Our first Mission Tour and Zone Conferences and Bugs!

Monday, September 15

We have had a busy week!  Tuesday we were busy cleaning up from the Chuseok 5K run activity we had with the missionaries.  Well, we weren’t doing lots of clean up from that as much as we were trying to NOW get caught up with our own cleaning and organizing.  Elder and Sister Aoyagi (he is a counselor in the Asia North Area Presidency) came to tour our mission.  Dad and I picked them up at the airport.  On our way out of the airport (paying the parking fee) we saw a poster saying Smile Patrol, that I pointed out to the Aoyagi’s.  We had been sent a copy of Sister Aoyagi’s talk that she would be giving in English as the assistants and each of us would be having a part in her presentation.  But the points she made about missionary works were: to Smile, the Book of Mormon (keep it in your hand to give away), and to Push (work hard).  We came home from the airport to a nice meal Sister Lee had made for us.  I say nice because Sister Lee tries hard to make meals that she likes to make but also that I will eat (she has noticed that I don’t like to eat mushrooms or seafood).  She made some seafood (which means the smell of that permeates our home for days before and after the meal) and some beef ribs (but the Korean beef ribs are tiny, thin, little things with the bone still in—interesting way of soaking the beef to draw out the blood before cooking them).

What was fun to see was Elder Aoyagi presenting Ben with a boxed treat—of cigars.  Not actual cigars (which he kept referring to as cigarettes) but delicate little cookies shaped like cigars—like Pepperidge Farm cookies called Pirouette Rolled Wafers without the filling.  I think it’s funny that because we have Ben with us the visiting authorities try hard to be fun.  Who would have thought a general authority would bring “cigars”?  Or when Elder Whiting visited he sat in the back of the car with Ben as we traveled and they talked about the latest and greatest cars they liked.  When I asked him how he knew the most recent released models he said he travels on planes so much and sees them in magazines.

We had the assistants come over after dinner to go over the agenda for the mission tour/zone conferences.  This is our first mission tour and zone conferences!  We don’t know how it’s supposed to go EXACTLY so it was good to discuss everything.  There were changes that needed to take place, still more work to do that night.

Wednesday morning I got up early so I could make muffins before Ben had to go to school and then for our breakfast before we had to drive almost two hours.  We pulled up to the church building (the Aoyagi’s kept saying comments about what small roads there are in Korea—compared to what they have in Japan, “My goodness-you are a very good driver” to Dad, etc) and parked in the back parking lot.  But the back door was locked.  We had to hike around the building to get to the front side and finally were able to go inside.  The office elders forgot the translation equipment so they had to drive back to the mission office (two hour drive).  Sister Aoyagi was so cute and fun and funny.  Before climbing up the steps to the chapel she felt like telling me about the time her stake president called her to be the stake YW president, even though her husband had just been called (but not announced) to be as a Seventy/General Authority.  Ask me about that story when you come home.

The feeling from each zone was so different.  It’s hard to explain.  Dad spoke in the morning session, and then Elder Aoyagi.  We took a picture as a zone and then ate lunch.  After lunch I was the first speaker.  Each zone I started off my comments personally, then went into my talk.  I spoke about Abish.  I think I sent you that talk a long time ago.  I would have used it for a stake conference Saturday night talk…but then something happened and I spoke about something else.  Then I would have used it again at another stake conference Saturday night session. But then something else happened and I spoke about something else.  Heavenly Father was just saving this talk for me to use in this conference.  It went along with the request for the mission tour preparations Abish was on the list at the first zone conference, but not on the second zone’s list.  The second day of zone conferences it was easier for me to feel the Spirit as if the missionaries were more in tune.  The third day was the hardest to feel something.  There were beautiful musical numbers presented, but the Spirit wasn’t easily felt.  After more teaching and instruction from Elder Aoyagi the missionaries seemed to absorb what he had to teach.  The Aoyagi’s continually told us what wonderful missionaries we have, how lucky we were.  They were fun to have in our home for three days.

Sister Aoyagi had Dad, Elder Aoyagi, both the assistants and me stand up on the stand (while all the missionaries stood up where they were sitting) to help her lead the missionaries in a hymn, Put Your Should To The Wheel (Push Along).  We stood with our feet shoulder width apart, hands stretched out in front of us to the side, crouch down in a stance (think of doing the football stance with moving your feet super fast), then sing while moving up and down while “pushing” our hands out in front of us to alternating sides, then gently pounding on the person’s shoulder next to you, switch to the other person’s shoulder, then pound your own back, and so forth.  I don’t think anyone could believe we were actually doing this!  We all just laughed and had fun with it.

Wednesday night we came home to a delicious dinner made by Sister Lee.  I think we were all so tired and hungry.  We had Brother Ahn, the Aoyagi’s translator come for dinner at our home, too.  Brothe Ahn is from Korea, served his mission in Japan, and just recently graduated from BYU Hawaii.  So he was able to translate from Japanese (especially for Sister Aoyagi—Elder Aoyagi can speak some English), to English, and also from Korean (when the Korean missionaries would answer a question during the meetings).  When Brother Ahn walked in the front door and around the corner he saw the stuffed alligator moving (Ben had his foot underneath it and was just moving a little bit) and thought it was real!  We have had so much fun seeing the look of surprise on peoples faces as they first see that toy alligator.  Sister Aoyagi was excited to ask Sister Lee for her recipe for the beef ribs from the night before.  She was excited to share with me a syrup recipe she received from one of the other mission president’s wives recently (it reminds me of the syrup Aunt Tricia liked from Magleby’s Fresh)…although it is difficult to communicate from Japanese to English—but we make due.  So Thursday morning I made German Pancakes (thank you Shanna!) and the syrup Sister Aoyagi liked for breakfast.  It was fun to have Sister Lee come into our home to start working on lunch—but first to sit down and try the pancakes and syrup.  Gotta have some fun with all this!  And that reminds me of sitting on the stand for HOURS!  Even Sister Aoyagi was happy when I pulled out a ziplock bag of Starburst, and also doing leg stretches while her husband talked.

Thursday night we brought along a missionary to dinner at a Chinese restaurant, with us, as he was going home the next morning.  When we took him to the train stain early Friday morning and waited with him on the platform, then said goodbye…who can say they were sent off home by a general authority?  I think the voyage’s enjoyed it the most.

