Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Letter from Elder Rife~April 19, 2011

Another week down! Only like 7 more till I get to go back to Korea. I've definitely got lots of studying to do though. My Korean is for sure getting better but it's not where it needs to be for me to be able to communicate and teach the gospel the way I want to. Next Saturday we teach the first lesson in Korean in the TRC. So I've got some serious work to do in this next week and a half.

Every Tuesday night we have a devotional. Last Tuesday Elder Rasband came. His talk last April was one of my favorite talks ever. It was about the call of missionaries and how the call comes straight from God. It was an amazing talk. The speakers always emphasize the importance of having the spirit with you and teaching with the spirit. Elder Rasband focused on that. He gave us a 3-part plan to keeping the spirit with us all of the time.
1. Bridle your passions–Especially on your mission. Keep the things you loved before your mission under control. We have to be willing to give up things we love to serve the Lord.
2. Garnish your thoughts–Keep your thoughts clean and don't let your minds wander to things back home more than they should.
3. Ask the Lord–Pray to have the Spirit with you as you learn and teach the gospel.

I thought the devotional was really good. He gave us so much good advice and helped me to realize even more that I need to strive to always have the spirit to be with me as much as I can.

They are changing a lot of things in the MTC and starting a pilot program. I'll talk more about it when I know more about it. But it will be weird because I'm finally getting used to my routine here and it's going to change. Part of the pilot program is having a progressive investigator, which my district already has. We meet with our teacher (who served in the Seoul West mission) and we teach him 4 times each week. He chose four of the investigators that he had on his mission and acts like one of them for each of the four companionships in our district. We have to teach as much as we can in Korean and it's taken pretty seriously. He gave me and my companion his hardest investigator that he had on his mission and no matter what we commit him to do he won't end up doing it. We've met with him four times and have barely made it through the first lesson. He's a 45-year-old Bhuddist who lives with his mom and doesn't have a job or anything. He just likes to exercise. It's cool to get to teach him and feel of the spirit as we teach even though it's just a roleplay type thing. We met with him yesterday morning and as my companion was talking about Joseph Smith he told my companion (in Korean) to stop talking because he would only listen to me when we taught. He wouldn't even shake my companion's hand (which happened in real life). I hope all of that made sense. It's a pretty cool program and it's nice to get to practice what you learn as you teach.

Sunday afternoon I was called to be a Zone Leader. Please pray for me to do well! We're over the Korean zone. The older group leaves next Monday and we get 14 new missionaries on May 4th. Then we get 13 native Koreans three weeks before we go to Korea. I'm really looking forward to the opportunity to serve all the missionaries who are going to Korea. President Shin told me that I'm pretty much just called to be a good example and help people when they need help. Which is totally true. The way I see it I don't have any more authority than any other missionary. I just have more responsibility. Anyway, I'm really excited for the opportunity and I'm sure I'll learn so much. If anyone has any advice for me I'd really love it and would appreciate it.

Last week at the TRC it was pretty easy. The Korean part was easy then we taught the 2nd lesson for our first time. It's incredible how much more you learn when you teach something. And how much more you have to know about it to teach it. I've seriously learned so much in the last month of my life and I feel like I've made so much progress. I can't imagine how much I will have learned after 24 months!

Thanks for all the support I got this week! I feel so loved. There aren't any missionaries in the Korean Zone that get as many letters and packages as I do. Thanks so much for all of the mail and for all of the prayers. I love you all!

-Elder Rife

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