Thursday, July 17, 2014

Week 6: The Sound of Music

Family and friends,

Ok, so do you remember that scene from the Sound of Music? You know, when Maria (Julia Andrews) leaves the nun life and gets on the bus and is singing all around Austria (??was it Austria?) "I have confidence is sunshine! I have confidence is rain! I have confidence is confidence alone; I have confidence in me!" Yep, that song is super catchy and sometimes I think life would be so much cooler if more people just burst out in spontaneous singing like in the movies...there'd be some pretty sweet missionary musical; moments. (think Book of Mormon the musical, but for reals!) but the point I'm coming around to, that I realize often, is that I don't have a ton of confidence in me. When is comes to Korean I'm lacking in the confidence department. It's challenging and I can't express myself well, though that's to be expected; but, I do have confidence is God. God is good. And I know that He can do all things; he's all powerful and all knowing and I'm here on a mission to do His work. I have so much confidence in Him and his love for his children and because of that I know that everything will be okay. Because of my confidence in Him I know that I will get Korean down and will be able to effectively and clearly express myself. It's part of his plan for me and I know that through him I can do all things. I'm pretty confident about that...

That was perhaps a random beginning to my weekly address, but that was swirling around my brain and needed expressing. This week, like all weeks has been fantastic. I'm still kind of blown away that I'm here and it continually perplexes me how the days can be so long but fly by so quickly. I guess that's life. Some favorite parts of this week.. I love being a part of the MTC choir. Singing twice a week is a serious highlight. Funny, in all of my past choral experiences (be it school or church) I've hung out in the basement with my other low singing friends. I realize I'm not a true bass but I feel comfortable in that range. I got here and just to mix things up and have fun I've been singing 1st tenor. I love it. Granted I float the high notes (which seems fine when we're supposed to sing a high A in ff! This week we've been having devotionals in the Marriott Center. This week we sang a rockin' rendition of Faith of our Fathers. We raised the roof. It was so great and the spirit that was there was unreal.  The choral director would often pause the rehearsal to tell a story of missionary work and faith. First of all, Wilford Woodruff and Heber Kimball are fantastic and the stories of their missions are quite inspiring if you have time to look any of them up. Second, I am so proud of my pioneer heritage--both those I am related to and those that I've adopted as my ancestors. Their faith really awes me and gives me strength to do as they did. Also, remember and recognize that the way you're living your life is penning your legacy. Live so that your posterity can look back with pride and have the impetice to follow in your footsteps.
check out this story from the 1995 ensign. It's titled Tonga: A Heritage of Faith by Eric Shumway. Keyword "throw the baby!" crazy stuff you'll have to look it up. 
And here are two quotes that I gathered this week that made me stop and think (and smile)..

From Elder Nybo in my district "You can say whatever you want to say, but in the end you are what you do." Pretty profound. I love all six foot five inches of Elder Nybo. Also, i think his quote is almost entirely from Batman. so that makes it even better!

President Yost was talking to our district on Tuesday and I loved one of his quotes. It kind of reminded me of you Mom! "Don't quit! Don't quit because then you'd be a loser! and you're not a loser!" True. The only way to win is to finish the race. So stay in it. Stick to it. On to the victory!


Last Tuesday we heard form Elder Neil Anderson. It was really special and I only didn't mention is earlier because of time constraints. He shared 10 thoughts about the spirit that I thought were fantastic:
·         Both intellect and emotion are involved.
·         Heart must be believing, anticipating
·        Direction without explanation at times. You may have specific words come to your mind
·          Helps connect doctrine to your personal life
·         Strengthens our desires
·         Extends power of conscience
·         Is confirmed by priesthood leadership (D&C 46:27)
·         Cannot be forced; must await in patience
·         Comes at times line upon line, not learning some answers until later
·         Often comes as you speak or write.

I love these. I feel especially strongly about the last one. It is interesting that as I write in my scripture study journal, as I reflect and record what I'm learning or feeling and then look back at what I've written, often the words seem like more that me. I think for me, as I write I can feel the spirit spirit and It comes too as I bear testimony. Testimonies are awesome because just like love the more I share it the stronger it grows.

Last thought was a message from tuesday's speaker Brother L. Edward Brown (former general authority and current awesome dude)  His message was all about the Lord and the lord's name and not taking it in vain among other topics. He related an experience when he was asked to administer a blessing to a friend who had just been diagnosed with very serious cancer. He parked outside his house and prayed because he knew that this would be a very important blessing and he felt inadequate to pronounce such a blessing on such a great friend. He asked the lord to do his works despite any lapses in faith or whatever that he suffered from. These words then came to hid mind: "Do you intend to bless him in your name or in Mine?" Wow. IN giving a blessing or in any part of my missionary life (or your life) are you acting (and not being acted upon) in your name or in His? If I act in His name I can do anything because He is god. That can spread to any and every aspect of our lives. Second thought, so we give blessings in his name. I feel like I recognize that more often, but Elder Brown brought up that we're supposed to pray in the Lord's name to. In fact, we say we are at the end of every prayer. When I'm praying do I always pray with that real intent that I am communicating to God in and through Jesus Christ and that if I do so faithfully and am trying to do what's right and do what He wants me to that He will answer my prayer. That is so neat. Third thought, We are not supposed to take the name of the Lord in vain, correct? It's one of those ten commandments, right? I often check that one off my "got that one" list and call it good. I don't curse so I'm good, right? Not really. It's more than that. When we're baptized we take on ourselves the name of Christ. So, if we're not doing the things that God asks, are we taking that name in vain? I guess so. So we all have to live our lives in order so that we are worthy of the spirit and so that we don't take His name in vain.

Everyone, I love you. thank you for your prayers. I feel them. Thanks for the dearElders and for the other mail too. (thanks to the sirrines and the Frees (and Co.) for their packages as well as my awesome dad. I loved them!)

The church is true and God leads and guides it.

Keep the faith. Onward and upword!

Elder Tucker

with companion Elder Christiansen at the weekly devotional

with cousin Prescott Conway