Sunday, December 29, 2013
Well hello winter!!!!!! The past few days have snowed and snowed and snowed. It was a winter wonderland when we woke up yesterday:) But today its all melted away:(
Anyways. I first want to start off with the sad news so I can get that over with. yesterday after our lesson with sister Lee, (who told us she doesn't mind that we keep coming over to help her son learn English but she wont EVER change religions) we got a text from sister Honey.... telling us that as sadly she was not going to be able to meet ever again. I just stopped dead on my tracks and couldn't believe it. We thought for SURE she was going to go slow, but that she would keep meeting and later would be baptized. Agh......, my heart just broke... again. This time I had sister Scott to cry about it with. This morning I was frustrated that this KEEPS HAPPENING. Like "hello sister ensigns' mission STORY OF HER LIFE". I know that is not my Mission story, but it felt like it this morning. I was bickering that I couldn't have at least ONE person I love get baptized... frustration. WELL... God new better and kicked me into shape and after a good talk with the spirit and with Sister Scott, my mind was cleared up and faith was restored:) Well of course the scripture I open to this morning was Alma's plea saying "O that I were an angel and could have the wish of my heart. ... but I do sin in my wish". BECAUSE THE LORD HAS GIVEN ME SO MUCH. He has let me be the witness of so MANY miracles here in Mokpo and I am so blessed.
One of those miracles just happened on Friday. WELL a few weeks ago I was talking to this amazingly cute out of control grandma. She was Grandma Franklin on steroids. She IS THE CUTEST!!!!!! and it was a blessing that she reminded me so much of Grandma Franklin. :)) Well she thought it was the craziest coolest thing that we were from America and she begged for our number and called us the next day begging us to come to her house so she could feed us. Well we were not able to go when she first called us and so we decided to call her this week on Friday. Well she told us to come over right then and now ha ha . So that's just what we did:) we get to her house and she is just holding our hands laughing, etc. you would have thought she was a 2 year old with a brand new toy. so fun!!!!!!. So we talk with her about God, of course:) And she was all over it. She had a different religion but she LOVED us. Well we told her we had a different appointment and when we told her we had to go out in the snow storm you would have thought we told her we were going to commit suicide. ha ha. We refused to let us leave unless we came back at 7 to eat my favorite meal made by grandmas, kimchee soup!!!!!!!. So we came back. She told us that we were going to sleep at her house that night because we would be crazy to go back home even though we live literally 5 minute walk away. ha ha ha. So, she was just SO giving and loving. We were so thankful to meet her and we really feel like we have found a way in. We tried teaching a lesson to her and I was totally up for shmees commitment to ask everyone I know to come to Christ and be baptized but... she said her favorite drama was on... So we decided to ask the question in more of a spiritual atmosphere. we will be going back:) But it was such a tender mercy to meet such a giving loving wonderful woman like her. She is Mokpo's next member;) I just know it.
Also this week talking to you and the family was SUCH a blessing. I just love you all so much. To the moon and back:)
With Christmas this last week we were SO filled with joy and love. Just spreading the word of God to the people in Mokpo. Such a blessing. Christ lives. He WAS born. He DID come to earth and he HAS redeemed us from our sins to be able to live with God again. I know it. I love my savior. I love being a missionary during Christmas. So special.
Sorry today's e-mail is a bit short. I just wanted to tell you how much I love you. How much I love being a missionary. How much I love my Savior. For all those who read my words. Yes, even you mom and dad. SERVE A MISSION. YOU WILL NEVER REGRET IT!!!!! What possibly could come from serving a mission that would be negative... nothing. I say NAY!!!!!! NOTHING!!!!! It is only positive. I love my mission. I love the ups and I'm learning from the downs. I am learning who my Savior and our Heavenly Father really are and I love them. Oh I love them. I know its only through this church, this perfect path made by the savior himself, that we can return to live with our eternal families and Merciful God and Savior. I love you to the moon and back.
