Covid-19 2020

The Taylors in South Korea delivered the stunning news: 101 of the 131 missionaries needed to pack everything, clean out and temporarily close 50 apartments and rush to the mission office in Seoul to catch flights to their home countries. There, they were to be quarantined for two weeks and then reassigned to domestic missions.

COVID-19 had hit China and spread. The missionaries already had been quarantined in their apartments for more than two weeks. The coronavirus had reached 89 countries and killed nearly 3,500 people (3,045 in China), according to the World Health Organization’s daily COVID-19 report.

“It’s hard enough to say goodbye to six missionaries when they go home on schedule at the end of their missions,” President Brad Taylor said. “To say goodbye to 101 missionaries all at once when the news came out of the blue is one of the most difficult things we’ve ever done.”

Centerville 7th Ward members also came home earlier than their expected date. Milena Palacios came home because of health concerns and was greeted in a drive-by through the neighborhoods in April 2020. President and Sister Gary Park returned temporarily from Africa where they preside and continue to preside over the Ghana, Accra Temple.

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I see complexities in everything and believe through experience that there is indeed "opposition in all things," or, in other words, yin and yang; that little symbol of white and black with an eye of each in the substance of the other represents life as I know it. So I write weekly essays about what I find. As a writer, I have published articles, poetry, and hymn texts. I have a couple of historical novels in the works. I wrote the texts to two hymns in the LDS Hymnbook, "Let the Holy Sprit Guide" and "With Songs of Praise." I'm an enthusiastic member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As the wife of Gary L Allen, we have four children, three of whom have many children. Gary and I spent a year (2004-5) in China teaching English at Qingdao University. Later we spent 18 months in the Seattle area on a CES and proselyting mission. To retain my claim to be a writer, I write a weekly essay. A companion publication with this blog is "Penny's Shards," a large number of very short short stories.

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