Sunday, April 21, 2013

16 April 2013

I got a lot of Nutella this week! Hahaha. 3 jars!! Its crazy. I've been sharing. 
Korean is hard! Ahhh! Tomorrow, new Elders and Sisters come! And then Monday, Korean Elders and Sisters come! So exciting! Then Pauline comes! And then I leave! 33 new missionaries are coming tomorrow, who are speaking Korean. Then 22 natives come on Monday. I'm pretty sure Korea sends out the most missionaries of any Asian country. Maybe even out of the European countries too.
I have been speaking a lot of Korean and forcing myself to use it more often. Oh, how it hurts my brain. But I have noticed that I can say about 70% of what I want to say in some way. I have been studying really hard. We had a really fun experience at what is called TRC this last Saturday. TRC is where we teach members of the church a lesson, who have come to the MTC. We taught 2 sisters, one who served in Seoul and one who is from Korea. The Korean asked me how long I had been learning Korean, and when I said 6 weeks, she didn't believe me. She gave me lots of compliments. I guess we are doing well. :)
We have 6 international Elders and Sisters coming in tonight/today who are going on Korean speaking missions. 2 from Australia  2 from New Zealand, 1 from the UK, and the German sister I spoke to before my mission. I'm excited to meet them all. Mostly the German though. :P
I have learned a lot this week about the merciful character of God. I was reading 2 Nephi 2 for the five thousandth time and it really touched my soul. I felt the Lord's comfort in a profound, yet simple way. That chapter is just a beautiful explanation as to why we have difficulty in our lives. God is not some mean being who is afflicting His children with trials, but rather He is a loving Heavenly Father who only wants the best for us. He withholds His hand because our trials refine us. If they did not, His merciful character would intervene. Trials come naturally from our agency. He must withhold His hand to protect our agency, and therefore allow us to gain eternal life in the world to come. Agency is the brickwork of heaven.
 I am enjoying my stay here immensely! I really have learned a lot and continue to be edified every day.
I hope you all are doing well. I have been receiving lots of letters. I am trying my best to respond quickly, but I don't have much time. So, be patient with me! I love you all. And miss you dearly!
Keep my in you prayers. You are in mine.
Elder Renfroe

9 April 2013


Thank you for all of your letters!
This week has been great! General conference and missionary stuff! Wooooo! I really did get the best time to stay at the MTC by having Easter and General Conference all in one stay. I'm blessed! 
It snowed again last night, but only a little. Utah is a weird place.
My Korean is coming along. I'm really starting to pick it up and there have been some days (more like hours) where I have forced myself to only speak Korean. I'm going to be more diligent about it this week. I can't wait to get into the field! 27 days till I leave! Wooooooooo! Next week, the new American Elders and Sisters going to Korean-speaking missions will get here. Then, the week after that, Pauline gets here! And the Korean Elders and Sisters (actually from Korea). It will be so exciting and I can't wait. So many exciting developments! Haha. I'm going to start carrying around a dictionary so I can look up a work immediately when I need it.
The chips you sent have been a wonderful blessing! I have been really bored by the food here. So, I haven't been eating a whole lot, but I do eat.... Don't worry. But, if it weren't for the chips, I'd probably be a skeleton. Not really. But kinda... Hahaha.
Conference was wonderful!
What stood out to me the most was the fact that these men (The prophet and his apostles) are special witnesses of Jesus Christ! What does that mean? What do you think it means? These men know without a shadow of a doubt that Jesus Christ is risen. That He is the savior of the world. He is the Son of God! This church is His church and no other. This church contains the fullness of the Gospel. Christ stands revealed. He is not hidden. You can find him through prayer. Everyone. Individually. He forgives sins in this life.
Also, something that I love is the fact that through keeping our covenants, we can call down the powers of heaven. As we obey, God is bound to bless. How amazing it would be to have the confidence in the gospel, in your obedience, and in your relationship to God, to know that you are a covenant keeper. There is so much power in this. But this confidence only comes from keeping all of His commandments and listening to His spirit.
I don't have a lot of time! I have to get to dinner!
But I love you all! Keep me in your prayers. You are in mine.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Easter and Life

