Thursday, 15 September 2011

Family & Friends of Missionaries - This One's for YOU!!

I'm sure this is one blog all family and friends of our missionaries will love....

Tuesday of this week (September 13, 2011) Elder Howerton and I joined our zone missionaries as we all took the train for a 1.5 hour ride to Busan. It was an extended Pday, as it was a holiday in Korea. Called Chusok, it's similar to our Thanksgiving. A 'national' holiday meaning it's celebrated by all Koreans - most everything is closed - and missionaries are not permitted to proselyte. President and Sister Gilbert invited the missionaries to come to Busan for a day of fun and activities. Prior to this wonderful day, we had a Mission Tour here in Deagu. We have pictures to show from that event as well.

As there are several pictures, this will be an ALL missionary blog! The first group will be pictures from our zone Mission Tour, the 2nd group as you'll see, will cover the Chusok festivities.

Elder Howerton and Elder Allen. One aviator and one hopeful aviator! Elder Allen is very interested in an Air Force career and becoming a pilot. Elder Howerton enjoyed an Army career of flying helicopters (or Choppers as they typically say) in both Vietnam and in Korea....

Elder Claflin and Elder ChoiJaeWan. I get such a kick out of ChoiJaeWan... look closely and you'll see there is no glass in his glasses! He says it makes him look cute! He's cute already!!

Elder Gee.... back in our area again.... Wheeee...... 

Elder Schultz donning his new Korean haircut.... he said it may also be his LAST Korean haircut! Many of the missionaries purchase clipper sets and trim each other's hair. He's seriously considering that purchase and if you know Elder Schultz it takes a lot to separate him from his money. Of course everyone's teasing him that he's now perfect for the military!

Elder Goodman, who we don't get to see much anymore :-(   with our District Leader, Elder Olsen.

Sister Oaks - who deserted us!.... and her new companion, Sister Mecham. We miss having sister missionaries in our Suseong District. While at the Seoul Temple last week we ran into Sister Oaks' aunt who volunteers her time at the temple. She lives in Korea and is a professor at one of the universities here. Sister Oaks has a brother, also serving his mission in Korea; in Seoul.... what a family! Sister Meacham just came here recently and she is doing so well!

Elder Arnell, in the middle, suggested this picture! Elder Memmott on the left and Elder Chandler on the right. 3 giant men in the gospel. Arnell may not be as tall physically as the others but as I tell him; good things come in small packages! You would love them. All 3 are such devoted and dedicated missionaries. It's a pleasure to know them and to call them friends.

Elder Cahoon, fairly new to our area. We're glad to have him here!

One of our great zone leaders; Elder Babcock! He's a jewel. Leads by wisdom, patience, and love. We believe he has many Christ-like attributes.

Elder ChoiJaeWon again practicing singing with Elder Bagley playing the piano.

Elder Hoskins and Elder SonYoungBae, his companion. You can only imagine how great these 2 are! We are so blessed to have the great young missionaries in our area.

Elder Harman. He's setting records on gathering names and numbers! Great dedicated elder. Then he opens his mouth to sing and you feel as if you're in the presence of angels.

Here's the reason why everyone is working so hard! President and Sister Gilbert. What a wonderful couple and such love for the missionaries. They absolutely lead by example! Sister Gilbert, who speaks hardly any Korean, went on 'exchanges' one day with some sister missionaries and was able to get 5 contacts in under one hour! (Contacts is to acquire someone's name and phone number to contact further after their short street meeting.) She simply says hello and urges the sister missionaries to translate for her! Not have the sisters take over, but literally translate what she says. She's a delight. I don't believe she knows a stranger. So, do you think she believes that ALL missionaries can do that ?!

What a blessing to be taught that day by Elder Michael T. Ringwood, member of the First Quorum of the Seventy. Elder Ringwood along with his beautiful wife both gave such inspired talks. It was truly a blessed day of being edified. We were so pleased to meet them and share in their wonderful teachings. This is a beautiful added blessing of serving a senior mission.....are you listening out there?

This Mission Tour was such a great day. Everyone left uplifted, ready to move mountains. We sincerely thank the Gilbert's and Elder and Sister Ringwood for all they did for us.

OK.... Chusok! Here's the pictures. I will comment on some as I go along but mostly I will simply put in the pictures. I know each of you know who you're looking for!! Enjoy; we did!!!!!!!

 OK, so you have to start with us! Every zone wore T-shirts. Different colors for different zones. It was fun to do and really something to see, especially to watch so many colors mixed; hugging and laughing. It was obvious to all that everyone loves coming to these events and seeing old companions, old friends, and sharing another special day together in their missionary life.

The sisters on the other hand were studying..... at least until the rhythm of the train got to Sister Mecham....

