Introducing Sister Sierra Brooksby...

Hello my beautiful Brothers and Sisters!
I am Sister Sierra Brooksby! I suppose it's that time... Time to write and introduction and tell you all about myself. To be honest, theres a lot to say about me! I suppose the thing you'd want to know though, is where I am serving and when! I will be reporting to the Provo MTC On December 30th, 2015. I will be serving in the Seoul Korea South mission. It's a very exciting call for me and I'm totally pumped to share the gospel with my Korean friends!
For more information about all my adventures, keep up on my lovely blog which will, with great hope, be weekly maintained by my gorgeous mother. So you all soon! ;) Stay strong!

Here is the address you can write a letter to me:
Sister Sierra Brooksby Mar01-Kor-seos
2005 North 900 East Unit 8 Provo Utah 84602

Mission Address: (After March)
Sister Sierra Brooksby
Korea Seoul South Mission
29 wiryeseong-daero 22-gil songpa-gu Seoul
teukbyeolsi 05655 South Korea

Monday, July 25, 2016

And Then.... She Bit Me. July 24 2016

Hello friends, family, brothers and sisters in the lovely world of "Children of God"!
Its been another awesome week here in Pyeongtaek! In fact, its been a week of miracles. Though I cant claim that there were any more miracles than any other week, but I can say I've been working a lot harder to recognize them, which brings more blessings and happiness to this work!

Let's start off by addressing the title of this email. After we got our groceries last Monday we were carrying the bags back to the house. At the stoplight my companion was saying I needed to give her more bags to carry because I had more. She tried to take it from me and it didn't work, so in her frustration, in an effort to get me to let go, she bit me! I didn't let go, but I looked at her for a moment and there was silence, then I laughed and asked "Did you just bite me?" To which she responded something to the effect of my stubbornness driving her to it. So, yes, I was bitten by my companion. It was a bite full of love though, I'm sure. 

Last Monday I made my companion's day. We had a fun time as I had a little mini-performance and sang some Broadway songs for her. She laughed a lot and also demanded I do it weekly. So after we finish here and get groceries I will probably sing for her again. Its really fun and she says it makes her day. Don't forget everyone, its always important to laugh. XD

We were walking to a members house to have a practice lesson with her, and then we started talking with a lady and we walked and talked together, and we passed the members house, and kept walking for about 7 more minutes. Then we finally parted ways and we went to go to the member's house and I got totally lost. We wandered for around 15 minutes before we got there! XD
We got lost on another occasion, we went to visit a member and went a back way to try and get to the apartment, but it took us right past the back of the apartment and we couldn't go through! So we ended up walking another 20 minutes to get back around to where we needed to be! That was fun. Don't trust secret back roads, even if you think they will take you where you need to go.
On another occasion we were walking to the bus stop when I looked back and saw the bus we needed to take was going to pass us, so we ran like crazy people (grinning as we ran) and ended up missing the bus. So we waited for the next one, got on, and the miracle was that there was a girl on the bus we were able to talk to. She lives in the Seoul mission, so we referred her up that way, but it was a great miracle to meet her!
On Saturday we heart attacked a returning member. Her baby boy was sick this week and she was down and out as well. After we heart attacked her house we were walking and we went into a store to get some water when someone greeted us. We turned to look and lo and behold her husband was there! He was taking the baby out for a walk when he saw us and wanted to talk with us. So, we talked with him for a bit and parted ways. Super great!
Yesterday morning my companion came up to me with her skirt in her hand that she had been ironing. With a sad puppy expression she showed it to me, specifically the lovely hole she had accidentally burned in it with the iron. Poor Sister Park! XD 

On saturday
 at our ward gathering the Elders showed everyone magic. There are 9 cards, one Elder left and the observers chose a card. Then we invited the Elder that was gone back to look at the cards. His companion pointed at random cards and would ask "Is this the card?" Until when he got to the right card he would say "Yes" and guess the card right every time. All the observing members were totally bewildered! My companion as well. I played when I was little so I knew how to do it, but it was exceptionally fun to watch my companion and another ward member contemplate the trick. On Sunday as well they played again and even now they don't know the secret. The Elders and I are having too much fun with it. 
Last night we had a fireside with Mark Peterson, a professor at BYU who teaches Korean. He told great stories and talked about how to help Less actives and Inactives come back to church. Our ward sang a special musical number for him (the one we sang for ward conference) and it went very well! 