Friday morning we had to leave early for the train station and then for zone conference.  As soon as the conference meeting was over the assistants had to rush the Aoyagi’s to the train stain, on their way to Seoul.  Dad had missionaries to interview.  I cleaned up the chapel in preparation for the next day meetings of stake conference.  Ben got on the subway right after school to travel to the train station to take the KTX (Korea Travel Express??) up to where we were.  Dad and I drove over to the missionary military couple’s apartment and went on base to an American football high school game.  We bought dinner at the concessions stand paying with Korean Wan (money) and receiving American Dollars in change…it looked so strange to us!  We had to think for a minute what to do with the change…not for long.  We bought a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup!  It’s been months since we’ve had one of those.  Ben’s train came in not that late so we saw just about a quarter of the football game before heading off to the train station.  We spent the night with the missionary couple.  Ben walked over to the chapel where the youth gathered to take a chartered bus ride up to Seoul (about 3 1/2 hours ride) for a youth activity amongst all the military youth in Korea.  They played get to know you games, ate lunch (American food!) on the military base, and had a spiritual message before getting on the bus for a long ride back.

While Ben was traveling and up in Seoul Dad and I saw the outdoor market in Daegu, saw a Buddhist temple, saw some Korean military equipment from the Korean War era, took a cable car up to the lookout observation platform on Apsan, that overlooks all of Daegu, and then prepared to speak at the Saturday night session of the Daegu Stake Conference.  Ben came into the meeting at the back and sat down by the assistants.  After all that meeting and what all Dad has to do we all (the assistants traveled back with us in our car) arrived back home late…and had to get up early the next day to travel to the Changwan Stake Conference.  I keep my short talks with me in my bag.  There was some mix up with the different translators so I had to give my Saturday night talk again on Sunday morning instead of what I would have given.  Saturday night was sweet…the translator was emotional as was I.  Maybe because she told me later her sister will be leaving soon for her mission to New Zealand.  What a different feeling on Sunday morning!!

After the Sunday morning session we ate a lunch the stake president organized.  At the same time a baptism was happening right across the hallway.  I was able to slip in after lunch, as the baptism was taking place, and then to share my testimony.  I love going to baptisms!  You can always feel the Spirit strongly, even if you don’t know the person well.  Dad had more meetings with the stake president…and then we could drive home.  A staff meeting that night.  Wow!  Long week!

Today Dad and I went to Costco and spent lots of money for this next transfer meeting one week from today.  We won’t be able to shop later this week as we need to go to Jeju Island for district conference.  Dad leaves Thursday for more meetings.  After Ben gets out of school on Friday he and I will fly over there together.  We won’t get back until Sunday night and then the next morning is when the Transfer Meeting is with missionaries going home.  I better prepare my talks earlier rather than later!

Dad, Elder Aoyagi, Sister Aoyagi, and Brother Ahn standing at the train station right after Elder Campbell said goodbye and is traveling up to Seoul to attend the temple before flying home.

Dad crouching down by a cart of bugs. I don't know what kind they are.  The vendor woman would not get in the picture.  Just 10 feet away was another cart and vendor woman who didn’t want her picture taken either.

At the market we walked down the aisle where pigs parts were being sold.  The lady in the background had trays of pigs skin pieces she was selling. Another vendor lady was insistent that we try/taste the pig skin.  I  took a toothpick and skewered my own tiny piece barely nibbling on it and letting Dad try the rest of it.  Sister Fairhurst, the military missionary coupe skewered a larger piece.  It was soft from being soaked in sesame oil.  It was slimy feeling, mushy.  But I was surprised at how clean the area must have been because there weren’t any bugs flying around the shops. There was a bucket just around the corner where they were soaking pig heads in water (gross, spooky, erie like a scary movie), before putting them on display like the one Dad is crouched beside.  I don't know if you can see but they pin the ears back with clothes pins. The next aisle over chicken parts were on display.

These are two of the four statues at the entrance of a Buddhist temple we saw on Saturday as we were site seeing with the Fairhursts, the military missionary couple in Daegu.  Sister Fairhurst said that each Buddhist temple has four statues guarding the temple.  Each of the four statues has a different expression on its face.  I don't remember what was in each of their hands but each was holding something different.

The other guarding statues.  I think it's fun to see their expressions and what they are holding.

I like the bright colors used to paint the ceiling.  I wonder how long it took to paint along with all the carvings?

This reminded me of the dragon in Mulan.  The steps up to the temple.

Chuseok, the Korean Thanksgiving/Harvest Festival!

Monday, September 8

This is a picture of Ben running the 5K course we chose to race earlier today.  Today is P-Day for the missionaries.  It is also Chuseok, a national 3 day holiday, the harvest festival.  It follows the lunar calendar, on the 15th day of the 8th month, so it is not always held on the same day year after year, such as Christmas which is always on December 25.  It’s not like the American Thanksgiving which is held on the fourth Thursday of November each year.  Today is the official holiday with the day before and the day after as part of the holiday.  Chuseok started during the Gabae (third reign of kingdom?) during 57BC-AD935.  Back then there were festivals that had contests such as weaving/for a month.  The team that wove the most fabric during the month won.  There were archery and martial art competitions, too.  That is not known/mentioned today.  But the people do gather as families, traveling to an older relative’s home.  It was a time to visit ancestral hometowns.  So we invited our missionaries to come together at the mission office.  If they already had a Chuseok invitation they did not need to come here with us.  We had about 72 missionaries come, change clothes, and then we all walked over to the walking path for our run.  The path is down below the street level, so during the flooding water reached all the way to the top of the areas that are covered (a short segment of tunnel under some of the subway line).  The path follows a creek/drainage area that has different stops along the way with exercise equipment (think of the exercise stations near LA Fitness back behind where the Moline family lives-mostly grandparent age people use these machines).  There are basketball goalposts that are still down from the flooding, along with downed nets for badminton.  There are a few bushes/flower gardens along the way, too.  We had it set up to where the missionaries ran 1.55 miles down the pathway, crossed over one of the bridges, and ran back to the finish/near where we started.

Sister Bowcutt was at the beginning of the race, the one who said “Go!"  She was also at the end of the race with a stopwatch to call out people’s times.  I think she said my time was about 48:54, bringing up the last of the walkers/runners.  I didn’t really run the race.  At the second of the bridges that crossed over I crossed (instead of crossing later on where the turnaround was) so that I could take pictures of the runners on the other side.

