Wednesday, February 26, 2014

...because I HAVE gotten answers.........and He gives me peace.

Hi there my lovely family:) Looks like your week was amazing!!!!! LIKE I'M DYING THAT BUBBA GOT HIS PAPERS SENT IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I AM FREAKING OUT!!!!!! Bubba!!!! Congrats!!!!!! Mom and dad thank you for your testimonies and they were perfect!!!!! I will translate them and let you know:) Also I got a call from the NEW YORK TIMES this week and they are hoping to publish the paper on March 2nd or the week after that:) They called to ask a few final questions and to tell me that the video of everything was great and that we would really enjoy it!!! So be looking for that.
This week was pretty good. It was not the greatest week of my mission because I didn't actually get to serve in my amazing area. I was needed in another area because some other sisters were struggling and as Sister Training Leader, I had to help out. I was happy to come back to my Gwanju after a week:) Especially because this week are transfers and I wanted to get things ready for who ever would be coming. Which by the way, I am not transferring but my companion is. And I am getting another Korean companion, Sister Pack. I don't know much about her. But she is Korean. I am really excited to be ending with a Korean sister because then I will get to just be smothered in.........the  Korean-ness of my mission:) So I am excited about that:) BUT I am so sad that I don't get to end with Sister Lee:( I really love her and will miss her.  I just love being a  missionary,  it is truly a blessing.  
So this week I learned a lot. I met our amazing investigators and just fell in love with them. I just love my investigators and really missed them this week!!!!!  I learned that God needs his children to hear the gospel. My one investigator who is a leader in her "Royal Priesthood" church,  doesn't agree with SO much that we teach and so that is difficult,  but at the same time, I just love her and I can feel Gods love for her every time we are together. And with all of her arguments my testimony is even more deeply rooted because I have to think about what I believe, and think about where my testimony is and think,  "do I know this is true or am I just preaching what I have been taught?". Well I'm here to tell you that because I have needed to testify with the spirit, I have needed to gain a testimony of the things I preach. God has helped my testimony truly grow and I am so excited to be a missionary who can preach WHAT I KNOW and WHAT I FEEL. Because I HAVE gotten answers.  God HAS told me the truth. It is all true and I am happy to share this with everyone!!!  The sad thing about my investigator is that she doesn't think she needs to pray about this because she believes the spirit has already taught her the truth and that she has the truth. So she doesn't even want to try. I just love prayer. I  have really been focusing on my prayer and my sincerity and just....... PRAY!!!!!. And I found this amazing verse in second Nephi 9:52  , "Behold, my beloved brethren, remember the words of your God; Pray unto him continually by day, and give thanks unto his holy name by night. LET YOUR HEARTS REJOICE". My heart does rejoice because he does here my prayers. He does answer my questions and he gives me peace!!!! And I know he will do the same for our investigators.
Also our other investigator, Sister Sue-ein is so cute!!!! I just love her. She has no background of the gospel but is loving what she is learning. She believes in it and said she would think about being baptized. She is just so great. I was not able to see much in our area which was sad.  Sorry this e-mail is pathetic. I hope you know I am doing good. I am so excited to go out and work this last transfer. Sorry my feelings are kind of all over the place this week. I am  feeling a bit exhausted.  ha ha. But I'm okay. Really.
I do want to share one last thing.
I love my Heavenly Father. I am doing this work for him. No other reason. There needs to be no other reason. After talking a lot with President Shin, he really was kind to me and gave me some great advice and just some amazing love. Truly heaven sent. I just love My heavenly Father. He loves me to. This work is true. God loves you too mom. He is there for you. I know it!!!!!
To the moon and back.
Sister Nicolle Ensign       

    Monday, February 17, 2014

    I am also thankful that my heart is as much of a missionary as it was when I got here, I just love this work.

