Thank you SO MUCH for the tag magnets. I'm sorry it was such a goshawful hassle! I really appreciate it, and so do my companions. They've been jealous of my tag magnet since the first day. Did you really have to come all the way down here to Provo to get them? I'm so sorry! I wish I could have just hopped on a bus to go grab some, but, well, I'm stuck. Here. In the MTC. Where they don't sell tag magnets. But thank you, thank you, thank you. And for the crazy amounts of chocolate (mmmm . . . joyous to the soul) and the tea (which makes me sooo happy; I'm up to two cups a day with no end in sight). And especially the pictures. (We had included our pictures from France in the last care package) I went through the whole massive stack about five times, including with my francophone district-mates, and then spent an hour sorting out the ones I felt I absolutely needed to take to Korea with me. These ones tended to be the ones that made me think "Wow . . . they all look miserably cold and wet, in an obscure corner of France where there are no tourists at this time of year. Yep, that's my family." I particularly liked the kiss in front of the Eiffel tower . . . first because it was a kiss in front of the Eiffel tower, and secondly because I flipped it over to the excited exclamation of "This is where Hitler got his picture taken when he came to Paris!" Yup . . . that's my parents.
So basically I kept all the pictures of people, and sorted them neatly into my photo album. Also the Nike of Samothrace, which I love, and Notre Dame. So I'll have something to remind me of how much I love France as I'm learning to love Korea.
So I'm flying out on Monday!!! My flight SLC-LAX leaves at 9:45, and then I'm in LAX from 10:45 (pacific) to 12:30, when my plane leaves for Seoul. When will be the best time for me to call home? Should I call the home phone or somebody's cell? Please DearElder me the answers, since I won't be able to check e-mail again at the MTC.
So . . . news of the week. It's been an 'off' week, because Sister Copeland has been down with 'flu or something so we three spent a day and a half holed up in our residence hall in teacher-imposed quarantine. It was starting to smell kind of funky. Far be it from me, however, to complain about a whole day to sleep, study, read, and get stuff organized. A real break! After two and a half months! Glory hallelujah.
On Sunday we got to listen in on the last session of the Draper temple dedication. The session started at 4:30, and we all had to be seated in the immaculately-clean gym by 4, and missionaries are always at least fifteen minutes early for everything, so we actually made it to our seats at about 3:35 (right after our talk-free, just-pray-sing-and-go Sacrament Meeting) and sat in absolute silence (all 3,000-some-odd of us) for a solid hour. Then another hour and a half for the dedication itself. Then we got to have a picnic dinner on the floor of our classroom, which was a lot of fun, and troop back down to the same gym for the Sunday Night Fireside, which thankfully was given by Bro. Allen, the Guy in Charge of the Missionary Department. This is the third time in three months he's given a fireside, but I don't mind. He's the funniest speaker we've got. He also lets the elders take off their jackets, which everyone appreciates because that gym can get baking hot very easily, but most speakers won't even think about letting the elders take their jackets off. Poor guys. It almost makes the pantyhose easier to bear.
We got the health-and-safety-in-the-mission-field talk today. We were all excited about this because our Japanese roommates told us that they'd been instructed to Not Get A Pet Monkey, Because You Will Get Rabies And Die. So we were all excited for the Monkey Speech, and not a word of monkeys did we get. Just an admonition to never pet a baby raccoon, no matter how cute it is. Also do not tie sheets together and rappel out of your fourth-story apartment window. We also got to stay behind a few minutes because "they needed to have a word particularly with the sisters." You never saw so many elders clear a room so quickly. Just the thought of the threat of the "M" word makes them take off running for the hills. They're funny.
Speaking of funny elders, I keep intending to type up some of the District Quote List, which I have been collecting since January. Here are a few of the best, as well as I remember them:
Elder Lallatin: Pretty Girl! *hyperventilates* BEAR TESTIMONY!
Elder Gygi: I know just enough Thai to be dangerous.
Elder Conley: *about the MTC* The possibilities are endlessly limited!
Sister Copeland: Don't listen to me. I have a humidifier. I don't know what I'm doing.
Sister Linford: Hey, Conley Changnonim, catch my trash!
Elder Kerrigan: *reading out of Preach My Gospel* "Ask yourself, 'Am I a blessing or a burden to the bishop?'" Hopefully you can answer YES!. . . because if you can't answer 'yes', you probably just didn't show up to your mission at all . . .
Sister LeBaron (our teacher): I'm having a brain freeze.
Sister Hadden: That makes ten of us.
Elder Lallatin: Hey, wait! Uh . . .
Elder Gygi: Told ya.
Brother Thiel: *examining a stain on the cover of his PMG* What is that? Kimchi?
Elder Kerrigan: Hot sauce?
Elder Barzee: I'm pretty sure it's John the Baptist . . .
Okay, that's some of the best ones that I can remember, and I only have five minutes left. So . . . um . . .
Oh, Shirley the Floor Mom has "smuggled in" a VCR and some exercise videos, so I can do yoga instead of hanging around in the increasingly-boring gym fighting for exercise machines. She's waiting for permission to keep the videos up there, so while the bureaucracy grinds on, I'm doing yoga in the comfort of my own lobby. Yaaay!
I did a bunch of mending today, of which I am very proud.
And . . . I'm excited to go to Korea. There's a lot that I'll miss about the MTC, but I'm really, really ready to not be here anymore. It's been a very long time in a very small space. Hopefully North Korea will not do anything stupid until after I make it to Pusan.
And . . . Oh, crap, my mission address! Just a minute.
Crap, I don't have the dang thing on me. I'll pop it in the letter I'm sending to Cat.
I love you all! Take care of yourselves and BE SAFE, because I freak out enough about you all without you doing anything STUPID like rappelling out a fourth-story window.