Monday, August 26, 2013

Week 15

Hello, Team. 

It has been a long week. But a good one. The end of the week felt quite long, but we had some good finds and good times at the beginning of the week. 

I talked to this one guy on the bus going to a bigger city over here for a missionary meeting. We talked for over an hour since we were on this bus. It honestly was the highlight of my week. He was very kind. And we are the same age in Korean age, so we are instantly friends. Haha. He's in Gundae, or the Korean required military service, and has 3 months left. So, we can't exactly meet... But I have all of his contact info. So maybe later. But it was so great. You don't get opportunities to talk to people that much in that way. Also, he doesn't speak hardly any English, so it was ALL Korean. Haha. I got to flex my Korean muscles. 

Also, we met 3 random people and they said to come back anytime. So, we haven't started anything yet with them, but we have some open doors to teach! Yay! Actually.... 4 people. Haha. We have lots of people who seem like we could pick them up as investigators... So, we'll see what happens. 

I am moving to a new apartment this week. Thank heavens! We are currently living in the oldest apartment in the mission. It is pretty sick... My companion found some leeches! Yay! But don't worry. I have stayed clear of them.

Crazy lady came to English again. And 3 hours early again. And she hugged me again. And she had maroon lipstick again. Ha. We had to run away and stay away till English class starts. She is so creepy! 

I saw a Korean circus. Some lady did a balance move in point shoes on some guy's head and he spun around slowly. This was a member dinner with the District President out here... Haha. What happens in Korea stays in Korea? There was Pizza Hut involved. So, that counts as a meal, right?

What else? It has been a good week. I pray a lot. A lot. In my heart and otherwise. Sometimes I feel so tired or I feel like I can't do this. But as I try to lean on Heavenly Father, it is in those moments that He teaches me. I learn. I really am grateful for prayer. For the relationship I have with my Heavenly Father. That really is the reason I am here. I want others to know about it and to access it because it brings a peace and security found nowhere else. 

I saw a Korean lady almost get hit by a bus. There was a lot of screaming involved. But she is fine! Don't worry. And right after that, I heard Someone Like You by Adele on the street. Haha. So, I enjoyed that.

Did I tell you about all the peppers that are laying all over the streets here? Kimchi making Holiday is coming up soon. Haha. The streets are littered in sun-drying peppers. 

I am going to try to get a package ready to send home. It might take awhile, so don't get too excited yet. And Dad, I had to throw out the seeds because they molded... Everything molds here in the summer. My companion's pants and shirts molded one time. But I will try to find some at a plant shop. Haha. I am trying my best! I feel like you all need some Korean love in Texas. So, I'll try to get it all together soon. 

I love you all! Keep me in your prayers! Also, keep Koreans' eyebrows in your prayers. Many people here have none. So they draw them on. I am sure they would appreciate the support here in the land of the waning eyebrows. :P

Elder Renfroe
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Monday, August 19, 2013