Sister Nicolle Ensign
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Mom to start off, I just wanted to tell you I actually have been focusing a lot on Christmas and your question about who I would want to be for Christmas was inspired. As soon as I read that I knew who I wanted to be. Well when we meet with our members we have been focusing on Christmas... of course:) and we have been sharing Luke 2:10 with them. I tell them. "you know, we are not angels in wings, but we, like the angles to the Shepard's have a message of glad tidings and great joy." so Mom, you ask me what I would want to be. I would want to be an angel telling the world of the glad tidings of great joy, singing praises. Yes, I would want to be an angel:) Seeing as how I was definitely an angel in heaven singing praises, I feel pretty happy with that:) Real life = us in heaven singing praises to God:) Thank you for that question. Like Shmee said in her last weeks e-mail. You and dad have worked HARD to help us KNOW who we are. I am so thankful for you and dad. Love you.
So... lets talk AMAZING. For a minute:) Which is also to mean, that my week was AMAZING. Wow. I just love sister Scott. Me and Sister Scott went on Tuesday to our zone conference:) Which was so spiritually inspiring and uplifting. I love our leaders. They truly are called of God. Well. As a zone we decided that we wanted to still focus on purifying ourselves (which we did as a mission for the 40 day fast). And we decided as a zone to read the entire Book of Mormon this transfer. Which is about 15 pages a day:) I CANT TELL YOU HOW AMAZING THIS COMMITEMENT IS!!!!!!! You all are just a week behind me and who cares if you finish a week after me, but LETS DO IT TOGETHER. 15 pages a day. that's it. WE can do it. Now we were told that it is good to study the scriptures, but for this cause we are just to READ the Book of Mormon and get a feel for what the BOOK is about. It has helped already. I would love it if you joined:) This week, one verse that stuck out to me was a verse in 2nephi 5:27 which reads "And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of HAPPINESS". Well let me tell you what kind of a week it was.... at first it was not necessarily happiness... ha ha ha. But wow, Does God answer prayers or what!!!!! so poor Sister Scott was sick all week and stats were not the greatest BUT we had so many prayers answered!!!!!!!!! To start off.. I want to tell you about the greatest lesson I have ever been in.
This is our lesson with Honey:) Oh my goodness!!!!! So poor Sister Scott was frustrated because she didn't feel well and she was wondering how she was going to prepare for our lesson with Honey. I told her that she needs to sleep on the bus so she doesn't get MORE sick. I know she didn't want to but her body gave in and she slept. Luckily before our 2 hr bus ride to Hayman (where Honey lives) we had zone conference and were "fed the words of eternal life". We get to the lesson and we are with our amazing member sister Kim-Jong-Lan. (Love HER!!!!!) And we talk about the POS. we also talk about Gods plan for us personally. Honey asked a lot of questions about baptism and how to sincerely pray. She also read the Book of Mormon and likes it:) (which is special because a lot of Koreans cant understand it and so the don't like to read it... aka... Honey is SO PREPARED!!!!!). Well we then focus or remarks on Christ. Which is what we planed. The spirit was strong. The member said it was interesting that we were talking about Christ and Heaven because she was going to give a talk on Sunday (yesterday) about heaven. She said during her studies she found a verse about the Love of God. So we talked about how much God loves us. Then my sweet AMAZING companion offered he sweet testimony. So let me just explain that as a new missionary in a foreign country THERE IS NOTHING MORE FRUSTRATING THAN LOVING PEOPLE AND WANTING TO SHARE THE MESSAGE WITH THEM AND BECAUSE OF THE LANGUAGE YOU CANT... SO FRUSTRATING. and poor Sister Scott gets frustrated. Just like we all do. But today kept telling her that God would help her. God knows she is sick and he will still help her. So as she shared her testimony of the Book of Mormon and of Christ the whole room filled with the spirit. I cant even begin to tell you the spirit in that room. AMAZING. We all had tears in our eyes. In PMG it talks about how the missionary, member, and investigator need to feel something. Well... in that lesson we all felt it. I'm not kidding when I say it was the lesson I will remember for the rest of my life. I will never forget that feeling. The other great part of it was that on Sunday, sitting by Honey at church, listening to Sister Kim-Jong-Lan share her testimony, Sister Kim brought up the spirit she felt in that lesson. She just cried and told the members it is all about gods love and it is the testimony of that love that touches the hearts of others. She also was so kind and said some really nice, un-necessary things about us missionaries, but it was just so wonderful:) That lesson changed my life and I know it changed all those who were there. I know sister Honey will be baptized one day and I am thankful she is listening. It is a miracle how open her heart is. She is amazing. I know she will be baptized. And she loved church yesterday. She is a woman of few words but she was full of smiles and love yesterday. It was an answer to prayers.
