RoseE wrote to Emily, her bestest friend, before she left for Korea, and Em's only just received it and got the text to me.
With any luck at all I'll get this in the mail while I'm still stateside, though it may end up with a Los Angeles postmark if I have to finish it on plane ride 1. Because we're leaving at the blessed crack of dawn tomorrow morning!!
Your job sounds amazing. I'm so glad you're excited about the company, and that you'll be in such a tight-knit and supportive department. And that you get to wear hot heels! I hate to say it, but there are days when I miss heels a little bit. I have known certain shoe savants too long.
In the lobby of our residence hall there are some boxes, referred to communally as "the Box." The Box is the MTC's shopping extravaganza. Departing sisters leave in the Box things they don't want to take into the field, and other sisters pounce thereon. The Box has been very busy this weekend – I know I've tossed at least five pounds of stuff into it, and fished out two new shirts, a wrap, and an extra stick of deodorant, which does not exist in Korea as such. [Korean characters] (Nai-suh.) (It means 'Nice,' in the slang sense, like, "You got all that stuff for free? Na-i-suh!")
Our last weekend has been crazy. The post office closes at 2 p.m. on Saturdays, so we spent a long time waiting in line so Sisters Copeland and Linford could send home huge boxes of stuff. Then we had to eat a ten-minute lunch and run to our teaching practice with Brother Pak, a very nice, friendly, helpful Korean man who comes every Saturday to help us practice but who is not reading the Book of Mormon because the language is too difficult. I made Sisters Peterson and Ogelvie, the 2 sisters who are here for six more weeks, promise to get him a [Korean characters], Book of Mormon Stories. It's a big, thick picture book of the whole Book of Mormon with much simpler language. Bro. Thiel says the people he taught loved this book. Elder Lallatin bought one for himself, and the whole district fought over who got to read it first. Yeah, we've been here a long time. We get a little crazy.
Our res hall room is pack with half-packed suitcases – walking anywhere is a challenge, taxing our balance and flexibility. In keeping with my heritage as a backpacker's daughter, I have only one suitcase, one carryon, and my shoulder bag, while everyone else has two suitcases plus carryon plus backpack. So they're struggling to make it down to 140 lbs of stuff and I'm sitting pretty on under 90 lbs. I unfortunately keep thinking of the Parable of the Ten Virgins. Yeah, I'm smug. I'm sure I will get humbled the second I set foot in the Incheon Airport.
Today, in continuation of my crazy departure weekend, is Piano Day. Sister Copeland and Elder DeWall from the next district over auditioned this weekend to perform "My Soul Hungered" in one of the big meetings, and got asked to do it for Departure Devotional tonight. But Elder DeWall is also singing a duet with Sister Bergeson in Sacrament meeting, for which Sister Copeland is also playing. So between rehearsals and performances, I'll be hearing music all day today. Nothin' wrong with that.
Holy heck. Tonight is the last night I'll sleep on a mattress on a bed frame for a year and a half.
My parents sent me one last care package before I go, containing, of all wonderful things, a box of peppermint tea. I have been drinking it like crazy. I missed tea. (And that's totally your fault, by the way – I hated herbal teas before you got me hooked on them.*) There is no peppermint tea in Korea – Sisters Lee and Jeong has never tasted it before. So that's coming with me, baggage restrictions be darned. I'm anxious to try barley tea and all the others that the Korean members drink (they're Korean, for gosh sakes – they keep the word of wisdom, but they keep it creatively, kind of like me, so I should fit in just fine), but I do want something familiar to drink when I'm stoned on jet lag and culture shock in a few days. And lack of DearElders. Aaaah, what am I going to do without instant updates from my Emily?
But on the plus side, my letters and pictures and life in general are going to get much more interesting. That's good. And as soon as I use up all these cara-cards I'll get some trippy and hilarious Korean stationery, which will be fun.
I love you and I miss you, and I'll write you from Pusan!
* Note from Emily: BWAHAHAHAHA!!!