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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Last Word From Korea

Well, this blog's been sitting unfinished for a decent while, bothering me to no end. And to finish it, I'm just going to put up here the most direct account of the events as they transpired: the last few pages of my mission journal.

10 July 2010

It's quarter past five in the morning, the day I go home from my mission.

It feels frantic and lively--I can't sleep, my shoulders are killing me (gosh-blamed mattress for the first time in a year).

LATER . . .

So here's what happened.

We made it to Seoul Station only to be greeted by the indomitable Pak twins--Pak Sera and Pak Sung Hee, both dressed in knee-length skirts and normal clothes. Much squealing was indulged in--big news is that Pak Sung Hee is coming to America in September and staying until January to help out and babysit during her older sister's pregnancy. Yaaaay! She called us a van taxi, which transported all the bags, all the elders, and Pak Sera, and we four chameis took a separate taxi to the temple.

Even the taxi driver was blown away when he saw it. You're on a big street in Seoul, right past Hyundai department store, and you take a typical little side street up a hill behind a big, square, more-ominous-than-uplifting Presbyterian church, then veer up a steep little driveway, and the temple just unfolds in front of you like a flower, white and gold and clean and bright. The Seoul temple.

President Ii of the Pusan stake, and his daughter Long-Haired-Sister-Ii's-Little-Sister, were there. As we'd arrived with not enough time to make the 1:30 session, President Ii took us to lunch at a member's bulgogi restaurant around the corner. (Good bulgogi. I ate a lot of kimchi. I was craving it.)

The meal left us with enough time to not quite make the 2:30 session, so we hustled in there like blazes (long pause for checking cameras), got our clothes, changed, dashed into the endowment room, then Sister Kim the temple matron brought it to my attention that my dress was, in fact, on backwards. Shuffle out, switch the dress, shuffle back in. Then I realized we had to pick up translators, so I did the whole thing again. And then there weren't enough translators, so I surrendered mine to Sis. Linford and watched the mea culpa late-starting session in Korean.

Oops, we're almost to the airport. More later.

LATER . . .

In airport. To continue.

So after the session, we were all standing 'round in the celestial room when we were asked to be daughters in some proxy sealings. That was pretty cool. Elder Anderson was witness, and I got to do my batch of names with Pres. Yang Yong Suk and his wife. None of the names we did were names. The father was always XXX, the mother (with one exception) was XXX's Wife, and the daughter was Miss X. Centuries upon centuries, thousands upon thousands of women whose names have vanished into the void so that only their relationships tether them to our reality. And, one by one, they are being wholly and completely saved in the Seoul Korea Temple.

So we didn't get out of our session 'till about five, after which photos and debating were indulged in. I really wanted to have some time to just relax, so I opted to wait at the temple with Sis. Musser, whose brother Woody (really) was coming to meet her. That was a big help, that break time. Kim Yoon Ha, Musser's trainer, turned up while we were waiting (all the returned sisters know the door code for the sisters' dormitory . . . they lived there while at the KMTC) and together we ventured out into the insanity of Seoul. Just to make my travels in Korea complete, we ran for a subway train whose doors were closing, the doors popped back open for us, Kim Yoon Ha stopped dead in the doorway and I got stuck in the door. Awkward, but not painful. And at least I didn't get dragged to death like almost happened to that kid on the bus that one time.

So we made it to a tourists-only market, where we met up with Woody and battle-buddy Josh and all grabbed dinner. Real Korean food, thank you very much. Nengmyeon for me.

We made it back to the temple a smidge after our 9:30 mark--I as afraid we'd miss Sister Copeland, but her stuff was still there and she herself was not yet there. However, there was short-haired Sister Ii (Ii Kyeong Un) from the MTC! Whoa, blast from the past. So we chatted with her until the one and only Sis. Copeland herself showed up, exhausted as usual, her voice a half-octave higher than I remember, like she'd been sucking on a helium balloon.

