Monday, July 28, 2014

Hello, America! (27 July 2014)

I am in the middle of Seoul. It is a party all the time. Lots of college students and lots of foreigners. 

It is really weird! Completely new world. There are two American families in our ward. We see American adults all the time, but my mind was blown to see all these American blonde-haired kids running around. The first thing that comes to mind when I talk to them is this.... "You are soo good at English!!" Hahaha. It is crazy how well children speak their languages. 

We went to an American family's house and had dinner the other day. I had ranch for the first time in maybe 16 months? Hidden Valley! Hahaha. It was ok. Ha. And pasta for the first time in awhile, too. It was delicious and all in English. It was great. Hahaha. 

We have an investigator with a date to get baptized. He is really great. He is really interested and is progressing well. He had surgery for a slipped disk awhile ago, so his back is hurting a lot, which makes meeting with us pretty hard right now. But he is great. 

We have another investigator from China who is wonderful as well. He is the cutest thing on the planet. He reminds me of one of those monkeys with cymbals. Hahahaha. And the ward is just great. It seems like it will be really great to serve here. I am excited. 

It is really great to have the Temple here. I can just feel its power. We met a 20-year-old kid and walked with him to the Temple and spoke to him there for a while. I could just feel the power of the Restoration of the Gospel and the spirit of our message. It is just beautiful to have its presence. 

I have been studying the Book of Mormon a little more sequentially lately and have been loving it. It is wonderful how deeply personal the Spirit of the Lord can teach through words inspired of God. It is interesting how it is not the words, but the guiding influence of the spirit which takes our limited ability and expands it. Shows us things we couldn't have known otherwise. 

I love you all!! Keep me in your prayers!

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Howdy! (20 July 2014)

This was an interesting week. My goodness the humidity..... For some reason my body has decided to profusely sweat from the sides of my head. And the back. I am not sure what is going on. Haha. But that is how it goes. It really isn't that hot here. Around 30 degrees Celsius. But the air has been so thick and humid lately! Don't worry about me though. I drink lots of water.
I saw a little kid today who had a very interesting way of avoiding the heat with his family. He was probably like 7? I don't know but he was just walking down the side walk with his family without any pants. Or underwear. Just having a grand old time. Walking around like it's normal.
We started a new service activity. It will be really fun in the future. It is helping mentally disabled people who have full time jobs. Helping them do their work. It is really simple. And wonderful to be around them. They LOVE that we are foreigners that speak Korean. It blows their minds.
I also went to my second Korean wedding. It felt like a James Bond movie. It was really weird. Anyways. That's over. Haha
I am being transferred! I am going to Sinchon, where the Temple is. I am becoming a Zone Leader. That will be fun. I'll be sad to leave my current companion and everything, but it will be great to go to Sinchon. Right in the middle of downtown Seoul. It will be very different!
This week. I had a special little experience in Sacrament. I was bearing my testimony because I am leaving the area and going to another one. Sometimes, we can feel like robots as missionaries because we say a lot of the same things a lot. Sort of the Blanket statements that we use to start real conversations. Introducing ourselves. Well something I say all the time is... "We are sharing what we know to be true." Well as I was bearing my testimony, That sentence came out. And I felt a deep confirmation that I really do know these things are true and that is the reason I am here. It isn't because of some complicated truth I am trying to share with people, but because of a real and simple connecting and guiding influence of our Heavenly Father. That morning in Primary with all the little kids, we all sang "I am a Child of God." That simple truth, if understood properly, is the greatest knowledge God can give us, and is the purpose of our work.
Anyways, I love you all! Keep praying for me!
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Howdy from Korea (13 July 2014)

Korea is still Korea. I went bowling last week and got a 132. Is that good? I know literally nothing about bowling. Hahaha. I also made tacos. I have been wanting to make tacos forever. Mexican food is probably the thing I miss the most. Luckily I have Costco. I bought Pace salsa. But the only tortillas they have are wheat and taste nasty. I've tried them before. Anyways, so instead of  tortillas, I bought a Naan mix (Indian flat bread) and made Naan to use as the tortillas. They were the greatest tacos I have ever eaten in my life. I don't think I have ever made such weird noises while eating. That is something Koreans do. They are a little more vocal in the expression of how delicious something is. Hahaha. I have contracted the bug.
We had a pingpong tournament at the church and it was lots of fun. I am glad a played a decent amount of pingpong back in college at the Institute Building, so that I can actually hold my own a little bit. Haha. But we lost in the second round! But it was really close the whole time. Then there was a fundraiser for the youth right after. They made lots of food and you had to buy it all separately. We just made the members buy it for us. Hahaha. That is what we were told to do! Haha. I made 3 pans of banana bread for them to sell.
Anyways. This week was a really good week. They were some really good days. But it wasn't because we found some cool person or lots of people accepted us and wanted to learn more. It was simply because we talked to the most people I have yet to talk to as a missionary in a week. It was really great. But there is still a lot of room for improvement. I found strength in faith. I have thought about it a lot. What is the thing that I need to learn that will transform me into who the Lord wants me to be? What understanding do I need to have that will move me and motivate me to be what I really can be. That is the only way behavior changes, it is the acknowledgement of some true information that most effectively changes behavior. That is the power of faith. It is acceptance of real truths and is meant to change our behavior. To change who we are. It is the acknowledgement of the sun, that moves us to put on the sunscreen. The coming of rain that moves us to use an umbrella. Faith works on the same principles. The question is simple. Is He there? Does He care about me? Is He leading me? Does He have a work for me to do? God will answer these questions. He desires to answer these questions for each of us personally.
We have to learn to develop these simple things as missionaries. We have to learn the truths that allow us to talk to every person and give everything to the Lord. To walk on hot streets for 8 hours a day and talk to whoever. But these same principles we are trying to help everyone else learn as well. To come closer to our Savior because He lives and has a way for us to live that gives us the greatest happiness.
Anyways! I love you all! Keep me in your prayers!
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Hellur (6 July 2014)

Happy Fourth of July! Yay America. I went to an American buffet. Except it is really just Korean fusion food. And a little bit of American food. What is American food, anyways? They certainly didn't have any burgers or fries... A Korean lady was at the buffet with her family. She brought her own kimchi! Crazy. Hahaha. I think that is the first time I have seen that. But if you need kimchi, you need kimchi. She had a little tupperware of it and they were all eating it. I guess she just brought it in her purse.
Another middle-aged lady story: There is a department store in our area. A really huge one. I guess some special thing was going on and all the employees were wearing the same shirt. But here's what the shirt was - It has a picture of a 6 pack so that it looks like you have a 6 pack, or the girl one just had a lady stomach... Anyways. Not important. Funny thing. This middle-aged chubby Korean lady employee was wearing the 6 pack one. It was terribly funny. I laughed for a long time.
I love that I can speak Korean for the most part now. I can find things funny and express my thoughts. It is glorious. Ha.
Anyways. Sometimes things are hard. And we really would rather do other things. I think missionaries in Korea think about this a lot. Ha. But something that has helped me is to realize that there is no better way than what God wants for us. And therefore there is no other way. Pain and suffering and hardships lead to the character that God wants us to cultivate. If we trust Him, we won't complain. If we know how much He loves us, we can accept the hardness and see it as the opportunity it really is. We can start over every second. It is as simple as a change of heart.
Anyways! I love you all! Send me your prayers!
Elder Renfroe
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