"Dear Mum and Dad,
Arrrrgh I hate this slow post office computer--particularly because the one right next to it is top-of-the-line, but Sis. Pak always gets it first. Drat her.
Anyway, business first. Plan is right now for me to call at roughly 11 a.m. my Christmas morning, which would be I think seven o'clock Christmas Eve for all y'all. I think I'll use the calling card from the church land line--Sis. Pak is suggesting I call on our cell and have you call it back, but I seem to remember Prez discouraging that; I'm not sure why. International calling is still a mystery to me. I'll double-check on Wednesday at 'combined zone conference' (mission conferences still being forbidden by the Powers That Be).
So . .. the cold hit. Yep. I heard rumors that Thursday set a new low-temp record for that date in the fine city of Taegu. And where have we foolhardy missionaries been but out and about, with little Korean hymnals in hand, caroling our heads off. We've been caroling, to members' houses and investigators' houses and randomly on the subway (we got kicked out one time--that was fun) and in post offices and elevators and all over. It's been a blast. But with all six of us in the district, elevators have been kind of a problem. Your standard-issue Korean apartment elevator will honk in protest if you load it with too many people, and it gets to decide what constitutes 'too many' on any given day. So when we caroled to the home of the bishop of Jungni Ward (10th floor), we made our exit by all piling into the elevator singing 'We Wish You A Merry Christmas' until the doors closed. Then the doors opened again without actually having gone anywhere, so we pushed the'door close' button and started singing again. But it just opened right back up. We ran through this three or four times, until Elder Murray decided, "We must be too heavy." He stepped out. The doors slid closed, and his good idea quickly became a bad idea as the elevator took off towards the ground floor with Elder Hamilton in it but Elder Murray stranded upstairs. We could hear him banging on the door as we disappeared. We quickly started pushing buttons again, and brought the car to a stop on the seventh floor, whence Elder Murray was sprinting, yelling his head off so he could at least remain within sound, if not within sight, of his companion. I just about collapsed laughing.
So yeah, Christmas continues apace here. We managed to sneak in five minutes (okay, ten) at the military branch's Christmas party, and the Elders get to go to the Tollets' for Christmas Eve dinner, which is nice for them. The Jungni ward Christmas party is at six o'clock Christmas Eve, so no Christmas Eve for me--gonna be working. Oh, well. At least I get to dance.
Yeah, Sister Ii Mi Suk lent us all of her belly dance stuff, so last night we played around with hip scarves and veils a lot. It was so much fun to put on a hip scarf again. It brought back very fun memories, and the comforting assurance that I wasn't always stuck-in-stockings-and-long-brown-skirts Hadden Chamenim . . . that I used to be a very quirky, fun person, and will be so again someday. I felt like Clark Kent combing that one little curl down onto his forehead. I am very boring, but somewhere inside me there is an attention-getter.
Oh, and I'm wearing PANTS today because we're all going ice skating. PAAAAAAAANTS. YAAAAY FOR PANTS.
On the missionary front, we just got loaded up with a bunch of new referals, mostly people's friends, so we've got a lot of work to look forward to. And Sis Jin Mok Hwan, our hairstylist, decided in sacrament meeting yesterday that she needs to start paying tithing so she can go to the temple. She decided this, and whispered it to me. And I just nodded, thinking about how we could have taught her about that for months and it wouldn't have made as much difference as her simple, Spirit-prompted decision in an ordinary sacrament meeting on an ordinary Sunday. We've been worried about her financial situation--single mom running her own business and all, it's no walk in the park--and wondering how to teach the counterintuitive principle that paying tithing is the surest way to become financially stable. I don't know how this is going to work out for her, but I know that it will, 'cuz it's always worked out for me, sometimes in the most bizarre fashions imagineable. The Lord takes care of full-tithe-payers. It's freaky.
So I think that's the news from this abominably slow computer. I'm so excited to talk to you on Friday! Merry Christmas! I love you so much! Why do I always cry when I type this last paragraph, gosh dang . . .