Monday, March 5, 2012

Letter from Korea~March 5, 2012

Hi everyone! This last week was so much fun. Well most of it; I'll explain more later.

Tuesday we had temple day, which is always the best because I love to go to the temple. We did a session and then afterwards we went out to eat with my Korean Grandpa, Bishop Cho and his wife Sister Lee. They took us to a really good Chinese place near the temple that they go to every week. It's always fun for me to go out with my Korean grandparents and talk to them and hear them talk about my family. They worry a lot about my mom and ask me a lot of questions about how my family is doing and about what they can do for my family. They are such amazing people! After we ate with them we went to DongDaeMoon to do some shopping. Elder Dorrough and I got companionship sweaters and some other things. It was fun and we went with a bunch of other missionaries. I don't really like shopping all that much but shopping in Korea is fun for some reason. ha.

On Wednesday we had district meeting in Il-san. I hate to make everyone travel to our area but it's nice to just wake up and study then head over to our church. The other areas are pretty far from us so it was nice to not have to travel really far away for district meeting. I did a training on being humble, about how humility can lead us to the other Christlike attributes. It went really well and I think everyone got something out of it. After that we went down to another part of our area and ate Kimchi-jjim, which is like kimchi soup but spicier and there is more meat. It was all-you-can-eat so I ate sooooooo much! Here's where things went downhill a little bit. I haven't been eating lots of Korean food lately since we have a Costco and I've been trying to put back on a little weight so my body hasn't been accustomed to lots and lots of Kimchi. After we ate all of the kimchi-jjim I was feeling okay, super full though. We then had exchanges with our zone leaders and I went to Sinchon, which is where the temple is. That night I was feeling a little under the weather.. So we got home and I just got ready for bed and got in bed. Then I woke up at 1 in the morning and didn't get to go back to sleep again. I was in the bathroom the whole night; I was soooo sick! Being sick away from home really is the worst, but this time I was sick away from my real home and away from my missionary home! On Thursday we made it back to our house, miraculously. I laid down on my Yo (fold-out mattress) and didn't move for almost 20 hours. I started feeling better on Friday morning but I felt really weak and super small. haha. I hadn't had anything to eat or drink in two days, so I started drinking gatorade and ate a few pieces of bread.

On Friday we met with Brother Lee Kang Won and we talked more with him about the Law of Chastity. We committed him to keeping it and told him that we would help him and any way we can. We're going to meet with him again tonight for dinner and we plan to talk to him more about faith and diligence. In 1 Nephi 2:19 it talks about Nephi and about how he got his answers from God, through faith, diligence, and lowliness of heart. We want to talk to Brother Lee about those things tonight.

On Friday we also met with Sister Kim SooYeon. Our member didn't come then so we couldn't really meet with her since we didn't have another man with us. We shared a quick message with her and then we ended the lesson shorter than usual.

Saturday was by far the best day! We had all of the young men meet us in one of the busiest parts of our area and we streetboarded with them and their leaders. It was soooo fun! Elder Dorrough and I would switch off with the young men and we would start contacting someone then have the young men bear their testimonies of the Book of Mormon. It was so powerful. Each one of them gave away a Book of Mormon and we set up 9 new appointments and talked to 80 people! We also brought a less-active member with us and he was excited to proselyte too. I think he hasn't been coming to church because he doesn't feel close with anyone. We really want him to come back to church though. After streetboarding we went to the church and had the best English class we've had since I've been here. We actually had people there! All of them except one were investigators too! After the English time we started talking about the Book of Mormon and we asked Eddie what he thought about the Book of Mormon and he bore such a powerful testimony. He said he knows it's true and knows our church is true but can't become a member yet because his wife doesn't like our church. We're still trying to make a plan to help get his wife on board with the church.

When I was on exchanges with the zone leaders, Elder Dorrough and one of our zone leaders found a sweet kid. He came to English class and he's awesome! He then stayed with us and did the youth game night with all our youth. It was perfect! Now he is way close with our youth. His name is 박상민 he's 17.

Sunday was good! Sister Kim SooYeon and her husband came to church to hear Elder Dorrough and I bear our testimonies in Korean. She's doing really well and is reading the Book of Mormon really fast. We just need to have some fellowshippers help her and her husband out at church! After church we went and met with a new investigator named 박정하. He lives super close to us and is really good at English. We went over to his house and talked for a while and talked about the Book of Mormon and why we came on missions. it was really fun and we are excited to keep meeting with him. He has two kids and is a computer engineer. He actually works in Bundang near where I used to live. 

Sunday night we ate dinner with our bishop's family. They are super fun to be with! There was just one problem: we ate kimchi-jjim. So that was kinda hard for me to eat and now I'm slightly sick again ha. But it was really fun. We had an amazing week this week and I am so thankful to be a missionary right now! I wish everyone could have the experiences that I am having. We meet so many cool people each week and we talk to so many amazing people on the street. I've been thinking a lot lately about the whole "no effort wasted" thing. A lot of missionaries in Korea get discouraged when they get rejected a lot but I've been thinking about how none of our efforts are wasted because we don't know what will happen. Maybe the person that rejected us will be baptized years from now and will be thankful for our efforts. Plus we are experiencing a change in ourselves as missionaries as we go out and testify to people about the restored gospel. It's such an amazing work and I'm so glad to be a part of it.

Thanks for all your support! Love you all!

-Elder Rife

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