Monday, August 25, 2014

AHHH The best week

August 25,  2014

Once again, this week was the best week of my mission. Once again I remember why I'm here. Once again I'm reminded that this IS all true. ahhhhhh. I love it.

"God will hold us responsible for the people we might have saved, had we done our duty." 
--Pres John Taylor
We will be held accountable for all those that we could have helped, blessed, uplifted, all those who could have come to the same happiness as us, all those that could have, but didn't. If we are slothful and do not our duty, we will not be counted worthy to stand at the last day. AHHH I love these people so much and I so badly want them to enjoy the blessings I do. Moreover, it's my duty.

Biggest  miracle:
About 8months ago, I was working on trying to find a certain less active, Brother Yong-Gil, but wasn't able to locate his house. However about 3months ago, Elder Sullivan and I found him. Visited a few times, but just got yelled at. Actually very rudely, very harshly. Not fun. And the poor guy wouldn't even accept the brownies we made him! Ouch. That's the background on Brother Yong-gil. 

Well, these past few weeks, we've had 0 investigators and despite backbreaking effort, have yet found 0 new investigators. That's no fun. But we're still working hard. The other night, we were walking home after a long day of 0 zero success. We passed by a little pavilion sort of thing up a little hill. I saw a man sitting up there, in the dark, with headphones in. I thought, "yeah, that'd be a super weird contact. I'd have to walk up there, scare him, then super unnaturally start a conversation. (usually awful with koreans) yeah, I'll just go talk to the guy at the bus stop instead. that'd be better."

 But as soon as I walked past the hill, I felt the slightest nudge on my conscious. Ever so soft as to barely be recognizable. Probably one of the weakest spiritual impressions I've ever felt. But I followed it. I turned, strode up to this guy, plopped down next to him and started talking. He was ticked. But I kept talking. Then he says, "I know who you are. I know your face. I remember you. You came to my house." (whattttt? I've never seen this guy before? have I?) He keeps talking. Then suddenly it's hits me. BROTHER YONG-GIL! He freaks out. "you remember my name?????" Then elder sullivan jumps in too. BOOM. His heart begins to soften. We end up talking there in the dark for over an hour. About him, the missionary who baptized him, about the church, about prayer, about who it was God who told me to talk to him, about how God is still watching over him. 

It was an absolutely incredible experience. Probably one of the coolest of my entire mission. The Lord led us to this man, a man I've been praying for for months. And He softened this man's heart, little by little. As we prayed to close, he took our hands and simply said "I like you. I really do. You are good people." The man who before yelled in my face on multiple occasions. Told me many times to NEVER visit him again. This man was changed. 

2 quick principles from this experience. 
1--A few months ago, I would not have recognized or followed that spiritual prompting. But the Lord has been preparing me, teaching me how to recognize, how to follow His voice. I've had so many little things that prepared me for that moment.

2-The Lord is always watching over His children. He will lead them to you, He will lead you to them. He truly directs this work. He truly love each and every one of us. 

I love you all. This IS the work of the Lord. He loves each of you too. When we stray from the flock, He will leave the 99 and find us. We too must go to the rescue and find the 1. 

Elder Rosenberg

Monday, August 18, 2014

smores on a chopstick

August 18,  2014

Found an american candy store this week! Bought marshmellows, hershey's and roasted smores over a lighter. SOOOO goooood. Koreans are super inquistive people, so we had a whole crowd of them gathered around watching. It blew our recent convert's mind.
Met the manager of the Korean bobsled team this week. Nice guy. 

We did a service project picking up trash in the downtown of Donghae as a district. Super fun. Everyone that saw us just LOVED it. "Oh you came all the way from america to clean our great korea? ahhhhhhh" The neon mormon helping hands vests were super sweet. We want to keep doing it; it's a good way to soften people's hearts and help them see us in a different light. The Key to people's hearts!  (We're the missionary avengers, try and guess who we are!)

