40 year anniversary of the Pohang Branch - Ben's Graduation and Temple Trip

Thursday, July 7

This group picture is typical of the Korean people when they gather together, they all want to get in the picture. The “foreigner”/white man wearing a dark blue tie sitting next to the sitting woman wearing a white jacket, I Robert Holley, a famous tv/movie personality. He served his mission in Korea around the time that Dad served (I can’t remember exact dates). Robert Holley earned a law degree, worked in Korea straight out of school, and stayed there since. He married a Korean woman, has three children, changed careers a number of times until he landed in the entertainment business because he was a white guy who could speak Korean well. I had to ask him who he was because I didn’t have any idea; and just what he does that makes him so famous. Oh well. Lots of people were wanting to have their picture taken with him, getting excited that he was visiting their branch on this 40 year anniversary branch conference Sunday.




WOWIE ZOWIE!!! I cannot believe our last child graduated from high school! Ben asked if I would get emotional and I told him yes; and I did!  A major milestone just happened in Ben’s life and in our lives as well. I remember when each of our children graduated from high school. We shared those fun times with good friends (sorry but there was no dinner at Benihana for us!). After the graduation services we went to the Shinsegae Shopping Center -largest shopping in Korea! We ate at a burger place, mostly because we could get a milkshake!


We celebrated Ben’s birthday a little early, last Wednesday, because we were going to be gone on his actual birthday. Well, as you can see the cake I made FLOPPED! Oh well, it tasted good. Happy Eighteenth Birthday Ben!


This past weekend Ken and I took Ben to the Seoul Korea Temple to take out his Endowments. When we were in the Distribution Center buying garments for Ben we saw these missionaries. Elder Sederholm said he was from Arkansas, and knows Rifka. Apparently Rifka knows the elders older siblings??? He was the son of a mission president in Denmark, living there for two years before graduating from high school, like Ben.



 We took the KTX train up to Seoul Thursday, stopped by the temple and saw the parents of one of our returned missionaries, Elder Lee Sukoo, who happened to be there (the elder looks just like his dad only shorter). We left Ben’s big suitcases locked in a storage room at the temple overnight so we wouldn’t have to haul those all over Seoul. We stopped by the distribution center to buy Ben some garments before going through the temple for his Endowments the next day. Good thing we stopped to buy garments when we did because we were told they close in the early afternoon. The sales clerk said she knew two of our sister missionaries, from back home. We saw an elder there who said he was from Arkansas and knows Rifka’s family. Also, he was the son of a mission president in Denmark, as like Ben he went to two years of high school there before graduating through the IB program, and then off on his mission. And we saw another elder who knows another one of our sister missionaries from home.


We visited the Changgyeonggung Palace, built in the 1400’s, for the royal family. As it turned out King Seongjong was crowned king at age 13, so his grandmother administered state affairs until he became an adult. As we entered the grounds there was a large school group of youth sitting on the steps taking a group picture. They wanted us to join them We did! But whoever was taking the picture with my camera, never took the picture!  They liked to say “See you later” so of course I told them to add “Alligator!"


 Cool to see this old greenhouse while still strolling the palace/temple grounds. Too bad it is deteriorating.


Thursday night we met the Morrise’s, mission president and wife go the Korea Seoul South Mission, for dinner. They will be going home in just a few weeks to strange to think about us going through that process in a year. I’m grateful for the few interactions that we have had with them at mission president seminars. They are wonderful.  After dinner we took buses to the Korea Seoul Mission home to spend the night with the Sonksen’s, mission president and wife. We really did not want to have to sleep in the temple dormitories in separate rooms. We had a wonderful visit with the Sonksen’s. Dad was able to read through the Seoul Mission History books and see his name and read entries of some of the areas and work he was involved in.  Friday morning we were up early, for Dad and President Sonksen to ordain Ben to the Priesthood office of Elder before going to the Seoul Korea Temple for Ben’s first time through for his Endowment. I’m glad we went up to Seoul when we did, so that we would not have to feel rush in the train station or riding buses through Seoul or buying garments or sightseeing or even in arriving at the temple. One of our returned sister missionaries came to see us, giving us a hug before she had to go to school. Elder Jung Sion came and did the session with us, he was one of our assistants who most recently returned home. So good to see these wonderful missionaries again, especially they feel a closeness to Ben as well.  President Sonksen’s AP’s picked us up in their van and gave is a ride to the airport, so nice not having to worry about traveling there with big suitcases.



Another sad goodbye! It’s hard to watch my children leave, I always worry about them. But this time was especially difficult as Ben’s leaving put Dad and I in a whole new category: "empty nesters”. I don’t like it! It feels weird! We made sure to have one last milkshake together at a shoppe in the airport; may have been the best milkshake we’ve had in Korea so far. Dad and I took the KTX train back to Busan that same night arriving past midnight. Elder George was so good to stay up so late to get us from the train station.


 Ben made it to Texas safely! Thank you Gerry and Bekah!!! 


1 comment:

  1. Elated to know about the celebration. My friend organized her anniversary party at one of the high rated venues in San Francisco recently. Dinner and starter tables were perfectly arranged. Staff was really attentive towards all the guests. Overall the party was appreciated and enjoyed.