Sunday, August 23, 2009

World Cup Stadium and much, much, more


This last week has been such a good week. I have failed to mention that a couple weeks ago we got a new member to our Air Base Branch who is a girl! It has been so nice for me because for the last while I have been the only girl in the ward. Her name is Zarai, she is originally from Mexico but lived in Texas since she was 11 and she is now 26. She is tonz of fun and it is just so nice to have another girl to talk to at church and when we all get together for fun. On Wednesday we met with the new investigator couple who we were supposed to meet with last week but they had to cancel their appointment. Their names are Chris and Agnes. They are both Korean but Agnes lived in Canada since she was 8 so she actually speaks better English than Korean. They have a cute chunky four month old baby. They treated us to some ice cream. We were excited about getting to know them better but we just found out that they have now moved to Soeul for a job that he got. After meeting with them we had an appointment with the Lim family to discuss teaching English to their kids. They want us to teach English to their 2 sons but after talking with our Principle we know we can't because of the visa's that we have. It is illegal for us to teach outside of a school. If we did we would get fined. So we had to explain this to the Lim family. While talking with them we decided that we would try and meet with there sons for fun as often as we could and take them out for some fun activities, and we would speak with them in English and help them with their pronunciation while going out and about. We don't mind because we really like their kids and enjoy spending time with them.
Wednesday night we had Family Home Evening at the Air Base and we basically just had a planning meeting for future activites, but it was good to just be with everyone laughing and having a good time. Here we are planning out our trip on the map.


Thursday we rode our bikes over to Lotte Mart and had a good time looking around. Friday and Saturday morning we went out and played Frisbee at the field across from our house. We gave ourselves a pretty good workout passing up and down the field and running out for passes. Because it's so humid we start sweating fast but it sure is fun. At 2 on Saturday we met a group over at the Air Base and we all went to Jeonju together for a professional soccer game. The soccer game wasn't until 7 pm but everyone wanted to go to Jeonju early to look around the city a bit. Jeonju has a TGI Friday's so everyone went and ate there. Liji and I brought our own food for dinner so we wouldn't have to eat out so we just went exploring a bit while we waited for everyone to get finished eating. We went up to the ninth floor of Lotte Department store where there was an open park on the top of the building. From there we could see around the city and saw that there was a river really close that looked pretty clean, which we were excited about because all the water areas in Gunsan are really dirty. We went down and found the water to be great. Now we want to go back to Jeonju and follow the river up to the mountains which is not too far away.




After everyone was finished eating we met them back at the cars and drove over to the Jeonju World Cup Stadium for the game.




We bought the seat tickets that were the cheapest and it was the young fan section. And let me tell you they were some good fans. They were standing and chanting the whole game. They even lit up some flares.


Here's our group all together. As you can see a few of them bought some team jerseys. I really wanted one but they were like $40.
We drove to the game with our friend Jeremy and after the game he happened to break his key off in the trunk of his car. He had a spare key but it was in his dorm back at the air base. So we decided to have him drive back to the base which was about 40 minutes away with the other car and then they would come back and get us. So Liji, Tyler, Zarai hung out at the stadium for about another hour and half. There was an open area near the stadium where many people were out kicking a soccer ball around, riding bikes and playing basketball. So while we waited we played frisbee and then just talked for awhile. While we were talking two teenage girls came over and wanted to take pictures with Liji because they said he was handsome. It's amazing how brave and forward the Koreans are. I think Liji is going to get too big of an ego while we are here. Funny, Funny! Luckily we weren't farther away from Gunsan when this happened and that it wasn't later than it was. We ended up getting home a little after midnight instead of the 10pm that we should have. It was such a fun day.
On Sunday we had another long and good day. Our friend Ji Sun and her two younger brothers finally came to church. The missionaries actually had someone from the ward with a car go and pick them up. I was so happy because I have kind of felt that it would be really hard to get them there without having someone just go and pick them up. Hopefully they can now start to make this into a habit. Ji Sun is baptized but her two younger brothers are not and we really want to get them baptized.
The missionaries in Iksan, which is a city about half an hour away, had an investigator who is from the Phillipines and speaks better English than Korean so they wanted her to be able to attend a church service in English. So they met us at the Gunsan Chapel after our Korean service so that we could all go over to the Air Base together for the English meeting. The investigators name is Melinda and she brought another woman friend of hers who had two children. The four missionaries and the investigators to taxis over to the Air Base and Liji and I rode our scooter over. Two of the Base members met us at the gate entrance so that they could sign us in and escort us onto base. They can only escort on 4 people per person, so when we have a lot of people it can turn into a big confusing mess sometimes. I got to talk with the two women investigators for quite awhile while we waited for everything to get figured out. Both of them came to Korea because of a Church called the Unification Church. I guess the church goes to the Phillipines to find women and bring them to Korea on the bases that they will provide them with a husband. It is not a good situation that these two women have got themselves into. Many of the husbands are very mean to their wives and hit them and also their mother-in-laws are very mean and hit them. Melinda divorced her husband 2 years ago and she wants to leave here but she can't because she doesn't have the money. Her friend(which I just can't say her name because it is just too hard) is still married and in a bad relationship. She wants to go back to the Phillipines but she says that she has to stay here for her kids because they can't leave the country without their father's permission, which they don't have. It is just a very sad situation. Both of the women are so great. Liji and I taught the Sunday School lesson on the Second Coming, so we modified it a lot because of the investigators and they did so good at participating and it seemed that they could feel the truth of the things we discussed. Melinda already has a Baptismal date for next Sunday and the Elder's asked me to speak at her Baptism. Please keep them in your prayers that all will go well. After church we stayed at the Base to have the weekly dinner for all the denominations and it was good. I am just so greatful for all of the wonderful people that we have been able to meet here.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Last Week

