Monday, January 27, 2014

I woke up and couldn't even move... like.. I just wanted to cry..........

 So this whole week I have been showing everyone the pictures of Heidi and Choi Hoon coming to our house and everyone, especially missionaries, just DIE of laughter. So funny. Goodness I love them. And just like 15 minutes ago I got a call from Heidi telling me she had something from you so great. Thanks mom. I love you:)
> So this week was great but let me tell you of my frustration yesterday because it has a miracle attached to it:) So... for the past 5 months my back has been stiff and just annoying but not anything to keep me from the work, thankfully. I work out and stretch and sleep well it has not been too bad... well yesterday I woke up and couldn't even move... like.. I just wanted to cry. lifting my legs was a joke. trying to sit up made me want to die, etc. well like God is a God of miracles so I prayed and got up. It killed. Like... I thought something was really wrong. But hey God has no other choice but to heal me because this sister missionary does not have time to rest. especially with investigators coming to church. Well... I get out the door... putting on clothes..... ..... thanks to my companion and house hold members... ha ha ha . I was dressed like a new born baby... I was useless.... Well I get to church and think that maybe sitting down would help so I sit down... even worse. I was so frustrated because MIRACLE: an investigator we invited to church on the street showed up and was so so so so excited to come to church. She even took a bus for an hour. she's only a high school student and is just AMAZING. She is the investigator from last week I met on the street waiting at the bus stop and as soon as she found out we were missionaries she said she wanted to come to church. Well I'm sitting in church by her (by the name her name is Sister Lee - Hee- Woon) and I am frustrated because my back is in so much pain that I cant even focus and I'm sitting next to my MIRACLE and I just wanted to cry. I tried leaving and went to go lay down and it was still burning. I was PLEADING with the Lord. I told him "I know you can heal me. Like this is possible for you." I just poured out my heart. Sacrament ended and I grabbed the elders and said I needed a blessing. I felt peace from the blessing but no release of pain... sadly yesterday we were in 4 meetings so I had to endure. But Church with Sister Lee was...AMAZING. We talked about free agency and our ward mission leader who teaches the class bore his testimony and told of his conversion story and I look over and she is just crying. I KNOW she felt the spirit and it was just amazing. I am so excited about her. She wants to come again next week:) Then we had all our meetings and then a sweet grandma invited us over to dinner. I told God I was keeping these appointments and that I just needed his help. He did help me. I survived. The lessons were amazing. Then after our appointments I was thankful because I could just go home. (by this time the President knows my situation and is calling Dr.s in the ward to see what to do). And then I was walking feeling like crying and I was like "stop thinking about the pain". I decided to just say hello to this man on the street. He was SO excited to meet us because just a few weeks ago he met the Elders and was so excited. He had all these questions about our church and the Book of Mormon and we were able to bear POWERFUL testimony to him. My companion pretty much called him to repentance and told him he could not receive eternal life with out this book and what it teaches. LIKE I LOVE MY COMPANION@!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 So I was so thankful for that. Sadly I was on the verge of throwing up and was dry heaving because the pain but with much laughing because I was walking like  a freak, we made it home. I smacked some ice on and said prayers. I arranged to go to the Dr today. And this morning the sharp pains were gone but it  still hard and painful to move. A member took us to a back Dr. and they took some x-rays (by the way it was all free because the man who owns the hospital is in our stake. ha ha ha) So they pampered me to say the least!!!!!! I was taken to "physical therapy" aka a spa ha ha ha. Where they smacked me with heat and a massage. Like the best. Though all of those things were great I was still a little stiff BUT I KNOW THAT GOD TOOK THE PAIN AWAY. I was just laying in bed crying because I wanted nothing to stand in my way these last 2 transfers... so I was really .... really frustrated. But God heard my prayer. I felt [peace talking with the Dr. and him telling me I would need two weeks in bed and me saying "sorry... I don't have 2 weeks. I have today... ha ha ha. "He laughed and said "okay.. meds, ice and heat". I said "deal". ha ha. I'm just not willing to accept me not working. Like this may sound funny and maybe you may be thinking "umm... way to be humble collie". but I just told God "like this is not negotiable.. I have to work. I have the faith and desire so I'll wait for you to heal me". He did. I'm still stiff but I'm okay. I was so thankful God heard my non humble prayer. God loves us.
> This week was also great because we were able to find a LOT of new investigators like MIRACLES!!!!!! We were even guided to put flyer's in certain places and got a lot of calls and it was just so great. And the members we have been able to meet have been amazing and they are gaining our trust and telling us they have people they want us to teach. It is truly a blessing. I am really thankful to serve here and to just do the work. I love this work!!!!!
> I want to just share my testimony about... well... all of this... This huge GREAT PLAN OF HAPPINESS. We truly can get peace and happiness. God is TRULY aware of our lives and he knows us. Personally. He knows Tammy, Paul, Sammy, Shmee, and Bubba and he loves you. I know it. He knows I want to just baptize and bring people back to church and he IS working with me to do that. I'm not doing this alone. No way. This is HIS WORK and he is apart of it. He is in my life. He knows me. Even the stubborn parts of me that wont allow "no... its time to rest". ha ha ha. He knows me. And HOLY COW HE LOVES ME!!!! And he loves his children  that I am also blessed to know. I love this. This LIFE. I love my life. So frustrating some times but SO GREAT and SO REWARDING!!!!!!!! What is my reward. JOY. Who is my work for... Christ. I have really been preaching CHRIST to our missionaries and our mission. Being in a leadership position I get opportunities like that and the only thing  I ever want to talk about is CHRIST. I love him. And I will serve him because I love him. Mom, I loved your quote of if I love the lord I will be obedient. Well, I love him. I'm only here for him. Not for anyone or any other reason but him. I'm only focused on pleasing him and it is so rewarding. I'm learning that great life lesson, to only please HIM!!!!!! only him. If I please him,  I've done it.

