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

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