Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Letter from Elder Rife~March 29, 2011

Hey!! I'm alive.

Wow. What a week. They say the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days. Definitely true. This week has been crazy. Study study study. Everything is going well though so far. I haven't gotten too homesick or anything. It's been hard at times as I was expecting it to be. Especially being so close to home. But I know why I'm here and I know that I'm in the right place right now. We have 30 minutes on the computers so I can't write everyone back individually. I'm gonna write more letters today though that should get home tomorrow or the next day.

First of all I just want to say thank you for all the support! I seriously am so blessed to have as many people writing me and expressing their love to me as I do. I have like triple the number of letters, DearElders, and packages of anyone here. Letters really do help me so keep the DearElders and letters coming. I'll try to write everyone back in actual letters since I don't have time to email. Also, thanks so much for putting notes in my suitcase. Wednesday night was an interesting night and it was so good to have the support and love of my family. Real quick there are just a few things that I need. A hand towel, multivitamins, protein bars from Costco, and those little flossing things. I would also love a hoodie. It has been freezing here and my thermometer says that it's 62 degrees in our room!

Anyway, I have learned so much here already. I've been reading lots of talks from the Ensign book Hillary's mom made for me. Especially since we have conference coming up this week. Anyone who writes me next week should tell me their favorite talk from conference. If any of you want to read my favorite talks from what I've been reading out of the Ensign they are all four of Elder Holland's talks in the last four conferences, Elder Rasband's "The Divine Call of a Missionary," Elder Uchtdorf's "Of Things that Matter Most," and Elder Uchtdorf's "Continue in Patience." They have all helped to me know why I am here and have helped me to get through this tough first week. I hope that you can read some of these and let the Spirit point things out that apply to you.

We had Mission Conference the other night where Sister Nally spoke and she told us how she loved Mount Timpanogos. Then she said that she and her husband bought a lot for a new house and as they were driving away she realized she had forgotten to see if they had a good view of Timp. When they went back they realized that there was a smaller, less pretty mountain standing in the way of her view of Timp. She likened this to us missionaries in that The Lord is Mount Timpanogos and some of us are letting things get in our view of Him, like homesickness and stuff like that. It really helped me to realize that I am here on the Lord's time. Not mine. So when I'm wasting time that I could be using studying Korean I am wasting the Lord's time. I want to be the best Korean speaker I can so I need to be using the Lord's time to the fullest.

We also had a meeting with President Shin on Sunday. He spoke to us about many things but at a certain point he had me stand and asked me what my full name was. I said, "Michael Lincoln Rife." Then he said, "For the next two years you aren't Michael Lincoln Rife. You are Elder Rife. You are a new person and you can decide now to be the best missionary you can be." I really like this advice. I'm not Michael right now. I'm Elder Rife and I have a purpose. To bring others unto Christ so that they can be saved. Also, at the end of district meeting President Shin asked me to pray. I did it in Korean and afterwords he told everyone in our district that they need to sound more like me. I have less of an American accent and already sound somewhat like a Korean. Kinda cool.

Korean is coming along well. It just makes sense to me. I spend more time in class helping others pronounce and remember stuff than I actually do learning. It's all kinda been a review so far but it has been good to review everything. The sentence structure is making sense to me though now I just need to memorize words and stuff. I'm supposed to meet with someone in the next day or two to see if I can go early. I'll let you know!

Well I'm about out of time now. I love you all and am so thankful for all the support that I have! I know I'm doing the Lord's work. Please continue to pray for missionaries because we definitely need it. Also, keep the letters coming! Thanks for everything.
The Church is true. I know it.

-Elder Rife

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