Sister Bowcutt had water bottles and homemade muffins for all the finishers.  I made the muffins over the past few days.  Elder Suter ordered me some muffin pans since we couldn’t find any in the mission home.  Then I started trying new recipe (ones I had in my recipe box, links Kenzie sent me to try, others that I found on line).  I kept some recipes and threw others out.  It’s interesting trying to adapt recipes with the ingredients that can be found.  Now I know a little more what we like.

We plan on gathering again, October 3, for the next holiday (when Korea was founded-way long ago when it was one Korea) to run again.  We told the missionaries to listen for their times and when we run again we will try to beat our times.

Dad is in the green shirt.  He is amazing!  Dad woke up early (like he always does) and ran 12 miles, before he ran in this fun run 5K.  He started at the back of the pack of runners, cheering on the sister missionaries who were walking.  Then he worked his way up to the front, encouraging all along the way.  The first sister missionary to finish came in behind Dad with a 25:00 time.  Not bad Dad!

A recently returned missionary sister in our ward wore this beautiful traditional Korean dress that her mother made (her mother is standing with her) to church yesterday.  I thought there would be more people dressed in the traditional dress, but this was the only one.  I was happy to take her picture before church started in case we got held up talking to others afterward.  The bishop announced that we would be having Fast and Testimony Meeting, only, because of the holiday.

More about the Holiday, etc…..We had about 72 missionaries gather at the mission office/chapel to celebrate.  They came from all over, dressed in their missionary clothes, so then they had to change into exercise clothes.  Dad and I walked ahead to the park/trail/walkway to make sure things were set up.  The office couple were there already in place.  Elder Bowcutt rode a bike down to the turn around/half way spot while Sister Bowcutt handled the start and finish of the race.

The soghees (office elders) set up the water, muffins, table, banner, etc along with getting the bike and Elder Bowcutt situated.  They did lots of running back and forth.  Surprisingly they ran in the race well.  We did have one missionary get sick, maybe from the heat combined with the running and extra stuff.  One of our assistants ran the race well.  But after the race the assistants and office elders started running back to where the mission van was parked to hustle back to the mission office parking lot to start cooking the meat for lunch.  Before they got to the van the assistant vomited, continued running but didn’t turn when the others turned.  He just kept running, jumped a fence, said later he didn’t know what he was doing/didn’t feel like he had any control of himself/couldn’t clearly remember what happened.  Somehow the other missionaries got him back to the mission home (along with Dad’s help) to lie down on the living room floor there.  We elevated his legs and feet with cushions from the couches, put a cool wet towel on his head, cranked the A/C down, had him take sips of cold water then Gatorade, slowly ate a few crackers to get some salt in him (his leg muscles were cramping in front and in back), then slowly ate a few grapes.  He slowly started remembering/talking like normal.  I showed him a few of the pictures I took—but he couldn’t remember anybody’s names.  I asked him to sit up to take a sip of water—but he didn’t seem to comprehend what I was saying right away.  It was weird and scary.  After some time he went back outside to where all the other missionaries were playing games (board games, basketball, volleyball, badminton) while others were cooking the meat on the grill (pork like thick slabs of bacon that they grill then cut with scissors-fat is way more desirable than what we would want in America-roll up the meat with rice, onions, and red spicy sauce in a lettuce leaf), but his legs were kind of wobbly.  Overall the activity was lots of fun and successful…besides the scary part with one of our assistants.  Remember to DRINK LOTS!

Another part of Chuseok was a dinner invitation we had Sunday night with the assistants and the office elders.  Elder Min is a Korean so he knows all about this holiday, as opposed to me who doesn’t.  So I guess Elder Min decided to cook traditional Korean foods for Chuseok, which he told us a number of times that he was doing that, until we finally had Ben ask if that meant he was inviting us over to share in his meal.  Sometimes the art of an invitation gets lost in the translation.  Anyway, we had a great dinner last night that Elder Min prepared.  The other missionaries either helped cut up foods or set up the table and chairs along with the tableware upstairs in the church, while Elder Min did the cooking.  He made two kinds of soup—one is soybean (a thin broth with tofu and I don’t know what else in it) and a dumpling type soup with some Spam, dumplings, thin broth, etc.  Kimchee pancake thingies—even made one without shrimp for me, jopje (I’m not sure of the name but it has clear noodles with cut up vegetables and egg and stuff—it’s the STUFF that I never know what it is that surprises me), Spam with onions fried, rice, kimchee, maybe something else.  It was good, as good as fried Spam can be…but it all tastes even better than it probably did because the missionaries made it with love for us.  They are wonderful missionaries.  We had good conversation going around the table answering how a mission has blessed our lives, how it has blessed other’s lives (I guess I was thinking that when we serve others-maybe starting out with not the best attitude- that as things progress we see that the person receiving the most blessings is us!).  They all had great answers.

Earlier in the afternoon one of the stake presidents had meetings with Dad.  He stopped by our home beforehand to give us a box of Bae-Korean pears.  It reminded me of each year when LE Simmons gives Dad/us a box of grapefruit for the holidays.  What a treat!  That was a fun surprise.  Also, Saturday night the man in charge of the FM (Facilities Management) group and his returned missionary daughter (Eugjin) stopped by with some traditional Korean food for us for Chuseok.  Her mother made breaded pork medallions, breaded sweet potatoes, and breaded zucchini.  She made these puffed rice (look like the size of Puffed Cheetos) thingies that are honey coated and rolled in something.  Also some rice cakes thingies—well they call them rice cakes but it’s nothing like a cake.  Anyway, people here have been very generous and sweet to us.

On Saturday we had another MLCM with our zone leaders and sister training leaders.  We had a MLCM two weeks ago and we set this one up to follow up with the challenge to comeback with ideas on how we can increase teaching opportunities.  Our numbers have been down/frustrating/stagnant…I know that the numbers aren’t the most important thing but here’s an example to give you an idea of what we mean.  At this meeting one of the sister training leaders mentioned that we need to increase our expectations of everyone we meet.  She mentioned that at the service project in the park cleaning up debris we had lots of missionaries there, there were lots of people there, the opportunities were there, but maybe we just didn’t think that was the time to find people to teach.  Maybe we thought they wouldn’t be interested.  Maybe we limited ourselves.  It made me think of a portion of Sister S. Hulet’s letter she wrote to her sons both serving missions of a missionary letter she read: 

