Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Letter from Korea~June 25, 2012

Hi everyone! So I didn't transfer from Wonju! Elder Kim and I are staying together for another transfer. I was really relieved.

So I really don't have much time since I am in Seoul today and we need to head back to Wonju. We came to Seoul because my companion wanted one last interview with President Lee before he goes home this next week. So we came and spent the day here in Seoul but didn't have time to email so now we have to email really fast and then head back to Wonju.

Last week was full of miracles! I don't have time to write everything but we picked up four new investigators last week and we have three more set up for this week! It's crazy. We aren't even finding the people they are just finding us!

I really don't have time right now to go through everything that happened but we met with 홍모영s and 김도영b and 원태희s and 이선정s last week. We saw tons of miracles and got lots of referrals.

I'm sorry I don't have time to go into details but I for sure will next week!

I love you all!

-Elder Rife

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Photos from Korea~June 18, 2012

[With my companion and President Lee and Sister Han.]

[The Korea Seoul mission.]

[President Lee and Sister Han.]

[Sister Lee, SonHee, Bishop Cho, and me.]

[Brother Jung.]

[With some of the members.]


Letter from Korea~June 18, 2012

Last week was awesome!! I'm really short on time today though so I'm gonna have to write quickly.

On Monday we spent some time doing P-day things since Tuesday was temple day and we wouldn't have time to do them; we cleaned and shopped and emailed. Then we proselyted for a while. At night we met with 이주원 and he gave us a little tour around Wonju and took us out to dinner. We made a little progress with him. We gave him the Book of Mormon and challenged him to read it. He is a pretty crazy guy; he's always busy and is all over the place so when we meet he never wants to just sit and talk. He always wants to take us somewhere and do something. So we're trying to figure out how to approach him best.

Tuesday morning we went to Seoul and met up with other missionaries for lunch. In the afternoon we had our temple session and then we went out to eat dinner with my Korean grandparents. It was good to see them and talk to them. They are going to Utah next month and are so excited! My Korean grandpa told me that he's going to go to my ward and bear his testimony at fast and testimony meeting in English, so he's been studying super hard. He's amazing. After dinner we rode the subway to the missionary house where we were gonna stay the night.

Wednesday we had our last meeting with President Lee. He bore a powerful testimony to us. We sang "God be with you till we meet again" and said our goodbyes. I'm pretty sure every missionary was crying. I'm for sure going to miss President Lee. After that my companion did pass off for a while so I went with one of the AP missionaries and ran some errands and then just studied while I waited for Elder Kim to finish. He passed! We finally made the journey back to Wonju, which took a while. Once we were back we went to 이상혁's  house and taught him one last time and finished up the preparations for his baptism.

Thursday we taught English to the North Korean kids! We are really good friends with them so it's so fun to spend time with them. After class we talked to one of the teachers from the school for a while; she has interest in the gospel. She loved talking to us and said that she wants us to share good words with her each week. So we're gonna give her a Book of Mormon and meet with her each week after we teach English. We met up with 한창훈, our investigator who has 3 kids who are all less active. We went and visited him at his house and talked for a while. He's really nice and loves to meet with us, but he drinks and smokes like crazy so it's hard to teach him when we meet with him. We talked to his son for a while and shared a message with him and set up another appointment for Sunday (yesterday). Then we went and met with a lady from Golden Voice and her two sons and played basketball with them. She wants us to help her sons and to be examples for them. We hope to get closer with them and be good influences on them.

Friday my companion and I were both pretty sick but we went to the church and cleaned the baptismal font and then we went and visited 안순을 and her son and then we took her son out to dinner. They are both less-active. We promised the son that we would take him out for dinner for his birthday so we took him to get 샤브샤브.  My treat (my dad's treat). He is now reading the scriptures every day with his mom and is praying too so we are making progress!

Saturday we had golden voice and then we went out to lunch. We visited some potential investigators at the supermart that they run near our church. Then we went to English class. This week four people came, but that's better than none! We met 정진택 and shared Alma 40 with him about the resurrection. He's been progressing really well lately. He told me that I can't transfer or he will call my mission president and tell him to send me back. haha. He's a really great guy. After that we had dinner with some of our members. It was like this huge seafood spicy mess. It tasted good but it destroyed my stomach.

