Sunday, September 14, 2014

Week 14: Chinese Checkers...Sleepovers...Pretty Much the Greenie Life

Hello World and salutations to my loved Family and Friends, 

Here we are again. Another dawn, another destiny, another week gone by, and what a week it was. The Korean life is treating me well. This week has been quite a busy week and my schedule has been a little topsy turvy because I've spent nearly half of it outside of the Cheonan area. Let me unfold to you some of the recent comings and goings of Elder John McKay Tucker. 

Monday was 추 석 as I explained last week. What I failed to mention was me playing chinese checkers for an hour with an eleven year old kid from Gangnam. Yeah, like Gangnam Style. Our investigator that we met with last week, 유 민 호 is the oldest son and his uncles are really young so his cousins are more like nephews and they were over for the celebrations and feasting last week. Not having a lot to do, we played games. My favorite was chinese checkers, though the Korean knock off of Monopoly, Blue Marble, was cool too. ---Break for a sec. Can I say K-Pop is the best!! As I type there words I can hear a remix of a chipmunks song and r&b rap version of "I am so lonely. I have nobody for my own!" I really don't know what the song is titled but it's blowing my mind--- ok, back to the checkers. The eleven year old totally beat me twice pretty soundly but I came back and won the third round. You would think I'd let him win because he was 11 and I'm a missionary but no, he was just way good. Also....I think chinese checkers might be Korean. I don't know the name but I have a sneaking suspicion and I don't have wikipedia to back me up, but I do have a much greater love for korean checkers this week.

Scary and miraculous moment for the week was probably Elder Nybo and my Greenie Split on Wednesday. I don't know whose idea it was to send two inexperienced and barely passable Korean speakers out into the wide world, but it was a great idea! I was definitely nervous leading into it (I don't know Korean yet) but I prayed and the Lord sort of calmed my heart--I thought it would be okay. Well we found out early on that all of our three appointments couldn't meet so we hit the streets and did our best to open our mouths and talk to everyone we met. And boy did the big man upstairs open his windows unto us. We had eight street lessons, miraculously met a less active recent convert and talked for 40 minutes (He bought us beverages too.), we got six numbers, and Elder Hollingsworth and I now have a new investigator who Elder Nybo and I met at the Bus Terminal. Awesome! Open your mouth and it shall be filled. Work and you will be blessed with fruit. Pray and it shall be given to you. Man, I love this gospel. 

Thursday was TNT (trainers and trainees) meeting back at the headquarters in Daejeon so the group all met up. We were interviewed, counseled and sent back out as a little more seasoned greenies. I think I'm becoming a little less green. Out here we talk about "finishing strongest". Finishing the mission the strongest so you can go home clothed in a figurative golden robe (there is some old story in Korean culture--golden robe.) I think as I constantly apply myself out here I lose some green and get a little more gold. 

This weekend was stake conference. It was far away, and we had Priesthood and the adult meeting on Saturday so I packed a small bag and we slept over at the elders' house in Cheongju. Conference was good. I didn't get a lot out of besides renewed patience but singing "Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd" was great. Korean choir is always fun! 

Fun food fact: Saturday some members took us out for dinner. They bought me some pig spine soup which was pretty delicious! It was similar to ribs in flavor but with a spicy soup to boot. The soup was hot. Like spicy but they also serve it to you boiling and in a stone bowl. It makes is hard to drain down at the end but somehow I managed, though my nose was running a 5k or something.


This week was pretty great. I picked up a copy of the Power of Everyday Missionaries by Clayton M. Christensen ---which everyone must read because it will change your life! and your perspective on missionary work! Plus Brother Christensen is fun to read. AND he served his mission in Korea many moons ago.

In there and also in the D&C I learned and developed a heightened sense this week of the divine role of questions in my learning and progress. (Check pages 30-34 in Power of Everyday Missionaries) 

The gospel, the entire restoration of Christ's gospel, came about because one fourteen year old boy asked a question and believed that God would answer him. If I take that same mentality and thought into my studies then I'm going to get a whole lot more out of it. In fact, all of my best studies came from when I took a question to the scriptures. Questions bring on revelation. Section 8 really lays this out. "Even so surely shall you receive a knowledge of whatsoever thing you shall ask in faith, with an honest heart believing you shall receive" This is how God reveals truth. This is how you can know the "mysteries of God". Through asking, God will tell you in your mind and in your heart the answer you seek. God calls the spirit of revelation and this process "thy gift" and tells us in verse 4 to "apply unto it" to "remember these words, and keep the commandments. Remember this is thy gift." Revelation is God's gift to you. The gift is just dependent on your asking. Think about it ..."ask and you shall receive." I love that practically the entire D&C came through Joseph's questions. I can get those kinds of revelations too... if I ask. So this week that will be one of my focuses.

I love you, pray for you, and know that God is with you.

This is His work and I'm so happy to be working in the Korean section of the vineyard. It's really nice :)

Onward and Upward,

Elder Tucker

That's a preying mantis.  A good district meeting.

some countryside

me and the boys

A really effective personal study looks like this!