Sunday, December 28, 2014

Week 29: Here we go boys...2015! Nice!

Salutations and Hello,

My peeps, my people, how are you doing! Firstly and foremost I want to express a shout out to one of my very best friends, soon to be Elder Adam Anders Nissen. If I am not mistaken (though I often am) he joins the ranks this week! I am so excited for him and the surely countless lives that he will impact and change for eternity. It is kind of a big deal: the work of salvation. It is kind of weird that as an eighteen year old I am engaged in such a marvelous work. It humbles me a little..which I guess is a good thing. I am so grateful to God for the best-thing-in-the-world opportunity and for the best family and friend that a guy could ever dream of. I sure love you guys. . . ^^  (Korean smiley face. No really, that is how they text it. I love it!)

Random moment for the week: It probably has to be when we were meeting with an investigator we met on the street. He is a really nice guy, obviously not all the way there upstairs (He is a little special, and his dream is to go to America and meet Bill Clinton. Strange to say the least..), but Bishop said that he can get baptized so we teach him. Anyway. We were teaching him on the third floor of a cafe the other day, trying to get through the plan of salvation. It was a little tough because he gets distracted easily. Plus, that particular cafe plays American music in the background. So we were teaching about our post death lives when I hear the radio switch songs and drops the best. Duh...duh duh...duh duh....Hey JULIET! Classic! "Hey Juliet", one of my very favorites. Also the last song I expected to hear in Korea. It's okay..we also got Jason Mraz and Taylor swift same day. Needless to say we're teaching at the church this week. So funny! The song drops the beat and we drop the Spirit. It was a good one for the books.


I am sorry my peeps for my short time, the funny thing is that my typing is speeding up..Anyway, Happy New Year! I am so excited for 2015 because it is an entire calendar year that I get to devote straight to God. It will undoubtedly be a year of big growth and change--hopefullly I will get that foot or two that I sang about all those years (or at least an inch..) In considering new goals and resolutions reflect on the words of President Monson closing conference remarks. I wish I had time to post them here.. But alas, I do not. This week and this year I want to focus on being a more courageous servant and more valiant in the testimony of Christ. Look at Alma 53:20-21. My goal is to become a little more like the boss servants of the Lord in the Book of Mormon. I find so much comfort and so much inspiration as I read from its pages. I love it. For New Year's how about everyone reads the Book of Mormon again? Maybe twice. Thrice if you are really feeling it! I'll do the same.

Love you all so much and pray for you every day!

Onward and Upward,

Elder Tucker

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Week28: Holla from 흥덕 (heungDeuk)‏

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Wow, I can't believe the season is upon us. It's practically here! I was going to go on a Grinch rampage for a second but I just have no time. ..I feel like I am qualified to do Grinch impressions because someone tells me I look like Jim Carrey at least three times a week. I love Korea! It really is the best!

This week has been so good and chalk full of miracles. My new companion, Elder Wagner, and I get along so well it's kind of scary. He is like the one year older , Logan Utah, more Zac Efron-y version of me. It's great! The Sisters sometimes call him Malibu Wagner (think Ken) and so now we're Team Malibu. Classic! I was kind of worried our first two days because who knew the work of salvation was so much fun! It's great! And we do work! So Great! (I realize I say "it's great" a lot so I'll try and lower the usage..:) One of our investigator, Anna, is the greatest. She is so sassy! She lived 30 years in America and speaks great English. She is rough around the edges (wears combat boots and a bandana)  and is super independent, but is opening up to the gospel so well. .. I hope. It is great! They own a burger shop literally right next to the church and always give us free cajun potatoes. They're delicious.


I am so out of time but want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! Remember that He is the gift and to gift the gift of yourselves to Him and to others. I think my favorite Christmas song today is I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. I love verses 3 and 4. It is Hymn 214 in the English Hymnbook. I know that this gospel is true! He lives. And through Him, through our Savior, Jesus Christ, whose birthday we're celebrating, we really can have peace on earth and good will towards all men.

Love you and wish you a very Merry Christmas!

Onward and Upward,

Elder Tucker

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Week 27: Cheonan...It has been real. Real fun and real's still snowing.

Hello world, (Family, friends, I send you my best regards)

First off, it is still cold. I think I am finally coming to realize and accept that there are four seasons out there. Winter is the cold one (well...if you're in the northern hemisphere at least...). Snow is so pretty--less fun when it is slush, but I learn to adapt. Winter really is pretty fun.

Other news is that I'm being transferred! What? Yep, your little boy is leaving the nest and the trainer and heading to 흥덕 (Hung Deok or something similar to that..) It is actually really close to Cheonan and it's in my stake. Still cool. I am so excited!! I will be serving with Elder Wagner who trained my buddy Elder Woods and My pal Elder Dubois will be coming to take my desk and my companion. Crazy...Christmas. This week we have a Christmas party in Daejeon. It should be super great. I think we're watching 17 Miracles. Classic!

The stressful moment of the week was actually yesterday. I was sitting in sacrament meeting waiting for it to start when the second counselor in the bishopric came down and asked me to play the piano. What?! Yeah, that awkward moment when they don't give you any notice and have preselected all the hymns and I've never played any of them! I had to sight read everything! IN sacrament meeting! Arguably it was not too bad. I just went too fast on the first one but started doing better after that. This was also the first week that the they decided to do a rest hymn too. Four hymns, sight reading. Stress to the max. But I'm still alive. And happy. I might not be able to choose everything I have to do on a mission, but I can choose how I feel about it. I choose to be happy! I feel happier when I'm happy!


