Wednesday, August 28, 2013

August 23

I'll try to make this short...not much time.

I am still soooo grateful for such a great companion. I learn things from him everyday. His passion fo rKorean is inspiring. He is such a loving a charitable Elder too. I am so blessed to know him. I really hope we get to serve together in Seoul down the road. 

I've started to put a new emphazize on SYL or Speak Your Languege. It's where you try to use Korean, as much as you know, all the time. It's making a big difference already. I know that as I continue to strive to SYL, miracles will occur and the gift of tongues will kick in even more. One sign that I'm learning more Korean: my English is getting way worse. Hmmmm.

I was released as District Leader. I'm so glad the Lord saw fit to call me to that position so early on. It was what I needed to be more humble, more stressed, and more reliant on him. I wouldn't have been nearly as challenged had I not had that  in the beginining. And I nkow now, more than ever, the power of the spirit in inspirign us. I would teach things, ask questions, and do things taht I know hweren't from me. The Lord used me as a tool to bless his children and I gerw so much because of that.

In the Elder Holland devotional, he talked about how wee were saved for this time. He didn't know why all of us were chosen, because he doesn't think that he is really any better than his ancestors, but for some reason, we were chosen to be the ones to perform the work in the last days. We are the ones that the whole world has waited for since its inception. Every dispensation ahs fallen into apostacy. Every prophet knew that he would inevitably fail; his people would fall away. But not this dispensation. This is the tim ewhere we finally win. This is the time that gave hope to all those who went before. And WE, all of us, not just full time missinoaies, are responsible to carry out that work. We owe SO much to those that went before. It really is a heavy load to bear, once you understand what he means. But it is super motivating. We are winning now! We cannot bear to let a moment pass by with out focusing on our purpose. 

The temple is wonderful. It was closed for cleaning so last week was the first time we got to go. AHHHH. So great. The changes are amazing too. I truly feel that they are an example of the greater revelation that is to come forth in the fullness of times. I'm sure the Lord could have taught me all that anyway, but I feel that so much more is now more fully explained. I understand so much more clearly our purpose on earth and the nature of the fall.\

I've been focusing a lot on prayer. Effective prayer takes great effort. My inherited prayer narcolepsy (DAD.) makes it take even greater effort. But I think I found a rememdy. Just as for an importnatn meeting one would prepare an agenda, I've begun to prepare somewhat of an agenda for my conversation with my Father in Heaven. Evening prayer is where you account for how you spent HIS time that day on the mission. I've found my prayers meaning much more and being so mcuh more sweet to my soul. It is such a blessing. Don't rush the privilenge of talkign with your Father in Heaven. Pray for trials. Pray to know who you can serve, and how you can sacricfcie in their behalf.

The Plan of Salvation is so precious. How tuching it is taht the most all powerful, all knowing being would want so badly for us to return to him and be like him, that he would spent ALL of his time working on that. (moses 1:39) He WANTS us to return to him. So all we incounter in life is for our good and will help us return to him. We need to see that. It brings such peace and perpective to life. My how the people of Korea will be blessed by such a Plan of Happiness!

Oh and I taght my district to split apples. hahahahahaha It's pretty great. 

Love you all so much! Keep praying for me! Keep writing me! Do great things! 

Elder Rosenberg
August 16

Hi Family,
Elder South and I have continued to teach investigators every day. At the beginning of this week, I decided that we shouldn't bring notes or scripts into our lessons with us. Our teacher was telling the Sisters how you just have to trust in the gift of tongues, and leave your notes behind so you can teach by the spirit more. I thought, "well, if we prepare hard, and show enough faith, the Lord will bring the things we need to our remembrance." Thankfully Elder South had enough faith to go along with it. That first no note lesson was AMAZING. We taught something totally different than we planned because that was what the investigator needed. We were able to remember the words we needed and nothing more. It was hard. But it felt so good to teach by the spirit. We asked more questions and taught so much more to his needs. As I was about to have him read a scripture had picked out, I felt that it was the wrong one. So I pulled the book back and flipped tio a new one. It was perfect.
So that's been really interesting. It's pretty nerve wracking up until we're in the lesson. We just wondering if we're doing enough of our part. But once we're in the lesson, it's all goooood! (we're talkign 30-40min lessons)
WE committed one of our investigators to baptism!!!! Aug 31st!!! But we have soooo much to teach him. His name somethign like Kim young Sheik. really hard to romanize. We feeel soooo good. The Lord is truly blessing us for our faith and diligence.
Probably the coolest thing this week? Elder Richard G. Scott came for the Tuesday devotional. And I CALLED IT! Rumor was that it was going to be an apostle. I said Elder Scott. Hands down. And it was.
WOW. It was amazing. He talked about pray. I don't have time to write much about it. But he brought an awesome aura of love with him. It was palpable. At the end of his talk, you could see him pausing to listen to the spirit and he kept adding additional words of wisdom. He said that with "apostolic authority" he pronounced a blessing upon those of us learning a new language. If we had faith in God, we would receive the gift of tongues. As we had faith and strove to better our relationship with our companions, the language would come easily! It was amazing. Words can not describe the feelings that were present. I know there were angels around us. He also said that he felt that his wife was with us as he spoke and that's why he had been so emotional during his talk. As he walked out, he stopped and yelled "BE GOOD!"
Elder South is great. President Mitchell said I would have hard companionship, but this is certainly not oen of them. Oh what a blessing.
Quick health update:
2.5 weeks:
I've regained weight, but had to tightened my belt a notch. Consider my six pack has never looked better, I'd say it's muscle. I love the erg. I've been working on my 2k time. Of course all there west coasters here have no idea what i"m talking about.
I think things were becoming a little too easy. So the Lord made this a little hard by making me sick. I think it's a cold. Congestion, coughing, sore throat, tired. But I'm still smiling! And despite my self medication: 1-2 cups OJ per meal, 2-3 tablespoons of straight honey per meal, less dairy, more fluids, I've not gotten any better really. I blame it on the fact that they haven't been serving sprouts. But I bought some chewable vitamin C toady finally. And my companion and I have been working on my pill swallowing issues. 10 tries with m&ms per night. It's going to happen.

