Monday, June 27, 2011

Letter from Elder Rife~June 27, 2011


This last week was pretty eventful. We went to the temple last Monday and had P-Day then just proselyted on Tuesday night. Then Wednesday we had a district meeting and went out to eat lunch together as a district. Then we went out and streetboarded together as a district, which wasn't very effective because it was raining. Then we just contacted the rest of Wednesday.

On Thursday morning my companion woke up and was feeling sick from the food we ate for lunch on Wednesday. The food was cheap and it was a lot of meat and stuff. Anyway, he was really sick. So then I started worrying that I was gonna get sick. I felt great all day but my companion was really sick so we went to the hospital to get medicine for him. Then he just slept and I studied for pass off all day. We still went out at night but it wasn't very effective because he wasn't feeling well at all.

Then Friday morning I woke up soooooo sick. I felt horrible. After that experience I promised myself that I will never eat at super cheap places that sell a lot of meat again. We'll see how long I hold to that promise though, ha; we don't have much money and I am always hungry. So we were in our apartment on Friday till like 5:30 at night. Then we went out to contact but it was rainy and then we ended up eating McDonalds which was not good for my stomach at all. Last week was just a sketchy week food-wise.

But I'm doing great now! And I've been working out every morning doing P90X so I'm trying to not get too skinny. I'm not really that worried about it though. It's one of my sacrifices for the Lord that I don't get to work out for 2 hours a day every day.

Anyway, last week we met with a 45 year old lady who is a former investigator. Sometimes when it's rainy we call former investigators and see if they will meet with us since contacting out on the street isn't effective. She said that she wanted to meet with us so we got a member to come to the church and we waited for her. She came and was pretty much just there to Bible bash with us. It was hard for me to keep up with the conversation. I could understand quite a bit of what was being said but then once I knew what they were saying they had moved on to something else and it was too late for me to say something. Slightly frustrating. Right off the bat though we shared a scripture with her about how contention drives away the spirit and is of the devil because we could tell that she just wanted to argue. She was trying so hard to find things in the Book of Mormon that aren't true. The funny thing is is that she will never find those things. It reminds me of Elder Holland's talk, "Safety for the Soul." He talks about how so many people have tried to prove the Book of Mormon to be a false book but no one has ever been successful. Why? Because it IS true. "A wicked man couldn't write such a book, and a good man wouldn't. Save he were called of God and told to do so." I tried to explain to the lady that we read the Bible and that there are lots of truths in the Bible, but that the bible doesn't contain the FULNESS of the gospel. It was hard for me to communicate so I just wrote down the scripture 1 Nephi 13:20-37 on a piece of paper and gave it to her. Hopefully she'll read it with an open heart.

Last Saturday we got to go eat with a less active family at the Acro-Tower. It's a really expensive apartment building here in Anyang, probably the most expensive. Their apartment was on the 28th floor and had windows looking over the city. Really really cool to look out and see what the father described as "a forest of apartment buildings." Seriously, there are just rows and rows and rows of apartment buildings. I didn't get to take a picture from inside their apartment but this week my Elder Lee and I plan to go back to the Acro-Tower and get up on the 43rd floor and take some pictures. Then I'll post them next week. The family was seriously so nice. They love our church and they love the missionaries. They just don't come to church anymore. It was a mother, father, and daughter. The father worked for Samsung in Santa Barbara and is pretty wealthy. The daughter was visiting from D.C. They all spoke English so it was perfect for me to be able to speak Korean, then if I couldn't say what I wanted to say I could speak English. After we ate the father drove us home in his nice Hyundai car and before we left he told us that they were in America last week and bought us some food. So he gave us a big bag with lots of food in it, including a huge thing of Spam, which my companion loves. They were seriously the nicest family ever; I just don't know how we can get them to come back to church.

While we were at dinner the father asked me what the most difficult thing about my mission was right now, to which I said, "Right now I'm used to the culture, I love the food. The most difficult thing for me is that when we meet with investigators I have so many things that I want to say, but that I can't say because of my lack of Korean speaking." That really is what is the most difficult thing for me right now. I just want to speak! I'm a loud person so it's no fun when I can't say what I want to say. I know that it will come and that I have to have patience. This is probably a good time for me to learn patience.

Yesterday was a really good Sunday. We went to church and then made cookies to take to some of the members. We visited two families. One of them is a young couple that has a 2 year old little girl. They are really nice; they asked me what I like to eat at my apartment that I don't have. I said kimchi, so they gave us tons of kimchi to take home with us. Really nice of them. Then as we were walking over a bridge to go visit another family one of the counselors to the stake president drove by and picked us up and took us to his house. They cooked us tons of chicken and beef and stuff and it was really good. It's so good to be with the members. They really are the best. Now I just need to learn all of their names.

I have a few pictures from yesterday that I will put up on here. Then I have just one picture of the outside of the Acro-tower. The pictures from yesterday are pretty cool. We're on the 17th floor of a really nice apartment complex.

I passed off the second lesson last Friday. I told my companion that I felt bad because I was the reason we got sick. I was praying that there would be a way for me to pass off the second lesson by Friday, then we both got sick and had to stay at home which gave me a lot of time to study. The Lord works in mysterious ways, right? Now I'm trying to do midway pass off on this Thursday. I have to meet with the Zone Leaders and pass off to them. They will ask me to teach 4 random principles from the first two lessons, then recite Joseph Smith's first vision from memory. Then I have to have memorized the "Basic Proselyting Approach" and the "Short version of the first lesson." And all of the vocabulary for the first and second lessons. Pretty intense. I think I can do it. The biggest part is just avoiding being overwhelmed and just believing that I can do it. I seriously have never studied like this in my entire life. Ha.

Well that's about it for this week.. I'm pretty sure that from the second I sent my email last week until now it has been raining. And super windy. I did laundry three days ago and it's just barely getting dry. Miserable. I love Korea with all of my heart but I will never understand not using dryers. Oh well. Like my dad always says, "I'd do anything for the Lord."

Thanks for all of your love and support!

-Elder Rife

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