Sunday, December 31, 2017

Christmas Week

This beautiful tree was at the Yongsan Base.  We went for a lovely Christmas buffet with the Whitings and Sonksens.  We were all so thrilled with all the American foods and treats!

And the amazing Christmas decorations.

This gingerbread house is almost big enough to live in!

We had two trips to the airport this week.  Two sisters went home a bit early because of school and family schedules.  More transfers coming this week.  We know our way around the airport now.  It is huge!  Sometimes they have live musical performances.

Sister K and I did moisturizing facial masks before we left for the airport!

Elder B was so helpful taking care of some baggage issues at the airport.

We enjoyed visiting with our family via Skype over the Christmas break.  Our grandson called home from the Peru MTC and that made his Mama happy!  We told our little granddaughters that Santa had already been to Korea and was headed their way, so they better get to sleep fast.  Our grandson told us that his new pants are too long.  So I took a picture of how they wear jeans in Korea!

On our way to visit our dentist one more time we noticed that the city has put up a skating rink at City Hall.  Everyone has to wear a helmet apparently.  There's always something fun going on here.

The count down clock for the Olympics was at 42 days on Friday.  I didn't get a picture because the cross walk light came on and we couldn't miss our chance to cross the street!  Anyway, the Olympics will be coming to Korea in 6 weeks.

And a special shout out to our grand-nephew Ethan who has been called to serve a Church Service Mission at the Bishop's Storehouse and Phoenix Temple!  We have another missionary to love and pray for!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

More Christmas Activities!

The past two weeks we have been having Zone Conferences.  This was taken after dinner one night when President Sonksen shared some memories from back in the day.

We've also had Open Houses on Sunday nights for the missionaries to bring in their investigators to feel the holiday spirit.  It was fun to share American style cookies and hot chocolate.

We were able to have an extra temple session with our missionaries who live outside Seoul.  They came in for a mission - wide conference.

It makes a pretty big group when they're all together!  We practiced lining up so we could get some photos in front of the palace.


We're happy that it was a beautiful clear day!

You can gather on the plaza without a permit so long as it's less than 10 minutes.  Just enough time to sing a couple of Christmas Carols and take some photos!

We took a sister to the airport the other day too.  While we were waiting (and waiting) we noticed the cleaning ladies had a cart with several sections (10?) to separate all the trash!  And stay out of her way!


Asia is amazing!

At church last week we had some visitors from South Africa.  My cousin and his wife are serving a mission down there.  It was fun to find out that he knows this sister.  She was thinking Seoul is very cold!

We had a lovely Christmas program at church today.  How blessed we are to have the gospel of Jesus Christ and all the blessings that come from it!

Merry Christmas from Korea!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Christmas parties - Part I

Monday evening we went to the Yongsan Army Base for their tree lighting celebration at the fire station.  We saw some families from the branch.  Everyone was so bundled up, it was hard to recognize anyone!

They had a few Christmas Carols and turned on the lights.  Santa came by on a fire truck.  Then everyone headed inside for cookies and cocoa.

We've had a couple of days that did not get above freezing.  We have to check the temperature to see how many layers of clothing to put on.

We woke up to snow this morning, but it was already starting to melt by the time we got out of church.

They have hung the "Light the World" banner outside the mission office.

Our "Light the World" photos from last week's activity.

The Ulvestad's and our branch mission leader were the speakers in Sacrament Meeting today.  Brother Hutchison introduced the elders that are assigned to the branch.  Even though they cannot attend meetings that are held on the south side of the river, they are assigned to work with the members.  I got all teary - eyed as he told everyone about their talents.  The bottom line is that you can feel good about introducing your friends to these elders.  

We had our Christmas party on Saturday with the branch.  I was chatting with a sister from Argentina and found out that she is from Bahia Blanca where my parents served 35 years ago!

We had breakfast

Games for the kiddos

And a service project making gift packs for the homeless.  (Hats, gloves, scarves, socks)

Afterwards, we went to see the floral warehouse.  We had heard about this but missed it last year.  They have so many Christmas decorations, it was amazing.

Big balls of yard and felt ribbons!

And the subway car had this old Korean design on the floor!

Tonight the Sonksens had an open house for the missionaries and their investigators in the Seoul Stake.  Everyone had a great time!

They interrupted the dart game to pose for a photo.  The losers "had to" eat a cookie!

These are some of our favorite missionaries!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Transfers and Light the World

We were happy to welcome another great group of missionaries last week.  They come from Philippines, Taiwan, all over the US including two Hawaiians this time!

Plus two Koreans who are waiting for their visas.  They will serve in New York and California.

I took this from the bus during our first little snow storm.

Then a few days later, we had some polar winds that brought some beautiful "Sendai Blue" skies to Seoul!

One of our other assignments was to close an apartment.  Apparently, these missionaries were not quite prepared for the move.  But I did pick up an exercise ball and a new yoga mat out of the deal.

After staff meeting we went out to the basketball court to draw out some lines in the shape of a star and a heart.  At the Dong Stake activity on Saturday night, the people stood on the lines.  Everyone had a light to hold (or their phones) to "Light the World".

It made a pretty good design with the city lights in the background.  I'll have to add the real photo from a better angle.  This was after the musical program and snack in the mission office.

I went with some of our sisters and their friends with children to see the Christmas decorations at the Mission Home.

A Korean - style gingerbread house!

A traditional gingerbread house.  These children were excited!

President Sonksen collects nut crackers

A few nativity sets.  The one on the left is Korean traditional characters.

We had all the sisters together for RS today.  We had some lovely messages and music.

These sisters were in Elder Kelly's ukulele group.

We saw this Christmas tree in the subway station today.  The decorations are bagels, donuts and rolls, roses, apples and candles!  Quite unique!

Meanwhile, back at home, our family got together for Thanksgiving and the farewell for our grandson.

Our children and their spouses (minus our Brazilians).  We're so happy to see them together!

All 19 (!) of our grandchildren. (One more to come soon!)

Sunny & Sam's family.  Jacob has been called to the Peru Cuzco Mission.  He arrived at the Lima Peru MTC on Tuesday.

They had an amazing amount of support from family and friends!  We would love to have been there too, but we are so grateful that so many were able to go. God speed Elder Duron!