Monday, August 29, 2011

Letter from Elder Rife~August 29

Hello Everyone!

My second transfer is pretty much done! We get transfer calls tonight. I legitimately have no clue what will happen. I've been in Anyang for two transfers now and I've passed off so it's pretty likely that I will be moved to another area with another new companion. Elder Ishino and I have set some really high goals for next transfer that we think we can hit, so I really want to stay in Anyang for one more before I get transferred. But I have no idea what will happen. We'll get the call tonight though so I'm pretty pumped to find out what will happen!

This week was pretty good. We had temple day, which was awesome, and we also had Zone Conference. Monday was a busy day for us so we really only had 4 days to do missionary work this week. I hate when we only have half of the week to do everything that we need to do, but oh well. I'm realizing that there are things besides missionary work that we have to do. So now when I get to do missionary work I appreciate it more and try to be as effective as humanly possible. We still talked to a lot of people this week even though we only had 4 days to talk to people.

On Tuesday after we went to the temple we went to SoDaeMun to eat lunch with Bishop Cho and Sister Lee, my Korean Grandma and Grandpa. They cooked amazing food for Elder Ishino and me and 4 other missionaries. I felt so grateful for all they they did to cook all that food for us. I tried to wash the dishes for them but they wouldn't let me. Bishop Cho showed me pictures from the last time I was at his house. It was almost exactly 10 years ago and it was so funny to look at all of the pictures. I was so little and fat. haha. I'm so grateful for all of the people I have who support me right now. The Chos really do take such good care of me out here and I wish there was a way to repay them. Their granddaughter Sonhee will be here in about two months and I am so excited to see her! She went to BYU and ate Sunday dinner at my house for several months so I've gotten to know her well.

This Sunday Sara Kang promised us that she would come to church, but she didn't come for the 6th time straight. Not fun. Then after church we got punked by another kid who we were supposed to meet with. Yesterday wasn't the best. But we've been doing a lot of streetboarding and it's such a good way to talk to a lot of people and find new investigators. If Elder Ishino and I stay together we want to streetboard every day in as many as 5 different locations. I'm pretty sure we could set new records for how many people we talk to each week if we can streetboard everyday. I know that wherever I get transferred to will be the right place for me, but right now I feel like I want to have one more in Anyang. We'll see, though!

Not a whole lot happened this week out here. I'm sure a lot will happen in this next week though. Last week I went on splits to another area with an Elder Mersmann. It was fun, but when I got back to Anyang I was glad to be back. After being here for 3 months it really does feel like my home.

My whole family got to stay at our cabin this last week and it was so good to see all the pictures of them! It looked like they had so much fun. I love seeing the pictures of my family. It feels like it's been so long since I've seen my family. It's weird. But I don't really get homesick when I see pictures or anything. I still have a lot that I need to do out here so my mind is pretty preoccupied. Hopefully I still feel like this after I see all the pictures they take on their Disney Cruise. haha.

Sorry there wasn't a whole lot to report this week. There will be more to report next week, especially if I get transferred out of Anyang. Thanks for all of the support and prayers in my behalf and in the behalf of my fam! I love you all!

-Elder Rife

Monday, August 22, 2011

Photos from Korea~August 22, 2011

[Lunch with 조은실.]

[Cool apartments.]

[My usual meal.]

[Last week with Jong-Ho. He's going to Utah on Tuesday]



[The Admiral.]


Letter from Elder Rife~August 22, 2011

I've been out for 5 months now! That's crazy. So last week was okay. We had to do lots of traveling and so we ended up with only 4 days of actual missionary work. When we went to Incheon for my companion's visa we found out that it was the wrong place, so we had gone all that way for nothing. Then the next day we had to go into Seoul to a different place and it turned out my companion's visa had already expired and he had to pay $100 as a fine. We weren't too happy about that. But we finally got it done and I learned that I need to take care of it fast when I have to do it in like 91/2 months.

Last week while we were proselyting we ran into a guy from the Church of God. They are pretty intense here in Korea and are known for having some pretty weird beliefs, which I won't get into in detail. haha. But we met with this guy and he wanted us to meet with him and a missionary from their church. We told them we would as long as we could introduce our church and as long as we met at our church. They agreed. Then on Saturday when we met they tried to get us to go to their church service with them cause they have theirs on Saturday. I told them that we couldn't go to their church and then we finally agreed to meet in E-Mart, which I wasn't too thrilled about because it's hard to invite the spirit into a grocery store. Anyway, we met with them but they just wanted to bash with us about the Bible and stuff. I learned that it's amazing how many people misinterpret the Bible. I'm so thankful for modern day revelation and especially for the Book of Mormon. At the end of the meeting the lady was pretty intense and was saying some rude things to us. My companion and I both bore powerful testimonies about our church and beliefs and I really could feel the spirit (even in E-Mart). I could feel of the power of our callings. We truly are called by a prophet of God and have the authority to do His work on the earth. I know the lady felt something but she still wouldn't listen so we decided to get up and leave. I shook the man's hand who was there and tried to be as polite as I could then we left.

