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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Becoming Acclimatized

Yesterday, 12/23/08, was our yearly trip to This Is The Place to see their Candlelight Christmas presentation. But first, we went out to dinner at a little place called Korea House on State Street.

We had heard such stories about Kim-Chi and how hot the food was, so we ordered some, and also a variety of other things and dug in.
Here's RoseE
trying Kim-Chi for the first

Verdict: Good!

She wow'd us all by
saying 'thank you' and some other things in Korean to the waitress, who responded in kind.

After a lovely dinner, wherein everybody ate some of everything (except Teancum who did not eat his spinach), we trooped up to This Is The Place (or, as it is sometimes referred to in our family, "This is the 'This Is The Place' place.")

This is a reincarnation of the
kind of houses the Mormon pioneers lived in in 1847-49 when things were just getting set up in the valley. There are one-room log cabins, brick houses built with hand-made bricks, general stores, wooden churches, barns, etc, with re-enactors dressed in period clothing explaing how life was back then. They have period crafts you can do: sachets of cinnamon and cloves, dough ornaments of cinnamon dough, candle-making . . . stuff like that.

Usually we go up there when it is snowing Hollywood buckets, or the temperature is cold enough to crack your enamel, and we are alone with the re-enacters. This year it was a balmy 26F with snow gently falling through the night. Plus it was the last night they were having Candlelight Christmas, and if dogs were allowed, everybody would have arrived with theirs. Even without the dogs, the place was packed.
Discussions with the re-enactors was impossible over the din; sometimes we couldn't even fit into the tiny log cabins. We wandered from packed cabin to packed cabin, danced a line dance,

had hot cider, greeted Brigham Young, tried on silly hats (Cat and Jason)
and finally gave up and went home in the falling snow.

South Korea Busan Mission

RoseE enters the MTC (that's Missionary Training Center) in Provo, UT on 14 January 2009, barring any unforseen circumstances, to serve an 18-month mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Busan, South Korea.

She has been planning and saving for this event for years.

Traditionally, when one receives one's mission call, one gets all one's family together and opens the call that same day with family. RoseE received her big white envelope in the mail on a Wednesday in early December, but was kind enough to wait . . . all the while dreading that she would be sent to Nebraska or Indianapolis . . . until the following Sunday during the Relief Society meeting (the women's organization of the Church) to open it. She had to hide it from Todd, who might just have opened it in advance and then resealed it, just to know.

Usually only women are in Relief Society, but word had got around. This Sunday the Bishop was there, Teancum was there, all the Young Women (including her two sisters) were there . . .even Connie was there! It was standing room only.

We made her stand up in front of the room. There was a collective holding of breath as she opened the envelope and scanned swiftly down the cover letter.

"It seems I am going to . . . (GASP!) KOREA!"

From the room, there were gasps, cries, laughter and she was instantly surrounded by well-wishers.

Since that day, some two and a half weeks ago, she has been getting shots and visas, photographs and mission-appropriate clothing, and feverishly studying Korean online. She now can recall (most of the time) 92 words in Korean, and write them in the appropriate characters. She is rereading the Book of Mormon, trying to get the whole thing back into her head in one month. This will be her 5th or 6th reading in her life.


Who'da thunk it?

Sunday, December 14, 2008


From RoseE"s journal:

"I will now get back to my Korean--the expressions for "I'm sorry" and "Excuse me" and the like are unnecessarily difficult and are giving me grief, which is annoying, and my Korean coach at work went on vacation for a week, which is more annoying still. I'm going to mutter the expressions to myself a billion times while wrapping presents, since Bethe and Cat are conveniently out of the house shoveling sidewalks at church."

Friday, December 12, 2008

Attitude Adjustment

from RoseE's journal:

"It's amazing what having five weeks will do to you.

I have suddenly discovered the energy to attack my life instead of just dragging myself through it for lack of anything better to do. My bed is made, my room is clean--I've even managed to do my hair, actually do it, with a hairbrush and accessories, in the morning. And when I'm not plowing through the Book of Mormon or playing phone-tag with the bishop or the International Travel clinic, I'm flicking through my "Let's Learn Korean In A Big Hurry" flash cards, muttering to myself. I want to get things done, to be ready, to get going.

A customer that I helped at Distribution e-mailed my boss to praise how cheerful I was, and energetic and efficient and pleasant. Upon hearing this, my response was, "She called on Monday, didn't she?"

I keep going to bed early, the sooner to be in another day in which I'm that much closer to going to Korea, and the better to be functioning for phone-tag and flash cards.

My call letter promised me that serving a mission would bring me joy beyond anything I'd known before. I think that the second I read the word 'Korea' may, in fact, qualify as the happiest single instant in the whole of my life to date, and I've been generally more thrilled about everything in the past week than I could have pictured myself being. I know the Lord's promises are sure, I just didn't think they'd kick in before I'd actually left.

I'll go eat breakfast now, in case you're having a crummy morning and I'm grating on your nerves."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Studying Korean

From RoseE's blog:

"I am now fairly well settled on the Korean alphabet, twelve words, and one phrase. I considered myself to be doing pretty well until it occurred to me that the other missionaries with whom I will be studying probably got their calls months ago and are reciting epic Korean poetry by now. Well, if I can cram down a vocabulary of a couple hundred words and at least some basic grammar concepts, that will still be better than nothing."

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Mission Call

from RoseE's blog:

"I got the envelope on Wednesday.

For three days it sat there, watching me, my destiny discreetly concealed inside it. And though I knew I should be humbly prepared for whatever it contained, I had endless nightmares of being called to Salt Lake, Chicago, Indianapolis . . . nearby places, familiar places, places where I wouldn't learn another language or immerse myself in another world. I wore myself out with worrying, and got more and more irritable as the endless days ticked by.

Then I went to church, the closed envelope tucked into my bag. I didn't want to talk about it. I didn't want to think about it. I was too afraid, and too tired of being afraid, and too annoyed with myself for being tired and afraid.

Finally, we got to Relief Society. Everybody was there. All my siblings, and my bishop, and all the Relief Society and all the Young Women--even Connie Houskeeper, who never comes to RS. And I stood up and ripped open the envelope.

"It looks like I'm serving in . . ."

Stay calm, stay calm, whatever happens . . . wherever you go, it will be okay . . .

Provo MTC . . . well, I know where THAT is . . .



A shriek from Meredith Foster. Hysterical laughter from me. Gasps and laughs from all over the room.

"Korea Busan Mission," I read out, still gasping. "I have no idea where that is!"


"Korea!" I whipped open the packet and found the map. "It's in South Korea," I announced, "so at least it's not Communist." My hands were shaking now. "

I'm going to Korea," I repeated again. "Oh, my gosh, Korea!"I'm going to Korea. Oh, my gosh, Korea.

Time to sit down and start learning Korean."