I managed a decent chunk of sleep until five, when hey! up and no hope of going back to sleep. I padded across to the bathroom, pajamaed and barefoot . . . only to run into most of the sisters of Bangeojin, AND Ii Yeong Hwa, getting ready for the 6 a.m. session. Nothin' like a good impression. :-/ So exercise, shower, dressed and braided, all by 6:30. Sis. Musser and I foraged breakfast at the GS25 around the corner, I got a big (heavy) box from the temple prez to take to his son in Salt Lake, I fretted a bit over whether Jin Mok Hwan were coming or what, and then Sis. Musser and I participated in the 8:00 session. It was so much more sedate, spiritual, uplifting and enjoyable than yesterday's. I had a translation doohickey this time, so I listened to some in English, some in Korean, and some in French. And in the Celestial room, I meditated upon the inlay of a table and thought of something new. Before the mission, I was a table. Over the mission, I got a lot of gauges cut into me. They HURT. But they've been filled with mother-of-pearl--little streaks of divinity, of perfection, swirled into my otherwise-unremarkable self. Not wholly perfect; that would be ostentatious. Just little bits of perfection are perfectly appropriate right now. Really just a plain white table still . . . but worthy to stand in the temple of our God.

When we finished the session, I looked around for Jin Mok Hwan . . . nothin'. Sis. Pak Sung Hee's temple clothes were still in the locker, so I guessed they weren't in a session. We headed back to the chapel and the res, but instead of going straight into the res I just felt like making an appearance around the wooden screen, where lots of people were waiting around in the lobby . . . and there on the sofa were Pak Sung Hee, Jin Mok Hwan, and Jang Shin Yeong (Bishop Pyeon Jang Gi's wife), all there waiting for me.

Sister Jin Mok Hwan received her endowment today. And as I sat with her, she said, "You know I'm here because of you, right? I t was because of what you said. I was so worried I wouldn't get to see you; I kept calling Sister Pak Sung Hee and asking 'What day will she be there? What time?' You made me want to make it here." Or something to that effect. And I just thought, this is a fairy tale. This is a bit from a movie. These things don't happen where I, personally, can watch them. But it did. And after hugs, and laughs, and showering with presents, and pictures, and debates about whether 'heppi en ding' is a Korean or an English expression, Jang Shin Yeong led Jin Mok Hwan into the temple so they could start getting ready for initiatories, and they went behind the wooden screen and I saw them no more.

Sister Jin Mok Hwan is safe inside the temple. And my service was one of the things that helped her get there.

That they be not wasted . . . the people we teach, the months that we give. Gather them to the temple. There can be no sweeter reward for a missionary than to spend Saturday morning outside the temple, watching the saints come in. Sister Han Mal Suk is attending again; we met her. We also met a sister who was a Pusan mission mom back in the day. And to everyone we saw, the tag was a badge of honor. This is a returning missionary, a servant of the Lord, who has worked and wept these eighteen months to bring people here. From every corner, I heard the sweetest of all praise: "You worked hard, Sister Missionary. You worked hard. You took many pains."

Being a returning missionary hanging around the Seoul temple of a Saturday morning is the closest thing to heaven I've ever experienced.

And on the last day of my mission. Heavenly Father can't be beat for dramatic timing.

The time, as it always does, grew short. Elder Anderson having rendezvoused with his parents and Elder Oxborrow departed alone for an earlier flight, we were down to five. Some helpful youth assisted in the lugging of the bags to the Hyundai department store bus stop. And a bus ride later, we're back on old familiar turf: airports. Incheon International Airport. Where you have to reply in Korean to English questions to get people to speak to you in Korean . . . where your one precious skill is nice and quite impressive, but certainly not necessary to your survival like it was this morning.

And now I'm on an airplane, wearing little paper slippers, my stomach full of bibimbap (Korean Air gochujang is 100% un-spicy), four hours left to go in our rather bumpy trans-Pacific flight to Los Angeles.

Oh, and I let my passport slip out of my hand at the ticket counter, and if the gentleman at the next counter hadn't called my attention to it, I would've had a real short trip.


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Last Email From The Field

RoseE writes:

"Dear Mum and Dad,

Holy cow. It finally came. This is finally it. This is the last e-mail I'll send you from Korea. And a lot of computer time is getting taken up with business stuff, like copying files onto/off of Liz* (she's being passed on to my daughter Sis. Culver, who needs the dictionary more than she needs her American cash, whereas I am in the opposite position), e-mailing our less-active record to Elder Jeong, and generally tying up loose ends.

Oh, speaking of Elder Jeong. Friday night transfer calls were insane. When the APs called, I actually had the audacity to flippantly tell Elder Kim, "Yeah, I know where I'm going . . . not much you could say that's gonna shock me, really." Oh, did I eat those words. 'Cuz here's what happened. Sis. Culver is moving to Jungni ward in Taegu. Just Jungni ward. Just one ward, with one missionary team. Just sisters. Sister Alcazar is staying in her area, but only Hogae, not Bangeojin. So she's moving up to the abandoned Hogae elders' house, which means that our apartment has to be closed up for long-term abandonment. Poor apartment. So the time I have left that isn't writing down important information to pass to Elder Jeong (Elder Jeong's staying in Shinjeong, but his companion, Elder Wells, is moving to Suseong in Taegu) or eating one long string of shiksas** is going to be taken up with cleaning, cleaning, and more cleaning. Really. I scrubbed the laundry room floor last night.