 Trips to Busan are interesting.... first the train, next the subway. Elder Gee and Elder Schultz waiting for someone to come by. As it was Chusok, the subway was almost empty; that's a sight in it self!

Our great zone leaders, Elder Babcock and his companion, Elder Jung. It was Elder Jung that designed our t-shirts. We think he did a great job! Obviously, it must have wore him out!

Elder Arnell talking the gospel.... Elder ChoiJaeWon listening but not interrupting. Elder Arnell has the language down! He gave her a pass-a-long card....

Just as we arrived at the stake center where they were holding the event, we ran into this group heading to McDonald's!! Sister LeeYeJeong had to show us their zone hoodies. Very nice but a little too warm for me... it was HOT that day and hotter as the day went on.

 2 of the greatest smilers around; Elder Wade (we sure miss him) and Elder Arnell.

Elder Michael Kim! He was here on his first assignment coming out of the MTC and we haven't seen much of him since. He looks great!

Elder Struhs who's Elder Wade's companion. Ready for a day of fun!

NEW senior missionaries!! Elder and Sister Carpenter. They arrived a couple months ago now and they're assigned to the Busan area, serving in the office of President Gilbert. They replaced the Bagley's - who we ALL miss!!! They are learning well and getting familiar with Korea.

Busan Zone!! Red Shirts.

 Shilla Zone!! Grey Hoodies!

Gyoengnam Zone!! Blue Shirts!

Gyeongbuk Zone!! Orange shirts!

It kept Elder and Sister Gilbert busy all day just changing shirts!! I had to catch a picture of them in our shirt, of course... They changed to different zone colors - as good parents they couldn't play favorites!!!!!!!!

Instructions and lessons are given to the group by various zone leaders. 

 An inspired idea from the Gilbert's.... prior to us meeting for Chusok, each missionary had been given a name of another missionary. They were to take that name and write a letter to that missionary, without divulging who it was from. This was the most quiet time of the day. Each missonary was instructed to open the letter they'd just been given and to read it. For many it was a wonderful moment. Words of encouragment, love, personal thoughts, etc. It's something to keep with them and reread as needed to help them along their missionary path.

This is an interesting picture and one that surprised us! The above group is our donge. Dong E.... the way it's pronounced, I have zero idea of the spelling! It means we all came at the same time (give or take a day or two) but we were at the MTC together getting ready for this mission. We are serving 18 months as are the sisters. Of course the elders serve 2 years so they will not come home at the same time as us. Elder Howerton and I were actually amazed as we didn't know there were that many there. Of course there's about 2400 missionaries the MTC at any one time, but in the short 10 days we were there we never ran into anyone that was going to South Korea... and look; 17 of us!

Are you tired of looking at missionaries yet? Well, those above were from my camera.... here's the ones from Elder Howerton's camera.... We wanted to ensure the families at home saw as many as we could provide. Some may look like a duplicate, but I'm adding his anyway.....

Elder and Sister Allred on the left, another new senior missionary couple next to Elder and Sister Carpenter

Getting ready to head home. Great day had by all. The t-shirts were a hit, the fellowship was the best, and the amazing feeling of being surrounded by God's army is second to none. What a blessing! I hope you enjoy picking out your son/daughter or family/friend. We have been doing other things besides being with the missionaries but these couple of days was quite special for us. The Gilbert's were tired, I'm sure. We hopped on the train and rode into Daegu, got off our stop and took a taxi home and collapsed! Our younger cohorts rode to the next station and took the subway home.... too long for us older missionaries!

I pray you can feel the energy of these young missionaries. What an absolute blessing to be here in South Korea. 3 transfers left for us; where has the time gone?!!! Of course we'll be glad to get home and see OUR kids and grandkids! well as some 'adopted' grandkids returned now from their missions that we'll be wanting to see! We're not ready to leave yet.... lots to do, both with the missionaries and with our military branch. Pray for a replacement couple for us! There's too much to do here, too many wonderful people to meet, to service along side with, for some couple NOT to follow us! Mission goal; build a temple in Busan!! That's the goal of the missionaries and they are hard at work to make it happen. Wonderful things are happening here, the church is moving forward by leaps and bounds. It's hard to describe what it's like to be here when it's all going the way it is. YOU can find out for yourself.... maybe not Korea, but senior couples are needed all over the world (including the United States!).... Thanks for your time. We love you all.


  1. Thanks for posting of the missionaries! We especially liked to see our son/brother, Elder Memmott, looking happy and healthy!

  2. Great photos. It's great to see so many Elders and Sisters who have served in the CP Walker Branch.

  3. Loved seeing all the pictures and what the missionaries in the Busan Mission are doing. It was exciting to see our son Elder Hoskins happy and well. Thanks again.