I love you to the moon and back!!!!!!!
> Sister Nicolle ENsign

Monday, January 20, 2014

Goodbye My Mokpo

So up until the day they kick me out, I will preach and declare to the people in Korea GODS WORD!

Dad, HAPPY BIRTHDAY THIS WEEK!!!!!!!!!!! I think you are old. end of story.

Just kidding. love you dad. Yes I think you are old but holy cow... for an old guy... your pretty amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love you to the moon and back. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!

So I'M BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am not going to lie.. I was TOTALLY missing Mokpo for a few days... but who wouldn't... but yesterday at church and after we went with members and I was reminded how much I love this are!!!! I am so excited to serve here and.... ah, its such a blessing to be back and to see all of the people I use to love and still do love. Minus one family;  WHO WAS WITH YOU TODAY!!  For all who don't know, one of my favorite families in Korea,  who is from Gwanju, had their daughters wedding in Utah and they went and met my family and sent me pictures. ha ha . AGH the best!!!!! I love it. I am so glad you finally met them. They are amazing and I love them so much!!!!!!

So our ward is doing really good at focusing on missionary work and now we are just working on baptizing the people they have given us. The work in Gwanju is really moving along. It is truly a blessing to be here.... again.... :) I think I could go down as the luckiest Korean missionary. Anyways. Not lucky... blessed;) So we spent the last few days getting things ready for the area. We had to take time to talk about our investigators and we had a LOT of meetings for Zone leaders, AP's and Sister trainer leaders. It was so intense. It helped me to realize that my responsibility as sister trainer leader is bigger.... than... I thought... ha ha ha. Anyways. Good stuff:)
We were able to meet with the bishop and his family and we were able to look up old investigator records and go search for some and we found a sweet lady who wants to meet again. 
My companion is 이다슬 and she is the cutest. Love her. Oh her name in English is Lee Da surl:) Love her. Her personality is dedicated yet relaxed. Like she is obedient, persistent, wants to get good work done, but she doesn't let the bad stress get to her. LOVE HER!!!!!! She is just what I needed:) Love it. 
This week it was a bit sad to hear about some of the problems in the mission and with our sweet sisters. I am thankful that I will be able to meet with them and see if I can help them. This mission is really changing for the better. We have been getting more and more baptisms as a mission and it is truly because of what changes President Shin is doing. Not that what President Furness did was wrong or bad, he was amazing,  it is just different and that's what we needed. Isn't God so smart?;) I love it. So yes. I have been in close contact with the ZL's DL's AP's and the sisters. Yesterday our sisters in one are had a baptism and it was the niece of My investigator in Mokpo, Sister Pack. I was not able to say goodbye to her because she didn't answer her phone... what's new... but I really hope this baptism will get her thinking.!!!!!!!! So yes. I was happy to hear that~!!!!!  IT was hard to say goodbye to Mokpo... Like I had a good cry.... but it was just so satisfying to me to feel like I did everything I could have done for Mokpo, my members and investigators. I feel like I gave it my all and I felt okay with leaving
That is something I have decided is that I am done trying to met my "expectations" and trying to do what I thought I would do. I have decided to just do everything my leaders tell me and to just give it all to the lord. Because at the end of my mission, the only one I will want to have pleased on my mission is the Lord. This is HIS work. I only want to do his will and his work. Though we BOTH wish we could see a bit more success... we are working. And yes, I do realize God is helping a lot more than what seems to be. I love being a missionary. Yesterday in Church I was asked to introduce myself and give my testimony over the pulpit and I shared this scripture; 3 Nephi 5:13 "Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the son of God. I have been called of Him to declare his work among his people, that they might have everlasting life".  So up until the day they kick me out, I will preach and declare to the people in Korea GODS WORD. His healing, joy filled, peaceful, forever and ever words. This is his work. I Am so thankful to be able to do this. 

