Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Letter from Elder Rife~May 3, 2011

Sorry last week's email came so late! We had our new schedule and I didn't get a chance to be on a computer for a long time. The rest of my emails while I'm at the MTC will be coming at this time.

This last week was really good. I felt like we made more progress last week than we have in any other week so far. It was definitely a lonely week, though, since the older donggi left last week. It has just been the 15 of us for the last 8 days or so. We are getting 12 new missionaries tomorrow; my companion and I will have to give them an orientation. Starting in the next week or two we will also be hosting new missionaries as they come in on Wednesdays which should be fun. Our classroom window looks out at the front of the MTC so it's fun to watch the new missionaries come in and think about how I felt when I was coming in to the MTC. It seems like it was sooooo long ago but at the same time it feels like it was like yesterday. It's a weird feeling.

Last Tuesday we had another apostle give our devotional; this time it was Elder Oaks. He was amazing! He talked a lot about the spirit and gave us a lot of good advice. I forgot to bring my notes to the computer lab with me so I can't share some of the things he said, but my favorite thing he said was, "The Lord helps those who help themselves." I think this is so true. The Lord isn't going to help someone who doesn't even put forth the effort to try. When we take things into our own hands and put forth all of our effort the Lord will make up for that which we cannot do (which is usually a lot). I hope that another apostle comes tonight!

Last Saturday we taught the first lesson in Korean in the TRC. I was a little bit worried to teach a whole lesson that is hard to teach in English, in Korean. We rely so much more on the scriptures and on the Spirit when we teach in another language. I am so thankful that I get to learn Korean and teach the people of Korea in their own language. Going stateside would be cool too, but I am seriously so glad that I'm going to Korea. It's amazing how if you put forth your faith and effort that the Lord will help you out and never leave you hangin'.

When we went into the TRC I was trying not to memorize phrases because I want to be able to make my own sentences and "teach people, not lessons." Once we actually got teaching it was amazing how we could say the things we wanted to say. Sometimes is wasn't pretty; the sentences were sloppy and we had to use our hands to describe things. But we got our message across.

We're at the halfway mark now. Which means pretty much everything we do from this point on is going to be in Korean. We're supposed to take the Korean words we learn and replace the English word so that we remember the Korean one. We're supposed to use Korean whenever we can. Our zone has decided to have a couple days a week where we try to have Korean SYL days (Speak Your Language). Before they were calling them English fasts but then everyone would just be quiet and not say anything so my companion and I decided that we will call them Korean days. But if you need to use English you can. We want to set a good example for the younger group when they get here tomorrow.

Not much else to say about this last week. One of the Elders in my district broke his ankle and has to get surgery. He might have to go home for a few weeks and come back and leave with the younger donggi. If so, then it's definitely a bummer. He broke it playing volleyball. I would hate to be in his situation right now. We're just getting used to being away from everything and now he has to go back to his family, then leave them again. We find out today or tomorrow exactly what's going to happen.

Yesterday, I saw David Hayden here on the MTC campus. My dad knows him and I've gotten to know him in the last few months so I stopped him and talked to him for a while. He pulled out his cell phone and asked what my home phone number was. After I told him he said he was going to call them as he left and tell them that I'm doing well. Right after he started walking away I saw him put his phone up to his ear and as he got back into his car I could see him talking to someone from my house (my mom, I think). Then he gave me a thumbs up and kept talking to them. It was weird that he was like fifteen feet away from me and was talking to my family! I'm thankful that I haven't really been homesick since I got here. I was a little bit in the first week but ever since then I haven't been homesick. Even when David was on the phone with my family I wasn't homesick. Not to say I don't miss you all, because I really do miss you all so much! But I am happy where I am and I'll be back with you soon enough. It will be so good to get to talk to you on the phone in six weeks when I'm at the airport. I can't wait to go back to Korea!

Anyway, thanks so much for everything. Thanks for the Easter packages and all the letters and DearElders. It's so amazing to hear from everyone and to hear what you are doing back home. I hope everything is going well. You are all in my prayers! I love you!

-Elder Rife

No comments:

Post a Comment