Monday, September 19, 2011

Letter from Elder Rife~September 19, 2011

Note from the keeper of the blog: Elder Rife is AWESOME!

Hey! So it seems like I was just barely emailing home...only five days ago. But I still have a few things to share with everyone!
Last Thursday we set a baptismal date with 윤상영! We set it for October 1st because we really think that he can be ready by then. He said yes and he really wants to get baptized but the only thing holding him back is that he wants his sister to get baptized with him. That's a pretty good problem to have. His sister came to church last week but didn't come this week. She's not as prepared as he is, but she is going to meet with the sisters twice a week from here on out. I think we may have to bump the date back a week or two but it will be perfect if they get baptized together. His parents are really interested in our church now because 윤상영 has changed so much. He doesn't drink or smoke now and is truly happy. He told his parents that they need to leave him alone for a little while then they can learn about our church. haha. I think it would be so perfect if we could teach his parents and their whole family could be members and could eventually be sealed together in the temple. I pray for it every night! 윤상영 truly is a perfect investigator. I love him so much. He's so funny. The other night we were proselyting by the restaurant where he works and we visited him and he was so happy to see us. It was so fun.
Last week was what I would like to call the week of rejections. We went street boarding 3 times and just got rejected the whole time. haha. But I will take all of the rejections when we find the person who is prepared. I am thankful that I knew a little bit about missionary work in Korea before I came here. I knew that people would reject me a lot. Some of the greenies that I have met are so discouraged when they get rejected. Getting discouraged will never help! The work here was never meant to be easy. I'm actually glad that it's really hard, because then we become more grateful for smaller things and when we find success we are so much happier!

The other day while we were streetboarding we had a lady come up to us and ask us a bunch of questions about our church. Pretty much she yelled at us and no matter what answer we gave her she said we were liars. She had heard so many rumors about our church and when we told her that they were all wrong she still wouldn't believe us. Kinda weird that she won't believe things about Mormons when she asks us (who are Mormons) and when we answer she says we're lying. I was pretty frustrated after that and so many people were looking at us as she spoke to us on a very busy intersection corner.

Then this morning I read in Alma chapters 20 and 21. It's when Ammon and King Lamoni go to Middoni to deliver Aaron, Muloki, and Ammah from prison.
Alma 20:29 - "And when Ammon did meet them he was exceedingly sorrowful, for behold they were naked, and their skins were worn exceedingly because of being bound with strong cords. And they also had suffered hunger, thirst, and all kinds of afflictions; nevertheless they were patient in all their sufferings."

Pretty intense sufferings as missionaries right?

Then in Alma 21:14-15 - "14 And those who were cast into prison suffered many things, and they were delivered by the hand of Lamoni and Ammon, and they were fed and clothed. 15 And they went forth again to declare the word, and thus they were delivered for the first time out of prison; and thus they had suffered."
After reading that it helps me to realize that no matter what happens to me in the next 18 months it won't be anywhere near as bad as what they went through. So I should be thankful for times where it seems like people are barely persecuting me. No matter how frustrating or embarrassing it may be.
Saturday night we had 2 hours left and we needed to talk to lots of people. Ever since being here I've struggled to find the place that's most effective to talk to people. So we just stayed at Yatap Station, the closest subway station to our house. Above the station there are a lot of stores and a lot of benches where many old men just sit and smoke. It's also a place where young people meet to go on dates or go hangout with friends. I'll take some pictures this next week so you can see what it looks like. What I would do is just go sit down next to these old men and start talking to them. It was so fun! About half the time they would look at me like I'm crazy and just listen to me then tell me that I should go, but the other half of the time they would start talking with me and would be happy to have someone to talk to (and offer me cigarettes, ha).

One of the old men I talked to seemed so sad. So we walked over to him and sat down next to him and started talking. He listened to what we had to say and we asked him a few questions. Then I asked him if he was happy. (선생님 지금 행복하고 있세요? And in English he said "No." I'm not the most sensitive guy in the world but the way he said "no" made me feel so sad. This old man was just sitting on a bench alone and sad. I felt so bad. So I told him we were sharing a happy message and that I know that through the Book of Mormon he can find happiness. He listened and took our card and a copy of The Book of Mormon. Then we left and I saw him flipping through The Book of Mormon; I kept saying prayers that he would find something that would help him. He still hasn't called us but I really hope he does! It helped me to realize how much I really do love the people here and want to help them.
So that was our week! Yesterday was a good Sunday. We walked around and talked to people and then Elder Jung made Kimchee Cheegae! It was amazing.
Anyway, love you all! Thanks for your support and prayers!
-Elder Rife 라이후 장로

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