Before I go I want to point out that God DOES answer prayers. So a few weeks ago I was down that none of our investigators could meet and that things were a bit rough. I prayed. Oh did I pray. And the week I left I saw SO many miracles. Person after person on the street, at the door, randomly on the phone, wanted to meet and they had REAL interest!!!!!!! The day I left we met a new investigator who wants to learn about the Mormons.... well who better to ask right. And DURING that lesson a lady called me, from a flyer we hung up saying we teach free English, and that she wanted to meet. Just all of these HUGE blessings and miracles. And now I'm ready to make them happen in Gwanju too:)

I love you all to the moon and back. This church is true. GOD IS A GOD OF MIRACLES. EVEN TODAY!

to the moon and back:)

Sister Collie Ensign

...sometimes our faith produces different miracles than we thought, BUT THE MIRACLES DO COME!!!!!!.

Well goodness mom. I just love your letters/ e-mails. I am so glad you got my Christmas package... sorry it was so late:( This week was really good:)  God always seems to shoot you through the roof when you hit bottom;) But this week was so great!!!! This week I was able to just put my head down and pray and give it all to the lord!!!! And oh did the miracles come. Oh so by the way..... I'M TRANSFERRING TO MY GREENIE AREA!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'M GOING BACK TO GWANJU !!!!! I still cant believe it is real and at the same time I am devastated to leave Mokpo but I feel at peace. I feel like I have done what God has needed me to do in Mokpo. Speaking about that. That feeling has come through the realization that I am Gods servant and there is no way I would be able to lie and say that I have been doing this work in Mokpo alone. I first off have had sister Scott and like..... hello.. God never leaves his missionaries. he is "before our face. on our right hand and on our left and he is lifting us up"!!!! So true!!!! And so I was thinking a lot about faith this week. We are told in Ether that if you have faith you can do this.. that ...etc. Well we are also told that it was through the faith of the missionaries in the Book of Mormon that so many were converted. Well I thought to myself "hmm... is the reason I don't see baptism's because I don't have faith?".... THE ANSWER IS NO. I do have faith. Just sometimes our faith produces different miracles than we thought , BUT THE MIRACLES DO COME!!!!!!. And if they don't seem to be coming. WAIT.. Well I read this amazing talk that I want to share a part of it with you;