So in a nutshell, this week was great. We have two new investigators, and are working on finding some more! We are looking forward to the many miracles that await us and know that they will come. If I was to share one impression I've had this week I will share with you a thought I wrote in my planner a few days back. 
"Maybe its not always the best thing we could do, but if we choose a path God helps us along that path because He knows how even that path connects back to the one He originally planned for us." Friends and family, if you feel like you may be on the wrong path, or maybe even just not the BEST path, just trust in God. Trust in your Savior. In the eyes of God any and every path can lead back to Him, we just have to be willing to follow. There is no road too narrow, no street too far, no line too far from the reach of a loving Heavenly Father. The reason the Atonement of the Savoir is so amazing is not because it helps perfect people keep being perfect, its because it helps imperfect people become better. He is the ultimate layer of the stones in our life if we let Him. It won't be an easy path, but it will be His path, so you can trust that as you follow that path He will safely guide you home. 
I look forward to my Heavenly home, but until then, I enjoy my earthly path. I love you all, I hope you have an amazing week.


Monday, July 18, 2016

So Much to do So Little Time July 17th 2016

Welcome everyone to my email of the week! I hope you feel welcomed, because for the next however long it takes you to read this, you will be in my world.
In my world, first off I have to rewrite practically every sentence because I don't speak English very well anymore. I speak only Korean most of the time. My companion and I switch off Korean days and English days, and English days are harder for me!

So, first off we met with a less active this week and ate lunch with her. She has a dog and her dog gets really excited when new people come. Sometimes a little too excited. We sat down to eat and my poor companion's socks got a little wet and it wasn't water. The member get her new socks and everything. It was really funny. XD
We had our first 12 week evaluation last Wednesday. Its just a practice lesson where the new missionary says small memorized phrases in the language they are learning. Sister Park was so stressed, but she did well and it was good. Though our 훌융항 DL and his companion kept laughing about odd things (not about her English) during the lesson! I guess it helped to lighten the mood and not make her so tense. 

On Wednesday night we got home at around 4:30 but for some reason I thought it was 5:30. Totally threw me off, but I got to sleep a little longer than I thought so that was nice. My companion laughed at me when I realized we had more time for dinner than I thought.
On the way to Zone conferece on Thursday we took the subway. I kept thinking, "Okay we need to get off at 병점 station." So we got off. But, after getting off I realized that was not at all the right station! So, I thought we should go try and take a bus. When we got to the bus stop there were no buses going where we needed to go! So we were about to go back into the station when someone asked if we were missionaries from the church. We responded that we were and he said that he had moved there 10 years ago and that he didn't think there was a church nearby. So we gave him the Elder's # for that area and got his number so he can start coming out to church! It was a really big miracle! So maybe we weren't supposed to get off at that stop to get to a physical destination, but Heavenly Father surely guided us to a spiritual one! 

Before zone conference we were asked to read a talk from the last GC and prepare a 5 minute talk on how it relates to us as missionaries. There were 2 districts assigned to each talk and one person chosen from each talk to speak. As it turns out, I was chosen to speak XD I started by saying "I thought that maybe since I've already talked a lot this Zone Conference I wouldn't have to talk." Well, I don't actually think that's how it works, because obviously its not, but you know, its worth a shot.

At one point this week (while we were waiting for our DL who ended up being 30 minutes late to do a baptismal interview haha) my companion looked at me and asked "How are you just so happy all the time?" Well folks, I can tell you the reason is precisely because of something else my companion said to me one night. "You just think about church things all the time." And I have to say, my friends, that is why I am happy. There's nothing in life that brings be more joy than the gospel of Jesus Christ. Nothing makes more sense to me, nothing relates better to me, nothing has as much worth to me as the very joyous news I am proclaiming to the people of Korea. Everything I do, every question I have, every path I take, it all has something to do with my Father in Heaven and my Savior. I wouldn't have it any other way.

