"Dear Mum and Dad,
HA! Sister Matthews is going to have a fit.* I should tell her companion to take a video of her opening that package.
Um . . . Sister Pak Sung Hee wants a mouse, too. She thinks Kiore is adorable.
It's very funny that you think I could help with a Korean phone call about airplanes. I can't even say 'airport' reliably. It's something like 'heng gong,' but I don't remember what, exactly.
But in honor of the international keyboard on the iPod, here is your first Korean lesson:
ㅎ This is a hiyeut. It sounds like H. Pretty straightforward.
ㅏ This is a vowel that says Ah, like at the dentist. Like a face with its tongue sticking out. (Korean vowels are all sticks, some with sticks sticking off them.)
So to write ha, like ha-ha that's funny, it's just 하.
And if you add one more consonant (ㄴ, neyeon, which sounds like N) it gets stuck to the bottom of the syllable, so you write it 한, not ㅎ ㅏ ㄴ. And 한 means 'great' and is in things like Hanguk (Korea) and Hangul (the Korean Alphabet). It's also my Korean last name, because it's sort of like Hadden. Kind of.
So, this week. Well, Sister Pak is a patient sweetheart and I love her to death, though I do miss Sis. Matthews. But I got to see her this week; we had a sleepover in Pusan so Sis. Pak could attend her convert's baptism. My old house! My old mattress! That apartment is HUGE. I never realized it. It's enormous, especially for just two people. We four in Taegu are living in a third of the space.
And with Sis. Matthews gone I'm discovering that I know absolutely nothing about navigating Taegu. So we've been getting lost a lot. Including two nights ago, when we went walking in the river park to try to talk to some folks. It was really nice; the weather was beautiful, and Suseong bridge was all lit up, and underneath it a guy was playing traditional Korean music on a saxaphone, which was cool. And we crossed the river on this very pretty stepping-stone bridge, to walk back up the other side. Except on the other side there's no way to get onto the street, because the freeway runs right along the edge of the river for a good long way. So we, um, jaywalked. Just across an offramp. We had no choice. We were trapped. And we're not dead, so it's all good, right?
In two weeks, over Chuseok** weekend, we're having sisters' conference, because Chuseok is useless for missionary work. And Sister Ii Yeong Bin, roommate and Sister Representative, asked us to give a talk.
"On Chastity," she told me.
"On WHAT?" said I.
"Chastity," said she. "You know. Chastity. The pure love of Christ."
Me: "Um . . . do you mean charity? Because a chastity talk addressed to sister missionaries probably isn't going to take up fifteen minutes . . ."
Yes, on charity. That's what she meant. Good thing, too.
Oh, food tip of the week: Costco hot-dog onions with ketchup and mustard. Everybody mixes this up as a side-dish salad when they eat at Costco. It's good.
I love you! Sorry it's brief; I was writing rants.
* I knitted RoseE a tiny mouse, stuffed with lavender, which Sister Matthews promptly fell in love with and named Fiore, which is "mouse" in the Maori language. She humbly asked for one for herself. I have just finished Sister Matthews' mouse; it will be sent out tomorrow. I would love to see the video of her opening the box. I hope RoseE can arrange it.
** Chuseok weekend: I'm guessing this means General Conference weekend, where the Prophet and Apostles counsel us on what we need to work on for the next 6 months. No regular church services are held, as everybody is (assumedly) watching Conference and listening to prophets' voices. General Conference happens the first weekend in October and then again the first weekend in April. At one General Conference in October 1855 or so, President Brigham Young got up and advised the church members that 3 handcart companies from Winter Quarters, Iowa had become stranded in the mountains and were out of food. Everybody IMMEDIATELY went home, packed up 250 wagons with food, clothing, shoes and blankets and set off to rescue them. A month and a half later they brought the survivors into the Salt Lake valley. Shortest Conference ever, I bet.