"Dear Mom and Dad,
Well, the first-off the bat news is that Transfer Calls are in. The blood I painted all over the doorframe* seems to have worked like a charm; no one in our house is transfering. Elder Son Oo Shik, our district leader, is going to be Zone Leader in Shilla, and coming up as his replacement is Elder Hamilton from Haeundae, a dear old friend of mine and fellow English major. The other Taegu district is getting back the not-very-much-loved Elder Kemmerer, but I guess we'll all survive. Other than that, Taegu stays Taegu through the holiday season. I'm exceedingly relieved. When it came right down to it, I really didn't want to go anywhere, not when we've got stuff happening here finally and I still haven't been able to take Sis. Jennings shopping at Seomun Market.
So particulars of this week. The big thing was Abdul, the man from Senegal. We (my team and the Suseong elders' team) visited him and taught him his week. He's an amazing person. We'd got him a Livre de Mormon**, which he was very interested in. He's Muslim, and thus believes so many very true and powerful things: the importance of prophets and scripture, of serving others, of learning truth through revelation. He's studied both the Bible and the Koran extensively, and seemed fairly itching to get into the Book of Mormon. He speaks English quite well and is learning Korean, so we taught him in a mixture of all three of my languages. It felt so good to speak in French again.
The day we taught him was the day before transfer calls. As soon as we left his house, Elder Murray told me, "You can't transfer. This guy needs you. We've got to tell President." And Sister Pak chimed in with, "If you transfer, what are we going to do? I can't teach him by myself!" However, there were only four hours until calls. Elder Murray eventually called Elder McKenna, our Zone Leader, to ask permission to call Elder Aquino, his friend from Pusan, who has a book about Islam that he now wants to borrow, and Elder McKenna promised that he'd call up to the A.P.s to explain why Elder Murray needed such a book (and, incidentally, why I couldn't be transfered). This was a heck of an elaborate scheme, but it seems to have worked.
We also went down to Pusan this week for Sister Pak to take the dreaded Michigan Test*** again. We all went for lunch to Sister Ii In Suk's restaurant, which has moved half a block to a much more visible building (this freaked me out; I know this address! Where the heck did the restaurant go???? Oh, there it is). Sister Ii is still as wonderful as ever. She still has the tree Sister Montgomery gave her last April, and it's still growing. And her deijigukbap is still the best thing I've ever tasted. I've had deijigukbap here in Taegu and it's nothing to write home about, which would explain why you haven't heard about it. And I spent the duration of the test with Sister Musser, from the MTC, and first-transfer roommate Sister Hill, who is officially out of missionary circulation starting today. Gone also is my friend Sister Beckstead. We're losing missionaries fast, and they're starting to be missionaries that I know.
It's been a pretty slow missionary-work week, as it's Exam Time in all the schools so we can't meet with anybody because they're all busy cramming. Next week promises to be better. I'm busy explaining what White Elephant is and pressuring Elder Murray to give me the apple juice concentrate the Tolletts bought for me and gave to him so I can make wassail. Thank you so much for the cookie recipes, by the way; I really wanted them but wasn't going to request them after seeing the price sticker on the birthday package. I'm a greedy enough missionary as it is.
Oh, everybody in Korea thinks that my green cable-knit hat# is the best thing in the world, and at least five times I've been asked where I bought it. Three people have tried to steal it. I may have to staple it to my head.
Okay, I'm going to go mail a passel of letters now and see if I can load your pictures onto Liz . . . Dang Vista on this computer won't do it, so I'm going to switch with Sis. Pak. I love you so much! Really, really, really. And I miss you like crazy. Put some books or something on Bug's head; he's getting waaay too freaking tall.
* Exodus 12
** French Book of Mormon
***Michigan Test: used by colleges and universities to assess English language ability
# cabled beret knit for RoseE before she left--to match her coat