Sunday, August 26, 2012

Letter from Korea~August 27, 2012

Hi Everyone!!

So this email might not be the most exciting. We literally spent 6 days cleaning out and fixing up our disgusting house. But it is now nice and clean! It's almost done we just have a few things left that we need to do.

Things we did last week:

Took off all windows/screens/bars and cleaned them.
Cleaned the black mold out from under the sink.
Killed thousands of cockroaches.
Cleaned all the cigarettes off the roof.
Threw out 500 liters of garbage.
Fixed bunkbeds and dressers.
Cleaned all of the moldy fold-up beds.
Cleaned all cabinets.
Cleaned the shower room.
Cleaned the bathroom.
Made a huge investigator whiteboard to keep track of investigators' progress.
Started organizing thousands of investigator/member/less-active records.
Mopped all of the floor.
Killed thousands of spiders outside our house and vacuumed all spider webs...that took 3 hours.
Cleaned out the fridges.
Cleaned behind the fridges (gross!!!!!!)
Cleaned and organized the shoe pit.

There was more stuff, I just can't remember anymore. Or maybe I just don't want to remember haha. It was pretty gross but we're glad that it's done.

Yesterday we had a good meeting at church and met with a less-active member from China. We are teaching him the new member lessons since he has been less-active for a while; it's going really well! We met with 지승란s and taught her about the Restoration and it was so good! The spirit was so strong and she accepted the commitment to prepare for baptism. We didn't set a specific date yet but she agreed to prepare for baptism and we will talk more about it next time and why baptism is so important. It was such a good experience. After that we met with more members and spent time with them.

I'm sorry I don't have much more to report on this last week!! Just imagine 4 missionaries cleaning a very disgusting house for 6 days! Made me very thankful for my house back in America.

Now there's a typhoon coming to Korea tomorrow so now we have to head home and go find some sandbags and block off our house a little bit because it's in the parking lot of the church and the ground is really flat so water will for sure come into our house if we don't block it off well. I'll take pictures now that my camera is working again! And I'll take pictures of our super clean house and send them all next week for sure!

Thanks so much for your love and support and prayers in my behalf!

I love you all!

-Elder Rife

P.S. There's a new Rife in the family. Rife Logan Hammer! I'm soooooo pumped! For pictures you can check my mom's blog.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Letter from Korea~August 20, 2012

Hey everyone! So this last week was seriously such a good week. It started out kind of slow but after that we met tons of sweet people and had lots of miracles.

Monday we wrote letters and just kind of relaxed at home for a little bit, then we did Family Home Evening with the Dongdaemun elders and some of their members. We also spent some time calling former investigators and calling potential investigators we have met on the street recently.

Tuesday we finished making more member message cards and then went out and visited some of the members. They loved the cards because we laminated them and gave them magnets that matched the paper we used so they could hang them up on their fridge. We spent some time street proselyting and then went back to Dongdaemun and taught English class.

Wednesday we had district meeting and then it was pouring rain so we did some of the record work that we needed to do; we went out and knocked doors for the rest of the night. We met tons of sweet people knocking doors and got in to one of them but she wasn't interested in the message too much.

Thursday we had a zone finding activity in one of the other areas for a while and had a really good time talking to people together. Then we went out and visited members and English flyered a little bit and proselyted.

Friday we had weekly planning meeting and then we went to one of the universities in our area and talked to a lot of the students there; unfortunately, since it's still vacation time there weren't too many kids at the school. We had a dinner appointment with one of our members; he's in the branch presidency (he was companions with Cole McWhorter in the Daejeon mission). I took the member books and less-active member books to his house and we went through them and he helped me update them and we even called some of the less-active members together. It was super effective because now we know a lot more about the members and less-active members in our area. I'm planning on doing it again in the next week or so.

Saturday we did more record stuff for an hour and then taught English class which was really fun. We have had a lot of people coming out lately. We taught a message on faith and invited people to learn more about our church. It went really well. After that we had dinner and then we had a huge list of people we needed to call so we just started calling like crazy and we set up a bunch of appointments for this week and talked to a lot of former investigators who we can follow up with again and then meet in the next few weeks.

Sunday was awesome! 지승란s said she was coming to church so we were waiting for her and expecting her to come but then she didn't. But she called and rescheduled for five oclock at night. A less-active member who we had called on Friday came to church and now we are going to meet with him once a week and reteach him the lessons because he never got the recent-convert lessons. He was really close with the missionaries before but then they stopped answering his calls for some reason and he went less-active. His name is 단경위. He's Chinese but he's really good at speaking Korean. It's kinda weird because we speak Korean to each other but it's neither of our first languages. He is way cool and is committed to coming to church every week and meeting us once a week outside of church. 

