Sunday, December 29, 2013

December 29, 2013





I feel like a real missionary now. I've knocked more doors now than most missionaries in Korea will their entire missions. They have these huge 20-30 story buildings with security locks, but we just push
buttons until someone lets us in. Or we sneak in. And then knock until someone calls security to kick us out. We've had some fun stories, men opening the door in their underwear (speedo style), people just
screaming and slamming the door, and more. One guy opened the door, looked at us "ONE SECOND." closed it. Then comes back, hands us two oranges, then just shuts the door. What?!?. We did get let in once though! But they just fed us tea and wanted to hang out. "Jesus, no! English, yes!" That happens a lot. And I was offered cigarettes. That's a first.

Christmas was AMAZING. We went to Seoul for a mission wide conference, and it was great. Our conference was soooo good. I felt such a wonderful spirit and received tons of personal revelation. Just what I needed. And we had a sweeeet talent show. The professional parkour Elder(we were tight in the mtc) was doing an act, but before he started he just yells out "Where's Rosenberg? I need a beat!" So I
dropped him a little something while he flipped off of walls and spun off the stage. What a large in stature man. But I haven't beatboxed since I got to Korea so it was weird. And other than MTC people, know one had ever heard me do it. So that was fun.

Because there's not a lot of people on the streets, we've been working through the old call sheets and records from old missionaries. We've called hundreds of people, and have found some great people! We met one guy already and he seems super interested, "I'm the student, you're the teacher, I just want to learn about this book." Sweeeeet. The miracles are everywhere.

An English class member told us something that bothered me this week.  "You missionaries are so pure, so clean; and you have such a light. But that surely cannot last. You are young now, and still unspotted from the world. That cannot last. I'm afraid your light will surely fade." Wow. I sure hope this is not the best I'm going to be! I sure hope I haven't peaked yet! We told him that he was wrong. And testified of Christ, his gospel, and his atonement. The reason we have that light is because we have lived the gospel of Jesus Christ this far. And if we continue to live it, rather than be brought down, we
will press forward, become better and better. Through Christ's atonement I can be redeemed from my mistakes. I can receive the enabling strength to sustain good works that would be otherwise
impossible. Because of my Savior, I can have a hope that I will someday be perfect. Each day is a day to become something more. The gospel is a message of hope and improvement, not of a doomed state of damnation. My light will grow, not fade. All this because of my Savior. I know he lives. I know he loves us. I've felt his love, his hope, his healing. And I can never deny that.

Pictures!
--Costco. We went to one in Seoul. Same thing. Just more expensive and
all in Korean. And they sell some Korean food too. But same MUFFINS <3
----We went to this sweeeet outdoor market last pday. One of the most
famous in Korea. Sweet trees.--This lady was selling octopus's/octopi/whatever. You'd pick one and
she'd lift its head up and just chop it's brains out.

love you all! Happy New Years!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

December 23,  2013
My new area, ,동해, donghae, is AWESOME!
It's the country so it's beautiful and mountainy. And tons of snow.  And awesome. And it has these world famous sunrises that 75% of korea comes to see at new years. And it has one of the most popular beaches in Korea. It's SOOOO pretty.The water is an amazing shade of blue.

 There are SO much less people than in Seoul, so you can't afford to not talk to anyone! And we have to do a lot of actual knocking doors because no one is on the streets at night here. My companion, Elder
McFarland, is great. He's ready to work hard, be obedient, and get some baptisms! It's pretty funny because we're both pretty bad at Korean. "Do you now what he said?" "Nope." And we just go with it!
Since we're opening a new area, we've been working super diligently and have talked to SOOO many people. In only the 4.5 days we've had here, I've talked to twice as many as some entire weeks in Seoul. I'm super excited!

Our branch is 18 strong and is pretty great. They're super close and are a little different than American wards. They've got a nice bright Christmas tree in the chapel and a they tried to leave the Christmas
party decorations up for sacrament meeting. But they're super fun and have the cutest little girls, 3 and 6 yrs old. Korean children are ADORABLE.


Us missionaries performed "I heard the bells on christmas day" for the branch party. But we broke it down to a rap halfway through. So I broke my beatboxing fast for that short time. It was pretty sweet. And the members thought it was so funny. Hopefully not too sacrilegious....

I thought a girl was a boy yesterday: just doing the usual proselyting, basically flirting with the boy, telling him how handsome he is. But when I told "him" that he was so big and strong and must 18, "he" said in english "I girl!!!!" ooooopss. pretty awkward. But a common problem here.

We visited a less active they've been working with, who used to smoke two packs a day. As they've worked with him, he's really turning his life around, and making huge changes. And now "tobbacco is starting to just taste bad" what a sweet miracle.

We're been really focusing on the Book of Mormon this month. So we're trying super hard to give them out to people. And so many miracles are happening. In Seoul, I'd offer everyone I talked to a Book of Mormon, but I'd maybe give out 5-6 a day. But here, as we set high goals in faith and really pray to soften people's hearts, we've been giving out 12 or more a day. People who have little interest and don't want to meet us, still accept a Book of Mormon, and are touch by our testimony of it. Though they aren't prepared now, giving them this gift of infinite price offers them a chance to come unto Christ later. It's really been a testament to me of teh power of the Book of Mormon. It's true. It changes lives, especially mine. If you study it, in faith and humility, you will find answers. The other day I was studying how to do better door approaches. So I looked at ammon's "door approach" to King lamoni. Soooo much great insights. Missionaries didn't knock 20 stories columns of apartments in those days, trying to avoid getting kicked out by the security men, knocking on doors so they can't see us on their cameras. But the Book of Mormon still holds the answers we need TODAY. I love it. I try to live it. And my heart truly "rejoiceth in the scriptures." I find so much comfort and peace and inspiration
from it. I know it's God's word and I'm telling EVERYBODY that!