Week 14

I am sorry everyone for writing late today. We went to a cave earlier and it took a while, and we had to do email later. It is Asia's largest cave. So, we had to go, right? Anyways. It was great. I am pretty sure Carlsbad is better, but oh well. I went to Asia's largest cave. I took lots of pictures and I will email them eventually, but at the moment I don't have a cord! I need to buy one!
Yeah.... This week was crazy. Seriously. Don't worry. I will tell you why.
Just so you know... Korean grandmothers will go into other restaurants and try to sell food. Namely corn. This grandma was in KFC the other day trying to sell corn. Lady, I don't think you can try to sell corn at a restaurant. Especially one that sells corn. And yes. Korea has KFC. All over the place. Except I think the "K" doesn't stand for Kentucky, but Korea. I don't know.
I have seen a lot of dogs with dyed hair lately. That is a thing in Korea. You dye your dog's ears and tail bright colors. I saw a dog with blue ears the other day. I also have seen pink. Do people do this in America now? Is this a craze around the world that has sprouted in my absence? Or, is it just a Korean thing?
Also, couples here in Korea match. All the time. Did you know that? It is how they mark their territory. Haha. Same shirts, shoes, and even shorts sometimes. And hats too! It is how you say, "We are dating!" in Korea.
I had to use a squatty toilet. Yeah. The type of toilet that is just a porcelain hole thing in the floor. It didn't go well. My self-esteem was lower afterwards. But I think I will recover. I am not going to describe in detail the encounter, but yeah... It was fun. That will have to be a story I tell in person. Ha!
I saw a little Korean girl take her pants off, squat down, and simply pee on the sidewalk. She stared at me while she did it. Then she put her pants back on and went into the ATM where her mom was. When you gotta go, you gotta go, right? I'm sorry these last 2 stories have been about expelling waste. I'll repent.
We found this crazy lady who wants to come to our English class. I think her favorite color is maroon. Her hair was maroon. Her lipstick was maroon. And her fake nails were maroon. Anyways, we told her to come at three on Saturday and that we would love to teach her English through our weekly English class. We had an appointment that Saturday with a member that needed some help at noon. Shortly after we began, she showed up. She came three hours early. And just sat there. Wandered around the tiny church. And she put new maroon nails on. She asked if she could hug us, and when we said no, she jumped on each of us randomly and gave us hugs. She's crazy. Yay! Haha. We are going to have to start locking the church. Or she'll probably just show up randomly. Ha.
I have saved the best for last. Don't worry. We saw this old man in a park. I was on exchanges in a mountainous mining town called Taebaek. It is beautiful, by the way! But, this old man. He came and shook our hands. He seemed very friendly. <-----That sentence is a omen! Look how literary I am. Ha. Anyways. I sure am drawing this out, aren't I? K. So... This man. He asked which of us was older. Or hyung in Korean. I said I was because I was. Then he asked if I knew taekwondo. But I didn't really quite understand him at first and said yes. Ha. I don't know taekwondo. He like grabbed me and tried to pull me to the ground, but I resisted a little. Then, he got all mad and hit my Book of Mormon to the ground. So we ran away. Haha. His friend was like, go away! Ha. Anyways. It actually kind of bummed me out. Because I was feeling particularly useless that day as a missionary. But afterwards, we had some good conversations with people. And this fat Korean little girl ran at me and my companion, making the weirdest squid noises and face. It cheered me up. It was hilarious. Ha. I'll have to imitate when I get home. Ha!
But anyways, this week was hard but fun. And I don't have much time. I found this lady in the bus station. Her younger sister used to go to our church, but stopped after she got married. She said she has a lot of interest and would come to our church but it is far. She also has a son our age. I gave her a Book of Mormon and asked her to read the introduction. It is only a start, but I think she has a lot of potential. We will see how it goes! Ha. We see her all the time because she works at the bus station running a convenient store.
Everyday I learn. Everyday I get better. I miss you and I love you. Keep me in your prayers. You are in mine! And keep sending me love!
I love you all so much! Bye!
Elder Renfroe
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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

12 August 2013

Hellllllllllllllllloooooooooo America!!!!!!!!

How are you? 

You may wonder how this week was... It was Hot and Humid. And then even more Humid and Hot. We are in the spell after rainy season when it is the hottest, and then it starts to cool down. I can't wait for that! 

We met with a crazy man for lunch. I tried figuring out his beliefs and his receptiveness to the gospel, but it seems like he used to be a honest soul searching for truth, but when he couldn't find an answer he just gave up. And now he won't listen to anyone. So we aren't going to be meeting with him again. unless he insists on buying us lunch. Ha.

I had beef spine soup again. It seems I will have it a lot. ha. We'll see.

Well. All of you need to go look up old Korean pop songs. I don't know what era it is from, but all the old people listen to it and it is ridiculous. I will try to describe it so you know what it is when you look for it. Korean old pop. It kind of sounds like old Mexican music EXPECT the singers do this really wonky vibrato. Like they go up and down and into the note. It is crazy. Go listen and laugh. I should make some when I come back. I'll be famous. 

I saw a drunk guy peeing in the middle of the street. And some one told me I was handsome like Justin Bieber. I don't know if that is a compliment. 

I think that is about all of the fun stuff for the week. Sorry. Kinda Boring? Idk.

Anyways, I still am just trying to work hard. 

