Monday, 27 September 2010

A Great Time Was Had by All

Sept 27, 2010 - Monday

Today is our P-Day; washing, ironing, shopping.... all those necessary things of life!

While I didn't plan to blog so quickly after my last one we have a neat story to share.

Today is Transfer Day. That's not the neat part..... However, on a good note, we only lost 3 on this go-round. One sister is moving to a whole new area and one of our Korean sisters has completed her mission of 18 months and is going home! Also, one of our zone leaders was moved (we believe that to be considered a promotion) to be an Assistant to the President in Busan. Him, we'll see now and again.

Of course there will be 3 new missionaries today assigned to replace those, and life goes on.

We had decided to have all of them over yesterday afternoon after church for dinner. Our way of being with them before the transfers and allowing them to be with each other. Well, church took longer than expected as we had a baptism. An 8 year old son of a military family in our branch was baptized and Jim conducted as the Ward Mission Leader. The grandparents of the boy (father's parents) flew here from the states! They are staying here for several more weeks before they fly back to the states and enter the MTC. They are preparing to leave for their 2nd mission - to Africa.

You realize how very small our world is when you're on a mission. We have so many here from so many parts of the world, all working and/or attending schools, etc. Life is pretty capsulated in many of our towns and cities in America.

Sorry, I digressed! So, after church, got home with a couple of missionaries in tow. They were great at peeling potatoes. All in all we had 17 sisters and elders, 2 more with Jim and me for 19. Here's the really special part.... 1 more that we hadn't really planned on.

Awhile back we had been given a name of an individual on one of the military posts here who's serving a solo tour. He is married, with 5 children; his wife and children are back in the states. He chose to come solo as he needed a solo tour on his record for one thing. And, if you serve solo it's only a requirement of a year of service as opposed to 2-3 years with accompanied family. Also, that gives him the option of better choices for his next family state-side appointment. They have chosen Colorado Springs. Jim actually did the same back in the mid 70's and that's what brought him then to Korea - only back then it was only solo tours - and that's how we got to Colorado Springs ourselves....a place we'd go back to in a heartbeat!

We'd spoken to this member on the phone but his response was luke warm. We just kept his number and let it slide for awhile. The other night he called us! You could hear lonesome in his voice.... Jim talked to him for some time and invited him to come to church yesterday and to our house after for some food and conversation with about 17 missionaries!

He picked up on the idea immediately. He did come to church and after having to return to post for a promised game of football he coaches, he returned for food and the evening. While here he even spoke to his wife and told her where he was and what he was doing. She was thrilled. She and the kids have all been attending church but he's only been to church a handful of times since he arrived last December.

He served a mission himself and is a wonderful guy. We couldn't have had a better setting for him. Talking to the missionaries brought back so many of his own memories. We were so blessed to have him in our home for the evening. We pray he will want to have some of the same feelings again and will choose to return to fuller activation. He indicated he'd be talking to us and would see us next Sunday. For us, that's a success that is exactly what we're here for.

All in all we had 20 people in our apartment. What a fun evening! 17 missionaries, can you imagine?! What energy and excitment. You want to feel the spirit in your home? Invite your missionaries for dinner and some conversation. We loved feeding the missionaries when we lived in the 'mission field'. You don't receive that honor very often in Utah we discovered. Too bad too as they are the best company to be in the midst of!

For me, I'm still feeling the glow of having them all last evening. Today is the start of another new week with new adventures around the corner. We are going to take the subway in a bit to the downtown part of Daegu and go to this one store to see if our birthday gift for our daughter is's only a week away from her birthday but this gift has been late coming! That's an education in itself.... gettting things when YOU want them -  then the realization of mailing them back to the states (time-wise). Michelle, I hope you agree with 'better late than never'...

The church is true, the gospel is moving forward, and people are the same everywhere.

That's the number one thing you learn living abroad. Whether it's serving in the military, teaching or working in another country, or simply doing missionary work. People are the same. We are all children of our Heavenly Father. We may have different skin color, we make speak funny and can't verbally understand each other, but we are all the same. Cultures aside, we all want to be loved, cared about, and everyone's searching for the truth of this life and the life to come. It's comforting to know there are answers!

We love all of You!
Sister Howerton