This last week we had three invites from three different people but they all ended up either not being there or cancelling. Last Sunday one investigator from the ward told the missionaries he wanted us to come over for ice cream. So the next morning at 10 we went with the missionaries over to his apartment, but he wasn't there. As we left we decided to just ride our bikes around and we happened to come upon a dermotologist's clinic of the husband of one of the women in the Gunsan Ward. Her name is Sister Che, I have shown pictures of her before. The Sunday before she had told me to come there and she would do a skin peeling on my face, but I didn't know how to get there. Since we found the clinic I called her and she came down and got me. She spent a whole hour with me washing my facing, doing the skin peeling and putting this laser on my face that kills the germs under the skin. It was so nice and relaxing. She did it all for free. I went to her again on Monday of this week. The Asian have such beautiful skin I am excited to try out and learn more of their treatments.

On Tuesday we were supposed to meet a new investigator and his wife for lunch, but they ended up calling on Monday night and cancelling because he had a gotten a job interview. Wednesday we were invited over to Ji Sun's families house for lunch but she called just before we were leaving and said she had to stay at school late and so we would have to come another time. She invited us to have lunch at a park with her family. Thursday morning we went on a three hour motorbike ride trying to get to a dike that goes across the ocean to the islands near us, but we ended up getting lost too much and never making it to the islands. On Friday morning we decided to start a little earlier and make it out to the islands. We did make it to the dike but half-way acrossed it they were stopping traffic and we couldn't go all the way across to the big island. We aren't sure why, we wish we did.

These next few pictures are from Saturday. On Saturday morning we went to the marketplace and got a bunch of tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers. We are getting much better at speaking in Korean when making purchases. We know how to ask how much something is and what the numbers are so it is fun to see that we are making some progress on our Korean speaking. We met the Lim family at 1:00 for lunch and spent the whole afternoon with them. Ji Sun's parents don't speak English so she has to translate the whole time but she does really well. She is so smart. We all hung out on a wood platform that is about 2 feet off the ground with a covering over it. This is the type of seating they have everywhere instead of benches and tables. Sitting like that has taken some getting used to. It kills my back. Ji Sun's mom cooked up some meat on a grill she brought and we ate it wrapped in lettuce with some meat dipping bean paste and onions. It was so good as always. Sorry no pictures of the food. Liji had fun catching grasshoppers and frogs with the kids. I'm not quite sure who had more fun; him or the kids.


At the park we were at there was a dam and you could see many fish trying to swim up the current coming out from the river, flowing in to the ocean. They call it a fish run.

Here are the kids trying to catch a frog in this cup.




After thanking and leaving the Lim family we went for a long drive out in the country. I enjoy this but I think it is one of Liji's very favorite things to do. He says it makes him homesick.


