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
Monday, August 26, 2013
Slowish Week the First. May There Never Be a Second.
Don't set terms with God. As we work and as we trust him, he can and wants to give us more than we can imagine. When we bargain with him, setting terms, we waste the Lord's time, express distrust of his intentions, and subject our selves to our own limitations. Instead of setting terms, go to work, do your duty, and soldier on like your life depended on it, because someone else's might.
So at this point we don't really have any actual investigators. In follow up to last week's email, our dying potential investigator is still just a potential because he is still in the hospital. We're going to try to get out to see him this week.
In further, though unrelated followup, that axe murderer guy is officially an axe murderer. That cop is very dead. Sort of a tricky situation, especially once the ward leaders found out. They told us to keep him away and cut him off, but President, correctly, gave us the go ahead to keep working with him. I just can't see Jesus telling someone to not go to church. But yeah, its a very tricky situation.
I did sub in for a couple of appointments this week. While the Zone Leaders were gone, me and the other ZL's greenie teamed up a couple of times. The first time, we were partnered with a couple of Elders from the east coast. Aka, the middle of nowhere. I got to work with Elder Black. He's a super hard worker, really focused, and genuinely caring about the people. While I was with him, the four of us went to a meeting with a guy named Simon. He's Korean, but he speaks a good load of English, so I sort of ended up taking point. He claims to have read the whole BoM before, and he very well could have, but he clearly didn't understand it all. He believes that Joseph Smith was a true prophet and that the BoM is the word of God, but he also believes in Catholicism and doesn't understand or see the discrepancy. So he goes to Catholic church, and doesn't see the need to be baptised into our church because he was baptized Catholic. My explanations went over his head, but at least we get where he's coming from. I don't think that I'm going to be working with him in the future cause he's not my investigator, but he was an interesting guy to be sure.
The one other sort of meeting I had this week was just introductory stuff with a guy who just finished off his military service. In Korea, all Korean men have to serve in the military for 2-3 years. So this guy had met the missionaries two years ago and took the Book of Mormon to the military with him. Got through first Nephi. Liked it, but found it hard to believe. I was sort of on point there too, until Elder Chisholm (the other ZL) got back and took over. He was super nice and genuinely interested, but again, I probably won't work with him again. The fun part of that encounter, besides getting a chance to teach a little, was realizing that, as long as I'm creative, I can say a lot of the stuff that I want to in Korean. Really simply, but enough to teach people. So that's good news.
My typical week was a lot of jundo. I got 43 by myself this week along with 6 phone numbers. So hopefully one of them turns into an investigator!
Other than that, I got passed off for the first lesson. I don't know if they do this everywhere, but here there is a languange program where you practice teaching in Korean and whatnot. You have to memorize a bunch of vocab and some scripture references, and then teach a lesson. So I did the first lesson this last week. Hopefully, this next week that is right now (I'm not sure how to describe time anymore) I can get through number two.
I also played horse's patoot for FHE this week, and met a crazy South African lady. We were in McDonalds when we were ambushed by this lady who was spewing all kinds of fun stuff about talking rocks, and animals being more favorite than people, and something about racist all over us. For about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in the background, her pirate-husband just grins knowingly and gives us a nod on our way out. So that was fun.
Spiritual thought for the week comes from Matthew 20. You know the parable about the dudes that work shorter hours getting payed more and whatnot? If not, go read it really quick.
Now that you've read, I wanted to emphasize something that stuck out to me while I was studying it. The initial workers, the ones who were later upset, set their wage with the master at the start of the day. Before they started working, they set terms. The later workers did no such thing. They were hired and they started working, trusting the Master to deal with them fairly. With the later workers, the lord was able to be generous with them, giving liberally to each man a sum that was probably larger than they expected. The early workers had chosen justice for themselves. Don't set terms with God. As we work and as we trust him, he can and wants to give us more than we can imagine. When we bargain with him, setting terms, we waste the Lord's time, express distrust of his intentions, and subject our selves to our own limitations. Instead of setting terms, go to work, do your duty, and soldier on like your life depended on it, because someone else's might.
Elder Whitlock (very back, middle, head above the others) and his zone, headed to a service project.
View of Seoul from the top of the mountain where they performed service by cleaning and beautifying the environment.
Elder Whitlock (far back, second from the right) with his Zone.