The last one I read talked about him going to the temple with the Sisters and Elders serving in his area.  Once in the temple, the missionaries no longer wore their name tag but instead “became like one of us”.  He got to thinking about how so often, he thinks that the temple work is his duty, and missionary work is their duty.  Yet, there in the temple, the missionaries were doing the same work as him.  He realized he should be doing the same work as the missionaries!  (that was a rough summary).  After reading the article, I started thinking too!  Ya know, the missionaries here in our area have a goal to invite 25 people a day!!!!  B’s goal is to invite 20 people a day!!!  What if I was to invite or at least talk about the gospel to just ONE non-member every day?!!!  Umm…Well, my friend and I talked about it and decided to give it a try.  I’m some days kinda failing.  I had fears that I’d be accosting people at Walmart or the gym every day.  It’s sorta true, but ya know what?  Almost every time I went out the week before, I was given the opportunity to at least “mention” the church.  Sadly, there were times I skirted the topic and then later wanted to kick myself.  I told the family and the Sister Missionaries about my goal.  T. decided to do it too and guess what!  He brought up church (by mentioning you guys) to his friends at lunch!  Pretty cool huh!!  And tonight K. told me that she has been taking on the challenge and has been talking about church in some way every day this week.  Guess what!  I have succeeded 4 out of 5 days this week!  We’re taking small and simple steps and working to make them bigger! 

One of the office elders had his birthday on Friday so I made Rocky Road Fudge Bars to celebrate.  I have found that everything tastes a little different here.  If I try a new recipe then I’m ok with it.  But if I make something from before then I get a little disappointed or my expectations just haven’t been met/hard to explain.  But for dinner that night Dad, Ben, and I tried a new restaurant that we think all of you will like.  First of all, we sat at a table in a booth…with our feet dangling down rather than Indian style with our ankles rubbing on the floor and our legs falling asleep.  A huge pan of broth was set before us over a heating element, with bunches of leaves and vegetables and then meat to be put inside to cook, incrementally.  The hostess who seated us came by to show us how it’s done.  It was fun, plopping in meat and stuff a portion at a time.  Then a later stage we put in these noodles and skinny long mushroom thingies.  Then when we thought we were all done she brought out some rice (I had even commented that we hadn’t been served rice with our meal) and she ladles out the leftover soup type broth stuff, plopped in the rice scrapping the sides, then adding some eggs and then some broth back in to make a creamy rice dish.  We were stuffed!  That was a different experience than what we have had before.  

Wednesday during the day Egjin K. (who brought food to us Saturday) took me shopping at a big mall.  At stake conference last week she mentioned she would like to spend some time together so I asked if she knew where to buy cards—like birthday or wedding cards.  She came over to show me where to go.  We had to take the subway a few stops on the red line, then transfer on the brown line, before transferring on to the green line.  We exited inside the subway station and took the elevator upstairs all without having to go outside at all. I was surprised when Dad called to say that it had started raining again hard enough to where he thought the tunnel by our house would fill up with water again.  I didn’t hear a thing of a storm while we were inside shopping.  Eugjin and I walked through the food court area of the mall.  Everything in Korea is so fascinating and different from what I’ve experienced in America.  The way the shops set up their foods is different yet one way is not right and the other is not wrong.  We could watch while foods were being prepared behind a glass barrier…yet no smells were all around us (think of First Colony Mall Food Court with the smells of pizza baking and Chinese food cooking and McDonald’s fries smell in the air.  But then going around another corner where the people sit down with their food all the aromas seemed to hit us.

Monday night of last week we were invited to the former stake president’s house for dinner with the assistants and the office elders, and a companionship of sister missionaries met us there.  The best of the foods missionaries could want to eat was all prepared for us.  People are so kind and generous.  Wow!  Food is a big deal with the members here.  We drove up incredibly steep hills/roads to where this family lives.  The view from their apartment over the city is amazing.  Life was so different back at home.  The weather here has been great…it will be difficult to endure 95-103 plus degree heat when we go back to Houston in three years.

Mormon Helping Hands/Latter-Day Saints Helping Hands T-Shirts of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Wednesday, September 3

Here are different styles of the Mormon Helping Hands shirts/vests. The one on the left is a different fabric from the one second from the right.

The one on either side of Dad say the same as what Dad’s shirt says: Mormon Helping Hands,  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The white vest says: Latter Day Saints Helping Hands.

Dad and I brought our Helping Hands shirts from home when we helped with hurricane relief back in Texas…many years ago. I think the concept started back in 2005 with Hurricane Rita/Katrina. The church made these shirts to distribute to volunteers who helped. After some time the Church started making vests that could be used/reused by volunteers. 

Dad and I worked on this line of bushes that was further along the park trail than at the beginning. When we started working on it we didn't realize how long it would take to uncover the bushes from the muck. The bushes were very heavy so Dad would go on the back side and lift them up from being flattened against the rocks. We would shake them and pick out debris. We were finally able to lift them upright and they would stand on their own. We think they will survive.

Elder moving debris.

A huge toad found that looked like an evil monster from a science fiction movie.

The first picture is of the machetes used, handed out by the man in charge. He gave the machetes to the elders telling them that they could use them; bending over their backs since they have short handles. He gave out rakes to the sisters to use. Some rakes were more like hoes which caught in the grass/difficult to use.

At the beginning the man in charge gave the missionaries small boxes of milk and individually wrapped pastries to eat. He was rather gruff in handing out the items. It was almost like he HAD to give them something to at and drink first…in order to entice them to work. Our missionaries were there to work and have fun. They were so excited! One missionary said she hadn’t done manual labor the whole time she has been on her mission.

We have watched training video clips of (like in Hastening the Work) where it shows a man helping an older gentleman carry his garbage can to the street. The trash system here is different than that. There is a “food stuff” small red plastic can (about the size of a 5 gallon ice cream bucket—or smaller) that people put their food trash in: like peach pits, watermelon rinds, banana peels, chicken bones, etc). We have a garbage disposal in the mission home, which is RARE. I have learned to chop up banana peels and watermelon rinds to go in the disposal (after watching Lee do it).

Other video clips might show missionaries helping with yard work—but Koreans don’t have yards. Ben would not be able to find a yard to mow, here in Korea.

The second picture is of a sign found amongst the debris. The sign is from a barricade that reads Safety Number One (or Safety First).

 Powerful force knocked down this pole. Surrounded with debris.

This corner of the platform, when uncovered, had an outstretched hand sized rat hiding underneath. As I uncovered more junk it scurried about and ran out from under the platform toward me. Then it jumped into the water and swam away. I was not brave! I let out a scream! (not a shriek, or a long scream….kind of like a “I don’t want it coming near me” scream.) I was fine uncovering huge/fat worms. We were warned there may be snakes—though nobody discovered any of those.