So it's one team per ward now. The training curriculum is getting rehauled, as is scheduling (everything's now running on 'quarters' or 'months' . . . once-a-transfer anything is now a thing of the past). The leadership are going to be subjected to bi-monthly three-day-long leadership training meetings (so long, suckers! Have fun!) which I'm sure Sis. Jennings is thrilled to death to have to cater for. (Not.)

Oh, and Sis. Culver, scissor expert that she is, cut my hair. Since I've been on a mission and am now an adventurous, exciting, fearless person, I told her to go ahead and cut it pretty much exactly the same way it's been since sixth grade. She took this in good humor, and cut in some cool layers that give me a whole bunch of effortless curlyness. Sis. Linford and Alcazar got trimmed, too, so we're all set for the trip home. Well, not Sis. Alcazar. But you know what I mean.

Gaah I can't even remember what we did this week at all! Oh, ward activity. Yup, we played water balloon volleyball in the parking lot with a bunch of the ward kids and parents. It was a ton of fun, and everybody got really wet, but fortunately the rain held off until we were quite done. Sis. Culver had told me that Elder Wells had told her that it was somebody's birthday (not sure who . . . maybe The Kid Who Looks Like Spock) and that I needed to make a cake. Hey, no problem. I like making cakes. So I made a cake. And after the activity it turned out that the cake was for my surprise going-away party. Yep. Elder Wells had me make my own farewell cake AND I WAS STILL SURPRISED. Sis. Culver played it really well. And my going home present was a plain white t-shirt, signed by all the folks. Which is SO awesome. I always wanted something like that. So I'm lugging it around and making people sign it, and I am well pleased. Sister Shin Jeong In drew a swoosh on it, so now it's a knockoff Nike t-shirt. Yaay!

Let's see . . . I had my first pat bing soo*** that I actually liked, at Paris Baguette with Sis. Go Gyeong Ah (the Branch President's wife). And this week we're being taken out for shabu shabu# (my favorite interactive meal concept) and boshimtang (dog soup--Branch prez said I could have samgeitang#* instead. I said he'd better believe I was getting sameitang instead. He's just really proud of his rep as 'The Boshimtang Branch President') (Now I think of it, it kind of blows my mind how much Pres. Pak and Sis. Go are like you two. Really a lot). And dinner tonight at Matt & Charlotte's, assuming that Charlotte doesn't go into labor (she's fairly well at the 'any-minute-now' stage, and is astonishing everyone by how little her very large pregnant belly impedes her from doing anything she dang well feels like doing).

The bags are being packed; last goodbyes are being said. The Seoul temple president, who used to be a couple missionary in Yeonsan ward when I was serving there, asked Prez if he could coerce one of the missionaries going home to Salt Lake to take a couple of books to his son, who's living in Utah. So Elder Kim the AP hesitantly called me to ask if I might possibly by chance be able to sqeeze these books in and still make weight limit . . . and I, being my parents' daughter, said, "Oh, yeah. I'm travelling light, so I've got plenty of space. Not a problem." and Elder Kim was happy.

So . . . we've got to run to a shiksa pretty quick here, and close my Korean bank account, and pick up last useful things like boric acid (we don't seem to have roaches, but nothing like being careful when you're leaving a house abandoned for an unknown stretch of time), and generally say my goodbyes to Korea. We are one hundred percent jangshim opda## (ask Helena), which pleases me, because the less time I have to think about this the better I'm going to take it. Which has always kind of been my style, I realized. This is why I've never attended my own graduation and dislike big weddings. I like to plow through life changes, not wallow in them. Maybe this isn't giving enough reverence to the occasion, but it keeps me moving forward and having fun, which is good.

So we going to Aaron's wedding reception on Saturday?

Love you guys. And, um . . . gosh sakes. See you this weekend.


*translator thingy

**shiksa --"meal." The missionaries use this to refer to dinner appointments.

***pat bing soo pat bing soo-- red beans on shaved ice, with various other things done up fancy like a sundae. Pics here:

#* sameitang--maybe samgyetang? Chicken soup, but with a whole chicken.

