"Dear Auntie Cat,
Gosh! You're such a faithful correspondent and I've been simply atrocious about getting back to you. I'm going to work on repenting of that. You are an astonishingly forgiving person.
At any rate, thank you so much for the newsy emails! I love hearing what's going on with you and your family. Is the pipe-and-drum performance season pretty much over, or do you still have gigs into the fall and winter? Have you and Mom yet concocted another plan for one to visit the other sometime soon?
I don't think I told you (but maybe I did and I forgot) that in the small jewelry collection that came with me to Korea is the necklace I made from one of the shells we found out at the beach that one time. It's a white shell with little touches of tan at the edges, and it looks great with dark tops--and as all my blazer-like things are black or gray, I've been wearing it a lot. Cold weather = black jacket = shell necklace. And it's gonna get colder before all's said and done. I'm staying in Taegu (way inland) at least until December, so I'm probably going to get fairly well chilled before either the weather warms up or President transfers me down to Masan on the south coast. But that's okay. I'm from Minnesota. I can take any weather Korea cares to dish out.
In other news, well . . . last night we were given the opportunity (on very short notice . . . this is the kind of surprise I like) to teach our member friend's niece the message of the Restoration. I think that spending an evening talking about Heavenly Father and prophets and apostles and eternal families, with a small fuzzy dog curled up on your lap, to someone who wants to listen, is my new favorite activity. We get so few opportunities to really teach like that, but I think that those experiences are the only things that really give me energy. It's so easy to get really tired and frustrated when you spend all day trying to talk to people who don't want to listen. (Both my companion and I are still scared to death of talking to people on the street, she because she's a Korean woman [Korean women generally don't speak to strangers--it's not polite] and me because I have all the communication skills of a fairly well-trained bottlenose dolphin.) But when we get a chance to teach somebody, suddenly we both feel like a million bucks (well, 1 billion won, in Sister Pak's case) and like all the work is worth it and anything's possible. I wish I could feel like that all the time. I'm working on it. Study more, pray harder, love less selfishly, and work-work-work. They tell me this does wonders.
I love you. Thank you so much for your love and support and prayers, and for all the good you do down south there. You're an amazing, loving, wonderful person, full of faith and energy, and if I could be more like you I would be very well pleased.