"Dearest Mum and Dad,
. . .
I will try not to be excited to the point of distraction for my package. I will fail, but I will try.
. . .
So hey, news of the week. It is the first week of my second transfer of my first mission of the rest of my life, or something. Anyway, I am still working in the same wards but with a new companion, Sister Pak Ji Yeon. She trained my friend Sister Jeong Min Hee from the MTC, and then the two trainers switched places so Sister Montgomery is now in Ulsan with Sis. Jeong and Sis. Pak is with me in Pusan. She is a tiny little Korean sister with huge eyes (everyone comments on her eyes; this is a very attractive feature in Korea), and is from Seoul, where she studied acting. Her English is not very good, but it is still better than my Korean. However, she and a bunch of the other Korean missionaries are taking something called the Michigan Test at the end of the transfer, which is an English test they need if they want to study at BYU. Sis. Pak does not want to take it, but she is bound and determined to get a better score than Zone Leader Elder Lee Song Gi, who pressured her into taking the exam in the first place. So she's speaking a lot of English and I'm speaking a lot of Korean, since my two other roommates are also Koreans (Good old Sister Pak Song Hee and her new trainee, Sister Beh whose given name I have forgotten, but it's okay because she is the only Sister Beh I know). This has the potential to be a very lonely situation, but y'all know me -- I curl up with a book and just cease to care. I'm getting a lot more reading done than I did with Sisters Montgomery and Hill in the house, but that's about the biggest difference.
Sister Pak showed up with a freezer-full of pastry dough, a gift from a member in her old area who ran a bakery. I have been having a very good time with this. Since I have no recipes to work with, I'm just making junk up. So far I have made apple tarts, apple-chestnut tarts, apple-vanilla tarts, apple-chestnut tarts with vanilla and orange zest, and crispies glazed with the syrup left over from the last one. Well, sort of glazed. I don't know how to make glaze, so I tried something and ended up with flavored liquid sugar, which is I guess all it needs to be in order to qualify. As you can guess from the ingredient list, I'm just using random leftover junk from our refrigerator, but I want to try working with strawberries, too, since those are handy and (relatively) cheap, and maybe try random experiments with Asian pears or pineapple. Can you make pineapple pie? I'm about to find out. My roommates are all very impressed with my baking skills, but hesitate to eat any of it because they will get fat. Or so they say.
In other news, this week the BYU Wind Symphony performed in the Pusan cultural center, and anybody who was anybody showed up. We missionaries only got to hear the first half, which was sad, but we had to go home at intermission in order to be back in our apartments by nine. BUT at the concert this cultural organization was giving away these books on Korean Culture, and I nabbed them and read them both in two days. (I'm a little book-starved. In addition to these two, since starting my mission I have read Our Heritage, True to the Faith, Jesus the Christ, Our Search for Happiness, The Book of Mormon, The Book of Mormon in Korean up to Jacob 5, the entire New Testament and half the book of Genesis. I've never been able to keep track of my reading so well before.)
Aaaaaaah crap I've got to go. But, um, we ate at crazy ice cream lady's house again, and it's windy in Pusan, and I'm now taking the bus instead of the subway everywhere (new companion thing), and I love you all, and I finally mailed a bunch of letters today so if you're waiting on one it's coming.
I love you!