Sunday, 10 April 2011

Jinhae, South Korea Cherry Blossom Festival

There are pictures of the festival for you to see. First things first though as we are excited about the events happening around us - and the reason we're here......


Here are a couple of pictures prior to our zone going to Jinhae for the festival.... 8 year old Rigby Peterson, the son of one of our military families on his baptismal day. Sister Chon, Sister Cramer with me, Elder Chandler and Elder Jo in front with Elder Howerton. The boiler in our church was broken. Rigby and his father who baptized him walked into icy cold water! Rigby was a trooper though and made it through. Afterwards he said his legs actually ached....

Sister Crowther from Colorado and Sister Lee from Seoul. They are such a great pair! One of our districts has been blooming with new members. So much so that President Jennings added another pair of Missionaries to that district; these two. We were blessed to have them actually live with us for about a week or so while they got their apartment ready for them. Such dedication and obedience... they were up every morning at 6:00 am, excercised, showered, got ready for the day. There was individual study time, planning time, scripture study, combined study, etc... they had a schedule and they stuck to it! Out by 10:30 am and we never saw them again until about 9:00 pm. In bed, prayers said, calls made, etc, by 10:30pm every night! Boy, it was something to see and admire.... we could probably work on our schedule some....

One of our new missionaries to our district; Elder Chandler from Missouri. Fantastic young man and he plays a guitar! One of our military families had us over for dinner with Elder Chandler and his companion, Elder Jo. We were all serenaded by the talents of Elder Chandler...

Now, does this look perhaps like two 'greenie' missionaries wondering where they are, why they are, and what to do - now that they are?! Elders Harman and Chandler.....

Sister Alicia Cho took US out to eat for her birthday!! What a lovely Korean member she is - as with most Koreans, so polite, thoughtful, caring, and very giving.

Sister Cho on the right passing a big slice of cake to some of the missionaries.

We are blessed to know and love this sweet, sweet, young lady.

Elder Harris (with a new haircut!) is waiting for his turn to 'clean up'. Elder Chandler wanted to have his mom see that he's remembering her teachings!

Great picture of Elder Harman on the left with his companion, Elder Wade. These are two special missionaries to us and we are so grateful to be close to them. If I had a wish it would be that you could hear Elder Harman sing. His voice is an absolute gift from God. He studies and sings Opera. He sang for Elder Howerton and myself in an open area where he could 'let go'. Man! Does this young man have a voice.....

Another awesome 'greenie', Elder Innis on the left. You should hear him play the piano!! He actually played with two other fellows at the Riverhorse Cafe in Park City, UT! Hello!!! We're from Heber City... didn't know him then - to our loss! He is totally amazing. Next to him is his companion; Elder Kim. I love Elder Kim's smile. It is literally ear to ear. A great Korean missionary.

This is a neat picture, I think... Elder Harris on the left on the phone and laughing - as usual. He is so friendly and loved by every companion he's had. Elder Day on the right is just checked out... for those of you who know our zone - does the person behind Harris look familiar? Yep! 'Former' Elder Shane Stever. He went home last December with others we love and miss dearly. He came back for a visit with his family! Perfect time for his family to meet so many missionaries Shane knows, all at once.

"Our" sister missionaries... in the district we're in! Are we blessed, or what?!!! Sister Chon and Sister Cramer. Although Sister Chon is Korean she has lived in America her entire life; from Washington, D.C. She came to Korea and had to learn the language like all the rest of us! She is incredible. Sister Cramer is closer to us in geography... from Wyoming! We love these sisters so much and are so grateful to them for all they do for us and for the people they serve.

Shane Stever catching up with news from all the sister missionaries he served with.

Brother and Sister Stever; absolutely wonderful folks! We loved being with them. They were able to see and do so much with Shane. Shane took them over his mission area; meeting and being fed by families he taught, members of the church, etc. What a wonderful blessing for them and for Shane as well. To to able to have his family see what he's seen and meet people that was so important to him for 2 years. These people and the friendships you make while on a mission will literally last a lifetime and are life-changing.

Now here's 2 very pretty girls!! On the left is Carly Stever, Shane's sister. We loved Carly. She seemed to enjoy the whole experience with her family while in Korea. On the right is one of our members in our branch; Andrea Hunt. She's graduating and will be off to the states most likely for college. These two hit it off and enjoyed each other's company.

Sister Crowther and Sister Lee anticipating a good trip to Jinhae!

Two of our sister missionaries; Sister Heo on the left and Sister Kil on the right. They are hard workers and have such a great testimony. Both speak a fair amount of English as well.

You will not see a better smile than you will from Sister Stevens in the center! She is a joy to be around. Her companion on the right is Sister Swenson and Sister Cramer is on the left. I have such a new respect for sister missionaries. If only we could live our life over again and be allowed to make changes!! I would have gone on a mission for sure. Those of us who didn't still can; young or old!

As you can see, we had a terrific greeting at the Jinhae Festival!!! Well, not really.... OK. He WAS there - about a couple weeks before we arrived though. They had pictures all over to look at......

Part of the festival was being able to not only see but to board one of their Navy ships! It was interesting but also confusing... they allowed pictures taken from one direction only. Of course when they do that everyone wants to look at the other direction to see why.... couldn't find a reason but we complied with their wishes.

Missionaries everywhere and one ham in the back! A cute one though.....

Sisters Kil and Heo talking to one of the Naval personnel while Elder Harman is remembering why he's there, or anywhere for that matter. He's attempting to speak to one of the Korean gentlemen also touring the ship. Knowing him he most likely got around to the gospel.