Though I missed all of you, I still had a fantastic Easter. The most spiritual one I ever had. We had a special sacrament meeting with a general authority. Guess who it was????
Bishop Gerald Causse! It was a tender mercy of the Lord to see him again. It brought some tears to my eyes and reminded me of why I am here!
But the best part was Sunday night! We had a speaker named Sheri Dew. She is an incredible woman. It really was an inspiring meeting and I learned a lot.
I was confused at first because she was all alone on the stand. I couldn't see a wedding ring. She got up and talked about how we are never alone. She went on to say that when she was in her 30's she was dating a guy and was about to marry him. But for "unimportant" reasons it didn't work out. She spiraled into depression and was rather bitter to the Lord about it. Until she was reading in the 4th chapter of Luke where Christ says that He came to earth to heal the broken hearted, preach deliverance to the captive, and liberty to the bruised. It really stood out to me. This is the very reason that Christ came to earth. He not only is capable of healing us, but it is the reason He lived and died. It was this knowledge that allowed her to be healed. Then she said "I'm still unmarried and I hate everything about it, but Christ has healed me." That was really powerful. Despite troubles which may not leave until the Resurrection we may still be whole through Christ. It was great! I was greatly fed and I needed it. I have been bruised and broken, but there is no reason for me not to be made whole through the atonement of Christ except my own agency preventing me from submitting to His will.
I greatly miss hot food. That tastes like food. Hahaha.
I have to tell you about a prank that went on in my district for April Fools. It was fantastic. And they did it for lots of days to lead up to April Fools. One of the girls in my district can do an amazingly convincing Scottish accent. AND this last week, on Wednesday, she got 4 new roommates. Sooooo, from Wednesday to yesterday, she convinced them all that she was from Scotland.  And they believed her! She said she was from Edinburgh  and one her roommates even studied there before her mission and believed her. It was funny because anytime one of the other roommates would ask her a question about Scotland,  the one who thought she knew everything would answer for her! So, she never had to blow her cover. She would say weird and fast Scottish things to all of them at night. And they would have no idea what she was saying. Then, Last night for April Fools, she told them she had a friend going to Korea on her mission named Amie Souix (her name) from Idaho who played a prank on her roommates for a few days. Then she said, "I'm from Idaho!" Haha. It was great. Maybe my life is just real boring here, but I enjoyed it thoroughly. Haha...
I hate shaving. My face is going to fall off. Pray for the resilience of the first few layers of my facial skin. I need it!
I have seen a few people from Austin. One of them even has gym time the same time as me... His name is Andrew Hironymous... Hahaha. The people of Austin will find this funny.
I'm doing well. My Korean is good, but I still can't say anything.... Hahaha. I'm working on it!
Keep me in your prayers and send me love in the form of letters and treats (Nutella sounds good)! :P
Elder Renfroe


I saw a member of my ward from Austin this week. Multiple times too! Her name is Aldina/Sister Lung. It is great to see her and talk to a familiar face.

I have eaten more cantaloupe here than in my entire life. Seriously. Every meal. And I've never been more excited for ice cream in my entire life. Every Sunday and Wednesday we get ice cream from the BYU Creamery. There is one called graham canyon that is graham cracker flavored with chocolate covered graham cracker pieces. It is the best thing in the world. 

So, this week I did a lot of Asian bonding. Haha. We have 23 Koreans in our branch until Monday, then they go to their missions in Korea! They are great! They are super friendly. But I can definitely tell there is a cultural difference. They hug all the time. They are much more touchy. And if you aren't careful, they will cuddle with you. Two of them were holding hands in priesthood on Sunday! Ha. I guess that's what they do in Korea... This in only within the genders. Between the genders they are much more reserved. 

In sadder news, my Branch President, President Shin, was released this Sunday because he is going to be the new mission president of the Daejeon mission in July. He was so great. And Korean. Now no one in our presidency in Korean, even though 2 speak Korean with bad accents. Hahaha. 

Korean is coming along nicely. I still suck real bad. But I can at least think about stuff more in Korean throughout the day. Their language is completely backwards. Think of any sentence in English and the way to say it in Korean is totally backwards.

It's really hard to think about things to write because generally my life is pretty boring. Korean and the Gospel. Not boring, but all the same!

One of the Koreans said that he likes my hair. Then he just said "gentle" and gave a thumbs up. Also, one of them asked about my family. When I said i had a yadongsang, a little sister, he was like "oooooooooo! Picture?" So, Pauline, I found a Korean who will readily marry you. He's 23 and speaks really broken English. When I told him you were 19, he gave a thumbs up and said that a 4 year gap is the perfect gap in Korean culture, or something like that. Ha. 

The Korean sisters are great. And crazy. But great! Yesterday, my district said I reminded them of Jim Carrey. And literally five minutes later, the Koreans said the same thing independently... Ha. I don't know if that is good or bad. 