    What a good week!!!! Sounds like you all had a great week too. Sacrament talks!!!! Holy cow I bet you guys did amazing. And Soccer tournament and DAD!!!!! Way to go on making dinner for everyone!!!!! Pretty much you are all amazing!!!!!!
    So this will be short and I apologize but I HAVE to tell you my miracle!!!!  So this week I was excited my convert in Mokpo got baptized and I wanted to write her a letter and so I got her address and put it in my address book. Well that distracted me to look at all the names of all the Koreans I LOVE and so I started doing that and came a cross a name Yang Gin Ah. (English is Gina) So I was like "umm that sounds familiar... was that from Gwanju?" So I just looked in the phone and the name was there!!!!! ALL THE SUDDEN I REALIZED it was one of my old investigators when I was a greenie. So I texted her "Hi is this Gina? This is Sister Ensign. I met you a year ago with Sister Hurt?" 5 seconds later I get a call and the Gina was on the other line just screaming!!!! ha ha ha ha. She was SO excited to hear from me!!!! And I was SO excited too!!!!! She said in her perfect English "Sister Ensign, it is time for me to come to church and be a member. I just need it now. I am ready". She promised to come to church in March. Church attendance was always her problem. She keeps commitments and she LOVES the Liahona she knows its true, but coming to church is hard... So I am just so so so so so excited!!!! I love this woman and her 3 girls are the CUTEST!!!!! I just love it. So that was a huge miracle and we are hoping to meet this week and then her to come to church in 2 weeks!!!!!! Miracles baby!!!!!
    Then our lesson with our new investigator, Sister Sue-in. Love her. She has.... no... religious... background... She has heard of God... and that's it.... so when we started from the beginning. AND YESTERDAY FOR HER IT JUST CLICKED, she now understands;
    A; She has a heavenly Father
    B; She has a Savior to help her get back to God.
    C; God talks to us today.
    D; He has a church.
    When we said that God has a church She was like "oh so its in Jerusalem where Christ was right?"  Well we explained about the apostasy and she was like "oh so that's why there are so many churches". ha ha ha. YA BABY GIRL!!!! Then we said that God restored his SAME church:) She asked where it was ... we proudly yet humbly pointed to our name tags and said "ITS THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS". We then told her to not just take our word for it but to ask the one who knows. Ask where his church is and if that church is our church. She  then prayed for the very first time with us in that lesson!!!!! I was just praying so so so so  hard that she would feel something. And I think she did. She is so cute. She is 18 years old and just a cutie. As she was praying I could just feel God smiling and saying "Goodness its been a while,  I haven't heard from you and I've missed you".  And I could just feel his smile to me of thanks for helping her find it and to know. It was a smile filled day.
    I felt the same smile as we met with our other investigator who LOVES her other church yet wants to learn about the Mormons. We watched the Restoration DVD and I was just feeling the love of God. He loves this daughter and she is so so so so close to the truth in her other religion but not quite there. God wants this for her. I could feel it. And God was so happy:)
    The rest of my week has been good. Lots of miracles. But I was just very thankful to feel Gods love this week. I am also thankful that my heart is as much of a missionary as it was when I got here. I just love this work. Love love love it. Everyone needs this. Why not right? Its ONLY GOOD!!!!!!!! "If you have the desire to serve God, ye are called to the work". So lets work right?:) I love you all to the moon and back!!!!!
    Sister Nicolle Ensign

    Monday, February 10, 2014

    Hello from my Korea

    We are all to be 100% obedient, no exceptions ......................

    So this week was a good one. In fact yesterday was really good:) Miracle day:) I was fasting that my miracle girl, Sister Lee, would come to church or that we would find a way to find her. Though she didn't come I left the house feeling "something big is coming, a miracle is going to happen today":) And oh did it happen. So this week Brother Hoons LA son promised my companion he would come to church. AND HE DID. It was so great!!!!!! THEN Brother Hoon promised me his referral would come to church AND SHE DID. It was just a great day to be a missionary. Our new investigators name is Sister Kong Yeah Surl:) She is going out of town this week but wants to meet next week:) So ya. I love her and pretty much and can't wait to start teaching her!!!!! I love Brother Hoon. I just love that family. Heidi invited us sisters over for lunch and she made spaghetti and it was so good!!!!!! I love my members. I love Korea. AGH!!!!!!!!! 
    So I have some great news:) MY INVESTIGATOR IN MOKPO GOT BAPTIZED YESTERDAY!!!!!!! She was a new investigator I found through street contacting and so I didn't know her so well but she was the investigator who came to our Christmas party and LOVED OUR MEMBERS. She said she feels like the church members are her family. She goes to church every week and is just AMAZING. She is a high school student. Sister Scott is sending me a pic and when I get it, I will forward it to you:)  But I was just so happy. So yesterday when sister Scott called me she also told me the greatest news. I was just crying and had SO MUCH PEACE.  So I don't know if you remember, THE LOVE OF MY LIFE INVESTIGATOR, Sister Wang( Sister Juliet),  well.... she started texting the Sisters in Mokpo last week!!!!!!!!! They don't have an appointment but they are just talking. My heart was SO comforted when I heard that!!!!! I couldn't believe it!!!!! This woman and Sister Pack from Mokpo , are the loves of my life!!!!!! I know they are ready for this gospel and so prepared and I just hope they will push out everything that is keeping them from commitment and just come to Christ. Like you said mom, WE NEED TO ACT on the testimony of Christ that we have and I KNOW THEY HAVE A TESTIMONY. They just need the action. My heart was just so comforted knowing she might come back. I love this woman, holy cow!!!! Miracle Mokpo!!!! I know it:)
    So my day was really good yesterday. This week was also pretty good. As Sister Training Leader I am helping a lot of sisters  and there were a few problems and a sister had to go home and same with an elder. Our amazing zone leaders saved 2 other elders from going home this week. This week was a bit sad for other missionaries. 