The famed "Turtle Ship" built by Admiral Yi Sun-sin during a Japanese invasion of Korea (1592-1598) and used to defeat the Japanese Navy. This is a replica of the original. Very interesting to go through and appreciate what crossing the waters were like back then.... and fighting.

Elder Wade and Elder Howerton and a playful moment..... however, they'd best be careful. Early versions of the turtle ship would burn poisonous materials in the dragon's head to release a poisonous smoke.

Here we are with Elders Wade and Harman and a couple of Koreans in costume.

Interesting roof! The spikes discouraged Japanese sailors from engaging in their primary method of naval combat at the time, grappling an enemy ship with hooks and then boarding it to engage in hand-to-hand combat. Certainly would discourage me!

Here are the Susoung District A, B, and Military Relations missionaries! Elder Chandler, Elder Jo, Elder Howerton, Sister Howerton, Sister Cramer and Sister Chon. we are, now what do we do first?!

Elder Howerton took off with Elder Memmott to explore shopping and food with one of our military families; Kandise and Parker Jameson. See the Korean in the back with the mask on his face? Don't discourage, it's not because of the potenial threat of radiation fall-out. They wear masks on their faces ALL the time. We can't figure it out.... for health? Well, if so we've seen them literally lower the mask to smoke a cigarette! Now there's a serious concern for health......

A GREAT military family enjoying the festival; LTC Burnett, his wife CJ. Her mother, Sister Ensign, visiting  from the states and the Burnett boys; Jared and Jacob. Also is daughter Brittney with Aaron and their new baby, Amber.... although you can't really see Amber. Dad's got her secured next to his chest.

This is 'the spot' to take pictures of the cherry blossoms. A lovely old wooden bridge that has a plethora of trees on both sides. As conference for us was the following weekend (a week after the states has it live) we were just a tad early for the full blooms. What we saw was beautiful and some trees were showing their splendor but another week or so it would have been breathtaking.

Another 'greenie', Elder Memmott on the left with his companion and a very special missionary to us;
Elder Morrow. We are losing Elder Morrow the end of this month. So sad.... We have been here 8 months now and have said good-bye to some very good friends and 'adopted grandsons'. Hello out there to a few of them; Murray, Green, Stever, Harken, Routson, Choi..... other ones coming up with Morrow and Elder Kaing.... our loss. They have all been outstanding servants of the Lord and a blessing to us and our lives.

Elder Memmott's been here all of 3 weeks and already an investigator of sorts.... he will offer a Book of Mormon to anyone standing still long enough! He is one dedicated missionary! He and Elder Morrow happen to be assigned in Jinhae; what a beautiful area to serve in!

It's impossible to have a festival and not have food.... As with any other country, the food in Korea is somewhat different than we have available to us in America. Good food it can be though. Some, I still have to rely on the testimonies of others....

Birds.... yes, they are very small birds. The question I couldn't seem to get an answer on was 'are they baby birds or are they full-grown but small birds'? One way or the other I chose not to try.

Yep. It's a pig...or was a pig... What this head is laying on are interesting parts of a pig prior to be included in one of the huge black pots you see just over this head. Some of them, like this, are boiled. Others are cooked over a spit, like the one below. Elder Howerton and I decided to have a plate of the grilled pig. They cut the meat right off the pig on the spit, on a plate with vegetables and a side of rice. It was very good.

"It chops, it dices, it does everything for you...." Some things are the same in any language!

Ribs, thick bacon cuts, etc. All delicious.

American Hot Dogs.... they say. Hummm... well perhaps the 'corn dogs' on the left may be similiar but I can not recall seeing anything like the ones on the right... They are coated, deep fried - and those little things attached? Cut up french fries. The corn on the cob on the right has been the biggest dissapointment for me as I LOVE corn on the cob at fairs. I can make a meal on it. So I knew the first time I saw them that this was for me! Wrong. They don't steam them as we do. Actually I don't know exactly how they do cook them but they're chewy-tough and have a coating of sorts over them which gives them a completely different flavor than we think of as corn. Especially sweet corn! Now I am hungry!

Besides ships, cherry blossoms and food we also received some culture!

Thanks for checking out our site. We are so happy to be here and to be serving the Lord. We are blessed with faithful families within the US Military. They protect us. They sacrfice for us so we all may remain protected. They, as us, love the missionaries. Besides them protecting all of us, they feed us, and they serve us, as we are to be about serving them! May each of us pray for their safety and may blessings be upon them. Let us hear from you. If there are special things you'd like to see or know about, let me know.

Being far from home and family (grandchildren!) is hard. Loving church members, missionaries, and those investigating the church keep us motivated and grateful to be doing what we are. It's going too fast! As one leaves for a senior mission 18 months seems so long! We've been here almost half way through already! We both testify that the work we're doing is true. The church has been restored, the heavens are open again and as in the days of old we have living prophets on the earth again. How grateful I am for that knowledge and for the confirmation of spirit we have received of that fact.


  1. Hello Sister Howerton,
    My son was on the Busan mission-wide p-day and one of the other missionary moms sent me the link to your blog. I recognize Sister Crowther from my son's MTC pictures and it was so fun to see her. He also sent me a picture of a greenie a couple weeks ago who's name was Elder Innis. When I saw him in your pictures it was amazing! My son is Elder Moseley serving down in Tongyeong. I loved this blog post and wanted to thank you for doing this blog. I know it means a lot to the moms.
    Sister Moseley

  2. Hi Elder and Sister Howerton - what great photos and inside look at your life there. I can just imagine how hard it will be to leave. You are an inspiration to us at home and those in Daegu. Proud to know you. Our prayers are with you and your extended family! Karin & Jim