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Friday, January 30, 2009

30 January 2009

RoseE writes:

"Dearest All,

Most pressing news First:  we have three sisters here from Korea 'cuz the Seoul MTC got shut down.  They're great . . . but the whole floor smells like KIMCHI!!  They smuggled it through CUSTOMS!!  Fortunately, somebody left a packet of hibiscus cherry tea in the giveaway box, so I'm breathing the steam as I write.

The tea's just for being delicious, because my cold is easing off, almost gone.  I'm still hacking a little, but not nearly so bad.  I am, however, humming in my sleep.  I can hear myself doing it.  I'll be mostly asleep and then I'll hear this "Mmmmmm" right next to my head and it wakes me up again.  Weird!  Did I ever do this before?

Korean is coming along swimmingly.  Swimmingly upriver, of course, but I'm having a much easier time of it than some of the others in my district.  Avatar* is helping a lot.  Really.  The word for 'Dad' is 'Appa' . . . and it's written in Hangul like this:  [sorry, I can't duplicate it, but it has six sticks that stick up throughout the word]  If you turn it upside down, it has six feet.  I don't know if this is an inside joke or what, but it's helping me remember.  Also, I think 'Haru' means 'day'.  I think.  Unfortunately, Koreans can't say z's, so the names of the entire Fire Nation are out.*

Bit [Bethe] and Bug [Teancum] have asked what the MTC is like.  Well, I'll tell you.  You get out of bed at EXACTLY 6:30 (a minute early is selfishness, a minute late is laziness) and have half an hour to get ready (stockings on) and get up to your classroom to quietly study your scriptures for 45 min.  Then down to the cafeteria for 30 min of breakfast.  Then (if it's Friday, which it is), you go change into pants and do 'service', which means 'chores'.  (stockings off!)  Service is great; you can let your brain disengage for awhile.  Then back to class (stockings on) for lessons with Sister Lebaron until lunch.  Korean practice all through lunch.  Then four more hours of class with Brother Thiel.  Then an hour of gym time (stockings off!) practicing Korean while doing two miles on the elipticals.  Then dinner (stockings on) and hours of study, on Korean, teaching, and teaching in Korean, until planning at 9.  From 9:30 to 10:30 is 'prep time', which today is a letter and a cup of tea (stockings off, set on fire, and thrown out the window).  10:30 is bed, on pain of eternal damnation if you stay up.  So I hum myself to sleep.  It's sooo crazy, but I'm starting to enjoy it.  At least there's a cup of tea and a cookie at the end of the day.

I'm faithfully taking my vitamins, though the new ones are a little bit sketch (the Market Square sticker made me laugh my head off).  And drinking lots of water and eating lots of salad.  Sister Lee, Sister Choi, and the other Sister Lee liked the chocolate chip cookies and were very excited that my mom had made them.  (This took some explaining; I'm still shaky on verbs like 'make' and I can't do past tense at all.  But we got there in the end.)

I'm reading Jesus the Christ before bed.  After 12 hours of reading Preach My Gospel, the complicated sentence patterns and fascinating, grandiose words are nourishment to my poor brain, which is swimming with Korean and has not been denied literature for more than twenty-four hours its entire life.  Thank goodness for [James E.] Talmage.  It's amazing how action-packed Jesus the Christ can seem.

And there's 10:30.  I love you all!  Have fun in Europe!"

*Avatar is an animated series about many things, but including a flying bison named Appa which has 6 legs. Involved in the plot are four nations:  the Air Nation, the Earth Nation, the Water Nation, and the Fire Nation.  Each nation can manipulate their own element.  Of course the Fire Nation are the bad guys, and all their names have z's in them.

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