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
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Back in Nam
May we, in a world that feels like it is sufficient, that feels that it needs no king, be willing to stand for the King of Kings with as much courage and boldness as Peter and Paul. Let us make our allegiance known and show the world that we, like Paul, are "not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth." (Romans 1:16)
The defining feature of this week was the combined conference with our Seoul Mission and the Seoul South Mission (Or in Korean 서울 남 Seoul Nam, hence the poor attempt at a witty title).
I got to see a lot of people that I wanted to see. Honestly, I don't know most of the south mission, but I was able to see ConCon (Elder Brienholt) from my high school again, if only briefly, and I got to meet my big brother, Elder B. He's a super nice guy. I like him. Elder Coats, if you are reading this, then you should have already gotten that picture of your posterity, including Elder M, who I guess considers himself Elder B's little boy, contrary to everything Elder V has told me. You've got some posterity man. It was also really fun to see my Seoul mission friends again. (Posterity is a reference to those trained by another missionary.)
By the way, my information last week was faulty. It looks like the majority of my generation got kicked into the pool prematurely, not just the people that I talked about. There are a lot of companionships like mine with young missionaries, and there are a couple other trainers, including Elder G who picked up one of the new mission wonder boys.
Anyway, the conference main speaker was Elder Evans, who heads the missionary arm of the church. It was super good. I felt the spirit a lot, learned a lot about myself and the spirit, and learned a ton of church secrets. Like really though. Don't trust a general authority. He told us about...well he did tell us not to tell, but holy moses. Missionary work is getting revolutionized. I'm part of "the surge" but most of the big changes are yet to come. Tyler, buckle up, they are going to do things a lot smarter with you and your generation.
Revolutionizing missionary work and ninjitsu at the same time. Call me Elder Kakashi.
And yes, it is that cold over here.
The main message of the conference was about how revelations come in series, with the example being the late missionary changes in age, new missions, new mtcs, 30% reduced training (which, by the way, has apparently actually boosted the amount that people pick up in the MTC by a tiny bit) and the like. Really good stuff.
This last week we found one person who may be of some potential. He's a Chinese divinity school student. He speaks English, but not Korean, and thank the Lord I took all those Mr. Atwood classes, 'cause thus far our conversation has revolved around things like irresistable grace, and election. I can match him, but I don't know if I can create interest beyond the surface level curiostity that he has. I met him while I was street contacting. Sort of. I met his friend and he asked about the Book of Mormon and then took me to J's house and introduced me. My companion was fairly confident that we were going to be assaulted when we followed him into the building, but the good news is that even though I'm not a strong American, I'm bigger than everyone here. We met him, talked, got his number, left, called to set up another time and found out that he was summoned back to China to help his Dad deal with some sort of family crisis, but will return sometime in the future. I'll keep you posted.
My spiritual thought for the week centers on boldness. We were counselled by Elder Evans to focus on our missionary work rather than tell members how to do theirs, but I feel like this is more of a discipleship thing than anything else.
Lately I've been studying a lot from Acts trying to learn about how to work with the spirit. I've pulled a lot out of it, but one of the most obvious features is boldness. The primary protagonists are Simon "the Rock" Peter and Paul, two of the most gutsy men that ever lived. Both of them faced massive opposition but confronted it in a very confident and unflagging way.
For those of you who have seen Lord of the Rings, you may remember the scene where everyone is planning what to do with the ring. If you haven't seen it yet, hit up youtube and watch the Council of Elrond. At one point Boromir makes a derisive comment about Aragorn, the one heir to the throne of Gondor, praising the valor and accomplishments of his people and declaring that, "Gondor needs no King." To this, responds Legolas, who, in what may be his greatest moment in the movies, defends Aragorn whose identity he knows.
"This is Aragorn, son of Arathorn, and you owe him your allegiance."
No apology, no softener, no hesitation.
We, likewise, know who our king is. May we, in a world that feels like it is sufficient, that feels that it needs no king, be willing to stand for the King of Kings with as much courage and boldness as Peter and Paul. Let us make our allegiance known and show the world that we, like Paul, are "not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth." (Romans 1:16)