Sunday, June 28, 2015

Week 55: 외국인's out the wazoo!!‏

Okay people of the internet, family, friends, people that I love and admire. This one is going to be a short one, but I'll do my best. Time is short and occasionally I wish that those vulcan mind melds worked over time, space, and the internet because there has been so much happening, and it's so fun and I wish that I could really capture it all better than I can with google chrome and sans serif font. But alas, I'll do my best.

The title of the week means "foreigners" out the wazoo because church was great! This week one of ward members, Brother Patro from Mexico baptized his wife Sreymom who is from Cambodia. Patro is super cool and speaks like 9 languages fluently with five or six he's working on right now. I don't understand people like that--but I'm glad that God is good and that Patro is doing so awesome! His wife Sreymom is the sweetest lady ever and so happy and gave the best testimony ever at her baptismal service that Patro translated into Korean for the ward. Actually it was really fun because she was speaking Cambodian and Patro was translating into Korean and then I was in charge of translating the whole meeting into English for the other foreigner members in the ward. Our ward is fun because there is an English group (smaller than a branch) within our Korean ward. So me and either Elder Baker or Elder Hogan (the other American elders I live with) are in charge of translating sacrament meeting into English from Korean every Sunday. It's really tough at times but also fun. Everyone we translate for wears headsets and there is a transmitter that we speak into via microphone. I feel like a spy missionary. I think the tie helps with the vibe.. and the Spirit helps with the translation. It is fun because I do my best to try and get an exact translation but sometimes with language lags (thanks reverse grammar) I miss gaps, but the Spirit always gives me something to say and it is amazing how the sweet English speakers can still feel the Spirit and learn and be edified despite my weakness. I really know that God is good and gives us exactly what we need. He gives us opportunities to shine and opportunities to rely on His grace and mercy and be made stronger. And I know that even though I am full of weaknesses, when I am doing His work, He does and will magnify me to make me the man for the job. I've really felt that this week, that God knows us. He loves us. He is perfectly aware of our circumstances and the circumstances of those around us and will give us all we need to take care of our immediate needs and gives us what we need to help others too. . . Back to the foreigners. So this week our member from Kenya, brother Antony brought a friend from school (who happens to also be from Cambodia) named Sokha and Sohka loved church! She is super great and super nice. She converted from Buddhism to Christianity just a few years ago, though doesn't belong to a particular denomination. She got along super well with Sreymom. I have faith. Hopefully Sokha's name will make the heading of the email in a coming week. The other foreigner was this random black (sorry, African American) lady from New York that came to sacrament meeting and stayed for lunch and the baptismal service. I guess she has a Korean friend...yeah, I'm not positive. But hopefully she is in the heading of a future email!! Fun day for foreigners and translating and the Spirit is so awesome!!

This week I had 순대국밥 which is pretty tasty actually. It's something like noodles and mashed bean paste stuffed in pig intestine with some pig ear and other assorted parts thrown in. Really...okay! The worst part was when Elder 박 told me to eat this nice looking green pepper before our food came. Turns out it wasn't the nice one I thought it was but really spicy 고추 , like the spiciest one in Korea. And to make matters worse I dipped it in 고추 sauce before I ate it to add flavor!~~ (insert mental pictures of a very hot and slightly perspiring Elder Tucker) It was pretty good and I might do it next time too!~

 I love you guys and I am short on time. But some quick thought about charity from my personal study today..


When I'm filled with charity, the pure love of Christ, I fully accept and begin to exemplify a "thy will be done" attitude. Charity, the pure love of Christ, is loving God with all of my heart, might, mind, strength, with my whole soul, and seeking His will in all things. This means keeping His commandments not out of duty or for the hope of blessings, but simply because I love and trust God and want to "do always those things which please Him". When I'm filled with the love of Christ I will love all of my brethren for it was charity that enabled Christ to pass beneath all things and take upon himself our infirmities. Possessing charity entails seeking to serve others and then doing all I can to help them receive the restored gospel, for that's what Christ did for all of us!

Charity is a game changer because it is the attribute that changes my perspective, putting me on a different plane with God and rooting within me the desires that lead to good works and the development of a new creature in Christ. Moroni's Call to me in chapter 7:48 is to pray for charity with all purpose of heart that I may be filled with this love. This one act, the development of charity will purify and purge me. Charity is love and love is light and I'm seeking to be a light on a hill, shining forth with the light of Christ, the light of the world. Through charity and true and proper desires I'll be able to love like Christ and hopefully help others to feel that infinite and abiding, that abounding love that so freely he offers me. With charity I change. I grow and deepen. With charity I'm able to, like Christ, turn outward rather than inward, developing other essential attributes, enabling me to take the step from a servant of God doing missionary things to a truly Christlike missionary, an instrument in the hands of God.