I recently saw a deeply moving film that traced the history of the Willie and Martin handcart companies. In May 1856, two successive groups comprised of more than a thousand Saints left England to immigrate to Utah. When they arrived six months later in the Salt Lake Valley at the end of their perilous journey, more than 200 of them were missing. Most had died of sickness, hunger, or exhaustion along the path leading to the place they called “Zion.”
One of the pioneers featured in the film deeply impressed me. He flooded the company with his good humor and enthusiasm. He was, however, not very typical of most pioneers. A small man and severely handicapped, he was a miracle in himself! I learned this valiant pioneer was Robert Pierce of Cheltenham, England.
One of his traveling companions described him as “one of the worst cripples I ever saw to be a traveler. His lower limbs were paralyzed and his body badly deformed but he was strong in the faith. He was able to propel himself with surprising speed with the use of crutches.”11
One day Robert Pierce took the wrong path and lost sight of the company. Several men set out to find him and finally found him in a very uncomfortable situation. I cite their words:
“To our horror we saw around an old tree two large gray wolves prowling around, and half a dozen eagles hovering over the tree waiting for him to quit his screams and gesticulations with his crutches so they would pounce upon him and devour him in his cramped position under the roots of the tree. …
“We arrived in time to save him from his pending fate, took him out and placed him on the cart we had brought, placed him in position to ride back to camp.”
And now, an insight into the well-tempered character of Robert: “How the poor fellow begged us to let him walk as he said he had promised … when we started on our trip that he would walk every foot of the way to Salt Lake City.”
Then, the sad part of this story: “However, we only saved him to travel a few days longer, when at the close of the sixth days march his trouble in this world came to an end and he was buried on the banks of the Elkhorn River.”12
Sister Jolene Allphin, who compiled the story of Robert Pierce, said of him: “It is truly remarkable that Robert Pierce had already traveled 600 miles on his crutches before he succumbed to the hardships of the trail. His heart’s desire had been to gather with the Saints in Zion and not be a burden to any of his fellow travelers. … Robert did not want any handouts or special treatment.”13
Brothers and sisters, I asked myself the following question: Why would God, who had miraculously saved this man of great faith from the wolves and the eagles, allow him to die on the side of the road only a few days later?
His passing is one of great serenity. In the film, he says, shortly before the end:
“The missionaries taught me that I am important and that someday I will be superb! …
“I always wanted a strong body. Now, I am going to get it. When you get to Zion, think of me.”14
With respect to Robert Pierce, I think of words from the epistle of Paul to the Hebrews:
“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
“… They that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. …
“But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly” (Hebrews 11:13–14, 16).
At the end, Robert Pierce realized that his ultimate destination was the kingdom of heaven, not the Salt Lake Valley.
Thus it is the same for all of us. The promises of the Lord assure us of our final destination. The itinerary for each of us will vary according to the foreknowledge of God. Our circumstances may change, unexpected events may occur, challenges may arise, but the promises of God to us are assured through our faithfulness.
Sister Anne C. Pingree wonderfully outlined what it means to have faith in the Lord’s promises. She began by quoting Elder Bruce R. McConkie as follows:
“‘Faith in its full and pure form requires an unshakable assurance and … absolute confidence that [God] will hear our pleas and grant our petitions’ in His own due time. Believing that, we too can ‘stand fast in the faith’ today and tomorrow.”
Then she continued:
“It matters not where we live or what our individual circumstances may be. Each day our righteous living can demonstrate a faith in Jesus Christ that sees beyond mortal heartaches, disappointments, and unfulfilled promises. It is a glorious thing to possess a faith that enables us to look forward to that day ‘when all that was promised the Saints will be given.’”15
My brothers and sisters, the circumstances of my life today are, obviously, very different from what I had planned when I was your age. However, I don’t believe I’ve ever been so happy. If one had given me, when I was 20 years old, the account of my life up to the present, I think I would have signed without any hesitation on the dotted line!
There are two things I want to share with every one reading this. A: As a missionary I want everyone to know that you too can be SUPERB. God has given us a Plan and a WAY ( the way is Jesus Christ). to be SUPERB!!!!!! Don't ever forget that God ONLY SEES YOU AS SUPERB!!!! He has never seen you as anything else because SUPERB IS WHO YOU ARE!!!!! WHO YOU REALLY ARE. and B:  Just like Gerald J. Causse said in this talk- I too could look at the lay out of my mission as it has been and was asked if I would do it. again;  I too would sign on the line with out hesitation. YES!!  This mission is not what I had expected it to be but it is still SO WONDERFUL because it's not been me in charge, but God and I love this mission. I have loved every experience. Even the hard ones and the stressful ones (yes even New York Times)... just kidding. But I have loved my mission because it has not been my plans.. This mission has been Gods and I am so thankful!!!! I love this work. It is BY FAITH THAT MY MIRACLES HAPPEN EVERY WEEK. God IS giving me miracles and I do have that faith. Sometimes I wonder as maybe Brother Percie did like,  "umm okay God I have faith and I'm acting.... so like why am I not getting what I expected." Luckily unlike Brother Percie I will not die, but like him, I am getting that greater reward. And that is to do the will of the father. There is no greater work. I love this work. I love being a missionary . I will miss Mokpo and my loved ones here but I am willing to go where the lord wants me to go!!!!
This weeks miracles were meeting an AMAZING couple who are SO PREPARED!!!!!!!! We met with them and the they knew missionaries from 12 years ago and loved them and now they are SO SO SO excited to meet with us. Sadly I will not be there but because I am sister Training leader but I will be able to come back to Mokpo and see how everything here is going:) haha ha. Oh ya...l I'm sister training leader. So still training but on a different scale.  Wish me luck.

