Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Hello, world.

How is life in the USA? I ate KFC this morning like I usually do before I email. Today is not an actual P-day. Just an email day, and then I'll go teach some people. Yay. It is not a P-day because this week is a Korean holiday! The new lunar year! So we move our P-day to that day.
I have a fun thing for you to know about the Korean language. Yay! You excited?????? So. We Americans say, "Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth." Just when we want to say a really really long time ago. Well, the way Koreans say it... Back when the tiger smoked tobacco.... Haha. Isn't it great? We should start saying that in English. They say it like that because there is some children's myth like that. I should learn it one day. Haha.
Anyways. This week was great. Yesterday, I met some really cool people. It was some people that the other elders found. They wanted me to go since they couldn't handle the Korean. But it was great. They have such a strong belief in Jesus Christ. And they really love the Book of Mormon. I will quote something the husband said. It may be weird. I am translating. Haha. "There are lots of prophecies of Christ in the Old Testament, but no one prophecies or speaks of Christ this precisely or specifically. This really is a precious record." It is so true. The power of the Book of Mormon is the insight it gives us in the most influential event in the world, the Atonement of Jesus Christ. As we learn of His character, it truly does draw the world unto Him. That is our message.
Koreans think they have to go to the Hospital for everything. Everything! Haha. I will now proceed to tell you a story. A family in my ward got in a car accident. So they weren't at church because they were in the hospital. Sounds scary, right? Well, the missionaries visited them. And they are completely fine. Just sitting in a hospital. Completely fine. And they will be there until Thursday. Oh and guess what. Their car is completely fine too! Hahaha. I don't get it. Whatever.
Snow storm this week. Lots of fun. Actually I hated it. I hate snow! Haha. I was on exchanges with another missionary and we jumped on small trees and made all the snow fall. It was kinda fun. Ha.
Something I have been pondering lately.... Peace. Peace!
It is an interesting topic. Sometimes it seems elusive. But it is not about having no stress, or no problems, or no worries. But it is about whether or not you can sit for a second and accept things as they are. It is noticed in the quiet time, but it endures through the rough times. It is compared to a foundation, a river, a stillness, and many other things.  But it is the thing that only the Lord can give us, and nothing else can take away. And finding it is simply a matter of resisting those things which the destroyer of our peace would have us do. It is simply a matter of decision, and is the greatest gift in this life.
I have been thinking about it a lot. Peace is a promised gift from Heavenly Father. So, if you don't have it, you simply have to redirect to get it. There is never a reason to not feel peace.
I love all of you! Keep me in you prayers!
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Hello! How's it going people?
I am still in Korea, just in case you may have forgotten. I have been eating pretty normal food lately. Because I can make it all myself. We are going to have such good BBQ's when I get home! Haha. But not the Texas kind. Ha. It isn't actually BBQ. Whatever. Ha.
Anyways. This week I did have a snack that was sorta like a waffle ice cream cone thing, but in a different shape. Except it had seaweed on it. It was pretty weird. Haha.
What happened this week? Well, we found a pretty great investigator and it was completely a miracle. Basically I felt like we should go somewhere, and then when we were there, I felt like we should go back. On the way back, we found a really sad kid 20 years old. Got his number and have taught him 3 times now. He is great. He wants to improve his life and be happier. And he is really open. Let's baptize him! Woooooo. Haha. But really. I think it could happen. Wooo!
We have 3 people that have real potential for baptism. We'll see what happens, but they all have forces preparing them to come closer to Christ through baptism. I think it could happen next transfer!
Crazy English class lady came again. Wooo! I ran away. She asked me why I hadn't come to visit her house and whether or not she should draw me another map to her house. And this time she had her eyebrows drawn all up for me. With red lip liner, I guess. I don't know. But she looked like an alien. She dresses so nice for me! Haha.
So recently we have been focusing on the Book of Mormon as a mission. We have been trying to put the Book of Mormon into as many people's hearts as possible. As a zone, we have set the goal to give out 1000 Book of Mormons this month. Last month, we gave about 760, so, I think we can do it. Anyways, I have been thinking a lot about why the Book of Mormon matters, what my testimony of the Book or Mormon is, and why it has blessed my life.
First I think of the lessons that we can learn through the Book of Mormon. Specifically of Pride. It is such an over-ruling theme of the Book of Mormon and a very powerful one, and testifies to me of the reality that the Book of Mormon was preserved and given specifically for our modern day world by a loving Heavenly Father.
