Sunday, January 7, 2018

Happy New Year!

The other day at the office I checked Facebook and then I gasped.  The elders asked me "What happened?"  I saw the message that President Monson had died.  We'll always remember we were in Korea when that happened. 

One of our little Chinese/Korean sisters told us in testimony meeting that she had been having a hard time deciding what to do in her life with her baby (he is now 13).  She was in Utah at the time and got to go to a woman's conference and heard President Monson speak.  Afterwards, she was at a dinner and saw President Monson and she went up to him and told him how much she appreciated his talk about "You are Not Alone"  She said he was a huge mountain of a man!  She is tiny!  She will always remember and appreciate his support.  He truly lived a life full of service.

We celebrated the New Year by going out to eat on the base again at Dragon Hill Lodge (after we had staff meeting).  They have a pretty awesome buffet.  On the way there, I got a message from Sister Smith (from our Japan mission).  She told us she knows the new mission president coming to replace the Sonksens!  The Taylors live in the Smith's ward in Provo!  It really is a small world.

This was transfer week.  It turned out to be one of the craziest ever.  We were expecting two new missionaries to come from the MTC.  Only one of them made it.  They leave Utah on Monday, but it's Tuesday afternoon by the time they arrive in Korea because of the date change.  So on the office email, we get a copy of an email from the elder that he sent to his family.  He went to the travel office early Monday morning to leave for the airport.  He opened his travel info and found that they had mixed up his passport.  He had a sister's passport in his packet and his passport was not there, so he could not travel.  Good thing he sent us a copy of his letter because we did not hear from the travel people at all.  (It was New Years)

They found his passport in SLC and got him on another flight, so he arrived on Thursday night.  He was actually born in Kazakhstan and adopted as a baby so we know more about Kazakhstan than he does.

And, on Wednesday night, the rest of the missionaries going home were having a testimony meeting at the mission home.  Sister Sonksen got a call telling them that there was a sister at the airport waiting to get picked up!  We had no idea she was coming, but she had been waiting for 3 hours and finally she borrowed somebody's phone and called her mother (she is from Korea.)  They told her to get in a taxi to go to the mission home.  She has been called to the Philippines but had not received her visa for the Philippines and her US visa was expiring.  So she will be with us for a while then go to her mission.  She will not need to take all her winter clothing with her!

We also had two Korean sisters that have injuries.  They have been sent home to rest and recover.  Maybe surgery?  They plan to be back to the mission soon.

Everybody else going home left on Thursday.  Some left at different times and we went to help deliver the new sister to her apartment.  So, that was interesting!

Friday morning was MLC and now the fun starts as they're all getting training and approval for Facebook proselyting and smart phones.  They will be getting approval for more apps as we go along.  This will be interesting.

  Saturday morning we went to the temple.  It was the Military District's temple day and lots of youth came for baptisms.  One of the priests in our branch was able to perform some of the baptisms with the change in policy.

We also had a wedding reception to attend.  One of our single sisters in the branch who has come to Korea to  teach English met a nice young Korean man and they were married in the Seoul Temple.  They had a lovely reception at our meeting house.  Her parents came from California for the celebration.

This sister sang beautiful children's hymns in Korean.  They had a great feast (and door prizes!)

This sweet young lady made the wedding cake!

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