    I ask for all of you suggestions: Right now our missionaries are really struggling to find JOY. Weather its the most obedient missionaries who work so hard to the non obedient missionaries. our missionaries are just trying to find that Joy. They are trying to loose themselves in the work but are finding no success and that has their spirits down a little. I have been preaching "study Christ and gain a testimony of him" and "live the gospel of Jesus of Christ" but if you have any other good ideas, please let me know. Our mission is just a little in the blues right now and we have been preaching "work and forgetting yourself" but some people are just still struggling. Any suggestions, please let me know:) Thanks:) 

    I have found that God expects every missionary to be the same when it comes to obedience. We are all to be 100% obedient, no exceptions for who you are or where you are from. BUT he does not tell us all to be the same missionary. He just asks us to be like Jesus Christ. Be the missionary Jesus Christ would be. Well our missionaries are trying to mix their God given talents with the attributes of Christ and some are doing well, and others are struggling. As leaders we are trying to find a way to help them balance the two but others are struggling to think that their personalities are "good enough". I have been telling them that they need to be themselves but to be like Christ. God has given us amazing talents in our personalities and we are to USE those on our mission. I have found that I am someone who LOVES to listen to people. Sometimes member visits are the member telling ME their testimony. Their experiences with missionary work, their problems, their happiness's, etc. And then I do the listening. Yes you could say I don't get a lot of "teaching" done. But I have found that when I do share my little bit, that person is now trusting me and now wants to listen to what I say. Thought it is short, I am able to search in  my thoughts for ways to help them, listen to the spirit and feel for what I can say that will help them or bless them. The spirit is always there. I love that. I know God and Christ are GREAT listeners. I think of all the things I say in my prayers. All my hopes, wishes, desires, confessions, and thanks and they do a LOT OF LISTENING. And then when they do talk, it is felt and heard.  I really appreciate it. I have found that as a missionary, people appreciate a missionary who will do the same. 
    Right now my investigator, Sister Kim, who is the one who thinks she holds the priesthood, is not an investigator who wants to be taught the principles, she wants to learn about how I came to that knowledge. How I came to have that testimony. If I just say "I know the Book of Mormon is true" she wants to know who, where when why, etc of how I gained that testimony. She is amazing. She really believes in revelation so we are teaching her that she can receive an answer if this church is true. and then we are teaching her what she has to do IF THIS IS TRUE. There's that action again mom:) 
    One of my sweet sisters got a letter from her dad who said "love in action is charity". I truly believe it. I think that is why as a missionary your love for people is so strong because you are ACTING all the time for them. Praying, planning, etc for this loved one. It has taught me a great life lesson. That love is Action and Loyalty. And I am so thankful that I have this time to act and be loyal to my Lord. 

    Our investigators right now are doing well. All struggling to come to church and to accept it but they are slowly but surely progressing. We are working hard with our members right now to work on talking to their friends. Some are heading the call:) Its great. :) I love this work!!!! Such a blessing and a miracle. God Loves us. This IS HIS WORK!!!!! I know it and I am so thankful to be a part of it. I love you all to the moon and back!!!!

    Sister Nicolle Ensign

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

    Its because I love the Lord. Simple as that.