Pride is everywhere. And we see it all over the Book of Mormon. People fall because of their pride. Entire civilizations. But the word pride is a little hard to understand. I have thought about it a lot. And I am convinced that pride is an accumulation of all of the thoughts and actions that Christ would not do. It's root is always hate, or darkness to some extent. Enmity. If we remove pride, we can live in light, we can be happy.
Anyways, I am still studying it. And I probably will be for a while. But if we master this concept, we can be who the Lord wants us to be. And it is explicitly talked about in the Book of Mormon as an overarching theme.
Anyways. I love all of you. Keep me in your prayers. I need them!

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Well, we have another baptismal date. It is a member's son who has been around the church for awhile, but never been baptized. He isn't the most into the church and it is really hard to teach him. But we are working on it. We still have a lot to do with him, but he has a date! Maybe it will happen.
This week was actaully a little lame in terms of stuff happening. Not much happened! Haha. I slipped on some snow and stuff. Old people are crazy. I asked a guy where he was going. An old guy. He literally proceeded to tell me the entire geography of our city and how he was going to the place where he was going. It was great!
Drunk people are still drunk. Yay!
Koreans still wear weird stuff. The guy working the PC room where we email is wearing a red leopard coat and big crystal earrings. That's cool in America now??? Hunger Games. I don't know! Haha.
I don't have a lot of time today. A member sent a box of Ramen to our apartment. Jealous?
This week. This weak. I almost wrote that but lets talk about it. It sorta goes along with what I am learning recently.
How do we overcome weakness. It is a really hard thing. Sometimes we have huge weakness. Like even being able to rely on God. We don't even have capacity to begin. But no matter how weak we may feel, there still is hope. I think it all begins with hope or faith.
That is always the starting point. It always begins there. Where our sights are, our actions will follow.
Sorry, I don't have much this week. This is probably the shortest letter ever. Write me!
Elder Renfroe
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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Happy new year! 새해 복 많이 받으세요!

Hello, me lovelies.
I permanently speak this way due to irreversible side effects of learning Korean. Just kidding, me lovelies.
Anyways! Happy New Year! Receive lots of new year blessings, as we say in Korean. Wooo!
For new years, I did the following. I watched the first sunrise of the new year come up over the Korean ocean. It was beautiful! It is a Korean tradition out here on the coast. I am lucky to get to serve here. Afterwards, we ate Samgyeobsal. 삼겹살. It was great. Like thick cut Korean bacon. I also ate fish egg from within a bunch of small fish we cooked on a grill. Haha. It was ok.
What else? This week it snowed like a dandruff world record. Yeah. That's a bad joke. I thought I would like all this snow. But I hate it! Haha. I fell on my butt today because of frozen water streams on hills. Death. There was no way out.
I got on late to email today because I was really busy getting new investigators this morning. Haha. We met this kid a few weeks ago at the college. And we meet him officially today. He is great. He is super awkward, but I love him. He is very open and humble. We will see how it goes. Meeting him again this next Thursday.
Then, we met another new investigator. Meeting him was very interesting. I was talking to him in Korean and he wouldn't say anything. But I just kept blabbering and blabbering. Hahaha. I thought it was useless, but for some reason, I had a prompting we would get his phone number. Well, basically after talking to a silent man for five minutes who was walking home from work, he gave us his number. And now we are meeting with him. He does Korean ceramics and gave me a small bowl/glass thing to drink alcohol. And he loves X-files. He said he has seen all of them. He is Buddhist, but was Christian for 20 years, but could never find peace, so he went where he could. He is great!
Things are going well. I am excited for this next week. We have a lot planned.
This week. I feel like I have learned so much. So much!
 I think the main lesson I have learned is the power of giving up. I know this sounds weird, but wait a second.  I mean the power of giving up your own desires to the Lord. This takes faith and trust and humility and lots of other things. And it starts with a whole lot of other things.
First, who is Heavenly Father? Does He love me? Does He want what is best for me? Does He know better than me? We have to understand these things first to give up our desires to Him. But once we do, it becomes easier. Commandments - what are they? Some people think they are just things that we have to do. But that isn't true at all. They are those things that the Lord has asked us individually to do so that He may bless us, so that we may have those things that He is willing and anxious to give to us. It is always a question of whether or not we will simply do them. And as we do, He may bless. We find power in our own weakness, in our own inability.
Now, we always fail. We make mistakes. But we just keep going.
Anyways, I love you all! Keep me in your prayers, my lovelies.