God bless you all. I love you all to the moon and back.

Sister Nicolle Ann Ensign

Monday, January 6, 2014

I have set my hand to the plough and I will never look back.........

Dear Mother. How you seem to, every week, answer my prayers, is beyond me but at the same time, I am not surprised at all. I love you mom. Dad and Bubba... okay... so what's the whole thing on the thug ties? ha ha.

 Have you all gotten my Christmas package yet? And mom... I still have not gotten that other package yet. BUT I did get my hair package... I don't want to say this but the other package might have gotten lost.... I was on splits up in Gwanju this week at apparently there are many missionaries who have not gotten their packages yet:( Like one sister never even got her Christmas package.. her mother just cried over skype... So I will let you know when I get it... but it might not get here... I will let you know. But I got the other one:)

So... Diondra committed me to ask every one I talked with to get baptized. All ready to do that and then... none of our 8 investigators could meet and they ALL;.... literally all... might not want to meet again... So this week was... a... bit...rough..... But like, still when life hits bottom the Master gives you a hand to lift you up. Though all of our investigators either dropped us or couldn't meet, we still saw so many miracles!!!!!!!
1: So... like... apparently God loves me and he helps me out... a lot... like... God is so merciful. So you know how I had the whole passport problem...well I finally got it and went to go re-new it and they said if I was 4 days later..... they would have to send me back to America.... ha ha ha. Oh the adventures of Sister Ensign. I called President and he was speechless... and I said "President I'm only going home early if I'm in hand cuffs so I better get this done so I don't embarrass the ensign name." He laughed and gave me permission to hop a train and get to Gwanju to figure everything out. ha ha ha. So that was so nice of God to help me get  my passport figured out quickly. 

2: on our way home from Gwanju I was frustrated that our investigators were being ... frustrating and so on the bus I just said a quick prayer and asked God to just help me do his work. Help me to just do what he would want me to do. So all the sudden I am talking to these college students on the bus when this American grandpa gets on the bus. ... I have not seen an American grandpa in a year... so that was surprising. But for some reason I was totally wrapped up in him. I didn't know if he even spoke English. So I continued to talk to the girls and gave them a flyer and then noticed he was getting off the bus. I quickly told sister Scott "lets follow him". Creepy right. ha ha ha. Anyways. we get off the bus quickly and he turns around and totally starts talking to us like he is so glad we got off the bus. Come to find out His name is Mark, he is from Cali, He LOVES UT and has even been to temple square. He loves the church and the people it produces. He said in Cali he owned a record store and he only had one employee he could trust... that employee was a Mormon. Apparently they talked a lot about he church and Mark was really interested and he was SO thankful to meet us. He said he wanted to meet again. AND he said he knew LOUISA!!!! Now  I feel like I finally know why we met Louisa. Other than to help her. She is going to help us get to Mark. We will be meeting Mark this Saturday:)