Anyway, I got to go. I get to go to the temple today! I love you all. Keep praying for me. I's amazing how prayer can bring personal revelation if you make it more specific, meaningful, and more of a heartfelt conversation with your Heavenly Father. VOCAL PRAYER! KNEELING PRAYER! Keep it up.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Week #2 August 9, 2013

Now for whats been going on....
I can't believe I've been here a week. It's gone by so fast, but feels like it's been forever. I want to share a few of the many experiences I've had this week.
1) TEACHING! Elder South and I taught our first investigator last Friday(2 days after we got here) In Korean of course. And then we preceded to to teach him everyday for the next few days.It sounds simple, but how in the world can two young men with only a couple days of korean behind them teach a man about God? How can they explain about Jesus Christ, his atonement, or the Book of Mormon? The answer is easy: they can't. But if they rely fully on the Lord, place their trust solely in him and not on their own understand, miracles happen and the Spirit WILL teach that man. As we prayed so hard, in humility and sincerity, for Brother Yoo by name, the Lord inspired us. i had insights that I know were not my own. We taught him to pray using the korean version of the restoration pamphlet. We gave him a Book of Mormon and explain about it using the a Mormon Message with Korean subtitles. And when we spoke, our mouths were filled. As we prayed for the spirit we were able to find the phrases we needed in Koeran and even though we didn't fully understand them, we were able to communicate our message. It was amazing to see our own progression across the first few lessons. The Lord indeed strengthens us with his power and will accomplish his work, no matter the weakness of his tools. And that is the Lord's unique lang learning model. It's all focused on the investigator and teaching him and his needs. All related back to our missionary purpose. We make personal lang study plans and set daily goals to help us reach the main goals of helping our investigators come unto Christ. We teach a lesson almost everyday. We have 6 hrs of class and 3 additional hrs of lang study. So much of it is done on our own. So we plan and set people/purpose focused goals, and then we use every available moment to study: meal times, gym times, all the time!

 I'm out of time. But I bore my testimony on fast sunday. It was short and slow and in korean, but it was true! Elder South is great. I love him so much. The Lord blessed me so much. We snag in the MTC choir on tuesday at the devotional. It was way neat. Elder Jensen spoke about the scriptures. Learn to love them. Study like you would study something important for school. Upright, quiet place, notes, etc. retire scriptures from time to time and mark up new ones And SHARE! That was  big one. Share what you've learned so you can learn better and so others can be edified as well. Korean is great. It forces me to be humble and rely on the Lord. The converting power is directly related to the scriptures! So D&C 112:10! Be humble and he will take you by the hand. YOU have to plan well to teach by the spirit.
Love you all so much! This place is great. I feel your love and prayers. It is isn't easy, it isn't fun, but it's so rewarding and there's nothing I'd rather be doing. Except for actually being in Korea teaching. But that will come in its due time....

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Cole's First E-mail Home: August 2, 2013