Sunday was 이상혁's baptism! Church was great and then we all ate together before the service. Elder Kim did the baptism and I spoke at the baptism. It went great! After church we picked up two new investigators, really nice ladies, who are doing the 30/30 program with us. Then we went to 한창훈's house; he made us a barbecue. He drinks like crazy and was starting to drink so we asked him to stop, but he wouldn't stop. He's a taxi driver and he drives a super expensive car for his taxi so I decided to try to commit him to stop drinking. I asked how long he had been drinking for and how much he drank each day. He said two bottles of 소주 a day for 20 years.. Then I did the math and told him that he could have bought a brand new Chairman (the car he has) and a lot of other stuff if he had not used his money on alcohol. That's not including if he hadn't used his money on cigarettes too. It worked! It made sense when he thought about it that way and he said he would stop drinking! So please pray for Brother Han to stop drinking! After that we proselyted the rest of the night..

I have to go now. I love you all. Thanks so much for your support.

-Elder Rife

Monday, June 11, 2012

Letter from Korea~June 11, 2012

I don't know if anyone except me noticed that this last week on June 7th I hit my year mark in Korea! Which means that I have lived four years of my life in South Korea. That's about 20%.

Last week on Monday after we emailed we didn't really have much to do so we went back to the apartment with our zone leaders and worked out for a few hours. Once P-day ended my companion and I had an appointment to meet up with a few kids to play basketball with them and their friends. So we played basketball with them for a while then we gave them each a Book of Mormon and introduced it to them. We were supposed to meet up with them again tonight but the kid we are closest with has to get surgery on his gall bladder this week so we can't meet for a little while. We also spent a little bit of time cleaning and re-arranging our apartment.

Last Wednesday we went to Kangnung for a combined district meeting. We learned about using the Book of Mormon in finding and teaching. It was a really good training and we learned a lot. After we made it back to Wonju we walked home and dropped off our stuff and headed to the downtown area to do some streetboarding.

Thursday we taught English at the school for North Korean defactors and then we contacted people on our way home. Then we met with a lady named 정현아 and her two children. She was a referral from the Daejeon mission. She wants us to teach English to her 6 year old daughter. The mom actually has a little bit of church interest so I think it will be great as we continue meeting with them. It was pretty crazy with the 6 year old girl and her 4 year old little brother but it was fun to play with them for a while and try to teach English to them.

On Friday I was actually kinda sick. We had weekly planning meeting and then I slept for a little while to try to get feeling better. Then all of our appointments cancelled on us and it was raining so we spent some time working on records and organizing everything in our house.

Saturday was English day! After we taught English and went out to eat sushi we went and got drinks with one of the Golden Voice members. He is a really cool guy and loves to talk with us so we talked with him about his beliefs and had a good conversation with him. He told us about how he first met missionaries a long time ago and how his view of our church changed so much as he met with the missionaries and talked with them and saw their examples. 

We miraculously had 9 people come to English class! It was crazy. We had so much fun. We had everyone laughing sooo hard as we practiced English with them. I had everyone go around the room and say their name and a little bit about themselves then everyone else chose what kind of animal they looked like. haha. They loved it. Everyone came to the conclusion that I look like a polar bear. Then we shared a message about gratitude and talked about all of the things that we are grateful for and challenged them to find things that they are grateful for and write them down. It was cool to see how the whole spirit of the room changed as we went from practicing English to sharing a gospel message and bearing testimony. 

After English class we met with 정진택. We talked with him for a long time. He's reading in Mosiah 3 right now and he's really liking it. We went over it with him for a while and he told us some stories from his life and we learned a lot about him. I really love it here in Wonju and I've made so many memories and relationships with people. It will be hard to leave and not know when I'll ever see the people here again.

On Sunday church was really good. One of the recent converts from about five months ago was asked to speak so we helped him prepare his talk for church. He gave a really good talk! We had a new investigator come to church. His name is 김상기. He's in junior high school but he looks way older than he is. We met him on the street and he said he wanted to come to church so we met up with him on Sunday morning and took him with us to church. He was having a hard time sitting through the meetings but after I gave him a Book of Mormon and told him about it he promised me he would read it everyday. He has lots of potential. 이상혁 was at church too and we sat together. He is such a funny kid and he is doing really well. He's so prepared to be baptized. After church we went a member's house for lunch. We heard her whole conversion story and it was really amazing. It's so cool how much people change when then start living their life with the gospel. We did some other member visits for the rest of the day.

It was a really good week. I'm out of time now though so I've gotta go! I love you all!!

-Elder Rife

Photos from Korea~June 11, 2012

[Deep cleaning.]

[Deep cleaning.]

