Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Letter from Elder Rife~April 26, 2011

Sorry this email is coming so late! Our schedules have been completely changed. The schedule that I have been used to for the last five weeks is now gone. They changed our meal times, our gym times, and they got rid of MDT (missionary directed time). They also changed some of the curriculum. So we'll see how it goes!

Tuesdays are still P-days but our temple time got changed from 3 PM to 6:50 AM. And since we like to do laundry early in the morning so it's not busy we got up today at 4:50 to get it done before the temple. Then after the temple we decided to eat breakfast in the temple cafeteria which was amazing! The food was seriously so much better than what we eat in the MTC cafeteria. I think it's because they don't have to feed 2000 starving people at the temple We're going to do that on every P-day from now on.

Another thing that is changing around here is the cafeteria.. They are renovating about 3/4 of the cafeteria and so they are cutting down on the different things that they will cook. So if it's at all possible, could you send me a package sometime this week with healthy snacks and things that will hold me off if I don't eat a meal in the cafeteria? Also some fire jolly ranchers would hit the spot. I hate to ask for more things since you guys take such good care of me but these next few weeks will be rough with the cafeteria down.

Also, I told the people in my district that Dad wrote a book on the Christlike attributes and now they all want a copy. If you could at some point send 8 copies of your book (signed, of course) then I will give them to the elders and sisters in my district and keep one for myself. Like I said, I feel bad asking for more stuff when you guys take such good care of me. Thanks so much for all you do for me.

As you know, we have a devotional every Sunday night and every Tuesday night. Last Tuesday we had the opportunity to hear from Elder Richard G. Scott. It was incredible. The second he walked in the room it just went absolutely silent and you could feel of his spirit. He shared many scriptures with us and urged us countless times to remember to write down our spiritual experiences. He said that if we write down our experiences then we can enjoy and remember them for the rest of our lives. He also urged us to not just say prayers in our heads for personal prayer but to try to actually say them out loud, which I had never really thought about before. Later on Elder Scott had all the missionaries who are learning a language stand up. He said, "Using the priesthood keys I have been given by the Lord I confer upon you the gift of tongues. This does not mean that you don't have to study hard. But if you study hard and pray for the gift of tongues I promise you will learn your language." He then bore a powerful testimony and closed. It was amazing.

This last Sunday we had a brother named Stephen B. Allen speak to us. He shared several simple quotes with us that he used when producing LDS commercials. I'll list a few of them here.
"When everything says you can't, believe in the part of you that says you can."
"It's not who you aren't, it's who you are. Being yourself is great."
"Sometimes the most important thing you can share is yourself."
He also said a few other things that stood out to me. He urged us to finish everything we ever commit to doing and to do it our best. Then he talked about how three years from now we will forget the hardships and trials and only remember the joys and good experiences. I think that's true with any hard thing. After it's over we only remember the good times and we forget all of the bad times (probably because we don't want to remember them). The last thing he said before he closed is "buckle down and forget yourself." I think that might be the best advice of all. This mission isn't about me it's about the people I'm serving and the Lord.

Yesterday we taught our progressive investigator and it had to be all in Korean. Mostly we just shared scriptures and asked questions. It's definitely a struggle to put together a sentence that makes sense when I'm in the heat of the moment but I'm sure I'll get better. We teach the whole first lesson about the Restoration this Saturday, all in Korean. Hopefully I can make some progress in the next few days. It's incredible how much more I can understand. It's still hard to speak though.

Anyway, I better go now and study some Korean. We have a fireside in about an hour that I'm looking forward to. They never tell us who the speakers are so it's kind of fun to go and see who will speak to us. It's funny how the things that you get excited for change so much when you become a missionary. I never thought I'd be excited to wake up at the crack of dawn and read my scriptures, but I am. I never thought I'd be excited to go to a fireside/devotional on a Tuesday night, but I am.

I love you all so much! Keep the letters and Dear Elders coming. I love to hear from everyone! Thanks for all the support and prayers. I'm so grateful for all the support I have.

-Elder Rife

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