Monday, December 4, 2017

Short visit and back to work

With all the fun things we do, we never lose track of our purpose here.  We learn so much from our missionaries.  They are special young men and young women.  Here's a note from a sister who was preparing to go home.  They love the work and they have put so much into what they are doing they have concerns for what will happen when they are released and return home.  You can understand why we truly adore and love them so much!

I enjoyed meeting with lots of new people, each of which brought new questions and challenges. One young mom in particular we met with had lots of questions. She was very curious about religion and met with her friends often to talk about it. While we were talking, she raised one question to me, she asked basically, how is sin qualified, in some countries it's okay to hit your child, while in America and Korea it's illegal, so is it a sin here and not there? I thought for a minute before answering, and told her that since we are striving to become more like Christ and follow his example, I would say anything Christ wouldn't do is a sin. Christ wouldn't hit a child, so we definitely should not either. She was smiling so big when I said this, and at first I thought she was laughing at my response...but afterwards she explained to me how she had asked all of her friends from different religions the same question and they could never give her an answer, they all told her the same thing, that they would ask their pastor and get back to her, they never did. She liked how this church teaches us to think for ourselves and to use our questions to help us learn. I described to her how our church runs, based on teaching and discussion together, that we each are edified (that was hard to explain in Korean, not gonna lie) and learn from each other. While we are excited to keep meeting with her, it brought a renewed sense of appreciation to me for this gospel and it's pattern of learning. I was able to testify to her that I knew this church was true because I had questioned as a young teenager and found my answer through lots of struggling and diligent searching of the scriptures, and was not just believing because my parents had raised me in it. I'm grateful that I was taught to question, and how to find answers to my questions, as well as the importance of gaining a personal testimony for myself.
President I'm not going to lie, I am scared out of my mind. I'm going home soon, my lifestyle and surroundings are going to be very different from what I've been used to. I won't have a companion to get up at 6:30 with me to plan together, to pray with me before I leave the house...I know that my mission is a type for my life...and while I am scared, I'm also excited to find ways to apply what I've learned into the new phase of my life. I'm excited to find ways to remember the experiences I've had and to continue to learn from them!! I'm honestly so full of gratitude for the challenges I've had, as well as the lifelong, eternal friends I've made.

Wise beyond their years at 20!

As mentioned last week, our youngest son came to visit for a few days.  He arrived late on Thanksgiving and left on the following Tuesday.  We saw local sites and distant sites.  The weather was cold, but we tried to not let it get to us.
Who'd have thought he was an X-man?
 True family photos,
 Nose to nose with your relations
 Historic venue dated back 1400 years.  Unfortunately, it also was burned to the ground by a forest fire in 2005.  It's a beautiful place.

Aaron always wanted to ring the bell at these places.  First opportunity where they let him!

Isn't that what all restrooms are for?
We then took a journey to the famous cave mentioned a few months ago to visit Gollum, Smaug, etc.
 Friends of the family,
 Closest he's been to a date in a while,
Beautiful view of the valley below the cave (former mine)
We journeyed to see the venue for the Olympic events starting in February.  Unfortunately, this is as close as they let us get.  
The camera got closer than we did.  This is the tower for the ski jumps.
We went to the 122nd floor of the Lotte World Tower, it's nearly 500 meters tall (close to 1,600 feet up).  They had a floor you stand on that when she pushes a button the floor goes clear and you can see to the street below.  At that height, it's not scary.
Since Aaron's birthday is December 1, we decided to celebrate with him before he left.  
He even had the neighbors come visit and share the treats.
We took time to visit the temple together before his departure.  It was his first experience having to wear a translation device for everything that went on.  It was a peaceful day.
From the temple, we drove to the airport and said farewell.  We had a great visit.  It was wonderful to have him here with us, we wish he could have stayed longer.
One of the joys of our work, as said before is having visits from former missionaries.  This young man entered the Air Force just after he left us to meet his military obligation.  We're honored he would use some of his precious time off to come visit us!
This past week we also got our mission leaders together for training.  In preparation for the upcoming zone conferences, Sister Turner had them learning and  making Christmas stars to learn to give away as a conversation starter for the purpose or meaning behind the star at this time of year.  They are quick students.

 We can't say enough good things about each of the missionaries that serve with us.  A couple are brand new and are being trained by leaders.  They are learning to be missionaries at the same time they are working close to their leaders.
Another great week has passed.  Another ones is racing up to meet us with zone conferences immediately followed by interviews.  We finish interviews in time to share a special Christmas Day with them.  We know you'll get to talk to your loved one during the holiday.  We hope you have an amazing experiences with them.  We certainly are!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Arrival, Exit, Visitor

What a great week.  Some long days, and short cold nights.  Winter is coming in at quite a pace!
We welcomed five new sisters and five new elders this week.  What an amazing group they are!  Some are shy, others are bold, and they are all ours WE LOVE THEM!

 There is a lot of energy at lunch.  They have just met their new companions and there is so much information to learn from each other!  They are all great sports about the day.  The new missionaries are still pretty tired from the long day previous.
As soon as we got them all out the door and off to their new areas, we welcome the departing missionaries into for final interviews and a nice dinner and evening meeting.  There are lots of tears and half a box of Kleenex used up in that evening.

 There are so many different ways to take pictures.  We could be here all night!

After we sent the last two missionaries off to the airport the next afternoon, we had the special opportunity to welcome our first visitor from home.  Our youngest son, came to visit us.  We will get five days with him letting him get to know what he missed when we were here 20+ years ago with the family.  He was three when we returned to the states.  He is looking forward to the Korean food!  He's already tired of the traffic.  We sat in traffic for an hour one days with more cars in a few blocks than in the entire city of Logan, Utah.  He has the right facial hair for the winter.
Next week we'll have lots of pictures from our adventures with him.
This week we saw a few other interesting sights around town.

Short and sweet today.  We hope you enjoy and can find a picture of your loved ones.  We miss the ones who have been honorably released and welcome the ones who are here to make an impact.
Until next time!