Sunday, February 26, 2017

Elder Holland Conference, Foot Problems

We spotted this sign outside a church the other day.  I guess they liked the idea!

It's all good!

We see this little woman almost every day.  She is peeling ginseng and selling vegetables.

President Sonksen took us over to the chapel where Elder Holland will be speaking.  We were making plans to handle the crowd of the two Seoul missions as smoothly as possible.

That evening we went to dinner to celebrate Sister Sonksen's birthday.  We went to an Italian restaurant in our neighborhood.  It was nice that we could walk there.  Afterwards, we treated ourselves to ice cream.  It was a lot of fun!

On the way home from church Sunday, I had a little accident.  My foot went into a crack in the sidewalk and I lost my balance.  Of course, there was no ice to worry about anymore, but it got me anyway.

That night we watched the devotional from Tokyo.  Elder Holland visited there before coming to Korea.  We were so happy to see one of our former missionaries giving the opening prayer!

There was a set of crutches at the office.  Several missionaries have had foot issues lately.  (We just had to send an elder home on Monday with a torn ligament.)  So I was able to make it out to the street.  The Cannons came by and took us to the hospital.  It turns out that I have a broken bone in my foot and I am supposed to stay off it for 12 weeks.  Hmmm.  It is very difficult to get around here on one foot!  There's stairs everywhere!  You can find some escalators and elevators, but it's a challenge.  Luckily, I can do some work from home.

It is the fifth metatarsal on my right foot, even though it looks like it's my left foot.

My companions were very kind and patient with me.

But I did make it to the mission conference.  We were able to get a wheelchair and Alan pushed me to the street and the President drove up and I crawled into the van.

Our missionaries rehearsing for the musical number

Both of the mission presidents gave some guidance to the missionaries before the conference started.

Elder and Sister Holland shook everyone's hand before the meeting started.
They had been in Guam the day before they came to Korea and visited with a family that had just lost a young child to a terrible accident.

 Elder Holland taught about Nicodemus coming to visit with Christ and he didn't understand about being "born again."  Then in the next chapter, Christ is with the woman at the well.  They are two extremes in society, a leader of the church and a woman of ill repute.  So his question to the missionaries was "What does this tell you?"  The Gospel is for Everyone!  We need to teach them at their level of understanding.

Another message he taught is that we do not have to worry too much about political and other turmoils in the world.  As long as we're trying to do our best and staying strong in the faith, it will all work out for our best good.  "Because He Lives"

It was a great blessing to have them visit Korea and our missionaries.  It's something they'll remember for a long time.  It was fun to see the difference between two apostles.  Our Elder Kim said that Elder Bednar is like a laser guided missile and Elder Holland is like a cannon!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Zone Training, Contemporary History Museum

This week was President Sonksen's birthday.  The Cannons invited us to go to dinner on the army base.  The Nielsons came as well.  Sadly, Sister Sonksen did not have her ID card with her, so we'll have to try another time.  The rest of us enjoyed some time together though.

We are looking at a map of various attractions around Seoul.  We have to plan another outing.

Tuesday was MLC, so the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders were in the office for training.  The next day was Zone Training.  We went out to Wondang and went to the Seoul North zone training.

These young missionaries did a great job with the training.

Afterwards, the sisters asked if I could stay for a lesson.  They're teaching some young girls and needed an adult member to be with them.

Then we went to the sister's apartment in Geumchon because they needed a few repairs done.

We will probably have to go back though, now that we know what is needed.

There's a great walking mall heading back to the depot.

Since we were in the area, we decided to stop at Costco on our way home.

Guess what day it was?  The second Wednesday.  What's up with that??  You have to read the fine print!  So on Friday afternoon we tried again with better results.

Costco is even marked on the subway exit.

This is the price we pay to get to Costco.  Something like 200 steps, then around the corner and across the street!  At least the gravity is helping us when we come down. (I am not complaining, just sayin')

This is the Costco food court worker whose main job is to keep the onion dispenser filled!  It keeps her busy!  That is a lot of onions!  I saw her give a big scoop to a man who was holding out his plate for it.