So! Saturday we joined the RS sisters and made Korean Rice cakes! It was a bunch of fun! Also way interesting. I really like rice cakes. Most people told me it would be hard to learn how to make them, but its actually more simple than you think! 

After the RS activity we had a baptism for our investigator! It was great! All her Primary classmates sang for her. :) Super cute. She looked way happy! My previous companion also came from her home in Seoul to see the baptism. It was good to see her, and odd. Its for sure not the same when people don't have that missionary light! But she's just the same person as before haha.

We made the Han river in our house a few days ago. 
Our washer is now broken. 
It was definitely not my fault. 

So that's my week! Its been lots of fun, lots of hard stuffs, but mostly just great! Keep up life everyone! 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

And Thus.. It Begins... July 11th 2016

Hello one and all! Its a long awaited email, I'm sure.

So this past Monday we had shabu shabu with our bishop! It was a lot of fun! Super yummy!!!! I love that stuff. After that, we came home and my companion cut my hair. She chopped more that I expected, but its still long, I'll live. XD 
Tuesday we were going to send Sister Hwangs' boxes and bags, but we weren't sure how early the guy would come, so we went out at 6:45 in our pajamas and got tape from a convenience store. Woot. We actually ended up waiting a long time, so we studied, but couldn't leave till we came. So we did some other things, pushed our appointment back an hour, etc. We ended up just leaving for the appointment, and while meeting we got a call from the guy, so we finished up and had to go back home to meet him there. 
We met a member that night, and while we were sharing a message we heard this big bang/popping noise and smelled smoke! The dishwasher totally flipped out, but thankfully there was no fire. Its funny though, because they never even use the dishwasher. They called someone, but we left before we found out why it did that.
Wednesday we had transfers! We had to go early, so we woke up at 5:30. XP Life. On the way to Youngdungpo we were walking by a water spout in the ground and there were a bunch of pigeons, and since my comp is scared of birds we went another way, but just as we walked past it the water spouted and the birds all flew up and my companion freaked out and ducked almost into the fetal position. It was really funny.
We got there and no one was there yet, so we sat outside and waited. Then other sisters showed up and sister Hwang and I parted and I went with the other sisters who were training to the mission home.

 We all had interviews with the president. Usually we don't do that, but because he's new he wanted to get to know the trainers a bit more and have interviews with us so he would know who we should serve with.
We waited while everyone else had their interviews. The new missionaries came in and we met all of them. It was really interesting because we talked with them and stuff, and after 3 minutes of being with them I already knew which of the 3 sisters would be my new companion. 
After, we went and ate lunch together. I sat across from the sister who I knew would be my comp, and it was funny I had to stop myself from saying "When we get back to our area" while we were talking. 
We got some training all together, split up as trainers/trainees, got more training, came back, and then got assigned to our new companions. It was just as I felt. My new companion is Sister Park. She's 21, from Jinju. Her original mission call was to the Los Angeles, California mission, but she will be here in Korea until she gets her Visa which is taking longer than anticipated, and she hasn't been to the MTC yet. So, when I say I'm training a new missionary, I mean, NEW. It hasn't even been a full week since she was set apart! She's fun though. Working very hard on her English. We are having Sparta over here. XD 
So, we got divided into companionships and got more training. Then, after we got some stuff from the office and headed out! She doesn't have a nametag yet, so she's borrowing mine. We took her suitcases and headed home. We dropped her stuff off, then went to English class. 
Day 2 We got up and worked out. I showed her the 7 minute workout and stuff. Then we studied and headed to District meeting. This transfer our district and one next to ours got combined, so the Ansong Elders were headed to our area. Turns out, they called us and they had gone to the wrong church building! Then, come to find out after we had waited even longer, they tried to head back, but got on the bus the wrong way, and they didn't show up until 2 and a half hours after we were supposed to have District meeting! So that was an adventure! 
After, we ate dinner with the couple missionaries which was fun because they don't speak Korean and my companion hardly speaks English! XD
We had a practice lesson with a member the next day. It was really good for Sister Park to start practicing teaching. 
We met with a less active, 이유진 자매님 who moved to our ward a little over year ago, and the ward she originally attended was in Cheonan! Where Haley served! She even said she remembered Haley. That was way cool!
Yesterday was a really great day! We had 6 less actives at church, one of whom the Elders have been working with for the past 2 months who had said when they first started meeting that, in essence, he would attend our ward over his dead body. Seeing him in church with his wife and newborn baby was picturesque! It made all of us missionaries so happy!