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Merry Christmas!

Hello! And Merry Christmas!
Sorry, everything I do as a missionary to all of you is segmented into Mondays. So, Merry Christmas!
This week was pretty good. It was Christmas. Not gonna lie, I definitely missed real Christmas food, though. Here's an idea. Let's have a Christmas/Thanksgiving meal when I come back. I guess Easter will be pretty soon thereafter. I'll make it. Haha.
I spent my Thanksgiving in the city limits of Seoul in a part called Sindang. We had a Christmas conference and it was great. It consisted of a meeting in the morning and then a talent show in the afternoon. I sang O Holy Night with a sister from my district for the morning meeting. Then the talent show was lots of fun. We have a sister from Cambodia who sang in Cambodian. Beatboxing people. Parkour.. Par-kor? core? I don't know how to spell it. But basically jumping around and doing crazy stuff. Haha. Also, the German sister got up and was telling everyone about the traditions of German Christmas and made me translate for her. That was interesting. Ha.
What else? Oh. Some guy came up to us on the street while we were talking to other people and kept saying, "Don't believe them! I said Don't believe them!!" But I think he was slightly crazy. He was handing out chicken advertisements. Next time I see him, I am going to tell people not to buy his chicken!
It is so darn cold here. It wasn't at the beginning of the week, but it came back. So cold! My ears may fall off. Will you love me without ears? Nah. I'll probably just get some earmuffy-things. That will prevent me from being unloved when I go home because of my lack of ears.
Today we are helping someone move, so that is why I am emailing so early. He is the guy we got to start coming back to church and we found on the street.
I spoke in sacrament meeting this last sunday. I guess I will include some of the thoughts. I have a favorite quote that I'm using a lot. It is from Dieter F. Uchtdorf. It says that the windows of heaven open and we start to enjoy the blessings of heaven the second we start to move in the direction of our Heavenly Father.
I like it for a lot of reasons. First off. We are always changing. We as humans feel good some days and bad others. Sometimes we make better decisions than others. It doesn't matter where we are or what decisions we have made, honestly, though. He simply asks us to move in His direction. To start. We don't have to be perfect, we simply have to slowly step in His direction. We will make mistakes. We will fail. But simply by putting our sights on Him and taking steps in the right direction, we can experience the blessings of heaven. It doesn't matter where we are. There isn't a place too far to start going in the right direction. That really is all we can do in this life. We can't be perfect, we can't make right decisions all the time. But we can choose to start. That is all that really matters to our Heavenly Father. A constant striving to move in the direction He would have us move despite our weaknesses.
I love all of you!
Keep me in your prayers!
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Merry Christmas. It is pretty cold here and there is snow on the ground. Sometimes I slip, but don't worry. I am fine. I still have random times when I play in the snow like a child because it is new to me.
This week I had a fun experience with hiccuping. I don't know how to spell that. Well apparently I get the hiccups if I eat something really spicy. There is this ramen that is known for being like the spiciest thing. And I ate it. I have eaten it before, but I guess I made it a little spicier this time. Well. I was just sitting there with my mouth open and I randomly hiccuped. I made the loudest weirdest unintentional noise/scream. You should try it sometime when you have hiccups. Just sit there with your mouth open and wait. You will definitely entertain yourself.
So I have these pants that I got altered here. And there was a small hole in one part, but you couldn't really see it. I just fixed it by hand or whatever. Well I wore those pants the other day at our ward Christmas party. I noticed that the hole I had previously mended had been opened again. But it is fine. It doesn't really matter. You can't see it. I just have to be a little careful, right? Well, a little 5 year old girl in our branch opened a present and threw the wrapping paper on the floor. I bent over to pick it up and my pants completely burst, like all the way. Completely. Undies to the Universe. Hahaha. Well luckily no one was behind me and I just stood in a corner. But I had to play the closing hymn on the piano! I just slid over to the piano and played it with booty to the piano bench. I just motioned to the elders to get the Santa pants. I wore the Santa pants over my own for the rest of the evening. But I definitely had a breeze for the rest of the evening. Luckily a member gave us a ride home. Haha. Don't worry. I'm sure I can get them fixed.
