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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!



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.

Moving Day!

18 Dec

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


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.

Wedding Planners R Us

10 Dec

Hey team.

We had a wedding! It was a really nice event.

Ian Mills. . . Wedding Planner

Ian Mills. . . Wedding Planner

Weddings in Korea are SUPER expensive.  I mean SUPER expensive.  Normally, it’s a HUGE burden on families to pay for weddings for their children. So this family being money-smart and having a Mormon friend and knowing that the missionaries can help sometimes, they called on us to serve.

Initially, the wedding was going to be at the chapel.  But they actually ended up holding the ceremony at a wedding hall instead of the church.  The wedding hall has a catering service, which meant that we the missionaries didn’t have to clean up.  Hurray!!

But we did help with decorating though.  We had to tie the bows on chairs.  I learned how to tie chair bows at my brother and sister-in-law’s wedding.  I must have tied a million of them at that reception.  So make note!  Chair bows are an integral part of  international matrimonial décor.

But that’s not all.  It was lucky for this family that Elder Renfroe, a musical performance major at the University of Texas, was serving in the district right next store.  He was perfect for the job of providing the music.  Funny story though.  They didn’t invite him to the rehearsal dinner.  So he didn’t know when any of his queues were.  It was an adventure.  But things went off without too many hitches!

For what it’s worth, we got plenty of thanks by way of tasty Korean wedding fare.

Octopus is my new fav!

Octopus is my new fav!

Other than that nothing really exciting happened this week.

Oh!  One cool thing. I’ve been on my mission now for 11 months! It’s crazy! I’m almost on the downhill side.  Just kidding.  But seriously, time has flown by.  It’s pretty insane how quickly the time has gone.

I hope everyone has a great holiday season and starts listening to Christmas music 24/7!  Just one more thing.  Do you remember, that post from last summer,  HERE,  when I said that the locals were playing “Feliz Navidad” over the public loud speakers and on the Musak© in the stores.   I hadn’t heard the song for a while and with Christmas coming I decided to ask someone when they were going to start playing “Feliz Navidad” again.  The person looked at me like I was crazy.  “That’s a summer song”, he said.  Who knew?

Miss you guys!

Love, Ian

A Week of Firsts

3 Dec


This week was a big week of firsts! The first snow! My first thanksgiving in Korea! My first time eating full fish ovaries!

So to start off, it finally snowed! It was pretty uneventful.  Apparently snow looks exactly the same in Korea as it does in America.  A little disappointing.  Also, Church parking lots are just as hard to shovel as they are in America. Even more disappointing. The snow has since melted, but we had to run outside and snap some pictures. (Which I actually remembered to send.  Be proud Mom!)

Taebaek's First Snowfall, 2013

Taebaek’s First Snowfall, 2013

Next up is Thanksgiving!  So the missionaries serving in Seoul have an awesome hookup with military bases.  American military families open their homes to the missionaries on Thanksgiving.  They have access to the Commissary and can do up a Thanksgiving meal just right.  Welllllll, since I live in the middle of freaking nowhere, I don’t  have that luxury. But what I do have is a Dominos Pizza and 15 dollars that President gave us to “go crazy” with.  It was delicious, but not really “Thanksgiving”.  It was super fun with the district, but I wanted a freaking turkey.
Thanksgiving in Taebaek

Thanksgiving in Taebaek

My next big “first” is to effectively plan and make a wedding / reception happen!  It hasn’t happened yet, but expect some pictures next week!  Then we’ll know if I have a future as a wedding planner.

That’s all the exciting things to report.  I’m excited for Christmas.  But still a little bit bitter we can’t skype.

I will fight the tyranny. Take the power back.

Give somebody a hug!



Furniture Festivities

26 Nov

Hey team.

Short blog post because it’s been a boring week. This week all we did was move sisters into their apartment. They have SUCH a nice house! I’m a little bitter because our house is old and dumpy. Other than that things are good. We didn’t get much missionary work done other than installing furniture and eating food.

Why Don't We Have Ikea Assembly Service In Korea?

Why Don’t We Have Ikea Assembly Service In Korea?

This next week will be better. I’m sorry I’m such a boring missionary!

This week we found out we are putting on a wedding in two weeks at our church! A member who used to live in Taebaek needs a place to do a wedding for his nonmember friend. The member’s parents live in Taebaek, so we’re on duty! Not sure what it’s going to look like. The Sisters are probably imagining something like this . . .

Sisters' Vision of an excellent LDS Chapel Wedding

Sisters’ Vision of an excellent LDS Chapel Reception

Anyway, we’re going to make Elder Renfroe play the wedding march. He’s good at the music stuff.

Other than that, nothing exciting! It’s cold, but you knew that. Snow will come soon, but you knew that. Christmas music has already started, but you knew that, too.  

Love everybody. Give somebody a hug!

Love Ian!

Cori in Korea

Ian's Got Seoul

Elder Cole Nixon

Ian's Got Seoul

Elder Ian Mills

Ian's Got Seoul