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!

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!