Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Fall is upon us!

We're back...... I decided to add the pictures first that we want to share and write around them. I may have a blog but that does not mean that I understand how to do everything I want to do!!!!!!!!

Another transfer time. This past Sunday evening we had all 14 of them again before the actual transfer happened the following day. Jim and I have made this our tradition for each transfer coming up. It's such fun to have them together and they enjoy that last meal as a district. This time was really unique, we only lost one missionary, Elder Kaing. We love him so much and will miss him. Elder Kaing is going to one of the small islands south of Busan. The group above is Elder Routson from Lehi, Utah on the left and 2 of our Korean missionaries; Elder Jung on the left by Routson and Elder Jin on the right.

Sister Lee on the left. Elder Choi in the middle and Sister Chuluunkuhuu from Mongolia. I think we had so many new ones from the last change that the Mission President decided to let them stay. Sister Chu came here not speaking Korean or English at all. Elder Choi is such a cute guy.... he LOVES American food and wants to know how to make everything I do. He stands in the kitchen and watches and watches. What a beautiful singing voice he has! He has won many competitions in Korea and would like to become a professional singer.

Elder Harris is on the left. One of the finest young men we've met! He's from Colorado so he can't be all bad! While still considered new he's picking up the language very well. Elder Harris is one of the most considerate missionaries I've met. He's calls us his other grandparents! On the right is his good buddy, Elder Olsen. Olsen is one of 'our' missionaries along with his companion, Elder Green, as they live in our area of Daegu.  Elder Olsen's from Alaska! Very new to Korea himself, he's been here a whole 4-5 days longer than we have!  Elder Harris's companion is Elder Kaing who's being transferred this time. We love these guys. They both are very special to us.

Elder Jin again on the left and smiling at us is Elder Kaing. He's from Provo, Utah and is perhaps the happiest person we've come across. Everyone has their lower days, especially the missionaries who receive a lot of rejection just to get one person to listen to what they have to say. The exception to the rule is Elder Kaing. He is the most positive and upbeat person! He will be missed.

Elder Kaing saying his farewell to us. I think you can see Jim's reflection in the window if you look close. As we get to know these young men better we are becoming so confident in the future of the church..... 19 year old; who knew?!!! I am in awe of their commitment, their dedication, and their willingness to go the extra mile each and every day. Side note on Elder Kaing.... he's been a member just over 3 years!

 These 3 are; Elder Morrow from Farmington, New Mexico on the left, Elder Murray from Layton, Utah (the zone leader) in the center. I caught him with his eyes closed (sorry!) and Elder Green on the right from Fruit Heights, Utah. Elder Green is our district leader and the other missionary with Olsen in our area. Elder Green and Murray both go home in December. Our loss!!!! Unbelievable young men and leaders. 2 of our Elders had to leave prior to the photo session; Elder Kim and Elder Harken. Elder Kim is about 3-4 weeks in country. He's half American and half Korean and regrets that he didn't learn Korean when he was younger! Elder Harken is another 'grandson'.... he's from Lindon, Utah. We will have pictures of them later, I may have some from other events I can put in before I finish. Oh yeah.... notice the guitar in the corner...in a box....this room is Jim's office. Elder Howerton decided that perhaps he might learn to play or strum a few notes while he's on his mission. So far it hasn't been out of the box.

Last weekend was the 1st Saturday of a new month! That means it's Temple time. We took the train again to Seoul. This time I got a couple of pictures for everyone to see:

As always, it's a beautiful Temple. With folks all over coming to the Temple they have an annex building. You can stay there overnight in the brothers and sisters dorms. $12.00 per night per person is pretty reasonable. So we make an adventure of it and take the train on Friday, stay there that night, and we're there for the English session on Saturday. There's always a group so we go to dinner after and take the train back home. It's a tiring weekend but a good one. This time one of our new convert sisters went along, as did our youth, and did baptisms. The new sister was able to be baptized for her grandparents and great grandparents. She was so emotional as the spirit was so strong. It was a special day.

This  is Seoul by night. Not a lot different than others cities in Korea. While I didn't get pictures of the surrounding buildings let it suffice to say they are huge, and expensive. They carry all the top of the top stores and in front of them are these street vendors. Are they licensed? We haven't a clue. But there are literally rows of them. Each seems to be owned by the people cooking. You can get a plethora of food here, most of it we pass on. During the day the plastic covering is rolled up and you just walk by or sit down on the few chairs they have. These aren't big! At night, in the rain, or cold, the covers come down. You can see in them all over. Jim is standing there with a small bag in hand on the left. It's an unusual scene, very pricey stores on one side and vendors that date back to who knows when on the streets in front of them.... 

These are pictures of a bazaar I went to with some sisters from our branch. We 'thought' it was to be a pottery factory. Well, all I could think of was the tours to the different factories in Germany I'd been to. I was excited! This didn't turn out to be the same. Tents lined the street about as far as you could see. While they had their ceramics there it was not at factory prices. It was in fact very pricey. But I was able to get some pictures of the event.

The vase he is making was, as you can tell, huge! All hand-carved. No paint by numbers, or cut by numbers in this case. He used an exacto, the same I used to use in the newspaper business to do my ad lay-outs! Very delicate and intricate work. He was fascinating to watch.

This Korean gentleman is making another type of pottery. What I thought was interesting is how they make it. Look inside the bowl he's working on. See the can, similar to a paint can, on the left? That is actually hanging from something attached to it from the top of the tent. Inside this can was hot coals. As you stood fairly close you could just slightly feel the heat from the can. It helps him in forming the shape that he wants to make as he works the clay with his hands. Interesting....

