"Dear Mom & Dad,
Here's a shoutout to Elder Anderson's mom. He's Sister Beckstead's dongi (MTC graduating class). I don't know him, though. At least I don't think I do.
So here's the news of the week. We did, indeed, make it to the aquarium, and that was a lot of fun. The aquarium designers sure know their audience . . . around every corner was a new photo opportunity. (Koreans love to take pictures. But really.) I'll try to send a few, but ldsmail is being a pain again. What else is new.
So this week, I got swamped with letters. Really. I got eight letters and a package. I think the rest of my zone wants to kill me, they're so jealous. So Daddy, Bethe, Bug, Emily, Sara V., Violaine, and Thora, your replies are planned and will come as swiftly as I can wield a pen. I am SO grateful. I am the most spoiled missionary ever. You're all freakin' fantastic.
So, this week in missionary work . . . well, sister Noh Heon Hee, a young mom in Sujeong that we're teaching, is keeping her commitments and listening when we teach her. This seems like such a little thing, but it's SUCH a big deal, because that means she's progressing, and she's learning, and she's gaining a testimony, and that's awesome! She has a little eighteen-month-old girl, Su Een, who is Sis. Pak's new best friend. Also we're having lots of fun with Bro. Cho Jung Gol, who was raised Buddhist and always has so many questions that our lessons can last up to two and a half hours. (Really. I timed last night's. Five thirty to eight in the evening.) The members of the ward all love him and keep inviting him over for dinner. He wants to get baptized. He still wanted to get baptized after we threw the Word of Wisdom and Tithing at him, which tend to be dealbreakers (though, oddly enough, they're a couple of my favorite commandments to live, because they just straight up bring lots of blessings and that's all there is to it). So nothing but promise on that front.
Our last lesson with Brother Cho, President Jennings was supposed to come and teach with us, but he had to cancel at the last minute. To a missionary, having someone cancel on you at the last minute is called being 'punked,' and it entitles you to go get ice cream. So since it was President who punked us, we're going to get really expensive italian gelato and send the reciept into the office for a refund . . . because it was President who punked us.
Fourth of July was fun. The American missionaries wore all the red, white, and blue they could find (generally red ties with white shirts and navy blue slacks for the elders, and a red shirt, cream skirt, and blue necklace for me). And we had a barbeque in the parking lot of Gwangan ward. Since I'm a bit of a pyro, I helped manage the fire pit, and I also spice rubbed and de-boned all the chicken (not, like, pieces of chicken, like A CHICKEN that had been chopped into chunks, bones and all) until my grip slipped and I took a chunk out of my finger with my thumbnail. But I didn't get any blood in the chicken, and it was mostly done by then anyway. I was also the only person to come to the barbeque equipped with a pocketknife or a flashlight, both of which won oooohs and aaaaahs from the elders and earned me that most coveted of titles, "Boy Scout." "Sister Hadden . . . she's a Boy Scout, man." "Who got the fire going?" "Sister Hadden. She's a Boy Scout." "Whose idea was it to bake the chicken in folded pie tins?" "Sister Hadden. She's like a Boy Scout or something." And when we were discussing putting the fire out, and of course someone suggested peeing on it, because Elders are really just big Cub Scouts in suits, Elder Hansen quipped, "I think of all of us standing here, Sister Hadden would be the only one gutsy enough to actually do it." Which I decided to take as a compliment.
So it was a fun time. And it all felt very peaceful and American, despite the fact that there were no hot dog buns and our soda was plum-flavored.
I here enclose the following conversation between Sister Pak and myself.
Me: Sister Pak, why do you keep your breakfast cereal in the freezer?
Sister Pak: Don' like. Too salty. Bud wid strawberry jam . . . so good!
Sister Pak: Too salty eheoh!
Me: The freezer?
Sister Pak: Yeah!
Me: The freezer is too salty?
Sister Pak: Yeah! You don' tink so?
What I was missing here was that I was saying "freezer" and she was hearing "pretzel." Which makes sense in a weird kind of way when you've lived in Korea for three months.
Sweet little sister Ee In Suk found me a cute shirt for 5,000 won. It's light gauzy cream with gray-green lacework all over it. Sooo summery and nice. Sister Ee has been really concerned about the fact that it's hard for me to find clothes in Korea . . . she's been on the hunt, bless her.
So that's the news for this week, I think. It's getting hot but not unbearably so, there's good work to do, the apartment is comfortable and COSTCO OPENS IN TWO DAYS! Sis. Beckstead and Ogelvie are already planning to go for next P-day, and they informed me (not invited: informed) that I was coming too, 'cuz I got the card.
Gonna go try to send those pictures now. Hold tight.