Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Callings and Consequences

When we returned from our summer vacation in August, we learned that President Knudsen, of the Seoul Korea Military District of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, had accepted a new job and would be moving his family to Japan in just a few weeks.  Bob had been called to serve as one of his counselors in January of this year.  Around May, we learned that the other counselor, P. J. Rogers, would be moving with his family to Hawaii at the end of the summer, but did not know that Pres. Knudsen was considering other employment as well.  I guess it's a good thing the Lord prepares us for changes in our life.  He communicates with me through dreams, and I had received confirmation that Bob would be called to serve in our District Presidency.  Bob had been going through a period of unrest in his career, church and personal responsibilities, and we have come to see this pattern of agitation as a prerequisite to an important forthcoming change in our lives.  In a special district conference held on August 25, 2013, Robert M. Goodman, Jr., was sustained and set apart as the District President of the Seoul Korea Military District.

Our district encompasses the entire South Korean peninsula, and is for members of the military and other English speaking foreign passport holders living in Korea.  There are six branches in the District and more than one thousand members.  The Seoul English Branch, of which we are members, is the largest unit, with more than 500 members.  We function more like a stake and wards, and in fact, Bob has received authorization from the First Presidency of the Church, to serve in much the same capacity as a Stake President would; being able to call and set apart Branch Presidents and set-apart and release missionaries serving from our district.  The call to serve was issued by Elder Michael T. Ringwood of the First Quorum of the Seventy. A link to his profile can be found here.  He is currently serving as President of the Asia North Area Presidency.  The process was the same as generally occurs, and Bob was scheduled to meet with Elder Ringwood and President Christensen, Mission President of the Seoul Korea Mission.  After a brief Saturday evening interview, Bob was dismissed.  We were called to return a couple of hours later, at which time the calling was extended.  Bob submitted names for his counselors, and then he and I were left alone to pray together about those individuals and their families.  When we were in unison in our confirmation that Jeffrey R. Rands and Sven E. Jensen should be called, these brethren and their wives were also invited back and invitations to serve were extended.  We were all invited to share our testimonies at the District Conference to be held that Sunday.  We enjoyed visiting with Elder Ringwood and finding out that we have many friends and acquaintances in common.  One of which is President Sean Douglas, of the Peru Lima South Mission where our son, Michael, is currently serving.  It really is a small world!

 It was our privilege and opportunity recently to have Elder Ringwood and his counselor, Elder Scott D. Whiting (profile found here) in our home for dinner and training meetings.  It felt just like being with family.  Isn't that the great thing about serving in the gospel of Jesus Christ!  We found that we also had many common friends with Elder Whiting.  They were kind enough to let me take a photo.  We are grateful for our association with these great men who will serve together to strengthen our "brothers and sisters" in Korea!

Elder Michael T. Ringwood, President Jeffrey R. Rands, President Robert M. Goodman, Jr., President Sven E. Jensen, and Elder Scott D. Whiting

I was released as President of the Relief Society of the Seoul English Branch, where it has been my blessing to serve the women of this wonderful branch since we moved here in January of 2012.  Though I knew it was time for a change, it is always hard to let go of something you give so much of yourself to.  The Lord knew I would need the opportunity to get know and love these sisters and I am strengthened and blessed by the particles of gold found in each of them that are now an integral part of who I am!  Bob and I are also blessed to be serving as Temple Ordinance Workers in the Seoul Korea Temple.

1 comment:

  1. What a small world! We are good friends with Mike Ringwoods daughter, Melissa, and her family. And I actually wrote a missionary that served under him.