[My companion carrying a huge chair.]


[Us with SangGi Kim.]

Monday, June 4, 2012

Photos from Korea~June 4, 2012

{With SangHyuk Lee, the 10-year-old boy who will be baptized soon.}

{With SangHyuk Lee.}

{With SangHyuk Lee.}

SangHyuk Lee is the 10-year-old boy Michael is baptizing on June 17th. His mom is a less-active member Michael visited when he got to Wonju. She told him about her unbaptized son. He said let’s teach him together, and that’s what they’ve been doing.

{Elder Jung.}

{Eating at a meat buffet.}

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Letter from Korea~June 4, 2012

Hey everyone!

Last week we traveled so much. It was a fun week though and we met with three new investigators! Last week on Tuesday after we emailed we went over by one of the college campuses to meet with two ladies who had set an appointment with us. They are in their 40's and are really nice. They wanted to do our 30/30 english program with us once a week so we started doing that. We told them why we came to Korea and introduced our message to them and they really have a lot of interest so we are excited about meeting them once a week.

Last Wednesday we had district meeting here in Wonju and we did a General Conference review. I had everyone in our district choose one talk from conference and then we watched them all. After each talk we said why that talk was our favorite talk and talked about it for a minute and talked about how we could apply what we learned to our missionary work. After that it was a really rainy day so Elder Kim and I called records for a while. Then we went over to teach 이상혁 the last few commandments that we had to teach him before his baptism.

Thursday was a super busy day! We had weekly planning meeting after we finished studying then we went out to eat lunch with one of our less active members. After that we went to the bus station so that I could go to ChunCheon to renew my visa so they don't kick me out of Korea. It was about an hour and a half bus ride and then a twenty minute taxi ride to the place where I was supposed to go to renew my visa. After a little while there we got it all taken care of. For some reason they made me pay more money but it was all okay. After that we had to go into Seoul to spend the night. We rode the ITX bullet train from ChunCheon into Seoul. A really cool guy sat next to me so I got to talk to him for 50 minutes about his life and his family and about why I'm in Korea and stuff; it was really fun. Then that night we ran to Costco to grab some food and then we headed to DongDaeMun to spend the night there.

Friday was our Zone Conference. It was the Health Conference with doctors. We learned from them about how to be healthy and that kind of stuff. It was good but really long. And after that Elder Kim was doing his pass off with the assistants for two hours so I just sat and talked to the doctors and their wives for a while. Then we finally left Seoul and barely made our bus back to Wonju and got home at about 8:45 PM.

Saturday we taught English at Golden Voice and then went to a meat buffet with them but then nobody came to our English class so we just called people that we have needed to call to set up appointments. Then we met with 정진택. He hadn't really been progressing at all but he has been reading the Book of Mormon a lot lately and comes with lots of questions for us about what he reads. So we talked a lot about the Book of Mormon and bore our testimonies about it and it was a really good meeting. I think that as we meet with him over time that his heart will be softened, especially as he feels the spirit. 

After that we met with a new investigator named 이주원. He's in his 30's and we met on the street a few weeks ago. He's a way cool guy but he's always out partying and drinking and stuff. He took us out to eat at a restaurant and then he wanted to start drinking but we told him that we don't drink and that we don't want to be with him when he drinks but then he started drinking anyway and then the meeting got a little out of hand. He was mad that we had to leave to go home. Then he wanted me to drive his car for him since he was drunk but I said no and he got mad again. Then finally we agreed to ride a taxi together and we made it home pretty late. He's a great guy but not the greatest guy once he gets drunk so from now on we aren't gonna meet with him if he's gonna drink.

Sunday we had good meetings at church and then we met with 김동욱. Before he really couldn't focus when we met. He would always turn on music and then randomly get up and leave and come back with drinks and stuff like that but this time he wasn't like that. We shared a lot about the Book of Mormon and answered a lot of his questions and we made progress with him. We bore our testimonies and he really felt it. Then he said that he wanted to meet us with some of his friends so he's gonna try to bring his friends with him from now on. After that we went streetboarding for a few hours and talked to lots of really cool people. Then we went home and ate dinner and headed to the bus station to pick up our zone leaders. They came to Wonju to interview 이상혁 for baptism and stayed the night here last night because they have to go to Seoul tonight. The baptismal interview went really well, but we are moving the date to the 17th of June so that his dad can be there.

Last week was great! We have lots of cool stuff lined up for this week too! Thanks for all your support. Love you all!

-Elder Rife