Another miracle... so me and Sister Scott have been praying really hard about how to get referrals from members. Well we decided to do a Christmas count down. 12 days of countdown and the last day is the ward Christmas party which is on Christmas eve:) We have put in SO much work and time and have made hand out after hand out and sent text after text. And yesterday SO many members came up to us and talked about the party and how they want to come and bring friends. there was one brother who got up and talked about how much we are doing to help the ward do missionary work and then he asked the ward if they were doing their part. Long story short, the ward is thinking about Less actives and friends to bring to our ward Christmas party:)
THEN we have been praying about a member for a long time. Her name is Kim Jeu. LOVE HER. Her parents pray for about 2 hours a day and LOVE God but don't think they need religion. they think they are closer to god than a religion could help them be. WELL we have been wanting to meet with them all but have been praying for a time to meet..... WELL KIM JEU CALLED YESTERDAY and invited us over for this coming Saturday!!!!!!!!!!! WE also decided that we wanted to give her parents the book "Our Search for Happiness" as a Christmas gift. God has been answering all of our prayers. It is amazing.
We also have been preparing for the ward and mission Christmas parties. WE are singing at both. ha ha ha.Fun.... We are singing with the elders and OH MY GOODNESS THEY REMIND ME SO MUCH OF BUBBA!!!!!!!!
I love you all so much. I LOVE christmas and I LOVE being a missionary during Christmas. I know christ lives. He is our King. The was the sweet baby born to Mary who was sent to give us joy and peace and everlasting life. HE really did come. I know it. I am so thankful for the knowledge. God and Christ Love us. They direct this work. Honey will accept it one day. I dont need her to accept it and be baptized with me, but I NEED her baptized. She is too sweet and loving to not have this in herlife. She needs it. She deserves it. In fact, Christ deserves it. He loves Honey. Oh does he love her. It's amazing how every lesson we have, I tell her God and Christ love her. And ever time she looks down with a smile and nods her head. She knows. We all know. WE jsut sometimes forget. DONT FORGET. In fact. REMEMBER. Remember Mom, God loves you. Remember dad, God loves you. Remember Bubba, God loves you. Remember Samantha, God loves you. Remember Shmee, God loves you. And I love you to the moon and back.
Sister Nicolle Ensign
Monday, December 9, 2013
Well..... If you asked me if I would ever want to be interviewed by New York Times ever again.... I would say no.... Seriously it was the MOST STRESSFUL week of my LIFE!!!!!!! At the same time, the Lord was giving us so much peace. WE could feel the prayers of everyone for us. So the reason it was so stressful is because they wanted to do specific things. Like a service project, meet with an investigator, teach English, tract, door knock and visit members. Which is all possible and we planned for all of that but when you have a camera following you around and wanting to set up the camera and have you pause and wait for him to get good shots of you... things tend to run a bit differently. And then when you have a sleep deprived NYT reporter who needs her coffee, things run a bit slow. ha ha ha. At the same time. I cant begin to tell you how much I loved Jody (reporter) and Choi (photographer) and Jessica (public affairs for the church). Holy cow. So great and amazing. Jody has interviewed people from us to President Obama and everyone in between!!!! She is an amazing woman. NYT wanted to view the average day of a Sister missionary in Korea and they were sure going to get it. Every day, without fail, someone cancels on us. So the fact that people canceled was not a surprise... just stressful. ha ha ha. Anyway, so for the interview - they had us sit on these mats because we don't really have chairs and we were asked questions like - what does it mean to be a sister missionary? why did you choose to come out? talk about the women in your life? what is rejection like? tell us about the good. Tell us about the bad. what do you think about women holding the priesthood? because more women will be RMs they will have strong testimonies.. do you think they will have an advantage over men in the future? They asked a LOT about both of our sisters serving missions. The reaction to the age change and what we thought about that. They asked us about our families... etc. I was really lucky to be able to brag about the amazing women in my life:) but they asked some deep questions... not sure how I feel about it....... so other questions concerning women and the priesthood we just kinda laughed and said it was not really relevant.
