Thursday, August 27, 2015

Time Flies!

Great week--although I remember no specifics.  I am still enjoying myself here! In two and a half weeks I'll be flying in to Inchun! Super crazy how fast time is flying here in the MTC!
It was a pretty cookie cutter week to be honest; I am really settling in here, so it might be weird leaving soon. But at the same time, I should definitely be ready to get out by then! 

Elder Fleming and Me

First off, the funniest thing happened on Tuesday. Elder Fleming and I decided not to show off our angelic voices at choir, so we stayed in the classroom and studied. But we got sidetracked at one point and decided we should play a joke on this super gullible elder in our district who was at choir. So, after the devotional, when everyone was back in the room and we were getting ready for devotional review with Brother Ellis (who is in the Branch Presidency), we were all kind of talking about the poor weather and how stormy it had been. Elder Fleming and I told the gullible elder that there had been a small tornado that had come through the back side of campus, and we told him it had torn off part of the building right next to us.  He was FREAKED. He bought in to it so quick and he really was in shock.  He kept asking everyone if they had heard about the tornado. He then proceeded to tell Brother Ellis about the tornado and brother Ellis was also in shock! At that point, we couldn't hold in the laughter anymore and that is how he found out it was a joke. I'm still laughing about it. 

To be honest, I have no clue if this story is even funny to you.  Being here this long has really put my sense of humor to the test. I mean, seriously, I might not be funny anymore.

To put all of your minds to rest, let me assure you I am still the Olympic athlete I was before I left. We have dunk contests every night--on the mini hoop in our room (Evidence below). And once again, for your reassurance, my spikeball skills are improving mightily and I will probably have some evidence of that next week. It's all good in the hood!

On a more serious note, on Monday (or one of those days), our teacher showed us a talk entitled "His Grace is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox.  I loved it so freaking much. I cannot put in to words the feelings that I got from reading it, but I can tell you that it is a message that everyone should hear. Jesus Christ's grace is sufficient for all of us. Christ is NOT just waiting at the finish line for us to help us after all we can do, he is right by our side coaching us right until we hit the tape. I know this to be true. It is nearly impossible to go through a day or a week without feeling the Love of Jesus Christ.  Just look around and you will realize the effect that Christ's Atonement and Christ's gospel have had as it has helped you through times of turbulence. Just remember that He is always there.. 
Temple Day

I'm sorry that I don't have a ton of eventful stories, or well-known miracles, to share with you, but I can tell you that when I look back at the closing of each day, I can see the Lord's hand in my life. Even if it's just a dope little kids basketball hoop. The Lord cares about us so so much and He is going to do whatever it takes to help us to be happy. All He wants is for us to find happiness, so keep pursuing it!


Jenkins 장로

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Sleep Talking in Korean!

Hey guys,

I honestly do not remember much from this week.  The days are really starting to mush together! The gym opened back up, so I've been working on my dunking skills--obviously. You know how crucial that will be in Korea. I can't wait till I'm there balling up Koreans on P-days! For now, I guess I'll just stick to city boys and the MTC gym!

The District (all a little chubbier because of all the treats we get from home)

On Sunday, our devotional was a performance by a Christian Rock band named "The Nashville Tribute Band." It was basically just a concert.  Super tight! We were in the choir again and sang a couple of songs with them.  I REALLY enjoyed it! It was honestly one of the more spiritual things I've felt since being here. Their lead singer had this solo song where he talked about getting on the plane to go on his mission and knocking his first door.  He got emotional, and it made me a little emotional. The rumor is "Lil' Wayne" is coming next week, so I'm pretty excited for that. They are now allowing real music into the ears of missionaries. (Joke)

This is such a cool work. It really is one of a kind. Whether you are LDS or not, I think you have to respect that a little bit. I also want to say how fun this work is! It just brings joy to everyone that is involved in it.  But it can also be very very frustrating... especially with Korean!

This week in one of our lessons, we taught one of our "investigators" about the Atonement through incredibly choppy Korean (in fact I think my companion, Elder Fleming, accidentally said to him "we want to read you" instead of "will you read this").  That kind of stuff happens way too much to us! But even though there is an immense language barrier, the Spirit is felt. I don't know how to explain it, but I know what I feel.  I'm pretty sure the other day when I was bearing my testimony to our investigator, I said "I this church is happy" which makes absolutely no sense but I walked out of the lesson super hyped! Hahaha! I'm really just starting to gain a realization that the Lord will take our efforts. He loves us for trying ... even when we fail.

Okay real quick! Something really cool happened a couple of nights ago!  I fell asleep before everyone else, and they said that I was mumbling a ton in my sleep, which I am pretty sure I didn't do (but I have heard that many times before). Anyway, I SAID SOME KOREAN WORDS!!!!  In my sleep.  They said it was hilarious! They said they only really heard me say "Ayyyy Go" which means 'Oh no!"  Really nothing spectacular, but it got me excited.

