Happy Lunar New Year (Seollal)!

17 Feb

Last year I wrote a lot about the Korean New Year.  Get a good explanation about how the Lunar New Year works in Korea by reading that POST.  In 2015, the Lunar New Year will be celebrated on February 18, 2015.  2014 has been the Year of the Horse and 2015 will be the Year of the Sheep.

chinese-new-year-300x300

You can read even more about the traditions of the Korean New Year Seollal HERE.

Happy Chuseok Everyone!

8 Sep

Celebrate Korean Thanksgiving “Chuseok” from September 8-10, 2014.

Charlotte Rose Mills in her Hanbok

Charlotte Rose Mills in her Hanbok

As explained by the Korea Tourism Site,

“Chuseok (추석) is the biggest and most important holiday in Korea. Family members from near and far come together to share food and stories and to give thanks to their ancestors for the abundant harvest. Chuseok Day falls on September 9 in 2014, but the holiday is observed for a total of three days (September 8-10).”

Read more about the traditions of Korean Thanksgiving HERE

Chuck and Soon Cross.  Soon in her Hanbok

Chuck and Soon Cross. Soon in her Hanbok

Happy Lunar New Year 음력 설날 (Seollal)!

29 Jan

Like most western cultures, Koreans celebrate the New Year according to the Gregorian calendar (Dec. 31 – Jan. 1).  But in Korea, the much much bigger celebration is the Lunar New Year called Seollal 음력 설날.

chinese-new-year-300x300The date of the Lunar New Year varies every year.  It falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice.  In 2014, the Lunar New Year falls on January 30th.  At least that is what the astronomers say.

Seollal is the most celebrated traditional Korean holiday. Like CHUSEOK, Seollal is a three-day holiday.  All of Korea takes to the road to travel to where the family is.  Because of traffic, it takes a whole day for everyone to get through the traffic jams.  They spend a day with the family.  Then on the third day of the holiday, they head back to their own homes so that they can start work the next day.  

There are lots of traditional things that happen on the Lunar New Year.  For example, the family plays games and the elders give the kids gifts of money.  Read more about the traditions of the Korean New Year Seollal HERE.

But one more thing.  Everyone in Korea gets a year older on the Lunar New Year.  In Korea, everyone is counted as being one-year-old on the day that they are born.  They then turn two-years-old on the first Lunar New Year after they are born.  For example, if you were born on the day before the Lunar New Year, you would be one for that day only and then you would turn two the next day.  But if you were born the day after the Lunar New Year, you would wait 364 days before you would turn two-years-old. The actual anniversary of your birth takes a back seat to this Korean traditional “birthday” celebration.

So get out your streamers and noise makers.  2014 will be the Year of the Horse.  Let’s get this party started.

Christmas in Taebaek

31 Dec

Hi team,

Good to be back.  Hope you guys had a good Christmas!  We sure did!  It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve been able to write.  So forgive me, my sweet readers. I am back!

First off. we had a Christmas Party!  It was a blast!  The branch came out and we did a lot of fun activities!  Look at all ‘dem pictures!  We did a bunch of cool stuff!

The Branch in Taebek

The Branch in Taebek

Elder Chang and I.  Nice Nail!

Elder Chang and I. Nice Nails!

Minute to Win It Victor Celebrates!  (Rex & Kris, he says that the still has it!)

“Minute to Win It ” Victor Celebrates! (Rex & Kris, he says that he the still has it!)

Last week was good and bad, good because we had our Christmas conference! Bad because it was preceded by a trip to the Korean dentist!  Scary!  So I had some cavities in my mouth that needed to get filled because they were getting painful.  And as my dentist “uncle” Kurt would attest, that it the time to go to dentist.

Overall, the experience was not that bad.  Though he didn’t use gloves, which I thought was weird. I wasn’t too grossed out about it.  I did watch him wash his hands really well right before he started working.  But he had no idea where my mouth has been!  Scary for him!

The conference was really, really good!  We ate delicious food and talked with our friends for all day!  Now we’re back in Taebaek doing missionary work!

Best example of missionary work I can find is that a water pipe broke in our church yesterday.  It flooded our primary room!  That was a fun afternoon!  Imagine me, on my back, covered in freezing water squeezing through this crawl space in the roof to cut out the broken pipe and put in the new one.  I, in fact, did that.  Be proud dad! You raised a man!  (My arm is still itchy from the insulation haha).

Here are some more pictures! (No photos of the flood though).

Sis. Ellis performing O Holy Night on the flute.

Sis. Ellis performing O Holy Night on the flute.

Merry Christmas.  Elder Chang and I.

Merry Christmas. Elder Chang and I.

I know the day has passed, but it is always good to remember our Savior on his birthday. As we remember him, and try to live like him we can see blessings in our lives. Try to serve someone each day.

Love you all! I miss you! ❤

Hugs all around!

Ian

PBS’s News Story On The Growth Of LDS Missionary Work

19 Dec

Follow the link below to read or watch a PBS news story on the growth LDS missionary work throughout the world by Lucky Serverson.

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/2013/12/13/december-13-2013-mormon-missionary-expansion/21372/

Moving Day!

18 Dec

I don’t know if you guys heard, but we got transfer calls this week!  I have news for everyone!

christmas

So, sadly, Elder Fronk and I got split up!  😦  But he is staying in Taebaek!  His new companion’s name is Elder Redd. I don’t know much about him, but he seems fun!

So the question remains, where am I going?  Well, I’m not actually going anywhere! My new companion is Elder Chang! He was the other missionary that was serving in Taebaek with Elder Edwards. Elder Edwards is moving back to the city and Elder Chang and I will continue to serve in the Branch Presidency together! It’s exciting. Transfers are on Wednesday so expect some new pics next week!

Also, shout out to my cousin Mikayla! She finished her mission in Brazil this week! I can’t believe it’s been a year and a half already! One year baby!

Other than that things are pretty boring. Expect pictures from our Christmas party next week.  It’s gonna be a blast!

Love you! Give somebody a hug!  And I’ll see you all in ONE YEAR BABY!

Millsy, Out!

Christmas Is Just Around The Corner!

15 Dec

According to the Korean National Statistical Office in 2005, most people in Korea claim no religious affiliation.

Religion Korea

Korean Religious Affiliations According To Korean National Statistical Office In 2005

Those who do are either Buddhist or Christian.  So Christmas Day is celebrated as a Korean National holiday on December 25 of every year.  (Just to let you know, Buddha gets equal time for his own birthday celebration on the 8th day of the 4th Lunar Month (May 6th in 2014).  My report on Korean Christmas is upcoming.  Please stay tuned.

The Presentation of The Nutcracker Ballet in Korea

The Presentation of The Nutcracker Ballet in Korea

But in the meantime, here is a great reminder of the true meaning of Christmas.

Story of Christmas - an infographic

Click to learn more about the story of Christmas.

Cori in Korea

Ian's Got Seoul

Elder Cole Nixon

Ian's Got Seoul

Elder Ian Mills

Ian's Got Seoul