What? Already? This was a shorter transfer than usual. Only five weeks instead of six. We had to have it early because next week is a mission president seminar for all the mission presidents in the Asia North Area, so the Sonksens will be in Japan next week.
On Monday, we went to lunch with our office elders. We were sending one of the APs home, so we went for sushi. They are showing us some of their favorite places when they get a chance.
We sent home four elders and two sisters this time. One elder to Korea, the other three to Utah. One sister went home to Arkansas and the other one to the Czech Republic. She was surprised to be called to Korea, but we're glad she came!
This is the ginseng chicken soup that is so famous. We see people lined up at this restaurant every day. It is a whole little chicken stuffed with rice and ginseng, there's also a chestnut and other surprises in there. The little bucket is for you to throw your bones away as you go through your soup. It was actually still boiling when it is served. I am trying to warm up my hands without burning them.
Our new missionaries arrived on Friday instead of the normal day (Tuesday.) The MTC wanted to keep them as long as possible, so it threw our schedule off. We had the training for new missionaries and trainers on Saturday.
These are our 18 new missionaries. We also had one more elder that arrived Saturday afternoon. (Long story.)
These are the trainers. President Sonksen is announcing the companionships and areas. It's always great to see how they match up so well and love one another right from the start.
We left to go to our District (Stake) Conference and then to the airport.
He didn't seem to mind that it was the "B" Team picking him up! He got some training in the car on the way back to the mission home!
The ride back was on the slow side because there was tons of traffic. There was a protest at Gwanghwamun, and people and police were everywhere in our neighborhood. We saw many water cannon trucks between our home and the office. Lots of police lining the streets too. Opted to not take any photos. Some of the officers came to the office to use the bathroom and our elders got a new investigator out of the deal.
We had a couple of cooler days this week. We had to break out the jackets and sweaters and guess how many layers we're going to need to wear each day.
Here's one of the odd things we saw this week. Several of the trees have these IVs attached to them. None of our Korean friends seem to know about them or think that it's odd. I suspect they're trying to make the trees produce more of those nasty berries next year!
We were able to spend a day in the temple once again this week. And we also had our District (Stake) Conference. Our District covers all of South Korea. It is for the English speaking groups (mostly military). Some of them came into Seoul for the conference, but it was also broadcast to the other locations. The theme of our talks today was about "Peace." It was a very timely subject considering all the unrest around the world.
We were counseled to study "Preach My Gospel" about "Developing Christlike Attributes."
On our walk home from church, we take a detour through the main part of town to see what is happening this week. (A little bit out of our normal path.)
Bosingak houses a large bell from way back when. They say it is rung every hour and they have a ceremony on January 1 to mark the new year.
Along the river walk, they have a Lantern Festival in November. These will be lit up at night.
The Olympic banner is on the bridge
Different historical presentations of life along the river.
And Aomori Japan! There were other countries represented also. We'll have to go back at night soon.
They are starting to get ready for the winter Olympics in 2018. These are the mascots we passed by on our way home.
All of the protesters and police were gone and the area was all cleaned up and set for today's activity. The event in Gwanghwamun Square this week was Embassies Festival. This reminded us of our friends in Kyrgystan.
And visited with a young man from Tajikistan. He said the Chinese are rebuilding the "Tunnel of Death" so it will be safer the next time we go. (?)
Some of our other favorite places were also represented. Peru,
And the Dominican Republic. It's nice to have friends all over the world!