The Weekly Postings of a Mormon Missionary In Korea
"Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. " --- John 8:10
Friday, July 19, 2013
Christmas at the MTC
Romans 13:12 tells us, "The night is far spent, and the day is at hand: Let us, therefore, cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light." There is a sense of urgency in the scripture to be more than you are. Where we, and especially me, naturally give off darkness, Christ (via Paul) commands us to arise from the darkness, put on his armor, and join the fight. This may seem to just apply to me. I only have about a week before I get into the field. But it doesn't. Each of us has the ability to grow right now. We can choose to be better than we were yesterday. We can choose to be more than who we are. All we have to do is make that choice, turn to our Savior, and then fight like the warriors he needs us to be. The world is covered in darkness, but today, choose to channel light....
Elder Whitlock (right) and his MTC companion, Elder Pratt (left), at the Provo Temple
It's Christmas. Last night, we found out that even though it was too late to pick them up, our travel plans were waiting for us in the mail. We let out an appropriate Korean cheer of "AssssaaaaAAAAA!" then had to go to bed and wait until this morning to find out what was happening (please, who's been touching these monkeys?).
I'd like to say that this morning we woke up all excited, but it was like 5:30, so in real life we sort of hated everything that moved for a little bit there. Then we did service and got done early. Huzzah. Then my companion dumped dirty mop water all over the carpet. Huzzah. Then I ate a single bowl of cereal (because I decided I don't want to be fat) and we checked our plans. It was just like opening up presents under a tree, except for there is a lot less opening and a lot more packing ahead.
A sister from my district just walked in and did the greatest happy dance when we handed her her travel plan.
So July 29th at 3:00 AM I report to the travel office where they may or may not return my visa/passport to me. I don't actually know if I'll ever see those again. That means I get to stay up all night packing and whatnot so yeah. After that we run over to the airport in SLC. My first flight is to Dallas/Ft Worth and that leaves at 6 AM, so if ya'll want me to call you it will probably have to be somewhere in there. Time should be limited, but available. Not like in Texas. If all goes well (which never happens in an airport and is less likely to do so when one of your travel/district buddies is from Dubai), we should get into Texas by 9:40 their time, which gives us a solid hour before our flight to Seoul takes off. Dad, if you remember the fiasco in Boston on the way back from the Roma/Jerusalem trip, I can't imagine this going much better than that. So, I may start doing more cardio before we go. From Texas, we actually go straight to Seoul, where we should arive at 2:50 PM their time. I think that's a 15 hour difference, but I'm not sure. If I'm right, that means we will be traveling or sitting in an airport for about a day straight. Good thing the church is true.
Eh, who am I kidding? I'm so pumped! Here's hoping for first commitment to baptism before I get there.
Sorry that the call would be at some ungodly time for you. Finding service at 3 in the morning from a houseboat at Lake Powell wouldn't sound fun if you weren't going to be at LAKE FREAKING POWELL!!! So pumped for you. If it would be easier to not deal with it, I will save my Joker reference for later. Most of the guys in my district aren't calling home and that seems easier, but if ya'll really want to hear from me that bad after just two months, then let me know by next week.
Fun things from this week: I started putting Korean lyrics to songs like Snow, Billy Jean, and Can You Feel the Love Tonight for the sake of why not. I discovered that my goal to make a new friend everyday is hampered by a separate goal to not speak English. Half my district rewatched the Testaments on Sunday. Following that, I remembered to command my teacher, whose name is Jacob, to not deny us his gifts. I got behind on letter responses (because my family is the best). One of my roomates got ambitious and tried two drops of the worlds hottest hot sauce which literally left him crying in the fetal position on the floor. May sound like melodrama, but I've tried I drop of the stuff and let me tell you, it's just like what would happen if a baby Balrog was born in your mouth and incinerated its way to your small intestines, where some kind of Gandalf cell informs it that it shall not pass. To one up him, another roomate took a drop on a warhead, which created this awkward paradox where he wanted to simultaneously squish his face like he just bit a lemon while simultaneously breathing fire. Saving both of them? Grandma's scones.
Speaking of which, we physically could not eat all of our food if we had to at this point. We literally just eat once we get back at night, and we never make a dent. So thank you. Great job. But if you send us more, send it with an XL body bag.
One more thing. This week I've been focusing on developing Charity. Related to that is patience and humility (which my mother subtly pointed out by sending me a talk entitled "
Beware of Pride "). As I was reading through the Humility section of PMG we got to a paragraph that lists prideful behaviors. I don't have a copy with me, but here's basically how that went:
Elder Pratt: Takes credit when things go well...
Pratt: Denies guilt when things go poorly...
Me: "The woman thou gavest me..." Check.
Pratt: Often compares himself to others...
Pratt: But you do so well in the comparison.
Me (half listening): Yep.
I might have cried a little.
The spiritual thought for this week might be familiar for a lot of you, but it has been on my mind lately. Romans 13:12 tells us, "The night is far spent, and the day is at hand: Let us, therefore, cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light." There is a sense of urgency in the scripture to be more than you are. Where we, and especially me, naturally give off darkness, Christ (via Paul) commands us to arise from the darkness, put on his armor, and join the fight. This may seem to just apply to me. I only have about a week before I get into the field. But it doesn't. Each of us has the ability to grow right now. We can choose to be better than we were yesterday. We can choose to be more than who we are. All we have to do is make that choice, turn to our Savior, and then fight like the warriors he needs us to be. The world is covered in darkness, but today, choose to channel light.