During that day we saw many miracles. They wanted us to go knock on doors.. I told them we don't really do that anymore and we do what Pres. Hinckley asked, which is to work through the members. But I decided we could go see if the family from Finland was enjoying the Book of Mormon we got them... umm okay... miracle!!!!! She answered the door and said it was so thoughtful that someone ordered a book for her in Finnish and that it happened in Korea from two Americans. She asked us to come again.
So NYT got a view of real missionary work which is what they wanted. Wow... so that was an..... interesting experience. What I learned.......- I like my simple life. Simple missionary life where all I have to worry about it pleasing the Lord:) But it was a good experience. Don't need another one though.
We are all geared up and ready to go back into missionary work. :) God truly helped us with NYT , and he helps us every day. This is truly his work. I know it. I am so thankful to be his missionary. I learned the only person we ever need to please is God. If we please our selves, we will never be happy. If we try to please others, we will drive ourselves into the ground with busyness. If we try to please the world, we will build a mansion on earth of rewards...but our treasure in heaven will be of saw dust and dirt.... But when we please the lord. When all we desire is to please the lord, our desire is met, we are pleased in knowing the Lord is pleased and that is the greatest Joy.
This Christmas season I have been pondering a LOT about what to give God and Christ as a Christmas gift. I was desiring so hard, working so hard for a baptism to be their present. It can happen. but also I know I need to just sacrifice all and give it ALL to them. I don't have much time left and so I need to give them my all. Time, energy, desires, wants, weaknesses, etc. give it to them. Christ WAS born. I know He came..... and He lives.
I love you to the moon and back.
I love you to the moon and back.
Love Sister Cole Ensign
Monday, December 2, 2013
So.... At the beginning of my mission President Furniss said that all the missionaries keep their passports at the mission home because after our one year mark we have to have our passport to renew our visas. well my one year mark is tomorrow (one year in Korea) so I was suppose to have my passport sent to me...well I waited... waited... and waited.... (they keep them at the mission home so that missionaries don't loose them during all the transfers)... funny that the mission home lost mine. ha ha ha. Anyways I waited and finally called the mission home asking where it was... they got super stressed and said they sent it like... 3 weeks ago... usually letters within Korea take 1-2 days to arrive.... not 3 weeks. We contacted all the post offices and no one could find it... so guess who took a trip to Seoul? And the highlight was that I got to call you mom :) I know it was so short but it was still SO good!!!! Oh I was so happy!!!!! So so so Happy:)
So lets talk about the miracles for a minute.... so my entire mission, getting investigators to come to church is... difficult... well we set the goal of 2 investigators coming to church. Dave and Honey. Our two really progressing investigators. Well......WE HAD 3 INVESTIGATORS AT CHURCH AND 107 MEMBERS (usually we have 74 members). Us and the elders and have been working really hard to get less actives to church. Well!!!!!!!! WE had Dave and Honey and then bishop brought a co-worker!!!!! I was so overwhelmed with Joy. (the word my sweet Ensign the younger talked about in her e-mail... JOY). Joy filled the church and hearts of all who came to ward conference. It was amazing!!!!!!!! Dave and Honey really liked the sacrament meeting but Honey thought the other meetings were... too... long... ha ha ha. But for someone who has never been to church before, I can understand who 3 hours would be long. But it was so good. the Bishops referral had to leave early but she also LOVED the sacrament meeting. Oh it was such a miracle!!!! Dave will be with us in the interview with NEW YORK TIMES on Friday (by the way.. news is out... you and tell others about NYT). Oh I am so nervous yet, I feel like this will be good. I am so thankful I have sister Scott to be with. My best friend in the mission to experience New York Times interview and Christmas together. We are thrilled. Transfers are this week and we are both staying. THANK THE HEAVENS.