Love you guys,

Onward and Upward

Elder Tucker

snagged some pics of me and Elder

All is going well!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Week 54: Happy Father's Day!! I learned about stepping up!‏

First and foremost I love my dad! He is the best man that I know, the smartest, nicest and will make anyone the best playlist ever--really he's great! (now say it like tony the tiger: Ggggrrreeat!!!) I hope that you dad and the fam are having a brilliant time in paradise! I love the pictures from Hawaii and can truthfully say I'm keeping my jealously at a low. I'm so glad that the blessings from the windows of heaven include plane tickets to and a beach house in tropical paradise! Life is good. And I'm doing fine because I've been loving Korea so much!

This week has been pretty great. And it's great that it's over. Elder 박..Park...and I were in charge of combined district meeting this week which means we held a 5 hour meeting with all of the missionaries in our zone with the APs and President and Sister Shin. We were in charge and President did interviews. So exciting, I got to lead the whole zone in an hour long discussion of the "Sister Susan Fulcher Case Study". We got the paper in the MTC as part of in-field orientation and we have used it on and off for different mission things since I've been here. Pretty much it's the best. I have my copy from the MTC still but it's cool because the Korea version is included in the Korean version of "the power of everyday missionaries" (actually they have like a ton of bonus features in the Korean version. I chalk it up to brother Christiensen serving in Korea and I'm just happy because I can read all those cool circles and squiggles now. I wonder what Korean looks like to all of you  guys?? ㅋㅋㅋ이 것을 읽을 수 있어요??  Yeah, we had a Korean class this week where we're teaching some foreigners Korean. So funny. I forgot how weird Asian sounds when it's translated literally. "I know that God lives" Oh, you mean? " I God(honorfied subject marker)  lives(present progressive conjugation)thing know!" Yep. Korea! This weekend there was a special broadcast for all off Korea. It was a stake conference of sorts. Elder Ringwoood from the Seventy gave his talk in Korean (so cool!) and we also heard from Elder Maynes and Elder Christofferson! So great! I think I need to go back and download and relisten to it because due to some odd circumstances where I had to help translate the first part of stake conference Elder Park went with our investigator and listened to the broadcast in English and I listened to it in Korean. Life, man, sometimes the irony just gets me.


And this week was super good. From combined district meeting and also my interview with President I recognized my urgent need to step up and raise the bar and be more of the leader who God and the mission need me to be right now. I think since receiving my new call to serve with Elder Park I have allowed myself to be a little overwhelmed and have been acted upon more than me leading out and being what I'm capable of. It comes down to faith I think. I have confidence in God! I know He is just and perfect and can do all things and I know that my call comes from him. I have faith in President Shin and know that he leads us by revelation and I was lacking faith in myself. Who am I to doubt the President and the Lord. My calling comes from the Lord and according to my asking he promises me revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, and the spirit in greater abundance than I have ever know to do the job before me. I realized that I am going to be lacking. That is part of the plan. I live in deep waters and that is okay. I lack so that I can turn to God when I'm lacking wisdom or strength and he can give me liberally and upbraid me not. Duh!~ Elder Tucker has been tutored by the spirit and I have been able to approach the tasks before me much better this week. I have realized that all I need to "step-up" or really, to magnify my priesthood is the spirit. The Spirit and the gift of the Holy Ghost contain all the gifts of God and my diligent application unto that will change me and transform me into a servant of the Lord. This week I have been thinking about the difference between "obtaining" the priesthood and "receiving" the priesthood (D&C 84:33.35). I think it is similar to "receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost". They both require active choices on our part and will be the greatest difference in our individual ministries.

So that's what my mind has been on recently. I pray that the spirit is with you (man, I sound like a jedi sometimes! Awesome!) and can tutor and teach you what you need for your individual lives!

God is good. Look to Him and live..

Onward and Upward

Elder Tucker  (I love you dad! Happy father's day!!!)

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Week 53: Happy Birthday Elder Tucker!!!‏

And I say hey! Hey! what a wonderful kind of day!(thanks Arthur for the best theme song ever). And thanks emails for reminding me that I've been on a mission for over a year! And there is no looking back! Like seriously. I was excited on 11th because I felt old, and I literally forgot that it had happened this week when I logged on this afternoon.^^ Funny, I spend like four weeks hyping about it and then I forget last second. Well, ladies and gentlemen (Elders and Sisters) It was a little over 365 days ago that I got a neat little black tag and Elder Tucker was born. Being a missionary is the best life ever! And to tell you the truth I can't really remember any other life. When I get mail it's fine, but if I ever talk about myself or say "McKay" it's the weirdest thing, like talking about someone else's life. I don't even know who McKay is?! All I know is that 나는 하나님의 아들 예수 그리스도의 제자라. 나는 그의 백성 가운데 그의 말씀을 선포하여, 그들로 영생을 얻게 하기 위하여 그에게 부름을 받았느니라 (or in other words "I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and I have been called of him to declare His word among His people!) It is nice to be a disciple of Christ. So far it is my favorite line of work and the benefits are off the chain!

