Sunday, June 25, 2017

Seodaemun Independence Park, BBQ, Tucson Temple

We visited the Seodaemun Independence Park Saturday.  It is just one stop away from us.  If we're on a bus, we usually just look and pass by, but we decided to go take a closer look.  This gate was built in 1897 as a replica of the original gate that was here.  Chinese envoys were traditionally greeted here.

This is the location of an old prison that was built in 1908 when a certain island nation to the west of us invaded Korea and established control.  The prison housed Korean activists fighting for independence.  It was originally built for 500 prisoners, but ended up with a much larger population.

They had various forms of torture depicted, but I didn't want photos of them.  This was one of the least offensive, a cabinet to hold a prisoner in a very uncomfortable position.  Some kids locked their friend in one, but I let him out.

The buildings were partially destroyed after independence, but was reconstructed per the original bluprints.  That's why the bricks are different colors.

The big dish has names of resistance activists who died while imprisoned here.  You can also see the watch tower at the top of the fence.

This exercise yard was built in a fan shape.  The guards could see into all the sections from the base.  The walls were to keep the prisoners from communicating with each other.

A group of school kids getting a group photo.  It was an interesting but sobering place to visit.

The Sonksens have been having some BBQs for investigators recently.  We had a little rain, so this week it was moved indoors.  We had a big crowd enjoying American foods.  Alan got to cook a lot of hot dogs.

Some of our cute friends!

Last week we had a special guest singer at the BBQ.

She has a lovely voice!

Another group performance at the Folk History Center

Apparently they are tearing the building down next to us.  It is (was) a church.

We were surprised to see dirt under the tiles.  Insulation?  There was no nails or adhesives, the workers just stacked the tiles up and took them down.

Then they put a tarp over it to protect it from the rain.

Not sure what's up with these guys on bikes with Mickey Mouse ears.  They about ran over us with  their bikes.  Late for their protest I guess.

This has to be the biggest movie poster ever!  I saw this when I was headed to the dentist.  Spiderman is here!

This is Sister Lloyd.  She and her family lived in Astana after we had left Kazakhstan.  They were visiting the Keeley family in our branch who also lived in Astana after we left.  We enjoyed sharing about our time and friends in Kazakhstan.  And to be able to reconnect with them.  One of our Kazakh friends is in Maryland for the summer.  How fun it is to make friends all over the world!

We had a new branch presidency called today.  It is great to see how the Lord's church rolls forth.  We had to say good bye to more friends who are leaving this week.

We love Seoul

More pictures of our family at the Tucson Temple.  Some of them "forgot" to take a picture!  But they all made it to the open house.

Heather and Nate and their girls and Jackson.  He's in sumo training I think.

Chelsea and Lamar and the boys!

Bryan came from Brazil to take his buddy Cisco to the temple.

Sandy and her little angels riding the bus to the temple.  They have had opportunities to help with the Open Houses and have worked in some intense heat.  Now they continue to work on their dancing for the cultural celebration coming up in August.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Gangneung / Winter Olympics Site

Since one of our senior couples has gone home, we were asked to go to their area in Gangneung and double check on the apartments.  It took the two couples (us and the Cannons) to replace the Schwiegers!

We stopped at a rest area and they have a monitor on the entry wall to show you which stalls are available.  It was not too busy this time.

And Sister Cannon could not resist washing her hands with the alligator faucets at the kiddie sink.

One of the sister's apartments does not have anyone living in it now, so the elders got to help clean it out and take the extra food home out of the refrigerator.

How about this view from the sister's apartment in Sokcho?  It was so nice to get away from the city and see the blue sky and the ocean!

The view of the mountain side is pretty nice too.  There is a lot of construction around this area in preparation for the Olympics.

Elder A was helping the sisters with their drain problem.

And we were able to get right down to the water.  There's no barbed wire at this point.

This was a former USA battleship.  It was used in WWII, the Korean War and the Gulf War.  It is now in dry dock.

This is a North Korean submarine that ran aground off the coastline in 1996.  It was captured and put on display here.

Elder Cannon had spent some time on a US submarine in his previous life, so he was very much interested to see this one.

When they realized they would have to abandon ship, they set fire to it to destroy any information they had accumulated.

It's a good thing we had hard hats!

This boat was used by 11 people to defect from North Korea in 2009.

This ship is actually a hotel.  It is surprising to see it sitting on the mountain!

We also drove through the resort area where the Winter Olympics will be held in February 2018.

On Saturday we had lunch at a Turkish Restaurant with Brother Masa Eguchi.  He is here in Korea on a work assignment.  He joined the church in Hachioji a few years after Alan and his companion opened the area there.  They enjoyed sharing memories of old friends.

We had a good meeting at church today.  We have been teaching a couple of our young men the Temple Prep classes.  They just graduated from high school and are moving away.  One already has his call to go to the Czech Republic.  So many of our members are moving!  The branch president and his family are going to Kenya for their next assignment with the US Embassy.  We also have members going to Nigeria and Sri Lanka, Germany, London, Spain and also places like Wyoming!  It's amazing that we come from and go to so many places around the world.

June Transfers, Tucson Temple

This photo is from our mission wide conference last month.  I love how much light is in everyone's eyes!

Mosiah 15:14 And these are they who have published peace, who have brought good tidings of good, who have published salvation; and said unto Zion: Thy God reigneth!
Alma 5:14 And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?

When we had transfers last week, we sent two American sisters home and one Korean elder.  

And in return we welcomed 6 new missionaries.  One of our new sisters is from England!

Back at home, the Tucson temple open house is in full swing.  We keep seeing photos of friends and family enjoying their time there.

Sunny and Sam's family.  Danny's got a new broken collar bone!

To top it off, all of our kiddos were able to get together last week.  They were helping each other with their little ones while some were at Girl's Camp.  Two of our sons were in Utah helping empty out Grandma's house.  Even our son who lives in Brazil made it to Tucson.  I shed a few tears over this one.  They were mostly happy tears!  They tell me that everyone was nice to each other, so that makes Momma happy!