The force of the water was powerful enough to down this light pole.

We worked to uncover the debris that gathered around the light poles. It looked like it should be so easy to uncover, but it took effort to uncover one small piece of junk at a time.

The missionaries hauling away the huge tree and debris…..looks like they are playing tug of war.  Another tree in the background with debris gathered around and stuck to it. The missionaries climbed on top of it to start the process of removing the debris from around the tree.  It was interesting to watch the missionaries solve the problem of moving a huge tree stump, with accumulated debris.

The missionaries worked on clearing debris off of this outlook/observation type platform. When talking with some of the Korean people who were at the park they said they enjoyed coming to this park to observe nature and feel close to the beauties of God. They were so sad to think that this park would never be the same. They were so grateful to see our missionaries working to clean the park up.

The first picture is of the bridge that we traveled across to arrive at this city park called SuPohWon. City officials contacted our missionaries asking them to organize a group of volunteers to help clean this city park after the recent rains and flooding. The rains happened on Monday. The missionaries were out helping neighbors into Monday night. The next day word of mouth carried the news the missionaries helped clean up the neighborhood.  The city officials called Wednesday asking for help at the park on Friday.

After a while one of the organizers of the clean up project came around and asked us not to go onto the platform as it was structurally unsound. As debris was cleared we could finally see underneath the platform; that the supporting beams were leaning/damaged.

The bushes were flattened agains rocks/laying flat, covered with debris. The water level rose up carrying the debris and then as it receded the junk clung to the bushes. The bushes were smelly and heavy with gunk.

This is a picture of Sister Shin, sister Atwood, and Sister Bowcutt—the office secretary who is serving with her husband, Elder Bowcutt. The Bowcutt’s served in the Houston Texas Mission before coming here.

Rain, Rain, and Rain

Monday, August 25

Last Wednesday Dad had some men visiting from Seoul explaining to him some of the programs, etc available to help him in the mission (he can explain better). After their morning meeting they invited me to join them for lunch. We didn’t anticipate it being a 3 hour lunch! We got a ride over with the Busan Physical Facilities man while the Seoul men followed their GPS….an extra 50 minutes out of the way! We enjoyed the food…my goodness they bring so much food out to the table. If they would warn us to save room because they were bringing out even more dishes I wouldn’t feel so bad about wasting so much food (also the food not eaten is partly because I’m not used to it. They had kimchee that was ice covered…but then they also brought out a huge bowl of noodles in ice water (and other floating things). But the best part about the lunch was that we found the right restaurant to take family and visitors. The floor looks the same as all the other restaurants, with the small pads to sit upon. But as you get down close you realize that the floor drops underneath the table so you can put your legs down below. Your ankles don’t need to be roughed up and callused and your legs don’t have to fall asleep and tingle. The man from Seoul was telling us about his mission, meeting his wife, marriage stories. All fun to hear.

After eating lunch I came back late for English class. But I enjoy it so much. This time the women were so good about talking and asking questions of the missionaries. I found out that one of the women used to take the missionary discussions from another set of missionaries some time ago. But the best part was after it finished. Mary, one of the women who regularly attends, borrowed my Lorie Line sheet music the week before, returned it and played Oh Come All Ye Faithful. It was so pretty! Then she played O Holy Night, from memory. I told her how my older son played the harmonica to that song, was coming for Christmas, and asked if she would play the piano for me. She said she would be honored. Yea! Maybe we can plan a few songs to have her play for the mission Christmas conference.

Friday was a busy day as we had MLCM (mission leadership conference meeting) in the morning, with a lunch break, and then an afternoon session, too. Sister Lee prepared bi bim bop for the lunch, for about 28 people. She really is an amazing cook. She chopped lots of different vegetables and marinated the meat for a couple of days! Then she cooked and assembled each bowl individually…and she even set aside one without mushrooms for me! She noticed that I don’t care for them so she made mine special order…she was excited and so was I! Dad had me speaking from an article in the July Liahona that I added a few different examples to…amazing how inspiration works up until the last minute.

Friday night Dad went to the airport to pick up Elder Scott D. Whiting, from the Asia North Area Presidency who was presiding at the Ulsan district conference. He is a wonderful man! It was late Friday night so I’m sure he was tired, but he came right into our living room and sat down by Ben to get to know him better. He was a little surprised when he saw the stuffed alligator so Dad had to explain where we’re from with a little about the cabin. Ben seemed to take Elder Whiting’s teasing quite well. Throughout the weekend he would joke and laugh while talking about dream cars and food, sports and school interspersed with missions and other things. He made us feel even more at home in our home.

Saturday morning Dad, Ben, and I walked/jogged to the sports center track and then back after they did a sprint workout. We made breakfast together with Elder Whiting talking and helping; teasing Dad all the while. We left around noon to drive to Ulsan for the district conference meetings in preparation for the evening session and then Sunday General session. But that meant that Ben and I had hours to spend while Dad had numerous meetings and interviews. Ben and I read together from my old Seminary manual—Doctrine and Covenants is the book of study this year. Ben had emailed the Seminary coordinator but has not heard back yet. He will be doing an online version of Seminary. We signed him up for the Sugar Land 2nd ward before we left America…but after discussion with the Busan coordinator this seems to be what is available to him; though he isn’t signed up yet.

I had a talk prepared to give Saturday night but Elder Whiting told me and Ben to be prepared to speak just on Sunday. Luckily I brought my copy of the talks with me Saturday night because my translator for Sunday came up to me and introduced herself. I had no idea who it would be but now she could study it for the next day. There was beautiful special music prepared for and presented. The choir director had a strong personality which showed in the way she directed the music…even to the congregation when they joined in singing one verse—with a strong foot stamp! I didn’t realize how wonderful it would be to see our missionaries gathered together—especially the new trainees! The talks were great. There were more interviews afterward. We drove home and got ready for bed as quickly as we could as we had been gone from home for almost 12 hours…Ben is a good sport about all this. The missionaries all love him and try to include him…so he sat with some of them while Dad and I were on the stand. It’s almost like a flashback/not really/ but remembering how it was as a young child traveling with my dad on church assignment. My siblings and I would have to speak in the small branches as Grandpa Reichenbach’s speaking companions. My sisters and I would have to sing a musical number (really my sisters would sing…I would try but wasn’t any good). I remember timing my brother’s talk…52 seconds “long”. My dad had to make up the rest of the time in the meeting.

