Monday, January 27, 2014

We have about 500 Book of Mormons in our house.
This week was a tough one for missionary work. We had a TON of snow, which means no one on the streets, and lots of shoveling at the church. And our 20min ride took an hour and half. But that night on the way back the bus driver ran every red light and got us home in 15.
If you get a little head start, you can slide for 20-30ft at a time, standing up. Gets Koreans laughing everytime. And snow always brings miracles!
We met this guy on the street last week, June Young. He told us his phone was dead and he'd text us later. Likely story. I saw him pull out his phone as we left, and watched him scroll through facebook. BUT THEN HE ACTUALLY TEXTED US. And brought his friend when we met! MY FIRST REFERRAL! 6months of asking pretty much everyone I see for a referral.....and we get one!!! Despite the snow we still met him. And he accepted a soft baptismal commitment. Woop. He's the one that hugged us the first time we met on the street.
Our miracle people we found tracting? Met them again this week. Gwang-il and Ah-ee-yah. They're super excited about Joseph Smith and read in the Book of Mormon. But their korean is wayyyy over Elder McFarland and my head. They'll rattle off a fast sentence then ask us if it's true. "ㅁ나어로녀ㅏㅗ루ㅜㅕㅍㅊ놈덜ㄷㅇ. RIGHT?" So it's a little tough. Our district leader actually might be taking them over. Which hurts, but if that's what it takes for them to come unto Christ, we'll sacrifice.
We got 200 less contacts this week than last week. And had to drop an investigator. Which was really hard. It really hurts when you do all you can to help someone; you testify and really feel the spirit together, you confound them, you love them, they feel your love, they recognize that we have someone special; but then they reject it. He was just too stubborn to accept us even hypothetically. AH. It is so sad. I understand when the Book of Mormon prophets get weighed down in sorrow because of people's stiffneckedness. AHHH. But we don't get discourgaged.
"Oh Lord, my heart is exceedingly sorrowful; wilt thou comfort my soul in Christ. O Lord, wilt thou grant unto me that I may have the strength that I many suffer with patience these afflictions which shall come upon me, because of the inquity of this people."
"Wilt thou comfort my soul, and give unto me success....behold O Lord, their souls are precious...therefore give us O Lord power and wisdom that we may bring these, our brethren, again unto thee." (Alma 31:31-35)
We still press forward with steadfastness in Christ. We are on the winning team. It hurts when those we love don't accept this huge blessing. But we go on. In Korea our "afflictions" aren't starvation, imprisonment, or other physical things. Our affliction is rejection, watching people reject that with they know is true, turn away from the light. But the Lord promises, that we can be blessed to "suffer no manner of afflictions, save it were swallowed up in the JOY of Christ." (alma 31:38)
This work is amazing. I love it. I still see miracles everyday. I love studying the Book of Mormon.

Elder Rosenberg

Monday, January 20, 2014

January 20,  2014

Did some sweet caving this week for pday. yeahhhhh.
We had the coolest experience with an investigator this week, Brother Kim. We were planning to teach about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but we changed to Plan of Salvation on the fly. Brother Kim was going on about how after death there is nothing, it's just the end. Then Elder McFarland totally confounds him with his own words. "Last time you said when Christ comes again, he's sending all the wicked pastors to hell.....why would only the wicked live again?" He totally stopped. Mouth mumbling. Nothing. Finally he retorts with "Well most Christians don't really know what happens after death either!" (essentially challenging our knowledge.) So BOOM I open the Book of Mormon straight to Alma 40 and start reading. Spiritual SMACKDOWN. The good old one two, companionship double team. Then he stops and just asks quietly "You're telling me you actually believe Christ is your Savior?" The Spirit was SOOOO strong as we testified of Christ, his atonement, and the Father's plan of happiness. AHHH it was so coool. And we gave him American candy after the lesson "Showing afterwards an increase of love" ala D&C 121.
On Sunday I gave a priesthood blessing in KOREAN. What?!?. A brother pulled us in to help  bless his wife. We realized that one of us would have to anoint, so Elder McFarland read the anointing out of our handbook. Then we turned to the husband, ready for him to seal the anointing. But he just walks outside. And closes the door. What? We thought he was goign to get someone else to help. Nope. He just wants us to do it. And work a miracle. AH!!!! So I read the blessing out of the handbook. Stumbling, halting, slowly. Awfully pronounced. But correct. I had no amazing gift of tongues, but I was able to bless this poor sister to be healed. And according to her faith, she will be. It was a powerful experience for me. (Blessings have to be in "king form" a style of language that most koreans don't know. So I didn't even understand what I was reading....)
We've never found a new investigator from knocking doors. Ever. So we prayed and decided that this week we would. We focused on knocking as much as we could, instead of street contacting or calls. So for a week we knocked hundreds and hundreds of doors. One 20 story building after another. And though we had lots of cool miracles and crazy stories (I had someone spit on me, they were yelling so loud. pretty funny) we didn't get any new investigators. So Sunday came around and we were still two new investigators short of our goal. But we set a goal in faith and went to work!  We knocked for a couple hours and nothing. Sunday night. We're heading to an appointment, walking through this little alley up a mountain. I looked at a house and felt like we should knock it. So we did. No one answered. But we felt like we should keep knocking. So we did. Finally this lady answers and actually lets us in. This couple is the COOLEST. They have such powerful conversion stories and said that we were an answer to their prayers. The wife's name literally stands for "abraham, isaiah, jacob." "ah-ee-yah" They were super excited and want to meet again. I have NEVER met someone that excited about the gospel on my entire mission. The last door we knocked, the last day. We set that goal in faith, and worked our tails off. And the Lord provided.
Heavenly Father is way too good to us.

