"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, February 22, 2015

Confidence vs. Counterfeits

One request! Don't send the package please! I'm so close to being able to see you and I would feel really bad if you spent all of that money on sending the package. I haven't ceased feeling like you loved me since the last one, and I still love you and can't wait to get whatever you wanted to give me in person.

I really like N___ area. I'm glad to be here too.  The jundo here is harder than Ch___, but at least there are (a lot) more people than D___. Lots of people and definitely a culture shock. Sometimes it feels like my Korean is back and at other times...well, less so. The Sistrict is fun, and the ward here is great—it’s huge. We had dinner with some members last night and have another dinner invitation for this Thursday. Lots of good restaurants in this area too.

My companion is great. His name is Elder M___.... We've been getting along really well so far. I'll try to get you a picture soon. We actually had trainers’ training and a mission conference (basically) this week, and somewhere in all of that I left my camera case at the office. I'll get it back soon, but...anyway. He's 19, played soccer in high school, loves Brandon Sanderson books, and looks a lot like Ricky Stevenson. 

We went to the palace at Gwanghwamun today, which was pretty fun. They had a museum exhibit for jeans and another for sheep, so that was fun. We also got to see Meet The Mormons and another movie called a New Day for the Book of Mormon. I liked both quite a bit.

I'm feeling good about my first training this week as well. Focus will be Christlike Confidence again, but with a rather different twist than the time I taught about it in Ch___. Premise is that Satan works in oppositional counterfeits. So pride would be the opposite of humility and the counterfeit of confidence. Similarly, self hatred or low self esteem is an opposite of confidence and a counterfeit of humility. With pride being "the great vice", we need to overcome the pride in ourselves, but humility alone isn't enough to do the job. The reason these oppositional counterfeits that Satan feeds us stick, is that we have legitimate needs or holes that need to be filled, and these substitutes do a great job at compensating, but not necessarily correctly. So. As we increase our humility, we can dig the pride out of our hole. Humility is the cure, but in some ways it leaves the hole open. So we need something to fill said whole and that filler is Christlike Confidence.  Then apply to missionary work. That was fast. Does that make any sense?

Honestly...not much happening with investigators. We haven't met anybody so far. It was a holiday week, but frankly the other missionaries didn't leave us much. We'll be able to work on all parts of missionary work from the ground up now.

Love you so much!
Elder Whitlock

Monday, February 16, 2015

Anxious to be Engaged

Elder Whitlock teaching an investigator at FHE 2/2/2015
Of this picture Sister Pihl said, "I brought in the Korean Sisters to help with new investigator.....
but she took a liking to your son instead.  He must be doing well with the language.  
He was so patient with her.  You got yourself a winner here!!"

Writing you all from a PC room in Seoul. Transfer calls came in on Friday with a surprise. I'm in N___, one of the nicest areas in the mission. It's in north-western Seoul, which will be a fun change of pace. I've been out of Seoul for about a year now, and now I get to be re-culture shocked back into a Korean ward before I leave. Count your blessings, I may still come home awkward. 

There are a lot of changes happening in [my new] district. There are twelve missionaries attached to the ward and seven of us are transferring in this week. We are also getting split into two districts, so I'm the district leader of me, my new trainee (who I will meet on Wednesday), and four sisters. The other district is all Elders. President tried to explain why it was divided that way to me last night, but I didn't quite get all of it. For now I'm working with Elder H, the other district leader and a friend from Gireum, and his companion, Elder B. 

Our house is really nice. Apparently the most expensive house in the mission, but not quite as nice as D___. Real estate is real expensive in Seoul. For example, they just sold the mission office a month ago for over 15,000,000$.

Kind of bummed to be leaving D___. Loved the people there, but I'm excited to make new friends, if a little confused about how I'm supposed to help the sisters in my district (no exchanges and no counseling...).

This last week in D___ was sort of slow for us. We weren't able to see a couple of our top investigators because of military training exercises and a wedding in Peru, but we did pick up a new guy..., who has a baptismal date for April. Brings the score up to three for the area with one guy sitting on the brink of getting his answer. Lots of drama for people we were working with this week. Lots of marriage problems, financial crisis, and other headaches that make me want to move to Neverland. Although, now that I think about it, I would have to either found a new group of "Lost Men" or resort to historically unsuccessful piracy...

Love you all so much! Have a great one.
Elder Whitlock

last FHE in D___ 1/9/2015
Of the transfer, Sister Pihl said, "Don't make me cry again!! We will miss him so!!!"

Bonus thought: The best measure of how "anxiously engaged" we are may often come in the situations where we aren't performing at 100%. We can't always be running around doing the work of the Lord. All things have a balance. Jesus slept, after all. But when we can't put our hearts into it, we should be engaged. And when we can't be engaged, we ought to be anxious. When you do push ups you ought to have sets of intense effort and periods of rest in between, but there is a key difference in both results and satisfaction that comes from resting for the push ups and working for the rest. If you are focused on breaks, your results are broken. So also the work of salvation.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Month in Review

Jan. 11
P-day: Hiking in Soyosan

Jan. 18
In His wisdom and His love, why does God do what He does?

Could God simply choose to save us all contrary to how we acted? Could He choose to intervene and pull even the vilest of sinners, the most outspoken of dissenters, and the most wretched of rebels into His presence? The answer is a thundering, "Yes!" However, could he do so and remain, as He is now, perfectly just? Could his justice survive the equal reward of both unrepentant rapist and raped? No, he could not, and he does not, and should he do so he would cease to be God, or at least the God that we now work with. So while each of us—-sinners, every one—has the opportunity to receive salvation only in and through the grace of His redeeming son, Jesus Christ, it is our decisions that determine our destiny. 

That doesn't mean that God is out of the picture. We focus on our own efforts so much out of a base assumption that God is doing every just, merciful thing that he can. We assume that God is giving his hundred, and therefore all that's left to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.

P-day: Bowling and the 1 lb. Hovey Burger

Jan. 25
Recent converts are all doing great. Like, still think they'll be general authorities someday. 

Shoes are fine. I stopped the water leaking in one, and should be able to figure out where it is getting in on the other one soon, but fortunately it isn't that cold here, so we've been doing rain instead of snow. 

I still use Korean, but not for too much outside of a couple of investigators and jundo. It's actually gotten a lot harder than it was even just a month or two ago.

I'll have to keep this short....

Love you so much!

Temple P-day 1/27/2015

Feb. 1
This week was pretty good. We got three referrals and contacted four of them, so that was sweet....

My companions birthday was this week, but it wasn't great for him because he is still dealing with the aftershocks of some nasty food poisoning from the day before. Bored out of my mind. Lots of records and calls. One of the families we are working with has been having some family trouble that I'll probably have to just talk with you guys in person about.

I did successfully defer again to fall semester, so we're back on track.

Love you tons!
Elder Whitlock

​FHE this week: 27 people, 4 investigators