It was dark as we were traveling home and Dad took a wrong turn that lead us across a one lane unlit road across a river…SCAREY!!! As we traveled back to the conference the next day we were amazed to see where we drove/how we drove across that road! Elder Whiting is so funny/good sport!

Ben surprised me during the Sunday session of district conference. As Ben got up to speak Elder Whiting leaned over to me to instruct me to try to get us to as close to the hour as possible. Ben spoke, and I crossed off some of my talk. Ben kept speaking, and I crossed off more of my talk. I ended up with enough time to give about half of my talk. It’s hard to judge how long I really will speak, dealing with a translator. And my message seems to be quite simple…but that is what’s best for translation purposes. Also it tends to work best with teaching investigators. Elder Whiting gave a forceful, simple talk Sunday, followed up with a powerful, loving testimony. It was GOOD! I really liked President Kang’s (the district president) talk about the Prodigal Son. He mentioned the younger son who took his inheritance, probably showing it off until he lost it all; not realizing the source of all his blessings until he needed to go back to his father/we need to turn to our Heavenly Father as the source of all our blessings. Do we have any family members that need to come back/apologize? How do we/did we treat them? Did we give them our best? The father treated his son well even if he was not worthy of what he received. What of the older son’s attitude? He worked for himself/his own glory. He thought he was better than his brother (arrogance, pride, strife, contention). He said that when we cannot trust one another there will not be the Spirit there. More good quotes but I better wrap this up as it is late.

We hurry and wait. We plan and see what happens. Until every aspect of what is supposed to happen actually happens I am tense. We finally got Elder Whiting to the airport, on time, and could go home and breathe in and breathe out. We attended a ward gathering/dinner for a time but Dad and I left early for phone calls and then staff meeting. Ben came later. I’m glad for today yet there is so much I need to do to get caught up on.

Alex sent this picture today. President and Sister Gilbert, who we replaced as mission president and wife of the Korea Busan Mission, invited some of their returned missionaries over to their house. Eva Brady, the young woman in the picture standing next to Alex, was our language tutor when preparing to come to Korea. Eva texted Alex and invited him along. Alex called today saying it was fun, that people said he looked like Dad and talked like Dad. Great memories!

Crepe Myrtle trees at the sports stadium/track we went to on Saturday for Dad and Ben to do a speed workout. The trees reminded me of the trees on the way to the Lexington church building, same color. The stadium is a nice facility. There were many people jogging and walking but not the 300 that we expected. They have a sound system there and were playing some sort of Korean/slow music that really wasn’t exercise type of music. I don’t know when the change occurred but I suddenly realized they had switched the music to playing old Jackson Five music/I Want You Back/ABC American music for us?? A man walking by me asked if that was my son sprinting. Then a little old Korean grandmother said to me as she was walking off the track "He runs so fast.” Then another man stopped Dad to talk with him (asking him why he couldn’t keep up with Ben!). We had fun.

Here is the nameplate on the Crepe Myrtle tree at the stadium. Ben said that they have these trees at his school with nameplates that say Crepe Myrtle. I’ve seen a few other plants that are the same as back home; Vincas flowers, Indian Hawthorn bushes, Lantana plants, etc. We have had so much rain lately. It probably has rained 11 out of the past 14 days.

I liked this picture of Ben from his first day of school because of the reflection in the front door. You can see the larger picture of Christ in the red robe that we brought from home. Also you can see Dad taking the picture of Ben in the reflection and the little Texas flag!

The tunnel near our home, flooded. The missionaries said that two people did die in the tunnel/under water today. The watched as the paramedics tried to use CPR to revive them, unsuccessfully. Four missionaries came by to borrow flashlights going out to help people. Earlier today an elder was in the office emailing his family while the other was in an interview with Dad. The one emailing said the office elders went out “to save the world”. We are still waiting on Ben to come home from school. He had to take another route home, by way of the subway, not the city bus. Traffic is CRAZY all around the city, because of the rain. Dad asked the barber and said he has never seen this much rain in the 35 years he’s lived here.

Ben started school!

Monday, August 18

Last Monday was Ben’s first day of school.  Dad took this picture of Ben right before he went out our front door to walk to the city bus stop.  He had to leave around 7:00AM to catch the bus to get to school ontime.  He rides the bus for 42 stops before he arrives near the school. It takes about an hour and twenty minutes, one way.  School starts at 8:30AM. School ends at 3:30PM.  Ben rides the bus home, arriving around 5:00PM.

Right outside our front door (which is to the right of this picture with the church to the left of this picture) on Ben’s way to school the first day of school - you can see the basketball hoop? - ask Ben about dunking the basket like the office missionaries do.

While on our walk home from the sports complexes on Saturday, looking across the street I noticed this camouflage sign which said: Stale Fish. Today while Dad and I were on our way to Costco we saw a couple of other signs that made us chuckle. One said, BUY BYE.  The other sign said WIFF, when looking inside the window I saw that it sold toilets.

Picture taken of our new missionaries going out jundoing/proselyting on Thursday in the rain! (Picture taken from upstairs, outside of the mission office overlooking the parking lot outside of the chapel.)

They had wonderful experiences. We waited for Ben to get home from school, took a taxi down to the area where they worked and met them for dinner at a restaurant - typical Korean restaurant where we sat on the floor on little pads. Typical Korean food with many dishes placed on the table in front of everyone (small portions for up to four people to share). A few of the new sister missionaries asked me the next day what I thought of the food. I think they will have a bit of a hard time until they adjust. But one new elder refused to eat anything, not even the rice, at dinner that night and all day (when the missionaries took them out for a typical lunch-what they did with Ben when we first arrived).

The assistants came to the mission home to borrow whatever umbrellas we had there. I seemed to have enough…but have not seen them brought back. I kept three of the umbrellas for Dad, Ben, and me…new ones that I purchased for our missions. They ended up being too small, kind of flimsy…they were great for folding up in size to be good for traveling. But now I realize I need to order new umbrellas for us. We see many people using umbrellas even when it is not raining. One elder told us the Korean people hate the rain! But also they don’t like the sun on them.

Ben was thinking he saw onions cut with the design of a rose on top of each one?  But, I wonder if they were a turnip or some other vegetable.