# shabu shabu --this is actually a Japanese thing.

## jangshim opda --I'm guessing this is jeongshin opda, basically losing your mind. Like you're so busy you can't think straight.

Many thanks to Helena for the translations and links to images!

Monday, June 28, 2010


Todd wrote:

"From what I can tell, this is your last P-day. Next week will be a P-week. Yesterday Rose and I received from President Jennings a letter announcing your completion of your mission. Both President Reusch and the Bishop got letters saying the same thing, so you are done. Take a week off. "

RoseE wrote:

"Yaaay! Actually, not that much goofing off planned for this week. Next week is only four days long (Mon-Thurs) and two of those days are P-Days (Mon and Thurs), so goofing off will be heavily indulged in then."

Todd: I remember my last week. I had no fear, I could speak with power to members and investigators alike. Calling to repentance and changelings all I spoke to. You get to do that when you are about to leave this mortal coil. Take advantage of it.

RoseE: Yeah, I'm noticing this . . . last week of your mission, you've got nothing to lose, so stuff just flies out of your mouth without fear of the consequences. It happened at Kim Yoon Eh's house this last week. I think it might make her come to church next week, for the first time in ten years. And even if it's not next week . . . some things are inevitable.

Todd: Friday passed without my feared outcome. I knew that North Korea would lose in the World Cup, but they didn't take their failure out on Seoul, so I think you will survive your mission.

RoseE: Folks around here are worried for the NK soccer team, actually . . . thinking Beloved Leader or whatever we call him might take out his frustration (and humiliation -- from what we hear, he made sure that lots of people in his country were watching as his poor team got their butts whooped 0-7) on the players and that if they do not find themselves a quiet corner of South Africa to live out their lives, they might be living them out in a labor camp.

Todd: Since you will be coming back, what do you have planned?

RoseE: Monday morning, I'm planning a trip to LDS Distribution to beg for my job back. If they give it to me, I will be planning on going to work every day. If not, I have no plans, really. Other than sewing dresses, going to the library, cleaning out e-mail inboxes, and exploring the boxes and boxes of clothes I think I've still got over there.

Todd: Will you stay in the ward or go to a singles ward?

RoseE: Staying in the ward, at least for the time being. I've missed the ward a lot, and until I figure out what the next few months are going to be like (staying in Rose Park/moving elsewhere to chase employment, staying living with all y'all/finding my own place, eventually back to BYU for grad school as soon as those student loans are killed . . . ) I'm gonna stick pretty close to home base.

Todd: Do you want a calling?

RoseE: Yes, please.

Todd: The Bishop has asked for you to speak on the 25th will you be ready?

RoseE: Can do.

Todd: What to you want to do when you get back? I know you are going to Boston, but do you have any locals that you are going to spend all your time with? Do you want to be left alone? Should I find stuff to do?

RoseE: Awwww, dang, I didn't bring my Forbidden List. The Forbidden List has all the stuff I want to do, but I can't remember much of what's on it because I haven't read it because it's Forbidden. (That's why it's called the Forbidden List.) Yes, there are a lot of local folks that I want to spend time with, predominantely the old roommate gang (Serena/Felicia/Laura/Holly/Sarai, the ones who were around a lot just before I left) and my dear friend Cara, who may or may not still be alive (information's thin on the ground over there). But I want to DO stuff, with my family, from whom I have been troublesomely separated for quite some time now. I want to go hiking and see the Church Art Museum again and do fairs and random shopping and movies and Conference downtown and eating American food and eating Korean food and anything else I can get my hands on. I don't want to be left alone. I've been quite alone in my head for a very, very long time, and I've had quite enough of it, thank you kindly.

Though you might wake up the morning of the 11th to find me not in the house . . . I have a vague plan to wake up at like 3:15 a.m., jet lag being as it is and all, and take Isis and go jogging in the park. Just thought I'd warn you, as I know this is not normal behavior for pre-mission me and you might be scared I'd run away or something. Nope--just getting some exercise and hesitantly testing out what being alone feels like. I'm sure I'll find time to organize my thoughts and process this whole experience while those of you who still have real lives are occupied with work and stuff . . . but I don't want to be at loose ends. That's about the worst thing I can imagine now.

Todd: Hugh Nibley* spend a month in Zion National Park when he finished his mission to recoup.

RoseE: I don't like recoup time. I get bored. But I do like Zion National Park. I think. Have I ever been there?

Todd: We have Phoebe with us for the month, and she and Teancum want to hike and camp and we would love to have you along too.

RoseE: Count me in!

