before I tell you how great my week was. Thanks for telling me and sending me pictures about your week. Mom thanks so much for your inspiring words. I just love you so much. Samantha's letter just added to my joy and I am so glad Bubba is doing good. Sounds and by the looks of the Halloween pictures dad is still my good old man. Goodness,  I love you all.

So also before I tell you about my week I want to share with you what I learned this week:)  "Our search for happiness" - 'What makes you Americans think you can come here and teach us anything about Christianity?'  It was a common question, and a legitimate one... unless we could offer people spiritual insights and understanding they couldn't receive anywhere else, there really wasn't much reason for them to listen to us.
Also from 1 Nephi 11 "and I said unto him; I know that he LOVETH his children; NEVERTHELESS I DO NOT KNOW THE MEANING OF ALL THINGS". l love this scripture. Especially during hard times I know understand the ways of the Lord. But I am thankful that Nephi teaches that we don't need to understand the "why" but we can know the only thing we NEED to know. that God loves. Oh does he love us. So much. We can not comprehend. THEN!!!! guess what. I found the answers to ALL my needs as a missionary. My questions are always' 1:What can I teach that will give desire to those I meet? 2: What can I teach that will meet the needs of all my investigators? 3: What is the greatest gift I can give my investigators? 4: What is the most important thing to teach my investigators? 5: What is the answer to all my investigators questions? Deep right... well I found one answer. And through MUCH study I understand this to be true. The answer is GODS LOVE. 
1Nephi 11:16"Knowest thou the condescension of God?". Verse 21 "Knowest thou the meaning of the Tree?"  Verse 22" Yea, it is the LOVE of God"... "Wherefore it is the most desirable about all things." Verse 23: Yea, and the most Joyous to the soul". Later I learned more from reading chapter 11. Jesus Christ. THE savior himself taught, ministered, preformed miracles, taught with power and authority and yet, he too was "cast out from among them". I have been thinking A LOT about the article of Faith #11- we claim the privilege of worshiping almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where or what they may?. I think about this scripture and Christ's ministry combined. I have been thinking a lot about the work Christ did. Christ was THE missionary. He ALWAYS taught with love, the spirit, power, authority, etc. He taught and did perfectly, yet people STILL abandoned him and continued to "worship"/ "live" the lives they always have. God and Christ gave us free agency. Yes they and me would like everyone to come and join. But Gods children have free agency. Yes it is sometimes heart breaking. But us missionaries and God "allow all men the same privilege , lot them worship how, where or what they may". Christ changed the world. How? Through the greatest act of love ever done- The Atonement. Though we want everyone to come into the fold. We can not force. WE can only invite with that love, spirit, power and authority. BUT we, God and Christ CAN bring something to ALL those we meet that will bless them. And that is LOVE. The gospel is LOVE. God and Christ are LOVE. The Atonement is LOVE> The plan is LOVE! that IS what we CAN bring to everyone no matter what, who, when or how they worship/ believe. And it is through that love that their spirits are awakened and desire to change for the better through repentance. Sometimes I feel like in my weaknesses, God does not have much to work with. ha ha ha. BUT I do have love. Oh boy. ha ha ha. I've got some love to share. And I realized where I got that love. it was through the atonement. I was changed by the act of love. The Atonement made me worship and believe the way Christ spent his ministry pleading for people to worship and believe. It is through the Atonement that we change people. There is the cleansing part of the Atonement but also the ENABLING power of the atonement. So what can I bring the people i love so much here in Mokpo? Christ Atonement/ LOVE. I cant control a lot of things. But I can control that. And I know, with all my heart that it is ONLY  through the Atonement and understanding that love, that people really change and KEEP CHANGING. If there was one thing I wish I could give everyone, it would be to have a glimpse of the Love God has for us. That would change the world. I know it. And Guess what else is love. My message. I get to give away love for free. I get to give away freely the most priceless gift. Love. Christ. 
So this week was good because I just focused on that love and was overwhelmed with love. I just LOVED everyone I met. And with that love we found 5 new investigators. And it was not just that but that I just love these people. We even got a referral from a member and 2 referrals from investigators. And then we met the Egyptian man, Shady. Oh Shady. He fell in LOVE with the church website which is available in Arabic. I don't know what this gospel will do for this man, but I am so excited. It was so funny as we were walking to dinner with him and our other investigators and missionaries and members from English class he said "I am so sorry I just want to tell you everything about me. And I don't know why. I am just so happy." I KNOW HE FELT THAT LOVE. Me and Sister Scott (LOVE HER) have been focusing on that love and just working so hard to give it in everything we do. With that goal we have found that our lives are filled more with the spirit and more people are catching on to it. Juliet was the first investigator that I feel I loved like a family member. Like my sister. And I know I changed her life. She tells me all the time in texts how much she misses me and that spirit. But that she just cant do it because of her Boyfriend. So I know I just need to give that same love that I gave to her, to....well... everyone. ha ha ha. And so we have tried that and it is easy and contagious. Yes we are still turned down and have times where we feel ...sad... but we quickly are picked up by that love we have for the next person we see. 
I wish I could explain the change I have felt in my life because of this love. Christ's Atonement has swallowed up all my hopes, desires, wants, wishes, sadness's, happiness, calm, hyper, etc, feelings and I am just filled with this love. It is ALL swallowed up. I'm so thankful for it. More that I can write in words. I am thankful , sometimes (ha ha ha),   that it took some heartbreak to get here, but I'm thankful for where I have reached. God Loves us. Christ loves us. WE are SO loved. People don't understand that like they should. And they cant fully understand it until they meet us. IT IS ONLY THROUGH THIS CHURCH THAT WE WILL FEEL THAT LOVE BECAUSE WE ARE THE ONLY CHURCH THAT UNDERSTANDS CHRIST. Yes other beliefs believe and they can even have felt a fraction of that love through prayer or song or some other way but they will not know it like the NEED TO KNOW IT until this message is in their life. That's why God calls missionaries. To go and give that love. Give the gift that no one else in the world but his members can give. We've got the good word. So though we believe to let everyone worship how they desire, that sure is not going to stop God or his missionaries or his members from sharing LOVE. Sharing the thing we have that the rest of the world is DYING to have but can't find. We have it. I know we do. 
Sorry this was a novel. I was just so thankful this week and overcome with love that I have to share it with the people I love. I love you to the moon and back.