That's about it for this week! We are going to go grocery shopping and take a nap!!!!! 

Love you all!!


Monday, July 4, 2016

And Transfer 4 is Coming to an End With a Bang! July 4th 2016

Well, the transfer isn't over just yet, but its been awesome! We got transfer calls Saturday, but I'll get to that at the end.
This past Monday we met with my companions 2 MTC companions and their companions and ate lunch together. It was a fun time. The Koreans all chatted together while the 3 Americans chatted. I asked the other 2 sisters a bunch of fun questions and we had a great time talking. 
Then we went to go visit (suddenly) a less active sister and we got on the bus headed to her house when my companion nudged me and pointed to someone. It was the less active we were going to visit! She was on her way somewhere else, so it was a great miracle that we were able to meet her on the way!
We were going to meet another member who lives inside the army base another day, but we have to wait in the building for her to escort us inside, we ended up waiting 20 minutes and one of the guys at the desk asked "Are you missionaries?" And he asked a few questions about us and stuff. They see the Elders there often.
We had our last district meeting on Wednesday! We ate lunch as a district with the couple missionaries before, it was fun! We finally got the district picture we haven't taken for 3 months!
Sister Hwang went to go print pictures at a shop, and we accidentally left her SD card there, so we had to go back and get it haha.
After weekly planning on Friday we spent 2 hours writing message cards for the members. My hand hurt so bad.  I don't want to write anything else for a very long time! But the members really appreciate it. 
We had a 'Meet the President' meeting this Saturday. We practiced our song for him for an hour before, its always really easy to feel the spirit as we sing. I love songs. Especially ones about the Savior. The meeting started with President shaking each of our hands and talking to us one by one. His wife talked with us as well. :) Very sweet. It was cool because when he came in the room I looked in his eyes and I could see one thing written there "These are my missionaries" FULL of pride in us. It was really cool.
We had pizza for lunch, then after we played a game. It was to get to know the president. You had to chose X or O side of the gym and you had to chose with your companion together. There were some great yes or no questions about them. We didn't win, but we sure had fun hehe.
Saturday night, transfer calls came. 
Sunday we went to the American branch in the morning. It was so fun to her the little kids testimonies! There were about 12 of them that got up to tell us how they knew the church was true! They were so adorable. I miss that about America haha.

So! Transfer calls!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday night we waited patiently. 9:30..... 9:50..... 10:15... 10:25.... We started texting our leaders to find out why it was taking so long. We got a text that the new mission president was taking longer and not to go to sleep until we got the calls. So at roughly 10:40 we got a call, but it wasn't the AP.
It was President Turner.
He talked to Sister Hwang for a moment about finishing her mission then addressed me saying something to the effect of "Sister Brooksby, the Lord has called you and would like you to serve as a trainer." 
So friends, family, everyone, I have been called to train one of the 3 Korean sisters who will be arriving here. I'm so excited! Its gonna be so great!!! I've always wanted to train! This will be Korean companion 3/3 XD All Koreans hehe.

That's it for this week! Love you all!