I'm learning so much about the gospel! It is so wonderful! I'm getting more and more excited to actually go to Korea! 

Singing brings joy to me here. I'm always singing the hymns! Who would have thought? Haha. 

All of the older elders are leaving this Monday! So, we are going to be all the big kids on the block. 

I play volleyball almost everyday in gym. Did I say that already? haha.

I love the gospel and I want everyone to love it! I know that it has brought happiness to me through keeping the commandments of God and having my sins forgiven through the real power of the atonement of Jesus Christ. We all need it! The church is true! And everyone can know it. 

I love you all! Keep sending my letters! I love all of them. It is wonderful to hear from anyone and everyone. Mail is a great thing here!

Elder Renfroe (Renpuhro Jongno)


I miss you all so much! I'm doing well. This place is crazy. This place is a whole new way of living. Kinda. Haha.

So, I study Korean basically all day and also study the gospel. My branch president is from Korea and will be the mission president of the Daejeon mission in July. So he's going back to Korea! His wife is really cute and speaks English with a reallllllly thick Korean accent. She spoke to us on Sunday and the first thing she said was, "Engarisha so haaaaahhhd!." It was pretty funny. But she is a good speaker. 

There are 10 missionaries in my district. 4 are elders and 6 are sisters. More sisters than elders! It is crazy. Hahaha. I'm typing really fast, so I apologize for typos. I can feel my English worsening as I study Korean all day. Hahaha. I was made district leader. It is pretty fun. I like all of the elders and sisters in my district. My companion is Elder Lund. He is from north Ogden, Utah, Blonde hair, blue eyes, and 19. 

Korean is really hard. It is kicking my butt, but not as hard as all of the other missionaries in my district. I'm really glad I studied before and learned how to read. 

There are so many 18 year olds here! Ahh! Some are mature. Some are not. Woooo!

The food here is.... fine. Boring! Send me fun stuff. Haha. I would murder someone for a chic-fil-a sandwich right now. Ha. But not really because I am a junior apostle of the Lord and have standards regardless. It sounds so good. Really just any food that isn't processed in a cafeteria with only the minimal amount of spice and flavor. K, It isn't actually that bad. I'm fine. 

So, apparently, we are the first group of missionaries to be in the shortened 9 weeks Korean program ( it used to be 12). So, we are about to be the oldest missionaries in Korea, in terms of length we have been at the MTC, when this next group leaves in like 2 weeks. 

It is really fun to talk to all of the German missionaries! Today I had a tender mercy from the Lord, or I found out the Lord had set up one for me. I hadn't been able to see much of the German missionaries because our lunch times don't intersect much, but we have p-day and laundry time at the same time! So I have been spending my P-day doing laundry, speaking German, and writing people! It is really fun to practice my German. Now, when I say German missionaries, I mean Americans going to Germany. When they find out I speak German, they all try to practice with me. It is fun!

So, I have taught 3 lessons to a Korean "investigator." He has red hair. So, he obviously isn't actually from Incheon, Korea. Ha. It is realllllly hard. But, mostly we have him read stuff in korean pamphlets and scriptures. Then, I try really hard to say simple sentences which portray my thoughts. And my companion just says yes over and over in Korean. It is a really big exercise for the both of us. 

I'm really surprised about how tired I am not! I study all day! But I have yet to fall asleep while studying. Ha. Actually, I have been having trouble to sleep. It is crazy to me. All I did was sleep before. Not really. But I needed a lot. I get plenty of rest and feel good. I don't feel like there is too much time to study. I feel like there isn't enough! If I could, I would stay up all night and learn Korean. Then I would be fluent in a week. Just kidding... Korean is way tooooooo hard for that. It hurts my brain. 

The saddest thing about the MTC is the lack of Dr. Pepper. I haven't had any soda while I have been here. I've already lost 20 pounds. Just kidding! 

Send me letters! Letters are like the happiest thing here beside the constant companionship of the spirit. They are so fun! I would love to get some pictures of everybody! I need them! I have one of all of us siblings, but I need one of dad and mom and friends! 

Later today, I'm going to the temple with all of the Korean speaking elders and sisters! I'm excited. A bunch of elders and sisters got here from Korea yesterday. It will be fun to meet them.

They teach us a lot here about how all we do as missionaries is invite! People have been prepared by God. We don't prepare them. We just beckon them along. No message we have is more powerful than the experiences God has given them.

I don't have much time to write, but I love you! I'm doing well and working hard. Keep me in your prayers. I know they will help! I love you all!!

Elder Renfroe