This week I really was overwhelmed with he spirit that this is the lords work. It truly is his work and HIS WILL BE DONE. We spend a lot of time traveling. The most in the mission because or members live so far away, and so do our investigators. Usually we spend in one day, 3-4hours on a bus... crazy right?..... but everyone lives so far away. We try to do many visits in our area as to not waste time. But we HAVE to follow the spirit. WE can not waste the lords time and so really putting away our desires our ways and relying on the lord is SO crucial in this work. I really felt it this week as I was praying to find my passport and just prayed that the Lords way would be done. I just was overcome with the spirit that the Lords way should ALWAYS be done. In missionary work and in my life. He knows best, He knows what's best for me. I just have to give it to him. Dee is SUCH a good example to me of that. Her mission of truly giving herself has truly helped me. And my prayers have become so sincere because of her sweet example. No wonder God gave her to me. I love you Dee. And Mom, Dad, Bubba, Sam and Sister Gelder, if you all only knew how your lives and examples have helped not only my mission, but my life, you would be amazed... I am amazed every day. On my mission I have really studied Christ's life. His example. His ways. And I have been able to have my eyes opened to the Christ like examples around me. I am surrounded by Christ like people. You all are Christ like. Thank you for helping me and showing me how to be more like Christ. Everyone has a bit of Christ like in them. Those are the gifts you talked about mom. everyone has them. Even our investigators have them. I love pointing out to our investigators that they are like Christ. Like last night our sweet investigator and her son learned about the restoration. At the end, Sister Scott asked the 14 year old son to pray... he offered on of the most precious prayers I have ever heard. She raised him on her own. But the reason he is such a good kid is because she takes him to church every week. (not our church, a different church) He prayed like he was literally talking to a friend. I praised the mom for being like Christ and raising her son to be who he is. I walked out of that lesson thinking "wow, even if they don't convert to the gospel, they have found God and he is truly helping them. And God helped them find us.".
God loves us all. Merry Christmas. What a wonderful time to remember our Savior and our God. I love you all to the moon and back.
Love Sister Cole Ensign
Sunday, December 1, 2013
This week my favorite couple from Gwanju, my first area, came to Mokpo and gave us 4 referrals of their friends:), it was amazing and a miracle. They also gave us.... 20 pounds of clementines, grape juice, tomatoes, and other food... they LOVE ME AND I LOVE THEM!!!!!!! It is funny because their son is actually dating this girl/ practically engaged , and the brother, keeps saying "its not for sure... you could still marry him".ha ha. Its funny. They are more worried about me being their daughter in law than their son being happy. So funny. Anyways. It was so good to see them and they said they would hook us up on hotels all around Korea. So if we want to go to Jejedu island (not sure how to spell it sorry) (it is a famous island in Korea), then they could get us a hotel there. But I think you have to pay for a different flight there...not sure. I will ask.). Anyways... they are going to help us get around and have fun when you come here to visit:) ANYWAYS!!!!!
So it sounds like Satan sure hates returned missionaries and is making his attack on them. WE have to stay strong. I never want to be a returned missionary. I will just keep the badge on. We can go on splits mom until Dee gets home;)
I actually loved that talk by President Monson. WE had a sisters conference that Sister Roueche did(Amazing). And we watched part of that talk. Prayer is so crucial and so amazing. All the time with people try to bible bash with us we just always go back to that fact that through prayer we can ask God to know the truth. Luckily he has already done that for me. I know the truth. And we ALL have access to know. WE just have to ASK!!!!!!!!