This week I have been learning of charity and I actually had a pretty good experience with it. I had just been studying charity and how to feel it and why it is important. Just a normal Christ-like attribute study. Well there has been a push here in the ward for member referrals. There was actually a member of the mission presidency here, and he and his wife spoke to the whole ward. Well, he asked all of the missionaries to bear their testimonies. I bore mine on charity and it is really the place we have to start with doing missionary work. But it is true. If we have the true love of Christ, we will naturally want to share this gospel. But anyways, there wasn't much time left, and I went last. But the woman that gave the closing prayer used a lot of phrases from my testimony. Not only because my Korean was natural enough for a Korean to say it, but mostly and really because I felt like maybe I was able to make a difference. In some way.
But member referrals really are the way. The Lord doesn't want His missionaries to just wander around and search. He wants us to teach our acquaintances and family. We are simply inviting them to learn and give it a chance. It isn't a forcing. It isn't weird. It is simply an invite. And the members have so much power. Truly, the missionaries give so much time, but if it is to be the way the Lord wants it, the members help in the finding process. So, people. When was the last time you referred to the missionaries? You will make a difference in more lives than you know. It doesn't have to be hard. It isn't weird. It is a simple invitation.
Anyways, I have to go. I love you all.
Talk to some of you this week!
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The First Snow!

It snowed this week! I about peed myself. It was great. I have never seen it snow like that. I threw snowballs and stuff! It was great. Hahaha.
Oh and we got transfer calls. I am staying and training again! Haha. So I will be in Donghae awhile. Also, my current companion will be staying as well. He will open up the second group of Donghae elders. We only have 2 now, but there will be four of us all in one little house. Yay! Haha. He will be with someone who has only been in Korea for 3 months just like him. And I will be with a new whity. There are no Korean elders coming this transfer. So I will be with a whity. Haha. Whitie? I don't know how I should spell that. So, basically it will be me with a bunch of Whities that can't speak Korean! Yay!
It was really hard to talk to people because no one wants to talk while it snows. So we did some good old knocking doors. And guess what.
This lady said no at first, and then a few seconds later, came out and asked if we were Mormons. Then she invited us in. Haha. But we couldn't go in because she is just a lady alone in her house. So, I called the sisters and told them to come over. They said they were really bored because they were just making phone calls on account of the snow. They came over and we went in. She kept saying she was really bored because of the snow and just decided to let us in. She is so prepared. She studied religion in college and gradually became disillussioned from it all because she felt like everything was fake. The people were fake. They said they had faith, but they still did bad things. And continued to do bad things. Anyways. She said that anytime she makes contact with a new religion, she just says, "Ok. Let's talk about it and see what you are" and then prays to God to know if it is true. Well. She has met with the Sisters like 3 times in 4 days. And they had an amazing lesson. She said that she prayed to God and asked Him to give her peace if this was true. They were talking about trials in the lesson. She is divorced and lives alone and has a hard life. But then they started teaching about Jesus Christ and watched the Mormon message "None were with Him." She said that she has studied about Jesus Christ her whole life, but this was different. She said she felt peace about all of her problems and she has never felt that before. Although, we aren't teaching her, we found her and I get to hear all about what happens! Anyways. She still has a while to go. But it was really great to see. The Lord is working here!
So, we gave the sisters an investigator. And they gave us one. He doesn't have a religion but he feels like he needs one. We had our first lesson with him this week. We talked for like 2 hours. He has so much interest! And he is also really prepared! It is great. I love teaching people. That is why I am here.
What else happened this week? There is a Christmas tree in our chapel with lights and everything. I don't really think that is Ok? Maybe? No. And I heard a lesson about how the Christmas tree represents the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Too bad I don't know how to say that it was actually just a pagan tradition in Korean. Oh well. I have heard some pretty weird lessons up here in Korea. But the Church is true! Hahaha.
This week has been pretty good. I am honestly a little scared to train again. It is so much work! You have to do everything. Because you are basically with a little baby that can't do anything. Hahaha.
I have been studying a willing heart this week. It is a really interesting subject and I feel like I could study it for awhile. A gift given with a grudging heart is counted as evil unto Him. Moroni 7 is a really good chapter on it. Our gift matters obviously, but in the most basic sense, our desires are where it starts. Our desires are what are the most important. Get your desires right, and everything else will follow. It is the most basic test of our faith. How much do we desire to do the things the Lord wants. How much will we give to Him? The most important battles will be those that we fight with the silent chambers of our hearts. That is the test. It just seems so much more apparent to me as a missionary. It is just a battle of the Heart. Will I do what the Lord wants?
I love all of you! Keep me in your prayers. I am sorry about any missing letter "U's" in this letter. If it doesn't make sense, probably add a U. This keyboard is a little wonky. Have fun and be good!
Till next time,
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