Playing the Gayageum

Monday, August 29

My goodness time flies!  Last Saturday evening Dad attended a media fireside with the Korea Public affairs Representatives from Seoul who came down for their calling.  They are the Robinson’s, the inlaws of Jessica Simmons Robinson!  They found out Dad was from Texas and after a few questions found out that we know their daughter in law.  After the fireside Dad came home to get Ben, me, and the George’s before going out to dinner.  The Robinson’s spent the night with us at the mission home and then traveled with us to Hogye Sunday morning.  It was the 40th anniversary of the creating of the Hogye branch so we attended their branch conference and spoke in church there.

We were told the regular number of people in attendance at church in Hogye is about 40 but this week they had about 160 show up.  It was fun for us to see a couple of our returned missionaries come back to celebrate and visit with the people who they came to know and love.

This young man got baptized a week before the branch conference.  He was very nice, typical of most Korean young men - they seem to be attracted to Ben.  Ben is fun to talk with and they can feel of his goodness.  Another person said Ben looked like Ryan Gosling! Dad had priesthood meetings to attend to after the conference, and then after the dinner, so Brother Chu walked Ben, me, and the Robinson’s to the train station and helped us to know which train/ticket we needed to get back down to Busan.  He was so nice that he stayed to chat with us for an hour waiting for our train to arrive.

The members of the Hogye branch worked hard for months preparing special musical numbers to perform at the branch conference. Really, the branch members had it in their mind that the branch conference was going to go according to their own agenda and were quite upset and offended to find out that they didn’t get to make the assignments.  Dad had to smooth things over with his mission counselors when they heard about the ruffling feathers, and smooth things over with the branch members when they found out who held the priesthood keys to plan the conference.  It was interesting!

Our sweet missionaries worked so hard and performed in many musical numbers. I especially appreciated Elder Lee (who previously served in the mission office).  He’s so sweet and close to the Spirit.

Cute children!

Not a Cherry Tree!!

Tuesday, August 23

I made a white sheet cake for one of the zone conferences and our New Zealand sister missionary was excited to see the Hundreds and Thousands on top (what we call sprinkles).

This year the cicadas have been especially loud.  One night Dad and I found some empty shells underneath a grouping of trees so we brought back a few to our home.  The next day at church I put one on my shoulder/cardigan and walked toward Sister George.  As soon as she saw the cicada on my shoulder she started walking backwards shaking her head, she would not come near me! But then when we got into Gospel Principles class Sister George and Vicky (the long time investigator) wanted to see it and hold it and talk about it.  Vicky took it home with her.

On the way to zone conferences I happened to look up and see this sign advertising an English school.

We got a brand new piano for the mission home a couple of weeks ago.  I don’t play the piano so I didn’t think much about it.  But when Ben got home that was one of the first things he noticed.

On the way to another zone conference we saw these “Cherry Blossom” trees but then did a double take.  It’s not the season for Cherry Blossom trees.  Those trees were actually made of many Korean flags bunched together.

Huge kimchee pots (soy sauce) and a frog!

Monday, August 22

We saw a few display cases along the walkway from one building to another in one area of the village.  These little tiny children’s shoes were on display with a box that held a few children’s toys were in the display box over.

The map of the whole village shows the building/room we ate dinner in. I’m glad we were in that room because we sat on chairs around our table in an air conditioned room.  The one picture shows me standing next to another small room that we would have to duck down to enter.

Gourds and grass growing on top of these museum buildings!

We went to a cultural village on a PDay a few weeks ago and had lots of fun! We went with Sister Lee and her husband Brother Goo, the George’s, and us.

This is still part of that old village/nice dinner we ate with the George’s and Sister Lee and Brother Goo.  I loved the outsides of the different buildings and the insides of the few we were able to look in.

Looking inside a Prayer Room up top

Duc (rice cake) Demonstration

Turn around and look back down!

A delicious looking meal!

I should say that some parts of this meal are delicious while other parts, I would not try.