Sunday, November 19, 2017

Bazaar, Temple, Kimchi, Bulgogi and a Baptism!

After staff meeting this week, we sisters went down town to the Lotte Hotel.  They have a bazaar every year.  All the embassies from other countries bring things like crafts or clothing and food to sell and part of the proceeds go to charities in Seoul.  These beautiful Christmas trees were in the lobby.

This restaurant is just off the lobby.  The view out the window is quite nice.  Waterfalls coming down on the granite.  The photo does not do it justice.

These beautiful costumes from Kazakhstan caught my eye!

As did this T-shirt!

This elementary school choir performed.  They were amazing!

Tuesday was another temple day for us.  Here's a few of our favorite missionaries!  Afterwards we visited our favorite taco place.  Every time we go, we bring more people with us.  Our elder from Scottsdale was so happy to hear about this place.

Wednesday was the day we got to go help make kimchi for the Korean Red Cross.  Everyone gets masks, gloves, hair nets and a plastic bag to wear to protect your clothing from the sauce.  It is super hot!

They had tons of cabbage to process.

Then it is taped up and loaded onto a truck and taken away to ferment for a while.

Mormon Helping Hands (in Korean)

We also had two earthquakes this week.  I thought we were out of the earthquake zone here, but apparently not.  They were down south, but I felt both of them.  I recognize that feeling!

I got to go have bulgogi with some of our sisters!  (It's fun to say but bibimbap is more fun to say)

And to top off the week, we had a baptism Friday evening.  Sweet Grace is from China, studying in Seoul.  She does not speak much Korean, so she has been attending the English Branch.  Unfortunately, the missionaries cannot attend that branch since the building is located in the Seoul South Mission, but the members have loved making Grace feel welcome.  The baptism was held in our mission so the missionaries were happy to be there!

Meanwhile, back in Tucson, it's El Tour de Tucson.  The kiddos were out serving fruit and water to the bike riders just like their parents used to do when they were little.  Looks like a beautiful day in Arizona!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

November Zone Conferences

We were happy to see that they remembered to come back and work on the sidewalk again.  The lady in the red vest waved us over to keep us out of the way of their equipment.  Never mind the traffic.

And the next day it was looking pretty good.  They left some sand on it for us to trample into the cracks.

The mountain by the mission home is looking pretty colorful now.

Tuesday was temple day for the Seoul Stake missionaries.  It is wonderful to be in the temple with our missionaries!

The Zone Conferences this transfer had to be all squeezed into one week because the Area Mission President Seminar is this coming week.  The first one was out at Gangneung on Wednesday, then Seoul and Seoul Buk (North) on Thursday and Dong and Dongdaemun on Friday!

Sister Sonksen taught the missionaries to make stars to share with their friends.  We will be starting another "Light the World" Christmas service celebration soon.

We were trained about using the smart phones as a tool to help with missionary work.  Also that the brethren trust them to make good decisions and form good habits with media that they will use for the rest of their lives. 

After the conference, we went with Elder & Sister Whiting to the new Dairy Queen in town.  And then we went to see the light display down town.  Lots of the decorations were about the upcoming Olympics.  We've heard that there are plenty of tickets still!

Ski Jump


Speed Skating


And Transformers!

We also had some VIP visitors to our neighborhood.  The Presidential Palace (Blue House) or Cheong wa dae is just up the street and around the corner.  I took these photos from the laptop rather than trying to go over there.  But it was fun to see the traditional guard welcome ceremony.  We had lots of police out and about and American flags waving on the streets.

Friday evening after the last zone conference, we had a dinner with the senior couples at the mission home.  Two couples will be returning home in a few weeks and we have two couple that have just arrived recently.  Sister Sonksen called it a "Hail and Farewell" party.  We had a good time together.  Apparently we all forgot to take a picture though!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

More fun in Seoul

At church last week we met a young man and his father that were visiting in Seoul.  They had lived here a few years ago and had come back for a vacation.  Just before they left on their trip, the son had opened his mission call.  He will be coming to the Korea Seoul Mission!  He will arrive here in March.  We told the Sonksens that we had someone who would like to meet them and they came to the office on Monday.  They were surprised to be able to meet one of their missionaries before he went into the MTC.

We also had a missionary return to the mission after being home for a while.  That's always a happy day!

We've been working on emptying out some apartments recently.  One day, the elders showed us a fun place for lunch.

Don't ask what it's called.  Some kind of ramen with "American Meats" (spam and hot dogs?).  But it came with unlimited Tater-Tots!  And kimchi!!

Saturday was our district temple day.  We had several of the senior couples there.  The Blacks will be returning home to Utah this month.  We also had a surprise visit from Elder & Sister Park who went home to Australia last year.  They had served in the Seoul South Mission.

We had a wonderful day at church today.  From the opening hymn "Israel Israel God is Calling".  We had visitors from Russia that brought a special spirit to our meetings.  Luckily, we have a young man who was able to translate for them.   We had testimonies in Tagalog and Russian.  It was sweet to our ears to hear the Russian testimonies and it was nice that we could still recognize a few words, but mostly it was nice to feel the Spirit.  Then a sweet baptism of a filipino sister after the block.  Then we had a "Break the Fast" luncheon afterwards.  We have volunteered to be adopted into the filipino group!  It is a special, unique branch of the church.  

The Olympic torch has arrived in Korea.  They had a welcoming ceremony at the Incheon Airport and now it is in the south part of Korea.  It will be coming through our neighborhood in January.

This is how the flame was transported from Greece.  You can follow along at: