Sunday, August 13, 2017

Tucson Temple Celebration, Seoul Tower, Snow Sculptures

The Tucson Temple celebration was Saturday night (Sunday morning here).  Here are two of our grandchildren who were in the Folklorico dance.  Waiting for more photos!  Our grandsons got to shake President Uchtdorf's hand!

On Monday afternoon, some of the missionaries came to have a choir practice.  A new stake center for Seoul Stake will be dedicated in September, so they're practicing for that.  They sounded wonderful!

Then on Tuesday I got a nice surprise from the office elders.  Even though they had to photoshop one of the elders in!

They also delivered this ice cream cake to me from the Sonksens.  The a/c blew out the candles for me!  Our little lunch plates came in handy after all.  And note that I have the MVP award!    

On Friday, I was surprised when we went out to go to dinner and the Sonksens came by and picked us up.  (I thought we were waiting for a bus.)  We met some of the other couples at the Original Pancake House in Itaewon. It is an American restaurant!  It was fun!  They had been planning all this behind my back.

When we go to the bank, sometimes the door man gives us these little drinks.  It's about a two ounce yogurt drink.  The bankers are real nice to us.

Even though my husband teases the teller and makes her practice English!

We saw this restaurant the other day.  Thinking of our Chelsea back home!

Since we had a pretty clear sky on Saturday, my husband said it was time to go visit Seoul Tower.  We waited for the bus here.  (Instead of walking up the mountain.)

You can see the Lotte Tower in this one

Apartment buildings as far as you can see

The President's Blue House is at the base of the mountain.  Our neighborhood behind the tall white buildings.

There are thousands of "Love Locks" up here.

You can see the towers up close here

Part of the old city wall

Beacon fires were build here to warn of enemy invasions.

They also had a toy museum and kid's areas  (Hello Kitty).  Any Iron Man fans out there?

Then we waited for the bus to ride back down.  Maybe we'll hike it when the weather is cooler.

On our way home, we saw all these little tents covering blocks of ice.  We figured out that they were doing something at 6 pm, so later we walked back to check it out.

There were over 250 sculptures.  They each had a styrofoam model to try and reproduce in the ice.  They had various tools to work with.  No chain saws.

A thumb?  Or big toe?

Is he ready for the judges?

This event was sponsored by an ice cream company.  They were giving out treats if you wanted to wait in line for them.

It was kind of nice and cooler with all that ice.  We loved seeing the blue sky.

A good time was had by all!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

6 August 2017

There is a park and library near the mission office.  But it is uphill from the office.  There is a difficult way to get up there that involves a lot of stairs.  We found another way to get there that is not as steep, but it quite a bit longer.  This statue is up by the park.

There is another park closer to our apartment and we figured out that we could get to that one and back to home from this one higher up the mountain.

There's a pretty good view of the city from here.  We were trying to spot our apartment building.  It is just before the tall buildings.  The green area on the left is the old palace and the new president residence is beyond that.

Another tiger up here.

The last part coming down hill has a rubberized sidewalk, so it makes the down hill section nice (and faster).  But it is quite warm and humid these days.  We get a few thunderstorms or sprinkles almost every day.  The rare days with all sunshine are quite hot.

Yes, quite hot!  We needed to drink some water after this.

We have had zone conferences this week.  Here they're playing a game "Where Does the Money Come From?"  It was a training activity about spending mission funds or personal funds.

Saturday's "Cultural Experience" included a visit to the Samsung Repair Center.

We got there before it opened and beat the crowds.  Kind of reminds you of the DMZ.  (Or the hospital here.)  I was surprised that they didn't speak very much English here, but we were able to get the job done thanks to the service man's translator on his phone.  My tablet is running faster now, but it takes a long time to recharge, so we may have to go back for a new battery.  Now we know the drill.

We had to go find some plumbing and light supplies while we were out and we were successful with that too.  After visiting a couple of apartments, we were done for the day.  We had a couple of long train rides and station transfers.

These kids had the right idea of how to cool off.  These pools were set up in the middle of the city.  They had even blocked traffic for the day.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Missionary Grandparents!

Our big excitement is that our grandson Jacob has his call!  He will be serving in the Peru Cuzco Mission starting in October.  We are so very proud and happy for him.  He had guessed he'd go to Peru!

Here's the missionaries we sent home recently.  One more left this week.  He had extended a week so he could arrive home the same day as his twin brother who was serving his mission in Europe.

We had a few more a/c installations this week.

Made these sisters happy!  They even made breakfast for us.  Kimchi pancakes!  And they're from Australia and Thailand.  Go figure!

This light at an elder's apartment needed some repair.  It was handy to have a tall elder to help!

We finagled an invite to the home teaching pot luck for the Filipino members of our branch.  Brother Grandy gave the message then we had lunch together.  The branch will need to replace him as the home teacher since the Grandys are moving to Africa.  The volunteers are lining up for this sweet assignment!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Transfers! The Big One!

President and Sister Sonksen got matching ties for all the office elders!  Two of these elders returned home this week and two were transferred to other areas.  Don't they look great?

We had another temple day on Tuesday, then we received new missionaries from Provo.

We have one new elder and two sisters.  Plus a Korean elder who is waiting for a visa to go to the MTC.  He is assigned to the Durban South Africa mission, where my cousin and his wife Elder and Sister Petersen are serving as the office couple.

This is the group of elders returning home.  Wow!  This was taken after their testimony meeting the night before they traveled home.  We've been dreading this transfer for some time.  That's going to leave a mark.

Plus we lost some sisters.  Two Korean sisters were picked up by their parents.  These sisters' plane left early Thursday to go to the Philippines.

We're going to miss them all!  The plane from Seoul to Seattle was delayed three hours, so it was an extra long trip home for those missionaries!  There's always a few hiccups, but they all made it home.

Alan has been wanting to visit the Seoul Fish Market ever since we got here.  So we decided to go Saturday morning.  Our A/C was not working well and the repair guy was coming in the afternoon, so we took off.

We entered at the second floor, so we could get a look from up above.

It was a major let down for him.  He was expecting to see lots more varieties of fish, but we can check that off the list now.  The fish market in Japan was practically brand new.  Well that's because the old one was destroyed in the tsunami.

They recently opened this new park near Seoul Station.  It used to be an overpass (for cars) and now it is a walking park.

There's a good view up here of the old Seoul Station and the new one on the left.

There was also a good view of the old city gate, but apparently I didn't get a photo of it this time.  On a week day, the traffic is much worse than this!

And at the end of the walkway, we came down near one of the fun markets, Namdaemun, so the day turned out OK.  And the a/c guy came to rescue us from the heat.

At church today we had some interesting talks about pioneer ancestors.  One was about an ancestor in Indonesia, another about the Philippines, and also one from Yonkers, New York!  We have lots of variety here.  Plus, we got to see some familiar faces from Tucson today.  Brother and Sister Hildebrand from Rita Ranch Ward are visiting their children and grandchildren who are living in Seoul!  It was fun to reconnect.

We also have a new senior sister and a senior couple that arrived Saturday to serve in the Seoul Temple.  They are at the beginning of a wonderful experience.  Since none of them speak Korean, it will also be a bit of culture shock!