Tuesday, 31 May 2011

More May 2011

Well, nothing like starting a new blog with a picture of a Golden Idol..... The #1 religion in Korea is Buddhism and May is when they celebrate his birthday. Quite an event; parades, days of work off, evening celebrations as well as day events. They hang what I call Chinese/Japanese Lanterns all around any and all of the Buddhist's Temples in the area. It's very colorful and festive. This particular one is in front of one of the Buddhist Temples in Daegu.

Elder Wade is standing next to a float carrying a dragon that will be a part of one of the parades. They will cover the vehicle when they are ready to move.

On the right are some of the lanterns I mentioned. Very pretty at night all lit up! This is a pretty long dragon....

One of the ladies helping set everything up asked Elder Wade to have a seat at the wheel.....

Just before the float of the dragon was this float holding these beautiful bejeweled white elephants.

Along the sidewalks where people were starting to choose their places to catch the parade, the local growers were getting their vegetables lined up to sell. Beautiful home-grown vegetables!

I had pictures before from an 28th story apartment building. This one is better.... we are on the 55th floor! One of the Korean members of the Daegu International Womens Association held a luncheon/meeting in her beautiful new apartment. This is looking down the road from her place to the mountains.

Now this one was even hard for me to take.... 55 stories straight down! That's a long way down there.

Interesting shot..... the adjacent building to her apartment.... and we're looking at the TOP of the building at the helicopter landing pad! This was as high as I'd personally care to be. All I could think of was the movie entitled 'The Towering Inferno'.... anyone remember that one?!

Now this Elder Howerton thought was pretty neat! As this was a womens function he was not able to be there so I shot the picture thinking he'd enjoy.... he did.  When you don't know what else to do with a patio or balcony you may get an idea from these folks!

Inside her beautiful apartment. They moved in just about 2 months ago and were some of the first ones in the building. One of their bedrooms they've turned into a 'music room' for their 2 children. They had the walls of the room sound proofed. It was a lovely room with a Baby Grand piano. Her son plays the piano, her daughter plays the violin. Now these children go to an 'Arts' school of some sort. Remember, in Korea they can attend school up to about 10-12 hours a day. Then they come home and practice..... Her son is about 10 and her daughter is in high school. They play anywhere from 3-4 hours per day while at school, plus all the school studies, then home for more...

3 lovely ladies in the association. They all do a lot of community service and projects.

A good picture of an extremely upper-crust kitchen in this beautiful apartment. Notice the stove/oven. That's very unusual for most Korean apartments! This was truly a first class place. I can only imagine the cost. Most of these newer and more modern apartments are not rented as we think of it. They 'purchase' by giving a LARGE sum of money (can be upwards of $200K or more) to the owner/landlord. If that amount doesn't pay it in full I don't know how they work that out - but for the most part the large sum covers the price. Then while the people are living there the owner/landlord invests the money. In good times especially this can be quite advantageous for the owner/landlord. Now let's say the people decide to move in several years. They receive their money back from the owner/landlord, in full, and move on. The owner/landlord keeps whatever he's made off of their money in that time and turns around and does the same thing again.....

She had some wonderful food for us. The chunks in front are sweet yams. Wings on the right and dumplings on the left. In the center is the infamous Kimchi. It takes some getting used to; pretty spicy. Chicken salad sandwiches on the upper right. A transparent noodle dish and to the further left is Kimbap. It's seaweed with rice, veggies, etc, on the inside, rolled and sliced. Koreans love it. Watermelon on the far left, much more recognizable.....

The pretty lady standing is the owner of the apartment, and our hostess. The lady sitting is Kim, Myung-Sun. She is an artist and is holding an invitation to her Grand Opening of her work at a local art gallery in Daegu. She truly paints beautiful pictures, mostly flowers and arrangements.

As I felt fairly confident I would not be able to purchase one of her canvas paintings, I asked if she'd mind signing my invitation. She was actually pleased.... she told me it made her feel like a celebrity! The invitation itself is pretty enough to frame.

It was getting close to Brittney Burnett and baby Amber leaving for the states. Sister Burnett had a large group of missionaries over for dinner along with our fairly-new convert, Bro. Eems for a farewell dinner for them. Brother Eems brought Brittney a T-shirt from one of the universities in Daegu and some beautiful flowers for CJ.

Here's Amber with Uncle Jared. We miss you both Brittney!!

The Burnett's are a great military family that supports the missionaries so well. We love them and are so thankful for all they have done.

What a wonderful way to end another blog; a baptism!! Our newest Sister; ShaKeia Dunn. Brother RJ Gordon baptized her. She has been in a previous blog along with RJ. He is a Sergeant 1st Class and ShaKeia was introduced to the church by him and his wife, Serina.  ShaKeia worked for him and started asking questions about the church.

Here are the two along with Serina Gordon. The Gordon's are such a wonderful couple and family. Bro. Gordon is now our new 2nd Counselor in our branch. They take missionary work very seriously. We are honored to call them friends as well as brothers and sisters in the gospel.

ShaKeia with Sister Chon on the left. Next to her is Sister Oaks and on the far right is Sister Cramer. All 3 of these wonderful sisters spent a lot of time and teaching with ShaKeia and they, as well as all of us, fell in love with her. It's such a blessing to have been a part of all of this!

Our turn for pictures with Bro. Gordon and Sister Dunn. It's interesting..... as ShaKeia was asking all of her questions, Bro. Gordon mentioned he was attending a class (Institute on the D&C) that Elder Howerton and I are holding. ShaKeia asked if she could come? Well, sure.... but, he informed her, it's not a typical Bible class - or even studying the Book of Mormon class.... it was more 'in-depth'.... she said fine! She so came. I never saw anyone take more notes, or seemed to absorb everything that was said, than ShaKeia has! What a student she is! We know that's not the 'normal' way we would teach a new investigator but she loved it and we didn't want to say no. It turned out to be a beautiful thing. The Lord knows when someone is ready and what they can handle. He knows ShaKeia well - and now we're pleased to say we do also.

There is more yet for the month of May! We have pictures and topics about a trip Elder Howerton and I took to Seoul and further north.... where we were able to partake of the infamous DMZ tour. A ballgame in Korea, and more to share! Stay tuned, I'll add shortly.

Again, thanks for taking the time to read and follow our time in Korea. We love our mission and can't imagine what our life would be like if we weren't here.... oh, we'd have our grandkids and that would be wonderful. We do miss them, but being on a full-time mission for the Lord is still the best thing one (or a couple) could do. We thank Heavenly Father every day and night for this opportunity. The families we've met, the missionaries, the Koreans, and our experiences, we simply cherish it all. We need to contact Salt Lake and see what else is available...... thanks again, we love each and every one of you!!

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