Monday, November 28, 2011

Letter from Korea~November 28, 2011

Hi Everyone!

This week I was transfered! I'm in Ilsan! So pretty much I am in the Seoul mission but haven't acually served in Seoul yet. I'm circling in on Seoul, though. First I was southwest of Seoul in a city called Anyang. Then I was southeast of Seoul in Seongnam (Bundang), and now I am Northwest of Seoul in Goyang (Ilsan). So I'm predicting that I will go to a city northeast of Seoul next then finally I will go to Seoul. haha. My companion's name is Sung Yong Lee. 이승용. He is from Jejudo Island, which is like Korea's version of Hawaii. He's in his 3rd transfer now and this is his greenie area. He doesn't speak much English so it's good Korean practice for me. I'm full senior companion now instead of co-senior. I was joking with some of my other missionary friends that besides my MTC companion I haven't had a white companion haha. My trainer was Korean, then Elder Ishino is half Japanese, Elder Jung is Korean, and now Elder Lee is Korean. I think the Lord wants me to learn Korean. Also, my district is all Koreans. One of my friends from the area next to Bundang moved up here too and is in my district. He's Korean but he was born in America and is American. So it's only us that are English speakers. It's fun, but definitely different.

This week was a pretty long week. It's always weird to switch areas. Honestly, I was pretty sad that I had to leave Bundang, but I know that the Lord has a plan for me so I need to trust that plan. Elder Jung and I were really sad to say bye to each other. I really do love Elder Jung and I know we will be friends forever but we just wanted to serve one more transfer together! We'll both be in the mission for a lot longer though so we can probably serve close to each other again.

Wednesday morning we left and came to Ilsan. The area is really big and it is kinda like Bundang but a lot more complex. Bundang's area is really simple and they have a good map so you can find anything. I don't really know about this area much but it is pretty nice and the best part is...there's a COSTCO!!! I'm so excited. I need to put on some of the 20 pounds I'm missing and Costco will be the perfect way to do that.

Thursday we went back to Bundang to eat Thanksgiving with Jeff and Cinthya. Last week I got a call from the AP's telling me that the Ilsan Elders would be eating Thanksgiving dinner with Elder Jung and I. I was super confused but now I know they were already planning that I would transfer and then go to Jeff and Cinthya's house still for Thanksgiving. I should have put it together last week, but I didn't think I was gonna transfer. It was fun to be with them again and I am so thankful for them and for always feeding us and taking care of us. It was kind of a bummer last night eating kimchee and rice and knowing that Elder Jung was enjoying a nice American meal at Jeff and Cinthya's, but oh well. ha.

Pretty much since I got here we have been proselyting. It's kinda hard here because there really isn't anything going on right now. No investigators or anything. But we will find new ones! I'm starting a new English class here on Saturday and I have made lots of plans with the ward and with our ward mission leader to make a really good English class. Our ward mission leader told me that he knew I was coming before I actually came cause he has been praying for an American missionary to come here. There were two Koreans here before I came here. So I'm excited to work with him and start the work here. I'm kinda getting the feeling that I'm gonna be here for a while so I need to transform this area. The house is okay. It's not an apartment like I like but it's still pretty good. The only problem is that it's always really loud at night so it's hard to fall asleep sometimes. The house is small but I'm pretty used to living in tight quarters now. haha. I cleaned a lot when I got here and I really wanna clean everything well so that I can feel good about where I live. I'll take pics next week so you can see where I live!

Saturday night we had a Thanksgiving party at a different ward. It was super fun! It was weird though because I already know that other ward better than I know my ward now. haha. But I'm excited to get to know my ward better! I've really learned that a lot of my memories come from spending time with the members. The members in Korea are so loving and fun to be around. I gave a talk yesterday in church and it went pretty well! I always try to stay up there for as long as I can so that I am forced to use as much Korean as I can. It's hard but it's fun. I'm sure I made tons of mistakes but how else am I gonna learn?

I'm excited for the first week in my area! I need to learn a lot this week about my area and a lot more Korean so I can communicate with my companion better! Everyone please keep praying for my mom! Love you all!

-Elder Rife

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