    Well I just want to start off by talking bout how much of a miracle it is that my back is healed. And it is even better than it was 6 months ago when it first started!!!!!!!!! God is SO merciful!!!!!!!Thank you for all of your payers and love. THEY WERE ANSWERED!!!! God is a God of miracles.
    So this week was a good week we actually were able to get many miracle filled activities done with it still being the biggest holiday in Korea. On the 30th and 31st Korea celebrates the new year and everyone gets a year older. So now... I'm 25... crazy right.... agh... stress..... I need to get married.,... and like,.. babies?... when will that happen... oh wait... I'm on  mission. ha ha ha. Just kidding;) But seriously... ha ha
    So because it is impossible to do missionary work during this holiday (literally your cant street contact, door knock, call or visit members or meet investigators)... so what did we do.... we all got together as a zone and did some practice teaching. WE have been promised by the first presidency that if we improve our teaching we will see miracles. So that is just what we did. We did practice teaching from 9am to 9pm. ha ha ha.   IT was actually great and miracle!!!!! while we were teaching one of our new investigators who is the most dedicated "royal priesthood" church member that I know. holy cow... she is going to be fun to teach!!!!!!!!! she has 500 billion questions a day!!!!!! Luckily she believes she can receive revelation and so we always ask her to pray about what we have taught and she called and invited us to lunch on Thursday with her other church members. ha ha ha. She is not one to bible bash, which is great, so I trust that this lunch date is just to get together with friends!!!  I'm praying for that:)  But during the teaching practice time the spirit was so strong and I know that all of us missionaries left with a greater understanding of how to teach our investigators!!!!!
    Sadly 2 of our baptism preparing investigators dropped us.... I was not able to meet them very much because they were always busy these past 2 weeks that I have been here but my companion was HEART BROKEN. I just feel so bad for her!!!!!! I know how she feels. She loved these two and did so much for them and has worked so hard for them. We were walking home from talking to people on the street and she had her head down and then threw up her hands and in the cutest English (she never speaks English) says "WHERE IS GOD?!?!?!Why cant we baptize like those in the bible. Why is it so hard?".  I too had my head down searching my head for the right answers.... I wanted to slap her butt and say "what do you mean 'where is God'". But I knew that was not what she meant by that comment. I said in Korean "You know he is there. He is working harder than us. But its not going to be easy. We wouldn't learn anything". It was a testimony builder to me. I told her the miracles were there. She agreed. And I asked her "So what do we need to do to have those miracles?". She knew all the answers:) So do I. ever since then we have worked even harder. I have realized on my mission that God is NEVER gone. His miracles are JUST as great as Moses and Noah and during the times of Christ. But we just have to RECOGNIZE them. They are there.
    My amazing Choi family are really helping us with missionary work right now. Today is Heidi's birthday and Hoons was 4 days ago and we meet together a lot. They are the ones in our ward really focused on missionary work. I was reading Shmees letter thinking she was saying what she was WISHING her members would do. ha ha ha. No way is that real.... I wish I could print that off and give it to my members and say "SEE!!!!!! THIS IS WHAT YOUR SUPPOSED TO DO". Ha ha ha. No I would never do that. But for members in Korea missionary work is a little different. They are amazing missionaries we just have to help them to do it. I have noticed missionary work is different here than Mokpo... we were  the highest member lessons a week in mokpo with about 5-6 a week and now I'm lucky if I get 3 a week. We have really been putting a focus on member lessons and church attendance. Getting our members to come to church and helping our investigators come to church is our focus on helping them come to Christ and then will be right on our way to help them be baptized!!!! God is always SO happy when his children get baptized and I think he deserves to see it soon in the Gwanju area:)
    Sadly my miracle street contact who came to church last week was not able to come this week because she was preparing for a HUGE test..,.. gotta love the school system in Korea.... ha ha. But she is still great. Hoping to meet with her on Thursday:)Please pray for us to be able to meet with her!!!!!!!!!! Our other investigators are amazing and such a blessing. I love meeting with them. Also our less actives are a bit stingy on coming back to church but they are so great. Our Asia mission has started a new church program where we meet with new members and less actives to teach them all the lessons again and meet with them once a week for 3 months. Its an AMAZING program. Truly inspired. Our retention in Korea is....... sad...... really sad... but I feel like this new program is inspired and will truly bless Korea!!!!!. I am so happy to see the progression in this ward and in our mission and in Korea since I have first gotten here. God is truly helping us and the work is truly hastening. We had zone conference this last week and I was able to do a training that really helped even me and our AP's and President did an incredible training!!!!!! Truly amazing. I just love it. I love this area. Hoon and Heidi are really helping us and they have already given us SO many referrals. They are so kind. They said "president told us you were crying in his office because you feel like you work so hard but do see any baptism is and we want to help with that before you go". I was thinking,  "umm thanks pres. for telling the world my secret feelings"  ha ha.  But I'm glad they want to help me. Love them so much because I told them, its not in helping me, its in helping the people they love come to Christ. That's what it is all about!!!!! Bringing Gods Children to him. I LOVE this work. I have made some great goals to help accomplish that and I have stepped it up. It feels good to just give it all to the Lord. I love this work!!!!!  
    I just love my Savior. I was able to reflect this week again on why I chose to serve a mission. Its because I love the Lord. Simple as that. I love my Savior and so I will serve him by helping his children come to him:) I LOVE boldly telling people to repent, come to Christ, attend church and get baptized. I just feel so good doing it and I wont stop. NEVER:) I love working with a bold missionary and us just telling to come unto Christ even if they think we are crazy and turn us down, we are doing it. I love my companion. And She loves me. It is truly amazing how we have this Christ like love for each other. She makes me so happy and she loves me.  And I love her. She is one of my miracles.
    God gives me so many miracles every day and I am so thankful. 
    Well, I'm out:) Gotta go get someone in the water;) ha ha ha ha. Just kidding. Its more than that:) I'm out to go tell them they have a GOD who LOVES THEM!!!!!!!! God loves you too Mom, Dad, Sammy, Bubba, and Shmee. I know it. Keep the faith:) Live the faith!!!!!!
    To the moon and Back!
    Sister Collie Ensign