We had an incredible district meeting this week. I had a really tough time trying to figure out what we needed, and didn't feel like I had prepared as well as was necessary. But the Lord rewards those who give their best efforts. He really guided the meeting and sent His spirit among us. We talked a lot about the sabbath, church attendance, how to make it more meaningful for us and our investigators. It's hard to get a lot out of church when you don't understand what's being said. But if you come seeking revelation, desiring to learn, He will pour His spirit out upon us. We also took a few minutes and pondered why we each individually attend church. When the missionaries went around sharing their personal ''church attendance testimonies" the spirit was SO strong. There were tears and powerful testimonies. Such a great experience. 

I attend church to renew the promises I made with God, through the sacrament. I go to feel His spirit, and draw closer to Him. I go to get answers. When I keep those things in mind, when I come with questions, when I note down revelation, when I share what I learned, I am filled with an assurance that this IS the true church of Jesus Christ. Other churches might be more fun, more reverent, or more enjoyable. But no where else can you feel this spirit, get these answers, or draw this close to the Lord. 

Love you all! Enjoy the Sabbath this week. Make it more meaningful. Draw near unto Him and He will draw near unto you. 

Elder Rosenberg

Monday, August 11, 2014


August 11,  2014

Yes it took me way too many tries to spell aisle.
Met a guy in the store the other day who really wanted to bible bash with us. But 2 problems. 1)Bible bashing only works if the white boys understand the things you're yelling. 2)Sometimes we don't feel like bashing. It's a careful balance between "contend with no church" and "Confound your enemies". In the Ramen aisle, we chose the soft answer, turned away wrath. Fun stuff. 

Met a cool guy this week. Met him for the first time my first week in Donghae. EIGHT months ago. Hasn't answered a single phone call since. Until last week. Decided to meet us. New investigator. Pretty cool. Sometimes the spirit works on people, other times they're just reallyyy bored. Either way, it's a chance to come unto Christ! 
The key to getting him interested? Parables. Sooo key in teaching. You take what they love, ie badminton, and talk about it for a while, build some trust, then relate it back to the gospel. Badminton and the gospel are sooo similar. Who knew?

Our best investigator, Brother Gee-Seok, is doing well. He accepted a baptismal date in the first lesson, then couldn't meet us for weeks. We finally met him again, and he told us that he had "broken off relations with the catholic church." Despite attending for 25 yrs, he decided they don't follow the bible, and their teachings and actions don't match. He was confused, looking for answers. We felt to share about Joseph Smith and it blew his mind. (Once again reaffirming to me that the story is TRUE.) We've met him once more since then. He's praying and reading and feeling good. Sooo close to coming to church this week, but instead partied with his girlfriend. But we'll get him! The Lord is watching closely over this brother! (Side note, last time we taught him he brought his japanese friend. So we had japanese, korean, english, all flying around. The atheist Japanese brother prayed for the first time, and better be getting baptized in japan soon! )

Lots of cool experiences following the Spirit this week. Felt one time to immediately refer to the Book of Mormon while knocking a certain door. Turns out the lady read a little 20years ago from it. NICE. 

A simple lesson reinforced once again this week. "Open your mouths and spare not!" It's no fun when the guy on the bus next to you doesn't want to talk. And it's easy to stop and give up. But I decided to just start talking about korea to try and open him up a little. I basically just spouted off everything I knew about the current holidays, and korean traditions surrounded them. In America, if some foreigner on a bus starts rattling off facts about President Lincoln, you're like "Whatever." If you do it in korea......"You LOVE my country. And my grandma. And me! LOVEEE." 
Boom. He opened right up. Turns out he's been wondering about religion. He isn't happy and is really interested in how our message can improve his life and family relationships. Yes, the missionaries in South Seoul will probably baptize him soon. 
Spare not. 

If we open our mouths, they will be filled. If we reach out in love, despite rejection after rejection, we will find success. We cannot afford to let a single person pass by, what if they were the one? A hundred people rejected you, but it's in vain, because you missed the 101th person, who was ready. One more door. One more call. One more contact. 

It's all true. Jesus Christ IS our savior and redeemer. 

love you all! 
Elder Rosenberg

--cutest little boys. longest story with them. but they're in an orphanage 3hrs away. But the Lord brought them back one last time. Tender mercy. 