As you can see, this is a skilled pottery maker working with a young man, most likely an apprentice. He showed much patience actually as this young man was learning. I found a vase I liked; $600.00. I didn't like it THAT well.... they had beautiful things there and it was fun to look at all. Also, a display and presentation was given of a Korean Tea Service....and all the tea you could drink.... We tried some of their herbal teas and they were good. Good bus ride, good friends, and interesting entertainment. Oh yes, see the little boy and his father in the background? They had an area where the kids could smash the pottery. We assumed they were 2nd's and they let the kids throw them against a wall. They loved it.

The next few pictures I think you might find interesting..... I have to set this picture up for you. You are up looking out the window and down.... You can see the yellow/white parking area. The flat thing on the left with suitcases on it, etc, is what the Korean moving company is loading. They don't take anything in through a building! They open completely these huge windows/doors we have in our apartments, slide the screens to one side and 'attach' this gigantic ladder to the opening. Then they load all household items on this flatbed and up it goes! Our missionaries moved (thank heavens!). Their old apartment had been leased by the church for 20 years!! The owner/landlord hadn't done much to it in those 20 years, let me tell you. Anyway, they were moved and we helped.

Here it comes with the load! I think this gives a good view of the height. Can you imagine getting a piano up there?!! They strap the important things down but it is something else to watch. Their apartment is on the 17th floor. We're on the 14th where we are. Our missionaries were at our place helping get everything in, just as in these pictures. They did that just prior to us arriving. I was glad I wasn't here to watch....

It's made it to the top! Now, the missionaries don't have much, of course. Certainly not in the line of furniture, furniture.... there are men on the inside of the apartment (in this case the missionaries as they didn't want to spend the money for the men the driver would have put there). These guys typically pull the things off the loading platform into the room.

A side shot of Elder Murray pulling a box off the platform. It was sure windy up on the 17th floor with the windows wide open! Thank heavens they moved before the really cold weather!

Elder Harris on the left. We gave him and his companion, Elder Kaing a bad time for coming in suits!!! They had to leave for an appointment though so we excused them.... Elder Harken on the right is just a tad bit excited to be moving into a new place! I love having a zoom lens on my camera.

Here Elder Olsen, wash this for me too, please...... Not a bad little kitchen. Notice the stove just sitting there.... they don't have 'stoves' in Korea, just a 2 or 4 burner (if you're lucky) cook top on one of the counters. So they have no ovens. We, as Americans, are given stoves with ovens through the Mission Home. Many are literally a mess.... but they can be cleaned up. Depends on how the former missionaries took care of them. As I cleaned their bathroom for them and their refrigerator (no missionaries were in this apartment prior to them. A Korean family was there), we had a little lesson on 'stewardship....' It tickles me now because when we get together some one of them will reassure me that they're 'keeping things clean...' They are such a great group of guys!

One last picture for this blog.... I love this. We do feed the missionaries a lot and we take them to post where they LOVE getting 'American' food.... so Elder Olsen - who spent about a year in France - decided they needed to do something for us. He and Elder Green came over, with all the ingredients in hand, and made us all crepes! They were wonderful. I think he surprised himself. See the water in the back? I love that. I may go to that when we get back in the states. No charge for the unit as long as we buy the bottles. 5 gallon bottles for less than $4.00 each....and they deliver. It's a LOT cheaper than buying plastic bottles, hauling them home, and then trying to do something with them that won't effect the environment! Instant cold and literally boiling hot water at a touch. Great for soups, hot chocolate, etc, also.
Now some reading for you.....

On the military side we are having great results. Just today Jim and I did the 2nd day of a 2 day 'workshop' on post - through the military - for 14 folks that were sent to this 2 day session for alcohol abuse. Not that they are alcoholics but they've done something over the top that got them sent to this class. We were invited by the manager of the Substance Abuse Department for the Army, here in Daegu. What a blessing for us. We had one hour each day to 'do our thing...'. At the end of our session with them today, we discussed the classes that we will hold, and our 12 step program, based on AA with spiritual help throughout, that's been devised through our church for any and all types of substance abuse. Bottom line, out of the 14 that attended, 7 signed up indicating they wanted to attend our 12 week class!

As we were leaving the manager spoke to us and asked us to do this again next month, if they have enough that the command orders to attend, and any of those in the future. So, we feel we were successful, through the help of the Holy Ghost. He was in attendance......

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and fall is here! The weather is warm and sunny during the day and pretty chilly at night. The colors on the trees, especially in the mountains that surround us are absolutely beautiful; oranges, reds and yellows. I imagine the 'cold' cold weather isn't too far off. Jim was able to have a below the knee black cashmere coat made by a Korean tailor for..... $110.00! It's really nice. Deep inside pockets as well as the outside and it has his name stitched on the inside. Can't beat that....

We are finding some more LDS folks here and making appointments to meet with them. Once we do we've been pretty blessed at getting them to come to church. We feel very grateful to be on this mission. We are certainly being watched over. I can't say the time is dragging, that's for sure, it literally flies by.

We thank all of you for your support and special hello and thanks to Michelle and family. They are great to get things to us that we find we (or I) find I just can't do without! We feel the Lord's love and pray all of our family and friends will be blessed. Thanks for your emails. We love to hear from you and how things are going there, wherever there is for you.

Elder and Sister Howerton

1 comment:

  1. We are sooooo blessed to have you guys here in Korea with us!!!! We love you!! And never want to you leave! Thanks for all you do Mama and Papa Howerton!!