It's all true. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

January 13,  2014

Probably the strangest lesson I've ever taught. This morning we taught two Seventh Day Adventist missionaries from the Philippines. Super cool guys. But we taught them in a bathouse at 6am. So we were sitting in pools of steaming tea, naked. Pretty great. And I had a great gospel contact in the sauna afterwards. Just an average day in Korea.
This week has been a week of many miracles. We spent a lot of time on Sunday knocking in a place I call "the village." There's a picture of it. Missionaries never go there. And the village is NOTHING like the rest of the mission. This is probably the only place it exists.
2 Facts about 'tracting' in Korea. 1) missionaries don't tract. 2) if missionaries ever do, they don't get let in.
Well......this companionship has been let in several times. And we actually got offered in 3 times on Sunday. We found investigators that we could never find otherwise. The village is probably the sketchiest thing I've ever seen, and it's impossible to navigate at night. But there are children of God there! And we'll find them!
We met an investigator we found on the street for the first time this week. When we gave him a soft baptismal commitment, his answer was "Of course." So we're excited for him.
A random person texted us, said we'd met him on the street. Wanted to meet. Miracle, right!? Turns out he's mentally handicapped, and already saved.
BUT. We had some sweet miracles on Thursday. We were riding a bus home with NO men on it(we're not allowed to proselyte to women). We were joking, "Hey first man that gets on, he's mineeee." Then this kid gets on right before we were about to get off.
But we ran up to him anyway, almost jokingly, because we had 30secs left. Turns out he's super cool and wants to meet and set up an appointment. So we were on a high walking home. That night we were assembling our midweek stats during planning and saw that we had 99 contacts so far. I said, "We can't report 99!!! I'm calling someone." So I said a quick prayer and called a number off a call sheet. And that number is now a new investigator!!!!! WOOHOO! So now we are ALWAYS going to shoot for one more contact, one more call, one more door.
It's been an amazing week. My comp, Elder McFarland is the man. Super funny and a good missionary. We doing crazy work together. We just pack sandwiches and never come home. He's great.

Love you all! 

Monday, January 6, 2014

January 6, 2014

Yay! I'm 21 now! In korea you turn older at new years. woop woop.

The new years sunrise here is world famous. So we went with our ward and it was AMAZING. Too cool. So pretty. 
A member this week is a professional painter. We helped him move, so he just gave me this painting. And the frame itself is massive and gold. I'm not sure how I"m going to move a 1000 dollar painting through customs.....

This week we've done a TON of knocking. And got a TON of slammed doors. Koreans are pretty harsh. So I was feeling a bit sad that so many people wouldn't even allow a few seconds to hear a message that could change their lives. So much stiffneckedness, so much hardheartedness.
I thought to Mormon and Moroni and their struggles with wicked people...."not withstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently; ... for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay" (Moroni 9:6).

Their situation was sooo much worse than mine. Here everyone just breaks the law of chasity and the word of wisdom all the time. In Mormon's time they ATE PEOPLE too. So it was much worse. I've got it easy. But they pressed forward, laboring with diligence, despite the seeming futility. So too must I "be faithful in Christ" let him "lift me up" and let his hope of eternal life rest in my mind. (Moro 9:25).  

And President shared this with us "If you don't see miracles on your mission, it's your fault."  So even if everyone rejects our message, I can still see the Lord's hand in his work. We can still be successful. We can still see miracles. 

We've seen SO many miracles this week:
We traveled to a distant "village" type place, and started going door to door to little Korean gate thing. As we sought spiritual direction (especially in coming to a place missionaries never go) we were led to a certain house. The lady had no interest and told us to go away. But we kept talking and she changed her mind. And let us in. And told us we'd be her sons for the evening. Such a good meal. 

We've had people randomly call us, asking about the "appointment we have set up tomorrow." We never set up an appt, and we have no idea who they are. But now we've meeting them. And the kid understood our lesson from the "Earthly Father, Heavenly Father" message perfectly.

We had people stop and talk to us for 10 minutes in the sleeting snow, as we get soaked and frozen. 

It snowed a foot one day and NO ONE was on the street. We got 7 contacts ALL day. That's how sparse. But 4 of those were total miracle contacts.

So miracles have NOT ceased among the children of men. (moro 7:35-36) The Lord directs this work. Wherever you are, among whomever you serve, the Lord will be there. Let us labor diligently. Let us be faithful in Christ. We have a work to do. No amount of rejection, no amount of hardship, no amount of wicked opposition can stop this work from going forth. 

It's true.