Monday, August 25, 2014

Week 11: Week 2 in the adventures and escapades of the tall and very American Elder Tucker!‏

Salutations to my family and friends,

I find it odd that as we speak (or as I write and as you read) I am half a world away. Or a whole world away if we're considering global circumference. Anyway, the wonderful world of Korea is just that: wonderful! I am loving it more and more the more I'm here. I realized in my last installment I left a few things unsaid, so here's a recap:

I am currently serving in the wonderful city of  천  언!  (Cheonan) It is a pretty big city and is one of the most northern in my South Korean mission. The weather has been nice. Some umbrella days, humidity is high as is to be expected, but I think it is terrific!

Yes, I don't have a bed. I live in a four elder house and together the apartment is about the same as our front room with a little bit of the entry way added onto it. We sleep on the ground on mat's called  요 's which is romanized as "yo's". The ground really isn't bad at all. Plus I'm usually so tired by the end of the day that I pass right out anyway. 

The language is...difficult but I foresaw that coming into this. We had a mission president's fireside on Sunday in our ward and President Shin spoke for nearly fifty minutes. He was going at it in his native Korean and I (to my consternation) was pretty sure that he was speaking a different language other than Korean (man, he can really talk quickly), but my companion understood most of it so there is hope for me yet. I guess most all missionaries feel that way when they jump in over their head in the language. I take comfort knowing that the one language that is supposed to be comparable to Korean in difficulty is Finnish and my main man Mr. Adam Anders Nissen gets to preach to the people of Finland. The task is hard but when I take to mind that I have God, the creator of heaven and earth, on my side it seems doable. The main thing is to be consistent. Hard work in the studies and application on the streets during contacting is the very best way to learn the  language. The gift of  tongues is real but it is not freely given. It is one of those special gifts that amplifies and multiplies the effort that I exhibit. I can tell that my prayers are answered because I feel the spirit so much every day, but I also like the idea that the Lord prefers working hands to praying lips. I must show my faith by my works and pray as if it all depends on Him then get up and go to work as if it all depends on me. It really is amazing to be a missionary. 

I feel like working here in Korea is similar to working in America. Here, like there, the people are interested in knowing about where they came from or knowing who God is and their relationship to him, but there are also lots of people who just don't believe anything... That said, we have two baptismal dates for next month.  I came in late in the game when they were really close or already had dates set, but I am still ecstatic! One is a man in his thirties with no previous religious background  유 민 호 He really believes in the church but his wife is Buddhist by blood (it's a cultural thing) and so that raises some difficulties. The other is a ten year old boy from a partially active family. The boy,  김 두 훈 , is super nice and fun. (we play bad mitten ...not sure about spelling anymore) I hope the best fror him and hope his whole family will start coming to church with him more often.

I love Korean people. My favorite is how they are still polite even when blowing me off..usually...One of my favorite experiences is when we met this group of people just visiting outside a convenience store who we stopped to talk to one night. While we were talking to a few of them one of the men went inside the store and bought us two iced coffee's! We exchanged them for sodas and they were not interested in the gospel at all, but all is well. My favorite is how Koreans will tell me what famous white people I look like all the time. The two most common are Jim Carey and David Beckham. Nice! Count one for the gipper! 

Oh my, the time flies really fast. and mine is nearly up today. I think I'll end with some spiritual thoughts..


One of our investigators asked this week why bad things happen to good god-fearing people. Great question. and I was able to answer it in parts in broken Korean but I will expound it for you. God is good. He is no respecter of persons and loves all of his children, and he always respects their agency to choose. Bad people often choose to do bad things and good people get hurt. The world is a scary place. There are orphans and starving children. There is murder and rape and all manner of bad things but the good news is in Christ. He was born and He died. The most important thing is that He lives and He suffered personally for all of our heartaches, pains, or afflictions. I feel like everyone has afflictions of some sort and He can take every one of them away. I don't have time to get detailed but read 3 Nephi 17: 8-9. I spent about thirty minutes there and cross referencing. We worship a good God who promises to heal us. He can heal us of anything. All we must do is have faith and come to him. Believe. Have faith. Come unto Christ. 

This work is true I love it with all my heart. I love being A missionary. Pray for me. You are in mine.

Keep the faith. Onward and Upward!

Elder Tucker

Editor's Note: Missionaries love mail!

Elder John McKay Tucker
Korea Deajeon Mission
Deajeon PO Box 38
Chung Cheong-namdo 300-600
South Korea

Crosswalks.  Crazy crazy crosswalks...
the comp with the city
the awesome sun behind the polluted sky