Elder Hone and I had companionship study and then our ward mission leader came to the church and we had our meeting with him. Then 지승란s came and we taught her about our purpose in life and the Plan of Salvation and next time we are going to teach her the Restoration. It went really well and she is so awesome. I really feel she is prepared for the gospel. 

We went out to knock doors for the rest of the night. We had been fasting all day and we knew that if we kept going that we would see a miracle. So we didn't go home for dinner. While we were knocking doors we were on the last one of the apartment and we knocked and a 21 year old kid (korean age, so 20 years old) answered the door and said, "Why don't you guys just speak English?" haha so we stopped speaking Korean and started speaking English. He had lived in Canada for a long time so he's fluent at English. He's a college student here. He told us that he had started going to church a month ago because his life was really hard and he was looking for something or someone that could help him. Then he told us that his father had passed away when he was seven and that he felt like his life had gotten harder and harder since then. So we shared a little bit about the plan of salvation and our purpose in this life and why we have trials. Then we each shared experiences and scriptures and our testimonies. It was such a powerful experience for us. His name is 이동민 and we are going to meet with him again this week to explain more about the plan of salvation and the restoration. It felt so good to know that we were where the Lord wanted us to be and that we could help this kid. He's so prepared. Elder Hone was ecstatic because we had been rejected soooooo many times before and over the last two weeks. It was so amazing!!!

We visited a member in the same apartment complex and they found out we hadn't eaten all day so they immediately started cutting up fruit and cooking up a meal even though it was 8:30 at night. Such amazing people.

The gospel is true! And I'm so thankful to be a missionary right now. Thanks for all of your love and support and prayers!!

-Elder Rife

Monday, August 13, 2012

Photos from Korea~August 13, 2012

[Elder Hone and me practicing teaching during comp study. The drawing is of Elder Hatch who lives with us.]

[Our costumes at the palace.]

[At the palace.]

[Our picture for the member message cards.]

Letter from Elder Rife~August 13, 2012

Hey, everyone!

Last week was so awesome! I don't have much time today but I will write as much as I can about last week.

Monday we went and visited a place called the Palace. It's in Gwanghwamun. It was really fun to go there and to take pictures and stuff. It was really cool! Then at night we went out on streets and talked to a bunch of people and set a few appointments with people to meet.

Tuesday we spent some time making a new English flyer to pass out to people when we proselyte. We took a picture of us four missionaries and put it on the flyer and then explained the programs. Then we went out and gave out English flyers and proselyted. We went out to get dinner with our ward mission leader to talk about the branch and make some plans. After that we had English class.

Wednesday we had Zone training meeting with our zone. After that we went home and proselyted then we did basketball proselyting with some kids we met at a university and we actually met some really cool kids there who will meet with us again this week.

Thursday we did weekly planning and then we went out proselyting and then we met up with some of the kids we had played basketball with the previous week and one of them said that he wanted to come to church. One of the other guys was born in Utah and then moved to Daejeon (just like me). So we got really close with them and they have a lot of potential for becoming investigators and coming to church with us.

Friday we went out to lunch with guy that we had met on the subway the week before. He took us to get octopus and then we got to meet all of his work colleagues and talk with all of them. It was a really good meeting and we are probably going to meet with them weekly. He is Bhuddist but he doesn't really do anything, just says he is. He said that he is okay with learning more about our religion. After that we worked on member message cards for our members and then we went out streetboarding with the Dongdaemun elders and then we knocked doors.

Saturday night we worked more on the member message cards and then we taught English class. After dinner we got punked twice, so we went and knocked doors for the rest of the night but we didn't have too much luck.

Sunday we had church and Elder Hone and I taught the 12-17 year old sunday school class and then spent some time after church getting to know more of the members. We had companionship study and then worked more on the member cards (which are sweet!!) and then we went back to the church and met with our new investigator named 지승란. She's 24 and is a student here. She's really good at English and was a referral from other missionaries. She wants help with English but she said that she really wants to know gospel stuff too. Elder Hone and I shared our favorite scriptures with her and set things up for our future visits and things went sooo well! I really think she is prepared. Her heart is open to the gospel. So we are really excited about her. Please pray for her too so that she can feel the urge to come to church and so that she can feel the spirit as we teach.

After that we had planned on going out and proselyting on the street but it was pouring rain so we spent a little bit more time knocking doors and we actually got into one!! It was awesome. The lady told us a little about her church and we explained about ours and shared the Book of Mormon with her. She was pretty old though and so she said (what most old Korean people say) "I'm too old for this.. Go try to share it with the younger people who need it." So then we testified that she needed it too but then she told us that she didn't want to know more. It was a really fun experience though and it was good practice for me and Elder Hone to teach together.