Lastly, I FINISHED THE BOOK OF MORMON, which I started the day I entered the MTC, and what an experience it was.  What a powerful book, but also what a fun and interesting read.  Loving this work!
Elder Jenkins

Thursday, August 13, 2015

One Month!!!

Okay, so it was an interesting week. Attended some devotionals as always. Tuesday, C. Scott Grow spoke on D&C 4:2, which was actually pretty awesome!

"Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day."

This week I've been cranking out the Book of Mormon. I think I'll be done by next pday! If I'm being honest, I am pretty sure I've never read the Book of Mormon with this much desire and meaning. It really does mean so much to me when I get to study it, but because our time is so devoted to Korean, we only get an hour in the day for personal study.  I have been putting the gas pedal to the floor on it! And I AM LOVING IT!!! The Book of Mormon is so legit! So legit! I honestly just love feeling the Spirit everyday! 
Korean writing sample
My favorite part of this week was also the worst part of my mission so far... On Saturday we had a lesson with Oominchun and we really felt sooo good about it heading in. We had all of our vocab ready to go that we thought we might need, and honestly the Spirit was just way strong in our planning! I felt this was going to be our best lesson! But when we went in there, everything changed. It was one question after another that we understood, but we just could not use the language to answer! Dang Korean! I got so frustrated. So frustrated. I wanted to throw my desk across the room! It ruined my day, it ruined my week, I forgot about any and every spiritual thing that had happened to me thus far, and I became incredibly self-centered. I turned inward when I should have turned outward. I screwed up. And It brought me way down!

But that night--after much sulking and negativity on my part--Sister Goodwin showed us a talk called "The Ministry of Angels" from Elder Holland. It changed everything for me. I can't necessarily explain it, but I do know that it brought the Spirit back to me, which changed everything. That's when I realized what a blessing it is to have the Spirit. It is a gift. An awesome gift. And we need it with us always..

I think this is when I also realized that you need lows to show you how high your highs really are. You need pains and trials to show yourself how great your joy is when you've made it over the peak! Gosh dang it I love this gospel. How great is my joy because of it.

I love you all! Keep enduring!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Settling In!

"Here's the cliche picture you asked for mom!"

Okay, so kind of a funky week! It went by so fast! But not much happened! The schedule has become incredibly redundant.

Wake up, exercise (which has been so much fun lately), then classroom for basically the rest of the day--with some sickening food in between! It's not that the food is gross, but a half hour after you eat, you wish you hadn't! It's like that lonely time in your life where you're like "wow, I've made a HUGE mistake" but in three hours you do it again (you find yourself looking forward to heading to the cafeteria).  I've got to do some serious self-evaluation! And then at night, we write in our journal and read scriptures! 

I will tell you, though, scripture study has become my favorite thing in the world. I just look for time now to do some sort of study.  This past week I made it to Alma 30, which included several stories that have been helping me a lot! Alma 26 might now be my new favorite chapter. The reason being that it is so applicable to what I am doing right now; it is awesome to me that every single day I have found some thing in the scriptures that helps me get to the next day. And the next day, and the next. 

"I have never marked my scriptures up so much before"

This week we had some incredible devotionals as well:
  • Sunday night Sheri Dew came and spoke on Missionary work, as well as wrestling spiritually to find answers. SO COOL. I know that might not mean much to someone who isn't serving, but what she said helped me and I think it was very inspired as well! 
  • Then on Tuesday Russell M. Nelson came!!!! He just gave a lot of advice to us as missionaries. I did not dare to miss anything he said, so I am pretty sure I wrote every word that came out of his mouth. So fun! Also, it was MTC wide, so Fleming and I sang in the Choir to be closer to President Nelson when he spoke!

But my craziest and coolest moment of the week and my mission so far came from a lesson! So we were teaching Oominchuhn (romanized) on prayer and we wanted to share this SICK scripture we found in 3 Nephi 14, but finding scriptures in Korean is soo tough! SO when we handed him the scripture, I thought the placement of it looked wrong on the page but I didn't worry about it. Afterwords I actually looked into it and we shared with him the wrong scripture entirely! Hahahaha BUT when I looked at what the scripture we accidentally shared with him said, it went with our lesson so perfectly that I honestly still cannot believe it. It worked better than our planned scripture! Yeah! The Lord has a watchful eye! What a cool moment for Elder Fleming and me. I really am still so hyped about it.

What a fun and stressful week. The language can be awfully confusing at times, and at others, it makes complete sense. I have honestly just tried to be completely reliant on the Lord and His timing. I know that if I give what I have, He will accept my offering and that He will then help me pull my load! 

What a great message this gospel is. It is just filled with happiness and that is ALL that I have seen since being here. What a ride.