Sister Cole Ensign

Sunday, November 3, 2013

always, right when things seem impossible, the lord picks you up, brushes you off, and lays you right on his back...

Well the reason this is titled slinky is because of the perfect slinky stairs I found.... and .... because my slinky/ week kinda went down hill... ha ha ha. But in a really good faith building way. THeres no where better to start than from the bottom. I really am sad because of what happend this week, but I also have never been more filled with love, the spirit, happiness and hope. 

Fisrt off. My trainee is ......AMAZING. Oh my goodness I couldnt ask for a better comp let alone a better friend. She reminds me of both of my companions in the MTC. Sister Gelder and SIster Hendricks!!!!!! And she is kinda like me, we have a LOT IN COMMON. For instance, our best friends are our sibblings. Like we talk about our family.... non stop!!!!!! I am so thankful to be with her. Her name is Sister Scott. She is from Ogden:) Love her!!!!!! And it is such a blessing to have here with me when our first day together,my heart broke. 

Our investigator, Sister Juliet... she texted saying "I love my boyfriend... he does not like you... I want to marry him and he said if we want to get married I have to stop meeting you... I am so sorry"..... so after the inital shock of my heart being wripped out and having lemmon juice poured in I texted her back wondering if I would ever meet her again. It was not even the fact that I just lost an investigator, but i just lost a friend who I LOVE SO MUCH!!!! I have nevr felt more close to an investigator. I know she is really sad we cant meet anymore, but I know she also loves her fiance. So this is areally hard time for her. I just cried.... and cried.... and cried...... my comp was there for me. She didtn know who Juliet is but she felt sad that someone who was getting baptized is no longer on that road. I say the least.... devastated .  For the first time on my mission I desired to not work as hard. Like I couldnt believe how much this hurt me. I didn't realize how much I love this woman. But like always, right when things seem impossible, the lord picks you up, brushes you off, and lays you right on his back. Thats what the lord did for me. During my personal study the day after Juliet texted me I was just overcome with the spirit of love. I could feel the prayers of people in my behalf. Especially I could feel my sweet companions families prayers for me. I could feel the fam's prayers and the prayers they offer for missionares all over the world. I was lifted. It was truly a blessing. I was studying in First nephi, the lord commands the sons of Lehi to return to jerusalem to recieve the plates. This was a commandment. Nephi willingly accepts the commandment. He is faithful, loyal and righetous in keeping this commandment. But WHY did the lord give them this commandment and after two tries, the task seemed impossible? Why did the lord give them this commandment and when they kept it, God didn't immediately help? Why did God "Wait" to help them accomplish the task? The lord is testing their faith, AS TO BUILD THEIR FAITH. Why did God command me to serve a mission? And why is he not "helping"me to accomplish the task of baptizing Juliet and my other friends>? Well... God IS  helping me. Always along the way, the Lord gave Nephi and his brothers mercies, miracles, and faith building moments. And just when all seemed lost, the Lord helped them accomplish this task. He was always there, always helping. ALWAYS. But God gives us commandments to strengthen our faith so that he can give us blessings. I can not forget, I will not forget that the Lord is here with me. I may wonder and question how I will accomplish this task, but I must keep the faith. Hold on and endure and  work hard in the spirit! I will not give up because like Nephi  "I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them."   The Lord did not command me to come on a mission to just fail. I will overcome. Only with the strength in my Lord. Sometimes I think that the lords task for me to serve a mission is different than I '"hope"/ aka baptize everyone in korea.  ha ha. Though this is something God wants, it may be a different task assigned to someone else. But I am still here to help people come to baptism. But I realy feel like God has given me such a big heart because he needed someone to love his children. I think Im pretty good at loving, thanks to the lord. With that love, I can lead people to baptism.  But my task, like the lord commands, is to love. And through that love, people make steps. Love fixes everything. Love is Christ. Love is the Atonement. I know of NO greater act of love than of GOd giving us his son, and Christ suffering the Atonement. No greater love. I know I can give people that love. Though I just want to throw people into the waters of baptism and shower them with blessings, we first give them love. I can do that. I can do whatever the lord wants / needs me to do. And right now, if I follow the spirit, I will accomplish the tasks God has sent me here to do. Please pray for Juliet. I will not give up. I still love her. Oh do I love her. 

I love you to mom. Thank you for your prayers and your constant support. Thank you dad for your amazing diligence, faith and support. Bubba... oh do I love you. Holy cow I love you!!!!!! keep being the good brother that I love so much. Sammy... agh baby girl. Im just trying each day to try to have a fraction of the love that you have. If everyone in the world had a fraction of the love for others that you have, the world would be a lot better. Thank you for teaching me about love. Diondra... agh  sis!!!!!!  "Sista lets fly".  I love you.  Keep sending me that amazing example of how in the world I can do misisonary work... YOU ARE AMAZING!!!! 


love sister Cole Ensign