Monday, October 15, 2012

Letter from Elder Rife~October 15, 2012

Last week was such a good week! And conference was amazing. Seriously it seems like each meeting went by way too fast. It was weird.

Last Monday night we met with Brother Kim. He was progressing really well before but he kind of slowed down a little bit. We taught him about how faith leads us to action and were trying to commit him to act on his faith but he stopped us and told us that since he is 50 and has studied about Bhudda his whole life it's going to take him more time to accept the gospel and he wants more time to read the Book of Mormon before he acts on anything. He also got a new job and is now really busy. Hopefully we can still meet with him regularly and read the Book of Mormon with him and help answer his questions and help him to understand the gospel better.

Last Tuesday we had a pretty funny experience. We were going to go streetboarding at one of the big universities in our area and so us and the Dongdaemun elders took the boards and set everything up. There were seriously hundreds and hundreds of people so we were just talking to everyone and having a good time and then we realized that right across from us on the other side of the road were the Jehovah's Witnesses streetboarding, too. Except their approach was a little bit different than ours. They had really expensive boards and were wearing really nice suits and had smart phones and brief cases. We just had old streetboards and four foreigners trying to speak Korean. It was really fun. We got to talk to them for a little bit and we were really nice to them and wished them the best.

Last Wednesday we had a training meeting where we learned about revelation, specifically 3 kinds of revelation.

1- Revelation compared to turning on a light. As soon as the light comes on you can see everything perfectly. Probably the least common form of revelation.

2- Revelation compared to a sunrise. It comes gradually, little by little until you can see everything clearly.

3- Revelation compared to walking in fog. You can barely see in front of you and as you continue to move forward you can see things little by little.

It was cool for me to think about times in my life where I have looked for an answer and received one and to see which kind of revelation I received. I feel like on my mission one of the hardest things has been my mother's sickness. I've tried to learn everything the Lord wants me to learn. I feel like it is coming the same way as the sunrise. Little by litte I can understand things more until one day (maybe not in this life) I will understand completely why the Lord's timing was the way it was.

Thursday we met with a man named Oliver Williams and had lunch with him. He's a business professor at one of the universities here and we met him at a Subway one day eating. He was also a professor at Notre Dame and knew a Mormon professor there. We ate lunch with him and talked for a while. He is a Catholic priest and so we wanted to learn more about the role his religion has played in his life but we didn't really get there. We also really want to hear his testimony of Christ but we will try to do that next time. He's really great and wants to meet with us weekly so hopefully we can get more into religious stuff next time.

After that we got a call from a random college student who said that he was in a religion class and was studying about religions in the community and saw ours and wanted to interview us. He said they could meet us in 30 minutes so we agreed and met them at the church. It was a guy and two girls. At first it seemed a little awkward for them since they were in our church and weren't expecting us to be Americans but once we got talking everything was good. They just fired off question after question at us about things they didn't understand about our church and about rumors they had heard. They recorded the whole 45 minute long discussion to listen to in their class. So we got to teach the whole first lesson and answer all of their questions and testify and teach about the commandments. The last question they asked was, "Isn't it hard being a missionary in Korea when almost everyone rejects you?" So then I explained that it's different here because many people have heard bad things about our church so they are immediately biased and reject us because of what they have heard. Which was hard on me at first because I had never been rejected like that in my life before. But now as my understanding grows deeper and my testimony stronger I don't care about rejection. I feel grateful that I can be rejected for the Lord's sake. After all, Christ was rejected among the Jews and was crucified because of His testimony. It hasn't been that bad for me but I have been able to suffer a little bit so that I can understand how amazing Jesus Christ really was. It was such a powerful experience for us to teach and testify and I could really feel the spirit so strong and knew that the students were feeling it too. They got a picture with us so that they could show their classmates. I know without a doubt that something will happen with one of those students in the future because of our meeting with them. Whether in a year or 30 years or in the spirit world I know that they will accept the gospel.

After that we met with a kid named Kevin. He's from Australia but is Chinese. He speaks English like an Australian. He is sooo cool! He has pretty much every question of the soul and is just curious about what God wants him to do in his life. He asked us tons of questions and is really seeking the truth. We taught him a little bit about the plan of salvation and are going to go more in depth when we meet with him next.

We also met with Sister Park. She is keeping commitments and came to conference with us on Sunday. But she still has lots of doubts. It seems like she is too focused on information but I'm not really sure.

I'll write two things I loved from conference real quick and then I gotta go! I loved what Elder Bednar talked about: the difference between testimonies and conversion. We can't just have a testimony of the gospel; it's not good enough. We must be completely converted to the gospel. I can honestly say I had a testimony before my mission but I wasn't converted yet. And conversion is not just a one time thing but is progressive and is always happening. I am still converting but I am so much further along in the process than I was at the start of my mission. I have learned so much! Testimonies can be shared but conversion can't.

I loved Elder Holland's talk. It reminded me of being a missionary.. Once we have learned these things and done them we can't just go back home and "go fishing" again since we don't know what to do anymore. We need to keep doing the things we've learned to do!!! I love that. Once we've put our hand to the plow we can't look back!

We picked up two new investigators last night, Brother Jung and Brother Kim. Brother Jung isn't too interested in the gospel but I have hope that we can help him so we are gonna keep meeting him a couple more times. And Brother Kim is a devout member of another church and has lots of opinions about our church but just wants to know more and study with us. Hopefully we can help clarify things for him and help him feel the spirit!

I gotta go! I love you all!!!

-Elder Rife

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