Alan broke a filling and got to go to the dentist this week too.  But no puppet shows!  But next time he'll get a crown.

When we were out on Saturday, we were just in time for the changing of the guard.

It was cold and windy, but at least we had sunshine.

This is the countdown for the winter olympics next year.  Our release date is one week ahead of the date, so it's good for us too.  The American flag was flying too.  There was a banner here the other day to welcome General Mattis who visited Korea recently.

The police buses were all around City Hall.  Getting ready for the Saturday protests.

Lots of food vendors getting set up too.

Then we went to the National Museum of Korean Contemporary History.  It mostly deals with post WWII then through the Korean War and how the country was able to go from war and poverty to much success.  With political upheavals and other problems through the years.

This is an old Japanese mail box left from pre-liberation days.  They were actually made in Korea and they painted over the Japanese symbol for mail.

This is a depiction of the division at the 38th parallel at the end of WWII.  Just five years later, North Korea invaded the South.

This is a model of a US ship The Meredith that was able to bring 14,000 people evacuating from North Korea.  It's interesting to learn how America affected Korean history.

These taxis were built using leftover jeep parts from the Korean War.  The body is made of oil drums that have been hammered out.  From 1955.

This three-wheeled Kia truck is from 1969.

Samsung VCR

The first Korean vehicle export.  Hyundai Pony 1982

They've come a long way from exporting silk and toys to electronics and automobiles.

There's a nice view of the palace from here.  The mission office is behind the palace.  Our apartment building is just beyond the view at the left.

We had our branch conference today so we had visitors from our district presidency.  We were reminded and encouraged to strengthen our own testimonies and to reach out to others.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Transfer Week

Monday morning we went to visit an apartment of some sisters that needed some help.  This is what we saw when we came out of the subway.  It gave us a chance to practice our sidewalk skating!

Monday night we went to the embassy housing with the Cannons to have a New Year's dinner with the unaccompanied soldiers.  A couple from our branch came too (the Anderson's).  Sister Anderson is Korean so she helped explain about the food and customs.

It did warm up some as the week progressed and getting around became easier.

The new missionaries arrived Tuesday evening.  They come from Utah, Maryland, California, Korea (two from the same ward!) and Japan (!)  We also had a sister return to the mission after having to go home for a while.

The next morning, they had some training, met their companions, and were off to begin their missions. 

But that means we also had to send some missionaries home.  Since the flights were late in the day, some of the missionaries were able to do a few things in the city.

Alan took his favorite young office elder (The Inspector) to check on an apartment.  The upstairs neighbors of the elders apartment has sprung a leak, so those elders have moved into the basement of the mission home and are doing their studying at the office.  They were looking to see if they could find a suitable apartment for them to move to, or if it is better to wait until the repairs can be made.

As we left the office on Friday afternoon, we noticed that there is still some police presence in our neighborhood whenever the protesters show up.  The police had them surrounded to keep a close watch on them.

We could hear another rally on Saturday night again.  But at least they don't break windows and start fires.

On Saturday, we went to get our hair cuts.  We were so good, that we decided we deserved a treat.

Then later we remembered that it's a bad idea to eat fried foods.

We saw this group of drummers too.  This man was a high contender for my "Favorite Korean of the Week" award.  Also in the running were the guys who washed and cut my hair.  And the cute little boy who was sitting on his daddy's lap to get his hair cut.  (I wanted to take a picture of him so much.)  But I think the winner has to be the man who came to fix our water heater.  He wasn't that cute, but it is so nice to have hot water again!

Our meetings were good at church today.  Our sister from the Dominican Republic has to have surgery to replace three discs in her back.  She shared about how she is feeling about it.  She said "Am I frightened about this?  No!  I know I am a daughter of God and that he will take care of me.  I don't know why I have to go through this, but maybe it's so I can share the gospel with the doctors and nurses.  Because that's what I'm going to do!"

You have to admire that kind of faith and courage!