Todd: Keep up the pace. Remember: there are only 50,000,000 Koreans left to convert!

RoseE: Ugh . . . don't remind me.

*Hugh Nibley: LDS scholar and friend of the Hadden family; fluent in about 8 languages including some ancient ones that nobody speaks anymore. Here are some links:

In Which RoseE Goes Spelunking--Sort of--And Makes Last-Minute Visits

RoseE writes:

Awww, you guys put in hardwood? That's so fantastic! Really, I'm so used to/comfortable with hardwood (well, fake hardwood) floors now that I was wondering how carpet and I were going to get along.

25 July. Got it marked. I'll try to be coherent by then.

And being Meredith's VT companion is going to ROCK! Thank you! I like having people pull strings for me in the RS presidency . . .

How was the futon lacking? What's wrong with the futon*?

So, this week. This week's P-Day was a trip to an old amythest mine outside the city that's been revamped into a tourist trap. I held myself rather aloof, knowing better than this, but everybody in general had a good time, and we got to watch some quite talented Filipino acrobats. (Yes, there's an acrobatics show that goes on in the cave. Told you it was a tourist trap.)

Tourist Cave video

LAST week was awesome, though. Many buses and much hiking took us to the top of this mountain south of Kyeongju, where we all got to finally Seokkuram Grotto, this Buddhist stone temple-cave from back in Unified Shilla. We weren't allowed to take pictures of it, which is fair, and you can probably find some online, but anyway seeing it is much cooler than seeing a picture. Just a beautiful, eerie little cavern built into the top of the mountain. Very neat.

And yes, Elder Ringwood came and spoke, once to the missionaries at Zone Conference, once to everybody yesterday at District Conference (it was packed, too . . . we almost couldn't find seats, as we got there late with Sis. Charlotte and I can't give driving directions). It was fun to meet him--he and his wife are excellent speakers. And though it's cool that they, too, presided over a mission, I still like Prez and Sis. Jennings better. They're MINE.

All of Zone conference was about going home. I cried a lot. Sigh . . .

Oh, but also, our whole zone performed an arrangement of 'Our Savior's Love' that I have sitting around in a folder somewhere, and despite my being in charge of conducting this impromptu choir, we actually sounded quite good. I was very pleased. But don't tell Bishop, or he'll make me be choir director.

And I went on my last comp split . . . my last day in Daegu. I begin to realize that I had a really, really hard time in Daegu, all things considered, and that I'm very proud of myself for getting through it. I didn't get to last-visit with anybody . . . we had last-visit appointments but they all got punked . . . but still had a good time anyway, talking to Sister Chon and eating choco bing su, which is good stuff.

So here's how next week is working. Monday is p-day, but not transfer day. Transfers are all going to happen on Thursday, a regular workday. So you'll get an e-mail next week, this same time, and then, um . . . well, then I'm home.

Love ya


*futon: having noticed a dearth of beds, we got RoseE a futon to help ease the transition from Korean life to US life. Aunt Lenore slept on it, and declared that the bars of the frame were very evident during the night. So . . . Plan B. Whatever that is.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Homecoming Talk

Mark your calendars!
25 July 2010
11:00 am
Sunday attire
Email me for the address, if you don't know it already.

From President Kenneth W. Jennings, Jr, Busan Mission President

President Jennings writes:

"June 17, 2010

Dear Brother and Sister Hadden,

We are pleased to inform you that Sister Hadden has filled an honorable mission and will return home on 10 Jul 2010. Please know that she has served with great faith and a dedicated heart in this missionary effort. She has been an influence for good and has touched many lives with this glorious message. She has been instrumental in bringing many souls into the church because of her strong testimony and outstanding missionary spirit. She is loved by both missionaries and members with whom she has served. She has done much to further the work of the Lord in this beautiful land of Korea.

Sister Jennings and I have been honored to work with your daughter and have grown to love her very much. You have good reason to be proud of Sister Hadden who has conducted herself nobly and diligently as a representative of the Savior. She has finished well the work and service she undertook many months ago.

It is our hope and prayer that as she returns home she will continue to find joy and fulfillment in service; and that as a result of her mission experience, she might be more prepared for even greater opportunities.

Sister Jennings and I are extremely grateful to you for sharing her with us and with the Korea Busan Mission. She will be greatly missed.

May the Lord continue to bless you and keep you in his watchful care.