I liked this picture.  I took it right after the train took off with the departing missionaries.  Dad and the missionaries didn’t know that I took this picture. What a whirlwind that was!  We left with plenty of time to get to the train station but then we were at a standstill in traffic.  The sister missionaries were hilarious in the backseat of our car but, they were praying we would get there in time.  Once we arrived at the bus station Elder Min jumped out of the van and moved orange traffic cones around for us to drive around and miraculously found two parking places left in this tiny parking lot!  There was a HUGE line of people waiting to work their way into the bus station.  We didn’t realize how crowded it would be during the last part of vacation time (also, Korean Independence Day-the holiday celebrated when Korea gained its freedom from Japan in 1945. It is called Gwangbokjeol or Liberation Day.)  Somehow all the missionaries with all of their luggage hustled through another door into the bus terminal, up an escalator, over and across the station, down another escalator to the bus platform and then hustled to another platform.  And then back again. Pictures were taken in a short amount of time before they boarded the train.  Whew!

These are our office missionaries taking a picture of the departing missionaries as they entered the bullet train are about to go up to Seoul. They attend a session at the temple in the evening, and stay in housing on the temple grounds.  The next day their flights leave in the afternoon so they have a little time to look around Seoul.

More about the transfers, etc....

Last Monday was a hectic day at Transfer Meeting…but fun and energizing.  I prepared a pasta dish for lunch for 34 missionaries…who can eat a LOT!  I was baking bread early in the morning, then slicing it, trying to gather my information for speaking to the missionaries.  I hustled out the door just in time for the meeting to begin.  It was P-Day so the other missionaries (other than the missionaries who were going home) could come attend to hear them share their final testimony and to say goodbye.  The assistants wanted me to mention flirting in my talk, and I also spoke about looking out for your companion.  One elder asked me to send him a copy of my talk.  So when I first sat down next to Dad up front I told him that he forgot to give me a kiss this morning.  I told him he still needed to kiss me (it reminded me of the day we got married and I told him to kiss me on the cheek in front of his family-he was so embarrassed-so funny).  So he held up the hymn book in front of our faces and gave me a quick kiss.  While he was talking to the missionaries he told them he made a mistake, and wondered if any of them noticed him giving me a kiss…and one elder raised his hand!

We had six outgoing sister missionaries spend the night at our house.  Ben had to juggle bedrooms so that as many as possible missionaries could sleep on a bed.  Funny thing…the elders usually try to sleep on the floor by the end of their missions.  We have these pads that we put down for the extra sister missionaries…the elders apartment has enough for the outgoing elders.  Sister Lee made a wonderful traditional Korean dinner for twenty people in our home.  We used chopsticks and everything!  I’m still not very good with chopsticks.  Funny thing…I am more comfortable using the chopsticks in my right hand even though I’m left-handed.    Ben got home from his first day of school in time for dinner and the testimony meeting held afterward.  Breakfast the next morning surprised me as most of the missionaries were so nervous to go home that they hardly ate anything.  I’ll have to make a mental note of that.

After taking the departing missionaries to the train station we held a quick staff meeting to adjust and plan.  Tuesday morning Dad received a call from Salt Lake telling him that half our missionaries would not be arriving as planned.  For some reason half the missionaries flew from Salt Lake to Seattle to Tokyo to Busan (like how we flew here).  They arrived on time Tuesday night.  The other half of the missionaries flew from Salt Lake to Dallas where they got delayed by mechanical problems so they were put up in a hotel with meal vouchers until Wednesday when they arrived.  That meant that we put training on hold for a day.  We made two trips to the airport to pick up missionaries.  We need to plan our trip to the airport better…wasting lots of time.  Who knows when the flights really arrive!  But it was fun to watch the assistants and office elders OYM (open your mouth) and talk with people in the airport.  We saw some US military people waiting on their people to arrive on the same flight as our missionaries.  Elder Min is interested in the military people as he already served his military service.  But he was too afraid to go talk to those men.  I called him “chicken” which he played off of even the next few days.  But I ended up talking to the military people, then Dad, and then a while later Elder Min was brave enough to come over.  The next night when we went back to the airport for the rest of our missionaries we saw the same military people waiting to pick up more of their people.

We had six new sister missionaries spending the night with us…so Ben was displaced from his room a few more days.  Breakfast for plenty of hungry missionaries (mental note to self-they eat a lot more food when they are new to the country than when they leave the country).  The incoming missionaries don’t generally look anything like the pictures they sent in with their missionary paperwork…so I needed to ask them their names again as they came into our home for breakfast (the elders) (Elder Min introduced himself as Elder “Chicken” from the night before, HA!).

Wednesday I invited the office missionary couple to hold their English class in our home because of some mix up/whatever.  It was fun!  The Onchon (That’s our area/ward) elders and the office couple teach and it was fascinating.  We had about five Korean ladies and one Korean man attend.  The conversation started off about the holiday, Liberation day.  Our Korean elder sat by me to tell me a little bit about the history of the navy…12 Korean ships scared off 330 Japanese ships!!  It’s known as the greatest navy battle in their history.  The king and the government gave up and ran away.  But the hero stuck it out and conquered the Japanese army with his old fishing ships that were renovated for battle.  Great history lesson.  We were playing an alphabet game when Ben came home from school and joined in the fun!  Then we went to the airport for the second time of picking up missionaries.  Ben did great with his adjusted schedule during the first week of school.

Friday was our final day with these new missionaries before they were given their new areas with their trainers.  They played some trust games to get to know each other better.  They learned rules and stuff. I spoke about the booklet Adjusting to Missionary Life, then went back home to help prepare for the lunch with everyone, while Dad was assigning the companionships and speaking about the 12 Week Program, etc.  They all left shortly after lunch, and so did we.  We had to go to the airport to pick up Elder Whiting, from the Asia North Area Presidency who came for a short trip to attend the coordinating council of stake presidents, district presidents, and the mission president, held on Saturday.  Elder Whiting was fun right from the start!  His flight arrived early so we just pulled up to the curb, rolled down the window and he asked with a laugh if we were Mormons!  We could talk easily with him right from the moment we met him.  He told us about his children’s experiences with attending foreign schools, etc.  We got him to his hotel and then back home…a blur that I can’t remember.

