Okay, first off, Dear Dad. I wrote you a letter last P-Day but mailed it today because my companion did not have any letters to mail and I didn't say anything because I didn't want to make her make a special trip to the post office. (Non-confronational? Me? What would make you think such a thing?) But it's in the mail and I'm writing you another because I got your list of fifty billion questions and I am answering them all to the best of my knowledge.
Okay, end of aside. In logistical news, I am planning to call home on my Mothers' Day, which is your Day-Before-Mothers'-Day. It will probably be either at about two-thirty in the afternoon or about 9:30 at night; we're not sure yet. Please tell me what is going on that day so Sis. Mont and I can plan accordingly.
And . . . there are no pictures today because I forgot my dumb connector cord. I'm sorry!
Anyway, here's the News of Korea. The weather continues to be lovely, although we had our first good downpour of rain. Apparently the entire month of August is going to be like that. Hold onto your hats.
This weekend, the missionaries put on a travelling show. About a month ago, somebody had the idea to do a musical fireside and perform it at several wards in Pusan. The idea was enthusiastically accepted and promptly forgotten about until this week, when we suddenly went into a frenzy of emergency planning. I have spent a LOT of time cutting out and gluing together flyers, programs, and the like. Sister Hill and Sister Pak had to spend hours correcting the time on the flyers their elders had printed out. But it was all completely worth it! Saturday night we performed in Heyoundae ward (once again, spelling? Um?) after tracting and handing out flyers for two solid hours. (Have I mentioned that I'm scared to death of tracting? Absolutely paralyzed. Slam-bang missionary, me.) A lot of members came, and we sang for them, which was nice, and also some inactives with whom Hill and Pak chamenimdur have been working, and . . . one other person. One little grandma in a pink jacket to whom I had given a flyer. I made Sister Pak talk to her, because I couldn't, and just stood there grinning my face off. The little grandma made me eat refreshments. It was funny.
Then on Sunday we performed in Sujeong ward. Remember Sujeong ward? Our struggling little po-dunk ward with so many inactives? WELL. There were more people at our fireside than there had been at Sacrament Meeting. Gu Un Yeong, this DARLING inactive sister that I just love, stood up and bore testimony about Christ being the light of the world and just waxed eloquent on the topic for a good fifteen minutes. And most exciting of all, Kim Seon Yae came! And her husband! And her son! Kim Seon Yae has been meeting with the missionaries since time immemorial, learning English and the gospel, but she's very solidly ensconced in her own church and our predacessors were considering just not meeting with her anymore. But the past two weeks, her husband has come to her lessons with her, and he has so many wonderful questions ... it's easy to see he's paying attention and is interested in what we're teaching. And they and their son came to the fireside! Kim Seon Yae has NEVER come to a church ANYTHING before. She has flat-out refused. But all the members introduced themselves and were so nice (YES!) and she totally made friends with Gu Un Yeong (Hill Chameniem has been trying to introduce these two women since forever) and . . . yaay! And there were other investigators there and other inactives and then after the program everybody just hung out and chatted and met people. I just wanted to scream with satisfaction. We may bring this ward back to life yet. And I was totally just chatting my head off with everybody like I actually speak Korean or something. And then on the subway going home the man sitting next to me just started asking about my Book of Mormon, and I taught him (and the woman sitting on my other side) the first lesson, and got his contact information, and someone else on the other side of the car came over and took the pamphlet I'd pulled out of the Book of Mormon in order to show the pictures. Oh, my blessed gosh, it's like I'm actually a freakin' missionary or something.
No joke: this week at our regular meeting with the Yeonsan Ward Mission Leader, he (the ward mission leader) turned and asked me how I thought the work was going in Yeonsan. And I answered that the work was going well, that with Sister Montgomery in this ward it can't help but be strong and growing and happy and loved, and that she's working her butt off (which she is) to bring the Spirit into people's lives. When I finished saying this, he turned to Sister Montgomery and said (basically; I only caught a little) "Three weeks ago, she couldn't speak Korean. Remember?" Then he looked at me and said, in English, "Miracle."
The other big joy of this week is that I GOT TO WEAR PANTS. The bishop of Heyoundae ward is the custodian of all the church buildings in Pusan (that's his job) and he called us all out to help clean Sujeong and Yeonsan. So on Tuesday, we wore pants ALL DAY, to clean, and then to work on making fireside flyers. And then on Thursday we wore pants all morning to clean. Oh, good gosh, I nearly cried, I was so happy. I love pants.
The other thing I love is telling stories. I am an evil corrupting influence: I have gotten my companion hooked on Doctor Who. While we were cleaning, we didn't have anything to talk or think about really, so I just started telling the first episode. Aaaaaaaand now we're hooked. (I am only telling them at night after planning is done, I swear.) (And on P-Day.) (And we're making gospel parallels.)
This week, we ate deijigukbap three days in a row. This is a very yummy soup -- a broth with pork and vegetables in it, into which you mix gochujang (spicy pepper paste) and the little salty shrimp and some vegetable that looks and tastes just like grass and of course rice. It is very good. We ate it with the Elders on Tuesday, and with the bishop and the other cleaning missionaries on Wednesday, and with the Stake Relief Society Presidency on Thursday. So we're a little deijigukbaped out. Then on Friday we visited the Yeonsan mission leader's inactive wife (who was SO glad to see us, by the way . . . she's so lonely) and she asked me what Korean foods I really like. And the only thing that sprang to mind was . . .
I think I may have doomed us to more deijigukbap in the near future.
Today we CLEANED OUR APARTMENT. That is SO GOOD. And we cleaned out of our fridge all the tupperwares full of leftover food from member meals, so the fridge is not threatening to develop a new and independent civilization anymore. And we got a new toilet seat, because our old one would slip into the toliet if you sat on it and wedge itself in there, so you couldn't sit on it, which is kind of the point of a toilet seat. So we got a new one, and I installed it because I am clever like that, and now we can actually sit on our toilet, which is joyous to our souls.
Also root beer. A member family smuggled some to Sisters Hill and Pak this week. Yaaay!
Maman, I am so sorry you lost your camera. Any hope of recovery? I think I would die without my camera. IN addition to using it to take touristy pictures, I am using it to learn members' names (I take their picture and then make them say their names into the voice memo recorder . . . genius or what?) and using it as a portable map. When we need to find someone's house, we just take a picture of the page it's on in the map book in high-resolution instead of hauling the whole map book around all day. Clever me!
And I've got to go develop some pictures so that I can send them to people so they remember what I look like, which is good. So here endeth the epistle for today, I guess. I love you all! Be good!
Oh, and if you're ever hungry and looking for a quick and easy meal, make a Ramen Cup-of-Noodles, eat the noodles, and then put rice and kimchi in the broth and eat it. Good stuff.
Oh, and I have to tell you about mungus! I keep forgetting. Mungus are stationery stores in Korea. They sell fifty billion kinds of pens, and lots of silly notebooks with melodramatic and often-gramatically-lacking English on them, and all sorts of bizarre and delightful stationery. And it's all dirt-cheap. Mungus are like Disneyland. My new scripture notebook has a different dreamy-looking cartoon girl (often accompanied by butterflies) on every page. I also have a tiny notebook whose cover announces "I Want to stay with you and look at you for a very long time" (capitalization and punctuation as in the original). They are fun.
And THAT's the end. I promise.
Love and all that jazz!!!
Oh, PS: Bethe, apparently they eat whale in Ulsan. I don't know where that is."