On the way home from our drive we stopped at Eunpa Park and they had a performance going on so we stayed and watched for awhile. I really enjoy this because I feel like I am getting to know there culture better by seeing their different styles of dancing, dresses and singing.



On Sunday we had dinner with the missionaries at the Bishop's house. We had a great time playing games with them and then having a delicious dinner. This was so good. It was my favorite meal that I have had since we have been here. There are video's below that show better the fun that we had. These kids are just so stinkin cute.

Here I am with the mesh on my face waiting to get the mask painting over the top.


Here I am with the mask on. I have to wait for this to dry and then she will peel off the mesh. This is what they call the skin peeling.





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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Ah, my hair is gone:(

Guess the new length of my hair: Bald, Buzzed, Bob, Shoulders, or Shoulder blade


Last week when we got the scooter I started getting really annoyed at my hair. After riding anywhere my hair was so tangled and I was spending forever in the shower trying to get the knots out with very small success. Plus my hair had gotten so long that it always seemed to be getting in my way and making me way too hot. So last Saturday night about 10, Liji and I came home from being out exploring I told him to just chop it off. So he did. Then I styled it how I wanted. I cut my bangs and added some layers. Well, it is very nice to have so much less to manage but I do think my hair looks better long. Ever since I cut my hair all my friends tell me that I look younger. Our friend Ji Sun's mom told me yesterday that I now look like a teenager. I'm not sure if that is good or bad.

And the winner is............



Jeonju Volleyball Tournament

We had so much fun at the Stake voleyball tournament. Here are some pictures from it. We started out the games with everyone spacing themselves out and a lady lead all of us in some stretches for a good 10 minutes. It felt so great. Then the games began. Liji volunteered to go onto another wards team and they did pretty well, but lost 2 games. Our ward on the other hand went undefeated. All the teams played 9 man volleyball so that we could have everyone on the court playing and they do not rotate. After playing we all enjoyed eating some watermelon and dumplings together. And some popcicles for desert.






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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Quick Update

So we decided that our bikes and the public bus system were just not enough for us. The bikes are great for going to work and running to the store, but when we want to explore further abroad, it takes for ever to get there. Speaking of that, I know why I have dropped 20 pounds since coming to Korea. One or two times a week we get on the bikes and go to see a “new” part of the city or countryside. Sometimes it takes us an hour and a half to get where we want to on our bikes. When we get there, we have so much fun we lose track of time, then we have to race home on the bikes. Sometimes I feel like we are in the “tour de Korea,” surprisingly there are a lot of hills here.
When we want to go further a-field we can take the bus, but we are limited to the bus schedule, and for both us to go anywhere in the city it cost 4,400won. (1,100 for each person, one way) To go to a different city it costs about 20,000won, and that is to the close cities. Riding the bus to Seoul and back would cost us around 35,000won. So we decided to get a used scooter, buying the scooter was an adventure and a two day process.
We started out by having a Korean friend help us at the police station to know what type of license we needed, turns out the international driver’s licenses that we got in the States will work for the size of scooter that we wanted. After that we visited some motorcycle shops to check the prices. The size of scooter that we wanted was around 500,000won, (that’s about $390) We checked three shops and had decided on a scooter that we wanted, but we thought of another shop that we wanted to check out. That is where we found our scooter.
The owner of the shop did not speak a word of English, and our Korean vocabulary doesn’t consist of much more than the numbers and important phrases for making a purchase. Through two days of lots of hand gestures, and many page turnings in the dictionary, we finally got our scooter for 550,000won. The lady that owned the shop was so helpful, she ended up taking us to the post office to mail in our insurance payment, and to city hall to register the bike, and then to a shop to get our license, in all she probably spent 5 or 6 hours helping us. The best part about that was following her to the city hall, she jumped on a little four-wheeler that they had for sale and motioned for us to get on the new scooter and follow her, we did as she zipped through traffic, and it was a great ride. We were in city hall for around and hour and she never took off her helmet. When it was all over we wished that we could tell her how much we appreciated her help, but we only knew how to say “thank you.” The scooter is a 1999, 100cc Daelim, we have only had it since Tuesday, but it is just what we wanted. According to my calculations, it gets 90 plus miles to the gallon. We spent almost the whole day Wednesday cruising around and exploring and it only cost 2,600won to fill up the tank. If we would have gone the same places using the buses, it would have cost at least 8,800won, and we would have had to wait at bus stops and be tied to the bus schedule. We are already making plans to visit other cities on the scooter, we just have to figure out which back roads we will take.
Yesterday we went to a stake volleyball tournament in Jeonju. It was a blast, our team had four members from the Air Force base on it, so I played on another team that didn’t have as many players. The Gunsan team was undefeated (due strictly to the fact that three of the base members were well over six feet tall, and the average Korean is around 5’8”) The team I played on won one game and lost the other 2. After the Gunsan team whupped everyone, they put together an all-star to take them on. I was on the all-star team; we lost, mainly because Koreans play no rotation volleyball. It is kind of hard to get used to; you just stay in the same spot all game. So the Gunsan team kept their three tall guys in the front. We kept our tall guys in the front, but I was our tallest tall guy and I could only play one front row position. It was still lots of fun, the most fun activity that we have done since we have been in Korea.
Christina played on the Gunsan team, and today at church a member told me that he thought she was one of the main reasons they won. He said that Christina always passed the ball to the setter, and because of that, they got a lot of spikes. It’s true, Christina did dig a lot of balls, a lot of my spikes went to her and she always passed them to their setter. After volleyball, we had a Korean style meal; steamed wantons (they call them dumplings) piled on big serving platters and everyone just stands around the table and digs in. When we first got here, it was really weird to eat off the same plate as everyone else, but now we are used to it, and we enjoy the feeling of fellowship that we get eating shoulder to shoulder.
Today we volunteered to be in charge of the meal that our ward heads over every second Sunday of the month. The meal is for all of the different religious denominations on the Air Base and about 60 people usually show up. Christina volunteered to plan a menu for Hawaiian Haystacks. So with help from her mom she calculated out the amounts we would need. We were pretty surprised that none of the people that came through the line to eat had ever heard of Hawaiian Haystacks and they all seemed pretty skeptical about the whole thing; getting pretty small portions to just try it out. But then they all ended up coming back for seconds getting a lot more the second time around. It did turn out really great. We decided that Hawaiian Haystacks must be a Mormon thing.
We really love that we get a chance at least once a week where we are in a place where we can actually understand the conversations that are going on around us. It’s also really nice to be able to get some American food. Not that we don’t love the Korean food.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Free Photo Shoot