Hello Ka-Joke! (Family in Korean)
So my P-Day is Friday. Or at least it will be for the next 8-9 weeks or so.  And I get 60min of email time. Woohoo!
I think the Lord sure knew I needed humbling, because that has been the majority of my experience here. I have a wonderful companion, Elder South, who went to Yale last year. He speaks good enough Chinese to talk to the Chinese speaking elders who are about to leave. And he speaks wayyy more Korean than anyone else in my district. Having him as a companion is great, but humbling. It's a huge blessing in trying to learn the language though; like having a walking dictionary with you 24/7. As soon as I got to the MTC, I dropped of my stuff and headed to class. I walked in and the teacher was only speaking Korean. (He still has only said a couple of english words.) I was expecting that, but it still was a little like jumping into the finger lakes....really shocking. But I know it's going to help us learn the language so much faster. I can already pray in Korean, we've sang a couple hymns, and we teach our first investigator (in Korean of course) tonight. I still struggle with reading the alphabet fast enough to sing along, so I'm super excited to master it so I can sing more.
Another humbling thing: in all the teaching experience we've had so far in english with role playing, I've been struck by how imperfect of a teacher I am. I would have a far way to go in english alone. But I have to do this all in Korean. Good thing this is the Lord's work and not mine. I'm sure he gets frustrated sometimes with how imperfect his tools are, but I know he provides a way for us to still accomplish his work, regardless of our shortcomings. A huge part of that is the spirit. In my interview with a member of our branch presidency (All the korean districts are under a korean branch), he asked what I wanted to get out of my MTC experience. I told him that I wanted to be as prepared as possible to hit the ground running in Korea. Thus I wanted to learn as much of the language as I could, increase my testimony of the Savior and his Atonement and how it's blessed my life, and perfect my teaching skills. Then I countered and said that my skills wouldn't be perfect, so I'd like to improve them. He told me not to lower my expectations. If we teach with the spirit, which touches people's hearts perfectly, we can have perfect teaching skills. So I will strive to be perfectly obedient so that I might be worthy of that spiritual power that is available thanks to the authority of my calling. 
It's also interesting to me. I have no desire to be home. I have no desire to be done with this mission. Despite the non-stop work, I have been blessed with increased focus and capacity. On a normal day we have class for 6 hours. In ONLY korean. There's no way I could have handled that  before my mission. I would be so close to falling asleep in Board meetings that were that long. But I'm focused here. It's te-bah (awesome). I also don't feel discouraged at all. Whenever I even start to think about wallowing in my korean weakness, I am overcome with an increased knowledge that the Lord's power is helping me. "The Lord giveth no commandment unto the children of men..." As long as I work as hard as I can, studying in every spare moment (as I fall asleep, I repeat phrases. as I run, I repeat phrases. I try to use as much korean as possible) I KNOW that the Lord will help me do this work.
One of the most humbling things: I was assigned to be district leader. Wow. We have so many studs in our district, so many better at the language, older, etc, that I was at a loss to why I was asked to accept this assignment. But I know the Lord will help me lead my district with love and the spirit. I pray for them each by name. (Oh, we have 2 sisters, and 10 elders.) So it's going to be awesome. I know I will be blessed to handle the extra work ontop of my already crazy busy schedule. WOOO!
So I've eaten no dessert. And I have yet to finish a full meal. And I've had tons of fruit and veggies, sprouts and cottage cheese, and other healthy foods. And we've had some solid workouts. We get about an hr 5 times a week. So I ran one day on the indoor track and today my South Chang-no-neem (Elder) and I went to the gym. I did a really good circuit (Dad you'd be proud) that took up most of the time. No loitering, you've got to use it all wisely! Then we used the last 5 minutes to row a 1000m on the ergs. Seesh. Bottom line? I'm eating less (on purpose) and healthier than I have in the past month.  AND I'm exercising more than I did at Grandma's. So according the scale I've lost weight. (Probably just water weight) But I do think that if I keep this up I'll lose a little bit. Please inform the nice gentleman at Mr. Mac that I am not gaining weight.
EVERYONE here is from Utah. So my companion has seen 15 people he knows. I've only seen 3. All Annandale Stake girls. Sister Tanner, Sister Garces, and Sister Weigel. I wasn't super close to any of them, but it's still cool to see people you know! Oh and I saw Elder Wilcox from Philmont. He's actually in my district! Teh-bah.
My address has had a slight adjustment. Instead of "OCT 1" it's now "SEP 30". My old address should still get mail to me, but 'SEP 30' is better.
700 Elders arrived on the same day as me!
"Be not afraid, only believe"-Mark 5:36.
People keep saying "Just make it to Sunday. Just make it to Sunday." I don't quite understand because I love it! It's certainly challenging.  But it's TE-BAH! In only a couple days my testimony has grow and I feel so much closer to the spirit. Though I'm already itching to be out of here so I can be in Korea, finding, teaching, and inviting.
This is truly God's work. He has blessed me more already than I could have imagined. I feel honored to be his servant and strive to be worthy to have the 3rd companion with us always. I know that we are put in companionships for a reason and I am so grateful for an amazing companion like Elder South. He is a huge blessing to me. I love this gospel. I know that it can bring us peace in the this life and salvation in the life to come. I have been called to invite other to come unto Christ. I know that as we come unto Christ we will be happy. And we will be able to do things we never would have thought possible. I've been here less than 48hrs,  but I learned so much. AHHHHH THIS IS AWESOME.
Ha-na-neem a-bo-jee ee-sheem-da. (God is our father)
I love you guys so much!
Keep praying for me, I really do feel your support.

Love the scriptures! They rock!
Elder Rosenberg