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Monday, June 8, 2009

Of Propane, Practical Jokes, and Presidents Who Read Extensively

RoseE writes:

"This week was like the week of the most letters EVER!!!

Oh my gosh thank you all so much!

Teancum: I'm glad you're having fun with alluc.* But do your homework. I had problems with this. :-)

Amanda:** What event are you doing in Speech? Somebody told me but I forgot.

Camille:** Hey, I stepped on a nail once and had to go to the hospital, too! Good times. Did they pop you with a tetaunus shot? I hate them things.

Crystal:** Stay out of the way of baseball bats, silly girl!

Melvin:** If you use the word 'succulent' one more time to describe food I will not see again for at least another year. I will throw something at you. Yes, from Korea.

Max:** I wish I'd gotten a photography merit badge, or at least done an online tutuorial or something, 'cuz I'm a lousy photographer and it's coming back to bite me now.

Sebastian:** Rock climbing is awesome!

Sheila,*** thank you so much for the update/bulletins. I love reading them and knowing what's going on with your family.

So, dearest Mum and Dad,

If you are continuing to freak out, here is the following.

1. A member named Brother Allen works at the U.S. Embassy here in Pusan, and is in a position to know very quickly if something happens, and he has promised President Jennings that the mission will have all the warning it is humanly possible to have. His family is still here in Pusan, so he's not too worried.

If there is trouble, the whole mission's got an evacuation plan in place, and we all know it. Little trouble would get us sent to the Church Area Headquarters in Tokyo. Big trouble would get us sent to the States. We know where the army bases are, and are in every way prepared and unworried.

Oh, except Elders Hansen and Olsen, because Sister Pak played a prank on them this week and told them over the phone that the North had just launched seven missiles and we were evacuating. Half an hour later, we get a call back, to the tune of: "I HATE you! We called the APs and they told us you're lying liars! Elder Olsen was packing!"

Sister Pak is very pleased with herself.

This has been a slow missionary-work week, sadly, though we have done a bunch of hill-hiking to find addresses, which I like because it feels like work. I did meet my first Jehovah's Witness last night. I now kind of understand why many returned missionaries say, "Oh, Jehovah's Witnesses. Yeah," and then sigh and change the subject. This gentleman was very polite and spoke English very well, and kept us (me and Elders Routsen and Olsen; the older missionaries stayed well clear) in a fifteen-minute conversation about the linguistics of the Book of Mormon and why it can't possibly be true. It was unpleasant. Not because he brought up anything that in any way bothers my testimony--quite the reverse, actually-- but I just got bad vibes from the whole thing. Why would someone spend so much time and effort trying to destroy someone else's faith? If he'd said "In my church, we believe this and this and this," I would have been okay with that. That's offering something. But to stand on the street for fifteen minutes trying to destroy someone else's faith as an intellectual exercise, is . . . hurtful. Why would you do that? The truth of God is a gift, not a weapon. I need to always remember this in my own teaching.

We also had President's interviews this week, which are great. I love talking to Pres. and Sis. Jennings. Sis. Jennings brings out the wicked side of my sense of humor (unfortunately), and Pres. Jennings has read many of the books I've read (probably ALL of the books I've read) so we can reference things without missing a beat. This is so enjoyable, because no one around here speaks my langauge, really. I don't mean English . . . I mean history, and books, and old movies. All that stuff. Elders are delightful, but they're not who you go to when you want to talk about how Prince Caspian can be an allegory of the Restoration.

So, um . . . strange Korean things to tell you about this week. Let's see.

Oh, the scooters. There are little moped scooters everywhere. They're mostly delivery-persons delivering things, like pizza and propane. Seriously. I have seen with my own two eyes a Korean man riding a scooter AGAINST TRAFFIC carrying one tank of propane on the back of the scooter and another one held between his knees, while SMOKING A CIGARETTE. But he had his turn signal on.

Copyright. Copyright is a vague concept in Korea. It doesn't really apply to day-to-day life. This is why on every street corner you can buy Disney socks not made by Disney, why every missionary has a tiny 4-inch-by-4-inch bootleg Preach My Gospel, why so many people wear hats with the logos of very masculine American institutions, like the FBI and NYPD, in very feminine colors, like hot pink. It is also why Elder Hipsche's P-Day shoes are Nike sneakers trimmed in Louis Vuitton faux-leather. Yeeeeeah . . . .

And that's my time for today. It's Soccer-playing day, so I'm writing lots of letters! Yaay!

And lest we forget:



Blogmom Notes:

* I don't know what this means. Teancum doesn't either.

** Cousin

*** Aunt

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