Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Korea is an Interesting Place

While we have been in Korea we have been taking pictures of interesting things that we see.  While we were at the Camp Humphrey's Branch one Sunday, while waiting for people to exit priesthood meeting, we looked across the street from the third floor of the building.  We witnessed a woman on her roof filling her Kimchi pots.  Kimchi is a stable in Korea.  Korean's raise cabbage in any and every available piece of land.  Kimchi also spelled kimchee, kim chee or gimchi, is a traditional fermented Korean dish made of vegetables with a variety of seasonings. It is Korea's national dish, and there are hundreds of varieties made with a main vegetable ingredient such as napa cabbage, radish, scallion or cucumber. Kimchi is also a main ingredient for many Korean dishes such as kimchi stew, kimchi soup, and kimchi fried rice.

Korean Woman putting cabbage into her pots for Kimchi

Another interesting thing about Korea are the cemeteries.  This cemetery is located a block from our apartment. Most people here are cremeated. The rich can afford to bury their dead. The land is of a huge premium here. The dead are buried in their coffins, but the coffins are standing up. It is so the dead can look over the landscape. The burials are usually on little hills, so the dead can see further. That is why you see these mounds in the cemetery. They build the coffins with six planks of wood. Four planks represent the four points on the compass. The other two planks represent the heaven and the earth. When we drive to Kunsan, which is about three hours away, we go to the serviceman's branch there, we see all kinds of these little cemeteries on our trip. When the weather is clearer and better I will take pictures of those.    

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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Camp Humphrey's Branch

We have been assigned to the Camp Humphrey's Branch.  This branch has about 100 members, of course, not all of them active members.  There are soldiers who are members that are here without their families.  They have come to Korea on an unaccompanied assignment.  We need them in the branch.  They are priesthood holders and bring a strength to the branch.  We are assigned to this branch as a support to the member families.  Our apartment is about 1 block from the church house.  This building is a rented building.  The church paid the landlord to remodel it for the members so it could be used as a church house.  When we walk to church on Sunday we pass Korean's who are working.  We pass Korean's who are walking to church.  We say good morning to them, but they don't understand English.  So we have learned how to say "Good Morning" in Korean.  It is Sonsaeng Nim, pronounced this way, "Sunsang Neem".  Now when we go to church we can tell them good morning in Korean. 

LDS Church in Pyeongseong
 Here is some information that may interest you about the religions in Korea.  Buddhism is one of the older religions in South Korea. It comes from the Mahayana branch of Buddhism, similar to China and Japan. It's influence in society has declined recently, but there are still many Korean's that practice Buddhism. The pictures below are of various temples that followers will visit.
Praying before a statue at Yonggungsa Temple Yonggungsa Temple unusually situated on the Shore     Kyunghiroo Temple in the Fall      

Temple in Pyeongseong, city where we live
Christianity has become more and more popular in recent years in South Korea. Christianity was introduced to Korea by the Jesuits in China. Catholics spread very quickly, but were persecuted by the King who perceived it as a threat. Protestants began to enter Korea in the late 19th century. Some of the world's largest churches will be found in Korea.  Below are the churches in the city in which we live, Pyeongseong.


The First Day of our Mission

We left the MTC on November 12, 2012.  We drove to our son Alan's home in our truck and picked him up, then drove to the Salt Lake City Airport.  We left Salt Lake City bound for San Francisco.  From San Francisco we were on our 12 hour flight to Seoul.  We arrived in Seoul on November 13, 2012 at 4:30 pm.  We lost an entire day.  The Assistant's to our Mission President were there to greet us.  We then boarded a bus for Pyeongtaek.  It was a two hour bus ride.  From Pyeongtaek the Elders drove us in the mission van to the place we would be living for the next 23 months.  We met Elder and Sister Echols.  They are the senior missionaries we would be replacing.  We stayed the night in the apartment, they stayed at a member families home.  We met them the next morning at 9:00 am to get acquainted with them and Camp Humphrey's Army Post. 

This picture was taken from the balcony of our apartment

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Elder and Sister Riding enter the MTC

We are so happy.  We will serve here.

We entered the MTC on October 29, 2012.  We met a lot of wonderful senior couples who were going to serve throughout the world.  We learned how to preach the gospel to those who are honestly seeking the truth.  We role played being missionaries with volunteer people who acted as investigators.  It was a very rewarding experience.  We attended classes on how to teach institute classes.  The Church education department has some wonderful CES trainers.  We also learned what it is to be on a Military Relations Mission.
Cheri and Richard Faulkner and Elder and Sister Riding
These are a few of the people that we met while in the MTC.  We met Richard and Cheri Faulkner. We knew them in Sacramento California when we were stationed at Mather Air Base. It was such a wonderful surprise meeting them again. They are serving their mission in Florida.

In our district were Elder and Sister Spek and Elder and Sister Livingston.  The Spek's are serving a mission in the Netherlands and the Livingstons are serving in California.  We will treasure our time with them at the MTC.

Elder and Sister Livingston, Elder and Sister Riding and Elder and Sister  Spek
Todd Jenkins is a very good friend of Elder Ridings.  They worked at Albertsons together.  Todd has a son serving in the MTC in the referral phone center.  We got to see him and spend some time talking to him.  We mostly saw him in the cafeteria.  By the way, the food was great and we enjoyed visiting with Kelton.

Kelton Jenkins and Elder and Sister Riding
This is our CES Training group.  We honestly can't remember all of their names, but we love them all just the same.  What a wonderful group of diligent, valiant, members of the church.  We feel it a privilege to have been with them in the MTC.   

Our MTC Church Education Services District
          This is a picture of the entire group of Senior Missionaries who entered the MTC when we did. 

Elder Riding is on the bottom back on the right of the picture, third to the left.  Sister Riding is standing in front of him.

Dean and Sharen Riding receive their mission call

Dean and Sharen Riding received their LDS mission call to the Korea Daejeon Mission in South Korea.  It came in the mail in April 2012.  They are so excited to serve in Korea.  They will be serving a Military Relations Mission.  They will serve the military members of the church at the army post Camp Humphrey's in Pyeongseong.  They will also serve the military members at the Osan Air Base in Osan and Kunsan Air Base in Gunson.  They will serve for 23 months.