Monday, October 10, 2011

Letter from Elder Rife~October 10

Hi everyone!
This week was so good and conference was amazing! It was crazy how fast it went by. I remember watching it when I was in high school and it felt like it was soooo long. And I was laying down on the couch in my pajamas instead of sitting in an uncomfortable chair in a suit. ha. It was for sure amazing and I can honestly say that I watched every minute of every talk and wrote down something from everyone who spoke. Pretty cool. It's already the second conference I've watched as a missionary. After two more conferences I'll be watching it with my family! Weird. So before I write about some of my favorite lines from conference I want to write a quick update about things here in BunDang.
This week we met with members a lot. There were four different families who wanted to have us over to eat and share a message. We shared messages about preparing to receive personal revelation through General Conference. It was good to spend time with members and build new relationships with some of them who we weren't really close to before.

윤상영 came to a session of conference yesterday even though it was at a different church. We will meet with him tonight and teach him the last few commandments that he needs to learn before baptism and then he will have his baptismal interview tomorrow. He will be baptized on Sunday of this week. He's such an amazing guy and he is so excited to get baptized. We're gonna ask him who he wants to baptize him. We think it would be best if a member did it because Elder Jung and I will leave here at some point but the member who baptizes him won't and could continue to be a good fellowshipper but we will see.
I learned a good lesson from Elder Jung yesterday. We met with an older man who we called when looking through former investigator records. He came to the church yesterday and brought his three nephews. For some reason he was under the impression that we could help get his kids full ride scholarships or as he said "all scholarship" to BYU Provo. We told him that we don't really have anything to do with that and don't have any pull with BYU even though they are our same religion. But he kept asking. He's a really poor man and seemed so sad and humble. He just wanted to find a way to get his nephews to be able to go to school somewhere and have a better life. The kids are very young but he is just trying to make a plan. My initial response to him was just that there's nothing we can do and then I began to feel like he was wasting our time and I wasn't being very patient. I didn't say anything but in my head I was saying, There's nothing we can do.. We're missionaries not college counselors so quick wasting our time. Then I noticed how patient Elder Jung was being and how nice he was as he replied to each of the man's questions. Then I told him that we don't have much information about BYU but that he can find more information on the internet. Elder Jung told him that we can't do much to help him but we would like to pray with him. So Elder Jung prayed for him and I felt my heart soften. I realized how rude my thoughts had been. After the prayer I told the man that we will pray for him every day. And Elder Jung told him that if he needs anything else in the future (besides college information) that we would love to help him. I definitely learned a lesson in kindness yesterday.
I'm just going to write down some of my favorite lines from conference now.
"The scriptures are like little packets of light that help enlighten our minds. Memorizing scriptures is like making a new friend who can help us in times of need. A scripture we have read many times can take on a new meaning that is refreshing when we have a new challenge. All who read the Book of Mormon will find it a treasure to help them through life." -Elder Scott
I love this! I have definitely found a love for the scriptures in the last 7 months or so. It's been so amazing how much I have learned from consistent study each morning. If there's one thing I'm grateful for from my missionary service it is how much I have learned from the scriptures and how much stronger my testimony is of the Book of Mormon. It is true.
"As we grow up and have experiences and trials we realize that there must be a Divine Power." "In order to receive revelation we need to DESIRE revelation." "It's our testimonies that get us through times of trial and worry. We must nourish and strengthen them." -Barbara Thompson
In Boyd K. Packer's talk I felt like I learned sooo much. He has so much wisdom. He said that the youth of today will get to grow up and get married, have children, and become grandparents, even great grandparents. I've always worried that I wouldn't get to do all of the things I wanted in this life before the Second Coming happens, kind of a weird thing to worry about but I got an answer.
"Compared to God we are nothing, but to God we are EVERYTHING." "The Lord uses a scale very different than the world to weigh the worth of a soul." - Dieter F. Uchtdorf
I loved his talk. Everyone in my family mentioned his talk in their emails. I loved it too. The worth of souls is great in the sight of the Lord. It's something important for all of us to be reminded. It helps to humble us and realize that when we think we are better than someone else we are wrong. We are all great in the sight of the Lord.