That same day we met with 강사라 (Sarah Kang) and we took her to a baptismal service that the sisters from our district were having in a different area. The baptismal service was really good and we explained everything to her while it was happening. After the service we all went upstairs in the church and ate dinner together. The Bishop, 박일훈, who was in the Daejeon mission when my dad was mission president, talked to Sarah about baptism. He asked me when she was eligible for baptism. I then said September 18th and then he asked her if she thought she was ready for baptism, and she said yes! So we were really excited. It worked out perfectly. We talked to her on the bus ride home and learned that she told her parents she wants to be baptized and they are okay with it. And she has already read to Jacob in the Book of Mormon. We were really excited!

So then, yesterday we were waiting for her to come to church. She has to come to church three times before she can get baptized. But she never came! I called her twice and we have texted her twice since then and she hasn't answered! I don't know what happened. It's been more than a day and we still haven't heard from her. I'm getting pretty worried but I don't know what to do!

This morning my companion and I had to go to the mission office to finish my pass off stuff. I'm officially done! I'm so glad that I got it done. Now I can focus on learning the things I really need to learn like conversation stuff and pretty much everything. haha. I need to make a perfect language study plan and just study all the time. It's crazy how hard Korean is. I've been studying Korean almost all the time for the last 5 months of my life and I am still confused almost all of the time. But I know I will get it eventually. It's something that will take a lot of patience. I'm so thankful for this opportunity though because I will grow a lot.

So it's the last week of my second transfer! I wanna make it the best week yet! It will be hard cause we have so much going on this week. Tomorrow is Temple day so I will be gone all day. And Wednesday I will be on splits. Then Thursday we have Zone Conference. Pretty hectic. It will be good though. Anyway, I need to go! Thanks for all the support and prayers! I love you all!

-Elder Rife

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Photos from Korea~August 16, 2011

[Us with 강사라.]

[Heart attacking 이은하.]

[Heart attacking.]

[Cleaning frenzy.]

[More cleaning.]

[Our kitchen.]

[Happy 'cause it's clean.]

[Pizza Hut with Eddie from Tahitian Noni.]



[Me and Elder Ishino.]

[Preachin' the Word!]

[Typical park under a bridge.]

[More heart attacking.]

[Dinner with the Daejeon missionaries and their families.]

[After dinner.]

[Funny faces.]

Letter from Elder Rife~August 16, 2011

The weeks are seriously flying by. It's so weird! Sorry this email came later than usual. We've just been super busy and we were told to email on Tuesday instead of on Monday this week since Monday was a holiday here.

I have a lot of pictures to send home this week. Some of them are of our apartment. I kinda freaked out last week cause it was dirty and went on a 3 hour cleaning spree. It was pretty disgusting. Whoever the missionaries were that were here before me were pretty gross. It blows my mind that people can just live in a mess. I won't get into details though because it was pretty gross. Food trash in Korea is a problem, though. It's not like back home where you just send it down the drain in the kitchen. It's more like camping. You've gotta pack it out. Kinda gross haha. But there are some pictures of our clean-er apartment. I still have some more work to do on it. I'm so thankful for a mother who taught me to be clean. It's hard to feel the spirit in a place that is dirty and disorganized. I have definitely gained a testimony about that.

This morning I went to the mission office to do pass-off with the AP's. It went well. I passed off 5 of the 7 things I need to pass off but we ran out of time, so I will have to go next Monday again and just do the two things I didn't have time for. That will be good; I have a little more time to prepare.
We didn't get to meet with the two kids we met last Sunday through streetboarding. We hope to meet with them this week and teach them the first lesson. I'm excited to get to teach them for sure. I'll write more about them next week.

This last Sunday we had dinner with 3 returned missionaries from the Daejeon mission. It was soooo fun! One of them, 이은하, is in my ward here and I see her every week. The other two 박일훈 and 이수진 live nearby but I haven't seen them since I was ten years old. It was soo good to see them! They each have 3 kids. It was pretty wild with nine kids at dinner but it was really fun. It's crazy that it's been ten years since I saw them last and that they now have 3 kids! We looked through their mission albums and it was so fun to reflect on our memories and see pictures of them with me when I was so little. I'm pretty sure it was the funnest night of my mission. We talked for a while and ate really good food then we shared a spiritual message and left.

My companion and I have gotten into "Heart Attacking" members. We feel like it's a good way to show them that you love them and appreciate them. It's pretty fun. We did it to 이은하's house and then she called us the next day (when she saw it) and said that it was her birthday and she was so excited when she saw all the hearts on her door. I like to think we were led by the spirit to heart attack her house that night but I don't recall a prompting or anything. haha.

Anyway, I'm about out of time. It was a pretty good week last week but I hope we see more things happen this week! It's still been rainy around here which is no fun, but oh, well. I hope we can see some miracles in Anyang this week!!

Love you all!

-Elder Rife

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Photos from Korea~August 8

[Elder Lee wearing one of my shirts.]

