Sunday, July 26, 2015

Week 59: Wet and wild and the Waters of Baptism

I will begin by apologizing for the shortness of this email. Time is of the essence and my little fingers just won't type fast enough!

This has been a splendid week for me and Elder Baker! He is the greatest and I feel like we are a dynamic duo set out to defend the city of Daejeon against the powers of sin and the adversary~~we have ties but maybe we should invest in capes! no capes..

But the week was really good. The highlights were a stake primary activity that they recruited the missionaries for. The first half was a bunch of  indoor activities centered on service and faith in God. The theme was service and missionary oriented and the kiddos were so cute! The second half was a huge water fight because the weather was ripe. Elder Baker and I helped fill like 500 water balloons though we didn't participate in the crossfire. It was a fun day.

More fun was the next day when our investigator 박민형 got baptized!! (that is Park, Min Hyung for no Konglish readers^^) 

He is an amazing miracle and a member referral from an awesome member in the ward next door. It is amazing because when we met he had no belief or faith, but was willing to learn and pray because his friend said it was important. He is so humble in accepting our teaching, but doesn't just take our word for it--he always studies it out and prays himself. His testimony is so strong now, and he and the friend who referred him may or may not be a thing in the near future. I feel so honored to be a part of his life and so blessed and humbled by the whole experience. I love the Lord. I know the gospel is true!!

And my new favorite scripture this week is D&C 29:1-6. The Lord really came to bat for me this week in my personal studies! I love Him so much!

Happy Birthday this week Jones! and Grandpa Tucker!

Onward and Upward

Elder Tucker

I think I am actually starting to look Asian!  Look at my eyes!! What is this!?!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Week 58: Thoughts on being "among the multitude"‏

Hello my people!!

It has been a very nice and a nice and humid week here in Dajeon, Korea. The week has been pretty busy and it was one of those weird ones where each day felt like its own week and trying to remember last Monday was like trying to remember march! Where is the time going?? But exciting news is that I am now serving with Elder Baker. He's from Farmington~~I'm not sure where that is more than in the central Utah super-Mormon-populous area. He is the greatest. A team of Elders were taken out of our area and so we have the big house to ourselves. It's nice in some aspects (more shower time and less laundry waiting time) but I have no idea what to do with four bed mats--maybe make a super bed!

The exciting news of the week was Mission Leader Conference on Friday. It was fun because Elder Dubois and Elder McCmullin who I was in the MTC with had to spend the night in Daejeon for the conference so we had a sweet slumber party! Watermelon, lemonade, way too many missionary stat sheets and missionary goals--viva la vida baby! The mission conference was great for several reason. Reason one: seeing so many friends from my MTC district and around the mission. Reason two: President. He is the greatest man and I love all of his trainings! so many new ideas to apply! Reason three: it's all in Korean and somehow we all understand! Thank you Spirit! Reason four: Our guest speaker PJ Rogers was amazing. He is a professor at BYU Hawaii I guess, but he helps out the missions in Korea . He is fabulous and I have never seen a big ol' white guy sound just like a Korean! He taught us about ways to become more effective missionaries and more importantly how to recognize our own importance and the enabling power of the atonement that will make everything else possible!

I am so sorry to not have any more time! I'll give you way more next time folks!

I love you and I know it's true! It is true!

Onward and Upward

Elder Tucker!

with Elder Baker

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Week 57: Six weeks already??! The adventure continues

So every six weeks in the mission we have what we call "transfers" where our Mission President prays over all of the missionaries and for the mission and looks at where all of the missionaries are serving and who they're serving with and there is a chance of us moving and changing companions. It's always pretty exciting, it's like the NFL draft for missionaries or something. ~ Pretty much the most exciting thing. And this six weeks was exciting because my friend and companion, Elder 박 (Park) is transferring to Cheonan and I am staying in Daejeon. It will be an exciting couple of months. I will be living with Elder Baker who is in the house with me right now. Two elders are being pulled out of our ward and the zone will be seeing all sorts of changes too.

It is an exciting week. Tomorrow or the day after Elder Wagner and all of the missionaries in his group will be back in America which is pretty crazy because it seems like last week that me and Elder Wagner were working up a storm in CheongJu. Time flies. And it is an exciting time for the mission with lots of room for growth and improvement. Elder Wagner and his group made up almost all of the Zone Leaders in the mission and with their departure the hole is being filled with lots of my friends who I came to Korea with. Mission dynamics are always so fun..^^ But, the best thing of the mission is not the dynamics, but the Spirit and the Word.