My cousins photography business is having a contest to win a free photo shoot for you or a friend or family member in the Idaho Falls/Rexburg Area. Everyone should enter to win by going to their blog at http://www.rognonphotography.blogspot.com. They are amazing!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Site-Seeing

This week we bought a scooter and it has been so nice. We are so excited to be able to get around a lot easier from now on. Below are some pictures of us out site-seeing with it.
Liji bought this sushi. He was so excited.


Baby octopus

Site-seeing


Our new scooter







Down in the rocks at all the beaches we have been to they have tonz of these huge beetles.
So gross

Volleyball Practice

This coming Saturday we have a stake volleyball tournament with Gunsan Ward. So this last Saturday evening we had a practice for it and then we all went and ate together. They men also played a game called Joku. We always have so much fun with the members of this ward.

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Dacheon Beach

Posing with the Sharks
As part of your meal you get a bottle of sunscreen

The beach was so crowded. This is Liji with Michael; one of our friends from the air base.

These two were struttin all over the beach. They were pretty proud of themselves.

Sister O and Chi Hoon. Our Korean Tour Guides

This Beach is known for its Mud that is very rich in good minerals. They say it is really good for you skin. So they have these pools of mud that you can lather yourself up in.

I decided to try it out myself.

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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Sun Yu Do Island

We are on a week long break from work right now and this is what we did with our first day off. We took a ferry to Sun Yu Island. It is only a 1 and a half hour ride and the island was beautiful. There weren't many people there either which was nice because it seems like everywhere here is very crowded; especially the popular tourist spots. We even found a small little secluded beach that we had all to ourselves. The water was not that clear but the temperature was perfect. There were jelly fish everywhere. I was scared at first and made Liji touch one before I'd come very far into the water. It didn't sting him so then I got in and eventually even got brave enough to pick one up myself.




On the Ferry to the Island

Liji is feeding a small fish he caught to a sea anemone.

All those white blobs are jelly fish! I was not lying when I said jelly fish are everywhere.


That's right, I'm holding a live Jelly Fish!
So Gorgeous

Our Ferry Boat

And we only got a little color.

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