Monday, March 20, 2017

Sad farewells - Warm welcomes!

This is the great and terrible week for a mission president and wife.  We said farewell to six missionaries and welcomed 14 new ones.  Five returned home after completing missions.  One was only with us for six weeks while awaiting his visa to serve in the US.  The elder below with the pink bag, Elder Lee will be a great missionary in Southern California.  We look forward to seeing him in 23 months when he comes back fluent in a second language.
We had a great evening with these missionaries before their departure.  Three had their families pick them up as they live here in Korea.  The other two returned to Connecticut and California.

 We said farewell to Elder Kim Sungsoo who served for seven months in the office.  He was a great sport.  We will miss the games with him.  We had a few emotional moments together before he departed.
We sang together in the mission home stairwell.  I've uploaded it directly to Facebook in the past, but it's too big for the blog.

We excitedly traveled to the airport to pick up the incoming missionaries.  We took five other elders and sisters to travel home on the subway with the new group.  Sister Turner had a posing moment for them in the lighted flowers.
 This is a great group that represents a very diverse number of countries.
 These young men are exceptionally talented, their language skills amazing for the short study time they've had.
Elder Sayan from the Philippines
 Elder Hoopes from Utah
 Elder Luce from Ohio ( we like the Midwestern kids!)
 Elder Miller from Utah
 Elder Sanderson from Utah
 Elder Abrao from the Philippines
The young women are exceptionally talented in singing, musical instruments, and language talents.  Sister Davis is from Utah, and has traveled the world in her youth.  Like us, her parents will serve as mission president and wife in Turkey starting in July.
 Sister Earnshaw is from New Hampshire
 Sister Jung is from South Korea
 Sister Kim, serving with another Sister Kim is from South Korea
 Sister Pari is from New Zealand
 Sister Perlawan is from the Philippines
 Sister Tobler is from Utah
 Sister Warner is from California.
This group with their trainers represent 25% of our mission.  We truly enjoyed being with them.
We attended a stake conference over the weekend and any time we have our missionaries together, there has to be a photo taken.  Hopefully, you'll find one of your missionaries here.  The young man holding the Book of Mormon on the second row is not one of our missionaries, but is anxious to serve!
On the side of the unique this week, we pass a large plot of ground periodically that is reserved for wild flowers.  In the winter, it is home to what we call Garfield's family.
If you want to know what it looks like when we make a run to Costco and other supermarkets the week of transfers when we know we will feed a lot of missionaries, here's the vision. Actually, we share the experience with Elder and Sister Black for their shopping as well.  It's quite a morning every six weeks.
Finally, just a block from our home is an elementary school.  On the wall surrounding the school is a mural.  As we drove by it one day, Terri exclaimed, "I know what that represents!"  We had driven by it many times, but we hadn't taken the time to look at it in its entirety, only in pieces.  Let us know if you think you know what the story is and who the author is.  We love his books!
It has been another full week.  For about 48 hours, from 2 PM on  Tuesday when we leave for the airport to pick up new missionaries, until 2 PM on Thursday when we typically say goodbye to the departing missionaries, we run pretty hard and have truly amazing spiritual and physical experiences.  We're glad we only have to do this every six weeks!  We hate saying goodbye. If Terri had her way everyone would stay, and then leave with us when it's time for us to return home. 

We hope you see a face you recognize and love and hope you get a smile.  There will always be new faces.  Until we slide into next weekend, hope your days are as good as ours!