Faithfully yours,

Kenneth W. Jennings, Jr.
Busan Mission President"

Monday, June 21, 2010

Later, I got a forwarded email from Todd (because it's Father's Day) with the rest of the news from Ulsan this week. RoseE writes:

"Dear Dad,
I think it's technically still Father's Day over there; at least, I hope so.

So Mom sent me fifty billion pictures of the family reunion. On the one hand, I was really sad I couldn't be there when EVERYBODY else was hanging out together, but on the other hand . . . well, I'm one of the oldest cousins, aren't I? Still too young to hang out with the aunts'n'uncles, too old to play with the younger kids who're all the same age or thereabouts. Ah cham. Oh well. At least Will, and not I, gets the stigma of being tallest. It looks like it was an awesome time, though, and I'm glad you had a good time biking up there. You've got to tell me more about this stealth camping thing. It sounds almost as good as sleeping in airports. (see; fun website.)

I FINALLY FINALLY got to do some cool living history stuff this week! It was the Soiburi Festival (Ironworks?) up at Buk Gu Cheong, and we missionaries volunteered at it. I really don't know what they thought they needed us for--they just told us to wander around and be enthusiastic, probably to make it look like there were more weigukins coming to the festival than actually came. We were nominally there as translators, but nobody seemed to need translation. So we just made clay pots, learned to make ddeok with a big old wooden mallet, wove reed circles to put on your head so it doesn't hurt as much to carry heavy stuff up there and it's easier to balance, watched some cool dancing and cooler drumming, dressed up in Choson-dynasty armor (plastic--my medieval sensibilities are appalled), and watched the Hyeahsa, praying to ancestors in general for a successful festival. (Apparently ancestors will do anything for a pig's head.) We also watched lots of blacksmiths doing their stuff, and watched students powering a foot-powered bellows like in Princess Mononoke. Very cool. AND on Sunday Sis. Go Kyeong Ah, the branch president's wife, finally relented and let us hear her play her very awesome Korean traditional lap-harp thing. She has two: a more traditional-style twelve-string one and a modernized 25-string. I took videos on my camera, but they'll have to come home with me 'cuz I didn't have Isobel there to take sendable videos with.

So yep. Seventeen months of searching in vain for a good Korean-history activity space, and my last month one jumps out at me and I get to spend two days hanging out there! And I got a free t-shirt. Except it isn't a t-shirt, it's a senghwal hanbok shirt, nice and cool with frogs to fasten it at the neck. So comfy. Sis. Alcazar is sleeping in hers. I'm wearing mine today to go up and see Seoknam Grotto. Hot as Hades and mosquitoes galore. I don't mind the skeeters, 'cuz I just don't react to the bites anymore, but poor Sis. Alcazar swells up like a balloon at every bite, so we've been experimenting with makeshift screens and netting tents, and taping up the vent in the bathroom 'cuz a lot of them seem to be getting in that way. Better last night.

We had President's interviews on Tues and Sis. Alcazar spent the whole time cutting elders' hair so they'd look spiffy for the mission tour. I got my Death Letter: the "This is when your exit interview is and this is how much money you'll need to get to Seoul and this is what you can do with the time you have after your temple session" letter. Death Letter. That whole last week's still kind of up in the air, since transfers are on Monday but exit interviews aren't 'till Thursday. It's looking now like Sis. Linford and I will just be companions and sleep in the living room for a couple days, and Elders Bocchino and Oxborrow will do something similar and have free run of Bangeojin to Kyeongju to say last goodbyes to everybody.

Sis. Kim Min Kyeong, the investigator who talks really fast, got matched up with Sister Go Kyeong Ah, who also talks really fast, and we had a lesson with a member and the two of them really hit it off and it was fantastic awesome.

We're having a ward activity in two weeks: Water balloon volleyball in the Daehwa River Park. Sis. Culver made a mad-cool collage poster for the occasion, with which everyone is very impressed. Now to get our investigators to come. . .

Sis. Wang Ga Jeong, of whom we had such high hopes, is in a pickle . . . her Buddhist mother-in-law, living in the States, has forbidden her to participate in a Christian church. She reeeeealy wants to come to church, but we're in Korea and Confucius reigns supreme and . . . we're stuck. Dang this woman, whoever she is.

This coming week: splits to Daegu, Zone Conference with Elder Ringwood, District Conference. It's going to go by really fast. It would even if it were a week in the middle of my mission and not my second-to-last week of regular missionary time. Chaos reins. We scramble to get stuff done. Even right now: gotta catch a bus to Kyeonju like NOW. So I love you! Happy Father's Day! See you in gosh-sakes-three-weeks!