I am out of time for the day but I want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas. Remember that the best gift we can give is ourselves. Give  ourselves to those we love and give ourselves to God. Remember that love defies logic. The more you give the more you have yourself. Remember that service is the price you pay to live in someone's heart. Thank you for everything you do for me--your prayers and support mean so much to me. You are in mine..

Merry Christmas,

In all things, Onward and Upward!

Elder Tucker

We went to one of our investigator's labs. He is super smart. Such a nice man. His kids are going to college in the states so he's pretty much adopted us as his family. In konglish his name is Choonkeun Park or 박춘근 in the Korean. Last names first, you know. Take a close look at the clock in the background. It is different than you'd think.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

From the Deajeon Korea Mission Blog: Mission Tour

Wednesday, December 10th Post

Last week, Elder Koichi Aoyagi of the 2nd Quorum of the Seventy and his wife Shiroko Aoyagi came to Korea to give a training to all the missionaries.  He spoke two different times, once in the city of Daejeon, and once in the city of Gwangju.  The meetings were enjoyed by all the missionaries as Elder Aoyagi's Training was translated from Japanese to Korean.  The theme of the meeting was, "missionaries from the Book of Mormon," but he also talked about the love of God, and spiritual self-reliance.  Sister Aoyagi also gave a training had very fun hands on training and role playing.  The mission tour was very successful, and gave a good spiritual boost to all the missionaries in the Daejeon Mission!

North  (McKay is 6th from the left on the back row.)


Monday, December 8, 2014

Week 26: Well...It's still cold outside and this week I finish lap one‏

Hello Family and friends,

Salutations from the wintry wonderland that is Korea. It is cold here. Weird. I kind of miss green grass Christmas, though let's be real: white Christmas is beautiful. I decided that I really actually like snow. It is like a pretty, magical version of rain. This week we had snow six out of seven days and falling snow is cold, crazy awesome. Thank goodness for scarves and other warm things. The downside with Korean snow is that you can't eat it. The weather is dramatically affected by China and because China is a pollution producing machine we have acid rain...or in this case snow. Stinkin' China.....communists :/

This week has been terrific! Highlight was our Mission Tour with Elder Aoyagi from the 2nd Quorum of the 70. He is fantastic; probably one of my favorite Japanese people. (Though arguably I don't know a lot of Japanese people. Love him anyway.) Let me tell you: we have an amazing worldwide church. Elder Aoyagi is fluent in English but decided last minute to deliver his talk to us in his native Japanese. Wow. I think he was affected by General Conference. He had a translator that translated from Japanese to Korean and then one of the APs translated the Korean to English for all who were interested. I was interested. I understood most all of the Korean (fist pump for 2nd languages) but let's be real, it is way easier to take notes when you don't translate everything in your head first.

As mentioned in my heading, this week marks the end of lap one. I compared the mission to a 1600 meter race. There are four laps. Each one is critical and presents its own challenges but the point is to run every lap to the max so that I can run a sub 4 min mile. (Shout out to my main man Roger Banister.) The race will qualify me for bigger and better races to come but it is a kind of qualifier, and my placement in the next races is dependent on my performance now. Yeah...I get pretty into sports metaphors. The football one is a little harder to follow though so I will save it for later. The point is that this week marks six months as a missionary! WOW! how did that happen? I am a greenie no more. Next week also begins transfer 4 in Korea. I am excited for the Christmas party. I have no idea what will happen but it just sounds nice.


I am extremely low on time but I have been thinking about Christmas recently. Remember that the purpose of Christmas is Love. It is love for the Savior and love for each other. Love is what makes the world go round and is the only thing that heals hearts and changes lives for the better. Live with more love. What can you give to Christ for Christmas? Ask yourself that but in a non rhetorical way. Answer the question, wrap it up, and change. I love you all and Wish you a very merry holiday.

Onward and Upward

Love Elder Tucker!



skinny Santa models

cold me!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Week 25: Short time and lots of snow....‏

Yeah, remember last winter when it was a crazy blizzard on the first of December? NO! I'VE NEVER LIVED IN SNOW AND WE'VE GOTTEN FOUR INCHES IN THREE HOURS! So yeah, it is a new experience for me. And surprisingly I am totally okay with it. The trick with cold weather is layers. I wear like five. Gloves, they're good too. Elder Hollingsworth is part penguin and he loves the snow. He has already thrown five snowballs at me today. I think it may be a long, cold winter. But on the bright side, Winter is beautiful. Frozen Asia is pretty! It kind of reminds me of Frozen but with more public transportation.

This week should be fabulous. We have mission tour on Thursday with a member from the area presidency. It should be great! I have been reading up on all the missionaries from the Book of Mormon and have been as thorough as I could have been but am getting a little nervous. I have tour in three days and am on Alma the younger. There will be some frantic writing going down in personal study, let me tell you. And let me tell you that I love you! I was very thankful for all of my family and friends this thanksgiving! I had a great time doing missionary work and even enjoyed a great chicken burrito for dinner from Costco. I ate it with pot stickers. Classic pictures to follow. And Happy Christmas.


There is very limited time but I wanted all of you if you can to go and read Alma 27. Here is a more detailed account of Alma and the sons of Mosiah. I like to think of myself as a happy fellow, but Ammon takes the cake because he keeps fainting from happiness. Pay attention to why he was able to feel that joy. I want to be like that and I have a feeling that when we next see each other it will be an alma-style joyful event.

I LOVE you and the work is true!.

...its still snowing...

Onward and Upward

Elder Tucker