"I have made it to my first P-day [Preparation Day, sort of a day off]. Yeah, Tuesday. It was a long week. I'm in okay shape, though. My companions are having trouble with the ten-thirty-to-six-thirty sleeping schedule, but 6:30 is not far off where I was used to getting up, anyway, so that hasn't been too much of a problem for me. Despite the insistence that "you will never sleep in once on your mission," it is 6:39 and my companions are still out. Sister Copeland has the mother of all sinus infections, poor thing, and has barely been sleeping at all. Sister Linford is also pretty drained. I'm defying mission rules by letting them sleep late, but this is one defiance I don't feel belligerent about. Unlike all my other minor rebellions, like bringing a shoulder bag to meetings where shoulder bags are forbidden but you're required to have PMG, your scriptures, a notebook, pens, and your planner--without a bag to carry them in. However, I'm a little tired of being belligerent--it's not cheering me up or helping me feel the Spirit or learn Korean--so I'm trying to pipe down and do as I'm told. My attitude issues are not helping the people in Korea who need the gospel. Plus I'm sick of crying, either from the Spirit or from frustration, without Kleenex handy.
I'm doing really well so far with Korean. I was the first person in our district to pray in it--I'm sure I slaughtered it, but whatever. Our teacher insisted we say all our prayers in Korean. I was strickly obedient to this rule until I collapsed into tears on Saturday night and prayed in English (to blazes with Brother Thiel, I needed to talk to my Heavenly Father) and Sis. Steinmeyer (our coordinating sister) told me that, um, you can't take everything that Bro. Thiel says too literally. She also fed me lots of twizzlers, which helped. But I can now pray from memory, without notes, so some good came of it, I guess.
Our district is wonderful. There are three companionships of elders, all of whom are good sports about landing in a district that's one-third girls. They're endlessly popping up out of their chairs when we enter the classroom or sit down at their cafeteria table--I'm trying to coordinate things so we make them stand as little as possible. They're mostly mature and focused for nineteen-year-olds . . . mostly . . . and some of them are remarkably good singers. They're all going to either Busan or Teijun--Elder Draper has made up a Busan dance, complete with mission gang sign, that he busts out whenever he feels it's appropriate.
I think I'm getting a sore throat. Dang it all."
"Okay, so I thought of some more stuff to say.
Please send Cat's address. I don't have it.
Most of the other sisters here are sending home long lists of things they forgot to pack. I am reasonably well-supplied, being an excellent packer due to the training of my excellent-packer parents, so I do not have a huge list. But I do have some care package ideas, if you needed some. The tag magnet I bought on Wednesday is sheer genius, so if you happened across another one for my other tag, or two more for my companions, or both, I would be pleased. Not a crisis, though, just an idle thought. Chapstick is never a bad idea.
My other concern is this: carryon. With all my Korean books, if my bag didn't clear 50 lb before, it most certainly does now. Plus the sisters here inform me that when we go to Korea, we'll stay a couple of days with Pres. [and Sister] Jennings training and recovery from jetlag while our luggage is shipped out to our areas. So a carryon-sized bag would be a good plan. . . .
In response to Mom's questions, I have two RM [returned missionary] teachers: Bro Thiel (like Teal, the color) and Sis. LeBaron. I like Sis. LeBaron best. Bro. Thiel is scatterbrained in the extreme. One or two of the cafeteria full-times [employees] remembers me, which is nice, and my knowledge of the cafeteria systems and layout has been helpful to my companions.
You'll have to print and send pictures to me--unless you post them on LDS.org, I can't read them. I'm making some prints today, and I will slip them in with my next letter.
Dad, I'm keeping your letter in my journal forever and ever. Just so you know that.
Our district leader, Elder Kerrigan, is wonderful--very considerate and responsible. I'm doing my best to support him. Rules are a lot easier to follow when it's just poor Elder Kerrigan squirming as he tries to hide from us when telling us 'no' about anything. He's keeping an eye on sick Sister Copeland, too.
I have a sore throat and am chugging industrial quantities of orange juice. Once again, that work schedule shot my immune system all to heck.
I'd love to keep writing, but P-day is very short and I have to go wash my clothes.