Saturday morning Dad, Ben, and I walked over to the big sports complexes.  We don’t know when they were built or why…but they must have had something to do with big competitions like the Olympics.  There are a number of nice facilities for a number of different sports like soccer and baseball and martial arts, etc.  Anyway, we asked around (Korean people are very friendly and willing to try to help answer questions) and walked around until we found the track…which was closed.  But the security man told us the hours the track is open to the public.  The morning hours he said will have about 300 people running on the track!  The evening hours will have 700-800 people running on the track!  Can you imagine!!?!  That’s a whole lot more people to run around and dodge during your workout than when Andy’s track workout is happening.  Dad ran over to the track this morning in the torrential rain (the walking path nearby was completely submerged under water!) and there were still a few people there to workout.  He said it was funny to see the people come using an umbrella and then put it aside to run in the rain.  I guess Dad talked with a Chinese man who is a missionary for his church…he will need to let you know about that.

In the afternoon Dad and I drove to the hotel to pick up Elder Whiting and then to a small island where the church was first established in Korea to attend the coordinating council meeting.  This time the wives of the presidents were invited (doesn’t normally happen).  Dad and I gave a devotional during the combined meeting, along with brief introduction of us as the new mission president and family.  Then they separated the wives to another room for our meeting where we each had brought pictures to show to the other women to introduce our families.  I had the two elders assigned to that ward there (Daeshin) to be my translators.  The wife of Elder Jong (I think that’s his name), the area Seventy in charge of this meeting was in charge of our wives meeting.  I had mixed feelings about how that meeting went.  It was fun to hear from each of the wives…most of them are my age or stage of life.  Two others of the six of us had five children, like me.  Most of them had returned missionaries and one still in the mission field.  Most of them had one or two of their children married.  I think a few of them were grandma’s like me…still having children at home, etc.  But one wife/sister was younger than the rest of us.  Her husband is a district president, meaning that the church is not as established where they live.  So you can guess that that means that they work very hard!  She had three young children at home (a boy and girl set of twins who were baptized at age eight three weeks ago, and a three year old girl).  She was trying hard but had her children there so she was in and out of the meeting, as was her young child.  I could feel for her.  It reminded me of the time I attended Philmont during LDS week and had one on one time with R. Beck and then also with S. Gibson…wonderful ladies!  I spoke with Elder Whiting briefly afterward when he asked me how the meeting went.  

After the meeting we drove through the CRAZY traffic on this small island to go to a restaurant.  We parked at a parking building…so fascinating!  It is like a vending machine.  You get out of your car and watch as the attendant pulls into the building like an elevator, which closes and then raises it up to whichever floor it is assigned in this tall narrow building.  When we went back for our car it came out the other door…I don’t know how they did it.  I wish you could have seen this place…amazing!  There was a native man attending the coordinating council meeting as Elder Whiting’s translator and directing us on foot to this restaurant for dinner.  But this brother Jong (I think) was not good at leading for others to follow.  Because of the national holiday weekend there was so much traffic by cars and on foot (just think of the movies that show CROWDS of people to get lost in).  He was trying to lead us to the restaurant and was hurrying because we were late for our reservation.  He lead us one direction, then another, stepped away out of view to take a phone call, reappeared, started leading again, took off on a SPRINT…all the while Elder Jong and his wife, Elder Whiting, and Dad and I were trying to follow.  We put Elder Whiting in between the two couples so in case he couldn’t keep up he would still be with somebody.  My goodness!  That was an adventure!  But we made it there.  Sat down on the floor to eat.  Elder Whiting instructed Dad and I, in the car on the way to his hotel, to remember to find a restaurant with tables and CHAIRS when he comes again.  He was a good sport, joking, but it was difficult for him to sit close enough to the table.  He lives in Japan but I guess they always try to have their dinners in restaurant with chairs.  Usually I fidget and wiggle so that my legs don’t fall asleep…not always successful.

Trying to find the parking elevator after dinner was an adventure.  Driving in traffic, again, was an adventure.  Elder Whiting said that Dad and I passed the test…he did not feel the tension from the front seat/us like he has from other couples when driving through such traffic.  I guess I’m used to Dad driving like the natives now.  it’s not unusual to see mopeds driving down the sidewalks dodging pedestrians and old Korean gentlemen walking down the street (next to the sidewalk) with traffic swerving around them.  We’ll see him next weekend for the first of the district/ stake conferences.  Same district next weekend.

Sunday morning we drove to Hogye to attend church in that branch.  Dad told me Sunday morning I would have to speak.  He told Ben he would have to speak, too…but while sitting on the stand Ben was relieved of that assignment.  I had been reading certain scriptures and talks lately so I put something together.  But I’m still learning about what I can/should say that can be translated.  When a sister speaks a Korean sister translated.  I had this sister missionary translate for me before and it wasn’t a good experience…again!  I need to work hard tomorrow to write my talks for the Saturday night session and Sunday morning sessions of district conference this weekend before I prepare my talk for MLCM this Friday.  Hopefully I will get organized and know my material ahead of time.  After church the branch provided lunch for us/everyone.  We ate bi bim bop.  I asked a woman how they make it.  We were served a bowl with portions of the following: cucumber, mushrooms, cooked eggs, radish, zucchini, all sliced very thinly and vertically….assembled in each bowl with rice, bean sprouts, and sesame oil/seeds and a red pepper paste (spicy) for flavoring.  They do not put much red pepper paste on our serving of bi bim bop as they think we cannot handle the spice.  It’s rather bland. But I don’t mind because I don’t want to burn my mouth.  Dad and Ben would like more spice/flavoring.  Dad had to hustle off to many interviews (Temple recommend interviews, prospective counselors to fill the vacancy in the branch presidency, a person for temple sealing issues, etc. about ten different interviews.)  Long day for Dad.  Long day for us waiting.

I appreciated learning from the Teaching of the Presidents: Joseph Fielding Smith, chapter 16 Bringing Up Children in Light and Truth:  

The importance of family unity—love and consideration for one another in the family—cannot be overemphasized. Spiritual solidarity in family relationships is the sure foundation upon which the Church and society itself will flourish. This fact is well known and appreciated by the adversary, and as never before, he is using every clever device, influence, and power within his control to undermine and destroy this eternal institution. Only the gospel of Jesus Christ applied in family relationships will thwart this devilish destructiveness.6

Individual, personal testimony is and always will be the strength of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A testimony is best nurtured in the family setting. … The gaining and the keeping of testimonies should be a family project. Do not neglect anything that will help to strengthen the testimony of any member of your family.16

Help your children in every way you can to grow up with a knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Teach them to pray. Teach them to observe the Word of Wisdom, to walk faithfully and humbly before the Lord so that when they grow up to manhood and womanhood they can thank you for what you have done for them and look back over their lives with grateful hearts and with love for their parents for the manner in which those parents cared for them and trained them in the gospel of Jesus Christ.18