Tuesday, April 25, 2017

More Interviews and a Busy Weekend

We started this week meeting again with the missionaries who arrived in country five weeks ago.  It's a follow up to see how their training is going and how their companionships are working out.  They are all amazing.  In such few weeks they develop amazing, powerful working relationships. They rely on each other and help each other power through difficult things.  Of course, if there is a reason to celebrate, we also do that as well.  We had some birthdays and wanted those recognized.
We then spent the week interviewing 41 more wonderful missionaries.  There are serious moments, but there are also some moments where we can have some levity.  Terri always provides a great treat for them.

We wish we had time to share something about everyone of these missionaries, but to say the least they are amazing. We try to take each picture with a painting of some sort in the background that reminds us of our purpose and true leader.

We purchased the traditional Korean Hanbok this week to wear for special occasions.  We have special friends who helped us.  Brother Jeong and Sister Kim will be the new mission president and wife in Busan Mission in July and they decided to acquire new Hanboks for their mission.  The women especially make these outfits look nice!

Spring is the true treat of our lives right now, a special dessert with all we have going on.  The colors are amazing and the city has planted flowers such that there is much to enjoy.  We found this special place and the colors were so amazing we had to add one more flower to decorate...
Food is a big deal, as we've said before, but sometimes 'comfort food' means a lot to us.  Occasionally, we like to sit down and have some old fashioned soup and grilled cheese!
To show our impressive dexterity with chopsticks, we had to add a little sweet and sour pork.  They provide special aprons for the foreigners... Not really, we ate some other things that splash a bit and they have the aprons to protect the clothes.
While traveling this week, we caught a picture of what is pretty common here, the true spoiling of the pets.  This little pup was yapping all the way down the road. It was fun to listen to her scold this little dog.
The first counselor in the mission presidency will be moving to Busan as the mission president.  Before he leaves we wanted to get a presidency picture.  These are two great men who have been a tremendous help in the affairs of the mission and in helping me carefully navigate the local culture and feelings of the members.  I truly love both of these men and Terri and I have enjoyed getting to know them and their families a bit.

This weekend, we had the opportunity to work closely with Elder Yamashita of the Seventy in reorganizing the Seoul Military Serviceman's District.  We met together to call a new district president and set apart him and his counselors.  This is one very humble man.  We get to have him back in about ten days for a mission tour.  Elder Yamashita is the first counselor in the Asia North Area Presidency.  He is a great teacher.
Finally, this morning while studying we heard the loud rumble of military jets flying across the sky.  A group of nine jet fighters flew across the skies of Seoul.  This is considered Military Foundation Day in North Korea.  As it says in Wikipedia, "Kim Il-Sung moved date from 8 February to the date of establishment of his guerilla army in 1932, considered the predecessor of the Korean People's Army."  We believe the US/Korean forces wanted to demonstrate they are paying attention to everything going on north of the border.  No one locally feels any discomfort.   We took this video from the roof of our building.

This next week will be a wild one.  We've had two great mission activities with running and kickball already this week. (Pictures to follow soon.  Terri had a delightful time doing some slo motion videoing.  Be aquiver with anticipation :)  We will also have transfers and new missionaries.  We had one new missionary join us this week.  he was transferred from the Canada Vancouver B.C. Mission.  We are excited to have Elder Han with us.
We hope your spring is as beautiful and sunny as ours.  Know of our love and appreciation to all of you, especially the parents of these fine young missionaries.  We are so richly blessed.  These youth are amazingly awesome!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Interviews and Building Dedications

We are so busy, enjoying the spirit of these wonderful missionaries There won't be much dialogue tonight.  We want the families to see their missionary sons and daughters and to see some of the things the missionaries see nearly every day.
We visited with about 75 missionaries for 20 minutes each this week.  We'll do the other 40 during the next few days.  This is special time for us!  We get to see how much they've grown and learned over the last six weeks.  Some of the growth is truly amazing.  More than the ability to speak the language, it's the ability to look people in the eye with great big smiles on their faces and share what they love.  They are learning to live with someone else and mature as young adults.  We are so amazed at the good things going on here!
Without much dialogue, here are a bunch of pictures of our missionaries:


Some of the pictures might seem a little blurry.  We didn't use the selfie stick and this old man was a little shaky!  We believe all the smiles were real!  We truly loves these young people.

On Saturday, we were able to participate in the dedication of a new building.  It is truly a beautiful building.  We got to spend more time with a few of our missionaries and local leaders and to participate in the ribbon cutting.  The local mayor, the welfare commissioner for this area of the city and other local and church dignitaries participated.

There was a nice cultural evening that followed with fun skits and then an orchestra and choir.  It was pretty amazing.  Here are a few snippets for you to enjoy.


 The missionaries even performed a bit with the local skits.  They had loads of fun.

For the things we saw this week, here's an area that will be blossoming soon.  I hope to have a follow up picture in a few weeks when the blossoms are in full bloom.

 All the kids will remember seeing this movie in the US.  Busses do a lot of advertising around here.
They promote business in unique ways here.  Sometimes you see this in the US.
We had to include a picture of food. This is the seafood dish with noodles call JJampong 짬퐁. It is one of my favorites, but Terri struggles seeing the octopus tentacles in it.  It's red because it's spicy.

Some work was being done this week on the plumbing in our apartment.  The pipes are above my office.  Somehow the pipes broke dumping several decades of sludge.  Gratefully, it was from the sinks and showers and not the other line...  Miraculously, buy the end of the day it was like nothing happened.  They did an amazing job of cleaning up.

Finally, I had to share the beauties of spring from the morning run.  It is like this all over the city.  Traffic is slow sometimes just because folks are amazed by all the colors.  If you can ignore the labored breathing, you can enjoy the colors.  It was a spectacular morning.
This week will be another very busy week.  We have a new missionary, more interviews, training, a weekend of changing leadership and trying to get some sleep.  Who needs sleep when you can enjoy the time we get to with these find young people!