Sunday, October 29, 2017

Wonju trip and New Phones

This is a photo of some of our senior friends.  We got together for dinner at our apartment September 30th.  Elder & Sister Bowman had just arrived to start their mission (Military).  We had taken them out earlier in the day to show them around Seoul.  We about wore ourselves out since it was just at Chuseok time and there were crowds of shoppers everywhere!  We also had Elder and Sister Nielsen and Sister Pence from the Temple, Elder & Sister Robinson (Public Relations), Elder and Sister Ulvestad (Military) and Elder & Sister Black from Seoul South Mission.  We had a great time together.

This week we welcomed another senior couple.  Elder & Sister Whiting have arrived as our medical specialists.  We're happy they're here.  He's already taken several calls from ill missionaries!

We have been trying to get out to visit one of the apartments in an outlaying area of the mission.  We decided to have Elder Whiting do the driving (break 'em in early!)  Elder & Sister Black have been wanting to visit the pottery factory we visited last year.  Actually Elder Black did not want to, but he humored his wife.

This is the wholesale shop for the dishes.  No website for them, but we've tracked them down by word of mouth.  The factory is in the back and they let us go watch the process for a while.

We did actually help the sisters with all the repairs for their apartment too.  We had to go explore the town to find a shop that sells curtains.  We were happy that it ended up successful!

To get a real Korean experience, we stopped at a highway rest stop and found something to eat.  A nice man offered to take our picture for us.

We've still had to dodge the land mines from the trees, but we're hoping it's about over since the leaves are beginning to fall now.

Big news about the new phones!  They finally arrived.  We have heard rumors for months but had no idea when they'd actually come.

So the elders have lots of training to do this week to get everyone set up by Tuesday.

Are senior missionaries allowed to use ear phones?  Now he can be like everyone else in the subways.

They are actually putting up a building on that little tiny piece of land.  They'll have to use a ladder because there's no room for a stair well!  It's like a big giant set of Lincoln Logs.

Friday we also had a branch camp out.  We went for the dinner.  We actually went to the wrong park on base and had to call to have someone come find us, but it was fun anyway.

We had our Primary program at church today.  The children did a great job.  So sweet!  They sang the first verse of "I Am a Child of God" in Korean!

They're having Halloween parties back home.  I have to share this one of our son in law and our grandson.

Who is having more fun?  Dad or baby!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Mapo Shrimp Festival 마포

One of our projects recently has been hanging up maps to show where our missionaries are from.

We have 11 missionaries from countries other than US and Korea

We even have a special one for Utah from Ogden to Santaquin.  We decided this one was too small.  We'll get a bigger one for all our Utahans.

We've also been working on some apartments.  After our meeting Monday morning, we went with the office elders to move the Ilsan Sisters into their new place.  Their old apartment was so very tiny.  The new apartment is not especially "new" but it is much bigger.

And since we needed a new tire on the van and we were in the neighborhood, we spent some time at Costco while the tire was being changed.

Tuesday afternoon we went out to fix a light at the sister's apartment in Girum.  It was a pretty quick fix.  Someone at church asked if we had been in Girum this week.  She spotted us at the subway station.

Then on Wednesday we took possession of another apartment.  This is for our new medical couple that will arrive this Tuesday.  We've been gathering up more stuff to stock this new apartment.

One morning on our way to the office, we saw these workers.  One man has a stick that he uses to shake the limbs of these trees to make the berries fall.  They are nasty to step on so they're trying to get it over with.

And we saw this interesting building one day when we were out and about.

And we "found" a burger shop.  Wow, remind me not to do that again!

Saturday we went out to Mapo.  The World Cup Stadium is right at the subway station.  We had heard about this festival they have every year, so we wanted to see it.

This was a pretend school and the kids are trying to learn their symbols.  A little girl that was pretending to be a teacher was hitting the tables with her pointer and telling them what's what!

This was a mock up of an old prison.  He looks pretty happy to be locked up though!