Love you all, Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 16, 2013

December 16,  2013

Transfer calls came! I'm getting sent to 동해! The coldest part of
Korea! And it's only 3-4hrs away from the rest of the mission. Super
far by speedy train. It's all the way by the east coast by the beach.
Apparently it's super nice in the summer, a big tourist spot. But in
the winter? We're talking frozen tundra with few people. WOOOHOOOO! I
can't wait. ANd my comp will be the same mission age as me, 3rd
transfer. So Korean.....is going to be fun. For those, and several
other reasons, it'l looking like 동해 might have the trials and miracles
I've been praying and hoping for! Much fun and growth await! YEAHHHH!

But that means I have to leave 길음. AHhhh I love them so much. You
don't realize how much you love someone until you have ot leave
them....we visited the old ward mission leader last night and I
started tearing up as we left. (One of the pictures is with him and
his family! They are amazing. Remind me of my family...) And my
investigators.....my comp is going ZL, so our area is whitewashed.
AHHHH. But he's taking some of them with him, thank goodness. When
you've been working with someone for so long and watching them
slowlyyyy progress, you can't bare to have someone else mess it up and
not appreciate how far they've come. Especially because last night
Brother 안 accepted a baptismal date! He's the sweet grandpa who points
out how "beautiful" I am regularly and likes to hold my hand. Part of
the motivation for baptism was this: I'm getting transferred and I'll
have to go back to America. But if he gets baptized, he'll be able to
see me again after we die! Not the best reason, but it added the icing
to his growing faith and helped him make that commitment.

So it's been snowing alot. So much that we need umbrellas some days.
And the sidewalks are all super icy. So I slide EVERYWHERE. It used to
be fun.....until I heard that last winter an ELder slipped, got sent
home, and wasn't able to come back. WHAT. NOT HAPPENING TO THIS ELDER.
But unfortunately I keep slipping. Here's the miracle: everytime I've
fallen, hard, I just pop back up. Not even a bruise or sore spot. It
literally feels like angels catch me on the way down. And I've had
some pretty huge wipeouts, remember Korea is 75% hill? YEah.
Definitely some divine intervention.

The other day, I was jundo-ing (the term for proselyting, or what we
spend teh most time doing) and this guy was not intersted at all. So I
hand him a card, tell him to call us, and wish him a good night. Then,
as I"m waving goodbye, I slip and totally DROPKICK him in the back.
That's what you get for not accepting salvation.....

It's all true. I love this work. I had a really powerful experience
the other day as I testified about the love we can feel when we pray.
God knows us, loves us, and because we are his children, he wants to
talk with us. As we do, we can receive such amazing strength and feel
such deep and abiding love.

Alma 56:46--God is with us and he will not suffer us to fall. We might
slip.....but we can get back up. You can do it now!

Love you all. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 9, 2013

December 9, 2013

We had the coolest service project this week!!!1 Making kimchi! Right outside a Buddhist temple! It made me realize why the grandmas are all bent over here. 3hrs shucking onions on a little stool.

So I've been thinking about service. And happiness. I had so much fun making kim chi for others (if I didn't know that the gospel would help them more, I'd make kimchi for 2yrs.) It's amazing how much happier you are when you help others instead of yourself. When you focus outward and think of other's needs, your own problems seem so small.

The best service we can render is that of the work of salvation. Helping others attain that sweetest of goals. Our families, our friends, people we love, people we've just met.  Part of that is missionary work, part of that is temple and family history work. Part of that is just going about doing good. Loving and serving all those around you.  It brings joy. It brings strength. It brings power.

I love it. That's why I'm truly happy. Hearing people here say that money makes them happy and their dream is a bigger house....makes me so sad. They need something more. They need this gospel

Love you all. Serve, give, truly learn to live.



Monday, December 2, 2013

December 2, 2013

Brigham Young, was called on a mission while on his sickbed. As the
wagons rolled out of the valley with him, he stopped it, pulled
himself up, and yelled back to his family, "Hurrah for Israel!"

I've been thinking about that a little this week, and the gift of
eternal optimism. We really need to face trials or challenge with such
an attitude. So this week when our water heater broke for 2 days and
we took frigid showers that caused me to lose feeling in my feet?
Hurrah for Israel!!! When I'm running home in the sleeting rain,
trying to balance my umbrella over my box of heavy groceries, trying
to keep the cardboard from getting so soggy it rips, the mile home?
Hurrah for Israel!! My challenges are so small compared to those that
other face. But regardless of the situation...HURRAH FOR ISRAEL! You
could not pay me to wipe the smile off my face in those situations. I
love it!!! People just think I'm that crazy foreigner who smiles wayyy
too much. But what have we to be sad about? Christ overcame the world,
so let us be of good cheer!

Thanksgiving was great. So much American food with a super generous
American family. I barely made it home. They lived in a sweet
apartment with 40 some floors. But sharing the spiritual message with
them was amazing. It's the first time I've had a chance to share a
message like that in English, so I was way nervous. It's so much
easier in Korean. I was praying like crazy. But as I opened my mouth
to talk about Christ and his atonement, the things that we are most
grateful for, the words just flowed. All those promises about your
mouth being filled? I didn't even think, things just came out. I asked
inspired questions, and testified with a power that I have rarely felt
before. It was a tender mercy from the Lord to not have to worry about
the language for once. Just about helping people come to Christ.  The
Spirit was so strong. I don't remember what I said, only the way I
felt.
But I shouldn't worry about Korean! I should have faith and just
testify away anyway!

Love you all! Pray for you!
HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!