This week has been a good week for the word! Elder Park and I have very few investigators right now, but I love them and they are progressing well, with baptismal dates for the beginning of next month. I have really loved serving with Elder Park because he has shown me how to really teach with the scriptures as well as teaching with members. That is the only way to do it!! The scriptures, the word of God, is the most powerful thing for teaching and will bring the Spirit of the Lord more than anything! But why is the spirit important?? As I’ve been a missionary one thing I've learned for sure is the need for the Spirit of the Lord. The spirit brings confidence and the sweet peace of assurance that comes from doing what's right. I love the Comforter because it is that power that I have the ability to do everything that is on my plate. The Spirit! Every gift and blessing I seek can come about through the spirit and the strength of the Lord.

I love all of you and am sorry for this jumble of an email. Time is short and it is very rainy outside. Man, the rainy season--and not in the desert are really pretty wet!
I love you all,

Onward and Upward

Elder Tucker

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Week 56: America the beautiful, God Shed His Grace on Thee

Hello my people! What a week, huh? Does time fly as quickly on the western hemisphere? It ticks by pretty quick around here.

And Happy Birthday America! I love you! It was kind of funny eating rice instead of hot dogs this year, but it was such a fabulous day. I made breakfast for the house and went gourmet for them making French Toast and white syrup to complement the rice. It may have been a little ironic that I made French toast, but I feel like I've come a long way since cutting bagels and toaster tacos. I am growing up, I guess. And so is America. As I took time to sing all of the America songs in the hymn book I was touched by all of the verses of America the Beautiful. Even though I hear Ray Charles in my head whenever I sing it I am touched by the words and how it is God that refines our gold, refines our souls, that provides us with purple mountain majesties, and with amber waves of grain. I love the part of God mending our every flaw and the united cry that all of our good be crowned with brotherhood from sea to shining sea! I may not know a lot--I'm on the up and up--but one thing I have learned more concrete than anything else is that as we trust in God He will crown our good and bless us to prosper in the land. I love that, and I know that is true! It's my prayer that as we launch off bottle rockets, we down hamburgers, and we sing our patriotic anthems, that we remember that it is God in whom we still trust. He is good and He will guide us home. God bless the USofA!!

And it was great living with and singing all the American songs we could remember the lyrics too. Living in a house with three Americans has its advantages, though it's tough when they all hate on country music. (side bar: how can you love your country and not love country music?? Come on people! Embrace it! We're going mainstream!..) But they did sing along to my Toby Keith and God Bless the USA. Good times. I even sang The Star Spangled Banner Whitney Houston style. Quite the show. I think my favorite was Elder 박's face when we told him that the national anthem was a hymn. Classic.

The week has been great and the rainy season is now upon us. It was crazy last night when we left our Ward Missionary Leader's house because the sky had a slightly oppressive omi-nousness to it so we borrowed umbrellas and embarked. It was a good thing we did because it wasn't more than twenty steps later the floodgates of heav'n were opened!! We took shelter under a bus stop and then 전도ed (I think the word in English is proselyted?? the Korean one is way easier--jundo. see. easier!) on the bus. Pretty great. I love talking to people on the bus because they have nowhere to run away from me to. Nice! I got some numbers and I think we will be meeting one of the guys this week!


In my studies this week I've been a little all over the place. I've been studying the words of Elder Packer -  in of memory for him as well as seeking light and knowledge for how to help lead the zone in the Book of Mormon and the Bible, and all I have to say is that God is amazing! I love being a missionary where there are 내 ㅡ무ㅛ ㅔㄱㄷㄴ(dang keyboard!) so many pressing demands that require the help of heaven. What I've been learning recently is that God will give us direction and instruction for every aspect of our life. As we seek him humbly and with real intent he will deliver. (that "deliver" has two meanings!) I love all of you and I want you to know that I know God lives! And He loves each and every one of you! He is aware of your hopes and your dreams, your wants, and He seeks your good. Life is hard, but this second estate is all about development and growth. Growth, comes with growing pains, but the results are worth it! May you remember that and may God shed His grace on thee!

Onward and Upward.

Elder Tucker