So think week...agh. I am just so humbled and sincerely grateful for this amazing work I can be a part of. I love being a missionary. And I am so thankful to be serving with my AMAZING companion, Sister Scott. I love this girl.She reminds me so so so so much of Sister Gelder. (who I miss EVERY DAY). So it is good to be with her. Especially because she has a heart of gold... and...she loves Christmas!!!!!!!!! So important!!!!!! We have so many miracles together and it is truly humbling to be together. we have had so many humbling experiences. So let me tell you how amazing my comp is. Well... here she is, not even one transfer into her mission, trying to speak Korean, and over come ALL the fears that come from A:being in Korea. B: speaking Korean. C: being a missionary. D: Korean.... E:Korean....F:Korean....And G:Korean... ha ha ha. But she just pushes past those fears and we talk to everyone. (great example of my Sister Diondra!!!!) Well on the bus 2 weeks ago Sister Scott sat down and talked to a grandpa. I was talking to someone else but I was so proud of her because it is NOT easy to understand grandmas and grandpas so I was so proud of her for trying. Well she got his number and we called him a few days later and setup an apt. Well.... we got weird texts from him. Like all these pictures of flowers and hearts. ha ha so we were kind of nervous to meet him. Come to find out those texts were just part of his work. ha ha ha. Well we meet him.... umm.... ya... hes SO PREPARED!!!!!!!. He had cancer for 10 years and recovered and now wants to find out why God saved him. He is researching ALL churches to find the truth. HE CAME TO CHURCH YESTERDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! oh my goodness. I was so happy!!!!!! The first investigator to come to church in a whole transfer!!!!! I was so thankful and The whole time he kept saying " I really like it here. It is so free and the feeling here!!!!... Agh... it's amazing!!!!". Our ward mission leader because his best friends.They where holding hands and everything. (men do that in Korea... they are very touchy here:)) Well he just kept saying to our ward mission leader (which by the way dad... HE REMINDS TOTALLY REMINDS ME OF YOU!!!! How?... he is SO friendly. Talks to everyone. Loves everyone. And he is SO loyal to His faith. It is amazing. I actually asked him for a blessing yesterday to prepare for NYT!!!!!!!! It was like having you here Dad. Such a blessing!!!!! Anyways). The Brother Kim (I have decided to name him Dave because I think of Dee's recent convert, the older man named Dave , and if I could imagine a version of Dees recent convert, I would think of Brother Kim. So from now on I will refer to him as Dave:)). So Dave kept saying how we had this light.... sound familiar:) And he felt like God guided him to us. Amazing. So my sweet companion found our next recent convert. Dave has the baptism date for December 22!!!!! WE taught him and it was so spiritual and wonderful . He prayed like he was born to. He came to church like he has been dying to. And he loves the ward like he's lived with them before.... aka... he has... aka. pre earth life:) That was a joke:) Sorry.. jokes these days are a bit.. on the ....dry side...
So that was an amazing miracle. I will keep you updated on Dave:)
Sadly sister Pack was not able to met this week because she was really sick. We stopped by here house to give her some "get better treats and she was SO thankful. She even told me she loved me. Amazing!!!!!!!!!!! So keep praying for her. She will come around. We saw so many miracles this week and it was just a good week.
Well mom and dad.Good week. I love you so much. I can't thank you enough for supporting me and cheering me on. You have no idea what it means to me. I love you both more than I can even say! Here on my mission I have learned to be more humble. If there is one word I could use to describe my mission it is Humbling. :) During exercise this morning we listened to some conference talks and I was reminded of the quote - " The world has enough women who are tough. We need women how are tender. There are enough women who are coarse. We need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude. WE need women who are defined. WE have enough greed. WE need more goodness. WE have enough fame and fortune. WE need women of Faith. WE have enough vanity. We need more virtue. We have enough popularity, we need more purity". I love this. I feel like my mission has really made me desire and has helped me be the women that we need MORE of. This world is failing in its accountability of Good women. I am not as good as I want to be. But I sure am better than where I use to be and I am so thankful for the Woman God has molded and refined me to be so far. He has a lot more work to do, but he's still working. And I love the change that I have experienced so far. I will never to back. Like Elder Holland says - "I have put my hand to the plough and I will never look back". I hope we all. Each day, strive to be a little better. Let us be loyal to the author and finisher of our faith.
I love you to the moon and back.
Sister Cole Ensign
Dee!!!!! Go baptize that Korean Girl!!!!!!!!!!! I love you