Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Letter from Elder Rife~May 31, 2011

One week from right now I will be in Korea! I'm so excited. So my next email will be coming from Korea. I can't wait. I'm excited to have to give someone a Book of Mormon right off the bat. It's gonna be so much fun to just go up to people and talk to them even though they probably won't understand what I'm saying. Ha. I have a lot of progress I need to make! I feel like my Korean speaking has gotten a lot better in the last few weeks. I'm definitely not fluent or anything but I can communicate. I can talk about the gospel in Korean pretty well but that's because most of the vocabulary I know is Church-oriented.

I got my travel plans last Thursday. We leave on Monday, June 6th at about 1:30. Which means that we will leave the MTC at about 10 in the morning. We are on Delta, which isn't as good as Korean Air, but oh, well. We fly straight to Tokyo and have a 3-4 hour layover there and then we fly to Incheon. We'll get to Incheon at about 7 o'clock at night on Tuesday the 7th. I'm excited! I've heard that we stay at the mission president's house for a couple of days. I'm excited to find out who my trainer is and what area I will be assigned to. Hopefully I get assigned to an area where my dad has served or something. I think that would be really cool.

Last Tuesday Elder Russell M. Nelson spoke to us. It was really good. Hopefully we get another apostle tonight since it's our last devotional! I'll write down some of the thoughts that I had/wrote down in my journal.

-We're here because we covenanted with Christ to serve Him in the premortal existence.
-Obedience brings blessings. Exact obedience brings miracles.
-Our investment in our missions will pay rich dividends in our success in life.
-The study habits we learn as missionaries will help us with our future career paths.
-Keep track of your converts, they are your children in the church.
-Having character is better than being one.
-Always be ready to tell people who we are and why we are serving a mission.
-Tell everyone that "We Follow Jesus Christ."
-Know who you are and what God expects you to be.

Last week's TRC was the best one yet. It was really good to see Sonhee Cho! It's always nice to see a familiar face. We taught the Restoration lesson to a middle aged Korean woman. I felt like my Korean was a lot better than it was the previous Saturday. I can get my message across, but I want to be able to say EVERYTHING that I want to say. I guess that will come with more practice though. Sometimes it gets frustrating when you can't say what you really want to say. Once we got to the point in the lesson where we were talking about Joseph Smith, I recited the first vision in Korean. I tried to keep eye contact the whole time so that she could really feel of my testimony as she listened to the words. Once I had finished she had tears in her eyes. It felt so good to actually be teaching with the spirit. Even if she was just being a pretend investigator for us. I can't wait for the opportunity to teach a real investigator in Seoul! It will be harder for sure but it will be so much more rewarding.

Well, my life is about to change bigtime. I haven't been back to Korea in 7 years. I'm seriously so excited. Whenever I get discouraged with Korean I just think that I have been blessed to have lived there and understand a little bit of the culture and stuff. I have such an advantage in that I can understand Korean pretty well. I'm so thankful for that. I still have so much to learn and I can't wait to learn more. I can't wait for the day that I can just speak Korean and say whatever I want to say. That will be amazing. I feel like I've built a good foundation, but now it's time to take it to the next level.

Anyway, I don't have much else to say this week. I can't wait to go to Korea! I'm pretty sure my P-day is on Monday. One of our teachers right now has been home from the Seoul mission for 4 months so he told us about the mission president and stuff. He said that President Lee's first rule is for his missionaries to be happy. He sounds like a pretty nice guy. I'm not exactly sure when I will get to write home. I would assume that I get to write back when I get there to say that I made it safe and sound. But since we will miss the Monday P-day I might not get to write home till June 12th. I'll take lots of pictures and I hope I can email them home!

I love you all! Thanks for the prayers and support!

- Elder Rife

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