Monday, May 28, 2012

Letter from Korea~May 29, 2012

Hey everyone!

Last week after I emailed, my Korean grandparents came out to visit. They took us out to eat a whole bunch of meat then gave us some food to take home with us too. They are seriously the nicest people of all time. They came all the way out here to visit. It was fun to see them and to get to spend part of the day with them. They take such good care of me! They are the cutest little couple ever. You never see Korean people in their 80's who still love each other the way Bishop Cho and his wife love each other. They're the best.

On Tuesday we met with a few less-active members. We had some really cool experiences as we walked the streets and tried to follow inspiration from the spirit about where to go. We went one way because we felt like we should and we met a guy in his car who said he wanted to meet with us again and gave us his card. Then we went to visit more less-active members. One of the less-active members is worrying about her son because he is always playing computer games and doesn't really want to do anything else. So we spent some time with him and tried to help him want to focus on other things. It was really good for him, I think. We got him pumped to prepare for the things that he wants to do in the future instead of wasting his time playing computer. On the way home we met a soldier in the Korean army who had lived in Utah for 2 years studying at Salt Lake Community College. He has met tons of Mormon people and gone to our church several times. He already owns a Book of Mormon in English and Korean. So we talked to him for a while then we got his number and I've been talking to him every few days. We're going to meet with him again next Sunday.

On Wednesday we made the journey to Taebaek! It's the other area in our district which just happens to be a 2 hour and 40 minute train ride away. But it is the best train ride ever because you ride through the mountains. It really looks like Provo canyon but more green. I was amazed. It was such a cool experience. I took lots of study materials because I wanted to study while we rode the train but I couldn't stop looking out the window long enough to start studying. We went there and I did a training on following the spirit and saying more sincere prayers then all went to a member's home and ate tons of spaghetti together. We rode the 4:40 PM train home and got back at 7:25 and then walked home and ate dinner and that was our whole day.

On Thursday we went and taught at the North Korean refugee school. They didn't want to study English so instead I played basketball with them! It was fun. I don't think there is lots of basketball in North Korea so it was fun for them to play basketball. After that we met with the kids of 한창훈. He was the taxi driver that we met with last week or the week before. His three kids are all less-active. We had a bbq with them at their house and talked to them for a while. They all drink and stuff and don't come to church anymore. We got a lot closer with them and it was so fun. We talked about why bad things happen to good people and it was really good.

Friday was weekly planning and then we went and proselyted in the downtown area and then headed over to a member's house for dinner. It was a really fun night with them and we had a really good gospel discussion. I love spending time with members so much. It's fun to get close with them and be able to spend time with them.

Saturday was our English teaching day and we visited some members with our extra time.

Sunday was really good. We had a really good church service and then we went to a funeral for someone from the ChunCheon ward who passed away. It was my first time doing 절. Which is where you bow to the person who has passed away. So you light a piece of incense and then you put it in this vase thing by the casket and then you bow down all the way on your hands and knees with your head down. Then you stand up. Then do it all over again. It's way different culture but it was cool.

After that we ate dinner and headed over to teach 이상혁. He's doing well. We taught him about the 10 commandments and his mom helped us teach so it went really well. He's still set for June 10th for his baptismal service.

Yesterday was the Kangnung District Sports Conference so we rode up to Kangnung with our branch members and then spent the day playing soccer, basketball, football (missionaries only), and 촉구 which is like a mix between soccer and volleyball. It was so fun! And the best part was that it was right next to the beach so I got to go over to the beach for a little while with the other missionaries. It was such a fun day! Then after that we went to a famous fish market with some of the members and saw some crazy stuff and ate some raw squid and stuff. It was so fun. Then we made it home at about 8 and were completely dead. It was seriously so fun though.

That's about it! My hands hurt from typing so I'm gonna stop now. Last week was awesome! We're gonna be super busy this week because we have to go to ChunCheon to renew my visa so I don't get kicked out of Korea. Then we have to go to Seoul because there's a zone conference on Friday. Anyway, I love you all!!

-Elder Rife

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