Sunday, September 20, 2015

Week 67: Daejeon and Elder Choi‏

To the people of the world!! I have repented and reformed and there is so much that I want to and need to share with you and I only have like fifteen minutes so...type like the wind 소거락들! (ahem.."fingers")

Well, first note. Thank you so very much for the package my family! It was such a nice surprise and I love the notes and all your doting affections! I am spoiled. But I love it. Congrats to Sydney and to Maddie! I was super surprised by the wedding announcements, but it was a pleasant surprise. I can't believe everyone is progressing in their eternal progression faster than me! Ahh! Luckily I'm just racing myself^^ And thank you dad for the music hookup. I love the toons. And your liberties you took by including "christian" rock. I mean I'm all about Jesu, Rock of Our Salvation, unfortunately, Reliant K may not end up on my 25 most played for the next couple of months. I love "mood rings" but I just can't fit it with my badge. :)

So in my attempt to help all y'all understand and appreciate this amazing and beautiful country that I love, I think I'm going to start including some cultural and or miscellaneous mission life/Korea tidbits in the email. I love it. The country that is, and I want all of you to see some of the awesome things I get to see and do every day.

First: the map. 

I wish I could show you all around my area because it is the greatest, but due to the absurd numbers of photos necessary and the fact that I don't want to look like a tourist, I'll start with the map. Here is Daejeon. It is a pretty big city and the part with all of the stickers is my area. It is rather small. I can walk it in an hour and a twenty minutes or so (which is crazy because my last area covered four cities) but I like it. The area is called Doonsan. But I live like twenty-thirty minutes out by bus.

And here is rice. My main staple. Here I'm holding a 20kilo bag which is pretty big. 

I've seen bigger, but not in a while. Elder Baker and I eat rice like three times a day with a meal that is like fried rice and kimchi chigae (sp??) It is delicious! Like the best parts of cooked cabbage with the flavor explosion of asian red pepper and some ham and mixed vegetables as we see fit. Actually, super super tasty. 

Elder Baker and I totally ate it as we watched the President Monson biography movie during lunch today. I love President Monson. He is the Lord's prophet. I know that! I can feel it is true. There seems to be so many evidences of the truth of the this gospel, of the Restoration, but ultimately I just rely on that little voice within myself that tells me it's true. I can just feel it with everything that is me! It is so true.

This week was so good for many reasons. My favorite: Elder Yoon Hwan Choi of the first quorum of the 70 came to our mission this week (Elder 죄윤환 as we like to call him. I still am not sure why westerners don't put the family name first. It's more important. He is Korean and the BEST! I love him and his wife so much. They are one of the most premier couples I have ever seen. So one. So inspired. and inspiring! I hope I can be a bit like those awesome Koreans one day!) And the day was extra special because I was invited by President to have a personal interview with Elder Choi. So cool! I was really humbling and I'll share with you a bit of what I learned. both form that interview and from the day as a whole.

Enter Elder Choi. He is a bit of a big figure. Tall with one of those cute grandpa bellies iconic to Americans. (he has been in Utah for a while so it shows.) Back in his youth he was a bodyguard for the national president of Korea. I imaging he knows some crazy martial arts and such, and he commands attention. But I love that he just loves singing and made us sing like seven different times! Among his different commitments he made us all promise to sing hymns in the shower for the rest of forever. Okay! I've been doing good on that this week. And counseled us from his experience as a young Korean missionary and also as a mission president in Seattle a few years back. The biggest overall impact what his emphasis to "elevate our thoughts" Raise our sights. Lift the bar. Expect and do greater things. Among those was his call for each team to baptize one person a week. He said that was the mission policy in Seattle and though everyone didn't hit it, several rose to the expectations and baptized dozens and dozens of people. Also remember good readers that missionaries are more that those who wear tags. How many people will I help to baptize in the following years and unfolding decades of the future. Elevate your thoughts!! 

My interview was good and he asked if I had any questions. I didn't have anything deep but I did ask his personal opinion for how I could elevate my thoughts.

He told me that when I need guidance, don't look around to others. Look up. Look to heaven for bearings and direction. In all things. Always. I like that. Often I am on  to gauge myself on the performance of others when that does not matter. God is in charge. He knows all things. Don't look around for help. Look up.

There is more to share in coming weeks but I just looked at the clock and time has expired. I love you and pray for you. Thank you all and remember to look up! Go to the temple! All of you! If you can't go inside, go outside. Just go there. I want to go so bad and I can't. Go for me.

I love you all!

Onward and upward

Elder Tucker

Here is me with purple sweet potato!  Delicious...

A pic of me and Elder Baker for our English flyers

Me outside on the way to email....