Games for old & young

Instead of sand, it has rice husks to play in.  It's a wrestling game.

An ox cart ride

And some Chinese costumes.

Weaving with rice stalks

But this is what we really wanted to see.  We thought it would be at 2:00, but found out that it would be at 4:00.  That's why there was no one around.

So, in the mean time, we went next door to the fish market.

Giant crabs

And lots of other stuff.

And even some non-crowded space.  We found some snacks to eat while we waited.

Then this "Pop Orchestra" started up.  They're pretty cool guys.  I mean, look at those hats!

One couple even did some dancing.

And before you knew it, they had a big crowd.  The little ladies that came late somehow managed to work their way to the front.  Watch out!

These are very typical Korean ladies.  With their visors, wind breakers and backpacks.  All they're missing is their shopping carts or their hiking poles!

Finally it was time to line up.  All the kids got a bag for their shrimp.

He threw the shrimp into the pond,

Then this guy went in and picked up all the dead ones and threw them at the crowd.  One landed by us, but we let the lady by us have it!

Then they let all the kids in.

After a few minutes, the shrimp were all caught, so the kids climbed back out.  If they didn't get to catch one, they could go get one from the guy in the truck.  I only noticed one boy crying about missing out.  One older man went in with the kids, but they made him get out.

The staff had some neat t shirts

Then they let the adults go in and have a turn after they restocked the pool.

We decided that was enough fun for one day, so we headed home.  Turns out everyone was heading home then too.  It was pretty crowded.

When we got back to town, there were thousands of people with these yellow hats on.  Some type of convention maybe.  They didn't seem to be protesting anything!

Sunday, October 15, 2017


This was the view outside Burger King Saturday!  It is one of the gates to the fortress in Suwon.

We have a nice new group of missionaries this week.  Elder A is giving a little training on their finances.

One of our favorite Korean elders came by to say hello!

 The office elders were playing a game of soccer / volleyball.  No hands!

The chicken restaurant was running low on daikon I guess!  They go through tons of it!

The trash really piled up this week due to the holidays!

On Saturday we took a little trip to Suwon.  These martial arts guys posed with some kids after their performance.

It was a pretty fun performance.

Afterwards, these kids needed to ask some questions in English for their school project.  They said we saved their project!

Suwon is the location of the Hwaseong Fortress which was a military training place built in the 1700s.  We thought it was going to be all a museum or historical place, but they have built a city within the walls.

On the way to the wall, we got distracted in the market.  They're selling off their summer clothes.  This man had to go find the "Big Size" for us.

There are four of these gates in the wall.

We saw several families taking the walk.  Some of the kids wanted to say "Hello!"

There were nice parks all along the wall.  This place has some exercise equipment in case the hiking isn't enough for you.

There is a tethered balloon ride.

The river comes through at this gate.

Inside the roof.

There are several places for cross bows and other defenses.  This one is at one of the gates.

This large area is for martial arts training.

This is inside the wall.  It had a nice walking path.  We didn't make it all the way around because we wanted to get back for the next show.

Look at that beautiful sky!  We didn't think about getting sunburned in October, happens!

This guy was a fun acrobat to watch.  There was another show going on nearby that was different people singing. (Korean Idol?)  He had to compete with their music!

He walked across several times.  Jumping on one foot, running, dropping down and up.  Lots of fun.

This other festival was going on too.  Interesting food booths!  So, we ate at Burger King.

Some cute little ladies moved so we could sit together on the bus back to the subway.

When we got back to Seoul, we got on the bus back to our apartment and apparently some kind of protest was happening.  It took about an hour to go two miles!  Most had Korean and American flags going down the middle of the road.  We could have walked it faster.

I met a new sister at church today.  She has recently moved to Seoul to work at the US Embassy.  One of her previous assignments was in Kazakhstan!  She moved to Astana after we had left.  We've heard through the grapevine that President Russell M Nelson was going to be in Astana today.  Can't wait to hear about that!