--we live in building 28. My little patch of paradise.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Little Hut of Heaven

August 4,  2014

Pizza Hut--The best way to celebrate a year of missionary service.
-They started us off with pickles and garlic sauce. We just pretended americans eat it like an appetizer
-Only about 35 american dollars for a medium "Chicken King"
-Yes it was pizza hut. Yes there were green beans, no chicken, beef strips, and cream cheese cubes.

All in all, an incredible experience. SOOO good. Savored like bites of gold. I love korean food to death, but.....there's nothing like a good ole american(ish) pizza. 

Yes, this week I clocked in 365 days of service as a full time missionary for the Lord. In limited time, I'll try summarize the myriad of thoughts buzzing around this buzzed head. 

--The first year of mission work was hard. I encountered lots of difficult things, I had to work really hard at adapting to the culture, to learning the language, to acquiring skills, attributes, and really struggled to become a missionary. After a really hard first year, this second year can be easy. I know enough korean to get by, I know the scriptures well enough, I've developed teachings skills, I can get by. I can use that first year of difficulty to make this second year one of ease. I can coast. Or.....I can climb. I can make this second year harder than the first. I can assimilate more of the culture, I can frantically study more of the language, I can diligently immerse myself in the scriptures. I can go farther, climb higher, push harder. I can really dig in, and kick. And that is what I will do. It would be so hard to grow as much in the second half as I did the first. But I will. 

Why coast when I was born to climb?

--I think one of the ways to do that, is to make the second year focused outward. I've spend all this time working on my own progress, but now it's time to turn outward. Elder Bednar said, "Your second mission is to the other missionaries." I need to really fulfill my role as a leader and selfless serve my fellow laborers.

--When I try to remember what's happened the past 12 months, I see mostly rejection. Our days are mostly filled with people telling us no thanks, go away, or just ignoring us. Before my mission, I thought the "good moments would outnumber the bad." Well....that's totally untrue. But the good moments outweigh the bad. Though my days are full of rejection, I can't really remember many specific instances. But I can remember with stark clarity soooo many happy moments, so many miracles, so many wonderful people that we've taught. My head is full of names of people I will love forever. Full of memories that assure me the Lord watches over us, directs this work. When I look in retrospect, I see mostly rejection, but I just feel happy inside. That, I think, is the joy of the work. 

--I've recognized how much I've learned and grown over the past year. Comparatively, I was pretty big tool back in the day. Prideful, self centered.....the list goes on. I am SO different from who I used to be. My character, my very habits and self, have been changed through the atonement of Jesus Christ. Through His enabling grace, I have been stripped of so much worldliness, pride, selfishness, impatience, slothfulness, etc. More than just what I've done, it's who I've become that makes me happy. I'm still so far from perfect, but I've come a long way. 

--A few specific things I've learned:
--Humility. Not thinking less of yourself, just less about yourself. Not comparing others. Not putting others down. Seeing God as the source of all your goodness. Such a liberating principle when you embrace it. 
--Following the Spirit: it's gentle promptings are soooo prevalent in your life if you invite them. if you heed them you always feel good. I've learned that more than any specific dictated directions to the mind, I feel the spirit through generalized feelings and urges to the heart. Just uncomfortable when there's something you need to do. Unsettled until you do it. 
--Studying: really how to feast upon the words of Christ. To embrace the scriptures, to thirst and be filled. To seek answers and find them. To find the daily revelation I need.
--Obedience. I always wanted to be obedient, but know I have a super strong testimony of it. Obedience is eternally related to our personal happiness. 
--Faith. It's SOOO deep. So simple. So crucial. I can't put into words how much I've learned about this topic. Definitely the thing I've studied the most. 

It's been crazy. It's been a blessing. I wouldn't trade it for anything. But now we're onto the second lap. Starting the kick. Feeling the burn, but just getting faster!

Love you all. I know this is all true. This is the Lord work. He still speaks to men today, as He did in times of old.