[My nice new desk.]


[Car on the walking bridge!]

[The car again.]


[Bowling with my companion's MTC teacher.]

Monday, August 8, 2011

Letter from Elder Rife~August 8, 2011

Hi Everyone!

This week was seriously so hot outside! I was dying. Last Thursday we had a conference with half of the mission. It wasn't a sports conference but we did a bunch of activities then had a testimony meeting. It was pretty good but I was kinda bored throughout the whole thing and was actually just wishing that we were doing missionary work. It was weird. I felt like we were wasting time. haha. Last Wednesday right before we had Combined District Meeting I met with the Zone Leaders and did ZL pass-off. My ZL said that I am ready to do AP pass off whenever I can. I made an appointment but it's not till the 16th! That's so far away. But I guess I will have more time to study. I have to memorize D&C 4 in Korean; I almost have it down.

The week really wasn't the best for missionary work until yesterday. Yesterday was pretty rough because it was fast Sunday and it was unbearably hot and humid outside. We decided to go streetboarding after church in front of the Anyang library. It was definitely an act of faith because I could barely stand I was so hungry. We talked to a lot of people and taught these two kids a short lesson on one of the boards before they went into the library. Then we packed up everything and walked back to the church to cool off and drop off the boards. While we were at the church we got a phone call. It was the two kids! (Before when we had asked them for their numbers they said no. haha). Then they called us. They asked if they could meet with us right then, so we met them down the road a ways and brought them into our church. We answered a bunch of their questions about our church and showed them around our church. Then we gave them copies of the Book of Mormon and committed them to reading the Intro chapter. We will meet with them later this week. One of them is the army, but gets done every day at 6. And the other is a college student right now. It was amazing because we found out that they were at the library and wanted to schedule a room to study in but the next open room wasn't for another hour. So they felt like they should call us! It was such a huge miracle. It was amazing.

I was fasting for my mom, of course. And so that we could find some new investigators to teach. My testimony of fasting really has been strengthened. It was amazing. I don't know exactly what will happen with them but I am thankful that we found them. Now we just need to teach them well and help them to feel of the spirit. I'm so excited!

Last night we had dinner with a few of the families in the ward. It's always so fun to spend time with them. I've gotten to know them really well so now I can kind of be my loud self around them with my limited Korean abilities. It's so much fun.

So really not much else happened last week. We contacted lots of people and stuff but yesterday was amazing. Huge miracle. Thank you to everyone who prays for me and supports me out here. I know that this miracle was an answer to my prayers and your prayers. I'm so thankful to be a missionary right now. It's so fun and such an amazing experience!

- Elder Rife

Monday, August 1, 2011

Letter from Elder Rife~August 1

First off, I just want to say thank you so much to everyone who fasted for my family and especially for my mom this week. Thank you so much! My mom is so amazing and I know that she has felt the love that so many people have for her. It's definitely hard to be so far away from everyone. Especially since my whole family will be going on a Disney cruise here in the next few months. But I wouldn't trade what I'm doing right now for anything. It's so hard to be away from my mom, but I have felt so much comfort and strength from the scriptures and the fact that so many people have been fasting and praying for my family!

This week was pretty good for missionary work. We taught 강사라 the first lesson and it went really well! She's already cruising through the Book of Mormon (read the first 6 chapters!) and is loving it. She hasn't been to church yet; hopefully we can get her out to church this next week. We really love her and are so excited to teach her again.

It rained a lot this week. I didn't get to take too many pictures and I'm really sorry. Next week I promise I will take lots of pictures! But I do have a pretty cool picture that I will send with this email. I hate when it starts to rain cause it really makes doing missionary work hard. No one goes outside so we resort to calling potential investigators and we haven't had much success with it.

This week was pretty hard for me. I still think about my mom's recent diagnosis a lot and it's hard for me to accept it. It makes me so thankful that I have been raised in the church and have been taught the gospel my whole life. We're so lucky to know that we can be with our families forever. It's so comforting to know that no matter what happens in this life I can be with my loved ones for eternity. The Gospel really does bless families. Whenever I teach that principle it's hard to keep myself from crying. I have the most amazing family and the fact that I can be with them forever is the most amazing thing. I have such a strong testimony of the gospel and how amazing it is, especially the Atonement. So many hard things happen to people in this life but ALL things that are unfair about life are swallowed up in Christ's Atonement for His children. I am so thankful for the Gospel and for Christ's Atonement for all of us.

I don't have much time left today. We're gonna go bowling with some other missionaries and try to go to Costco with some other missionaries to buy some food. Peanut butter and honey sandwiches every single day are kinda getting old. haha. I love you all, though, and am so thankful for all of the support I have and for all of the support my mom has. I am so thankful for the prayers of so many people for my family! I know the church is true. With all of my heart! I'm so thankful to be a missionary right now. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world! I'll write more next week. Sorry this email is short. Oh and I'm attempting Zone Leader pass off on Wednesday. Pretty intense! Anyway, I love you all!

-Elder Rife