Thursday, August 25, 2016

Week 1 in Seoul

Our first day in Seoul was Sunday.  Elder Kelly came by to pick us up and show us how to get to church.  We rode a bus part way, then the subway, then walked a couple blocks.  It probably took 45 minutes.  It is an English branch with military and embassy families.  There's maybe 5 senior couples from both missions (Seoul and Seoul South) as well as some temple missionaries assigned to the Seoul Temple.  We enjoyed the talks, lessons and fellowship there.

Sister Kelly showed us how to find our way home.  Then later in the afternoon, Elder Kelly came by again and took us out to show us how to get to the mission office.  Part of his plan was to keep us from falling asleep too early so we could adjust from the jet lag.  So we went to the mission home (about 30 minutes from the apartment).  We rode a bus three stops, then had to walk up a hill.  It's a bit steep, but not too long of a hill (60 steps x 2)!

He also showed us around our neighborhood and for good measure had us hike up to a nearby park.  Too bad it's been the hottest summer ever here.  When we got home we were a hot mess ready for a shower and some sleep!

We woke up earlier than we wanted to, but we were fairly well rested.  We decided to just walk to the office instead of taking the bus part way.  The only hard part is at the end anyway.  Let's just say that I'm making good use of my walking shoes!

We worked with the Kellys to learn the system here in the office.  There's a lot of similarities with Japan, but also some differences.  Plus it has been about 8 months, so we're a bit rusty.

Monday was Korea's Independence Day too.  So we stopped work early to go out for some sights.  We are quite close to some palaces and landmarks.  Lots of people were dressed up in their national costume, hanbok.

I love the tennis shoes with the traditional dress!  Smart girl!

Lots of kids in the splash pad

We expected to hear some music or something.  We were either too late or too early for that.

Tuesday morning was Temple Day!  We had a nice session with some of our missionaries.  Before the session we had a testimony meeting with the ones going home this week.  We had a nice visit with the temple president, President Lee.  He set us apart as temple workers.

That evening, the missionaries going home had their final dinner at the mission home.  And we got invited to that too!  Here, Elder Kelly and the elders are singing.

Four sisters were returning home also.

One evening we decided to go off to Costco to see what they have.  We rode a subway and when we got out, we were looking at the map to get our bearings.  A lady saw us with our little cart and asked us "Costco?"  Well, how did you guess?  She pointed us the right direction and showed us 3 fingers.  So in 3 blocks, there we were!

While we were eating our pizza, a man came up and started talking to us (in Korean.)  When he noticed our blank stares, he started speaking in English!  He had noticed our name tags and said that one time he was in SLC.  He had missed a connecting flight and was told about the tour of Temple Square.  He said he had a wonderful visit in Salt Lake.

An interesting thing about the food court is that they serve your food on real plates.  When you're done, you scrape off any scraps and stack up your plate for the dishwasher!  And lots of people like to eat the onions from the hot dog condiments.

The new missionaries arrived from the MTC.  We had met some of them while we were there.  They met their trainers and got some instructions, and were off to their locations.

The mission office used to be used as a chapel, but when a tunnel was built, they lost the parking lot, so now it is used for the office.  It's handy to have a kitchen and a chapel and lots of space for training.  But that hill --- well, it's not too bad, unless you get rained on!

On Saturday, we were invited to go to a picnic in one of the distant branches (Wonju).  It is about 2 and a half hours away on a good day.  But it took us more like 4 hours to get there on Saturday.  There was lots of traffic and it took a long time to get out of the city.  Hundreds of apartment buildings for miles.  When we were out in the country, it reminded us of northern Japan with green hills / mountains.  

It is an area famous for pottery and dishes, so we stopped to visit the factory on the way.

It's amazing that we could just walk into the factory and see the equipment making plates.  It cuts off a chunk of clay then molds it into plates or bowls.

Elder Kelly got his uke out again for the kids!

We had an American style barbecue with hot dogs, baked beans, potato salad and cupcakes.  Good thing we have some military people around to help us get American food.

This is at a rest stop on the way home.  The cups (stainless) are in the cabinet, water fountains next to it and when you're finished, you put your cups in the circle opening.

Like so!

After church on Sunday, we were invited to the branch president's home for dinner.  What a sweet family.  It was a great time with our new friends.

1 comment:

  1. How exciting to have these new fun times. I keep thinking of a couple we were at the MTC with that served in Soul Temple. They were so dear to us.