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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Letter to Emily from 20 April 2009

RoseE wrote:

"Dearest Em,

It is raining in Korea. Probably all over Korea - it’s not a very big country. Sister [Korean characters] and I (Pak Song Hee . . . I meant to write it in roman but in came out in hangul) left our companions practicing music at Yeonsan ward and walked about six blocks up to the university to email. We were both under my umbrella because Elder Kang stole hers. We got pretty drenched on the way back. But now we’re sitting on comfy couches in Yeonsan, listening to the rain and writing. P-Day is a good day for rain. Sis. Beckstead had proposed a taxi for going to our member friend’s farewell party. All in favor. Motion passes.

I totally agree with you about the bathhouse . . . I can’t believe we get away with it! There are missionaries in Tahiti who are forbidden to swim on their beautiful tropical islands . . . aaand the Koreans get to go to the mokyotang whenever they feel like it. Maybe our Area Seventy doesn’t know. Then again, I think he’s a Korean so I don’t think he’d care.

I’m sure by the time you get this, you will have already talked to Jeffry about the abortion thing and gotten the matter worked out.* Korea is a worrisome place for abortions – it’s like getting a cavity filled. Just routine. I went sort of cold with shock when I heard this. In a country where birth control is so easy to access, and where children are so wonderful (seriously . . . Korean kids are so cute. I can’t believe have how cute they are), why on earth . . . how on earth . . . I know I’m in no way qualified to debate constitutional/unconstitutional, especially in a country whose constitution I have never read (Have I read the U.S. Constitution? I can’t remember), but I can’t be okay with casual abortion. So I’m out here working. Because there’s this great commandment called chastity that makes sure children are born into stable, loving families, that they’re blessings instead of disasters. The more I see of the world, the better I understand that commandments are tremendous blessings – that they’re to keep us happy and safe, not just to test our willpower and obedience. Anyway.

So by now you’ll have read about the massive list-copying session. In the course of it, Sis. M and I had the following conversation:

Me: Sister Mony, what does “Samang” mean?

Sis. M: Death.

Me: Oh. Okay. (brief pause) I think this person’s dead.

I handed her the slip where some former missionary has scribbled [Korean characters] next to someone’s name, and she stared at me and cracked up laughing and didn’t stop for a minute and a half. It was the longest break we got that day.

And . . . that’s my paper. I love you! Be safe, be happy, be full of music and life –


* Jeffry and I had a little argument about whether or not he’d come as my date to the Harvard pro-life banquet, and he didn’t want to, and it got a little messy because it’s one of the very few issues where I think the other side is unequivocally WRONG and am unwilling to compromise. Being upset, I wrote to my best friend, because that’s what I do whenever I . . . well, pretty much whenever I experience any sort of emotion at all, come to think of it. She’s right, as always – Jeffry and I worked it out the next day. RoseE knows me too well, methinks.

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