I'll share with you a quick quote that I liked from this week's studies. The Lord is much more willing to grant miracles than we are to receive them. So that is what I am learning to do here. I am learning to live in such a way that I can expect miracles. Because I trust the Lord and follow Him. I trust Him and I'm working diligently. Nothing but miracles can come from that. So, I am working on the diligence part. I am working on making sure that I am working in such a way that I can expect miracles. It is hard. It is a challenge, but It will be rewarding. I can't wait till it cools down! Haha. I'll be able to work harder. 

Also, this week I had the most delicious kimchi I have ever eaten. SO GOOD!  Ha. I ate a belly full. Actually, it was just a few hours ago when I ate beef spine. Ha. 

I love you all! Keep praying for me! I need them! 


Elder Boochie

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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Week 13 Dancing Queen

I heard ABBA the other day. So that made my day. Also, the other day I heard Fleetwood Mac. That also made me really happy. I started jamming, and telling the lady in the store that they were a great American band. She didn't seem too pleased. But maybe I touched her, who knows? Random dancing, suit-wearing Americans in convenient stores in Korea aren't really THAT common, right?

New area! Yay! It really is a really cool place, AND there are more people to talk to than I thought there would be. I like it a lot and the ocean is beautiful! Beautiful! I can see it from my apartment, faintly in the distance. I ran to the ocean and back for exercise this morning. It actually only takes like 5 minutes to run there! It is soooo close. I took some pictures, but I don't have any way to load them to this computer. So, maybe next week. I'll have to buy a cord.

My new companion is a goofy little guy from Pennsylvania. He has been out 4 months more than me, but is still struggling with the language a pretty good bit. I think I'll be able to help him. So, that means I am leading the charge out here in terms of speaking the language. And it seems that this area needs a lot of cleaning up. Missionaries have been wasting a lot of time hanging out with people who really have no interest and just want to be friends. There has been a lot of hanging out with Koreans and calling it missionary work. So yeah. That's not going to happen anymore. We are here to spread the gospel. Not just hang out and have fun. 

The other day, I saw a grandma riding a motorcycle scooter. It actually happens pretty often here in Korea. Have I told you about Korean grandmas yet? They are unlike any in the world. They just sit around on the streets with their hunched backs, gossiping and selling the vegetables they grew on a random plot of land in the city. I can't explain them. Haha. They own this place. Their sass is unequaled in the world. Haha.

I talked to a guy for 40 minutes the other day. Yeah, I can have 40 minute conversations in Korean. Haha. It was really great. We talked about the gospel and everything. I really got to know him and therefore really could talk about how this gospel could help him. He didn't want to meet, but I really felt like I was doing what I am supposed to be doing through that conversation. I obviously can't have 40 minute conversations with everyone, but I can still have the same quality of conversations. 

Also, I heard a glimpse of an Adele remix the other day. I about peed myself. Haha. I miss her smokey, sultry voice. But I like serving the Lord more. 

This week, something that has really touched me are the lyrics to a hymn in our hymn book. It has always touched me, but especially this week. Brightly Beams our Father's Mercy.

Brightly beams our Father's mercy
From his lighthouse evermore,
But to us he gives the keeping 
Of the lights along the shore. 

This is my job. This is all of our jobs. I am merely a reflection of the Savior's light. I am helping my brothers and sisters come safely home. To land safely. 

Let the lower lights be burning
Send a gleam across the wave.
Some poor fainting, struggling seaman, 
you may rescue, you may save. 

I am just a lower light. The whole song is so powerful and I love every verse. It really reminds me of why I am here. "Eager eyes are watching, longing, for the lights along the shore." That part is my favorite. That is the reason I have to shine bright. It really is all of our reason. We can do so much good as lights of the Savior. Everyone needs Him. And we have Him. 

Go read the whole song! 335 in the hymnbook. And sing it! The melody is the alto line. Haha. It is my new favorite. It brings such tender feelings to my heart as I think of it. Even now, as I type it. 

I am so happy to be here. I am so happy to get to do the Lord's work here. Even though I feel so inadequate and the work seems super slow. I don't care if I have been assigned to lift the heaviest rocks, it is the Lord's work and it gives me joy. I will do whatever He needs. I love Him. I love all of you. And I want you all to feel His love. It is the best. It is real. It is infinite.

Keep sending the prayers! I love them! Till next week.

Elder Renfroe
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