3: yesterday at church we were sitting there really sad that not only could our investigators not come to church, but we couldn't even ask them to come to church because they couldn't meet and they wouldn't answer their phones, and they were not home when we visited.... or maybe they just didn't answer the door. Well anyways.. we decided to be happy anyways:) And we were sitting there when the LA we have been trying to work with comes in with her non member friend:) ha ha ha ha. So trying not to scream of excitement we just chill out and take the bread and water:) So of COURSE we go to young women's with them and the amazing young president being so smart and following the spirit asked us missionaries to share our testimonies:) Both me and sister Scott were so impressed to talk about "personal progress". The spirit was ON FIRE!!!!!!!! It was so great. I shared my testimony that it was through this book that I was interested in reading my scriptures every day. writing in my journal. doing service, etc. I read how when Chelsea was sick in bed how I went to her room, found her scriptures and personal  progress book and how they were USED and how I know my sweet angle Chelsea had studied hard and knew her stuff. Like so many other times, I wanted to be like my angel Chelsea. Well I shared that and the spirit was there. SO strong. I was so thankful to be blessed with the opportunity to teach. I have been trying SO hard to teach lately with out teaching investigators we teach every one we can:) So then this room of 5 young women share their testimonies and even this non Mormon got up and said, "I liked eating the bread and water". We asked if we could meet again but because she does not live in Mokpo she said she could not meet again. But I know that whenever she comes to Mokpo again, she will come to church:):) 

4: I was a little... depressed yesterday after we talked with our investigators and non are interested in meeting with us really and Dave and Honey AND sister Pack cant meet anymore. So I was a little sad yesterday. But I said a little prayer again that I would just do what the Lord wanted me to do. I don't care what he wants me to do. I'll do it. So we had our plans and back up plans fail and so we went to our 3rd back up plan (which we do a lot lately) and we decided to talk walk home from the train station and talk to people. I decided randomly  aka the spirit to try giving Book of Mormons to these drunk men we met a few weeks ago in a fisher mans shop:) well I was worried to go in, afraid they would just be drunk again and we would just be the cute American girls again. But I felt impressed to go give them the blue books. So we walk in and they were not there. Though there were other people there... so... looking like idiots we walk around and luckily they had this cute puppy I was playing with and then this random guy said in Korean "your the Mormon missionaries". Umm... your right. ha ha ha. This man then explains with excitement that he use to meet the man missionaries:) we talked with him and he said he was really interested in meeting again. WELL then music to my ears. I said, holding the book out, "Do you have the book of Mormon?". He then just said "Can I please have that book?". Music to my ears and a warm touch to my broken heart. Its amazing that as a missionary who wishes SO badly to see the miracle of baptism, and doesn't, has a broken heart, how just by hearing someone say "Can I please have that book?" completely restores my faith and keeps me going.

Luckily my faith and my drive have not been broken down, but my heart has. Christ when he visited America and told the nephite disciple's that they would live forever and be with held from physical death, sickness, etc. But he said he would not with hold the sorrow of the world. That they would still feel sorrow. I feel like it is what I feel at times. Though I have the faith, health and vigor to keep going like the working horse, I do have sorrow for the sins of the people I love. I have been talking about this a lot with my mission president. What a sweet man. And he keeps telling me "don't give up". I was so happy to boldly say "President,  Ensigns don't give up." And either do disciples. and I am both of those things. ha ha. I am truly comfortable in the fact that I am doing the Lords work. That's all I'm here to do. God wants baptisms as bad as I do. In fact, he wants them more. And I know I am doing his work. I report to the Lord. I know he knows my effort and actions and he is there with me in the sorrow. But we rejoice. I am happy. I am happy because I am on the Lords errands. Though I desired to keep Diondras commitment and didn't have anyone to ask (investigator wise), I know that I did the Lords work. That's all we are here to do. I'm here to baptize. And I will do that if it is in Gods will and in the investigators agency. It will happen. :) I just need to keep the faith. And don't worry, I wont ever give up. "I have set my hand to the plough and I will never look back". This week was a good week. Transfer calls are next week. I have no idea. I'll let you know where I am for my last two transfers. I love you to the moon and back.

Sister Nicolle Ensign

BUBBA YOU ARE FILLING OUT YOUR MISSION PAPERS. !!!!!!!*!&@#^$&@#*@*#&@*#&@@(*#$*$()*#$()&#)(%&*@#()$*@ I'm FREAKING OUT!!!! LOVE YOU !!! GO GET E'M BUBBA!!!!!!! LOVE YOU . LOVE YOU MOM. LOVE YOU SAM. LOVE YOU DAD.