"Don't look down. It's always better to look up!" "Most of what we worry about is not of eternal significance, and if it is God will help us." -Carl B. Cook
"There should be a smile on our face when we talk about repentance. Repentance is only an option because of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice." -D Todd Christofferson.
I loved when he talked about the 5 steps of repentance. I felt like I learned so much about true repentance and how I need to use it more in my life.
Elder Perry talked about how we must be bold, be righteous examples to others, and speak up about the church. It shouldn't just be missionaries introducing the church to other people! It's everyone's responsibility to stand up for what they believe and to answer people's questions of the hope that is in us!
Jeffrey R. Holland's talk was incredible. Kinda scary actually. haha. I loved it. He is always so bold and says what he wants. I loved when he said that we cannot be on Satan's team when temptation comes and switch back to God's team when it's time to do missionary work or go to the temple. We cannot go down forbidden paths then try to lead others down the straight and narrow one.
Henry B. Eyring said, "Build habits that help you to keep going through fatigue and pain. Be able to keep going when others would stop and take a rest. Always try to give more effort than you thought you could." I love that. It's a good principle to learn as we go through trials. I also like it cause it's a good principle to learn to be a strong weight lifter.
President Monson was just amazing throughout all of conference. He was so funny. In the priesthood session he said so many good things that apply to missionaries. He talked about how our faith will be challenged. We need to have the moral courage to stand against those who oppose us. People will criticize us for what we believe and our testimonies must be deeprooted enough that we don't get discouraged but stand up. We need to stand strong even if we stand alone! We can't feel inadequate. God will be with us. We can't afford to do anything that will put a curtain on our power to the administering of angels. We need to hold up our light for the world to see.
Robert D Hales said " We need to be kinder to others and even kinder to ourselves." That's so true. I've always been super hard on myself and it's a good reminder to be nicer to ourselves.
Tad R. Callister's talk was sweet. I want our investigator 최병배 to read it when it comes out in the Liahona. It talks about why we need the Book of Mormon and how the Book of Mormon clarifies all that is confusing in the Bible. If the Bible wasn't confusing then there wouldn't be as many churches as there are today.
President Monson said that prayer with Heavenly Father should be a relationship we cherish. That's definitely something that I want to apply.
Dallin H. Oaks said "What do we really believe about Jesus Christ? What are we going to do about it?" We need to testify about Him and pray to Him and learn about Him and try to become like Him!
I think the talk that I learned the most from though was Quentin L. Cook's. With everything going on with my mom lately I have found many answers. There is a bright future plan for all of us. God understands us perfectly and knows what we are going through. Jesus Christ went through all things and performed the Atonement so that all things that are unfair about this life can be made right. The knowledge of the Plan of Salvation is precious! Many people will experience severe trials in this life. If they die they die unto God. The refiner's fire is real. Trials prepare us for the next life.
I have tons of more stuff written down but I can't write it all down on here. Conference was amazing though! I learned so much.
My testimony has been strengthened so much. I know the Book of Mormon is true with all of my heart. I have read it a few times and I have taken Moroni's challenge and I know that it is true without any doubt. I love to share the Book of Mormon with everyone I meet. I know that it is only through Jesus Christ that we can receive salvation and can return to live in the presence of God and be with our families forever. Without the gospel I would honestly be lost. I am so thankful for the knowledge that I have at such a young age of the grandness of God's plan for each of us. I'm thankful for the two most amazing parents in the world to teach me the gospel as a child and to show me how the gospel blesses lives through example. They are my heroes. I am thankful for Jesus Christ and His sacrifice so that all unfair things in this life will be made right in the next life. I know that the unfairness of my mother's situation right now WILL be made right and that it will prepare her for future blessings that we cannot imagine. I'm so thankful for that. I'm thankful for Joseph Smith and the intense persecution and experiences he went through so that I can have the fullness of the gospel through the Book of Mormon. I love the gospel and I can't wait to share it each day. I'm thankful for my opportunity to be a missionary right now. I am sooo lucky. I know this church is true and I know that the priesthood power is real. And I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
I love you all!

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