Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Great Comeback - Park Sangyoung

At our zone conference, we talked about this fencing match in the 2016 Rio Olympics.  Korea was losing, but he said 할 수있다 (I can do it) to himself.  And he did!

May 21, 2017

We had another temple day last week.  Here's Sister Sonksen with her selfie stick making some memories!

Afterwards we stopped by our favorite Mexican food place.

We had a senior service missionary come to our mission.  His calling is to take photographs of missionaries in different cultures that can be used in Church publications.  Here he's getting a shot of some elders teaching an English class.  He said to watch for the photos, but don't expect to see them.  But maybe someday we'll recognize them.  What a fun mission he and his wife are having!

We've been preparing for our mission wide zone conference.  It was this Thursday.

It's a pretty big group when we have them all together.

We had been asked to make sure everyone has a 72 hour kit.  Previously, we had one backpack per companionship, so we had to get some more backpacks so they can divide up to have individual ones.

We had a guest speaker from BYU, Mark Peterson.  He spoke about Korean culture and how we can relate better to the people regarding their traditions and religions.

Then, President announced that we were all going to go to the south side of the Han River (which is out of our mission) as an exercise in the event we ever had to relocate.  It was a big surprise to the missionaries!

We got on the bus and saw these elders on their way.

Everyone made it, some were a little bit later because they had to wait for their train.

Since we were on the other side of town, we took the chance to see the new Lotte Tower.  It is 123 floors, the 5th tallest building in the world.

Elder Cannon said it was just about a mile, but it was more like 5 miles!

This lovely park is next to the tower.

This looks like a Cinderella carriage with all the Disney stuff.

On Saturday, the Sonksens had a "Chinese" BBQ.  It was American food but the missionaries brought Chinese members and friends.

It was a beautiful day for a BBQ.  Then they watched "Meet the Mormons" in Chinese.

As we walked home through the farmer's market after church, we saw this man pounding on some  sweet rice.  They pound it with these big mallets until it turns into a paste.  In Japan it's called mochi (もち).  I don't know what it's called in Korean.

On the train today, this lady was pretty chatty with me.  I did my usual smile & nod (I don't understand you!)  But I told her my husband speaks Japanese, so she started chatting in Japanese.  (I still don't understand you! But I like you!)  We had a good laugh and enjoyed ourselves.

My new friend!

Gotta give a shout out to our grandson who graduated on Saturday!  We're proud of you Jacob!  We're so happy we could watch the graduation on YouTube.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Golden Week

After our staff meeting Monday, we met our friend Jake and his wife Shannon who is visiting him this week.  We showed them where the temple is and had lunch with them.

Tuesday morning was Mission Leadership Meeting.  After that, we went out to look at some apartments for the missionaries.

Pretty nice view from this one!

I loved the daughter's play room and library!

We found one apartment that is very close to the church and seemed perfect.  It even has a dishwasher!  But I don't know if we'll be able to get it because now we hear that the owner has died and to change ownership is quite a complicated process here.  Hmmmm.

This truck across the street has a large screen showing a commercial for the red party's candidate.  Sometimes we see them drive up and down the street waving to people.

Every other day this week has been a holiday of some sort.  Monday was Labor Day, Wednesday was Buddha's birthday, Friday was children's day.  This coming Monday is parent's day and then Tuesday is election day.  It's been nice to have less traffic.  Alan has had to plan his bank trips to make sure it's a day they're open.  We missed seeing the flying fish flags like they have in Japan for Children's Day, but we did see that children were having fun everywhere we went.

On Saturday we went to see the Korean War Museum.  It is a massive museum like the Air & Space Museum in Washington DC.

This monument is in front of the museum.  It signifies the struggle that divided a nation and families.

This black and white mosaic is inside

The flags represent the nations that supported South Korea during the war.

When the north invaded, the south was ill prepared to defend itself because Korea had been occupied by Japan until the end of WWII.  This represents the way the south dropped bombs in the beginning of the war.

Later on they received more support and better equipment

This is the first armored car in Korea.  It was a gift from the US to the president of ROK

This car was a gift from USSR to the leader of North Korea which was somehow acquired for the museum.

I'm not sure what this (Turtle) Dragon Boat has to do with the Korean War, but it is pretty neat!

This graphic shows the GDP of the north versus the south over the years.

It was a very difficult war up and down the peninsula which technically has never ended.  There has never been a peace treaty.

I'm not sure who these guys are, but they lined up, so I took their photo!

There are boats and planes and helicopters on display outside.

We stopped at the store for a few things on the way home.  We got treated to a little "Shopping Cart Roller Derby" and some kind of political rally too.

Sunday it was fun to meet some sweet Russian saints from Siberia and Mongolia who have come to Seoul to attend the temple.  (We hear that they brought a thousand names to work on.)  We had to take a photo to share with our Novosibirsk friends.  The whole branch enjoyed the spirit they brought and shared their testimonies and love of the Savior.

One little girl was too sleepy!

On the way home from church was a little performance of an old Korean drama.

Someone gave us a program to explain the characters, but I still don't get it!

Also this week, we met a family from Utah that was visiting Seoul.  The father, a son and a daughter have all served missions here and were touring.  We also met a member from Hawaii and another member from Japan.  Alan has also run into a returned missionary that served in the Seoul South Mission.  On the subway the other day, I ended up sitting next to a man who had been drinking.  This sweet lady across from me took my hand and had me move to sit by her.  She noticed our name tags and told us that her husband is a Presbyterian Elder.  She was very sweet to us.

Brag Alert!

We're so very proud of our son Seth who graduated from Utah State University on Saturday!  Hooray!  He is heading back to Arizona.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Temple, Fun Foods, Transfers and a Lotus Parade

The elders decided to enjoy a little game of basketball on their Preparation Day last week.  We have one elder recovering from having a pin removed from his leg, so he's dealing with crutches for a few days.  I told him pretty soon he'll be able to walk as good as me!

On Tuesday we walked out to the street to wait for our ride to the temple.  We had smelled a little smoke, but couldn't see where it was from.  Then about 10 fire trucks came to check on it.  Five minutes later most of them left.

A cute little girl was with her parents at the temple.

A few of our favorite sisters.  We love being in the temple with the missionaries!

After the temple, we walked with the Cannons to get an ice cream.  It is 32 centimeters tall.  "Keep it straight!"

Spicy squid burritos anyone?

Or KFC with kimchi??

Or popcorn?  It's probably 4 feet tall!

The missionaries that came from Vladivostok brought us some Russian chocolate!

These missionaries were due to arrive Tuesday afternoon, but they missed the connection in Seattle and had to be re-routed through Las Vegas.  They finally arrived about 12 hours later on Wednesday morning, but they still had a smile.  They did not have their luggage, it came a different way on a different day!  One of our sisters is from Honduras!  The first sister from Honduras to serve in Korea.

These sisters are very happy because we brought them some Costco sweet potato pizza

And an air conditioner!  It is going to get hot here pretty soon.

On Saturday night there was a parade for the Seoul Lotus Festival.  It is commemorating Buddah's birthday which is May 3.  Thousands of people are in the parade carrying lanterns or playing music or pushing floats.

My photos aren't as pretty as these, but here are some of them.

It was a long parade.  We were there almost two hours and it lasted longer than we did!

The fire-breathing dragon

A Chinese dragon 

A group from Thailand

Mongolian dancer

This was Sunday afternoon.  Each group from the parade had a display set up.

Good music from two strings on this instrument.