The Farewell Preparation June 26, 2016

Hello everyone! I hope you're all having an amazing week! I know I am! :D

So our mission president is going home in 2 days. Its been so great to have him as our mission president and I know everyone here will miss him a bunch! My companion had her exit interview with him this past Friday and she was the last person he interviewed. My companion is also going home at the end of the transfer- next Wednesday- along with two other Elders in my District. So we are all getting ready for them to leave. Its a bittersweet time in the mission for sure, but we are all looking forward with readiness to see the new growth and change in the mission! There's a lot of new, exciting things lying ahead, and I'm so excited to see them!
Also, we had ward conference, and the Bishop was released and a new bishop (the old WML) is the new Bishop now! So there's some newness there too. 
This week We met with lots of members and Less actives. Its also the start of typhoon season here, so its going to rain like crazy for the next 3 weeks! Then it will be super hot and humid. I can't say I look forward to that at all, but gratefully that time will pass super quickly. I'm not a fan of heat haha. 
We met with an American family who attends the Korean ward and I was talking the the 5 year old son. He was telling me about food. He said "Rice is an American food, and meat is a Korean food." So I asked him "Well, what about steak?" And he responded "Steak is... steak."  XD So adorable.
I went to the dentist this week for a filling that fell out. Its funny because our old bishop is the secretary there XD then they told me only to eat soft things for a while, but right after we had the appointment we were going to eat and ended up eating meat and rice. I chewed on the other side though! So its okay.
We were visiting a less active, but they didn't answer the door, so we decided to call. We dialed the number, then heard ringing! So both of us were like, what?! And we heard someone pick up the ringing phone, but ours was still dialing. So it was a weird coincidence. Crazy timing phone call. XD 
Hmmm... I usually write what I'm going to email about, but I didn't this week, so I forgot most of what I was going to say! Maybe instead I will tell you about what I learned this week.
I've been thinking a lot about baptizing every week- because its a great goal! But also not an easy one to accomplish. I've been thinking about it in terms of faith before. I know that God will help us do what He asks us to do as we work hard to accomplish it, and I have faith in His promises. A few days ago I was brushing my teeth, thinking about it again and a thought came to my mind. "You just need to be more patient." I know that God's timing is different than mine, but I think I wasn't applying to the idea of baptizing every week. I mistakenly thought that as we receive the command we can say as Nephi in 1 Ne 3:7. But in relation to patience I also thought about how Nephi and his brothers tried 2 times before they got the plates. Nephi undoubtedly had faith that they COULD obtain the plates, but even he didn't know WHEN. We can and will baptize every week, but that may not happen for a while. Until then I need to work to prepare myself and my investigators for that moment. 
On another note, I've also studied about love, charity, and service. As a missionary, its easy to think that the big events on your mission are what make you a good missionary. Its easy to focus on what you think will make you successful. There's so much more to it than that. My goal before my mission was to follow God and do as He would have me do. I wanted to be an influence on others for good the way He wants me to. My goal has not changed, it just means even more to me now than it did before. I just want to do what He wants me to do. Even if what He wants me to do is the simple, every day things that people don't see. Even if its just that I can bear testimony every day to the people on the street, to my companion, and to myself. Even if everything I do here seems like it will have no lasting effect, I will do it. Because that's why I came here. 
Also, I was reading the book about President Howard W Hunter. Page 155, whatever chapter that is, talks about "True greatness". And how true greatness is not found in the large things we do, but in the simple every day things. I want to be the kind of missionary who is truly great. I want to serve and love in the simple ways, the way Christ would, with His love. Each and every one of us can serve that way, not only on a mission, but in our normal lives. As we look to serve and uplift those around us we will find that we lose ourselves. We will focus not on what ails us, but what heals them, and find that healing comes to us in return.
A lot of missionaries that return home are scared. They are scared about college, dating, money, etc sure, but I will tell you what they are the most scared of: themselves. When you serve a mission, you serve a mission. If you're really serving the way you need to serve, you won't focus on yourself, but on others. Every thought, idea, energy, is spent for others. You don't worry about your needs, or your wants. And then, you go home. You don't have anyone else to thing about. You have yourself. That's why its scary. 
So friends and family, if you find yourself worrying too much, or that you're too stressed, its because you're thinking too much about yourself. You want to be happy? Stop thinking about YOU! That's what will make you happy. The reason happy missionaries are happy is because they spent their time thinking about how to make others happy. 
Of course, I'm not perfect. Sometimes, I'm selfish. Sometimes, I'm prideful. I don't always serve, and I don't always do what's right. So maybe I'm not the authority on love, service, and perfection, but I have experienced happiness. I hope you are all happy, and that you find yourself as you lose yourself! I love you all! Have a great week!

Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah for Israel!