So I feel like a lot of what happened last week didn't actually make it into this email. We met soo many cool people and we set a lot of appointments for this week so we should have a lot more people to talk about in the future. I'm excited though. So many new people are coming up each day and are having interest. It just shows that no matter who you are if you try to do the Lord's work He will help you to have success. I know that gospel is true and is the only way to find real happiness. Thanks for all your support and prayers!!

-Elder Rife

Monday, August 6, 2012

Photos from Korea~August 6, 2012

[Taking all my stuff down the airport.]

[Elder Kim with all my stuff waiting in the subway.]

[Elder Kim and me at transfers.]

[Me and Elder Warren.]

[Me and Elder Rasmussen.]

[Sunset in Seoul.]

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Letter from Korea~August 6, 2012

{Trainer's Training Meeting. Elders Rife & Elder Hone on the left.}

Hey everyone!

I was transferred! My new area is called Ee-moon and my companion is Elder Hone. He's from Ogden, Utah. He's so cool! It was hard because I am supposed to lead him around the area but I know just as much as he does about the area. It's been fun though to walk around and get lost together and have to try to find our way back home each day.

Last Monday in Wonju we met up with some of our investigators and had a last meeting with them and then headed home to get our transfer calls. I actually had reorganized our house and packed up some of my stuff just in case I got the call.

Tuesday was chaos. I had so much stuff, so I sent tons of stuff by mail to my new area. Getting it all to the post office was a nightmare and it took forever. And it was really heavy. But after we got all of that taken care of we got the rest of my stuff together (bench, weights and bar, fan, etc.) and had a member give us a ride to the bus station. Then loaded it all on the bus and then got it all onto the subway and then after a few hours we were at the Dongdaemun house, which is actually where I live. The Dongdaemun elders and Ee-moon elders live together, so I live with Elder Hatch. We came to Korea in the same group and we are both training. So our house is us two and both of our greenies. It's so fun! Tuesday was crazy, though. A day I don't want to relive.

Wednesday morning we went to transfers and then we headed to the church right next to President's house to have trainer's training. Then we met our companions and had lunch at President's house and then one more meeting and then headed to our areas! The Dongdaemun house had been completely destroyed by the previous Elders so we had to rearrange the whole house and clean everything, on top of unpacking. The house we live in gets up to 100 degrees and is like 90% humidity so when we were cleaning we were dying.

Thursday we spent some more time cleaning things up and we went and visited our Branch President and talked to him for a while about our branch.. Oh and our branch is the only branch in Seoul. So we met with him and then spent some time walking around our area trying to find our church. We got lost for a while but while we were proselyting we found a really cool kid who is gonna meet with us this Wednesday!

Friday we had lunch with Elder Rasmussen. We have served around each other almost my whole mission. His family came and so they took us all out to lunch. After that we had weekly planning meeting and went all throughout our area walking around and talking to people! Then we had a dinner appointment with a member and we really got to know her well. She is going through a really hard time so it was perfect timing for us to meet her. Elder Hone shared a message from the Book of Mormon and we talked to her for a while. She said she was really lonely and so we told her we will visit her frequently then she told us that we are missionaries and should be doing the Lord's work instead. So then we told her that since she is one of God's children that visiting her and helping her is the Lord's work and she started crying. It was a really good meeting though and we got a lot closer with her.

Saturday we had English class together with the Dongdaemun elders and then we went streetboarding in front of a big college and talked to a lot of really cool people!

Yesterday we had a great church meeting. Our branch really gets things done. They run the church really well and I was really impressed. The first councelor in the branch presidency knows my dad really well. My dad had called him to be branch president in a branch down in Daejeon. He told me stories of funny things that my dad had said and stuff.

After church we went to a members house and spent some time there. Several of the members gathered together and we got to know them well and Elder Hone shared another really good message with them and then I bore my testimony after.

I don't have much time right now and I'm sorry that I didn't go in to much detail about our week! So much happened and we met tons of cool people who we are going to meet with next week. We also got a referral from some other missionaries who is going to meet with us next Saturday. And we met a guy on the subway who is also going to meet with us next Saturday.

I'm so thankful for the opportunity to "whitewash" this area and to get to train a new missionary. My companion is seriously so cool and we have so much fun together! I'm so excited for the time I have in Ee-moon and the sweet miracles we will see here.

Thank you all so much for your love, support, and prayers!!!!!!!

-Elder Rife