This week was pretty fun! Okay, I am sorry mom. Elder 박(Park) is really hard to photograph--which is unfortunate because he is the cutest little guy I know! He is the greatest! He is 23 and has already done his two years of mandatory military service and one of his dreams is to become a professional song writer. I think he's got the stuff. He is fabulous on the piano and even better on the guitar--you can rest assured that we have good jams. He is super organized and has the best handwriting I've seen in any language. He hates reading, though. That's a drawback, but not because he loves the scriptures and totally devours the word of God. He is really good at English and it was awesome this week in comp study when he was teaching me new insights from his study of Luke chapter one in English. it was really good! It will definitely come in handy thins week when we give our training this week at combined district meeting. We have like five hours of meeting and a lot to cover.

I am so sorry my people, but time is expired and I have to go! I love you and you are in my prayers!

Onward and Upward

Elder Tucker (it'll be really weird when Elder Tucker turns two! yeah, we're not allowed to think about that^^)

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Week 52: I think I'm going to die!!!‏

Ok mom, don't be alarmed by the heading of the email. I am writing this right after getting back from lunch. Today was pretty good. Elder 박 (Park) had to do some paper work for some family stuff today so we came to the mission office in the morning. We called and did our mission leadership conference call with President and the AP's then all of us missionaries went out to a 고기buffet. And I meant to write "meat" not 고기...language problems.  Ha! So for those of you not familiar with Korean dining culture it is popular here to eat a lot. and as a result there are tons of buffets and meat buffets are really popular. We go and put tons of raw meat on a plate then go to our table and we grill it on the hot plate they have there. Super delicious. You can all you want of whatever you want. And we went to a nice one and it was only ten thousand won. (roughly ten bucks!)  Huzzah! Down side is that we ate continuously for like 90 minutes so I think I passed maximum capacity! So really I might die. I don't think I'll eat dinner. . .

But moving on to happier notes: I love Elder Park. I'm sorry already that I left my camera at the apartment because he is the best. Super cutest Korean I know. And I know that previous sentence wasn't perfect English and I'm okay with that! We have been busy with lots of meeting as of late and recently the Doonsan (둔산) ward has had lots of baptisms so all of our investigators have either been baptized or dropped. So we have been busy hitting the streets and talking to everybody. Because I am in Doonsan area it means that I am in the heart of Daejeon city. My area is probably the smallest geographically in the mission, but there are tons of people. It is all metropolitan and we take the bus and subway most everywhere if we aren't going by foot. It is fun, I love the city. Not that I know any different--I've been blessed to live the big city life ever since I came to Korea. It is fun. Daejeon is fun too because of the huge shopping areas they have. I mean, I can only go shopping on p-day, but as when we do they have HUGE department stores with everything under the sun. I also like the huge underground shopping malls they have. crazy. Koreans are crazy about their shopping. Such a trendy country. I think the only thing they have more of here than cell phone stores is probably hair salons. Life in Korea is good. Hot, fast paced, and good. I love Korea.


This week has also been a good one for studies. recently I have been studying the life of Peter. As a mission there are lots of great experienced missionaries going home in the next few weeks and so it is up to the rest of us to step up and fill the roles needed to lead the mission. I love Perter because he is such a fabulous example of an ordinary man becoming an extra-ordinary servant of the Lord. I have been studying his before and after--how did he go from denying thrice to president of the church? What did he do that changed him? I think the secret lies in the last direction that Jesus gave to Peter specifically in the gospel of John and in the last direction to the apostles in the Book of Matthew. The Lord told the apostles to baptize all nations and he told Peter very specifically to "feed My sheep". It seems to me that Peter was changed as he testified and as he taught the truths of the gospel with power and with authority. Peter was just a man. He was imperfect and a tad impetuous and a lot like you and me. Though he still had weaknesses and was imperfect, he became the amazing prophet and leader as he preached by the spirit, letting the spirit change him as much as anyone. God wants me and he wants you to be our best and He will do that as we do His work for His children. What an amazing blessing that is! When we start to do His work in His way, he will shape us into the best tool to get the job done. The Lord shapes the back to bear the burden placed upon it and through our striving with the spirit He will make us into something great! I love that and know it's true. And it's what I'm working for.

I love all of you guys and I will add pictures next week!

In all things, onward and upward!

Elder Tucker