Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Letter from Elder Rife~September 5, 2011

Wow.. So a LOT has happened in the last week. I got transferred to a place called 분당 (BunDang). It's pretty far away from Seoul; it's a pretty rich area and it's really clean; it's a huge area. We walked for 2 and a half hours and were only half way through our area. My companion is Elder Jung (정호용). Dad, it's 정태걸's son! My companion's dad is really good friends with my dad. And, crazy enough, when I lived in Korea from '01-'04 I went to his house a couple of times. It's cool to have such a connection with someone and the best part is that we didn't figure it out until partway through our first day together when he showed me a picture of his family. We are co-senior here in BunDang and we are "whitewashing," which means that both of us got transferred to this area this transfer. We don't know anything about this area. We know a lot more now than we did on Wednesday, though.

This area was a sister's area but the sisters got moved to another apartment and are over this area and another area. So we moved into their apartment and are just over this area. I hope all of that made sense. I won't lie it was sooo weird not being in Anyang anymore. Everything felt so weird here. But now that I am semi used to it I love it here. The apartment is barely big enough for me to turn around in; it's practically like my dorm room at BYU-H.

The ward is awesome! I met sooo many people who know my dad. One of them (정문영) was in high school in a ward that my dad served in as a missionary in the 70's. Crazy! And another one, 박복주, has an LDS Korean website that he made and was showing me tons of pictures of my dad as a missionary. So cool! My companion and I both bore our testimonies in Church yesterday. I actually felt really good about it. My goal was to stay up there for as long as possible and just try to say what I wanted to say. I shared Alma 26:16, which is one of my favorites, and bore my testimony for a few minutes. I definitely had help from the Lord. Speaking Korean is always hard, but it's even harder when you have 100+ people staring at you. It went well though!
We already have an investigator who is GOLDEN. He's awesome. He came to church yesterday and keeps all his commitments. We're going to meet with him again on Thursday and set up a baptismal date. I'm so excited! I talked to him on the phone the other day and he said that he thought I was a Korean for a minute! Until he realized that I couldn't understand him. But I'll take the compliment. We have lots of potential in this area to do lots of good. I really love it here. I don't want to leave here for a long time!
Other than that we just spent this week visiting the members and walking around (getting lost), and trying to find good places to proselyte. I want to make a lot of good things happen in this area and I really need to learn a lot this transfer in case I go full senior next transfer or something. Doing missionary work is a lot easier when you have a Korean with you 24/7. Any question you have about the language you can get an answer to. And when you get confused you have someone who speaks the language perfectly right there with you.
This week was great! Hard at first, but I'm glad I'm here and I hope I do the Lord's work really well in 분당!
Anyway, Love you all! Thanks for you prayers and support!
Oh and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my amazing Dad and to my beautiful sister Laura!!! I love you both sooo much!
-Elder Rife

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